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Archive for November, 2012

The Skeleton Key

I received this as an ARC from the publisher.By : Tara Moss

A Pandora English book.

Friday the 13th is coming, a day for all things supernatural. Even though she knows there will be a time for the dead will rise she has other things on her mind – a date with Lieutenant Luke, Pandora believes they can have a night together where Luke is once again a flesh and blood man. It doesn’t go to plan and Luke mysteriously disappears. Pandora must figure out how to unlock the secrets of the mansion. That means delving into the past to figure out what the builder of the mansion, Dr Edmund Barrett was up to when he died and exactly what happened to him. There is a powerful force in the house, something terrible is happening and if Pandora is going to defeat it she will have to face it head on and use all those powers that are hers to command as the Seventh.

This is the third instalment of the Pandora English series. Pandora still comes across as very shallow and insipid as she stumbles through her days as fashion assistant and nights dealing with the supernatural (though much of that is her running away). This plot line is more interesting that the previous one, the threat is much bigger and somewhat more interesting.

Great Aunt Celia is becoming more and more interesting and part of me would like to know more about her. Deus also plays a bigger part and the dynamics of how he fits in are interesting. I think if you like fashion and the supernatural, you may like this book, this series, there are plenty of fashion descriptions for the fashionistas out there.

When the first book came out it was one whose place on the shelf was uncertain as it was considered a crossover title (YA or adult). Something about it’s style means it fits better in the YA category for me, though with Pandora being 19 it could be argued that the book may fit better in adult. I will leave that to your discretion. One for those interested in clothes and the like.

Publisher: Macmillan Australia

Published: 01 December 2012

Format: Paperback 304 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Supernatural, Fashion

ISBN 13: 9781742611631

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

The Spider Goddess

by: Tara Moss

A Pandora English novel

Pandora English is slowly adapting to life in Manhattan. Her life though is different to most. She has two very different parts to live – that of fledgling employee at Pandora Fashion magazine and being the Seventh, whatever that means. her great Aunt Celia and ghostly Lieutenant Luke try to help her but there are just some things she has to do on her own. Not for the first time her two worlds collide, when fashion designers mysteriously disappear. is this in some way tied to the spider Pandora caught at a fashion shoot, or to the new designer no-one has really seen?

This is the second of the Pandora English books and wasn’t as frustrating a read as the first one proved to be. To me Pandora seems a bit weak, no where near as strong or determined as I’d expect of someone who has recently discovered they have supernatural gifts. In some ways it seems as though Pandora falls from event to event with no real control. So much of the story seems thinly constructed, a lot of surface but no real depth of characters. I will say this though, if you have an interest in fashion and the paranormal this is probably right up your alley, so give it a shot.

Publisher: Macmillan Australia

Published: 01 December 2011

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781742610030

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Divide and Conquer

By: Carrie Ryan

Infinity Ring series bk 2

Dak, Sera and Riq find themselves in medieval Paris as thousands of Vikings are preparing to attack. The Parisians are fighting back but won’t be able to hold out forever. The three time travellers need to figure out what they are supposed to change, they think it is one thing, but what happens if they are wrong? Things only become more complicated when Dak disappears and ends up fighting on the side of the Vikings. If he is going to survive then he is going to have to find an ally amongst the enemy Vikings.

The second book in the series is a fun read. Dak, Sera and Riq think they have a better grasp of what is going on. Dak thinks he knows what needs to happen but he hasn’t taken into account that his knowledge of history comes from what has happened. He needs to learn to see things from a wider perspective and his story arc in this book gives him that opportunity. Sera has her own moments of self-discovery – the chance for her to grow a little. She also gets to spend some time with Riq. Finally they begin to work more like a team.

The historical aspects of the story are fascinating. Some events they have chosen are clearly more well known than others but it makes for a no less interesting story (in fact that may even make it more interesting). The action is fast. The decryption gritty and engaging. Each of the main characters is slowly revealing more of themselves.

This is a fun read and I can’t wait to see where they take this series.

Publisher: Scholastic US

Published: 06 November 2012

Format: Hardback 192 pages

Categories: Adventure, History

ISBN 13: 9780545386975

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

John Green & Hank Green – Just Because

Some days you just need to find something that causes you to think, or just makes you laugh. At various times this man has made me do both, sometimes at the same time.

If you have not checked out the VLog Brothers do so. Here is a snippet:

(Just so this post has something booky in it): I’ll actually put it out here and say Fault In Our Stars is most probably going to make my top picks of the year too

Reached – Book Trailer

Here is the book trailer for the new Ally Condie book, Reached, the final book in the Matched Trilogy.

