Friday, 30 September 2011

Mel's Random September

This week has been goregous in the UK - the sun has been shining and the temperatures up in the high 20s! Been far too nice to work, but alas I've had too... However, the nights are drawing in and it is now dark when my alarm wakes in the morning - actually it's been dark in the morning for a while, but now it's dark when I leave the flat and that's even more depressing. But these long nights are perfect for curling up at home with a book and I've spent a lot of September practising for those nights! That and I've been trying to save money which means not going out as much!

So how did this impact the reading situation?

Books
0.4 - Mike Lancaster
Nothing But Trouble - Rachel Gibson (Transworld Book Group)
The Red Queen - Phillippa Gregory
Death Sentence - Mikkel Birkegaard (Transworld Book Group & BCC's Mystery & Suspense Challenge)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns - Rae Carson (FCC's Speculative Fiction Challenge)

Audio Books

Guest Reviews
Sarah reviewed The Sandalwood Tree - Elle Newmark as part of the Transworld Book Group.


Other Posts
Same Book/Different Cover looked at A Game of Thrones this month.
In addition there were the usual wishlist posts, in my mailbox and Throwback Thursdays.

Eli Monpress Week
This month I had my first week event - the search for Eli Monpress! Among the posts & reviews I had great fun sharing my love for this series with you all - hope you enjoyed it as well!

The Spirit Thief - Rachel Aaron (Audiobook)
My Book Boyfriend - Eli Monpress
Interview with Rachel Aaron
The Spirit Rebellion - Rachel Aaron
60 Second Quick Quiz with Rachel Aaron
The Spirit Eater - Rachel Aaron

And don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win all three Eli Monpress books - running until 7th October!

So with all that in mind my reading challenges status looks like this:
BCC's Mystery & Suspense Challenge - 11 Read, 1 Left to read. I know I can finish this soon!
FTC Speculative Fiction Challenge - 20 Read - officially I've completed this! Yay! However, I'll continue to post reviews and see how I can do in the second half of the year.
BV's YA of 80s and 90s Challenge - 12 Read, Again I've officially finished this but I'll continue to add to the reviews as I picked up so many old YA books - I need to read some of them!  
Personal Classic Challenge -  6 Read

Highlight of the month: No contest really - Eli Monpress week! I had such a blast reading those books - it really reminded me of how fun reading can be! Plus Rachel Aaron was such a star during her interviews.

Honorable Mentions: World War Z was a great audio book which I loved listening too. 0.4 was a great read as well!

So what was your month like? :)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Spirit Eater Review

The Spirit Eater (Legend of Eli Monpress 3)
-       Rachel Aaron
Publisher: Orbit
With the pressure on after his success in Gaol, Eli Monpress, professional thief and degenerate, decides it's time to lie low for a bit. Taking up residence in a tiny seaside village, Eli and his companions seize the chance for some fun and relaxation. Nico, however, is finding it a bit hard. Plagued by a demon's voice in her head and feeling powerless, she only sees herself as a burden. Everyone's holiday comes to an untimely close, though, when Pele arrives to beg Eli's help for finding her missing father. But there are larger plans afoot than even Eli can see, and the real danger, and the solution, may lie with one of his own and her forgotten past. If only Nico could remember whose side she's on.
Wow. Just wow. After a yummy starter in The Spirit Thief and a tasty fish course in The Spirit Rebellion, we get the most delicious, scrumptious main course in The Spirit Eater! It has all the things I loved about the first two books – dripping with amusing banter,  seasoned with daring escapades and served with great action scenes. Plus this time we get additional information about Nico and her demon seed and the league of storms and the shepherdess, which has only been hinted at previously. And we find out what Eli does with all his loot! J
Eli shows some true emotional depth as he can’t refuse to help a friend and then struggles to trust his partner, Nico when he finds out more about her past. Miranda is hard on Eli’s heels and determined not to let him slip through her fingers once again. And this time she’s working with two mysterious men from the council – Sparrow and Tesset, both of whom are intriguing additions that leave me wanting to know more. That’s what I love about this series – the answers to questions are given but not handed to you on a plate. To find out you have to keep reading – and when the writing this smooth and the story so interesting it’s no chore!
I love the humour – so many fantasy books take themselves too seriously. Here the stakes are raised, you care about the characters, but there is still great fun to be had. I love any scene which has both Miranda and Eli in – they really spark off each other and their conversations had me smiling all day. Miranda who has been so straight and narrow previously, starts to learn that there are shades of grey in the world. Her ghosthound, Gin is as much a delight as ever. I could just go on mentioning the layered characters and how there are so many hints at what there is to come, but it would be much easier if you read the books as well.
This is my favourite Eli book so far – and now I can’t believe I have to wait until next year for The Spirit War! If you want some fun adventures in a unique magic system, then start hunting down Eli and see if you catch him! J
Recommended for fans of Karen Miller and Jennifer Fallon. 9.5 out of 10.

