Archive for the ‘Review’ Category:

Review: Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Published By: Hachette / HarperTeen (US)
Pages: 332
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Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis:Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking:

Never interfere.
Never be seen.
Never walk the same person’s dream more than once.

Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town, and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

From talented debut author Robert L. Anderson comes a stunning, complex, and imaginative story of the fine line between our dreams and reality.

Review: Dea walks through people dreams – that is just what she does. She doesn’t know why she is able to do this, but she knows that she needs to do it. If she doesn’t, she starts to get sick. But that is not the biggest issue that dream walking has – there are very strict rules – never be seen, never interfere and never walk the same person’s dreams more than once.

Her whole life has been filled with rules, clocks, dangerous mirrors, and dreams – and that has been okay, until she meets Connor. Connor is the mysterious new boy, and more importantly, he has mysteries of his own. And this is where Dea decides to break some of the rules. Some very important rules.

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Review: Fall (Twinmaker #3) by Sean Williams

Release Date: November 3rd 2015
Published By: Allen & Unwin / Balzer + Bray (US)
Pages: 512
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:The mind-bending conclusion to the Twinmaker trilogy.

Clair’s world has been destroyed – again. The only remaining hope of survival is for her and Q to enter the Yard, a simulation as detailed – and as real – as the home they have lost. But in the Yard there are two Clair Hills. The other Clair is headstrong, impulsive, suspicious – just like Clair herself used to be, and their very existence is causing cracks.

As Clair searches for a solution, a surprising new ally emerges from the ashes. Together they fight their way through the digital and political minefield in the hope of saving Jesse, her friends and the whole of humanity.

‘Williams marries accessibly explored moral ramifications of future technologies with a strong, capable teen heroine and heart-pounding action.’ Kirkus Reviews

ReviewThis review contains spoilers for the previous books in the series.

Fall, otherwise known as Hollowgirl, is the third and final book in the Twinmaker series by Aussie author Sean Williams.

In Jump (Twinmaker) and Crash (Crashland), we have been taken on a journey of d-mat, fabbers, abstainers, artificial intelligence, lost friends, unlikely alliances, betrayal, unknown loyalties, mistakes, dedication and disaster – and Fall (Hollowgirl) completes the story with all of this, plus even more twists, duplicities, turmoil, determination and action.

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Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Release Date: October 22nd 2015
Published By: Macmillan Children’s Books / Disney Hyperion (US)
Pages: 336
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife. When Lo-Melkhiin – a formidable king – arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice – leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man. But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king …if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.

Set against a harsh desert backdrop, A Thousand Nights by E K Johnston is an evocative tale of love, mystery and magic that would not feel out of place if Scheherazade herself were telling it. And perhaps she is

Review: I am going to admit, I am a little torn over A Thousand Nights. I both really enjoyed this book, as well as found some parts of it a little lacking.

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Review: Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch

Release Date: October 13th 2015
Published By: HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray (US)
Pages: 479
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

Review: This review contains no spoilers for Snow Like Ashes. Review for Snow Like Ashes can be found here.

After the events of Snow Like Ashes, Winter may be saved, but the nightmares continue. They continue in the hearts of those who survived, from the memories of those lost and betrayed, and in the struggle to break the chains of tyranny. Winter has been saved from the evil that ruled it for so long, but it has yet to be freed. Winter is still enslaved due to a great debt owed to Cordell, and while that debt cannot go unpaid, Meira does not want her kingdom to fall into ruins before it can become whole again.

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Review: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

Release Date: August 26th 2015
Published By: Allen & Unwin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (US) / ATOM (UK))
Pages: 613
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Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to ‘read’ objects, and therefore the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title ‘America’s Sweetheart Seer’. There’s just one downside – a sham engagement to the irritatingly handsome Sam Lloyd.

But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities… and across town, a mysterious sleeping sickness is spreading through Chinatown, leaving dead dreamers in its wake.

Can the Diviners descend into the slumberland and catch a killer?

ReviewLair of Dreams is a fantastic instalment in The Diviners series, filled with darkness and mystery, comedy and heart, tension and determination – everything that is needed to entice you into this magical 1920’s New York.

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Review: The House of Shattered Wings (Dominion of the Fallen #1) by Aliette de Bodard

Release Date: August 20th 2015
Published By: Gollancz
Pages: 320
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out – literally – of a war in Heaven.

Paris has survived the Great Houses War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, a alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall

Review: Filled with mystery and curses, ruined cities and broken angels, The House of Shattered Wings is dark and eery, where the magical war-torn element of this story is captivating, the setting is hauntingly gorgeous and the fallen have fallen very far indeed.

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Review: Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

Release Date: August 13th 2015
Published By: Simon and Schuster UK
Pages: 272
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Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Feeling alive is always worth the risk.

Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco’s night bus—turns Beatrix’s world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive…and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists.

On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.

But Jack is hiding much more – and can she uncover the truth that leaves him so wounded?

A unique and profoundly moving novel, Night Owls will linger in your memory long after the final page.

ReviewNight Owls is truly lovely. I don’t use that term lightly, but it is an amazingly a sweet and well written story filled with real emotion, fun, heartbreak, first love and turmoil. It will wrap you up in a nice snugly blanket, fill your heart with feels and take you on an adventure of love, art and San Francisco.

