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Monster School

I received this book from the publishers.


By: DC Green

City of Monsters bk 1

Thomas Regus is an endangered species, he is a human in a city of monsters. If he isn’t very careful he will end up as food for any one of various predatory species. The problem is he is feeling trapped. He is net in line for the human throne but he feels he knows nothing about the world in which he lives. So Thomas puts together an outrageous plan to get him out of the castle and learn more all at the same time. He enrols in Monster School, where he meets vampires, zombies, goblins, mummies and giant spiders. It turns out though that he finds out more than he bargained for and sets out on a quest to save what is left of his kingdom.

An adventure story filled with fantastical creatures, backstabbing and loads of greed. Thomas is a character filled with heart and courage, he doesn’t back away from something that may be dangerous if he knows it has to be done. The wacky group of outsiders he teams up with make for interesting companions, some who fight their nature to travel with a human, (monsters are of course bought up to think of humans as food). This is a dark world, as you would expect from one filled with creatures from nightmares but it is tempered with plenty of humour. If you have or know a middle grade readers who love monsters then give this series a try.

Publisher: Ford Street Publishing

Published: 01 October 2013

Format: Paperback

Categories: Horror, Monsters

ISBN 13: 9781925000078

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Vampire Academy – Movie Trailer

So this is happening early next year and I know there are plenty of fans of the books.

So here is the teaser trailer:

And the full trailer can be found here.


The Great Blood Bank Robbery

I received my copy from the publisher

9781922179302By: Andrew Cranna

Under the Earth’s crust live the monsters. In a place called Skull River City something terrible has happened – the city’s entire supply of blood has been stolen from the blood bank. This could mean the end of everything unless it can be tracked down and returned. For Rocky and Vince it’s a little more immediate as their friend has an illness where she needs to have blood every couple of hours, without it she will die. The clock is ticking and  Rocky and Vince decided to investigate. This takes them into the most dangerous place they know – Mosquito Mountain and they will go up against the fearsome Mosquito King. There is more at stake than either of them realise.

This is a fun graphic novel especially for those who like the gorier things of life, like brain burgers and blood shakes. Rocky is a werewolf whose dad is head of security at the blood bank, Vince is a vampire whose scientist dad is missing. The story is tight, the illustrations fun, all in black and white and I can’t decide if the story would be better if it was in colour. There is just enough gore for those who like that stuff and the story is fun and entertaining with a few surprises along the way. At it’s heart is adventure and friendship.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 October 2013

Format: Paperback 96 pages

Categories: Graphic Novels

ISBN 13: 9781922179302

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

Casting News Vampire Academy

So it’s not really a surprise that this has been picked up and is in pre-production, (though not because I think it’s good, to be honest I haven’t read the books).

This film is going to be called Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. Here is the cast list as it stands according to IMDb.

Rose Hathaway will be played by Zoey Deutch

Zoey Deutch

Lissa Dragomir will be played by Lucy Fry


Dimitri Belikov will be played by Danila Kozlovsky


Blood Storm

By: Rhiannon Hart

Blood Song Book 2

Princess Zeraphina, is still in Pergamia at her sister’s court. She and Rodden may have defeated the Lharmellin leader but that is by no means the end of it. Her mother knows what she is but is insisting she come home to her land and make a good marriage, something she is not interested in. Instead Zeraphina prefers to travel across the sea in search of the special elements that will make it possible for her and Rodden to finally destroy the Lharmellins.

Things aren’t quite as expected when they discover the Lharmellin’s are far more active than they thought possible, it seems as though there is a new leader changing the way things are done. Rodden’s secrets become something he has to deal with and Zeraphina doesn’t think he should do that alone.

This is a variation of a vampire story. The feisty heroine has some wonderfully strong moments but unfortunately she still ends up needing to be rescued, which was a little disappointing. There were a few things that happened that seemed somewhat cliched and part of me wanted things to be different. Rodden is a brooding hero with a dark past, and his secret is pretty dark.

The world these two have been placed in is broad but much is not developed. There were some really interesting things touched on that I would have loved to have seen more developed. At it’s core it is a blood soaked romance, if you love vampire YA romance, you will probably enjoy this.

Publisher: Random House Australia

Published: 01 August 2012

Format: Paperback 384 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Vampires

ISBN 13: 9781742754789

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

Team Human – Justine Larbalestier Q&A

Friends don’t let friends date vampires.

It’s not out yet but boy it’s a fun read, here is a q&a with one of the authors.


Birth of A Killer

By: Darren Shan

Larten Crepsley Saga bk 1

Larten Crepsley is one child of many forced to work in the silk factory to earn a small amount of money but at least he gets to work with Var. That is until their foreman kills Var as a warning to the other kids. This devastating turn of events and its immediate consequences, causes Larten to flee his home. On the run he meets Seba Nile, who tells him of vampires and offers Larten the opportunity to become his assistant. If Larten agrees it means turning his back on humanity forever, but what does he have to lose when it feels as though humanity has already turned its back on him?

This is a prequel to the popular Cirque Du Freak books. The world Shan has created is dark. As Larten struggles to embrace his choices you are compelled to continue on the journey with him down this dark path. The story covers a lot of years for such a slim volume but this ensures the key points are what is touched on and that the pace remains brisk so you don’t lose interest. The different sections have their own intriguing plots points. I found Larten’s introduction to the Cirque Du Freaks darkly fascinating.

