Thursday, January 31, 2013

Momo's Choice

Who is Momo? She is my little 4 year old teacup chihuahua. She is a bit of a stinker, a spoiled brat, and loves to snuggle and take advantage of her humans. In return what do I love to do? Take silly photos of her! And I thought, you know? Why not take pictures of her with some of my favorite books? God Lord, I said to myself, I am brilliant! So, here is the inaugural post of a new little feature. We'll see how long Momo can stand me taking pictures of her.


(Trust me...this is the best photo that I could get...)

Momo's Choice is:

Jim Butcher's Blood Rites

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

For Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, there have been worse assignments than going undercover on the set of an adult film. Dodging flaming monkey-poo for instance. Or going toe-to-leaf with a walking plant monster. Still, there's something more troubling than usual about his newest case. The film's producer believes he's the target of a sinister entropy curse-but it's the women around him who are dying, in increasingly spectacular ways.

Harry's even more frustrated because he only got involved with this bizarre mystery as a favor to Thomas, his flirtatious, self-absorbed vampire acquaintance of dubious integrity. Thomas has a personal stake in the case Harry can't quite figure out, until his investigation leads him straight to Thomas's oversexed vampire family. Harry is about to discover that Thomas's family tree has been hiding a shocking secret: a revelation that will change Harry's life forever.

Reason for being one of my favorite books: Sexy leading man, mysterious bad guys, humor, and some awesome ass kicking.

Reason for Momo's Choice: we get introduced to Mouse, the little puppy that ends up in books to come to play in an important part in Harry's life.

Well, that's all for Momo's Choice. This is an book series that beings with Storm Front and should most definetly be checked out. Go forth and read my friends!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hump Day Book Meme!

So think weeks book meme is not as profane as last weeks. 

You know when you meet another person who is a book lover like you?

Nothing like encountering someone who loves the same book as you do...or introduces you to amazing books. So this post is dedicated to two awesome ladies: my friends Jenn and Destiny. Thanks for all the awesome good reads!

Monday, January 28, 2013

For I Have Sinned - Darynda Jones

We get to see from the dead’s point of view and how they see Charley? Oh my goodness! How can I resist?

“Darynda Jones revisits the sexy, suspenseful world of supernatural shenanigans she created in her Grave series with For I Have Sinned.  In this Charley Davidson story, Charley helps a woman find out how she died and gives her the closure she needs to pass through to the other side.”

This little short story gem is between books one and two of the Charley Davidson series and can is say, it’s amazing? It’s a juicy little tidbit of awesomesauce that gives a peek into how the departed see our favorite Grim Reaper. There’s not much to go on with the description, but just let me say that this a very fast read that simply provides with the point of view young woman who upon first meeting Charley, doesn’t remember who she is or how she died. Within a manner of a couple hours, Charley does help her remember who she is and also what it takes for her to pass through.

That’s the general gist of the story. What I love about this quick read, is how Ms. Jones lets us see what the dead see in Charley and how they see the world around them. My favorite description of Charley is right after she wakes up and Charley has bed head, but she describes her as a wild animal with her crazy hair and golden eyes. We also get to see what the spirits experience while passing through Charley. We all know that Charley is pretty bad ass, but through the young woman, we see that Charley is just like any other woman with certain dreams and hopes. It reminds us that though Charley is a bad ass grim reaper, she is also human.

(and just and FYI: I did read Fourth Grave Under My Feet and review will be coming. It’s totally amazing! Oh Darynda Jones…I love you)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Soulless - Gail Carriger

Victorian steampunk adventure with vampires, werewolves…and wait? What’s that? A soulless heroine with sass and spunk? Where do I sign up?

“First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire - and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?”

All you publishers sure know how to get this girl to pick up your book and read it, and that is with cover love. The title was catchy, set in a unique print. You show us our hero, Alexia Tarabotti, looking fierce and strong with her awesome umbrella and misty gray London background. Thankfully, this was not just case of cover love…the story was actually very good.

