Review: Sidekick

sidekickSidekick by Auralee Wallace

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of publisher via NetGalley

A super attractive cover which sort of reminds me of either Batman or Dark Girl; in the superhero sitting on top of high-rise building overlooking the city way. Whilst I myself am a fan of Wonder Woman and used to love watching superheroes movies, I find these days (being inundated with so very many of them) that I’m over it… I’ve not read many though so I thought this might be somewhat different, especially with the Bridget Jones’ aspect thrown over it.

The beginning was, to some extent, enjoyable. Bremy St James was basically like a goldfish taken out of the fish tank and thrown into the ocean. Unless she makes some drastic lifestyle changes, she’ll not survive the first wave. The humour of her fumbling and bumbling, however, quickly wore off and I couldn’t help eye-rolling through the next 70% of the story.

Humour, I find, is something very subjective; that it is very dependant of the person’s taste for humour and each person’s different from the next. Whilst there wasn’t one Laugh-Out-Loud moment for me in Sidekick, this may not be the case for you. There are others who appears to love it though there are also others like myself. This story did not tickle me as funny (much). The heroine annoyed me in a head-banging-on-table way. The villain was stereotypical. No other characters appeal to me personally or were underdevelop… (not sure if this was supposed to be a series?)

I was told that I’m pretty generous when it comes to star ratings hence I rarely ever give a 1-star rating but I also do not give 5-stars rating lightly. These will have to be extreme hatred or love of the book for me. Since I do not particularly hate this book, 2-stars is all I believe it deserves. Sidekick, unfortunately, is just not my cup of tea.

Thank you, Escape Publishing for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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Review: Disruption

disruptionDisruption by Jessica Shirvington

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: paperback copy courtesy of publisher

This read was the fastest 400 pages ever! I have to admit that the print was pretty big but the words finished in no time at all… Disruption was one of those reads where you NEED to keep on reading to find out what happens next and yet, you kept watching on how many pages to go til the end because you never want it to end. But the ending was just… so… evil… I’m breathlessly awaiting the sequel to this duology!!

The world has is now a different place with each individual movements being visible to those in authority. This idea in itself is not original though the Phera-tech spin to assess compatibilities between people is an interesting concept. There is, however, a tragic side of this tech where IN-compatible people are removed from society but as always, nothing is as it seems. Maggie Stevens have seen through some of these deceptions and to save someone she loves, she’s willing to sacrifice all.

I found the beginning just a tad difficult to start with –that might have to do with the time of day that I found it slightly tricky to get on in this new world. However, I did love the prologue as it was really intriguing and set the stage up for Maggie-Quentin combo. Once all, the intro, is done and the action started, there is no stopping me from rushing to the end of the book. Disruption is an intriguing action-packed fast-paced and romantic read.

One of the things I vaguely remembered Jessica Shirvington mentioned at the launch was that her vision is to write female characters that her little girls would be proud of. I think, with Maggie (as I’ve not read her other books yet!), she’s definitely got one. Maggie is one very driven, very focused young lady. She is capable and is mostly on top of things though her goal, sometimes, served as blinders to other things. She is quite awesome to behold; I loved her character development in this book and can’t wait to see where it will go next in Corruption. Can I just say once more how the ending is driving me stir crazy?!

Thank you, HarperCollins Australia, for copy of book

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Cover Reveal: King Tomb

For a blogger, I’m not the most boisterous of them (understatement of the year!) though on the rare occasion, I do manage to rave about a book or two.  The Forever Evermore trilogy is probably the only NA trilogy I’ve truly raved about -especially King Hall (book 1).  King Hall totally rocks my socks off, King Cave (book 2) hurts me pretty badly and I can just feel the vibe of pain from the upcoming King Tomb already… I am so looking forward to this.  So many trilogies are finishing up this year and this is one of my most anticipated release for the year to read before bub’s arrival!  The release date is cutting it real fine but hope bub will hold on in there until Scarlett Dawn has finished tearing my heart out ;D

It’s my absolute privilege to participate in this cover reveal… without further ado, BEHOLD: King Tomb

KingTomb_Final

hhhmmm…. where is Lily??!?!?

Title: King Tomb (Forever Evermore #3)

Author: Scarlett Dawn

Release Date: October 1, 2014

Blurb:

From Scarlett Dawn comes the stunning, sexy, sensual, surprising, spell-binding conclusion to the bestselling first Forever Evermore trilogy.

