2012 Book Reviews

People’s Republic – Robert Muchamore “…Fu Ning is an awesome teen heroine…People’s Republic is a return to form from this great author, and this Aramov Clan instalment is a real page-turner.” Buy (Worldwide)

Fortune – Erica Spindler “…Fortune is like a Gothic saga, page-turner crack…”

Passion Model – Megan Hart “…rather fun with intriguing world-building…” Buy (Worldwide)

Amidst a Crowd of Stars – Megan Hart Buy (US)

The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater Buy (Worldwide)

Sweet Valley Confidential – Francine Pascal “…Chapter 14 is when all hell breaks loose, a brilliant set-piece…” Buy (Worldwide)

Banished – Sophie Littlefield “…I really like how Hailey looks after Chub…” Buy (Worldwide)

What Happened to Cass McBride? – Gail Giles “…the plot is a winner, well-planned with psychological twists and turns driving the story. A claustrophobic, psychological thriller with plenty of family drama. I read it one sitting, so should you.” Buy (Worldwide)

Dangerous Curves – Pamela Britton Buy (CA)

Notorious – Cecily von Ziegesar (creator) “…Tinsley could never be accused of not keeping things interesting.” Buy (Worldwide)

Bumped – Megan McCafferty “…This is my favourite kind of futuristic…And the plot is sensible…Megan McCafferty’s Bumped was just what I needed, and I had a great time with it. I loved it!…” Buy (Worldwide)

A Long, Long Sleep – Anna Sheehan “Anna Sheehan’s A Long, Long Sleep more than lives up to its premise, and is even more awesome than the summary suggests. The world-building is brilliant, the psychology engaging, the plot intriguing…I love it all!…I am pumped, so excited to see what else this clever author has in store for us.” Buy (Worldwide)

Shelter – Harlan Coben “…Mickey Bolitar is easy to like…the quintet works well together…A quick, fun read with all the New Jersey grit we’ve come to expect from this author. Give it a go.” Buy (Worldwide)

Cinder – Marissa Meyer “…Marissa Meyer hooks readers with her take of a cyborg in futuristic China…I love all the science and technology: cyborgs, androids, letumosis, bioelectricity, all of it…” Buy (Worldwide)

Prince of Lost Places – Kathy Hepinstall “…beautiful…I love psychological novels, and Prince of Lost Places is definitely one of those. It’s a heartbreaker…”

Blue Monday – Nicci French “…rather interesting…Josef is a delightful little side character…An intriguing tale, I’m looking forward to the next…” Buy (Worldwide)

All Fall Down – Megan Hart “…The premise is irresistible…quite awesome…” Buy (Worldwide)

Ripper – Amy Carol Reeves “…hallmarks of a great historical…a page-turner…” Buy (Worldwide)

Ashes – Ilsa J. Bick “…here’s what Ashes is in a nutshell: a paranormal, dog-whispering, cannibalistic, surgical, weepie, relationship drama, with hidden agendas, arranged marriages, and neuroscience. It packs a lot into its considerable length, and I’m chomping at the bit for Shadows. Ashes is serious sequel-bait.” Buy (Worldwide)

Katana – Cole Gibsen “Cole Gibsen keeps the spirit of samurai well and truly alive in this contemporary American tale with warrior heart. Rileigh Martin learns that it’s possible to integrate a past life into the present, and still retain one’s current personality. Bonus points to Katana for containing a love interest that I actually approve of. Fingers crossed this novel has a sequel in the works – fiction needs more samurai.” Buy (Worldwide)

Torn – Stephanie Guerra “Stephanie Guerra crafts suspense like a pro, building tension and piling on trouble…Torn is a great suspense with a growing sense of dread.” Buy (US)

The Wicker Man – Robin Hardy & Anthony Shaffer “…the plot is fascinating, and even fun. The weird shiz factor (and my word, there’s a lot of it) is undeniable and clearly its drawcard, making for a suspenseful, kooky read. It’s simply bloody entertaining.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Raft – S. A. Bodeen “…I give it an extra star for the twist…I totally want to eat the Better than Anything cake – you will, too.” Buy (Worldwide)

Hanging by a Thread – Sophie Littlefield “…it’s nice that Clare has a hobby.” Buy (Worldwide)

Starters – Lissa Price “…Lissa Price has crafted science fiction as it should be and Starters is a delight to read. I love the world-building, the technology, the twists and turns – this is high-quality stuff…” Buy (Worldwide)

