11 Oct 2013

The fall of five - Review

The Lorian legacies book four.
Available now.

What's it about?
The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?
John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.
But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.
The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.
And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.
The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.
Lorien will rise again.
My review 
Amazing! Awesome! Did I say amazing? Yep, I totally loved this book and if you're a fan of the series, then you will too. I've been in love with this series ever since reading the first book, I've even read all the novella's and hugely anticipate the next release in the series. That being said, I didn't enjoy book three, The rise of nine, quite as much, some of the characters annoyed me slightly and the ending was, meh. It had me worried that maybe the series had peaked and I really wondered what was in store for me when I got my hands on The fall of five, thankfully that didn't stop me starting it the day it arrived and I'm glad I wasn't put off but the series is back to its strongest and remains in my favourites list.
But anyway, you want to know about the book, I don't want to say to much, it's hard to review a book this far into a series without revealing spoilers but I'll try. Although The fall of five seems to move slower than the previous books story wise, its still a great read, the plot is really starting to thicken and there are some surprises in store, especially for anyone that hasn't read the additional short stories! There are less big fights but lots of training action so there's still fighting going on and the book moves along well. This time the book is told from the POVs of John, Marina and Sam, Sam! I'm so happy to have Sam back, I missed him a lot in The rise of nine and getting him back and getting to read from his POV was an extra treat.
So yeah, The Lorian legacies is completely back on form for me, although there's less development in the story we get to spend some time with the characters, getting to know them and seeing how they act and get on together as a group now that they're all together in one place. We also get a small look into the plans of Setrakus Ra!
I am so desperate to see what happens next, only a year to wait. *sigh*

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7 Oct 2013

Invincible - Review

Chronicles of Nick book two.
Available now

What's it about?

Nick Gautier's day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul. 
His new principal thinks he's even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can't even mention and the girl he's not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him. 
But more than that, he's being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn't learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them...
My review
Following on from Infinity, Invincible picks up just hours from where we left off and dives straight back into the story and action. If you were a fan of book one then you will enjoy Invincible too. You can kind of tell the author is setting up for a long series as the story is moving pretty slow for my tastes but there's still plenty of action, extra story info and new characters to meet to keep you entertained. While I am enjoying the series, I wouldn't put it in my favourites and and find it forgettable, but I won't be discounting the rest of the books, I already have the next two waiting on my TBR for me.
I think my main problem is that this is a spin-off from her adult series which I haven't read and I often feel like I'm missing things, like when a character is introduced I can tell they've been in her other series just by the way they are introduced and the way their pasts and secrets are hinted at, but not told, like I should already know.
That being said, I didn't find the book a struggle to read, I just got put off a few times but I don't plan to read the adult series to understand more either. Nick's mom kind of annoys me to be honest, but I like Nick himself a lot, and he's what keeps me interested in this series, he's so innocent, naive and generally good that I want it to go well for him, I definitely don't want him to turn evil!

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Chronicles of Nick FB

4 Oct 2013

London YA Lit convention announced!


Malorie Blackman announces campaign to support the best of young adult fiction in the UK, including the country's first ever YA Literature Convention at the London Film and Comic Con 2014.


Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman has announced a campaign to support fiction for young adults in the UK during her two year term in the post. A highlight of this will be the first ever YA Literature Convention, hosted at the London Film and Comic Con in July 2014. Blackman will also be working with Booktrust on a search for the rising stars in the UKYA community.

Blackman was announced as the Children’s Laureate in June this year. As the first Children’s Laureate best known for writing for a teenage audience, she is ideally placed to act as a cheerleader for books for young people. From the moment she was appointed, Blackman has passionately voiced her desire to get “more people, reading more”: whether they choose a classic literary novel or Twilight, the important thing is to get young people to pick up a book. The statistics show there is still much work to be done in this area, with recent research showing that only 3 in 10 young people read daily out of class and a fifth of young people saying they would be embarrassed if a friend saw them reading (NLT 2013).

Malorie Blackman comments:
“We are incredibly lucky to have such a wealth of fantastic children's authors and illustrators in this country who create incredible stories for young adults to enjoy.  It's so important to encourage, sustain and where necessary instil a love of reading in our teenagers.  Reading opens doors and creates life opportunities. That's why I want to do my utmost to promote YA books for all our young (and older!) readers.”
A highlight of Blackman’s campaign will be the first UK Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) which will take place at the London Film and Comic Con 2014 (LFCC). This convention will bring together all the UK’s YA publishers to provide a host of author events in a dedicated Book Zone, with talks, workshops, signings, a book sales area and publisher stands promoting new and upcoming titles. Blackman will act as a curator for the two-day convention, uniting authors and publishers throughout the UK community. 2014’s YALC event will be the first time a large scale public convention around YA books has taken place in the UK, and its setting among the fans of cultish film and TV will set books at the heart of entertainment for teens and young people.

At this weekend’s Winter LFCC, a one-off special event on Sunday 6th October will trail the YA Lit Con with a panel of award-winning authors lined up to discuss YA books that have been adapted to film. The panel will feature Meg Rosoff, whose novel How I Live Now is released as a major movie today, starring Saoirse Ronan and directed by The Last King of Scotland’s Kevin Macdonald. The panel also comprises award-winning authors Anthony McGowan and Lucy Christopher and will be chaired by Blackman herself, whose book Pig Heart Boy was adapted for the BBC and subsequently won a BAFTA.

Young Adult fiction has seen a boom in recent years with titles such as Twilight, The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments series all enjoying millions of copies sold and blockbuster movies to accompany their success in print. Between 2006 and 2012, sales jumped 150% and last year, Young Adult fiction accounted for over £36 million of sales in the UK alone (Nielsen BookScan). Despite many literary prize wins for UK authors including Carnegie Medals for Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon, Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls and Monsters of Men and Meg Rosoff’s Just In Case, US authors continue to dominate the market, with 18 out of 20 of last year’s top YA bestsellers written by American authors.

However, Young Adult books regularly face controversy. Last week, the American Library Association revealed that teen fiction is the most targeted by censors, with a number of YA books appearing on their yearly Banned Books List. Recent issues around teen and YA books have centred on the inclusion of sexual content, levels of violence and the trend for “Sick Lit” – books featuring young people suffering from mental health issues or life threatening illness. Malorie herself has already voiced views that teen books should include realistic portrayals of loving sexual relationships in order to help educate young people and is keen to continue the debate on these topics.

Further events and elements to the campaign will be announced in due course. Blackman will also be working with Booktrust to choose her pick of YA books available, and she will be on the hunt for new and upcoming talent in the Teen and YA books sphere.
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