Monday, 31 January 2011

Review: Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
4.5 out of 5 stars

I don't know why it took me so long to pick this book up. It has been sitting on my shelves for ages, and I never felt like reading it. I'm not in the mood to read straight fantasy, I kept telling myself. The extensive world building, the political intrigues, it seemed all too heavy after so many light young-adults. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Robin Hobb's writing gripped me from the very first page; and this is an anomaly for me. I usually need at least fifty pages to get into the story, and another fifty to start loving it. The narration is so wonderful and poetic in a way, it sweeps you into its light arms and carries you through the story. I saw everything Hobb described, every character became alive, the whole world seemed to be so natural. You know a fantasy author is good when you don't have to look on their map that comes with the book.

Assassin's Apprentice is basically the start tale of royal bastard Fitz (for lack of any other name; he usually goes by "Boy"). At the age of five he is brought to the court of King Shrewd, where he is to reside and be a King's Man. As a bastard, he is too dangerous to be left running around the kingdom unchecked, but he will never be acknowledged either. He is trained to be a royal assassin, who is completely loyal to the King.

Fitz' life is definitely not easy. He overcomes countless hardships. Even though he gets a purpose in his life, he is utterly alone. People either act like he isn't there or they try to "put him back in his place". Meaning Fitz' life could be in danger.

Fitz is a wonderful tragic hero. Usually I'm not that big of fan of those (I like my heroes to have happy endings and live ever after), but Fitz is such a complex character you can't help but feel for him. You live through all his hard times with him, you feel his loneliness, his excitement, and you just have to root for him. I kept hoping for him, that all would turn out well in the end, even though his situation got more and more desperate.

Of course, Fitz' story is long from over, as the book ends quite abruptly. This didn't really bother me because I have book two (Royal Assassin) and three (Assassin's Quest) here waiting for me, but I think this could be quite a turn off if you don't have the possibility to immediately pick up the second book.

Assassin's Apprentice was way better than anything I had expected. I wasn't bored a second of it, even the courtly intrigues where interesting enough to keep my attention. I can't wait to see what happens next to my poor Fitz.

Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Follow Friday #11

 Hosted by Parajunkee
This week's feature: Marie @ Mission to Read

Weekly Question:
What is/was your favourite subject in school?

Saying I like the breaks most doesn't count right? I think I like physics best then. Not really because of all the calculating, but learning how the world works, why we don't all just fall apart. And I like to play with electricity and little wires and cables, I admit it.

Leave a comment so I can return the visit!


After the weekend I'll be back with some interesting reviews! My exams went really well. I'm excited to return to blogging again, I missed you guys (:

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Teaser Tuesday #12: Slawter

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure you do not include spoilers
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Teaser Tuesday #12: Slawter

"And then he weeps, sobbing like a child. And I hold him, talking softly as the moon descends, telling him it's OK, he's home, he's safe - he's no longer in the universe of demons."

Part three of Darren Shan's Demonata series. They target a teen audience, but this is definitely not for the easily scared teen. There is enough gore and intestines to make a Saw movie.

I really like the covers of these series.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Follow Friday #10

 Hosted by Parajunkee
This week's feature: Logan E Turner

Weekly Question:
Who do you cheer for?

I don't cheer. Well, I cheer for bands that I go to once in a while. But I dislike about every sport, hehe.

Leave a comment so I can return the visit!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Slow Week Coming Up & Other News

As you might have noticed, I've been making a few minor changes in the NBR layout. I have added a navigation on the right, giving every challenge its own page, and overall tried to make the blog easier to read (took those annoying buttons out of my side bar, they never are the right size). I also have a small advertisement box on the right. This is not for personal gain, but the tiny tiny amount of money I get from hosting the ad, I use to pay for books to read and review for the blog, and then especially to pay for the shipping costs to ship them to the Netherlands. So if you want to support my blog, please click on some random ad once in a while!

In other news, there won't be any new reviews up for a week as I'm in the middle of my exams (lets out a very deep sigh), but when I get back I will have finished Hard Day's Knight by John G. Hartness and Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (and I'm loving both books tremendously!) so those reviews will be up soon.

