Nyx Book Reviews

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Review: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Mistborn
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn #1
Rating: 2 Stars

647 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by Tor Fantasy
Gifted

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

My feelings about Mistborn can easily be summarised: fantastic worldbuilding, predictable plot, and cardboard characters. I know this book has a very dedicated fan base though. If you’re a huge fan, this review might not be for you.

*hides from the pitchforks*

The premise of Mistborn is a well-known fantasy cliché. Young person from the lower social ranks (farmer/thief/orphan) is told he/she has awesome powers which will help overthrow the evil ruler dude. Think Harry Potter, Eragon, Sword of Truth, even Lord of the Rings in a way. The particular flavour of Mistborn is that our special snowflake is Vin, a skaa thief living on the streets of the capitol of the Final Empire.

Vin is found by Kelsier, and he trains her into her Mistborn powers. He adopts her into his own crew and teaches her that people can actually trust other people.

I’ve got plenty of material to discuss in this review, but I’ll start with Vin’s character. We spend most of our time in her mind, seeing her development from abused street urchin into confident assassin. At least, that is the idea. For me Mistborn read completely different. At first Vin is distrustful, broken, a whisp of a person. She’s interesting. Then she spends a lot of time with the nobility, spying at balls, dancing at candlelight, and the whole shebang. And she turns into a shallow, overly trusting person. I didn’t believe her for a second. At the beginning of the story, Vin doesn’t even take a drink from someone. After some glitter and glamor with people who would have literally walked over her months ago, she suddenly thinks things like “but they are so nice at balls, they must be good people”. We started with Arya, and ended up with Sansa. Yuck. Vin is supposed to be an assassin, but in the entire book she only kills two people, neither of which she truly plans beforehand. Saying Vin is an assassin is like saying someone is a pâtissier after whipping up a cake at home.

Kelsier is the other person whose point of view is shown consistently throughout the book. He has had a tough life – his wife betrayed him to the Lord Ruler and he had to work in mines at terrible conditions. The problem with Kelsier’s point of view is that it’s clear that he’s keeping something from the reader. This secret that’s constantly between the reader and the character made me feel very distant from him. If we can’t truly know him, what is the point of being in his thoughts?

My biggest issue is with the plot of Mistborn. It’s really, really, really boring. Seriously. At around page fifty, the crew members outline what they’re going to be doing. They go pretty in-depth, discussing their plans. And for the next four hundred pages they do what they outlined in a few pages. Hardly anything goes wrong. There is no conflict. Nothing interesting happens. They collect weapons, they recruit people, Vin goes to a ball. Vin and Kelsier have a touching moment. They collect weapons, they recruit people, Vin goes to a ball. Vin and Kelsier have a touching moment. Rinse and repeat over and over again. Only at the five-hundred page mark does something else than this happen. And when it does, it’s actually quite great. it’s full of twists and suspense. If Sanderson can do this at the end, why isn’t the rest of the book like it?

Let’s move on to a positive note. Sanderson is a great world-builder. I really like what he did with the magic system – burning certain metals give Allomancers certain powers. Some people can only burn one metal (Mistings), while others can burn all of them (Mistborns). The system was incredibly thought-through, and it gave him some great material to work with in the action scenes. Which are really good, by the way. It makes me sad there is almost no action until the last part. We see Vin and Kelsier playing around with some Allomancy, but there are very little situations in which the stakes are high.

I really wanted to like Mistborn. So many of my online bookish friends love it, but I was disappointed. It’s okay if I don’t like a certain aspect of a book, but when I’m bored for hundreds of pages on end, it’s clearly not working for me. I might read the next book in the series, or not. I saw the big reveal of Mistborn coming from page two hundred or so (Sanderson – you’re not as sneaky as you think you are), so I might just opt for looking up spoilers instead.

Blurb

Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.

He failed.

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

Other reviews you might be interested in

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How I Manage My Blog – Realising What and When to Post

DSCN9698I’ve wanted to do a new post on how I manage my blog for a while, ever since I outlined my (then) new method in a two part post series called On Being More Organised in Blogging (part one and part two). And I realised it might actually help other people – because for the entire month of February I managed to blog five times a week with barely any stress at all. This little insight in how I manage my blog will be spread out over two posts. For the second instalment, come back next Wednesday!

First of all, I should disclose that I have a lot of free time, and I do spend a lot of my free time blogging. There is no short cut. If you want to blog a lot, you’re going to invest a lot of time. I’ve tried to become more concious of how I’m spending my time, and through that I’ve become more productive and happier than I’ve ever been blogging-wise.

