August 30, 2009

Faery Rebels #1

FAERY REBELS:
Knife
by R J Anderson

If It's A Choice Between Love And Duty, I Choose...!


Faeries have always existed in the Oak; it has been their home for hundreds of years, long before the humans and their house. But there are no longer as many faeries as there once were. They are fading, dying. Their magic is all but gone, and no one can say why.

There are a few simple rules all faeries must live by, obey the Queen, never go outside, and above all else stay away from humans. These rules are made to protect the Oak and its faery inhabitants. But what if it is these rules that are slowly killing the faeries?

No faery would dare to disobey the Queen, but when one faery has the chance to leave the Oak, to discover the truth of the faeries past; will she be able to save her kind, finding a way to restore the faeries magic? Or will she bring the destruction of the faery world down upon them all in her quest for the truth, and be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Knife is a story of adventure, danger, secrets, love and faeries; a magical world to lose yourself in. This is the kind of book you can read again and again, with something in it for everyone. It is surprisingly touching and more involving then first appears. The first in a series, this book is a must read.
On sale: 08 January 2009
Price (AU): $16.99
ISBN: 9781408303122
Recommended age: 10+
In a word: Faeries
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five
xx

August 28, 2009

Rampant - Competition / Giveaway

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Competition / Giveaway


Carrie Ryan is currently giving away TWO signed copies of Rampant by Diana Peterfreund.

Click HERE to enter.

Killer unicorns and virgin hunters. I can't wait to read this book.

Also worth a look is http://www.killerunicorns.org/ for everything you need to know about unicorns and how to hunt them.


Good Luck.
xx

August 24, 2009

Little Horrors - Book 2

LITTLE HORRORS:
Mal the Mischievous Mermaid
by Tiffany Mandrake
illustrated by Martin Chatterton

Being Mischievous Can Be Merry!


Mermaids are not the beautiful, peaceful creatures of the deep we have been taught to believe. True mermaids are, well, not so pretty, and are born to be bad. Mal the mermaid is not so good at being bad. Although she will tell you stories of bad deeds.

When one day Mal is forced to take action she surprises herself, but no one is willing to believe her. Not after all her stories. But someone has been watching, someone who sees potential in Mal.

A critter-fae, a gull, is sent to Mal with an invitation to earn a Badge of Badness from the Head Hags of Hags' Abademy of Badness. Mal is over the moon, finally everyone will have to believe that she is bad.

Mal is determined to earn a Badge of Badness, despite a cranky kraken, an elusive eel, a silly sailor and a mischievous plan. But things don't seem to be working out. Can being good be the way to earn a Badge of Badness?

Mal the Mischievous Mermaid is a merry and messy tale that is very entertaining; children will love it.
On sale: 01 February 2009
Price (AU): $10.99
ISBN: 9781921272714
Recommended age: 7-10
In a word: Mischievous
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to children
Star rating: three out of five
xx

August 23, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1

THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH:
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Could You Sacrifice Love, Or Your Dream!


Bad things have happened, the world is changed. The dead walk amongst the living and the only thing separating them is the fence. A fence to keep the dead out, a fence to keep the living in.

Life in the village is about maintaining the fences, and maintaining the population. Love is a luxury not known to many, and dreams are stomped out as dangerous. Despite this Mary loves, she dreams.

Mary's life is filled with loss and sorrow, and as her world is turned to hell she starts to wonder if it is not because she refused to let go of love, and declined to give up her dreams. In a world surrounded by so much death, that forces you to kill the ones you love in order to survive, is it so wrong to love, to dream?

This stunning novel is at the same time both heart breaking and hopeful. There are dark and tender moments as it takes you on a rollercoaster ride of excitement, danger, intrigue and love. Beautifully written, you are not able to put this story down, haunting you till the last page.

Ultimately it is a story about a girl following her heart and her dreams, in a world consumed by death, even if it means leaving everything she has ever known behind. You almost forget it's a zombie book. With its perfect balance of horror and romance, this is a story everyone should read, wether your passion is horror, romance, fantasy or fiction.
On sale: 01 June 2009
Price (AU): $29.99
ISBN: 9780575090859
Recommended age: 15+
In a word: Zombies
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five
xx

August 21, 2009

Little Horrors - Book 1

LITTLE HORRORS:
Flax the Feral Fairy by Tiffany Mandrake
illustrated by Martin Chatterton

Being Feral Can Be Fun!


