This week has been and gone so quickly. I’ve managed to read both the books I was hoping to from last week (reviews to follow) which were:
- Avengers of the Moon by Allen Steele
- The Moonlight War by SKS Perry (SPFBO)
And, next week I’m hoping to read (at least two books and maybe make a start on the third):
- Assassin’s Charge by Claire Frank – which will mark the end of the SPFBO challenge.
- Damnation by Peter McLean
- Owl and the Electric Samurai by Kristi Charish
And, finally, my cover compare this week is a book I’m hoping to get to very soon, because, spiders! (look away now if you don’t like eight legged critters):
I have to go with the spiders.
How was your week? What you currently reading?
Hello my fellow bloggers, I was very pleased to be nominated recently for the One Lovely Blog Award by Jessica from The Bookworm Chronicles. A lovely blogger who I highly recommend by the way. And thank you so much Jessica for the nomination (I hope you don’t mind but I used your graphic – happy to remove it though if you prefer me not to).
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them.
- Share 7-15 facts about yourself.
- Nominate 9-15 bloggers you admire and contact them.
I’ve put my facts in a face off fashion. Here they are:
- TV vs Movies: Movies. I don’t tend to sit down at a regular time each evening or during any point of the day so I tend to not get into regular tv. Obviously I read a lot but otherwise I like to watch movies and by happy coincidence so does my partner.
- Sweet vs Savoury: Savoury for me every time. I like sweet things but I can pretty much take them or leave them.
- Wine vs Beer: Wine lover. My wine drinking tends to be seasonal with reds during the darker months and whites, sparkling and even roses sometimes during summer. Beer tends to give me a terrible headache the next day.
- Book vs e-book – I’m going to have to go with a tie for this one. I love reading e-books now which is something I never envisioned but carrying a kindle around is way easier and more convenient than carrying around a thousand page chunkster – and when you enjoy fantasy fiction there are a lot of chunky books out there.
- Dogs vs cats – well, I love both – but I have a dog so I’m going to go with dogs for this one. Nothing against our feline friends though just to be clear. I just love my pooch (my sister actually has five cats and three of them are gigantic!)
- Night vs morning: Night. I love the night time. It’s my time of day and I could happily stay up to the early hours. However, I hate getting up. I’m a sleep monster and could stay in bed until lunch time every day – if work would just stop being so stubborn about making me arrive first thing! So unreasonable.
- Warm vs cold. I’m not really a sun seeker. We do tend to go on quite a lot of breaks though and usually to warmer climates – my husband does love the sun, we’re one of those couples who have to find a spot which is part in the sun and part in the shade.
- Fantasy vs science fiction. Why – just why! Because. Anyway, sci fi is something I’m relatively new to. At the moment I’m just dipping my toes into the waters to see how I feel so of course fantasy is my winner of this debate. It’s my comfort zone and my escape route too.
- Scary vs Amusing – scary. I think most of us like something that gives us a scare every now and again. Fairground rides, horror movies, creepy, gothic reads. I do love a good laugh for sure but if, for example, I was choosing a film to watch I’d probably go for something a bit more dark than a funny flick.
- Home or away – I want both. I’m just greedy. I love visiting new places in fact it’s kind of addictive but there’s also nothing quite like coming home is there. I think my final one is a Mexican standoff. I simply cannot choose.
I’m not going to choose any specific bloggers for no other reason than I invite everyone to take part if they so wish. Also, I’m lazy and this means I now don’t have to chose a specific list and contact everyone.
So, you are all lovely bloggers. I nominate all of you and would love to read what you come up with. Tell me something about you – pretty please.
‘I’m just going to stay here, in the darkness under the arch. I can hear you all out there, trip-trapping, trip-trapping over my bridge..’
Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy . This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers. The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite. Future week’s themes are listed below. This week’s theme:
Bridge “I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but to push forward”
This week I’ve gone for a series. The Alex Verus series by Benedict Jack. Lots of bridges sprinkled around both sets of covers. A good series that I do need to catch up with:
I like both sets to be honest but something just screams out at me to pick these covers with the stylised fonts:
Which is your favourite?
Next week – Beach/Seaside
28/04/2017 – Beach/Seaside”Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!”
05/05/2017 – Lion “If you place your head in a lion’s mouth, then you cannot complain one day if he happens to bite it off”
12/05/2017 – Phone “Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it”
19/05/2017 – Plane “When everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it ….”
26/05/2017 – Mice “Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘it might have been’…”
02/06/2017 – Moon “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”
09/06/2017 – Mummy “It shuffles through the dry, dusty darkness”
16/06/2017 – Guitar “You couldn’t not like someone who liked the guitar”
23/06/2017 – Cat “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this”
30/06/2017 – Hat “It is always cruel to laugh at people, of course, although sometimes if they are wearing an ugly hat it is hard to control yourself “
07/07/2017 – Gold “All that is gold does not glitter”
14/07/2017 – Boats “The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, in a beautiful pea green boat…”
21/07/2017 – Planet “Any planet is ‘Earth’ to those who live on it”
Friday Firsts is a new meme that runs every Friday over on Tenacious Reader. The idea is to feature the first few sentences/paragraph of your current book and try and outline your first impressions as a result. This is a quick and easy way to share a snippet of information about your current read and to perhaps tempt others. Stop on by and link up with Tenacious Reader. This Friday I’m reading : The Moonlight War by SKS Perry (one of my SPFBO books).
Tasha eyed the stone causeway that connected the mainland to the city of Vietor. Night was fast approaching. The street lamps were lit and the watch would soon shut the city gates for the evening. He bent forward and vigorously brushed the sand from his long, matted hair, then wiped the grit from his eyes with the tattered sleeve of his robe. A month in the wastelands had left him with sand in places it had no right to be. With luck he had enough money for a room and a bath, and maybe a new pair of boots, but first he had to make the city. Maybe five minutes to cross the bridge, another five to the city gates; he could just make it if he hurried.
