Saturday, 31 October 2015

Bookish Halloween Costume

As the finale of Team Teal's Halloween Trick or Treat we all decided to create our own bookish halloween costumes. It's the morning after here in Australia, but we had a pretty busy day yesterday so I didn't find time to post, but the good thing about being one of the first places on earth to reach the new day is that it's still Halloween somewhere.

So because I love a kickass heroine, and I love the opportunity to frock up, I've gone for Tessa Gray, from The Infernal Devices as she might have looked wandering around London, perhaps heading for Blackfriars.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Illuminae - Book launch report and review

Last Friday I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Melbourne launch of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff at Dymocks. This book has received a lot of hype over the past months, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy.

You may know Amie as co-author of the Starbound trilogy, and Jay is known for The Lotus War trilogy. Together they are writing The Illuminae Files, and Illuminae is, funnily enough, the first installment.

So, back to Friday night. Amie and Jay thanked everyone who has supported them through this book, and their friends and family for letting them kill them all off in the book. Seriously, thousands of people die in this book, and many of them are named individually. It was fun to watch said friends go through the book looking for their names among the lists of the dead.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Trick or Treat Blog Hop and Giveaway - Ultimate Halloween Dinner Party

A little while ago, Nori at ReadWriteLove28 came up with the idea of the Book Blogger Creativity Project. Working in teams, bloggers came up with some new post ideas and we in Team Teal decided on a Halloween theme.

The list of blogs and posts is at the bottom, along with the giveaway (US readers only) which is being hosted by Rachel at A Perfection Called Books.

Monday, 26 October 2015

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Bone Season
Author: Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Date of Publication: August 20th 2013
Source: Review copy courtesy of publisher

Synopsis - 

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

Review - 

This tale is set in a future version of London where social norms pretty much froze in the Victorian era. Jack the Ripper was identified and his transgressions blamed on clairvoyance. From that point on, Voyants, as they are known, became pariahs and face execution if discovered. An underground network of voyants has grown in London, and the various factions maintain control of designated areas. Paige highly ranked in her area, and prized by her employer, so when she's discovered and kidnapped, she's sure he'll look for her.

Taken to Oxford with a group of other voyants she discovers that everything she knew about her world was wrong. The Rephaite are a non-human race with considerable powers, and they need voyants. Paige does not adjust well to her captivity, or her new status as a slave to the Rephaite. She must negotiate both voyant and Rephaite politics if she is to escape with her life.

Warden, the Rephaite Paige is assigned to, treats her differently to how the other prisoners are treated, but she's reluctant to trust him. He is, after all, the enemy. But trusting him might be her only hope.

The Bone Season is a well written, fast paced story which holds the reader's interest throughout. I really enjoyed the world building and was fascinated by the different types of voyants and their particular skill sets.

When I finished, I couldn't wait to pick up The Mime Season (review coming soon!).

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Review Roundup: The Masked Truth, What We Left Behind, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, Here We Lie, Cloudwish, Queen of Shadows

I also post reviews on Reading Lark, where I am the resident Australian reviewer. Sometimes I share them here, sometimes I don't, but since I've been light on reviews on here lately, here are some of my recent posts over there.

The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong.

Suspension of disbelief is rewarded in this YA crime thriller. Potentially unreliable narrators and an exploration of the stigma attached to mental illness add to this thrill ride of a book.

You can read the full review here.

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley.

Moving onto college and maintaining a long distance relationship is hard enough, but when you don't fit into society's gender norms and you're not quite sure what that means for yourself or your partner, even the strongest relationship can fail.

See the full review here.

The Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil.

For some people the end of school can feel like the end of the world. And for some, it just might be the actual end of the world. A beautiful portrait of a small country town and the people who live there.

Find my review here.

Here We Lie by Sophie MacKenzie.

A compelling mystery that asks how well we really know the people we love.

See the full review here.

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood.

When a girl who never gets what she wants finally does, how can it be anything other than magic? A wonderful, romantic coming of age story with just a dash of magic. And it's set in Melbourne.

My glowing review is here.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.

Celaena Sardothien has survived being a slave in the mines of Endovier, training with the assassins of the Red Desert, the loss of her family, her lover and her best friend. She has faced a legendary Fae queen and won the loyalty of the most powerful Fae warrior alive. Now she is returning to Ardalan to reclaim her birthright, bring down the evil king, save her friends and free her kingdom.

This is one of my favourite reads of the year. See my review here.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Laptop woes

So my laptop came back from repair, but things still aren't working the way they should so it's going back today.

Unfortunately it's not being fixed by Sam Winchester, but here's something to look at while waiting for some more reviews.

You're welcome :)

I'm attempting NaNoWriMo again this year, so hopefully it will all be in working order by then. If you are participating as well and want to add me as a buddy, contact me on twitter and I'll give you the details.

In the meantime, you can check out the sidebar for my latest reads and ratings on Goodreads, and proper reviews will return soon.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Mini Review - The Enchanted Island by Ellie O'Neill


I normally like to do full reviews of the books I read, especially those I get from publishers, but my laptop has been sent off for repair to stop me doing something like this 

and I'm working on something only slightly more recent than this
so I think a little break in tradition is in order.

 The Enchanted Island by Ellie O'Neill

Published by Simon & Schuster on November 1st 2015
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Maeve O'Brien has got herself into some trouble. She's run out of credit on her cards and her best friend and room mate didn't appreciate it when she used her emergency card for a spot of botox and subsequently kicked her out. So when her boss offers her a job on a small, remote island, she jumps at the chance to get away. What she finds is a community shrouded in a mystery, where miracles happen at a cost. The locals aren't going to let anything change their island, and Maeve may get more than she's bargained for.

It took me quite a while to warm up to Maeve. Selfish and completely self absorbed, I just wasn't that interested in what would happen to her. Eventually it was the island itself that drew me in, and I wanted to find out its secret. The romance was well done, but because I didn't really care about Maeve, I wasn't that interested in whether she found her HEA.

If you don't mind an unlikeable protagonist, or like to see someone redeem themselves, then this might be more your cup of tea than it was mine.