Friday, December 27, 2013

Romulus Buckle and the City of Founders - Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.

*To the folks who stumble across and read my blog:*
I preface this review in that I got this book from the publisher via Netgalley. Thank you to 47North for providing me with a copy of this tale for my Kindle. That being said, this is an honest review.

Steam punk? Post-apocalyptic world were Martians have invaded making our world a snow covered waste land? A swash buckling hero with a catchy name that so happens to be the title? Should be a no brainer, right?

“In a postapocalyptic world of endless snow, Captain Romulus Buckle and the stalwart crew of the Pneumatic Zeppelin must embark on a perilous mission to rescue their kidnapped leader, Balthazar Crankshaft, from the impenetrable City of the Founders. Steaming over a territory once known as Southern California — before it was devastated in the alien war — Buckle navigates his massive airship through skies infested with enemy war zeppelins and ravenous alien beasties in this swashbuckling and high-octane steampunk adventure. Life is desperate in the Snow World, and death is quick. Buckle and his ship’s company must brave poisoned wastelands of Noxious Mustard and do battle with forgewalkers, steampipers, and armored locomotives as they plunge from the skies into the underground prison warrens of the fortress city. Captain Romulus Buckle must lead the Pneumatic Zeppelin and its crew of ne’er-do-wells on a desperate mission where he must risk everything to save Balthazar and attempt to prevent a catastrophic war that could wipe out all that is left of civilization and the entire human race.”

Alright all the formality out of the way, lets get on with this review. And the question is where to start? I really was intrigued simply by the title. I love a good title. It helps draw in the reader.  I mean, come on. “Romulus Buckle and the City of Founders.” What a freaking awesome title. The cover? Amazing. It draws you in. Title and cover: it just makes you want to snag this book up without question and poor yourself into the story.

Romulus Buckle himself is a great leading man for this type of tale. A tale full of adventure and daring deeds and heroic rescues. It is a swashbuckling hero filled with grandious ideas and  holds fast to his what he feels is right and wrong within the world he was born into. He is a fair and just Captain. He is a true and loyal friend. And a worth and frightening advisary. He is simply, a well thought out and planned character. All the supporting cast of characters were fantastic and just as lively and fun as Romulus himself. The devastating world that Richard Ellis Preston, Jr. created is intriguing. I enjoy the way he did not simply provide us with an information dump of how our world became this way. I like an air of mystery to a world that is dangerous and filled with tragedy and going to Hell in a hand basket. I like it when the author creates a world that makes you accept the surroundings, suspending your own idea of reality.

That being said…I did feel that there were lots of little flaws. And all these little flaws mix together in a bit of a big flaw. At least for me that is.

My main issue with this book is that, for me, it took too long to get to the good stuff that was promised to us in the description of this book. And then when the action came, I felt that it was too short and then suddenly the book was over. I understand world building, and I understand character description…but do I need chapter after chapter of character descriptions? Not really. Also, I felt that there were too many things left unsaid. And I get it, there is a book two. But, I so wanted more on the Founders. I wanted something to be revealed about Sabrina’s past. I wanted there to be more of a build up between Max the curvaceous half-Martian and Romulus. I finished this book and was just wanted more, more, and more.

I did like this book. It fell into the realm of just “okay” for me. I so wanted to like it more. I wanted to roll around in the steampunk dystopia end of the world that I felt like I was promised. But sadly, I finished this still feeling like there was something missing. It left me feeling hungry for so much more. I do have the second book, Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War, and I am hoping that I will get the answers I want so I am fat and happy with satisfaction. Get ready Romulus Buckle, as we are going to be spending some more quality time together. Please don't disappoint me. 

Until next time.
Remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate...then always be a pirate....

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Son of Neptune - Rick Riordan

Action and adventure time! Roman style??

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

Poor Percy Jackson. Appears that he has been wrapped up in another scheme by the goddess Hera…or Juno, like the Romans call her. This is book two in the Heros of Olympus series by the wonderful Rick Riordan (Check out my review done on The Lost Hero!). Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel like second books in series are just plot filler, building you up to the third book. Oh no. This is sooooo not the case with this book. It is full of action and adventure (did I mention this already?) and all the characters are interesting. Riordan does a great job making sure that each character he creates, no matter how minor, is not simply put in there a plot fodder. I feel that is the sign of a true master wordsmith.

But it’s not just the writing that is awesome. Let’s talk about the characters. When the book started out and we see that Percy doesn’t remember anything from his Camp Halfblood life, other than Annabeth that is, I was a little weary. I was concerned that he would be different. But thankfully, he wasn’t. He was still the same ol’ wise cracking, semi-reckless, fierce warrior and true friend we all know and love in the previous book series. It makes sense that he makes friends with two of the outcasts at New Rome, Frank and Hazel, as he himself is an outcast. Sure he is the big shot at Camp Halfblood, but even there he is a rebel and different.

Speaking of Frank and Hazel, how adorable are those two? They are perfect friends for Percy. Both these characters are, when it comes to fighting, brave and true. However, personally, they have their owner demons and secrets that they are trying to keep under control (read the description book…poor kiddos). But there is never a moment in the book that I felt that Frank’s klutziness or Hazel’s slightly otherworldliness is never hinders or bogs the story down. It helps move the story along and also develops the characters into accepting their faults and taking steps and actions to change their fate.

I love this book series. I loved this book series so much that I read the third book right after this one (review to come). Riordan does not disappoint in writing a tale that is meant for teen readers, but just so happens to suck in adults as well. Sword play and monsters. Amazons and the dead returning to life. Love and death. Friends and enemies. Gods and Demigods. Need a I say more?

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery - Justin Richards

Be forewarned: I’m about to go into full fangirl mode about my fandom…that’s right. I’m a Whovian. And if I could be any character from the recent Doctor Who series, I would be River Song. And this book cements my choice. Hello Sweetie!

