Sunday Shelve It!

Brought to you (and me) by Magan & Estelle @  Rather Be Reading

 

 

 

FOR REVIEW (Ebook)

 

 

FOR REVIEW (PRINT)

From the author of Our Chemical Hearts comes the hilarious, reality-bending tale of two outsiders facing their greatest fears about life and love one debilitating phobia at a time.

Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther’s father is agoraphobic and hasn’t left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck.

The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them.

Esther doesn’t know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.

Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn’t counted on: love.

Purchased (Print)

 

 

 

Purchased (Ebook)

 

 

REVIEW: Corpselight by Angela Slatter (Book 2 in the Verity Fassbinder Series)

Published: 11th July 2017

Publisher: Jo Fletcher/Hachette Australia

Pages: 376

Format: Paperback courtesy of the publisher

RRP: $32.99

5/5 Stars

‘Simply put: Slatter can write! Beautifully, stylishly, accurately. She forces us to recognise the monsters that are ourselves’ – Jack Dann, award-winning author.

Sequel to VIGIL, this fast-paced urban fantasy is perfect for fans of Harry Dresden and Kinsey Malhone.

Life in Brisbane is never simple for those who walk between the worlds.

Verity’s all about protecting her city, but right now that’s mostly running surveillance and handling the less exciting cases for the Weyrd Council – after all, it’s hard to chase the bad guys through the streets of Brisbane when you’re really, really pregnant.

An insurance investigation sounds pretty harmless, even if it is for ‘Unusual Happenstance’. That’s not usually a clause Normals use – it covers all-purpose hauntings, angry genii loci, ectoplasmic home invasion, demonic possession, that sort of thing – but Susan Beckett’s claimed three times in three months. Her house keeps getting inundated with mud, but she’s still insisting she doesn’t need or want help . . . until the dry-land drownings begin.

V’s first lead takes her to Chinatown, where she is confronted by kitsune assassins. But when she suddenly goes into labour, it’s clear the fox spirits are not going to be helpful . . .

Corpselight is the sequel to Vigil and the second book in the Verity Fassbinder series by award-winning author Angela Slatter.

Verity Fassbinder is back in Corpselight and ready to protect the ones she loves not matter the cost.

I came away from Vigil (book one in the Verity Fassbinder series) feeling content but a little bit disappointed that the book didn’t punch me emotional as I expected it to. Well I can say full heartedly that not only did Angela Slatter comes back with a kick arse book to match her hard as nails heroine Verity Fassbinder, but she completely delivered on the emotional  smack down and the fast paced action thriller style writing that we all know and love her for.

Corpselight is a fast paced, fantasy based, action adventure crime thriller that is sure to leave you on the edge of your seats. Once again it’s mythology based, dark and twisted and features all our favourites from the the first book (Vigil) and some soon to be new favourites!

This is a book I could not put down. I started it one lazy Sunday morning and did not stop reading until I’d finished the book that night. It was that captivating and mesmerising that I couldn’t help but throw myself into the world of Briseyland (Slatter’s re-imagined Brisbane) and all the craziness that goes on there.

I’m not going to rehash the plot in this review, as I truly believe this a book that is best experienced. What I will say however was that this book…. it was everything. The characters felt like family and oh-so real that I simply wanted to cover them up in cotton wool and protect them from everything that went on. I was internally screaming at some of the decisions made and their emotional journeys moved me. I was literally on the edge of my seat reading hoping like hell they would get their happy-ever-after that they oh-so-deserved.

For those who had read my review of Vigil, you’d know that while I really enjoyed that book I felt like the characters were inaccessible on an emotional level. While I laughed at their larger-than-life attitudes and humour, I didn’t connect with them the way I wished I had. Well, I can tell you, I 100 % connected with the characters in this book. Verity is still a hard task master who knows when and how to get a job done no matter the consequence and yet this time around she was also vulnerable and more human. She opened up to the reader and I defy anyone not to sympathise with her with the shit storm that is thrown her way time and time again in Corpselight.