We follow Alexia around as she gets involved in the case of vampires appearing without a hive and werewolves disappearing. Alexia is unique in the paranormal world as she is soulless, and being soulless, she as the ability make a vampire and werewolf temporarily human. As long as she is in physical contact with the individual, they are human. Which proves to be most handy when near the end of the book Ms. Tarabotti is kidnapped and all sorts of shenanigans go down.

Alexia Tarabotti is an interesting and fun character, filled with proper Victorian values that she up holds to the letter, but does tend to push the envelope when it comes to Lord Maccon. Their interaction is fun and light hearted at first, but then turns all hot and steamy all of a sudden from out of absolutely no where. Alexia’s family did make me laugh in their ridiculousness and how they tend to embarrass Alexia.

I did have a hard time at first getting into this book and it could have been the writing style. However, the action and mystery picked up and the villains were a nice balance of mustache twirling bad guy and smart and clever dastardly evil doers.

This was a nice read that made the flow and combination of steampunk and paranormal. The ending left me with an arched eyebrow and glad that I had picked up this book from the library. I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series.

Hump Day Book Meme!

Holy crap. Is it really already Wednesday? Why yes it is! That means it's time to share a meme about books that make me smile. I'm a insurance claims adjuster...and this is how I feel most days...

Pretty much says it all really......

Have a great rest of your week out there in internet-land and keep reading! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Ripple Effect - J.A. Saare

I just….wait….I mean….*gasp!!* But....but....*gasp!!*

“There is always a price to pay…
Rhiannon Murphy visited the future, witnessed hell on earth and made choices to change things for the greater good. Unfortunately there are consequences for her actions, the penalties for her interference possibly more than she can bear. Determined to sever her debt with a fallen angel, she pushes everything aside, focusing on locating Marigold Vesta’s resting place.
Until death comes knocking at her door.
When Disco’s maker arrives in New York, he resents Rhiannon on a level she can’t begin to comprehend. Yet Marius isn’t her most dangerous adversary, not by a long shot. Marius’s sire -- a half-demon -- is determined to see the necromancer who stunned the vampire world on her knees. If she won’t bend, he’ll do everything in his power to make her break. No price is too high, meaning no one is safe -- including Disco and Paine.
Dealt a blow from which she can never recover, Rhiannon turns to the only person who can help her: the fallen angel who is relying on Rhiannon to save her soul. Bartering with a creature from Heaven is probably just as dangerous as starting a war with a demon from Hell, but with nothing to lose it’s no longer about life or death.
It’s about getting even.”

Though I normally do some light cursing on my blog, I’m about to be more “descriptive” in my use of cursed words.

J.A. Saare: I have this to say to you-holy shit do you know how to take a genre that everyone has grown accustomed to and just body slam it on the floor, making it tap out and cry like a bitch. Shit.

The third installment in the Rhiannon’s Law series is more…don’t want to use action packed…what word do I want to use?...brutal? Unforgiving? Raw? It’s still action-packed, but in a more primal and visceral way. It is everything the previous two books are and, of course, more.

Like with the previous reviews done with the first two books, Saare has left me in the little pickle where I cannot talk about this story without giving everything about this book away. Let me say this though: Every word and sentence, paragraph and page, will leave you gasping for breath. It is dark and beautiful, sensual and horrific. This story is fore the person who doesn’t mind their heroine tougher than nails, only to be broken, and then in that brokenness, find the courage to face the demons who burned her world and kick the ever loving shit out of them. I will say that while reading this I found myself dropping several F-Bombs throughout the book. The end left my eyes watery and my jaw slacked with surprise and shock. Let’s just say that Rhiannon, once again, proves she is a total badass, however, her world is torn to sherds by a rusty cheese grater and now she and Disco will try their best to survive.

I really cant think of a way to end this review. Normally I say something witty…or well, try to say something witty that it. But this book series is just to amazing and I have no snark to give, it’s that awesome.

