Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 End of Year Book Survey

The End of Year Book Survey is hosted by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner and it's a really fun way to look back at your year in books :)

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

If I was pushed, I would have to say Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I read a lot of great books this year but I was totally blown away by Across the Universe. I'm not sure if part of that was because I don't generally read sci-fi books or that I didn't expect to like it that much but either way it stands out from the other books I read this year. A Million Suns was awesome too :)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Don't shoot me but Divergent by Veronica Roth did not live up to my expectations. I did enjoy it but with all of the hype I'd seen before I expected to love it and it just wasn't quite there for me. Not a huge amount happens until the very end of the book so I also gave Insurgent a shot thinking it would be more action packed...and figured out the big twist at the end of the book about 100 pages in :(

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?

Enclave by Ann Aguirre really surprised me. I usually don't bother with anything with zombies in. They creep me out and just don't appeal as subject matter for me. I kept seeing Enclave mentioned and the trailer (viewable here) blew me away so I picked up a copy still not really expecting to enjoy it that much...until I read it. I loved Deuce, adored Fade and was blown away by the action packed writing and twisted storyline.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

Looking book over recommendation challenges on Goodreads, The Kitchen Witch by Annette Blair stands out. It's a really sweet contemporary adult romance with a touch of magic and is one of my favourite books so it doesn't surprise me I recommended it so often.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series was new to me this year, although it took me until the second book to really fall in love. I was already a big fan of her Psy-Changeling books so to read a slightly darker story from her was excellent. I love the world building and how she has remade our world with Archangels in power, angels flying through our skies and vampires roaming the streets. It is a great series and I really recommend it :)

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

I tried a bunch of new authors in 2012 but the ones that have become new favourites for me are Ann Aguirre, Beth Revis, Maureen Johnson and Bailey Cates.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Hands down it has to be Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I don't read sci-fi so just picking up a copy of this was a big step for me, but when I read it I fell in love with the world and the characters. It is a little bit of a cheat pick though as while I don't generally read sci-fi I do love a good dystopian and Across the Universe features a really creepy dystopia!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

In an attempt not to repeat myself too much I'm going with Kelley Armstrong's The Gathering for this. I was glued to the page throughout, and then picked up and read The Calling straight a single day.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

I'm a big re-reader (42 books this year!) so a lot of books will likely get re-read next year. On my definites list are Across the Universe and A Million Suns, Wither and Fever, First Grave on the Right and Darkfever.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Just one? Grumble grumble. Okay well I think I'm going to go with Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh. It's beautifully drawn and looks exactly like a scene in the book. I'm really impressed by both it's prettiness and accuracy.

Honourable mentions for Enclave, Possess and Brownies and Broomsticks.

11. Most memorable character in 2012?

Bluebell I mean Illium from Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series :) I first read the series this year and Bluebell is a stand out character for me. He is an angel with blue wings tipped in silver and is a supporting character in the books but I'm desperate for him to get a book of his own. There have been hints at his backstory and some heartbreaking scenes of him with his mother so I'd love to see his character fully explored.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The writing in this book is so beautiful you just get sucked right into the world. It's like you are right there with the characters and can experience everything, right down to the smells and sounds of the circus.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

Diana Killian's Mantra for Murder series. I read all of these this year and I absolutely adored them, and they had a surprising impact on me. They reminded me why I love yoga and how anyone, no matter how their health is, can take part. A regular yoga practice is one of my 2013 goals.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

I've been recommended Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning a lot since I joined Goodreads a few years ago but I never picked it up. This year I stumbled across a copy in my local library so I gave it a shot after another mass of recommendations and really enjoyed it. One benefit of having waited is that the series is complete (although I think the author will be continuing it in the future) so no waiting for the next book!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?

“Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.”
     ~ Across the Universe by Beth Revis

This quote just sums up not only the book, but a basic truth that is all too easily forgotten by leaders in our world.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?