Gone are the days of mischievous fairies who would 'borrow' items without asking, turn milk sour and lead folk to a water death in the swamps and lakes. Now fairies are good and sweet and do all they can to be helpful. But not all fairies are happy about this.

Two water hags, Maggie Nabbie and Auld Anni, are discussing the old days when fairies were tricky and bad. Lamenting that there are no more bad fairies, and blaming Miss Kisses' Academy of Sweetness for Little Fairies for it. But all is not lost.

A critter-fae happens upon the hags with news, Kristy Breeks, a hag and cleaner at Miss Kisses' Academy of Sweetness for Little Fairies has found a bad fairy. But they must get to her quickly before Miss Kisses turns her into another good fairy like all the others.

Flax is a student at Miss Kisses' Academy of Sweetness for Little Fairies, but she's not a very good student. While all the other fairies are busy going about performing sweet deeds for humans in an effort to earn a Seal of Sweetness, Flax is not. Flax would rather be bad. And one night she gets her chance.

Flax is awoken in the middle of the night by a tiny dog with wings, a critter-fae, with an invitation to earn a Badge of Badness from the newly formed Head Hags of Hags' Abademy of Badness. Flax cannot believe her luck.

Excited, Flax creates a plan that will gain her a Badge of Badness, but things don't seem to work out as planed. Despite kidnappers and mouldering mansion and banshees and an ogre. Will Flax be able to earn her Badge of Badness or have things gotten so bad, good, that she will instead be offered a Seal of Sweetness.

Flax the Feral Fairy is a fun and naughty tale that is very entertaining; children will love it.
On sale: 01 February 2009
Price (AU): $10.99
ISBN: 9781921272707
Recommended age: 7-10
In a word: Feral
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to children
Star rating: three out of five
xx

August 20, 2009

The Moorehawke Trilogy - Book One

THE MOOREHAWKE TRILOGY:
The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan

No Kingdom Was Ever This Intriguing!


Wynter Moorehawke is a fifteen year old girl. She is a Lady, she is a qualified apprentice in a man's profession and up until five years ago she was the King's Cat Keeper. But for the past five years she and her father have been in exile up North. Now, after so long they have been called home to the south. But it is not home as she remembers it.

Upon returning home Wynter discovers there are many changes in her home kingdom. Small things at first, slightly amiss; like the cats for one thing, and the ghosts for another, as neither seems willing to talk to her as they had before.

Wynter soon realises she has returned to a kingdom in chaos. King Jonathan's once civilised and peaceful kingdom has drastically changed with the reintroduced gibbets and cages, neither seen since the dark days, many years before Wynter was born. King Jonathan also has one son missing, and another unwillingly forced to take his place.

There is the constant threat of danger as sides are taken and the very real risk of imprisonment, torture and death. There are also the whispers of the 'Bloody Machine', but Wynter is at a loss as to what it is, what it has to do with the drastic changes to the kingdom, and what it could possibly have to do with her father.

Wynter finds herself in a precarious situation as she discovers there are those willing to threaten her safety for the submission of power from those she is close to. But there is also the stranger Christopher Garron to worry about. Christopher obviously does not fit in, and despite her friends faith in him, she is not sure he is altogether trustworthy.

Ultimately Wynter has a decision to make, she must choose between her father, her friend and her kingdom. It is a choice that will lead her to deceive those she loves and leave her alone in terrible danger.

There are real moments of tenderness, friendship, intrigue and tension in this story as terrible choices must be made and the consequences lived with. The character are portrayed as vivid, complex and instantly likeable. The story is such that it leaves you desperately wanting more, and hoping it will not be a long wait to discover Wynter's fate in the continuing stories.

The Moorehawke Trilogy
On sale: 01 September 2009
Price (AU): $19.99
ISBN: 9781741758689
Recommended age: 15-18
In a word: Intrigue
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five
xx

August 17, 2009

Scatterheart

Scatterheart by Lili Wilkinson

Appearances Can Be Deceiving!


Hannah Cheshire is a young lady of Quality living in London, and the daughter of a Gentleman. Arthur Cheshire is an important businessman, and wants only the best for his daughter. Hannah is used to having the best, fine dresses and jewellery, food and servants. Hannah has grown up with no mother and, apart from her father, has no one else in her life besides her tutor.

