Monday, 25 January 2016

Next of Kin - Dan Wells

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

Next of Kin is a novella that connects book three of the John Cleaver trilogy, I Don't Want to Kill You, and the first one in the next John Cleaver trilogy - or the fourth book - The Devil's Only Friend.

My Review

First of all it's worth mentioning how much I adored the John Cleaver trilogy. I would've given all three books perfect tens had I been reviewing when I read them but sadly not. When I found out that Wells was writing more and John Cleaver was back, I put all the next books on my to-read list on Goodreads and told my brother right away that this amazing thing was happening!

My review will be like Next of Kin, short and to the point.

I loved Elijah's power and the idea of it! He was a great character I really felt for and his emotions poured into me and I kept turning pages until I was done. I bet no one can read this in any more than one sitting, I just couldn't stop. It was great to be in the mind of a 'demon' for a change and see how they think and feel.

What else can I say? It was flawless. Full of emotion, fantastic human observation, heart, and melancholy.

But there wasn't enough of it! I didn't want it to end! I expected to feel cheated having paid for something that wasn't even 50 pages long but Wells's writing is so fantastic that I didn't.

Next of Kin did what it set out to achieve, it made Devil's Only Friend a must read! Can't wait!


Overall 9/10 - only because it was so short!

Would I recommend it? Yes! It's definitely worth the read before you move on to book four!

Would I look up the author? Yes!

Next of Kin was full of emotion, fantastic human observation, and heart. I can't wait for Devil's Only Friend!

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo

Monday, 18 January 2016

Fanghunters - Leo Romero

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

When Dom wakes up to find he's the victim of a vampire, his life is never the same. After escaping the draw of his vampire master he decides the vampire race must pay for what they have done to him and he becomes a fanghunter.

My Review

I was excited about reading a vampire book again when I picked up Fanghunters. I hadn't read a vampire book since July when I struggled through half of the dreadful Dinner with a Vampire and I'm pleased to report that Fanghunters was a whole universe better!

The first chapter had me hooked. I was thrown straight into this universe and that was great. The first chapter was very gripping and action-packed and it made me want to read on.

I had a sort of love-hate relationship with the protagonist, Dom. Sometimes his narration would make me laugh and sometimes I'd be a little offended by his internal monologue but I think that was part of his charm. I was glad he didn't seem to have unrealistic strength or skill, his relatability kept me reading. It was amusing that he didn't really know what he was doing and that he wasn't your normal vampire hunter. It was great to see him learning and not thinking of everything, I think that's really lacking in vampire stories and it was a breath of fresh air.

However, the weird way he talks to himself throughout the entire book was distracting and bizarre. His internal thoughts almost had a personality of their own and I thought this was plot related but it turned out not to be. This other voice calls him 'buddy' on almost every page and I thought I would get used to this but I couldn't, it was too irritating. I could put this down to the fact that nobody calls anyone 'buddy' where I'm from (Essex, England, where everybody is known as 'mate').

Also, I wanted a little more emotion from Dom sometimes. His fear came across really well and I found myself curling around my Kindle as I read but it was other emotions I was missing. I wanted some more sadness and loss when he escapes from the vampire at the beginning. I wanted frustration at the things he couldn't remember. He seemed numb a lot of the time and I was waiting for something more.

I wasn't too thrilled with the other characters but I'm putting that down to the fact that Dom didn't really have a lot of time to interact with anybody. But I must just say that Beauchamp's typical English manner makes a real life English person cringe. I'm not saying he can't be posh, he can, but I've never ever heard anyone say "my boy" in real life. Some of the phrases he used jarred for me.

When the POV character changed I enjoyed the shake up but I wanted a little bit more from their narration. It was short and sweet and to the point but I wanted a little world building in there somewhere.

There were a few other little things I jotted down. The phrase "baited breath" was used rather a lot and it jumped out at me because I don't think I've ever used it before, not that I'm criticising the phrase itself, just the amount of times it was used. It was at least five times in 120 pages. Sometimes 'The Father' had a capital 'T' for 'The' and other times it didn't. There were just a few little bits like that that jumped out at me but the more I proofread, the more stuff like that I notice.

