Monday, August 26, 2013

Bout Of Books 8.0 Wrap Up Post


The end of Bout Of Books 8.0 has arrived :'(
Most of us #boutofbook-ers will be sad to see the end.

Overall during this read-a-thon I managed to participate in all of the Twitter chats to some degree, I even signed up for one of the challenges yesterday too. So I have popped my bout of books challenge cherry!

As far as achieving my original goals...
...I managed to finish both Blood Skies and Soul Asylum. I also just managed to finish Joe Vampire too, only because I stayed up late (or early depending on how you look at it) to finish reading it.
As for reading 5 books, not a chance, I achieved 3 at most. Maybe in Bout Of Books 9.0 next year! Only 132 Days To Go! YAY!!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review: Soul Asylum By C L Raven


Goodreads Synopsis:

The blood wanted to prick a conscience that couldn’t bleed.
Poe could keep his telltale heart.
I couldn't hear it beating.

Ravens Retreat harbours a sinister secret. Inside its blackened heart lurk the ghosts of patients and staff who died when the asylum was burned down in 1904. Over a hundred years later, the West wing survives and now the patients want revenge.

Their eternal repose is disturbed by a malevolent poltergeist and the ghost tours led by the asylum’s resident, Phineas Soul, which attract the attention of journalist Mason Strider. His attempts to expose Phineas as a fraud have catastrophic consequences when it is Ravens Retreat’s dark heart that’s exposed as it awakens to claim the lives of those who dare to enter its brutal past.

Some things should never be disturbed."

Soul Asylum was a really really good book. But that said I found that my reading of it was constantly being interrupted, and it has therefore taken me over 4 weeks to read!

The book is very well written and has some very creepy elements, I do a lot of reading after dark, whilst reading this book I found that I had become a lot more aware of my surroundings and even felt a little jumpy at times! This book for me certainly captured my imagination and "the shadows" that Phineas describes my imagination had no problems storing and making me look just that little bit harder into a dark place before I walked past!

The book also has some gore spots too, "Rick's stomach parted like the gates of Hell and his insides spilled out like the corpses of a thousand damned, desperate to flee the horrors that awaited them." I love gore so I thoroughly enjoyed these sections, and could picture them vividly.

Overall this is a really good book with a twist at the end which isn't obvious from the start!

I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy a creepy story!

Bout Of Books 8.0 Challenge

5 of the bloggers that have I found during bout of books 8.0 are:

1. Francine Soleil at alwayslostinbooks.wordpress.com
2. Kristilyn at readinginwinter.com
3. Frodo at frodosco.com
4. Hollie Skerry at musicbooksandtea.com
5. Sarah Says at sarahsaysread.com

I have found many many more and have visited lots of blogs during this last week.

Bout Of Books Day 6 Progress

I only read 12 pages of Joe Vampire by Steven Luna yesterday, which is a lot less than I was hoping for. But it was still 12 pages.
I participated in the #boutofbooks twitter chat too, that was good as I was on my laptop with wine this time!
Hopefully today I will manage to read some more of Joe Vampire!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bout Of Books Progress Day 5


I read 103 pages of Joe Vampire by Steven Luna yesterday now I'm currently on page 145.
I was also working on my review of Soul Asylum too and working.
Today I hope to read some more of Joe Vampire, would be nice to finish it today, but I think that may be a little optimistic, you never know.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Day 4 Progress

On day 4 of the read-a-thon, I have managed to complete Soul Asylum by C L Raven, after about 3 or 4 weeks of trying, and continuously getting distracted! I have now started on Joe Vampire by Steven Luna, and I'm currently on page 42 of 245; which so far I am enjoying and have found myself laughing at several parts.
I also managed to participate in an impromptu 30 minute #boutofbooks Twitter chat that happened yesterday too, more by good luck than judgement and because I receive notifications on my phone of Tweets from some people I follow!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Day 3 Progress.

Today I managed to participate in another fun filled #boutofbooks Twitter chat; where I saw both @soulswallo & @BookBender end up in Twitter jail, once again my phone struggled to keep up but I kind of got there!
I managed to read about 11% more of Soul Asylum by C L Raven, but I was distracted by the twitter chat and by work!
I'm sure now that I can finally crack Soul Asylum in Day 4 and maybe even start on Joe Vampire too. I will also try to participate in the final #boutofbooks Twitter chat on Saturday as I should be at home and able to use my laptop!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Blood Skies by Steven Montano

Goodreads Synopsis:

"In the time after The Black, human survivors of the Southern Claw Alliance clash with vampire legions of the Ebon Cities in a constant war for survival. Earth as we know it has been forever damaged by an arcane storm that fused our world with distant realms of madness and terror. Things that once existed only in our nightmares stalk the earth.

Now, humanity is threatened by one of its own.

Eric Cross, an enlisted warlock in the Southern Claw military, is part of an elite team of soldiers and mages in pursuit of a woman known as Red -- a witch whose stolen knowledge threatens the future of the human race. The members of Viper Squad will traverse haunted forests and blighted tundra in their search for the traitor, a journey that ultimately leads them to the necropolis of Koth.

There, in that haven of renegade undead, Cross will discover the dark origins of magic, and the true meaning of sacrifice...

Experience a dark and deadly new world in the debut novel of the "Blood Skies" series from author Steven Montano."

I found Blood Skies to be very good.

