Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review - The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks

The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group is Catherine Jinks' newest young adult novel set to hit US shelves April 4th.

Blurb from her site:

"When Tobias Richard Vandevelde wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the night before, his horrified mother tells him that he was found unconscious. At Featherdale Wildlife Park. In a dingo pen. He assumes that his two best friends are somehow responsible, until the mysterious Reuben turns up, claiming that Toby has a rare and dangerous “condition.” Next thing he knows, Toby finds himself involved with a strange bunch of sickly insomniacs who seem convinced that he needs their help. It’s not until he’s kidnapped and imprisoned that he starts to believe them—and to understand what being a paranormal monster really means."
I really enjoyed this novel.  Catherine Jinks is a new author to me; however, she is well known for her Genius series (Evil Genius, Genius Squad, and The Genus Wars).  She has also written a vampire novel: The Reformed Vampire Support Group; one I will be quick to look into adding to my TBR pile.

Toby is a very strong and likeable character.  Once Toby is faced with the possibility of being a werewolf; he enters a full fledged stage of denial.  His friends help him cope with this new turn of events by engaging in chuckle worthy antics aimed at discrediting Reuben's claims.  Reuben is persistant and hell bent on forcing Toby to accept his new plight and take responsibility for his new condition.  Toby and his mother are of course resistant...until Toby is kidnapped.

The action is full speed, pedal to the metal.  The motivations of the kidnappers are frighteningly plausible.  I was working through escape plans and possiblities right along with Toby, Reuben, and the crew.  I even found myself with a decent sized crush on Reuben...not quite sure if the author intended for him to appeal to readers this way...but heck, I am not complaining.  I'd like to see Jink's write a paranormal romance with characters as strong and emotionally scarred as Reuben. ;p

I found Toby's mother to be a tad irritating; but her resistance to the plot situations are very believable and true to character.  The world building is adequate; the reader gets a sense of all surroundings without being bogged down in extra details.  This allowed the action and character development to take center stage and shine.

If you are looking for the traditional, werewolf transformations and killing sprees then this novel is not for you.  Jinks shows us the human side of the werewolf; the underlying electricity that bristles right below the mask of humanity, the constant struggle of worrying that you may hurt your loved ones if you get out of control.

I am trying hard to avoid spilling any plot points.  Let me just say, I would definitely recommend this to fans of young adult paranormal action thrillers. There are a couple plot twists and turns you just may not see coming; until they creep up on you!

Rating: 4/5


Friday, February 25, 2011

Yay an Award!

We were given the honor of receiving an award today! :)  It is great to see our lil humble blog getting recognition!  Thanks so much to Vampire Review for the shout out.  Be sure to stop by and check them out here.  Always excited to connect with another fanger ;p  We will work on passing our own awards on later this week.

~Helena and Lily

Even Zombies Need A Financial Plan

Though where you would buy brains, I have no idea.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recommendsday Review - Preparations by Mark Mills

Today's recommendsday review is Mark Mill's short story Preparations.

Ronald T. Turner is prepared for anything. And the zombies are prepared for him.

***Spoiler Alert***

Ronald Turner is one of those guys who has a zombie plan. Ok, so his zombie plan actually borders on obsessive-compulsive control freak zombie expert...and that's coming from a self-professed zombie enthusiast. Unfortunately, knowledge doesn't translate into ability for Robert. And while the short, short length of this short story is populated with references to Ronald's all-encompassing zombie knowledge, it doesn't sustain him. It gives him only enough time to act in one slightly humorous way.

This short story is amusing. I don't know that it's worth the $.99 price tag attached to it at Barnes and Noble (it's only 9 pages, not all of those are text, and not a whole lot is accomplished save the punch line), having already bought it I'm not sorry I read it.

Rating: 3/5


Friday, February 18, 2011

Remember Your Servings

Brains are the most important meal of the day.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Recommendsday Review - Silver Linings by Tim Pratt

Today's recommendsday review is the short story Silver Lining by Tim Pratt.

Even ordinarily, cloudmining can be dangerous -- those silver linings are heavy and potentially lethal -- but it's nothing compared being a cloudminer on the run.

***Spoiler Alert***

The idea behind this short story is amazing. Everyone knows the saying "every cloud has a silver lining." Well, this story takes that saying literally. In this world, the silver deposits found in cloud banks keep them from flying away. That silver can be mined, but the mining of it is illegal because once the silver is gone, the cloudstuff floats away and changes the weather patterns, turning the earth beneath the clouds to desert.

But there are other ways of using clouds to destroy the earth, and that's why the lead of this particular story is on the run. I don't want to give away the ending, because it's such a short story the ending can be reached quickly.

Fascinating story. I'd like to read a full length novel set in this world.