Fanghunters felt a little bit too much like a prequel rather than the first book in a series. I felt like I was being set up for something much bigger and this was just the beginning.

But saying all that, I must've enjoyed it because I finished it in three sittings!


Overall 6/10

Would I recommend it? Yes, if you're looking for a quick vampire read.

Would I look up the author? No, but some day book two might call to me.

Fanghunters was an entertaining, quick read setting you up for book two.

Happy to have my first book on the Molten Reading Challenge 2016 list!
The first book in a series: Fanghunters - Leo Romero

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo

Monday, 11 January 2016

Pure - Julianna Baggott

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

I was going to just post the blurb here but I couldn't be bothered to type it out. Instead I'll try and explain what Pure is about.

Pure follows Pressia, a wretch, living after the Detonations which fused people to other people and objects.

And a Pure, Partridge, who lives inside the Dome and was safe from the Detonations.

"When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter."

My Review

So you get the picture. 

I was pretty excited about picking up this book because I've always been a fan of post-apocalyptic books. When society gets split down the middle in such an extreme way, it's usually a great read so I knew Pure had great possibility.

And I was right, the idea is really good, fascinating actually. Both inside and outside the Dome the characters had their issues and dreams and fears and it was really interesting to read one and then the other and absorb how different the cultures were and how little they knew about each other.

I didn't have that many issues with the plot. It wasn't perfect, sometimes I got lost, but I was on board.

Once that melted away and I was stuck with what was left, I was less than impressed.

The main problem I had was that the story seemed too big for the author. Don't get me wrong, Baggott is talented but this story seemed far too ambitious and she seemed terrified to be writing it.  I could feel her fear through the words.

There was a lot of telling and not showing, especially at the beginning of the story. About 50 pages in there was a chapter that was pretty much all telling. Pressia just summed up a great big mass of information that she'd just been told. The information sounded pretty interesting but I got lost easily and I had no idea why we couldn't be part of the conversation Pressia was listening to, especially as this was so close to the beginning and I still had no idea what was going on.

The telling and not showing got extremely painful in no time at all. It's one of the first skills I try and teach people about writing. It was incredibly grating to have to read so much of it.

I didn't have any problems with the characters personalities or decisions or back stories or anything like that but I did have a huge problem with the point of view (POV). Each chapter is given a POV character which is not uncommon in YA, in fact, I mostly expect it a book like Pure, but for some reason Baggott felt the need to head-hop. The first time I noticed it was in a Partridge chapter when it said: "she doesn't know why". Hang on, she? Is that a typo? She meant Partridge right? Oh no, actually, she's telling us what Pressia thinks even though Partridge isn't a mind reader! The book might be written in the third person but you can't set up POV characters for each chapter and then start head jumping!

As it was, the third person didn't sound natural and was pretty distracting. Not that I have anything against the third person, it's just at times it sounded like this book should've been written in the first person.

I wasn't sure whether I should put this point in but I'm going to anyway - the action sequences. Now I wasn't going to include this because I've only just started writing real action sequences myself and I know how hard and demanding they are but the ones in Pure really did leave a lot to be desired. At times there were too many words and I got confused about who was doing what and who was hurt and whatnot. Again, I don't think the third person helped here.

Pure had all the ingredients to be a book I truly loved but there was something not quite right in the execution.


Overall 5/10 - I feel harsh putting a 5 but there we are.

Would I recommend it? No. It was too far from perfect to recommend, though it did have some great ideas.

Would I look up the author? No. Like I said above, it was too far from what I was looking for and I won't be reading books two and three.

Pure had the set up to be amazing but there was something off about the execution.

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo

Monday, 4 January 2016

Liebester Award Nomination

A little while ago, quite a few months now (okay I'm lying, it's been over a year!), I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by the lovely Fairley Lloyd. Now you should be as confused as I was when I discovered this because, hey, I've never heard of such a thing. That's okay because Fairley explained it on her blog and I'm sure she won't mind if I steal a few paragraphs!

 Well, I took the time to do the research. It's pretty simple! 
In the words of We Loved Here

"The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster?  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn't that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs."
There are only five rules for this:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

So now back to me, hi! Here are eleven things about me.

