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Let me entertain you, no wait isn't that taken already. Reading and writing are my passion just ask the neglected family.

Disappointing - Allegiant - Veronica Roth

Tris and Tobias are finally out of the city limits and come face to face with the real world, or do they? There are new revelations about the outside world, the troubles, the real reason for the fence, for the factions. Tris has to dig deep, to work out what is right and wrong. Who she can really trust when things begin to fall apart?

Those that have travelled with them really come into their own. You get to see the rounded characters that they have become and understand why they make the choices that they do.

Like the others, the writing style is not to my taste but the stories so far have kept my interest. I have to say that this one did not. The twisting relationship between Tris and Tobias is still an interesting one, which left you guessing if they could get through this latest fight as a couple. When we finally find out about the city, the factions and the experiments I found the direction it was going was an obvious one. As for the reactions of the people from the outer world and the GD (trying not to provide spoilers) it was a predicable prejudice. There was little action throughout until the end. And what an ending, I have to admire the author’s choice, it was a great way to finish the book and I shed a tear of two. It just didn’t make up for the rest of it.

Once you start the series there is a need to know Tris’ story and therefore Allegiant is worth a read, though for me it was the weakest of the three.

Unputdownable - Insurgent - Veronica Roth

Insurgent  - Veronica Roth

We join Tris still on the train heading to the city limits with a Tobias at her side. Once outside the fence they seek refuge with the Amity faction. It is clear from the start that things are not going to be simple, and the only way they are going to live in peace is to go back into the city and deal with the chaos.

Another group now come into play, the fractionless and they are not as destitute as they want others to believe. They not only have places to hide and food to eat, but they are organised, waiting for the right moment to make their move. With the other factions in disarray they see their chance, though only with the help of Tobias much to the dismay of Tris, whose internal warning system is screaming at the top of its voice.

Now we are thrown into a constant battle, unsure as to what it right or wrong. Putting people at risk and pushing others to the very limit. Can Tris and Tobias come out of this unscathed? If they survive, can their relationship?

Again when I started reading this it took me at least one chapter to get use to the style of writing. Sentences are clipped, short and to the point. In no time at all I became lost in the story. I needed to know if Tris would overcome even more pain and loss than last time. It started a little slow but once the action began it barely gave me time to breathe. The relationship between Tris and Tobias is never black and white, which I always like to see. There are new friends and enemies and it got a ‘nooo’ out loud, from me when Tris was in mortal peril, which doesn’t happen often.

I read the book in one sitting and couldn’t wait for the third instalment so downloaded it the moment I finished Insurgent. Once you get passed the writing style, it is easy to fall in love with this YA dystopian story. It incorporates the much adored fight for survival, love and has no qualms in piling on the loss.

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Insurgent

Insurgent  - Veronica Roth Unputdownable - Insurgent - Veronica Roth We join Tris still on the train heading to the city limits with a Tobias at her side. Once outside the fence they seek refuge with the Amity faction. It is clear from the start that things are not going to be simple, and the only way they are going to live in peace is to go back into the city and deal with the chaos.
Another group now come into play, the fractionless and they are not as destitute as they want others to believe. They not only have places to hide and food to eat, but they are organised, waiting for the right moment to make their move. With the other factions in disarray they see their chance, though only with the help of Tobias much to the dismay of Tris, whose internal warning system is screaming at the top of its voice.
Now we are thrown into a constant battle, unsure as to what it right or wrong. Putting people at risk and pushing others to the very limit. Can Tris and Tobias come out of this unscathed? If they survive, can their relationship?
Again when I started reading this it took me at least one chapter to get use to the style of writing. Sentences are clipped, short and to the point. In no time at all I became lost in the story. I needed to know if Tris would overcome even more pain and loss than last time. It started a little slow but once the action began it barely gave me time to breathe. The relationship between Tris and Tobias is never black and white, which I always like to see. There are new friends and enemies and it got a ‘nooo’ out loud, from me when Tris was in mortal peril, which doesn’t happen often.
I read the book in one sitting and couldn’t wait for the third instalment so downloaded it the moment I finished Insurgent. Once you get passed the writing style, it is easy to fall in love with this YA dystopian story. It incorporates the much adored fight for survival, love and has no qualms in piling on the loss.

