18 Feb 2017
Tags: Arkham Reviews, Book Blog, Book Review, fantasy, Kickstarter, M.Y. Zeman, science fiction, Snow Bunny: Chronicles of a Wererabbit, Snowball: Chronicles of a Wererabbit, Young Adult, Young Adult Reviews
Hi everyone. This is a post of different sort. If you’ve followed me for a while, you might remember that I’ve posted a couple of reviews about M.Y. Zeman’s Chronicles of a Wererabbit series. These are great books for young teens, which focuses on the adventures of the world’s only Wererabbit. They also contain things like werewolves, hyper-intelligent rats, talking motorbikes and sabre-toothed tigers. Oh, and Snow’s dads are both vampires – how neat is that?
The long and the short is that the series is tonnes of fun, however it’s published entirely out of the author’s pocket. As she wants to make the third book – Snow Island – as cool it can be, she’s taken to Kickstarter to raise funds to cover its publication.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT SNOW ISLAND’S KICKSTARTER PAGE!
The author is looking to raise $1,000 to cover her expenses and offers all kinds of things as rewards, from copies of her books to crocheted mice. If you could spare a little change to help her out, she’d be massively grateful. Plus, you’d have done your bit to help out independent publishing and woodland creatures would love you. I think…
Anyhow, if you need any more convincing, here are some links to my reviews of the first two books. You can bet that I’ll also be reviewing the third, just as soon as I get my hands on a copy!
Snowball: Chronicles of a Wererabbit
Snow Bunny: Chronicles of a Wererabbit
16 Feb 2017
in Fantasy, Surnames A-H, Title A-H
Tags: Arkham Reviews, Book Blog, Book Review, Caraval, fantasy, fantasy novel, Fiction, Review, Stephanie Garber, Young Adult, Young Adult Reviews
Caraval was written by Stephanie Garber and first published in 2017. It’s a fantasy story about the experiences that a young woman has when she’s invited to take part in a magical game. The novel is the first part of a planned duology, although at the time of writing no future instalments have been announced.
Scarlett has always dreamed of seeing Caraval – a yearly performance known for its audience participation and magic – but it seems that her chances have run out. Her abusive father has arranged for her to be married to a nobleman that she’s never met and Scarlett knows that she has no choice but to obey. He’ll only hurt her younger sister – Tella – if she displeases him.
When her long-awaited invitation to Caraval finally arrives, Scarlett is disappointed but knows there is nothing that she can do. However, Tella is not about to let her sister’s last chance at adventure slip away. Teaming up with Julian – a young sailor – the two fake a kidnapping and spirit Scarlett away to the festival. However, as soon as they set foot on the island, things start to go wrong.
Legend, the enigmatic master of Caraval, spirits Tella away. The game this year is to be a hunt for the stolen girl and the winner is promised to receive a wish in return. Scarlett is not interested in the prize but knows that she needs to get her sister back before the five days are up, otherwise she risks missing her wedding. Teaming up with Julian, the two work together to solve Legend’s clues. However, Caraval is a place of illusion and magic and Scarlett finds herself pitted against dozens of other players, all willing to go to any length to win…
13 Feb 2017
in Science Fiction, Surnames A-H, Title R-Z
Tags: Arkham Reviews, Book Review, Dean Hale, Fiction, Marvel Comics, science fiction, Shannon Hale, Squirrel Girl, Squirrel Meets World, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Young Adult
Today, I’m going to be taking a look at something a little different. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World was written by Shannon and Dean Hale and first published in 2017. It’s a middle grade science fiction story, based around the Marvel superheroine of the same name. The novel stands alone, so you don’t need to know anything about the character before picking it up.
Doreen Green is aged fourteen (and well aware that those things rhyme). She likes to think that she’s a typical teenager. She likes making new friends, dancing and talking to squirrels. Okay, well maybe one of those isn’t that typical. You see, Doreen has a secret. She hides the fact that she has a five-foot-long prehensile tale, the ability to talk to select woodland creatures and the proportional speed and strength of a squirrel!
