13 by Kelley Armstrong – Book Review

This final book in the Women of the Otherworld series is all that fans could have wanted… and more! Action packed, fantastically written and some fab character development make this a 10/10!

13 by Kelley Armstrong – Final book in the Women of the Otherworld Series.
Summary courtesy of Amazon: War is coming to the Otherworld. A sinister cult known as The Supernatural Liberation Movement is hell-bent on exposing the truth about supernaturals to the rest of the world. Their violent, ruthless plan has put everyone at risk: from werewolves to vampires, from witches to half-demons.
This has easily been my most anticipated book release of all time. Over time I have done a number of posts on this series including reviews, reading challenges and even an interview with Kelley Armstrong herself (the highlight of my blogging life :D). This book as the final instalment in the Women of the Otherworld had a lot to live up to. Which it did – and more!
Released on Wednesday, my busy schedule meant I didn’t get my hands on my copy (which was waiting for my at the post office) until the Sunday. I sat down with best friend and fellow Armstrong super fan, Sam Crossley, and devoured this book in pretty much one day. 
At 419 pages this is not a short book, but the hard back with a reasonable size font is easy to read. Having read everything published around the series we were also able to skip the first few chapters which were a re-publish of the opening chapter of Bitten, the first book in the series and a preview published in The Hunter and the Hunted. If you haven’t read anything by Armstrong before, this wouldn’t be a bad place to pick it up.
Each characters from all the previous books makes an appearance and readers are treated to some great character development.This action packed book pulls at the emotions with worry, loss and anger, but more importantly returning to the lust, romance and love amongst the characters that the latter books in the series have lacked.
The narrative moves so fast, but even so at just over the half way point I was baffled at how Armstrong was going to tie up all the loose ends.Yet the ending works fantastically. Not falling into the trap of trying to deliver too many happy endings the extra little short story From Russia with Love, in my opinion, was the perfect finish.
I am so sad that the series is over, but having been promised a new adult series, Omens & Shadows, with the first book Cainsville being released next year, there is so much to look forward too!
10/10
I would love to know your thoughts on this book if you have read it, please let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,
Love Rie x

The Hunter &The Hunted by Kelley Armstrong – Book Review

This pair of short stories is a small appetiser for the main event – the release of the final book in the Women of the Otherworld series – 13.

The Hunter and the Hunted by Kelley Armstrong .
Summary courtesy of Amazon:  From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong comes two Otherworld short stories that take readers on an exhilarating honeymoon chase with werewolves Elena and Clay, and a mysterious mission through the afterlife with dark witch-turned-angel, Eve Levine.

13 has to be the book I have been most looking forward to being released in my book worm years. As a self confessed fan girl of the Women of the Otherworld series I am happy to pick anything related to the series, and in this case it is a pair of bite sized short stories.

Stalked

Summary: It was supposed to be a quiet honeymoon. But when the happy couple just happen to be werewolves, ‘quiet’ is not an option.
Clay and Elena are trying their best to enjoy a traditional romantic getaway. But secretly, they’re both bored with drifting round St Louis, pretending to be a normal couple. So when Clay realises a non-pack werewolf is stalking Elena, he leaps at the chance to pursue his rival and teach him a very hard lesson. The trouble is, Clay’s plan involves deceiving Elena, which is not a good idea . . .
Originally part of an anthology of supernatural romance stories, Stalked is the perfect introduction to Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series and an exhilarating, action-packed interlude for fans.

Clay & Elena have to be my favourite character couple from the series so anything that is about them I am pretty much guaranteed to enjoy. Having said that, this is not a fantastic example of their story. I can’t help but think, that without having read any of the other books this might be a thrilling read. The plot is short, well written and fast paced. But as a regular reader this doesn’t really add anything to the series. Nothing new is learnt, no real new characters are introduced and my favourite characters related to them are barely mentioned.

Off-Duty Angel

Dark witch and part-time angel Eve Levine is desperate for a little entertainment. With her lover Kristof away on business, things are so quiet in the afterlife Eve’s even ready to volunteer for an extra week’s worth of angel corps duty, just to pass the time. Luckily something even better comes up: a real celestial bounty-hunter mission. But when the trail leads her to the British Museum and a mysterious, secret dimension, a pleasant diversion turns into something much more intriguing – and dangerous . . . Packed with suspense and surprising twists, Off-Duty Angelreveals fascinating new insights into a beloved series character.

