Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live HereWhat’s it about?

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

My thoughts

While the Indie Kids or Chosen Ones are battling forces of evil ‘the rest of us just live here’ and get on with our lives.

Like in a horror movie the popular kids get hunted, stalked and murdered but think of all the other kids that are on the outside; this is their story. This book is all about those kids that are in the background, making up the numbers, they know the shit is going down but are not meant to be involved or have no control. It’s a very cleverly structured book having the chapter openings explain briefly what’s happening to the Indie Kids, this makes it feel like 2 stories in 1 that interact on the periphery.

You have to applaud Ness for his diverse characters and the issues that they’re dealing with; anorexia, OCD, mental health, their sexuality…oh and being a God, all this coupled with normal teenage worries, insecurities and relationships. But I do wonder whether trying to tick all the boxes to include so much diversity was a little overkill?

I don’t read a lot of this genre, a kind of mix up of fantasy and paranormal realism so don’t have anything to compare it too but it’s intelligently written even though aimed at young adult readers. I enjoyed the book although it took me probably a third to understand what was going on, and it didn’t take me long to read (just the weekend) but I preferred More Than This!

Oh and the beautiful blue pages…..

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Book Review: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible LibraryWhat’s it about?

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.

My thoughts

This was our book club read for October and I think I have to accept that fantasy and magical books are just not my type of read. I persevered with it as it was for book club and I wanted to be able to contribute to the group discussion because if it hadn’t have been I would have abandoned.

This is the first in the Library series and I appreciate a lot of this book was groundwork and setting up for the next in the series but I struggled to remember what I’d read and had difficulty getting to grips with the magical language and events. I don’t think it’s a particularly difficult read, I think it’s because I lacked interest in the magical elements. Unfortunately because of these reasons I lacked the enthusiasm to pick the book up so it took me longer than usual to read.

That said, the parts that were investigative were good. I enjoyed the scenes where Irene was thrashing out her thoughts and the other characters were either shooting her down or backing up her theories and there were a few good action scenes which helped speed things along.

I quite liked the Victorian setting that Irene and Kai were thrust into; albeit a very different kind of Victorian era you would normally expect. There was a mention of traffic lights and it made me think had I got the era right so I went away and Googled Victorian traffic lights to see what was in existence at that time (that was quite interesting actually).

I figured out one of the twists quite early on so was waiting for the characters to catch up but all is revealed at a steady pace to keep you reading and hold your interest.

Also, the blurb of this book leads you to believe Irene is a spy…well if traveling between alternate realities stealing books is a spy’s job description so be it, but pretty it up as you like and for whatever reasons; she steals that book!

Although not for me, this would be perfect for lovers of The Night Circus and the Rivers of London series.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

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Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusWhat’s it about?

Opens at Nightfall

Closes at Dawn

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.

Le Cirque des Rêves

The Circus of Dreams.

Now the circus is open.

Now you may enter.

My thoughts

Oh guys, I really don’t know what to say about this book. After first seeing it on You Tuber Carrie Hope Fletcher’s vlog I really liked the look of it and every time I tweeted about it or mentioned it in a Wednesday post, people were so positive about it. What did I miss?

I loved the cover of this book and I loved the idea of this book more than I actually liked it unfortunately, it really didn’t do anything for me.

Initially there’s a lot about the setting up of the circus and the introduction of all the characters, of which there are a lot, but then they come and go and visit the circus and then aren’t mentioned again for a few chapters. I usually love a dual time line but this one just confused me and I often found myself going back to check at what time we were at before which I found disrupted my reading rather than enhanced the experience.

Things happen without anything really happening; all with this backdrop of some sort of contest between two of the main characters that I didn’t really know what it was or what they were expected to do but it was to the exclusion of what you’d expect to be legally and morally right.

On the plus side, it is mysterious and magical and the writing is very descriptive and expressive and I found it easy to visualise the circus acts. It also reminded me of the movie The Prestige which I love.

My book club is a small group of 5 and nobody got on with it. I was a bit gutted as I’d chosen it and it is rather a long book to get through so it was a shame that it wasn’t for us. We all agreed it may be better suited to young/new adult readers.

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Book Review: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

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Ben-Aaronovitch-Rivers-of-LondonWhat’s it about?

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.

My thoughts

This is the first book I’ve read from my World Book Night challenge list and also the author is British so fits in with my British author challenge too. So over to the book…

I hadn’t read the blurb for the book so of course was surprised at its ‘genre’ as it isn’t something I would normally read. Here we have a blend of modern day policing and detection coupled with the paranormal.

Upon graduating Peter Grant hopes to be a proper detective but ends up being sent to The Folly; to Inspector Nightingale as his apprentice in some kind of supernatural investigation unit.  Fiction is about suspending disbelief and particularly when reading a supernatural novel that is intertwined with ‘real life’ never is it needed more. Other than Twilight this is my first experience of an adult urban fantasy novel and I did quite enjoy it.  A mixture of all things magical: ghosts, vampires, water deities (hence the Rivers of London), feuds between Mother Thames and Father Thames, it’s all things supernatural with some clever, funny one liners written by an author who obviously knows London extremely well.

With his magical training including creating werelights and moving objects Peter sets about learning the spells but also sensing who or what are or used to be present at the crime scenes:

Vestigia – a trace, mark, or sign of something that once existed but has passed away or disappeared

One thing I did find a little odd in this book (surprising given it’s subject) is that Peter never questions the whole situation. Doesn’t bat an eyelid that he’s been chatting to a ghost witness or that the maid’s a vampire or that his master is probably about a hundred years old. He never gets freaked out or scared because I’m pretty certain most of us would be crapping our pants!

This is the first in the Peter Grant series, I believe there are 3 more. So if it sounds like something for you there’s plenty to enjoy.  Think Harry Potter meets X Files meets The Bill and there you go! So if you like this stuff and Doctor Who and such like this is for you. But also if you like a murder mystery with a very different twist!

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Trailer Reveal for The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

Hello everyone! I am very excited about hosting the Trailer Reveal today for author, Stephanie Keyes’ second book, The Fallen Stars.

Read on for more information about the trailer and the book!

The Trailer

The Book

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

Release Date: April 12th, 2013 |

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When all is lost, he will have to make the ultimate decision.

Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.

Suddenly, Kellen is stuck in the middle of another prophecy that foresees him turning away from Calienta and embracing the dark. He’ll be forced to take sides in a struggle to claim his birthright, while discovering secrets about his father’s past. Meanwhile, his passion for Cali grows stronger, even as the prophecy threatens to tear them apart.

In the end, will Kellen and Cali survive the fates? When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose?

Giveaway

There is a great giveaway happening for this event! Check out what you can win.

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Get Hooked on The Star Child

Interested in The Fallen Stars? Why not check out the first book in the series, The Star Child?

The Star Child CoverAmazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

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The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.

Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role. Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?

About Stephanie Keyes

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Author, Stephanie Keyes

Stephanie Keyes has been addicted to Fantasy since she discovered T.H. White as a child and started drumming up incredible journeys in her head. Today, she’s still doing the same thing, except now she gets to share those ideas with readers!

When she’s not writing, Stephanie is also a graphic designer, international speaker, teacher, musician, avid reader, and Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible husband of eleven years.

Mrs. Keyes holds an undergraduate degree in Business and Management Information Systems from Robert Morris University and a M.Ed. from Duquesne University. She is a member of the Society For Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as a featured author in the global group of writers, Love a Happy Ending.com.

Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child (September 2012) and The Fallen Stars (April 2013), both released by Inkspell Publishing. She is currently hard at work on the third book in the trilogy, The Star Catcher.

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