2010 Book Reviews

45 Master Characters – Victoria Lynn Schmidt “…a gem…going into detail about the traits and flaws of each of the 45 archetypes, as well as examples…I’ve dog-eared many pages…” Buy (Worldwide)

Shadowglass – Erica HayesShadowglass remains shiny, from the hallucinogenic descriptions to its vivid friendship dramas. And though shallow on the surface, there’s greater depth behind the colours and sparkles.” Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Road Trip of the Living Dead – Mark Henry “…a character as psychological as she is superficial…like the bastard lovechild of Fuzzy Door Productions and South Park Digital Studios…” Buy (Worldwide)

Black Is for Beginnings – Laurie Faria Stolarz Buy (Worldwide)

The Road to Hell – Jackie Kessler “…the characters, their decisions and their interactions provide plenty of food for thought, and hopefully Meg and Angel will return for future episodes in this spunky series.” Buy (Worldwide)

StarDoc – S. L. ViehlStarDoc is a true page-turner….rather engrossing, and leaves me wanting the rest of the series…” Buy (Worldwide)

The People of Sparks – Jeanne DuPrau “Realistic, relevant, thoughtful, entertaining, and emotional, The People of Sparks is a brilliant sequel to tough-to-beat The City of Ember…” Buy (Worldwide)

Inside Out – Maria V. Snyder “The concept is by far the novel’s drawcard: futuristic, dystopian, and mysterious.” Buy (Worldwide)

Immortal – P. C. Cast with Leah Wilson (eds.) “…a welcome surprise…Immortal is a strong collection with something for everyone.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Diamond of Darkhold – Jeanne DuPrau “…by all means a great read…I love the Ember books for bringing important worldwide issues to young readers. I love the futuristic and realistic settings. I love the affable characters. Buy this series for any tween, but most importantly for you. Many thanks to Jeanne DuPrau for creating and writing this awesomeness.” Buy (Worldwide)

All Souls’ Night – Jennifer Armintrout “A heart transplant, skin grafts, golems, zombies, and some hot m/m shagging are the highlights…a fitting finale for this effed-up four-part series.” Buy (Worldwide)

Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater “Maggie Stiefvater has put enormous thought into her werewolves…there’s no denying that Shiver is one hell of a page-turner, an addictive read. Linger‘s July release can’t come soon enough.” Buy (Worldwide)

Song of Scarabaeus – Sara Creasy “After reading, you may have nightmares involving flora and fauna attacking you – seriously, this weird shiz is bloody engrossing…a fascinating read, with unforgettable, freaky, and frightening moments.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Prophet of Yonwood – Jeanne DuPrau “…explores theology, philosophy, post-9/11 paranoia and fearmongering, and love. A great spark for serious discussions about big issues, the story still remains relevant to kids.” Buy (Worldwide)

Need – Carrie Jones “Zara is one of the most appealing protagonists in recent fiction…refreshingly real, and with a personality both relatable and lovable.” Buy (Worldwide)

Flirt – Laurell K. Hamilton “When the author is good, she’s very good, as demonstrated in the cemetery scene. Laurell K. Hamilton is at her best taking Anita through the procedure of animating zombies.” Buy (Worldwide)

Life As We Knew It – Susan Beth Pfeffer “Fans of Jeanne DuPrau and Julie Bertagna should gravitate toward this stark and striking story.” Buy (Worldwide)

Lying in Bed – M. J. Rose “…Lying in Bed is M. J. Rose writing what she does best: a psychological study. Marlowe’s history is slowly unravelled, culminating in a smashing face-off with her past. Her character journey is by far the most fascinating part of the novel, and the attention to detail is deep…do make an effort to hunt down this 2006 gem.” Buy (Worldwide)

Twist – Colby Hodge “…this book saved my bacon, pulling me out of a reading slump. An awesome concept with snappy execution and twist upon twist – and ninjas. Even the cats are kick-arse, in particular Jayne. This is a bloody good read.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Well – A. J. Whitten “…quite the page-turner…” Buy (Worldwide)

Razor Girl – Marianne Mancusi “The narrative certainly grabbed me, as well as the world-building – this is fascinating stuff…so many awesome ideas…” Buy (Worldwide)

Among the Hidden – Margaret Peterson Haddix “…thought-provoking…may appeal to fans of Gemma Malley’s novels.” Buy (Worldwide)

Hallowed Circle “The competition – the Eximium – is by far the highlight here. It takes up only the middle third of the novel, but it’s bloody awesome.” Buy (Worldwide)

Shade Fright – Sean Cummings “Val and Caroline make the best dynamic duo in adult UF since Mark Henry’s Amanda Feral and Wendy, only Sean Cummings’s ladies are a lot more likable…the pure awesomeness of Val, Caroline and Canada is so appealing that I’ll definitely show up for round two.” Buy (Worldwide)

This World We Live In – Susan Beth Pfeffer “The dramas, both interpersonal and meteorological, are riveting and cause compulsive reading. The Last Survivors trilogy is further proof that dystopian YA is producing the most fascinating and engrossing stories, by taking enormous external issues and making them extremely personal. Many thanks to author Susan Beth Pfeffer for her awesome contribution to the genre, and long live dystopian YA!” Buy (Worldwide)

