Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers

With Halloween just a couple of days away The Broke and The Bookish have asked for our Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers. After some easy topics over the past few weeks I found this one a bit more difficult so I have cheated a little bit and picked a complete series of vampire books that have creepy covers that match their dark topic.


The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan

  • A Living Nightmare
  • The Vampires Assistant
  • Tunnels of Blood
  • Vampire Mountain
  • Trials of Death
  • The Vampire Prince
  • Hunters of Dusk
  • Allies of the Night
  • Killer of the Dawn
  • The Lake of Souls
  • Lord of the Shadows
  • Sons of Destiny


What Book Covers Do You Find Scary?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Best Sequels Ever


The Broke and The Bookish‘s topic for this week is out Top Ten Best Sequels Ever. There were a few easy choices for me this week but not nearly enough for 10 as I often find the sequels aren’t quite as good but I have managed to pick out 9 (some from the same series) that I thought were particularly good.


  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver Delirium Trilogy
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games Trilogy
  • Passion by Lauren Kate Fallen Series
  • The Lion , The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Brother to the Death by Darren Shan The Larten Crepsley Saga
  • Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling Harry Potter
  • Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan The Darren Shan Saga
  • Trials of Death by Darren Shan The Darren Shan Saga
  • Angel Fire by LA Weatherly Angel Trilogy 










What Are Your Favourite Or Worst Sequels ?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books Featuring Travel In Some Way

This week The Broke and The Bookish‘s topic is our Top Ten Books Featuring Travel In Some Way. I didn’t think I was going to find this topic that easy when I first seen it but once I started thinking about it there were quite a few books to choose from. I have cheated a little by adding a few series but these are the ones I enjoy the most. My favourite is the last one on the list but the rest are in no particular order.

  • Passion by Lauren Kate 
  • Angel by L.A. Wetherly 
  • The Darren Shan Saga by Darren Shan    
  • The Saga of Lartren Crepsley by Darren Shan    
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver 
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 
  • Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter     
  • Between Shade of Gray by Ruta Sepetys 
  • An Abundance of Katherine’s by John Green 
  • We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury 

What Are Your Favourite Books Involving Travel?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Rewind – Top Ten Movie Adaptations

This week I have picked from The Broke and The Bookish rewind list Top Ten Movie Adaptations. However I am not going to write the normal top ten layout I am going to share me favourite and worst adaptations and the couple that sit on the fence.

Favourite Adaptations – For me these are the adaptations that I think kepp well to the books of in the case of the last two are even better than the books.

  • Now is Good 
  • The Chronicles of  Narnia 
  • The Hunger Games 
  • The Hobbit 
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas 

Worst Adaptation – For different reasons these are bad adaptations. The first is mostly due to bad actors, the second is because they put too much of the rest of the series in and the last because the completely changed the ending. Although I did still cry the first time I saw it.

  • Twilight 
  • Cirque Du Freak – The Vampires Assistant 
  • My Sister’s Keeper 

Adaptations on the Fence – These films are ones that I do actually really enjoy however they do waver from the book so I can’t say they are my favourite.

  • Harry Potter Series 
  • The Wizard of Oz 

What Are Your Favourite And Worst Movie Adaptations?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit

With Halloween just around the corner The Broke and The Bookish have given us the topic this week of The Top Ten Books that get us in the Halloween spirit. I have never really thought about books in this way before so I’m not sure how good my list is but hopefully it’s got a few good spooky stories.

1. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde.

2. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

3. House of Night Series by PC & Kristin Cast

It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends. It gets even harder for Zoey to fit in when she finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. As Zoey tries to make new friends and maybe find a hot boyfriend (or two), she comes up against all kinds of evil. Things at the House of Night are not always what they seem. Can Zoey find the courage deep within herself to find the truth and embrace her destiny?

4. The Drowning Pond by Catherine Forde

Nicky is the least popular girl in school, so when the popular kids briefly befriend her—out of boredom—she’ll do anything to keep them, including picking on the new girl. At first it’s easy since everyone thinks she’s weird anyway, but when does weird become witchy? Is it when Bella’s skin breaks out like a plague? Is it when Mags and Janet end up in the hospital? Is all of this normal teen stuff or evidence of witchcraft? As Nicky’s plan reaches its shocking conclusion, she discovers that she has not only lost her friends but also unleashed something truly evil in the process.

5. The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan

Darren use to be a normal boy but his love for spiders is about to change is life forever. Delve into the world of  not just vampires but the strange creatures that share this planet with us and see if Darren can save himself from destiny.  

6. Oh My Goth by Gena Showalter

A fiercely individualist Goth girl wakes up to discover that the whole world has gone Goth and she’s actually — gag — “popular.” Jade Leigh is a nonconformist who values individuality above all else. She has a small group of like-minded Goth friends who wear black, dabble in the dark arts, and thrive outside the norm. They’re considered the “freaks” of their high school. But when Jade’s smart mouth lands her in trouble — again — her principal decides to teach her a lesson she’ll never forget.

7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.

8. The Black Pear by Allan Porter

This was the New Beginning. Away from the memories, away from the past.
But sometimes the past comes back…
What is the secret of the old Black Pear tree that taps on Emily’s window when no one else is around?
And why did Alice, a long-forgotten resident of the house, leave a simple silver necklace twined among its branches?
Emily and her family moved to Orchard Grange to escape the memories of the past.
Unfortunately, Orchard Grange has some terrifying memories of its own…

9. Black Mirror by Nancy Werlin

Convinced her brother’s death was murder rather than suicide, sixteen-year-old Frances begins her own investigation into suspicious student activities at her boarding school.

