Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: The Swan Kingdom by Zoë Marriott

The Swan Kingdom by Zoë Marriott
Published: March 28th, 2008 (Walker)
Pages: 263
Source: Birthday gift
Challenge: none
Series: none
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

When Alexandra’s mother is slain by an unnatural beast, shadows fall on the once-lush kingdom. Too soon the widowed king is entranced by a cunning stranger — and in one chilling moment Alexandra’s beloved brothers disappear, and she is banished to a barren land. Rich in visual detail, sparked by a formidable evil, and sweetened with familial and romantic love, here is the tale of a girl who discovers powerful healing gifts — and the courage to use them to save her ailing kingdom.

I think it's fair to say that I waited WAY TOO LONG to read this book! I got it for my birthday last year but only got round to reading it a couple of weeks ago, but boy, was it good.

The aspect I loved the most about this one, is that Marriott slowly lured me in. With every page I flipped, I got a little more enthralled by the story and its characters, and soon I couldn't stop reading. I read it in one sitting, because I just couldn't put it down. It's been a long time since I read one of those!

The Swan Kingdom is a retelling of The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen and I really enjoyed how this was a retelling, yet a completely new story. I love Andersen's stories, and I read many when I was small, but they never managed to get me into it like this book did. The writing style, the story, the characters, the setting - they all contributed to the unputdownableness of The Swan Kingdom and I loved that; it wasn't just one element.

Alexandra is a strong heroine, even though she's cast away and she sulks for a bit, she picks herself off the floor when she has to live with an aunt she can't even remember. She's feitsty and kick-ass when she needs to be, even in situations that grown men would have peed their pants.

Anyhoo, I'm having slight problems to explain how much I enjoyed this book - let me just say that if you like stories with a magical feel to it, or if you're curious to try out a British author, I'd definitely recommend this one. I, for one, can't wait to read more of Zoë's work.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Case You Missed It (9)

It's Sunday again! In In Case You Missed It I basically round up my week in terms of books, reviews and other bookish things. This will mainly focus on my own things, but I'll be likely to include links to fellow bloggers if I find something awesome :)

It's still a bit slow on the blog since I'm trying to work out how to combine working full-time, running a house hold, studying English and trying to read and review, so please bear with me!

This week, three reviews went live; This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers, one of my very first zombie novels. I quite enjoyed it, even though it didn't blow me away. Besides that, my review for Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler went up. It's an often challenged and banned book, but I really enjoyed reading it! It managed to get me out of my reading slump and the ending was just.. *sob*. And last but not least, I posted my review for The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan, the first in a series of 10 books by several different authors. I'm curious to find out where the story goes next!

Outside of my own blog, I really want to share this post on How Not To Be A Douchebag With Your ARCs by Kat from Cuddlebuggery. LOVE. That is all.

And that's it for this week! Hopefully I'll have a bit more to share with you guys next week, but hey, I'm already relieved that I haven't been suffering from another reading funk.. Whoop!

If you're watching Euro2012, have fun and I hope everyone has a lovely week! :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan 
Published: October 1st, 2008 (Scholastic)
Pages: 220
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: The 39 Clues, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue.

Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

I had been eying these books for a long time, and somehow, I was unsure about picking it up. I'm so glad I did, because The Maze of Bones sets up the storyline brilliantly for the next books in the series, all written by different authors.

After Aunt Grace dies, the vultures sweep in - everyone wants a piece of the fortune of the last matriarch of the Cahills. When it's announced that there's the possibility of getting a clue instead of a piece of her fortune, a part of the family grabs that opportunity for a chance at power. What ensues is an exciting adventure, with several members of the family trying to gain trust of the others - but can anybody be trusted in this?

Riordan set this book up brilliantly, creating a fast paced storyline with pinch of humor and plenty of excitement. I really enjoyed myself while reading this book and honstly, I can't wait to get my hands on the next book. I'm a bit weary of that since it's written by Gordon Korman (I haven't read anything by him yet), but I'm sure it'll continue perfectly from the point that Riordan left us at.

What I loved about this series was that it's an interactive kind of series; there are trading cards in the inside cover of the book, so you can hunt clues together with the characters in the book. I haven't actually done anything with mine yet, but I love that they put it in there!

If you are looking for a fast paced story packed with excitement, possibly to overcome the time until Mark of Athena comes out, I'd definitely recommend it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler 
Published: June 1st, 2009 (Little, Brown Books)
Pages: 290
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: none
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

"Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?"
"Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?"