I'm also joining the Killian McRae 12.21.12 blog tour! I'm up for the 13th of March, and then Killian will come by for a Top Ten. I'm really looking forward to this, I feel pretty awesome being in the same tour with the famous book blogs like Parajunkee's View and Between The Covers (: It will be lots of fun!

Last few weeks have been great, I got some very cool review requests, and there are some guest posts coming up I'm very excited about. There will be enough to keep me busy!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Teaser Tuesday #11: Assassin's Apprentice

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure you do not include spoilers
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Teaser Tuesday #11: Assassin's Apprentice

"I wonder if I can write this history, or if on every page there will be some sneaking show of a bitterness I thought long dead. I think myself cured of all spite, but when I touch pen to paper, the hurt of a boy bleeds out with the sea-spawned ink, until I suspect each carefully formed black letter scabs over some ancient scarlet wound."

This book has been on my shelves for quite a while now, so I finally decided to pick it up, and now I'm asking myself why I didn't earlier. Hobb has gotten me hooked with her beautiful writing style. I can't wait to finish it.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Review: A Treasure Worth Seeking by Sandra Brown

A Treasure Worth Seeking by Sandra Brown
2.5 out of 5 stars
I received this book through Firstreads

I'm not sure how to review this book without sounding condescending. It's not my intention to either insult the authors of books like this, or people who enjoy reading them.

That being clarified, this books reads like a daydream fantasy. Something you make up when you're staring out of the window on a long train trip, or during your lunch break when you're having a boring day at work. I have conjured thousands of stories like this, and while they are entertaining, in the end you know they don't make sense at all. This book makes absolutely no sense.

The story starts with the adopted Erin O'Shea looking for her lost brother. When she arrives in San Franscisco unannounced (of course you wouldn't call before hopping on a multiple hours flight) it turns out her brother is suspect of stealing a huge amount of money from the bank he works. Then the story is one string of events, the second even less plausible than the first.

What struck me as odd was the dysfunctional relationship Erin and Lance have. They understand absolutely nothing about each other. One second everything is all sweet words and tender touches and a second later they are in some kind of fight without any inducement. And somewhere in the middle of that on-off thing they draw the conclusion that they love each other. Huh?

You cannot love someone unconditionally when you have just met this person. Yes, you can be in love, but that is something else entirely. Love needs a foundation, a basis on which it can be built. And I just can't stand it when characters in books just decide from one moment to the other they "love" someone. Love is more than that, and it deserves to be treated more carefully.

This book is like a written form of a television soap series. It is entertaining, and a way to escape reality. Only I prefer to escape into a world were there are vampires or dragons or zombies, not into a world where virgins get swiped of their feet by special agents. I can see why these books are popular. They are easy to read and fast paced, without themes that require deep thought. And I repeat, there is nothing wrong with this book, or any other book of this kind. They are just not for me.

After years of searching for the brother she'd never known, Erin O'Shea had finally found his San Francisco address. She stood on the doorstep, unaware that she was about to walk into a shocking drama of family lies - and to meet an intriguing, infuriating man who would change her life. Lance...He was a G-man for the government's toughest cases - like the big-money scam involving Erin's long-lost brother. But although Lance was immediately attracted to her, he never dreamed that his feelings would drive him to break every rule in the book - and put his career and even Erin's future on the line.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Review: The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton
4 out of 5 stars
This the 6th book in a series. May contain spoilers for previous instalments.

The Killing Dance is the sixth book in the controversial Anita Blake series. There are different camps in the ongoing discussion whether the books get better later on, or complete crap. I'm not sure yet which side I'm on.

What I do know is that I had a great time reading The Killing Dance. In this book Anita is in danger. That's nothing new. But now someone is hiring professionals to kill her. She has a price of about half a million above her head. It's just a matter of time until someone takes his chance.

