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Northern Plunder

Lauren | Bibliophile | UK 
You can find me at Blogspot, Tumblr & occassionaly YouTube.
 

Currently reading

The Walking Dead, Compendium 1
Cliff Rathburn, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore, Robert Kirkman
Later with Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz
Sheryl Sorrentino
The Raven Boys
Maggie Stiefvater, Will Patton
Anywhere - J. Meyers This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

I received an early copy of Anywhere for review from J Meyers herself.

Yep.

I, Lauren, who specifically has stated on their review policy that I do not do romance books, who hates romance books and pretty much always passes them up, emailed J Meyers and requested a copy of her latest book - a contemporary romance.

Makes complete sense huh?

In my defence I enjoyed all her other books so much I couldn't resist the chance to read more of her work and to see how it would come across in a different genre and well I didn't expect to be sat here two days later writing up a five star review heh (sorry Jen)!

The last book I sped through this quickly was Warm Bodies which is, well, my usual cup of tea.

Anywhere is the completely adorable story of Skye as she runs away from her real life duties to do something she has only dreamed off - very thoroughly across many journals - travel Europe, with her best friend Paige.

But of course, no quickly planned journey goes without a few a bumps. The first being an actual soon-to-be-bump across Paige's belly, causing Paige to abandon ship and leaving Skye in France to travel alone.

Honestly, I could not do something like that. I get scared taking the bus to town in case I miss my stop or get lost. But Skye is clearly not me and that's a good thing.

Whilst choosing where to go next she meets Asher, the two travel together to Rome and on the way they strike up a lovely friendship. Yes guys, a friendship! We don't have an insta-love issue going down here, I think that's why I loved it so much because their friendship grows constantly over the story and you get to witness as their feelings intensify.

Side note: The time the two spent in Rome made me so nostalgic for my time there with my boyfriend and I just loved experiencing it all again with Skye.

I mean sure they both feel something romantic towards each other early on but they push it away and don't really confront until they're absolutely sure its the right choice and they're ready.

It filled me with gushy lovey feelings which made it impossible to put the book down, my sleep schedule was messed up thanks to this!

I also really liked how there was an issue for both of them that made it difficult to commit straight away because (well it helped get rid of the dreaded insta-love but also) it added to the story so there was a lot more going on, rather than just *insert preconceived thoughts about bad romances and lack of a story line that you may have*.

Seeing as though I didn't really know what I was getting into with this genre I think that made it even more enjoyable because I had no idea what to expect, and well if I can sit here and honestly say that Anywhere has been one of my favourite reads of 2013.

Jen, I really look forward to what else you have in store for us, especially if its a contemporary romance.

Well, I guess I like romances now?

Yikes, I'm actually considering that I liked this more than the Intangible series o_O Help! What has she done to me? Where's Lauren gone?
The Wizard Tales Vol I-III - Red Tash This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

The Wizard Takes a Holiday
The shortest and sweetest of the five tales, I squee'd with delight at this one. The Wizard takes a holiday, and relaxes at a drive-in movie (one of these has actually opened up not far from me lately and I really want to go!) but relaxing doesn't go quite as planned thanks to a snotty child and a baby troll. This is probably the shortest of all the stories but it was a great introduction to the Wizard and I loved it. I gave this story on its own 4 stars.



The Wizard Takes a Fitness Class
I would have to say this is probably the funniest of them all. This time the Wizard is going about his day to day life when he bumps into an old acquaintance - his arch nemesis! Again I can't really say much without giving a lot away but just because they're nemesis' don't expect a massive fight off - nope - instead we get dancing Zombies, a fitness class and an encounter from a Demon. It was fast paced, bizarre and a lot of fun. I also gave this story on its own 4 stars.


Lucian's First Trick
Unfortunately I have to say this was probably my least favourite of the stories, but I still enjoyed it a lot. Here we meet Lucian on Halloween and we see him again in The Wizard Takes the Cake, he accidentally gets taken into an old ladies house where a lot of weird stuff happens, and they meet again for a trip to the grave yard! It was creepy and a bit odd - ew shrunked heads! I don't know what to say because spoilers but it was a good read and definitely very different from the previous story in the book. I would probably give this one 3.5 stars.

