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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Review: Those That Wake by Jess Karp

Title: Those that wake
Author: Jess Karp
Harcourt Children's Books

New York City’s spirit has been crushed. People walk the streets with their heads down, withdrawing from one another and into the cold comfort of technology. Teenagers Mal and Laura have grown up in this reality. They’ve never met. Seemingly, they never will.

But on the same day Mal learns his brother has disappeared, Laura discovers her parents have forgotten her. Both begin a search for their families that leads them to the same truth: someone or something has wiped the teens from the memories of every person they have ever known. Thrown together, Mal and Laura must find common ground as they attempt to reclaim their pasts.

Firstly, generally, descriptions are boring for me but in this occasion it made me reading more, following to discover what is happening with the characters, what is the thing has caused the situation, etc.

The story reminded me to The Shining of Stephen King or TV serials such as The X-Files, where the impossible becomes real. As the story moves forward, it has an appearance of movie more and more.

Mal, with a hard life, with the break-up of his parents and the separation between his brother and him, join fights to earn. Laura, is the opposite of him, keeps living with her parents and needs constantly the support and love of them to move on.

Mike is an English teacher, without social life and bitter, but he accepts his job because he knows someone has to do it. Remak, finally, works in an enterprise dedicated to collect data and make future foresights.

All of them live in different neighbourhoods of NY and they have different lifes but something else than the chance has made they are together. They don't have the same stylelife than the rest of people. They aren't controlled by the technology, from what this one will try dominate them or murder them, as a last choice.

Suddenly, they are kidnapped and sended in the middle of a mountain. They don't meet each other nor the place. This one will be the first step to meet each other, discover who lies and, the most important thing: get back their lifes.

It's a novel nothing foreseeable and makes you asking yourself until the last page if the characters have got win the bad guy or not. The characters are very well definited and we can know parts of their past, such as the secret fight of father's Mal against the cancer. It also makes us think about not all is lost as it seems. There is always an open possibility. Included the most absolute failure in the life can achieve a miracle.

I give it a 5 out of 5 because it loves me. I recommend all type of readers because it has nor scenes of sex neither violence.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


A chance to showcase your favourite!
  • First you grab our Wicked Wednesday pic.
  • Then you grab a book. Turn to page 28. Take the first sentence. And then you post it in your site with a link back to WW28.
  • Come back to Cherry Mischievous - WW28 and give us the url of your post (in a comment at a WW28 post) so that other WW28 readers can find your WW28 offering.

WW28 book offering : Darkness Calls by Marjorie Liu
Page 28, 1st Sentence:

Not quite a snarl. More like she was tasting the air.

They are the obsidian shadows of my flesh - tattoos with minds, hearts, and dreams. By day, they protect me. But when night calls to them, they leave my body, dissolving into their true form - as demons…

Nomad born and bred, demon hunter Maxine Kiss has always relied upon herself to fight the darkness that surrounds her, the predators-human, zombie, and otherwise - who threaten the earth. But one man has penetrated her lonely life: Grant, the last of his kind. With music he is able to control any living creature…including demons. And now his life is in danger.

Haunted by the past, determined to change the future, Maxine soon understands that to save Grant, she has only one choice-to lose control, and release her own powers of darkness…
Source: Info in the About Darkness Calls was taken from the author's website at http://marjoriemliu.com/index.php?/novels/details/darkness_calls/ on 20/09/2010.

Monday, 27 June 2011


Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
Book 2 of the First Law Trilogy

Gernre: epic fantasy

About Before They Are Hanged:
How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It’s enough to make a torturer want to run – if he could even walk without a stick – and Inquisitor Glokta needs to find answers before the Gurkish army comes knocking at the gates.

Northmen have spilled over the Angland border and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win back undying glory. There is only one problem: he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained and worst-led army in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make strange companions, but, if only they don’t hate each other so much, potentially deadly ones.

Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven – but not before they are hanged.
Source: Info in the About Before They Are Hanged was taken from the book’s cover sleeve.

My Thoughts:
Before They Are Hanged is Book 2 of The First Law Trilogy, this book continues where the cliffhanger in Book 1 left off and also ended in a cliffhanger. So my advice is the same with what I said in Book 1: don’t start reading this trilogy until you have all three books in your possession so that you can continue reading on the story as soon as you hit the cliffhanger. I therefore do not advise anybody to read this book on its own because this book is just a middle chapter of three. It will get you confused. There is no beginning and no end. The beginning is in Book 1 and I presume that the end will be in Book 3.

Having experienced the multiple-thread writing style of the first book, I flagged this book’s chapters with a color-coded sticky index cards so that I can follow a single thread of the story and easily jump chapters until that thread in the story intersects another. Still slow going but a bit quicker than Book 1. I would give the pace a rating of 3 out of 5. This being Book 2, the world building and character development has been shaped in Book 1 already, therefore I’m not going to rate those in this review anymore.

This author also has the propensity of killing off beloved characters which breaks my heart! However, because of the author's fantasticvoice”, it's what keeps me reading on with this trilogy. Despite the slow pace. And even though I find the multiple-thread writing style annoying.

Final Say:
This book is just a middle chapter of a bigger book. Starts at the middle of the story and ends with a cliffhanger.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
World Building = N/A
Character Development = N/A
Writing Style = annoying
Pace = 3
Ending = 2

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

Other Books In This Series:

Saturday, 25 June 2011


The Darkness Beyond by Alexis Morgan
Book 8 of The Paladins series

Genre: adult urban fantasy

About The Darkness Beyond:
An online game of cat and mouse leads a Paladin warrior on a deadly rescue mission to claim the irresistible lover who should be his greatest enemy.

D. J. Clayborne has finally met his match. After weeks of playing cyber tag, a mysterious hacker bests D.J. at his own game. His nemesis downloads a top-secret history of the Paladins, forcing him to go on the hunt. The trail leads D.J. straight to Regina Morrison, a woman who is as sexy as she is talented in the cyber world.

Reggie has been working around the clock to stop a legendary computer hacker from accessing her clients' files. She just hasn't told her boss she found the intriguing culprit weeks ago. The last thing she expects to have D.J. show up on her doorstep and that he's even sexier than his evasive avatar. Now they're flirting with a dangerous line between duty and desire.

Reggie's deep investigation gets her kidnapped by the Others and forced across the hostile energy barrier into an alien world. Now it's up to D.J. to track down the captivating woman whose ability to break through his firewalls is also breaking through to his warrior's heart.
Source: Info in the About The Darkness Beyond was taken from the author's website at http://www.alexismorgan.com/darknessbeyond.html on 16/06/2011.

When I started reading this book, it came back to me again, the question I had when I first started reading this series: Why can't they just plug the "barrier" with mortar and concrete? Or a boatload of TNT! Looked effective enough when Kolar blew up that "barrier" section at the lava caves... But then again if they do that, we won't need Paladins to defend our world and then we won't have a story!! That is one logic flaw in the world building which I chose to ignore while reading this series. However, it is starting to nag me now. I like it better if the world building does not have gaping flaws staring right back at me like that. And another thing, it is also starting to read like same old, same old. I love the world of the Paladins, mind, just wish that this book didn't have the feel of "same old, same old" kinda thing. And I sure do like the man-candy on the cover!! The story telling is the same masterpiece quality so the story flowed well and the book read realtively fast. Despite this being Book 8 in the series, there is enough info there so that a reader who is new to the series can keep up and understand the story, fine. So I think this book can be read on it's own, though I do not suggest it because it mentions characters and events from previous books which will spoil the previous books for a reader if planning to read them after this book. Which you will want to read because this author has such a compelling author's voice. The ending is another HEA and am happy. Overall, I enjoyed this book and would give it a 4 out of 5.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3
Ending = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Series:

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the review copy received.