In order to keep safe she has to hide in the notorious Circus of the Damned, where the daytime hiding place of the vamps is. This puts a strain on her fragile balancing act, the love triangle with vampire Jean-Claude and alpha were Richard.

These books are my guilty pleasure. They are certainly not literary prize winners, and you can't really identify yourself with the main character (if you are as gun happy as Anita, you do have a problem), but the story is engrossing and fast-moving. There are always tons of troubles and dangerous situations Anita has to overcome, and I like to see how she escapes death this time.

It's getting clearer and clearer that Anita isn't the straightforward good guy any more. She's dating the enemy. She doesn't think twice about killing. But it's nice to see that even the Executioner can get downright scared at times.

She's quite good at shooting moving targets, but in the relational department she can use some training. I though it was rather funny to see how she's struggling to keep everything from falling apart. There was some great JC/Richard interaction in The Killing Dance. I enjoy their jealous fighting over Anita. That being said, I have to admit that after reading this book I'm completely partial to Jean-Claude. He shows once again that deep down in his corpse-body there is still a heart somewhere. He truly wants Anita to be happy. Opposed to Richard, who just can't get past his jealousy. I already know a bit of how their relationships are going to evolve, but I'm still curious to how they become that way.

Maybe it's important to keep enough time between reading the Anita Blake books. I can understand how you get sick of Hamilton's repetitiveness when you read them all after each other. I thought the repetition of phrases wasn't as prominent in this book as in the others. The excessive use of the word "power" was slightly annoying, but I couldn't really come up with an alternative, so I don't blame the author.

I'm going to keep reading this series. I still find the books enjoyable, even though I can see them changing. I won't rush into buying book seven, Burnt Offerings, but when I'm looking for some fast-paced killing with sexy vampires and a lot of tension between the characters, I'll pick one up again.

With a price on her head and professional killers on her trail, Anita Blake, prenatural expert and vampire killer extraordinaire, turns to the men in her life for help. Which in her case, means an alpha werewolf and a master vampire. She needs as much protection as possible, human or otherwise. But Anita is beginning to wonder if two monsters are better than one.

NBR In The Spotlight

Just an hour ago I came across something that absolutely made my day.

I haven't been blogging for that long and I still feel like a newbie most of the time. I get a happy kick from every comment on my posts. I love it when people appreciate my reviews. I get ecstatic when someone asks me to review his or her book.

It never crossed my mind that the authors of books I review would actually be interested in my reviews too. Writers always seem so far away for me. They are magicians that conjure these magical works we peasants can only admire from a distance.

That's why I was so utterly surprised to see a piece of my review on Diana Peterfreund's blog. I do feel a bit embarrassed now that she has read my fangirl squeeing.

I so loved Rampant. It was one of my favourite books of 2010. And now the almighty writer has visited my humble book blog!

I still have trouble believing it. This is so awesome.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Follow Friday #9

 Hosted by Parajunkee
This week's feature: Annette @ The More You Read, The More You Will Know!

Weekly Question:
What makes up your non-human family?

I guess books don't count right? We have a very fat guinea pig at home called Fuzzy. He is terribly overweight because we feed him way too much, but he is one happy rodent (: He looks a bit like this, only three times as big.

Leave a comment so I can return the visit!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

It's been about a month ago since I posted my last IMM post, so I have a lot of catching up to do! Here is what I acquired during that time.

What books did you receive? (:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Review: Torment by Lauren Kate

Torment by Lauren Kate
4 out of 5 stars
This the 2nd book in a series. May contain spoilers for previous instalments.

Torment is the long awaited sequel of the book Fallen. What makes this books stand out from the crowd is not their unique story, but their beautiful outside (I did a post on the covers here). I have to admit, that is why is started reading these books too, out of curiosity. Would the book itself be as great as its cover?

To be harsh, no. Torment isn't as mysterious and dark as the cover would indicate. Still, this is a very enjoyable young-adult book with a dark twist.

In this book Luce doesn't attend Sword & Cross any more, the gloomy school we know so well from Fallen, but Shoreline, located next to the sunny Californian beach. Only problem is; Daniel isn't there. Luce feels like he is keeping secrets from her, and she starts doubting their relationship.

