Monday, July 30, 2012

Top Ten Characters I'd like to switch places with for 24 hours



Top Ten Tuesday is a fantastic Meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks topic is:


Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Switch Places with for 24 hours

I have a lot of romantic ones in here, and ones with powers. Guess that's my focus cause it doesn't happen so much in real life!




Sydney from the Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Um...last few chapters, hello! I'm sure I'm not the only one on pins and needles to see how things turn out in the follow up come February! Plus, she's discovery some magical powers of her own and the world that she lives in, while she'll have some hard choices to make, is pretty cool with lots of different species (if you can call them that).

Cat Barahal, the protagonist in Kate Elliot's Cold Magic series 

The love story in this runs the spectrum from almost killing each other to actually falling in love. Can't wait to see how it all culminates in the final installment, hopefully later this year!

Marasi from the Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson 

I'm SOO glad that the Mistborn universe isn't finished. I was parts disappointed that this book wasn't complete and yet excited that there should be more coming out eventually to fish up the story line. Waxilium and Wayne were lots of fun and Marasi did her fair share to help out! OR, any of the characters that can use Allomancy. I would LOVE to have that kind of power to jump around or levitate with!

Meliara from Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

Talk about a slow burn romance! It was a little frustrating at times how miscommunications made the process longer, but it was a great pay off in the end!

Tess from The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook

Don't let the ridiculous cover put you off! This is one of my most favorite series EVER! Tess is such a fun strong character and she meets her match in the frustratingly handsome captain of the guards. Man, I think I need to read this again!

Max from Maximum Ride by James Patterson

Not my most favorite series ever (I still haven't finished it) but it was pretty descent, and to have angel wings would be friggin awesome!

Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs' Moon Called

At any point in this series would I love to be Mercy. She doesn't have an easy life, but boy, having a hot werewolf husband sure makes it better! And she has some powers of her own! Being able to fix cars (I have a VW) would be an awesome ability, and she can change into a coyote at will, without all the pain of a werewolf transformation. Wasn't as much of a fan of the most recent in the series, but am looking forward to what else will come Mercy's way!

Lyra from the Golden Compass

A lot that happens in this book isn't happy stuff, but it's such an amazing world! And to have a daemon and other talking animals and magic galore, it would be awesome!

Deryn from Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

This is such an awesome steampunk re-imagined history! I haven't finished the series, but it was off to a great start. The pictures add so much atmosphere and really helped me picture some of the more intricate and fantastical beasties!

Lessa from Dragon Flight by Anne McCaffrey

It's been awhile since I read this series, but I remember just being so blown away with how natural the world seemed and how well dragons worked into it. Can I have my own dragon? Pretty please?!? I think having a connection with a dragon would be friggin fantastic and to be able to fly, with the wind in your hair would be beyond description (but I'm glad writers, like Naomi Novik as well, can help us imagine it anyways!).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books


Top Ten Tuesday is a fantastic Meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks topic is:

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books


I'm really big into fantasy and so this was such an enjoyable post to do! I know that there are tons I still need to read, but that's part of the fun, right?


 Sabriel, Lirael, the Abhorsen by Garth Nix

This would have to be one of my most all time favorite worlds. It completely sucked me in and was so simple and yet so creative, it was amazing. This is seriously one of those series where I wish there could be as many books in it as those epically long fantasy series, and though Mr. Nix is writing a 4th novel to go along with this world, that isn't nearly enough to wet my appetite for this world!

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

I cannot recall who or what first prompted me to start this series, but I am so glad that I did. It literally blew my mind with how young and innocent Ender is and yet what he is called upon to do and how he does that. I will admit that while I do like Ender, I liked even better reading about the behind the scene's view point of Bean in 'Ender's Shadow'. I haven't even gotten close to reading all of this series and really need to pick it up again.


 Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I will embarrassingly admit that I almost forgot to put this on the list! It's been a while since I've read the books, though I have watched all of the movies (I try to place distance between book readings and their movie adaptations so that I don't get frustrated and just enjoy it). This book has such a vivid world and setting that I really feel like my Hogwarts acceptance letter got lost in the mail. On a side note: how do you feel about Ms. Rowling's new book that's coming out? No offense, but it sounds bored to tears boring and I really can't understand why she would want to write something like that after Harry Potter. Ah well.


The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

How anyone could not include this on  this list is beyond me. Seriously, I don't know how someone could have come up with all of this without having lived multiple previous lives or something! Looking at various anthologies about this series it is LITERALLY a whole world that is immensely complex and it's just astounding. Words cannot describe my love for this masterpiece and all of its parts (artwork, etc., but mainly the masterpieces brought to life by Peter Jackson and his amazingly talented team. If you could buy tickets for the Hobbit 6 months in advance...I seriously would!)

