25 March 2011


Equal Rites
Author: Terry Pratchett
UK Publisher: Corgi
UK Release date: 1987
Genre: Fantasy

Summary (from Goodreads): On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late. The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard's mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University--and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins!

Review: In the mountains of Discworld, a wizard is about to die. In true tradition, he passes his staff and magical powers onto a newborn child. However this young babe is a girl - and on Discworld, girls just aren’t wizards.

Equal Rites follows Eskarine as she grows up with her magical powers, learning how to control them and trying to understand the difference between witchcraft and wizardry. Local witch, Granny, takes Esk under her wing in the hope of teaching her witchcraft and helping her control her powers. It seems however that Esk is destined for wizardry. Whether the wizards will agree is another matter entirely!

Eskarine is a stubborn minded, rebellious young girl. Magic comes naturally to her and she doesn’t realise that everyone else can’t create fire, fly in the body of an eagle or turn their brothers into pigs. Soon her talents far extend anyone’s expectations including Granny’s, however her age and naivety lead her into situations that would be dangerous for anyone else, but she manages to use her powers to get herself out of them.
I really enjoyed the character of Granny, as she tries hard to be a proper witch, wearing only black and learning how to use a battered broomstick. Despite being an ‘inferior’ witch, Granny is a match for any wizard. I liked her refusal to accept that only men can be wizards, but rather thinking that sometimes to get what you want you have to sneak in the backdoor.

Having read the first two books in the Discworld series, the pace of Equal Rites seems slow with far fewer crazy adventures and wild characters. This shouldn’t reflect badly on Equal Rites, which could be a standalone book in itself. Pratchett's usual style of writing, wit and humour come across, helping the story flow well and make it an enjoyable, light-hearted read.

In the Discworld’s magical professions, gender roles are very clearly defined: men are wizards and women are witches. Pratchett pokes fun at this stereotypical viewpoint, by showing that it’s all a matter of names and ‘headology’, and that both Esk and Granny aren’t the little women the wizards think they are.

Rating: 3

22 March 2011


Last night was week number eight of my 10-week Editorial and Proofreading course. In two weeks I have an exam, which is making me nervous already. I'm trying to remember the difference between copy-editing marks and proofreading BSI marks, which is difficult because of the similarities and differences...hopefully I'll do ok in the exam. Until its over, my posts may be fewer than normal as I do homework and revision. I like to do well.

Saying that, tonight I'm relaxing...

18 March 2011


The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy For Books. This week's question comes from Somer who blogs at A Bird's Eye Review:


I don't often read more than one book at once. Sometimes I'll start one book and then start another, but I'll generally just stop reading one so I can focus on the other. I'm sure I used to read lots of books at the same time, but obviously I'm getting a bit old and my brain can't cope with too much information anymore! 

What about you? Do you read more than one book at once?

16 March 2011


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. Here is my choice for this week:

Camera Obscura by Lavie Tidhar
Published by: Angry Robot
Release date: April 2011
Genre: Mystery, Steampunk

Summary (from Goodreads): Can't find a rational explanation to a mystery? Call in the Quiet Council. The mysterious and glamorous Lady De Winter is one of their most valuable agents. A despicable murder inside a locked and bolted room on the Rue Morgue in Paris is just the start. This whirlwind adventure will take Milady to the highest and lowest parts of that great city - and cause her to question the very nature of reality itself.

Here is a sample chapter:

What book are you waiting for?

11 March 2011


The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy For Books, and this week's question comes from Ellie who blogs at Musings of a Bookshop Girl:


In all honesty, I would probably go into the bookshop and buy stuff quite randomly, because there are just so many books I would love to read. If I had to pick out particular books, I would pick these...
  • Neversuch House by Elliot Skell
  • Tyme's End by B.R. Collins
  • The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn
  • The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

What would you buy?

9 March 2011


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. Here is this weeks:

This Girl Is Different by JJ Johnson
Published by: Peachtree Publishers
Release date: 1st April 2011
Genre: YA

Summary (from Goodreads): This girl is different… That’s what Evie has always told herself—and it’s true. Home-schooled by her counter culture mom, she’s decided to see what high school is like for the first time—for her senior year. And what a year it is. 

