Sunday, February 24, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: The Indigo Spell


The Indigo Spell is the third book in the Bloodlines series of novels by Richelle Mead author of the best selling Vampire Academy series. It was published on 12 February 2013 by Penguin. I purchased this book.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BOTH FOR THIS BOOK AND PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES IN THIS REVIEW.

PLOT

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she is struggling to decide between following her Alchemist teachings - or her heart.

Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch, a former Alchemist who is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought.

There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for the person attacking powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood - or else she might be next.

WHY I BOUGHT THIS

It is hard to believe but I think I love Bloodlines more than Vampire Academy, I put this down to the fact that even though I love VA series I was never really a fan of Rose Hathaway and how she came across through the series though reading about her adventures and the world of dhampirs and Moroi was more than enough to keep me reading, all the characters felt so real as did the politics of high school and beyond. Bloodlines took it to the next level with Sydney as a protagonist I could really understand and a great supporting cast including of course Adrian Ivashkov.

WHAT I THOUGHT

I really had been eagerly awaiting this instalment to see the fallout after THAT kiss and all the unresolved feelings on Sydney’s side plus I want to learn more about what makes Sydney so special in terms of what has been hinted at with her anti-strigoi blood. Well at least I got an answer to one of my questions in The Indigo Spell.

Adrian has come a long way from the immature and over indulged aristocrat we first met in Frostbite. He’s still a lot of those things but now he is brave and driven. Sydney has changed too still very socially awkward but starting to show signs of being empowered. Nowhere more apparent than in dealing with the most controversial aspect of the Bloodlines series so far that of her issues with her own body image.

I can remember when I went looking through some book blogger reviews of earlier Bloodlines books the anger a lot of those reviewers felt at Sydney’s obvious issues with her body image and the fact that she constantly compared herself to Moroi girls. It might be a case of too little too late but I can see where the author is coming from in discussing a problem that has all too real counterparts in the real world and then showing how a strong young woman can overcome those issues as Sydney starts to in The Indigo Spell.

The question of Sydney’s blood seems to have been all but ignored in this book which is a shame but it is not like there isn’t enough going other than that to keep readers enthralled. I guess that it might become a plot point nearer the end of the series so we’ll just to wait.

Readers should be warned that there is less Jill in this than say compared to the first book but we do get to see a bit of her and see that she is taking after her half sister. I really like Jill always have since Vampire Academy she was always being underestimated even by her friends and we just see more of how strong she really is.

The witchcraft storyline just shows how much Sydney is changing now challenging the values of everything she was raised on. I think this is the central theme of the book Sydney’s growing independence even though clearly she has been self reliant for a long time. Now that the magic is well and truly out of the picnic basket it should be interesting to see what happens next with Sydney especially with what happens at the end of the book.

The Indigo Spell is a great read and another wonderful instalment in the Bloodlines series that goes a long way to answering the critics of the earlier two books and I can definitely recommend the book and the series.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

With All My Soul Mini-Reading Challenge by Fiktshun

Yes here I am again signing up to a reading challenge because honestly I find them quite a lot of fun plus it gives people a chance to actually read my reviews because unfortunately my blog only has so many readers out there in the void.

Here is the link to the Challenge hosted by Fiktshun


You can find all the details about entering via the link above so go check it out or if you just want to check my review start checking after the publication date as I should be putting With All My Soul on pre-order by Friday. Alternatively you can ask me via twitter @shaftsword.

So what books are you looking forward to getting your hands on?

Friday, February 8, 2013

TV NEWS: More Cancellations


So I have a soft spot for cancelled gems and I like to mention them when I found out about their fates so I wrote this little post about a couple of shows one that is going to go out after two seasons and one that never got a chance.

Young Justice

So Young Justice is getting the push after this seasons episodes finish up which going by the schedules could take another year. Young Justice is an animated show loosely based on the DC Comic of the same name. The line-ups are quite different but the important points of the premise are still there young heroes who feel like they are ready to rise above the shadow of their partner heroes.


