Friday, 18 March 2016

Review on Demon Road

Amber Lamont's life has never been extraordinary. She goes to school and works at the local diner. That is until she turns sixteen and everything changes. After finding out that her parents are demons and are planning on eating her, Amber must go on the run to save her own life. With the help of Milo, a mysterious man who is paid to keep her safe, Amber must find a way to stop her parents from chasing her. But with vampires invading a small town and the shining demon demanding to be paid in exchange for his help Amber's life soon becomes a lot more complicated.

I remember reading Landy's Skullduggery books as a teenager so I was excited to start reading the first book in his Demon Road series. It follows a girl named Amber who through some unfortunate circumstances finds out that she is a demon, and that every seventeen years, her parents and their friends must consume another demon and offer their blood to a demon known as the Shining Demon. I loved how this book started out, as it immediately showed the reader that something wasn't right and that Amber's life was about to change dramatically. I find that a lot of YA books seem to have a slow start, but I was immediately drawn into Demon Road and wanted to find out why her parents wanted to kill her.

I loved how action packed this book was, and that the majority of the chapters ended on a cliffhanger making me want to keep reading for hours at a time. Although I did love the book from start to finish, I did start to enjoy it a lot more once Amber and Milo started driving around the country. I loved Amber from the start, and enjoyed watching her gain more confidence when she was in her demon form. I also loved watching how her morals seemed to change too, and how it scared her when she attacked someone with no remorse.

Milo was an interesting character, and I was constantly wanting to know more about him as he was extremely mysterious. I loved the idea behind him and his car, and having them travel around America in a classic car reminded me of Supernatural. However I didn't feel as if there were too many similarities between other books and tv shows in this genre such as Supernatural and The Mortal Instruments, and it held out as being both original and interesting.

Although I wasn't too keen on him at the start, I ended up loving Glen and he soon became my favourite character. I always love the character who is the outsider and doesn't know what is going on, and although other people would probably find him annoying I found him to be extremely funny, and on more than one occasion I laughed out loud at his antics. I loved how he helped Amber out of some situations despite being the only character without any sort of supernatural power. Although it's unclear if he will return in the next book in the series, I really hope that he does as he gave some light hearted comic relief to an otherwise dark story.

Even though this book is marketed as a children's book, to me it felt more like a YA book. As Amber is sixteen and the book has some dark themes, including gory and detailed death scenes and some mild swearing, I felt that it had the potential to scare younger readers and I wouldn't really recommend it to children under thirteen. However I think that teenagers would love this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of The Mortal Instruments.

Demon Road now available to purchase!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Review on Ascension #3 The Imparting

After spending some time outside of the underground city of Impervious, Fran must once again enter the city to spread the news that the outside world is actually safe. Many residents still live inside the walls, where a sickness known as 'The Beast' resides. With the help of her new friends, Fran must save the people inside the city, including her best friend and her brother. But the Impervious government won't allow this to happen easily, and Fran must fight to save the ones she loves.

 After reading the first two books in this series, I was excited to find out how it was all going to end! The second book in the series ended on a huge cliff hanger, so I was eager to see how everything would play out. 

As her best friend Pete did not make it out of the city, Fran is desperate to go back in to find him. However Fran spends the majority of the book outside, helping to collect herbs to cure the injured and finding an antidote that will take the people inside the city off the grid so that they can no longer be tracked. One of the main things I have loved about this series is the intricate underground world that Letto has created, and seeing the characters explore this. In comparison I found the outside world to be quite dull, and the only aspect of it that I enjoyed was seeing the aftermath of what had happened to the cities. I did however feel as if this could have been expanded on, as we only see an extremely small portion of the wreckage.

I felt that nothing really exciting happened to Fran in the first 70% of the book, which was disappointing as the first two books were unique and action packed. I found myself becoming bored of Fran's storyline, and I was much more interested in what was happening to Pete. I loved the relationships between Fran, Pete and Retter in the second book, and felt that this was a strong aspect to the books, so it was disappointing that there wasn't much interaction between these characters at all. The relationship between Pete and Fran was something that I loved in the first two books, and I felt that them barely interacting throughout the book was a huge let down.

The thing that redeemed this book a little for me was Pete's storyline, as I loved seeing him having to sneak round the city to try to convince people that the open air was safe. Again however I felt that relationships with other characters were not focused on, and instead Pete interacted with a number of minor characters who disappeared fairly quickly. I found myself losing track of who everyone was, and felt that there was a definite need for someone who was more permanent in Pete's journey. I felt that Freddie could have been this character, as I found it interesting that he used to bully Pete but changed his ways and decided to help him. I would have loved it if Freddie had become more than just a minor character, as he had potential to become something more and have his own storyline rather than just being someone to help the protagonist.

