Sunday, 2 September 2012

Everneath - Brodi Ashton - Review

A beautiful, modern retelling of the Persephone myth.

Nikki has returned from Everneath. She only has 6 months to get her old life back on track, to tie up loose ends, to say goodbye to everyone she loves. Because when 6 months are up, they'll come for her and this time she won't be able to come back...

I adored this gripping debut from Brodi Ashton more than I imagined I could.

It's written in first person and amongst the chapters set in the present day, there are a few chapters set in the past, flashbacks I guess, showing Nikki's life before she was taken to Everneath. I had only experienced this in one other novel and I genuinely HATED that book so I was scared I'd feel the same about this novel but I LOVED it!

Don't let it put you off, honest, it's not at all confusing (it's actually helpful) and the flashbacks are so sweet that I found myself smiling through them all. :') It even tells you at the start of each chapter whether or not it's a "flashback".

There's a mystery element to this novel. You're thrown straight into the action (Nikki is just leaving Everneath to return home) and you're wondering - Where is she? Why is she there? Why does she only have 6 months? Etc. Nikki is trying to find out how to explain her absence, how to make amends, how to say goodbye and whether or not she'd rather die or become immortal. Her friends and family have their own mysteries to solve too.

Romance is a huge part of the book as the story is based on a retelling of the romantic myth of Persephone. (If you don't like myths then don't worry, I didn't even know it was based on a myth until the end of the book, I just thought it was a paranormal novel.) There is (kind of) a love triangle... Well... I'm going to call it a love triangle with one singed corner. You spend a lot of the book figuring out whether or not characters are lying about their feelings, in denial or hiding them. There are some very sweet scenes between Nikki and male characters which had me smiling from the start.

The twists dotted throughout the plot are unpredictable and heartbreaking in some cases. The characters are so fragile yet strong at the same time with layers of secrets and emotions that they seem almost real.

I truly did adore this novel and devoured it in just 2 days. I recommend this to any romance or paranormal fans. :) It's just a sweet read which I think many will enjoy. I'll be looking out for more work by Brodi. :)

Paranormal, romance, myth -                        4 stars ****

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Alice In Zombieland - Gena Showalter -  ARC Review

A blink. A breath. A second. Everyone she's ever loved is gone. And that's all it took. A small fraction of time.

This novel is like a zombie itself - the first few pages grabbed my attention and engaged with my emotions, just like human life. Then for a short while it lost my attention due to a decrease in the speed of the pace as if the story had lost its flare and died. After I got that past that (MINI) stage I couldn't put the book down and the pace picked up, sending shivers down my spine as I followed the characters deeper into their world. It was as if the story had risen from the dead and claimed my attention once again like a zombie would its prey.

Okay, so that was a lame way of me trying to say that the pace slowed down for about 30 pages near the beginning but (definitely!) made up for it! Seriously, you won't be able to put this book down! The characters will pull at your heart strings while the zombies claw at your soul. (You'll understand that when you read the book!)

The story is part mystery (in a way... ish) which I didn't expect. Everything seems to be unknown at the start and as you dig around with the characters things begin to fall into place. So by the end you're left with some pretty big knots which now make sense; though these conclusions lead to new questions which will have you craving the sequel in these chronicles.

The characters are what make the story in this book. Sure, the plot is good too but the characters are so complex. You spend the story following them through this world which Gena created so well, watching them tackle every hurdle they come across but at the same time you're deciphering each and every one of them. Their motives. Their secrets. Their loyalties. And their hearts.

Kat held my hand throughout the book, Kenz glared a hole into the back of my head and Cole... ergh, *swoons* yeh, he got me good.

Though the novel is called "Alice in Zombieland" the story has no connection to the sequences of events which take place in that of "Alice in Wonderland" and shares little to no similarities. The girl is named Alice (though she prefers Ali) and there's occasionally a cloud in the shape of a rabbit but there are no booby-trapped rabbit holes to fall down, madhatters or hormonal queens with King Henry the 8th syndrome. "Off with their heads!" <- Y'get me?

The story is literally about a girl named Alice in a world where zombies co-exist with humans (+ some really awesome twists and a complete hotty!)

This isn't your typical zombie novel though. Gena added her own (and may I say very unique) twist to what could have been a cliche zombie novel. 

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be recommending it to my friends in October when it is officially published. 

The characters are fragile and complex, the plot unique and unpredictable. A compelling read.

Compliments to Gena Showalter for writing such a superb novel. I will definitely be checking out more books by Gena after this meritorious introduction to her work.

Zombie - romance -                                   4 stars ****