Angelfall by Susan Ee Review

Some spoilers ahead

Angelfall is Susan Ee’s hugely successful self published young adult novel this book started off small but my god had it grown some wings and taken on a life of its own. This is what authors dream of, this is a real self publishing success now with print editions, a sequel and third book on the way AngelFall (Penryn and the end of days) really has made its mark.

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So Angelfall does exactly what it says on the tin, Angels have fallen and they are reeking havoc on earth – this is a real dystopian drama and at its heart is Penryn a teenage girl who is just trying to survive with her mum and younger sister, that is until she meets the angel Raffe.

So I loved this book, it was such a nice surprise to open a  young adult novel and not have to endure a predictable romance page after page, while reading Angelfall I was waiting for some kind of predictable Twilight esk romance to begin and it never  came which left me wanting which is the best feeling when at the start of a trilogy.  Penryn is an excellent leading lady, she is a kick ass, take no prisoners kind of chick and I like that, and I like that she can hold on to that part of herself when the world is literally falling around her ears. Not to mention that she has one mental mother to contain with, from the word go Penryn’s mum makes for some awkward reading but by the end of the book she is my favourite character and has a great story arch of her own.

I have read a few angel books recently most recently the Halo/Hades/Heaven series all which I have reviewed on my blog and all I can say is that this just smashes Halo right out of the park. I think Angelfall has allowed real scope for the series to develop and in in my opinion there is a love story there but building slowly like a beautiful Raffe shaped flame and although I am eager for more Raffe and Penryn Angelfall isn’t all about the love story which is really refreshing.

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The second book in the Angelfall series called World After and it’s out now and I will be picking it up ASAP I just need to know what happens next! I would defiantly recommend Angelfall to other readers it’s something different and a refreshing change in the young adult genre this book is a real page turner and I was well and truly blown away.

Cover reveal – Solitude of a Birdcage (Forget me not) By Brielle Sky

Hi guys,

Today I am participating in the official cover reveal for Solitude of a Birdcage (dubbed forget me not) by Brielle Skye. If you have not heard of Brielle check out her website where your can find pre-released chapters of Solitude of a Birdcage (Forget me not) and get a little taster of what the novel is about. Or you can check out the books synopsis below. The book is due to be release October 15th 2014, you can find Brielle on her website  www.lost20s.com or on Twitter  @brielleskye. 

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Synopsis 

In the battle between duty and desire, there will be casualties.

Maxie Shannon and Savannah Trimmel are more than best friends. They’re sisters, bound by a tragic past and an unbreakable bond. When Isaac, Savannah’s boyfriend, falls victim to an act of violence that leaves him with no recollection of the prior eighteen months, both women tend to his recovery. For Savannah, it’s simply an attempt to care for the man she loves.

For Maxie, it’s a chance at redemption.

She tells Isaac nothing of the passionate secrets they’d been keeping from Savannah, nor of the unyielding feelings that nearly consumed them both. 

But as the fragile wall obstructing Isaac’s memory begins to crack, hidden truths slip through the fissures, and Maxie will once again be faced with an impossible choice– her loyalty, or her heart.

Lasting one week Brielle is offering US participants a giveaway widget code for more information on this drop me an email and I will send you the code, if you want any more information on Brielle Skye she is on Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/brielleskye and Facebook www.facebook.com/brielleskyewriter.

So hurry up and check out Solitude of Birdcage NOW!

 

Romeo and Juliet (2013) Review

Downton Abbey’s much loved writer Julian Fellows has adapted William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and this is just latest film version of the world famous play it’s predecessor being Baz Lurman’s adaptation made in 1996. I can’t imagine there is anyone out there who doesn’t know the story but, just for argument sake if you have been living under a rock or, are a defrosted caveman (or woman) here’s the gist-  These two are the original star crossed lovers and lets just say it doesn’t end well, for anyone.

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Romeo and Juliet (2013)

Romeo and Juliet is my favourite Shakespeare play second only to Twelfth Night so when there is an film adaptation I’m always really hopeful that it will turn out well and although the Baz Lurman (1996) version was different and might not have been for everyone I think most people can agree that the acting was superb and the original text wasn’t changed beyond recognition.

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Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes (1996)

First of all I should probably just say (2013) Romeo, Oh My God he is just a beautiful man, and although I am grateful to watch that face in any film should Romeo ever be better looking than Juliet? Romeo goes on and on about how bloody beautiful she is when, actually he looks like some kind of Greek God. Alright, I know this film is probably suppose to be Shakespeare for the Twilight generation or whatever but I’m guessing that the Twilight generation couldn’t give a sh*t about Shakespeare, they get enough of that at school (I’m just guessing).

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Mercutio, Romeo and Tybalt 

I had two main problems with this film, the first was the changes that Julian Fellows had made to the original text I heard Douglas Booth (Romeo) say in an interview that he had done it to make the film more accessible and I know for Hollywood that makes a lot of sense but if the (1996) Baz Lurman adaptation can use Shakespeare’s text with out interfering with it to such an extent that it’s barely recognizable why can’t the (2013) adaptation? Shakespeare is Shakespeare for a reason and surely Julian Fellows took something away from the film by changing the text so much.