Insurgent (Divergent)

Insurgent - Veronica Roth We join Tris still on the train heading to the city limits with a Tobias at her side. Once outside the fence they seek refuge with the Amity faction. It is clear from the start that things are not going to be simple, and the only way they are going to live in peace is to go back into the city and deal with the chaos.
Another group now come into play, the fractionless and they are not as destitute as they want others to believe. They not only have places to hide and food to eat, but they are organised, waiting for the right moment to make their move. With the other factions in disarray they see their chance, though only with the help of Tobias much to the dismay of Tris, whose internal warning system is screaming at the top of its voice.

Now we are thrown into a constant battle, unsure as to what it right or wrong. Putting people at risk and pushing others to the very limit. Can Tris and Tobias come out of this unscathed? If they survive, can their relationship?

Again when I started reading this it took me at least one chapter to get use to the style of writing. Sentences are clipped, short and to the point. In no time at all I became lost in the story. I needed to know if Tris would overcome even more pain and loss than last time. It started a little slow but once the action began it barely gave me time to breathe. The relationship between Tris and Tobias is never black and white, which I always like to see. There are new friends and enemies and it got a ‘nooo’ out loud, from me when Tris was in mortal peril, which doesn’t happen often.

I read the book in one sitting and couldn’t wait for the third instalment so downloaded it the moment I finished Insurgent. Once you get passed the writing style, it is easy to fall in love with this YA dystopian story. It incorporates the much adored fight for survival, love and has no qualms in piling on the loss.

Citizen

Citizen - Natasha House Set in the world 1000 years or so on from what we know and things have changed. The planet is no longer ruled by humans, but by aliens known as citizens. Humans are slaves, dogs that are kept in control by threats and brutal punishments. Lend is a young man living in the wild, until he is captured and taken to the city. He is bought by a female citizen, wanting him more to make a point to a would be mate than for practical reasons. With his defiant ways and her reluctance to discipline him by burning, a bond develops and each sees the possibilities of the other race.

The action builds quickly with some form of relationship blossoming. Her father is a very powerful man and she has grown up with his hatred of humans all her life, so trust is hard to find. When things spiral out of control, they need to make a life or death decision, and everything will change forever.

This book quickly jumps into action, one minute Lend is with his family the next he is being tortured and dragged to the city to be sold. The first thing that came to mind when reading this, was planet of the apes. A world turned upside down, humans under tight control not allowed to speak, and death is a common theme. Of course the human spirit will not rest and there are always undertones of rebellion. To me the writing wanders a little at times, I felt it could be a little tighter and the relationship between Lila and Lend grows a little too quickly. Almost from the moment they meet, there is a connection and would have liked to see the aggression between the two of them a little longer. The editing is good and the pace moves you along nicely. If you would like romance with a fantasy feel this would be a good read for you.

Scarlet Night (Scarlet Night, #1)

Scarlet Night (Scarlet Night, #1) - Megan J. Parker,  Nathan Squiers Serena is a vampire living life in self exile, alone except for her dead fiancé’s ghost, Devon. She cannot let go insisting on looking for a body for him to occupy. Things change however when a fellow vampire, Zane pays a visit. He wants her to return to her clan, to help him.

Their first encounter doesn’t run smooth but she still agrees to leave with him. Something about him fascinates her and her him. Serena soon learns that he isn’t a mere vampire, there is a monster living inside him and it wants to come out and play. But that’s not their only problem, there is another force, a rival that wants to destroy the entire clan. Are Serena and Zane up for the battle?

There is a real mixture of supernatural in here, vampire, ghosts, monsters and a new species, therions. Vampires fight in a new and unusual way in this book, which I like as an extension of their powers. The pace is fast, never quite letting up and the language is strong, I felt I was in the middle of a biker gang once or twice. Obviously it is only a personal opinion, but the bad language is constant and stopped the flow for me once or twice. I liked the inner turmoil from Zane and how Serena could calm his rage.

There was the odd editing mistake, I remember seeing ‘sis’ instead of ‘his’ but nothing major. It is an intriguing story with a twist and boy what a cliffhanger. If you like an easy vampire/monster read with plenty of action, this could be for you.