The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Story is an ebook based on a story partially told in British science fiction television series Doctor Who.

The book, fictionally written by River Song under the detective pen-name Melody Malone. It was featured in the episode "The Angels Take Manhattan", with The Doctor reading it.

The story of "The Angels Take Manhattan" is formed in The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Story.

On some days, New York is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

This was one of the other days…

Melody Malone, owner and sole employee of the Angel Detective Agency, has an unexpected caller. It’s movie star Rock Railton, and he thinks someone is out to kill him. When he mentions the ‘kiss of the Angel’, she takes the case. Angels are Melody’s business…

Okay, so I have to do something prior to getting this review started properly. Let me start by saying quickly that the episode that this book is featured in, "The Angles Take Manhattan," is the best worst episode for me. I cried. Three times. I love to hate you, Stephen Moffatt.

(Look! See! Amy Pond was reading it!)

That out of the way, let’s get this review started.

I have read a couple Doctor Who books prior to this one. They were what were called Quick Reads. They were about the Doctor and his companions. At first I thought it would be some crazy timey whimy retelling of the episode, however it wasn’t. It is an independent tale featuring the infamous River Song. There were quite a few reviews on Amazon and Goodreads complaining feeling they were mislead. Well folks, obvious didn’t read the description of the book.

The voice of River Song, a.k.a, Melody Malone, is clear and distinct with the familiar wit and sassiness that is the Doctor’s wife (spoilers!). I love how the narration seems to be slightly out of place for time for which the she is set in as well as this type of pulp fiction mystery tale. There are little bits of information dropped eluding to the Doctor, but everything else is all about River/Melody and her search for the Weeping Angels (which are perhaps one of the most frightening Doctor Who monsters ever created. Thanks again Stephen Moffat for making me afraid of statues). There is mystery and intrigue. There are beautiful dames and Hollywood fat cats. And of course, alien technology. Duh! However, I don’t want to give too much away in this story. As River would say, “Spoilers!”

Though I thoroughly enjoyed this read, there were a couple parts that I felt were slightly forced and a little erratic, even for River. But that can be forgiven as I know this book was written for the fans. Though not mentioned directly in the book itself, I feel it was a very beautiful good bye and farewell to beloved characters of the show and possibly good bye to Ms. Song.

I have my fingers crossed for some more tales of the lovely, smart, sassy, and self-proclaim psychopath River Song. She is a strong and interesting female hero who deserves to have her adventures and exploits shared with the world. 

Until Next Time.
Remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be River Song...Later Sweeties!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Graceling - Kristin Cashore

I do love a good high fantasy book... Ah! This one has a twist!!

"In a world where people born with an extreme skill—called a Grace—are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.
When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.
She never expects to become Po's friend.
She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."

So I've had this book for a while. It was given to me as part of a secret Santa holiday thing on her blog. And I am so glad that this is a book I got! This book had always been one I have seen on the shelf at the store, but always walking by it seeing something a little bit more shinier. I talked this up to be having a sever case of a book ADD.

Anyway, on to the review of this amazing book.

I classify this as high fantasy because of the world it is set in. Its all medieval  wilderness, castles, conspiratorial kings and restless assassins. The magic element of this story however lies in those called Gracelings. The Gracelings are identified by having two different colored eyes. Each grace is different Graceling are seen as dangerous free that no one like but everyone fears.

This is especially true for our hero. Katsa is a fierce young woman who was cursed with an ability to kill. What I admire about Katsa is that she is completely honest with herself and what her uncle the King has made into: a thug and assassin. And she hates herself for it. She know she is the monster that everyone fears. However she does her best in forming a secret organization that help others.

However everything changes for her when she meets Po. We already know this from the synopsis on the back of the book. Po was a decent character. He was a good for foil to Katsa. He strong and was almost an equal match for her skills of fighting. He has a secret he does his best to keep it himself, but eventually but Katsa finds out who he really is. I think that is why the author made these two  fall in love with each other. They were so alone in their Grace that there was no choice for them to get together.

The action scenes by the way are well crafted in that you are there experiencing these movements. Every bone that breaks, every bruise that is delivered, you know that Katsa's skill and talent is the one that is given a respectable amount of fear for good reason. The story move along quickly so I wasn't bored when there wasn't any action scenes. The in between scenes of action consisted of us watching our hero as she grows and learn to love herself. To know that her true talent was not to kill but to survive. And sometimes to survive you have to kill. There are a satisfying amount of twists and turns in the plot that were not foreseen which is a good thing I like to be left when at all. There's nothing worse than a predictable plot twist. I suggest this book for those who aren't you sure about high fantasy type writing. This genre can be very tedious to read due to the amount of the world building needed for us to understand the story that the characters live then. This story, however, does a great job world building that is evenly dispersed throughout the story and doesn't feel like giant information dumps that overwhelm the brain and can cause it to explode. Also its young adult as well so it should make the reading a little bit easier. I recommend this book, especially if you've seen it sitting in bookstores and just kinda walked by it thinking maybe next time. But go back and get it because trust me this book is amazing and you will not for regret picking it up. That's all for now thanks for your time in reading this blog post.

And remember always be yourself, unless you can be a pirate... Then always be the pirate!

(Take a look at that cover!!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Days Of Blood and Starlight - Laini Taylor

(I apologize for the format of th review. I'm using the Blogger app on my phone as the mini M is being difficult to get down in bed tonight)

Laini Taylor: I'm starting to wonder if you are related to Stephen Moffat. Why's that you ask? Because I do hate to love the way you rip my heart out my chest and show it to me. Ugh!! The feels!!

"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?"

So if Daughter of Smoke and Bone rocked my world, Days of Blood and Starlight totally destroyed me. There few books that leave me in the end completely devastated. I was myself on the verge of tears throughout this whole story. This was a tale of war and the price we pay for it.