Friday, 24 June 2011


Look what I found waiting for me when I got home from work today! *happy dance*

Thank you to Penguin for the review copy of Geist and Spectyr by Philippa Ballantine received.

Geist by Philippa Ballantine
Book 1 of the Order of the Deacons

Genre: fantasy

About Geist:
Geists don’t always play by the rules.

Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off the malevolent haunting of the geists…

Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha, now thrust into partnership with the novice Deacon, Merrick Chambers. They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aide the Priory with a surge of violent geist activity. With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse.

But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting. And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows.

And if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in Hell is she returning to?
Source: Info in the About Geist was taken from the author's website at http://www.booksoftheorder.com/?page_id=4 on 11/06/2011.

Book 2 of the Order of the Deacons

Genre: fantasy

Publication Date: 28 June 2011

About Spectyr:
Though one of the most powerful Deacons, Sorcha Faris has a tarnished reputation to overcome. She and her partner, Deacon Merrick Chambers, find themselves chasing down rumors of geists, but long for a return to real action. So they jump at the chance to escort a delegation sent to negotiate the terms of the Emperor’s engagement. Their destination: the exotic city of Orinthal.

But a string of murders has Orinthal on edge, and Sorcha and Merrick are asked to investigate. Meanwhile the Emperor’s sister has unwittingly released a cruel and vengeful goddess, one who it bent on destroying her enemies, including the geistlord who resides inside the shapeshifting rival to the throne—Sorcha’s lover…
Source: Info in the About Spectyr was taken from the author's website at http://www.booksoftheorder.com/?page_id=124 on 11/06/2011.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Review: The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Título: The Iron Witch
Author: Karen Mahoney
1º book of the trilogy
2º book: The Wood Queen (2012)
3º book: The Stone Demon (2013)

Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

I have to confess that I'm a lover of the covers. Guilty! Plus, I read the plot of this book and I loved too. I don't read usually many books about magic but this book has convinced me. Sadly, I have to wait the next book of the trilogy until the next year.

The main character, Donna Underwood, is member and daughter of members of the Order of the Dragon, one of the four orders which control the alchemy since time immemorial. Her father, Patrick, gave his life for her when she was kidnapped and dragged to Elfland when she was a child. Her mother lost her mind and she is admited in an institution. Now it's her aunt Paige and the Order who take care of her. Alma Kensington is the responsible of her education in Quentin Frost home, the leader of the Order. She must to learn the subjects of secondary school as well as the magical subjects for her future development inside of the Order.

The thing which makes her special is have survived to Skriker, a monster of the Queen of the Wood and her elfs (it sounds me like HP). However, the monster hurt her arms. The alchemists achieved a great work doing operations which included silver and iron setting up an incredible tattoos since her elbows to her doigts. The tattoos give her a superior strength to the normal one.

Her secret has been kept close to every person beyond the Order. Even her best friend Navin Sharma and the family of this boy, they don't know anything about her double life. It will be when she meet the handsome Alexander Grayson in his birthday party, she will share her secret with him and Navin. Step by step, it will emerge chemistry between them, Donna and Xan, but a serie of events will put their relationship in a second level. Elfland has rebelted against the alchemists and it seems that they're going to cause many problems. Only she, with the help of Xan, could order all the chaos that these little beings have done.

I give it 4 out of 5 because, though I loved all the plot, I've seen there were few obstacles in the path and they were solved very fast. I'm used not to have a close end in the first book of a trilogy and wait to the next book.

I recommend totally this book because is a convincing story and its characters demonstrate us its weakness and its strengths, making up us in the story as one more.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


A chance to showcase your favourite!
  • First you grab our Wicked Wednesday pic.
  • Then you grab a book. Turn to page 28. Take the first sentence. And then you post it in your site with a link back to WW28.
  • Come back to Cherry Mischievous - WW28 and give us the url of your post (in a comment at a WW28 post) so that other WW28 readers can find your WW28 offering.
WW28 book offering : Breath And Bone by Carol Berg

Page 28, 1st Sentence:
Then we waited. Though the great bronze bells had fallen from the church tower, the monks rang handbells to keep to their schedule of devotions and work.
Sounds very mundane... but that's how this book starts... then the pace gets quicker and quicker...