Rachel Aaron - 60 Second Quiz

Today is the last day of my Eli Monpress week! Boo! I've had a great time and to finish on a high, this afternoon I have my review of the final book released so far, The Spirit Eater, but this morning I have a 60 second, quick question quiz with Rachel Aaron. So without much ado...
- Favourite Book you’ve read?
All time? The Last Unicorn. Recently? Probably the Vampire Academy series or Hunger Games (there's so much good YA fiction right now!), though I have to give a huge shout out to Jacqueline Carey's The Sundering duology. Best epic fantasy I've read as an adult.

- Favourite Book you’ve written? <Cruel question I know!>
Probably Spirit's End, the fifth and final Eli novel. I got to do so many huge scenes I'd been waiting the whole series to roll out, and the ending was so, so satisfying. Seriously, ya'll are going to love that book.

- Favourite food?
Anything involving potatoes, though it should be noted that I am a Diet Coke fueled robot.

- Favourite film?
V for Vendetta (if I'm feeling Epic), The Sting (every other time. Best con movie ever made.)

 
- Favourite music?
I let Pandora decide what I listen to! (Actually, I really suck at music. I can never remember band names and I have the musical taste of a 14 year old girl. So, since I want my fans to still like me when this is through, I'm just going to leave it at that.)

- Favourite authors?
China Mieville is probably the author I take the greatest pleasure in reading on a page by page basis, but I can never get into his plots. I've loved nearly everything I've read by Sarah Monette, though. I tend to like series rather than authors. For example, I ate up Vampire Academy with a spoon, but haven't been able to get into Richelle Mead's other works. Same with Patricia Briggs - LOVED the Mercy Thompson books, was only meh on everything else. I am a very cruel and picky reader.

- Any pets?
I have a lovely, fat, brown mutt of a low rider sausage dog named Lettie. She is dumb as a brick and very cuddly. I love her to pieces. (There's actually an entire interview about Lettie here in case you're really bored and/or like fat dogs)

- Favourite saying/quote?
"What do we own but our ambitions?" Which is actually a misquote of "What does a poor soldier own but his ambitions" from the Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind manga by Hayao Miyazaki. (Fantastic manga, if you've never read it.)

Our ambitions are the only things that are truly our own. Everything else, even our lives, was given to us. But my ambitions belong only to me, and I take them very seriously. For the longest time, the whole of my ambition was to be published. After I got my book deal, I actually floundered for several months before I found a new ambition - make the NYT. Sure it's a huge, nearly impossible goal, but so was getting published in the first place, and I did that. All I can do is hold my ambition close and write the best books I can, and that's exactly what I mean to do.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!
Thank you so much for having me! It was really fun.

And don't forget to enter my giveaway for all the Legend of Eli Monpress books here

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

ELI MONPRESS GIVEAWAY!

I hope you've all been enjoying Eli Monpress week so far - I know I have! Now Eli may be the greatest thief in the world, but even he wouldn't turn down something for nothing (although he might be a little suspicious!). And I'm offering one lucky person the complete series of Eli Monpress books so far - that's a copy of The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion and The Spirit Eater.



Rules are pretty simple, cos I get easily confused!
 - Just fill in the form below.
- Open Internationally (as long as The Book Depository ships to you)
- Ends at midnight GMT 7th October.
- Don't have to be a follower (although I won't object!)
- Just fill in the form below - Good luck!

