Lazy Saturday Review: Killing the Dead by Marcus Sedgwick #HO17 #MiniBookReview

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I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

killingthedeadTitle: Killing the Dead
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 112 pages
Publication Details: March 5th 2015 by Indigo
Genre(s): YA; Horror
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it.

Goodreads 

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Set in a girls’ boarding school in Massachusetts a haunting and sinister story YA story for World Book Day from prize-winning author Marcus Sedgwick.

1963. Foxgrove School near Stockbridge, Massachusetts. One of the oldest and finest academies in the country – but what really goes on behind closed doors? Nathaniel Drake, the new young English teacher, Isobel Milewski, the quiet girl who loved to draw spirals, her fingers stained with green ink, Jack Lewis, who lent Isobel books – just words, just ink on paper, Margot Leya, the girl with those eyes – who are they, what part have they played in killing the dead?

Follow the dark, dark path
Into the dark, dark woods
To the dark, dark bridge
By the dark, dark water.
Linger.
Let the ghosts of heaven tell their story.

A stylish and creepy story for World Book Day from prize-winning author Marcus Sedgwick.

Review

It’s been a while since I finished this short read, and I’m not too sure how I felt about it. I thought it was an odd choice for a World Book Day book as they are usually aimed at younger readers, but I think it’s great they are now including books for older children, especially ones as dark as this.

Marcus Sedgwick was my favourite author for a time, and don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s amazing, but a few of his latest books have disappointed me. Killing the Dead feels like vintage (darker) Sedgwick, but it also ties in with some things in The Ghosts of Heaven, which is his only book that I have actively disliked.

In this story, I loved the setting, but not so much the characters, making it hard for me to get invested in their well-being. I loved the idea that the school has this tragic accident in its past that has become a dark and sinister legend, but I wanted it to be explored more instead of focusing on a perverted teacher.

So the jury’s still out on this one. If you want a good, dark, read by Sedgwick there are lots of others I would start with, such as The Book of Dead Days or The Foreshadowing.

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Up Next on Horror October:

30 Days of Horror: Cruel Summer

This Week in Books 09.03.16 #TWIB

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week. 

Hi guys, I’m slowly clawing my way out of a reading slump so I’m afraid my answers aren’t much different to last week! I did manage to finish one little book though (I just didn’t bother to change the image – lazy). See below for more details.

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Now: The Amber Fury ~ Natalie Haynes // My Kind of Crazy ~ Robin Reul

The Amber Fury is going well now I’m back to reading a bit more. I started My Kind of Crazy but it didn’t grip me so I’ll stick to the first and then give this another go. 

Then: Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen ~ Chris Riddell

Other than last week’s books all I managed to finish was this cute World Book Day book, which is in my New to the Shelves section below.

Next: ??? 

I think I need to tackle The Crow Girl which sounds amazing and dark but I’ve only just realised it’s over 700 pages long. Gah! It’s out early April. 

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

I didn’t request or buy and books this week. My friend Dora did buy me this though:

Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen

 

gothgirlwbdWhen Ada travels to the seaside resort of Brighton on holiday, she is very excited to meet leading followers of fashion Lady Vivienne Dashwood and her rival, the fashionable shepherd, Beau Peeps. They are there preparing for World Frock Night – a lavish ball where everyone dresses up in their finest costumes to compete for the grand prize.

Ada has been given money by her father to buy a spectacular outfit for the ball, and she’s excited to be in with a chance of winning the prize. But, as usual, nothing goes to plan, and becoming the belle of the ball will prove to be Ada’s biggest challenge yet . . .

Full of intricate black and white illustrations, Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen is a gorgeous World Book Day book from Chris Riddell, award-winning author of Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse.

  I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Of Fire & Stars

NEED! But it’s so far away!

offireBetrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

Expected publication: November 22nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours? If you’re joining in leave the link to your answers in the comments so everyone can take a look 🙂

Something for the Weekend: *Giveaway Klaxon *

No Lazy Saturday Review today, but despair not! Instead, feast your eyes over (and of course, enter) these giveaways from the great people behind World Book Day.

All giveaways end September 30th, and can be entered via the World Book Day website , where you can view the T&Cs. Not affiliated with Lipsyy Lost & Found, unfortunately.

Heir of Fire

wbd1The third novel in the Throne of Glass sequence, from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, is packed with more heart-stopping action, devastating drama and swoonsome romance, and introduces some fierce new heroines to love and hate. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones.

Bloomsbury Children’s has five copies of Heir of Fire to give away, signed by Sarah J. Maas!