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

After trying (and failing) to read four books, I was desperate to find something I could read and actually finish. I was in a really bad reading funk when this was picked out for me, and I was afraid that I would have to put this one away as well. But the opposite was true; this excellent book managed to drag me out of my reading funk within a couple of pages. It was brilliantly written and I loved the whole vibe of the book.

Anna and Frankie are best friends, and I loved their chemistry. They acted like best friends, and sure there was one that was completely different from the other, but you knew why they were friends in the first place.

The whole story was wonderfully set up, and the feeling of the book was fantastic. I love how the cover connects to the story and what it means to the characters. I'm really at a loss for words how to describe the book, it was really good and had me on the verge of tears multiple times.

The reason I didn't give the book the full 5 stars is that I felt like some parts didn't connect to me as well as others, which was really the only thing missing for me from the book. The ending was perfect because it wasn't, and that was the moment the tears really started flowing.

A beautifully written book, with great characters and a solid storyline. I would recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary - it's a great story about loss and heartbreak, and trying to fit the pieces together again. Definitely recommended.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers 
Published: June 19th, 2012 (St. Martin's Griffin)
Pages: 320
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Challenge: none
Series: none
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

After being excited for a really long time (I featured this book in On My Wishlist recently) so I may have squealed a bit when I saw it was up on NetGalley. And then again when I was approved. While This Is Not A Test made for a solid good read, I felt oddly disconnected from the story because of the main character's way of distancing herself of just about everything, resulting in a three star rating.

Summers has created a believable and creepy world, where the apocalypse is happening and zombies are roaming the streets to find life to destroy and eat. The story is fast paced at all the right paces, with intrigue and personal relationships on the edge of collapsing when the story tends to slow down in the middle. While the middle of the story could get a bit boring because the characters were just hiding out, the events happening between the characters kept me intrigued to keep reading, so that's what I did.

The main character, Sloane, is a girl whose life collapsed when her sister left their home and left Sloane with their father. Although I understand why she was in the state of mind that she was, it made it really hard for me to connect with the story. In the end, I didn't and I felt so seperated from the story, so unable to feel with the characters, that it bothered me. I like to be sucked into the story, to feel what the characters feel, even if it's only for a couple of moments. With this book, I had zero.

This Is Not A Test is a solid good read in terms of writing and plot developing, but the characters fell flat for me and that's what made me like the book okay, instead of loving it. However, I really liked Summers' writing style, so I'll be sure to check out more of her work - and hopefully I'll be sucked into the story a little more.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

In Case You Missed It (8)

It's Sunday again! In In Case You Missed It I basically round up my week in terms of books, reviews and other bookish things. This will mainly focus on my own things, but I'll be likely to include links to fellow bloggers if I find something awesome :)

First up, B&DERM wrapped up in the first week of June, and I had some winners to announce this week! I love giving stuff away, so if you didn't win this time, no worries; there'll be plenty of chances to grab some prizes in the future!

And despite it almost being the third week of June, I also did my May wrap up this week. I I know it's late, but hey, better late than never, right? *tries to convince self*

And last but not least, two reviews went live this week: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon, which Amber picked out for me and I really enjoyed while I wasn't really expecting that, and Sin Undone by Larissa Ione, the final book in the Demonica series. I really enjoyed that series, definitely one of my favorite adult series! I can't wait to find out what Ione has in store for me with the sequel series, Lords of Deliverance.

As for what I want to share from outside Loving Books; I recently came across these guest posts on UK YA at UK YA Books. They list several top10s of books by British authors, and I love that! I try to read a little bit less US YA books (they are awesome, but I like variation!) so I'll definitely check out some of the titles listed there!

That's it for this week! I hope you all have a lovely week and if you're in Europe, enjoy Euro2012! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

May wrap up

We're already halfway through the month of June, but hey, I haven't done my May wrap up yet so I thought I'd share! I managed to read some books, of which I'm really proud since work is taking up a LOT of my time - I really have to get used to working full time again.. But at least I'm still reading!

Some stats for May - 7 books - 2 novellas - 3,001 pages - average 333 pages per book

Which makes a total of 19,074 pages read as of the end of May, or 54 books read so far in 2012, with an average of 353 pages per book. Whoop! I try to keep my average higher than 350 pages, but it's hard since I'm reading a lot of novellas and short stories. Also, I'm getting more and more behind on my 50,000 pages in 2012 goal, so I *really* need to step it up! *kicks herself into gear*

Anyhoo, here's my May wrap up video!

