Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review ~Across the Universe

Across the Universe (#1)
By Beth Revis
Published By Razorbill

Summary (Goodreads): A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

My Thoughts: I'll admit I was concerned when I started reading this book. It is very similar to Maria V. Snyders Inside Out series. Luckily those similarities ended with the spaceship and the living tiers of the inhabitants, this book is very much its own story. What worked the most for me was the story being told from two different POVs. It made the story flow while giving you both sides of the ship. 
I really liked Amy, she was stuck in an unimaginable situation and still managed to come out the other side. I'm still not sure how I feel about Elder, especially after the last part of the book, so it made the relationship between him and Amy just kinda blah for me. 
Overall I thought this was an enjoyable story that had enough drama and action to keep it interesting from beginning to end.

Rating: 4

Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow Friday & Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question:
Q In light of the Summer Solstice also known as Midsummer... Lets talk about Fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?
A. Old classic fairy tale that I loved growing up was Sleeping Beauty. More current is a little harder, I like a lot but not one specific. Dark Swan series, Meredith Gentry, Iron Fae, could probably keep going but will stop now.  

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books. This weeks question: 
Q When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?
A. Not exact but at a very young age. I had the all the disney story books and can remember reading them all the time. My mom was a big fan of the library so we were there often also.

Happy Hopping and Reading! Have a Great Week!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review ~ Blood Stains

Blood Stains (The Searchers #1)
By Sharon Sala
Published By Mira
received from: netGalley for review

Summary (Goodreads): At the reading of her father's will, Maria Slade receives shocking news—as a four-year-old, she'd witnessed her prostitute mother's murder and been taken into hiding by the well-meaning preacher who'd raised her as his own.
Maria remembers none of that. But now she's determined to flush her mother's killer out of hiding and discover the identity of her birth father. She heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she meets Detective Bodie Scott.
Empathizing with this beautiful woman looking to find out who she really is, he opens the decades-old case file. Their investigation leads them down a dangerous path, where no one is what they seem. Where a father does not want to be found. And a murderer has "like mother, like daughter" in mind for Maria.

My Thoughts: This series is about a set of sisters that find out they were each "adopted" under extreme circumstances and their journey to find out who they really are. This book is about Maria, who witnessed the murder of her mother but cannot remember anything from the time before she was brought to her family's ranch.
While some may not, I enjoyed the fact that it seemed to be more suspense than romance. You can tell there is something building between the Maria and Bodie but it seems to take a backseat to finding the murderer and getting Maria's memory back before it's too late.  Maria comes to town as this strong independent woman who has set a goal and isn't going to let anything get in her way except when she had breakdowns (fear of storms) so Bodie could "save the day". I found Bodie to be your typical cowboy cop. There was nothing wrong with this but nothing special either. Since there was nothing about either of these characters that really made them stand out for me I focused more on the story.
Since we knew who the killer was throughout the story, this was more about would the good guys figure it out in time or would the killer get his way. 
Overall an enjoyable easy read that left enough for me to want to find out what happens with the other two sisters. 

Rating: 3.5

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)
By Rae Carson
Published By Greenwillow/HarperCollins
expected Release Date: September 20, 2011

Summary (Goodreads):Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. 

Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. 

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. 

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. 

Most of the chosen do. 

**I love high fantasy type books and this one sounds really interesting.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Review (Shorts) ~ The Poison Eaters

The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
By Holly Black
Published By Big Mouth House

Summary (Goodreads): Poisonous girls whose kisses will kill. A fateful eating contest with the devil. Faeries who return to Ironside, searching for love. A junior prom turned bacchanalia. In twelve short stories, eerie and brimming with suspense and unexpected humor, Holly Black twists the fantastical creatures you thought you knew in ways you’ll never expect.

My Thoughts:
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown ~ This story had an interesting take on vampires. For some reason the description of Coldtown made me think more of a concentration camp than anything else. This was a good choice for the first story. 

A Reversal Of Fortune ~ Gross is the only word I can think of for this one. An interesting way to win a bet but still Gross.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf ~ Not bad but not one of my favorites. Alex's need to read only things that he believes are facts and what he does with that information to try and save his family.

The Night Market ~ What one sister will do to save the life of another who has been cursed by an enkato (elf boy)

The Dog King ~ I enjoyed this one. The king that has most of the wolves killed but keeps one as a pet and how said pet turns on him.

Virgin ~ I felt confused when I finished reading this one. Like I missed something or it wasn't long enough to fill in the blanks.