I did enjoy the last 20% of the book, but I felt that it lacked the action packed scenes that the other two books had. I felt that their problems were solved a little too easily, and there was really only one minor setback that was resolved fairly quickly. Although I did love that romance wasn't a big factor of this book, I would have liked to have had a more definite answer to if Fran and Pete started dating.

Sadly this book was not up to my expectations, as the first two books were brilliant and I was hoping for a dramatic conclusion to the series. I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did and I feel disappointed that it did not live up to the expectations I had for it, as I had nothing but positive comments for the first two books. Although I did enjoy certain parts of the book, I personally feel as if this book has let down the series as a whole.

The Imparting is now available to purchase!

 Check out my reviews of the first two books in the series!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Review on The Island

 When Fran Stanton finds herself the only survivor of a plane crash, she must battle for her life by trying to survive on a desert island. With no food or fresh water available, Fran must find alternative methods to survive, and hope that help will arrive soon. However she is haunted by her past, and the reason behind why she became a monster and had to attend the scheme for young offenders. As she spends more and more time alone, Fran has more time to dwell on her past and come to terms with what she has done.

I requested this book as I thought the cover was cute and the story seemed somewhat interesting. I figured it would be a cute island romance with a little survival thrown in and a little back story. I could not have been more wrong!

The Island follows Fran, a girl who has committed a crime and has to go on a three month expedition to learn survival skills and help out the locals. When her plane crashes, she is left stranded in the middle of the ocean, seemingly the only survivor. Once she reaches a small island, she must do her best to survive off what little supplies she has brought with her and what the island can provide.

I initially thought that I would dislike this book, as the first few chapters failed to grab my attention and I wasn't too sure about it constantly skipping from Fran talking about the present to talking about the past. However, once she actually reached the island, I felt that the book really picked up it's pace and I started to enjoy it a lot more.

I loved that this wasn't the cliché island romance that I was expecting! Instead of romanticising being stuck on a desert island, Levez shows the harsh reality of what it would be like. Fran struggles to survive, from realising that there are not many food options on an island, to having to conserve her water supply until she can find a new source. I loved how raw and real this part of the story was, and that nothing was glossed over to make it seem like a fun experience.

Although it wasn't my favourite part of the story at first, I ended up loving the storyline of what crime she had committed to get herself put onto the program in the first place. I loved that what she had done was revealed bit by bit instead of it being told to us from the start, as it kept me interested in that part of the story and wanting to know more about what the crime was. I also loved that it covered the important theme of having a bad family life, and the fact that I hated her mums boyfriend so much really showed how well this part was written. I also loved the strong relationship between Fran and her little brother, as it showed how much she cared for him and that even though she felt as if she was a monster for the crime she had committed, she still had redeeming qualities. I also loved her character development, as at the start of the book she seemed to be really reckless without thinking about the consequences, but as the story went on she was a lot more careful about her resources.

I loved that there wasn't too many characters to keep track of, as in the majority of YA books that I read I feel as if I lose track of who minor characters are, but with The Island I felt as if I had a strong understanding of who everyone was and what their relationship to Fran was. I also loved how typically British the characters were! It is extremely difficult to find a YA book where the protagonist is British, as both contemporary and fantasy YA novels are often set in an American high school. I also loved that parts of the book seemed quite poetic, as the layout seemed quite unique in parts for a prose story, along with the words flowing well. I also loved how short the chapters were, as it meant that I was able to get through multiple chapters in one sitting and never had to stop reading in the middle of a chapter.

As soon as Rufus was introduced into the story I felt as if a romance was inevitable, and that my fears were coming true. Finding a YA novel which doesn't have romance as one of the main plot points is extremely rare, and as someone who is getting really tired of reading about typical heterosexual romances I was so glad that romance wasn't a theme at all in this book. I loved the friendship between Fran and Rufus, and although I did love Fran, Rufus ended up winning over my heart and becoming my favourite character. I loved that although Fran initially hated him, they ended up working together well and forming a strong bond. The fact that Rufus didn't want to form a romantic relationship with Fran, and the reason behind that made me extremely happy! Finding a book with such a great plot and characters made me wish that it would never end and I wouldn't have to go back to reading mediocre YA novels about heterosexual couples.

Although I finished this book a few days ago I have constantly been thinking about the ending! The ending is extremely ambiguous, and although I would have preferred knowing for certain what happened to the characters, I feel as if leaving the reader thinking about it and having to make up their own interpretations about what could have happened leaves a bigger impression. Once a book is released into the world, part of it belongs to the reader, as each person will interpret things in a slightly different way, such as imagining what the characters and location look like. Along with this, people will also form their own opinions on what happened to Fran and Rufus after the book ended, and this could create a strong talking point between readers.

I can not recommend this book enough and my only problem with it is that I wish that it had been longer! Although it is a relatively standard sized book, it took me a while to get through it simply because I didn't want it to end. If you want to read a realistic desert island story without a terrible romance subplot, then you need to read this book!

The Island is now available to purchase!