The ZigZag Effect – Cover Reveal

April 2013 sees the release of Lili Wilkinson’s next book, The ZigZag Effect.

Lili’s books are fun and engaging and I am looking forward to this next one.

A Mutiny in Time

By: James Dashner

Infinity Ring series bk 1

Dak Smyth is a history buff and his best friend Sera Froste is a science nerd. One day they sneak into Dak’s parent’s lab and find the key to time travel, a device called the Infinity Ring. The first activation of this device triggers events they couldn’t possibly have predicted. Dak’s parents are lost in time. Dak and Sera find themselves caught up in a war for the fate of humankind. The two are recruited, a little reluctantly, by a group called the Hystorians, from whom they learn that history has gone off its course. This deviation is disastrous, not just politically but they also believe it is tied into the the increase in natural disasters.

It is up to Dak, Sera and young Hystorian Riq to fix these breaks. They need to track them down and then figure out how things went wrong. This sounds like a grand adventure but things soon become very real and very dangerous.

This is an intriguing plot idea, not one that hasn’t been seen before but this deals with it in an interesting way. The world Dak and Sera inhabit is different from ours, for example Columbus didn’t discover America. This is a fun concept, maybe more so for those with a bit of historical knowledge.

Dak is a history buff, he has a bad habit of spouting random information at the most inopportune times. His parents are scientists who are working in secret, keeping things even secret from him. Sera is a genius, it is she who figures out how to make the Ring work. She is the girl of calculations and science. They aren’t alike but accept each other and have a friendship made stronger by similar experiences.

Dak is impulsive that is his weakness, he is eager to experience the things he has only read about. Sera is more cautious but that can put any chance of them fixing the breaks at risk by not being willing to act. Riq is their reluctant companion and has a good head-butting relationship with Dak. Riq is able to marry the two extremes of his two young companions.

I enjoyed this. I liked spotting the differences to our reality. You might expect the results of these breaks to jar but they don’t, you just accept the fact that this world is like an alternative reality of our own. I look forward to the rest of the series.

Publisher: Scholastic US

Published: 01 September 2012

Format: Hardback 190 pages

Categories: Adventure, Historical

ISBN 13: 9780545386968

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page


So I finally got around to watching Hugo, the screen adaptation of Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

There were a lot of mixed reviews about this, from people I know that is, I don’t tend to pay much attention to professional reviews, there has been many a ‘brilliant’ film that I’ve watched then sat afterwards shaking my head at. Moving on though.


I really quite liked it. I thought the young actors were great, visually it was stunning and it is really hard to go past a film that has a supporting cast of Ben Kingley and Christopher Lee.

Was it a perfect film? No, to be honest I was somewhat annoyed by the Station Inspector (I’m not a huge Sascha Baron Cohen fan at the best of times). I found him annoying and in fact a few of his scenes we fast forwarded through. The little side stories were mostly cute but there was a part of me that really was frustrated by them and felt they drew away from the main story. I guess I can understand why they made the Station Inspector a bigger role than it was in the book but he bugged me, I didn’t need the extra scenes to feel the tension at the end.

The core story though was great and it was told well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course it helps that the source material was so rich and so very visual.

It is a magical story, a homage to film and a great journey.

Shine Light

I got my copy from the publisher as an ARC.By: Marianne de Pierres

Night Creatures Trilogy Bk 3

Ixion, the land of ever-night, the place of youth and parties. Ixion, feeding zone for Ripers and Night Creatures and a war zone for the rebels led by Dark Eve and Clash.

Naif has to go back. She doesn’t want to, there are so many bad memories. She knows so much more now, she knows the risks. She has to go back for her friends and her brother. There are still secrets on Ixion that she needs to uncover – including finding out if there is a way to cure the effects of the badges worn by everyone and that are slowly killing them.

All of which is complicated by her bond to Lenoir – her greatest love and a mortal enemy – A Riper.

This is the final book in the Night Creatures trilogy.

Naif has come a long way from the quiet, scared, timid Seal from the beginning. She has grown in strength in leaps and bounds. She is becoming a leader, different to her brother and Dark Eve but a leader non the less. She sees beyond, to the big picture and knows changes need to be made, more than Dark Eve and Clash think and more than Lenoir thinks. The story is layered, engaging and has some surprising moments which are always a treat. Naif is a character who grows on you even as she grows. So many females are strong in this and I shouldn’t have to mention that but I still feel compelled to and I guess that is a little sad, but I’m going to mention it because they are and that still makes them a bit of an anomaly.

