Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Dreamless Excerpt by Josephine Angelini

Chapter One
Red blood bloomed from underneath Helen’s torn fingernails, pooled in the crescents of her cuticles, and trailed down her knuckles in little rivers. Despite the pain, she gripped the ledge more tightly with her left hand so she could try to slide her right hand forward. There was grit and blood under her fingers, making her slip, and her hands were cramping so badly that the center of her palm was starting to spasm. She reached with her right, but didn’t have the strength to pull herself any farther forward.
Helen slid back with a gasp until she was dangling from her rigid fingertips. Six stories beneath her kicking feet was a dead flowerbed, littered with moldy bricks and slates that had slid off the roof of the dilapidated mansion and broken into bits. She didn’t have to look down to know that the same would happen to her if she lost her grasp on the crumbling window ledge. She tried again to swing a leg up and catch it on the windowsill, but the more she kicked the less secure her grip became.
A sob escaped from between her bitten lips. She had been hanging from this ledge since she descended into the Underworld that night. It felt to her like hours, maybe days had passed, and her endurance was flagging. Helen cried out in frustration. She had to get off this ledge and go find the Furies. She was the Descender– this was her task. Find the Furies in the Underworld, defeat them somehow, and free the Scions from the Furies’ influence. She was supposed to be ending the cycle of vengeance that compelled Scions to kill each other off, but instead here she was, hanging from a ledge.
She didn’t want to fall, but she knew that she would get no closer to finding the Furies if she went on clinging here for an eternity. And in the Underworld, every night lasted forever. She knew she needed to end this night and start the next anew, in some other, hopefully more productive, infinity. If she couldn’t pull herself up, that left only one option.
The fingers of Helen’s left hand began twitching and her grip gave way. She tried to tell herself not to fight it, that it would be better to fall because at least it would be over. But still she clung to the ledge with every bit of strength remaining in her right hand. Helen was too afraid to let herself go. She bit down on her bloody lip in concentration, but the fingers of her right hand slid across the grit and finally came away from the edge. She couldn’t hold on.
When she hit the ground she heard her left leg snap.
Helen slapped a hand over her mouth to keep the scream from erupting across her quiet Nantucket bedroom. She could taste the flinty grit of the Underworld on her cramped fingers. In the pewter-blue light of predawn, she listened intently to the sound of her father getting ready for the day down the hall. Thankfully, he didn’t seem to hear anything out of the ordinary, and he went downstairs to start cooking breakfast as if nothing were wrong.
Lying in bed, trembling with the pain of her broken leg and her pulled muscles, Helen waited for her body to heal itself. Tears slid down either side of her face, leaving hot tracks across her chilled skin. It was icy cold in her bedroom.
Helen knew she had to eat to heal properly, but she couldn’t go downstairs with a broken leg. She told herself to stay calm and wait. In time her body would be strong enough to move, then stand, and then walk. She would lie and say she’d over slept. She’d hide her sore leg from her father as best as she could, smiling and making small talk as they ate. Then, with a little food in her, she would heal the rest of the way.
She would feel better soon, she told herself, crying as quietly as she could. She just had to hold on.
Someone was waving a hand in Helen’s face.
“What?” she asked, startled. She turned to look at Matt, who was signaling her back to earth.
“I’m sorry, Lennie, but I still don’t get it. What’s a Rogue Scion?” he asked, his brow wrinkled with worry.
“I’m a Rogue,” she answered a bit too loudly. She’d faded for a second there, and still hadn’t caught up to the conversation.
Helen straightened her slumped shoulders and looked around at the rest of the room to find that everyone was staring at her. Everyone except Lucas. He was studying his hands in his lap, his mouth tight.
Helen, Lucas, Ariadne, and Jason were sitting around the Delos kitchen table after school, trying to catch Matt and Claire up on all things demigod. Matt and Claire were Helen’s best mortal friends, and they were both incredibly smart, but some things about Helen and her past were too complicated to be taken for granted. After everything they’d gone through, Matt and Claire deserved answers. They’d put their lives on the line to help Helen and the rest of the Delos family seven days ago.
