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Hemlock (Hemlock - Trilogy)
Hemlock (Hemlock - Trilogy)
by Kathleen Peacock
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Awesome Story. Can't wait for the next one!!, 8 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lupine Syndrome - also known as 'the werewolf virus' - has been on the rise across the country. Attacks in Hemlock have also been on the rise. Amy is not the first death in town... will she be the last?

Recently werewolves have been outed, no longer are they something of fiction or nightmares. No, they really exist. A fact that Senator John Walsh is in support of. Right up until one kills his grand-daughter, that is. Amy was a beautiful young girl with her whole life ahead of her. She had her loving boyfriend Jason, her best friend Mackenzie - all until that day her life was cut unnecessarily short by the white werewolf.

Mac's life was turned upside down that day. Little did she know things could get a whole lot worse. I know, you're thinking "what could be worse" Right?! But trust me, things got decidedly worse when the Trackers came to town. The Trackers are an extremist group, called into town to hunt for the werewolf. They are working alongside the police, hoping to bring Amy's killer to justice. I'm just not so sure their brand of justice is the same as mine.

Mac knows that the Trackers have come to find Amy's killer. She just can't help but not trust them. There's something about them and their leader, Derby, that hits a nerve.
So, wanting to put an end to her dreams where she is haunted by visions of Amy, Mac decides to investigate for herself. Little does she know that the circumstances surrounding Amy's murder would up-end her life even further. She uncovers secrets about the people she loves and holds dear. Secrets that throw her into a maelstrom of violence and bitter betrayal that will see her own life put in harms way.

I loved this story for many reasons. Mac was just the kind of MC that I love. She's feisty, she's tough and when confronted with an amassing amount of evidence that all is not what it seems, she is like a dog with a bone and she will not let it go until she uncovers the truth.

Throughout the whole story, I couldn't help but admire Mac's strength, loyalty and hard-headed attitude. She may have been a little naive in some instances, and she may have been kept in the dark by those closest to her. But that doesn't stop her from being one of the best female leads I have seen in YA. In fact her foibles endear me to her just as much as anything.
Along with a great MC and a gritty storyline, there were also some other little bonuses in HEMLOCK. For instance, Kyle. *Swoons* I heart Kyle. Big time! He was the kind of guy you'd be happy to call your best friend. The kind of guy you'd want backing you in a fight. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with him from pretty much first sight.

There's other characters to like, some to hate and some that trip you up when you least expect it. I knew who the killer was before it was revealed, but even then, there was another surprise in store that shocked me to the core.

I finished HEMLOCK with a lump in my throat and tear tracks down my face, so I warn you now - have tissues at the ready.

Being Kathleen Peacock's first novel, I didn't know what to expect from her as an author. What I found was she has a unique style all her own - making her sky-rocket straight onto my favourite authors list.
The writing was fast-paced with an elegant fluidity to it that meant I was absolutely swept away and easily lost chunks of time whilst I was reading. I'd pick it up and upon putting it down I would wonder how on earth it had got to that time when it felt like I had only been reading for 5 minutes.

Sometimes I find stumbling blocks within books that it takes me a while to get my head around. But HEMLOCK wasn't one of those books. There was nothing that needing explaining, no barrage of information that attacked you from on high. It was a provocative storyline that prompted questions about love, trust, lies and prejudice. All in all, it was a beautiful story that left me sated yet all at once thirsty for the next installment in the trilogy.

For anyone who likes a good supernatural mystery - this book is a MUST read.

by Jennifer Bosworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Struck, 8 May 2012
This review is from: Struck (Hardcover)
I will admit, it was initially the cover that drew me to this book. A very striking, eye-catching cover. I love it.
I was looking at books to request from Macmillan on Net Galley when this caught my eye. I looked up the blurb and thought it sounded like my kind of book. To find out whether it really was, read on...

Have you ever wondered what life would be like in a post-apocalyptic world? Perhaps you wonder who you would become, when the world you knew and the person you once were, was gone...

Well that's what happened to Mia Price.

The saying is that lightning never strikes in the same place twice. Well that couldn't be more incorrect. It's struck Mia on several occasions. Leading her to become a lightning addict. She has survived multiple strikes only to find that it's left her craving to connect to the energy from storms. Putting her own life in danger and the lives of those around her.

She used to live in another city, a whole different life ahead of her. Until that fatal day when she hurt someone she saw as a friend. Janna. But Janna wasn't the only one hurt that day. All because they were too close to her when she felt the energy welling up inside her. They stood too close when that energy became too much for Mia to safely contain.

Mia's mom made them move after that incident. No-one wanted to talk to Mia or see her after the hurt that she caused. So along with her mom and her brother Parker, she moved to Los Angeles. A place where lightning rarely strikes. It's a place where Mia can feel safe from her addiction, though I get the feeling she also missed the power it created within her.