10. 44 by Jools Sinclair

Last year after falling through the ice, seventeen-year-old Abby Craig woke up from death – but she woke into a world she barely recognizes. She can’t see colors, memories have been erased, and her friends all hate her. And then there’s Jesse, who she loves, but who refuses to forgive her the one mistake she made long ago.

Just when she thinks it can’t get any worse, the visions begin. In them, she sees a faceless serial killer roaming the streets. While the police believe that there have been a lot of accidents in town lately, Abby knows differently. And she soon realizes that it’s up to her to find him. But to stop him, she’ll have to confront more than just the killer. She’ll have to face something else that was lost in those dark waters: the truth.


Allies of the Night

Allies of the Night follows on from 7 with Darren, Harkart and Mr Crepsely continuing their search for the vampaneze lord. They are following their heart as Mr Tiny told them to and have returned to the town Mr Crepsely lived when he was human. However they are met by a surprise visitor. Someone has set Darren up and he has to return to school. They decide it would be best for him to go and when Mr Crespley is called back to vampire mountain after some sad news it gives him something to do. It is there he bumps into his childhood sweetheart Debbie. Things seem great at first, Darren and Harkart have a close call with a vampaneze but are saved by someone from Darren’s past and from then on it all seems to be going ok. As time passes they don’t seem to be finding any vampaneze and get ready to leave. As expected though at the last moment they are led into an attack and all hell brakes loose. Darren learnt the identity of his mystery attacker and the what has become of more than just one person from his past. The book ends of a cliff hanger as they all seem to from this point on with the team taking advantage of a small lee-way they get from an unexpected foe.

This book see’s many people from Darren’s past become part of his dark new world. It is a good introduction to the next section of the story and is interesting to see how the people he was once close to have changed.

Hunters of the Dusk

Book 7 in the Saga of Darren Shan is set 6 years after book 6. Darren has resit trials and passed them and has been learning about his new role within vampire mountain. The vampires are also trying to track down the destined lord of the vampaneze and the many battles have become known as the war of scars. However an unexpected visit from Mr Des Tiny see’s Darren, Harkat and Mr Crepsley leaving vampire mountain in search of the Vampaneze lord alone. They are destined to find another vampire to help them on their trial  and have been told they will have 4 chances to save their race.

Following their hearts they find their travelling companion and go and see Evanna. A woman destined to be able to carry the child of a vampire. They enjoy her company and Darren is told more stories about his friends. They then travel back to the cirque where they catch up with their  fiends but the happiness if spoilt by an unexpected betrayal and an unsettling revelation.

Book 7 isn’t one of my favourite’s but it allows us to learn more about the destiny of the characters that provides the plot for the next few books.


The Vampire Prince

I had forgotten what had happened in this book and I ended up enjoying it. Darren is having to deal with the consequences of the end of book 5 and at the beginning is just happy to be alive. He is nursed back to health by the pack of wolves he meet on his way to vampire mountain and although he is grateful and part of him would love to stay and hide he knows he has a responsibility to go back and warn the rest of the clan about the betrayal he has learnt of. It isn’t easy though and he is the first to admit he wasn’t totally aware of the consequences. When Darren returns to the mountain there is a lot for everyone to deal with, not just his return but the accusations he is making. Plans are made to resolve the issue, with Darren’s help but it is only when it is too late he realises what he has done and that he doesn’t totally agree with the way vampire’s run things. After the tragedy of that he also has to meet his fate for failing his trials and running away. However he has earned the respect of the clan and they find a unique loophole to get him out of his punishment. 

As I’ve already said I had kind of forgotten what happened in this book. I enjoyed  finding out how Darren gets round his issues but I also found that his reaction was one I agreed with and allows you to connect with him as a human still. The end was my favourite bit though as the way he is pardoned was a surprise to me again. 

Trials of Death

Book 5 in the series is my favourite. It is in this book that we learn more about the customs and traditions of the world of Shan’s vampires. It carries straight on from the end of book 4 and see’s Darren meeting his fate to prove himself a worthy vampire. There is a lot going on in Vampire mountain with the threat of the vampaneze brought by Darren’s travelling companion, Harkat the little person but he as suggested by the title he is still having to face various physical trials that will see him meeting death several times. However although he is trying hard, and does very well, they do not all go to plan and Darren finds his life out of his own hands. All seems ok when a friend comes to his aid but we are soon to learn that we cannot trust everyone, even those close to us and Darren has to make a decision that could yet again cost him his life.

I think what I enjoy so much about this book is the balance of action and detail. We are learning not just about what is going on for Darren but this whole world that Shan has created. It is these details that make the whole series a success because it is not just a story about a boy but a story about a whole new world that has its own rules and regulations. I also like the idea’s of the task and I find them not too brutal but still challenging and exciting.

Vampire Mountain

6 years after the end of Book three the fourth book in The Saga of Darren Shan see’s Darren and Mr Crepsely leaving the Cirque once again. This time however it is not for a holidays but to go to Vampire Mountain and Evra doesn’t come with them as although they are still good friend he has aged whilst Darren only looks a few months older. However they are not travelling alone as Mr Tiny has insisted they take two little people along to take a message to the Princes. Along the way Darren learns more about the tough world of vampires and the good things. They are joined by an old friend of Mr Crepsley’s who tells Darren lots of stories and he also makes friends with a pack of wolves. When the reach the mountain Darren continues to be educated in his new life. However they are still burdened by the problem of what will be said about Mr Crepsley blooding a child.

I think this in an important book about learning about the life of vampire’s. There isn’t a lot that goes on but I still enjoyed the book and the end sets up book 5 very nicely.