As I'm an avid reader of vampire books it's really nice to read a book which doesn't describe vampires in such a way that they have become romanticised. To me vampires should be creatures that scare you or at least creep you out. Steven Montano certainly portrays the vampires to be the dark, blood sucking monsters that I think they should be.  
Steven doesn't scrimp on the bloodshed and gore either: "Three corpses lay in unrecognizable heaps on the ground, their bodies perforated head to toe by the rusty weapons.   Shreds of clothing clung to their decimated bodies.   Bloody messes of hair and skin had spread like grisly jam." & "Their flesh was rotten and leathery, and they bore gaping holes in their bodies through which he saw black worms swimming in their veins in place of blood."
The description of Unicorns that Steven uses has certainly changed my view of them from the cute white lovable animals from my childhood to some thing a little more sinister and creepy:  "The unicorns emerge from the silver fog like a chain of nightmares.   Their skin is black and coarse, and thick dark blood oozes from their nostrils and hooves.   Their eyes are white and their horns are jagged and covered in scratches.   Their teeth are fanged."
There are some points in the book where I actually felt sorry for the main character Cross, the best instances of this without becoming a spoiler would be Chapter 11 and Chapter 23.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy and vampires, but I do mean Vampires not soft, lovable vampires!

My overall rating of this book is 4!  Lets see how book 2 does...

Bout Of Books 8.0 Day 2 Progress

I finished Blood Skies by Steven Montano today!
The book was soooo good. I really did enjoy it, and I have books 2 and 3 of the series ready to read. I will be posting a review for Blood Skies soon too!

The next book to read for the Bout of Books read-a-thon will be either Joe Vampire by Steven Luna or I might finish Soul Asylum by C L Raven. Maybe! I'll see how I feel when I start reading again!

Hopefully I'll get to participate in the #boutofbooks twitter chat again too, but only if my phone can keep up!! I'm off to start my review of Blood Skies and sort my dinner out (as its 3.30pm here in the UK) then I can go back to reading!
Good Luck with the rest of the Read-a-thon everyone.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bout of books 8.0 Day 1 Progress

Well day 1 of the Read-A-Thon wasn't as disappointing as I thought.  I've actually managed to read more than I had originally realised.

My first book I'm reading is Blood Skies by Steven Montano.  When I started this read-a-thon I had read 5% of this book now I have read 29%.  Which considering I've only put in a couple of hours reading for me is good!
I have also signed up for the Bout of Books grand prize, participated in the twitter chat #boutofbooks; well until my phone decided it couldn't cope anymore and froze on me, and I joined in the #pairathon chat too!  I also spent some time chatting to the author both on Twitter and by email too!

As much as I may not have read very much there are a couple of quotes from the book which I really like.
The first quote is from page 45 of the kindle ebook.
Three corpses lay in unrecognizable heaps on the ground, their bodies perforated head to toe by the rusty weapons. Shreds of clothing clung to their decimated bodies. Bloody messes of hair and skin had spread like grisly jam."
The second quote is from page 63 of the kindle ebook.
"The unicorns emerge from the silver fog like a chain of nightmares. Their skin black and coarse, and thick dark blood oozes from their nostrils and hooves. Their eyes are white and their horns are jagged and covered in scratches. Their teeth are fanged."
Not the definition of a unicorn that I remember hearing, and I think if that's what I'd have been
told when I was younger I may have had nightmares! Now however, that's the sort of thing I love reading!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Goals!

During this read-a-thon I want to read 5 books. Which books will depend entirely upon my mood. I aim to finish Blood Skies by Steven Montano and Soul Asylum by C L Raven. I also want to read the Joe Vampire Books by Steven Luna.
I will also by trying to participate in the Twitter chats, providing my phone and internet can keep up. I've heard they are FAST!

Bout of Books 8.0

I'm participating in: Bout of Books 8.0 read-a-thon!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Review: Songs From The Phenomenal Nothing By Steven Luna

The brief synopsis I had seen given by the author himself read:

"Seventeen year-old guitar prodigy Tyler Mills has become lost in the aftermath of his mother's death.  Disconnected more and more from his father, he takes refuge from it all in two things: his music and his girlfriend.   But everything changes with the chance discovery of his mother's journal - and the long-held family secret within that could alter his life forever."

My Review:

I myself normally choose supernatural/horror/fantasy books that contain blood and gore, vampires, werewolves, magi and/or zombies.  It's quite rare for me to read other genres of book, and its even rarer for me to write a review, in fact this is my first!  However, when I saw Steven post on his Facebook page that he was looking for people to read and review his new book, I jumped at the chance!  Especially as I've heard "he's an awesome author!"

This book grabbed me from the start, I read it in less than 16 hours.  The further into the book I got the better it seemed to get and the more I read, the more I found that I couldn't put the book down.

Tyler is definitely my favourite character in the story, purely because of how much he goes through and how he deals with it.  At times he seems to be a little hot-headed and acts before he has fully thought it through.  He has a huge feeling of not belonging, which seems to get even stronger for him after discovering his mother's journals.  I couldn't help but feel like I wanted to help him or just give him a hug.
The fact that Tyler finds out things about his family by finding and reading his mother's journals, he draws his own conclusions as to what some of the things written in them mean, and that nothing is confirmed until he makes the decision to investigate further.  To me Tyler also seems to feel slightly betrayed by the fact that he wasn't told the things about his family, and with his mother "uncreated" (Tyler's word for dead), he feels like he may not of ever known if it wasn't for the journals.
Tyler goes through some very emotional times and Steven has done a great job of portraying them.  There were a lot of times where I was so drawn in that it felt like I could feel his emotions too.  This to me made this book even better.

I would definitely recommend this book, not just to people who like this genre but to those who wouldn't normally consider this genre either.

I'm going to give this book a 5 out of 5 as a rating.

This is the first one of Steven' books that I have read but I will very soon be reading his others, I have no doubt that they will be as good as this one.

A Brief Introduction!

So here I am. I now officially have a Blog. I'm completely new to this so I'll be learning as I go, so this will definitely be a work in progress.