I really enjoyed this short story. The plot was original and there was considerable amount of character development. Eve really is a kick ass character and I really warmed to her in this episode. I would have purchased for just this one short.

13 Preview
Last books in series tend to be action packed. Deathly Hallows. Breaking Dawn. 13 looks to be no different in that respect. I was positively shocked by some of the gore and really intrigued to read the rest of the book now. I just really hope that with all this action it doesn’t loose the romance (sex), character development and the domestic scenes I really enjoy. My biggest gripe with this preview though was its formatting. I can only assume with its conversion to a Kindle readable format something went wrong, resulting in a series of small but annoying spacing errors. This aside this really is just a taster and I can wait for the next book!

Overall this was not a dissapointment, but just not the best I have read by Armstrong. Just today I received my email confirmation that my copy of 13 has been shipped, and this short story collection has in no way affected the anticipation and excitement I have for this final book, be it good or bad.

6/10

Look out for my review of 13 coming in the next few days!

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Acorss the Universe by Beth Revis – Book Review

A seriously good YA science fiction that grips from the first page to the last twist!

Across the Universe by Beth Revis. 

Summary courtesy of Amazon:

Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she’s due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy’s lost on board and nothing makes sense – she’s never felt so alone.

Yet someone is waiting for her. He wants to protect her; and more if she’ll let him.

I fell in love with this book the moment I read a review on Grazing Pages. I think we can all agree this is a truly beautiful cover, and partnered with a glowing review from Katie I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. Kindly best buddy Mr Crossley purchased this for me to cheer me up one day and I was thrilled.

So now about the book! The majority of the narrative is set onboard Godspeed, a spaceship destined for a new planet now that Earth (which they call Sol Earth) has spiralled into decline. The ship, big enough to house 3,000 occupants and a secret level full of frozen passengers to populate the new planet, is part way through its 300 year journey.


Now as a sci-fi lover this is enough to get my pulse racing about a book. But this is so much more. The frozen passengers are being unplugged. Amy is violently awoken and brought into a miniature world where she is very different. Everyone is mono-ethnic: caramel skin, brown eyes,brown hair and Amy with her pale complexion and fiery hair couldn’t look more different. But if this wasn’t enough more Frozens are getting unplugged and left to die trapped in the glass coffins they were frozen in. This is more than a YA sci-fi, this is a mystery / thriller / crime / sci-fi that is a cracking good read.


There are some really interesting topics brought up in this book that got me thinking, in a way that I really enjoy. To say any more or give examples would give to much away, but it is well worth reading just to chew them over in your mind every time you put the book down. 


This is a YA so the construction of sentences, word choice and the narrative as a whole, although shocking at times, is deliciously easy to devour and not a difficult read. I did find some of my short term predictions of the plot coming true in a way that is flattering rather than predictable, yet the narrative as a whole isn’t short of its twists. Some revlations at the end of the book left me reeling – and I think it is safe to say the second book in this series, A Million Suns, will be making its way to me in the post very soon!


Overall I think you can tell that I think a lot of this book, and really couldn’t give it anything less than:


10/10


In the comments below let me know if you have read this book and what you though of it. As always I love receiving book recommendations, so if you know something similar to this I might like to read please let me know here, on Facebook or Twitter.


Thanks for reading,


Love Rie x

No Good Deed by Bill Blais – Book Review

Don’t get me wrong, I love YA fiction, but this is one seriously good grown up demon fighting awesome book that all age groups will love!

