Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: XVI

This book counts towards the Debut challenge.




Nina's sixteenth birthday is coming, and it will be anything but sweet.  On her birthday she'll get the XVI tattoo on her wrist that proclaims her legal, the tattoo that will mark her as an object, a target for boys and creeps and rapists, a victim.  Her friends are excited, practicing their flirting and counting down the days until they become sex-teens.  But Nina is terrified.

And then her mother dies.  Nina is left with confusing clues that hint that everything she ever thought isn't true, and that she has dangerous connections to the group fighting against the government...

Entertainment: 

It was a unique premise with intriguing world-building.  I'd read stellar reviews of this book, and I don't think it quite lived up to the hype, but it was a fun little novel.

Plot: 

It was interesting, but I think I would have preferred a quicker pace.  It just seemed like the majority of the book was the main characters walking around chatting.  Which wasn't bad, necessarily - like I said, it was interesting - but it still felt like, excluding the last 20 pages, not much actually happened.

Characters: 

Nina was cool; I thought she came off as a very realistic 15/16 year old girl, including her worries and feelings about sex.  Most of the side characters were good too; some of them were only in a few scenes so they only had a couple of lines to make an impression, but they managed to anyway.

Writing: 

I thought it was fairly well-written, and I gave bonus points for the fun slang.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday



Orphaned and picking pockets in London’s Charing Cross station to support not only herself, but her ‘family’ of orphans, sixteen year-old Tiki steals the Queen’s ring and thinks she’s solved  their problems. 
That is, until Rieker, a pickpocket from the North End, suspects her in the theft and tells her that the ring is really a reservoir that holds a truce between the British and Faerie courts.
  
When he warns her that the fey will do anything, including murder, to recover the ring, Tiki is unsure whether to believe him or not. To complicate matters, Rieker seems to know something about the unusual birthmark on Tiki’s wrist. But when Tiki and her family are threatened the game changes.


Thieves, magic, faeries, adventure, a stunning cover - what more could you ask of a book?  I can't wait to read The Faerie Ring!   What do you think - will you be reading The Faerie Ring when it comes out?

Review: Breath of Angel

This book counts towards the Shapeshifter challenge and the Debut Author challenge.




Melaia lived a simple life as a priestess - until the day she sees the murder of a angel.  All of the stories - stories about angels and shape-shifters and immortals - are true.  Two immortal brothers, who destroyed the stairway to heaven, have been locked in combat for centuries.  The battle is beginning again, and the only way to bring peace is through "breath of angel, blood of man"... an ancient debt that can only be paid through sacrifice.

Entertainment: 

I enjoyed Breath of Angel.  It was a little short but exciting and enjoyable.  I liked the world-building - from the different types of angels to the social structure to the mythology.  The draks, in particular, stood out as startling and very unique. I liked the characters, too.  I plan to read the rest of the series as soon as it comes out.

Plot: 

Although it started off great, I found the ending a little - expected, I guess.  The last few chapters were a little disappointing, after such a cool beginning.

Characters: 

I loved Trevin, the (I presume) love interest, to death.  He was pretty awesome.  Many of the side characters, too, were unique, interesting, and entertaining.  I have to admit I didn't like Melaia herself all that much - although she was a great narrator, she wasn't a very likable character.  But I'd say that the other characters made up for that.

Writing: 

I enjoyed Henley's style very much.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trailer Tuesday (27)

To be honest, I've only ever read one Alex Rider book.  But this trailer was just irresistible.



The color scheme was amazing, the art beautiful, the voice actors awesome - I might have to start reading the series again, if only for this trailer.  What do you think of the trailer?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Extras



Aya Fuse is an extra, a face-missing nobody.  In a city of a million, where the economy is based on fame, her face-rank hovers at about 450,000.  The higher your rank, the higher your prestige; if you can become a celebrity, you can have all the resources and friends you want.  Aya has been trying to follow in her older brother's footsteps, becoming famous by being a "kicker," or reporter.  Too bad none of her stories interest anybody...

Until the night she sees some girls pulling a dangerous stunt.  The Sly Girls are subverting the fame economy: they are trying to be unfamous, having secret adventures instead of seeking attention.  Aya knows that kicking their story will make her face rank soar, and so she infiltrates the Sly Girls along with her sidekick hovercam, Moggle.  But Aya quickly discovers that her story will be about much, much more than a few risky pranks... including the potential end of the world.