Unlike Vigil, Corpselight centres around Verity and those near and dear to her. The crimes deeply impact her band of merry misfits and as such the book is so much more powerful and punchy because of the direct connection. There is no where for Verity to hide on the page, no armour for her show pony behind. The world she inhibits is laid bare before her and the consequences are astronomical. Because of all of this I felt Verity was much more clear as a character. She is more vulnerable and has so much more depth, which in turn makes her both more human and not, all at once. I loved it.

David plays a more pivotal role in this narrative as well. While I wasn’t impressed with the one-dimensional love interest in book one, David truly redeems himself in book two. I’m no longer as suspicious of his motives, and I’m impressed with how David turned into a truly unexpected sidekick who constantly surprises. With Bella and Verity’s past romantic history and all the illusions of what they meant to each other in Vigil, I was desperate for those two to end up together again. But after seeing what Slatter had in stall for David and Verity in Corpselight and the shit storm they had to survive, I’m equally happy with the current outcome and terrified for the third book in the series.

We get lot’s more of Zvezdomir ‘Bela’ Tepes and Ziggi, as well as the Norn Sisters, all of who play a pivotal role in Verity’s life and the narrative so far.

Once again Corpselight is very Aussie in tone and character. That’s not to deter international readers, as the story is still very universal and easily accessible; but until I read this series I didn’t quite realise how much I missed, and lacked for that matter, a sense of Australia  in my fantasy. This series is truly one of a kind.

All in all I can not fault this book at all. For the entire 400 pages I was totally and utterly glued to the pages and mesmerised for the story. Slatter’s writing is not only flawless, but it packed one hell of an emotional punch this time that I physically broke out in Goosebumps as I raced my way to the books conclusion. I can not wait to see what happens next in the third instalment of the Verity Fassbinder series.

 

 

To purchase a copy of Vigil, visit the following online retailers:

Print – Hachette Australia | QBD | Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Booktopia | Dymocks

Ebook – Amazon AUS | Google Play | Ibooks AUS | KoboBooktopia

 

 

To learn more about Angela Slatter, visit the following social media pages:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Hachette Australia | Goodreads |

 

REVIEW: Vigil by Angela Slatter

Published: 12th July 2016

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books/ Hachette Australia

Pages: 351

Format: Paperback courtesy of the Publisher

RRP: $22.99

4/5 Stars

From award-winning author Angela Slatter comes her first full length novel, VIGIL, where the normal and the ‘weyrd’ combine on the streets of Brisbane.

Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength – and the ability to walk between us and the other – as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us.

But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale – and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways – and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane.

And Verity must investigate – or risk ancient forces carving our world apart.

Vigil is the first book in the Verity Fassbinder fantasy series by Australian author Angela Slatter.

Simply put, Vigil is like nothing I’ve read before. Not only is it a fantasy novel set in Brisbane Australia (YAY), but it features a strong willed, and rather un-likeable female chatacter who comes across as frankly quite crass and like a bitch, and yet still finds a way to worm into you heart without the reader noticing. The narrative itself is super fast paced too with intense action-thriller-and-adventure moments happening every other second.

When I started reading the novel, I didn’t realise that Angela Slatter was Australian, nor did I realise that the story itself was set in a slightly re-imagined version of Brisbane Australia. So you can imagine my surprise when the authors note (prior to the narrative) talks about Brisbane, and how refreshing it was to read Australian characters written by Australians. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the big fantasy authors from all over the globe, but there was something undeniably refreshing and invigorating about reading an all-Australian epic fantasy novel set in our own backyard. Slatter nailed the speech and personality of Australians and I just loved reading about people who I quite simply could have passed in the street without me even knowing.

Vigil might be a fantasy novel, but it’s also a paranormal police procedural and action adventure novel. Right from the first page, Verity our resident halfling and Private Investigator, is thrown into crime after crime, with both the Weyrd world and that of the Normal world hounding her non-stop for answers. With super-humans and mythological beings trying to kill her, and each other, around every corner, Verity certainly has her hands full as she stomps her way through the world we know, and the one we only wish we could discover.

