Scrolling Covers

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Blurb: Review by Dale: Format: eBook Available from Smashwords Link to Download: Here Price: $0.00c (at time of review) Wordcount: ,000 (appx) Author: Author's Blog: Here

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

Blurb: Artemis Fowl receives an urgent e-mail from Russia. In it is a plea from a man who has been kidnapped by the Russian Mafiya: his father. As Artemis rushes to his rescue, he is stopped by a familiar nemesis, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. Now, instead of battling the fairies, Artemis must join forces with them if he wants to save one of the few people in the world he loves.

Review by Dale: St Patricks Day is a fitting day to publish a review of an Irish Author and the second book in the Artemis Fowl series is a cracking good choice. This book picks up not long after the events of the first book. The same old friends are back, that outrageous dwarf with the impressive bowl motions is again gracing the pages. He is a personal favorite character of mine.
All the goodies are back only this time some goodies are badies and some badies are goodies and some badies become goodies and some goodies seem bad but are really good or bad maybe? Confused yet? It will all make sense when you start reading. If you, like me, loved the first book then you wont be wanting in book two. I dont want to give away the plot but let's just say it thickens..

Best for ages 10+

Format: eBook Arc
Available from Book Depository
Link: Book Depository
page count: 227 (appx)
Author: Eoin Colfer

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Blurb: Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories—they're dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.

Review by Dale: 
So you have read the Harry potter series, then you read the hunger games series. You may have even read the twilight books. But now you are wondering what am I going to read now? Have you read the Artemis Fowl series? This long running series is about to come to an end, after seven books the eighth and final book is coming this year. Lets have a look at this great series one book at a time.

Book 1 Artemis Fowl

Artemis is a young twelve year old genius with a penchant for thievery. In an effort to rob back his families fortunes he hatches an audacious sceme to steal gold from leprechauns. When I was a kid I heard the legends and studied the lore as all kids do. We all new about the gold at the end of the rainbow and that if you captured a leprechaun then you might get your hands on that pot of gold. Artemis has heard the legends as well and sets in motion a cunning plan to get that gold.

This book is told from a perspective thats not that common (and usually confined to caper plots) , in that the hero of the story is an anti hero, the bad guy. Imagine watching Star Wars where your rooting for Darth Vader instead of Luke Skywalker. It's certainly fun hoping the bad guy will get away with the treasure, cheat those cute little faires out of their hard earned gold and win the day.

This book is extremely well written, the story flows from the page and is a delight to read. Yet its not just the story itself thats immensely entertaining but also the way its written, the narrative prose in ever sentence transforms even the most mundane of character actions into a passage of beauty. It's little wonder when you consider that some of the greatest writers who have ever lived have come from Ireland and Eoin Colfer is from Wexford, not far from Dublin, home of the literary master James Joyce.

So if like Trolls, Goblins and Faery Folk, if you like polished poetic narration, and imaginative story, then you will love Artemis Fowl.

Ages: 10+ (mild action related violence)
Format: eBook
Available from Disney-Hyperion
Price: eArc (at time of review)
Wordcount: 280,000 (appx)
Author:Eoin Colfer
Link: Official Site

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Troll Hunters Skyfall by Michael Dahl

Blurb: Part of the Troll Hunters series. Evil and danger rumbles under the earth. Follow the adventures of a group of contemporary teenagers who discover that their town, and ultimately the entire world, is under attack by fierce creatures from deep beneath the earth. These creatures were known to the earliest humans as trolls or goblins, but they are much more dangerous than their fairy-tale versions. The teens make unlikely allies along the way, including a half-man, half-troll, as well as some legendary constellations that quite literally come to life. The young heroes will also discover their own untapped celestial abilities in an epic battle between good versus evil spanning four intense books. (Jacket Copy: Capstone. Image: Goodreads)

Review by Dale:

This is a short novella written in a very easy style that hits its mark with younger readers. I finished this in about forty five minutes, and found I had chewed my nails to the quick in the process. The story is about a group of young kids who stay up to watch a meteor shower and get attacked by Trolls. Then discover that is just the beginning of a troll invasion!

Is it just me or are trolls scary? I mean really scary, they want to eat you, they live in the woods, underground and did I mention they want to eat you? This well written story by Dahl is very spooky, and dark and very readable for younger readers. It appears to be the first in a series because there are so many questions left in your mind after reading this. What about the centaur or Doctor Hoo and what's with the glowing eyes? Yes so many unanswered questions I can't wait for book two!