Entertainment: 

Disclaimer - I've read the Uglies trilogy, to which Extras is sort of a companion novel.  So I understood the background and world-building, more so than somebody reading this as a stand-alone story.  You might enjoy it more or less on its own, I don't know.

But I loved it.

Plot: 

Extras does a good job of staying unpredictable and interesting.  It's a unique plot, with some amazing world-building.  I liked it quite a lot.

Characters: 

Aya was pretty relatable and realistic, although (I felt) not particularly likable.  Hiro, Ren, Frizz, and the Sly Girls were all fascinating, multi-dimensional, and just plain cool.  And Moggle, although maybe not technically a character, was also pretty awesome.  The characterization was amazing.

Writing: 

Very well-written, and I love Westerfeld's style.

End Result: five stars.  And excellent book.  Read it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Trickster's Choice

This book counts towards the Shifter challenge.




Aly chafes at her life as a young noble, despite boyfriends and parties and helping her father, the spymaster of Tortall, work.  She knows everything there is to know about being a spy, and she's ready to work in the field.  Too bad her mother, Alanna, and her father believe that she's still too young for a such a dangerous profession.

But Aly gets her wish sooner than expected when she is kidnapped by pirates and sold into the Copper Isles as a slave.  The Isles are in political turmoil: for centuries, the pale-skinned luarin invaders have kept the copper-skinned native raka in slavery and submission.  But with the power-hungry luarin royal family going mad, the time is ripe for revolution.  Or at least that's what Kyprioth, the trickster god, thinks.  He makes a wager with Aly, an agreement that she will keep his chosen half-raka candidate for the throne alive.  Aly will have to keep the young noblewoman alive through treachery, danger, and war, all while keeping her own identity a secret...

Entertainment: 

I've read several of Pierce's other books, so I was already familiar with the world of Torrall.  This is an excellent installment in the series, introducing a whole new part of the world and a whole new cast (although with cameos with several characters from other novels of Tortall.)  It was clever, exciting, and really interesting, definitely a book I'd recommend to anybody.

Plot: 

The plot is at once simple and complex.  The world-building is phenomenal, the politics and adventure and intrigue all fascinating.  And Aly's little side romance is cute and utterly believable.

Characters: 

Aly was interesting - at the beginning of the story, she's a bit of a brat, even a little shallow.  But she grows and matures remarkably over the course of the story.  She's funny, likable, and an enjoyable main characters.  Nawat, her crow/human love interest, was adorable.  The side characters, even the villains, were multidimensional, flawed, interesting, and felt like real people.  Amazing characterization.

Writing: 

I love Pierce's writing.

End Result: five stars.  An excellent book.  Read it.

Review: Sir Thursday






On the fourth day, there was war.


Arthur, now ruler of three parts of the House and holder of three Keys, can't get home.  A mysterious monster calling itself the Skinless Boy has take Arthur's shape and his place on Earth, and now Arthur is trapped in the House until his Earth friend Leaf can find a way to defeat it.

Meanwhile, Arthur is suddenly drafted into the army of Sir Thursday and transported to the Great Maze.  Sir Thursday is under attack, and Arthur will have to survive battles, defeat Thursday, and somehow banish the dark army sweeping over the maze... and he'll also have to learn how to march.  In time.  Which is harder than it sounds.

Entertainment: 

You'd think the series would be getting repetitive by now, but it's not.  It's still fun and exciting, and somehow each book manages to make the series new again (if that makes any sense.)

Plot: 

It started off well, but the final conflict resolution bit was a little cheesy.  That said, the ambiguous ending has me dying to read the next book...

Characters: 

Arthur started off well in the first book, and he only gets more interesting as he matures and grows.  As with the previous books, the side characters were excellent, the Trustee Thursday and interesting, and the Will was fabulous.

Writing: 

Five stars.  Nothing else to be said.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: Nightshade

This book counts towards the Shifter challenge.




Calla Tor was born for a purpose.  She was raised as a alpha of the Nightshade pack, and on her eighteenth birthday, she will be mated to the young alpha of the Bane pack.  She will form a new pack with him, to fight for and defend the Keepers and their sacred sites.