Divergent

Divergent - Veronica Roth In a dystopian society the world has been split into 5 factions. Each created to serve the people the best way they know how. The factions consist of Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).
Beatrice was born in the abnegation faction and fights her selfish instincts every day. When she turns 16, like all her age, she must complete an aptitude test to determine which faction she would be best suited in for the rest of her life. But the test isn’t clear and she now has a serious decision to make.
Once the decision is made Beatrice moves factions, changes her name to Tris and begins a dangerous initiation to become a dauntless member. She is subjected to both physical and mental endurance that pushes her and her fellow initiates to extremes. Not only does Tris have to undertake these trails but there is something different about her, something that scares those in power and if she can’t hide it, it will mean certain death.

I had high hopes for this book but I have to say the first page had me shaking my head. I realise that this is only a personal opinion, nothing more, but I find it lazy to describe the main character by looking in a mirror, it has to be harder when writing in 1st person but there are plenty of books that show it can be done. Within the first three pages, there was a description of her, her mother and her brother. The writing style took me sometime to get used to. A lot of short, clipped sentences which as it was 1st person made it harder for me to connect with the MC. It wasn’t until the end of chapter three that I wanted to know Tris’ fate.

After what I have just said it seems hard to understand, but it did capture me. I was fascinated by the trails and what they put the children through. I did get the sense of the struggle between her situation and her true nature. It took only a few days to finish it and I pulled a late night in order to get it done, so the story drew me in.

The book concentrated on the initiation and growing relationships, as well as the undercurrent of something worse about to happen. I waited for this bigger event which we saw glimpses of at the very end and wanted more. But that may be the point, wanting you to go out and buy the next instalment.

I enjoyed this book, as a young adult it was an easy read, something you could quickly get through, though for me it felt like a prelude rather than a standalone novel. It set up the next book well.

Dead Plains (The Zombie West Series, #3)

Dead Plains (The Zombie West Series, #3) - Angela  Scott Red and Trace are back on the road with their extended family trying to keep one step ahead of the zombie hoard. This time Red is heavily pregnant and they are searching for a place to call home. But there is nowhere safe, nothing is permanent and death is everywhere.

I have followed Red through her journeys, from the first time she met Trace, their growing relationship and dysfunctional family that they seem to collect everywhere they go. As with the other books, Angela Scott paints a very vivid picture. The constant presence of zombies, forever in the background and of course occasionally right in the middle of the fray. The tension builds up nicely though I was more than half way through when they were thrown into some real action. At times the pace was a little slow but, wow can the author bring you to your knees.

She isn’t afraid to hurt the characters, pulling at the heart strings. I don’t want to give things away but what he wanted to do to Jack or was it Ace when he first saw him and let’s not get started on Davis. The last quarter never stopped, it kept you wanted to read on, needing to know what was going to happen. Her writing as always is good, and I can’t fault the editing. I really did enjoy this series, if a little slow in places, but maybe I like a good beheading more than most.

The Snow Child: A Novel

The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey Mable and Jack are an aging couple who need a fresh start, a complete change to everything they know. their decision takes them to the Alasken wilderness. Unprepared for what they will face, the struggle to survive. They toil over the land, unsure if they will even have enough food to get through the harsh winter ahead. The unfriendly landscape is not their only worry. They have inner demons that threaten to tear them apart. Neither of them can move on from the loss of their stillborn child, though it manifests differently for them. It is something that they cannot talk about but eats away at them both.

One day the snow falls and in a childlike innocence they create a child made of snow. The next day he snow child is gone, in its place is a real child that appears to them in snatched glances and footprints.

This book is a strange one and I still Can't make my mind up as to whether I like it or not. It's very well written, giving you a vivid picture of the wildeness. You can almost hear the howling wind, feel the cold creeping into your viens. The whole book is written in this style. Even when you should be celebrating with them, there is something that holds you back, knowing that the darkness is everywhere.

The child is written in a way that keeps her at a distance, having you wonder at times if she was really built from the snow. You are given proof that she is real, that she had a family yet you still think has she? Has she set up this scene just for Jack. No one else sees her, there are no footprints, no signs.

The book is character driven, the plot revolving around the development of the them and nothing else. It shows the emotional change for Jack and Mable, you can see what a difference the child makes in their lives. At times I wanted and in fact did skip read a little, not as engaged as I should be, but then it would sneak up on me and I would find tears welling in my eyes.