Shoreline isn't your ordinary school. Its honours programme is a cover-up, for only Nephelim can join it. Its a place where they learn about their history and their powers. Here, Luce's arrival is the story of the day. Her history with Daniel is well known in Nephel circles.

It's nice to see a change of setting, but the cheery place felt well, a bit too cheery for this story. I loved how Sword & Cross was described, and the gloominess added to the story. The Shoreline setting doesn't do a lot for the book. It's a great way to introduce some interesting new characters, but I still felt like I would rather have them all in an old dark castle than some state of the art light campus. Mrs. Kate has probably made the contrast with the two schools on purpose, but for me personally it wasn't quite fitting.

The book revolves around the fourteen days Luce attends Shoreline while Daniel is gone off somewhere she doesn't know. She starts doubting their history and their relationship. I thought this was well done, to finally see some realistic reaction from her. The whole destined to be together thing isn't really believable when Luce can't even remember all of her past lives.

What I also liked a lot was that Luce develops some powers of her own. The Announcers that have followed her around play a bigger role in Torment. I'm looking forward to see what the author will do with this in the next part of the series.

I did have some annoyances. Why does there always have to be a love triangle? No, seriously. I have yet to read a young-adult romance book where the heroine knows for a hundred percent which boy she wants. I'm getting tired of them really. I guess they're supposed to spice the romance up a bit, but in most of the cases it's just stalling the happily ever after. If it is part of the story, I can live with a love triangle, but usually it just feels forced. Unfortunately, Torment falls in the latter category. It's just unbelievable that we can have a second love triangle after the one in Fallen. Maybe in the next book we'll do something new and have a love square instead. Now that would be interesting.

Overall Torment is a decent read. We get some more world building, the stark black and white begin to blur into shades of grey, and there are great secondary characters once again. Luce's pondering might get on your nerves a bit. Now I'm thinking about it, it kind of feels like in New Moon. Luce and Bella would make great friends.

I did enjoy Torment. It has some nice intrigues and a cliffhanger that leaves me wanting for more. It might not be the epic love story it advertises to be but I see potential in good old Lucinda. Maybe she'll have some surprises for us in Passion, the third part of this series.

"Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students -Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous. What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies."

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Teaser Tuesday #10: A Treasure Worth Seeking

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure you do not include spoilers
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday #10: A Treasure Worth Seeking

"What if no one were at home? Erin hadn't thought of that possibility. Indeed, she had thought of nothing since she had deplaned from the flight from Houston except finding this house. Her thoughts wile navigating the picturesque streets of San Francisco had been single-minded and purposeful. Today was the culmination of a three-year search."

Teaser taken from the second page of this book. I won this in the Firstreads programme from Goodreads. Review will be up soon!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Book Trailer: Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters

Don't you just love the crappy special effects?

In the spirit of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, there also is an adaptation for an other work of Jane Austen, the classic Sense and Sensibility. I love these adaptations (calling them parodies seems a little harsh) and I hope S&S&S will be awesome! It's been on my to be read pile for a while since I've made a promise to myself that I would read Jane Austen's original work first. Looking forward to the angry octopus feeding on prettily clothed Englishmen though!

From the publisher of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopodes, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities.

As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels?

This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Covers: the Fallen series by Lauren Kate

Recently, Lauren Kate unveiled the cover of the upcoming book, Passion, on her website.

The Fallen series has two of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen. I first spotted the cover of Fallen while browsing Goodreads. Something about it made me want to have this book, even though I had absolutely no idea what it was about. It kept haunting me in its beauty. It radiates a kind of sadness, despair, a sense of being alone. The dark woods surrounding the girl seem dangerous and dark. She's wearing a beautiful dress (always a plus). I like that we see her from the side. Her arm curves in a fluent shape, covering her face with her hands. Her hair, flowing from her back, adds some movement to the picture.