But when an earthquake hits LA, it transforms her once safe haven into a place of devastation and chaos.

The once beautiful beaches become over-run with tent cities where the Displaced have to stake a claim in order for their survival. The Displaced are those whose homes were destroyed due to the quake and have nowhere else to go.

Downtown has become a dangerous wasteland, nick-named the Waste due to the near total destruction. But revellers are drawn to the Waste in their droves because that's where they hold the Roves. Parties that move from building to building each night. They are drawn to these places by a force they can neither deny nor explain.

Within the city, there are two warring cults. The Followers and the Seekers. Both of whom believe Mia is the key to their very much opposing Doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the storm that preceded the earthquake and an even more destructive storm yet to come.

During all this, Mia meets and finds herself drawn to a mysterious and enigmatic character by the name of Jeremy. They don't have the most conventional of relationships. Jeremy is hesitant to touch her, after all, their first touch lead to Mia passing out. But Mia won't let that get in the way. She's drawn to him in an inexplicable way.

So, why did I struggle to get into this book in the very beginning? It all sounds interesting so far, right?!

I struggled to make a connection to STRUCK in the first 25% because it was a total change of pace for me. It wasn't the fault of the book itself. More that I have read vampires and werewolves etc recently, so it was hard to get used to the change of pace this set out for me.

However, once I hit about 30% I was sucked into the story and I found that actually, it was a fast-paced, exciting story. You never knew what was coming next. It wasn't girl meets boy and falls in love, they have some hardships but figure it all out in the end. Instead it was a gripping story that had a little romance along the way.
I found that I read on until I got to 65% before realising it was 1am and I needed to sleep. So I put the book aside, caught up on some sleep and picked it up again the next morning.

I finished STRUCK in that sitting. It was intense and explosive and I really enjoyed the ending. The only thing throughout that I would say I had a problem with was the Followers. But without ruining it for you, I can't really tell you why. I just found that they really hit a nerve and I guess it resonated with me throughout.

The characters....?

Mia was a completely different MC to what I am used to. She wasn't what I expected, but not in a bad way. I enjoyed the fact that she was so different. She was a strong, feisty girl who had to struggle to survive and make this new life work. She had her sick mother to look after and I found that I really felt for her.
Jeremy was also not what I was expecting. He was an enjoyable character who I looked forward to Mia's interactions with.
As for the other characters? Well without naming names, there were the obvious good guys, some interesting bad guys and some that you didn't know which way the axe would fall.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and look forward to finding out where Jennifer Bosworth decides to take it from here.

Dead Radiance (A Valkyrie Novel Book 1)
Dead Radiance (A Valkyrie Novel Book 1)
Price: £0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Foray Into Norse Mythology, 4 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I first saw this beautiful book when somebody tweeted a link to the publishers freebie event. I fell instantly in love with the cover and blurb, I knew it was something I needed to download.
I haven't read anything about Valkyries and am not even all that familiar with the Norse Mythology, so this really caught my attention.

I am so glad I got this book when I did. It was so captivating. I enjoyed every second, from the first word I was sucked into a world I was unfamiliar with but could feel unfolding around me as time went by.
I can honestly say, this is one of my favourite books and I simply cannot wait for the next book, DEAD EMBERS to be published. You can guarantee I will be downloading it as soon as Tee hits 'publish'.

So what's the book all about? Sit back, get comfortable and I will tell you (in a non 'spoilery' way, of course).

Bryn Halbrook lives in the town of Craven. It's the most recent in a string of foster homes. This time, her foster mother, Ms Custer is different from the others. From the start she makes Bryn feel welcome, like a real part of the family, even insisting she should called her Mom. She's a sweet woman with a broad smile and a good heart. It's here Bryn feels most at home, with her foster siblings; Brody and Simon.

But even feeling a sense of peace from being in good care cannot help Bryn feel better about the glow.

She'd seen the glow since she was a child, but never understood what it meant. The first time she saw it happen in Craven, Aimee Carter ended up dying from Cancer. The next time, her best friend Joshua died in a car accident. An accident Bryn feels guilty for as she was also in the car.

After Joshua's death, people treat her like a social pariah, silently blaming her for the death of the beautiful boy they all knew and loved. What they don't know is, they could never make her feel worse than she makes herself feel. It constantly runs through her head that she too should be dead. The impact threw her from the car, straight into a street lamp. Something that would have crushed a normal persons spine. But not Bryn. That's because she's not normal.

She doesn't know yet what's so different about her. All she knows is that when she sees the glow around people, what some people call an Aura, it gradually gets brighter until they die.

It isn't until the mysterious arrival of another foster child that Bryn begins to slowly uncover the truth. Something she had only thought of in mythological terms was about to become Bryn's reality.