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

I just finished this last week and was literally....consumed. I don't know why I took so long to get around to this series, but boy, am I inhaling it now. So vivid and such amazing characters. And, not gonna lie, but there's a pretty sweet love story as well. One of the best reads of 2012, not gonna lie! Review coming soon

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

I can't count how many times I wish I  Allomancy was real. This series was intense, totally didn't see all of the twists and turns . So happy that  there ended up being a fourth one as well! Definetly a keeper!

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Yes yes, same author, but still, this world was just so unique that I had to add it as well. Brandon Sanderson is seriously one of my most favorite authors and always astounds. This is another one that I didn't see the twists and turns coming and I really hope that more is written in this world as well!

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

I only came to this series recently as well and can't believe I've missed out on it for so long. Dragons flow so seamlessly into the Napolionic Era I'm surprised someone else didn't think of it before! Ms. Novik does a superb job of blending an almost Austen-esque style of writing with dragon and naval battles galore. Heaps of fun!


Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

This is another one of my most favorite series of all time! I love it when an author so adroitly weaves in fantasy into our everyday life that it feels like it really exists, we just haven't been let in on the secret yet. This one was great from the beginning (it took me about 15 pages) and each consecutive book just got better and better! Really worth a try.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games has gotten a lot of well deserved hype, it's a fantastic series, but honestly, I think I like her other series, Gregor the Overlander better (but just by a little bit). It still deals with death and prejudice and kids having to make hard choices, but it is utterly fantastic! Believe me, I HATE cockroaches and was totally turned off by the fact that this book has monster cockroaches and rats, etc. but guys, I almost cried when one of the cockroaches died at the end. It's an intense roller coaster ride with fantastic characters, not all of them human. Also great for if you have a younger brother who's a reader...or needs something to catch his interest!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
What's your top ten?




Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #1)


Overall Impression: 

Source: Publisher through Netgalley

Publication Date: Aug 7th 2012

Short Synopsis (Goodreads): After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

My Review: *sigh* I have not been this aggravated by a book in a long, long time. I think what made it so hard for me was that I had such high hopes for this (did you read the synopsis? I LOVE assassin stories, and an assassin story about a girl and princes and evil kings? Sign me up!) The execution of the story, however, had me rolling my eyes continually!

I'm not going to go into too much detail here, since I respect the effort authors put in to writing their stories and also because I am obviously in the minority with my opinion of this book. Lots of people with similar tastes to mine have thoroughly enjoyed this, so maybe it's just me.

To start off on a positive note, what I did like about this book was that it was quite atmospheric for a YA. Not often do you come across a YA story with such an evolved background.

That being said, if you are at all used to reading high fantasy, this book is not going to have much depth for you. I wouldn't say I'm a high-fantasy fanatic, but reading Throne of Glass I felt that it could have gone so much deeper since I could feel the information lurking under the surface but it just never went into that much in to detail.

Probably the most aggravating thing of the whole book for me would have to be the characters. Before even reading Throne of Glass I started with the novellas and was introduced to Celaena there and really enjoyed getting to know her in The Assassin and the Desert...but then some stuff happens in The Assassin and the Underworld that had me screaming in frustration. I thought things would improve with the actual book, but that would be a negative.

I guess it comes down to characters making realistic choices. Sometimes you get so drawn into a book it feels as if you are actually there. Almost every action of the characters in Throne of Glass, however, felt excruciatingly forced. It felt as if there was someone behind the scenes with an idea of what they wanted to happen and was forcing the characters to go against their nature. There was so much that just didn't make sense!! I was fighting actions and reactions every step of the way because it just didn't feel natural and did not flow. 

I'm fine with not liking a character and the choices that they make, but they need to make sense!

I'm all for romantic tension and having two guys vying for your attention, but their actions need to make sense!

I'm fine for having the worlds greatest assassin be a 16 year girl, but her actions need to make sense!

*sigh* I'll end it here because it would just be specific gripes that I would go in to. Even though I was frustrated I thought that after finishing this book that I would still want to read the rest of the series, but honestly, I don't think I can handle it. 

Still, you should give the book a try. You might want to read the novella the Assassin and the Underworld first, though, and if what happens in that makes perfect sense to you, you'll really enjoy this book. If instead the only thing preventing you from throwing it across the room in frustration is the fact that you are reading it on your iPod, I'd invest your reading time somewhere else cause there's a lot of the same feelings, times about 10, in the actual novel.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Feature and Follow (1)


Feature and Follow is basically about getting to know one another and sharing the follower's love. Check out Parajunkee's post for more information!