When Torment came out, I forgot all about Fallen. This cover is even better. The contrast between the cold bare background and her soft voluminous dress. Oh, that dress. And the shining healthy black hair that is even longer, falling in loose waves from her back. The point of view that shows off her tiny waist. The pose, the way her hands desperately go through her hair. The whole picture is balanced, even the font of the title goes with the feel of the picture. I love that she is standing in a barren, cold landscape. We seem to have kept the forest theme, but in this one it isn't as prominent as it was in Fallen. In real life, this cover is even prettier than on screen. When it came in through mail I sat down, put it in front of me, and just marvelled in the strength of this cover.

Having such a strong affection for these two books I couldn't wait for the Passion cover release. So, when it was finally there, I was a little bit disappointed. It is by no means a horrible cover. It's great. It just isn't as great as its predecessors. I like that there is a little touch of red added to the palette, but I think the clouds in the background should have stayed white-grey. That way the focus of the picture would have been the flower she is holding, and not the clashing unnaturally coloured background. The top of her dress is very pretty, but the rest of it lacks the volume the other two dresses had. Because of that it looks a bit like a tired dress, that has had its best days. Another thing that bothered me is that she doesn't seem to fit in her environment. It looks like she doesn't belong there at all. The gorgeous black hair I so often jealously beheld looks dull here. We finally get to see her face, but I think I liked the covers more when we couldn't. The model looks too skinny here. Her shoulders are hunched in a vulnerable way, making her arms look too thin and her hands too slender. Overall, she looks worn out, not passionate. She looks like she has just buried a loved one, she's fallen into depression, stopped eating and caring for herself, and she is now standing at the foot of his grave with a flower.

It still is a pretty cover, and there must have gone a whole lot of work into it, but I think it is just off. If this was another series, it would have been completely fine, but after two of those amazing covers, you expect something different. I feel sad for Passion. It is completely outshone by it's baby brothers Fallen and Torment. I am still curious for the fourth instalment of this series though. I have hope that Passion is a little detour, and that Rapture will blow us away completely.

Note: this is purely a review on the covers of these books and by no means represent my opinion on the content. Those will be discussed in separate reviews.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Follow Friday #8

 Hosted by Parajunkee
This week's feature: Shannon @ Stalking the Bookshelves

Weekly Question:

What book(s) have you discovered lately from someone's book blog?

There are so many books I have never heard about that have been added to my to be read list. The book that I enjoyed most I discovered is Rampant by Diana Peterfreund. It surprised me in the most positive way possible. It was AWESOME.

Leave a comment so I can follow you back!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Review: Insomnia by Stephen King

Insomnia by Stephen King
4 out of 5 stars

You can say a lot of things about Stephen King, but not that he cannot tell one hell of a story. After reading It (over 1000 pages) I had to take a break from his work, but when I saw this title, I was interested enough to pick up another of his large tomes.

It is hard to describe what Insomnia is about without giving away major plot points. Basically, this is the story of seventy-something Ralph Roberts, who through his insomnia enters a world that is hidden from the human eye most of the time.

When his wife Carolyn dies after a long struggle with illness Ralph is devastated. He starts to sleep badly. Every day he wakes up a few minutes earlier than the day before that. This goes on until the point where Ralph only sleeps a few hours every night. The lack of sleep that accumulates has a great impact on his day to day life. He can't remember the most simple things, he doesn't experience any happiness any more, he just wants to lie down and have a good night of sleep.

Then he starts to get these strange hallucinations. At first, he doesn't give them that much thought. But when they become more frequent and severe he can't escape them any more, and he enters the other plains of this world.

I was instantly interested in this book because I enjoy King's writing style, and insomnia is a topic that holds my interest. At both points I wasn't disappointed; there was enough scientific references for me to feel like I actually learned something about insomnia, but it is interwoven in the story that you don't feel like you're being lectured at all.

It's hard to decide whether this book should be classified as horror or not. Especially the first half of the book is quite scary. There is a lot going on and you have no idea where all these signs point to, giving it a spooky feel. When Ralph finally welcomes the "other world", as you could call it, this tension is gone, and the story isn't frightful at all.