Violet and the Pearl of the Orient

wbd2Violet Remy-Robinson is a super-sleuth in the making. When the Count and Countess Duplicitous and their ghastly daughter Isabella move in to a neighbouring house, Violet is sure there is something strange about them but she can’t quite put her finger on it. Then her eccentric, but lovely neighbour, Dee Dee Derota, has a precious jewel stolen. Could the new family be to blame? Violet is on the case to uncover the truth… So begins Harriet Whitehorn’s quirky and fun tale with an intriguing detective story at its heart.

Simon and Schuster are giving away 10 copies of Violet and the Pearl of the Orient.

Skulduggery Pleasant

wdb3The War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop Darquesse before she turns the world into a charred, lifeless cinder. And so he draws together a team of soldiers, monster hunters, killers, criminals… and Valkyrie’s own murderous reflection. The war may be over, but the final battle is about to begin. And not everyone gets out of here alive…

To celebrate the final book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series – The Dying of the Light – HarperCollins are giving away 10 Skulduggery Pleasant goody packs.

Dragons at Crumbling Castle

wbd4Aged seventeen, Terry Pratchett began work as a journalist for the Bucks Free Press. As well as covering news articles, he began writing short stories under the pseudonym ‘Uncle Jim’; as he later recalled, ‘Nobody wanted to do the children’s corner so I volunteered. I would do little children’s stories, one-offs and running narratives.’ Published together for the first time with over a hundred full-page black-and-white illustrations from Mark Beech, Dragons at Crumbling Castle is a book to make children laugh and introduce them to the wit and magic of Terry Pratchett.

Publishers Random House are giving away 5 hardback copies of Dragons at Crumbling Castle.

The Impossible Knife of Memory

wbd5Hayley is struggling – struggling to make sure her ex-army dad shows up to work, struggling to avoid her stepmother, struggling to forget the past, struggling not to fall in love with Finn, who really seems to get her. But some memories run too deep, and soon the cracks start to show . . .

Scholastic have three copies of Laurie Halse Anderson’s The Impossible Knife of Memory up for grabs.

Afterworlds

wbd6Darcy writes the words. Lizzie lives them. Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends, she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other writers who take her under their wings . . . At the same time, Afterworlds, Darcy’s gripping thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack, starts to unfold . . .

Simon & Schuster are giving away 5 copies.

Friday Feature: World Book Day

For this week’s Friday Feature I’m putting the spotlight on the fast approaching World Book Day (6th March).

What’s it all about?

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly), reading. It’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

WBD is approaching its 17th year and on 6th March 2014 children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. Registered schools are sent packs of Book Tokens and World Book Day Resource Packs full of ideas and activities, display material and information about how to get involved.

Every child in full-time education in the UK and Ireland can receive a book token. Last year over 1.2 million World Book Day book tokens were redeemed: this year they are hoping for more!

£1 Books

Every year, WBD present a selection of short books & novellas, available to all for just £1. This year there are two YA books available:

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Rock War: The Audition by Robert Muchamore

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

A dramatic addition to Robert Muchamore’s new series, Rock War, this introduces new characters, a never-before-seen band, and a behind-the-scenes look at the Rock War auditions. This is a perfect way in to the series, and a must for Rock War fans.

Two kids, one band, one crucial audition. But will they risk their friendship for the sake of musical stardom?

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The Boy in the Smoke by Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Hot Key Books

On a cold night, Stephen Dene went to the Eton boathouse to perform a desperate act. But someone stopped him along the way, sending his life in a new and decidedly strange direction–leading him to London, to two new friends, and to a world of shadows and mystery.

From New York Times bestselling author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Key to the Golden Firebird and The Name of the Star, The Boy in the Smoke is a thrilling prequel to The Shades of London series.

All details taken from the website, where you can find more info: (and lots of other great stuff btw): World Book Day

Something for the Weekend – Book Blast & Giveaways!

There have been some great Giveaways in book world this week, so here is my pick of the best.

Some time ago I did a Cover Reveal and Review for Amber Skye Forbes’ dark and gritty YA Paranormal book When Stars Die. Amber is giving away a signed copy via Goodreads, and also hosting a great Rafflecopter Giveaway.

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WhenStarsDie
“Yet, even when stars die, they leave a lasting impact through their light, their diamond brilliance as they scatter their material to form new stars. When people die, they leave the same impact with the footprints they leave on people’s hearts. Even the ones who feel insignificant go out, leaving behind dust that can nourish the world anew.”

Amelia Gareth’s brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.

Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They’re searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch’s signature. The shadows are after witches.

Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?