The Wizard Takes the Cake
Oooh this is my favourite of the three, probably because its the longest. I have a love/hate relationship with short stories because I really enjoy them but then when it comes to reviewing them I'm stuck for words! Any how this one is about the Wizard and Lucian as they attend a wizarding wedding and our lovely Wizard has a flash back. I really enjoyed this part because we got to know a lot more about him and to see how he himself reflected on his mistakes, also the seriousness of the flashback and the happiness of the wedding was a nice contrast and I think it worked well in the story! This story alone gets 4.5 stars.

A Laurents Country Landfill Christmas
TROLL OR DERBY SHORT STORY OMG YAY. I hadn't read this and it was really sweet, about Harlow organising a Christmas get together with Deb and her family and a few other characters from the book, I just loved it and all the magical happenings. I really want to visit their market and eat all their food even though it'd be bad for me I don't care it sounds great.

Overall I gave this book 5 / 5 stars because it was a great combination of stories and the extras were lovely too and not at all a let down! I'm sorry I couldn't write more without giving anything away but thats the trouble with short stories I guess.
The Companions - Robert Anthony Salvatore This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of The Companions from NetGalley, along with the follow up book The Sundering, this is no way effects my opinion of the books.

You're probably wondering why I've rated something and put it as did not finish. Its a little odd to do, but I should probably explain why I'm placing it as dnf first.
This is the first book I've picked up of The Drizzts series, but of course it is also the first book in a smaller series called The Sundering which is why I was okay to start it. Unfortunately I actually have no background knowledge of the Drizzt series what-so-ever. None. Zilch.

Whilst the book didn't seem to be referring too much to past events that needed further explanation, but it does have names of people and places that - to me - feel like they mean something important. Granted they may not but I feel a like I've kind of been thrown in at the deep end as I have no prior knowledge.

So that explains the dnf, now the rating.

About half of what I read I did thoroughly enjoy, most of them happened to be Catti-brie's chapters, I found they were well written and really held my attention a lot better than the rest. I think that has to do with her magical abilities and how it allowed more to instantly happen, even at the young age.

The overall storyline - of what I understand from the skimming I've done - held a lot of potential too, its about three hero's being reborn to stop/accomplish something later on in their new lives but they retain their memory and knowledge. It has so much potential to be frakking awesome.

Unfortunately because of the previous reasons stated I didn't think it wise to carry on, instead what I intend to do is return to the series at a later date but instead start with the very first book of the Drizzt series and make my way through all 24 books.
I also feel like its one of those books I'd be able to take in a lot easier if I were to read a physical copy rather than an ebook.

A challenging task? Yes. But I really want too.
The Wizard Takes the Cake - Red Tash This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

The Wizard Takes the Cake
Oooh this is my favourite of the three, probably because its the longest. I have a love/hate relationship with short stories because I really enjoy them but then when it comes to reviewing them I'm stuck for words! Any how this one is about the Wizard and Lucian as they attend a wizarding wedding and our lovely Wizard has a flash back. I really enjoyed this part because we got to know a lot more about him and to see how he himself reflected on his mistakes, also the seriousness of the flashback and the happiness of the wedding was a nice contrast and I think it worked well in the story! This story alone gets 4.5 stars.
The Wizard Takes a Fitness Class (The Wizard Tales, #2) - Red Tash This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

The Wizard Takes a Fitness Class
I would have to say this is probably the funniest of them all. This time the Wizard is going about his day to day life when he bumps into an old acquaintance - his arch nemesis! Again I can't really say much without giving a lot away but just because they're nemesis' don't expect a massive fight off - nope - instead we get dancing Zombies, a fitness class and an encounter from a Demon. It was fast paced, bizarre and a lot of fun. I also gave this story on its own 4 stars.
The Wizard Takes a Holiday - Red Tash This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

