Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Simon's cat by Simon Tofield

Cat owners the world over will no doubt recognise the antics of their own cats in this charming book by Simon Tofield - a somewhat autobiographical graphic novel about a man and his demanding cat.  What began as a series of short clips on YouTube about a cat with a fondness for food and causing mischief for his owner has grown into a series of graphic novels as well.
Told without words, and sometimes without a real structure, the book is charming and conveys the relationship between the (long suffering) owner and the cat in quick and simple pen strokes that capture the mood perfectly.  From paw prints all over the bed, to a destroyed back garden, there is something here for cat lovers all over the world.
To explain too much is to distract from the charm of the book - a must read for cat fans.
Check out the official website for a taste of Simon's cat.
If you like this book then try:
  • Simon's cat: Beyond the fence by Simon Tofield
  • Simon's cat: Feed me! by Simon Tofield
  • Simon's cat: In kitten chaos by Simon Tofield
  • Simon's cat vs the world by Simon Tofield
Reviewed by Brilla

Monday, November 26, 2012

A witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton

The move from London to Winter is not exactly smooth sailing for Anna and her father, the house is old and falling apart, and the towns people are not particularly friendly either.  Trying to make the best of the situation, Anna makes some friends and tries to settle into a routine waiting for the day she can escape away to university.  But when she mucks about with a book of spells that her dad found in the house, Anna finds herself with a new boyfriend - the local heart throb Seth.  Anna doesn't know what to do, it was an innocent mistake, she had no idea that she was a witch.

Forget the stories and the rumours, witches are real and so is magic, and Anna is about to discover that there are sides to every story and she is going to have to choose a side.  Coping with the sudden appearance of magical talent is bad enough, but she also has to deal with what has happened to Seth, and her growing feelings towards him - but how can she know if anything he feels is real when he is under an enchantment?  Friendship, family, love - if you had to choose which choice would you make?

A witch in Winter was a gripping read that threaded together so many different elements into a seamless whole.  There is magic, adventure, mystery, and love - all in the right doses to make you fall in love with Anna and her world without making you feel like you are stuck in a soap opera.  Anna is so normal she could be any girl, except for her secret heritage of being a witch.  There is action and danger, and there is also some well thought out magic and mythology.  This is not a heavy read, but it is engrossing, and I resented every time I had to put it down to do something else (like go to work) which is kind of rare for me these days. 

The first in a trilogy, I am eagerly waiting for book two so I can see what happens next with Anna and Seth as the ending was satisfying in its conclusion, but it also left me wanting to find out what happens next because something else is definitely coming - something big.  A witch in Winter is a great read that deserves a quiet afternoon so you can enjoy the book in one sitting as it deserves, Warburton is a great author who has a way with words - making it seem almost as if the story reads itself.

If you like this book then try:
  • A witch in love by Ruth Warburton
  • The iron witch by Karen Mahoney
  • Raised by wolves by Jennifer Lynne Barnes
  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake
  • The selection by Kiera Cass
  • Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
  • Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey

Reviewed by Brilla

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cast in shadow by Michelle Sagara

Riveting and detailed world-building are what makes this so appealing, at least to me. The characters have believable personalities and foibles.

The main character, Kaylin, has a history - a background that begins to be revealed as the story progresses, but with much a mystery.

As the first in a series (currently still being published) Cast in shadow leaves so much unanswered that you really do need to keep on with the series.

Quick precis: Kaylin is a Hawk, a law officer, in a city in a fantastical world. The Hawks contain members of many races: Aerin (winged-people); Barrani (elf-like); humans; one Leontine (lion-people) and one dragon. There is also the Tha'alani (mind-readers, for want of a short description). In other words, a complete otherworldly cast.

There is also crime. And murder. Most particularly, a series of murdered young children - in a case similar to one six years previously, when Kaylin was herself a child. The similarities are so strong, that Kaylin is brought into the case, along with Severn (from her past) and Tiamaris (the dragon in the Hawks). The trio are sent into Lord Nightshade's Fief (basically a gangland, ruled by a Fieflord, rather than the rule of Imperial Law).