Aidan is the newest addition to Ms Custer's care. He rides in on a motorbike like the proverbial bad-boy. Long black hair that glistens as he removes his helmet...
Gorgeous and intriguing, he gets right under Bryn's skin, sets her pulse racing in a way no other boy can.

At school, the Headteacher tasks Bryn with showing Aidan around. She can't help but be annoyed at this. She shows him to his classes, hoping to get away from him as quickly as possible. Is it because just being near him sets her heart racing and makes her breathing quicken? His hair, his eyes, the way he looks at her...

At this point, I won't share any more about their encounters, I will fast forward a little in time, in order that you find out those things for yourself.

It's when Bryn decides to entrust her biggest secret to Aidan that he packs up and skips town. Great, just what she needed. The one person who knows about the glow has just disappeared on her without even saying goodbye. So much for trust. Now what is she to do?

Upon inspecting Aidan's room to see that he really has packed it all up and gone, Bryn discovers a book that will change her life forever.

Again, I won't spoil things for you so I'll fast forward a little more....

As events unfold, the FBI turn up at Ms Custer's home, looking for Bryn. But Ms Custer tells them she ran away after having her heart broken. Bryn hears snippets of the conversation and stays hidden in the broom closet. (Bear with me, I'm trying to remove spoilers as I go)
The FBI finally leave, resigned to the fact that Bryn is not home and may never come back.
Bryn sneaks outside to watch the FBI leave, to make sure they really are gone. But then a strong arm grabs her from behind...

When she awakens, she's unsure of her surroundings. She's no longer at Ms Custer's home. In fact, she's no longer in Craven. She's in Asgard. (But how she discovers this is up to you to read & find out for yourself)

Upon her discovery that Asgard isn't just a place of myth, but a real place - where she also discovers people and things that are also not just confined to Norse Mythology, Bryn has a hard time trying to come to terms with it all. But that isn't the biggest shock life has in store for her...

There are a lot of events that really begin to unfold for Bryn. Not only is the stuff of mythology real, she's an intrinsical part of it all. She stands on the threshold of the biggest, most eventful journey of her life. About to discover that she has a destiny much different to how she thought her life would go. Will she find her purpose in life? A place where she can finally belong?

The answers to these questions lie within the pages of one of the best books I have read to date.

Having never read anything by T. G Ayer before, I was unsure what to expect from DEAD RADIANCE. I sure didn't expect the impact it would have on me.
Tee is an amazing author. I love the way she describes everything so beautifully and explains things so fully you feel as though you are actually a part of the story. She weaves a spell on you so that you get sucked in from the first word - with a fast-paced, well plotted story where myth and real life collide - a beautiful debut novel by an author you can expect many more amazing things from.

I fell for Aidan, big time. I have to say, I really have a thing about the bad boys. Aidan is up there among my favourite book boy crushes. He has a sad story that made me feel so sorry for him (Yes, I admit I cried).

Bryn is one of my all time favourite female MC's. She's witty and sarcastic. She's tougher than she looks and has an inner strength - an inner core, that I really admire. The way in which she handled all that was thrown at her, she really hit the ground running. Bryn is beautiful inside and out and I really routed for her throughout all the trials and tribulations she faced. It just goes to show that the girl who starts off life as the under-dog really can come out on top.

Thank you Tee for introducing me to one of the most interesting, entertaining casts of characters. Bryn, Aidan, Sigrun, Turi, Odin - even Freya and Astrid. There are some wonders to be discovered on the journey that you undertake when you open this book.

Adjustable Aluminium Folding Walking Stick Pole 81-92cm
Adjustable Aluminium Folding Walking Stick Pole 81-92cm
Offered by Top Online Store
Price: £3.22

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Product, 3 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this stick as a means of getting about on the day of a family wedding. I have a blue one that I use normally but that didn't really go very well with my gorgeous purple dress. So, I ordered this black one.
I had seen previous reviews and made up my mind to give it a go. At £5.20 it hardly breaks the bank.
I am so glad I bought it. It slots together easily enough, it's lightweight, the handle it moulded well to fit your hand and it has a strap to put round your wrist. Perfect!!

ReVamped (Angel Creek, Book One)
ReVamped (Angel Creek, Book One)
Price: £1.84

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 *'s to this terrific vampire novel!!, 25 April 2012
I'm not sure how I first came across ReVamped, what I do know is I loved what I saw. From the amazingly gorgeous purple cover (my favourite colour) with the beautiful model, to the enticing blurb, I knew that this would be something I wanted to read.

The day after I looked this up, I was surprised to have an email in my inbox from Ada asking if I would like to review it. Spooky coincidence! I told her that I'd only been looking it up the previous day and would be delighted to review it. Needless to say, this made us both happy!

