Source: Bought (available on amazon kindle for just .99 if interested)
Publication Date: Jan 2011
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): When a teenaged girl goes missing, her mother calls Kit Colbana, scion of an ancient line of warriors -- unfortunately, Kit's heritage doesn't impress the local wererats much. They're determined to make the girl one of their own, and Kit is going to need a big sword, a bright flashlight, and a helpful vampire to get her back.
My Review: What first attracted me to this book was the cover. I had been looking at the art of Jason Chan and this is one of the covers that he has done (I really like his style, you can check out more at his website) and thought I would give it a try. Doesn't that girl look like she has an intense story behind her? I'm sure she does...but unfortunately this novelette is not it.
To be fair, this book didn't really give itself much of a chance, it only breaks down to about 15 pages and that isn't even half an hour of reading time. It was a simple storyline, simple resolution, and while it was able to convey quite a bit in the few pages that made up its entire being, there definitely could have been more.
Usually these type of simple stories have very simple elementary covers to go along with them. This one lucked out big time when it got this cover, but it also sets up the stage for something pretty epic and when you don't get that, it's a bit of a let down.
I still really like this cover though and am glad that I gave the book a try just so that I didn't have to sit there wondering what this character's story was and why she was SO cool looking! Now, knowing that it's not that great, I can at least make up my own. However, I think that this cover fits perfectly with Suzanne Collins 'Gregor the Overlander' series. That has some pretty kick-butt people in it too, and don't forget the monstrous rats!
This book gets 3 stars for being able to inspire such an amazing cover!
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred ofthem.The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.
My Review: This was an interesting mix for me. I felt that 'The Immortal Rules' was a combination of 'I am Legend' and the Oregon Trail (you remember the 90's computer game? yup, that's the one!) with scenes from 'Kill Bill' and a Hallmark movie thrown in.
The cover is what first caught my attention. I must admit that I have only gotten through half of Ms. Kagawa's Iron Fey series, and while I plan on finishing it one day, it's not at the top of my list. Hearing that she had a vampire series starting intrigued me and I immediately sought after a copy. The almost 500 pages was a big plus for me, and it went by fairly quickly. There wasn't a desperate need to inhale it, but I was mildly entertained. I didn't have any big emotion moments (like trepidation, anger, creepiness), but it was good enough.
Another confession is that Allie was A LOT easier for me to stomach than Meghan from the Iron Fey series. She was cold, calculating, but still had a heart, and was not a whinner. She'll fight her own battles thank you very much! That being said, even after nearly 500 pages of following her story I don't feel that I know her that well. She's a bit of a cliched dystopian character; OK, but not entirely memorable. Zeke was only OK as well. Yeah, he had his moments, but....I wasn't feeling the attraction. Yes, I wanted it to happen, and no it didn't feel entirely forced, but they will not go down as my most favorite couple.
The other characters weren't stellar either. They were good enough to keep the plot moving forward, and I'll be coming back to hear the rest of their story, but they won't be haunting me (in a good or bad way) while I wait for it.
I have heard around that people are viewing this as more of a dystopian than a vampire book. While I feel that they are more half and half, I can see where that is coming from. Ms. Kagawa actually did a pretty good job of blending the two together to where it felt believable and not that she was just trying to capitalize on what are the two top selling genre's right now. She has a plausible back story and while it's not the strongest most gripping, it suffices and it will be interesting to see how it evolves through.
Overall, I'm glad I had a chance to read it, and while I will look forward to seeing where all this ends up, this isn't a book that I would be willing to purchase full-price for my bookshelf and to loan out to friends. Good enough, but not the greatest.
I have heard many great things about this book (not the least of which is this amazing review by The Book Smugglers...they gave it a 10/10!) and so have been looking forward to this book immensely!
I had requested it, but hadn't heard back yet, so when I checked my email and saw this update from Netgalley that Code Name Verity was available for immediate download, no request and approval needed, I jumped on that like a monkey and a banana! Now you guys can too!
Just click the link below, but hurry fast as this is only available for download until May 15th (whereas once it's downloaded you have 55 days to read).
I <3 NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion, don't you?
(graphic and link nabbed from the original Netgalley email. While most of these emails I don't read, I'm glad I got this one!!)