Kaylin is a very human hero - her reaction to meeting Severn is telling. But is only after many pages you discover why. Her trigger-point is children, a fact which never alters through the series. Sometimes you want to climb into the book and shake her. Which goes to show, just how emotionally involved you become in the story, and the characters. For me, that's a sign of a very well-written book. Another? In less than a week, I've read the next two in the series. Which isn't bad, considering I don't have much time for reading...

If you like this, then you could try:
Reviewed by Thalia.

Shine light by Marianne de Pierres

Shine light is the third book in the night creatures trilogy so this review has ***SPOILERS*** about what happens in the earlier books, so if you like to read series in order then don't read any further.

Naif has returned to the mysterious island of Ixion with information that is almost too shocking to be true - the Grave elders benefit from the young people who flee to Ixion, their attempts to keep their young people from leaving is just an act.  Knowing that they benefit from the deaths of their own people helps Naif make the decision to return to Ixion and help stop the Ripers from using the island as their own personal playland - a place that they rule and where the people they appear to offer freedom to are nothing but cattle for the slaughter, a source of power and transformation.

But the Ixion Naif returns to is not the same island she left, things have changed.  The leadership of the rebel bands on the island have changed, ideas and alliances have shifted, and not just among the humans - the Ripers are at war too.  Brand has grabbed power and Lenoir is in hiding with a group of followers, moving from place to place to avoid confrontations as Brand gains greater control of the island.  The only chance for success is for Naif to gather forces together to find the missing uther queen and free the uthers from their slavery to the Ripers, because without the uthers the structure of the island will collapse and lead them down the path towards revolution and rebellion. 

Shine light is the final book in the night creatures trilogy and it is a satisfying conclusion to the series, a final chapter but not necessary the final story.  This series is a blend between a richly imagined world described in rich language, and a fast paced story that doesn't intimidate its readers by being too densely or cleverly written.  At times it feels a little bit of a let down that there is not more depth to the story, but it is nice to have a series that anyone can read.  Naif makes both a great heroine and an anti-heroine  - she is the centre of the story and the driving force for the action, but she also is just like everyone else, anyone could be her and she could be anyone.

I was up and down with this series, at times loving it at times unimpressed, and there was the odd moment with this one where it seemed like the editing could have been better, but de Pierres took two popular themes (dystopias and vampires) and created a fresh take, one that created a believable world and reached a satisfying conclusion.  Hopefully there will be more books in the future with the same fresh vision from this promising author, and hopefully there will be more "flesh on the bones" of future novels because this one was a little thin for my personal taste.

If you like this book then try:
  • Burn bright by Marianne de Pierres
  • Angel arias by Marianne de Pierres
  • The treachery of beautfiul things by Ruth Francis Long
  • The hunt by Andrew Fukuda
  • Banished by Sophie Littlefield
  • Daughter of smoke and bone by Laini Taylor
  • Thyla by Kate Gordon
  • The demon trapper's daughter by Jana Oliver

Reviewed by Brilla

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A is for musk ox by Erin Cabatingan & Matthew Myers

Now, this is an alphabet book demanding to be read aloud and shared! 

A must for those who are into words and humour - older children will enjoy this twist on the traditional alphabet book, with 'a is for apple'...

Joseph, a musk ox, manages to take over pretty much the whole alphabet with words related to musk oxen... it's surprising how he finagles it.

A joyous celebration of words and word play.

Read it and enjoy!

Other rambunctious alphabet books to try out are:
  • The dangerous alphabet by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Grimly.
  • An annoying ABC by Barbara Bottner, illustrated by Michael Emberley.
  • Z is for moose by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinksy.
  • Shout! Shout it out! by Denise Fleming.
~ Reviewed by Thalia.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vodka doesn't freeze by Leah Giarratano

Jillian "Jill" Jackson is a Sergeant in Sydney who earned her stripes, but at the cost of alienating a number of her colleagues.  She has the loyalty of her partner Scotty and knows that he has her back - even though at times the school boy way he deals with things make matters worse rather than better.  Jill has worked hard her whole life, hiding deep inside the fact that she was abducted and raped as a child, something that comes a little too close to the surface when a paedophile is killed on a beach overlooking a pool where children swim and play.  It's not too bad at first, but when the next victim is found Jill finds her old nightmares and her new compulsions coming to the surface. 

