Illusions, horns and burning skies

Time to talk books!

October had some memorable reads. First up is Horns by Joe Hill. Horrors usually aren’t my thing, but the movie — starring Daniel Radcliffe — came out a wee while ago, so I thought I’d check out the book first. Whoa. What a premise. And what a read! Not sure I’d be up to seeing some of the events of the book played out in full blazing Technicolor, but that’s just me. By all reports Daniel Radcliffe gives a stellar performance in the movie, and I highly recommend the book.

Here’s the blurb for Horns from the author’s website, plus this link will take you to an excerpt:

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. . . .

And here’s the movie trailer:

Next up, The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas.

I’m not sure the blurb does this book justice. It hits all the right notes for a fantasy novel, but for me, it doesn’t convey the cool-factor of a great deal of the book being set in and around Eton College in 1883–making it an alternate-world fantasy in parts? So rather than posting the blurb, I thought I’d post the first paragraph (unofficial short preface?) of The Burning Sky:

Just before the start of Summer Half, in April 1883, a very minor event took place at Eton College, that venerable and illustrious English public school for boys. A sixteen-year-old pupil named Archer Fairfax returned from a three-month absence, caused by a fractured femur, to resume his education.

Almost every word in the preceding sentence is false. Archer Fairfax had not suffered a broken limb. He had never before set foot in Eton. His name was not Archer Fairfax. And he was not, in fact, even a he.

This is the story of a girl who fooled a thousand boys, a boy who fooled an entire country, a partnership that would change the fate of realms, and a power to challenge the greatest tyrant the world had ever known.

Expect magic.

Don’t know about you, but that certainly captured me!

Reviewers have commented negatively on both the pacing, and that The Burning Sky is structured like a romance novel but doesn’t ‘work’ as such for them. However both aspects worked for me, and I enjoyed the way the two main characters skipped between the two “worlds” the author created. So I guess it all depends on your expectations from a YA fantasy :)

You can read an excerpt from The Burning Sky on the author’s website.

And last but not least, I thoroughly enjoyed Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White, which was recently a Dear Author Recommended Read: click here to read the review on Dear Author. Not to mention, it has a truly beautiful cover!

illusions-of-fate-white-300x443

And here’s my full reading list for October 2014:

  • Rapid Hearts by Rachael Ruddick
  • Wombat Creek by Noelene Jenkinson
  • Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
  • Private Love in a Public Place by Toni Kenyon
  • His Christmas Virgin by Carole Mortimer
  • Billionaire Prince Pregnant Misttress by Sandra Marton
  • The Doctor’s Royal Bride by Jessica Matthews
  • On The Road Again by Fiona Lowe
  • Horns by Joe Hill
  • A Flare of Heat by Nicola Claire
  • Fever by Melissa Pearl
  • Come Dancing by Leslie Wells
  • Destiny Binds by Tammy Blackwell**
  • Time Mends by Tammy Blackwell**
  • Fate Succumbs by Tammy Blackwell**
  • The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
  • A Family Affair by Marilyn McPherson
  • Marriage and the Mermaid by Louise Cusack

**The Timber Wolves Trilogy

Happy Reading!

:)

M

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