Most sequels in book series now a days seem to merely be filler and fluff to satisfy the masses until the big finale in the final book. Oh no. Not this book. There is much that is revealed in this book that was left open wide for the in the first book. As I don't want to give anything away I will be vauge and cryptic. We see more of Karou's past and the depth of her relationship with Akiva. Both Karou and Akiva are dealing with guilt that weighs them both down, changing them for the better and the worse.

Karou is in the desert wasting away and bruising and breaking not only her body, but also her strong will and spirit. She mourns the death of Brimstone (sorry if I spoiled that for you but you should have read the first book by now!), and blames herself. While she brings back her people and creates a vicious army, Akiva believes Karou is dead and has distanced himself from the other angles. It is when they are ordered to hunt down and kill innocent demon refugees feeling for their lives that Akiva discovers that this is the only way to seek redemption for what he has done.

And real quick, can we talk about Laini Taylor's angels? What a bunch of dicks. Really. Unbelievable in their terrony and lust to destory the demons. But it was not about the demons themselves, but the lust for power and control. Taylor did a great job creating an antagonist that I wouldn't mind Judi chopping to death.

Like in the first book, Taylor beautifuly crafted a world that pulled me in and enveloped me fully. However, this story was more raw. It was a deep cut that was exposed to rubbing alcohol and salt. It made me yearn for everything to be okay for Karou and Akiva. I wanted so badly for there to be a measure of closer and peace for these two characters because Taylor totally through them into the deepest and darkest pit of despair in the inner most ring of Bell and told them "good luck getting out!" But in theend, we are left hanging in a shakey balance of uncertainty and wobbly alliances that stand on the edge of a blade.

Oh! The feels!!

My heart aches in anticipation for the next book. I need to know what happens next! There are so many secrets and so many things that could go horrifically and catastrophically wrong. But then, maybe, just maybe, Karou and Akiva get their happy ending that they truly deserve. My heart wants the happy ending, but rational brain tells me Laini Taylor is probably going to leave me a snot nose and tear stained mess sobbing on the floor. And you know what? I'm okay with that.

Remember to always be yourself. Unless your a pirate...them always be a pirate. Go forth and read!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hell's yeah! I'm Back! Along with my dog Momo...

That’s right ladies and gents! I’m back! After a month of none stop writing (I didn’t write for one day, but it was the 4th of July) for Camp NaNoWriMo, I have returned triumphet in that I reached my 50k word count goal. I am a winner! My novel, which is tentatively called End is the Beginning but will more than likely change to Doll Parts, is not quite done story wise. My main characters, Ruby and Finn, decided to yank the reins of the story away from me and well now they are in a pickle I’m trying to write them out of. I believe I have come up with a writing schedule that will work for me, which will included blogging time. I miss reviewing books: the good, the bad, the ugly…miss it so much.

But, to start off my immersion back into the blogging world, I bring to you a feature that I thought was just too cute: Momo’s Choice. For those of you who don’t remember or don’t know what the hell Momo’s Choice is, it’s where I take pictures of my teacup Chihuahua, Momo, with books that she “picked out.” It’s honestly a way to mess with her. She hates getting her picture taken so it’s a fun challenge to sneak up on her and, POW, take her picture.

So let me stop with my yammering and bring to you lovely folks Momo’s Choice!

God’s Behaving Badly
By Marie Phillips

Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse--and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ.

Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees--a favorite pastime of Apollo's--is sapping their vital reserves of strength.

Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

Why it’s Momo’s Choice:  It’s got a sassy cover.

Why I do think of the book? This book I bought a few years back and I remember it was because of the cover (shocker there. Are you surprised?). Then I read the story and I loved it. The gods are seen for what they are and that is completely selfish and Alice and Neil are really just as Plain Jane and Joe Schmo as you can get. I groaned at out loud and I laughed hysterically at the surprisingly idiotic human jealously and revenge that the gods do to each other. If you are looking for a great read to break up the monotony of what you normally read, I highly recommend this book.  

There you have it! Momo's Choice. I'll try to keep up with Momo's Choice on a weekly to biweekly basis. Depends on how crazy things are around my neck of the hood.

Remember folks, to always be yourself. 
Unless you can be a pirate...then always be a pirate!
Arrgh me maties and yoo hoo!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Apologies for July

So I know I am an on and off again blogger, but I made the promise to try to be more active with my blog. Well, wouldnt you know...July rolled around and it's Camp NaNoWriMo time. So, I just wanted to go ahead and tell you folks that I am sorry for the silence you will see on this blog. NaNoWriMo does take up a lot of my free time. Between working and being a mommy and wife and other types of commitments in my life, I really can only write late into the wee hours of the evening and morning.

However, once NaNoWriMo is done, I will return in full force and will be posting again.

I just wanted to let you five people that read my blog a heads up.

Always be yourself. Unless you can be a priate. Then always be a pirate!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cold Days - Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is back...and totally screwed...just the way we like it...

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.
He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill. 
Guess which Mab wants first?
Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday. 
Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…
His soul."

Many of you know that Harry Dresden is my book crush. He kinda reminds me of my husband, tall and handsom (not dark, as my true love has blonde hair and blue eyes), intelligent, caring, a man of action, a smart ass...every girls dream right?

Now, I have to say that as much as I loved Ghost Story (the book previous to Cold Days), I felt it wasnt up to par with the other books in this series. I just had a hard time buying Harry as a ghost and not having his wizarding abilities. It just felt a little strange. I've read some reviews with people bitching that it just wasnt a "Dresden book" and that Jim Butcher kinda went away from the format of the story that has made Harry Dresden so awesome. But I think all the nay-sayers who complained about Ghost Story, will love and feel better about Cold Days because, holy shit, it is non stop for our favorite wizard. Not just with the action scenes, but also all the mental stressers that Harry has to go through with being the Winter Knight.