But I was snooping on Goodreads and stumbled across the title for the fourth book: Edge of Darkness. I cannot wait to see what happens. Does Rhiannon find Marigold Vesta’s body? What about the vampires and demons? Will the stop at nothing to get back at Rhiannon and Disco? Holy shit and what about Payne? Whatever happens…it will kick ass. Fuck yeah.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hump Day Book Meme

So, I decided that I need to spruce up the blog and do a little bit more. So a few things are in the works right now that I plan on showing off later next week. Just need to get everything together.

One of new little features for the blog are some of my favorite little meme's that I have come across Pintrest and Facebook. And I figured, why not share with all the folks who come across my blog. So I present to you Hump Day Book Meme. Enjoy. I hope this brings you a little smile to your face.

Happy Wednesday everybody! We are almost through the week!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld

A steampunk adventure set in World War I where our heroes is a (fictional) son of Arch Duke of Austro-Hungarian empire on the run and a girl crossing dressing to as a boy to be in the royal airforce? Where do I sign up?

“Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.”

This is one of those books that I found while walking around the library. And by book I mean audiobook. The title had caught my eye and because I have come to despise the radio, I figured how about an audiobook? And when I saw that Alan Cumming was the reader and I said “oh hell yeah!” I got some looks at the library for that statement.

Anyway, on to the story.

This was sort of my first taste of steam punk. And it was fun adventure. The characters are strong and unique, with Scott Westerfeld presenting us a story that is full of mystery and action. The story shifts back and forth from our two hears, Alek and Deryn. And these two characters come from opposite words but they are surprisingly similar. Alek from a land of royals and Deryn a commoner, they are both stubborn and strong willed, determined to change their fates. And neither of them thought that they would need the other to do so.

I thought the most clever part of this story is how Westerfeld made the distinction between the British and their Allies and the Germans which were not by nations but by their technology. It was the Darwinist versus the Klankers. The Darwinist manipulating the DNA of animals to make great beasts that they use for airships and boats and smaller “beasties” for menial work, while Klanker are what you would expect from classic steampunk tales. You see the philosophical differences that are presented with each set of characters.

I honestly don’t have a negative thing to say about this tale. All the characters were fun and intriguing and the action was well written and I couldn’t help but to feel as a part of the story. Of course, it helped that Alan Cumming was reading the tale and I could listen to that man read a names out of a phone book. He helped breathe life into characters that were amazingly written and story that was light and fun, but at the same time filled with touching emotion scenes. No wasted scenes. No wasted words. My favorite kind of story.

For those of you who haven’t really read any steampunk, this is a good introduction. The story is easy to get into and the end will leave you wanting to read the next in the series. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare

If you are like me, this will not only be your favorite book in the series, but it will also leave you thinking “What in the hell is happening?!”

“What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.”

The book prior to this one, City of Fallen Angels, left me feeling a little “meh.” It was a good book, don’t get me wrong. Cassandra Clare did something different with the young adult paranormal genre. Angels and demons, vampires and werewolves and warlocks and the fae. All these characters combined and without a heavy dose of religion. The writing is beautiful and there is no questions in regards to where the characters are at in their motives and heads. However, this latest book in the series has turned around my feelings towards this series. Only a bit. I still love Infernal Devices series more, but I’m glad to see some more character growth in this book. I feel that Clary is a little too flakey; Jace is way too perfect and a bit too much of a jackass; and Simon, well, he’s just a poor little puppy dog following Clary around. For crying out loud man, you’re a vampire! Except it! Anyway, never mind that rant there…

And that was my issue with all the previous books was the character development. I felt that all the characters just seemed to be pretty people fighting other pretty people in a secret world of horrors. However, I was happy to see that Clary developed a little bit more in the way of brains and also that Simon and Isabelle are finally developing some kind of real adult feelings for each other. And the villain of the tale, Sebastian, he is super creepy and evil. More creepy than evil (I mean, wants to get busy with his sister? Shiver. Ew.), but still a well rounded bad dude.

