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Adult, Review, Young Adult / March 27, 2015
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini TaylorDreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date: April 2014
613 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy
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By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

It was always going to be hard to end a series like this, whose first two instalments Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight, were so incredible I struggled to find words to describe how much. Worry not, as Laini Taylor did an exceptional job with Dreams of Gods and Monsters which has more incredibly written prose and a beautiful ending (although I’m still sad it had to end—I could read this series forever). read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / December 6, 2013
Angelfall by Susan EeAngelfall
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days #1
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date: May 2013
325 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal
Buy the BookGoodreads

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Susan Ee is a brave woman. Not only for originally self-publishing this great book back in 2011, but for writing a book that takes all the gloss away from angels. Angelfall is stripped back tale of an apocalyptic world that is scarily real. The book made me laugh, cry, swoon and quiver in fear and loathing. It was an exceptional story with characters to love. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / September 19, 2013
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper FfordeThe Last Dragonslayer
Author: Jasper Fforde
Series: The Last Dragonslayer #1
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date: November 2010
281 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy
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In the good old days, magic was powerful, unregulated by government, and even the largest spell could be woven without filling in the magic release form B1-7g. But somewhere, somehow, the magic started draining away.

Jennifer Strange runs Kazam!, an employment agency for state-registered magicians, soothsayers and sorceresses. But work is drying up. Drain cleaner is cheaper and quicker than a spell. Why trust a cold and drafty magic carpet when jetliners offer a comfy seat and an in-flight movie? And now potions are eligible for VAT...

But then the visions start. The Last Dragon is going to be killed by a Dragonslayer at 12.00 on Sunday. The death will unleash untold devastation on the UnUnited Kingdom, setting principality against dukedom and property developer against homesteader. And all the signs are pointing to Jennifer Strange, and saying "Big Magic is coming!"

The Last Dragonslayer is fizzing with all the creativity and genius Jasper Fforde's fans delight in, and will appeal as much to the young at heart as to the younger readers for whom it is written.

Reviewed by: Mary

I know that it’s a travesty that I love books and reading as much as I do and I have not picked up a Jasper Fforde book before. I’ve been meaning to for ages and then just haven’t done it. So when my book club picked The Last Dragonslayer, I was quite happy but I didn’t know what to expect either. Which I think made the book so much better. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / April 23, 2013
Requiem by Lauren OliverRequiem
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #3
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date: March 2013
391 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Dystopian
Buy the BookGoodreads

Battling against a society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the rebels. And Lena's emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic return of someone she thought was lost forever...

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Lena and her best friend Hana, Requiem brings the Delirium trilogy to an exhilarating end and showcases Lauren Oliver at the height of her writing powers - emotionally powerful and utterly enthralling.

SPOILER WARNING

I fear the end of an incredible journey with a series. Partly because I don’t want the world to be closed forever, sometimes it’s because I don’t want the fandom to end, but mostly it’s because I don’t want to be let down. I want it to end WELL. So as much as I was looking forward to Requiem after the fantastic Pandemonium, my fears were realised. It didn’t quite live up to my expectations. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / March 29, 2013
Pandemonium by Lauren OliverPandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #2
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date: September 2012
329 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Goodreads

The eagerly anticipated sequel to the international bestseller DELIRIUM, one of the most addictive books of last year. Unflinching, heartbreaking and totally addictive, this novel will push your emotions to the limit.

Lena's been to the very edge. She's questioned love and the life-changing and agonising choices that come with it. She's made her decision. But can she survive the consequences? PANDEMONIUM is the explosive sequel to the critically acclaimed and bestselling DELIRIUM.

SPOILER WARNING

Even after the intense ending of Delirium, Lauren Oliver exceeded my expectations with this book and more. Word circulated that Pandemonium was a lot better than Delirium and I agree wholeheartedly. Not only is it filled with gritty action and true emotion, it also introduced a boy that I love a whole lot better. read more

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By: Daphne