I think I stayed with it because of the wonderful writing and fantastic relationships between the characters though nearing the end I simply wanted it over.

Road Rash

Road Rash - Bonnie Bernard,  Doug Skinner Wayne Wright is dead, head removed from his shoulders, what a way to go. We meet Wayne as he travels through the light to the next plain, which of course will not run smooth.

As a short story I really didn’t know what to expect from this book. It questions different belief’s, incorporates some and laughs at others, all in a very easy going manner. We see everything fresh from his eyes, everything confusing, unanswered.

I like the concept of this story, how the transition to the hereafter is strange and complicated. I have to say that I found it hard to read. After the characters favourite line of ‘are you s**ting me’ was mentioned for the tenth time in as many lines, I wanted to put it away. It’s purely a personal gripe for me, I don’t mind swearing, but if it doesn’t feel natural I find it hard to get into the story.

The idea of separating mind, body and soul was an interesting one and the tests they had to complete. All I can say is I hope they don’t test me like that; I can see the lightning bolt already. When you read short stories you only get a snap shot of the characters, so it is hard to develop them. There is a good effort made here to change Wayne as he goes through his trial. The pace is good, moving us along nicely. The writing didn’t quite flow but again that may have something to do with trying to complete the story in so few words.
It’s always interesting to read a new take on the afterlife and this is new and usual.

The Citizens (Jazz Nemesis, #1)

The Citizens (Jazz Nemesis, #1) - L.M.    Smith Jasmine Marshall is a loner, she had no family, lives on her ranch and the only interaction she has with the outside world is her on line one, where she can be something she’s not. She likes it that way. Things are about to change. One night she is attacked in her home only to wake up in a strange hotel. The place is deserted except for four other people, all in the same boat as her.
Why have they been taken, what could be achieved in keeping them in constant fear?

Reading the first few chapters I wasn’t sure about this book. I had seen the story too many times. Back to The Prisoner and more recently a T.V series where a woman wakes in a hotel, in a small town with a group of others with no reason as to why they are there. It follows a very similar line to the T.V series, that is until I got 60% through. Now that was a twist I never expected and I loved where it led. Together with the consequences that would reverberate around the world.

The writing is good, the plot moving it along nicely. It would have been nice to get a more rounded picture of the kidnapped group but I suppose that was the point. The idea of not really trusting all of them, to keep you on your toes. This was a nice easy read, nothing too taxing and something you can enjoy over a day or two. It will be interesting to see where they go next after the final revelation and I will be reading the next instalment.

Wicked Souls

Wicked Souls - Sabrina Samples Spencer Bishop is a woman with a wonderful husband, a great life and everything is going right. That is until the day she sees a figure in white in her windscreen and swerves to miss it. Life changes as she finds her whole life is a complete lie.

Dealing with the loss of her husband in the car crash where she saw the figure, the action quickly speeds up. There is a new someone in her life, someone who appears to her like a ghost only she soon realises that he is an angel and she knows him from her past. A past that she cannot remember, memories that have been hidden from her.

The writing moves us quickly from one scene to another, one minute Spencer is grieving for her husband, the next she becomes involved with the angel Aiden. She is soon caught up in a fight against good and evil, being the one that could change Heaven and Hell forever. I feel it could have been a little longer, with the scenes giving us a little more insight into how she feels with everything that is happening to her, maybe a little more description about the people and surroundings. I like the use of angels, fallen angels and demons and the love between humans and otherworldly creatures. The plot is strong; the editing great and for a debut novel it is a good start to a series. It will be interesting to see which way Spencer will lean in the battle ahead.

Broken Prince (The Broken Ones) (Volume 2)

Broken Prince - Jen Wylie This is the second in the great series The Broken Ones. Arowyn and her ‘family’ continue on their journey to the elven homeland to save the elven prince, before he dies. On their way they will feel love, hate, pain and sorrow which will test their friendship and bring them ever closer. As they travel, thoughts are never far away from the prophecy but they are just words, and things can change.