Publication Date: July 4th, 2012 from Dark Horse Comics
Short Synopsis (Dark Horse Comics): Set before the first season of the show, these hilarious stories delighted fans and newbies alike and introduced plots that influenced the show itself, including season 5’s backstory of Tink, originally hinted at in these pages. Featuring a huge variety of comics’ best artists as well as many of the talents key to the web series, and leading directly to the moment Zaboo unexpectedly appears at a startled Codex’s front door in episode 1, this collection comprises a true “season 0” ofThe Guild! Collects the one-shots The Guild: Vork, The Guild: Tink, The Guild: Bladezz, The Guild: Clara, and The Guild: Zaboo.
My Review: Felicia Day is my new favorite person. Seriously guys, her stuff is awesome. But more on that later.
This compilation is of a couple of The Guild books and was pretty good. I had already gotten hooked on the online video series, however, so when I was reading it in my head it was in the actual voice of the characters and I think that it helped tremendously in making it come to life more. You just have to love how cooky each of their characters is, it's great!
Had I already not been a fan, I'm not sure how much I would have appreciated this. That being said, it was really great having a chance to get the back story of all of the characters (I still need to know Codex! Guess that's in volume one) and it was a great lead up to the start of the series. So great, in fact, that I have started watching it all over again, this time with my sister to laugh along with me!
It was nice having each of the characters done in a different style of art. This helped make it more interesting but also to make the characters even more unique.
Here's a link so you too can get hooked on the Guild and the Knights of Good. I have not played an RPG before (role playing game) nor do I have any avatar's, but I still enjoy the nerviness and social awkwardness and yes...can even see parts of myself in the characters. You will too!
Now onto the geeky awesomeness! I just recently discovered Felicia Day's Flog. It's lots of fun to watch and airs every Monday.
And essentially, for all things Geek you should head over to Geek and Sundry, you will never look back, trust me on this.
Also, here's our favorite Guildies being all cool in their song "I'm the One that's Cool". (I've listened to it about 50 times in the past 2 days already...it's catchy! They've also done one called "Do you want to date my avatar"...another classic, seriously!)
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): In this enchanting debut novel, Galen Beckett weaves a dazzling spell of adventure and suspense, evoking a world of high magick and genteel society—a world where one young woman discovers that her modest life is far more extraordinary than she ever imagined. Of the three Lockwell sisters—romantic Lily, prophetic Rose, and studious Ivy—all agree that it’s the eldest, the book-loving Ivy, who has held the family together ever since their father’s retreat into his silent vigil in the library upstairs. Everyone blames Mr. Lockwell’s malady on his magickal studies, but Ivy alone still believes—both in magic and in its power to bring her father back. But thereareothers in the world who believe in magick as well. Over the years, Ivy has glimpsed them—the strangers in black topcoats and hats who appear at the door, strangers of whom their mother will never speak. Ivy once thought them secret benefactors, but now she’s not so certain. After tragedy strikes, Ivy takes a job with the reclusive Mr. Quent in a desperate effort to preserve her family. It’s only then that she discovers the fate she shares with a jaded young nobleman named Dashton Rafferdy, his ambitious friend Eldyn Garritt, and a secret society of highwaymen, revolutionaries, illusionists, and spies who populate the island nation of Altania.
My DNF Review: I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. It has such a cool premise and it sounded like a Jane Austen book but with magic. Yeah, didn't happen.
I was intrigued enough at first, and while there were only slight references to magic in the beginning, not a whole lot was happening. Granted, it's a pretty thick book and you have to give time for world building, etc. But really, I got in until about page 333 and still, while mentioned just a little bit more, the magic didn't feel like enough of a force for me. And by then, other things were starting to bug me.
The first half of the book we see through the eyes of three people. I was ok with that. While two of them I thought pertained more to the actual storyline, the other I liked well enough to put up with it for the most part and keep going. Having expected to read a Jane Austen like piece I wasn't disappointed in the first half. There are polite conversations and developments of feelings and it was all heading in a good direction.
