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The Slowest Bookworm "Single mum to 7yr old boy just getting interested in books. I mainly read & listen to young adult books with the odd adult thrown in." (Stockport, UK)

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After Obsession
After Obsession
by Carrie Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.72

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting mythology, I just expected more scary stuff, 3 Dec 2011
This review is from: After Obsession (Paperback)
I have been dying to read this one ever since I received it. The cover is beautiful and the synopsis just screams creepy! Last week I finally got the chance to get my nose stuck into it.

After Obsession is written in first person with chapters alternating between the two main characters, Aimee and Alan. It worked really well and I enjoyed reading from both perspectives. It's a very quick and easy read with a very well thought out plot and some great twists although I would definitely have liked more detail and a bit more background information.

The characters were interesting, especially Alan who was my favourite. Aimee was nice, but nothing special and she did irritate me a little sometimes with her `nothing negative' attitude even with all this bad stuff happening around her. I was also a little sad that I didn't feel more attached to Courtney. Apart from her being the one possessed and her dad recently dying, we didn't really get to know her and it seemed a shame as I wasn't desperately rooting for her against the evil, nasty River Man.

Being about demonic possession, I expected After Obsession to be creepy and it was, although it wasn't quite as scary as I thought it would be. I loved reading about Alan and the native American Indian mythology - it fitted the story perfectly. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to find out more about the different stages of possession - or Ghost Sickness. It would have been interesting to see more of Courtney actually going through this and I wasn't quite sure I understood how it was affecting the rest of the town too.

All in all, a pretty good read and some interesting mythology. I just wish there had been more!

Betrayal (Haunting Emma)
Betrayal (Haunting Emma)
by Lee Nichols
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Emma is back!, 21 Nov 2011
Betrayal is the second book in the Haunting Emma series. It was good to catch up with Emma and Natalie and I enjoyed the new characters, Simon and Lukas too. Bennett didn't appear in this book as much as I'd hoped, but then I wasn't sure I liked the change in him much, so maybe that's a good thing.

My favourite characters in the book had to be the `friendly' ghosts. I adored Coby and Anatole. How awesome would it be to have a ghost cook dinner for you? I didn't enjoy Emma quite so much this time round. She seemed a little more whiney than in Deception and although I suppose, given her back story that she had more than enough reason to be like that, it just grated on my nerves a little.

I thought the plot was excellent and I loved the build up to the big battle with Neos and all the creepy, scary little traps he sets along the way.

Betrayal is written in first person from Emma's point of view and is very quick and easy to read. There were lots of unexpected twists and turns which kept me guessing right through to the end and although there wasn't a major cliffhanger, it was obviously left open for the next book in the series, Surrender, due out in December 2011.

I struggled a little with the star rating for this one as I think it's definitely worth more than a three, but I didn't quite enjoy it as much as Deception, which I gave 4 stars to. I don't like to give half stars on my reviews as I like to be able to give the same scores on Goodreads and Amazon, so after much deliberating, I decided to go with 4 stars.

Ashfall (Ashfall Trilogy)
Ashfall (Ashfall Trilogy)
by Mike Mullin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Ashfall by Mike Mullin, 18 Nov 2011
Have you ever woken up in the morning with that ominous feeling in the pit of your stomach? You know, that feeling when you're kind of dazed as if nothing around you is real and something really bad has happened but you haven't yet been told about it? That is exactly how I felt each time I put this book down.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a 15 year old who is left alone for the weekend whilst his parents visit relatives. A few hours after they've left, the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts and totally transforms the world as Alex knows it.

Alex needs to know his family are safe so he sets off through this new ash covered world to travel over 100 miles to find them. As food and drinking water get more and more scarce and the horror of how far people will go to get what they need to survive, Alex finds refuge with Darla and her mother.

I loved Alex and Darla and how their relationship blossomed in this dark and miserable world. It was realistic and well, like a pretty flower in the ash. I really connected with these two characters.

Ashfall was a page turner for me. I was totally immersed in this frightening, dark and violent world. Mullin certainly knows how to set the scene and I was shivering alongside Alex and Darla as they fought against hypothermia, other people with deadly intentions and scavenged in the snow for food and shelter. The characters in Ashfall were totally realistic, as was the storyline. I think this is what made it so horrifying for me. This really could happen!