Oh, and this isn't necessary to enter but I'm curious...if you were able to steal one thing (for a short time only, of course you'll return it!), what would it be..? Answers in the comments. It can be anything in the world. Personally, I'd 'borrow' a fully manned sailing ship for a two week holiday around the Mediterranean. Sun, sea and plenty of books! Bliss! :-)

<GIVEAWAY CLOSED>

The Spirit Rebellion Review

The Spirit Rebellion (The Legend of Eli Monpress 2)
-          Rachel Aaron

Publisher: UK – Orbit

Eli Monpress is brilliant. He's incorrigible. And he's a thief.
He's also still at large, which drives Miranda Lyonette crazy. While she's been kicked out of the Spirit Court, Eli's had plenty of time to plan his next adventure. But now the tables have turned, because Miranda has a new job -- and an opportunity to capture a certain thief.
Things are about to get exciting for Eli. He's picked a winner for his newest heist. His target: the Duke of Gaol's famous "thief-proof" citadel. Eli knows Gaol is a trap, but what's life without challenges? Except the Duke is one of the wealthiest men in the world, a wizard who rules his duchy with an iron fist, and an obsessive perfectionist with only one hobby: Eli. 
It seems that everyone is hunting for Eli Monpress.

The Spirit Rebellion picks up shortly after the end of The Spirit Thief with Miranda returning to the Spirit Court having let Monpress go in exchange for his help and Eli and his friends looking for a replacement cloak for Nico, the demon seed. This is a more than satisfying second course from Rachel Aaron. We learn more about Eli’s past as well as hints about the demon seed maturing in Nico. In addition there is some element of the politics Miranda has to deal with. I love her constant ethical dilemma between obeying the Spirit Court and doing what is best for her own spirits – even if she was feeling a little sorry for herself at one point. Luckily her spirit-hound is able to keep her from wallowing too much.

My favourite thing about this series are the conversations between characters – they banter, they complain and there is little exposition so it is through actions that you discover what is happening. The magic system of this world is fantastically original to me with everything having its own spirit – doors, roofs, wheels, wind, fire and even roads with wizards being people who can hear what these spirits have to say and able to persuade them to do certain things. This means that at times it’s the ‘inanimate’ objects that the characters are fighting against.

The writing is easy to slip into and you go through pages like a shark through the water – smoothly and devouring. Eli is a charming anti-hero with his swordsman playing more a straight hero role – at least as far as Nico is concerned. My one regret about The Spirit Rebellion is that Miranda and Eli didn’t get to spend much time together – I would have a loved a lot more flirting and to see them rub each other up the wrong way! Now I’ve had my starter and fish course – I’m hoping for a strong third course (and a meal with plenty more courses to come!). J

Recommended for fans of Patricia Briggs and Karen Miller. 8.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Author Interview: Rachel Aaron

Today I have the author - and Eli's partner in crime, Rachel Aaron stopping by. Welcome to Mel's Random reviews - it's great having you here!

First tell us a little about yourself...
Well, first off, my name is Rachel Aaron and I write books. That's pretty much what I do all day every day: books books books. I'm a professional escapist artist :D. The Legend of Eli Monpress is my first series published by the fantastic Orbit Books. I've finished the final two books, and the whole thing is now in my editor's hands going through all the primping and polishing books undergo before they hit the shelves. I live in Athens, GA with my husband and toddler son, who may or may not have eaten 2D6 of my books. And if that last sentence didn't tip my hand already, I'm also a huge nerd. I was a Warcraft addict but kicked the habit a few months ago to focus on books (but I'll come back when they fix shaman healing). I love anime, manga, videogames, and books I can't put down.
The Legend of Eli Monpress series has three books currently  released (The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion & The Spirit Eater) - how would you describe it to potential new readers?
I tend to describe my series as an adventure fantasy starring a charming scoundrel of a gentleman thief. It's very much rooted in the 90s style of action packed, swashbuckling fantasy but with a modern, urban fantasy pace. No slow rolling epics here. That said, the series is actually kind of hard to define. It's a character driven story with big personalities and larger than life situations that's also got a good bit of dry humor (sort of like a fantasy Dr. Who, actually. Funny people in tough situations). If the idea of a quick talking thief getting in way over his head and having to charm his way out appeals to you, then my series might just be your cup of tea.

If you just want to take a look, though, I always suggest new readers go to my website where you can read the first couple chapters of The Spirit Thief for free. People usually know by the end of the first scene whether my series is for them.

The magic system in the Eli books is unique – what inspired you to develop the idea of animating inanimate objects?
The inherently hilariousness of talking doors! Actually, that was a huge part of it, but the magical system of everything having a spirit (and how that ties in with the larger meta plot of the world) came to me years before I had the idea for the Eli books. Being a huge nerd, I'm always inventing magical systems. I have this bucket of worlds waiting around for the right story, and when Eli came along, my spirit world was a perfect fit for him. After all, what better place for a man whose super power is charm than a world where you can talk to everything?