About Breath And Bone:
Osriel the Bastard wagged his finger, choking off my response as if a noose tightened about my neck. "But you, Magnus Valentia de Cartamandua-Celestine...what does Sila Diaglou want with you?"

Not just the murderous Harrower priestess, but everyone in Navronne seems to be after Valen. There is the Bastard Prince himself, who steals dead men's eyes. And the Pureblood Registry, determined to keep every pureblood sorcerer in thrall. Even beings out of myth, the Danae guardians, whose dancing nurtures the earth and whose attention could prove the most costly of all.

As Navronne sinks deeper into civil war and perilous winter, Valen finds himself a bargaining chip in a deadly standoff. Doomed to madness by his addiction to the doulon, and bound by oaths he refuses to abandon, the young sorcerer risks body and soul to rescue one child, seek justice for another, and bring the ailing land its righteous king. Yet no one is who they seem, and Valen's search for healing grace leads him from Harrower dungeons to the very heart of the world. In the twilight of a legend, he at last discovers the hard truth of the coming dark age and the glorious, terrible price of the land's redemption...and his own.
Source: Info in the About Breath And Bone was taken from the author's website at http://www.sff.net/people/carolberg/lighthouse.html on 26/03/2011.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Saturday, 18 June 2011


The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Book 1 of the First Law Trilogy

Genre: epic fantasy

About The Blade Itself:
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught up in one feud too many he’s about to become a dead barbarian, leaving nothing behind but bad songs and dead friends.

Jezal dan Luthar, paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than winning glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like little better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then he hates everyone. Cutting treason out of the heart of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendships – and his latest trail of corpses could lead straight to the rotten heart of government…if he can just stay alive long enough to follow it…
Source: Info in the About The Blade Itself was taken from the book’s cover sleeve.

My Thoughts:
The entire book is just an introduction to the world of The First Law Trilogy with the usual formula of a wizard, a warrior, and a motley crew.

The book keeps multiple threads running at the same time and jumps from thread to thread from chapter to chapter. I don’t like this writing style because I tend to forget what is going on with a thread while reading 2 or so chapters on a different thread. So when the book jumps back to that thread I have to re-read the previous chapter on that thread to recall what was going on with that thread of the story. This makes the pace very slow. So slow that I sometimes loose patience and put the book down to pick up another. And when I’ve forgotten my impatience, I pick this book up again. Another reason I don’t like this kind of writing style is that the story looses continuity and the flow of the story is constantly disrupted. This tends to make my interest wane and I have to use “will” to finish the book. The loss of continuity and constant disruption to the flow of the story sometimes irritate me so, that I abandon reading the book. I did put this book down a few times which is why it took almost a year to read it. The author has a good voice though that the story flows well for me, that is, until the flow gets disrupted when the book jumps to another thread. I find that really annoying, so I cheat. I follow one thread and jumps chapters which is not of that thread, until it intersects with another thread and then I go back and read that other thread which it intersects with. I use color coded little sticky index markers to help me keep track. Slow going. Annoying. To top it off, this book ended in a big, whooping cliffhanger.

My suggestion is, don’t start reading this book if you do not have all three books of The First Law trilogy in your possession, so that as soon as you hit the cliffhanger at the end of this book you can continue reading on to Book 2 which would make it a whole lot less annoying.

Empirical evaluation:
Story Telling Quality = 4.5
World Building = 5
Character Development = 5
Writing Style = 2
Plot = 4
Pace = 2.5
Story Itself = 3
Ending = 1

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

Other Books In This Series:

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