So I picked ReVamped up a couple of days ago. From the first minute, I was in love with this totally different book. I was reading and the thought struck me, "Holy Hell, these vampires don't sparkle - AWESOME"
So many people say that vampire books are on their way out. I must admit, I have seen a decline in the amount of vampire books out there, but maybe I'm just not looking in the right places. I'm not one of these people anyway, I still very much adore a good vampire book - as long as it's not the 'same old, same old' - I love nothing more than settling down with a good vampire book that I can really sink my fangs into (sorry I just couldn't help myself)

So anyway, on with my review of this amazing book.

ReVamped is the story of 19 year old Dawn, a vampire with a simple mission that turns out to be a deadly nightmare.
Dawn has led a somewhat sheltered life within the confines of her fathers presidential headquarters. For saying she's a vampire, she seems to have had an easy, ordinary life. Though with one exception, she learnt to become a phenomenal fighter.

When her father finally decides to give Dawn a mission outside of the walls - he tells her he is sending her on an easy little mission in Angel Creek. She is to train 4 vampires to be the new town guardians. The 'Fab Five' - the towns previous guardians - are no longer around. They are off auditioning for shows in Hollywood. So whilst they have the glitz and glamour, Dawn is in charge of getting the new recruits together and into shape.

Little does Dawn know at the time that this mission is far more deadly than her or her father could ever have imagined.

Once in Angel Creek, Dawn sets about her first task - finding the new recruits. All she has to go by are facts in a file on her tablet computer. There's Brooke Mason, the cheerleader. Sophie Reed, the librarian. Hunter Woods, the ex- punk band singer turned alcoholic. Then there's Seth Lee, the Role-Playing Game Olympic Champion.
Let me guess, the first thought through your head upon reading that was 'These 4 are meant to be new recruits to become guardians? This rag-tag band of weirdos?' Honestly, you would be right. There is nothing about these 4 that screams that they can become lean mean fighting machines like Dawn.

But Dawn starts to train them in the hope that they can surprise her.

When Hannah (the waitress at the town bar) has her dog kidnapped, Dawn discovers that there is far more to the quaint little town than meets the eye. Not only are there werewolves, but they are the complete opposite of how one might expect them to be. Far from the fearsome creatures people have seen on tv or read in books, they are cute fluffy creatures without much backbone - as Dawn comes to find out, much to her annoyance when she could have done with some help.

But werewolves being the exact opposite to their lore is the least of Dawn and the groups worries. The rogue vampires wanted to kidnap Dawn, but instead had to make do with taking Hannah.
So Dawn and the group must try to find out who the vampires were and where they are likely to be holding Hannah.

I won't spoil things for you by telling you the details - suffice to say, they eventually find this group of vampires and hope to get in and out with Hannah without coming to any harm.

Little do they know that things are about to take a definite turn for the worse. Now Dawn not only has the task of making sure the recruits are ready to protect the town, she has to deal with this villainous vampire that has a strange and deadly obsession with her.

With twists and turns and much turbulence along the way, this story is a fast-paced, gritty and at times romantic. I can't say much about the love interest, all I will say is, I fell for him when Dawn very first met him. He's mysterious, alluring, moody and handsome. The perfect combination to set my heart all a-flutter.

As this is Ada Adams' debut novel, I wasn't all that sure what to expect from ReVamped. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found and she has fast landed herself on my favourite author list. I participate in a Best Book Ever feature over on another blog where we get to nominate books in different categories. In a couple of weeks, the category is Debut Author - I have nominated Ada Adams for my entry. I think she is just fantastic and I look forward to hopefully many more books from her in the future!

I like the fact that I could sink easily into Ada's fluid writing style. I like nothing more than being able to lose myself in a book and with ReVamped it was very easy to start reading but very difficult to put it down.

In short I would say: This book is fast-paced, unputdownable fun, from the first to the final word.

Thank you Ada. Both for giving me this book and for introducing me to a new world with some awesome new characters. I very much anticipate the release of the second installment.

Note to those considering purchasing ReVamped:

The author of this book has been the victim of book piracy - The ARC of ReVamped has been fraudulently put on B&N and people have been able to download it from there amongst other places. This being so, people have been able to read and review the unedited, unfinished version - meaning that there have been some poor reviews received. PLEASE do not let these reviews prejudice you against buying a copy for yourself. It is available on Amazon for download and it is the finished version - the same version as I have just read and I believe you will receive as much pleasure from reading it as I have.
Please do what you can to guard against book piracy, in my honest opinion, it is the WORST thing that can be done to an author. I know this has upset Ada greatly and with good reason. She has put a lot of hard work into her novel, hoping to give readers an entertaining read - only to find that people are ripping off her work and belittling the amount of effort she has put in.
Thank you!