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STRAY Blog Tour – Guest Post from Rachael Craw + Review

 

Hello! And welcome to Book Nerd Reviews’ stop on the STRAY Blog Tour!

The STRAY Blog Tour will be occuring 1 – 7 September, and there are a lot of amazing Aussie blogs bringing you posts about Rachael Craw’s next instalment in the Spark series and posts from Rachael herself!. This tour will include reviews, Q&As and guest posts!

As well as my review for Stray, Rachael is joining us here at Book Nerd Reviews with a guest post about walking the line on social media. Is she an author, reader or friend? Are you a reader or friend? Where is the line… and how blurry is it?

Welcome to the tour… I hope you enjoy the journey.

 

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Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Release Date: August 27th 2015
Published By: Walker Books
Pages: 352
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Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

Review: As my first Patrck Ness novel, I cannot compare this book to the other titles by this popular author. But I have to say that I am impressed with Ness’ originality!

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Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: September 1st 2015
Published By: Bloomsbury
Pages: 656
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Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

ReviewThis review contains no spoilers for Queen of Shadows. It does however contain spoilers for previous books in the Throne of Glass series.

Sarah J. Maas brings us another epic instalment in this phenomenal series! Filled with intricate world building, complex characters and a unique blend of danger and wonder, Queen of Shadows is storytelling at its very best!

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Crystal Kingdom Blog Tour + Giveaway!

 

Hello! And welcome to Book Nerd Reviews’ stop on the Australian Crystal Kingdom Blog Tour!

The Crystal Kingdom Blog Tour will be occuring throughout all of August, and there are a lot of amazing Aussie blogs bringing you posts about Amanda Hocking’s finale in the Kanin Chronicles. This tour will include reviews, Q&As, and giveaways! And thanks to the wonderful PanMacmillan, Book Nerd Reviews will be the hosting a giveaway for a copy of Crystal Kingdom!

Welcome to the tour… I hope you enjoy the journey.

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Review: Spark (Spark #1) by Rachael Craw

Release Date: July 1st 2014
Published By: Walker Books Australia
Pages: 464
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Evie doesn’t have a choice.

One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.

The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.

And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits.

Review: It is books like Spark that are going to have to make me re-evaluate my “take it or leave it” attitude towards sci-fi!

I have often said that I am not a huge fan of science fiction. I am not a lover of science, and I don’t like it incorporated into stories in an unrealistic way, but Spark is a modern world sci-fi, with just the right amount of sciencey stuff in all the right places.

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Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Release Date: June 4th 2015
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 336
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Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: A bitter-sweet, coming-of-age novel that’s perfect for fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky.

When he’s sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.

But when he meets Sadie and her friends – a group of eccentric troublemakers – he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning.

That illness doesn’t have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.

Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about true friendships, ill-fated love and the rare miracle of second chances.

ReviewExtraordinary Means is another truthful, powerful and heart-wrenching story from the author that brought us Severed Heads, Broken Hearts.

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Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Release Date: June 22nd 2015
Published By: Harper Collins Aus/Dial
Pages: 352
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, and her ability to trust.

And when Minnow rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now the Kevinian Prophet has been murdered and the camp set aflame and it’s clear Minnow knows something. But she’s not talking. As she adjusts to a life behind bars in juvenile detention, Minnow struggles to make sense of all she has been taught to believe, particularly as she dwells on the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of; if she is willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

Powerful and compelling. this remarkable and brave debut novel reveals the terrible dangers of blind faith. And the importance of having faith in yourself.

 

ReviewThe Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is an eerie, horrifying and dark story… and I loved it!

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Review: In The Beginning There Was Us by Ingrid Jonach

Release Date: April 28th 2015
Pages: 285
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: What would you do if you were God? If you had the power to not only give life, but take it away in the blink of an eye? These are the questions that haunt fifteen-year-old Abbey Baxter after she resurrects a boy, long lost to the ages.

The achingly beautiful and eternally melancholy Cole not only serves as a welcome distraction from her long-time crush, Elwin, but also eases the heartache that persists since the sudden passing of her younger brother, Junior, four years earlier.

As the intrigue of her relationship with Cole deepens, so too does the mystery that surrounds a growing phenomenon sweeping through her small West Virginian town, transforming the lives of its residents. Around her, two bedroom cottages are transforming into mansions without explanation and residents are waking up to bank balances that have tripled overnight, all under the watchful gaze of the sinister American Laboratory for Particle Physics, located on the outskirts of town.

As Abbey searches for answers in a bid to solve the mystery in partnership with Elwin, she’s forced into a realization that that some things are better left buried, including her newfound love, Cole.

This cautionary tale of heartache and obsession explores the endless possibilities of the universe and its devastating impact on two young lovers from different worlds.

Review: I am going to start by saying this: I dislike science in general. I like that it exists, but I often switch off when people start talking about it (which happens often where I work). My understanding of science is from The Big Bang Theory, the stuff that I cannot ignore at work, and the understanding that I really hated my high school science teacher. So, for these reasons, I generally don’t love science fiction novels or stories that include science…. but Ingrid Jonach’s stories are definitely an exception to the rule!

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