Harry Dresden is a character purposly written to be a throw back to the chivalry idea: respect for a lady, the knight in shinning armor, the do-gooder. But all this has a darker under current that has slightly been touched on throughout the books (Cold Days is #14 in the series ladies and gents. yeah...#14...). But when Harry accepts the Winter Kight's mantle and become's Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness's errand boy, that primal and darker side of Dresden fights it's way to the surface. I always enjoy Harry's internal monologues as they dont only explain him and his thought process, but also raise questions to say "If it were me, what the heck would I do?" As the Winter Knight, harry feels the constant pull and tug and increasing pressure to give into his darker nature, which now that I think about it, makes me think of that Nickleback song, Figured You Out. All rounchy and wrong and sexually charged for all the bad reasons.  

Along with all the internal struggle of dear broken and battered Dresden, there is a heavy dose of action and mystery and plot twists....Oh My!! A lot of the characters from previous books have returned and there are also some really intersting and strange new villians introduced. The new villians,  The Outsiders, are from a different plane of existance and are trying get through to the Nevernever are in line with all of Butcher's villians in that they are creepy and power hungry. Oh course, they are totally going to play a huge part in the next book. Yeah. I said it, there's going to be a #15 book.

So my dear Harry is no longer leading an ordianry boring existence any more. I mean, within the space of a year, he has returned from the dead, been made Winter Knight, and Warden of Demonreach (Demonreach is an living island and would take waaaaay to long to explain). He fought and kicked two high level Outsiders and lived, led the Wild Hunt with the Erlking by his side. He has battled the Summer Knight in single combat and won, and was granted personal vaors by the Archangel Uriel.  Like I said...not an ordinary life.

Holy Crap! How could I forget about that kiss?! The one between Dresden and Karin Murphy? And I'm not saying it was a romantic kiss. Hell no. It was a primal, heat of the moment in the middle of battle, we might not make it out alive kiss! It was so passionate and real and raw. Some of the best writing in this book if you ask me, and about damn time. Even if nothing happens between Dresden and Murphy, and they stay nothing but friends forever, its good to know that they got it out of their system. But I'm a just a romantic...

Jim Butcher served this story and a silver plater and I'm not going to lie, I devoured it all up. It had everything I love and need: a smart ass hero, and band of heros and villians that so well crafted they are almost real, balls to the wall action, internal struggle that is borderline Dostoyevsky, and a world that I so wished I could live in. It was so wonderfully satisfying...and I cant wait to see what kind of hellfire and torture Jim Butcher puts my hunky bookcrush through. Oh Harry are sexy...

Remember guys...
Be yourself...unless you're a pirate...then always be a pirate!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet - Darynda Jones

Oh hey there's it going? Oh wow...not so good? Well, at least there's Reyes. Grrr...(that's a sexy grrr...not an angry one...)

"Welcome to the world of grim reaper extraordinaire, Charley Davidson. Try as she might, there's no avoiding her destiny. Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, "grim." And since Charley's last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above . . . or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she's insane. But the more they refute the woman's story, the more Charley believes it. In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley's life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans."

I love a good series. And this one is one of the bests. If you go through my blog, you'll find that I have read all these books and have had nothing but absolutely awesome things to say about them. And this book.......oh my god...kick ass!

Where do I start in raving about this book? How about the beginning? Sure why the hell not? Darynda Jones has this amazing way of start a book off where it might sound like something serious, but then Charley's quirky sense of humor cuts through the dark and lightens up the story. I feel that Charley is everyone woman's crazy best friend that knows not only how to have a good time, but also know how to talk herself out of trouble. We still have that awesome personality, but it seems to be tempered by PTSD  which was caused by the man who tortured her in the previous book (I wont go into as I do not want to provide you with spoilers. However, if you havent read this series yet, shame on you).  Her though process and denial is very Charley, however, we are still able to relate with her and cheer her on. Whether she is contemplating the name of her couch (I really liked Malibu Barbie), saving a deaf teen from being possessed by demons, learning about her supernatural heritage, or getting to know Reyes in the physical realm.

Yeah. Reyes. Let us talk about him for just a second. Ms. Jones' obviously spent a lot of time making this man the sexiest man in all of paranormal romance. A Brazilian Supermodel dipped in sensuality? Yep. Pretty Much. And that scene with him and Charley...oh my goodness, I'm fanning myself just thinking about it. Charley and Reyes are complete opposites of each other but the cannot help but be drawn and attracted to each other, no matter how much they drive each other bat shit crazy.

I loved all the little sub plots and their twists and turns, providing Charley with a good amount of challenges to overcome and face. My only issue was Swoopes. He is just such a great character or Charley to play off of, however in this book i felt he was short changed as a character. He was moody and bipolar...which yeah I get since he died and came back. However, I felt that he was a little out of place in the book. I felt that Swoopes had to be mentioned in the book, and all his interactions with Charley awkward and forced. But that's just me....

I really love this series and I absolutely loved this book. Also, Darynda Jones is one cool lady which is just a bonus. Back at the beginning of the year, I won the audio book for Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet. I mentioned my amazing good luck on Facebook and she commented on the status congratulating me. She is so nice and gracious with her fans. It really makes me love her books even more.
I applaud your awesome-sauce, Darynda Jones. Bravo!

On a side note, I'm on vacation this week, so lets hope I can knock out a review or two and shave off a book or two off my to be read list.

Remember folks: Always be yourself....unless you can be a pirate....then be a pirate!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Carrier Of The Mark - Leigh Fallon

(this review is bring written from the blogger app on my phone. I apologize if the format looks a bit funky because of that.)

Okay. Catchy title. Gorgeous cover. Set in Ireland. Yeah. I can totally get into this book, I thought. Oh was a struggle...

"Their love was meant to be.
When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs. But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction."

So let me preface this review with this statement: if you liked this book, don't take this review personally because honestly, I don't have a lot of nice things to say. Okay. That out of the way...