The Gates (The Resistance Trilogy Book 2)
The Gates (The Resistance Trilogy Book 2)
Price: £1.84

5.0 out of 5 stars The Resistance Trilogy - Book 2, 21 April 2012
Now folks I know that some of you may have read my mini-review back in February when I finished the book. But I also know that there will be those that didn't. So if you are one of the ones that did, please bear with me if I seem to be going over the same things as I did back then.

Firstly, my cover-art magpie side tells me to address the cover for THE GATES. So, let's get to it.
The cover for this is slightly darker than that of AMARANTH. This has a less ethereal quality to it than Amaranth did. It's slightly more edgy.
I didn't understand the symbolism of either cover at first. It wasn't until I read the stroies I understood their covers. So for me, having read this, I now look at the cover with fresh eyes. It really appeals to me and I love the things that were chosen to depict this great story.

"She's gone on long enough about the cover" I hear you shout. Okay, I will get on with my review.

As with the cover, the story itself was slightly darker this time. Though just as alluring as Amaranth was.
It was an action packed story that had me on the edge of my seat and staying awake late at night just because I was so captivated and couldn't stop turning the pages.
THE GATES has a mixture of love, happiness and joy, sadness, loss and sorrow. For me, it is the perfect amount of all of those things. It's not too 'fairy-tale love, fingers down throat etc'. But it's also not too much the other way either.

I love the whole Gavin and Camille relationship. They have a love that transcends everything. They may not have been together long but they are strong and battle ready. Which really is a good thing when you add the nasty little wretch Scarlet into the mix. I can't tell you who she is, or why I hate her. All I can say is well done Rachael. I hated Scarlet. I think she was added in like putting a cat amongst the pigeons. You'll never achieve a sense of equilibrium with Scarlet around. She was a minx and I despise her, but she was written well and the character fitted perfectly within he story. I hope we see more of her, but I also hope that one day Cam gets to tear her limb from limb. That would be a sight to behold! (hint hint Rach)

Her Majesty, Samira, is just as evil as she ever was. If not worse. We get to find out a secret she has kept from Gavin for many years. It reminded me just what a horrible woman she is. She brings a whole new meaning to the term cold-hearted *****!

The main bright points for me were the times when Gav and Cam were able to be alone and show each other that throughout anything and everything, their love can remain strong. It brings a new meaning to the phrase "Love Conquers All".

This book is action packed. Full of twists and turns that shock not only the characters but the reader too. The tear flowed for me at just past the halfway point. I swore I would not cry but my eyes betrayed me.
The phrase "It never rains, but it pours" springs to mind. There was never just one thing to get over, instead there were almost too many. I didn't think my heart could take any more of a beating. But just when I thought it couldn't take any more, the story was over and I was going to be okay after all.
I stayed up late into the night to finish this and found myself shattered and owed a big long sleep. I just couldn't put it down. Even when I knew I was tired and must go to bed, I still pushed myself beyond that. Such is my dedication to a good book? Yes. But also, such is my impatience to know what happened next!

I won't tell you more as I find my fingers are itching to run away with me and become too 'spoilery' and I know you would never forgive me for ruining it for you. All I can say is, I am really very happy that Rachael gave me an ARC. I am forever grateful to her. However, the one downside of having a book so early before its release, I will have to wait even linger for the next one!

I cannot wait for The Tragedy of Knowledge (book #3). Knowing Rachael, she will make it one hell of a kicker so that the trilogy goes out with a BANG!!

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden)
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden)
by Julie Kagawa
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vampires + Dystopian = Awesome book by Julie Kagawa!!, 20 April 2012
I think it's clear to see that it was this stunning cover that drew me in. That and the hype that's been buzzing around the blogging/literary community. Everyone was going on that they wanted to read it and couldn't wait fo it to come out. So much so that when the galley for this was first put on Net Galley, the site was overloaded with bloggers going to request it and ended up having a problem for a few hours whereby I couldn't even log in to request it! We were all talking how Julie Kagawa broke Net Galley. I'm not sure if that was the real reason behind the problem at the time but I can only assume it was that or a rather big coincidence.

I was interested in THE IMMORTAL RULES from the moment I saw it. My favourite genre used to be vampires and has since moved on to Dystopian. So imagine my delight knowing that this was a mixture of both. I can tell you, it's a perfect combination!

Having never read anything by Julie Kagawa before, I was unsure what to expect in her style of writing. Yes, I know you are probably screaming at your screen "What? She's never Read The Iron Fey" Well, the answer is, no I haven't. I would love to and will no doubt get to them in time.

I can honestly say, I loved THE IMMORTAL RULES. It was epic! I stayed up late into the night just to finish it off. What I found funny was the fact that it took me a couple of days of reading here and there to get to 65% - I tried my hardest to read it as much as possible but, you know, life gets in the way. But when I went to bed last night, I was at 65% and determined to finish it if I could. It had just got to what I thought was the juiciest part yet and I was NOT going to put it down. Well, I did it. I got to the end in that one sitting. It just meant staying up until 1:35am to finish it. I can tell you something, I'm sure glad I did. I was hooked and could not put it down. I kept looking at the time and thinking "I'll finish it tomorrow" but my attention was in the grips of the story and it was not letting go.