The shortest book I read this year was a tiny 82 pages and that was Immortality by Maggie Shayne. The longest book on the other hand was Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward coming in at a respectable 573 pages.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I was very very disappointed by the ending (highlight to show spoilers I mean she doesn't pick anyone? At least Bella picked Edward, she didn't wait to see who moved in next door and say "well he'll do". Peeta deserved more! And don't even get me started on the people who got killed off :( end spoilers) and it lead to me asking my Mum if she'd ever read it and then proceeding to rant for a while.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I really liked the friendship between Cassel and Sam in White Cat. When I first saw this question I was sure I'd pick a romance but looking back over the books I've read this year, their friendship really stands out. The funny thing is at the beginning of the book neither really class each other as good friends -they're just roommates - but as the storyline progresses they soon become best friends.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

13 by Kelley Armstrong! It was an epic end to an awesome series but I wouldn't change a thing about it :)

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. I'd been putting off this series for years because I'd heard Mac is annoying at the start and there is a rape scene later in the series. But I was chatting on Goodreads and got caught up in a conversation about how much everyone there recommended it so I finally picked up a copy. While I didn't go crazy for it, I loved it enough to pick up the whole series.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

Ramblings of a Daydreamer really stands out to me as a favourite blog I discovered this year. I found it when she hosted her Canadian Reading Challenge and I found that I love her reviewing and writing styles. Marie is an awesome blogger and I'm so glad I found her blog :)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?

Probably either 13 by Kelley Armstrong or Enclave by Ann Aguirre. Both were books I adored and it took me ages to write reviews that weren't OMG the amazings!!! 13 in particular was difficult to write as it has lots of plot points tying back into older books in the series and I didn't want to spoil those for new readers.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I don't really end up having many discussions on my blog - something I'd definitely like more of - but I guess the best was about genres, which leads me to...

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Definitely the genres discussions! This post at The Overstuffed Bookcase and these posts (one and two) at Book Soulmates discussed how we define genres. It really got me thinking as everyone seems to define genres in slightly different ways - like I class Angels' Blood as urban fantasy because it's not specifically about Elena and Raphael's relationship but the latest book in the series Archangel's Storm is definitely paranormal romance. I've seen the whole series classified as either and some people split it up. I prefer to keep series together, but some like this series change too much to be a single genre. I even ended up making a genres page on my blog to explain how I classify books.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Bloggiesta! I had a total blast taking part and managed to not only complete my to-do list but I went above and beyond. I even managed to take part in a twitter party and had a great time hanging out and chatting books and blogging with bloggers from around the world.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

The first time I saw someone had +1 a post. I had to google to find out what it meant but as soon as I did I was so thrilled. I didn't even know +1 existed but seeing someone had recommended one of my posts made my day!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most popular post on the blog this year is Teaser Tuesday #39 (where I tease The Kitchen Witch) by views, and Top Ten of 2012: Monday (where I talk about my best books of 2012) by comments.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I don't know. Any of my reviews because I put my heart into them and comments there mean an incredible amount to me. I love any comments but memes always seem easier to get comments on, whereas reviews don't.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

A slightly random cheat for Waterstones in the UK. Waterstones tend to charge the full cover price for books which is kind of a pain given the offers available in other stores (both physical and online) HOWEVER if you reserve a book at your local Waterstones using their website you pay the website price! This means you can save up to several pounds per book. When I tried this I got two £7.99 books for £5.59 each :)

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Some. I lost track of a lot of challenges I joined (something on my resolutions list for next year) but I did complete a few on Goodreads as well as taking part in a round of Book Shelf Bingo which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi as it's been on my TBR for waaaaaay too long.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis! I read Across the Universe on a Friday, bought A Million Suns from my local bookstore as soon as they opened on the Saturday and had read the whole book and preordered Shades of Earth by Saturday evening. I'm desperate to see how everything concludes!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

I'm going to split this into one reading goal and one blogging goal for 2013. For reading I want to beat the number of books I read this year (even if it's just by one book) and in terms of blogging, my goal is to blog more regularly. I've been struggling with my health and so my blog has had huge gaps with no posts this year so I'm hoping to keep things more regular next year.

If you'd like to do the survey yourself, or would just like to see Jamie's original post, click here.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

possess gretchen mcneilTitle: Possess
Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 978-0-06-206071-6
Pages: 379
Series: N/A
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Purchased

Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone, by her mother, by the cute sergeant's son Matt and by the strange voices she can suddenly hear in her head. Unfortunately for Bridget those voices are demons and she must enlist the aid of Monsignor Renault to understand this new skill. Yet as he coaches Bridget through exorcisms, one of her oldest friends is killed and Bridget soon realises that the demons have an even more deadly plan and she may be the only one capable of stopping them.

Possess is one of those books that sat on my shelf for ages before I picked it up, and then when I did I couldn't understand why I'd waited so long. The writing kept me glued to the page throughout and it is riddled with suspense and unpredictable twists and turns. The tension builds gradually to the knuckle clenching finale. Gretchen McNeil has a really unique take on demons and she throws you right into the deep end of the action with Possess.