In secret, Doreen has taken to thinking of herself as Squirrel Girl and dreams of one day joining the Avengers. However, she knows that she needs to keep her abilities secrets. Her parents have always told her that if others see her awesome tail, they’ll only be jealous of it. It’s really a shame as Doreen has just started a new school and is struggling to fit in. The only girl who is remotely friendly with her is Ana Sofía, and that’s partially because they both tend to be ignored by the “Somebodies”.
However, when someone starts setting lethal squirrel traps around the city, Doreen knows that she’s hero that Shady Oaks needs. Donning a hood to protect her identity, she starts out her career small by rounding up stray dogs, cleaning graffiti and saving babies. However, it’s not long until she attracts the attention of the Micro-Manager – a brand new super villain who has decided that Squirrel Girl would make the perfect nemesis…
09 Feb 2017
in Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Surnames R-Z, Title A-H
Tags: Arkham Reviews, Book Blog, Book Review, Boudica's Daughters, fantasy, fantasy novel, Historical Fiction, Review, Sheridan Winn, Young Adult, Young Adult Reviews
Boudica’s Daughters was written by Sheridan Winn and first published in 2016. It’s a fantasy story with historical elements, focusing on a family who are drawn closer together by both personal tragedy and an archaeological find. The novel stands alone, so you don’t have to have read any of the author’s other work to fully appreciate it.
Lilla has always seen ghosts, though she often finds that people don’t believe her. Therefore, it’s not really surprising that when her family moves out into the Norfolk countryside, she starts to see spirits of ancient warriors. Two thousand years before, the Iceni tribe was known to live in the area and when Lilla uncovers an ornamental hare in the woods behind her house, she quickly learns that it belonged to the daughter of Queen Boudica.
However, her investigation into the ghosts is put on hold when her sister returns home from University. While Lilla has always been a bit weird, her sister Janey was the life and soul of the party. Yet Janey’s not the same as she was. In the past year, she’s gone increasingly off the rails and fallen in with a bad crowd. It’s not long the family discover why, and the tragic revelation shocks all of them to the core.
In an attempt draw her sister out of her depression, Lilla enlists her to help scour the woods for Iceni treasure. As they discover more than they ever could have imagined, the sisters slowly begin to grow closer as they search for a way to both help Janey and the restless spirits find peace.
06 Feb 2017
in Blog Stuff, Miscellaneous
Tags: Arkham Reviews, Book Blog, Book Review, Fiction, Review, Young Adult, Young Adult Reviews
I hope you enjoyed my little series of Secret Santa reviews. It was certainly more Historical fiction than I’ve read in a long while! It’s time to return to my actual scheduled reviews so expect a more variety (and indie books) over the coming weeks.
At the moment, I’m reading both Boudica’s Daughters by Sheridan Winn and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon and Dean Hale and I hope to share the reviews with you very soon. I also intend to continue with my series of Animorphs reviews now that Christmas and my Birthday are both out of the way.
Here’s a sneak peak of the reviews that will follow!
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Born Scared by Kevin Brooks
American Monsters by Derek Landy
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
The Three Worlds by Nara Duffie
The Madness Underneath and The Boy in the Smoke by Maureen Johnson
One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus
The Spectra Unearthed by Christie Valentine Powell
Sea by Sarah Driver
The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman
dEaDINBURGH: Vantage by Mark Wilson
Countryside: The Book of the Wise by J.T. Cope IV
03 Feb 2017
in Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal Romance, Surnames A-H, Title R-Z
Tags: Arkham Reviews, Book Blog, Book Review, fantasy, Holly Black, Horror, paranormal romance, Review, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Young Adult, Young Adult Reviews
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was written by Holly Black and first published in 2013. It is a dark fantasy story, set in a world where a vampire plague has swept America. The novel is loosely based around one of Black’s short stories, and the original can be found in the collection The Poison Eaters and Other Stories. However, this story is intended to stand alone and so you don’t have to have read any of her other work to fully appreciate it.