Allison Sekemoto lives in the Fringe. But 'lives' isn't exactly the word you would use to describe it. More like she 'exists' or 'survives'. It certainly isn't a happy life. It's one she and her small group of friends have had to carve out for themselves. They live on the outskirts of a vampire city - but the vampires aren't the only thing that go bump in the night for there is also the Rabids. It's hard to explain it to you without spoiling it, suffice to say, they are dangerous and you wouldn't want to bump into one in an alley. Or on an open road. Or indeed anywhere, for that matter.

Allie and the group are Unregistered. Without telling you the ins and outs in too much detail - the Registered donate blood for the vampires, but the Unregistered don't. They also don't have any protection and would be fair game if vampires should happen upon them.
So anyway, this means that Allie and her friends must scrounge for food. They must live on what they can get. Be it mouldy cheese, stale bread, insects. You name it, they must eat it in order to survive.

So Allie takes it upon herself to go outside the border on a scavenger hunt, where she comes across a veritable treasure trove of food. There's cans of beans and fruit in syrup. A person could live for months off the amount she discovers. So she returns to the group and tells them they must all go out and gather the food, it was too much for her to carry alone.
What Allie doesn't know yet is, this is only the beginning of the troubles she will encounter.

It's Allie's complete and utter hatred of the vampires that drives her. She hates the way the vampires keep and use humans as 'blood-cattle'. When one night Allie finds herself the victim of an attack, she lies bleeding and dying until a vampire finds her. This vampire offers her a choice. Die or become one of the undead - one of the soulless creatures she abhors.
Not wanting to die but not wanting to become a vampire, Allie is faced with the toughest of choices and believes that maybe it is the lesser of two evils to be Turned.

Upon being Turned, her sire tells her how life will be from now on. She doesn't want to feed from humans, instead she would rather live on a diet of rats, deer, whatever animal she can hunt down. But Kanin tells her what she fears the most, she MUST consume human blood, for too long without it and she will turn mad.

Forced to flee, Allie finds herself in the middle of the unknown, the city beyond the walls she grew up in. She comes across a rag-tag group of humans along the way. They take her in and tell her she should travel with them as she stands a better chance of survival as part of the group than out there on her own. Little do they know she is one of the creatures this group fear the most.
The group are on the road, travelling to try and find the answer to their prayers. A cure to the disease that has ravaged humankind. The disease that created the Rabids, the mindless creatures that are a threat to both vampires and humans alike.

I must say, the way that Julie Kagawa created the trials and tribulations that both Allie herself and the group as a whole must face is like nothing I have come across before. This story is one of the darkest and most disturbing that I have read. I like that this wasn't girl meets vampire and falls in love, like so many others before it.

One of the things I liked most about this book was the fact that Allie had to try and pass herself off as human to fit in with the group but it's especially hard for her to do around Zeke who she fears will see the monster that lurks within.

I know that some people say that the vampire genre is on the way out, but I don't believe so. I think there are still good vampire stories to be had and THE IMMORTAL RULES goes to prove me right.

I am extremely excited to see where Julie Kagawa takes this story in future books. One thing I know for sure is, it won't be a fairytale. Things will be hard. There will be ups and downs, twists and turns, things you just don't expect - pretty much like this first book.
I honestly didn't know where Kagawa was taking this story. There was nothing transparent about it and that is one of the other things I loved the most. Sometimes, you can tell where a road will lead - not this time.

So thanks must be given to Harlequin TEEN for giving permission for me to view this galley. Also to Net Galley for being a truly marvellous site - without whom, I would not have read as many ARCs of books. But most thanks goes to Julie Kagawa for creating this dark, disturbing dystopian world - the world for which I didn't have a road map, yet I enjoyed getting lost within the pages and hitting bumps in the road. I look forward to seeing where the road untravelled leads.

The Light Tamer (The Light Tamer Trilogy Book 1)
The Light Tamer (The Light Tamer Trilogy Book 1)
Price: £0.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of awesomeness. I loved it!!, 18 April 2012
I have been lucky enough to read and review a book of Devyn's before, THE LEGACY OF KILKENNY and when she approached me about reviewing her new book THE LIGHT TAMER, I was quick to agree. I love Devyn's writing and was keen to try something new by her.
I absolutely love this cover. What with purple being my favourite colour, I was instantly attracted to it. The model is really pretty and I like the whole light and beautiful vibe it has.

I always wonder when writing a review what I can offer that no-one else can. The only answer I can come up with is, my opinion. Why do people read my reviews? I like to think it's because I'm honest and I am passionate about reading. So I try to put some of that passion into a review.

