Friday 26 September 2014

Review on 'The Witch and the Baby Princess'


Mirabelle is born into the life of a Witch, meaning her only purpose in life is to make others miserable. She is able to perform spells that Witches double her age can not, and her parents, Antipathy and Gorgon have high hopes for her. However, Mirabelles life is set to cross with another, a girl named Claudette who was born on the same day as Mirabelle. As Mirabelle is commanded to make this girls life full of misery, she is drawn towards her simple life, and after years of torturing her, they finally speak. Will Mirabelle be able to continue doing her parents bidding, or will her new found friendship with Claudette change her life path?

I thought this was an interesting prequel to Cinderella, and I always love reading interpretations of what happened before a story took place. I thought it was quite similar to Wicked with the two girls becoming friends when everything went against that happening. I loved Mirabelle's progression from being a witch and obeying her mothers orders to disobeying and deciding what she wanted to do for herself. Although this wasn't entirely original, it was well written and the character development was well thought out. Some of the characters that we know from Cinderella were given their own back story and I thought this was brilliantly done and the continuity into the Cinderella story made sense, making it easy to believe that the story was really what happened prior to the Cinderella story taking place. Mirabelle is a likable character, and there is a good moral to the story, as it gives the message that anyone can set their own life paths even if someone is trying to lead you down a certain one. I recommend this book to anyone who likes Cinderella, or fairytales in general.

You can purchase The Witch and the Baby Princess HERE

Friday 12 September 2014

Review on 'Ascension series #1 Impervious'

Fifteen year old Fran has lived her whole life in Impervious, an underground city build for the survivors of the War. Although the residents have everything they could ever need, a sickness lies in the shadows, known only as The Beast. With each generation, the citizens of Impervious are living shorter and shorter lives as the illness takes over. But what is causing this illness, and how can it be stopped? Promises of the Epoch seem like empty words, and the outside world as inaccesible as ever. Fran sets out along with her friend Pete to find out the truth about Impervious, and if the world outside really is inhabitable.

I have been reading quite a lot of Dystopian novels lately and thought Impervious was definitely on the higher end of the spectrum. I loved the idea of humans surviving the post apocalyptic world by living underground, and not knowing if it was safe to go back outside. I thought Fran was a brilliant protagonist and loved that she was trying to figure out her world rather than going along with what the leaders told her. I thought their advanced technology was interesting, particularly that the majority of shops and food chains were ran by holograms rather than humans. I wasn't too keen on the romantic aspects, as I thought that the romance between Fran and Pete seemed slightly awkward and I would have preferred if they had just stayed friends, as I would love to see a friendship like theirs without the romance in a YA novel. I loved the idea of real people stuck inside a video game, but I thought that this seemed quite random and didn't fit in well with the rest of the story. I liked the idea overall, but I did not feel that it was the right way to progress the story. Finding out what happened to the members of the community after they got sick was really interesting and surprising, and I found myself wanting to carry on reading to find out the truth about the outside world. I would love to continue reading this series and find out what happens to Fran, Pete and the rest of the Impervious community.

You can purchase Impervious HERE

Sunday 7 September 2014

Review on 'Toto's Adventures with Dorothy'

In this retelling of the classic story The Wizard of Oz, Toto guides his fellow companions through the land, guiding them away from peril. At least that is what Toto thinks. In this humorous retelling from the point of view of Toto, journey once again through the land of Oz, but this time with a lot more input from Dorothy's doggy companion.

I thought that retelling the story through Toto's point of view was an interesting idea. I have not come across many novels that are told from the point of view of an animal, and the few that I have read have been really interesting. I found this book hilarious throughout, and it was a really fun and light hearted read. I loved that Toto believed that he was the leader and the brains of the company, and that everyone was following his orders. As a dog owner, I thought that captured the mind of a dog perfectly, and I had no trouble in believing that Toto's thoughts were what a dog in his position would be thinking. I loved the interpretations of the characters I have come to love, and I thought there was a good mixture of content from both the movie version and the original book. I had no sympathy with Dorothy in this version however, as she was quite selfish. All the characters were also portrayed as to be quite dumb, but I found it ironic that apart from Toto, Scarecrow seemed to be the smartest character even though he lacked a brain. One thing that I think could have improved the story would have been if Toto had some extra information to tell that was not shown in the original stories, and that only he knew about. The story more or less follows what fans of The Wizard Oz already know, so I think some new information would have improved the story, as although the story from Toto's point of view was funny, there was not much addition to the plot from the original story and therefore was quite predictable. I liked the story overall, and it is quite a short read so if you are a fan of The Wizard of Oz, or just like books told from the point of view of an animal then give this one a go.

The book is available now in both ebook and paperback formats

Monday 1 September 2014

Review on 'Shades of London #1 The Name of the Star'

After her parents decide to move from a small town in Louisiana to England, Rory Deveaux arrives at her new boarding school in London. Faced with a brand new culture and a large bustling city, Rory has problems fitting into this new way of life. However, there are more pressing issues at hand, such as the recent murders that mimic the style of Jack the Ripper, the most infamous murderer in all of England. Rory is sucked into the case when she sees a man in the school grounds on the night of one of the murders. But why did her friend Jazza, who was with her the whole time not see him too? There are people. People who only Rory can see. But who are they, what do they want, and why can only she see them? Rory must seek to find the truth of her new abilities, and along the way, solve the Jack the Ripper case once and for all.

I've always wanted to read some of Maureen Johnson's books, but have only recently done so. This first book in the Shades of London series is both fascinating and exciting. Rory is pulled into a world she never knew existed, where supernatural creatures roam the streets of London, unseen by all but a select few, including Rory. I really loved the characters, especially Alistair, as although he was not one of the main characters I found him funny and kind. I also really liked Stephen and overall just wanted to give him a hug. The plot is exciting and fast paced. I have always been interested in Jack the Ripper, so I found it really interesting that this story focused around a character claiming to be Jack the Ripper. There is a mixture of suspense, comedy and grief. There is some romance between Rory and Jerome, but the story does not focus on this sub plot too much, which I loved as many YA books seem to think that romance has to be a key plot point. I loved that there were some strong female characters, particularly Boo. I was surprised that my initial dislike of Boo disappeared as more information was revealed about her, which is rare for me as my first impressions of a character are usually what I stick by until the end. I liked the way that Boo introduced Rory to the world of the Shades, and how she had no choice but to adapt. I really enjoyed this book overall, and recommend it to any fans of YA fantasy.