I found that the best scene in the way of imagery and scene development was where Clary goes on a far out Fairy-acid trip that goes spectacularly downhill upon getting freaky with Jace. I did enjoy the portion of the scene where Clary is tripping her brains away while Sebastian is having a cryptic and semi-serious conversation with her. It cinematic the way it was written: from the textures of the club to the lights and darks of not only the atmosphere, but also the people there.

My main issue with this installment of the series is that I felt we had to be taken the scenic route to get to the big battle at the end. Lots of exploration in the realm of feelings: love, hate, betrayal. It was an exercise in taking the long way around.

However, all that being said, I got to the end and had to applaud Ms. Clare for a really amazing cliff hanger. I will give away any spoilers only to say that, damn, she set us up to demand for the sixth book to be released as soon as possible.  

From what I have read the sixth will be the last in this series, and I hope that the build up that was made from the previous books pays off.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan

So…teens with a mystical heritage saving the world? Oh wait….it’s not Percy Jackson?

“Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.”

So my husband loves Rick Riordan. Loves him. I enjoy his stories myself. I love the Percy Jackson series. And I enjoyed reading the The Lost Hero. This book, I liked as well, though as I was reading it I couldn’t help think that I have read this before.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The characters are different and unique, and also the story telling is different.
Sadie and Cater are brother and sister who are telling their story through a voice recorder that it being transcribed. They have a realistic sibling relationship in that they tease each other constantly, but when it comes to people messing with them, that is just not allowed. I should now, I have an older brother and two younger sisters. We can beat the snot out of each other and be nasty and mean, but if an outsider comes along trying to mess with my brother and sisters, get ready because all hell will break loose. Makes for awesome storytelling to have that kind of relationship in the story that everyone can relate to. However, it seems that Riordan likes to have the world hang in the balance. Riordan does what he does best in writing a well balanced story that is action packed as well as providing valuable information in a clever and easy manner. All the characters are well written and likable folk.

I honestly don’t have too much to say about this book only that it was good. I know that’s kind of lame, in that I’m either gushing about a book or condemning it for a waste of ink, paper, and my time. However, Riordan seems to have a talent of writing fun action adventure stories that are great for all ages and making all characters, even the bad guys, likable and fun.  

Insurgent - Veronica Roth

So…let’s turn our heroine into a shell shocked war victim. You guys won’t mind, right?

“One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.”

Let me preface this review in saying that I did like this book. The world is interesting and there is a unique twist at the end (that for some reason I feel like I should have seen coming), however, that being said, I felt like this book was a bit of a letdown for me.

The book picks up where Divergent left off: in a train car heading away from the city. I felt that the action in the book was lacking. I understand that there must be those down times in books to watch the characters reflect and to grow and converse with one another. However, I felt that Tris, who was so brave and kind of a badass in the first book, withered down to a husk of the hero she was. Granted: dealing with grief and guilt and trying to come to term with what is going on…I get. But damn girl, suck it up. You can’t radically change a character like that.

However, things did sort of turn around and pick up near the end, good story telling back in place and Tris search and hunting for answers all the while being hunted for being Divergent. The bad guys seemed to be a little to Sniddly Whiplash for me, mustache twirling while giving away their master plans of domination, but by doing so, much is revealed. By telling you, it would be spoilers (picture that in River Song’s voice), but just know that at the end, you’ll probably be thinking the same thing I was: “I should have seen that coming.”

Of all the complaining let me say again that I liked this book. The story telling was good and the writing is well done, I felt a little hollow over reading it since I gave such praise to Divergent. There will be a third book, I can tell you that from the cliff hanger at the end, and I will read it. Let’s hope though, that this will only be a three book series, but honestly, I don’t know how much longer things in Tris’s world can last and not implode all together.