Monday, 9 September 2013


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Book 1 of the Seraphina series
Read by Mandy Williams and Justine Eyre
Genre: victorian urban fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobookAudiobook

About Seraphina:
In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered — in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
Source: Info in the About Seraphina was taken from GoodReads at on 08/07/2013.

I picked this book up because obviously I like dragons. And there are dragons in this book aplenty. Good and bad dragons. So no one is purely bad or purely good... Just like the humans. It is a fight of good versus evil. Plus dragons in a victorian setting is a new twist for me. It has always been in a medieval-like setting or the modern world. Very good premise! That however was toned down by the author's blatant attempt to create a situation where the heroes could show off and save the world by making some characters act stupid. What was that all about?! Pretty weak plot. And as if that is not enough, we get inconsistent and conflicting scenes/behaviour. The people just seems rude! And they are suppose to be victorian-like. Polite and civilized society?? For somebody to call someone else something like an "ugly demon" in front of a lot of people is to me, the height of impoliteness. Even I know that, socially inept as I am. But these people do it all the time. And they pride themselves to be a civilized and polite society.... right!!! Maybe it could be presented in such a way that some authors could pull it off and come off convincing. This author, however, did not. Another thing which drops the believability factor is that this is suppose to be a royal court right? So where is the court intrigue? Greedy manipulations? Political power play? There is a distinct lack of realism in the story. It drops the suspension of disbelief a couple of notches down. I think that is one of the reason why it took me so long to get into the story. The lack of realism. So much so that even with the convenience of the audiobook, it still took me something like two months to read the book. Another contributing factor to the book not being a fast-paced read is that I had to have breaks from the "stupids" and the inconsistent behaviour. It just annoys me. So you couldn't call the story telling quality very compelling. But in the end it is a dragon book and I like dragons but I don't think I would be buying anything from this author again.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2.5
Character development = 3
Story itself = 2.5
Ending = 4
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 3
Pace = 1
Plot = 1
Narration = 3

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Seraphina Series:

Thursday, 3 January 2013


Shadow Walker by Allyson James
Book 3 of Stormwalker series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback

About Shadow Walker:
Stormwalker Janet Begay returns home only to have the ground collapse beneath her - literally. After tumbling two hundred feet underground, Janet is rescued by her dragon boyfriend, Mick. But something dark touches Mick while in the sinkhole, and Janet might lose him forever unless she recruites the most unlikely of allies to stop the growing shadow.
Source: Info in the About Shadow Walker was taken from GoodReads at on 19/12/12.

My Thoughts:
What I Liked:
I am an old Allyson James fan so I am already familiar with her "author's voice" and I know that the story telling quality of her books is good. I also know that she can spin a beautiful world which I could totally immerse get lost in. I am an escapist reader, so I like worlds where I could get away from reality. And the world of Janet Begay is such a world. But that is not the bestest best thing about this book or this series... the feature I liked most is that the dragons in this world interacts with our contemporary world in a realistic way. I am a dragon geek after all! And besides, I am sucker for bad boys!!
What I Didn't Like:
I'ts not that I don't really like it, it's more like it kinda contributed to diminishing my enjoyment in this book. The thing is, this book dragged at times in the middle. I can't really pin point why. It's just that my mind wanders away and I find myself staring at the came page for moments on end. And I realize that I was just staring and not reading and so I start reading again. After sometime of that I would give up and put the book down to be picked up again later on in the day. This made the reading a bit longer than usual for a book with a good story telling quality. However the pace became quicker once past about three quarters into the book and it was fast until the last page.
Final Say:
In the end I enjoyed this book alot, dragging parts and all, and am looking forward to reading the next book in this series which I already bought and waiting for to arrive in the mail!
Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = 4
Plot = 4

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In This Series:

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


[image credit: GET YOUR SKETCH]
The year 2012 has ended and therefore the end of our DRAGON READS CHALLENGE 2012 has come to pass. How did we do? Not bad... Six dragon books read in 2012. That puts us in the 6-10 Books range which makes us a Junior Apprentice Dragoneer. However that also puts us 3 dragon books read less compared to 2011. So this year, let's see if we can top last year's record or would we read even less? We'll find out...

Challenge Icon:
I so like this tabasco advert that I think we'll have this for our challenge art! To reiterate, we'll keep track of all our reads that got anything to do with dragons in it for this year, 2013. And everytime you do a  review of such a book, give us the link to your review in the comments and include our little challenge icon below in your review post:

<center><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" height="200" width="168"/></a></center>

0 dragon book read - Not Meant To Be In The Dragon Industry
1-5 dragon books read - Novice Dragoneer
6-10 dragon books read - Junior Apprentice Dragoneer
11-15 dragon books read - Journeyman
more than 15 dragon books - Dragon Master

*Number of books rating in the legend encompass the one year time span of 2013.

And by the end of this year, we'll see how we do...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey
Book 9 of the Dragonriders of Pern series
Genre: fantasy
Format: hardback

About Dragonsdawn:
The beautiful planet Pern seemed a paradise to its new colonists - until unimaginable terror turned it into hell. Suddenly deadly spores were falling like silver threads from the sky, devouring everything - and everyone - in their path. It began to look as if the colony, cut off from Earth and lacking the resources to combat the menace, was doomed.