I'm going to keep it real here and tell you guys the truth. I was really disappointed in this book. So much so that by the time I got to end, I didn't like the book. I started out really wanting to like this book. I really did. And at first I was kind of into it. I love all things Irish. But three chapters in this book started to sound familiar to me.

Let me explain.

So Megan is a pretty girl who doesn't know she's pretty with a father who seems to have checked out of his daughter's life. There is a mysterious family where she feels an instant attraction to the one named Adam, and his family instantly loves her and lies for her to Megan's father. There's a quirky sister and the older brother is an understanding jerk. Oh, the DeRis siblings have a guardian who is always around for information dumps. All this is going on and there is a secret society after Megan and the DeRis family.

I'll let you think about it for a second...let it sink in...

This book sounds an aweful like...oh...I don't know...Twilight perhaps?! Yeah. You can totally lay several scenes from each book ontop of each other and they are exactly the same. Identical. Holy shit. Really? And there in lies my disappointment in this book. The concept is brilliant and pretty original in young adult books. Howrever, I am so freaking over the weak pretty girl that doesn't know she's pretty but everyone just seems to love. For what reason? Megan started out a half way decent lead character but then a juicy piece of Irish man meat introduces himself and suddenly it "my existence is all about you." Really? Unbelievable.

The only this that this book has going for it is a gorgeous cover and the stories concept. However, everything feel flat and I felt nothing was delivered to me that made me really like or care about Megan.

I look at this review and I feel slightly bad about ripping this book apart, but the fact that the chacters personalities and scenes and interactions are obviously ripped off from Twilight makes it pretty darn easy to call it out for its flaws.

So the question stands to be asked: will I read the second book? Probably not. I don't mind similarities with in genres as that is to be expected. But you might want to try a little harder to hide the fact that you were obvioulsy inspired by Twilight. At least its sex fan fiction like Fifty Shades of Gray...

Go forth and read friends:
The good, the bad, and the ugly...all books deserve to be read at least once.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

I opened this book and read the first page…and I…well, there are no words…just completely gobsmacked…

“Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?”

So I’m not too sure where to begin with this review other than, well, some curse words. Holy shit. This story is amazing. There are so many elements in this unique tale that make it such an outstanding read. But still the question remains? Where to start? Well, I suppose at the beginning. And since there is so much in this book, I'll keep this review focused on just a couple of things. Because I could in turn write and entire book about this book. And really, who has time for that?

Karou is a strong female hero, with a mysterious past that she is unfamiliar with. She is a perfect combination of realistic teenager and fantasy lead. Her blue hair and tattoos make her stand out in public, however, her attitude make her a likable character. Which, by the way, is an awesome relief. I have read a ton of young adult books that have lead female characters that by the time I finish reading the books, I am really not liking who is suppose to be our hero. But Karou…I love her. She is a genuine character who you can totally get behind and root for.

My favorite thing about this book was probably the setting. How many books have you read where the stories were set in Prague? The way Laini Taylor described the city made it absolutely beautiful and mysterious. The world building Laini Taylor does is seamless and breathtaking. The reimaging of demons and angels was interesting and intense and (like everything else in the book) mysterious. There is not too much I can go into without giving away a big ol’ chunk of plot and stuff…but trust me when I say that right near the end of the book…shit gets real.

Like all first books in a series, there were parts that did seem a bit slow, but I was totally okay with that as like all first books in a series, there is a ton of world building. However, I didn’t feel like I was getting information dumps at random parts in the story. All the information that we are provided is given to us as the readers at just the right points in this tale.

So do I suggest this book? Hells yes I do. This is an epic tale filled with action and mystery and love and betrayal and anything and everything between that makes a story about a girl with blue hair living in Prague caught between an ancient war between angles and demons. It is not only beautiful, but heartbreaking.

Damn I love books.
Until next time folks: keep reading!

(As a side note...this is what the first page looks like. Tell me right now that does not make you want to stop what you are currently reading and go find this book?)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Phoenix Rising - Phillipa Ballatine and Tee Morris

Intrigue and mystery? Sassy ladies with a love of explosives and bookish gentlemen with secrets? Scandalous secret societies? Where the hell has this book been and why did it take so long for me to discover?

“Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian. These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest . . . and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray. For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun—he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices—must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot . . . or see England fall to the Phoenix!”

(I preface this review in saying that I read this book a while back and at this point, I am trying to play catch up with all the books I’ve read and hadn’t had a chance to review…and there are a lot of them…)

I just love the title of this book. It sets up the reader with all sort of amazing expectations. Oh! And did I mention its steam punk?! Steam punk! Oh, I *heart* you…

This story seems to carry with it the typical steam punk staples: sassy leading lady, the strong and silent type leading man, and secret government organization. And I am okay with that. Sometimes there are formulas for certain type of genres and they work perfectly. Phillipa Ballatine and Tee Morris work the formula perfectly, giving the perfect balance between mysterious detective novel and rip roaring action adventure tale.

The names giving to the characters fit their personalities perfectly Eliza Braun is a strong female character, both physically and mentally. However, she’s not heartless and she shows her compassion at various points throughout this tale. Wellington Books is well, a librarian of sorts really; a man who tends to use his brain more relying on his physical strength. They work well off each other in a sort of Abbott and Costello way sometimes, but I’m willing to deal with that in that the characters were likeable and fun. The villains (yes plural as there is more than one!) tended to lean a little bit on the twirley mustache side of villain scale. However, I am okay with that in that it seems in must steam punk books, the villain is a mustache twirling fiend.

My favorite scene though in the whole book is when Eliza gets totally plastered and Books has to take her home to her apartments. It seems to be one of those scenes that is needed for levity as in the beginning of the books it’s like “death death death!!” and then near the end its “secret sex society! Automatons! And oh yeah, death!!” Nothing like an awkward drunk scene to break up with dead bodies piling up and dealing with a creepy secret society hell bent on bring down the British government.

