Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Pure, by Julianna Baggott

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . . 
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . . 
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her. 

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

Le Interviewer: On a scale of one to ten, with one being ridiculous and boring and ten being simply MIND-
BLOWING, what would you give to Pure?

Le Me: TEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *screams and dances as streamers and confetti fall from the sky and fireworks light up the world*

Essentially, that little thing sums it up. This book was AH-mazing!

When I first heard of Pure, it was being compared to Hunger Games. The review said that Pure made Hunger Games look tame, that it was totally more hard core and horrifying, pretty much saying that it was the far superior dystopia.

“How dare they!” you say? “Hunger Games BUILT ALL EXPECTATIONS for young adult dystopia!” you say?

That is true. However, Pure redefines dystopia for teenage readers, putting the concept into a whole new, far more terrifying context. You could call that context “Post-Apocalyptic” or, in more specific terms, “After the Nuclear Bomb”.

Pure uses descriptive writing really well, and Julianna Baggott’s Dust creatures, mutants and scenery will make you feel absolutely, amazingly SICK TO YOUR STOMACH. Plus, she actually pulled off split perspective, which I ALWAYS seem to hate. Pressia was interesting. Partridge was interesting. El Capitan was interesting. Lyda was interesting. Anyone who narrated the story was interesting! And each of them was different! Usually with split perspective, you have one character who you want to listen to throughout the whole book. You won’t be thinking about that whilst reading Pure.

This is a book that will move you, make you scared and horrified and happy and sad and angry. It might make you vomit, which does not mean anything bad, just that it was really good at making you disgusted. But not because of the bad writing (*vampires of sparkly doom*). Because of the story, and intentionally.

Also, look at the picture of the cover. Look at it! Can you not see how amazing this story will be from the fact that the cover is completely BLACK? Isn’t that so cool!?

I recommend to any teenager and older, though maybe not at bedtime as it is quite disturbing sometimes. Read and enjoy! Especially if you want to read a serious book with minimal romance and lots of mutants and revolutions and governments whose arses need kicking!

I rate it:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Crystal Princess, by Kimberley Norton

With the war between good and evil looming, Kelly must find the strength to harness her magical powers and summon The Crystal Princess inside her. 

Kelly lives the life of a typical teen in the suburbs of Southern California with her football star boyfriend and loyal best friend. It’s her senior year, and she’s looking forward to her eighteenth birthday. But her life totally changes when she’s abducted by her birth family, a family she didn’t even know existed. Meeting her mother and two sisters for the first time is almost too much for her to handle. Kelly learns she is a witch born from a coven of witches with special powers. She’s called back to help her family fight the evil, power-hungry witch, Victoria, and the Wizard Council, who want to destroy all that Kelly’s family holds dear before the Immortality Ceremony, a ceremony that will seal the girls’ fate and powers for all eternity. 

To make things even more complicated, Kelly falls in love with an Indian named Max White Bear. But because of a longstanding tradition, their relationship is a hard sell to the chief of the Indian tribe. 

With the war between good and evil looming, Kelly must find the strength to harness her magical powers and summon 
The Crystal Princess inside her.
It seems pretty covers are always lying these days.

On goodreads, the only other ratings are five stars. I gave it one.

I’m not sure why this is. Well, actually, and I don’t want to be mean or anything, I don’t understand how anyone thought it was worth five stars. I feel really bad saying that, because I got my copy from the author herself, and for free (all internet of course, I don’t know her personally).

Right, so, the blurb pulled me in a bit. I was really excited to read it. From page one, it was evident that this would not live up to my expectations. Complications arose from the structure and content of the writing.
a)      1. It was a young adult concept. There were teenage main characters, a teenage romance and supernatural powers is mainly young adult.
b)     2It was written basic, flying between plot points without much explanation or description. Also, things happened incredibly fast and ridiculously cliché, which would only be acceptable for young kids, under ten years.
c)       3. The story was the length of a novella, but it was completely unsuitable. Novellas are for short stories that have a lot of points and characters to explain. Not for an idea that could have been a proper book.

Essentially, I loved the idea of the plot. However, it was completely ruined by the bad way in which it was written. I would have really liked to see this plot in a four-hundred-page book. In my opinion, expansion and extra writing skill would have been a huge improvement. There’s no need for specifics in this review; everything was underdeveloped.
I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, personally, except possibly a ten year old girl.
My Rating: 1/5
P.S. If Kimberley Norton actually reads this, I don’t mean any offense, but this is my constructive opinion.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Giveaway coming soon! And...My Button :D

This be my button. :D
By the way, I shall soonish be hosting a giveaway of an unpublished "middle school" novella. It is called "The Spirit Archer", by Mike Evers and it is officially buyable on the 16th of March, which is tomorrow (or maybe the day after, depends on time zones). I have two ebooks to give away, a PDF and a MOBI file. Details at a later date, once I've posted my very own review...

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Touch of Power

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos. 

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

Touch of Power follows the fantasy adventure of a girl with a duty to humanity and a huge role in the political future of her world. It…

Ok, I’m lost. It’s so hard to review this book!

The important characters were developed beautifully, the context of the story was well thought-out and the dialogue was actually sort of believable! Isn’t that a rare find!
Reading this book, I feel like I’ve finally found the perfect female main character.

Note: Unlike this one…

Avry is smart and independent, with an instinct for escape and excellent powers of deductive reasoning, plus she can defend herself and has a romantic relationship based on way more than physical attraction.

One thing that stood out to me about this book was how not-boring it was. If you like action, this had sword fights, knife throwing and covert operations every chapter. Another thing was the thought that went into creating the villain, a psychopath with a back story that explains why he’s a psychopath. He also fits into the modern villain stereotype of having a likeable façade but something depraved about him that cancels it out, making him simultaneously attractive and repulsive.