I liked the animated Justice League show (later Justice League Unlimited) but the storytelling you see in Young Justice is just far and away some of the best on television, period. The storylines are overarching and speak of political intrigue and the early lack of team dynamic I can’t draw a comparison with another show currently on TV but I can just tell you that it works.

The show can barely be described as a children’s show it can be violent, gritty and shocking in parts especially when you start in on some of the back stories of the team. These young heroes are not all Superman, invulnerable and noble, they have their own personal problems that they deal with while trying to be heroes.

The first season was amazing but when the show came back they did this time jump thing which I think threw off even the most ardent of fans. The show suddenly left us feeling a bit lost with all this character development and a very different team line-up.  If you haven’t checked out this show and you are a fan of Legend of Korra or other grown up animated shows then I recommend you give this a spin.

Borealis

Borealis is a pilot sci-fi opera that was not optioned by Space (Canadian TV show). It's the near-future tale of a tiny town at the center of an international struggle for Arctic resources in an age of peak oil. Vic (the awesome Ty Olsson) is a former MMA fighter turned Canadian government agent, who runs a bar in the tiny town of Borealis — where Russians, Norwegians, Canadians, and the League of Nations are all trying to claim sovereignty over an area that could yield the world's last fossil fuel resources. 


I was really blown away by this show as it is pretty much along the lines of shows like Caprica and Battlestar Galactica, a genre show that has been badly missed by hardcore fans of sci-fi. A really good write-up can be found here much better than I could manage.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Daemon by Daniel Suarez


Daemon is a techno-thriller originally published by Verdugo Press in 2006 and written by Daniel Suarez under a pseudonym. It was re-released on 7 January 2010 by Quercus. I purchased this book. The ISBN number is 1847249612.


PLOT

Matthew Sobol was a legendary computer game designer--the architect behind half a dozen popular online games. His premature death from brain cancer depressed both gamers and his company's stock price. But Sobol's fans weren't the only ones to note his passing. He left behind something that was scanning Internet obituaries, too--something that put in motion a whole series of programs upon his death. Programs that moved money. Programs that recruited people. Programs that killed.

Confronted with a killer from beyond the grave, Detective Peter Sebeck comes face-to-face with the full implications of our increasingly complex and interconnected world--one where the dead can read headlines, steal identities, and carry out far-reaching plans without fear of retribution. Sebeck must find a way to stop Sobol's web of programs--his Daemon--before it achieves its ultimate purpose. And to do so, he must uncover what that purpose is . . .

WHY I BOUGHT IT

I am a big fan of techno thrillers and their authors like Clive Cussler and the late Michael Crichton.  There is a lot of buzz out there that says Daniel Suarez is their successor so I thought I check it out and see if it really was a fair comparison.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Completely blown away by this first instalment in the duology. I think the comparisons with Crichton are reasonably fair there are similarities though I am certainly not suddenly declaring that he is as good an author simply that I would compare this book favourably with say NEXT which is probably my favourite Crichton novel.

This book has a wide array of characters and chapters move from one to the next quickly so you may feel a little lost at first but I’m quite used to reading thriller books like this so I got used to it quickly enough plus most of the characters you meet stick around for quite some time which mean you get to know them eventually.

The technology and the ideas around social networking and augmented reality are eye opening and remind me a lot of the current trend of sci-fi mange and anime like Psycho-Pass for instance. Some of the technology seems like it might be based in fact but a little of it seems like it is more theoretical than anything else but that doesn’t affect your enjoyment of the book in the slightest.

The characters in the book are quite layered which is a definite plus but it is the case that some are more than others but you should keep in mind that this is part of 2 part series so there is room for character growth and background in the final instalment.

I can thoroughly recommend Daemon as a thrilling ride and if you’re cynical like me you will see the messages about the finance industry and the nature of the global economy as a cautionary tale.
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