My only niggle with this book is pretty superficial and it’s the cover of the book. The show the lovely Eliza looking like some haughty strumpet (translation: a trashy hoochie mama). In the book she is very much more classy. Don’t get me wrong, she is a total bad ass, with her guns and dynamite and steam punk gadgets. However, Eliza has class and style that is totally being misrepresented by showing off a whole bunch of unnecessary skin. But then again, sex sells so what are you gonna do?

If you have never read steam punk before, I feel that this would be a good one to start with. It’s fun, full of action, and lots of witty one-liners and comeback lines. Oh, and loads of mysterious mystery. Oooooo! They of course leave this ending open to introduce the a book two. Which, lets be honest, is totally awesome!

Go forth and read my friends. Let the words take you away and let you escape reality for a while. Hell, that’s what books are for. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

I have been naughty! Naughty naughty!

Okay…March 1st…not as bad as I thought…but still!
So…yeah. I know. I’ve been a very bad blogger. It’s just been stupid crazy around my neck of the internet, and with all the stress of work and being a Mommy and a good little Wife, I just haven’t really been in the mood to blog. It had been harder and harder for me to read and actually enjoy my books. I have became well, jaded. Yes! There it is! The truth.
However, over the last month or so, I have discovered a few Vlogs on YouTube that have really wanted me to get back on the horse of blog writing and reviewing. I’m even thinking about doing a vlog myself, however, I would need to figure out the logistics on that since all I have in the way of a camera is the one on my laptop (and technically my phone) and have Windows Movie Maker. But, I’m thinking “heck, if these ladies here on YouTube can do it? Why can’t I?!” So, I’m going to be getting back on board with the book reviews here on the blog and working on maybe doing a vlog posts on YouTube.
Anyway, I’m going to go and knock out a review or two for you foxy fine folks to read. I know it’s not book related…but I leave you with this meme that is pretty much my motto for life: "Always be yourself. Unless you're a pirate. Then always be a pirate."

Friday, March 1, 2013

Inkheart - Cornelia Funke

To read and make characters I love come out of books? Would that be a blessing or a curse? Probably, a bit of both.

“Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service. Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can "read" characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie's mother disappeared into the story. This "story within a story" will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters”

So here’s the mistake I made with this book: I watched the movie adaptation prior to reading the book. And I loved the movie. The movie was fast and action packed and witty. The book, though it was very good…well, was kind of the opposite.

Now, I preface this by saying I did enjoy the book. I did. It was beautifully written and the world that Cornelia Funk created was so carefully and delicately crafted that you fall right into the story. You feel every hope and despair and every fear and relief. But…I just had a hard time getting into the story. Maybe it was because I listened to this on audio book, Or maybe it’s because I had read and enjoyed prior to this was an adult action packed adventure. While I enjoyed listening to this, I found that sometimes maybe the words were too over crafted. Does that make any sense? It was too shiny and pretty for me. All the words perfectly polished. I prefer some rawness in my stories. I felt that the villains were dark and unforgiving. Capricorn was dark and sinister without being cartoony. Mo and Meggie I found to be a little grating on the nerves from time to time and Dusterfinger was, well, a coward. But everything was polished to a perfect shine. Not enough of grim I feel for such a dark story.

Inkheart is such rich and complex world and this story ending the way it did, I was pretty surprised that this is a series. Though I felt this was story was a little to squeaky clean for me, I will probably venture out and read the next book in the series.

If I had the ability to read characters out of my book, I think I would look at it as curse. Because I know I wouldn’t want yank the characters I love out of their worlds…even if it would be awesome to hang out with say…Charley Davidson or Harry Dresden…just saying…

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Momo's Choice!

Well, this Momo's Choice took the whole family to get Momo into place for this little installment.

The Amory Wars, Volume 1: 

The Second Stage Turbine Blade

By Claudio Sanchez and Mike S. Miller

From Coheed & Cambria's Claudio Sanchez, comes a deeper look into the saga behind their best-selling debut album, The Second Stage Turbine Blade! Coheed and Cambria lead a seemingly normal, quiet life with their four children. Yet when villainous forces behind the mysterious keywork reveal hard hitting truth's behind the couple's real nature, a battle begins that crosses all worlds!

Why it's one of my favorites: Well, because Coheed and Cambria is one of my most favorite bands ever and this story goes right along with their first album with the same same. And this story is completely epic, just like the music. 

Why it's Momo's Choice: Claudio's dog Apollo is one sexy canine.

This was really my first venture into graphic novels and the story and art are pretty amazing. I love Coheed and Cambria and their story and the music that follows their tragic tale. 
Until next, good night and good reads!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Devil You Know - K.H. Koehler

Snarky and handsome hero? Check. Voluptuous vixen? Check. Clever title? Check, check. Son of the Devil? Wait…huh?

“Not only does the devil have an only begotten son, but he’s currently residing in the rural town of Blackwater in northeast Pennsylvania. Semi-retired from law enforcement, the handsome, if cynical, Nick Englebrecht becomes quickly caught up in a local missing child case that seems mundane on the outside, but when the sheriff requests his help as a psychic detective to help find the missing girl, his off-the-books investigation quickly leads him to some terrible truths about life, love and the universe as we know it. And if that isn’t bad enough, the angels have begun an ethnic cleansing of all beings with demonic blood. Of course, Nick is at the top of their to-do list.”

(This is a book I got off of Netgalley, a great site for blog reviewers to get their hands on some amazing free reads to review and share. This is one of the first books I got from them.)

This title is really what got me scratching my chin and thinking that this is a book I want to read. And it started out amazing. Then…I started having mixed emotions about our hero Nick.