THEN randomly it changes to first person and the story line is WAY too much like Jane Eyre (I mean really, we had to have her be a governess for some brooding mans wards?) and the character that had seemed very strong and sensible in the first half becomes a complete ninny! It was extremely frustrating for me. I could handle the change in point of view, but really, she showed no sense whatsoever! It was unbelievable! I just could not fathom how slow she was on catching on to the glaring clues left to her, or then how she made these completely random leaps onto other things, and then magic is starting to play a bigger role but it's too big now and.....it just wasn't making any type of logical sense. Really, I'm not even that much a logical girl, I'm ruled as much by emotion and misinformation as the next person, but I just couldn't handle it anymore. And I gave it a good shot. 333 pages is practically a book all by itself.
Will I come back to this one? Possibly.....but probably not. This seems to be the first in a trilogy so maybe things get better. But really, the important bits weren't explained hardly at all and other things were given far too much detail. I wanted to like it, I really did, and it had a base story that really could have been made into something, but it got lost somehow and got to be too random for me.
The fantastic Red House Books has done it again! These Netgalley reading challenges really give me that extra little push (or kick in the pants) that I need to read down my amazingly generous queue that I have accumulated with Netgalley requests. Some have already been published....but I will read them!!
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns...
Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years. Or not. Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries. However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student ... an attraction that could jeopardize everything.
My Review: A few years ago when I first heard about this book I swore to never read it, much less touch it with a 10 ft. pole. Not that I'm such a fan of Unicorns or anything! It's just that having killer unicorns goes against every story that we have ever been told, and plus, I do have some favorites (ok, just one, and it's Bracken from Brandon Mull's Fabelhaven series, but we won't get into that here).
HOWEVER, I have been eagerly awaiting For Darkness Shows the Stars and have been hearing very very good things about. So, when I looked up the author to see if she had written anything else...and saw this series...I said a very small 'oh', sucked up my prejudice against killer unicorns, reserved it at the library and began reading.
As you can already tell from the 4 mustache rating, I liked this book. I liked it a lot. Astrid was a really great protagonist to follow along with. I most appreciated her at the beginning and towards the end. She kind of wasn't as strong for me in the middle of the story, but she pulls it together by the end...and by pulling it together, I mean kicking some serious unicorn butt!
Another plus to this surprise favorite of mine was how believable Ms. Peterfreund made killer unicorns! She has several different varieties and brought in numerous historical instances where they played parts in history. I will be the first to say that I am not a history buff, by any means, but it didn't feel like the author was stretching the truth with how she presented the data and I really was pulled into the story!
My only complaint would be the middle but only because of slightly forgetful characterizations. Yes, the middle was ok, and good things happened in it, but Astrid didn't seem as strong of a character and part of that is due to the fact that so many new hunters are being brought into the mix and none of them were particularly distinctive for me. It would usually take me a sentence or two after reading something to realize what had happened to whom, exactly, but since I was able to figure things out it didn't throw the story off of it's stride too much.
My other comment would be the frequency with which sex is mentioned. It is not a focus, by any means, and it is not discussed in depth or crudely, just made reference to, but not in terms that are quite direct. I was surprised at first, but upon thinking on it, how we know unicorns in mythology still applied to this story in that only virgins can approach (or kill, as the circumstance may warrant) them, so it was bound to be a topic that was a concern of the characters.
I will for certain be continuing with this series and am now even MORE excited to see how Ms. Peterfeund brings the classic Persuasion into a future setting. She did such a fantastic job convincing me that unicorns could be menacing that I have not doubts she will do a great job with this as well.
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
My Review: First off, a book about Robin Hood from a girl in his bands perspective? Sign me up double time! When I first heard about this book I was extremely excited. Second, how cool is it to have a book with your name?
To begin with, do you ever get that feeling when you're reading that you and the main character would be BFF's in real life or something? Yeah....that wouldn't happen here. Scarlet wouldn't realize or care I existed. Sh'e kind of prickly like that. And it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, from a distance she's still pretty awesome and does a lot of awesome stuff, but we just would't be friends probably.
One of the biggest pluses for this book is that it from a different perspective from than we are used to in our Robin Hood stories. Plus, kick-butt females leads are always fun to read about. There were times where I could really feel for Scarlet, her choices and her insecurities. The plot moved along at a pretty good pace and there were some heart flutters moments and also times were I wasn't exactly certain what would happen next or how things would work out.
