Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stacking the Shelves ~ Christmas Edition

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews to share your weekly book haul. It can be what you bought, received, borrowed, or were gifted. For more info you can go here.

High Five (Stephanie Plum #5) by Janet Evanovich
Hot Six (Stephanie Plum #6) by Janet Evanovich
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millenium #3) by Stieg Larsson
V is for Vengeance (Kinsey Millhone #22) by Sue Grafton
Ghost Story (The Dresden Files #13)by Jim Butcher
Changes  (The Dresden Files #12) by Jim Butcher
Side Jobs (The Dresden Files #12.5)by Jim Butcher
Twilight's Dawn (The Black Jewels #9) by Anne Bishop

The Perfect Hope (Inn Boonsboro #3) by Nora Roberts
Daring to Dream  (Dream trilogy #1)by Nora Roberts
White Tiger (Dark Heavens #1)by Kylie Chan
House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Review ~ The Last Dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer #1)
by Jasper Fforde
published by Harcourt's Children Books
genre: Fantasy, MG/YA, 

Summary (Goodreads): In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.

My Thoughts: This is one of those books that I almost passed on because of the cover. At first glance it looked too much like a contemporary book. I was not familiar with this author but the blurb was interesting enough that I read it anyways. I'm glad I did.
Jennifer Strange was a great character. Her interactions with the temperamental wizards and the last dragon, Maltcassion, were entertaining and humorous. She is definitely a character I would read more about.
Overall this story was a great read with enough action and twists to keep you reading even when the humor wasn't the main focus. I'm not sure where the author would go with this series but I can see myself reading more of his work.

Rating: 4 

Monday, December 24, 2012

~ Merry Christmas ~

Three Wise Men
Three wise men knowing not who you are
Ride across the desert following only a star.
Three wise men in honor of your birth
Ride across the desert chanting, "Peace on Earth".
Three wise men, wise by God's own hands
Ride across the desert traveling from distant lands.
Listen baby Jesus, sacred gift from Heaven handed down to Earth
Three wise men ride tonight to see your Holy mirth.

Read more at  The Holiday Spot

The Quest of the Magi by Short-Takes

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!


A. Just about everything. I did not know much about the industry beyond what I liked to read. Now I think I know too much sometimes.

Happy Reading! Everyone Have a Safe Holidays

Book Review ~ The Paladin Prophecy

The Paladin Prophecy (The Paladin Prophecy #1)
by Mark Frost
published by Random House
genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Summary (Goodreads): Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam.

Now Will is being courted by an exclusive prep school . . . and is being followed by men driving black sedans. When Will suddenly loses his parents, he must flee to the school. There he begins to explore all that he's capable of--physical and mental feats that should be impossible--and learns that his abilities are connected to a struggle between titanic forces that has lasted for millennia.

My Thoughts: I've seen mixed reviews on this book but I really enjoyed it. The action started right from go and pretty much stayed there throughout. There were some problems but the overall enjoyment I had while reading this book outweighed them.
Character-wise Will was special in a school filled with special students. He always seemed to have a little bit more. I liked his roommates and learning about them and what they could do. It was obvious which kids were on which side of the battle but a little harder to pinpoint some of the adults in the school.
The different levels of good vs evil was what really made this a great read. From the secret evil fraternity to the non-alien aliens (will make sense if/when read) on one side and this group of kids (including the missing roommate) along with Will's guardian and his group on the other, there was constant action.
Overall, this may have been more of an emotional rating as  I could not put this book down at I time when I was in a reading slump, I found this to be a great read and really hope the second one is just as entertaining and fun/intersting to read.