Setting up the bare bones

There are two important elements to organising your blog in the most efficient way. First is realising what you want to post. Honestly, this seems so simple, but this is the thing I’ve struggled with the most in the past (for example, compare this post to this one). I’d been blogging for four years, and I still didn’t know what I really wanted. Did I want to write discussions? Do blog tours, or not, or just in moderation? Were reviews still relevant enough? Did I want to do everything? I tried doing just what I felt like, but I never liked how messy and disorganised that was. I tried all kinds of combinations – memes, no memes, new memes, only discussions and reviews, only reviews, only discussions (really, it’s slightly ridiculous all the combinations I tried).

After my last breakdown in November, I knew a few things:

  • I wanted to keep posting reviews
  • I also wanted to discuss some kind of bookish topic every week
  • There should be some room for interviews and guest post
  • I wanted a way to link up my posts of the week to give them extra exposure
  • Somehow manage to add a touch of my personal life to the blog without it turning into a lifestyle blog

The second important element in organising your blog is realising when you want to post. Consider how many posts a week you want. Don’t go crazy. Do you just want to post whenever you feel like it? Great! Do you want to get ahead? We can work with that too. I wanted to work on spreading my blog posts better, so I didn’t have these huge gaps in my schedule. For a month or so, I managed to publish three reviews every week. Since that was slightly ridiculous, I brought the number of reviews I post every week down to two. I adapted the Sunday Post meme into the shape I wanted to be, and my post schedule was born.

  • Monday: book review
  • Wednesday: open slot for discussions, book tours, interviews, giveaways
  • Friday: book review
  • Sunday: wrap up post

This schedule works for me because one, it’s nicely spread out over the week. No huge gaps. Two, I always know what I need to do for next week (something that makes me much more productive, as I’ll talk about in my next post). Three, it’s flexible. Wednesday is my post-whatever-the-hell-I-want day. If just Wednesday isn’t enough, I can always post an extra post on Tuesday or Thursday or Saturday. If I run out of reviews, I’ll just leave out the Monday post. Perfect.

How do you manage your blog? Do you just wing it? Or do you consider pros and cons of certain posting schedules?

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Review: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Title: Midwinterblood
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Series: Standalone
Rating: 3.5 Stars

272 pages
Published October 6th 2011 by Indigo
Borrowed from library

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Our first glimpse into the story of Midwinterblood is set in 2073, with main character Eric flying a plane to the mysterious island of Blessed. It seems as if the people living on Blessed don’t get old – and as a journalist, Eric is looking for the next big scoop. However, the longer he is at the island, the more he starts to forget what he has come intended to do.

This is the second book I’ve read by Marcus Sedgwick, and I recognised some of the imaginary he uses in Midwinterblood from White Crow. I feel like the settings were very similar, and both combine a historical story into a contemporary one. Especially when the climactic scenes of both books involve old crumbling churches, I feel like the author is trying to make some sort of point. Some writers connect their books in certain ways, be that in themes, characters, or places, and Sedgwick does something similar.

Character-wise, Midwinterblood and White Crow aren’t close at all. The main character of Midwinterblood is a grown man, where in White Crow we follow a teen girl. The fact that the main character of the book is a grown-up threw me off. Although the book is categorised as a young adult book, I don’t necessarily see a reason to do so. The language felt juvenile (more like a middle grade book), yet the characters are adults. The themes explored have nothing to do with being a teen. I think the book was more about being ageless rather than being YA, but the end result was weird. It’s not a bad thing not to fit in any box, but it’s not particularly admirable in itself either.

The plot of Midwinterblood meanders through the ages, made up from seven nearly separate stories. All of the stories are connected in some ways, some more obviously than others. It took me a few stories until I fully understood what the author was trying to do. It was nice to find out the similarities and differences in all of the stories, and fitting together the pieces of the puzzle was satisfying.

The rather abrupt nature of both the writing and the plotting made that the book left less of an impression than it could have. The characterisation was too thin in some stories, and nearly non-existant in others. Reading Midwinterblood was a strange experience – not scary per se, but rather unsettling. It’s an unique book, and I have no idea what kind of readership to recommend it to.

Blurb

Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.

An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love

Other reviews you might be interested in

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The Sunday Post #19

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba from The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

What a fantastic reading week! I’ve been reading a hundred pages almost every day, and I got through some pretty big books.