The world changed rapidly after the existence of vampires was revealed. While they had previously kept to themselves, a rogue vampire went out of his way to spread their sickness across the globe. Bitten humans quickly became Cold, rapidly gaining an uncontrollable desire for human flesh. If they managed to consume this, they then transformed into a true vampire. In a bid to contain the infection, the American government created the Coldtowns – quarantined areas where both vampires and Colds could live without fear of being hunted.
Tana is in trouble. She woke up after a party to find that all her friends were dead. While trying to find a way to escape without waking the vampires who feasted on them, she came across a strange scene. Her Cold ex-boyfriend, Aidan, and a strange vampire both chained in one of the bedrooms. Unable to leave them to the mercy of the killers, she tries to rescue both. However, during this escape, she is grazed by a vampire’s fangs. Realising that she may now be infected, Tana drives towards the nearest Coldtown. She knows that she has no choice if she wants to keep her family safe.
Tana just wants to find a place to sweat off her infection, but Coldtown is not as safe or glamorous as the internet feeds make it appear. Most of the population are humans who have thrown away their freedom for a chance at immortality. If these people realise that Tana and Aidan are Cold, they would do anything to force them to complete their transformations. Added is the complication that Gavriel – the vampire she saved – has a history with the most popular superstar of Coldtown. If Tana wishes to survive, she may need to become a monster…
30 Jan 2017
in Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Surnames A-H, Title R-Z
Tags: Alison Goodman, Arkham Reviews, Book Blog, Book Review, fantasy, fantasy novel, Historical Fiction, Horror, The Dark Days Club, Young Adult, Young Adult Reviews
The Dark Days Club was written by Alison Goodman and first published in 2015. It’s a dark fantasy story set in England’s Regency Era, focusing on a young lady finding out about the existence of a demon-hunting secret society. The novel forms the first part of the Lady Helen series and is followed by The Dark Days Pact (2017). The final instalment of the trilogy has yet to be announced.
Lady Helen Wrexhall has just reached eighteen years of age and is finally old enough to make her debut in society, attending balls and soirées to make a good impression on any potential husbands. Although she carries the stain of her family name, her uncle is convinced that the inheritance left to her by her disgraced mother will be enough to attract a suitable match.
However, the first man that seems to be interested in Helen is the infamous Lord Carlston – a man suspected of murdering his previous wife. Helen’s uncle is not impressed that Carlson – a distant relation of his – is trying to use their name to catapult himself back into high society. However, Helen soon learns that Carlston is not interested in her as a match. He is a Reclaimer – a member of a secret society called the Dark Days Club – and he believes that Helen is one as well.
Through secret meetings with Carlston, Helen learns all about his organisation, the horrible monsters that they fight and their sacred duty to protect humanity. However, the more that Helen sees of their world, the more certain she is that she doesn’t want anything to do with them. Yet Carlston is certain that a powerful creature known as a Grand Deceiver is on the rise. How could Helen be able to deny her calling when she could be the only one capable of stopping it?
26 Jan 2017
in Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Surnames A-H, Title R-Z
Tags: Arkham Reviews, Book Blog, Book Review, fantasy, fantasy novel, Historical Fiction, Horror, Libba Bray, The Diviners, Young Adult, Young Adult Reviews
The Diviners was written by Libba Bray and first published in 2012. It’s a paranormal novel set in the Roaring Twenties, which focuses on a flapper discovering her psychic powers as she faces a supernatural murder. The novel forms the first part of a series and is followed by Lair of Dreams (2015), though at the time of writing no further instalments have been announced.
Evie O’Neill has caused her parents trouble from the last time. Her “party trick” of divining a person’s darkest secrets from a personal item has led to nothing but trouble in her hometown and so her parents decide to ship her off to stay with her uncle in New York City. Although her uncle runs the boring Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult (known to locals as the Museum of Creepy Crawlies), Evie is still thrilled. She can’t wait to meet up with her childhood friend, Mabel, and take the town by storm.