What I liked immediately about this book is that we jump straight into the action. We follow them on their travels with their only thoughts of getting to the elven homeland before Prince fades away. It does not jump into weeks or months but follows them day to day moving slowly on, which I thought worked really well. These characters are all well developed, each one has something to add to the story. Whether it is the other human Bo, or the fey Kei, whose relationship with Aro is so closely bonded you can start to believe the prophecy, or Prince whose feelings are so hidden no one knows what he thinks. We also have a new addition to the family in the form of a Were.

The action never stops, they are once again faced with Damon together with new enemies that leave them in life threatening situations. How can you not feel for Aro as she sees her ‘boys’ in pain? The action scenes are really well written and I have to say graphic but that works for me. I read this in two sittings with the dust bunnies gathering in the corner and didn’t give them a second thought. I can’t wait to read the third.

Life in the Funny Lane: My eccentric upbringing: where the bizarre seemed normal and the normal... well... boring, isn't it?

Life in the Funny Lane: My Eccentric Upbringing: Where the Bizarre Seemed Normal and the Normal... Well... Boring, Isn't It? - Paul  Dunne This book is a collection of stories from a boy growing up in Dublin in the 1950’s. It shows the wonderful relationships between children and parents of a lost era. There are insights of what life was like growing up in Ireland and I love the relationship he has with his father. I am not really one for these types of books and at times I felt I was simply being told a list of what had happened, but when he opened up about more personal matters I really became involved. Regardless of the content, the author always managed to keep the humour, which really worked.

If memories are your thing, it really is worth a read.

Supernatural Seduction (Coffin Girls, #2)

Supernatural Seduction (Coffin Girls, #2) - Aneesa Price,  Mary-Nancy's Eagle Eye Editing With the group of witch-vampires, known as Coffin Girls, now established, they are doing all they can to rescue kidnapped witches who are being tortured and killed by an old adversary. Sophie forms part of the Coffin Girls and from her witch half, is a powerful empath who can read and even influence others with her ability. As her powers grow, she suffers from horrendous nightmares and the only way to tackle them is by accepting the help of a fae prince called Sylvain. As friends they work well together, but as she seeks his help, their feelings for each other collide leaving them unsure of where this will take them.

Although we follow the Coffin Girls, the main focus of this book is around the growing relationship between Sophie and Sylvain. The story between the two of them is strong and the characters are well developed. As an adult book, which I have to say is not one of my favourites as on the whole the bedroom scenes are crude and uncaring, here however I found them written well. They were well thought out and dealt with the emotions rather than just the act.

The only thing that slowed the pace of this good story for me, was it spent so much time on the budding relationship between the two characters that the fight against the evil kidnappers seemed like a subplot and a little rushed. Maybe I just like action rather than romance.

Talented

Talented - Sophie  Davis When Talia Lyons was six years old she watched the murder of her parents and the only thing that got her through the pain was the thought of one day taking her revenge on the man that killed them. She is taken in by a family who work for the government and helps her develop her talent which happens to be the ability to read and influence the minds of others around her. Everyone who is ‘talented’ is taken to a military school and taught how to use their talents to benefit the agency and help them fight against the rebellion.

I really liked this story, it gripped me from the very beginning once I got over the idea that nuclear contamination would develop these talents and not actually kill and maim. It felt a little like the x-men at first but on a bigger scale. All children are forced to take a test at a young age and then if a talent is found, are moved to a school in order to develop their talent. Of course there were those who hated the idea of being taken away from the family and used in a war that they thought was wrong. For me it showed a wider story but as the MC is a teenage girl, we see the development of her relationship with Donavan and her team mates Eric and Henri.

I did feel that it spent a little too much time on her inner turmoil over the men in her life rather than the story of war but that said it still kept my interest. I just wanted her to question things a little more, I know she lived within the agency walls for a long time and she had never thought to question but even at the end in the middle of her solo mission, she still didn’t think to question what she had been told and if there was something more out there. From the beginning when it was mentioned what the government do to you once you were tested positive, I just waited for the questions to arise, for people to ask what was really going on, though I think I might be a rather cynical woman who doesn’t trust authority.

With all that being said, it was a good read, it hooked me and I read it quickly wanting to know what happened. Talia is a strong character and this first book only scratches the surface of what she can do and I can’t wait to find out more about what is next for her and what her past really holds.