This week I had my first ballet class in three weeks, and OUCH. My legs definitely weren’t up to the challenge any more. That teaches me to practice at home once in a while!

This week on Nyx Book Reviews

I finally finished the Demonata series! These books are part of my challenge to myself to finish some more series. I also found out I had never posted my review of Splintered, which I read ages ago.

This week on Irresponsible Cactus

Like comics? I’m reviewing a bunch of them. I highly recommend Ms. Marvel and The Wicked + The Divine!

Read this week

sundaypost19

Mistborn, sadly, didn’t live up to my expectations. You can expect my review of it next week on Friday. Gone Girl was an easy read, and Magic Burns was my undeniable favourite of the week. It’s the second book in the Kate Daniels series, and so far it’s only been getting better.

How was your week?

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Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
Rating: 2 Stars

371 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Amulet Books
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Great concept and lovely world, but the story got ruined for me by the annoying love-triangle and even more annoying characters.

Alyssa is the daughter of a mad woman that thinks Wonderland is real. It doesn’t help that she’s a far descendant of the real Alice Liddell. But her mother might not be as crazy as she seems, and Alyssa soon gets wrapped up in family curses and lost childhood memories.

This book sounds absolutely perfect for me – I’m a great fan of the original Alice in Wonderland, and the cover looks beautiful and the blurb amazing. Splintered was a disappointment though. The Wonderland Ms Howard creates was interesting, but having to see it through Alyssa’s eyes was cringe-worthy.

Alyssa is a strange hybrid between a cyberpunk/goth girl and a skater, befriended with Jeb that’s a skater too (that wears ribbed tank tops though). We went off on a rocky start, since both Alyssa and Jeb are about the opposite from the “skaters” I know. But once we got past that and the story focusses more about Alyssa’s crazy family and her own crazy skills (she hears voices from flowers and insects), I gladly forgot our past differences.

I like the general plot, but I hated how Alyssa runs around like a headless chicken. She never thinks things through. Ever. Yet somehow she never fully connects with the way things work in Wonderland. One of the awesome things about Wonderland for me is that everything is possible – it’s an absolutely unreasonable crazy world. It felt as if Alyssa spends the entire book struggling against Wonderland. I was constantly waiting for her to become fully emerged, because her reluctance translated into a reluctance of my own.

The dynamic going on between Alyssa, Jeb and Morpheus (resident Wonderland moth-man bad-boy) is absolutely dreadful. Jeb and Morpheus are constantly bickering over Alyssa, about what she will and won’t do, while she just stands by and watches them. What the hell? Grow a pair, girl. You decide for your own, and you should tell them to shut the hell up and demand some answers. Jeb is insanely patronising, and Morpheus is a lying son of a bitch, yet somehow Alyssa luuuurves them both. The romance and Alyssa’s indecisiveness grated on my nerves.

I heard the sequel to Splintered, Unhinged is darker, and maybe that’s more what I’m looking for. I hope Alyssa grows some common sense in the main while.

Blurb

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Other reviews you might be interested in

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11 Bookish Questions

Mawa from All Things Wordy nominated me for a Liebster Award (thanks so much!) and invited me to answer a few questions.

bookishquestions

What’s your favourite colour?

PURPLE. I love this colour so much that it has become some kind of inside joke between my friends. I don’t do it on purpose, but when provided with a choice between colours, I always go for some shade of purple. Which means I have two purple bags, purple headphones, a purple blog, purple dresses, a purple skirt, purple pens, and even the walls of my bedroom are a pretty shade of lavender.

What book would you recommend to a non-reader?

First of all I wouldn’t shame them for not being a reader, and then I’d ask what they have enjoyed in the past. I’d recommend something fast-paced with plenty of adventure such as The Hunger Games or a shorter Stephen King such as Misery or Firestarter. George R.R. Martin isn’t what I would think of first, but I know a lot of non-readers have really enjoyed his books.

What are three things you are VERY passionate about?

The thing I’m most passionate about is books (surprise surprise). I love everything about them, and I love them in every format, and I love to both read and write, and if I can build a future on doing something with books, I’ll be a very happy girl. My second passion is music, and alternative rock in particular. For me, music is something you have to experience, so going to concerts is a big part of that. I also really like to dance, though I’m not all that great at that. As a third, I’m having troubles picking between gaming and blogging. I guess those two alternate – sometimes I feel more like gaming is important to me, while at others I feel more like blogging is.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Boy, do I hate this question because it makes you sound so arrogant. When posed with this question on personality tests or the like, I usually answer creative, intelligent, and introverted. It feels so weird saying about yourself that you’re intelligent, even though it might be true. I think those three factors define most of my personality – I can be weird and enthusiastic or serious and philosophical, both you won’t see either side unless I know you well.

