Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book APP Review! Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!



http://www.quirkbooks.com/ppzapp

Special $4.99 limited time promotional price at launch!
"Winners of the 2010 Publishing Innovation Award, PadWorx did an awesome job transforming PPZ into an interactive ebook. Special features include:

Hundreds of illustrated pages full of interactive, zombie mayhem.
Buckets of gory animation.
An original musical score and sound effects.
Complete text of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies AND Jane Austen's original classic!

That's right, the original classic is also included in the app. You can hold your device right side up to enjoy PPZ, turn it upside down for the original Austen classic, OR turn it 90 degrees to read both novels side-by-side! Crazy! "

I have never reviewed an app before, but since this is a book app I thought I should! I loved this trilogy and when I saw they had an app coming out I couldn't turn it down especially because for $5 you can have the original version of the book as well as the interactive re-written Zombie version of the book...WITH ANIMATION!?!
The App starts off with Zombies crawling around, kind of gory. Then it leads you into reading the story. Some of the pages are animated, like you can open and close a window or play the piano keys.
There is sound along with the app that I had to turn down most of the way to acutally read the story, but I thought it was a fun addition.
It allows you to compare the original story along side the Zombified story to see what was changed on those pages.
Sometimes the turning of the pages was not as smooth as I expected and the music would turn off and on again during the page turning and sometimes I had to ask it to turn the page a couple of times before it would do it.
As the app is in color the bloody scenes are fantastically red and gory.
There were a few pages that were blank and no matter how much tapping I did on the screen I am not sure if something was supposed to happen or not with animation.
Overall it was a very fun interatctive reading APP. I am giving it 4 stars altogether and right now it's on sale for $5 so that is a great price for both the classic book, the Zombified book and the animation it does contain. I'm sure any of the gliches are easily fixed and an automatic update might make it go a little smoother.
This is a perfect APP for Halloween readers and I do hear the price is just for a limited time. If you love this series or want to try it out and you have an iphone, itouch or ipad you should get it

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Character Interview with Matt Xell

I read and reviewed Matt's Tower of Parlen Min books a couple of months ago. My original review is Here

His is one of the rare stories that I have gone back and decided to re-star. Every once in awhile I will read through a book and give my initial thoughts for review here on the blog. Every so often a story sticks with me. I can't get it out of my head and I see others reviews on it and decide that I should give a new look at how many stars I originally gave it. Now my thoughts on the actual review rarely change, just the star ratings. But Matt's book is one that I will be picking up again sooner rather than later. I originally rated 3 stars but have changed to 4.
One of the things I really enjoyed about his book was the animated stone statues he has been kindly enough to do a guest post today regarding those characters.
- Animated Statues

Hey guys, it's a pleasure to meet you (albiet electronically) and thanks a lot to Krista for having this Matt Xell do a guest post thingy for her blog!

In my book Tower of Parlen Min, the main character Ves Asirin and 19 other children are chosen to compete in an event known as The Sword Challenge by Jacobius Trent, the fictional world of Everlon's wealthiest inventor. The Sword Challenge is a basically a series of puzzles, games and tasks that the children must complete in groups of 3 in order to discover the hidden location of the Sword of Belsaris and win a cash prize of $12 million dollars.

When I designed the challenge, I decided that the 3 tasks which each group had to complete would have a specific theme or element that was crucial to the discovery of this hidden sword. And for Ves, Vikey and Jerod's group this theme was interacting with the life-like and animated statues that were found at the Tower.

Jacobius inherited the Tower at the young age of 16. But before he could claim his inheritance, and as was the tradition with every Tower heir before him, he was to be tested by the family's lawyer -- tasked to search the entire Tower for an object known as the King's Bone.

After weeks of searching through over 200 of the Tower's rooms and reading thousands of books, looking up whatever the King's Bone could be (the internet was in a very primitive state at the time), Jacobius came across a rare book titled Lost Kingdon Legends. It was from this book that Jacobius learned of the four Wunder Knights, whose statues were located around the Tower's yard. And it was after learning of their importance and a further investigation of how and why these statues had come be at the tower, that Jacobius found out that the Trents were in fact decendants of one these Wunder Knights, and soon after that he found the King's Bone.

At age 21, when the Tower and the Trent family fortune were legally and soley his, Jacobius and best friend, Susanor Blut, turned the Wunder Knight statues into robotic machines and progammed them with an advanced A.I (artificial intelligence) that was years ahead of its time. This A.I allowed to the statues to think, talk and act like the original Wunder Knights.

Jacobius used this same technology on other statues like those of the angelic glass sculpture that stands in the center of the Tower's clositer, four water-nymph statuettes that control and regulate the machinary of Parlen Min Dam and the Tower's underground water supply, and the statues of the greek gods, Helios and Selene, that stand guard outside the Tower's observatory, watching over one of Jacobius' most prized possesions, a telecope which he bought with his first hard-earned million dollars.