Hunting down the killer is a low priority for a lot of cops, it's just bad guys getting what they deserve, but Jill tackles the case with the utmost professionalism - the person they are hunting is still a serial killer, even if the people they are killing are scum.  As the case progresses Jill is placing herself in danger, the paedophiles the killer is hunting are not keen for Jill and Scotty to get too close, if they do then they might discover the club that has been operating for decades in the suburbs of Syndey.  Who is the hunted and who is the hunter in this twisted game of cat and mouse - and will Jill make it out unscathed?

This is an explosive read that tackles an interesting moral dilemma - would you give your all to find the killer of paedophiles, especially if you were a victim of childhood sexual abuse yourself?  Right from the start this was a gripping read that I did not want to put down, mainly because the motivations of the killer and police seems so real, etched in detail without drowning you in the details.  Giarratano has a knack with words, drawing her expertise into the story without bashing you over the head with it - providing her characters with amazing depth without dragging the story down with the weight of too many words.  The action is deftly handled, staying within the realm of reality, and helping to ratchet up the suspense and keeping up the frantic pace of the story. 

Jill and her world is not perfect, she has her flaws and her demons, as do those around her.  This is the first book in a series featuring Jill and I can't wait to get hold of the second book to see if Giarratano is able to keep the series moving at the same momentum with the same realistic character development.  The subject matter is not pleasant, and while there is not graphic references to paedophilic acts, there is enough here that it will make some readers uncomfortable, but that said she seems to handle it with sensitivity rather than just using it as a plot tool.

If you like this book then try:
  • Voodoo doll by Leah Giarratano
  • Private Oz by James Patterson and Michael White
  • In the woods by Tana French
  • The survivors club by Lisa Gardner
  • The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

Reviewed by Brilla

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Guardian angel by Robert Muchamore

Guardian angel is the sequel to People's Republic so there are ***SPOILERS*** in this review for people who haven't read People's Republic yet.  CHERUB is a fantastic series that is best enjoyed when read in the right order, and this is especially true in the case of this series. 

Ryan is back on campus after he was kicked off his last mission for pushing a senior member of the team - not a shining star on his record.  He has settled back into the routine of the campus, hanging with his mates and (almost) doing his coursework.  Ning is on her basic training, closer to becoming a fully fledged CHERUB agent, only a few more days to go.  Neither of them knows that they are about to be thrust into a new mission, one that involves Ethan Aramov and his family.  Ethan's grandmother is dying of terminal cancer and her son Leonid is plotting to take over the clan business, and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants and he sees his nephew Ethan as nothing more than a pawn in his dangerous game.

Ethan is in need of his guardian angel more than ever, and somehow Ryan has to find a way to slot back into Ethan's life without causing him to be suspicious about what is happening.  As events start to roll faster and faster Ethan finds himself making choices that are a matter of life and death - for him and those around him.  Ethan is not part of clan business because he was raised in America and is too American for some of the family, but he is an Aramov and his grandmother will do what she can to protect him from the other members of the clan - as long as he stays loyal to the family.  This is not a mission for the faint hearted and Ryan has a lot riding on it - hoping that he can prove himself to the others, and himself.

Guardian angel is the second book in the new CHERUB trilogy, and while it is a good book, it feels as though there are pieces missing from the story, as though Muchamore wrote it in a bit of a hurry, or as if the printers forgot to include a few chapters.  It has the same high octane pace, and the characters are still relateable or hateable, but there are times (especially at the beginning) when the flow of the story is lost and you feel like you are missing something (there is a specific example but it would be a spoiler to share it here).  The characters are well developed and it is nice to read about characters that have character flaws, like a really wicked temper, or where the characters make mistakes like everyone else does.  Although the idea of CHERUB is made up (at least that is the official story), the books are so well written and the characters are so genuine that you can imagine some students involved with something like CHERUB in the real world going "yup, that's how it really happens".

Muchamore is one of the best teen writers of this generation.  His writing is real, he doesn't talk down to his readers, and he uses real teen language - or at least it sounds authentic for someone who isn't from the UK and up on all the UK slang.  This series, and later books in the first CHERUB series are best suited to older teen readers as there is mature content including violence, swearing, and criminal activities, but that is a refreshing change from books for teens that fumble with fitting into any category - either pitching too high or too low.  Guardian angel was an exciting and addictive read devoured in an afternoon and I can't wait to read Black Friday to see how the story arc across the novels is brought to a close.