This book is illustrated too and the pictures are fantastic, just enough detail to capture the action but not overly done to spoil your own imaginings of the scene. 

So if you want something to read this saturday afternoon, something easy, spooky, and exciting, pick a good spot and read Skyfall by Michael Dahl. Ages 10 and up

Format: eBook ARC
Available from Capstone
Price: $0.00c (at time of review)
Page count: 114pp (appx)
Author: Michael Dahl
Available February 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

Review by Dale
The world that Lissa Price has created in Starters is vivid and alive; it's packed with imaginative detail in every scene. From the food, the cars, the holo televisions to the radical new society itself. Price has gone all out to construct a setting rich and dangerous for her characters to survive. The most startling thing about this book, however, is the grand premise itself. That all the adults under sixty have died and only the children and senior citizens remain. Not the caring old nana that always has a candy tucked away in a pocket for you though; these 'Enders' are nothing but contemptuous of the displaced youth.
Young Callie Woodland lives in this dystopian disaster; and by living I mean only managing to stay alive. In an act of utter desperation in order to feed herself and buy medicine for her only other family member, her younger brother, she visits the body bank. That’s a place where mouldy, old, crusty Enders go to rent out hot young bodies for a bit of fun and excitement. There are rules of course, but what if one of those renters had a secret agenda that went beyond night clubbing and snowboarding? What if they wanted to assassinate someone?
This is such a spooky concept, I really felt for the young heroine as she struggled to stay alive and prevent her own downfall. I think that this story is best suited for younger teens. The descriptions and narration is aimed at a younger tween reader rather than the late teen reader. The romance is there between Callie and Blake but only a light taste. The fantastic details complementing the storyline also resonate with a younger mind more than a mature teen reader. I'm sure younger minds will delight in the Cinderella Easter egg tucked away in one scene. I'd see this book being a hit with the 12Yrs and up group.

Available March 13
Format eBook ARC at time of review
PageCount 335 Pages 
Author Lissa Price
Publisher Random House Children's Books

Friday, February 10, 2012

An Interview with Indie Legend Laura Eno

Today we are very lucky to be able to bring you an in-depth interview with the stellar writer Laura Eno. Laura is the author of the amazing Realms of the Red Rabbit and several other books for young adults.

The first big questions burning a hole in my mind are:
Where did you get the idea for the Red Rabbit story? Was Dante an influence?

Although there are a few Alice in Wonderland references, Dante was my main influence for the story. Not many people caught that, though. His version of Hell fascinates me. I like the darkening shades of gray—the punishment fitting the crime, so to speak.
As for the idea behind Red Rabbit… I can only say I grew up an avid reader of science fiction/fantasy and it punched holes in my brain. Now stories leak out of it.

Do you have a classical education? What is your background that you use to draw upon in your writing?

In college, I took every English literature and composition course I could find, reading everything from ancient Greek stories to Shakespeare, as well as mythology.
In regards to Dante, I had a stern, librarian-type professor who asked for a synopsis of the book. I presented mine in the form of an epic poem. She was not amused. I still have it, though!

Yes I think that is what impressed me the most, your very powerful and original imagination. Even though the story concept is familiar the elements of the story are so fantastically unique. Which brings me to my next question. Regarding your writing process, are you a meticulous planner? Do you create moral needs and revelations, identifying and separating needs with desires and weaving it all together under a design principle? Or Do you just let the creative juices flow and the story and characters develop themselves as the plot unfolds? I.e. a planner or a seat of pantser?

Other than knowing how I want the story to end, I'm pretty much a pantser. My imagination runs in an unbridled fashion as I write. I will jot down notes of future scenes as they come to me but I don't outline, except for a few bullet points. I've tried planning before but it kills the story. I used to design jewelry the same way—strictly free-flow, without a pattern.

So we know your background in literature, and some of the influence that sprung from that have been examined in two of your great stories we have reviewed previously. But what about modern influences? Who do read and aspire to emulate? Who are your writing role models? Are there any Indie Authors in the list?

Actually, I try very hard not to have role models per se, as I'm afraid of losing my own voice by emulating anyone. Some of my current favorite authors include L. K. Rigel, Lauren Oliver, and Maggie Stiefvater.
I would say that 80% of all books I read these days are Indie Authors, so I'm definitely influenced by the Indie trend. The wide variety of imagination and genre blending by Indies step outside of the rigid protocol of legacy publishing and that's a refreshing thing to me. Indies charge less for their books as well, making it affordable to feed my passion for reading.