There are many great characters in these books – do you have a favourite to write for and why?
Oh goooood, why did you ask me this? Um, my favorite changes. Every day I swear I love someone else the most. Eli certainly has the strongest voice, I can almost hear him in my head. He's probably my favorite character, but my favorite person to write is a toss up between Sara and Alber Whitefall. The scenes where they are together are some of my favorites in the series, unfortunately they're all in books 4 and 5, so I'm afraid no one will know what I'm talking about until next year. Trust me, though. You are going to LOVE those two.

My favorite couple in the book is undoubtedly Gin and Miranda. I just love a girl and her puppy. I also really love writing Benehime, which kind of upsets me. She is not a nice lady, but her dialogue comes so easily, I'm beginning to worry about myself.

Do plan in advance or to you start not knowing where the story will end?

When I started writing the series, I only planned vaguely. I knew the beginning and the end, but the middle was kind of a muddle. Somewhere around the end of book 3, I had the really novel idea that if I knew what I was writing before I wrote it, things might be easier. This was the DUH moment of my career. After this, I started planning everything, and not only did the writing get easier, the books got way way better. I planned both of the final books, The Spirit War and Spirit's End, extensively, and it really shows. They are hands down the best things I have ever written.

My discovery of planning lead directly to a huge jump in my daily wordcounts as well. Seriously, HUGE. As in I went from struggling to get 2000 words a day (roughly 1 scene) to writing well over 10,000 words a day (1.5 - 2 chapters) by the end of the final Eli novel. It was miraculous, and it was mostly due to planning. I actually have a blog post about my process here: just in case anyone is curious.

Eli Monpress is charming but he is also a thief – have you ever stolen anything?
I plead the fifth! But I will say that many moons ago I was a very bored teenage girl with tastes that outstripped her babysitting money. I can also pick locks, though not nearly as well as Eli can. (Fun fact - picking locks is actually way easier than you think and a very useful skill if you're prone to forgetting your keys.)
Why do you think fantasy remains such a popular genre?
Because fantasy can be whatever people need. There is a freedom in fantasy to be the very best of who we are as a species, to make extremely restrictive systems and then upturn them. Most fantasies are full of conflict and heroism of the enormous, satisfying type you just can't plausibly get in the real world. You can set up the most amazing situations with absolutely no regard to reality and run your characters through hardships people were never meant to handle... and then watch them survive and thrive. Fantasy is the ultimate celebration of the best and worst of humanity. Nothing illustrates the price of power, the sacrifice of doing what is right, the glory of heroism, or the agony of impossible choices better than the fantasy genre.

The world can be a cruel, unfair place where a good person can strive and strive and still die stupidly in a car crash never having reached their happy ending. Fantasy is popular in all languages, all around the globe, because we as a species long for a world where our efforts and values are rewarded, where unfairness and cruelty don't win, where the universe is governed by a system we can understand, and where one hero really can change the world simply by refusing to give up. That's a powerful, primal story, and one humanity has been telling since the beginning. Fantasy is the modern evolution of myth, and like myth, it will never leave us.
Have you ever had a fantastical experience?
No, sadly, unless you count the day I wrote 13,000 words. That was pretty damn magical. I felt like I was stumbling drunk when I finally had to stop. Otherwise, though, not really. I'm a pretty realistic, cynical person in my daily life, and I think part of what drives me to write fantasy is a longing for a more magical world. Though sometimes when I read about space, a bit of that childlike wonder comes back. I'm a real sucker for the Symphony of Science videos.



What have you got coming up next?
I actually just finished editing a scifi romance full of powered armor combat (amazing things happen when you can write 8-10k a day) that's meant to be the first in a trilogy. It's with my agent right now, so I don't know if it will be published yet, but I hope it will. I love it to pieces! It's very different from my Eli books, but it's got the same fast pacing and character driven plot. And if that doesn't sell, I'm working on a YA fantasy. Busy busy busy! But since publishing is a slow industry, anything I write now won't come out for 2 years at least. The snail's pace of publishing can be really vexing sometimes.