Thomas Behr has filled Hannah's head with history, poetry, and mathematics as well as languages, animals and stories; much to Arthur Cheshire's dismay. It was not necessary nor desirable for a young lady of Quality to know such things, Hannah's father would say. But still Thomas Behr loved to tell his story and Hannah loved to hear them. Her favourite story was that of Scatterheart.

One day Hannah finds her life turned upside down, and all her troubles seem to start with the dismissal of Thomas Behr as her tutor. Quickly afterwards things seem to turn from bad to worse, and Hannah finds herself imprisoned. "A series of misfortunes and calamities...", as Hannah puts it, has brought her to trial and despite her insistence of innocence; she is sentenced to "Parts Beyond the Seas", other wise known as New South Wales.

It is upon the seas and beyond that Hannah holds dear to her the stories told by Thomas Behr; she is haunted by the story of Scatterheart and the white bear. Along with the stories is the memory of the man she has become so fond of. Once she had considered him well beneath her, a servant, a commoner. Now she thinks of him more and more. But will she ever see him again?

Scatterheart is a fickle and selfish girl who accepts the offer of marriage from a white bear, not because she loves him but because he can offer her a castle to live in and beautiful dresses to wear. Hannah begins to wonders if she is not so different, willing to consider marriage to a man she detests for the chance to have a grand house with carriages, and fifty servants, and jewels and beautiful dresses.

Like Scatterheart, Hannah must endure a long and dangerous journey, to discover what is truly worth having, finding growth and learning and love; all the while searching for her own Mr Bear, 'East O' The Sun, West O' The Moon'.

Scatterheart is a wonderful story that mixes reality with fantasy, and truth with illusion. It's a story that portrays the ignorance and selfishness of the wealthy and the harsh reality of life for the poor living in London and Australia in 1814. Scatterheart is a fairytale that's actual and realistic.
On sale: 01 August 2007
Price (AU): $19.99
ISBN: 9781921167850
Recommended age: 13+
In a word: Journey
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: yes
Star rating: four out of five
xx

August 13, 2009

Sookie Stackhouse #7

SOOKIE STACKHOUSE:
All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

Better The Vampire You Know!


Sookie Stackhouse is about to attend the long anticipated Vampire Summit on the shores of Lake Michigan. Despite the numerous warnings from friends and ominous feelings of danger, Sookie is going. She says she is looking forward to traveling to a new city and experiencing something new, but in truth Sookie is going mostly for the money. That and if a vampire wants you to attend then you'll attend, especially if that vampire is a Queen.

Sophie-Anne Leclerq, Vampire Queen of Louisiana, has 'requested' Sookie attend the summit. Sophie-Anne is finding herself in a dangerous position heading into the summit; she has suffered a massive financial and personal loss in the wake of the hurricane damage to her powerbase in New Orleans. Also the Queen is to stand trial for the murder of her husband, she stands to lose everything, and Sookie is the only witness to her innocence.

Politics is rife at the summit and it's not unusual for those in attendance to fear assassination. Some will go to extreme lengths to protect themselves as Sookie finds out, and a moment's decision will force Sookie into a bad situation that will inevitably strengthen her bond with Eric. However this is not such a good thing considering Sookie is still in the beginnings of a relationship with the new man in her life, the were-tiger Quinn's. But that is not the only thing putting strain on this relationship, as at the summit Sookie also discovers Quinn's violent past.

At the summit Sookie discovers she is not the only telepath present, Barry the Bellboy whom she met in Dallas is there with the Dallas vampires. But the summit, crawling with vampires and their entourages, has also attracted the attentions of those extremist who's only purpose is to eradicate all vampires. The summit is set to end with a BANG! and not everyone is going to make it out alive.

A load of new characters and new supernatural beings are introduced in this politically themed story, and every moment is packed with action. Fast pased and terribly intriguing.
On sale: 01 April 2008
Price (US): $7.99
ISBN: 9780441015818
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Politics
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to those reading the series
Star rating: four out of five
xx

Sookie Stackhouse - Dancers In The Dark

SOOKIE STACKHOUSE:
Dancers In The Dark by Charlaine Harris

Obsession can be Murder!


Dancers In The Dark is a short story in the Sookie Stackhouse universe that has been published in the book Night's Edge. A book of short stories about horror and romance from three different authors.

Sookie Stackhouse does not feature in this story.
Instead we are introduced to Rue, she is a student struggling to get by and in her desperation for cash she answers a want add for a job dancing. Rue is a good dancer and is happy to make money doing something she loves, however there is one catch. Rue will have to dance with a vampire. She never thought she would see herself associate with a vampire, but worse still at the end of each dance performance that vampire is going to have to bite her. It's all part of the act, she is told.

