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Watched | CJ Lyons | Reviewed by Ria

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Watched | CJ Lyons | Reviewed by Ria

*Review copy c/o Netgalley, Image via Goodreads 

In the dark underworld of the Internet, King rules over a domain of cyber-smashing. Using incriminating photos and videos, gained via hacking into computers and phones, King uses these to blackmail vulnerable individuals into doing his bidding involving even more sadistic acts of humiliation for his other ‘clients’.

Jesse is just one victim of King’s twisted game and has so far succumb to King’s demands in order to keep his mother and sister safe. On the brink of desperation Jesse finds hope in a manila envelope, a phone number, and a promise of help.

On the other end of the phone number is Miranda. A young girl who also fell victim to King and lives in the shadows of the humiliation he caused her and her family. One by one she’s managed to track down King’s other victims and prays for the moment when one will finally have the courage to ring the number and answer her message.

Jesse is the first to take the risk, and together they plot to take down King and dethrone him as king of the cyber-smashers, no matter what the cost.

What’s my verdict?


Dark, twisted and harrowing read, Watched takes on very uncomfortable subject matter which is sadly rife in the real world. The plot itself can feel too real at times and is all the more difficult to read in light of the recent iCloud hack and the growing numbers of cases of sexual abuse in the public eye.
Though Miranda and Jesse’s situations are elevated and heightened their emotions and experiences are far too close to reality. 'Watched' showcases two very different depictions of the reality of PTSD. For Jesse, the reeling effects of abuse have him block out any memory of the incident as he channels his energy into revenge and anger. Miranda's coping mechanisms with her past come in the form of her Agrophobia, mental illness and suicide attempts. Though the effect of the trauma they faced is the obvious focus, it's their hope and belief in each other and their drive to keep their families safe that really pushes the plot forward. Often this genre discredits victims as powerless but our two protagonists are already strong willed and as a reader you root for them from the get-go.

Lyons also addresses issues of police misconduct and the difficulties faced by victims with the legal system when prosecuting those at fault. As expressed in the epilogue and following notes from the author, though Amanda and Jesse's stories are wrapped up and resolved, in reality for many victims of abuse and cybercrime their stories never end.

Due to the subject matter, I would err on the side of caution of recommending this read. The topics discussed and even hinted at can be particularly triggering for sexual abuse and emotional manipulation. I do, however, believe this kind of story is incredibly important to read, especially in our hyper connected environment, and it does preach an important message that a victim is never at fault in these situations.

For lovers of…'Looking for JJ', ‘Speak’ and The Butterfly Effect

This post was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to now her here
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Guest Post | 10 Reads For Halloween

Monday, 27 October 2014

Guest Post | 10 Reads For Halloween

halloween reads

Since Halloween is fast approaching today I thought I would share ten somewhat 'scary' titles I'd recommend picking up as last minute reads for the remainder of October. If you have any suggestions that you would add to the list don't forget to leave them in the comments below!

1/ Ten, Gretchen McNeil | read my review
2/ The 100 Society, Carla Spradberry - | read my review
3/ I Know What You Did Last Summer, Lois Duncan | read my review
4/ Cruel Summer, James Dawson | read Kath's review
5/ Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Jeff Lindsay | read my review
6/ Say Her Name, James Dawson | read Ria's review
7/ The Name Of The Star, Maureen Johnson | read Ria's review
8/ The Savages, Matt Whyman | read my mini review
9/ The Hole, Guy Burt - | read my review
10/ Witch Hunt, Tabitha Morrow | read my review

Have you read any of these books?

This post was written by regular reviewer Erin, get to know her here
Image font: Bloody
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Blogger's Bookshelf Turns Two! PLUS Birthday Giveaway!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Blogger's Bookshelf Turns Two! PLUS Birthday Giveaway!