Then some of the colonists noticed that the small, dragonlike lizards that inhabited their new world were joining the fight against Thread, breathing fire on it and teleporting to safety. If only, they thought, the dragonets were big enough for a human to ride and intelligent enough to work as a team with a rider...

And so they set their most talented geneticist to work to create the creatures Pern so desperately needed - Dragons!
Source: Info in the About Dragonsdawn was taken from GoodReads at on 12/06/2012.

I've read the Pern books like donkey's years ago. I didn't realize I missed this one though... Reading Dragonsdawn has reminded me why I loved the Pern books so much! It's the masterful story telling quality that Anne McCaffrey is known and loved for. Her author's voice is just so compelling that it was only at the end of the book that I realized that this book didn't actually have much of a story in it! That alone tells us that the story telling quality must be really good indeed for me to miss that! The book didn't have much of a substantial or structured story where you have a beginning, a middle and an end. This book is a hodge podge of short Pern stories which are all related in the fact that all three of it are about the experiences of the first human immigrants to Pern. This book made me think that although Anne McCaffrey is such a good story teller, story building is not her strong suit, as shown by this book.

I found a fan made dragon rider art... apropos!

If you are an old Pern fan (which I am), you will lap this book up! If you are not, Dragonsdawn may not be the best book to read as an introduction to this series.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 2
Ending = 3
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4.5
Plot = 2

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Saturday, 31 March 2012


Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Book 1 of the Firelight series
Narrated by Therese Plummer
Genre: urban fantasy YA
Format: audiobook CD

About Firelight:
A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.
Source: Info in the About Firelight was taken from GoodReads at on 30/03/2012.

Okey so I bought this audiobook because I like listening to Therese Plummer. And the narration, is the most positive thing with this book. This book has so much promise and I really, really like the premise, but the plot and the story itself is so, so disappointing, I regretted having wasted my time and money with it!!

At the start of the first CD I can already see that Jacinda is too stupid to live (TSTL). But I persisted hoping that this TSTL trait would not run so deep, would not be so bad. I was wrong! Two adolescent drakis went on a dangerous escapade and almost got killed. Then Jacinda compounds that by being overconfident and got wounded. And it doesn't stop there. The entire book is peppered with a string of stupidity from cover to cover. I read the synopsis on the subsequent books and it looks like this trend continues through the entire series. The stupidity is so annoying it eclipsed the beauty of the world building, the mesmerizing voice of the narrator and the good story telling quality. That tells you just how TSTL Jacinda is! That there are times I wanted to shake Jacinda fiercely to knock some sense into her. Even I can see it was totally stupid. But our Jacinda, she can't see past her nose. Not only that, she's not only TSTL, but selfish to boot! Safe to say that I found it difficult to connect with this main protagonist. I think I would have cheered if the bad guys would actually catch her because then Jacinda would now actually get what she keeps trying to do! Would I recommend this book? This series? No. Don't waste your reading time. I don't know why the publisher wasted money on this book to begin with! But here is the real kicker, it ends in a cliffhanger...

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2
Character development = 1.5
Story itself = 1.5
Ending = 2
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (9hrs & 42min)
Plot = 1

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 cherries

Saturday, 21 January 2012


Bonds Of Fire by Sophie Duncan
Format: ebook
Genre: fantasy

About Bonds Of Fire:
Ebook Short Description
Drekken is a dragon warrior. Bonded to his dragon, Miri, together they lead a squadron of fliers. Yet, nothing in his life could have prepared Drekken for his greatest challenge: babysitting. Stranded after a deadly battle, separated from his squadron and Miri, Drekken finds himself the only hope for two young empaths and their nursery group of hatchling dragons. It is a challenge he cannot fail.

Extended Description
Drekken is a dragon warrior. Bonded to his dragon, Miri, together they lead a squadron of fliers. His fliers respect him, his enemies fear him, his reputation precedes him. Yet, nothing in his life could have prepared Drekken for his greatest challenge: babysitting.

Stranded after a deadly battle, separated from his squadron and Miri, Drekken finds himself the only hope for two young empaths and their nursery group of hatchlings. He must lead them all to safety and, along the way, discover some truths about himself.
Source: Info in the About Bonds Of Fire was taken from GoodReads at on 14/01/2012.

I like this author's voice. And even though the book played in a tired, old field of fantasy dragons I still enjoyed the book because of the way the author told the story. The book reads smoothly. And of course I like dragons. I don't read gay books. Outside my comfort zone. And this book has an element of gay theme in it. However the author presented it in such a way that it wasn't sordid and overtly sexual. It came across as beautiful even to a non-gay-book reader like me. The sad thing about this book is that it is a novella ebook and there aren't anymore stories in this series. This is it! And I want more stories about how Yakov and Malachi fared. And how the kids coped and grew up to be. I want to read more of this world of Drekken which is wonderful, peopled with sentient beings capable of acts of great evil and of goodness. Strenght of the human heart in the midst of bleak circumstances and fighting for survival. And there aren't anymore of that. Wish this author would write more books in this series. The ending is just slightly predictable but it wasn't the ending itself that I like, it was the journey towards it that I enjoyed!
Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = 4

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries