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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Review: Thyla by Kate Gordon

Title: Thyla
Author: Kate Gordon
Released: 1 April 2011
Source: Boomerang Books Critics Club
Reviewed by: Sapphired Dragon





Sapphired Dragon rating : ***** 

Synopsis via Goodreads  
My name is Tessa. I am strong. I am brave. I do not cry. These are the only things I know for certain. 

I was found in the bush, ragged as a wild thing. I have no memory - not even of how I got the long, striping slashes across my back. They make me frightened of what I might remember. 

The policewoman, Connolly, found me a place in a boarding school and told me about her daughter, Cat, who went missing in the bush. 

I think there is a connection between Cat, me, and the strange things going on at this school. If I can learn Cat's story, I might discover my own - and stop it happening again.(less)

Review:

This novel's mystery had me hooked from the first page. Actually I think I was hooked from the moment I read the back of the book and the acknowledgements at the beginning and the story did not disappoint. In fact I was so hooked that I finished this story in less than a day and after reading some during my lunch break, seriously thought about not going back to work and finishing the story there and then instead. 

I had some theories of what I thought it would be about but it became clear quite quickly that was way of the mark and that this was not a bad thing.  

Set in Tasmania in the present day, the author Kate Gordon weaves colonial history and the supernatural in to a tale that exquisitely balances giving the reader enough information to move the story along at a good pace whilst simultaneously keep turning the pages in an effort to find out who Tess is and how it ties with the rest of the story.   It has an uniquely Australian feel to it and Gordon uses legends of the area to make this more authentic. 

Written in the first person, I loved reading through the perspective of a girl who can remember her name, how to read and much of the history of her city but doesn't remember things like cars, or television  or waffles. I felt her bewilderment as she struggled through situations where she just didn't remember how she was supposed to act or what something was and felt her frustration as the things she knew just didn't add up. 

I also loved the supernatural aspect of this tale. It starts off subtle and so surprises as you read more. I won't say more than that as I think not knowing too much about the story really added to the enjoyment of it. 

Long story short, if you a a fan of a good Australian speculative  or YA story or even just a good speculative or YA  from any country, then I thoroughly recommend this novel. 

I have no hesitation giving this book 5 stars. 

Buy this book: Boomerang Books | The Book Depository

Sapphired Dragon xx

Monday, 27 June 2011

Teaser Tuesday #7





Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too muchaway! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My current read is Heaven to Wudang by Kylie Chan  and my two lines are from page  333 :

'Yes.  It's like a map was just slotted straight into my head.  He has absolutely no respect for privacy'









Purchase:  Boomerang Books | Book Depository




PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

In My Mailbox #8 - Sunday 26 June



Welcome to  In My Mailbox, a meme run by The Story Siren where each week over 200 bloggers post on their blogs the books they have bought, received to review or won in the past week.
To find out more information, get involved yourself or see what's in other bloggers mailboxes this week head over to The Story Siren or to find out what is in my mailbox this week, keep reading.
Don't forget to comment and post your IMM link or just let me know what's in your mail box this week:


For Review :





Heaven to Wudang
Thyla
Luck of the Devil
The Mephisto Covenant
Out in Blue























Heaven to Wudang by Kylie Chan
Source: Boomerang Books Critics Club
Release Date: June 2011
Goodreads |  Book Depository | Boomerang Books


Thyla by Kate Gordon
Source: Boomerang Books Critics Club
Release Date: 1 April 2011
Goodreads | Boomerang Books | Book Depository

Luck of the Devil by Patricia Eimer
Source: Netgalley
Relase Date: 2 August 2011
Goodreads |


The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 27 September 2011
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Out in Blue by Sarah Gilman
Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 6 September 2011
Goodreads |



June R.A.K:

A huge thank you to Lori from Romancing the Darkside for sending me my first ever R.A.K



The Iron King
The Iron Daughter
The Iron Queen
Winter's Passage
Summer's Crossing
Shiver
Linger

}
























By Julia Kagawa:
By Maggie Stiefvater:


So what was in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Kylie Chan Heaven to Wudang Book signing & Giveaway

On Friday 24th June, the lovely Kylie Chan, author of Dark Heavens and Journey to Wudang trilogies came to Infinitas books in Parramatta to sign copies of her latest book, Heaven to Wudang. 

Heaven to Wudang
is the third book in the Journey to Wudang trilogy and continues the story of Emma, Simone and Xuan Wu which began in Book 1 of Dark Heavens trilogy : White Tiger as they wait for Xuan Wu to return and in the mean time chase down Kitty Kwok and the demon she is allied with.

I have to say.  This was a great thrill for me as this is one of my favourite series and in fact my blog name and user name (Sapphired Dragon) was actually heavily influenced by this series.  I was really into Chinese mythology after reading the first trilogy and wanted something that sounded all mythological but still represented me.  So I took the birthstone 
of my birth month September (Sapphire) and the year in Chinese calendar I was born ( year of the Dragon) and Voila! Realmof the Sapphired Dragon was born :)

Even though the signing was on a Friday, when I arrived at the book shop just before two, there was alreay a number of people already there with their arm load of books ready to be signed and more kept arriving.  There were people ducking in during their lunch break, others had taken annual leave days, sick days or were on holidays from uni.  Ms Chan had also indicated on her website that as she didn't make it down the East Coast all that often,
readers were allowed to bring all their Kylie Chan books to be signed so people literally did have their arms full of all six books to be signed and some not only got the inside front page signed but many also chose to get the covers signed as well which is something I have never seen before.