The Wizard Takes a Holiday
The shortest and sweetest of the five tales, I squee'd with delight at this one. The Wizard takes a holiday, and relaxes at a drive-in movie (one of these has actually opened up not far from me lately and I really want to go!) but relaxing doesn't go quite as planned thanks to a snotty child and a baby troll. This is probably the shortest of all the stories but it was a great introduction to the Wizard and I loved it. I gave this story on its own 4 stars.
Catalyst - Jennifer Snyder This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

I received a copy of Catalyst for review from Laura at Little Read Riding Hood and her Author Services, but Braine from Talk Supe put me in contact with her which is fabulous.

For me Catalyst was an easy read, fairly fast paced and it held my attention really well, which I certainly consider a pro lately as its Summer and I seem to spend a lot of my time not reading.

The story follows Addison who inherits a house in a small beach town from her birth mother, who she never met. As a Summer trip, and way to escape what she wants to do next with her life Addison decides to stay in the house for a while with her best friend.

During their time here Addison starts to uncover some small truths about her family, mostly that she is from a family of witches and whilst she's a little sceptical at first she does end up trying her hand at magic. Their magic is based off the elements, hers being fire and this means that the person who's element is air (Kace) is pretty much her soul mate, they ignite each other. Just like earth and water do too - we meet this people too and they're pretty intense with their relationship.

Even though Addison clearly wants to know more about her birth family, she doesn't get to find out much which means we don't too and whilst this could be seen as a fault if you're a little impatient, it didn't bother me because the book on a whole didn't feel like it was set over a large time span and spent much more time developing the relationship between Addison and her "new family" of witches.

Besides from Addison we also briefly meet her best friend, but due to some hoodoo magick she has to leave. Urgently. I would have liked her to stay around as her and Addison are very different people but maybe we see more of her in the sequel?

Then there is Theo who we only see about three times in the book and honestly I think he was my favourite character haha. He was mysterious and I wanted to know more! I know we're supposed to think of him as the "bad guy" of the story but honestly the way he treated her at the beginning in the cafe seemed more intrigued than anything, and then with what happened at the end of the book I have a feeling he might become a little bit of a heart throb in the sequel which should introduce some tension between the magick and hoodoo families. Oh yeah did I mention Theo practices in hoodoo! I can't wait to hear more about this as well.

Okay and now onto Kace. He and Addison hit it of pretty much straight away, they have a spark between them, physically. As in they actually kind of bring alive the magick in one another and it sounds great what they have. Overall he is pretty sweet towards Addison, and she clearly likes him, but I felt he was a little too forward, probably because he grew up with knowledge of magick whereas Addison didn't so at times I felt he wasn't being as helpful as he could have been but I imagine there is a heck of a lot to learn and she didn't want to embrace it all in one day.

He is also where Addison finds out most of her answers to her family, but as stated we don't actually find out much, I have a few questions left unanswered from her mothers prologue because to me it hints that there could be some giant fault or mistrust with the families, I'm not sure why, this is just the vibes I'm getting. I'm excited to see if I'm right or not.

Overall I enjoyed the story a lot, it had me hooked, and even if I felt it had some downsides it certainly got its nails dug into me and that is where they shall stay because I am now dying to read the sequel. Soon! I really need to know what happens and I have a feeling it'll be an even better book!
By Blood (By Blood #1) - Tracy E. Banghart 4.5 stars.
Review coming in Sept :)
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2) - Douglas Adams I finished this yesterday. enjoyed it a lot more than the first - probably due to not knowing what was going to happen (thanks movie) can't wait to buy the third a some point
Death Dealer - Ashley Robertson This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.


I have been lucky enough to receive an ecopy of Death Dealer as part of a book tour hosted by IMR Blog Tours,which does in no way reflect my opinion of the book.

Death Dealer is only 140 pages so like with all novella's I'll try not to give too much away.

