Winged Reviews A UK young adult book blog for those a little bit older.

Trailer Reveal: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Trailer Reveal: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

I’m excited to be sharing with you the trailer for Becca Fitzpatrick’s new book, Black Ice. It’s really well done, almost like a mini-thriller.

Trailer Reveal

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

About BLACK ICE

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Publication date: 7 October 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Britt Pfeiffer has never been that adventurous, but that’s about to change. Wanting to impress her ex-boyfriend, Britt convinces best friend, Korbie, to take a trekking trip with her. But when a freak storm leaves the girls stranded they seek shelter in a cabin, where they find two knights in shining armour. Or so they think.

Britt quickly realises that the girls need to get off the mountain, fast. In exchange for her life, she is forced to guide the boys down, and as they set out on a harrowing journey through the cold and snow, Britt realises the only way to escape with her life is to pretend she is on their side. But is gorgeous, sexy Mason an enemy or an ally? Tension mounts, and it’s only a matter of time before things turn deadly . . .

Dark and adrenaline-filled, Black Ice will have you on the edge of your seat right until the final twist.

http://blackicebook.co.uk/

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Blog Tour: Harry Potter new editions

Blog Tour: Harry Potter new editions

I’m so, so excited to be part of this blog tour to celebrate the gorgeous new illustrated UK editions of the Harry Potter series! Today I get to share with you exclusive content on the first in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from artist Jonny Duddle, a guest post from author Lucy Saxon, my fan journey and lots and lots of pretty pictures. So without further ado:

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Three exclusive facts about the cover design

Jonny Duddle, jacket illustrator for the new Harry Potter children’s editions reveals three facts about the cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone:

· This cover was a ‘test’ and I painted it before I knew that I would be illustrating all of the covers.

· The first character I sketched was Hagrid, on a train from London to Wales. Hagrid is my favourite character in the books.

· The figure in the background, over Harry’s shoulder, is Draco Malfoy.
 

Look at the stunning finished cover!
Harry Potter Philosopher's Stone Jonny Duddle

Guest post from Lucy Saxon

Why I Love Harry Potter

Lucy Saxon, author of Take Back the Skies, explains why Harry Potter is so important to her:

Harry Potter means more to me than I could possible say in a single paragraph. It was the backbone of my childhood, the main reason I love fantasy fiction so much. It’s the reason I started reading fanfiction, and then writing fanfiction, which soon became writing original fiction. And, through that fanfiction, the reason I started cosplaying and going to conventions. Harry Potter is the reason I have the friends I do, and I couldn’t ask for better ones. My social life, my confidence, my passion for all things fictional; I owe all of it to Harry Potter.

I had no idea at the age of seven that the book I was picking up would have such an impact on my life, but I am very, very glad I read it. The reasons for my love of the series are long and many, and if we ever meet in person I’m entirely likely to talk your ear off about it, but it’s safe to say no other book series has affected me in such a way. I grew up with Harry — he and the rest of the Hogwarts crowd were there through all my trials and hardships, and never once faltered.

I don’t know what a world without Harry Potter would be like, just that I at least would be an extremely different person to the one I am today, and probably not for the better. Thank Merlin I never have to find out! But despite the series having been over for a while, the fandom lives on, and I know it will still continue to shape my life; after all, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.
 

The back cover is equally cool. Hello Hedwig!
HP Philosopher's Stone back cover - Hedwig

My Fan Journey

My started reading Harry Potter when Chamber of Secrets first came out. I was on my way to school when my cousin let me borrow the first two books and said it was the start of an exciting new series. I was about 14 – it was 15 years ago now.

Since then I was enthralled. I waited patiently for each book and bought them immediately on release. I was involved really heavily in an online sorting Livejournal fan community. I was a prefect, I made graphics, devoured fanfiction between books and was just generally the geekiest fan ever.

I also happened to finally be in London for the final book release and me and 4 other friends from the community (rah rah Ravenclaw!) went to a midnight release party at Waterstones, took a (k)night bus and stayed up all night reading. I still have my cool orange special release day carrier bag with the Deathly Hallows logo and date on it.

I made a big deal of each movie release and my friend and I would watch it at the IMAX, house scarves and all. I loved both the Studio Tour and the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Orlando (I’m dying to go back to see the new Diagon Alley). I was so honoured to finally meet J.K. Rowling when she launched The Casual Vacancy at the Southbank Centre.

Even now it’s really hard not to have a conversation without making some reference to Harry Potter or the series. I’m really excited about these gorgeous covers and I hope they will launch a new generation of fans!
 

New Harry Potter Website

Bloomsbury Publishing has relaunched its Harry Potter website to support the new children’s editions. The new Harry Potter site uses the Jonny Duddle artwork from the new children’s editions and includes pages of information on the bestselling series as well as exciting new content from Magical Downloads to a Harry Potter Quote Generator. Check out the new site at: http://harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk
 

Let me know what you think of the cover in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour, happening all week!

Harry Potter blog tour button

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Bookish Firsts: Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf

Bookish Firsts: Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf

Bookish Firsts Banner

Welcome back to Bookish Firsts, my feature where I ask guest bloggers and authors to talk about their bookish ‘first times’.

Today I’m really happy to welcome Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf, who is such a fantastic blogger, it’s hard to believe she’s a teenager sometimes.
 