But when a new human moves into town, he makes Calla question everything she ever thought about the Keeper's cruel system.  Calla finds herself falling in love all too quickly - too bad, since she's already claimed.  Will she be able to lay down everything, even her life, for a forbidden love?

Entertainment: 

I've been looking forward to this book for almost a year now - you may remember my participation in a little promotion project.  I can't believe it's taken me this long to get around to reading Nightshade - especially since it was quite as good as I expected.

Plot: 

Very interesting & exciting.  The romance didn't overwhelm the intrigue/adventure side of the plot, instead serving as a tasteful non-gooey addition to it.  It kept me on the edge of my seat for hours, with no idea how it would turn out.  In fact, the ending was pretty startling - and now I can't wait for the next book!

Characters: 

I liked Calla very much - I thought she was interesting, had great depth, and grew & changed over the course of the book.  Her romance was interesting - all passion.  I like that she didn't sit down and talk about her feelings for fifteen pages at a time, as heroines in love are apt to do; instead she sort of lived in the moment, which made for a character I really enjoyed.

That said, I didn't get the impression of any real depth to any of the side characters (although I did appreciate the tasteful inclusion of a few homosexual characters; it was well-done and much classier than in many of the novels I've read lately.)  Shay, especially, was pretty and sweet but didn't seem to have much else going for him.  Hopefully the next book(s) will allow him to expand into a proper love interest.

Writing: 

Well-written, nothing to complain about here.  In particular, I liked the dialogue.  I thought it flowed nicely and was entertaining to read, not to mention seeming pretty realistic.

And I don't really have a category for this, but I thought the book was beautiful.  The cover is stunning, of course, and in addition there's these cool pages (at least in the hardback) at the beginning of each chapter that show a moon gradually getting full and then waning again; it's interesting and I liked the artistic touch.

End Result: five stars.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Firelight

This book counts towards the Shifter challenge.






Jacinda is special, even in her pride of draki (dragons who can shapeshift into a human form.)  She's the last and only fire-breather.  The pride has marked her as the future mate of their prince, Cassian, and they'll do anything to keep her safe.  Even clip her wings, taking away her ability to fly forever.


But Jacinda's mother escapes with her and her twin sister.  Hiding in a tiny desert town full of humans, Jacinda fights to keep her draki form alive.  The only thing that can keep her inner dragon alive is the handsome draki-hunter that once saved her life...


Entertainment: 


I finished it in a few hours and liked it well enough, although I don't foresee it becoming a lasting favorite or anything.


Plot: 


Although the romance was awkward, the plot was nicely paced, interesting, and entertaining.


Characters: 


Here Firelight loses some points.  Jacinda was whiny and refused to try to get along with anybody, in her pride or her human school.  She seemed to be deliberately trying to alienate everybody, including me.  Meanwhile, Will, the "hunter," came off as a little wimpy, even spineless.


But I did like some of the side characters.


Writing: 


Decently written.


End Result: three stars.  A decent book, but not amazingly excellent.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday


Are you really who they say you are?

What if your boyfriend was going to commit murder?

It's a short description but wow, it sounds cool!  I love the cover, too - the tiles and the dissolving face, a little beautiful, a little creepy.... I know I'll be reading The Predicteds this September.  What do you think - will you be reading The Predicteds when it comes out?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trailer Tuesday (26)



Wow.  I saw this trailer without any idea of what the book was about, and I was hooked.  The unique animation style, the scary sound effects, the creepy chalk writing - it's just an awesome trailer, period.  And then I read the description on Amazon... and now I serious can not wait to get my hands on this book!  What do you think of this video (and Inside Out itself)?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Author Interview: Karyn Henley, This or That

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Karyn Henley, author of Breath of Angel, to novapsych for a This-or-That interview!

- - - - - - - - -

Outside or inside?
Inside with big windows so I can look out.

Summer or winter?
Summer. (although my favorites are spring and fall)

White chocolate or dark chocolate?
Definitely dark chocolate. About 72% cocoa.

Sweet or sour?
Salty. (sweet-salty or sour-salty would work)

TV shows or movies?
Movies. I love the music that underscores movies as well as the longer stories that movies can tell.
Dictionary or thesaurus?
Oooh. That’s a hard one. I use the thesaurus more, though.