Hasn't time flown? It only feels like yesterday that Blogger's Bookshelf celebrated it's first birthday and now 12 months down the line and we're celebrating year TWO! It's been quite the journey and we're glad to keep up the momentum thanks you guys, the readers - of which there are over 400 of you on BlogLovin' (WHAT?!?) As always Erin and I are so appreciative of this little community, our wonderful team of regular bloggers and guest posters for choosing to spend your time reading and commenting in our little corner of the Internet.
2nd-birthday-giveaway-header
2nd-birthday-giveaway-YALC

And to celebrate two years of hard graft and as a little thank you to everyone who's been in involved in the blog, whether you've been here since the beginning or just started reading yesterday, we have a little literary bundle to giveaway.

Amongst the prizes are goodies from the first ever London Young Adult Literary Festival, including a 'Fangirl' notebook, 'Geek Girl' badges, 'TFIOS' movie bookmarks and a Hunger Games wristband. We also have two literary inspired prizes available from Sawyer & Scout, including a Polyjuice necklace and Hunger Games notebook, as well as a 'Don't Judge A Book By It's Movie' fridge magnet from Strand Books in NYC. The lovely Erin has also created an adorable 'bookworm' bracelet, exclusive, only to Blogger's Bookshelf!

To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win the bundle of prizes. The giveaway is open Internationally and you have until the 9th November 2014 to get your entries in!

Good luck and once again, thank you for your continued support the past two years!

Erin & Ria :)

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
10 comments
Group Collaboration | Scariest Fictional Worlds

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Group Collaboration | Scariest Fictional Worlds

Last October we talked about Our Favourite Villians and this year we're continuing on with the Halloween theme and discussing what we believe to be the scariest fictional worlds! Here's the lowdown of the places team BB would hate to find themselves...

october cat october anjali october kat october erin ria

Don't forget to leave a comment and let us know which world you would choose!

Thanks to this month's contributors: Anjali, Kat, Cat, Erin, Ria
All book cover images via goodreads.com
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Next month we'll be talking about popular books that we just didn't enjoy! If you've been disappointed by a hyped up book or series we'd love to hear from you.

To get involved send an email to bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com
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Neverwhere | Neil Gaiman | BBC Radio 4 | Dramatised Audio Book | Reviewed by Anjali

Friday, 24 October 2014

Neverwhere | Neil Gaiman | BBC Radio 4 | Dramatised Audio Book | Reviewed by Anjali


A few weeks ago, while I was doing a mindless task at work, listening to my iPod, it dawned on me that I could be ‘reading’ while I was working. Of course, I don’t mean reading reading, but listening to audio books. While scrolling through some of the options on the Audible website, I came across Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. It was one of the BBC Radio 4’s dramatisation series, and it was a book that I have been meaning to read.

One of the main things that caught my eye when picking this book to add to my ever growing audio-book collection was the cast. The main character, Richard, is voiced by James McAvoy, and the other characters are voiced by Natalie Dormer, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Head, and Christopher Lee, to name just a few. All those awesome people (and more!) in one radio series? Ah, yes please! It was so much fun, listening to these actor’s without seeing their faces. I know that sounds weird, but it’s amazing how you can recognise someone (even without knowing it’s them) without seeing their faces. Voices like Christopher Lee and, of course, Benedict Cumberbatch are so easily recognised.

Although I didn't know the story (I’m still going to read the book one day), it was so easy to follow along, and though you couldn't see anything, the sound effects were brilliant, and such that the scenes were easily brought to life in the mind’s eye. Because it was an adaptation, I’m not sure if all the book and it’s events/scenes were in the radio series (I’m assuming not), so it’ll be interesting to read Neverwhere and compare the two.

It was a great way to a) pass the time at work while doing jobs that don’t use any brain power, and b) be ‘reading’ while working. I don’t think that these dramatized versions of books will count towards my Good Reads goal in the year, but I think if I listened to a book that was simply being read, word for word (as opposed to actors being the characters, and it being an adaptation of a book), then I think that that would count. I wonder if there are Good Reads Challenge rules…

Anyway! If you’re not into audio books, but want to get into them (they’d be great for commuting to work in the car, or on the bus, or train etc), then I suggest starting with a dramatised version. It’s a bit more exciting that just one person reading the book aloud. Neverwhere was only 3 hours and 48 minutes long, but that included about half an hour of extra features at the end (bloopers and alternative scenes). Because this one was a radio series, it’s broken up into 6 parts. The first is an hour long, the rest are half hours. Definitely have a listen!