In addition, and I didn't really notice this until after I had finished reading the book, Ms. Gaughen does a pretty good job of setting up the world of Robin Hood. It wasn't a fleshed out as it could have been, but there was a just enough explanations and adjectives for me to feel a part of that area to the point where it helped support the story instead of (a lack of, or too much of) would have detracted from it.
Overall, I did like this book and will be keeping a very watchful eye on what else Ms. Gaughen comes up with next.
That being said, there were also quite a few things that....annoyed me...especially towards the end. This surprised me since I did like this book, and I usually am not the type to get annoyed by things. I think it has to do with Scarlet being prickly. If I could have sympathized with her more, these things probably would have been easier to look over, but because she's a little snobbish and didn't really trust others with her feelings, these things did get a little on my nerves. Slight spoiler rant follows, highlight in parentheses to see.
These are the reasons this book got only a 4 rating for me....but really, a 4 rating is pretty awesome and you should give this book a try!
Also, you have been warned! It was about the last 15 pages that I had some issues with, so only if you have read the book are you advised to read the following. If you're read the book, I would love to get your take on how things turned out!
(First slight annoyance was how often Scarlet got hurt, like really hurt, but was still able to do all of this stuff, either while getting away or just a day or two after. Recovery time didn't feel as realistic to me as it could have been.
Then, at the end, she's climbing the rafters of the great hall. Why? I had no clue...then she leaves John to fighting Gisborne....had it been me, I would have been crazy worried about him getting hurt, but also wanting to see the deed actually done. Kill my husband! And then, after she has randomly climbed the rafters, and though she is really really hurt, she runs across the thatched roofing, climbs down it and runs into the forest after Rob....who just a little bit before could barely stand to look at her because she was engaged, but now that she is married is all ok to snuggle with her. *sigh* I'm glad they got together, I really am, and it sounds like this may not be the end of their story, but it honestly felt more real with them at each other's throats, fighting. The snuggling came a bit too quick for me, even though I was wanting it to happen for the whole book......and now I'm done.
If you read this through, what were your thoughts on these scenes? Did they annoy you? Or did you think they were the best parts? Always glad to hear opposing points of view!)
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.
The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?
My Review: Slayers had a pretty unique premise. I liked it a lot. The follow-through, however, was a bit lacking.
Overall, Slayers was a good novel, it just lacked that...spark...that really commits you to a book. It was interesting, and the characters were likable enough, but I wasn't as invested in this as I would have liked to have been.
The characters, had their good moments, but overall weren't entirely that dynamic. I also thought it odd how someone we are initially introduced to isn't even mentioned until.....well, I can't really say, but it was a bit of an odd choice in my opinion. I thought we were going to follow this person around but....we don't.
Also, some of the characters were a little bit too cliched, in my opinion. A little wishy-washy as well. I wanted more uniqueness in their behaviors, and some of them just don't stick out to me at all. And there was a fight, but it felt kind of G rated to me. Not that I wanted it gory or horrible, but I did want to be a bit more on the edge of my seat. The villain felt a little elementary as well. There was enough of a push of 'evil' or 'not goodness' that I could see the need for dragon fighters, but.....it's hard to put my finger on, but I think it goes back to that spark thing.
Overall, a decent enough read. Again, very original premise that I liked a lot, but it could have been fleshed out and made stronger. Also, this didn't finish...at all. We're not left completely hanging, per se, but there is a HUGE opening at the end which was a little too obvious, but no word on a sequel.
Basically, it was good, but not as great as I would have liked. Worth trying though! Being more used to the fantasy genre I had my expectations pretty high, but for those not into it yet, or just getting started, this might be a good jumping stone!
Source: for free through Goodreads First Reads : D
Publication Date: November 2010
Short Summary (Goodreads): Soren Armitage is an anachronism. Proclaimed Rathen Champion by the Rathen Rose, intended to support the rule of a Rathen King or Queen. But there are no Rathens. Resigned to symbolising only Darest's faded glories, Soren is not prepared for the sudden appearance of a Rathen. Now she must find and support the heir despite the machinations of the kingdom's regent, sylvan curses, and the strange behaviour of once-dormant protective enchantments. While the odds seem stacked against her, Soren is determined to do her best to live up to the name of Rathen Champion. But what is she to do when it seems that there is something very wrong with her Rathen? Can she trust the person she is meant to protect?
