Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Missing Me (Girl Missing #3) - Sophie McKenzie

Missing Me (Girl, Missing, #3)Description
Six years have passed since the end of Sister, Missing and Madison is now a teenager. During a visit to her older sister Lauren, Madison learns that their biological father was an anonymous sperm donor and sets out to track him down. Her search bears fruit sooner than she expects, but is the father she discovers all he seems? As Madison gets drawn into a mysterious investigation involving missing girls and secret hideaways, she finds herself in more and more danger.

My Opinion
I was excited when I heard Sophie McKenzie was releasing another book in this series as I really enjoyed the Girl Missing and Sister Missing. However when I heard that it was written from Maddison's POV I had slight doubts about the narrative and where she would take the charcters.

I finished this book within a few hours and I really read it just because of my feelings towards the first 2 books. This book sadly disappointed me though and in my opinion failed to meet the standard of book 1 and 2. The book seemed to follow a similar story line and structure (Kidnapping, death, doubt about people and resolve). It felt like there was a lack of ideas and the series should have come to an end after Sister Missing. This was also evident from the POV. To me it seemed like there was no more stories left to tell from Lauren's POV so to bring out a new book McKenzie had to change to Maddison. I didn't feel this worked as we had already established a connection with Lauren and even though she is in this I didn't like how she was portrayed.

The book was basically about Maddison finding herslef and becoming more confident but it didn't have much of a connection with the other books in the series as it had moved on like 6yrs. I found myself skipping pages and missing out chunks as I felt distant.

The book did have some positives though. It was full of action and was faced paced. It did keep you hooked but that was more because I was hoping it would get better and live up to the other books rather than the narrative.

Overall this book was a big disappointment for me. It felt like it was more of a money idea than actually needing to carry the series on. Even though it is well written and faced past it does not live up to Girl Missing and Sister Missing and the change in POV annoyed me. I love Sophie McKenzie's work but for me this book didn't do anything other than bring my opinions of the series down. I doubt I will re-read this book again and read another in this series (if there is one I know the description says it's the last) as it is becoming predictable.

Rating: 2.5-3

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Finale (Hush Hush #4) - Becca Fitzpatrick

Will love conquer all?

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

My Opinion
OK so I know I am a bit late in getting to this book and believe me, I wanted to buy it earlier but there were 2 reasons I put it off.
1) I didn't want this amazing series to end 
2) It was my birthday a few days ago so I decided to wait until then (free books :))

I first found out about this series by receiving a free sample in a magazine. I took a chance at reading it, which is unusual for me, but I am so glad I did. I had to buy Hush Hush before I had even finished the sample and the series has kept me hooked ever since. I couldn't wait for Finale to be released. 

However I was nervous about starting this book due to the fact that it was the last in the series. In the past few years I have read quite a few final books and not been satisfied with how they ended, (The Hunger Games and Rapture 'Fallen series' to name a few). These books didn't have any finality to about them and lacked a solid resolve. For me they seemed rushed so it worried me as to how Becca Fitzpatrick would end her brilliant series and do the books justice in the final pages. It is needless to say, I shouldn't have worried. Finale resolved everything (if in a sad way at times) and left nothing to be questioned. Fitzpatrick's writing keeps you entertained and hooked from page one and within minutes I was lost in the world she has created. 

The story picks up straight from  where Silence left off and even though it has been a while since I have read that book, I found it was easy to remember and understand what was going on. The book is packed full of action right up until the end and even though parts of it are predictable there were other twists I wouldn't have seen coming a mile off. 

Besides the action the part I loved most about this book was the speech. Fitzpatrick uses loads of conversations (mentally and physically) to move the story on quickly and fluidly. For me the main thing I read in a book is the speech, and if it isn't right I will struggle but Fitzpatrick didn't disappoint. The writing flowed easily and the conversations were written in a believable and natural way. As well as this the description added along side it immersed me in the world and enthralled you into reading on.

Over all this is one of the best books I have read this year. The writing is fast paced, full of action/romance and will keep you turning pages until the early hours of the morning. As the final book in the series it sums up everything well, leaving the reader content and satisfied with how the events turn out. Although it is sad such an amazing and brilliant series has come to an end the way it is written makes it feel right.

