Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Dreamless - Book Review

Dreamless – Book Review
Josephine Angelini
Starcrossed book #2
YA Mythological
Can true love be forgotten?

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out--a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.
So I’ll say upfront, I thought Dreamless was a fantastic read and totally on par with its predecessor, Starcrossed. Yet like most of the people on the blogsphere, I had heard about the dreaded love triangle and while I was initially worried that Dreamless would turn into another stereotypical kind of read, I’m pleased to report that it didn’t and I enjoyed every minute of it.
This book sees Helen making nightly trips down into the underworld in search of the furies. Determined to end the blood debt between the houses, she endures every nightmare imaginable but even with her health failing, she refuses to give up the quest, even if it will cost her life.
Yet when she stumbles upon Orion (a gorgeous and powerful scion from the house of Rome), Helen finally begins to believe she may succeed after all. With Orion there to protect her, Helen learns how to navigate the unpredictable landscape of the underworld and together, they begin to unlock its secrets. But as the two of them grow closer, the danger to everyone around them grows greater, and Helen risks losing the people she cares about most...
I must admit, I thought that this book got off to a slow beginning however by the time I reached halfway, I was completely hooked. Here the story really picked up the pace and with the plot full of twists and turns, Dreamless became an impossible book to put down.
Helen I thought really developed as a character. Now in full control of her powers she can be pretty kick-ass. However she is also very selfless, determined to break the furies curse, even when each night she loses more and more of her health and sanity to the underworld.  Also despite her attraction to Orion, she is still completely in love with Lucas and her inner turmoil as she struggles to stay away from him is heartbreaking.  
Lucas on the other hand, is much darker in this book. Consumed by anger and frustration, he tries his best to help Helen from afar, even at the cost of alienating himself off from the rest of his family. This gave his character much more depth and took off some of his ‘nice-guy-shine’ which if possible, only made me love him more.
As for Orion, when he first appeared I was sceptical of whether or not I could like him - but to my surprise, he turned out to be a really fabulous character.  Charming and witty, he is a generally nice guy and brings out a more confident and self-sufficient side to Helen. However while I am still definitely team Lucas, Orion is impossible to hate and I can’t wait to see how things between the trio progress.
So overall, I really enjoyed Dreamless. If you haven’t read the series, I whole heartedly recommend you find yourself a copy of Starcrossed and give it a try – especially anyone who is a fan of YA romance or Greek Mythology.  4 stars!
As for me – I can’t wait to find out how the series concludes in Goddess, the final instalment of the trilogy which will be out in 2013! You can also check out my review of Starcrossed, the first book of the saga HERE.

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Thursday, 25 October 2012

By Royal Command - Book Review

By Royal Command – Book Review
Mary Hooper
YA Historical
(Book 2 ‘At The House of the Magician Trilogy’)

Lucy has become a firm fixture in the household of Dr Dee, Court magician and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. In return for saving the queen’s life, Lucy has been told that she is to work as a spy for Her Grace and is to remain where she is and await further instruction… And then Lucy hears ghostly cries in the house. Convinced that the doctor and his shady companion, Mr Kelly, are planning some new deception, Lucy sets out to uncover the magician’s dark secrets.

I really enjoy Mary Hooper’s writing. She has such a subtle way of weaving historical facts into the storyline, immersing the reader so completely into the time period that I can’t help but fall in love with her books. With this story set within the household of John Dee, Elizabeth the first’s famed court magician, ‘By Royal Command’ is a sweet read full of magical deceptions, court gossip and dark intrigue.
In this second instalment of the trilogy, we see Lucy settling into her new life as nurse maid to Dr Dee’s daughters. But as she is starting to learn, nothing stays normal for long within the house of John Dee.  With ghostly cries coming from under the floorboards and plots to overthrow the queen lurking around every corner, Lucy must put her spying skills to the test and accept her own unique powers if she is to be of help to England’s queen...
The descriptions in this story are so beautiful, the frost fair on the Thames, the courtly dresses and festivities, all of them written with such detail that I could easily imagine myself there at that place and time.
However while I thought the plot was a little slow paced and slightly anti-climatic, the characters were all very intriguing. Every one of them having their own motives and secrets – especially the queen’s fool Tomas. I think this book brought him and Lucy a little bit closer but he is still quite an elusive character. I’m really looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops in the next and final book of the trilogy.
So overall, I thought By Royal Command read as a sweet, filler-sort of novel – although it could quite easily be read as a stand alone – that truly brings the time period to life. I can easily recommend it to all fans of YA historical fiction.  3 stars!

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Monday, 8 October 2012

Happily Ever After Giveaway Hop - International

Hi guys. So as any of you who follow my blog know, I'm a huge fan of fairytales and fairytale retellings - therefore it seemed only natural that I took part in this blog hop :)
As always the rules are simple, you don't have to be a follower to enter but if you do like the look of my blog and decide to follow, I promise it is very much appreciated it!
All you have to do is fill in the rafflecopter below.
Open to anywhere the book depository ships to and the winner may big 1 book up the value of £10 and will have 48hours to respond to my email - otherwise a new winner will be chosen.
Also please check out all the other amazing blogs taking part in the hop!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Touch Of Power - Book Review

Touch Of Power – Book Review
Maria. V. Snyder
YA Fantasy

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs 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 Fifteen Realms, 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 and 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...


Ever since I read and fell in love with her Poison Study series, Maria V Snyder has remained a favourite author of mine. Just like the rest of her books, A touch of power was a brilliant, intriguing and intensely magical read that is the start of what promises to be yet another fantastical series.

The story follows Avry, a twenty year old girl who has spent the last three years living life on the run. Ever since the great plague spread through the land, those blessed with the gift of healing have been blamed and persecuted for the unstoppable disease. Now as the world’s last healer, Avry’s only goal is survival.

But when she is rescued from the guillotine by a band of rouges, she trades one death sentence for another when she is tasked with curing a Prince from the last ravages of the plague – A feat Avry knows that even with her magical powers, she will not survive. However with the nobility fighting for power, the fate of the fifteen realms remains uncertain and Avry must make a choice. Travel to the other side of the world, to save the man who brought about the demise of her people? Or live the rest of her life hunted for what she is? But with war looming, Avry must quickly learn just who, and what is worth dying for…

This book really is fantastic. A high fantasy novel, it blends together elements of drama, intrigue, magic and self-sacrifice. With vivid descriptions and unique characters, A touch of Power takes the reader on an epic adventure making it a truly riveting read that had me transfixed up until they very end.  

Avry is a great protagonist. Brave and kind hearted, she is also smart with a sharp and sarcastic wit. I loved the way she baits and undermines Kerrick. With his depth and dark edge, he hides been a cold mask of uncaring but I really enjoyed watching their feelings for each other develop. For me Maria V Snyder remains the queen of slow-burn romances and watching her characters fall reluctantly in love was simply delicious.

However the other characters were also unique individuals – each one bringing a new element or twist to the story. Flea and Belen were particular favourites of mine and I loved the close-family feeling the group formed on their journey.

The plot is gripping and holds some intriguing concepts and ideas such as the death and peace lilies, and I’m also curious as to the source of the Plague. I really can’t wait for the next book! What with the adventure of this story fully concluded, it left just enough questions unanswered and hinted at plenty of drama to come to keep me wanting more.

Never once did this book drag for me and I happily devoured it all in one night. Utterly fantastical, A Touch of Power is easily a 5 star read!

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