I definitely would not recommend this book for younger teens as it is very violent and gory, but for older teens and adults who love horror or dystopian novels then this one is a must read!

The Magi (The Magi Series)
The Magi (The Magi Series)
Price: £1.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the Harry Potter fans!, 9 Nov 2011
I've been sitting here at my computer for ages trying to think how I can word this review without telling you more about the plot than is already given in the synopsis. I don't want to give any spoilers - this book deserves for you to discover it's secrets yourself!

We first meet 13 year old Elijah, the main character, just before his parents and older sister are murdered by a mysterious man with strange eyes. Elijah begins to learn that just maybe he isn't quite the average kid on the block he thought he was. Elijah was a strong, well written protagonist and my favourite character in the book. He was a brave, intelligent, humorous and slightly insecure teen who dealt very well with the situations the author threw him into without losing his head.

There were other characters in the book I really enjoyed. Master Roddick, one of the teachers at the school who seems different from the others, Elijah's friends -Isaac, Paul, Hannah, Adam and Becca. Of his friends Becca was definitely my favourite. I loved her smart and slightly cocky attitude and that she was very sure of herself and way too bossy!

The magical world of The Magi will have your imagination racing and well as you're heart! The story is fast paced and exciting and if you are anything like me, you will be on the edge of your seat through most of it!

So, what didn't I like about The Magi? Actually nothing. I totally loved this book and can't wait for the second in the series early (hopefully!) next year!

The Magi is well written and has an excellent storyline. It is a fast and easy read and although this book is actually tagged as a Young Adult, I feel it is also very appropriate for both younger and older readers. There is a bit of violence, but nothing too graphic that would upset younger readers. The Magi will definitely appeal to Harry Potter fans with it's magical element (although Magi magic is nothing like Potter magic), part of the storyline being set in a school and it's younger end teen cast. This is one book I definitely recommend you read soon!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy)
by Laini Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Daughter of Smoke and Bone, 4 Nov 2011
In Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor manage to create an intoxicating and imaginative fantasy story. Karou is an art student in Prague, but her family are nothing like her. They are Chimaera - weird looking creatures with special powers and big secrets.

Karou, with her blue hair and artistic talents runs errands for her strange family - usually to collect teeth. She was a pretty amazing character and I really enjoyed reading about her extraordinary life in our world, and behind that door in the shop.

The banter between Karou and her best friend, Zuzana was laugh out loud funny. Both the girls were really amazing, but my favourite character was Brimstone, one of Karou's Chimaera family. Brimstone collects teeth and it is he who frequently sends Karou out on errands to collect the teeth from all kinds of oddballs. Then we meet Akiva, a Seraphim and deadly enemy of the Chimaera who is obsessed with Karou.

The more I read the more intrigued I was about what was happening in the story. Up until about ¾ of the way through the book, I had so many questions in my head and no answers. And then, the answers are about to start coming ...

At this point, literally just as you think you're going to find out what's going on, the story changes to another character and another world - Madrigal and the land of Eretz, and for me this got quite frustrating. It took me a good while to settle back into the story, but when I did I really enjoyed the Chimaera character, Madrigal, about whom this second part is about. Her story was beautiful, of forbidden love and battling enemies and traditions many moons old. But all through this, I was also desperate to get back to Karou and her world.

By the end of the book I was mostly satisfied and pretty much in awe of this world Laini has constructed. The buzz this book has created in the blogging world is amazing. Everyone seems to love it, and although this book definitely has the wow factor and it is pretty amazing, it wasn't my favourite read of the year.

Alexander Death (The Paranormals, Book 3)
Alexander Death (The Paranormals, Book 3)
Price: £2.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last in the trilogy, 31 Oct 2011
I went into this book feeling very excited as The Paranormals has been one of my favourite ever series. I was also a little sad knowing that this was the last book.

