Archive | November 2012

Free Books

One of the best things about being involved in the book industry is the aspect of getting free books.

This month I was lucky to attend the Society of Young Publisher‘s annual conference. It alternates every year between London and Oxford, and I was happy to not have to travel very far this year.

Every person that attended got a free book courtesy of World Book Night. It’s a fantastic organisation and some silly person left their book behind! I adopted it to keep it safe. I also received another free book from a fellow attendee (she had finished it on the train) so instead of just one book, I went away with three.

Drown in your envy of free literary escape. There were many talks about different routes of the industry and just what the future of books holds. I made new friends, met with some old ones and had a lovely day being surrounded by book enthusiasts.

It’s not the kind of thing you can do back in Seattle. If you live in London and love books, publishing or want to learn more about this evolving industry, join the Society of Young Publishers! Everyone is really friendly and you can attend as many events as you wish (for members most events are free!).

Happy reading!

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The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones

Mimi, an undergraduate student in New York has had a hellish year. Running away from her life for a bit she drives through Canada to an old house along the syne that her estranged father owns. It was supposed to be a perfect hiding place. It was supposed to be a space for her to write and work out her troubles. It became a treasure trove of secrets and fear. At nineteen, Mimi floats along on a river journey that she didn’t sign up for but she isn’t able to fight the current.

The Uninvited is full of suspense from the first page to the last chapter. As this is a mystery type book I can’t get too deep with the story, it’s best that others give it a shot. I found it a surprising mature read from Walker Books, usually known for publishing to a younger audience. It’s a delightful surprise and once I’d cracked the book (it did take a while to get into) I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t explored too much of Canada myself but the scenery is beautifully described and it made me long for days when travelling by canoe was an acceptable form of transport. I’d recommend this book for older teens looking for drama that’s got a sickening strain that begs for discussion. This isn’t your classic YA book and be prepared for uncomfortable confusing moments.

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Gabry has spent her life gazing out at the world from the safety of the lighthouse. There is no need to explore since the Return has caused the undead to stalk the living. They call them ‘mudo’ and strict precautions are taken to ensure the survival. She’s never stepped out of line, never questioned authority. Just one night is enough to change everything.

One night Gabry embarks across the barrier with her best friend Cira and her brother Catcher. It’s an opportunity for love to blossom and the mudo to attack. One night and the progression humanity has accomplished is knocked down. Now Gabry must venture past the barrier in search of her heart’s desire, but it’s only the beginning. One step turns into another and Gabry can no longer ignore the previous comfort of her life and the lighthouse.

Second books are always bit tougher to get into. I enjoyed the first book so much I didn’t want to be disappointed by expecting a lot from the second. It takes a couple of chapters for Ryan to show that this book is nothing like the second. Even with the zombie attacks there’s so much more to this world that she expands on. It’s fabulous. It got my heart racing; my hands shook as I breezed through the pages.

Slight criticism are that there is another love triangle and comes straight off of the first book it’s a bit repetitive. But then again it’s a zombie apocalypse. It’s not like finding a suitable partner is a walk in the park. I felt that the book was a bit slow, but I was pleased to learn more about this world and how people were able to successful exist. I’m holding off on the third book, I want to savour it and there are many other books I have to get through first. 

Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress *Giveaway*

Yesterday I posted my review of Sarwat Chadda’s Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress. Today is the first day to enter the giveaway of my copy! The contest will run until December 5th and I’m opening it up to US and UK entry’s only. The winner will be announced December 5th and I’ll send the book shortly after.

Want to enter?

    • Follow me on twitter, and leave a comment with your twitter handle.
    • Give a shout out to this giveaway on twitter or facebook, and leave a comment saying so.
    • Following my blog (add your email address on the right hand side) and leave a comment with your blog name!

The winner will be chosen by random.org. Good luck!

Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Arwat Chadda

Arwat Chadda’s not a stranger to young adult fiction and Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress is an exciting second novel. It’s got action, ancient Indian history and a fight of good versus evil between the great god Rama and Ravanna. For someone who isn’t well versed in the Indian myths and legends, it’s an excellent introduction to the fascinating culture that has shaped India.

Set in Varanasi, India thirteen-year-old Ash and his ten-year-old sister Lucky are spending the summer holiday with relatives. Initially thrilled at the idea of occupying the months surrounded by the treasures of the holy city, Ash struggles to adjust to the differences of London. After two weeks of reality he’s desperate to return home.

Dragged to an elaborate party thrown by wealthy English Aristocrat Lord Savage, Ash discovers there’s more to this millionaire’s love of historical artefacts. Surrounded by demon henchmen Ash overhears Lord Savage’s plan to find the Iron Gates. A long forgotten buried prison holding the reincarnated evil god Ravanna for over four millennia.

When trouble strikes it’s up to Ash to protect Lucky and do whatever it takes to return to England. Even if it means trusting strangers and coming to terms that demons in are in fact real. Unable to ignore his higher purpose, Ash discovers strength buried deep inside and the truth as to who he is really is. With a guide and help from the goddess Kali Ash must do whatever it takes to help the world prevail and defeat the army of demons of the Savage Fortress.

Fast paced and cleverly blended Chadda creates an exciting tale of a boy fighting for the survival of not only his sister as well as himself but also the fate of the world. Although over 300 pages the pace of the novel is perfect for eight to twelve year olds. With spirited characters and situations that the readers can relate to, the novel relays the importance of believing in oneself.

Arwat Chadda’s Ash Ministry: and the Savage Fortress is sure to strike interest for any young reader and keep them engaged until the very end. Arwat Chadda’s not a stranger to young adult fiction and Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress is an exciting second novel. It’s got action, ancient Indian history and a fight of good versus evil between the great god Rama and Ravanna. For someone who isn’t well versed in the Indian myths and legends, it’s an excellent introduction to the fascinating culture that has shaped India.

This book was supplied  by The South Asian Literature Festival for an honest review, many thanks!