Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Skin Games - Jim Butcher

Okay. Fan Girl Moment done.

Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day….
Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.
He doesn’t know the half of it….
Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.
It’s a smash-and-grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he’s dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.
Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance….

***FYI AND FAIR WARNING: there are some minor spoilers. I will try to keep the big ones under wrap but, there are just something’s I’m going to have to say that might give a few things away.***

For those of you folks who stumble across this blog, let me give lay down some very important information about this book series:
1. Harry Dresden is listed in the Chicago phone book under Wizard.
2. Harry Dresden always, ALWAYS, gets in way over head, but still somehow manages to make it through to the other side mostly not dead (Granted…there was Ghost Story…but are we counting that misadventure? I’m not…)
3.  This latest installment of the Dresden Files, is book 15. So if you haven’t read this series yet, well, you got some catching up to do.
Also, Harry Dresden is my book boyfriend. He is broken and carries A LOT of baggage, but he’s good. So. Good.
But where do I start with this book in the aspects of a review? I mean, there is so much going on with poor Harry right now. He has a parasite threatening to burst out of his head and kill him…which we find out really isn’t a parasite but something else ENTIRELY. Mab is expecting him to play her deadly game by loaning him out to a villain we haven’t seen in a long while, Nicodemus Archleone (he’s appeared in two books, Death Masks and Small Favor. Super Baddie). And the highest security vault in the Nevernever? Oh, it just belongs to HADES, LORD OF THE GREEK UNDERWORLD! Oh, and there’s also all this other stuff…minor mention of Molly as the new Winter Lady and FINALLY something going down with Karrin Murphy and Dresden. Fifteen books in…about damn time really.
So you see my dilemma? Where do I start? How about everything and everywhere. It’s another super well-crafted and throughout adventure that pushes Harry almost beyond the limit. He has been forced to draw deep from his Winter Knight mantel for power and to survive the inevitable FUBAR and clusterf**k that has become his life (like how I censored myself there?).  There is a ton of action per the course filled with magic, demons, and guns. This is just normal everyday stuff for Mr. Dresden. What was interesting was to FINALLY see him interact with his daughter Maggie, who is just like any other 4 year old in that she wants her father. Harry, who has been pushing everyone away since taking up with Mab, the Winter Queen, comes to realize that the true friends will stick by him and love him until the world comes to an end. And what I was most excited about? Michael Carpenter. Yes. That’s right. The bad ass Knight of the Cross is back in action as wing man when Karrin gets taken out. Since being horribly injured in Small Favor, he isn’t so awesome. However, with the help of an angel, Michael gets to be put back in the fight as if he was never injured. He is the moral compass for Harry. Always reminding him that he is a good person, and reminding him that there is always another way.
I don’t want to give too much away but let it be known that Hades makes an appearance, and he is awesome. Just read the book. You’ll see. But read the other books first! Because you will have no concept of any of the characters or back story if you don’t. And trust me, they are GREAT reads. (Well, Ghost Story was a bit of a miss for me…but still good…)
Jim Butcher just makes me happy when I read his books. I got lost in the world he created. Every person and monster is relatable. The good guy is not a knight in shining armor. The bad guy is not mustache twirling villain. The shades of good and evil are muddled and confusing, nothing is clear cut. There are decisions in the world that need to be made: the lesser of two evils. And if we play our cards close to the chest, well, we must just get to place the ace up our sleeve and make it out alive.
Go forth and read Harry Dresden my fellow book nerds. I know this was not really much of a review. That this was a rambling of an over excited fan girl who just can’t get enough of my book boyfriend. But then again, isn’t that what being a fan girl is? Being over excited and passionate about the things you love? And I do love the world of The Dresden Files. Thanks, Jim Butcher, for everything. You are awesome!!!!

Until next time, remember to be yourself…unless you can be a pirate. Then ALWAYS be a pirate!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

What is this book?! A paranormal romp of ghostly and supernatural proportions? OR…Is this girl just plain ol’ crazy? You decided!!


Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.