I would highly recommend the whole series to any romance/paranormal lover. Every book in this series is a must read and if you don't you will be missing out on something great! I look forward to reading more work in the future from Becca Fitzpatrick.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Guest Post by Author Ross M Kitson

Today I have another guest post from author Ross M Kitson. He has written a post called The Literary X-Factor which is an interesting read! Ross has recently released a new book called The Infinity Bridge and I will be reviewing this at a later stage so keep an eye out for that in the future.

So everyone give a warm welcome to Ross!

The Literary X-Factor

It’s a testament to the mind-numbing appeal of TV’s The X-factor that once more I have succumbed to its sinister charm. It begins subtly—the auditions are on in the background whilst my wife watches it and I tap away on the lap-top, or read my kindle. Then I start glancing at it—either for a terrible mockery of an audition, or a stunning surprise of a debut. Then it worms through my brain, week by week, until
I’m swearing at the TV like a mad cat-lady when my fave gets booted out.

It did occur to me, as I sat watching at the weekend, what it would be like to have a literary x-factor. To start with a collection of all the varied quality of books on, say, Amazon, and weedle them down. Perhaps a collection of middle-aged pop-stars, music gurus and down-with-the-kids urban divas could judge it, complete with ‘woot’-ing from the auditorium. And who would be in our finals for the live
shows? What is an x-factor for books?

It’s not as daft a question as it seems. There’s thousands of well constructed, enjoyable to read books out there, but there are very few that are true page turners. And that to me is the real x-factor in books—a novel which draws you in and won’t let go. You itch to get back to it, think about it when you’re away from it.

And it can be a communal thing, or it can be an individual thing. For me there have been several x-factor books in the last few years that I’ve read. I’m certain few will be on your own list—but its fun to compare and contrast. So here are my top four of recent years:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. The bitter sweet story of autistic Christopher and his investigation of finding a dead neighbours dog was one of the best books I’ve ever read. The alternation of insights into Christopher’s obsessive and skewed world, with the ongoing tragedy that unfolds, had me addicted to this book over the week it took me to read it. Even now it’s the one I recommend to people wanting a read that challenges them without being unreadable.

Northern Lights (Golden Compass in the US) by Philip Pullman. My brother had read this years before me and kept recommending it. When I buckled and started the trilogy I was drawn immediately into Pullman’s re-telling of Paradise Lost. Great imagination and fantastic characters in the first book, and I read it compulsively over a short period. The second and third books were good, but never really recreated the
sparkle of book one for me.

Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. After a hiatus from fantasy of almost a decade I decided to get back into the genre. A poke around t’internet brought up Martin, Hobb, Scott Lynch and Erikson as great places to start again. Each had there own strengths and merits, but it was Game of Thrones as a book that caught my attention. The series has lost some of its momentum now, but the first (and possibly second) book remain one of the classics of modern fantasy. The darkness and gritty realism never wear thin in this first book, and I’d quite honestly not read anything in fantasy quite like it. I found myself pondering the plot, the sub-plots and the shades of grey characters whilst I was at work and then rushing the kids to bed to get going on it again. And the unexpected head lopping of a main character—left me stunned when I
first read it.

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. OK, so this is a cheat as I first read it when I was sixteen in the late Eighties (no rude comments, please). I must have re- read this more than any work... ever. What can I say? It changed everything in the comic field and, along with Maus and other seminal comics, set the bar for others to match. A beautifully intricate plot, with great sub-plots, that uses the medium so expertly it demands to be read again and again. The ideas of comics within comics, of alternate history, of adult superheroes, it’s all in there. Should be on everyone’s list of things to read before I pop my clogs!

I wish I could be cool and claim that my choices aren’t best sellers and loved by millions, and I could add another ten or so to this list, but it’ll be far more fun if you imagine yourself on the x-factor stage doing a reading from your own favourites and seeing if you can convince the cynical judges what it is about your books that makes them winners.