So, on with my review of THE LIGHT TAMER....

15 year old Jessie Lucente has moved from New York to New Bern, North Carolina. Jessie's parents have split up and her mom has taken her to live with her grandmother, Ms Gayle. The trouble is, New Bern has a population of around 75,000 and 70,000 of those residents are retired. So it's hardly the hip and happening town that Jessie is used to in New York.
She misses her best friend Jersey. She misses her old life. More than that, she misses her dad who went to live in Greece.
Little does she know that New Bern is set to be more interesting than she gave it credit for.
Things start looking up the moment she sets eyes on Caleb. He's not the weird, scrawny boy she remembers from summers spent with Ms Gayle. Gone is that image she had of him. replaced by this gorgeous, tanned hunk.

When Jessie touches Caleb, she feels a shock of electricity. She feels warm and tingly. More so than you feel when you're crushing on a new boy. This is something much more than that. But what...?

Caleb explains to Jessie that it's because he's a Light Tamer, otherwise known as a SLIder. As is she. Now it's not up to me to explain what a Light Tamer is or what they can do. That's something you need to discover for yourself.

Caleb introduces Jessie to a friend of his, Amber. She's also a Light Tamer. When you meet Amber, you'll think she comes across as maybe a bit ditzy, a bit weird and a lot sarcastic. But she is actually pretty awesome. Maybe it's because I possess the same personality traits, but I like Amber a lot. Her snarky comments and her sassy attitude had me raising an eyebrow here or there and laughing, okay snorting, out loud. Jessie and Amber get on really well. Better than Caleb could've hoped for. So even though she feels like a third wheel to their relationship sometimes, Amber hangs out with them quite a lot. They are a fun little trio.

It's not until the introduction of Otto that a spanner is thrown in the works.

Otto is the love interest introduced for Amber. Jessie instantly thinks there's something off about him but can't place her finger on what. I'll leave it to you to find out the ins and outs surrounding Otto. All I will say is, he's not the nicest guy on the block.

I liked this book because it was a fast-paced, laugh a minute kind of book. I managed to read the first third of it in an hour. It's a Paranormal Romance, but it could also be classed as a comedy. I absolutely love Devyn Dawson's sense of humour. There's hardly a chapter or even a page that went by without me laughing to myself about something.

THE LIGHT TAMER was a little like getting on a roller coaster and hurtling towards gravity at breakneck speed. The end came about all too fast and I just wish I had book 2 readily available so that I could continue on the journey.

Thank you Devyn for giving me this wonderful book for review. I really am eagerly awaiting the next installment in this trilogy

A Riley Bloom Novel: Dreamland
A Riley Bloom Novel: Dreamland
by Alyson Noel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome As Always, 9 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I haven't reviewed the other books in this series, but as I have WHISPER from Macmillan to review, I thought I would also write one for DREAMLAND.

I became a fan of Alyson Noel when I first came across The Immortals Series. I was hooked on them from Evermore and was really sad when I got to the end of Everlasting, knowing that this was the end for the series.

When I first heard of her intention to write a spin-off series, I knew I would have to read those books. I was so happy when Radiance (Riley Bloom #1) was released. I had been dying to know more about Riley in her own right, not just as Ever's little sister.

Riley is spunky, full of fun and would make for an adorable younger sister. In her afterlife, she finds herself working as a Soul Catcher - helping souls cross from the Earth plane, where they may be stuck due to what we might term 'unfinished business'. Either that or they just like haunting people. It's up to Riley to find the reason why they are hanging around and help them to put whatever it might be behind them.

Now all this sounds like a huge responsibility, but that doesn't mean that Riley is as mature as perhaps she could be. In part, you could put that down to her being eternally stuck as a 12 year old girl. She died before she could reach her 13th birthday. But you could also put it down to the fact that Riley just does not listen.

Bodhi, her guide, tries to help her see that she could do so much more with her afterlife, she could maybe one day achieve her dream of being a teenager. But not while she is so reluctant to act grown up. Riley doesn't see this and continues to throw tantrums and act like the eternal child.

In DREAMLAND, Riley is no different. She is determined to go against whatever anyone advises her, especially Bodhi. She's stubborn and feisty and that attitude makes it hard for him to get through to her.

This time, Riley is finding the afterlife lonely. Her family have their own afterlife to get on with and she doesn't have any friends. The only person she has for company is Bodhi and of course her dog Buttercup. But it's time to take a vacation - so it's just Buttercup for company.

So she decides she wants to visit the place where they make dreams happen - the only trouble is, Bodhi has told her it's forbidden.
Now anyone normal would take that as a warning and try to find something else to occupy their time. But no, not Riley. She wants to find a way to communicate with Ever and she will do whatever it takes, even that which is forbidden.