What does “diversity” mean to you?

Well, I recently had this course called “Religious Diversity”, in which the word diversity was mentioned at least twenty times every lecture, so it has become hard to separate that word from an academic religious meaning for me.

Are there any inspirational words you stand by?

Hmm, no. I tend to dislike inspirational quotes. They make me feel iffy.

What’s one epic action you want to do sometime in your life?

Most people would answer something like “jump out of a plane” or “climb a mountain” or something equally adrenaline-filled, but my most epic action would be seeing a book I have written inside a book store. That would literally be the best day ever.

What are your current favourite songs/movies/books?

Song – Third Day of a Seven Day Binge by Marilyn Manson. Okay, so I know this dude is old and gross, but the song is so sexy.
Movie – I just saw American Beauty, and it was so frigging good. Anyone who can’t identify with this movie has had a blessed life
Book – Death Note. I’m reading the manga and it’s fantastic

Any productivity hacks for the rest of us?

Prioritise! Do what you really mean to do, instead of just floundering through stuff you think you have to get done sometime maybe now. And spend less time just staring at your phone or computer screen. When you’re in front of a screen, make sure you’re actually doing something. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing a game or commenting on some blogs, just be aware of what it is you’re doing.

What advice would you give to newbie bloggers?

Don’t listen to people who say they know how you should be blogging. Do whatever the hell you want. This is your party, this is your playground, and you can rule it in any way you want it.

Why do you blog?

Because I like it. Some days I hate it, or feel bored with it, but that’s the way of life. In the end blogging, like writing, is a part of me.

I’d like to thank Mawa for the fantastic questions!

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Demonata Series (#7-10) Mini-Reviews

Title: Death’s Shadow (Demonata #7)
Author: Darren Shan
Published October 1st 2008 by HarperCollins

It’s been ages since I last read a Demonata book, but there was enough recounting previous happenings that I had no issues getting back into the action. The narrator of Death’s Shadow is Bec, one of my favourite characters of the series. We learn more about the elusive Shadow, who made even Lord Loss to bow before him. The situation is becoming more and more dire, and the Disciples are keeling over like flies. Only three more books left in the series! Wonder who will be left standing by the end.

Rating: 4 Stars

Find out more on Goodreads

*****

Title: Wolf Island (Demonata #8)
Author: Darren Shan
Published March 1st 2009 by HarperCollins

Another great book in the Demonata series. The overall story is pieced together from narratives from the different main characters – for example, a part of Wolf Island is set before the happenings of Death’s Shadow (the seventh book), and some of it after. Even though it’s been a while since I read Death’s Shadow, it’s not that hard to understand what goes where. As always, the book is filled with absolutely disgusting scenes and plenty of action. Grubbs, one of the more “normal” characters in the series, goes through a rather interesting transformation in this book. It seems like we’re hurtling towards a fascinating conclusion.

Rating: 4 Stars

Find out more on Goodreads

*****

Title: Dark Calling (Demonata #9)
Author: Darren Shan
Published April 1st 2009 by HarperCollins

Where most of the Demonata books are fast-paced and gruesome, Dark Calling is kind of an odd ducky. Most of it is set outside of our normal human/Demonata worlds, and for half of the book Kernel is on his own, on some kind of mysterious special journey. Dark Calling felt very much like an in-between book, filled with info-dump. The lore is interesting, but there wasn’t enough action in the first part to keep me truly engaged. In the last half we return to regular programming, but by then there isn’t enough page time to make a lasting impression.
Rating: 3 Stars

Find out more on Goodreads

*****

Title: Hell’s Heroes (Demonata #10)
Author: Darren Shan
Published November 26th 2009 by HarperCollins

The low rating might seem harsh, but I was expecting a bigger finale to such a long series. Many books in the Demonata series have been excellent, thrilling reads with a fresh voice, but Hell’s Heroes wasn’t one of them. After everything that has happened in the last few books our heroes have become pessimistic husks of their former selves. They have lost all hope of winning the battle with the Demonata, and their outlook is extremely bleak. It made me lose any emotional attachment to them that I might have had beforehand.