In terms of your own writing Laura, do you think it's important that your stories have a message for your readers? In the realm of the red rabbit there is a clear tone about the consequences or amoral behavior, the moral code isn't as clear in tempest child, however. In other words do you like to write fun and exciting stories with a definite message?

I do like messages, but I've changed it some. Whereas in Realms of the Red Rabbit it was about amoral behavior, in Tempest Child the message is about believing in yourself and making the hard choices. YA is a hard market to compete in with the current popularity of vampires and werewolves, neither of which I write, so I've chosen to take my message in a more positive direction—softer, if you will.

It's also been amazing to see the polarizing effect Red Rabbit has had on reviewers. They either love it or hate it, with poison arrows slung at my "repetitive plot device." I suppose those people don't like Dante either.

Being an indie often means going it alone, being cut off from the powerful marketing machine of big publishing house like penguin and random house. It is especially difficult for those of us who write for younger children. Whilst older teens have twitter and Facebook and even credit cards, most Tweens don't, and many aren't aloud on the Internet at all. How do you reach out to your audience and engage with them? How do you get your message out there and get heard against the white noise of today's Internet?

Word-of-mouth is still the biggest marketing tool out there, even for the big publishing houses. Unlike twenty years ago, if you're a mid-list author with a big house today, you only get one chance to prove yourself and your book before they dump you. An author has to be proactive in social media, no matter how they're published.

Getting reviews and interviews on blogs geared toward the appropriate age group is vital, which means a lot of research and contacting on the author's part. There are also happy surprises, like when you picked up my book! I've found that the lasting friendships made over the internet are special to me—not only as an author, but in a personal sense as well.

As far as tweens go, this last Christmas saw a huge jump in ereader sales, many of them now in the hands of tweens and even younger children. It's a trend that will continue and make it easier to connect with that age group…or at least with their parents.

What are you working on now? Can you tell us about it? Why will we want rush out to buy it as soon as it hits the eShelves?

I just published a YA fantasy called My Enchanted Life last month! Its 'theme', if you will, is acceptance—of others, of oneself, of looking beyond the surface, of making the most of your destiny within the confines that you're given and accepting the things you cannot change. It's also fun!

Here is the blurb:

An American teen finds herself thrust into a world she never knew existed in England's magical community of Wode Gate. While dealing with gnomes, a cranky dragon, murder and mayhem, Emma tries to cope with her unwanted duties as Sentinel and fights to get back home again.
She finds that things aren't always what they seem, people aren't who they pretend to be, and someone wants her dead. The king of the underworld wants her too, but he may be the least of her problems as Emma struggles to control her powers—while losing her heart to a demon.

I love high fantasy! Dragons and Gnomes, sounds exciting I cant wait to have a look. 

Since the world of publishing has been opened up to virtually anyone with an idea and a computer, there are now many more aspiring young authors. What advice do you have for the next generation of young people out there?

Some people will tell you to write what you know, which I think is ridiculous. I would change that to write what you love. It's the author's passion that will come through the story. Having said that, it's imperative that a writer learn the craft. Get your story edited as well. Nothing kills an indie's chance for success like a poorly edited story!

Keep writing, no matter what. It's your tenacity that will cause you to succeed. Don't treat writing as just a hobby.

That's some great advice for all our aspiring young and talented writers out there! Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

I'd like to thank you, Dale, for taking the time to interview me and featuring it on your blog. The same goes for the book reviews you've done. A lot of time and effort goes into those and I appreciate it.

I am humbled and honored each time a reader chooses one of my books out of the millions available. My hope is to continue to entertain people with my words for many years to come. In this age of ereaders, the possibilities are endless! Thank you all for sharing a few moments of your time with me.

Thank you Laura for taking valuable time out of your writing to connect with your devoted readers! I'll be checking in from time to time to check out your newer creations as time goes by, I'm sure we will see Laura's fantastic book on here again soon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shadow Rising by Jamie Sedgwick

Jamie has shared the cover art from his upcoming new book Shadow Rising. The sequel to the Shadow Born that we reviewed here previously. 

I love the bold orange colour of the sun, in contrast to the menacing blackness of the castle and surroundings. The small airship in the background looks cool too. Hinting at a lot of movement in the story again I guess. Jamie is such a talented story teller I can't wait to see this book launched. Wont be long now.