Riley finds herself in Dreamland. She meets the Director who tells her about the 2 ways that you can send dreams. A Dream Jump is the way to jump into the dreamer's dream, you find a way to blend into the dream and give them your message. A Dreamweave is entirely different. An entire dream can be created in the studio and sent to the dreamer. The only thing being that Dreamweaving was outlawed many years ago.

Riley is taught how to Dream Jump. The only problem is that by the time she has the hang of it, it's closing time at the studio. But this is Riley Bloom we're talking about and a little thing such as the studio being closed won't get in her way.

I won't tell you what happens, suffice to say, Riley is a bit of a magnet for trouble. Is it because she refuses to grow up and act a little more maturely? Quite probably!

I love the Riley Bloom series. They are always fast-paced, fun-packed and good for a laugh or ten. I very often find myself sitting laughing out loud at the scrapes she gets herself into. I started reading Dreamland last night, only to find that I couldn't put it down until the end. So it was 1:35am before I finally got to bed. Serves me right for starting it at 11:00pm really, does it not?!

So it's off to read WHISPER now and see what other scrapes Riley gets into.

Exiled (The Protector Book 1)
Exiled (The Protector Book 1)
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, Action-packed, Totally Awesome!, 3 April 2012
EXILED was not what I was expecting. I'm not quite sure exactly what I expected, but I can say that it surpassed my expectations and hopes for how good it would be. It was amazing and has fast become one of my new favourite books by one of my new favourite authors.
For a start, it came from a male POV, how unusual is that in this market?! Well I have only read 2, perhaps 3, so it's unusual for me, at least.

Demon hunter Chase Williams is the son of Riley and Tessa Williams. The family are part of the Circle. Or at least they were. Until now.
(you can find out exactly what the Circle is for yourself)

On Chase's 15th birthday, he stepped up to the altar, ready to invoke his elemental power. Only trouble is, it never came. Riley's dad is a proud man and he has an affinity for fire. So it is a disgrace to him that his son, his flesh and blood has no elemental power. Not only has Chase brought shame on himself, but his dad and the Circle as a whole. Or at least that's what Riley believes.
Chase's mom however, isn't ashamed of her son. She loves him and is proud of him, no matter what.

It's because of this that Chase and his mom are exiled from the Circle. Forever to spend their lives on the outside. Everything they once had, torn from them in an instant.
But that doesn't really bother Chase. Him and his mom have each other and at the end of the day, that is what matters.

Life on the outside of the Circle isn't without it's problems. There's always a demon or two that needs dispatching. Chase is always coming home with cuts and bruises. It's a good thing then that his mom's affinity is for water, a calming, healing element.
It's during an altercation with a demon that Chase meets Rayna and Marcus. Oh boy is that an explosive meeting. Alas, I will not spoil it for you. You need to read it and see for yourself.

Life just isn't the same after meeting them though. Rayna is a chick with attitude. Or should that be a demon with an attitude? Anyway, her bark is almost as bad as her bite. But it has to be said I loved Rayna. She is such a sassy, smart, kickass chick. Demon or no.

At this point, I am loathe to stop talking about the story itself, but I know I must as I fear I will spoil your reading pleasure.
All I can tell you is that this book really is superb. It has demons, vampires, a kick-ass hero and heroine. EXILED truly has it all.

I am one of those people who is on the fence about the vampire genre. There was a time when it was all I read, but then my reading tastes broadened. I know some people will look at a vampire book and think "Oh god no, not another vampire book" and others will think the opposite. Me? I sit on the fence because I know that though some people think that vampires are on their way out, I know that there are still some good books to be had. This is one of those books. It's not just vampires in EXILED, it's true, but the ones that are in it? They are a whole new take on vampires. I won't tell you how, or why. All I can say is, I love Matthew Merrick's take on them. It's refreshing and shakes up what you believe.

I want to share with you one of my Goodreads status updates, I think it pretty much sums up how I feel:

"More than just mere words on a page, Matthew Merrick is an artist of the greatest kind. Every word paints a picture, the beauty of which I cannot describe- you must behold it yourself to believe it. A talented author draws you into the world they create, there is not yet a word invented for the mastery with which this book pulls you in, sucks you under and doesn't release it's grip"

The cast of characters in this story were so much fun. Whether it was Rayna being sassy, Chase complaining, Willy stuttering, I loved it all. Wait til you meet Willy. He's a demon with a stutter and I just adore him. This story would not be the same were it not for the inclusion of the stu-stuttering Willy!

EXILED was fast-paced, action packed and from the get-go I was hooked. I was literally on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, waiting to see what happened next.

I am delighted that Matthew Merrick gave me this book to review. It's safe to say that I will be reading SHIFT (The Protector#2) when I get a chance. I can't wait to find out what happened next.

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