My biggest problem with Hell’s Heroes is the lack of plot, however. Not a single development happens in the first half of the book, which is just a huge let down after such a built up. The final resolution wasn’t unexpected, but it was a good ending for the series. The last twenty pages of the book I did actually enjoy.

Rating: 2 Stars

Find out more on Goodreads

Other books in this series:

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The Sunday Post #18

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba from The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Last week I promised a post about Bruges, so here it is! I love to write about the trips I’ve made. I wish I travelled enough to have a full travel blog, but alas. I still really can’t complain though. :D

I had a nice week off this week, so no classes. There was still plenty of studying to made up for, but I also took some time to relax and play some World of Warcraft. We also went to a concert of Falling in Reverse (the band of former Escape the Fate foreman Ronnie Radke). It was pretty ridiculous, and a lot of fun. It was held in the Tivoli Vredenburg, this new huge complex for the performing arts in Utrecht. It’s so big and empty that we couldn’t find the room the band was playing in. Turns out it was on the seventh floor. Gee, that sounds like the most logical place to have a rock concert!

This week on Nyx Book Reviews

This week I asked Chele Cooke the important questions, like what super power she would prefer to have and whether she prefers physical or ebooks. Her answers are fabulous. I’m also sharing my reviews of The One (which I liked) and Deadlocked (which I didn’t like).

This week on Irresponsible Cactus

Like I said above, my post of my travels to Bruges is up! The city looks absolutely stunning, and I made some very pretty pictures.

Read this week

sundaypost18

I got my read back on! After a slightly mediocre week last week, I seem to have found my mojo again. Also shows again how weirdly diverse my reading can be – a paranormal romance, psychological suspense, non-fiction, and a manga. I’ve also made good progress in Mistborn this week, which I’ll hopefully be able to finish next week.

How was your week?

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Review: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Title: Deadlocked
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #12
Rating: 2 Stars

327 pages
Published May 1st 2012
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

We are nearing the end. Deadlocked is the 12th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. In the 11th book, Dead Reckoning, I had already noticed that all of the character lost their lustre. In Deadlocked this downward spiral is continued.

Who even knows what this book is about? The main plot is distracted from so often that it can barely called a conflict. Most page time is dedicated to reconnect with characters from past books. It’s like watching a puppet show, where every five minutes a new puppet is pulled out of a hat, forced to dance around with Sookie-puppet for three minutes, and then return to where they came from.

Sookie has become a caricature of herself. Sure, she has never been the smartest bulb in the bunch. But she knew how to take care of herself, and she had a certain amount of wisdom. Sookie’s interior monologue has become ridiculous at this point in the series. I’ve written down a list of quotes with the header “Sookie being an idiot”, and I can tell you, it’s quite a long list. I’ll add some quotes once I find my copy of the book.

Writing, in the current society, is never a purely artistic endeavour. In order to get published a certain business sense is required. It’s not shameful to write within a certain genre because a certain genre sells – as long as the story the author is telling is an authentic one. Writers who truly love their characters, can pass that feeling along to their readers. Even though books, in their essence, are only words on paper, writers can convey a feeling of worth through its medium. Reading Deadlocked, the only feeling I got was that Harris was bloody sick of Sookie, and wanted to be done with this series so her publisher would be satisfied and she would never have to write her ever again.

Blurb

Sookie has a murder investigation on her hands.

A young girl has died at a vampire party – and it looks as though her lover, Eric, might be responsible. Eric swears he didn’t do it, the police don’t believe him, and even Sookie isn’t so sure. Nor is she inclined to take his word for it, not having caught him enjoying the victim’s blood minutes before she was killed.

But something strange is going on. Why had Sookie been asked to come to the fateful party a few minutes early – just to catch Eric in the act? And why had the victim spiked her own blood before approaching Eric? Was it simply because she wanted to be irresistable, or was it something more sinister?

Sookie will have to find out … but it’s the worst moment to investigate, as her Fae family are having troubles of their own and Sookie is, inevitably, drawn in. And there is one last complication. The cluviel dor her grandmother left her. It will grant her one wish, which could fulfil Sookie’s heart’s desire. The only problem is, she still doesn’t know what – or who – her heart truly desires …

Other reviews you might be interested in

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Interview: Chele Cooke (Teeth)

Please welcome Chele Cooke, author of the vampire book Teeth! I’m asking Chele some very important questions, including what super power she would prefer to have. To find out more about Teeth, visit Goodreads or Amazon, and make sure to visit the other blogs participating in the blog tour.

