Sunday, 19 May 2013

Wesley Chu

Wesley Chu is the author of The Lives of Tao a novel on symbiotic aliens in human hosts. His second book, The Deaths of Tao, is supposed to be released October 29, 2013 but there may be some hiccup. I think we can trust to get the next installment by the end of the year. The write-up that is currently on goodreads says the events are five years after those of The Lives of Tao, but that could also be subject to change since not much is being let out of the bag by either Chu or the publishers, Angry Robot.

Website: http://www.chuforthought.com/

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Lives of Tao

The Lives of Tao written by Wesley Chu is the story of Roen, an overweight middle-age man who hates his job and himself and Tao, an alien who resides within host bodies. Tao's task is to stop the Genjix, aliens like himself who intend to take over the world and rule humans. Tao's host dies one night whilst fighting the Genjix, and Tao is forced to find a new host. The only one available: Roen.

The first third of the book is quite amusing, mainly Tao reprimanding Roen for being such a huge slob and trying to get him fit and combat trained. His trainer is Sonya, a very attractive woman who has a good alien (Prophus) with her. Roen's roommate is stunned when Roen starts eating right, working out and hanging out with pretty girls. The novelty is portrayed really well.
The next third is a little boring, mainly why me, this is too hard stuff. The last third I didn't like at all. Lots of high-action fighting but not a whole lot of plot, and the timeline was hard to follow. The ending, which is supposed to be really sad, wasn't written as well as it could have been, and once again timing was a little difficult to understand.

I did enjoy the symbiotic aliens, and thought the good aliens and bad aliens teams were believable, but the rest of the book just didn't live up to the first third, progressively getting worse as you read more.

2.4 stars

Astarte

Friday, 10 May 2013

Ashley Parker Novels


The Ashley Parker Novels chronicle the adventures of... you guessed it, Ashley Parker. Ashley is a 29 year old liberal arts major at the university. Zombies attack her and her boyfriend on a picnic, when she discovers she is a wild card, immune to zombie bites and stronger than a normal human. She and the other wild cards have to fight the zombies to save humanity. A series by Dana Fredsti, it currently has 3 books in it:

Plague Town (1)
Plague Nation (2)
Plague World (3)

Happy zombie-filled reading,
Astarte

Friday, 3 May 2013

Unravel Me

The sequel to Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi's new novel has all the characters we loved in the last book, and a few more we come to care for.
Juliette has been brought into Omega Point, where she can claim sanctuary and not be tested like an animal. Omega Point now has a girl who can kill just by touching someone. But that's not her only superpower. In this installment, we get to know more about that superstrength of hers, and why Adam can touch her. But when the truth comes out, will she still be with Adam? Or is her touch poison to him too?
Then, another twist is thrown upon us. Warner, the evil SOB who can also touch Juliette, is captured and taken to Omega Point as a prisoner. Juliette is chosen to interogate him to find out where their missing men (and Juliette's new friends) are. But as Juliette spends more time with Warner, she starts to see him more as a person, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't hate him. Further straining the relationship between Adam and Juliette, Warner loves her, and can touch her. When a shocking revelation about Warner's father is made known to the main characters, the hate between the two boys explodes, and Kenji is hurt.
With suspicion around Warner, and everyone thinking Juliette harmed Kenji, what will happen to Omega Point, and who will Juliette choose?

I liked the twists in this book, haing read the previous novel I definately could not see some of what happened. This one really made me dislike Juliette though. I felt sorry for her in Shatter Me, and the first few chapters, but after that she was just... boring. All boo-hoo my life sucks, which was really grating considering she got what she wanted and was a hell of a lot better than when she was Warner's prisoner or in the mental institution. After Kenji yelled at her, she toughened up a bit, but would still have the occasional pity party. Personally, I thought the best character was Kenji, but we didn't get to see much of what he felt, although he was often mentioned. Therefore, I was interested when we got to learn more of his past.

Giving it a 3.7. Juliette really let down the book from what it could have been.

Read safely (that means remember to eat occasionally - don't starve due to engrossment in your novel of the moment)
Astarte

Monday, 22 April 2013

Dana Fredsti

Hey All,
On her website, Dana Fredsti describes herself as a 'novelist and screenwriter, B-movie actress (okay, C movie actress), zombie aficionado, exotic and domestic feline advocate, swordfighter, wine lover and beach glass junkie.' Perhaps she is or isn't, but her Plague Town novel, which I recently read, was very similar to the type of movies she acts in.
Hopefully, her other books are better. Speaking of which, here they are:

Ashley Parker Novels:
Plague Town (1)
Plague Nation (2)
Plague World (3)

Others:
Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon
Hell on Heels

She also has a psudonym, Inara LaVey, who writes erotica.