What I first noted and loved throughout the whole of the book was the world building, because whilst it's set on Earth as we know it, the characters spend a lot of their time in the Spirit Realm which is obviously something we have no knowledge of. I love the description for this world, the dangers it held and how spirits reacted to being here.
Review first posted at Northern Plunder.


Also I really loved the whole concept of Death Dealers, they're regular people like you and I who are approached to become a Death Dealer who after training is allowed to collect the souls of the dead, transport them to the Spirit Realm and guide them to the correct gate - Heaven or Hell - but of course its not always that easy, some spirits aren't happy with the decision and well there are other dangers in the Spirit Realm.

Demons attack Mia and Deacon at every opportunity in the Spirit Realm and this is great because not only is it interesting to see how the spirits react but also to see them fighting, I love fight scenes especially when the fighter *cough*Deacon*cough* has to prioritise his fighting over checking that someone *cough*Mia*cough* is okay - his internal struggle was lovely.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was some of the "romancy-er" (I know this isn't a word) scenes were at really awkward times, like you know over the dead body of a murderer. It just felt a little out of place. But seeing their relationship grow - at none awkward times - was great. I just wish characters weren't as oblivious to their own feelings.

I'm looking forward to the sequel, now that their relationship has been established there shouldn't be any of that awkward "why do I feel this way?" and we got a teaser of Blood Promise (A Death Angel Novella #2) at the end of the book which was a nice way to make us eager.
Pandora Hearts, Vol. 04 - Jun Mochizuki *o* squeeee, this manga is so pretty and a lot of information was shared in this one! it's a shame i don't have any of the other volumes
Pandora Hearts, Vol. 03 - Jun Mochizuki A lot more information passed on this volume & the art work is as beautiful as ever :3
Rowan - Christina Channelle This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Rowan by Christina Channelle for review as part of a book tour, this has in no way reflected my opinion. Please note: I will try and keep this review as spoiler free as possible for those of you who haven’t read the series, but I can’t promise there will be zero spoilers.
I say lucky enough because after I finished the other novel and novella in this series I predicted that the second book would be even better and most likely my favourite of the three and I was in fact correct – though of course I may be a little bias as this book is from the point of view of Rowan who is a vampire and vampires are indeed my favourite mythical beings, but shhh. Any how back to the review, as I mentioned this is all from Rowan’s point of view and after four years of sleeping away the pain and need to feed – which hey does not seem like too bad of an idea at times to me, I mean we all have those days we’d rather just sleep through, but of course it also means that she’s ignoring other things and people that probably shouldn’t be ignored – she resurfaces into the city of Fallen and starts off by what any vamp would do, finding some food. Once full and refreshed with life/food she takes a proper look around where she is, and to those of you who aren’t as big of a fan as vampire’s as I am, I guess this is the part it gets interesting, because not far from her is a body. A body which isn’t alive but also not quiet dead, a body who we’ve previously met – Sam! Which if you forgotten like uh well I did (d’oh) is Dahlia’s brother from the first book, I blame reading at 1am for not making the connection. So Rowan does what any vampire with their humanity in tact does with a body that is neither dead or alive, yeah you guessed it, she turns Sam into a vampire.
So that is two of the main characters mentioned, the third is Remy and if you’ve read Fallen Tears you’ll know that he is one of the fallen angels, but one of the good ones, part of a family that have helped the last remaining vampires survive and stay hidden, and he’s also a total babe with the hots for Rowan. Of course. Everyone needs some form of romance in their lives.
This unlikely trio have to work together to find answers to questions, some of which they’re not even aware of. Why was Sam in such an odd state? Who has the power to do that to a person? Why does he have no memory of what happened to him and what was so important or scary that someone had to remove these memories from him? Why is a bear attacking them in the sewers? and what has happened to Sam’s family? Finding answers to only a few of these questions opens up a larger can of worms that none of them could ever be prepared for.
We eventually meet up with Dahlia and Greyson and their stories start to tie together and we get some long needed development of Rowan and Remy’s relationship as well as some unfortunate and deathly events. Like I said I don’t want to give too much away but I did really enjoy this book, there wasn’t a dull moment in it for me and seeing how the two books come together was very nice and left open an interesting chain of events to follow for the sequel. I felt like a few scenes were a little rushed towards the ending but this didn’t effect my opinion too drastically. Overall a lovely read and hasn’t suffered the terrible two’s that can often follow with series.
Imaginable: 2 (Intangible) - J. Meyers This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