This week's question is: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

A: You would think that with as big of a reader as I am that I would have caught on to the world of blogging WAY sooner, but it took me a while...probably because I was reading so much. But once I did find out about it I wanted IN since here was a group of people who were as obsessed with reading as I was! I feel accepted in this community and you guys just feed my fix with awesome book recommendations. Plus, getting a few ARC's now again makes me feel special ^__^

Thanks for stopping by! 
Let me know if you are a follower and I will be sure to return the favor!

Recommend A....Book by a Male Author


Book by a Male Author

Recommend A... is a cute new meme created by chickloveslit where we recommend a book that follows the prompt for the week (check out more here). This week I chose:

Publication Date: Oct 2011

Synopsis (Goodreads)Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac, is about Luke who discovers his Abenaki family's secret a skin that will let him walk as a wolf and must save his father from kidnappers.

Why I chose this: It's always interesting to me to read books that are written from one gender's perspective by an other who is of the opposite gender. This happens a lot with female writers writing male characters. And while this doesn't happen in this book, the way it describes how the guy likes the other girl I could just tell that it was written by another guy. It was an interesting moment for me and put into relief how different this book is. It has a different take on werewolf mythology, and while it wasn't my most favorite book ever, it was pretty good and I would recommend it to someone looking for something different.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Most awesome list of Netgalley ARCs as of July 14th, 2012

SO, I am constantly haunting NetGalley and totally requesting more books than I have read...but sometimes I get lucky and they approve me anyways, so that's good.

Anywho, I usually check my favorite genre's but have recently discovered that quite a few awesome titles have slipped through my graspy little hands and so wanted to share the love to make sure you knew about these as well. I haven't been approved for all of them yet, but there's still hope, right?

If you notice that I've missed some please share the love and link below! We're all addicts together ; ) I'll try and do a batch of these every once in a while. NetGalley, what would I do without you? (probably be more productive, but that's beyond the point)

(PS - in case the links don't work, I'm putting them under their publishers so you can find them that way...the keyword search NEVER works for me)


(PPS - sorry, no pictures, though there are a TON of beautiful covers in this bunch. The links should be self explanatory or the titles recognizable in themselves... a bit lazy cause it's late)



Scholastic Inc.

The Dark Unwinding link
The Raven Boys link
Magisterium link

Random House Children's Books

The Brides of Rollrock Island link
Mystic City link
Unspoken link
The Kill Order link

Tor/Forge

Only Superhuman link
Ironskin link
Jane: the woman who loved Tarzan link
In a Fix link

Bloomsbury Children's Books

The Sweetest Spell link
Princess Academy: Palace of Stone link

Angry Robot

The Assassin's Curse link
Poltergeeks link


Hope this helps at least a few of you find the books you were looking for early!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (1)


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews. This is a great way to share books that we have bought, borrowed, or received for review.

I haven't done one of this in quite a while (it's kind of a long list, which isn't usual), so will just kind of mention the ones that come to mind, so here goes!


I don't have a nifty little mustache for this, but I won a giveaway!! This like never happens, and I got some uber awesome books, so thanks to Bibliopunkk!

 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 

What did you get recently? Leave a link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Anna #1)


Overall Impression 1/2

Source: Bought (the Kindle edition is only $2.99!! I really don't think I paid that price when I bought it!)

Publication Date: Aug 2011, Girl of Nightmares comes out Aug 07, 2012!!!!

Short Synopsis (Goodreads): Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

My Review: WOW, just wow. I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. Last year the blog0sphere simply erupted with praise over this book, but I held off...horror isn't my thing. Yes, it was a YA, but a ghost that gruesomely murders people? As my blog name implies (Books Before Bed) I usually read right before I go to sleep and this seemed like the type of book to give me nightmares.

Thankfully it didn't, although I did get the willies once or twice (oh my goodness! That one part where the guy is wrapping something black around his fingers and they wonder what it is but then figure out it's the cats tail !?!? That was by far the creepiest part for me, even more so than Anna killing people!) but that makes an experience more enjoyable and memorable, right?

Cas was a good character to follow. He cares about his mom, wants to do a good job and is pretty competent at his chosen profession. Ms. Blake did a fantastic job of creating atmosphere and yet not going over board with the spooky stuff. She has some really great characters and I ended up falling for Anna and sympathizing with her just like everyone else.

And boy, are there some twists and turns to this book. I really enjoyed unraveling everything and it was all set at a really good pace. Now that we have waited a WHOLE YEAR for the next installment, I'm pretty pumped to see what else Ms. Blake has up her sleeves. Definitely worth the read!


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