Verity Fassbinder is a half-blood or a strangling; born to a Father of Weyrd origin and a Normal mother, she is destined to walk in between the two worlds never really knowing or finding her place in either. Although gifted with super-human strength thanks to her half Weyrd parentage, and armed with a smart mouth and quick tongue, Verity is not for the faint hearted. With life constantly letting her down, she’s incredibly pissed and doesn’t care who knows it. With her anger bubbling just below the surface, it doesn’t take much to set Verity off, and she is not one to tolerate bullshit.

‘What are you going to do?”

What I always do: my best impersonation of a bull in a china shop until someone tires of the damage and gives me what I want.”

Full of snappy comebacks, non-stop anger and blunt truths, Verity comes across like a bitch for much of the novel and is thus a prime example that strong characters, regardless of gender, do not necessarily have to be likeable to work. Having been burned by the Weyrd and Normal community alike, Verity likes to keep her guard up and only reveals herself to those she truly trusts. While I commend her for being so strong and doing just that, as a reader I would have liked to have been able to emotional connect with the character just that little bit more.

I also loved the fact that here was a character who grew tired. Verity might have super-human strength, but she wasn’t indestructible – as evident from the wide variety of injuries she manages to retain on almost a daily basis- nor was she above such human weaknesses as food, sleep and general tiredness. Everyone wants a bit of Verity’s time – in fact, 90% of the characters in the book DEMAND it, but she acknowledges the need to sleep, eat and just rest which is usually not seen in the big fantasy’s and I kind of love Slatter for exploring this realistic and ‘human’ side of the genre.

I absolutely adored Lizzy, Verity’s cute-as-a-button kid next-door neighbour, who knows how to find herself in trouble way more than any kid should. I loved the way she complemented Verity’s hard shell demeanour by being both a little bit edgier, but innocent and vulnerable at the same time.

Verity’s boss Zvezdomir ‘Bela’ Tepes, intrigued me most out of probably everyone in the book and I so wanted more of his voice and presence on the page. Slatter constantly alludes to a romantic past between Bela and Verity and I really wish we got to see more of that, for as the story currently stands, I felt like there was so much back-story being withheld that perhaps we should have known.

Likewise I highly enjoyed Ziggi, a fellow workmate of Verity’s and her chauffeur thanks to a ‘serker accident attack that left Verity injured some months prior to the book opening. Although Ziggi is constantly about in the book, acting as Verity’s soundboard and driver, I really wished we’d been able to see more of his character as well. I also find it slightly odd the amount of times Tepes told Ziggi to watch over and protect Verity, and yet he remained in the car at a distance while Verity ran off on one harebrained scheme or another.

David was much of a non-event for me in this book. I was so hooked on the Bela/Verity hidden back-story that I was positive that it would rear it’s head once more. To a large extent this fascination with Tepes/Fassbinder meant that I overlooked David’s character and couldn’t shake this horrible feeling that something wasn’t right with him. I guess only time will tell him as to what his true motives are and whether the reader should trust him as wholeheartedly as Verity does without question.

All of that said, this book wasn’t all sunshine and roses for me. It took me a long time to immerse myself in the world and the cast of thousands characters was a little overwhelming (and confusing at times). While I admired Verity’s strength (not necessarily in the physical sense, but her strength of character), her crass humour and the shield she erected around herself kept me from really engaging with her as much as I would have liked. I always felt like as the reader, I was three steps back from her, held behind a silk barrier allowed to witness, but not fully engage with the character. Which was a shame because the writing of the novel is second to none, and the premise of the story is brilliant. It was just that barrier that stopped me from enjoying the book that little bit more and taking this from a solid four star read to an out of this world five star epic novel.

To sum up if you are a fan of Matthew Reilly high impact action adventure stories, Cassandra Clare’s dark and fantasy underworld living alongside our normal world with the energy and immediacy of Holly Black’s fantasy novels, then I highly recommend you pick up this series.

Corspelight, book two in the Verity Fassbinder series releases July 2017.