I'm also working on some short stories set in the Eli Monpress world for Orbit Short Fiction. I've already written one about how Miranda and Gin met, and my next is going to be about how Josef and Eli fell in together. If Orbit buys them, they'll be coming out to celebrate the Omnibus edition of the first three Eli books this February. If Orbit doesn't buy them for whatever reason, I'll just put them up on my site, so you'll get Eli short fiction no matter what!

That's it for the tough questions - on Thursday we tackle a 60 second quick quiz!

My Book Boyfriend: Eli Monpress!


Missie at the Unread Reader, has this great meme where we share our book boyfriends - you know the guys who make you swoon and come make for each time in your favourite book? Now, I've been spying and drooling over other people's book boyfriends for quite a few months now and hoarding all my men to myself. So esepcially for Eli Monpress week, I'm introducing my first book boyfriend, the man himself - ELI MONPRESS.

Eli is a thief, actually he's the greatest thief in the world with an ever growing bounty on his head. Or as his wanted poster says when we first meet him -
Eli Monpress - bounty, paid dead or alive,
20,000 Council Gold Standard Weights.
Wanted on 157 counts of grand larceny against a noble person, 3 counts of fraud, 1 charge of counterfeiting and treason against the Rector Spiritualis

But that doesn't mean he's evil. Lord Whitehall, member of the Council describes him as
"A two-bit con man with a flair for the dramatic."

 or as Miranda Lyonette says -
"Thinking he's not evil isn't the same as liking him. He's a scoundrel and a lawbreaker and a thief, not to mention a liar and though I will admit he's not a bad sort of guy underneath all that, it hardly makes up for the rest." 

However, I would gladly welcome him any time. He's charming -he can talk the trees into bending over backwards for him - literally! He has great trust in his friends and partners and while he can turn most situations to suit himself, at the end of the day he does do the right thing. And who doesn't like a bad boy with a heart of gold underneath? So far there has been little romance for Eli, but I'm sure I can change that! Plus if I ever bored of him, I can always turn him in for the bounty! :-)

Today I have Brandon Routh playing Eli as I think he has the perfect combination of cheeky grin and smouldering eyes. Plus yummy!
So would you kick him out of bed? :)


Monday, 26 September 2011

Audiobook: The Spirit Thief Review

The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress 1)
-   Rachel Aaron


Publisher: UK - Orbit

Performed by Luke Daniels

Eli Monpress is talented. He's charming. And he's a thief. But not just any thief. He's the greatest thief of the age - and he's also a wizard. And with the help of his partners - a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls - he's going to put his plan into effect. The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he'll need to steal some big things. But he'll start small for now. He'll just steal something that no one will miss - at least for a while. Like a king.

I first read The Spirit Thief a few months ago so for Eli Monpress week rather then re-read it I thought I would listen to the audio book. So I was able to spend 8 hours and 19 minutes of unabridged re-introduction to this fascinating world...

The Spirit Thief is a fun romp of a fantasy novel. It’s an action orientated adventure with a charming but mysterious leading man and his equally mysterious companions. Most of the story is told through the point of view of Miranda, a ‘good’ wizard who is trying to catch Eli for ruining the reputation of the Spirit Court with his thieving ways. Eli’s character, past and motivations remain shrouded in mystery but tantalisingly teasing the listener (reader). The only thing he seems focused on is increasing the bounty on his head. In comparison Miranda is driven by her honour and morals – she comes over as a strong moral character, capable and intelligent. Her interactions with her ghosthound are a joy to read and I hope that she continues to follow in Eli’s footprints for some time to come in order to keep him on his toes!

One of my favourite things about listening to this first story in the series again was Luke Daniels performance of the characters. To me, he nailed Eli’s voice – his charm and confidence as well as his focus on what he wants. And I won’t be able to read about Gin the ghosthound any more without hearing that gruff voice! Luke’s performance was great – each character was individual and I really felt he added to the basic story by giving depth and layers to the plot.

The system of magic Rachel Aaron has created seems different (to me at least!) with everything having a spirit – not just living things such as trees and animals but also rope, stone, rivers, fire. The wizards have the ability to talk to spirits and ask them to help. Eli particularly seems good at gaining helps from spirits – in the first scene he charms the prison door into opening for him! The system isn’t explored in detail as it is normal to these characters - but the abuse of spirits becomes an important point – is it right for humans to inflict their own will on other spirit’s souls? Mostly though the story is a variety of heists, fights and magical battles as Eli races around the kingdom of Mellinor causing trouble – and it is a lot of fun. I got caught up in the excitement and had a huge grin on my face at many of Eli’s antics. My one niggle is that I was left wanting to know more about Eli and his companions – I didn’t feel like I knew them that much more by the end than I did at the beginning. It did leave me desperate to move straight onto the second book! J

In the end The Spirit Thief is like a Caesar salad  - a great start to the meal that whets your appetite for more but not quite enough on its own. And luckily I have the next two book reviews for you later in the week! J

Recommended for fans of David Eddings and Peter V Brett. 8.5 out of 10

Welcome to Eli Monpress Week!!

Welcome to Eli Monpress week at Mel's Random Reviews. Eli is the star of three book already released - The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion and The Spirit Eater with another two book due out next year - The Spirit War and Spirit's End. Over the last few weeks I've becoming more and more imersed in Eli's world and the unique system of magic that exists there and I wanted to share what has quickly become one of my favourite fantasy series. So I have a packed week full of posts, giveaways and reviews as we try to track down the greatest thief in the world...

Monday
AM - Welcome post
PM - Review of The Spirit Thief audiobook

Tuesday
AM - My Book Boyfriend - Eli Monpress
PM - Interview with Eli's partner in crime, author Rachel Aaron

Wednesday
AM - Review of The Spirit Rebellion
PM - Eli Monpress Giveaway

Thursday
AM - 60 Second Quick Quiz with Rachel Aaron
PM - Review of The Spirit Eater

Phew - I'm exhuasted just looking at that...think I need to lie down for a while to prepare for the week...hang on...where's my bed gone? Eli! He's been here! Now where did he get to...? J

Sunday, 25 September 2011

My Book Haul/ In My Mailbox

The Story Siren hosts a weekly meme where bloggers can share what goodies they've purchased/received this week. If you get a chance head over to The Story Siren and check out what everyone is up to!
This week I've been fairly good and only purchased one book - a kindle one, but I've been lucky had a couple of wins come through and swap so it's quite a big mailbox this week! :-)

Karma Girl - Jennifer Estep
Kindle Book
Investigative reporter Carmen Cole gets the surprise of her life on her wedding day when she discovers that her fiance and best friend are sleeping together  and that the two of them are her town's resident superhero and ubervillain. Shocked and hurt, Carmen reveals their secret identities and then decides to devote her life to unmasking every superhero and ubervillain who crosses her path. A series of successful unmaskings lands Carmen a job at The Expose, one of the biggest newspapers in Bigtime, New York, a city that's full of superheroes and ubervillains. Carmen is in her element; until she gets kidnapped by the Terrible Triad, Bigtime's most dangerous ubervillain team. The Triad orders Carmen to uncover the secret identity of Striker, the leader of the Fearless Five, Bigtime's most popular superhero team or else they'll drop her in a vat of radioactive goo. With that threat hanging over her, Carmen sets out to unmask Striker, but what she doesn' count on is falling for the sexy superhero. But with the Terrible Triad lurking around, this is one story that just might be the death of her ...

Jennifer Estep is one of those authors I'm convinced I will love if only I started reading any of her books! I already have Spider's Bite and A Touch of Frost waiting to be read on my to be read pile, but when I spotted this for a couple of quid on Amazon, I couldn't resist adding it to my book list!

Three Days To Dead - Kelly Meding
Publisher: Dell Books
When Evangeline Stone wakes up naked and bruised on a cold slab at the morgue—in a stranger’s body, with no memory of who she is and how she got there—her troubles are only just beginning. Before that night she and the two other members of her Triad were the city’s star bounty hunters, mercilessly cleansing the city of the murderous creatures living in the shadows, from vampires to shape-shifters to trolls. Then something terrible happened that not only cost all three of them their lives but also convinced the city’s other Hunters that Evy was a traitor—and she can’t even remember what it was. Now she’s a fugitive, piecing together her memory, trying to deal some serious justice—and discovering that she has only three days to solve her own murder before the reincarnation spell wears off. Because in three days Evy will die again—but this time there’s no second chance. . .

I got this in a swap on Read It Swap It as I've been eyeing up this series for a long time and love the idea of a body swapping UF adventure!

The Assassin's Prayer - Ariana Franklin
Publisher: UK - Bantam
In 1176, King Henry II sends his daughter Joanna to Palermo to marry his cousin, the king of Sicily. Henry chooses Adelia Aguilar, his Mistress of the Art of Death, to travel with the princess and safeguard her health. But when people in the wedding procession are murdered, Adelia and Rowley must discover the killer's identity . . . and whether he is stalking the princess or Adelia herself.