Villain is kind of sexy. Romantic interest is too.

Anyway, if you like fantasy, LURRVE adventure and action and are looking for a read that delights your soul and practically turns its own pages (not to mention sexy villains and love interests), GET THIS BOOK IN YOUR HANDS.
I rate it 5/5!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Successful Friends, Absences and New Laptop (So It's Been Forever...)

Yeah, this isn't an actual post. However...THERE ARE POSTS TO COME!
I haven't really been bothered to review the books I've been reading since November last year, mostly because I didn't have a computer during the Australian Summer Holidays(!!!!!!!), due to the fact I had my laptop for school and had to give it back at the end of Year Nine. I was devastated, but thoughts of the new laptop I would be issued with in Year Ten (which, thanks to the good old Federal Government that I generally mistrust and dislike, came to me FREE OF CHARGE *ka-ching*) cheered me up.

After about a month of desperately trying to catch up on my Goodreads 2012 reading challenge (still six books behind) and attempting to plan a novel based off a script I already failed at writing, while also trying to learn what it is like to things in REAL LIFE with my, on the PUBLIC...

Sorry. Getting off track.

Essentially, I have been inspired by the recent blogosphere success of my good real life friend Rosa, who has utilised blogging social networks and her amazing charm and talent to get, like, twenty, thirty new followers over the last week. She reviews books and hosts giveaways and cover reveals for publishers and alerts you to bargains on Kindle eBooks, all on her blog:

So, as I said, inspired by Rosa, I've decided to try and restart my blogging. I am currently reading three books:

1. Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2), by Rick Riordan.
2. The Crystal Princess, by Kimberley Norton (I won this in a competition :D)
3. Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan #1), by Maria V. Snyder.

Needless to say, these books will be reviewed upon completion and the reviews posted here, on Goodreads and on my Tumblr.

Back soon with posts relevant to the title of my blog;


This is what I've been thinking about in my absence. Because I'm a weirdo like that. Holy Musical B@man will air on Youtube in April!!!! Starkid parody of Batman, it will be amazing!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

Jake Thorn and his demons have been banished and Xavier and Bethany settle down to resume a normal life. But on the night of Halloween, a childish prank goes terribly wrong and Jake is summoned back to the sleepy town of Venus Cove. Bethany is deceived and like the mythical Persephone she finds herself dragged into the nightmarish underworld of Hades.

While the angels call on higher powers to help rescue Bethany, Jake decides to play dirty and goes after the one thing she loves more than anything. But to spare Xavier's life, Bethany must make the ultimate sacrifice.

Will she make a deal with the Devil?
And what will happen to an angel in Hell?

What a disappointment.

My expectations for this book were at a fair height. The calm, small-town-by-the-seaside feel and orderly, sweet, though fairly uneventful plot of Halo were reasonably enjoyable, and at the time that I was reading it I was in love with it (later reflection has changed my opinion, but c'est la vie).

Hades was original, definitely. I really loved the whole deal with the seance, and the interpretation of Hell (or Hades) was refreshing and horrifying. I literally felt sick and panicky when I read about the tortures in the fiery pit and the demon orgies. Scary. Also, despite how overdone angels are in Young Adult fiction, it's rare to see a novel where the angels are actually a traditional, religious interpretation and on the God-side. It's not as sexy as FALLEN angels or whatever, but refreshing.

Character-wise, this had nothing going for it. Bethany is among the most annoying main characters I've ever read. She is silly and dependant. Her every thought is of Xavier and she always considers him when she makes a decision. She often says she can't live without him. She's an angel, not a human with wings. Yeah, I know the idea is that she is supposed to feel what humans feel and understands them, but she goes one step further than that- she's twice as oblivious as them.

I also hated the fact that she was always assuming that Xavier was thinking of her, like "I knew he was thinking about me...". She talked like she was omniscient, but she wasn't, and it really bugged me. Xavier himself was alright. He talks like a teenage boy. He acts like a teenage boy. But teenage boys usually aren't so deeply committed to their high school girlfriends (not being sexist, it works vice-versa too). I guess he's in too deep with Bethany to just be devastated but useless, like a normal teenage partner when the other goes missing. But still.

I don't understand how Molly could have a crush on Gabriel. He does not sound crush worthy. He sounds really "beautiful" and all, but also too distant to become attached to. I never saw the attraction. Ivy was more bitter this time, it wasn't consistent with the previous book.

Jake was the best character, because he has the most depth. He is unpredictable, selfish and cruel, but truly seems to care for Bethany.

As for the plot...well, it was original but completely ridiculous. It's the kind of plot where complications are solved too easily. There's not much more to say about it than that, not without giving too much away, except that stuff did happen in it. The storyline was never dull or idle, and that was enough to make the book "alright" instead of "not good". The "climax", however, was laughable. Literally, laughable.

Bethany's POV is irritating a lot of the time, because of her naivety and weak character. So, when she is still able to narrate what happens to Gabriel, Ivy, Xavier and Molly while she's in Hades and they're on Earth, you start to get fed up (also a product of "easy-problem-solving" mentioned above). If the book was split perspective, which I usually find annoying, it could have been improved.

All-in-all, I enjoyed the action in the plot, disliked the characters, liked Jake, thought the resolutions were too easy and thought that the whole thing was alright. I'll still read the third title in the series, "Heaven", because I like to finish things.

I would only reccommend this if you have already read Halo.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Two New Covers

These are also for inkpop projects: I was a Vixen is a poem I wrote and Chimes of Distress was something someone else wrote and I just made a cover. What do you think?