Struck – Jennifer Bosworth “…Struck‘s premise is astoundingly awesome, the big White Tent climax is genuinely creepy, and I’m so looking forward to whatever Jennifer Bosworth writes next…” Buy (Worldwide)

The Book of Blood and Shadow – Robin Wasserman Buy (Worldwide)

Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer “…surrender to the crazy…” Buy (Worldwide)

Frostbite – Richelle Mead “…Rose’s melodramas make for sweet, nourishing crack. Yes, they’re trashy, but also deliciously fun to read. And in the end, isn’t that what reading should be about? Good thing I have the rest of the series ready and waiting on my bookshelf. I sense entertaining reading ahead!” Buy (Worldwide)

Silver – Rhiannon Held “…Rhiannon Held has crafted a quiet, elegant, and refined novel…Andrew is quite likable, as is Silver, and romance fans will be pleased with the happy ending. Urban fantasy fans will appreciate the back-to-basics story…” Buy (Worldwide)

The Venus Fix – M. J. Rose “…the depth of psychology is absolutely fascinating. With edgy, intriguing content, you’re pretty much guaranteed a great read…Amanda’s story is transfixing…investigation is thrilling…” Buy (Worldwide)

The Nightworld – Jack Blaine “…interesting stuff…the ending is a cliff-hanger, spelling sequel-bait. It’s a fun read…” Buy (Worldwide)

Heart of Darkness – Lauren Dane “…Lauren Dane is an author with potential who sets the framework for great conflicts…” Buy (Worldwide)

Hemlock – Kathleen Peacock “…Kathleen Peacock has crafted a winningly claustrophobic setting, with uncertain alliances and an abundance of shady characters…” Buy (Worldwide)

Sin’s Dark Caress – Tracey O’Hara “…makes me laugh….” Buy (Worldwide)

Team Human – Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan “…Team Human is that rare gem: a novel that gets the balance spot-on between humour and drama. New Whitby is a well-built world with plenty of sparkle – the non-ridiculous kind – to warrant revisiting. The story is fresh, fun, and simply a read that goes down well. If you only read one vampire novel this year, make it Team Human.” Buy (Worldwide)

Little Star – John Ajvide Lindqvist “…Theres and Teresa’s lives are compelling and creepy, horrific and at times unsettlingly real…It’s bleak, eerie, and unforgettable, building great suspense with the ultimate payoff. This is John Ajvide Lindqvist’s best work since Let the Right One In.” Buy (Worldwide)

Arise – Tara Hudson “…Arise‘s best aspect is the female friendship between Amelia and Gaby…” Buy (Worldwide)

Temptation – Karen Ann Hopkins “…Temptation hooked me at “Amish”. This is a romance with big obstacles and true conflicts to overcome… Buy (Worldwide)

Living Proof – Kira Peikoff “…The science is interesting, of course…the East Village is a great setting…” Buy (Worldwide)

Welcome to Carson Springs – Eileen Goudge Buy (US)

The Siren – Tiffany Reisz “Tiffany Reisz writes erotic fiction as it should be…I’m not so patiently awaiting the release of Tiffany Reisz’s The Angel and The Prince.” Buy (Worldwide)

Fever – Dee Shulman “…I’m interested to learn more about the science, so I’ll give the sequel, Delirium, a crack in 2013.” Buy (Worldwide)

Gone to the Dogs – Naomi Clark “Settling down with an Ethan Banning story is like catching up with an old friend…” Buy (US)

Ice, Ice Baby – Naomi Clark “…Good times! :-)” Buy (US)

Painless – Naomi Clark “…Painless‘s sci-fi elements are the most intriguing…I definitely want to read more Naomi Clark sci-fi.” Buy (US)

Shadow Cursed – Naomi Clark Buy (US)

Blue Asylum – Kathy Hepinstall “…The events that led Iris and Ambrose to Sanibel are revealed piece by piece with a deft hand that saves the final details for the very end…Kathy Hepinstall is a master of Southern gothic, and Blue Asylum is another winner…” Buy (Worldwide)

Seven-Day Loan – Tiffany Reisz “…Seven-Day Loan is another great read from Tiffany Reisz…” Buy (US)

Fifty Shames of Earl Grey – Fanny Merkin “…thoroughly entertaining…So looking forward to Fifty Shames in Space!” Buy (Worldwide)

Bared to You – Sylvia Day “…packs a mighty emotional punch, with plenty of scares and conflict…issues abound for book clubs and newspaper columns to discuss.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Diary of a Submissive – Sophie Morgan “…The prologue is effective…I like Sophie’s writing, the fact she’s a “grammar fascist”…” Buy (Worldwide)

The Uninvited – Liz Jensen “…Liz Jensen specialises in creepy children and global chaos. Supernatural fiction for the literary set…like a strange mix of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Little Star, Sara Wilson Etienne’s Harbinger, and Liz Jensen’s own The Rapture…” Buy (Worldwide)

The Iron Thorn – Caitlin Kittredge Buy (Worldwide)

On the Island – Tracey Garvis Graves “…It’s a precious rarity – a romance in which I actually want the characters to live happily ever after together…The island setting and remarkable circumstances form a winning combination…” Buy (Worldwide)

Bleeding Ink – Lisa Forget, Patricia Hollett, & Tammy Crosby Buy (Worldwide)

The Wood Queen – Karen Mahoney Buy (Worldwide)

The Wanderer – Pippa Dee “…This fast-paced middle-grade futuristic urban fantasy adventure should appeal to junior high students with its blend of technology, the paranormal, and warriors…The Wanderer is just plain clever…” Buy (US)

Shadows – Ilsa J. Bick “…Shadows has a lot of action, violence, and cannibalism…” Buy (Worldwide)

Soulbound – Heather Brewer “…Soulbound is an easy read, a page-turner…” Buy (Worldwide)

What’s Left of Me – Kat Zhang “…awesome premise…grips readers straight away with its unusual narrative, eerie circumstances, and threat of medical intervention…I love this medical shiz…” Buy (Worldwide)

Capturing Angels – V. C. Andrews Buy (US)

Witch – Fiona Horne “…Witch‘s strength lies in the well-crafted town of Summerland, with its rich history and vivid description…the author has done an admirable job of giving the narrator flaws…” Buy (US)

Spark – Amy Kathleen Ryan “Behold: a trilogy with a middle book that doesn’t dip in quality compared to Book 1…What I love most about the Sky Chasers series is the setting: a generational spaceship on the way to a new planet. Also, the rival spaceship, and the space between. Love it, fascinated with it, want more of it. Book 3 can’t come soon enough. And life inside the Empyrean and the New Horizon involves conflict upon conflict, and all this tension forms an awesome page-turner…” Buy (Worldwide)

Puberty Blues – Gabrille Carey & Kathy Lette “…Hands down, Puberty Blues is a real corker. Writers, if you want a great example of “voice”, read this and weep – it’ll grab you from the get-go. It does exactly what books should: throw you into a world so different from your own, but one that always rings with truth. The setting, the culture, and the vernacular are so exquisitely detailed, and the characters instantly recognisable, that the whole package is not just believable, it’s REAL. And it’s funny…” Buy (Worldwide)

Blood Bond – Sophie Littlefield “…lead character Joe Bashir reeled me in immediately, relatable and likeable…you should definitely give Blood Bond a go, and find a new character to love.”

The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater “…The Raven Boys hits the nail on the head. The unfolding mystery, the layered and complex characters, the banter, the humour – I love it all!…Awesome.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Space Between Us – Megan Hart “…The Space Between Us is a hit, a solid four-star affair with conflict and drama. It’s easy to sympathise with all characters involved…” Buy (Worldwide)

Garden of Stones – Sophie Littlefield “…Garden of Stones will break your heart. It certainly broke mine….” Buy (Worldwide)

Class – Cecily von Ziegesar “…The real humour comes from the male characters…” Buy (Worldwide)

Drink, Smoke, Pass Out – Judith Lucy Buy (US)

Earth Girl – Janet Edwards “This is true science fiction…awesome, fascinating, jaw-dropping climax…” Buy (Worldwide)

Release Me – J. Kenner Buy (Worldwide)

The Final Wish – Tracey O’Hara Buy (US)

Room with a View – Kylie Scott Buy (US)

The Plague Carrier – Merrie Destefano “The setting/world-building is intriguing…” Buy (US)

Reflected in You – Sylvia Day “…The highlight of this half – and the whole book, and the entire trilogy to date – is Dr Petersen…” Buy (Worldwide)

If You Find Me – Emily Murdoch “…a heartbreaker…I’m desperate to read whatever else the mega-talented Emily Murdoch writes. Jodi Picoult fans would be wise to give this a go.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Diviners – Libba Bray Buy (Worldwide)

The Skeleton Key – Tara Moss “…some genuinely scary moments…interesting and enjoyable…” Buy (Worldwide)

When We Wake – Karen Healey “…a novel with a social conscience…one of my favourite heroines in fiction…plenty of surprises…” Buy (Worldwide)

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