Seven days, Helen thought, counting on her fingers to make sure. All that time in the Underworld makes it feel like seven weeks. Maybe it has been seven weeks for me.
“It sounds confusing, but it’s not,” Ariadne said when she realized that Helen wasn’t going to continue. “There are four Houses, and all four Houses owe each other a blood debt from the Trojan War. That’s why the Furies make us want to kill someone from another House. Vengeance.”
“A billion years ago someone from the House of Atreus killed someone from the House of Thebes and you are expected to pay that blood debt?” Matt asked dubiously.
“Pretty much, except it was a lot more than just one death. We’re talking about the Trojan War, here. A lot of people died, both demigod Scions and full mortals like you,” Ariadne said with an apologetic grimace.
“I know a lot of people died, but how does this blood-for-blood-thing get you anywhere?” Matt persisted. “It never ends. It’s insane.”
Lucas laughed mirthlessly and lifted his eye from his lap to meet Matt’s. “You’re right. The Furies drive us mad, Matt,” he said quietly, patiently. “They haunt us until we break.”
Helen remembered that tone. She thought of it as Lucas’s professor voice. She could listen to it all day, except she knew she shouldn’t want to.
“They make us want to kill each other in order to fulfill some twisted sort of justice,” Lucas continued in his measured tone. “They kill one person from our House, we kill one from theirs in retaliation, and on and on it goes for three and half thousand years. And if a Scion kills someone from his own House, he becomes an Outcast.”
“Like Hector,” Matt said tentatively. Even saying the name of their brother and cousin set off the Furies’ curse, angering the Delos clan. “He killed your cousin Creon because Creon killed your aunt Pandora, and now you all feel an irresistible urge to kill him, even though you still love him. I’m sorry. I’m still not seeing how that’s even remotely like justice.”
Helen looked around and saw Ari, Jason, and Lucas gritting their teeth. Jason was the first to calm himself
 “That’s why what Helen is doing is so important,” he replied. “She’s in the Underworld to defeat the Furies, and stop all this senseless killing.”
Matt gave up reluctantly. It was hard for him to accept the Furies, but he could see that no one at the table was any happier about their existence than he was. Claire still seemed like she needed to clarify a few things.
“Okay. That’s an Outcast. But Rogues like Lennie are Scions who have parents from two different Houses, but only one House can claim them, right? So they still owe a blood debt to the other House,” Claire spoke carefully, like she knew what she was saying was difficult for Helen to hear but she had to say it anyway. “You were claimed by your mother, Daphne. Or by her House, rather.”
“The House of Atreus,” Helen said dully, remembering how her long lost mother had returned to ruin her life nine days ago with some very unwelcome news.
“But your real father– not Jerry— even though, Lennie, I have to say, Jerry will always be your real dad to me,” Claire amended passionately before getting back on track. “Your biological father, who you never knew and who died before you were born…”
“Was from the House of Thebes.” For a moment Helen met Lucas’s eyes, then quickly looked away. “Ajax Delos.”
 “Our uncle,” Jason said, including Ariadne and Lucas in his glance.
“Right,” Claire said uncomfortably. She looked between Helen and Lucas who refused to meet her eyes. “And since you were both claimed by enemy Houses you two wanted each other dead at first. Until you…” she trailed off.
“Before Helen and I paid our blood debts to each other’s Houses by nearly dying for each other,” Lucas finished in a leaden tone, daring anyone to comment on the bond he and Helen shared.
Helen wanted to dig a hole straight down through the tiled floor of the Delos kitchen and disappear. She could feel the weight of everyone’s unasked questions.
They were all wondering: How far did Helen and Lucas go with each other before they found out they were first cousins? Was it just a little kissing, or did it get ‘scarred for life’ serious?
And: Do they still want to with each other, even though they know they’re cousins?
And: I wonder if they still do it sometimes.
It wouldn’t be hard for them because they can both fly. Maybe they sneak off every night and…
“Helen? We need to get back to work,” Cassandra said with bossy edge in her voice. She stood in the kitchen doorway with a fist planted on her slim, boyish hip.
As Helen stood up from the table, Lucas caught her eyes and gave her the tiniest of smiles, encouraging her. Smiling back ever so slightly, Helen followed Cassandra down to the Delos library feeling calmer, more self-assured. Cassandra shut the door and the two girls continued their search for some bit of knowledge that might help Helen in her quest.