This isn't horror of the conventional jump out of your seat variety, but it is deliciously creepy throughout with some incredibly disturbing scenes. One that still creeps me out even after finishing the entire book is where a demon possesses a shop of porcelain dolls. Thinking about it now still makes me shudder which in my mind makes this the ideal Halloween read.

Bridget is a great lead character. She's still struggling with her father's death a year previously, but is determined to be as strong and self-reliant as possible. Bridget has to rely on oddball Monsignor Renault to help her deal with her emerging demonic banishment gifts which she finds disturbing and when Father Santos arrives she finds herself torn between the two priests and their approaches to exorcism.

Bridget's love interest is Matt, a childhood friend who is desperate to step in and protect her but their romance is hampered by interference from Matt's ex-girlfriend and Bridget's best friend Peter whose crush soon grows to obsessive levels. The romantic storyline is cute and well written, and manages not to detract from the overall creepiness of the book.

There is rumoured to be a sequel in the works, but it hasn't been scheduled by the publisher yet. However one of the best things about Possess is that it reads like a stand alone so you can enjoy it by itself.

All in all, this was a great read and I'd definitely read more by Gretchen McNeil in the future.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 10/10

Overall: 49/50

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

the raven boys maggie stiefvaterTitle: The Raven Boys
Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-1-407134-61-1
Pages: 454
Series: Raven Cycle #1
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Purchased

Even if Blue hadn't been told that her true love would die if she kissed him, she would still stay away from the boys from Aglionby school. Known as the Raven Boys, the students there are generally privileged and trouble. But this year things will change for Blue as she is drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. This is the year she discovers magic truly exists. And this is the year she will find her true love.

This is the first book in the new Raven Cycle series and one I was eager to start as Maggie Stiefvater is one of my all time favourite authors. I love the beautiful lyrical nature of her writing style and so I knew I would enjoy this book when I picked it up. The writing here has a deliciously gothic feel and the reader is thrown right in at the deep end as Blue spends St. Mark's Eve in a graveyard collecting the names of those who are to die in the coming year.

It did take me a while to get into the storyline as a large cast of characters are introduced fairly quickly. Blue's family consists of her mother Maura and aunt Neeve as well as Orla, Calla and Persephone, while the Raven Boys consist of Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah. That said the concept of the book pulled me through and once I was hooked I stayed glued to the page throughout. This is the first in a series so setting up the cast is to be expected.

The basic premise of the story is that Blue will kill her true love if she kisses him, but The Raven Boys soon shows there is a lot more happening in the small town of Henrietta. Gansey is on a quest to find a lost king and soon we are drawn into a world of ley lines and magic. The storyline is brilliantly crafted with tension that builds gradually throughout leading to some shocking twists and turns. Being told from different perspectives, including that of a past seeker really adds depth to the storyline.

Blue is a great lead character, although it took me a while to get used to her name. She is the only normal one in her family and she prides her self on her independence and self-reliance. The last thing she wants is to get involved with a Raven Boy and the last thing the Raven Boys want is to get involved with a family as strange as hers. Gansey is desperately seeking the lost Glendower and each of the Raven Boys accompany him for different reasons, but it is Adam's desperate quest to escape his family and stand alone that really caught my attention.

The romance has an interesting twist to it as Blue first falls for Adam, although it quickly becomes clear that Gansey is the true love she is destined to kiss and kill. This isn't a love triangle though as Blue likes Adam and is horrified by the possibility that Gansey is in her future.

All in all this was a great read and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Cover: 10/10

Overall: 48/50

Friday, 28 December 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Friday

Top 10 of 2012 is a great event which is co-hosted by some awesome bloggers (Rachel from Fiktshun, Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads). It's a week-long event where you can look back at the best books of 2012 and forward to the awesome books coming out in 2013 :)

Today is the final day *sniff* and the topic is Top 10 Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2013.

