WWW Wednesday.

Sorry guys, my answers are the same as last week as I was away at the weekend and did not even manage to open a book. I’m really enjoying The Secret Keeper though and will hopefully get it finished soon. Busy Busy. Please still leave a comment with your post so I can peruse them through the day! Hope you’ve all been more productive than me this week. 😉

www_wednesdays4

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton – ‘A a spellbinding mix of mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love’. View on Goodreads.

Just Finished:
Poison by Sarah Pinborough – ‘A beautiful, sexy, contemporary retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale’. I was sooooooooo excited about this and it hurts me to say that I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I expected too much? Sad Panda. Review to follow shortly. View on Goodreads.

Shiny!
Shiny!

Up Next:
Either Throne of Glass or Storm Glass. It’s all about the glass apparently.

Click to View on Goodreads
Click to View on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads

A Snow White tale for Adults: Poison by Sarah Pinborough

Sexy Snow White?
Sex and the Snow White

A beautiful, sexy, contemporary retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale, illustrated by Les Edwards.

Poison is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairy tale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It’s fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Snow White and the Huntsman and more. Image & Synopsis from Goodreads.

If you’ve read my blog posts over the last week or so you’ll know that I was really excited about Poison. I love fairy tales, I love retelling of fairy tales and this being an ‘adult’ version of Snow White appealed to me. Not to mention how awesome the cover is. Basically, I set myself up for a massive let down didn’t I? Damn, not again.

I didn’t hate Poison, but I didn’t love it either. Which makes me sad because it’s too pretty to get rid of.

We start with Lilith, Snow’s step-mother who we expect to be evil but she’s just kind of sad. As is traditional, she’s jealous of Snow White’s beauty and charm but also of how free and wild she is. Snow White is out partying with the dwarves and getting drunk whilst poor old Lilith is stuck in her castle being a lady. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to feel sorry for her with this new back story but it didn’t really work for me.

Snow White herself is fun. She drinks the Dwarves under the table and basically just does what she likes but I didn’t feel any investment in her or her well being. I was glad the huntsman didn’t kill her but not because I liked her but because I liked him. And the Prince…don’t even get me started on him. What a waste of space he turned out to be.

I did like some elements of Poison though. I liked that no one was quite what they seem, and definitely not what you’d expect them to be, Pinborough did a good job in that sense. And I liked that Snow White was just a normal girl. A normal beer-drinking, curvy girl who has family issues. But on the other hand, that realism took away a lot of magic from the story which is a shame. I guess you can’t have the best of both worlds.

I also liked that Pinborough took elements from different fairy tales and integrated them into this one story. Apart from the Aladdin part…really, what was the point in that??

Overall, I think Poison is a great idea in theory but just didn’t quite work, for me. Pinborough could have really taken ownership of the source material but it was just a bit too thin to really get your teeth into. I think I’ll give the next book, Charm a go just to see if she manages to do this…I still live in hope.

Plus, they really are very very pretty books.

I give Poision 3/5 unicorns…just. It was published by Gollancz, April 2013

WWW Wednesday!

www_wednesdays4

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton – ‘A a spellbinding mix of mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love’. View on Goodreads.

Just Finished:
Poison by Sarah Pinborough – ‘A beautiful, sexy, contemporary retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale’. I was sooooooooo excited about this and it hurts me to say that I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I expected too much? Sad Panda. Review to follow shortly. View on Goodreads.

Shiny!
Shiny!

Up Next:
Either Throne of Glass or Storm Glass. It’s all about the glass apparently.

Click to View on Goodreads
Click to View on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads

WWW Wednesday.

www_wednesdays4

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

It’s well and truly Hump Day! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week. Don’t forget to leave a comment with your post or books. It will make my day go faster. 😉

Currently Reading: Poison by Sarah Pinborough
Literally just started this this morning so not much to report. But sexy Snow White, what’s not to like?

Recently Finished:
I spent a lot of time living the dream at the weekend – reading under a tree. I finished two great books…

A new retelling of Tristan and Iseult by J.D Smith. I wanted to give it 4/5 but had to settle on 3/5. You can read my review Here.

Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads

And Specials by Scott Westerfeld. The 3rd book in his Uglies series. I’d totally forgotten how crazy these books were. It was a fast-paced, ferocious read. Review to follow.

Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads

Up Next:

Probably another one of the books that arrived last week so either Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper or Throne of Glass. I still have Storm Glass to start too.

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BEST POST DAY! (New Arrivals)

It FINALLY arrived! I’ve been waiting for a delivery all week and I was getting anxious because I bought one book in particular that I’m really eager to read (Poison), and Amazon told me it had arrived on Wednesday…when it didn’t. 😦

Turns out it actually did, but it wouldn’t fit through the letterbox and the STOOPID postman put my flatmate’s name on the ‘Sorry you were out form’ instead of mine! Grrr.

So poor Dora went to pick up what she thought was her package today…to find out it was mine. HURRAH! (Sorry Dora, thanks Dora!)

So yeah, eventually…BEST POST DAY!

Yesss!
Yesss!

I thought all of these would be great summer reads and Poison looks especially amazing! I totally forgot it was hardback too. I’m in love with it already. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Shiny!
Shiny!

Sneak Peak:
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I featured Poison in my WWW Wednesdays post here, but here’s a bit more about the other two.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
I’ve only ever read one other Kate Morton book which was The House at Riverton. It’s not usually the kind of thing I like but I was surprised by how much I loved it. This one looks more of the same.

The new novel from the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours is a spellbinding mix of mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.

During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.

Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined.