Queen Shifter, Lily Ruckler, has found solace in brutal warfare. Her bloodied fists and bared fangs fill the holes left in her memory, the blank spaces that leave her soul aching and empty. Her only pleasure is in blood; her only salvation is the relationship she has with her infant child, the baby of unknown origins who brings her solace and stability.

When Elder Harcourt summons Lily and her protector Antonio back to the United States, Lily thinks nothing unusual about the change of location. But a standard reconnaissance mission leaves her trapped inside King Zeller’s private quarters, and at his mercy. Surprise attraction rapidly turns to a battle of wills and an intense power struggle that leaves no clear victor but plenty of resentment.

They are not allowed to nurse their wounds. In order to win the war against the Commoners, the King Vampire and Queen Shifter must work together. It should be easy. The war is turning, the battle is deadly, and both Lily and Ezra love the cold cleanliness of combat. But their chance meeting has led to more than an unlikely alliance. Secrets have a way of surfacing, especially on a torn-up battlefield, and Lily and Ezra are about to re-learn all they cannot remember. If they can’t control their emotions and responses, it will be to their own ruin and the destruction of everything around them.

Dawn.jpg

Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, which include King Hall and King Cave.

She lives in the Midwest, where she loves to ‘people watch’ and daydream. She adores her music loud and her fries covered in cheese.

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Review: Drive By

drive byDrive By by Michael Duffy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Uncorrected Proof won on publisher’s FB comp

A crime novel set in my own backyard was what I thought drew me to this novel. Ever since reading the Detective Jill Jackson series by Leah Giarratano, I’ve been somewhat nervous each time I had to go to a certain train station ~a certain fictional event is haunting me. Drive By, though set in Western Sydney, wasn’t quite in my hood and for that, I think I’m grateful.

Despite the comparison to Peter Temple’s works in the blurb, which I have read and loved, I approached this work somewhat hesitantly. The cover has a look of non-fiction and I must say, not quite attractive to fiction lovers like myself. However, when you take in consideration the author’s background as a journalist, the cover totally makes sense.

Drive By is told from 3 alternative perspectives –each as different as s/he could be. Bec, Rebecca Ralston, is a young Constable ensnared in a circumstance and left to fend for herself with nary a person to turn to who hasn’t got their own agendas. She, interestingly, is 1/8 Indigenous and protected herself with big words. Jabber ‘John’ Habib, Honest John, was told by his family that he must stand on the other side of the line in the sand –to be a law-abiding citizen. His love for his family drives him to do all he can to keep them safe yet it also blinds him. The prosecutor, Karen Mabbey, hasn’t been able to care about her work; not since her life feels like it’s spiralling out of her control.

The beginning feels quite slow to me though what fascinated me were the characters. I had to roll my eyes / snort each time Bec’s wordy speech, was driven to frustration by John’s slow uptake or may be even selective blindness, and felt nothing but sympathy for Karen. At about 2/3 of the way, however, I was jolted by a twist and then again and again… It was turn after turn in a complex layer of duplicity with a mind blowing conclusion. I must confess though after this whirlwind of the plot, where each of the characters end up didn’t really surprise me though I wish for something somewhat different (what can I say, I’m an optimist :p).

The reference to Peter Temple’s works though is not due to the writing style as it is quite different but in reference to the bold un-crossable line between the crims and law-enforcers. And this was quite evident in the novel. <Drive By is hands-down the best crime novel I’ve read so far this year and one I would highly recommend to all crime readers.

Thanks, Allen & Unwin, for the giveaway

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Review: Luna Tango

luna tangoLuna Tango by Alli Sinclair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of publisher

Judge a book by the cover? Always! Sometimes the cover does tell you quite a bit on what the book is about and Luna Tango definitely falls within this category. Let’s not dismiss the title either though I can tell you that it’s definitely not about (literally) dancing the tango in moonlight ;) A gorgeous cover with bright colours and a promise of the exotic –what more can you ask for as cover for a romantic novel? And which girl can resist a sexy & broody hero?

Dani McKenna’s love life has just bombed out and she’s now in pursuit of her career –or so she thinks. She has decided to write about Tango, the curse of her family, and her first interviewee is to be Carlos Escuedero; a well-known tango dancer who has had to give up his dancing days due to some scandal. As always, things are not what they seem and Dani & Carlos will have to work out whether they can trust each other with their secrets.