Speaking of things seen, I just need to mention that pencil case Ms Chan brought to the signing was a tardis pencil case which is pretty cool all by itself.

I too, joined the people getting all six of my books signed (though I didn't get the covers signed) and while we were waiting Ms Chan passed around drawings of the characters which may be used in the graphic novel and confirmed that yes there is indeed one more trilogy to go in the story.

All in all it was an awesome day and I would like to thank Kylie Chan for giving up her time to come and sign fans' books and to Infinitas book shop for organising the signing.

I will also be posting a review once I finish reading my copy in the next few days.

Sapphired Dragon xx



 
To celebrate the release of this awesome new book, I am giving away a signed copy of Journey to Wudang to one of my followers.  All you need to do is read the rules and fill out the form below.

If you just can't wait and want the book right now ( trust me I can relate :-P) find more information or purchase a copy here:

Goodreads | Book Depository | Boomerang Books



Competition has finished

Monday, 20 June 2011

Teaser Tuesday #6





Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too muchaway! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My current read is A Pocketful of Eyes by Lili Wilkinson  and my two lines are from page 88  :

If he really liked her, he would have made it clear.

He would have said something or done something after the incident on the tiger.





Purchase:  Amazon | Book Depository




PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Review: Department 19 by Will Hill

Title: Department 19
Author: Will Hill
Released: 31 March 2011
Source: Boomerang Books Critics Club
Reviewed by: Sapphired Dragon
Sapphired Dragon rating : ***

Synopsis ( via Goodreads):
Jamie Carpenter's life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein's monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.
Department 19 takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond—from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it's packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.

Review:

I was really prepared to like this novel, I really liked the premise: Dracula was real and on return from vanquishing him, Van Helsing, the Harkers, Seward, and Holmwood together with the British government created department 19 to deal with the growing 'vampire disease' and all other things paranormal.  Fast forward to just over 100 years later and the descendants of the four friends, some new additions  and department 19 are still flourishing in secret. Enter Jamie Carpenter, who becomes aware of the department after his father is killed and mother is kidnapped by one of the oldest vampires alive.

However I do feel like this novel failed to deliver on its early promise. There was a story there but it became very much a cross between Alex Rider meets UK tv show demons with a 16 year old main character who is miraculously able to wield guns and all other manner of weapons to fight the supernatural after 24 hours of training compared to older men and women who have been training for years.  And Buffy Summers, Jamie isn't.

I think the biggest problem was that I did not connect at all with the main character.  He was contrary and angry, not listening to anyone and somehow still happening to pick the right path and right information.  It all felt very forced and while I get that a teenage boy whose mother has been kidnapped would be angry and scared, the problem was that I just didn't care. I had no emotional investment especially through the middle part of the book whatsoever.

In fact throughout the middle of the novel I practically had to make myself continue reading as while virtually every scene had some action it it, the way it was told was more like a timeline than a story and like the writer was marking time and going through the motions till he could get to the good stuff at the end.  I really had a hard time staying interested.

The ending redeemed the tale somewhat, there were a couple of twists one I picked, one I didn't and I like the greater tale this book has set up while wrapping the current tale.  I think perhaps if I were a young teenage boy, I might have enjoyed this a little more as much of the action and the slightly more blood and guts then i thought necessary did lean towards that gender however as it is, while the story itself was smart I think the promise was not fulfilled in the telling.

I will probably read the next novel when it is released but I doubt it will be top of by TBR pile.  I give this book 3 stars... just



Sapphired Dragon xx

Saturday, 18 June 2011

In My Mailbox #7



Welcome to  In My Mailbox, a meme run by The Story Siren where each week over 200 bloggers post on their blogs the books they have bought, received to review or won in the past week.
To find out more information, get involved yourself or see what's in other bloggers mailboxes this week head over to The Story Siren or to find out what is in my mailbox this week, keep reading.
Don't forget to comment and post your IMM link or just let me know what's in your mail box this week:

              

For Review :



A Pocketful of Eyes
Fury
Witchlanders
Ghosts of Coronado Bay
Everything We Ever Wanted: A Novel



Pocketful of Eyes by Lili Wilkinson
Source: Boomerang Books Critics Club
Release Date: May 2011
Goodreads | Amazon 

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Source:Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Release Date: 30 August 2011
Goodreads |Amazon| Book Depository

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Relase Date: 30 August 2011
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


Ghosts of Coronado Bay by J G Faherty
Source: Librarything Giveaway
Release Date: 10 June 2011
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


Everything we ever wanted by Sara Shepard
Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 11 October 2011
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository



Purchased: 

So pay week and two book sales fell in the same week which was really cool if not more than a little dangerous as you can see from the below:

      
   By Melissa Marr:
By Rachel Caine:

Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins (also know as Demonglass)
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Heaven to Wudang by Kylie Chan
GoodreadsBook Depository

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Kisses from Hell ( an anthology of short stories)
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

+ 6 bookmarks and a book light :)

So what was in your mailbox this week?