1. Horde by Ann Agguire
Enclave and Outpost were both stand out reads for me this year and I loved how the author constantly adds to the world building with clever twists. Horde is the last in the Razorlands trilogy and I'm really looking forward to it.

the madness underneath maureen johnson

2. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
I loved The Name of the Star because the Ripper storyline was particularly well done and Maureen Johnson got London right. Nothing is more irritating than seeing the city where I live butchered by a lack of research. I'm hoping this is as accurate as the last and I can't wait to see what is next for Rory.

sever lauren destefano
3. Sever by Lauren DeStefano
I loved Wither and Fever so I'm really looking forward to seeing where Rhine ends up at the end of the trilogy. But it isn't just Rhine I'm interested in: I also want Cecily to have her happily-ever-after and to find out what's happening with Rhine's brother Rowan, not to mention poor Gabriel.

the rising kelley armstrong
4. The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
Another last in the trilogy pick here and this one is the final Darkness Rising book. The previous book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger so I'm looking forward to see how it continues, and if there is a follow through with connecting these characters with the Darkest Powers characters.

dead ever after charlaine harris
5. Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse years ago, waaaaaay before True Blood came along and exploded them into popular culture. Dead Ever After is the last book and I want to know how everything is going to end. Who will Sookie be with? Eric? Bill? Alone? Someone new? What will happen to her? And what about everyone else? How's everything end for Sam? Soooooo many questions lol :)

6. The Raven Cycle #2 by Maggie Stiefvater
No title or cover as yet but I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next for Blue, Gansey and Adam. Plus Ronan - that twist at the end about Chainsaw omg! At least I know (barring Scholastic losing the plot) the cover will be pretty :)

shades of earth beth revis

7. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
One dull Friday this year I grabbed Across the Universe from my bookshelf thinking it would be a good read. I was blown away, finished the book that day and then went and bought and read A Million Suns the next day. I also preordered Shades of Earth. To say I'm really looking forward to it would be a massive understatement.

8. Unnamed Psy-Changeling by Nalini Singh
I love the Psy-Changeling series so I had to include the 2013 release, even though the title and cover haven't been revealed...and nor have the characters. One thing I love about the series is that even though a different couple takes the lead in each book, the previous characters still feature and there is a great twisty-turny backstory throughout the series.

9. Unnamed Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh
Another unnamed coverless entry by Nalini Singh, but this time she's revealed that this will be a return to Elena and Raphael as lead characters (they've taken a backseat in the last two books). I adore this series and it'll be great to get back to them and see what's happening in their world.

house rules chloe neill

10. House Rules by Chloe Neill
I can't wait to see what the Cadogan vampires will get up to next, especially as Biting Cold ended in such away that things have really changed for them. This is the first of two new Chicagoland Vampires books out in 2013, with Biting Bad following in August.

Honourable mentions: Omens by Kelley Armstrong, Seawitch by Kat Richardson (I'm waiting for the paperback) and Mountain Echoes by C.E. Murphy.

omens kelley armstrongseawitch kat richardsonmountain echoes c.e. murphy

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Thursday

Top 10 of 2012 is a great event which is co-hosted by some awesome bloggers (Rachel from Fiktshun, Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads). It's a week-long event where you can look back at the best books of 2012 and forward to the awesome books coming out in 2013 :)

Today's topic is Best Book Boyfriends of 2012. This was a tricky top ten for me as these had to come from 2012 relases I'd read...of which there are only 18 books but I managed it!

13 kelley armstrongarchangel's storm nalini singha million suns beth revis
 1. Adam Vasic in 13 by Kelley Armstrong
Adam Vasic stole my heart with his first bad boy appearance in Stolen many years ago. One of the best parts of 13 is that you got to see things from his perspective, including just how much he's in love with Savannah. He is incredibly patient and it's been great to see their relationship grow from a hopeless teen crush to full blown romance over the course of the series.

2. Jason from Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh
Jason has been in the background of the Guild Hunter books for a while so I was looking forward to his story but I never expected the combination of sweet/bad boy/tragic past. I fell for him within a couple of pages :)

3. Elder from A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Elder and Amy are very different people and their romance in A Million Suns has had to take a backseat so they can help the people aboard the Godspeed. Yet Elder still manages to put Amy first and the trust between them is incredibly sweet :)

blue-blooded vamp jaye wellsthe raven boys maggie stiefvaterbiting cold chloe neill
4. Adam from Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells
Just generally Adam is a really amazing guy. He manages to challenge Sabina to bring out her best characteristics while being incredibly supportive and loving no matter what. The fact he does all that and manages to put up with Giguhl is incredible.

5. Adam from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Screw Gansey and his "I must find the ley line" quest, the guy I liked in the Raven Boys was Adam. His homelife is beyond messed up but he doesn't use it as an excuse. He is determined to be better than his origins and always helps people out whenever he can.

