Tag Archives: book review

Book Review: I Am Forever by Wynne Channing (The Divine Really Ought to Listen to Lucas)

2014-IAmForeverTourBanner

When I learned Dark World Books was touring the follow up novel to Wynne Channing’s What Kills Me, I jumped at the chance to grab a review copy of I Am Forever. I read What Kills Me last year and loved it.

what kills meMy Thoughts on What Kills Me:

What a fast and enjoyable read. I should be sick and tired of vampire stories at this stage (I read so many of them) but What Kills Me had a refreshing take. First of all, it starts out in Rome, the main character is Canadian, and how she becomes a vampire is unique. Zee’s voice was full of excitement, while Lucas is calm, steadfast and a little cranky – they balance each other out wonderfully. This is an action packed yet charming paranormal coming-of-age story. I hope to hear more about Zee and Lucas in the future. And the cover takes my breath away!

****

Book Review: I Am Forever by Wynne Channing

17951457I Am Forever picks up just a couple of hours after the last book. Zee (short for Axelia) and Lucas are locked in a room, awaiting their fate at the hands of the Monarchy. Zee is told she is now a god and all vampires will bow down to her and refer to her only as the Divine. Not creepy at all. While Zee is taken aback, she tries to give their former enemies a chance. Lucas, however, is not so enthused. He’s waiting for the trap.

What I liked best about this book was Zee’s sense of humour. There are a lot of funny lines in this book, most of them thanks to our heroine. Even in the most dire life and death situations, Zee’s inner thoughts and dialogue had me chuckling.

Now, while I found Zee’s quips amusing, I did get annoyed with her for not listening to Lucas. He has been around a lot longer than her, hundreds of years. This is a guy who has a wise head on his shoulders. Despite all he has done for Zee, helping her even after his family dies for sheltering Zee from a Monarchy who wanted to kill her, she ignores Lucas’ warnings. He asks her to leave the Monarchy’s residence, but she doubts him and decides to stay put and live among the very people who wanted to kill her, and who murdered Lucas’ family. I wanted to shake Zee, and had to drum up some patience, telling myself she’s a seventeen year old girl thrust into an extraordinary situation. She’s bound to make some mistakes.

I Am Forever is as well-written as What Kills Me, but I did enjoy the first more, mainly because Zee and Lucas moved around a lot, and there was almost non-stop action. In I Am Forever, for the first half of the book at least, there is only one location, the underground fortress and lavish residences of the Empress and Monarchy.

The concept of a vampire hierarchy was interesting. Not just anyone can be made a vampire. There’s a special ceremony and once made vampire, the newbie is assigned a role he or she will play forever. Some will be soldiers, others maids, and they are told to serve the Monarchy. Of course the rebels aren’t having any of this and seek to destroy the Monarchy, Zee included.

I Am Forever is a fun take on the vampire genre. I’m already looking forward to the next chapter of Zee’s story.

Check it out on Goodreads & Amazon

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Kobo – Smashwords

****

If you like the sound of Wynne’s books, enter the International GiveawayGRAND PRIZE is a stunning ballpoint pen filled with more than 100 pink crystals, a black leather note book by Canadian designer Jessica Jensen, an ecopy of I Am Forever (Book Two in the What Kills Me series) and a signed What Kills Me bookmark.

crystal penprize

****

Thanks to Dark World Books & Wynne for letting me read I Am Forever. Any vampire lovers out there interested in this one?

***

Mini Book Reviews – All these books were written by men

I got a decent bit of reading done last month after falling behind last year. I’m determined to make a hefty dent in my to-read list in 2014. The reviews below can be found on Goodreads also, but I’ve extended them here. These three books are written my male authors, unusual for me. The vast majority of books I read are written by women.

****

woodburyThe Road to Woodbury

I saw this book facing out in a second-hand bookshop in town one day and grabbed it. I enjoy the TV show, The Walking Dead, and this seemed like it could be a fun companion novel.

Hmm. The zombie deaths, attacks and hordes were described well, but I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters. There came a point when I thought to myself if Josh (who is one of the few decent guys) calls Lilly “baby” or “baby doll” one more time, I’m throwing the book out the window. I was missing The Walking Dead on my TV screen when I started reading this, but it didn’t fill the void.

The romance, what little there was, just didn’t do it for me. Women write romance better, as far as I’m concerned anyway. In this book, the love scenes are less than great. One line, when Lilly and Josh finally sleep together just made me roll my eyes and groan. It went something like, “It was better than they had ever dreamed…” Oh, dear.

If you’d like to learn more about The Road to Woodbury, (remember the zombie scenes are great, it was just the romance side really that let this book down for me), you can check it out on Goodreads and Amazon.

I realised when reading The Road to Woodbury I don’t read many books by men. Growing up, I read some Stephen King and lots of the Point Horror books, but I’m struggling to think of any other male authors I read these days. Is this normal? Do women tend to mostly read books written by other women? In my experience men tend to almost always only read books by men, at least the men in my life. They will rarely pick up a book by a woman. I’m curious to hear from others on this. In your experience, do you find the same? I’ve gone totally off the point of the review now, so I’ll stop right there, but if anyone wants to talk about this in the comments, I’d welcome all opinions.

*************************************************************************************

neverNever Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

If I had to describe the atmosphere in this book in just one word, I’d have to go with “rainy”. I pictured this story in grey while reading this, which is fitting, because the characters aren’t considered real people by the vast majority of society. The dreary English weather, the cold brick building of Hailsham, the slow pace of story-telling… Rainy, grey tones permeated Never Let Me Go, but that’s not to say this book was lifeless and stark. I found it quite the opposite.

Hints as to the disturbing and sinister nature of this world are dropped from the beginning, as Kathy, now a thirty-one year old woman and a “carer”, heading towards being a “donor”, takes us back through her life, starting with her time at Hailsham, her childhood home, a boarding school type institution. There, we get to know three best friends, the headstrong and bossy Ruth, angry, football playing Tommy, and the quiet and observant Kathy.

I cried even before I got to the end. A profound sadness saturates the pages of Never Let Me Go. It seems so unfair, yet this is their world. They’ve known nothing else. They don’t even say the word “die” or discuss heaven or what happens after. They just willingly “complete”. There is no talk of running away or trying to avoid what lies ahead. They don’t have surnames, just a letter, like Kathy H. They wouldn’t have birth certificates or passports. They are almost non-human, as far as the world is concerned at least.

Poignant, well-written, sad, heartbreaking, real. Check it out on Goodreads and Amazon.

I had to go back and watch the film after reading. It does the book justice for the most part. In the movie, Kathy is played by Carey Mulligan, Ruth by Keira Knightley and Tommy by Andrew Garfield.

**************************************************************************************

dark curtainsDark Curtains by Evans Light

A short and creepy read. I love haunted house stories, and this one was on the disturbing side – the description about human nails being a part of the decorative curtains? Gah, gross.

I particularly enjoyed the details of the grand Victorian house. If you like your ghost stories on the dark side, this one’s for you. The author also includes an alternative ending, which was great to read. I’m still not sure which ending I preferred.

Check it out on Goodreads and Amazon.

******************************************************************************************

I’d love to read another Kazuo book. Which one would you recommend?

*********