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The Secret Wedding

My second major issue with the film was the actors who played Romeo and Juliet although they were both great looking I just didn’t believe  Douglas Booth or  Hailee Steinfeld as Romeo and Juliet. I felt sorry for them in a way because I was constantly comparing them to Clare Danes and Leonardo Di Caprio and don’t imagine I was alone. I feel that to carry off Shakespeare strong actors are required and neither of these are that, pretty yes, talented, no.  Paul Giamatti who played Friar Lawrence was amazing when he walks in on Juliet having killed her self with a dead Romeo in her arms his performance made me cry he really is very talented. Also the Benvolio in this film is very good, I connected with him so much more than I did the (1996) just for these two performances it makes the film worth seeing.

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Juliet and Friar Lawrence

All in all, I would say that if you like this story then the film is worth watching, it’s has welcome traditional style of telling the tale but the text changes and some weak actors can be off putting.

All in all a 3.5/5

A New York Winter’s Tale – Review (Spoilers)

A New York Winter’s Tale or Winter’s tale is based on the bestselling and beloved novel by Mark Helprin it is the story of Peter Lake a thief and a wanted thief too boot. Wanted by his old boss Pearly (by reasons unknown) Peter and his flying horse yes you read correctly, break into house of a wealthy family believing that no body at home.

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Peter and Beverly

When he discovers  the daughter of the house Beverly Penn is still in the house, Peter and Beverly fall immediately in love over a good old fashion cup of tea and the rest is history… or not. Beverly has consumption and is going to die so their time together is limited and spent being chased by Pearly who is later revealed to be a servant of the devil.

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Dancing

Now it was at this point where I had a problem, suspend your belief I was told by people who had previously seen the film, and so I did, even when Peter’s horse for a reason which is never explained grew WINGS and took flight my belief remained suspended. Until we meet Lucifer and out walks, wait for it, Will Smith, I had to laugh, you’re telling me that the Fresh Prince, Hitch, is the Devil, I’m sorry but no, just no. I watched his face trying to be all mean and dark, all the while waiting for him to make a joke (He didn’t but he may as well of done, who made that casting choice what a joke!)

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Peter and Horse

Okay so Pearly, servant of Lucifer obviously his against true love, he must stop them  being together we get it but seriously… BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Russell Crowe as Pearly has the worst Irish accent I have ever heard proper leprechaun chic. (Sorry Russell but I hear Noah is going to be good) The acting in this film on the whole was great and Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay as Beverly Penn and Peter Lake were very believable. Winter’s Tale is a big book and fantasy realism is hard to put to the screen because it isn’t one thing or the other sadly I heard this film was a long coming passion project which makes it even worse that it was such a flop.

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Russell Crowe as Pearly

But, without having read the book (which I will be reading this month) I would say the biggest problem with the story was world building (there wasn’t any!). There was to many unanswered questions to make the story believable. For example why is the horse really a dog? And why he can  fly is never really explained, the topic of guardian angels is briefly touched upon but there was never really enough substance.

I love the reincarnation side to the story but by this point in the film there had been already been so many bad points to achieve a decent ending for the story.

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Reincarnated 

A beloved novel that has been adapted poorly, fantasy realism is a hard genre to take on and I have read that many said that Winter’s tale could never be brought to the screen. I think perhaps they were right.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo Gricha Book 2 (Spoiler Free)

Siege and Storm is the second novel in the Gricha trilogy and I should probably say straight away that I am not big fan. I loved Shadow and Bone, but when reading Siege and Storm I just couldn’t fall into the book as easily as I had done with book one.

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Gorgeous book cover

My major problem is that I am struggling to know who to root for, obviously not the Darkling unless there is going to be some kind of major plot twist. I just found it really hard to connect with the characters this time around, I’m not even sure that Mal and Alina’s relationship is believable, his whole role in this novel is to guard her… I sorry but dull. Where is the passion, the romance, why I aren’t I rooting for this couple? When I feel nothing for a character or a set of characters and lose the will to know how their journey works out something has gone wrong and I can’t even put my finger on what it was.

Prince Nikolai was a great ray of light in this book, I found him an interesting and diverse anti-hero and every moment he is on the page I have no idea if he is good, evil or somewhere in the middle and he delivers some cracking one liners to Alina. It’s a shame she can’t be a but more sassy they could of had some great banter.

It’s hard for me to say what exactly I did and didn’t like because  it was a compilation of things – there was lots of getting on and off of boats and I found that really irritating because there wasn’t any real world building or description of where the characters were and their environment always seemed hazy unless they were in a palace, which is obviously self explanatory.

I should probably worn anyone who is planning on reading this book that it is very, very, open ended and there is a bit of a wait until the third book is out.

All in all I would give this about a 2.5/5

Poor sequel to a great first book, this book made me fall out of love with characters I had previously loved particularly Mal who hopefully perks up a bit by book 3.

It’s not all bad Mal there’s plenty more Gricha in the sea…PLEASE!