The Interview

Nyx Book Reviews: Hi Chele, welcome to Nyx Book Reviews! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Chele: Hi there! Firstly, thank you so much for having me.

I’m a 29 year old author living in London, UK. I actually mostly grew up in the countryside so I am very much a person at home in wellington boots and finding things to do on my own. I guess that was how I got into reading. When your friends don’t live just down the road, you need to stay entertained.

I was living in San Francisco when I started writing. I was in the US for two and a half years and home sickness got to me. Reading and writing became an escape though I now love San Francisco more than anything. By the time I came back to England writing was a big part of me and for the first time I was set on what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be an author, a dream that came to fruition with the publication of my first book in 2013. Now I’m three down and many more to go.

These days I’m a bit of a geek hermit. I say that in the best possible way as I love it. When I’m not writing I’m most likely reading, watching television shows (drama and action, not reality,) or watching movies. I occasionally go to the theatre and concerts. In general, anything with a good story will most likely resonate with me.

I also really like making things. Drawing (though I’m awful at it,) cross stitching, and knitting. I like pretty things.

Could you describe Teeth in one sentence?

Ah… umm… *half an hour later*

A fast fun story that isn’t afraid to take a bite out of the darker sides of vampires.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATeeth features Thomas, a medical intern that turns into a vampire. We’ve had a whole whirlwind of vampire fiction in the wake of the success of Twilight, how do you keep the concept of a vampire character fresh?

I think having vampires as the point of view characters certainly helped in giving Teeth a different perspective. A lot of the books in the vampire genre have the point of view character as a human who gets caught up in that world, giving you the outsider looking in view. By having a trio of vampire characters, all at different stages in their un-life, you get a very different insight.

There is a lot of lore on vampires out there, and every author will pick and choose which stuff they want to follow. Are they allowed out in the daylight, do they have to stay away from crosses, all those sorts of things. By choosing which lore you’re going to use and which you’re not, you’re already coming up with something original before you even start writing the plot.

I chose a lot of my lore and turned it around for an even bigger impact on that, and I explained things that maybe haven’t been looked at as closely. Why a stake through the heart works to kill a vampire, for example, was a big part in shaping my methods of death. Even though you only see a relatively small slice of vampire life in this first book, I’ve surrounded myself with an entire working world of information I can pluck from and use to make sure the story is consistent.

Teeth Side Banner6What book has shaped you most as a writer and why?

There are a lot of books that I think have influenced me over the years, but I’m going to have to go with the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling simply for the fact it was the first series that really got me into writing.

The books came out during my teen years (I think I was 21 when book 7 came out) and whilst I’d always read a lot, these books opened up my imagination in a way I’d not found since I was a child reading Roald Dahl. They made me want to read more and they made me want to explore deeper into this world JK Rowling had created. I started writing fanfiction and roleplaying online, and before long I was writing my own stuff as well.

Apparently I write an awesome Dumbledore. I’ll leave it to you to decide on what that means about my personality.

Physical books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I’m actually a fan of all three. I didn’t get into audiobooks until recently, and mostly I’ve been listening to Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin. My dad works nights so he will constantly be listening to audiobooks. I do the same in that I’ll generally be doing jobs whilst listening to audiobooks. I can’t just sit and listen whilst not doing something else.

Like most bibliophiles I have a love of print books. This is no different as an author. There is something incredibly thrilling about holding that first print book in your hands.

However, as a regular reader, having an eReader is incredibly helpful. Travelling is certainly easier. There would be a time I’d have to leave space in my luggage for at least three books. Now I can have them all.

I think, when it comes down to it, I’d say I have the biggest emotional connection to print books, but I love the fact we have all three.

If you could have one super power for a day, what would your power be?

One of my favourite questions! I decided against the usual super powers because I have feeling, if I had one of those, I’d probably run the risk of turning into a supervillain instead of a superhero.

I’d like my super power to be able to organise my brain by computer files and transfer them. Not only would it mean I could have fully formed books just by thinking about them, leaving space and time to work on new ideas, but if I can figure out my password protected subconscious, I could get all my dreams back.

Actually, if I could have that power once every year, that would be amazing. I could just do a yearly download, back up the system as it were.

Thank you for answering my questions!

They were some great questions to answer! Thank you again for having me. Now I need to go write a story about someone with a computer brain.

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