If you like this book then try:
  • People's republic by Robert Muchamore
  • The recruit by Robert Muchamore
  • Subject seven by James A. Moore
  • The Industry by Rose Foster
  • Agent 21 by Chris Ryan
  • XVI by Julia Karr
  • The arrival by Chris Morphew
  • Virals by Kathy Reichs
  • Variant by Robison Wells
  • Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
  • Trafficked by Kim Purcell

Reviewed by Brilla

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pushing the limits by Katie McGarry

Echo is one of the school freaks, the girl who vanished for a month at the end of school sophomore year, and returned the next school year wearing long sleeves everyday to hide the scars running up and down her arms.  The rumours are she is a cutter, that she tried to commit suicide - but the truth is much worse.  Echo's never tells anyone what happened that night, it's a secret she wont tell, not because she doesn't want to, but because she can't.  Echo has no memory of what happened that night, all she knows is that something bad happened with her mother, something so bad that there is a restraining order in place and her mother can't see her.  Instead of enjoying her last year of high school Echo is instead forced to spend time with the new social worker, while at home she waits for the step witch to give birth to the new baby - a baby which will fill the space left by Echo's brother who died in Afghanistan.  The baby who will complete the take over of her family - new mother, new baby, and the old Echo.

Noah is one of the stoners, the school stud who can show a girl a good time on a one night stand - as long as she doesn't expect a relationship he can be what she wants.  Forced to spend time with the school social worker because he attacked his first foster father, all Noah wants is to finish high school and get a good job so he can gain custody of his younger brothers.  He knows what he wants, and he is determined to bring his family back together, even though it has been two years since the fire that killed his parents nothing can shake his plans.  Angry at the system that split up his family, and bitter about the way things have turned out, Noah is on the fast track to losing everything.

When the social worker thrusts Echo and Noah together, it is a matter of convenience for them to play nicely and do what she wants.  But as time passes, Echo and Noah realise that they could really help each other, especially if they can help each other read their files.  In Noah's file is the full name of the foster parents who are trying to block his access to his brothers, the people who would stop at nothing to make sure that his brothers can't see him as they file for custody of the boys.  In Echo's file is the information about the night she can't remember, the night she was betrayed.  But through the course of planning their big plan, they realise that they are more than just partners in crime - but are they both ready to admit that they need someone else in their lives, are they ready to let someone else in?

Too often, authors take the gritty and realistic and turn it into something light and fluffy, or they down play the emotional drama that surrounds trauma - but that is not the case with Pushing the limits.  This is not a book for younger teens, not only because of the mature language , but also because most younger teens would have no concept of what the characters are going through.  Rather than taking the easy way out with this story, Katie McGarry has done the characters and their lives justice, giving them highs and lows and moments of realisation.  It is not an easy story to read because of the emotional baggage of bother characters, but it was a read I thoroughly enjoyed and I had to keep reading to see how it ended - giving up TV for a few hours so I could devote my time to Noah and Echo.

If you like this book then try:
  • I hunt killers by Barry Lyga
  • Trafficked by Kim Purcell
  • Such a pretty girl by Laura Wiess
  • Living dead girl by Elizabeth Scott
  • You are my only by Beth Kepart
  • Thirteen reasons why by Jay Asher
  • Hate list by Jennifer Brown

Reviewed by Brilla

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beta by Rachel Cohn

Elysia is a clone on the idyllic island of Demesne, created to fulfil the pleasure of the privileged humans who live in the enriched environment of the island the sea of Io that surrounds it.  She is a beta though, a first edition, limited and exclusive, the only successful clone to be made a teenager rather than an adult.  The fact she is a beta, unproven is too much for the Governors wife to resist and Elysia finds herself drawn into the strange and surreal family of the Governor, his wife, and their two children.  As a clone Elysia knows that she has no real emotion, she can not feel, she can not taste, she can not love - she is not human and has no soul.  But as time passes in the Governors home she begins to realise that she is different, that she is not what she is supposed to be - that she might be a Defect.

Elysia has seen what happens to a Defect, they are tortured, studied, and then discarded.  She knows she has to hide what she is becoming, but that becomes harder and harder - especially when she finds herself spending more and more time with Ivan and his friends.  It is a dangerous time for Elysia, there are problems with some of the clones on Demesne, more of them are coming awake, wanting more than a clones life - wanting to be free and equal.  When she is pushed too far Elysia will have to make a choice that could have greater consequences than just a moment in the life of a teenage beta clone.

Beta was a fascinating idea, a concept that seems well thought out and well imagined, but the delivery was just rather *meh*.  I had high hopes for the story, and only kept reading to the end because I really hoped it would get better,  The dialogue is rather wooden, and the storyline is rather clumsy in the way it is portrayed, and while I hoped at first that this was just because we were seeing the world through Elysias eyes and the world was new to her that things would get better - but sadly they really didn't.  Overall it kind of felt like someone had taken a blockbuster movie and let a bunch of high school students film it on hand held cameras - the passion was there, but it just lacked the polish and oomph of a well shot movie. 

There are some nice little twists in the story, and the ending packs a wallop, but if you have sophisticated reading tastes you may find this a little bland, and hopefully Rachel Cohn will be able to bring more warmth and humanity to the next book in the series, or at least liven up the dialogue and the "scenes" so that they aren't so flat and wooden.  There are also times when it feels as though this would have made a great read for older teens, but that it was watered down so younger teens would be able to cope with the material - maybe for the next book Cohn can choose which side of the fence she wants to sit on and that will do justice to the story rather than failing for both age groups.  I liked the book, but I would have loved it if it had been a little more "real", and if it had not been so confused about where it fits on the bookshelves.

If you like this book then try:
  • Origin by Jessica Khoury
  • The selection by Kiera Cass
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  • Partials by Dan Wells

Reviewed by Brilla

Friday, November 9, 2012

NYPD Red by James Patterson and Marshall Karp

New York is about to host the Hollywood on Hudson film festival, a huge event with the goal of making New York a desirable place to shoot movies and series, a place where Hollywood can feel at home away from LA.  But it is not going to be smooth sailing this week, because the Chameleon has plans of his own for the big week, he has the perfect movie all planned out, and he has the means to make it happen.  The first act of his great movie goes off without a hitch, although the follow through was not quite what he was expecting.  The second goes to plan as well - for the most part.  One thing the Chameleon didn't count on was the team from NYPD Red, the task force created to protect the elite of New York.

With his partner on the sidelines with an injury, Detective Zach Jordan is teamed up with an old flame, Detective Kylie MacDonald.  McDonald is smart, driven, and has an inside edge with the film industry through her husband.  Despite some reservations about working with an ex-girlfriend, Jordan soon finds himself too involved with the case to worry about the past.  The killer they are chasing is smart, organised, and has a firm grasp of the film industry - seemingly able to hide in plain sight.  As his crimes get more and more daring, and as the spotlight on the crimes grows, Jordan and MacDonald find themselves in a race against time to stop the Chameleon before he can complete his final act.

NYPD Red is another great read from James Patterson and Marshall Karp, and is one of the more enjoyable ones I have read lately.  The plot is well thought out and keeps up a rapid pace through each act of the screenplay inside the Chameleons head, while also driving the story from the point of view of Jordan and MacDonald.  The human relationships help to drive this story, the interplay between characters and the clashing together of the two streams of the story.  It was a gripping read, one that could be spoilt if I give away too much of the plot here, needless to say the Chameleon is a great "villain" and the two cop "heroes" are well matched and provide a great counterpoint to the villain - and there are the odd trademark Patterson twists to keep you guessing what will come next.

If you like this book then try pretty much any other James Patterson, especially any other books written with Marshall Karp.

Reviewed by Brilla

Monday, November 5, 2012

The treachery of beautiful things by Ruth Frances Long

Jenny is used to funny looks and laughter behind her back, ever since her brother Tom vanished she has had to live with the knowledge that everyone else thinks she is crazy.  If she wasn't crazy, how else could she have seen the trees in the forest snatch him into shadows one night, never to be seen again.  She has spent seven years in therapy and hidden away from home at a boarding school, but when she finally finds the courage to say goodbye to Tom in the spot where he was taken, she finds herself in a new world, one from fairytale and legend.  As the sounds of the Piper draw her deeper into this new world, Jenny finds herself surrounded by people who all have their own agenda, and who all want something only she can give them - whether she is willing to or not.