Pen or pencil?
Pen. Especially when writing, a pen prevents me from erasing what I may decide later I should have kept. So I just draw a line or an X through something I want to delete in case I want to undelete it later.

Cats or dogs?
Cats. I love dogs, too, but cats are less dependent and not usually as needy as dogs.

M&Ms or Skittles?
M&M’s. It’s the chocolate! 

Gold or silver?
Silver. My wedding ring is white gold, which looks like silver.

Poetry or prose?
Again, a hard, hard choice. I love both. But I think I’m more picky about poetry. I think it’s harder to write than prose, though both need rhythm and flow. I read more prose. So I’ll go with prose.

Truth or dare?
Truth. Integrity is a pretty big deal for me.

- - - - - - - - -

Thanks for stopping by, Karyn!  Great answers!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: The Eyes of a King



When Leo finds a mysterious book that seems to write itself, he is fascinated by its story.  It's an escape from the dreary world of his pious Grandmother, saintly brother, and harsh military academy.  In its tale of adventure and intrigue, Leo loses himself - until he begins to wonder about the disturbing parallels between his world and and the world of the story.  Is the book just fiction, or is it telling a truth that the tyrannical government will do anything to suppress?

Entertainment: 

Frankly it was confusing.  Interesting, touching, even tragic at times... but confusing.

Plot: 

There were more or less three semi-overlapping storylines: Leo, looking back on his life from an indefinite time in the future; Leo, in the present, reading the book; and the book's story.  In addition there were quite a few characters to keep track of and in general the whole thing was just overly complicated.  I spent the first half of the book mostly lost, and I'm still wondering about a few things.

That said, I liked the interesting intersection of England and Malonia, Leo's world, and the plot line was somewhat interesting.  So it redeemed itself a little, after I started to get my bearings.

Characters: 

The characters were excellent, with the minor exception of the prince who I found to be a complete wimp.  They were plausible, three-dimensional, flawed, and yet appealing.  When one character died, I actually teared up, I was so upset.

Writing: 

Decent.  Could have been better, but also could've been worse.  It was a little (rather a lot) detail-heavy and slow, but also at times touching and sweet.

End Result: three stars.  A decent book, but not amazingly excellent.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review: The False Princess

This book counts towards the Debut challenge.




Nalia is the princess - or at least she thought she was.  But upon turning sixteen, she discovers that she is in fact just a common girl, raised in the real princess's stead to keep her safe.  Turned out with a handful of coins and a new name, Sinda, she has to make her way in the real world now.

But the real world is a cruel place - more cruel than Sinda ever realized.  With the help of her budding magic powers, she discovers a sixteen-year-old conspiracy to steal the throne.  It's up to her to stop it... but what can one false princess do?

Entertainment: 

Although I wasn't a huge fan of the plot, it was an interesting premise, with fairly well-written characters and a nice writing style.  I ended up liking The False Princess, although I wasn't in love with it.

Plot: 

The plot was underwhelming - it started off quite interesting, but quickly became pedantic and predictable.

Characters: 

I liked some of the characters a lot; Kieran was cute & the villain was decently written.  I never really got a fix on Sinda, and I'm still not quite decided whether I liked her or not.  But the other characters were, overall, well-done.

Writing: 

The writing was tasteful, well-paced, interesting, and detailed without being slow or boring.  I liked it quite a lot.

End Result: three stars.  A decent book, but not amazingly excellent.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Review: Cursebusters!



Reeno has pink hair and tattoos of snakes twisting around her arms.  Reeno has the odd ability to see colors around people - their auras.  Reeno is an accomplished burglar and rebellious teenager extraordinaire.  Reeno is being sent to reform school.

But the school isn't all that it seems.  Reeno's not the only budding psychic in the school.  And she may be in over her head when she's befriended - well, recruited - by the A.B., the Alpha Beast, a sinister and rather rude cat.  The A.B. wants Reeno for a very specific purpose...

Entertainment: 

It was fun, unique, exciting - very enjoyable to read.

