Monday, 23 December 2013

Wicked Souls - Sabrina Samples

Spencer Bishop is a woman with a wonderful husband, a great life and everything is going right. That is until the day she sees a figure in white in her windscreen and swerves to miss it. Life changes as she finds her whole life is a complete lie.

Dealing with the loss of her husband in the car crash where she saw the figure, the action quickly speeds up. There is a new someone in her life, someone who appears to her like a ghost only she soon realises that he is an angel and she knows him from her past. A past that she cannot remember, memories that have been hidden from her.

The writing moves us quickly from one scene to another, one minute Spencer is grieving for her husband, the next she becomes involved with the angel Aiden. She is soon caught up in a fight against good and evil, being the one that could change Heaven and Hell forever. I feel it could have been a little longer, with the scenes giving us a little more insight into how she feels with everything that is happening to her, maybe a little more description about the people and surroundings. I like the use of angels, fallen angels and demons and the love between humans and otherworldly creatures. The plot is strong; the editing great and for a debut novel it is a good start to a series. It will be interesting to see which way Spencer will lean in the battle ahead.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Catching Fire

Release Date: 21st November
Top billing: , ,                          


After their joint victory in the 74th hunger games, Katniss and Peeta become targets of the Capitol. President Snows knows the people have seen the display at the end of the games as defiance against him and revolution is around the corner. Therefore something needs to be done and it all points to the annihilation of the victors.

What can I say, after watching Hunger Games I was really hopeful about this film and it didn't disappoint. I was at the pictures at the earliest time on the Friday morning, sat waiting in anticipation. The cinematography is breath taking and the characters of the other victors well acted, again Jennifer Lawrence is great in the main role. It builds the tension really well, there might be the odd thing missing however all the important elements are captured and as in the book you see how Katniss is simply a pawn used by both sides.

I loved this enough to watch again and again.

Monday, 2 December 2013

St.Damians - Budding authors??

I recently visited the very impressive looking high school, St. Damians. What a friendly reception to something I was extremely nervous about, my first 'structured' workshop at a high school. I have been in to a few schools but usually on a casual basis, really just saying hello and talking about books, how hard can that be? Once you get me on the subject of books or films I am in my element.

I had a small group of great children, who happily listened to me talking about characterisation, plot and structure. They even completed the little tasks I set them about building characters and at the end of the session I am sure there was the odd story running around a few heads. There were laughs over the cut out heads I provided for them and they kindly took to it with a great deal of enthusiasm.

From my point of view I love to see children immerse themselves in stories and it doesn't have to be books. If they take something out of a film or a comic, even a lesson and I hope they do ... of course, it means that they open their horizons to so much more. What I can't understand is the reluctance to do so. They might want everything instantly and with the advent of e-books they can do just that but that still seems to be in the minority.

I can't express enough what reading can do for you. Reading a lot means your school work improves across every lesson, you feel more confident about speaking up, giving your opinion, well I hope you do. The fact that you could all read the same book and everyone takes something different from it, always amazes me.

Broken Prince - Jen Wylie

This is the second in the great series The Broken Ones. Arowyn and her ‘family’ continue on their journey to the elven homeland to save the elven prince, before he dies. On their way they will feel love, hate, pain and sorrow which will test their friendship and bring them ever closer. As they travel, thoughts are never far away from the prophecy but they are just words, and things can change.

What I liked immediately about this book is that we jump straight into the action. We follow them on their travels with their only thoughts of getting to the elven homeland before Prince fades away. It does not jump into weeks or months but follows them day to day moving slowly on, which I thought worked really well. These characters are all well developed, each one has something to add to the story. Whether it is the other human Bo, or the fey Kei, whose relationship with Aro is so closely bonded you can start to believe the prophecy, or Prince whose feelings are so hidden no one knows what he thinks. We also have a new addition to the family in the form of a Were.

The action never stops, they are once again faced with Damon together with new enemies that leave them in life threatening situations. How can you not feel for Aro as she sees her ‘boys’ in pain? The action scenes are really well written and I have to say graphic but that works for me. I read this in two sittings with the dust bunnies gathering in the corner and didn’t give them a second thought. I can’t wait to read the third.