Nick had a good voice with amazing one liners and descriptions, however, there were times that I felt that he was a little too creepy for me. And to me, he didn’t sound handsome. At one time, K.H. Koehler described him as David Bowie from the Labyrinth. I like David Bowie, but not really my cup of tea. Also, there seemed to be this really strange obsession with describing the size of hands and man parts was a little off putting. 
There was some sexy time between Nick and Vivian, a half demon like himself, and after reading it I felt like I really needed to take a shower…to wash away the ick factor. But then, Nick would redeem himself by doing something related to the main plot of the story in investigating the missing little girl or do some kind of awesome action scene that involved fighting some seriously badass angels. While reading this, unfortunately, I couldn’t help myself thinking that Nick is merely Diet Dresden: seems like my favorite hero Harry Dresden, but just not as satisfying.

I had an issue with how women were portrayed in this book. Vivian seemed to be more than kind of slutty, and the evil villainess was absolutely bonkers due to her thirst for ultimate power. The only female in the story that seemed stable was Morgana. She was the calm and rational force that seemed to keep Nick grounded in reality.

These issues I had to with the story didn’t prevent me from finishing the tale. I found that my favorite part of the book was the interaction between Nick and Lucifer. It seemed to me the only time where there is genuine emotion other than snark and horny. It was an honest conversation between father and son. The father delivering the worst of bad news, and advising that he is the only one who can stop what was happening, however, he better watch his ass because bad things could happen to him as well.

Nick Engelbrecht, he’s not a bad guy or a bad character, and the story and mythology of the spiritual world was interesting and it did peak my interest. I did enjoy the book for the most part. But I just felt that the things that put me off made it hard to really get behind and cheer for Nick and tell him to go kick some butt. This is the first in series, and really, not for the weak of heart. Will I read the next books? More than likely. There seems to be something up with Vivan. I mean, she was referenced as the Whore of Babylon. So that has to be important right? Right?

Go forth and read, my friends.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hump Day Book Meme!

Lately, a lot of books I love have been turned into mediocre movies. Warm Bodies. City of Bones. Beautiful Creatures. I just can't take it! I want Hollywood to leave my books alone. So this meme I discovered fits my feeling about books being turned into movies...

My dear little meme: that is so true.

If you're week has been anything like mine, just remember to get reading and we are almost done with this week.

Happy Hump Day everybody!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Alice In Zombieland - Gena Showalter

Is Alice going crazy from guilt and grief? Or are those zombies really after her?

“She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right. The monsters are real….
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….
I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.”

Alright. This is total cover love. No doubt about it. And title love. I mean, how could I have possibly turn this book down? However, the story…wasn’t what I was expecting.

Even reading the back of the book I was still expecting a more Alice In Wonderland meets zombies, but it wasn’t. Instead we are following the Alice Bell through her recovery of dealing with the death of her family and cooping with the possibility of losing her mind, for she is seeing things. Now, they don’t come out and say the Z-word. Alice calls them monster throughout the  story until she meets tough and dreamy Cole who tells her about the zombies and how they came into being.

I do like the reconstruction of the whole zombie idea in that yes, they do like to take bites out of living folk, they are not craving blood or braaaaaiiiiinnnnss!! (see what I did there?) They are in fact craving the very essence of life. I interpreted the zombies as angry spirits, not happy with their deaths and want so desperately to live, that they feed on our life source.

It was very slow going at the beginning, which of course makes sense in that there is a log of world building that needs to be done. The interactions between Cole and Alice seem to be not too obnoxious. I mean, they are teenagers. Their relationship is that intense sort that is the “I hate your guts, you are such a jerk!” to “Wow…I love you!” Typical teen stuff.

However, the end picks up and there is a healthy amount of action and realizations that set up to be a sequel. My only little niggle with this story was I felt there was a kind of push towards Christianity. Now, all that stuff being said, it wasn’t a full force in your face thing, which I find extra annoying. Just made references to only Christian bands and a couple other little things.

All in all, a nice bad book. It was fun and there were some laugh out loud parts. Thank goodness that Gena Showalter wrote Alice’s grandparents into the story as sweet, well meaning folks who say some of the silliest things ever. It was a nice laugh break from the depression that seems to plague Alice at the beginning of this book. For all of those who want to read this book,  I say go for it, however, don’t expect the zombified version of the classic tale. However, this is a fun kind of no-brainer tale that does a nice twist on the zombie genre. Well played Ms. Showalter…well played.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Momo's Choice

I'm off work today and was able to sneak up on Momo to get her book pick to share with all of you.

So, without further adue, here is Momo's Choice!

Glen Duncan's I, Lucifer.

The Prince of Darkness has been given one last shot at redemption, provided he can live out a reasonably blameless life on earth. Highly sceptical, naturally, the Old Dealmaker negotiates a trial period - a summer holiday in a human body, with all the delights of the flesh.

The body, however, turns out to be that of Declan Gunn, a depressed writer living in Clerkenwell, interrupted in his bath mid-suicide. Ever the opportunist, and with his main scheme bubbling in the background, Luce takes the chance to tap out a few thoughts - to straighten the biblical record, to celebrate his favourite achievements, to let us know just what it's like being him.

Neither living nor explaining turns out to be as easy as it looks. Beset by distractions, miscalculations and all the natural shocks that flesh is heir to, the Father of Lies slowly begins to learn what it's like being us.

Reason for being one of my favorite books: This is probably one of the first books that, as hokey as it sounds, kinda changed my life. It made me look at my own thoughts and beliefs. Also, I discovered that books can be the perfect combonation humor and self reflection.

Reason for being Momo's Choice:  It has one sweet looking cover.

Well, that's it for Momo's Choice. I recommand this book for those who are not faint of heart because well parts of it can be a little tough to read. However, the writing is great and I'm not going to lie, the opening paragraph, is one of my favorites.

Solider on book nerds! and Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hump Day Book Meme!

Thank goodness it's Wednesday. Not only does that mean that I made it through a three day work week to take a little mini holiday, but it's time to share an awesome book meme that I have discovered. And this one....well....I think it speaks for itself:

You other Nerds can't deny!!