In Vodka Veritas ~ A private school, latin club secret society, prom, and a junior class orgy. 

The Coat of Stars ~ Everyone should know by now, don't try and bargain with a fairie. It works in this story though.

Paper Cuts Scissors ~ I had read this one in another anthology and it was my favorite, it still is. A guy who is trying to help his girlfriend, who has gotten lost in her books.

Going Ironside ~ This was too short and I didn't really get much from it. I have only read Tithe so that may be why I was lost on this one.

The Land of Heart's Desire ~ This is another of my favorites. An odd mix of why you should keep some things secret, the punishment if you don't,  and how easy it is to mistake love and hate.

The Poison Eaters ~  This was a great ending to this collection.  Royal politics, grudges, and ambitions that caused The Poison Eaters to be created as tools for their "father". 

Rating: 4 more good than bad in this collection  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Follow Friday & Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question:
Q. Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and what book in that genre made it your favorite?
A. Even though I have been reading a lot of others my fave is still paranoramal romance.  As for a book, there wasn't just one book, it was the Three Sisters Island (Nora Roberts) and Dark Hunters (Sherilynn Kenyon) series that brought me to this genre.

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books. This weeks question:
Q. How many books are currently in your TBR pile?
A. This question scares me but I looked anyways :) I wasn't as bad as I thought; only 763 on Goodreads.
 **This is not the physical # of books, that # is between 100-200

Happy Reading and have a Great Week!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review ~ Black Wings

Black Wings (Madeline Black #1)
By Christina Henry
Published By ACE

Summary (Goodreads): As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It's a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.
Maddy's position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn't pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.
Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy's building. It's probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.
Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell...

My Thoughts: This was a good start to this series. Maddie is an Agent of Death that takes souls to the Door when they pass. Maddie comes across as an everyday female, besides being an Agent of Death. She has concerns about bills, friends, a boss she can't stand, all this makes her someone you can relate to. 
There's a little of everything in this book. You get  Fallen Angels, Demons, Witches , Nephilim and a Gargoyle that provides great comic relief throughout the book. My favorite parts of the book were the flashbacks to Maddies ancestor and the story of how she came to gain her other powers. On the other hand I also didn't like how they changed Evangeline  for a few pages just so Maddie would have a chance to stand up on her own and show growth. I think this could have been done in a different way that didn't go against the rest of the book. 
I am looking forward to this series. Intrigue about the future was set up in a way that makes you want to find out what happens next. For romance junkies it seems to have it all, forbidden love, an arranged marriage from a father I would not want to say no to, and a possible office romance. 

Rating: 4

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Hour of Dust and Ashes
By Kelly Gay
Published By Simon & Schuster
expected Release Date: August 30, 2011

Summary (Goodreads): To save her sister, she must stop a silent killer. . . .
Protecting Atlanta from the off-world criminals of Underground is tough enough, but now Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner, Hank, learn that the addicts of the offworld drug ash have begun taking their own lives. Ash makes humans the perfect vessels for possession, and something or someone is leading them to their deaths. Charlie is desperate to save her addicted sister, Bryn, from a similar fate. As New Year’s Eve approaches and time runs out, Charlie makes a deadly bargain with an ancient race of beings and embarks on a dangerous journey into hellish Charbydon with Hank and the Revenant Rex to save Bryn and make it back before it’s too late. Only, for one of them, coming home means facing a fate worse then death. . . .

**I came across this book in the coming soon section and it sounds like a great read!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox

It's been awhile since I've done one of these posts. This weekly feature is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

netGalley: The Art of Steampunk By Art Donovan (thanks Fox Chapel Publishing)

Mistress of Rome By Kate Quinn

Shadowfever By Karen Marie Moning
Across the Universe By Beth Revis
Red Glove By Holly Black

That's all for me this week. So what did you get?
Happy Reading!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question: \
The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "you and your favorite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?

My answer for these type of questions seem to change with whatever book I happen to be reading. Since I'm reading and am totally immersed in the Outlander  series right now I'm going to have to go with Claire. She gets modern and history plus Jamie Fraser (icing)
Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books. This weeks question:

Who is the one author you are dying to meet?

I would have to go with Jim Butcher and Sherrilyn Kenyon

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1)
By Melissa de la Cruz
Published By Disney-Hyperion
expected Release Date: June 21, 2011

Summary: From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz's first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches. 

The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache. 

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them. 