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Just a little warning to start the review off, be prepared to cry though about 20% of the book. I know that I spent the last few chapters crying. Kami and Margaret have this amazing ability to bring their readers to the brink of tears. Not many authors can leave me crying right until the last words of the book.

Things have changed since the Seventeen Moon, not everything is as it should be. We see the gang trying to come to terms with the changes and figure out the next song given to Ethan by his mom. Not only has the natural world changed but the characters are either going down darker paths than we're use to seeing them.

There was a line in the book that caught my attention and please forgive me if I don't get it exactly right; "Evil does not always equate to dark and Light does not always equate to good..." I'm not a hundred percent sure if that is correct but it seems to be a theme throughout the book. I found it astonishing to see that it was not a false saying and people can change given the right motivation.

We say good bye to one of the main characters and its a very teary good bye.

I wonder why Kami and Margaret love to leave us with this huge cliff hanger? BEAUTIFUL CHAOS is the mother load of all cliff hangers in the CASTER CHRONICLES so far and I'm not so sure I can wait until the next book is released. Any chance we can get a sneak peek?

Happy Reading :)


EB.com Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Monday, 26 December 2011

Abandon by Meg Cabot

When I first came across ABANDON on Meg's website it was a must for me, but as time goes by we tend to forget about certain books that we said we would get. A friend of mine asked if I had read ABANDON because she couldn't put it down, it dawned on me that I wanted to read it. I told her I hadn't but was getting in the car to grab myself a copy.
As she said I would not be disappointed and she was 100% correct.

I love how Meg retold the story of Persephone. I haven't read the classic tale to truly compare but I don't think it's really necessary (not a very good blogger of me). This is one of the first books that I've read written by Meg and I cannot believe that I waited so long.

Its amazing how sometimes during the book I got a little confused and then later in the book I lost the confusion because everything was explained to me through some twisted tale.
I kept jumping between I can trust you and then not. Seems my gut was right with a few characters and then one that I never saw coming left me with a bit of a fish mouth in the office. I remember sending my sister a message when I reached that OMG part and she just laughed and explained that she dropped the book because she thought that could not be possible.

Pierce is a bit of a strange character and sometimes I wonder about the red that she sees when she's pissed. It wasn't fully answered in ABANDON and I'm hoping to get an answer in UNDERWORLD. I guess the weirdness comes from having your life turned upside down and not being able to get back to the way things where. Sometimes that is better but I'm not sure about that when it comes to Pierce.
Its amazing how she lets herself love completely after things have been explained to her and she doesn't feel like the only crazy person the small coastal town.

Be prepared to hold tight to your book because it's pretty hard to put down and when reaching the end leaves you begging for more just know the sequel is on the way :)

Happy Reading :)


EB.com Abandon by Meg Cabot

In My Mailbox

The next installment of catch up :)

  1. Muse by Rebecca Lim
  2. Destined by Jessie Harrell
  3. Eve by Anna Carey

Fallen 3: End of Days by Thomas E. Sniegoski

I was over the moon when I saw that Thomas had written another book in the FALLEN series, considering how book 4 finished off. I kept asking my sister how could it just end like that? I have to know what happens...
Thank heavens there was another book to help feed my need for what had happened to Aaron and the gang.

I would have thought that after Aaron had defeated the Dark Powers I thought that would be the end of them and the Nephilim could live in peace not having to keep looking over their shoulders in fear that they might be killed because the Powers had this dark and twisted notion that they were an abomination, did not deserve the right live.
There's a darker evil in this book, what I loved was seeing how the Nephilim had grown has a team and more so as a family. I missed the other characters from the previous book but that added to the emotional side of the book because I don't think I was the only one.

Love is a tricky thing especially when a love triangle is formed, we don't see it grow in this book but I'm hoping if Thomas writes another installment to see where it goes and how things change between the characters.

I found it astonishing to see how much Gabriel had changed since the first book. He is a lot more expressive and feels things more deeply now. There's a scene in the END OF DAYS where Gabriel comes to the rescue in a sense and that tugged on my heart strings. His development has been extraordinary to watch, he has grown in strength from the first time we met him. I'm hoping for only good things to come for him.

This book is filled with plenty of action, love, tears and even some twists within the shoreline. I suggest you pick up the previous books or else a little confusion will settle in.
I'm hoping that Thomas will continue with the series considering how the book ended. It just cannot end like that.

Happy Reading :)


EB.com Fallen 3: End of Days by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Sunday, 25 December 2011

In My Mailbox

Still working on the catch up and by the looks of things I'm almost done.

  1. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
  2. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  3. Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1: Phantom

I was shocked like most VAMPIRE DIARES fans to hear that L.J Smith would no longer be writing the series and that a ghost writer would now take over from where she left off. 
I ask this question, how can the publishers take a story from the author when it first began with her and not them? Sure they helped get her published but it's her baby, VD is best told through the imagination and words of L.J Smith not some ghost writer who hasn't been apart of the "birthing" process.

As part of an inquiry to see how this writer compares to the original I ordered myself a copy and I'm ashamed to mention this but I did enjoy the book to an extent but I could feel that it was not written by the original author and missing some key emotions and even some aspects that where hinted at in the MIDNIGHT, I was looking forward to seeing how that shoreline would unfold only to find out that it had been wiped clean almost as if it never happened. Something interesting occurred to me when I was reading how it kept coming back to the fact that the past cannot be forgotten and I thought isn't that just a little ironic.

I shed a few tears here and there but so many things that happened between MIDNIGHT and PHANTOM and have left me utterly confused and surely there could have been some way that the writer might be able to explain what has taken place so that we aren't as confused or maybe more so than Elena and the rest of the gang.

Maybe the next installment will not be almost as disappointing as PHANTOM.

Happy Reading :)


In My Mailbox

I have so many IMM's to post but I'm going to get there soon I hope :)

  1. Lost In Time by Melissa De La Cruz
  2. The Vampire Diaries: the Hunters Vol. 1: Phantom
  3. Unleashed: Wolf Springs Chronicles # 1

Destined by Kristen and PC Cast

After I finished reading AWAKENED I couldn't wait for the release of DESTINED because for me the book ended with a cliff-hanger, I guess that is amazing writing but it drives me insane. I guess I'm one of those readers that needs to know what happens-I've never been good with good waiting :)

The main plot for the HOUSE OF NIGHT series has been the battle between good and evil and each time the books end I'm thinking could Zoey and her friends finally defeated the evil within the books but it never fails to see the new and dark ways that Nerefet will go to destroy Zoey.  I've always wondered what her obsession with Zoey is? Could it be her closeness to the Goddess or her powers manifesting so early? Maybe those questions will be answered within the next book or maybe even the final book of the series.

The evil in DESTINED seems to be gaining some control but in the end it's the love that can put the brakes on and even help show that sometimes evil does not always equate to evil. 

What I found interesting was that the death of Zoey's mother played a crucial part within the book, it didn't give the characters the sense of depression or make the book somber it helped discover a few things and even bring unknown allies together. For me reading how the death took place as well as watching what unfolded during the ritual had me on the end of my seat and in tears until the end of the book.

A great sacrifice was made for one of the main the characters and it was amazing  considering the path that he was and maybe that path was the one he was going to continue walking. I was grateful that he had the change in heart to step away from that dark and unknown path to the one that his love had helped walk which ultimately lead him back to the Goddess.

I for one am looking forward to the end of the battle of good and evil to see how it ends. If the other books are anything to go by I know that the Cast duo will have us on the edge of our seats and maybe even shedding a few tears. Looking for ward to the next book!

Happy Reading :)


Friday, 16 December 2011

Fateful by Claudia Gray

I feel in love with FATEFUL immediately. Talking some people about the book I noticed how they weren't sure about the Titanic element, but I thought it would make a wonderful shoreline and backdrop-the book did and stood out on its own. The book is full of romance, action, suspense, plenty of tear inducing scenes and even some slight rebellion. 
Seeing as the Titanic has been used as the backdrop will it shadow the tragic ending of the Titanic or could there be a silver lining out there?

Tess is a pretty strong person even though she has been through a lot in such a short space of time. I found it remarkable how she was still able to keep a positive outlook on life even though working for the Lisle family was not easy and pretty much getting your head taken off my the ever enchanting Lady Lisle. Most people would expect the class difference to show thought the family but it doesn't, seeing how Irene treats Tess with pure tenderness and friendship I think helps Tess get through the day no matter what obstacles she has to overcome.
I have to admit that while reading FATEFUL I was tempted to throw 98% of the Lisle family overboard. 

Tess seems to keep running into Alec and Mikhail, lets just say they each bring their own danger to the story and one more than the other. 

I'm tying my best not to ruin the book for those of you who have not read the book but its pretty hard. I'm thinking of finishing off my review here with a few more words and then hoping that those that haven't read FATEFUL will go and pick up a copy at your nearest book store.

The Titanic did play a rather huge role in the book and true to history and the movie it does sink, but is it the same tragedy for our couple? Only time will tell.

i have to admit that after reading FATEFUL and hoping for a sequel I found out that it was a stand-alone book, I think my heart shattered again. Always leaving us on a cliff hanger and wondering what would have happened. Claudia stayed true to all writings-another captivating novel :)

Happy Reading :)


Friday, 2 December 2011

Feature and Follow Friday #4

Hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee

Question: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don't like love triangles or thin plots? Tell us about it!

I've never really thought about my pet peeves when it comes to ready, unless I find the book rather boring, that bugs me to no end. So let me take a minute and ponder this question....
  1. Anti-climatic: For some I don't think it bothers them, but for me it dries my head in. The book is going at an amazing pace and I'm getting ready for this huge climax and nothing. Its a let down to have my heart ponding for what is store to only find out that the author made a terrible decision to decrease the suspense for something useless that could have been left out the book.
  2. Spelling errors: I've noticed these lately when it comes to reading first edition books. I understand a few mistakes here and there with ARC's but with an actual book that has been printed for the public that should be a no on so many levels. The authors have editors for a reason and I'm sure a few people should go through the manuscript before its given the green light for mass production?

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