Happy Wednesday everybody. We're almost through the week.
Forge ahead and keep reading!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hounded - Kevin Hearne

Sexy badass Irish druid who battles a god? Sure. I’ll sign up for that. Wait…he’s how old?

“Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.”

I kept coming across this book and its series while searching for Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, and thought “Self, why not give this book a try? It doesn’t sound half bad.” So checked it out for the ol’ Kindle (I love being able to check out books from the library on my Kindle…) and started to read. And the book had me instantly hooked from the first paragraph, and the rest of the book was an amazing and kept my undivided attention.

Atticus is, thankfully, a light hearted leading man. Don’t get me wrong: he’s a badass. He can heal and rejuvenate his body and enhance his on magical ability by merely making contact to the earth. He can wield fight and oh yeah, he can do a bit of shape shifting. Atticus has a great sense of humor and a great story telling voice that made the story fun to read. And I hate to compare leading men, and no one can replace my love for Harry Dresden, but I would rather hang out with Atticus O’Sullivan as he would probably be an awesome drinking buddy with his Irish lilt and would probably have some stellar stories to tell. Harry Dresden, not so much of a party guy as he does seem to be a bit of downer with all the crap that Jim Butcher seems to put him through (really Harry Dresden…I love you. You will always be my main man, you just seem to be carrying a lot of baggage lately.)

The writing flows nicely and there are some really amazing one liners and dialogue between characters. My favorite intersections are between Atticus and his Irish wolfhound, Oberon. That’s right Atticus has a telepathic link to his dog. Which I totally wish I had because then maybe my dog would actually listen to me and I would be able to understand why she insists on licking everything and eating my daughters crayons. Anyway, the conversations with his dog always seem to ground Atticus to the present. It seems that Oberon makes Atticus appreciate the now, because let’s face it, Atticus is super old and though he drinks his herbal teas that keep him young and his mind stable, he does tend to have his mind go back to his ancient past. And I love stories with dog. On top of that, I have always wanted an Irish wolfhound.

This book was great from start to finish. There was no lag in the story. Kevin Hearne kept the story moving constantly and all the characters were interesting and fun. Even the bad guys were interesting. After reading this, I instantly went on goodreads and added the entire series to my to-read list. I really do need to make the time to read book two. I need some time with the fun loving and long lived Atticus O’Sullivan.

But really? Does he have to be twenty-one centuries old?!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Greywalker - Kat Richardson

What happens when your head is bashed in and you come back from the dead? What do you become?

“When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit ...strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring. But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker-able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift (or curse) is about to drag her into that world of vampires and ghosts, magic and witches, necromancers and sinister artifacts. Whether she likes it or not.”

So this is one of those books where the characters are relatable and you do care about them, and  the idea of the story and plot are good, but felt the execution was a little lacking. Harper Blaine, who is a private investigator, is a likable character and she does seem to have her stuff together. This book had a really great start where Harper is discussing getting her head caved in by a person she is investigating. Then there was her weird and strange bad trip in the hospital as she was recovering. That is when we are introduced to the Gray: the mystical in between that is a border for life and death, with different depths and layers. It’s a good start for the introduction of a new character in what could be an interesting world.

But then, well, a lot of things happen. Way too many things in my opinion: protecting her vampire client and taking down the big boss man over the vampires, dealing with her new found ability, meeting new friends, and then dealing with an icky necromancer artifact. All of it was a little too much and it was hard to process everything. Though most books do have the plot A and plot B story lines, this one felt a little all over the place and was a little hard to follow…kind of like Spider Man 3. Just saying.

Is this one book enough for me to continue the entire series? Probably not. Not because I didn’t like the book, I just finished this story feeling slightly “Meh,” like a sad little hipster. I just wasn't impressed at all. I was unfortunately not captivated by the character or the story. Haper Blaine was not the bad ass chick I hoped for.  But I wouldn’t rule out reading the second book. I don’t feel like I wasted my time reading this tale, which is always a good thing. Because there is nothing worse than feeling like wasting your time on a book (Which is kind of how I’m feeling now with the book I’m currently reading…but that’s another for another blog…)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hump Day Book Meme!

Hello my friends.

It's that time of the week again where I show you a meme that I love. And this one definitely speaks the truth for me. Well, not right now...but I guarantee that once I get Kim Harrison's new book for her Rachel Morgan series, Ever After, this will be me.

And I may complain about it the next day about how sleepy I am, but at the same time I will say it was totally worth the all nighter.

I *heart* books...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Behemoth - Scott Westerfeld

Adventure awaits for Darwinist and Clanker alike in Istanbul. Let the action begin!

“The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers. Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory. Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.”

I do love a great book series? Don’t you? And this second book in Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series does not lack in adventure or character development. Which is always nice. There is a good balance of the point view shifts between Alek and Deryn. Both points of view show us how they grow confident they grow in their own decision making and their strengths and weaknesses are displayed and put to the test. Alek being left without his trusted adviser, him being the one to make the decisions and hope that they are good ones. Deryn being in charge of a secret mission that fails, and then fleeing to Istanbul in search of Alek and also struggling with her growing feelings for the young prince.

All the action scenes were well written and easy to imagine. Though this is an alternative steam punk reality of World War I, there is no problem suspending reality and accepting that yeah, there are giant steam powered robot elephants walking around Istanbul. And of course there is a giant whale who is a hydrogen breather that is used as an airship. Totally.

We are introduced to a few new, interesting and pivotal characters that help propel the story moving forward: revolutionaries and newspaper men, and strange new fabricated beasties. Each new character and all their words were not misplaced and everything had a purpose. No plot fodder.

I again listened to this on audio book with Alan Cumming as the narrator and it was awesome…of course. Most sequels in a book series seem to be mainly filler, prepping us as the reader for the big finale. This book, however, does not disappoint and there is no down time in this book. From start to finish there is action and mystery and emotion that pulls you in and wish you lived in Alek and Deryn’s steam punk fantastic world.