Friday, February 21, 2014

Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

                I told you I had some reviews ready to be typed up.   The first we have is, of course, from NetGalley, oh how I adore them, and Hodder Children's Books.  Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton is going to be the first book in a series and came out January 2nd. 
                First I have to start with the cover.  It was bright, vibrant, and eye catching to me.  It had a blue background, which I admit always catches my eye being my favorite color, a petite girl with long red hair  and different things on the edges of the cover and a very clear title that seems to tell you the story is about witches.  Simple and to the point, I wanted to know more about it. 

London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

                You see both points of view in this book, Luke and Rosa.  Luke, after watching a witch kill his parents clearly has issues with them and wants revenge.  He is ready for his task, but a beautiful girl his own age was clearly not the one who harmed him.  Still she is a witch and all witches are evil, right?  On the flip side you see Rosa and how in that time, she has her power and her beauty but nothing else as she is not but a means to keep her family in their life like a prized head of cattle. 
                Luke must get close to make this kill, to complete his task.  He takes a position at the house hoping to find an opportunity to get in and take care of business but what he finds is a girl who is not the picture of evil he envisioned.  Both have their struggles to overcome while trying to deal with the connection they seem to share even when both know it's wrong, mixing with someone outside of class and abilities. 
2nd book cover is already out.
                One of my favorite parts of the book was seeing both prospectives.  It was a bit infuriating at times, because I knew how they both felt and as such was annoyed they didn't know as much as me and didn't always do what I wanted.  However, seeing them both on their own struggle through issues that were about them as a character and not so much about great love, though it was clear despite society and logic there was something there, each had their own things to deal with.  For me it was less about magic and witchcraft than it was about the characters themselves and the story of their lives.  Could you overcome such long ingrained prejudices and risk your own life? 

                The book is full of preconceived notions and   reality coming head to head along side of aristocratic snobbery and magic.  It was pretty well paced and I read through it rather quickly and am eager for the next book to come out.   Which per goodreads will be titled Witch Hunt and be released in June of this year so not that far of a wait.   
I give this book 4 shinning stars.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cover Reveal Shattered Secrets by Krystal Wade

Okay my readers.  I have some reviews handwritten and ready to be typed but before I go dig them out of my work bag, hey I was multi-tasking, I wanted to do my first ever cover reveal.  This book, Shattered Secrets by the talented Krystal Wade, she's also super sweet, now has a cover image.  I think it's pretty and would make me pick it up to learn more so to go with the image I give you a brief synopsis.

After being kidnapped, hogtied, and stuffed in the trunk of a car, seventeen-year-old Abigail Nichols' boy problems seem unimportant.
She couldn't be more wrong.

The boy who saves her holds her heart.

But Derick Crawford also holds secrets.

Magical beings who guide human emotions are fighting an invisible war dating back to the dawn of time, and Abigail's one of them. The more she learns of her heritage, the less she wants to know. Armed with a very old, very massive book to teach them about their history, Abigail and Derick run away to a place where they think they can be safe and happy, only to have their troubles secretly hitch a ride.

Her history book is in a sharing mood, and it tells her to keep a secret of her own.

But has she put her trust in the wrong place?

And will the world survive if she has?

So will you be checking it out when it comes out?  I know I will be.  Also you can check out my previous reviews of her Wilde's Fire, Wilde's Army, and  Wilde's Meadow by clicking.  Anyways I hope to do a little Q&A with the author herself on here so I'm starting to compile a list of questions for her, should this work out for next month, so please also share any questions you may have below so I can include them please.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fates by Lanie Bross

                So I'm catching up with a couple of reviews in one because between my wonky internet and me being just plum tired at night I need to catch up.  First we have Fates by Lanie Bross.  Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children's and Delacorte Press.   It’s a story of a about fate, obviously, but more about how fate really does come to be. 

One moment. One foolish desire. One mistake. And Corinthe lost everything.

She fell from her tranquil life in Pyralis Terra and found herself exiled to the human world. Her punishment? To make sure people's fates unfold according to plan. Now, years later, Corinthe has one last assignment: kill Lucas Kaller. His death will be her ticket home.

But for the first time, Corinthe feels a tingle of doubt. It begins as a lump in her throat, then grows toward her heart, and suddenly she feels like she is falling all over again--this time for a boy she knows she can never have. Because it is written: one of them must live, and one of them must die. In a universe where every moment, every second, every fate has already been decided, where does love fit in? 
                I enjoyed the story .  It moved along rather quickly and the characters were interesting, even crazy at times.  The enduring part was that the characters made jokes about it, "Why do I have the urge to caress her check when she tried to kill me?" I believe I connections and all but plain stupidity if you don’t register that part.  Corinthe was a bit harder to get to know, she was a bit cold but I could appreciate that in the story given what and who she is.  Though I still found myself more interested in Luc by far. 
                There was also a vast amount of different worlds to discover.  Each one unique and different offering different things that entice the senses.  The burning world with two suns and moons, the lush world of blood nymphs, and so much more.  I don't want to give to much away but I am eager to see what happens next with Luc and Corinthe, even Rhys. 