1. I'm an author who's been writing for six and a half years straight pretty much which has led to eleven books!
2. I've recently started up my own publishing company: Molten Publishing
3. I'm addicted to NaNoWriMo and plan to take part in it indefinitely.
4. I've almost got 50 books on my bookshelf I haven't been able to read yet. 
5. I'm more of a fangirl than I let on. But that's okay. It's okay to get so excited about something that it makes you crazy.
6. Since discovering Movellas almost three years ago I've been as involved with the community as possible and I still can't believe that there's such a nice writing community on the internet.
7. I've self-published four of my books.
8. I wrote a trilogy before I was eighteen years old and still believe this to be one of my greatest achievements to date.
9. I love zombies and even took part in a Zombie Run in 2012 which was awesome.
10. I love dogs and have lived with at least one from the age of five until two years ago. But I've only written dogs into two of my books.
11. I've written a book review for every book I've read for the past two and half years. Now I don't think I can stop.


1. What's the number one thing you love about reading?

Disappearing from reality and imagining things that are impossible. George R. R. Martin said "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once" and I don't think anyone's ever been more correct. 

2. Who is your favourite fictional character?

What an evil question! This depends on so much! Mayor Prentiss from the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness is my most ultimate favourite character just because he's so well constructed. Caine and Diana from Michael Grant's GONE series are incredible. I want to be friends with Gaby from the Rephiam Series by Paula Weston. But I would love to meet Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior and Augustus Waters of course, who wouldn't?

3. Who is your least favourite fictional character?

This is a lot harder than I thought it would be because I like most characters, especially the bad guys. I guess I hated Julian from the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver. I've just realised who my least favourite fictional character is and that's Daisy from Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now which I hated from start to finish.

4. Have you read a book/book series that you felt was underrated?

The Unearthly trilogy by Cynthia Hand was incredible and yet I've never heard of anyone else reading it. I have no idea why this is because I loved the entire thing. I read books one and two in three or four days!

5. Have you read a book/book series that you felt was overrated?

I read the first Vampire Academy book and thought it was just awful. Also How I Live Now, which I've already mentioned. I can't believe how much fuss that book made.

6. What's your favourite book genre?

 YA all the way.

7. Who is your favourite author?

I have a few: Carrie Ryan, for writing what she loves; Patrick Ness for taking me on crazy adventures; Michael Grant for all the action; and John Green for all the emotions.

8. What is your favourite book?

Evil question number two. My all time favourite books are The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead-Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan.

9. How long does it take you to finish a book? (depending on it's length, of course.)

If I like the book, between two days and a week, regardless of its size. If I don't like it, possibly over a month.

10. Have you ever cried over a book? (If so, which one/ones?)

Okay, deep breath, here we go. Harry Potter, Mockingjay (The Hunger Games), Allegiant (Divergent), The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Before I Die, Life on the Refrigerator Door, LIGHT (GONE), The Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking), Hallowed (Unearthly), I Don't Want to Kill You (I Am Not a Serial Killer), Son's of Destiny (Darren Shan), The Book Thief, Raging Star (Dustlands) and probably a million more!

11. What book would you recommend that everyone should read?

This will have to be a list again. The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness, The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy by Carrie Ryan, The Rephiam Series by Paula Weston and The Dustlands Trilogy by Moira Young.

That took longer than I thought! So here are the people I tag: 

Squonk (adventureswithsquonk), Chloe (poeticchances), Lily Anna (lilyannablog) and Georgia (storiesinbooks
(Unfortunately I don't know 11 bloggers so you have my permission to tag yourself!)

And here are your questions, they're all book related!

1. What book character do think is most like you?
2. Do you prefer the goodies or the badies and why?
3. Do you ever get annoyed when literary characters do stupid things? Do you have an example?
4. What book disappointed you most?
5. What book surpassed your expectations most?
6. What genre are you sick of?
7. What do you prefer to read, a long series or a stand alone novel?
8. Where's your favourite place to read?
9. Which fictional character would you like to meet?
10. If all the books in the world were getting destroyed and you could only save five, which five would those be and why?
11. Who's your favourite author that most people don't know of?

Sorry that took me so long to finish! This blog post has been in my drafts for over a year but finally I got round to it.

Thanks to all the amazing bloggers out there and everyone listening to them!

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo