Nyx Book Reviews

fantasy ♥ paranormal ♥ horror ♥ science-fiction

Books Up For Trades

Hello ladies and the occasional gentlemen! I really, really like collecting books. I really do. But there comes a point where you’ve filled all of the shelves at your parent’s house (and even some drawers), and have three overflowing Billy bookcases at your own place. This is the point where it’s time to let go. But throwing books in the trash is just shudder-inducing, and I can hardly shove over twenty books into my friends’ arms (not for lack of trying).

If any of the books on this list interest you, feel free to email me or message me with an offer. I’m happy to send you any (or multiple of these) in exchange for other books, new books, Amazon gift cards, or in many cases of the old/damaged ones, the gratitude of knowing they found a new home. I live in the Netherlands, so it’s probably not worth it to trade if you live outside of Europe.

booksUnless otherwise mentioned, these books are in near-new condition (they’ve been read, but the spines are intact and no pages are dog-eared):

  • Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Need by Carrie Jones
  • Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza Perrat
  • The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
  • A Treasure Worth Seeking by Sandra Brown
  • Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
  • A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
  • Karakter by F. Bordewijk (Dutch – heavily used, spine cracked in many places)
  • ThisTown by Malcolm McKay
  • Cashel Byron’s Profession by Bernard Shaw
  • The League of Sharks by David Logan
  • Gossip Girl Psycho Killer by Cecily von Ziegesar (pages seem to have become a bit moist at some point – it looks fine but they’re slightly creased)
  • Untimed by Andy Gavin (ARC – with bookmark, looks a bit used)
  • Shadows of the Past by E.A. Jensen
  • My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
  • My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
  • How to Bag a Jabberwock by Major Jack Union (signed, dedicated to Katrina)
  • The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan (spine cracked)
  • CurbCheck by Zach Fortier (signed, dedicated to Celine)
  • Deadly Secrets by Leeann Burke (signed, with bookmark)
  • Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright
  • Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black (ARC, very heavily used – cover is bent out of shape and the side looks rather dirty)
  • House of Dark Shadows + Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo

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Introducing My New Blog (+Giveaway)

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably already noticed that I’m very excited and very proud to be introducing you guys to my new blog: Irresponsible Cactus. Over at the Cactus I talk about movies, books, myself, music, writing, travel, games… And many more cool things to come.

giveaway
My new blog is now exactly one week old, and it’s time for a celebration! Share the love and fill in the Rafflecopter below for some cool prizes. The giveaway is open internationally, as long as the Book Depository ships to your country. Please read the rules in the widget before entering. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Harry Potter Month: Quidditch

Harry Potter Month is an event hosted by Faith from Student Spyglass. Everyone can join, and collect points for the house of their choice by commenting, writing posts or reading the books! I’m representing Slytherin.

One of the cool things in the Harry Potter world is Quidditch. It’s fast paced, high risk, and very cool. And it makes Ron look like this.

In this interesting combo of sports, three people try to score with a regular ball, two try to hurt people by sending angry balls towards them, one tries to keep the ball out of the goal, and one tries to find a tiny flying gold ball. Quidditch gives wizards from all over the world some much needed distraction, and brings wizards from different countries together.
Sounds awesome, right? And since we Muggles obviously can’t ride on brooms, we can’t play this awesome sport. WRONG! Although Muggle quidditch of couse isn’t as glamorous as the wizard version is, it still looks like quite a lot of fun.

It’s still plenty fast-paced, and most of the rules of regular Quidditch are implemented. Beaters throw balls at the other teams like in dodgeball, and the Seekers try to catch the golden snitch – usually a man in a yellow suit with a tennis ball attached to his back. There is even a Muggle quidditch world cup! This article on Muggle quidditch is great.

Have you ever wanted to play Quidditch? What role would you have? Would you want to try Muggle quidditch?

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Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Title: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #1
Rating: 3.5 Stars

287 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Disney-Hyperion
Borrowed from the library

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Kat is the offspring of a thieving family, and she’s one of the best and youngest thieves in the world. She has decided to step out of the family business and have a sort of regular life, until her father gets suspected of a crime he didn’t commit.

Heist Society is like Ocean’s Eleven in book form. It doesn’t make any logic sense, but it’s just so damn cool. Don’t we all sometimes wish we had such awesome thieving skills? That we climb through air vents and act all Mission Impossible? Heist Society uses that fascination and provides some good old wish-fulfilling fun.

Ms Carter has an easy and straight to the point writing style. The strength of the book is the plot that runs like well-oiled clockwork. There are no scenes that could have been cut out, or moments that bring the speed down. Days till deadline steadily tick away, heightening excitement. It’s so easy to read this book in just one sitting because you really feel like you’re moving towards something.

The thieving family provides the usual comic relief and internal struggles. Kat especially struggles with the older generation (her uncle and father), and feels torn between being with her family and having a normal life. There is also some romantic tension going on with billionaire-gone-thief Hale.

My only problem with Heist Society was that the story wasn’t memorable for me. Even minutes after finishing, the story started to fade. There was no lasting impression of it at all, even though I really enjoyed myself while reading it. Heist Society is perfect for an afternoon of fun, but I’m not yet fully convinced to love the characters. Maybe the next book, Uncommon Criminals will remedy that.

Blurb

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Other reviews you might be interested in

Release Day: The Merman by Carl-Johan Vallgren

Nella and her brother Robert live an isolated and difficult life with their alcoholic mother and father in a small town on the west coast of Sweden. Robert is bullied at school for his learning difficulties, and in an attempt to protect him, Nella resorts to debt and petty crime to pay off his increasingly violent tormentors.

When she turns to her only schoolfriend Tommy for help, her suspicions are aroused by the mysterious comings and goings of his brothers at their dilapidated boat house. But when she uncovers the reason behind their enigmatic behaviour, her life is opened to the realities of a mindboggling secret.

The Merman is an exhilarating and beautiful book about sibling love and betrayal – and what happens when the mundane collides with the strange and wonderful.

The Merman celebrates its paperback release today. Check out the book on Goodreads or the publisher’s website.

“This book manages to pull off being a book about abuse and bullying and being an outsider on the one hand, and having a supernatural on the other … The Merman is painfully honest and open about crazy people” Read my review of The Merman

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Email Subscriber Problems

Hi all! Just a quick update to say that I STILL DON’T HAVE A LAPTOP. I ordered one the day after the old one died, then that one was the wrong model, reordered a different one, that one was broken, and now I’m waiting for my replacement. It’s seriously been such a struggle, and absolutely tedious. But oh well, at least my boyfriend lent me his laptop so I can at least do some basic stuff.

Which brings me to the email subscriber stuff. Seriously, I am so sorry for you, email subbers. I’ve been ping ponging between Feedburner, Feedpress and then FeedBlitz, trying to find a feed service that actually works. And every time you get tons of emails – and I apologise. I’m deleting my FeedBlitz account, and you might have to resubscribe if you’re still interested in receiving emails. I’ll just be using a WP plugin though, and no longer any fancy services. Fancy services are a pain in the butt.

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Review: Misery by Stephen King

Title: Misery
Author: Stephen King
Series: None
Rating: 5 Stars

338 pages
Published June 3rd 1988 by Signet
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

What I love about Stephen King is that although all of his books are written in his voice, you never truly know what you’re going to get. Some of his books are epic (It, The Stand), some are extremely personal (Lisey’s Story) and some are nostalgic and subtle (Joyland). He is a very versatile writer, and Misery is yet another proof of that.

Paul Sheldon has written a series of bestselling novels, that he thinks of as his non serious novels. After finishing one of his serious novels, he gets in a car crash that shatters his legs. He wakes up in the house of Annie Wilkes, his number one fan. But Annie is not satisfied with the ending of his bestselling Misery series, and she demands a new one.

The premise is very simple. There are only two characters, Paul and Annie. From the first page Paul is in Annie’s house. I was a bit hesitant about this situation – although the book isn’t very long, I was afraid this setting wouldn’t hold my attention for long. I shouldn’t have worried at all. After a page or thirty I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page, and I read all of it in about a day and a half.

Like all of his books, Misery builds to a huge crescendo where you’ll be reading as fast as possible, trying to find out who will die and who will survive (since that’s what it usually boils down to). Misery starts at creepy, then descends to downright gruesome and disturbing. Where some of King’s books use a supernatural evil (It, The Shining), Misery builds upon what would happen if a truly crazy woman would find her favourite author in a stroke of coincidence. It’s this realism what makes the book so scary. Where supernatural forces are something of a nightmare, something that belongs in stories, we all know crazy people. We see their pictures in the newspapers, or sometimes, even worse, we don’t.

Annie could have just been a caricature, an evil piece of cardboard that tortures Paul because she’s evil. Instead, she also has her moments where she is sweet, where she sits with Paul and watches some TV with him. She sings while she cleans. It’s these things that makes her human, and which makes her “bad moods” even scarier.

Although it’s an uncomfortable read (some scenes were so graphic that they’re burned into my brain), Misery joins the ranks of my favourite King books. Maybe it’s exactly this discomfort that makes his books so amazing.

Blurb

Paul Sheldon. He’s a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house. Now Annie wants Paul to write his greatest work—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an ax. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty…

Other reviews you might be interested in

Sad Times for Laptops

Hi guys, a teensy tiny post about the fact that my laptop just died. It was old already, so I was expecting it to crash any day now. It’s hardly a surprise that this morning it would no longer start and gave a series of beeps of death. He fought well, and was a trustworthy laptop for over four years.

This means I have next to no access to the internet. I’m currently writing this on a six year (maybe even seven) laptop that still runs XP. It has problems just keeping Facebook open, let alone be powerful enough to look up books on Goodreads. I will be a bit hard to reach for a while, and the number of posts will dwindle significantly. I’m working on it though, and hopefully I’ll be posting from a shiny new laptop soon (:

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Black Dagger Brotherhood Summer: Thoughts on Dark Lover

bdbsummerDuring Black Dagger Brotherhood Summer I revisit the BDB books I read a year ago, read the ones I haven’t yet, and provide some cool guest posts and giveaways.

Instead of doing one of my (admittedly) rigidly structured reviews for the BDB books, I’m just going to ramble a bit about them.

My first encounter with the BDB books was through Goodreads. I’m a member of a lot of paranormal romance and urban fantasy groups, and the BDB books are often recommended for paranormal readers. I’m usually more of an urban fantasy reader, but I thought I’d try out those books I heard so many people raving about. This was in June 2011.

In quick succession, I read the first three BDB books. I’d recently graduated from high school (damn, I’m getting old), and summer was my time to read. I devoured them. I can still remember how I read the third book, Lover Awakened, in front of our tent in Italy. But as it always does, summer came to an end, and so did my free reading time. During the first months of university I barely had time to read, and I forgot about those leather-clad brothers.

Fast-forward three years. The box set of the first six BDB books has been on my wishlist for years, and on my birthday this year I finally got it. Almost exactly three years after I first read the books, I’m rereading them. I totally forgot why I enjoyed these books – was it just my teenage self fascinated with hot vampire loving, or was it more? After rereading Dark Lover, I find out: I still love these books just as much – and I have no idea why.

They’re not my usual genre. I do enjoy vampire stories, but I’m definitely not very much into romance. Most romance books bore my to death (sorry) and I just can’t make myself to care about their push and pulling around. Neither am I much into macho stuff. All of which the BDB books do have: they’re lovey dovey stories with guys exhaling testosterone built like body builders. They call their women “females” and once they have their eyes on you, you will be “theirs”. They listen to hard core rap and casually talk about killing humans. None of which would qualify them in any way as “my type”.

Feminism aside, there are plenty of problems with the world. It has often been called classist, elitist, and I personally would like to add that the vampire – human relationship is also kind of racist. Humans are to be used, and killed when they’re in the way. Plenty of people have wrote about these issues in better ways than I ever could, so I’m not going further into that here.

There are two factors that can explain my enjoyment of Dark Lover. First of all, all male alpha-ness and killing aside, the core of these books is super cute romance. All brothers are big wussies underneath all that aggression, and all they want is to find their mate. They’re often very contradictory in their ways of seducing said mate, but in the end they’re big teddy-bears. They’re always there for their loved ones. The second factor is that they’re such a close group of friends. I love all the banter between the brothers and moments of bonding. I really appreciate that Ward manages to keep them into character, yet lets them talk about their feelings in a non-weepy way. It’s done in a very realistic way that I can imagine guys actually talk like.

Although Wrath isn’t my favourite character, Beth totally makes this story for me. She knows when to let Wrath do his vamp protectiveness thing, but she also knows when to say no. It helps that she’s also a very nice person, and she fits perfectly within the Brotherhood. I’m really looking forward to see more glimpses of her in books to come.

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