As I'm sure many of you know I've been reading all the books J. Meyers has written for us and fallen completely in love with her fantasy world and even paid for a signed copy of Intangible to be shipped out to the UK where it now sits and looks beautiful on my shelf, maybe I'll end up with a copy of Imaginable too? Well I certainly hope so because this sequel was not a let down.
Imaginable continues to follow twins, Luke and Sera, and almost instantly pulls you into their fast paced adventure as Sera uses her healing powers to help heal vampires back into humans ...or is she? And if she isn't, what danger could these new being hold? These are the problems they're faced with as a team of no-longer-vampires-but-not-quiet-humans step into their lives and certainly not for anything good.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the development of not only the characters but their powers too, only when the twins were at their personal worst were they aware of exactly how limited their knowledge of their powers were and we got to see their powers grow and experience it with them which really helps you get attached to Luke and Sera alike. We also got to explore and spend a lot more time in the Realm; the home of the Light Elves and meeting of The Good Mother Keren was particularly amazing, and J Meyer's descriptions of this new world made it easy to visualise and believe it could truly exist. It was beautiful. Of course we also got to learn more about the Dark Elves too which is a little less on the beautiful side of things but not an ounce less interesting, they may be the "bad" guys to the other Elves but they have a range of mythical creatures on their side which was certainly interesting to read about, I just couldn't put the book down and I really can not do it justice.
On that note I want to sign out with letting you know this isn't a YA book to pass up but of course I haven't spoke about my favourite vampire Jonas, so I'll keep it short and spoiler free: he's as awesome as ever with some great moments, and I truly can not wait to see what is in store for him and the others next time round. I'm sure J Meyers will not be one to disappoint.
Hot Ticket - Olivia Cunning 3.5 stars~
I'll probably get round to reviewing this book properly one day but its been a while since I read it and typing this. Any way I realllllllly enjoyed the development of Jace's character, to see the depth behind him and all that jazz~ Aggie was pretty awesome too, helping him to gain control of the part of his life he didn't really have much control over.

Kind of wish the stories would stop following the same trend/template though.
Meet > not good for each other > needing each other > finally having each other > INJURY!!! > happily every after
Fallen Tears: A Blood Crave Novella (Blood Crave, #1.5) - Christina Channelle This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.


Oh welp. So I reviewed Dahlia a few days ago, which is the first in this series, and Fallen Tears in the following novella which is kind of a teaser for the sequel and oh my god. I kind of just wished that this is the book that introduced us to the world, rather than Dahlia's story. I felt Rowan's story had so much more life too it! I mean yes I enjoyed the previous book but I just felt this was a lot better.
Fallen Tears is aptly named, its a novella that starts off by introducing us to 12 year old Rowan, homeless, alone, cold and hungry under a bridge until she realises she isn't as alone as she thought, there's someone else there with her, or should I say something. That something is Kaji, a vampire, or as you later find out the first vampire, and there's almost an instant connection between himself and Rowan, they find themselves agreeing to be a part of each others lives, Rowan will teac Kaji how to be more human, to welcome his emotions and he in return will look after her and protect her. I think what I liked most about this is that we got more of insight to the vampires of this world, seeing as Dahlia was only half-vampire and that wasn't even touched upon too much, here we get to meet at least two (hehe, does that count as a spoiler?) and you really get to emphasize with many of the characters introduced in this novella, its actually gotten me a lot more excited for the second book of the series and I'd really love to read it right now! We also get a closer look at some other fallen angels, ones that aren't vampire hating murders and I'd love to see more of that family - again lack of names because I could touch upon a spoiler if I do! Anyway, I loved this so much more, it was a great read!