When Rue joined the dance company it was Sean she was partnered with. Sean is a very old vampire, and has been dancing for many many years. But Sean hasn't survived all these years without knowing a thing or two about those he associates with. And it doesn't take long for Sean to figure out that Rue is not all that she seems. She is hiding something, or is in hiding? Sean hasn't quite figured it out yet, but he will.

Sean and Rue find they are developing feeling for each other, but are they able to find a way to trust each other when they have both given each other reasons not to? And will Rue be able to escape her past, or her fate with death?

It's a lovely, romantic short story with a tragic ending that will leave you with mixed feelings. Well thought out characters and an interesting plot. As long as you have read the first Sookie Stackhouse novel you will have a basic understanding of the background to this story. However this story also provides background for All Together Dead, the seventh story in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
On sale: 01 October 2004
ISBN: 9780373770106
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Romance
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to those reading the series
Star rating: four out of five
xx

August 11, 2009

Vulture's Gate

Vulture's Gate by Kirsty Murray

Its The End Of The World,
And Its Just The Beginning!


For Callum, a colony boy, Vulture's Gate represents hope. After being stolen from his home in the outback by savage Outstationers and sold on as an attraction in a freak show, forced to perform in a circus for cruel masters, Callum escapes and returns to his outback home only to find his fathers gone, and his home destroyed. The only message left for him, his fathers are waiting for him in Vulture's Gate.

Bo is a girl living alone in the outback. She has been alone for the last six months, hunting, foraging and surviving. When one day she rescues a boy on the outskirts of her lands, she finds her once isolated home now set upon by dangerous Outstationers. With her home destroyed and all her family gone she feels lost, but with this boy she finds a friendship and something worth holding on to.

As Callum and Bo travel together across a harsh and desolate land, they are learning that the world they grew up in, and everything they were taught to believe, is not the world that exists before them. Callum always believed girls were extinct; he had been brought up sheltered from the ugliness that exists in the world. Bo, although taught to read, hunt and put together technology, is naive to the world beyond her lands; ignorant to what it is to be a girl.

But it is at Vulture's Gate that Callum and Bo discover the harsh truth of what has happened to the world. There, their dreams are crushed and their futures are left uncurtain, as each comes face to face with the horrors of what it means to live and survive in Vulture's Gate. But once inside are they able to escape?

Vulture's Gate is a provocative and well written story that raises questions of gender and society. In Callum and Bo the male and female perspectives are given, and in the story each sex blames the existence of the other all the ills that have befallen them and the world around them. Society is ruled by dictators with their drones and test-tube babies. Beyond that are the anarchists, religious extremists and Festers with their gambolling, bombs and human trafficking. But underlying all that is the theme of hope presented in the fairytales told by Bo.
On sale: 01 August 2009
Price (AU): $15.99
ISBN: 9781741757101
Recommended age: 12-18
In a word: Future
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five
xx

August 8, 2009

After

After by Sue Lawson

It's What Happens After That Counts!


In one moment your whole life can change. For Callum, a moment of thoughtlessness has turned his world upside-down.

Before, Callum was popular, cool; a city kid active with friends and in sport, and everyone had known him as Cj. After, no one wanted him around. Callum had been shipped away to the country, dumped on his grandparents whom he had never met before.

Callum was feeling isolated and alone, but most of all he was feeling angry. Angry at his mother for forcing him to leave, angry at his grandparents for not understanding, angry at the bully at his new school for picking on him and the weak kids. But mostly Callum was angry at himself.

Callum had still not dealt with the tragedy that had instigated his move to the country. His mother had hoped that the move would help him to heal; instead Callum retreated further inside himself, pushing away anyone who tried to get close, pushing back the grief and guilt that was building inside him.

Luke 'Benny', a boy in Callum's class who has suffered a brain injury, befriends Callum, much to Callum's dismay. Before, Callum would have treated Luke just as the bullies at his new school do. After, now, Callum finds himself sticking up for Luke. Callum finds that his friendship is able to help Luke heal, what he didn't expect was how much Luke's friendship would help him heal.

After is a poignant and thought provoking novel that steps between the before and after of a life changing event in such a way as to create a dramatic and intriguing story that from the opening pages draws you in, suspended, till its conclusion.