Plot: 

The Mayan mythology mixed with the psychic powers was an interesting twist.  The idea of A.B. and the other Planet Guardians was really cool.  And Reeno's attempts to thwart an ancient curse were exciting and fun.  Overall, I liked the plot very much.

Characters: 

Reeno herself was pretty cool - I loved her pink hair and tattoos, I loved her snarky personality, I just loved her.  I thought it was a little cheesy that everybody referred to her as a master thief, given that she honestly didn't seem all that talented in the field of thievery.  But overall, she was awesome.  The side characters were so-so, none of the human characters were really memorable.  But the A.B. was awesome - and really funny.

Writing: 

It was pretty well written.  I usually like a more formal style - less "Omigods!" - but given Reeno's character type I thought the causal style worked fine.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: Changeless

This book counts towards the Shifter challenge.



Alexia's new husband, a Scottish werewolf, vanishes one afternoon.  Alexia is left with an army of werewolves camped on her front lawn, a shocking French milliner with quite a few secrets, and a mysterious bout of normality striking all the supernaturals in London.  So with her trusty parasol in hand, Alexia is off to Scotland to solve mysteries and find her husband.

Entertainment: 

I was very disappointed, after enjoying the first book in the series so much.  This installment didn't hold my interest, moved far too slowly, and just wasn't all that exciting.  It was, frankly, a letdown.  I ended up taking a very long time to finish Changeless, because I kept putting it down to read other books.

Plot: 

The plot started somewhere around the 250th page.  The previous 2/3 of the book was devoted to scene-setting, inane dialogue, and nothing much happening.  It was kind of boring, actually.  Then, when the plot finally started, it was decent but nothing too thrilling.  Not really worth the 250 page wait.

Characters: 

The characters from the first book didn't seem to grow or change, at all.  And the new characters - most of them at least - were just plain boring.  Some were lesbians, which was bizarre, seemed out of contest, and served only to make things awkward.  I didn't manage to empathize with any of them.

Writing: 

The unique voice I remember from the first book just wasn't there this time.  It was slow, even cumbersome, and not clever or fun at all.

End Result: two stars.  I was not impressed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday



Book description (Amazon): Claire is struggling to overcome the murder of her childhood friend and secret crush, Daniel. Everyone else seems to be moving on with their lives, but she's still trying to cope. The fact that she finds herself alone and drowning on her 16th birthday isn't helping. 
Neither is thinking she sees Daniel's face in murky water as she mysteriously resurfaces. But something happened during those four and a half minutes that will make her realize it was not just her imagination.

As Claire and Daniel try to grasp a possible reconnection, other grudge-holding beings have plans of their own. Now, the two of them have to decide if their fleeting relationship is worth the possibility of Claire being trapped on the fringe forever.

This sounds like a unique story, a lovely romance, and a really enjoyable book; plus, I am in love with that cover.  I want to read On the Fringe as soon as it comes out!  What do you think - will you be reading On the Fringe?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trailer Tuesday (25)



This is quite the intriguing trailer - simple, to the point, and yet mysterious and edgy at the same time.  Also, the red swirls are beautiful and just a little eerie.  The Truth About Celia Frost will be coming out in August (according to Goodreads,) and I think I might just have to read it... What do you think of this trailer?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: The Limit



Matt never considered the possibility that his parents would mess up, spend too much money, and go over their debt limit.  But the unthinkable happened, and Matt was stolen away by the government to pay off his parents' debt.  His nightmares of a dank, dirty factory are unfounded, though; instead, he's in a beautiful building with a pool and a gym and the ability to order anything he can dream of, from food to clothes to a personal helicopter.  He quickly makes friends.  For the first time, his school is challenging him, and the "work" is mostly programming and math modeling - challenges he enjoys.  The workhouse seems to be a dream come true... but he can't shake the feeling that there's something more to it all.  And then, of course, there's the small matter that he will never be allowed to leave...

Entertainment: 

It was just plain entertaining.

Plot: 

I thought the ending was pretty cheesy - I'm just going to say that upfront.

But, it was a fun, exciting, enjoyable story.  The action moved at a good pace, there was never any information- or world-building-overload, and I never got bored.

Characters: 

Matt was pretty cool.  He was intelligent, a little nerdy, and just fun.  The side characters were a little lackluster, but I was willing to forget that because I liked Matt so much.