The cast is colourful and varied with their own strengths and weaknesses, but really this is Naif’s story and the others complement it so well. De Pierres has woven a darkly intriguing story that has gone from strength to strength. This is a fitting conclusion to this trilogy. I loved it and wanted to go with Naif all the way.

Highly Recommended.

Publisher: Random House Australia

Published: 01 November 2012

Format: Paperback 240 pages

Categories: Dark Fantasy,

ISBN 13: 9781742753232

Purchase: use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Shine Light Blog Tour

Welcome to the Shine Light blog tour. At each stop we’ll be revealing something new about the characters in Shine Light. What makes them tick? Do they have any secrets? Read on to find out . . .


Blog stop 8

Joel/Clash is the catalyst for Retra/Naif’s journey. At the beginning of the series she worships him without question or criticism. He’s all the things she’s frightened to be; extraverted, bold and uncompromising. He’s also her only friend in the world.

However, it’s not until Naif finally reconnects with him on Grave that she begins to get to know her brother as a real person – not a construct of her rose-coloured memory. Though not always liking what she sees, Naif cannot help but continue to admire him. Like Suki, he is a warrior who is personally motivated by a deep-rooted belief in individual freedom.

The only insight we get into Joel/Clash’s personality, other than Naif’s point of view, is through his relationships with Dark Eve and Charlonge. There is also no doubt he is revered by the Young Ones on Ixion as being handsome and brave, and in the time he’s spent on the island he’s developed into a strong, decisive fighter. But Charlonge thinks Dark Eve has corrupted his more reasonable side. She is right!

Joel/Clash loves Charlonge but his admiration for Dark Eve is profound. He’s never met anyone as committed to the idea of personal freedom as Eve is and it’s a bond that ties them together.  Though he doesn’t love her in the way he loves Charlonge, she is a powerful influence upon him. At this stage in his life Joel/Clash gives priority to his principles and beliefs above his personal relationships. He is not ready for Charlonge emotionally; he is too caught up in the fight.

He does learn though, that his little sister is more than merely a sibling to be protected. It’s the first step in his journey of self-discovery. And the struggle for his affections between Eve and Charlonge continues on for a long while after the SHINE LIGHT is finished.

Break each code at the end of every blog post on the tour and your name will go in the draw to win a**super mystery prize** basket. Email your answers to marianne@mariannedepierres.com.



Ready for your next fix? Meet Dark Eve at http://paranormal-angel.blogspot.com.au/

Did you miss the feature on Liam? See http://treasuredtalesforyoungadults.wordpress.com/

For the full tour listing see http://www.burnbright.com.au/

And now… Your extract.

Shine Light

By Marianne de Pierres

Stop 8 of 13

‘Yes. I searched in all the churches when I arrived but they had only stories like the ones I’d read at home. I thought, perhaps, that I’d come to Ixion for no reason. Then one day Brand came to Vank and locked herself in the gallery. She visited several more times, many days apart, always locking the door. When she left the first time, I scoured every nook of the gallery until I found them. Someone, perhaps one of the monks, had hidden Ixion’s history in the walls.’

‘Maybe they thought to preserve it?’

She looked thoughtful. ‘I expect when the Ripers came they had to flee. Perhaps they couldn’t take their books with them.’

‘I could get them for you. But I have no badge,’ said Jarrold. ‘What if they want to see it?’

Ruzalia stood. ‘They’re not watching the churches as much. The split between Lenoir and Brand means they’re disorganised. If you’re careful, you’ll be able to avoid them.’

‘Liam and I will fi nd Clash and Eve,’ said Naif, ‘to see if they know about the uther queen. You can bring the books to us there.’

‘They will be heavy. I doubt we can carry them far alone.’

‘The Grotto is close to Vank. Let’s meet there. We’ll bring help.’

Ruzalia spoke next. ‘And I will travel to Port of Patience to visit my merchant. We have much to talk about, he and I. When I return we must act, one way or another.’

The coldness in her voice made Naif flinch. She did not envy the merchant. The trip to Port of Patience would take a full day and night, which meant Ruzalia would be gone for two days at least. Naif hoped that would be enough time to fi nd out what they needed.

The pirate added, ‘I’ll set you down on the Lesser Paths near Vank. There is less chance the Ripers will see the ship there.’

Naif, Markes and Charlonge nodded. They all knew the area she meant.

‘Are you ready?’ asked the pirate.

Silent nods were the reply.

What happens next? Visit  http://paranormal-angel.blogspot.com.au/  to find out!

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