 
Summary Courtesy of Amazon“In the last ten days, I’ve resigned myself to three things: Your kid’ll break his arm the day after you lose your job; you should always look a gift horse in the mouth; and nothing, not even ridding the world of demons, is as straightforward as you’d think.”Kelly McGinnis has spent her adult life trying to do the right thing, but as a newly down-sized mother of twins and the wife of a man living with Multiple Sclerosis, she also knows that trying isn’t always enough. While interrupting a scene of police brutality, Kelly unwittingly releases a real, live demon. After she manages to kill the creature through gut instinct and blind luck, she is approached to join a secret group of demon hunters who reveal an underworld of monsters and magic. Against her better judgment, Kelly accepts the lucrative, if bizarre, offer; but when she meets Umber, a compelling incubus with an unexpectedly human story, she learns that the truth is far stranger and more terrifying than she imagined.
 
This is the #1 book in the Kelley and Umber series by Bill Blais. Bill is such a great guy, and having posted and interview with him here on the blog before I read the book he made some pretty bold statements that had a lot to live up to. But I have to say it was more. This is a seriously good book!
 
At the ripe age of 21 I find very few characters I can really relate to. YA protagonists seem to always be young teens and I see their flaws and strengths in relation to when I was that age. Kelly though, is a character I will inspire to be like! Middle aged, slightly over weight but with a fantastic family that she loves and an exciting change of career. She is likeable, funny, imperfect and most of all KICK ASS!
 
At no time was I left feeling like this was similar to another book, that I could predict where the next page would take me or felt it slowing down at all. Even domestic scenes of dinner parties had their exciting twists that left me wanting more.Speaking of twists; the introduction of the character Umber in the late stages of the book is something I have not seen before and I loved it. As the whole series is named after the pair I know he will star more in the future books and I can’t wait.
 
The main flaw in this book from my opinion is not really its fault. Being written by an American, being set in America it holds and lot of references to America that do fit is well with the international audience. Struggling to pay medical bills just does not happen in the UK with the NHS, and this was something that bugged me a little. However it is integral to the story and I of course understood that healthcare is insurance based and has to be paid for. Other American cultural references I feel were lost on me, but it did not hold the book back in any way.
 
Overall I loved this book. The protagonist Kelly is awesome, her family adorable and the character of Umber is really one I look forward to reading more about. 
 
9/10 (1 point lost because I’m not American)
 
I am taking part in a blog tour for this book with some really awesome book bloggers. You can see their out their reviews, interviews, guest posts and giveaway from here.
 
Thanks as always for reading,
 
Love Rie x

WWW Wednesdays!

What are you reading Wednesday is a weekly ‘tag’ (a.k.a meme) created by Should be Reading’s. Anyone can join in by answering the following three (3) questions

  1.  What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you will read next?
So lets get going!!
What am I currently reading?

Across the Universe by Beth Revis – I am really enjoying this so far, a really unique and though provoking young adult science fiction. Well worth check out!

What did you recently finish reading?

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James – I read this because everyone was talking about it and not really sure what all the hype is about! You can read my mini review on my Facebook page where I gave it 5/5.

What do you think you will read next?

Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey – this is the next book in the Dragonriders of Pern series I have on my TBR pile. I love the last book I read Dragonsinger so I have high expectations for this one!

Let me know what you are reading at the moment in the comments below, and what you think I should be reading next!
Thanks for reading,
Love Rie x

Liebster Blog Award

I am super happy to have been tagged in the Liebster Blog Award by Kelly at Reading Kelly. The Liebster Award is for us bloggers who have less that 200 followers but do good things! Award winners have to share 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the person who tagged them, and then come up with their own 11 questions for the 11 bloggers that they tag in the award!!


So without further ado…

11 Random Facts About Me.

1. I am 21 years old going on 71.
2. A complete social media freak.
3. I can find people wherever I go who like to read nearly as much as me
4. My favourite scent is freshly cut grass
5. I hate coffee
6. Self confessed tea addict
7. Work in marketing
8. Live in a dream world
9. Love painting my nails pretty
10. I don’t have any pets
11. I still sleep with a teddy bear

11 Questions from Kelly

1. Where do you keep all of your unread books- together or scattered throughout your shelves?
I actually have them scattered through my shelves. I don’t have much room to store books at the moment so I stack them where I can. In an ideal world however I will have a TBR shelf!


2. Do your book selections vary by season?
Not really. I tend to read the same genre all year round.


3. What is your favorite foods?
Chilli Con Carne, Chocolate, Bananas and Marshmallows – but not all together, and not necessarily in that order!


4. Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it?
I will always give them a quick read when I purchase or borrow the book. They I have been known to sometimes read it again when I am part way through the book to see if it measures up!!


5. Any quirky reading habits?

I love to read whenever I can, so when I am eating alone I often read as well. It does lead to some embarrassing food stains on book or trying to eat my Kindle moments when I am so into a story I loose all sense and co-ordination. 



6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why?
I would go to Canada. I have heard nothing but good things about it from friends, family and books. My favorite author Kelley Armstrong is also Canadian and I would love to meet her if the chance ever arose – I am also a bit apprehensive that it would turn into a situation like “The Fault in Our Stars” so maybe not…. 


7. When did your love of reading begin?

As long as I can remember I have always loved reading, but there is one notable time when it was truelly reinforced. I went to the local library with my favorite teacher from Primary School, I was around 7 years old, and she asked me what book I was looking for. I said anything by Jacquline Wilson. She looked so impressed that I liked books that was a wee bit advanced for my age, that it wasn’t a picture book and that I even had a favorite author! From that day on I began to fully accept my love of reading as something not to be ashamed of!

8. What are the best and worst books you have read lately?
Best: Dragon Riders of Pern books – I have fully fallen in love with the whole series.
Worst: A book I can’t even remeber the name by Cheri Schmidt – It was an awful Twilight rip off and I couldn’t get past the first chapter.


9. Do you have any hobbies outside of reading?
Cooking, walking, mountain biking & singing… badly!


10. Which do you prefer- the beginning or end of a story?
I love re-reading stories most because I pick up all the little clues that the beginning of books give to its outcome. There is something about this recognition that I adore. So the beginnings!


11. What is your fondest book memory?

All the times I have ever had a true book nerdy conversation with anyone. The discovery of someone else who loves books as much as me really makes me happy – and I often look back on them as the thing that cements our relationship!

My 11 Questions to Nominees

1. When did you discover your love of books?
2. Where do you read the most?
3. Can you read whilst listening to music or whilst the TV is on?
4. What do you eat for breakfast?
5. Why did you decided to start blogging?
6. Why do you blog about books?
7. Tea, Coffee or Hot Chocolate?
8. What is your worst habit?
9. Hardback or paperback book?
10.Who is your favourite author?
11. What do you want to be doing / where do you want to be in 5 years time?

I Award to Liebster Award to:



Bookish Wonders #4 – Creative Bookmarks


Gone are the days when I used to hold places in a book by train tickets, receipts or God forbid a folded corner. Book marks are not only useful, but super stylish! This Bookish Wonders post is all about, yup you got it, book marks:

These hand made photo bookmarks are a great little present for a loved one!
I adore these colourful paperclip ones. 
I love a second hand book, and the history that goes with it. And although it kills me to see one carved up to make a book mark, I have to admit these are really cool!
Recycling is cool, and stylish! There are loads of different design ideas of these on Pinterest, and I had never thought that paint cards could be so useful after you have made the choice of the colour for your walls!
Again the recycling ethic here is super cool. Lollipop Avengers bookmarks, what is not to love?
Button me up 🙂
I bet this would look great sticking out of the top of Fifty Shades of Grey or similar over hyper erotic novels!
One for your crime dramas!
I just want this one to sit in a book on my bookshelf. Seeing Morphs face peeking at me over the top of a book is bound to make me smile everytime!
These ‘melting’ bookmarks are hand made so each on is unique. How cool!
Forget book marks, why not just hang them on the wall over your bed? Not that portable though….
Book mark design feature! 
This one is techy cool! To turn the light off all you need to do is to place an open book on the shelf above it! The light will turn on automatically when you next remove the book. Want one!
These ones are for the iPhone users that can’t bear to use anything  that is not an app! App paperclip bookmarks.
Save your bookmark.
These little bunny and bear stick bookmarks are super cute for adults and children alike.
What about a metal bird bookmark clip?
But my personal favourite, the puppy book stand and book mark. You may awww!
I found all these little beauties online, and you find out how to make or purchase all of these via by Pinterest board.

Know of anymore, include the link or in the comments to we can all enjoy them.

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x