This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here
Image from here. 
2 comments
Guest Review | Veronika Decides To Die | Paulo Coelho

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Guest Review | Veronika Decides To Die | Paulo Coelho

veronica decides to die

My rating: ✯✯✯✯

This was my first Coelho novel, and I also have a copy of 'The Alchemist' tucked away somewhere. Even though the book is translated from the Portuguese, I thought that the author's writing style was powerful.

The plot follows Veronika, who decides to commit suicide. She is twenty-four, and believes that she has experienced everything she could experience. She feels that getting married, falling in love, having children and growing old are just forms of repetition of a life she would rather not prolong. Veronika hates the idea of repeating the mundane moments of life. This poor girl has never felt that she had much of a purpose or passion in life. She went to university and then came home to work in the library. She does not have aspirations to carry her along. Between taking the overdose of sleeping pills and losing consciousness, Veronika meditates on how this will affect her parents. They have loved her fully, given her everything she could ask for, and truly the best start in life. However, after living alone for six years, Veronika decides that she has experienced enough and it has nothing to do with love. The only way she relates her suicide to her parents is to make sure she dies in a way that they won't have to identify a disgusting, disfigured corpse.

Veronika's plan does not go ahead as she hopes - she does not die, but wakes up in a hospital for mentally ill patients. She is told that the overdose of sleeping pills has damaged her heart irreparably and that she only has about five days to live. The doctors give her injections, telling her that they will try to reverse the damage done to her heart, but that really she should prepare to live out her final days.

This is a rather philosophical novel, as one would expect from the fact that Veronika almost dies but has a second chance of sorts. We meet some oddballs in the mental hospital, Villette. There are even a group called "The Fraternity" who are not really mad, just eccentric, but their families have enough money to keep them in the hospital. They prefer the hospital to their homes because people are allowed to do or say what they like - after all, they're "crazy".

The characters in the novel go through awareness of death, and awareness of life. Veronika's predicament causes other patients to question whether they are happy to stay consumed by their madness, or whether they want to fight to be well - to live their lives. Veronika herself does plenty of soul-searching, trying to decide whether there is a god, or what happens after we die. She realises that every hour of every day is full of choices, of how to live and how to use our existence. The book also makes the reader think a lot about the lives of the "sane" and "normal" in society. One of the patients tells Veronika a story about a king who makes all his subjects go mad to assert his power over them, but because he is different to the majority they stop listening and rebel against him. In order to right the situation, the king must make himself mad, and then his people respect him again. The novel tries to tell us that "normal" is only what the majority do. It is not the best way or the tried-and-tested way, it is just what everybody decided to do. Thanks to other patients, Veronika also realises that she has definitely not experienced everything possible, and opens up her mind to new ideas.

This is a very intense, fairly emotional book. I am not really affected by these types of things, but the parts about Veronika's heart attacks were close to home for me and made me feel slightly uncomfortable. However, I did not want to stop reading - if anything, I could empathise with Veronika more. It is very interesting, but sad, to see how the other patients think of Veronika in her doomed state. I don't want people to think that this is a grotesque book about the struggles of dying - it is not grotesque. It is an appreciation of life and what it has to offer, and a meditation on how people live through their existence. It causes inward-seeking questions about whether we are living how we want to, whether we really grasp hold of what life has to offer, and why more of us don't follow our vocation. I think that the word "Decides" in the title holds some significance too - it is all about choices.

This review was written by guest blogger Jemma
Image via goodreads.com
1 comment
Guest Review | The Humans | Matt Haig

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Guest Review | The Humans | Matt Haig

the humans

Professor Andrew Martin is not quite himself. In fact, Professor Andrew Martin is dead and has been body-snatched by an advanced alien species. Sinister, you’ll agree. But it’s all in the name of the Greater Good. You see, the advanced alien species have been keeping a close eye on the humans and when Prof Martin discovers the answer to one of the greatest mathematical riddles of all time, they realize that this could unleash a whole catalogue of events that no one is ready for. Namely that the humans, the strange, aggressive beings that they are, will destroy themselves and potentially the rest of the universe. So an ambassador is sent down to earth to take over Andrew’s life and destroy his lifetime work, along with anyone who might know about it.