Writing: 

I enjoyed Landon's style very much.  It was simple, very effective, and entertaining.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: The Long Patrol



Tammo the young hare has spent his life dreaming of the glorious life of the Long Patrol, a group of hares that stand up for the rights of the weak and helpless and fight dashing battles against rats, weasels, ferrets, and all who threaten the peace and well-being of others.  He finds his shot at that 'glorious' life comes much sooner than expected when he is swept up in a war, a war against a vicious rat called Damug Warfang and his band of pirates.

Entertainment: ★★★

Although I felt the storyline should have been interesting, I just couldn't get into it.  Maybe it was the thick dialects of all the characters or maybe the fact that the story just moved slowly, but for whatever reason I never really got emotionally invested in the story.

Plot: ★★

It just dragged.  About 2/3 of the way through I read another book, just for a break.  And The Long Patrol is only a little over 300 pages long; I shouldn't need a break for a book that short.

Characters: ★★★★

It was odd, trying to hold a mental picture of characters that are everything from mice to hares to badgers to stoats, and are wearing clothes and waging wars and things like that.  Despite the initial species confusion, though, I actually liked a lot of the characters.  I didn't find the villains particularly scary - they seeemed to spend the majority of their time bumbling around making mistakes - but the protagonists were pretty cool.

My only real issue with them was this: all the characters were either heroes or villains, with no grey areas.  If you were born a rat, or weasel, or other "vermin" animal, you were evil with no questions asked.  Likewise all the hares and other good guys were all well-meaning and friendly.  This meant that there was no internal conflict, which made for much less interesting characters and a much less interesting story overall.

Writing: ★★

There are two major problems I have with Jacques: his descriptions of food, and his accents.  The food talk can go on for paragraphs and paragraphs at a time, often just listing the enormous variety of food available at any given meal.  I didn't feel that it contributed anything to the story, in fact I thought it slowed the book down a great deal for no good reason.

I also dislike the characters' accents.  They all speak very oddly, each species having its own hard-to-read speech.  The moles, for example, say things like "'Boo urr, 'taint natcheral t'be afloaten abowt loi this!' 'Hurr nay, oi'm afeared us'n's moight be a sinkin' unnder-water!'"  If you sound everything out phonetically it makes sense, but after reading a few pages of it I start to get headachy.  I think the accents could have been a lot subtler and still made their point.

End Result: three stars.  A decent book, but not amazingly excellent.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday


Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.


Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead.


Everyone except Jenna Fox.


I think I was literally stunned when I first saw the cover - I mean, it's awesomeness personified!  Plus, the title is just amazing.  And then I read the description - yeah, I'm in love.  I literally cannot wait for this book to be published.  What do you think - will you be reading The Fox Inheritance when it comes out?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Character Tweets: Cursebusters!

A.B.:  Listen up, @Girlcakes! Be in the library at 2 sharp! With research in hand. #mayans  #uxmal #levitation

REENO: Oh, please! What is the mighty @Alpha Beast doing on Twitter? Forget about it. I am NOT doing your stupid errand.  #whatpartofnoetc
A.B.: I believe I mentioned the curse on your family, @Soldier.  I repeat, you must steal the book to remove the curse. #itsnotrocketscience
REENO: My head hurts @Furface. We’ve been over this, I…
A.B. @NOVICE! YOU WILL NOT CALL THE @ALPHA BEAST CUTE NAMES!  And you WILL recover the book.  #mayancodex
REENO: Hey, you can’t interrupt on Twitter!  And btw, did you just demote me? Never 
mind. I’m not doing it. No time-travel, no curse. #wormholes
A.B.: @Soldier. There IS a curse. Thus, you did time-travel. Ergo, you MUST time-travel to remove it. And to save the world.  #2012phenomenon
REENO: I’m promoted again? Is this like that movie where the kid has to time-travel to make his parents meet so he can be born? #backtothefuture
A.B. And yet,  @Girlette, he is already born.  #paradox
REENO: Know what, @A.B.? Actually I’d rather be burgling. But I do like the kids in the psychic club. Except for @Cooper Allingham.  He’s a bully.
A.B.:  The @Alpha Beast predicts that before the end of the book you will change your mind. #romanceisintheair
REENO: What book? What are you talking about? #CURSEBUSTERS!
A.B.: Listen up, @Girlface. The first rule of magic is this: As above, so below. #magic4dummies
REENO: Help! Meaning we’re in a book, but we’re also real? Is that another paradox? Oh, never mind. What’s up with @Cooper anyhow?
A.B.: Cursed, by any chance? BE. IN. THE. LIBRARY. WITH THE RESEARCH!
REENO: @Anyonewho’ll listen: I’d kill him, but what would be the point?  Unfortunately, He has 999,999 lives.

Trailer Tuesday (24)



Best - book - trailer - ever?!  I think so!  I don't care that it's two years old - I am seriously in love with this video, and I have to get my hands on Pastworld!

Well, I loved it to death - what did you think of this video?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Character Interview & Giveaway!

Don't forget to check out my review of Mumbo Jumbo Circus!  Now here's a fun interview with the star of the Mumbo Jumbo Circus - Evan!



How did you come to have the nickname Evan?
My mom named me Evanja Leane, at least I think it was my mom. I don’t really know. She was fifteen and I don’t remember her. Anyways, Evanja sounds like a trailer trash preacher, so I changed it. I don’t think of Evan as a boy’s name. Look at Evan Rachel Wood. She’s incredible.

What is your favorite (and/or least favorite) part of being in the circus?
My favorite part of the circus is just about everything. The circus is like a family, a theater troupe, and a traveling business. I love feeling a part of this cool thing that’s bigger than me. I wish there was a way to take baths more often though. Showers are great, but the Midway (the old Victorian mansion at the Funny Farm) needs to have bathtubs so we can have a good soak when we’re not on the road. I’ll speak to the Ringmaster about it.

Who's your favorite new circus friend? (Excluding Wally, of course.)
I’m getting to know Nan a bit better. She doesn’t open up very easily, but I’m trying to draw her out. I’m kinda jealous of her because she has her family all around. She was born to the circus. She says they drive her nuts, but I’m envious. I wonder what she would think if she knew that?

What are your plans for the future - do you think you'll stay with the circus forever?  Or do you have other dreams you'd like to explore as well?
I think the circus, this particular circus anyway, is the place for me! I'm working on getting my high school diploma. After that, then during the winters I can take some classes at the college two towns over. I'd like to take writing classes. Some of the younger clowns take classes there too. I’ll be able to catch rides with them. In their clown car. Not.

- - - - - - 

Now do you want a chance to win your very own copy of Mumbo Jumbo Circus?

The contest will run for two weeks (that's June 6th through June 20th.)  It's US-address only (sorry, overseas readers.)  To enter, just leave a comment on this post!  Good luck :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: The Mumbo Jumbo Circus

This book counts for the Debut Author challenge.




"Would you like to run away and join the circus?"

Evan is wary, of course, of a suspicious offer from a strange man.  But there's no reason for her to stay in the hell on earth that is her current abusive foster home, so she accepts.  She quickly feels at home in the Mumbo Jumbo circus: a circus where, even backstage, the magic seems almost real.  Because it is real.  The Ringmaster is able to bring out the innate abilities, or donrovai, in his performers.  And Evan has a special donrovai: the ability to read horses' minds.  Although she has a lingering fear of horses, Evan's willing to work at developing an act - especially if it means she gets to spend more time with Wally, the handsome young Goth cook.

But the Ringmaster has an old enemy who will do anything to take down the Mumbo Jumbo Circus: arson, kidnapping, and worse.  Soon, Evan finds herself the only one able to save the circus...

Entertainment: 


I really liked this book.  It was cute and fun, it had interesting characters, and it had interesting illustrations, too.  I finished it in only a few hours, but it was well worth the time.


Plot: 


It loses a few points here because I just didn't find the plot as interesting as other aspects of the book - it was a little weird at times and rather predictable at others.


Characters: 


Let me just say that I loved the Ringmaster to death.


That said, I also liked Evan quite a bit - as a character and a person - and many of the side characters were quite cool as well.  I didn't like the villains much - they weren't all that scary or even that interesting, to me - but the rest of the cast was awesome enough that I was willing to overlook the villains.


Writing: 


I thought the description, dialogue, and everything else was very well done.


End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.