As it turns out, it’s not just Evie who’s Different. Lots of people are. Many of her assumptions about others are turned on their heads as she makes friends with kids her own age for the first time, discovers what’s good and what’s bad about high school, and learns lessons about power and its abuse—both by the administration and by Evie herself.

What book are you looking forward to?

7 March 2011


Author: Ally Condie
UK Publisher: Penguin Group
UK Release date: December 2010
Genre: YA, Dystopian

Summary (from Goodreads): Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow

Review: Matched is set in an alternate future society where everything is designed for optimal health and life. Disease and illness has all but been eradicated, meals are prepared for your optimal nutritional levels, and on your 80th birthday you die peacefully. At 17, Cassia attends her Matching ceremony where Society's officials tell her who optimal partner is to start a family with.

"The goal of Matching is twofold: to provide the healthiest possible future citizens for our Society and to provide the best chances for interested citizens to experience successful Family life. It is of the utmost importance to the Society that the Matches be as optimal as possible."

The impossible happens, and Cassia gets matched to her best friend Xander. Life seems perfect, until another boy's face appears on her home port screen as her match. Childhood friend, Ky. Soon Cassia starts finding herself wanting a life that the Society won't allow, and she is forced to reevaluate her life and Society's rules.

The interplay between Ky and Cassia is irresistible - full of first love trepidation and forbidden trysts. Written from Cassia's perspective we see her learn more and more about Ky and herself, and slowly she starts to fall for him. Ky starts as the mysterious character; we know he's had a difficult childhood and want to learn more about him. As the story progresses, he blossoms in front of our very eyes.

The story is paced exceptionally well; and has a good balance between Cassia's narrative and plot. Through Cassia's narrative you build up an emotional understanding of how her perception of the Society changes. What I loved were the little meetings between Ky and Cassia, where they talk and share rare intimate moments that the society wouldn't normally allow.

Matched looks at issues of freedom, choice and individualism; to make everyone equal there are no personal items except for a few mementos, and everyone wears the same clothes. I enjoyed the fact that you weren't given more background information about who the 'Society' is; this way you are in the same position as Cassia. What you have to remember when reading the book is that we often take our freedom for granted; whilst we are taught to be open minded, to be creative, and to question, none of this happens in Cassia's world. If you learn from birth that life is about rules and to cross those rules means danger, it takes a lot to change this instinct. 

I couldn't find anything that I didn't like about this book: it flowed well, kept me intrigued, and had a heart-wrenching plot line. 

Rating: 5*

6 March 2011


This week my work schedule is absolutely crazy: I've got meetings with two special needs schools on Monday, an Olympic enterprise event on Tuesday, a student film project on Wednesday lunchtime, our team awards and celebration event on Wednesday evening at the gorgeous Institute of Contemporary Arts (pictured below), an ICT careers morning on Thursday and a careers fair to run on Thursday evening. Phew!

Which means I won't be able to comment and spend time on the blogosphere this week. I've set up a few posts, and I will be back on Friday when I get a day off to recover. Otherwise I hope you all have a lovely week!


4 March 2011


The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy For Books, and this week's question comes from Mia who blogs at Girl About Books:


I would have to say High Lord Akkarin from Trudi Canavan's The Magician's Guild. He is Leader of the Guild, and secretly a black magician. But honestly he might seem the villain, but [spoiler alert] he isn't actually. Maybe this is why I like him. Besides, can you have a favourite villain...?

2 March 2011


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. 

The reason I've picked the following book is because I love the cover. Plus I like mythology and the supernatural.

Die For Me by Amy Plum
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: 10th May 2011
Genre: YA, Supernatural

Summary (from Goodreads): Die for Me is the first of three books about Kate, a sixteen-year-old American who moves to Paris after the death of her parents. She finds herself falling for Vincent, who she discovers is not the typical French teenager he appears: he is something else entirely. 

Die for Me presents a new supernatural mythology presented in a city where dreams are sometimes the same as reality.

What book are you looking forward to?

1 March 2011


Today being St David's Day, and being Welsh myself, I'm joining Asamum Booktopia in Celebrating Wales. Here's a link to Welsh writers in you fancy looking any up.

Having just read Matched by Ally Condie which had a Dylan Thomas poem in it, I thought I would put the full poem in...


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right, 
Because their words had forked no lightning they 
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright 
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, 

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, 

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight 

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height, 

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray. 

Do not go gentle into that good night. 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.