Through the narration of the alien who has taken over Andrew’s body, The Humans explores human nature from an outsiders perspective. At times, it is funny, somewhat ridiculous, often threatening but the overwhelming feeling is of warmth. The alien is a surprisingly likeable character and his misunderstanding of earth and mankind creates some really funny moments. One that stood out to me was when he arrived on earth naked on a motorway side and thought that since everyone was spitting at him that this must be a common greeting. Hilarious.

The alien is on a steep learning curve but quickly begins to see the good in people. Despite his strange behavior, he is met with sympathy and understanding from loved ones who think he has had a breakdown and he begins to feel a bond with Andrew’s wife, his son and even his dog.

The Humans looks at what it means to be human. The fact that everyone thinks that Andrew has suffered a mental breakdown is really interesting, especially when the alien starts to wonder if in fact he has and the whole body-snatching things is a fantasy of a deluded man. I felt slightly disappointed that Haig doesn’t take this idea further as it would have provided a lot more substance to the story. Instead, the book remains committed to original premise, which is fine, it’s a good story but I would therefore class this as ‘light’ reading.

I do highly recommend The Humans. It is an amusing and endearing read which I’m sure many people would enjoy.

This post was written by guest blogger Ali, find more of her reviews at alleyhope.com
2 comments
Guest Review | Wolf In White Van | John Darnielle

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Guest Review | Wolf In White Van | John Darnielle

wolfinwhitevan

I’ll be honest. Wolf in White Van has been, since its announcement, a book I was determined to like. That’s not necessarily the same thing as a book I know I’m going to like (though I wouldn’t shy away from saying that either), but I pre-ordered it the moment I could, I was already rehearsing how I’d recommend it to friends three months ago, and I knew I’d want to write a review of it. I didn’t want it to be a bad review, so I was determined to like it.

See, though Wolf in White Van is John Darnielle’s debut in novel-writing, it is not his debut in storytelling. Since the early 90s he has been the creative core of indie folk rock band* the Mountain Goats, penning more than 500 songs and said to be (on the sleeve of the novel itself) “one of the best lyricists of his generation.” Emma Stanford says here that in the Mountain Goats lyrics lies Darnielle’s gift for “injecting universal feelings into specific and alien narrative contexts.” We see in Wolf in White Van that same gift in prose. From its backwards beginning, this book is the home of small, epiphanic moments suspending the joy and terror of living. The paint peels, but it’s comfortable; And it’s unsettlingly familiar.

Sean Phillips, designer of postal role-playing game Trace Italian, is to many the sum of his facial disfigurement, patched back together following trauma at age 17. To the reader, he is patched together in a different way: In trips to the liquor store, in his grandmother’s television, in the buildings behind a California arcade.

We know something happened to Sean, and the information seeps out piece by piece, until suddenly we have possession of many of the facts without having been aware of absorbing them. But there are other somethings that happen, too. Sean speaks of side-quests in video games, the subplots you quietly fail before you “just go back into the normal world of the game and continue on toward your objective.” He says he is stuck in a side-quest, and through the clever weaving of two separate traumas and a narrative rooted in memory, Darnielle ensures that it is difficult to recover - or discover - a sense of primary gameplay. In delving backwards through Sean’s life to reach the pinnacle in the murkiest recesses, we find ourselves suspended and lost. There is no present, no quest, only Sean’s life as it is. Not yet finished.

On the insleeve of Wolf in White Van you notice it described as ‘unexpectedly moving’. True, in that it is moving in slightly alien way; it is a unexpected method of moving in that most ‘moving’ stories relate life after trauma as one long traumatic event in itself. Darnielle is more in the business of slotting everyday pegs back into their everyday holes which are now tinged with the aftershocks of a trauma. Going to the liquor store isn’t traumatic, but how can the trivial be reconciled with the life of a man with a face ‘like that’?

