Made by be using pablo :o)
It’s about this point of the book that uber-hot Dimitri starts thinking Rose has a valid reason to be worried about Lissa. And it’s now we realise the same thing, too… I think it’s a pivotal moment.
Hence a fist-pump book quote! Go Rose!!
‘Vampire Academy’ by Richelle Mead is fun and enthralling. I avoided it for a while (the cover) (more vampires? really?) (and yeah, that cover…) but then a free book came my way. I read it, and finally I understood the hype. Action, kick-ass-ness (if that isn’t a word, it should be), strong world-building and romantic tension.
I’ll add a warning – this book involves cutting, I found those parts confronting. But they’re not in there for no reason, and they’re not glamourised.
Oh, and the cover. I’m almost embarrassed to have it on my bookshelf. But the book is fab, so I don’t care. There’s this saying about books and their covers, you might have heard it…
:o) Read on, people.
I was jigging-foot excited to read ‘Gemina‘ by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Nervous too. Because, seriously, ‘Illuminae‘ was so damn mindblowing I wasn’t sure anything could ever come up to standard.
Thankfully, ‘Gemina’ came through for me. There was something about picking it up and leaping back into the unconventional, characteristic setup that had my blood singing so much those lamina would have sensed me from half a universe away.
- Characters of zing
- World-building of awesome
- Plot of intricate amaze-balls
Hooray, ‘Gemina’ happily thumbed its nose at the Seriously Sucky Sequel Syndrome. Want to know more? Brace yourselves and read on…
Books are like diamonds. You can give two jewelers the same rock, and at the end of all their cutting and polishing, one will spray rainbows among dancing sunbeams, and the other might as well be a shattered fragment of soap-scummed shower-screen.
Likewise you can have several books set in the same world with a similar premise, and one will stand out. This book is one such sparkling delight…
‘The Iron King’ by Julie Kagawa is set in a world shared with many other novels. It involves characters brought into life by others. It follows many expected tropes.
But Kagawa takes her world and lifts it to another level. She cuts a fine diamond!
This is a successful series, with a lot of avid followers. I can see why. I’ve read another of Kagawa’s series before, so I was ready to be impressed. Things that worked especially well in this book for me:
- Immersive world-building
- Clever humour throughout
- A tantalising romantic sub-plot.
If you don’t like spoilers, now is the time to nod sagely and stop reading… Otherwise, read on!
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The book promised a ‘toxic triangle’ and mate, did it deliver.
This quote marks the point where uber-tough deposed princess Lada freaks the bojangles out of the Ottoman court and the ‘foul man’ chosen to be her husband. And Mehmed, son of the Sultan, is so amused by her antics he makes her and her beautiful brother Radu his companions.
Thus starts the ‘toxic triangle’. It’s a pivotal moment, and you’ve got to hand it to Lada for pure attitude. I’m not a huge fan of toxicity, but if you are, jump on in! Because this is a brilliantly written book with a captivating level of world-building that absorbs you into 15th Century Transylvania.
Check it out – ‘And I Darken‘ by Kiersten White.
You’ve all been there. Late at night, at your desk, final check of your latest Work In Progress. You’re pretty happy. Close to hitting that big green metaphorical button that says GO FOR IT!
Then something makes you frown.
There’s a mistake… <head meets desk>
Happened to me last week. My kick-ass group of teens were driving across South America, hell-bent on getting evacuated the heck out of there because, you know, stuff was going down. But then I re-did my calculations and realised their car was going to run out of fuel 300 km before the town they actually refuel at. Ouch.
I was facing a plot crisis.
Solution? Brainstorm what to do, and reject all your initial ‘ordinary’ options
This book was an entertaining read and I’m in no way dissing Rick Riordan. He’s one of the top-selling authors of 2016, with a eye-watering US$9.5 million in earnings. He’s doing many, many things super-right.
Naturally, I’d like to know what just a few of them are!
Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer is Book #1 of the Gods of Asgard Series. The thing that struck me as I read this was the definite similarity to Riordan’s best-selling Percy Jackson series. And why not? It worked once.
Heck – it’s working again.
And why? Because the premise is a good one, but Riordan changes things enough that we’re not bored.
‘Waer‘, SCBWI West member Meg Caddy’s debut, has been on my TBR list since its release a few months ago. I was keen to see what caught the eye of Text and led to its shortlisting in the Text Prize (and a contract!).
Getting a contract as a previously unpublished author seems about as easy as brushing your hair with a glue stick. So I LOVE reading debuts. Half of me enjoys hearing a new voice and celebrating their success. I firmly believe that the more great books published, the more kids will want to read.
One writer’s success is a win for all writers.
The other half of me hopes I will pick up that final, vital hint about how to write a novel publishers will latch on to.
So, what did I discover in Waer?
- Seamless and brave world-building
- Two vivid POVs
- A decidedly unexpected twist.
And beware (be waer?) (sorry) the odd, tiny little spoiler ahead.
Wandering past my local library’s “New to the Library” kid’s shelf last week, I was knocked dead by an inviting cover. The illustrations lured me in, then the title quirked my curiosity further.
But, alas, it was second in the series.
Fast forward five seconds to me searching under K in the Junior Fiction section, and then giving an understated fist pump. Because Book 1 was there: ‘Anyone but Ivy Pocket‘ by Caleb Krisp, illustrated by Barbara Cantini.
Oh, and it was understated because, seriously, I was in a library. Continue reading
Books and a cup of tea… nice
Last week I talked about Cassandra Clare‘s characters, and why they appeal. If you missed it, here it is. Today is Part 2 of a Shadowhunting Deconstruction, looking at the other two areas that work really well. The books I reviewed were:
Bright and funny? Kick-ass addictive characters? A world where you can feel the heat radiating off the futuristic tarmac? Welcome to one of my favourite reads – ‘Cinder‘, Book 1 in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Yee-ha!
This got on my TBR list after a Penguin Teen Australia event. Once I got past the cover I was hooked – to both this story, and the entire series.
I still haven’t got the book-hook out of the side of my mouth. Did I mention I love this series?
I’m not alone.
So… what works so well?
- Characters – strong, funny, imperfect
- Romance – right from the start
- Happy feel