6. Ethan from Biting Cold by Chloe Neill
Ethan and Merit have a lot to deal with in Biting Cold but his constant attempts to deal with the recent changes in his life, and point out to Merit how great they were as a couple gives him a really earnest quality that made me root for him. I'm really looking forward to seeing what's next for him.

brownies and broomsticks bailey catesfever lauren destefanothe calling kelley armstrong
 7. Declan from Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates
Love triangles are pretty common in cozy mysteries, but in this case I'm firmly on Team Declan. He's gorgeous, a firefighter and he really helps Katie out with those little things that make a big difference - like bringing her dinner when she's too busy to go out. Such a sweetie!

8. Gabriel from Fever by Lauren DeStefano
At the end of Wither, Rhine asked Gabriel to take a lot on faith and accompany her. In Fever, that faith is tested constantly as Gabriel and Rhine run into problem after problem. Gabriel does everything in his power to keep Rhine from harm and rescues her when he can't keep her safe.

9. Rafe Martinez from The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
I fell for Rafe in The Gathering after seeing how he was with his sister and this book just made him more appealing. I'm a sucker for bad boys hiding a heart of gold and Rafe fits perfectly in that category. I can't wait to see what's next for him and Maya.

10. Dmitri from Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh
Okay so it isn't Dmitri's book, but there are some scenes from his perspective which show him with his new wife Honor which are incredibly sweet. Archangel's Storm has a pretty dark feel to it and Dmitri's scenes add a beam of light that made the book incredible.

Honourable mentions: Uncle Ben from Brownies and Broomsticks who couldn't make the main list because of his age but is so sweet with his wife and niece, and Fade from Outpost by Ann Aguirre who didn't make the list as he isn't good boyfriend material in parts of this book.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Top Ten of 2012: Wednesday

Top 10 of 2012 is a great event which is co-hosted by some awesome bloggers (Rachel from Fiktshun, Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads). It's a week-long event where you can look back at the best books of 2012 and forward to the awesome books coming out in 2013 :)

Today's topic is a blogger's choice so I'm going with Best Villains of 2012.

angels' blood nalini singhenclave ann aguirreacross the universe beth revis

1. Uram from Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh
As a fan of the Psy-Changeling series, I thought I knew what to expect from Nalini Singh. Then I read the darker, more twisted Guild Hunters. Uram is the villain in Angel's Blood, a psychotic archangel that Elena is assigned to hunt down. His crimes are described in the book and definitely win him a place on this list.

2. The Freaks from Enclave & Outpost by Ann Aguirre
I'm not usually a big fan of anything with zombies in, but I decided to read Enclave regardless. The Freaks are very creepy and they add a different layer to the story by being so predominant. They made the list given how they are developing over the trilogy and I creeped out looking forward to seeing where they go next.

3. Eldest from Across the Universe & A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Creepy psycho? Check. Pretending to be a nice guy? Check. Doing really messed up things? Check. Freakishly controlling? Check. Eldest was a character I was suspicious of from the start and as soon as he started to show his true colours, I knew he was a bad guy!

the name of the star maureen johnsonpossess gretchen mcneilarchangel's consort nalini singh

4. The Ripper from The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
I loved the Name of the Star and part of that love is how Maureen Johnson managed to bring Jack the Ripper into the modern day. He manages to pull of scary, creepy and mysterious all at once and the close calls with Rory kept my heart pounding throughout.

5. The demons in Possess by Gretchen McNeil
The demons aren't the big bad in Possess but they made the list because they possess a shop full of porcelain dolls. If we're going for book thing that freaked me out the most this year - that scene is it. Even writing about it is making me shudder!

6. Caliane from Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh
Caliane has been talked about in snippets since the beginning of the Guild Hunter novels so I was excited to finally find out more about her. When she begins to awaken and influence the world, Caliane's actions put some horrific chains of events in motions and make her an amazing villain.

the hunger games suzanne collinsmontana sky nora robertsfeast of fools rachel caine

7. Cato from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I picked Cato for the list as he is the complete opposite to Katniss. He volunteers for The Hunger Games for the glory and as a District 2 tribute has spent years preparing to take part. He is vindictive, deadly and arrogant...and he hurt Peeta!

8. Jesse Carne from Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
Jesse is Lily's abusive ex-husband in Montana Sky and he makes the list based on the creepiness of the scenes from his perspective. Nora Roberts shows how bizarrely his mind works and how abusive he is to a terriying degree and the idea that people like him really exist is horrifying.