Parallel to Dani’s story is Louisa’s story set in 1950s which had become (by Dani’s time) a somewhat mysterious legend for when the truth is known may rock the Tango world and maybe even the country. I must confess my preference for this past-world as I feel the love story was more heartfelt and rather grand –reaching over the years despite the anguish. With this comparison, I also found that the Dani & Carlos ‘relationship’ seems to be rather easy… ie. ‘stumbling blocks’ seem rather like pebbles and all smoothed out with just a tad of distress. Their attraction and sexual tension was felt but there was a lack of the entertaining playful teasing that I most appreciate in romance novels; I seem to only remember one particular bit of this in this book.

This book is totally rated on the ease of reading and it was so very easy –I inhaled it within a few hours and basically ignored everybody else in the house. It was a precious few peaceful hours well spent in the company of tango (there were bits & pieces about tango including some history that I appreciated). I think all I was missing was the background tango music in an otherwise, perfect evening in Argentina with a bunch of exotic men <3 <3 <3

Thank you, Harlequin Books Australia for copy of eARC via NetGalley.

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Review: The Whispering Skull

the whispering skullThe Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of publisher

I read the first book of Lockwood & Co. at the beginning of this year and was completely enamoured with the whole setup. Whilst I first started with the thought of finding out what’s available in the children’s sections these days (my son is starting school next year, eep!); I truly completely loved The Screaming Staircase that I didn’t hesitate to request The Whispering Skull when I saw it on NetGalley. I enjoyed the company of Lockwood & Co. even more this time around.

The book opens with a creepy scene with action quickly following on its heel; an investigation of Lockwood & Co. that didn’t quite turn out as they wished. This was such a terrific and most engaging start. It also promises a more sinister tone to this book than the first instalment. A promised well-fulfilled, if I may say so. The Whispering Skull gives us scary situations, frightening creatures, & spine-chilling items that threatened the well-being of the whole world.

What I mostly loved about this book, however, is the development of characters, not only of Lockwood, George, and Lucy but also of Kipps & co. I loved how Kipps is (whilst being the most annoying nemesis) ‘humanised’ and all are called to sympathise with him. I also loved the development of friendship between Lockwood, George, & Lucy – that there’s ups and downs in friendships & that trust is a requisite in a well-oiled relationships.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough to all children and parents out there looking for an adventure. You will love the characters and be thrilled by the plot. Girls & Boys, get into it!

Thank you, Disney-Hyperion, for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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Review: Allegiant

allegiant Allegiant by Veronica Roth
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Source: purchased own paperback copy

First I must note that I wasn’t one of those who raved about Divergent when it was released few years ago. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. It was a pretty average read for me… a quick & easy read that didn’t really encourage me to pick up the second book. It took some time for me to get to Insurgent though the ending of that book made me really excited for the next installment.

Allegiant is another quick & easy read –easy to put down and pick up wherever you left off too. Being the type of reader I am though, I finished it in no time at all even when I didn’t skim (I think this is an easy book to just skim through if you’re curious about the ending but don’t want to read all of the book). I am settling for another average rating for this book because…

1. There seems to be some sort of formula with this trilogies:

Displacement ✓

Dishonest Leaders ✓ (um, what does this say about our own political leaders?

Rebellion ✓

Tris wanting to do something different or more than the rebels ✓

Etc…

2. I actually didn’t mind the ending which I think where most fans will / had complained about. Although I did find that particular incident to be just too anticlimactic. It didn’t provoke any sort of reaction whatsoever –I just shrugged my shoulders and went on with the read…

3. I might have read this part (between the lines) incorrectly but I thought there was some sort of ‘hint’ as to what the password is to get into that room but it wasn’t even thought of, afterwards?

In summary, I’m not totally keen on Allegiant but… I did manage to read the whole book without any attempts to chuck it at the wall so I figure this would rate as pretty average for me.

I re-read Divergent with a little more excitement (um, hello, Theo James!!, Can you blame me?!) just prior to the release of the movie but it was still not one I loved completely. And when I finally picked up Allegiant, it was because I needed a break in between some serious adult historical fiction novels I’ve been reading. It’s done its trick and now, I just want to see more of Theo James…

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