Dana Fredsti's website can be found here: http://danafredsti.com/home.html

Astarte

Plague Town

Hello everyone.
An Ashley Parker novel, Plague Town is the story of (who would have guessed?) Ashley Parker, a twenty-nine year old university student. Dana Fredsti's book is the equiavlent of a shoot-'em-up movie, with zombies thrown in.
There is a whole lot of 'I'm a normal person' that ends up in a government military position because, once again, who would have guessed, Ashley is immune to the zombie bites. In another totally-unseen plot twist, the hot jerk she met at the beginning of the book ends up being her boyfriend by the end since her previous boyfriend inconviently got eaten by zombies. Furthermore, the great big revelation at the end of the book -how the zombies started this time- could be worked out in the first three chapters. The second great big revelation comes about two thirds of the way through the book, and that you could have figured out by chapter 5. I was kind of hoping for a more mature character, considering her age, but Ashley reacts, sadly, like your average lame 'heroine' (read, I'm the main female character, but there are always men coming to save me) in current YA reads. Her only redeeming action as a character came with the cats (if you read the book, you'll understand)
A terrible plot, and it's never going to win literature awards, but it's ok as a quick entertaining read, much like a made-for-TV shoot-'em-up movie.

2 stars

Astarte

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Christian Schoon

So, that awesome book I just recently reviewed, Zenn Scarlett? Well, here's a bit about the author, Christian Schoon.
According to something-beautiful.org who managed to score an interview with Christian Schoon, a large inspiration to his writing is all the animals he takes in for the many rescue and animal welfare groups he's part of. Most interesting thing on his bio (at least in my opinion) is the year he spent in Sweden as a foreign exchange student, which may seem normal to some, but Sweden sounds like a really cool (no pun intended) place :)
His debut novel, Zenn Scarlett, will be availble for download and purchase from May 7th. It's really fantastic, so go read it

Books:
Zenn Scarlett

His blog: http://www.christianschoon.com/

I have a feeling we'll see great things in the future from this author.

Happy Reading,
Astarte

Science Fiction


Love Science Fiction? You've come to the right place, because right here is every Sci-Fi book I've reviewed.

Zenn Scarlett

Happy Reading,
Astarte

Friday, 12 April 2013

Zenn Scarlett

Hello all!
First off, may I just say I LOVED this book. It was amazing. And as Christian Schoon's debut work, it's certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Zenn Scarlett, a seventeen-year-old girl, lives on Mars in a religious cloister. Currently training to become an exoveterinarian (pretty much a vet for aliens - typically very large or very dangerous aliens) she has three tests to pass before she can go onto the next part of her training. With the cloister facing possible shutdown, due to the townspeople's attitudes towards aliens, and suspected sabotage, will she be able to pass her tests to get one step closer to her dreams? And will the mind-melds she keeps having with the animals help or hinder her?

So, off to my review now. I've already said I loved it, but I'll say it again. I Loved It. This books was just the right amount of weird, with excellent descriptions of the all the aliens, so you can actually picture them perfectly. Upside of this, it makes for some amazing mental pictures whilst you're reading. Downside, I really, really want a rikkaset (a animal about the size of a cat, with violet tiger stripes and a cream body, a ringed tail, lynx ears, and big golden eyes. Rikkasets can also turn invisible and are as smart as chimps. Zenn's one, Katie, is learning sign language) odds are though, I won't get one :(
Zenn herself is a pretty great main character too. From the very beginning she is exceptional from those around her. She's possibly one of the youngest trainee exoveterinarians ever, she's training in a time when it's not popular to be an exo, as there is so much bad feeling towards aliens on Mars, she's dealing with the stresses of study for her exams (a huge workload, as you can imagine) along with her wierd mind-thing and sabotage of the cloister. And yet, she doesn't break down at any time, she just does what needs doing. Some might say that Schoon hasn't made her 'realistic' but I loved her. And her confusion was pretty clearly shown when she started thinking about Liam, a cute boy from town who seems to be pretty helpful whenever Zenn is concerned.