Cheers and thanks for readin' everyone,

Matt


Matt's facebook http://www.facebook.com/Towerofparlenmin?sk=wall
Amazon Link http://www.amazon.com/Parlen-Narrow-Escapes-Asirin-ebook/dp/B0058EALC0/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1319665281&sr=1-2

His books are only available now in ebook from several sites including smashwords. The story was really a great adventure and will keep you thinking about it long after you read it. They are also very lengthy which for the price they are well worth your money, I suggest you pick them up.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Theme: Possession: Katie Alender Books

For full reviews of the Katie Alender books please check out burnbright.com.au under "Krista Reviews"

When Alexis's little sister Kasey becomes obsessed with an antique doll, Alexis thinks nothing of it. Kasey is a weird kid. Period. Alexis is considered weird, too, by the kids in her high school, by her parents, even by her own Goth friends. Things get weirder, though, when the old house they live in starts changing. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in. Kasey is changing, too. Her blue eyes go green and she speaks in old-fashioned language, then forgets chunks of time.

Most disturbing of all is the dangerous new chip on Kasey's shoulder. The formerly gentle, doll-loving child is gone, and the new Kasey is angry. Alexis is the only one who can stop her sister — but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?






Alexis is the last girl you'd expect to sell her soul for beauty and popularity. After all, she already has everything she needs--an adorable boyfriend, the perfect best friend, and a family that finally seems to be healing after her sister Kasey's unfortunate possession by an evil spirit.

But then Kasey tells Alexis about the mysterious new club she has joined, and the oath she has taken to someone named Aralt. Worried that Kasey's gotten in over her head again, Alexis and her best friend Megan decide to investigate by joining the Sunshine Club, too. At first, their connection with Aralt seems harmless. Alexis tries a new -- normal-- look, and finds herself reveling in her elegance and success.


Still, despite the Sunshine Club's outward perfection, the group is crumbling from within, and soon Alexis finds herself battling her own personal demons. She can hardly even remember why she joined in the first place. Surely it wasn't to destroy Aralt...why would she hurt someone who has given her so much, and asked for so little in return?



These books have just enough creep factor in them to be creepy but not too scary. They would be a good starting off series for those that are unsure if they are really going to enjoy horror stories.
They are also good for more of the older Middle Grade/tween ages because the scare factor is creepy enough but unless you are really sensitive should not give you nightmares.
The first book deals more heavily with the little sister and problems fitting in and keeping friends. Although the story is told from the older sister's perspective we see Kasey through Alexis' eyes and even though there is a love interest in the older girl's life, there is nothing heavy other than the girls interactions with each other and their family relations. Kasey acts much younger than her age (13) and through most of the book you can see that Alexis has a hard time dealing with the immaturity of her sister and is kind of hard on her. Pushing her to stand up for herself and to act like her age.
The second book is still told from Alexs's perspective but takes on some more heavier details than the first book. The romance is still on the light side, but it deals heavily with fitting in and maybe a little bit of bullying. As the Sunshine Club becomes more evolved and more members join the pressure that they put in each other takes the forefront of most of the story. The horror scenes take a back burner, but become heavier in the end of the book, but still should not keep you up at night unless you are sensitive.

They both deal with Possession: Bad Girls Don't Die deals directly with a ghost that has been haunting the house they now live in.
From Bad to Cursed deals more with an ancient power source that is brought out of an old book that the girls have managed to get their hands on.


I have heard people refer to the 2nd book as a companion book to the 1st but I disagree. I 100% recommend that you read Bad Girls Don't Die first. There are several references to the first book in the 2nd and it is a continuation almost from when the first book leaves off.

What are some of your favorite Halloween reads
Do you like Ghost stories or those re: Possession?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crave by Melissa Darnell

Savannah Colbert has been shunned all her life by the kids of the Clann. And when she undergoes some drastic changes after a strange illness, Savannah learns secrets about the group and about herself—dangerous secrets. For the Clann are powerful magic users, and Savannah herself is half Clann and half vampire—a forbidden, unheard of combination. Falling for Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman isn't just a bad idea—it could be deadly if anyone finds out. But her attraction to Tristan—and his to her—isn't something either of them can resist for long
Picture and description from goodreads.com

I have read similar books to this one recently. Almost all of them I can remember giving 3 stars to, but this one seemed to appeal to me more than the others. I was very tempted to give it 5 stars, but the plot development was just a little too slow for me to give it that final rating. But, with that said, I really enjoyed this story. 
The other thing I noticed is that usually this type of romance, the shy self conscious girl and the overly extroverted dream boy would normally make me nauseous. The whole soul-mates bound to be together, but our family is keeping us apart love.  I did not feel that way in this one, although noticeable I really liked the writing and the story. The things that would have normally really turned me off, didn't bother me at all. 
Savannah is a half breed. She is the result of a witch and a vampire who also disobeyed and fell in love resulted in a short marriage and one daughter. She is now starting to develop what she is meant to become and is being watched carefully by the elders to see how she develops. 
Tristan is the sporty hot guy who all the girls want. He and Savannah had grown up together, but separated in early childhood mostly because of the Clanns' treaty. He is also to be the next expected leader of the Clann. 
So the perfect set up of the story that I feel like I have read 100 times over this last year. But this story had an extra element to it that just made it a really lovely read and makes me very excited to see what happens next. I am rooting for these characters, I want to see them together and feel invested in their story. Kudos to Melissa Darnell for hitting a right note on this one in my opinion.
I wanted to make an extra note of my two favorite things: The Watchers and The Dream Dates =D