9. Bishop from Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine
Bishop is a vampire who appears in Morganville and stirs things up. Unlike the Morganville vampires, Bishop has no respect at all for humans and quickly becomes a deadly villain. Not only is he evil but he manages to incite others to do horrible things for him which is very disturbing.

10. Tate from the Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill
Tate's character has evolved a lot over the six published Chicagoland novels. He's been a shady suspicious politician, a convict and now he's a full-on bad guy. The twists and turns in his evolution have been fascinating and he definitely deserves his place on the list.

Honourable mentions: President Snow from The Hunger Games trilogy (seriously his breath smells of blood?! Ewwwwwwww) and Lijuan from Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Tuesday

Top 10 of 2012 is a great event which is co-hosted by some awesome bloggers (Rachel from Fiktshun, Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads). It's a week-long event where you can look back at the best books of 2012 and forward to the awesome books coming out in 2013 :)

Today's topic is Best Book Covers of 2012. These must be from books released in 2012, and preferably from those you've read. As I didn't read that 2012 releases this year, the first 6 are books I've read and the remaining 4 are books from my TBR.

the raven boys maggie stiefvateroutpost ann aguirre13 kelley armstrong

1. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Generally speaking Maggie Stiefvater's covers are amazing and The Raven Boys is no exception. I love the hand-painted appearance of the raven and the swirls in the background really complement it and stop the book from looking plain. There is also red foil for the author, raven's heart and the little raven by the title that give it that extra sparkle.

2. Outpost by Ann Aguirre
I really like the Razorlands covers because they manage to show the creeping danger of the Freaks (zombies if you're new to the series). The covers always display features that you have to look again to catch, like the eye and hand moving the fence board. This shows off the creepiness of the book really well.

3. 13 by Kelley Armstrong
When it was announced that 13 would be the last Otherworld book I was devastated. This is the series that got me hooked on urban fantasy so I'm sad to see it go. But then I saw the cover and was really impressed. The simple blood drop against black fits perfectly with both this book and the whole series and really stands out amongst other books.

brownies and broomsticks bailey catesthe calling kelley armstrongangels' flight nalini singh

4. Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates
When I heard about this I was hesitant to pick it up as I already have a lot of cozy mysteries sitting unread on my shelf, but the cover won me over. I love the cute almost cartoony look to it and how well it fits with the book (the cat on the cover is a dead ringer for Honeybee in the book).

5. The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
I love the covers for the Darkness Rising books. The use of the silhouette as a background to the main design is really unique and I love that it shows what could easily be a scene from the book. Definitely a favourite and one of the few times where the UK cover is nicer than the US :)

6. Angel's Flight by Nalini Singh
The Guild Hunters is another series where I generally love the covers but of the two releases this year, Angel's Flight really stands out to me. The swirling background, the colours on the angel's wings, even the falling feathers. I love it all :)

the accidental genie dakota cassidyraven calls c.e. murphyendure carrie jones

7. The Accidental Genie by Dakota Cassidy
I love Dakota Cassidy's paranormal covers as they are always really cute with a cartoon feel to them and they stand out from the other paranormal romance books I own. I love this one in particular because it is so pink and girly (not something that usually appeals) and it really reminds me of I Dream of Jeannie which is one of my favourite shows :)

8. Raven Calls by C.E. Murphy
Where to start with this cover? I love the Celtic Cross in the foreground and the stormy clouds in the background as well as the moody feel to the cover. The simple raven in the sky really adds to the book and I love how barren the landscape is. If this wasn't already a favourite series, this cover would have made it one.

9. Endure by Carrie Jones
I've adored the Need Pixies covers from the start, even though I'm not really a fan of gold so I expected to love Endure when it came out. I think it's the most beautiful one so far as the simple gold iris really accents the gorgeous swirls agains the black background. It's just so pretty :)

rapture lauren kate

10. Rapture by Lauren Kate
Yes it's a girl-in-dress cover which is getting to be horribly overdone in the YA market, but I really like the cover for Rapture. It has a feeling of movement too it and the greyscale colour scheme really appeals to me. It may well be my favourite cover from the whole series.

Honourable mentions: Reached by Ally Condie, Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick and Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

reached ally condiefinale becca fitzpatrickbeautiful redemption kami garcia margaret stohl
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