There is an eerie sense of fulfilled unfulfillment, a weakly resigned “I don’t know’ to answer your question “If I play it backwards will I find the meaning I’m looking for?”, a raised eyebrow asking you as you dig what it was that told you there was buried treasure to find in the first place. For a book which at times feels like an empty promise, Wolf in White Van left me with something indefinably more. Darnielle crafts his world as Sean crafts the world of Trace Italian: Go in with no expectations of reaching your ultimate goal, but go in all the same.

*This is the genre in which Wikipedia counts the Mountain Goats. I’m going with that because I couldn’t come up with one myself.

This review was written by Kat Sinclair, find her on Twitter - @katmsinclair
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Pumpkin Cinema | Nathaniel Tolle | Reviewed by Erin

Monday, 13 October 2014

Pumpkin Cinema | Nathaniel Tolle | Reviewed by Erin

*Review copy c/o Netgalley, images via Goodreads
pumpkin cinema

Pumpkin Cinema is a new non-fiction title all about the perfect films and more to watch this Halloween! The book covers a wide variety of horror for all ages with some surprising titles thrown in along the way.

There are over 100 titles featured throughout the book and each film title is followed up by a short synopsis as well as easy-to-find information including the director, runtime, rating and principal cast. Author Tolle talks us through his choices with an engaging tone and from this well-researched book you can tell he has a real passion for horror.

One of the nice things about the book is that it also features not only films but also shorts and specific Halloween-themed TV episodes from well-known shows so there really is something for everyone. The final section is made up of two full pages of ‘top 5’ lists giving quick recommendations whether you’re looking for witches, vampires, haunted houses, or Michael Myers. There’s even a top 5 list for ‘pets that turn to the dark side’!

The layout itself is easy to follow and works well visually as it is littered with colour images of the film’s posters and stills. As the titles are listed alphabetically its also easy to look up something specific quickly and with such variety I’ve definitely discovered a few more titles to add to my own to-watch list!

Pumpkin Cinema is a great little read, particularly for this time of year, and would make the perfect gift or coffee table book for anyone who loves all things horror or Halloween!

This post was written by regular reviewer Erin, get to know her here
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Friday, 10 October 2014

Dark Lord of Derkholm | Diana Wynne Jones | Reviewed by Anjali



"For forty years, Wizard Derk's world has been devastated by Mr. Chesney's Pilgrim Parties - packaged excursions for tourists from the next universe in search of adventure. When mild-mannered Derk is chosen to play the role of this year's Dark Lord, he is forced by the sinister Mr. Chesney to turn his bucolic country estate into a labyrinthine castle lit by baleful fires, manifest himself as a nine-foot-tall shadow with flaming red eyes, and lead his minions in a climactic battle against the Forces of Good.

Can Derk find a way to put an end to the evil Mr. Chesney and 
his Pilgrim Parties - once and for all?" 
- description from Good Reads 

This book sounded like a book that I would really enjoy. Derk is a wizard who has a large family, including talking griffins that he created with human-like personalities and whom he calls his children. Derk and his family have to make sure everything is ready before the tourists flock in and their tours begin. Over the course of the book, we follow Derk and his family as they prepare for the tours, overcome unexpected difficulties and disasters, leader Pilgrim Parties through their world, and uncover hidden secrets.

While I didn't really like this book, there were parts that I did like. I especially liked all the animals that Wizard Derk made. He had flying pigs, sarcastic geese, over friendly cows, and, of course, the griffins. The setting was really neat, and I loved the concept of an entire world being turned into what was basically a theme park for a duration of the tours. All very cool. But I struggled with the writing style. It’s written in third person, which is fine, but it’s third person eye-of-God perspective. There was no one or two main characters, and you could see into the mind of most of them, and read what they were thinking. I just find that style super annoying. For me, not having a main character or at least several main characters, doesn’t make me connect to any one of them. I couldn’t have cared less if the entire cast of characters in this story were eaten by dragons in the first pages, or the middle or right at the end. I wouldn’t have cared. I didn’t feel for any of them, or want them to succeed.