My Review: Hmm, where to start with this book? The cover is well done, it's what first drew me to entering the drawing for this book. However, when I started reading it, things just didn't click. I got about 30 pages in and decided to move onto something else. Eventually, I decided to give it another try, got a few pages past where I got stopped before and actually fell more into the book. There were things that were holding me back from loving this completely, but it was good enough besides.
It does have an original premise, where as mages and elves, etc are common enough in fantasy fare, looking at things from the angle of an enchanted rose meant to protect and a champion to represent it, it was pretty engaging. Towards the end, as things started resolving, I found myself not quite following along all of the implications. There were a couple of paragraphs that summarized things nicely to were I then was able to understand, but at the outset it wasn't easily grasped.
The characters were good enough, Soren was an ok protagonist. I knew the characters enough to recognize them, but I didn't know them whole-heartedly like in some of my most favorite books. That being said, this was still better than a lot of other books that I have come across.
However, and please don't take this the wrong way but I do want to be truthful in my review, when I first started reading this I noticed that something was a little...different, and at first I couldn't put my finger on it. Eventually I recognized that it was the fact that everyone in this world is bi-sexual. That may be your thing, but it's not mine. I prefer my love stories to be the good ol' fashioned guy and girl fare and so was a bit thrown off by this one. The main love story does in fact turn out to be between a guy and a girl, which made it easier for me to read. There is nothing graphic at all, but there were undercurrents that I could feel, but at first could not pick up on entirely.
While the book does end of a sort, it didn't feel entirely like an END and looking it up there is actually a second one slated to come out later this year. Will I read it? Probably not. Was this one a waste of my time? No, I enjoyed it to an extent, and while there where times where I liked a certain description, or way of phrasing, I wasn't completely invested in the characters. I did want to read it to the end to see how things eventually resolved, but will probably not continue with it.
I hope this review makes sense. This book was good, and really may be your cup of tea. I didn't fall completely in love with it but it was good enough to keep me engaged throughout it and want to finish it, thus the three stars.
So....no real explanation for the random almost 3 month *gasp* hiatus....I just kind of didn't feel like posting reviews. I didn't want to force myself either, because while I admire the immense amount of effort, creativity and time that others are able to put into their blogs...I just don't have it in me yet. Mine is just a hobby where I can let others know what I think, in a simple, not a lot of time way, and be a part of the blog-o-sphere, because honestly, there are so many great people out there and I want to hear what they have to say as well!
It may take me a little while to hit my stride, and I forewarn you that I will continue to be sporadic, mainly because when I am stressed I read... a lot... and when I'm happy I read... a lot... and when I'm sad I read... a lot....and I'm sure it's the same for the rest of you, you're just better at managing your time than I am.
So, I just wanted to say thank you for your patience, for your awesome awesome blogs, and most of all... YOUR BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS!
Short Synopsis (Goodreads):Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf? Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
My Review:When going into this book, I wasn't sure what to expect really. There hadn't been a covert yet (isn't the one they settled on so kick-butt though?), so it was just a scraggly looking wolf, but the words "Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf" immediately piqued my interest and then I was utterly sucked in!
Usually it takes me a little while to fall into a book but within the first pages of this one I was already on the floor. Ismae, while not being overly verbose gives enough away about herself and her circumstances that I immediately liked her and was drawn into her world. Her excitements were my excitements, her doubts my doubts. And her inner dialouge is hilarious!! Is it bad that I was giggling so much in a book about assassins?
Honestly though, the sparks between Ismae and Duval were perfect! It wasn't false postering either where you want to slap them upside the head. They both had honest to goodness reasons to doubt and yet little by little you could see how each was affecting the other. It brings a gleeful smile to my mouth just thinking about it again!
And thank goodness I read this on a saturday night with no work to worry about the following day as this story pulled me in with wanting to know more about Ismae and how her life would play out and then, as I grew to love the other characters as well, I was drawn forward into what would happen in general. So much romantic tension and so many twists! I was done with this book in a matter of hours though it is over 500 pages long!
My only regret for reading this book so soon is that the next in the series will not be available until 2013! Though from the blurb at the end of the book it will not be a direct continuation of the same characters in this book, I look forward to returning to this story again and again as it warmed my heart in a gleeful way that has not happened when reading a book in quite a while! Bravo and my hearty thanks Ms. LaFevers!!