The treachery of beautiful things is one of those books where describing too much about the story can actually ruin the enjoyment of the story because some of the pleasure comes from learning where the story will take you next.  The story draws heavily on myth, folklore, and fairytale, taking characters that are familiar to many fantasy readers and blending them together into an enjoyable read that has real weight to the story without trying to be so clever that it buries the story under the weight of the mythology.  There is an enjoyable subtlety to the story, one that some reviewers have described as a lack of substance, but for me it made the story more accessible and enjoyable because the story was allowed to proceed at its own pace, and while there are echoes of other stories because of the characters - this is definitely its own story and own book.

This is an enjoyable and engaging first novel, one that I was a little surprised to enjoy because it is not normally my thing.  Jenny is a charming character and you get to experience a lot through her eyes - which adds to the story rather than detracting from it.  Hopefully this will not be the only book from this well written author.

If you like this book then try:
  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
  • Snow in summer: Fairest of the them all by Jane Yolen
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon
  • Innocent darkness by Suzanne Lazear
  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Reviewed by Brilla

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fifty shades of Grey by E.L. James

Anastasia "Ana" Steele is about to finish her finals for college and graduate with a literature degree when she finds herself travelling to Seattle to interview entrepreneur Christan Grey as a favour for her room mate Kate.  Ana finds herself instantly attracted to Christian Grey, and their interview is an odd experience as she finds herself strangely daring asking questions that are not on Kate's lists, questions that pop into her mind during the interview.  Grey leaves her slightly unbalanced and she is not sure why, and when he finds his way into her life she is even more uncertain about her feelings.  She is strongly attracted to him, but he also has a commanding air about him that can be more than a little off putting.  He controls his business affairs with an iron fist, and while he isn't cruel he is domineering and expects to be in control of his life - all aspects of his life.

When they embark on a sexual affair, Ana has no idea what she is letting herself in for - she is sexually inexperienced and has never investigated the world of BDSM that Christian craves.  At his apartment Christian introduces Ana to his world, a secret life where he is the master of his pleasure and his companions learn to please him in every way - a relationship that includes a lengthy contract and very strict rules.  It is a huge step for Ana, especially when Christian wants to shower her with gifts to keep her in a lifestyle like his - while her inner voice calls her a "ho" for exchanging sex for gifts.  It is a confusing time, and things are not straight forward for Christian either, as he experiences a great many firsts in Ana's company and for her sake.  Their relationship is not conventional to many, and as they learn more about each other, it may also drive them further apart.  Can they both make compromises to keep each other in their lives - or will the fifty shades of Grey drive them apart.

Fifty shades of Grey is a phenomenon and I thought it was time that I got around to reading it as it seems to be one of the defining books of the past year or so, the start of a trilogy that has been credited with creating a miniboom in the publishing industry - especially for erotic novels.  After reading it I can see where the "mummy porn" label comes from, in comparison to a lot of the novels out there that are described as erotic fiction it is very tame, but it also has a deeper storyline than most erotic novels as well.  Usually the story would happen in one book, the character experiences the lifestyle and either falls in love with it over time or they are already part of the lifestyle and they are looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.  Fifty shades of Grey has an underlying complexity that is missing in other erotic novels, although it is not always brought to the surface in the writing as artfully as it could be. 

Throughout the novel we learn that Christian has some very real hangups, like not wanting to be touched, and you learn a little about his past.  You also get a sense that Ana is a little damaged too, that her lack of confidence and self esteem comes from something in her past too - or maybe it is just from constantly comparing herself to her almost perfect room mate Kate who has money, looks, and intelligence.  At times the writing is a little clunky, feeling like it should have been edited a little more firmly, but as first novels go it is not bad.

This is not a novel for the person looking for a quick and dirty read with really graphic sex scenes, the scenes when they happen are quite tame, and not very graphic - the emphasis is on the relationship building and the human interaction than the mechanics of the sexual acts themselves (which is a little refreshing in this area of publishing).  I did enjoy reading Fifty shades more than I thought I would and will read the next one in the series just to see what happens. 

If you like this book then try:
  • Fifty shades darker by E.L. James
  • Fifty shades freed by E.L. James
  • Velvet glove by Emma Holly
  • Belong to me by Shayla Black

Reviewed by Brilla