Now that you're all desperate to read it, it will be released on May 7th by Strange Chemistry, so you should definately all go buy it, or harass your local librarian until you get it. It really is worth it.

With the cliff-hanging ending I'm hankering for the next one in the series, which unfortunately does not as yet have a release date.

This book gets a 5.9 stars out of 5

Happy Reading (which if you read this book, you really will get)
Astarte

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Gallagher Girls Series


Yet another series by Ally Carter, this one is about an exclusive girls' school: The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. At this prestigious education facility, the girls learn the basic necessecities for their future careers: languages, history, hand-to-hand combat, all things they'll need to know when they graduate as spies.
Follow Cammie, Bex, Liz and Macey as they complete their training, despite the distractions from boys:
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You (1)
Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy (2)
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (3)
Only the Good Spy Young (4)
Out of Sight, Out of Time (5)
Double Crossed (5.5)
Gallagher Girls Website: http://gallaghergirls.com/index.php

Enjoy,
Astarte

Heist Society Series

Good mornig everyone!

This series is about Katarina Bishop, the daughter of a con man with skills of her own. Her team of teenage crooks include her cousin Gabrielle, the Bagshaw brothers, Simon and Hale. Each with their own talents they 'acquire' things and give them back to their rightful owners.
Written by the talented Ally Carter, there is a tie-in with the Gallagher Girls series at Double Crossed.

Heist Society (1)
Uncommon Criminals (2)
Double Crossed (2.5)
Perfect Scoundrels (3)

Happy Reading,
Astarte

Monday, 1 April 2013

Ally Carter

Ally Carter is the author of two Young Adult series, Heist Society and Gallagher Girls. As well as this she has also has two adult books.
 
Heist Society:
Heist Society (1)
Uncommon Criminals (2)
Double Crossed (2.5)
Perfect Scoundrels (3)

Gallagher Girls:
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You (1)
Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy (2)
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (3)
Only the Good Spy Young (4)
Out of Sight, Out of Time (5)
Double Crossed (5.5)

Cheating at Solitaire:
Cheating at Solitaire (1)
Learing to Play Gin (2)

Ally Carter's website: http://allycarter.com/

Happy Reading,
Astarte

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Double Crossed

Hi,
This time it's about Double Crossed, a novel by Ally Carter that that combines both the Heist Society series and her other young adult series, Gallagher Girls. Both W.W. Hale the Fifth and Macey McHenry are at an exclusive charity ball, being bored out of their minds, when suddenly there's a hostage situation. Will her spy skills and his crminal knowledge be enough to save the day, or will the Calloway Canary diamond be stolen?

I liked the way the two series were woven together in this book. It showed both the strengths and weaknesses in their different fields and how the two different skill sets can complement each other. I think Kat's blubbering about Hale was kinda cute too :)

This gets a solid 4.2 stars

Happy Reading,
Astarte

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Perfect Scoundrels

Hey Everyone!

Sorry I haven't blogged for a bit. Life got pretty hectic. Anywho, today is all about Miss Ally Carter's thrid novel in the Heist Society series: Perfect Scoundrels.

Kat Bishop is pretty happy. Hale is her boyfriend (finally), she's far happier with her restealing jobs, and her team is one of the best, filled with teenage geniuses. But in the middle of an operation, Hale leaves. Turns out his grandmother (the only member of his family he actually liked) has died... and willed the multi-national Hale Industries to him. Is this an elaborate con? And how can Kat save the company and keep Hale?

I found this book ok... I thought the Hale-Kat relationship swings were too often, and the reasons for them forgiving each other and getting back together each time not really fleshed out enough. Same also for Hale. We're told he's sad, and people are worried about him, but we don't get a lot of descriptions on it. I did like the end result though, it seemed a lot more life-like than the usual impossible thing to break into/con people to believe ending. Not sure what was up with the Niagra Falls and Uncle Eddie...

3.5 stars

Happy reading all,
Astarte

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Dark Guardian Series

Good what-ever-time-it-is-where-you-are all!

The Dark Guardian Series is (at the moment) four novels depicting teenage werewolves and their relationships. Each book focusses on a different couple, and also has one challenge that affects the whole pack as well. Written by Rachel Hawthorne, the characters are believable and the werewolf lore is interesting (I particularily like the reason why girls transistion before boys) and different from other books in this genre.

Moonlight (1)
Full Moon (2)
Dark of the Moon (3)
Shadow of the Moon (4)

Keep reading,
Astarte