At the end of Tommy Nightmare, which is the second book in the series, I was definitely Team Alexander and Seth had gone w-a-y down in my estimations, yet the more I read of Alexander in this final book, the more I disliked the creepy dead raiser who was trying to control Jenny just as he controlled his zombies.

I loved Jenny as I have done throughout all the books, although I was disappointed in her for some of the nasty little habits she got into whilst with Alexander. I thought she was stronger than that and I have to admit that I admonished her a few times in my head whilst reading. She was still my favourite character in the book and I am so glad the story ended how it did for her.

My favourite scene in the book was when Alexander took Jenny to the lost city of Paochilan and she finally began to understand who she really was. I loved the description of the place and the snake symbol on the pyramid, which had a large significance in Jenny remembering her past lives. That was just awesome!

The Paranormals series does have adult content and is not suitable for younger teens, but if you're 18+ and haven't read this series yet, you really, really must! It's awesome!

by Marcus Sedgwick
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual but totally gripping story, 22 Oct 2011
This review is from: Midwinterblood (Hardcover)
Midwinterblood had me hooked from page one and I finished it in just under a day. Seriously, I just could not put this book down! The writing just flows beautifully and is very easy to read.

The book is split into seven parts and an Epilogue. Each part moves back in time through the ages until we reach the 10th Century and after that `time unknown'. Each age that we pass through also coincides with a particular phase of the moon - The Flower Moon, The Harvest Moon, The Hunters Moon and so on. This works really well, and after a couple of chapters you start to see a pattern, but you don't find out the full story until you've read the Epilogue.

Midwinterblood is the first novel by Marcus Sedgwick I've read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At the start of the book we are in the future, in 2073 and we learn about Eric Seven, the main character as he arrives on Blessed Island. Eric is a journalist and has come to find out more about the creepy, remote island and find out whether the rumours are true. On the island he meets Merle who has lived there all her life and Eric feels like he already knows her from somewhere. There is this instant attraction, but Eric doesn't believe in that love at first sight rubbish and doesn't understand why he has a desperate need to spent time with her.

Blessed Island was really creepy. For one, it is the only place in the world where a specific kind of orchid grows which has special powers. There are also no children on the island and the residents themselves are just so strange. Without giving the story away, I can't really tell you more than that.

With human sacrifices, vampires and vikings, Midwinterblood definitely had it's gory moments, but it also had me under it's spell and I would most certainly recommend this YA novel to all my readers.

Gifts of the Blood (Angel's Edge)
Gifts of the Blood (Angel's Edge)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YA Paranormal Romance, 22 Oct 2011
Gifts of the Blood was an extremely enjoyable YA paranormal romance. It was quite a short read at approximately 200 pages, but packed with action and intrigue.

The female protagonist, Caspia was a great character. She lives in an apartment with her brother, Logan and their cat Abigail. Because her brother is ill with cancer, Caspia has to work long hours in a coffee shop on top of attending classes and looking after Logan. Life is hard enough for Caspia without and her special `gift' of being able to draw the future. I really enjoyed Caspia. She was my favourite of all the characters in Gifts of the Blood. She was great fun to read about and some of her dialogue was hilarious. At times she did the most stupid of things and I wanted to shake some sense into her. Fortunately this was done for me by the crazy bad guy, Asheroth. I can see this anxiety plagued girl turning into a real kick-ass heroine over the course of the Angel's Edge trilogy.

I loved the idea of Caspia's hometown being a refuge for all things supernatural. We met a few of the other town members and I enjoyed learning about them. Caspia's boss, the blind owner of the coffee shop was a little creepy, but I enjoyed his part in the story and would have loved to have known more about him and his female witchy `friend' from the herb shop in town.

Whilst I didn't totally connect with love interest Ethan at the beginning of the book, he did grow on me as the story continued. I think that I just didn't trust him and I was wary of his intentions to Caspia. Even after finishing the book, I'm still a little doubtful that he's totally the good guy he's trying to be, but we shall see.

I really enjoyed the characters, the plot and Vicki Kerie's writing style. I did find on a couple of occasions that I got a bit lost and had to re-read a page or two and I also noticed a bit of repetitiveness, especially the times when Caspia thought out loud. It definitely didn't distract me too much though and Gifts of the Blood is a book I would definitely recommend.