However, she soon discovers that a great evil has gripped the city. People are being found ritually murdered, missing body parts and branded with occultist symbols. The police are baffled and turn to Will for advise. When Evie comes into contact with an item belonging to one of the victims, she has a vivid vision of the murder taking place. She realises that she could use her power to help catch the killer, but how can she find a way to do so without making her superstitious uncle suspicious?
Meanwhile, something strange is happening all across America. Individuals with powers that are similar to Evie’s are finding themselves drawn to New York without even being aware of why. In Harlem, a young seer begins to prophesise a coming storm. Its clear that these Diviners are being drawn by some power far great than themselves, but what can it mean and how can they be expected to face it?
23 Jan 2017
in Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Surnames I-Q, Title R-Z
Tags: Arkham Reviews, Book Blog, Book Review, fantasy, fantasy novel, Historical Fiction, Justine Larbalestier, Razorhurst, Review, Young Adult, Young Adult Reviews
Razorhurst was written by Justine Larbalestier and first published in 2016. It’s historical fiction with supernatural elements, focusing on two girls who see ghosts as they struggle to survive in 1930s Sydney. The novel stands alone, so you don’t have to have read any of the author’s other work to fully appreciate it.
It’s 1932 and the streets of Razorhurst are bathed in blood. The fragile truce between the two most powerful mob bosses – Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson – is slowly beginning to crumble and their enforcers frequently come to blows in the streets, finishing each other off with razor blades as carrying guns is illegal. It’s not surprising that with so much murder and violence, the streets are also filled with ghosts. Invisible to most, the haunt the places they died or people that they once loved. Only Kelpie seems to notice them, and that often leads to more harm than good.
Kelpie is a street urchin, orphaned and left homeless at a young age. Although she knows that ghosts usually aren’t to be trusted, she makes the mistake of following one’s advice in the hope of finding fresh food. What she stumbles across instead is a murder. Jimmy Palmer – Glory’s favourite lieutenant – has been brutally slaughtered. Although Jimmy’s ghost tells her who committed the crime, there is no way that Kelpie can come forward with this information. If she did, she’d have to explain exactly how she came across it.
Instead, Kelpie finds herself fleeing across Razorhurst with Dymphna Campbell – Jimmy’s girlfriend and Glory’s prized moll. Dymphna has already earned the nickname “Angel of Death” since her partners never seem to last long, and knows that she’s likely to be found responsible for the most recent murder. Dymphna knows that Glory’s hold is weakening and dreams of taking her place, yet most importantly she knows that she must survive. Meeting Kelpie seems to be fate as Dymphna has never encountered another who shares her supernatural power. Together, she knows that they can rise to the top.
19 Jan 2017
in Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Surnames A-H, Title R-Z
Tags: A.G. Howard, Arkham Reviews, Book Blog, Book Review, fantasy, fantasy novel, paranormal romance, Review, RoseBlood, Young Adult, Young Adult Reviews
RoseBlood was written by A.G. Howard and first published in 2017. It’s a fantasy romance story inspired by both Gaston Leroux’s novel The Phantom of the Opera (originally published in 1910) and the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of the same name. The novel stands alone, so you don’t have to have read any of Howard’s earlier work to fully appreciate it.
Seventeen year old Rune Germain is cursed. She has a photographic memory for operatic songs and can recreate what she hears perfectly, yet when she does so she is left weak and drained for days. Certain that her condition is brought about by stage fright, her mother enrols her at the RoseBlood Conservatory – a French academy of the arts housed in an abandoned opera house in the depths of the woods. She’s certain that here Rune will find her voice.
Rune is less than convinced. She’s heard that the opera house one of the inspirations behind the story of The Phantom of the Opera and this plays on her Romani superstitions. Her fears seem justified as on her first day, she catches sight of a masked gardener that no one else seems to know. Could it be that the legends are true and the Phantom still lurks at RoseBlood, a hundred years after his supposed death?
Her suspicions are half right. The teenager she has seen is Thorn – adoptive son to the immortal Erik – who has found himself an accessory to his father’s plans for Rune. The problem is that the more time Thorn spends watching her, the more he falls in love with her himself. Thorn knows that he must find a way to save his love, before the Phantom can realise his sinister plans…