The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths people go to fulfill them, and the consequences they can have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers, and schemers told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world. Synopsis from Goodreads.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve seen this around everywhere and couldn’t resist. Sounds pretty epic. I’m hoping it’ll fill the void of there being no more Graceling Realm books.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted? Synopsis from Goodreads.

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I also got good post in the week when my Gollancz goodies arrived for getting my review posted. Fun! You can never have too many geeky t-shirts and badges right?

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The Verdict: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Click to view on GoodReads.
Click to view on GoodReads.

An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. Born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora dodges both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains, neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected family of orphans “Gentlemen Bastards.”

I don’t really know what to think of this book. I did enjoy it, but I also nearly gave up on like 3 different occasions. It was quite hard-going yet compelling at the same time. Don’t ask me how that works, but it just does. And at over 700 pages it’s not the quickest of reads.

I’ve read a few reviews that liken TLOLL to Ocean’s Eleven and The Godfather – two films I have never seen so I don’t know about that but I did make some of my own comparisons. It reminded me more of a cross between Oliver, Robin Hood and Spartacus(Blood and Sand) for all of the obvious orphans, thievery and Capas/crime bosses references.

The world Lynch has created is truly unique and really it is a unique experience to read too with all of the crazy tangents and flashbacks. I loved the whole Venice Renaissance feel it had and the place names and descriptions were perfect in creating an off-kilter reality. It is in the realm of fantasy but there is nothing too outlandish making it still normal enough to feel real.

The Gentleman Bastards themselves are witty and intriguing but I didn’t really warm to them all that much which made it hard for me to root for them. When Locke gets thrown into the sea in a cask of horse piss I thought it was hilarious, but I didn’t really care if he survived or not.

TLOLL is a witty, action-and-violence-packed swashbuckling adventure for adults that is written with remarkable detail and imagination, I just wish that I could have found it an easier read. It’s definitely worth a try though, especially if you enjoy crudeness, violence and inventive swearing!

3 unicorns out of 5 unicorns! 🙂

This copy is published by Gollancz, 2011.

Like Sci-fi & Fanstasy?

If you like Sci-fi & Fantasy you should totally check out the Gollancz website and blog. They publish some of best SF & Fantasy going! You can also become an Official Gollancz Geek and apply to review new releases for them.

My review of Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue was posted yesterday here.

GollanczGeek

Woah, it is HOT outside. I’m off to read under a tree somewhere!

The Verdict: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Click to view on GoodReads.
Click to view on GoodReads.

There are just many things to be said about Bitterblue but let’s start with the basics. It’s the third book in the Graceling Realm Trilogy by Kristin Cashore and it looks beautiful.

In Graceling, we entered a world of seven kingdoms where some people are born graced with any number of unique skills or abilities and where we first meet Katsa, seemingly graced with the skill of killing and under the command of King Randa. Katsa becomes increasingly frustrated and depressed about being used in such a cruel way and when Prince Po comes along their journey together slowly reveals just how corrupt the seven kingdoms really are. In Fire, we’re transported to The Dells, a kingdom of ‘rainbow coloured monsters and underground labyrinths’ where Fire, the last human monster is both hated and obsessed over, constantly assaulted for being so irresistible and who refuses to use her mind control to steal people’s memories and secrets.

By the time we come to Bitterblue, it is several years after King Leck’s tyrannous and torturous reign in Graceling and we follow the young Queen Bitterblue as she attempts to rebuild her kingdom; a kingdom that is still deeply affected by her father’s spell over them. But how can you rebuild something that is based on lies and secrets and despicable acts? Especially when the people who were most under Leck’s spell are the ones closest to Bitterblue?

There are so many things I love about this book. I enjoyed Fire, but as soon I opened this it felt like I was coming back home. I was eager to meet up with Katsa and Po again and it didn’t disappoint despite the fact that they weave in and out of the narritive. I think Cashore could easy have ridden the wave of their romance and made that the main strand of this book but I think this portrays a much more realistic and exciting relationship. It’s certainly refreshing to see these characters living their own lives, putting the important things first and not just glaring at each other with puppy-dog eyes. They are definitely not the puppy-dog eyes types!

I love how this story slowly builds momentum. We find the clues as Bitterblue finds them -one by one- linking what really happened during Leck’s time to just how many secrets and lies are being maintained within the city walls. I found myself even more confused than Bitterblue as to who to trust and who to investigate. However, I did feel like there was a lull in the middle where the pace could have been picked up and I just wanted to grab Bitterblue and shake her yelling ‘haven’t you learnt by now you can’t trust anyone, get on with it!’

I enjoyed the mix of the old and new here too. Whenever I think of Kings, Queens and castles, whether it’s in this universe or a fictional one I think of times gone by, but Cashore’s world is full of modern themes making no fuss over boys and girls fighting each other, same-sex relationships, sex before marriage, birth control, or a Queen who wears trousers and slips out of the castle at night to smooch with a thief. And is it just me or is it completely devoid of religion? Hallelujah!

Cashore has created an in-depth world of strong, kick-ass girls, epic sword-fights, passion, and intriguing mystery. Essentially, Bitterblue and those before it are about the abuse of control and power, facing up to horrible truths and having the strength to overcome the impossible.

Bitterblue is published by Gollancz and I received a copy in exchange for a review as part of their Gollancz Geeks Blog.

It’s the Weekend!!!

Happy Long Weekend You Guys!

I have spent most of the day at work with the phones and internet down which basically makes my job 100% redundant. But it doesn’t matter because the three day weekend starts NOW and I have a pile of amazing books to get through including Bitterblue which I received from Gollancz recently in exchange for a review. Score.

Here’s some weekend inspiration for you.

George