If you fancy your chances, here are the links:

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway: Signed paperback (International – check countries before entering – Ends 25/02/14)

Other YA Giveaways:

As you should know by now, I’m a huge fan of the work World Book Day does, and once again they have some great giveaways this month. All Giveaways end 31.01.14

One Safe Place by Tara Unsworth

One-Safe-PlaceA disconcerting vision and a beautifully imagined novel of suspense and adventure from debut author, Tania Unsworth. Already garnering praise from advance readers and reviewers, THE ONE SAFE PLACE is a tale of a world post-disaster, where the rich are very rich, and the poor – and children – are the forgotten and lost.

Devin loses his beloved Grandfather and with him the safety of a back-to-basics but happy rural existence, and is driven to civilisation to counter the possibility of never-ending loneliness. A rumour of a place of greater safety appears to be urban legend, until suddenly, it becomes a reality: the Gabriel H. Penn Home for Childhood is welcoming of special children – those with something about them. Devin is synesthetic and is regarded as prize, but it takes some persuasion for his friend Kit to be able to join him. But isn’t it the case, that something that looks too good to be true, often is too good to be true and here, perfection conceals the darkest of secrets…

Publishers Orion are giving away 10 copies of The One Safe Place.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

If-You-Find-Me-pb IF YOU FIND ME is Emily Murdoch’s haunting and highly acclaimed debut—a gripping contemporary mystery and a slow and winding unravelling of the truth. If You Find Me looks at modern life through the eyes of a narrator with another life perspective. A tale of hardship, tragedy and a coming to terms and moving on, a tale of sisters, of family and growing up, of bravery, resilience and hope. A book that will resonate with older teen and adult readers alike.

Living in the woods with her young sister, Carey’s life is hard and survival is the priority. But when her mother goes missing, the food runs out and the strangers arrive searching for them, life is about to take an unexpected turn. Carey is keeping a terrible secret. If she tells, it could destroy her future. If she doesn’t, will she ever be free?

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THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by Holly Black
A Coldtown is a dangerous place; a glamorous cage. A prison for the damned – and anyone interested in spending the rest of their lives partying with them…

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. It’s an eternal party, shown on TV 24 hours a day. A modern world, a society self-aware and turning a dark mirror on itself with endless up-close social media, but twisted a degree from today – where a deadly virus can mean the end of life as you know it, if not life itself. Tana has dark secrets in her family’s past, but her future is the most pressing concern – and it’s not going to be headed in quite the way she expected. The consequences of her attendance at a blow-out sundown party mean that her choices are shrinking fast… Let Holly Black subvert your expectations and lead you, along with Tana, along a dark and complicated path – it’s well worth the journey!

Publishers, Indigo, are giving away 10 sets of these two brilliant and very different books.

Looking at the Stars by Jo Cotterill

LATS-coverAmina’s homeland has been ravaged by war for many months, but so far they are safe, together. When a so-called liberating force arrives in the country, the family think their prayers for peace will soon be answered, but they are horribly wrong . . . The country is thrown into yet further turmoil and Amina’s family is devastated . . .

The woman of the family – Amina, her two sisters and their mother – have no choice but to leave their home town, along with thousands of others, and head for a refugee camp.

But there are even more challenges ahead . . .

10 copies of this fantastic and heart-rending book are up for grabs!

Good Luck!

*Giveaway Alert* via World Book Day (UK only)

In Honor of Children’s Book Week, World Book Day have two more great giveaways this month.

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Set in London and Manhattan, She Is Not Invisible explores obsession, trust and coincidence in a page-turning thriller about Laureth Peak’s mission to find her missing father:

Laureth Peak’s father is a writer. For years he’s been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he’s obsessed, Laureth thinks he’s on the verge of a breakdown. He’s supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong. On impulse she steals her mother’s credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old – for Laureth is blind.

She Is Not Invisible is published simultaneously in hardback, eBook (with text to speech),audio, large print (via AudioGo), and in Braille and Daisy format (via the RNIB), enabling it to be fully accessible to all readers.Publishers Orion/Indigo are giving away 5 hardback and 5 audio book copies. Closing date October 31 2013.

Head over to their site to find out how to enter.

Treasure-Hunters

From the the top ten bestselling author of Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life and I Funny comes a brilliantly original new adventure series, jam-packed with action, humour, and heart. Perfect for any fan of adventure books Treasure Hunters will take you on the journey of a lifetime and keep you gripped from cover to cover.

WBD have FIVE copies of Treasure Hunters up for grabs. closing date of 31 October.

Enter here!

ARC Giveaway: The Screaming Staircase (Children’s/YA Supernatural)

The Amazing World Book Day have another great YA giveaway this month. Get Involved Here.

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FIVE advance copies of Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase to be won!

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .

‘You’ll want to leave the lights on . . . Stroud is a genius’ Rick Riordan

Closes at midnight on Friday 13th September 2013