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 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/465904.Dragonsdawn 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 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6448470-firelight 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

Friday 13 January 2012


How To Train Your Dragon
By DreamWorks Animation

Genre: fantasy animation

Okey, I never outgrew my love of Walt Disney movies. And so I went and bought a dvd copy of this movie as soon as they had it on sale at Asda. It was good, but for some reason I think I expected more than what I got. I set my expectations a bit too high and I got a little disappointed. Only a little, mind. I did enjoy this film and I would recommend it to all those animated movies lover! I have to say that for an animated film, this one does not shot down the "suspension of disbelief" to smithereens. There is still a lot of elements of believability in it, which I like! Overall, I would give it a 4 out of 5.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Movie Trailer:

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Review: SHADOWMAGIC 1 & 2

I bought Book 1 just because it was dirt cheap and it got magic in it's title. I didn't know then that it got dragons in it yet. Anyway, I started reading and I was pleasantly surprised! I was enjoying it! So much so that I bought Book 2 of the Shadowmagic series, Prince of Hazel And Oak about halfway through reading Book 1.

As I was reading, Joshua Jackson as Pacey Witter popped into my head and I thought that Joshua would make a good Conor... they just seem to have that same mischievous streak and grudging acceptance of responsibilities in their personalities.

If I am to rate the pace of these books I would say that it's medium paced at the start but gets quicker halfway through and really fast towards the end. However, I listened to the audibook version of both books, thus deeming the pace irrelevant because I can only listen as fast as the narrator reads.

The thing I like most with this series is the humour and emotions between the pages. It had me bent over laughing out loud and crying in turns. That earned a lot of kudos! It made the story telling quality wonderful indeed! Another thing I like about these books is that even though these books belong in a series, each book has it's own story arc with a coherent structure and satisfying ending which jibes well within the over-arc-ing plot of the series. This is something I find sorely lacking in a lot of serieses. Couldn't wait for the third book to get released!!
Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4.5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = N/A
Narrator = 4

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan
Book 1 of the Shadowmagic series
Narrated by the author.
Format: ebook, paperback, audiobook
Genre: Urban Fantasy / YA

About Shadowmagic:
Shadowmagic is a rip roaring fun fantasy adventure novel by John Lenahan very loosely based on Irish mythology where every chapter ends on the edge of a cliff (or at least a high curb.) Join Conor as he grapples with typical teenage problems like, how to deal with a father's high expectations, how to survive in the world on your own and how to woo a beautiful girl - that wants you dead. Shadowmagic a podcast novel for young adults from 12 to 112.
Source: Info in the About Shadowmagic was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3061457-shadowmagic on 29/11/2011.
Prince Of Hazel And Oak by John Lenahan
Book 2 of the Shadowmagic series
Narrated by the author.
Format: paperback, audiobook
Genre: YA / urban fantasy

About Prince Of Hazel And Oak:
The eagerly-awaited sequel to Shadowmagic. Having returned to the real world from Tir Na Nog at the end of the last book, our hero Conor finds himself arrested for the murder of his father. When he explains to the cops that his dad is safe and well and enjoying life as king of a land of elves, imps and banshees they understandably think he is a nutcase. That is until he is rescued by Celtic warriors on horseback and taken back to Tir Na Nog, accidentally bringing a policeman with him. Once safely back in The Land, Conor finds that all is not well. His father is dying, the girl he loves is betrothed to another and a rather confused American cop is wandering around causing havoc. It falls to our young hero, and his band of friends, to find a cure for the king. On their epic journey they encounter one of the most mystical and dangerous races in The Land, the shapeshifting Pooka, and find their fates linked in ways they could never have imagined. The Prince of Hazel and Oak is a stunning fantasy adventure that takes fans of Shadowmagic further in to the land and brings back many of the favourite characters from the first book.
Source: Info in the About Prince Of Hazel And Oak was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9631271-prince-of-hazel-and-oak on 09/01/2012.
Other Book(s) In This Series:

Publication Date: 6th September 2012