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
From Fame to Shame by Veronica Blade
My Vampire Summer by Elle Casey
Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green by Helen Phillips
Once by Anna Carey
Prim Improper by Deirdre Sullivan
Storm Born by Richelle Mead
Soulmates: Het Verhaal van Sky by Joss Stirling (Finding Sky)
The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan

Did not finish
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Besides the books I managed to read last month, I also decided to mark two books as DNF. It's sad, but I wasn't reading them and didn't feel like picking them up any time soon. I still hope to read them sometime in the future, but for now, I'll put them back on my shelves. I read only two books I bought myself, so I think it's safe to say that B&DERM was a success! Whoop! I'll keep trying to read as many review books as I can in the future :)

My favorites of last month? Storm Born by Richelle Mead (great adult series!) and Finding Sky by Joss Stirling. But I also really enjoyed The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (that ending!), The Serpent's Shadow (Rick forking Riordan!) and Once (need book three nao!), so I'd say it was a great month one again.

Which books have you read this month? Which of those was your favorite? :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Sin Undone by Larissa Ione

Sin Undone by Larissa Ione 
Published: September 1st, 2012 (Grand Central)
Pages: 400
Age group: adult
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: Demonica, #5
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

Note: this is not the first book in a series, and can therefore contain (minor) spoilers for the previous book(s) in the series. Reading of this review is at your own risk.

As the only female Seminus demon ever born, master assassin Sinead Donnelly is used to being treated like an outcast. She spent decades enslaved, and now vows she'll die before she'll relinquish her freedom again. Then Sin's innate ability to kill her enemies goes awry: She creates a lethal new werewolf virus that sparks a firestorm of panic and violence.

Half-werewolf, half-vampire Conall Dearghul is charged with bringing in Sin to face punishment for the plague. And she's no stranger: He's bound to her by blood, and the one sexual encounter they shared has left him hungering for her raw sensuality. Worse, Sin is the underworld's most wanted and Con soon learns he's the only one who can help her.. and that saving her life might mean sacrificing his own.

I put off reading this one for so long. I didn't want the series to end, because I thoroughly enjoy Ione's writing and her characters. So when I discovered there's a sequel series I was ecstatic! I picked this baby up right away, and boy was it good.

The world is very well established already since it's the fifth book in the series, but Ione outdid herself with the creation of Con. He immediately became one of my favorite characters of the entire series and I loevd reading about him and Sin. Sin is in a league of her own; she is definitely a feisty kick-ass heroine who won't put up with any crap. I loved that about her. She might be the only female Sem ever, but she definitely made sure everyone knew she was there and they shouldn't underestimate her.

During the story, we get glimpses of the characters of the sequel series and I really enjoyed those hints to the new stories. Some things happened at moments that didn't make any sense at that time, but later I understood their purpose so it was all good.

I thought it was an excellent way to end this series and set up the world for the new characters. I'm really excited to discover what Ione has in store for me next, and will definitely be picking up the Lords of Deliverance books in the near future - I only have to pick them off my shelf, so I don't have to wait for the postman. Yay for thinking ahead! Anyway, this series is one of my favorite adult series, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the books in the series. If you're looking for a steamy paranormal romance series, I would definitely recommend picking up Pleasure Unbound, the first book in the series. You won't regret it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Published: May 25th, 2010 (St. Martin's Griffin)
Pages: 464
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: Chronicles of Nick, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends.. until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead. But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he's next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

This is one of the books that I've owned since forever and somehow never picked up. If Amber hadn't picked my book without knowing, I'm sure it would still be on my shelf, unread and neglected. But thankfully it's not anymore! Infinity is fast paced, with loads of twists and turns along the way, plus a snarky main character who adds humor to the mix. Me like!

Apparently, this book ties in with Kenyon's other series in terms of that it takes place in the same world and shows some of the characters from the other series. I have not read those books (yet), so I don't know how true that is or how it works out, but I do know that I really liked the set-up of this world. It's believable and packed with action, which helped me get rid of my reading funk. I had been in one for about three weeks when I picked this one up, and where I was unable to finish any book, this book pulled me right out of my funk. There's not a dull moment in this book.

I loved that the narrator is a guy - I don't read enough books with male protagonists - and I can't wait to catch up with Nick again. He's easy to follow around, although sometimes very naive, but that makes him believable as a character. He often adds his sarcastic commentary to the events and I loved that.

If you're looking for a fast-paced story with a male narrator, plus a whole lot of paranormal elements, this is the book for you! I'd definitely recommend picking it up!

Monday, June 11, 2012

B&DERM Giveaway Winners!

It's time to announce the winners for the B&DERM giveaways! Giveaways closed on June 3rd and I'm very excited to announce the following winners:

Prize Pack One
Lianne @ The Towering Pile

Prize Pack Two
Amelia S.

Congratulations! You both get to pick one paperback copy of the selection in your prize pack :) I'll send you an email tonight, please reply to that email to claim your prize!

Thanks everyone for entering and joining Bella and I in B&DERM. We had loads of fun and we hope you did, too! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In Case You Missed It (7)

It's Sunday again! 
In In Case You Missed It I basically round up my week in terms of books, reviews and other bookish things. This will mainly focus on my own things, but I'll be likely to include links to fellow bloggers if I find something awesome :) 

It was a slow week on the blog this week. Quite frankly I didn't have the energy to write up too many posts so there were only three posts this week (excluding this one). But they were good ones, so it's all good!

First up, in my On My Wishlist post I look forward to the second book in the Dustland series by Moira Young - Rebel Heart! Besides that, two reviews went live: Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward, book 4 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I really enjoy reading that series and I'm slowly catching up with it! And last but not least, I reviewed The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross. I really enjoy these books - The Steampunk Chronicles is my number 1 steampunk series!

Outside of the blog, there were two posts I really want to share with you. The first is a great post by Maureen Johnson on Saying No to Blog Tours. I completely understand her point of view and overall I just really liked that post. Besides that, I came across this Are You New to YA-chart, which I can only call fantastic. I really have no other words!

That's it for this week! I hope you all have a lovely week and if you're in Europe, enjoy Euro2012! :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
Published: September 9th, 2009 (Signet)
Pages: 480
Age group: adult
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

Note: this is not the first book in a series, and can therefore contain (minor) spoilers for the previous book(s) in the series. Reading of this review is at your own risk.

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.

After enjoying the first three books in the series a whole lot, I was excited to start this fourth book, especially when I discovered that this was the first book that wasn't told from the perspective of one of the Brothers. I love the Brothers, don't get me wrong, but it was refreshing to experience things from a different POV. And Butch's story certainly delivered.

Just as fast paced, seductive and enjoyable as the earlier books, this story takes us deeper into the ancestry of the vampire race, giving us glimpses of what's to come for some of the (now) minor characters in the story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, even though I didn't like Marissa at all, together with Butch I liked reading her story. I can't say she fully won me over, but she developed as a character and I appreciate that in series like this one.

Overall, I really liked this book. It seems like there are no disappointments in this series, and I know that I''m way behind, reading the books only now, but the plus side is that I get to read the next installment much quicker after the previous book! Whoop! So guess what I'll be doing now? Right, ordering that fifth installment, because I need me some more warrior vampires!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On My Wishlist (41)

In On My Wishlist I spotlight books that I'm really looking forward to. I know there's a meme Waiting on Wednesday and there even are others, but I'm going to rebel and do it how I want it (hehe). I'll feature the synopsis as posted on Goodreads and put a linkie to the Goodreads page of the book. This week: Rebel Heart by Moira Young.

Rebel Heart by Moira Young
Expected publication date: October 30th, 2012

The Tonton have been defeated. Lugh has been rescued. The heartstone has brought Saba and Jack together. Now, Saba and her family head west to meet him and start a new life. All should be well. But shadows of the dead are stalking Saba. And another kind of shadow is creeping over the dustlands. Then a messenger shows up. With news of Jack.

Goodreads page

Blood Red Road was one of my favorite debuts of 2011, and ever since I read it I'm impatiently waiting for the sequel. I loved Young's world building, the connection between the characters and the story was just awesome. I don't like what they did to the cover, but I'm VERY excited for the sequel to come out this year. It's a long wait though, since it will published in October (!), but I think it'll be worth the wait.. If I don't die from anticipation in the meantime!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross 
Published: May 22nd, 2012 (HarlequinTEEN)
Pages: 416
Source: for review from NetGalley
Challenge: Sophomore Reading Challenge
Series: Steampunk Chronicles, #2
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

Note: this is not the first book in a series, and can therefore contain (minor) spoilers for the previous book(s) in the series. Reading of this review is at your own risk.

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous.

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.

After loving The Girl in the Steel Corset, I was very excited to get my hands on a galley for this one. And boy did it deliver!

Kady Cross manages to weave a great tale, this time set in America, full of intrigue, mystery and ass-kicking. Griffin is his usual charming self, Finley is still the awesome heroine we got to know in the first book and Sam and Emily are still the best and loyal friends ever. I loved how this focused on Jasper, a character we've seen glimpses of in Steel Corset, but who hasn't gotten his moment in the spotlight just yet. During the story, we also see things from his point of view and I really enjoyed that!

It's the kind of book that makes me go all Sherlock myself; trying to figure out plots and people before the story does. I particularly liked that none of the characters were really stupid to make something happen. Sure, there were small things, but there were no major mess-ups just to make a certain element of the plot happen. Me gusta!

With this excellent follow-up to her YA debut, Kady Cross has managed to make this series my number 1 steampunk series, and I'm already anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. Is there a releasedate yet?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

In Case You Missed It (6)

It's Sunday again! In In Case You Missed It I basically round up my week in terms of books, reviews and other bookish things. This will mainly focus on my own things, but I'll be likely to include links to fellow bloggers if I find something awesome :)

It was the last week voor Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month, with only one post to go up here on Loving Books - the Final Wrap Up! Remember, there's also still a little time to link up your reviews to have a chance to win awesome prizes in the first and third wrap up! Giveaways close on Sunday at midnight.

Besides that, three reviews went up this week! I was part of the blog tour for My Vampire Summer by Elle Casey, for which my review went up on Wednesday. There was also a review for an adult title; I reviewed The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter, the fifth book in the Lords of the Underworld series which I'm really enjoying reading! Last but not least, my review for The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan went live! Finally, the conclusion to the Kane Chronicles series. Let the waiting for other books begin...

That's it for this week on the blog! I do want to share this great post on blogger independance and integrity over at The Book Smugglers. There are some excellent points discussed in that post, so I'd definitely recommend checking it out.

That's it for this week's In Case You Missed It! I hope you all have a lovely week, and happy reading!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

[B&DERM] Final wrap up!

It's time for the final wrap up post for Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month! May is over, and hopefully you've managed to make a dent in your TBR pile.. I did - a little!

First up: we hope you enjoyed this theme month and that it was helpful to you. Feel free to leave suggestions to improve the event in the comments, so if we decide to host another of these months, we can make it even better.

Daph's wrap up
I managed to get 9 books read, of which 7 were review books. Small dent FTW! I wish I could have read more, but with my new job I was pretty tired when I got home at night and didn't feel like reading. Hopefully I'll be able to read some more now!

Review books I read:
Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green by Helen Phillips
Soulmates: Het Verhaal van Sky by Joss Stirling (English: Finding Sky)
From Fame to Shame by Veronica Blade
Once by Anna Carey
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
Prim Improper by Deirdre Sullivan
My Vampire Summer by Elle Casey

I'm pretty happy with that list! I'll be doing a general wrap up somewhere between now and next weekend, so look out for that as well :).

Wrapping up your Epic Review Month
What did you guys manage to read? Did you make a dent? Was it too overwhelming and did you only manage to read one book? Let us know in the comments, we'd love to know how you guys did!

Linking up your reviews!
Don't forget that by linking up your reviews, you have a chance of winning awesome prizes! See Wrap up One and Wrap up Three for international giveaways (you've got one day left to link up!) - the UK giveaways are already closed :(. You can also share your reviews by linking them below.


That's it! We hope you had fun and again, we would love to know your results :) Don't forget to check out Bella's Wrap up post as well!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan

The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan 
Published: May 1st, 2012 (Disney Hyperion)
Pages: 406
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: Kane Chronicles, #3
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

Note: this is not the first book in a series, and can therefore contain (minor) spoilers for the previous book(s) in the series. Reading of this review is at your own risk.

He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can’t seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos.

To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent’s shadow... or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld...

As one of my most anticipated releases of 2012, The Serpent's Shadow had a lot to live up to, and it did. While it wasn't as good as his series based on Greek and Roman mythology, this third and final installment continues the tone Riordan set in the previous books perfectly.

Sadie and Carter are as funny as ever, and I loved meeting up with them this final time. Their chemistry is great and I love how that shows in their dialogue and the way they act around each other. While some aspects were very predictable, I thought The Serpent's Shadow was a great ending to the series. Fast paced, packed with Egyptian mythology and not to forget, plenty of adventure, we go out with a rollercoaster ride.

I'm not sure what more I can say about this book. I'd love to go into detail for parts I loved and hated, but I don't want to spoil it, so I'm just going to leave it at this: if you enjoyed the first two books in this series, you'll enjoy this one as well - I'm pretty sure every Rick Riordan fan will be satisfied. I, for one, can't wait to see what he's got on his sleeve for us next.

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