And for those of us that are writers we’ll keep on searching for that elusive spark that elevates something from really good, to a total page turner! 

Thank you Ross! Good luck with all your writing endeavors and I look forward to reading your novel.

The Infinity BridgeAuthor Bio from Goodreads:
I think that all authors are readers first and foremost. I've read since I can remember and since I can remember I have loved the escapism of fantasy and science fiction. This tendency was naturally propagated by the boom in sci-fi of the late Seventies and I became an unashamed fan-boy for Star Wars, Dr Who, Star Trek and BSG.

I read the Hobbit at age 10 and at the time got heavily into RPG and through this found a creative focus. I relished the design of worlds, of scenarios, of adventures, of stories. Yet it wasn't until my late Thirties, when I began reading for fun again, rather than study, that I decided to write.

The fruit of my labour is a two-thirds complete epic fantasy trilogy and a MG/YA sci-fi/Steampunk novel. The former is now on Amazon kindle and will be out soon in print. The latter is sat gathering dust on a publisher's desk in Cambridge...

When I wrote my novel I wanted to re-create some of the heroic fantasy that I loved as an adolescent. I wanted to create something that felt contemporary, exciting, adventurous, with quirky memorable characters and punchy dialogue. I think I've managed that and I also think I've created a detailed and interesting fantasy world to go with it.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Guest Post by Author Dr Tom Melvin

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't been posting as much these last few weeks, I have been busy launching a my new novel. To those of you I have agreed to review books for I will get to them soon I promise and hopefully will be able to start accepting requests again.

In the Meantime though author Dr Tom Melvin has kindly written a guest post so everyone give a warm welcome to Tom!

Great writers are adept at capturing the essence of humanity in the trifles of life. Their skilled witness of human behavior allow them to reach the true soul of readers they may never meet. What better place to do that than in a tavern!

Bill Flynn was a bartender who had left behind boxes of stories about the humanity he witnessed at this neighborhood bar in a working class community. Upon his passing, his friend Muzzy edited the stories and published the book Danny's Tavern A Collection of Neighborhood Stories:1935-1975.

Tattoos from
One of the stories is about tattoos. Tattoos are a part of any tavern. I’ll bet you can walk into any city tavern and find three, four guys with a tattoo. And they’d tell the same story: Well, I was with a buddy in….and we were so drunk that…

Many of the regulars in Danny’s Tavern had at least one tattoo. Jack Walsh sports a ship on his forearm. Chico wears a large dragon tattooed near his shoulder – Shanghai, I think. Casey displays a crude self-inflicted needle and thread and ink L-O-V-E and H-A-T-E on his fingers.

My own obsession with tattoos started when, at 17, I joined the military and became a paratrooper. On my first week-end pass I went and got my first tattoo. I was so proud, and still am.

Tom's Bracelet 
Every tattoo has a personal story behind it though, and mine does too. Three years after I got my tattoo, I was in a major car accident. The doctors needed to insert a rod to secure the cracked bone in my arm - which meant cutting into part of my tattoo!

When it was time to remove the rod I asked the doctors if I could keep it for “good luck”. I then had part of it shaped into a bracelet and I’ve worn it everyday since. 

Is there a great story behind your tattoo?

Danny's Tavern A Collection of Neighborhood Stories:1935-1975 by Dr Tom Melvin P.E.

About the Author:
Dr Thomas Melvin P.E. graduated from the Doctoral Program at Nova Southeastern University in Boston, MA and received a Distinguished Research Award for his dissertation, in 1996. For over twenty years he worked as an Engineering Consultant for the Medcon Engineering Corporation. He has lectured throughout the U.S. on Construction and Facilities Management.

His career began at the age of ten having worked at everything from scraping barnacles off of tugboats, to shoveling coal on a steamship, jumping out of planes as a US Paratrooper, to teaching engineering, to project management consulting at Harvard University. He is also the author of Practical Psychology in Construction
Management published by Van Nostrand Reinhold and Danny’s Tavern – A Collection of Neighborhood Stories 1935-1975

His facebook page is:

Readers can buy the book here:

Thank you Tom and good luck with you work!

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