I would like to thank my awesome book sister from a different mister, Destiny, for inviting me to join her and a few others on this little book read along over the weekend. But I, however, started this book early. Started on Wednesday and finished it on Friday. It was a pretty quick and was just what I needed between books. But, I have to admit, this book did leave me scratching my head. I mean, really? What H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is going on here?
The little book summary. Yeah. Short and tells us nothing. All we know is that something mysterio-so is going on.  Don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t read this book, but just know that something completely awful happens and as a way to deal with the trauma, Mara Dyer’s brain has chosen to forget that night. But after moving to Florida, things start to come back to her in her dreams. Also, other strange things are happening. Some severely nasty folks are dying shortly after meeting her in really terrible and violent ways that seem to match Mara’s imagination. Then, of course, there is a boy that is introduced into her life that will change everything for her. Noah Shaw is slightly obnoxious in that Mara goes back and forth between “I hate your guts” to “I think I’m in love you.” It is the typical young adult recipe for a relationship it seems. But I give it up to Mara, she is quick with her wit and I do like the voice she was given. Sassy and smart…and completely aware to the fact that she is completely losing her mind. Like total bat shit crazy.
Oh, and did I mention that part of the crazy she is experiencing is due to the fact she is seeing her dead friends? In the worst places and the worst times? But of course, not too much detail about that darlings. Because it would totally spoil certain parts of the book that lead up to the end. So yeah. Hush, hush on that.
Overall, I did like this book. Heck, it grabbed my attention enough to finish reading it in three days. And that’s something to say since you know, I work full time and I’m also taking care of my family. My only niggle with this book is the ending. Definitely was a lead up into to the second book. However, I’m concerned that this super explosive “DUN DUN DUN!” ending does not back fire like it did with Veronica Roth’s Insurgent leading into Allegiant. I’m still fuming over that big bag of betrayal that book given to the world…Just saying…..
If you looking for a different type of read in the young adult tale, I would suggest checking this one out. However, be prepared for some head scratching. Just a bit of heads up.
Until next time.
Remember to always be a pirate. Unless you can be a pirate…then always be the pirate!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Parasite - Mira Grant

This book definitely grabbed my attention…then it took a turn for the whacky…and now I don’t know how I feel…


“A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.”

I’m going to be honest, I did not read the synopsis of this book prior to requesting it and then getting this book delivered to my Kindle. All I cared about was that it was Mira Grant and I loved her Newsflesh series. LOVED.  But when I did read the summary of the book, I have to admit that I was fascinated. There is no mention of our hero, Sal, a girl who experienced a seizure and was in a coma for months before walking up with all her memories gone and having to re-learn how to live like a civilized human being. Mira Grant, I have found, has the ability to write about the not too distant future that is believable. The medical industry genetically mutates a tapeworm to work with our immune system? Sure. Why the hell not?
What I didn’t expect…was the slight ick factor.
But, the ickiness of this book did not present itself until the last 20% of the book. And only a little bit of it has anything to do with Sal Mitchell. She’s a good character. Solid. Dependable. Not too many surprises. She feels confined with her medical anomaly celebrity status, but she knows that SymboGen pretty much pays the bills. Her family smoothers her due to her lack of memory and treat her like a child. When Sally Mitchell has a seizure at twenty,  and blows through a light and crashes her car which causes her to go into a coma, her memories are lost and now, years later, she is Sal. Someone new. She is technically a child in that she still has much to learn about the world, but Sal is instinctive and smart.
You asking though, where does it get icky? Well, it’s the last line of the book summary…” But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.” I don’t want to get all spoilery on you guys, but this does give a hint about what is revealed in the last portion of the book. And then you think back on certain parts of the book...and you just feel a little icky. Just think about it…
But overall, this was a fun book, even the end of the book which left me feeling a little off. It is full of suspense and mystery and “what the hell just happened?!” moments. That last one is always my favorite. Though different from her Newsflesh series, I can still tell that this is a Mira Grant book, a lovely gem of scifi/horror that is well written with the perfect balance of suspense and gross out factor. I loved it.
And awesome news from Orbit: Mira Grant is going to write another book for the Newsflesh series and there should be a couple more books to follow Parasite. Woot woot!
Until next time my darlings.
Remember to always be yourself, unless you can be a pirate. Then always be the pirate.