Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Signed Swag Giveaway: Gretchen McNeil!

So, one of my favorite things about Twitter is getting to meet and chat with some of my favorite authors about their books. Not that long ago Gretchen McNeil was looking for a few blogs to talk about her books. I was glad for the opportunity!

Gretchen McNeil has a new book called Get Even that will be the first book in her Don't Get Mad series. She has this really awesome promo going on where if you pre-order a copy of the book that you will receive the first two chapters in the second book for free! The pre-order goes until September 16th and is good either online or in a book store. But before more details, let's hear what this book is all about (I can't wait to get mine!):

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process. 

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Since this will end on a cliffhanger, I'm sure it will be a treat to get to read the first two chapters of Get Dirty which will be out next spring. Gretchen was so kind as to offer some swag (some of it signed). If you comment below you'll be entered in the giveaway for some swag which could include a keychain, signed bookmark, postcard, etc. There will be two winners who will receive these swag packs!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant review

Title: Messenger of Fear
Author: Michael Grant
Published: 26th August 2014
Publisher: Electric Monkey

Summary: Mara wakes in a field of dead grass, a heavy mist pressing down on her. She is terrified, afraid that she is dead. Then a beautiful young man dressed in black appears. He calls himself Messenger of Fear.

This boy is able to move effortlessly through space and time. He also sees the darkness in human hearts. He sees the evils done: the destructive lies, the cruelty, the bullying, the violence. And if the world does not bring justice to those who do evil, he will. He offers the wicked a game. If they win, they go free. If they lose, they will live their greatest fear. Either way, their sanity will be challenged.

It is a world of fair but harsh justice. Of retribution and redemption. And mystery. Why was Mara chosen to be the Messenger’s apprentice? What has she done to deserve this terrible fate? She won’t find out until three of the wicked receive justice. And when she does, she will be shattered.

Review: I came to this book in a slightly strange fashion. My locker at work had been completely empty and then the next time I opened it there was a book sat in it. The cover bore a message "Play or Pay". First I was pulled in by the typography (because you all know by now how much I love covers!), then I was pulled in by the challenge of the game, I was intrigued. This was one of the first times when I've understood someone saying they read a book and had not been able to put it down. I picked it up and kept going.  When I wasn't reading I could feel it tick...tick...ticking in my desk and at the end...I had to remember to breath out and said "damn".  

And what I had read was fast-pace, moralistic tale that's not necessarily for the faint hearted, but one that we can all take something from. It has an almost cinematic quality to the imagery that flowed between the different realms. This is one of those books where you end up thinking 'what you would do' and one you can really put yourself into. This is something I feel is important in literature, so its not just another book, its actually something relate-able that we can take and discuss, which I hope a lot of people will be doing. 

 There was a fantastic mix of reality and fantasy, and the way that information was slowly given to you kept you a)hooked on the book but also b) constantly go 'oooo' (OK maybe that was just me on the train...and the office...and in my room). 

The Messenger was a great character, built on a mix of qualities and emotions that helped you to understand his position and character even more. It will be interesting to see how Mara takes what she's learn within this book and learns and adapts. Her perspective was interesting because you didn't know so much about her so you learnt together and this, at least for me, affected how you saw the character.  I also hope that we get to see more of the other supernatural characters (like Daniel and  the manipulative Oriax) that we were introduced to here. The matter of religion was also briefly touched on as would need be in such a narrative and I look forward to learning more about the governing Gods. 

The book asked me to pay or play, I played, and I'm still playing.