Bookish Firsts

With Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf

What is the first book you ever read/remember reading?
Difficult question! There are a few books that come to mind, and they are the Mr Men and Little Miss books. Who else remembers those? I was obsessed! They’re probably not the first books I ever read but I think they come pretty close. I remember in 2005 I was at Brownies and we did a fundraising event. If we raised the desired amount of money, we would each receive a Mr Men book signed by one of the Hargreaves as a reward, and we did! I still have it. It’s awesome.

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What is the first book you would save if your house was burning?
Probably Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I loved it so much. Or, maybe my arms are just about big enough to hold an entire series…? Because in that case, I would totally go for the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. And The Infernal Devices. Also, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. …Too much?

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What is the first book you reviewed?
I reviewed for a different website before I started my own blog, and I have no idea what I reviewed there as the site recently closed. However, the first book I reviewed on my own blog was Bindi Babes by Narinder Dhami. The review is still up on my blog even though it seriously embarrasses me – I was very young at the time of writing it!

Thanks for being on the blog Amber!

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The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Curse by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Date: July 2014
368 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

After reading The Winner’s Curse, I was in a haze for days—a little daydream bubble that couldn’t be popped because this beautiful book was such a delight to read. I wanted to lock myself in a room with a cosy blanket and a cup of tea and savour it again and again.

Make no mistake, if you’re looking for a high-action fantasy read, this isn’t the book for you. In a world where the Valorian race conquers and enslaves the Herrani, most of the story is gradual strategic manipulation and spans themes of slavery, politics, and rebellion. It makes you question whose side you’re on, page by page. It is a beautifully deliberate and concisely written book. Best of all, there is a wonderful slow-burning relationship that I adored.

Kestrel, the Valori General’s daughter is strategically minded and constantly fighting off pressure from her strict but loving father to choose whether to join the military or get married (her preference is neither). She’s aware of her privilege, but never takes it for granted. She’s strong, compassionate and cautious, with a deep sense of loyalty to her friends and family. When she buys Arin, a quiet and strong Herrani slave with unrevealed motives from an auction, she suffers the titular ‘winner’s curse’, and inadvertently sets off a chain of events that reverberates throughout the book.

Their relationship was crafted masterfully. As the story moved mainly through the characters’ thoughts and emotions, each interaction between Kestrel and Arin was beautiful in its restraint—the callous words, the reluctant companionship, the sacrifice, the tables turning—it’s as lovely as the music which is their shared interest. I respected that even after they realized their feelings, they still acted for the good of their cause and country. You never quite knew where they stood with each other. Kestrel and Arin’s character arcs moved in opposite parallels and the symmetry it provided was superb.

There were also moments of tense, exciting brilliance and a great cast of well-developed supporting characters. I was very fond of how they portrayed Kestrel’s tender relationship with her father and also her affection for friends Jess and Ronan. I was kept on knife-edge during the public duel between Kestrel and the overconfident noble and sustained a feeling of nervous dread when Cheat came into Kestrel’s home. I also enjoyed the military tactics in the book, especially when Arin finally took charge at the pass. In fact, the last third of the book was filled lots of unpredictable action and excitement.

If you enjoyed These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meaghan Spooner and The Falconer by Elizabeth May then this one is for you. I can’t rave about The Winner’s Curse enough, especially when that ending perfectly set up the rest of the series. I think it will be worth the wait.

4.5 Stars

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Bookish Firsts: Robin Stevens

Bookish Firsts: Robin Stevens

Bookish Firsts Banner

On today’s Bookish Firsts, we have awesome debut author and real life Sesame Seade, Robin Stevens! Her book Murder Most Unladylike is simply wonderful (also called Murder is Bad Manners in the US). If you need convincing, just gaze at the pretty covers!

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Bookish Firsts

With author Robin Stevens

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What is the first book you ever read/remember reading?
It took quite a while for me to read confidently – so long that my teacher actually told my mother she was worried that my American accent might be causing problems. But then something just clicked in my head, and there was no holding me back. I’m sure this isn’t really the first book I read, but I have a very clear memory of reading The Hobbit and feeling so proud that I was finally reading on my own. I was amazed by the story – I hadn’t come across that kind of epic adventure before – and in love with the riddles Tolkien wove into the story. I was very angry about what happened to those ponies in the mine, though. I’m actually not sure I’ve forgiven him for it to this day.
 
 
 

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What was your first signed book & who is the first author you ever met?
Both of these are the same: when I was fifteen, Diana Wynne Jones came to the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, and I went to see her. It was one of the most marvellous things that had ever happened to me. She was just as wonderful as her books, and she talked about her stories and characters in such a fantastic way. I already knew I had to be a writer, but watching her, I saw exactly the kind of writer I wanted to be. I took along my battered paperback of The Dark Lord of Derkholm for her to sign, and told her that Nick from Deep Secret was my favourite made-up person in the multiverse. It’s still one of my most treasured memories, and that signed copy has pride of place on my bookshelf.
 
 
 

004robin-authorpicWhat is the first book you ever wrote?
I’ve always written stories, even before I could actually write (when I was very young I thought that reading was a sort of telepathy that grown-ups could do, and was disappointed when my mother couldn’t read my scribbles), but the first full-length novel I completed was when I was sixteen. I was supposed to be revising for my GCSEs, so of course I wrote a book instead. It was about a vampire, a werewolf, a dragon and two witches, and I thought it was incredibly inventive. Then I realised that it was essentially a badly-done rewrite of Diana Wynne Jones’s Black Maria. Needless to say, it’s never going to see the light of day!
 

Thank you Robin for stopping by the blog! If you haven’t read Murder Most Unladylike yet, then go do it! It will completely charm you.

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