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

** I haven't started the Blue Blood series yet but this book/series sounds like something I would really enjoy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book Review ~ The Scent of Shadows

The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac #1)
By Vicki Pettersson
Published By Eos

Summary (Goodreads): When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert.
By rights, she should be dead.
Now a photographer by day, she prowls a different Las Vegas after sunset—a grim, secret Sin City where Light battles Shadow—seeking answers to whom or what she really is . . . and revenge for the horrors she was forced to endure.
But the nightmare is just beginning—for the demons are hunting Joanna, and the powerful shadows want her for their own . . .

My Thoughts: I had a difficult time with the first half of this book.  It took some time before I fully got the concept the author was trying to get across.   While I understood that the attack Joanna endured caused her to be a hard, gritty, standoffish type, it also made it difficult to get behind her character. Joanna did start to grow on me as her character started to understand why things were and had happened to her.  I wasn't really comfortable with her new identity but with all the disguises it was easy to overlook.
There are many dark moments in this book and once the action started to pick up I was able to get into the story better.  The battles between the light and shadow were the most interesting parts of the book.  Finding out who Joanna's father was and the discussion/battle between them moved the series forward to the point where I wanted to read the next book. I am also interested in finding out more about her mother and the rest of members of the Zodiac.

Rating: 3

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Book Ideas for Him

June ~ This is the month when I have all the problems finding gifts. Not only is Father's Day later this month, M's Birthday is today (June 4th). Trying to find gifts once can be difficult, twice is even worse. I decided to make a post (or more) about some books/authors that always work around our house.

The Book of Useless Information
By Noel Botham
Published by Perigee Trade

If you or someone you're shopping for loves trivia or just general knowledge info this series is great. There are almost ten books in this series. I love the squirrel and the fact that each book is a different color. It's always  a nice surprise (and easier shopping) when I'm in the store and notice a new color.

Another great gift idea is the annual Best Of... books. No matter what genre your guy reads you can find a set for them. Some of M's favorites are the Penn/O'Henry Prize Stories. This series is edited by Laura Furman and Published by Knopf Doubleday and contains the best short stories of the year.

There is also the annual Best American ... series

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Review ~ Blood Red Road

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1)
By Moira Young
Published By Margaret K McElderry
Expected Release date: June 7, 2011
eGalley from Simon & Schuster galley grab

Summary (Goodreads): Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

My Thoughts: I had a hard time getting into this book.  I struggled with the dialect right from the start, all the git's and fers and 'uld (this one was the worst), I ended up putting the book down several times. Once the action in the book picked up I was able to get past the words and get into Saba's story.
I ended up liking several of the other characters more than I liked Saba. Throughout the book we see her growth, from a sheltered twin who relies on her brother for everything to a self reliant individual who is able to get through anything that is thrown at her.  My problem was that even with the growth she was one of those characters that seemed to take one step forward and two steps back. I could easily see her in the next book acting the same way she was at the beginning of this book.  I thought that the little sister, Emmi, had the most growth. She goes from a spoiled, sheltered child to someone who is able stand on her own and fight with everyone else. I also really liked the rest of the people that helped Saba along the way from Jack, who puts up with more than most would, to the Free Hawks, who remind me of an Amazon type group. There are some truly evil characters in this book. From the Pinch's and Cagemaster, who kidnap and force Saba to fight in cage matches, to the King who wants to sacrifice Lugh for his own gains.
It was easy to get lost in this book from the road trip leaving Silverlake right up until the final battle at Freedom Fields with the King and his men. There are some characters like DeMallo (one of the King's men) and Lugh that I wanted to know more about and hope we find out more in future books.

Rating: 3.5 (only because of my issues with Saba and the dialect)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Blood of the Wicked (Dark Mission #1)
By Karina Cooper
Published By Avon
Released May 31, 2011

Summary: When the world went straight to hell, humanity needed a scapegoat to judge, to blame . . . to burn.
As an independent witch living off the grid, Jessie Leigh has spent her life running, trying to blend in among the faceless drudges in the rebuilt city. She thought she was finally safe, but now she's been found in a New Seattle strip club—by a hard-eyed man on a mission to destroy her kind.
A soldier of the Holy Order, Silas Smith believes in the cause: trawling the fringes of society for the murderous witches who threaten what's left of the world. Forced into a twisting web of half-truths and lies, he has to stay close to the most sensuous and electrifying woman he has ever seen and manipulate her into leading him to the witch he has to kill: her brother. Silas doesn't know that Jessie's his enemy, only that he wants her, needs her, even as he lies to her . . . and must protect her until his final breath.

** This just came out yesterday. It sounds like and interesting book and start to a series.