Its relatable characters shape Callum's experiences and feelings, impacting on his relationships with those around him, his own feelings of self worth and his ability to cope with what has happened in his life. It is a story about relevant issues faced by teenagers; friendship, family, feelings of belong and abandonment, anger, low self-esteem, change, grief and loss.
On sale: 03 August 2009
Price (AU): $18.99
ISBN: 9781742031125
Recommended age: 13+
In a word: After
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: yes
Star rating: three out of five
xx

August 6, 2009

Nemesis - Book 1

NEMESIS:
Nemesis and the Fairy of Pure Heart
by Ashley Du Toit

A Treasure Hunt For The Pure Hearted!


Humans have long lived in a world surrounded by magic, though they do not know it. An enchanted magical world surrounds the human mortal world, it is a world divided into twelve distinct realms, and it is home to all immortal and magical beings.

Bella, the Fairy of Pure Heart has wandered into the mortal world, she has made friends with the human Prince Arthur, and she has led him into the immortal world of magic. All of which is forbidden. Nemesis, the dragon who rules all twelve realms of the immortal realm, has stolen the Prince Arthur as punishment for this action.

Bella, Fairy of Pure Heart, is heart broken. Nemesis is strong and powerful and rescuing Prince Arthur from Nemesis will not be easy. But despite her fear, and the difficulty involved, Bella has to try.

An impossible task has been set before Bella. The Great Dragon's Hunt must be undertaken, a treasure hunt for five tokens. These tokens are a representation of the trials and dangers Bella must overcome to prove her worth. Bella must display friendship, trust, assistance, bravery, truth, and of cause a pure heart in order to win back her prince. But will it be enough?

With the help of her friend Teague the butterfly, Bella travels through the twelve realms of the immortal realm to hunt down the tokens need. Along the way meeting, trolls, pixies, witches, werewolves, elfins, water spirits, goblins, leprechauns and nuffins. But her greatest challenge will be in her meeting Nemesis the dragon himself.

It is a fun story of friendship and bravery that will entertain and delight many children. The adventure continues in book two, Nemesis and the Troll King, which will be available from March 2010.
On sale: 01 June 2009
Price (AU): $19.95
ISBN: 9780980611205
Recommended age: 5-11
In a word: Treasure Hunt
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: to children
Star rating: three out of five
xx

August 4, 2009

Sevenwaters Forest - Book 4

SEVENWATERS FOREST:
Heir to Sevenwaters
by Juliet Marillier

Do My Eyes Deceive Me!


Many things are about to change at Sevenwaters. For years now Lord Sean, chieftain of Sevenwaters has held the peace between the tribes to the north and south of his lands. There has been a strong bond of friendship between the family of Sevenwaters and the Fair Folk that dwell within the protected forests of Sevenwaters. But all this peace is about to be undone, and Clodagh, daughter of Lord Sean, is to see her life turned upside down.

When a series of events brings tragedy after tragedy down upon Clodagh's family no one is above suspicion, setting sister against sister, father against daughter, uncle against nephew, and ultimately father against son. As the dust begins to settle all fingers point to a warrior, once welcomed into the home of Sevenwaters now finding himself on the run. But there are other forces at work set to tear Clodagh's family apart.

Is Clodagh losing her wits as her father would have her believe, and the unrest in her home is all the work of the strange and questionable warrior? Or is she the only one at Sevenwaters able to see the truth in what has happened, and that the answer to all their troubles lies with the Fair Folk? Despite their goodwill in the past, Clodagh cannot be dissuaded from her belief of the Fair Folk's involvement, but can not think of what has changed to set them against her family?

All of a sudden Clodagh finds herself a stranger in her own home, someone with whom her family can no longer trust, and like it or not her only ally is the warrior who she neither trusts nor likes. Against her family, but also out of a sense of duty and love to them, Clodagh travels to the Otherworld to seek the truth that her family refuse to see. But what starts out as a quest of duty to her family develops into a fight for life and survival. Her only weapons, her great capacity for compassion, a talisman, some unlikely friends, and a selfless act of love.

A story that draws you in from the first and holds you captive till its very end. Its history, detail and characters are all vividly and beautifully brought to life in this tale of adventure, danger and love. I have spent the past few days wrapped up in this book and I have loved every minute of it. A must read for any lover of fantasy and fiction.

Britain & Ireland - map
On sale: 01 August 2009
Price (AU): $24.99
ISBN: 9780330425131
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Quest
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five
xx