I think the other thing that I found difficult about this book was its length. I’m fine with long books, by all means – bring it on! – but I felt as I was reading this that there were parts that weren’t needed for the story, and it was really slow going at the beginning and nothing really happened until the end…argh! I don’t know! I think also because I really wanted to like this book, as it's my best friend's favourite, it was a bit of a let-down.


I can say, however, the concept was great, and there were dragons (woo! Dragons!).  Don’t let my review of this book stop you from reading it. It’s not a new book (it was first published in 1998), but the library will probably have it if you wanted to jump into this crazy world!


This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here
Image from Good Reads

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Guest Review | Somewhere To Hide | Mel Sherratt

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Guest Review | Somewhere To Hide | Mel Sherratt

somewhere to hide

My rating: ✯✯✯

This novel is based on a housing estate near Manchester, in the UK. Cath Mason has a secret she never told anyone, and feels lost without her late husband. Now, she runs a service with a local community officer and takes distressed young women into her home. Jess has been there for a year, is seventeen, and still won't get herself a job, despite Cath's efforts to get her to attend courses. There are three new arrivals for Cath to deal with: 16-year-old Becky escapes from her rapist uncle and indifferent father, and Liz escapes from her abusive husband with her daughter Chloe, before he does any more damage. Thankfully, Cath stays strong for her guests with the help of members of the community.

This is not the type of book I usually read; I would never normally pick up a book set on a housing estate, but it was in the Kindle sale at one point, and I thought I'd try it. Well, I'm glad I did, even if it wasn't the best book I've ever read. It is actually only the first book in a series called The Estate, following the lives of different characters, but I won't be reaching for the next one.

Cath Mason is a loveable character. She is in her late thirties and is so completely selfless, that it is inspiring. She really makes a difference to young women's lives, and while she does set house rules to make things run smoothly, she is not their parent and knows that everyone deals with issues differently. She gives the girls and women she takes in the space to work through their horrors and come out the other side into a new life full of hope. She is a shoulder to cry on, a listener to vent anger at, and an understanding adult who will do all they can to help the poor souls to move on with their lives.

Some of the women's stories were devastating. There were passages that brought tears to my eyes, so I would congratulate Sherratt's ability to make the reader feel emotionally involved. In fact, it is difficult not to be. I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to be a part of such horrific situations. Sometimes Jess and Becky, being the teenagers they are, really annoyed me. They seem to think that their lives will fall into place by sleeping with boys who like them and stealing alcohol to impress friends. I found this particularly tragic, as they were trying to overcome their own trauma by adding awful experiences to their list. Even the people who were doing all the right things in order to come to terms with their ordeal, got a completely unfair deal.

However, if you're worried about the feeling of the book, it is not morbid and horrific. It is a story of revitalising hope, of people coming together to help friends and others in the community. There are some unpleasant scenes, but the overarching message is that people can live happily ever after.

I give this three stars for the excellent writing style and inspiring characterisation; but the subject matter was not always something I wanted to return to, and the sheer uselessness of some of the residents of the estate made me feel frustrated, because I know how many thousands or millions of these such people live in the UK, with no motivation to do anything with their lives.

This review was written by guest blogger Jemma
Image via goodreads.com
1 comment

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Unbreakable | Kami Garcia | Reviewed by Anjali


"Kennedy Waters didn't believe in ghosts, until one tried to kill her."

I bought this book nearly a year ago, and it was sitting on my book shelf, unread, for that long too. Until recently, when I found myself not knowing what to read next and wanting something short and sweet, and a bit different to the books I had been reading. When I bought this book I didn't really know what it was about, only that I recognised the author as being one who co-wrote Beautiful Creatures (Kami Garcia). But I can tell you now that I'm glad I bought it last year, and I really enjoyed it.

Unbreakable is the story of Kennedy, a 17 year old who one days finds her mother dead in their house. As if things couldn't get any worse, she's seeing ghosts and one even tried to kill her. But then she meets Jared and Lukas Lockhart, twin brothers who tell her that her mother wasn't really who she said she was, and that she was keeping things from Kennedy. Kennedy soon discovers that her mother was one of 5 members of Legion, a small secret society responsible for protecting the world against evil supernatural beings. These 5 members of Legion were all killed...on the same night.