It was great to have an elderly main character for a change. I actually don't think I have read from the point of view of an older man before. Even though our worlds are so far apart as can be, I did feel for Ralph. He is an ordinary guy bestowed with extraordinary gifts making him special and important for the future of human kind. He acts like a real human being, and I appreciated that. He isn't better than other people in any way, the situation makes him powerful.

Another small thing I really liked about this book were the subtle references to other books from Stephen. The setting for this book is once again the town of Derry (like in It) and it was nice to see how characters we haven't met in a while are doing now. Even though King's books are standalone novels, they do have a connection, and I felt pretty awesome discovering these little clues leading to his other work.

Overall this is a solid read. It is long, but even if you're not that into long books you can give this a try. Stephen King has a way of keeping your interest, making you want to keep reading.

You'll lose a lot of sleep. Ralph does. At first he finds it hard to drop off. Then he starts waking up earlier. And earlier. But that isn't when he starts seeing things. Colors, shapes, strange auras around his friends. Not to mention the bald doctors who always turn up at the scene of a death. The evil looking one clutching a rusty scalpel. All that comes later.
After Susan Edwina Day's visit to the town of Derry, Maine, is announced - when the once placid town starts to divide over women's issues. And the hitherto mild-mannered Ed Deepneau gets out of control - dangerously so.
That's when Ralph begins to lose a lot more than sleep. When he begins to understand why Ed is obsessed with the notion that Derry is becoming the new Armageddon. And to realise that time is ticking away for the residents of his home town.
An evil of unimaginable proportions has found a way in. And Ralph has one chance to beat it. In a card game. The stakes are high. They always are when you are playing for human souls. With a Joker in the pack... a bald one with a rusty scalpel...

Gift From Graham Parke!

Graham Parke, author of No Hope For Gomez, has posted a free short story online as a thank you for all the blogs that participated in his giveaway event. Get your free version of Random Acts of Senseless Kindness now, the link won't be up for long!

The book in his own words:

Gomez' life continues to crumble towards insanity after the events chronicled in "No Hope for Gomez!"
Clinical studies have shown that reading this novelette is likely to make you more attractive to the opposite sex and elevate your random luck by about 9.5%**
(** These statements have not been evaluated by any person of consequence!)

The events in this novella take place 5 months after those described in the novel "No Hope for Gomez!" As such it may contain spoilers.

To download go here.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Back For Another Year & 2010 Wrap-Up

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and an amazing New-Year's-Eve! I personally definitely succeeded in both, so I have a good start in 2011.

2010 was the year that I started reading again, joined the site Goodreads, got even more addicted to books, and finally created my blog Nyx Book Reviews. For 2011 I will try to post more regularly, and have one extended review up every week. My blog goal is to get 250 followers (I'm feeling ambituous today).

Here is my 2010 wrap-up in numbers, just because I love numbers and statistics.

2010 in numbers:
Books Read: 48
Pages Read: 20885
Average Pages Per Book: 435
Longest Book Read: 1376 (It by Stephen King)
Most Books Read By One Author: 5 (Kelley Armstrong)
Books Read On The List*: 7
Genre Most Read: 17 (Young-Adult)
  • Young-Adult: 35%
  • Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance: 25%
  • Horror: 9%
  • Fantasy: 9%
  • Classics: 13%
  • Other: 9%
Books Reviewed: 26 (54% of books read)
Rating Most Used: 15 (4 Stars, 54% of books reviewed)

Blog Posts: 76
Followers: 77
Comments: 165
Total Page Views: 1485
Most Viewed From: 608 (United States, 41% of total views)
Most Views Month: 506 (November, 34% of total views)

Okay, I decided to stop the mathematical overload here.

I will have the reviews for some of the books I read this holiday up in a few days, including Torment (Lauren Kate) and Insomnia (Stephen King). The Betrayal of Love and Freedom Giveaway (international) is still up and running, so don't forget to check that one out. I'll be back later today or tomorrow to show you all the beautiful books Santa had for me this time!