Embers – Laura Bickle “The arson investigation is the major winner here…Detroit is refreshingly unpretty…there’s no denying Embers is a page-turner…may suit M. J. Rose fans.” Buy (Worldwide)

Tales of the Otherworld – Kelley Armstrong Buy (Worldwide)

The Dark Divine – Bree Despain “Fans of Becca Fitzpatrick and Jessica Verday should enjoy this first tome in a trilogy. Bree Despain combines family, forgiveness, religion and paranormal romance to produce an oddly endearing story with an ancient, intriguing backstory.” Buy (Worldwide)

Wildthorn – Jane EaglandWildthorn is my kind of historical, with mysterious fellow inmates, medical treatments, and social commentary…a wonderful escapist romp of a read.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Clearing – Heather Davis “This is such a beautiful book…Heather Davis has created an extraordinarily heartfelt story with two lead characters I adore together. It’s a special, memorable novel, and though impossible it’s ultimately charming.” Buy (Worldwide)

My Soul to Keep “The subject matter raises the tension for a plot with continuous twists and higher stakes.” Buy (Worldwide)

White Cat – Holly Black “…Holly Black has created an intelligent, logical world where nothing comes for free, and blowback can very well destroy a worker. A suspicious feline, a crime family, and gruesome self-surgery combine for an intricate but enjoyable novel of mind games and mystery…well worth the persistence, White Cat is a massive step up…” Buy (Worldwide)

No Greater Pleasure – Megan Hart “Florentine is an awesome character…the scandalous dinner party during a brannigan…is a delight.” Buy (Worldwide)

Deadly Desire “…the villains are well thought out and fascinating, Salliane’s a gem, and it’s nice to see Riley kind of look after a street kid…the Riley Jenson series has cracking investigations…” Buy (Worldwide)

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner – Stephenie Meyer “Let it never be said that Stephenie Meyer doesn’t have a sense of humour…an okay way to spend a few hours…” Buy (Worldwide)

Dark Oracle – Alayna Williams “A mix of The X-Files and Alex Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series, this novel has enlivened urban fantasy with a smack of science that grounds the story with realism. Plus, there are definite wow moments…” Buy (Worldwide)

Afterlife – Merrie Destefano “Merrie Destefano has crafted a premise that’s powerful in its simplicity. The perfect blend of urban fantasy and science fiction, there are characters to cheer for and settings that spook. From the City of the Dead to the Underground Circus, from gen-spikes to liquid light, from dogs to their human counterparts, Afterlife has so much to love, and the second Resurrection Chronicle can’t come soon enough!” Buy (Worldwide)

Tsunami Blue – Gayle Ann Williams “the tension and plot really step up, with high stakes, cage fighting, and plenty more deadly encounters in store…a fun, quick read…” Buy (Worldwide)

Kiss of Death – P. D. Martin “…porphyria and/or Renfield’s syndrome. I’d love to read more about these medical/psychological conditions…the research and investigation are fascinating…” Buy (Worldwide)

Nightshade – Andrea Cremer “Welcome to your new reading obsession! Nightshade is supreme crack…entertainment of the highest order…should become an international best-seller.” Buy (Worldwide)

Guardian – Claire Delacroix “There are so many fascinating things about this futuristic post-apocalyptic setting…it’s hard NOT to be passionate about this brilliantly researched world.” Buy (Worldwide)

Rebel – Claire Delacroix “A bizarre yet fitting mix of paranormal, futuristic and romance, the science makes this trilogy stand above others. It’s no secret that its world-building is my drug (no, not Ivanofor), is a definite must-read, and is particularly relevant…” Buy (Worldwide)

Raised by Wolves – Jennifer Lynn Barnes “…a heck of a page-turner…an emotional reading experience…a striking novel I won’t soon forget. Jennifer Lynn Barnes, I dip my hat to you. Wow.” Buy (Worldwide)

Solitary – Alexander Gordon Smith “…this cracking YA futuristic horror thriller comes with a heartwreching emotional punch that very nearly had me in tears. This unique series may be targeted towards teenage boys, but it’s certainly won over this twenty-something female!” Buy (Worldwide)

Death Sentence – Alexander Gordon Smith “…another cracking thriller with plenty of soul.” Buy (Worldwide)

Blue Diablo – Ann AguirreBlue Diablo is a winner with its shady border towns, nifty supporting characters, mysterious pasts, and a protagonist who thinks with more than just her libido. Ann Aguirre writes urban fantasy as it should be!” Buy (Worldwide)

Waking the Witch – Kelley Armstrong “…very appealing…a great voice…a solid four-star read…” Buy (Worldwide)

Hell Fire – Ann Aguirre Buy (Worldwide)

Haunted Honeymoon – Marta Acosta “Milagro is at her irrepressible best…This series may be classified as a comedy of manners, but there’s also serious depth here…read it for the lavishly larger-than-life characters and their shenanigans, and this fourth novel certainly has them in spades.” Buy (Worldwide)