Kennedy is thrown into a world she never knew existed, grouped together with people she's never met, and to make things worse, the town thinks she's gone missing and there's a man hunt on the go for her. As Kennedy, the twins and the two other members of the newly formed Legion, Priest and Alara, start a supernatural scavenger hunt for the pieces of a weapon that will destroy the demon that killed the previous members, Kennedy is not only learning about different weapons, and symbols, and salt lines to keep demons out, but she's attacked by vengeance spirits, and can't shake her feelings for one of the boys.

I really enjoyed this book. I liked Kennedy as a character and found that even though there was evidence right before her eyes, she took her time accepting the news things that were being thrown at her, and I think that's something that a lot of books don't really do very well. To me, it seems that too often characters accepts these huge secret reveals and life changing events all too easily, but I felt that with Kennedy it took longer, which was a lot more realistic. The other characters were also great, and I found myself liking all of them for various reasons. Each had very different personalties, and skills, and back stories, and it was great to read. The story line was pretty good, and I liked the scavenger-hunt type feel to it. It was also scary. I'm not one for reading horror books or even ones that I think are going to scare the socks off me, so I'm not really used to it. In hind sight, this book probably wasn't scary at all, but I did read parts thinking 'ohmygosh that's terrifying'.

If you like supernatural books, with evil ghosts and secret societies, teenagers falling for each other in the midst of life-threatening situations, then give this book a go. At only 300 ish pages, it's a fast read, and the story clips along at a good rate.


This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here
Image from Good Reads

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Liesmith: Book of the Wyrd #1 | Alis Franklin | Reviewed by Ria

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Liesmith: Book of the Wyrd #1 | Alis Franklin | Reviewed by Ria

*image via GoodReads

Welcome to Pandemonium and meet Sigmund Sussman, a dorky low level IT guy with an video game and comic book obsession. Sigmund is nothing special (he tells people to turn their computers on and off again for a living). Which is why it’s weird that the new guy in the team, Lain, takes a shine to him in a really hot flirtatious way. Lain may be devilishly good looking and a questionable past, but Sigmund kinda likes him back too. What’s the worst that could happen if he starts to date him?…well?…

What Sigmund doesn’t count on is that Lain is also a God and not just in an ‘Oh my God he looks like a God kinda way’. Nope. An actual God. A Norse one to be precise. And as fate and ancient prophecies start to unravel, Sigmund starts on a path of adventure and inevitable danger that comes with being the other half of ancient mythology.

So what’s my verdict? 
Liesmith is definitely one of the most unique novels I’ve read before. It’s lead, Sigmund, as I’ve said is very much the zero a the start of the novel. Though his father is pretty connected, he’s very much sat at the bottom of the barrel at the biggest organisation in Pandemonium. Lain on the other hand is the opposite. Suave, sophisticated and the embodiment of a trickster God (cyber cookies if you can figure out which one he is already!). This opposites attract storyline between the two is definitely the thread that keeps this story going. The LGBT element to their very non-traditional relationship is also very well played and without the usual drama that comes with these kinds of stories.

The story itself is a bit crazy. The world of Pandemonium is so detailed and intricately interwoven with Norse mythology, which all feeds into the plot line of the story. I will however say that, for me, the mythology elements went over my head a little, at times the interwoven elements of the mythology felt a bit confusing.

Despite Liesmith being way out of my genre comfort zone, I did really enjoy the premise and plot line for this book. It’s cinematic with page turning action sequences and the moments that really stood over were often seeing Lain and Sigmund’s relationship develop throughout the novel. Plus - and a big plus for me - Liesmith is full of a variety of very diverse characters.

Soundtrack
Centuries: Fall Out Boy; Seven Devils: Florence + The Machine; Art Of War: We The Kings; The Devil In Me: Kate Voegele; In My Veins: Andrew Belle; Vampire Money: My Chemical Romance


This post was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.

*review copy c/o NetGalley
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