 

To purchase a copy of Vigil, visit the following online retailers:

Print – Hachette Australia | Booktopia | QBD | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Book Depository

Ebook – Amazon AUS | Booktopia | Google Play | Ibooks aus | Kobo

 

To learn more about Angela Slatter, visit the following social media pages:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Hachette Australia | Goodreads |

 

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Previously hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey; Now Hosted by Book Date

Monday has once again rolled around and as usually I’m unprepared for the week that is upon me. Work has picked up like crazy in the last week or two, and on the social front I was fortunate enough to attend Allen & Unwin’s #YAFanFest showcase last Thursday night. As usual, Allen & Unwin put on an amazing show and I’m hoping to have a wrap up post up in the next week or so.

As far as reading goes, I’m on the homestretch of Corpselight by Angela Slatter and all set to be part of Hachette’s blog tour later this week. It’s been a while since I read anything strictly fantasy based and I’m rather enjoying this series so far.

Currently Reading:

 

‘Simply put: Slatter can write! Beautifully, stylishly, accurately. She forces us to recognise the monsters that are ourselves’ – Jack Dann, award-winning author.

Sequel to VIGIL, this fast-paced urban fantasy is perfect for fans of Harry Dresden and Kinsey Malhone.

Life in Brisbane is never simple for those who walk between the worlds.

Verity’s all about protecting her city, but right now that’s mostly running surveillance and handling the less exciting cases for the Weyrd Council – after all, it’s hard to chase the bad guys through the streets of Brisbane when you’re really, really pregnant.

An insurance investigation sounds pretty harmless, even if it is for ‘Unusual Happenstance’. That’s not usually a clause Normals use – it covers all-purpose hauntings, angry genii loci, ectoplasmic home invasion, demonic possession, that sort of thing – but Susan Beckett’s claimed three times in three months. Her house keeps getting inundated with mud, but she’s still insisting she doesn’t need or want help . . . until the dry-land drownings begin.

V’s first lead takes her to Chinatown, where she is confronted by kitsune assassins. But when she suddenly goes into labour, it’s clear the fox spirits are not going to be helpful . . .

Corpselight is the sequel to Vigil and the second book in the Verity Fassbinder series by award-winning author Angela Slatter.

 

hoping TO read:

Foster suddenly recognised the feeling that rolled over him and made him feel sick. It was this: Dad was going away somewhere all on his own. And Foster was already missing him.

Foster Sumner is seven years old. He likes toy soldiers, tadpole hunting, going to school and the beach. Best of all, he likes listening to his dad’s stories.

But then Foster’s dad starts forgetting things. No one is too worried at first. Foster and Dad giggle about it. But the forgetting gets worse. And suddenly no one is laughing anymore.

A heartbreaking story about what it means to forget and to be forgotten.

 

 

 

Just Finished:

     

 

Last week on the blog:

Waiting On Wednesday: ‘Nineteen Letters’ by Jodi Perry

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday Shelve It!

REVIEW: My Brother Tom by Michelle Worthington and Illustrated Ann-Marie Finn 5/5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Shelve It!

Brought to you (and me) by Magan & Estelle @  Rather Be Reading

 

 

#YAFanFest17

The #YAFANFEST17 bound proof sampler +

 

Dash and Lily have now been going out for nearly a year – and it’s been a really hard year. Lily’s beloved grandfather had a heart attack and fell down some stairs. He survived, but his recovery has been slow. Lily insists that everything’s fine. But Dash knows that her spirit is sagging. Her enthusiasm has been exhausted. And even with Christmastime, her favourite time, approaching, she doesn’t really feel…anything.

Action must be taken. There are twelve days until Christmas. Twelve days for friends and family to take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the magic of New York City in December. Twelve days to find Lily’s cheer, and help her fall in love with life again. Twelve days left for Dash and Lily…?

Kate O’Brien has always been known as the scholarship kid, running away from a terrible past and overcoming obstacles, some more sinister than others. She’s determined to make a better life for herself. She deserves it. And at the elite Waverly school, Kate is willing to do whatever it takes to climb the social ladder and land her spot at Yale.