I won this in a facebook competition. I've read the first in this series - Mistress of the Art of Death a while ago (read my review here) and enjoyed it so I'm looking forward to see what's next in the series!

The Last Seal - Richard Denning
Publisher: UK - Mercia Books
A powerful demon has been trapped under the city of London for over 300 years. Now, however, malevolent forces are at work in the 17th century, planning to unleash terror and chaos on the world. Two rival secret societies the Liberati and the Praesidum - are caught in a battle that threatens to destroy the city and its unknowing inhabitants. When a truant schoolboy, Ben, finds a scroll revealing the location of magical seals that bind the demon, this throws him into the centre of a dangerous plot that leads to the Great Fire of London. Ben must overcome his own problems - fear of failure, desire for revenge, guilt over his parents deaths - if he is to protect the city, and confront the evil demon. As the plot unfolds, a little more of the mystery about Ben s own past and his parents deaths is made known. Ultimately, Ben and his friends must combat sorcery, defeat the evil Liberati and destroy the demon if they are to save their city and themselves.

I won this from Karen at The Slowest Bookworm which is one of my favourite blogs as well as fellow UK blogger. I love the sound of the book especially as it is London based and set in the past. Think I will be picking this up soon!

Forgive My Fins - Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: UK - Templar
Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush. Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life. When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned...

This is the first of my book wins from the lovely Jess & Donna at Book Passion for Life - also fellow UK bloggers! This has been book I've been desperate to read. It sounds like a lovely fun read!

Libertator - Richard Harland
Publisher: UK - Templar
Col and Riff lead the oppressed Filthies to victory, but now the revolution on their mountain-sized juggernaut is falling apart. A saboteur strikes, and suspicion and paranoia reign. Will Riff deny her love and brand Col a traitor? Can anyone stop the extremists taking over? And can they defeat the Imperialist juggernauts massing for war? Liberator picks up the story three months after the revolution. The Filthies have given Worldshaker a new name—it's now Liberator. But the revolution is under threat on all sides: from a secret saboteur on board the juggernaut, from other Imperialist juggernauts that want to crush this liberated society, and from fanatical extremists who want to push the revolution into a new form of tyranny. Col and Riff could stand against the extremists if they could stand together at all. As a member of the old elite, Col is persecuted by Riff's friends and fellow Council members, until she's embarrassed to be seen talking to him.

This was another from Donna & Jess. I have to confess that I haven't heard a lot about this book, but even though this is a second in a series, I do like the sound of this and a quick scan of the first page passes my usual test for readability!

As well as  these two books Jess and Donna sent through a selection of lovely swag - I'm especially enamoured of the signed bookmarks from various authors! Have a look at this! :-)
Lovely New Bookmarks and assorted swag!
So what have you picked up this week? :)

And stop by this week when I'm having a special week dedicated to Rachel Aaron's The Legend of Eli Monpress week! So spread the word! :-)

Saturday, 24 September 2011

On My Wishlist #56

This is a meme from Book Chick City. There are so many books out there that I want to read that this is the only way I can keep track! This week I'm feeling a little peckish...for briiaaannnssss!

Dearly Departed - Lia Habel
Publisher: Del Ray Books
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?  The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune, and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
 
I spotted this around recently and it looks like an interesting story - although I'm not sure about zombies as a love interest...I prefer them scary!
 
Flip This Zombie - Jesse Petersen
Publisher: Orbit
 
The Zombie Apocalypse has been good to Sarah and David. Their marriage is better than ever. They communicate well, share responsibilities, and now, they're starting a business. ZombieBusters-for all your zombie extermination needs.
There are lots of zombies and that means lots of customers...Except one of them doesn't want the zombies dead, he wants them alive and ready for experimentation. Mad scientists make for difficult clients and this time, Sarah and David might have bitten off more than they can chew.

I enjoyed Married...with Zombies earlier this year and quite fancy seeing what Sarah and David have been up to since the zombie uprising saved their marriage. :)

Horizon (Aftertime 3) - Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: MIRA (January 2012)
I loved the first two Aftertime books, Aftertime and Rebirth, and even though Horizon doesn't have a blurb yet...I really want to see what will happen next to Cassie and Ruthie!

So what are you wishing for this week? :)