Rating: 4/5


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day - Zombie Edition

This Valentine's day, bestselling author Michael P. Spradlin invites us all to celebrate the season of love zombie style. With a press release this awesome, how can the book be anything but?:

From the Author and Illustrator of the New York Times Bestseller It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Zombies! Comes the Perfect Book for Zombie Lovers Everywhere: A Collection of Classic Love Songs, Zombie Style


A Book of Zombie Love Songs

By Michael P. Spradlin
Illustrations by Jeff Weigel

Who says zombies don’t have feelings? Losing a limb might not hurt them, and they don’t seem to mind being shot, but that doesn’t mean the undead can’t love, right?

EVERY ZOMBIE EATS SOMEBODY SOMETIME: A Book of Zombie Love Songs (Harper Paperback Original; Dec. 2010; $9.99) is a collection of over two dozen classic love songs aimed right at the rotting hearts of zombie romantics everywhere. Perfect for a cozy evening at home with an infected loved one, this book is sure to get the blood pumping and the juices flowing in even the most decayed zombies.

With timeless tunes such as “I Want To Eat Your Hand,” “When a Man Bites a Woman”, and “You’re the One That I Chomp”, and heart-melting illustrations to go with each song, EVERY ZOMBIE EATS SOMEBODY SOMETIME is destined to be an apocalyptic classic!

I'm sold. Happy Valentine's day everyone!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Zombie Pie Chart

Why a zombie pie chart? Because we love zombies. We love pie.


And we love us some Michael Jackson (pre-Neverland Ranch, crazy man Michael Jackson, at least). Put them all together, and you have an awesome zombie pie chart of activities most likely to dominate a zombie's time. Enjoy!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Belated Release Day - Jody Wallace's One Thousand Kisses

A day late, a dollar short. I don't know what two days late gets you, but it leads to excitement on this blog when it relates to a new release!

Jody Wallace's One Thousand Kisses released February 8, 2011.

The Fey Realm, Book 2

Embor Fiertag, Primary of the Court, has overcome no tougher challenge than the three facing him right now: get reelected, capture the rogue agents who tried to murder him, and improve his love life. The third one should be easy—except he hasn’t exactly told Court trainee Anisette Serendipity she’s his foretold bondmate. Plus, she’s dating his chief political rival and doesn’t seem to like Embor. At. All.

Ani has good reason to avoid the stern, serious Embor. Her wayward sister almost got him killed once, and now he monitors Ani like he expects her to do worse. But Ani’s not the adventurous type. She can’t even break up with Warran Torval, a man she knows she doesn’t want, a man who spends half his time plotting Embor’s downfall.

When Torval attempts to force a bond with Ani, Embor senses her fear and steps in…directly into an unsavory political strategy gone all too right. Forced to flee together to humanspace with a manipulative magical cat, Embor and Ani must find the courage to reveal—and heal—their vulnerabilities before the fabric between the Fey Realm and humanspace is ripped to shreds.

Jody's stories are always fun, fantastical paranormal adventures that strike that perfect balance, emotion driven without being dark, funny without being fluffy. If you are interested in One Thousand Kisses, don't forget to read the first installment of The Fey Realm series, Survival of the Fairest.

Blurb for Survival of the Fairest:

No magic for two weeks? What’s a fairy to do? Go to Vegas, of course!

Princess Talista of the fairy clan Serendipity has been sent, like all young fairies, to a remote forest in humanspace for mandatory survival training. But headstrong Tali’s got different ideas about where to spend two weeks without magic. What better place than Las Vegas to learn to live like humans, a true test of survival?

Tali might not blend, but she’d like to be shaken and stirred with stage magician Jake Story. Their attraction is instant and electric…and Tali senses there’s more to Jake’s show than flashy tricks.

Jake always knew he was different, even before he developed an unusual flair for hypnotism. He has no trouble mesmerizing the luscious Tali during act three, but the lights that appear around them when they kiss weren’t part of the program.

When the authorities from Tali’s homeland track the missing princess to Vegas, Jake and Tali end up on the run. In between magic experiments, evil gnomes and astonishing sex, Tali learns what it really means to be human—by falling in lust, followed closely by love.

But Tali’s not human. And Jake doesn’t believe in fairies. The truth will either bind them together—or tear the fairy realm apart.

Check out this series TODAY!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

L.J. Smith OFF The Vampire Diaries

This is an odd bit of news.

According to reports, L.J. Smith has been fired from the popular book series The Vampire Diaries, which she has apparently been writing as work-for-hire.

It seems the publisher, HarperCollins, conceived the story and therefore owns the project and copyright in its entirety. Smith was hired to pen the tales, and while she imagined the characters, world of the story, rules of the world, etc., the stories belong to the publisher. Displeased with the direction in which the stories have been moving, HarperCollins exercised their rights and removed Smith from the now 20 year project.