Night Life – Caitlin Kittredge “…a roaring page-turner that should give book clubs much to discuss.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Blood Countess – Tara Moss “…The Blood Countess has all the ingredients for a YA paranormal that will no doubt sell its pants off here in Australia…Gothic elements, paranormalcy, and high fashion combine for a delightfully trashy, entertaining read. Great-Aunt Celia’s wardrobe is to die for, the mansion in Spektor is suitably creepy, and there’re more than just a few secrets in the family’s skeleton closet. The Blood Countess is jolly good fun, and best recommended for young adults.” Buy (US) [Audio CD]

Crave – Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz “The protagonist’s unofficially-diagnosed blood disorder provides an interesting prospective on a done-to-death trope.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Dead and the Gone – Susan Beth Pfeffer “…a wrenching, emotional story showcasing how big world problems can affect one’s daily life. Certain scenes are devastatingly haunting…An extraordinary, unforgettable trilogy, don’t miss out on this amazing series.” Buy (Worldwide)

Driven – Eve Kenin “I love the world-building of this futuristic so much. I love the dystopia, the science, the technology, the mystique, and the true grit…I wish the author would write more futuristics…” Buy (US)

The Chosen One – Carol Lynch Williams “…utterly enthralling. A quiet but tense story that’s so disturbing in its plot twists and creepy characters. A true cult novel as astounding as it is outstanding, as frightening as it is heartbreaking. If this isn’t already on your wish list, add it immediately.” Buy (Worldwide)

Bones of Faerie – Janni Lee Simner “…cracking good ideas with interesting execution. Downright spooky at times…the refreshing lack of romance makes the story all the more focused for a tight, taught experience.” Buy (Worldwide)

Mercy – Rebecca Lim “…best matched to readers of Kim Wilkins’ Gina Champion series…a short, fast trip…a fun little venture.” Buy (US)

Hunger – Jackie Morse Kessler “…this could be the book that saves readers from themselves…one of 2010’s finest releases…a story with depth I won’t soon forget.” Buy (Worldwide)

Wired – Liz Maverick “…a cracking good read, sparking with intrigue plus an unexpected emotional hard-hit…The banter between Roxy and Kitty is fun, and their Girls’ Own adventure in the future is a delight. I love the way Liz Maverick’s weird and wacky creativity works!” Buy (Worldwide)

Exit Light – Megan Hart “Megan Hart has crafted a beautiful novel, a heart-breaker that’s so realistic it hurts…A unique, mature, and graceful tale, Exit Light deserves your reading.” Buy (US)

Like Clockwork – Bonnie Dee “A serial killer, automatons, and a potential uprising in a steampunk novella – what’s not to like?…a great way to fill an evening.” Buy (US)

Reaper – Rachel Vincent “…best showcases the reaper’s humour…confirms Tod’s awesomeness.” Buy (US)

My Soul to Steal – Rachel Vincent “Rachel Vincent continues to impress with unusual species, teen drama, and deadly scenarios…healthy doses of situation comedy and witticism. A fabulously fun and gossip-worthy book…You’ll love this!” Buy (Worldwide)

Funeral Pallor – Sean Cummings “…forget Harry Dresden – I’d rather hang out with Valerie Stevens. She doesn’t need to kick arse to be strong – she just is.” Buy (Worldwide)

Precious and Fragile Things – Megan Hart “An excellent choice for discussion groups, this psychological suspense rings true. It’s thought-provoking, heart-breaking, and should be at the top of your new year’s shopping list. It certainly deserves to be both a critical and commercial success.” Buy (Worldwide)

Irreversible – Liz Maverick “…enjoy the ride.” Buy (US)

Death’s Sweet Embrace – Tracey O’Hara “The characters’ teamwork, professionalism, and sensibilities are realistic. This series is a comfort read of sorts…the story’s intriguing twists form a great climax.” Buy (Worldwide)

The Legend of Banzai Maguire – Susan Grant “…with fascinating world-building, conceivable technology, and the smell of an uprising on the wind, this novel won me over…” href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0505525429?ie=UTF8&tag=tesa06-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0505525429″>Buy (US)

Don’t Kill the Messenger – Eileen Rendahl “…with ninjas, Taoist priests, and Chinese vampires on offer, the book’s rather tempting…” Buy (Worldwide)

Chinatown Trollop – Mario Acevedo “…Felix’s guilt and grief humanises him, makes him less of a soulless killing machine…Felix and Qian are affable…” Buy (Worldwide)

Entice – Carrie Jones “Zara White is still my favourite protag, in YA or adult…With characters you’ll actually like and intriguing plot elements, Entice deals with tough issues…without falling into emo.” Buy (Worldwide)

Midnight Caller – Leslie Tentler “Weird shiz and family secrets are part and parcel here, and definitely put the suspense in this romantic suspense. The paranormal elements thankfully fall short of going over-the-top, and thus keep the novel in the crime genre.” Buy (Worldwide)

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