A great paranormal read and I'm really looking forward to reading the second in the trilogy, Darkness in the Blood, which is out now and Blood Redemption which is due out shortly.

Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits Book 1)
Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits Book 1)
Price: £0.77

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YA Paranormal Romance - with Genies!, 22 Oct 2011
We all know the saying about not judging a book by it's cover, but that cover just blew me away with it's golden flames, sparkles and a pretty face! Istarted the book without even reading the blurb!

The pretty face on the cover turns out to be Ari, the main character in the story. She lives at home with her father (when he's not away on business) and has just graduated school. The story starts shortly before Ari's 18th birthday at a time when Ari thinks she is just your average kid. She's not, and as we find out very quickly, Ari's real parents are not who she thought they were. They're not even human! (Not a spoiler - this is in the blurb).

It was a refreshing change to have a different type of paranormal being that the usual vampires, angels, faeries and werewolves. In Smokeless Fire, we have Jinn (or genies), who from what we find out in the book, are mostly evil, cunning creatures who love causing havoc.

It was very easy to quickly become attached to the main characters In Smokeless Fire. Ari is intelligent, although a little anxious as even at graduation she has no idea what she wants to do with her life and it doesn't help that all her friends have planned for years and are all set to head off to their respective colleges. She's also really worried about her best friend Charlie who she's known for many years. After an accident on Ari's 16th birthday which pulled Charlies' family apart, Charlie has taken to drinking and drugs, but Ari is not about to give up on him. Then along comes stunningly handsome half-Jinn, Jai, who puts a big spanner in the works!

I got so involved in the plot whilst reading Smokeless Fire that I really didn't want it to end, and OMG there is a pretty major cliffhanger! With plenty of action, Genies, Kings, other worldly creatures and just a touch of blood and gore, Smokeless Fire makes for a great read. There is no way I wont be grabbing book 2 as soon as it is released! This YA paranormal romance was an awesome story and one I totally recommend you add to your reading pile very soon!

Meet Me At The Cupcake Café
Meet Me At The Cupcake Café
by Jenny Colgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I could smell the cupcakes!, 11 Oct 2011
The Cupcake Cafe has a really pretty girly cover and inside there are cute little drawings of cupcakes and cups of coffee throughout, but what really made this book different for me were the recipes at the beginning of each chapter for different cupcakes and cookies. They sound so mouthwatering that I really must make some of them. There's also a section at the end of the book with recipes and a guide to baking the perfect cupcake! Reading this book whilst on a diet (like me!) is really not a good idea ;-)

The main character is Issy who is a really sweet natured young woman and an extremely gifted baker. At the start of the book Issy works in an office until she is suddenly, without warning made redundant. It was at this point in the story that I really connected with Issy. Maybe it's because of my work situation at the moment, but I really felt her anger and despondency.

Apart from Issy, my favourite characters in the book were Austin and Gramps. Austin was Issy's Banker and he was just such a nice guy and I instantly felt an attraction to him. He had a bit of a crush on Issy and I really, desperately wanted them to get together. Gramps, Issy's grandad was in a home as he'd started to suffer with dementia, but he was just so lovely that I really felt Issy's heartache as his condition worsened.

We also had the joy (or not) of meeting Graeme, Issy's ex. Graeme was a slimy, arrogant piece of work and I loved hating him. I could `see' him stood there with the arrogant smirk on his face and I just wanted him to go away and crawl under a rock. I felt very protective towards Issy and I could feel my hackles raising every time Graeme came back into the story.

After the first few chapters I thought I knew where this book was going and I was right in a way, but there were some really good twists and turns which surprised me and made things not quite as predicable as I first thought. I loved Jenny Colgan's writing. It's humorous, intelligent and easy to read. Her descriptions of Issy's cakes where so spot on that I could taste those cakes for real!

It's a long time since I've read a chic-lit and I really enjoyed Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe. I felt nice and relaxed at the change of pace to my usual reads and I really looked forward to picking this book up each evening. At 456 pages, it's not the smallest of books, but it most definitely warmed my heart and chilled me out.

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