I picked this book up with the understanding that I should at least try a Darren Shan novel so I knew what I was talking about and found myself swept into a tale I rather surprisingly enjoyed. I can certainly see the appeal in Shan’s storytelling. Worth a look if you want something that will skirt you along the darker places. It’s language and style puts this in the upper end of middle grade fiction, horror in basic genre but so far as I have read not too graphic to make it inappropriate.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Published: 01 April 2011

Format: Paperback 256 pages

Categories: Horror, Vampire

ISBN 13: 9780732291105

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Clockwork Prince

I received a copy of this book from the publisher

By: Cassandra Clare

Infernal Devices series bk 2

Tessa Grey knows she has some place in the magical underworld of Victorian London but she’s just not sure what it is. Things at the Institute are tense. Mortmain is still out there and Benedict Lightwood is trying to gain control of the Institute and have Charlotte ousted. Tessa is staying at the Institute, for safety, it seems she is a key to Mortmain’s plans but no-one can say to what end. While there she begins to train and learn more of the ways of the Nephilim as well as help research into where Mortmain could be. In the process Tessa finds herself drawn more and more to Jem, even though she can’t sever her attraction to Will. Then another betrayal hits close to home, Tessa’s skills prove crucial as secrets are discovered and deals are made.

There are two story lines in this book, Will’s curse and the need to find Mortmain and uncover his plans. The pace is a nice mix of action and layers of plotting. Tessa’s character appeal lies as much in what she doesn’t know and what she choses to do to help those around her despite not knowing, as it does in her determination to discover who she is. She has a pure kind of heart and this could come across as weak but it doesn’t.

Will’s bad boy attitude, though explained is a bit annoying, however I do like the supporting cast, with all their foibles they make for a mixed up but balanced group of people.

The story itself is entertaining. with enough twists and turns to make it difficult to put down. Clare has created a world that is easy to sink into for a time, the descriptions are gritty and add almost another character. For me I find the love triangle a little irritating because so many stories have them but that is a small quibble, if you like Jace and Clary I’m sure you’ll love Jem, Will and Tessa.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 01 December 2011

Format: Paperback 432 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Paranormal

ISBN 13: 9781406330373 or 9781406330359

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

First Kill

I received a copy of this book from the publisher

By: Heather Brewer

Book 1 of The Slayer Chronicles

Joss McMillan thinks he has a pretty perfect life, great parents and a wonderful kid sister. It all comes to pieces the night young Joss witnesses his sister’s murder at the hands of a vampire. His helplessness overwhelms him and his parents are never the same. Then he finds out about his family’s secret heritage. In every generation one of the family is gifted with the traits of a Slayer. They are tested and if they pass they are indoctrinated into the Slayer Society, a group whose mission is to rid the world of vampires.

Earlier than most Joss is bought into his training, his driving force is to get revenge for his sister’s death, something that still haunts his dreams. Training is brutal but Joss is determined. Even when it becomes clear that there is a traitor amongst them and uncovering their identity will shake Joss’s newly discovered foundation to it’s core. If he survives that long that is.

With a plethora of vampire books out there it is important to note that this is more about the darkness of vampires than the goodness of them. As the series title suggests it is about hunting rather than befriending and in this way it will appeal to those who like more of a traditional vampire story than the more paranormal romance type of story.

Joss isn’t your typical hero slayer and his training is far more brutal than Buffy’s ever was. He finds strength within himself though and that draws you in. The things that occur around him; the society politics and his desire to fit in, give the story layers and that makes it more interesting.

I am not sure how it will play out, if my interest will be held by the series but I rather enjoyed this book and look forward to the next. My vampire tastes do tend toward the darker aspect, so if you are looking for a modern story with a more traditional take on vampires then give this book a look.

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Published: 28 November 2011

Format: Paperback 240 pages

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Family, Revenge

ISBN 13: 9780143567257

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean

By: Justin Somper

It is 2512 and twins Connor and Grace Tempest are burying their father. Alone, having been told their father has left them nothing and with no appealing options (go and live with the banker and his wife or go to the orphanage) the twins take matters into their own hands. Taking their father’s repossessed boat they set sail – right into a vicious storm. The boat is destroyed and the twins are left fighting for survival in the harsh, cold ocean.

Connor is rescued by a pirate and soon finds himself doing what he can to survive on board a pirate vessel, though he never forgets his sister and is sure he saw a very odd ship when they were wrecked. Grace comes too in far weirder circumstances, locked away and told she will be fine as long as she follows the captain’s rules. As things get weirder she can’t help but remember the old sea shanty her father used to sing.

I’ll tell you a tale of Vampirates

A tale as old as true.

Yea, I’ll sing you a song of an ancient ship,

And it’s mighty fearsome crew.

Yea, I’ll sing you a song of an ancient ship,

That sails the oceans blue…

That haunts the oceans blue.

This is a futuristic pirate adventure with the twist of vampires. The twins are very interesting and very different characters and they serve well to keep the two streams of the story moving along. This is mystery, action, adventure and betrayal all things that make for a good story. I really liked the idea but somehow the execution didn’t quite do it for me. It was a fairly engaging read and it’s difficult to say what I didn’t like. I think perhaps it was that the two story lines read like totally different stories. Even the connection between the twins, which is what tied them together didn’t seem to mesh that well. Maybe later books in the series will tie it together for me.

This book fits into that weird place that is the more advanced end of 8-12 and the lower end of YA.

Published: 01 April 2007

Format: Paperback 330 pages

Categories: Adventure Horror & Ghost Family Siblings

ISBN 13: 9780316014441

Purchase: here

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