He was less than halfway across when he saw the soldiers make their way onto the causeway. A mounted warrior, a Daesho in red lacquered armour, led a line of spearmen spread out across the width of the crossing, arms at the ready as they advanced. A palanquin and its bearers trailed behind, a minor lord, if the only twenty or so retainers were any indication.
Tasha knew he should retreat. Just turn around and clear the bridge until after the procession had passed. The arrogant bastards meant to clear the way, allowing no one to pass until they’d made the far side.
What was one more night spent out of doors? He closed his eyes and shuddered at the thought of the thin sleeping roll slung at his hip. There was still one last bit of dried horsemeat left in his food pouch. He could make do.
My First Impressions
But, does he want to ‘make do’? That is the question. I thought this was a good opening and I was keen to find out more about Tasha and what action he would take. What do you think – did he turn back? Or not??
What you reading this Friday?? What are your first impressions??
*The above excerpt was taken from an advanced reader copy and it is possible that the final version may have further changes.
Game of Shadows is a tale of adventure, a coming of age story that focuses on a teenage boy called Ethan Makkai. The abridged version of this review is that whilst I don’t think this book worked for me personally, I can certainly see the appeal for the target audience. This is undoubtedly a fun and fast paced read, maybe a little too young for my tastes but still very easy to read and with plenty of imagination.
As the story begins we make the acquaintance of Ethan. He lives in Los Angeles in a cramped apartment with his mother. We immediately learn that his mother is very protective – a tad over protective really, in fact it becomes apparent that Ethan very rarely has a moment of freedom, he is literally shepherded from A to B and back again and whilst he handles this with a good deal more grace than I would be able to muster he’s beginning to push at the boundaries. On the morning of his birthday he finally makes a bold dash to escape his mother’s clutches and scarpers off to school by himself whilst her back is turned. His little moment of liberation however is going to cost him a lot more than he ever expected and within minutes of leaving home it seems that everything goes to hell in a handcart.
Ethan sees dead people – okay, he sees spirits of dead people. They’re drawn to him and maybe this is the source of his mother’s paranoia concerning his safety. On top of this Ethan seems to have attracted the attention of the school bully who seems to take great delight in singling him out for special attention. Ethan’s life may not sound ideal but as he heads to school that morning, accompanied by his friend Skylar, who he secretly harbours a crush on, he really has no idea how lucky he’s been up to this point. Pretty soon he finds himself accosted by the local bully, a number of ghosts and an old sea faring fellow claiming to be his grandfather. He discovers his mother has been kidnapped and in order to find her he must sail the seas and cross over into a completely different world. From hereon in the rules are completely different, the impossible is probable and Ethan begins to discover that his mother has been keeping secrets from him.
I’ll start out with the parts of the book that I liked. I thought the story got off to a very good start, I was intrigued about Ethan, why was his mother so protective, what was the low down with his ability to see spirits. The author really did intrigue me with her suggestion of mystery, ravens that seemed to spy on the small family and a general sense that something was lurking just ready to pounce. I thought the pacing was great – I mean there’s no shortage of action, the author has tried to inject a good dose of humour and frankly I found this a very quick read.
However, my niggles. And these are the areas that I think single me out as not being the target audience. These are just the little things that don’t sit well for me, where once I’ve thought them I can’t leave them alone and they eventually just annoy the hell out of me. Now, I understand that tropes are only tropes because we enjoy them when all is said and done. However, there is a slight feeling that the tropes here are a little too much in abundance (which is another reason why I think a younger reader might enjoy this more, somebody just stepping onto the fantasy ladder where everything feels fresh). For example, Ethan and his mum. Many cliches right here. A mother who, having run away and gone into hiding, completely hides her son’s heritage. Tells him nothing thereby leaving him a good deal more vulnerable than needs be. A young boy who it turns out is not only the heir to the throne but on top of that it seems he has some sort of magical ability (hence the ghosts above).
If we take a closer look at Ethan. I actually started out really quite liking him but that changed a little when he reached the magical continent of Tara. For me, his character seemed in conflict with itself, sometimes he seemed to be downright broody and sulky, petulant almost, and yet at the same time he managed to calmly accept everything that was thrown at him from this strange new world. So, you can sulk because your newly found father shows somebody else more attention than you but a monster chasing you through the woods is nothing to get excited about. Maybe that’s just his terrible teens kicking in.
Then we have the adventure. There’s plenty going on and the author encompasses lots of ideas here as our little band of travellers go on their way. Basically, Ethan has run away from the relative safety of the castle to go in search of his mother. Along the way he manages to acquire the help of his cousin Christian and a young woman, the daughter of one of the generals – who turns out to be a sorceress. The three of them set off to find Ethan’s father, a man who he believed to be dead – and who it seems is something of a rough and ready character who lives a fairly wild existence and will be just the sort that you need on this sort of quest – if you want to know which direction to go in that is. Again, I quite like the idea of the whole adventure and there’s plenty that takes place along the way, but, I had a number of occasions where events were far too easily resolved or where assistance was offered from the strangest quarter. For me, it felt like the plot became a little bit too much of a certainty. Somehow it just drained the story of the tension that should have existed and made me second guess everything along the way.
Overall, yes, I admit that this book wasn’t really for me. I didn’t dislike it by any means, it was a quick read and the pages flew by but I think it’s an adventure story for a younger audience.
I received a copy courtesy of the publisher for which my thanks. The above is my own opinion.