Sunday, 31 July 2011

Books I'm Squeeing About in August

So July has contained a huge number of books – a lot of really good finds mixed in with some old favourites. I’m finding I want to revisit a lot of old loves, so you’ll see a lot of reviews for books I want to wax lyrical about why they have an everlasting place in my heart over the coming month.
But onto August! There actually isn’t all that much book wise I’m excited about this month, which is just as well as I have to save all my pennies for ‘Elle and Rosy’s Epic Book Adventure’. It’s going to be awesome…
(Go visit the wonderful Elle at ‘The Book Memoirs’ – she might even give you cookies!)
However, there are also some DVDs that I am jumping up and down about, so they’re being thrown in to the squee pile as well…

NOTE: I’d like to apologise for giving release dates for two books over the last two months that have since been moved. In July, “My Soul to Steal” has since had the UK release date moved back until 21st October. In June I was squeeing about “Stolen Nights” by Rebecca Maizel. This book hasn’t been released anywhere and no where seems to know when it might come out frustratingly. I’m still trying to track it down and will keep you posted on my efforts.

Since the gripping conclusion of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.

Whilst Amazon refuses to give an actual date, copies of this are currently on sale already.
I adored the first book ‘Once a Witch’ and I went straight out and pre-ordered this book as soon as I realized there was going to be a sequel. The first one was a brilliant ‘chicken soup for my soul’ book with a family who all have magical talents (guaranteed way to make me squee) and time travel and yummy boy. And now there’s a whole new book filled with more of this! What more could one want?!

Legendary director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Leon) transports us to the wild days of early 20th-century Paris, where feisty young writer Adele Blanc-Sec embarks on thrilling missions to find exciting material for her book and a cure for her sick sister.  She sails to Egypt to raid a tomb that supposedly hides the cure, but what will she do when an army of resurrected mummies get in the way?  Back in Paris she finds the city in chaos after a 136 million-year old pterodactyl egg mysteriously hatches.  Adele realises she is the only one game enough to take control of the prehistoric bird.  

This blurb does nothing to capture the sheer brilliance of this film. It’s genius I tell you – GENIUS. Although you have to have a sense of humour to watch it. 
I went to see it one afternoon at the local ye olde cinema – based purely on the title and the trailer – click here to watch.
It’s insane. There’s a pterodactyl. There’s the most brilliantly capable heroine I have EVER MET. It’s like steampunk, but not quite, and it’s French, and it’s brilliant. I can’t even explain more than that. Just watch it. Oh – word of warning, as I said, it is in French, so this is in the original language with subtitles.

Regular readers of this blog will now I have an undying love for the Vampire Diaries. Need proof? Go to the TV shows I’ve Reviewed and catch up on the delights of the second season. And now it’s coming out on DVD so I can re-watch it all over again.

Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures...until the day their adventures turn all too real. They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only piques Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. With their friend Elizabeth, Henry and Victor immediately set out to find assistance from a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula. Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrad's life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another.

I hadn’t even read the blurb until writing this. This was one of those books that I saw the title and cover and immediately wanted it. I didn’t even care what it said on the blurb, I just wanted it – and I am so glad that it’s nearly release day! After reading the blurb I’m even more excited, and I just hope that it’s not too difficult to get hold of in the UK!

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

Ah just look at that cover! And that blurb! I’m a sucker for people with quirky cool powers – whether they’re on their own or at a school for talented. I’m also liking how authors are branching out and playing with everything under the umbrella of fantasy, rather than sticking with vampires and werewolves. Demons! Voices! Yay!

Most can't touch the power. But Liv Warren is special – a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood. Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one. But when her friend's daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can't rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her. Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner...every touch...every kiss.And more blood will be spilled before it's over..

I love Rachel Vincent’s writing, and this new book blurb just reinforces that. Like I was saying earlier, any author who branches out and looks at new ideas under the fantasy umbrella has my vote, and I know that with Rachel Vincent I’m going to have a nerve frayingly tense book that will have me up all night. And some yummy boys thrown in just to make everything fab.

Jane Boyle married her prince charming and moved into his upper east side castle—but she didn’t get her fairy-tale ending
It’s hard to live happily ever after when you discover your demanding and controlling mother-in-law is literally a witch, determined to steal the magical powers you didn’t even know you had. Jane narrowly avoided Lynne Doran’s clutches when she escaped on her wedding day, and has been hiding out in New York City. But she can’t hide forever. When Jane learns of the one thing Lynne wants most, she sets out to provide it, hoping her good turn will persuade her mother-in-law to stop hunting her. Unfortunately, Jane’s daring plan will send her right back into the witches’ den—the Doran clan’s multistory town house on Park Avenue. But thanks to a tricky spell, blond architect Jane will be transformed into Ella, a dark beauty with a whole new look . . . and all of Jane’s budding powers. Though the stakes are life or death, nobody said “Ella” couldn’t have a little fun along the way, too.

I wasn’t completely convinced by the first book in the series “666 Park Avenue” but it was good enough that I wanted to see what happened in the next book. The last book took a long time to get going, and I’m hoping that now Pierce has found her stride this book will be a blast of awesome all the way through instead of just at the end. Here’s to hoping.

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, and that blurb is enough to have me completely intrigued. I don’t know much else other than the blurb and the pretty cover, but it’d enough to have me wanting a copy to see if it lives up to all the hype I’ve heard. Also, any book that gives me a male voice and character as my in has my vote. There are so many books told by girl characters, that it’s a refreshing change to see one for the boys.

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