There’s one girl in particular that catches Kate’s eye. Olivia Michelle Sumner, all born blonde and rich and just messed up enough for Kate to latch on to. As for Olivia, she’s a damaged girl, looking to be mended. She finds something promising in Kate. A study buddy. A best friend. A sister she never had. But even a vulnerable girl like Olivia has her own dark past to contend with.

When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he manages to woo the whole student body, paying particular attention to Olivia – an affair she very much wants to keep to herself, especially from Kate. And as a man who knows just how to get what he wants, Kate realises that Mark poses a huge threat, in more ways than she is willing to admit.

A deeply twisted YA novel that will have you guessing until the very last line

FOR REVIEW (Ebook)

 

 

FOR REVIEW (PRINT)

This is my Guff.
He’s really nice.
I’ve known him since I was little.
And I still know him even now I’m big…

A funny and delightful picture book for 4+ for anyone who’s ever had a little fabric friend. From the award-winning and best-selling author, Aaron Blabey.

Purchased (Print)

 

 

 

Purchased (Ebook)

The Gift

I have something people want. I have something they cannot take or steal. I have something they’d kill for.
The something I have, isn’t a possession, it’s more.
Much, much more.
It’s a gift.
It’s part of me.

Waiting On Wednesday: ‘Nineteen Letters’ by Jodi Perry

Weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

I’ve heard Jodi Perry speak about this book on a number of occasions and the passion and love she has for this book really shines through.

Nineteen Letters is slight departure from what we’ve seen JL Perry deliver in the past, and I’m super excited to see what this new contemporary release is like. I’ve heard some early reviewers talk about it and it sounds AMAZING.  I certainly know what I’ll be buying on 29th August!

Nineteen letters by jodi perry

Published by: Hachette Australia

Expected Publication: 29TH aUGUST 2017

Braxton

Nineteen. There’s something about that number; it not only brought us together, bonding us forever, it also played a hand in tearing us apart.

The nineteenth of January 1996. I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Exactly nineteen years later, all my dreams came true when she became my wife. She was the love of my life. My soul mate. My everything. The reason I looked forward to waking up every morning.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after we married, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

I was crushed. She was my air, and without her I couldn’t breathe.

The sparkle that once glistened her eyes when she looked at me was gone. To her, now, I was a stranger. I had not only lost my wife, I had lost my best friend.

But I refused to let this tragedy be the end of us. That’s when I started to write her letters, stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we had experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Previously hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey; Now Hosted by Book Date

 

 

Currently Reading:

Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength – and the ability to walk between us and the other – as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us.

But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale – and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways – and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane.

And Verity must investigate – or risk ancient forces carving our world apart.

 

‘Simply put: Slatter can write! Beautifully, stylishly, accurately. She forces us to recognise the monsters that are ourselves’ – Jack Dann, award-winning author.

Sequel to VIGIL, this fast-paced urban fantasy is perfect for fans of Harry Dresden and Kinsey Malhone.

Life in Brisbane is never simple for those who walk between the worlds.

Verity’s all about protecting her city, but right now that’s mostly running surveillance and handling the less exciting cases for the Weyrd Council – after all, it’s hard to chase the bad guys through the streets of Brisbane when you’re really, really pregnant.

An insurance investigation sounds pretty harmless, even if it is for ‘Unusual Happenstance’. That’s not usually a clause Normals use – it covers all-purpose hauntings, angry genii loci, ectoplasmic home invasion, demonic possession, that sort of thing – but Susan Beckett’s claimed three times in three months. Her house keeps getting inundated with mud, but she’s still insisting she doesn’t need or want help . . . until the dry-land drownings begin.

V’s first lead takes her to Chinatown, where she is confronted by kitsune assassins. But when she suddenly goes into labour, it’s clear the fox spirits are not going to be helpful . . .

Corpselight is the sequel to Vigil and the second book in the Verity Fassbinder series by award-winning author Angela Slatter.

 

hoping TO read:

 

 

 

Just Finished:

 

Last week on the blog:

 

Waiting On Wednesday: ‘Sapphire’ by J.A. Low (Book One in the Bratva Jewel Series)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?