                I give this book 3.5-4 starts given it was a bit slow to start and had a few moments throughout that seemed to drag a bit but overall I liked the book.  So have you read the book?  What are your thoughts?  Do you believe in fate?  That everything happens for a reason?  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Vampire Academy The Movie

Okay first I cannot believe it has taken me this long to post this.  I have just been so swamped and every time I'm able to sit at the computer to type I go to get a correct spelling for a name or some such and end up watching trailers which turns into a long event for me.  Seriously, do you know how much time you can lose on YouTube when not paying attention?  Dangerous amounts.  Any who I am turning my internet off until I finish typing this to post.
              First I have to say that I LOVE the series.  The books, all 6 Vampire Academy books, are amazing.  I am eagerly awaiting the 5th book in the Bloodlines spin-off sequel series to be released.  With that said I have been following the progress of the movie since the start and have been very excited to see it all come together.  A perfect reason to put on fake tattoos no one in my area had any clue meant and rock out like the total and unashamed book nerd that I am.  I adore my friends who encouraged and even indulged with me, not 100% sure what the meaning was but willing to go with it.  To say I had high hopes is to put it mildly.  And it did not disappoint me one bit! 
                I know this movie has gotten a bit of a bad rep before it came out, people comparing it to every other vampire movie and that is not fair.  Sure the title doesn't help that but it's a different take.  Honestly its more about the life of the characters and the fact that they happen to be vampires is just a small part of it.  And if you want to categorize it as a vampire flick then do it but please note that, there are both sides of vampires.  They have the Moroi, the good mortal vampires, more modern take on vampires, and the Strigoi, the undead evil blood suckers that seek to kill, more old school Dracula.  The trailers also make it seem more spoof, funny, cheesy, than anything, which I did devoured them like a germaphobe does hand sanitizer in a public restroom.  But I highly recommend checking out the final trailer (below), it is by far my favorite and made me realize I have been pronouncing all the names of the 'races' or 'breeds' wrong as I read.  Now when I tell people about them they don't look at me funny.
                Now I will say that comparing movies to their book counterparts is never easy and they almost never win.  Books have the advantage of getting into the head of the character, of being able to describe everything for you and give you more in-depth scenes that work really well on paper but might not translate well to the screen.  With that in mind I still think this is one of the better adaptations.  Things like hair colors/styles, character appearances, set dressings and the like are all simple things.  There were a few scenes that were changed or dropped of course to keep pace on film and explain things in a way that is more visually appealing.  Sure fan girl me, was sad to see a few lines/conversations omitted, but it overall stayed true to the book and I am so happy to say that.
                The acting by the whole team is above par in my humble opinion, and let's be honest it's my review so it's the only one that matters.  Our main character, Rose Hathaway, played by Zoey Deutch came across as strong, confident, funny, and on point with her witty retorts or snipes.  A big part of the story, okay the majority of the story is about the bond she has with her best friend Lissa, and when they are together on the screen you can see a connection is there, not some faked for film friendship which adds to it for me.  And let us please not forget her chemistry with a certain Russian love interest.  They sizzle and you can't have any type of lust charm scene without sizzle.  Speaking of sizzle, they got pretty famous Russian actor to play the Russian Dimitri Belikov, one Danila Kozlovsky.  So his accent was totally real, and I maybe swooned a bit.  But that aside he was able to pull off the look, not exactly what I pictured, but I could believe he was Dimitri.  Strong silent warrior Zen master who stays composed at all times, but when he is around Rose, finds his composure slipping ever so slightly. 
See what I mean...
                Only  a couple more or I will describe every actor/character in the movie.  Lucy Fry, who played the royal Lissa Dragomir.  She had a bit of a different look than I expected but I was able to see it.  She was able to pull off the radical and varying emotions and moods that her character is forced to endure.  When a character is going to have to play with the matter or mental and emotional instability I have to give them credit.  And then there is her love interest Christian Ozera played by Dominic Sherwood.  He is what I expected actually.  He is attractive and brooding, an outcast given things out of his control seeking someone who understands.  He also has that smirk, that mischievous smirk I couldn’t have pictured better myself.
                The story again stuck to the book pretty well and I think can be enjoyed by everyone, not just those who read the books.  I went with three of my girlfriends to see this, one had read the books and the other two hadn't, one of them also isn't a huge vampire fan, but when we walked out we all had enjoyed it and the two non-readers had plans to read soon.  It had a unique story, with the different type of vampires and a story all in of itself.  It has action, hello, the Dhampirs have half a day dedicated to learning ways to maim and kill, to be protectors.  It is also strongly filled with friendship and loyalty, honor and duty all in a high school, of sorts, setting and with the backdrop of good vs. evil and mental instability. 

                The movie wasn't perfect, of course, there were a few things I think could have been explained a bit more in depth for the non-readers in the audience.  But I hold out hope that it was done to be explained in more depth in the sequel (no word yet but I'm crossing my fingers and toes).  Those things for me were the wards, Strigoi and a certain conversation about them in the car, that Dimitri was slated to be one of Lissa's guardians when she leaves the school, being a royal and a last of her line and all, explaining the conflict a bit further.  Also from the trailers I saw scenes that apparently didn't make it to the movie, so I can't wait for the DVD extras. 
                Again that was just me wishing for more as a greedy book nerd.  Overall if it isn't completely clear, I LOVED this movie and can't wait to see it again.  Have plans to go again this week at least once and admit to being guilty checking the DVD release date update so I know when I can own it in my house.  Check it out and rate it on all the sites!  Have you already seen it?  Did you read the books?  What do you think?  Share your thoughts, ideas, ramblings below. 

Rating: 5 Molnija