Smith has taken both her dismissal and the news another author will complete the series with utmost composure and grace, encouraging fans to continue reading. She writes:

I want to ask anyone who was thinking of it, not to boycott Harper's or anyone. It just doesn't make sense. Although I wanted and still want more than anything to be able to continue The Vampire Diaries series myself, there's no point in not trying the new books...Besides which, Midnight, which is all mine, is coming out in March, and I believe there may be some of my writing in Phantom.

We wish L.J. Smith well as she departs to pen (what we hope to be) equally successful novels.


Recommendsday Review - Under Wraps by Emily Cale


For once, Dr. Aaron Prentiss' life is coming together. The arrival of a perfectly preserved mummy in his lab guarantees him tenure and a gorgeous woman is showing interest in him. Still, something seems out of place, mainly his mummy. Aaron doesn't believe in curses, but even he has his suspicions. For Adriel, the time to convince Aaron that curses exist is short. Once every hundred years she gets a three day window to try and break free of her mummified body. She knows that Dr. Prentiss can solve the mystery, but can she convince him before time runs out?

***Spoilers Ahead***

This is another one of those books I wanted to like so much more than I did. In the paranormal landscape, tales involving mummies are actually quite rare (considering it's hard to throw a stone in a bookstore without hitting a vampire book. Not that I throw stones in bookstores. Ok, I digress). To make the plot even more unique, the mummy in question is not Egyptian. It's from South America. Emily Cale had a unique paranormal idea on her hands.

Great set-up, interesting premise, poor execution.

It's not that Cale's writing style has any major flaws. There are a few instances of telling instead of showing, and a few places where the shift in POV threw me, but overall I really, really liked Cale's voice. The primary problem for me was length. It was simply too much story to cram into this short a format without hurting it. The actions, reactions, and even resolution simply happened too quickly, without enough background, emotion, or motivation to make them realistic and engaging.

Even so, in this short length Cale was able to make me care about the characters, care enough that I wanted to see more of what they were going through. I wanted to know about Adriel's life before she died and became a mummy. Why was she cursed? What had it been like for her, only getting a few days of life every hundred years? What did she suffer as a result of the failures of those who had tried to free her previously? Her back story could be so rich and wonderful, it saddens me that we don't see it explored on the page. And with Aaron, I wanted to see more of the internal conflict; how a man of science could come to accept an occurrence everyone in the scientific community would regard as ridiculous folklore. Not to mention, what happens after the resolution? This is not a story where the hero and heroine can ride off into the sunset without further comment. I want to know how Aaron and Adriel made their HEA work.

Like I said, I'm saddened by the amount of story that went untold. I hope Ms Cale chooses a longer format for her next book, because I'm sure she could keep readers riveted. Her ideas are great, we just need to see further exploration of them on the page.

Rating: 2.5/5 (I so want to give it a 3 because I did enjoy it, but in fairness I can't)


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sneak Peak - Lover Unleashed

JR Ward is awesome.

Does anyone not know that already? Leading up to the release of Lover Unleashed, the latest installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Ward is posting a quote from Lover Unleashed each day.

Here's today's quote:

"As she came out of the darkness by her grave, she took a halting breath and nearly sobbed. There he was in the flesh. Her boss. Her colleague. The one she’d left behind. And he was standing over a black headstone that had her name carved in its face."

Obviously in Jane's POV. One quote, and you can just tell this story is going to be packed with emotion. I can't wait!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure

Do you remember the "choose your own adventure" books from way, way back in the day? Those books that let you have a hand in the fate of the hero/heroine of the story, all by choosing which paths he or she takes. If the thought of these fantastic childhood pleasures makes you sentimental, you are so in luck. I've just learned of the most awesome choose your own adventure of all time.

Oh, that's right. It's a zombie choose your own adventure. With 112 different possible endings! At least 7 of which guarantee you won't die! And who are the "you" in this equation? You are a are an adorable, stuffed pink bunny with murderous intentions and a health aura of kick-ass.

Blurb for Matt Youngmark's Zombocalypse Now:

You're a stuffed bunny and it's the end of the world. Between you and your objective are forty or fifty ­zombies gorging ­themselves on the flesh of the living. If you disguise yourself as one of them and try to sneak past the feeding frenzy, turn to page 183. If you grab a tire iron, flip out and get medieval on their undead asses, turn to page 11. Zombocalypse Now is a comedy/horror ­reimagining of the choose-your-own-ending books you grew up with. You'll be confronted with undead hordes, ­internet ­dating, improper police procedure, and the very real ­danger that you'll lose your grip on reality and wind up chewing on the carpets. The zombie apocalypse has never been this much fun.

Matt Youngmark is my new hero.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Friday, Have A Zombie!

At least now we know who will really survive the zombie apocalypse. I imagine Glenn Beck will also be safe.

Cheer up, emo kid. No one likes a crier.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oh Yes...

I miss True Blood.

Ok, maybe I just miss some naked Eric. Sigh...

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