Rating: 4.5

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Releases ~ week of 12/17/2012

Dangerous Magic by Donna Grant (#3 in Sisters of Magic)
Omega by Susannah Sandlin (#3 in Penton Legacy )
Enchanted Ever After by Robin D. Owens (#3 in Mystic Circle)
Deadly Little Lessons by Laurie Faria Stolarz (#5 in Touch)
Scent of Magic by Maria V Snyder (#2 in Healer)
Independence by Shelly Crane (#4 in Significance )
The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines (#2 in The Vincent Boys )
Big Sky River by Linda Lael Miller (#3 in Swoon-Worthy Cowboys)
Against the Odds by Kat Martin (#7 in Raines of Wind Canyon)
Double Danger by Dee Davis (#6 in A-Tac)
Murder by Moonlight by Vincent Zandri (#5 in Dick Moonlight)
Forever a Lord by Delilah Marvelle (#3 in Rumor)
The Winemaker's Dinner: Entrees by Everly Drummond (#2 in The Winemaker's Feast)
Renegade by Nancy Northcott (#1 in The Protectors )
Dark Wolf Rising by Rhyannon Byrd (#4 in Blood Runners)
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (#1 in Darkest Minds)
Whispering Death by Garry Disher (#6 in Inspector Challis)
Keeper of the Night by Heather Graham (#4 in Keepers)
A Feast of Souls by Hailey Edwards (#2 in Araneae Nation )
Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane (#1 in The Hunted)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews to share your weekly book haul. It can be what you bought, received, borrowed, or were gifted. For more info you can go here.

I've actually bought a lot but they are all Christmas gifts (hubby, son, and myself). Since I don't actually have them to read yet I'll post them on my Christmas post.

The Dragon's Path ( The Dagger and the Coin #1) by Daniel Abraham
The Serpent's Shadow (Kane Chronicles #3) by Rick Riordan
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch
Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland #2) by Catherine M. Valente

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review ~ The Lure of Shapinsay

The Lure of Shapinsay
by Krista Holle
published by Sweet River Romance
genre: Romance, Shifter, Fantasy

**received from author in exchange for honest review

Summary (Goodreads): Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant.

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure.

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

My Thoughts: While I read a lot of Fantasy/ shifter stories, this is my first with selkies as the main characters. They've been background characters (way back) so I knew a little about the legend but not much.
Kait instantly grabbed me. I loved when the story was from her POV, especially at the beginning. Her interactions with the villagers and relationship with her brother really showed her as a strong capable female. As the story moved on and she became obsessed with Eamon this seemed to wain and I was less enthused. It didn't take away from the story but the needy aspect seemed to far out of character.
Eamon was another interesting character. What we find out about selkies explains a lot of his characteristics that might seem odd at first glance.
The author  was able to make this a  very romantic, magical story between these characters even with possibility that Kait was under the selkie lure. I enjoyed the progression of the relationship and where it ultimately ended up.
I do wish that when we were reading Eamon's POV we would have gotten more interactions with other selkies. That is the only thing that seemed to be missing. I also loved Tipper and her story and would love to read more about her and see fully how she became what she was in this story (we get a lot but I love side characters and just wanted more).
Overall this was a great read and will appeal to many people. Whether you're a fan of romance, shifters, or are just looking for something outside the norm this book meets those needs.

Rating: 4

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Review (Arc) ~ Broken

by A.E. Rought
published by Strange Chemistry
expected release date: January 8, 2013
genre: YA, Retelling, PNR

**received from publisher in exchange for honest review

Summary (Goodreads): Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.

The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.

My Thoughts: Going into this I had not read the full blurb and was glad. I had no idea that this was a retelling and had no expectations. I think this helped me enjoy it more.
I liked Emma for the most part. She had some moments that didn't make sense for her character. The romance part of this story would have worked better if it had been a slow build up with Alex helping her get through her grief rather than the instant draw based on a few character quirks.
What worked the best and made me give this 4 instead of 3 stars was the creep factor. Everything that happens from the time Emma sneaks onto The Franks' estate kept me reading to the end. The creepy science experiments roaming the property to the insane Dr and his sidekick are what I read this for.
While there were some predictable parts, overall I enjoyed the story and there was enough to keep me reading past the YA romance.

Rating: 4

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Releases ~ week of 12/10/2012

Foretold by Jana Oliver (#4 in Demon Trappers)
Two Graves by Lincoln Child, Douglas Preston (#12 in Pendergast )
Gone Country by Lorelei James (#14 in Rough Riders)
The Bones of the Old Ones by Howard Andrew Jones (#2 in Dabir and Asim)
Ash by James Herbert (#3 in David Ash)
Extra Credit by Maggie Barbieri (#7 in Murder 101 Mystery)
Avow by Chelsea Fine (#3 in The Archers of Avalon )
Valley of the Shadow by Carola Dunn (#3 in Cornish Mystery)
Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George (#3 in Princess)
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (#1 in Falling Kingdoms)
Good Junk by Ed Kovacs (#3 in Cliff St. James Mysteries)
Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout (#3 in Lux )
Your Wicked Heart by Meredith Duran (#0.5 in Rules for the Reckless )
The Silverwing's Sorceress by Cassi Carver (#2.5 in Shadow Slayers)
Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs (#1 in Mylena Chronicles)
Not Quite Dating by Catherine Bybee (#1 in Not Quite)
Catalyst by Dani Worth (#3 in The Kithran Regenesis )

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q.  Activity! Who do you want to be? If you could choose any character from a book. What do you think that character looks like and what do you have in common?

A. It would be either Hermione (Harry Potter) or Annabeth (Percy Jackson). I oculd probably come up with several more but if you're going to be someone else why not go all out fantasy. Wizards. Gods, Half-Bloods what more could you want.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations
edited by Paula Guran
published by Prime Books
expected release date: April 10, 2013

Summary (Prime Books): Paranormal investigators. Occult detectives. Ghost hunters. Monster fighters. Humans who unravel uncanny crimes and solve psychic puzzles; sleuths with supernatural powers of their own who provide services far beyond those normal gumshoes, shamuses, and Sherlocks can provide. When vampires, werewolves, and thing that go bump in the night are part of your world, criminals can be as inhuman as the crimes they commit, and magic can seep into the mundane—those who solve the mysteries, bring justice for victims or even save the world itself, might wield wands as well as firearms, utter spells or simply use their powers of deduction. Some of the best twenty-first century tales from top authors of the century’s most popular genre take you down mean streets and into strange crime scenes in this fantastic compilation.

Contents (alphabetical by author):
“Cryptic Coloration” by Elizabeth Bear
“The Key” by Ilsa J. Blick
“Mortal Bait” Richard Bowes
“Star of David” by Patricia Briggs
“Love Hurts” by Jim Butcher
“Swing Shift” by Dana Cameron
“The Necromancer’s Apprentice” by Lillian Stewart Carl
“Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell” by Simon Clark
“The Adakian Eagle” by Bradley Denton
“Hecate’s Golden Eye” by P.N. Elrod
“The Case of Death and Honey” by Neil Gaiman
“The Nightside, Needless to Say” by Simon R. Green
“Deal Breaker” by Justin Gustainis
“Death by Dahlia” by Charlaine Harris
“See Me” by Tanya Huff
“Signatures of the Dead” by Faith Hunter
“The Maltese Unicorn” by CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan
“The Case of the Stalking Shadow” by Joe R. Lansdale
“Like a Part of the Family” by Jonathan Maberry
“The Beast of Glamis” by William Meikle
“Fox Tails” by Richard Parks
“Imposters” by Sarah Monette
“Defining Shadows” by Carrie Vaughn

**I cannot find this to add to Goodreads but... I love this line up. There are many, many of my favorite authors on this list.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review ~ City of Lost Souls

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
by Cassandra Clare
published by Margaret K McElderry
genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Summary (Goodreads): 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.

My Thoughts: Very mixed feelings about this latest installment. I really miss the group feel of the first books. The last two books this has been the overriding feeling while reading. They haven't been bad books and I've enjoyed them but seem to feel I'm missing something while the book is going on.
I like Clary and I like Jace but there seemed to be a lot of stupid in this one. Maybe I'm over the romance aspect (since we know where and who is going) and just want it over with so we can move on with the story. It's starting to feel dragged out. I also felt bad for Alec, Clary gets to be stupid 90% of the time(getting a lot of people killed just so she could have what she wanted) and still get her guy and Alec has one bad conversation and his whole relationship is over.
While I understand why, I also am not sure how I feel about Clary getting to make the final act. Simon risked everything, lost all protection and when it came down to it Clary was all "mine" and no one thought it was a bad idea.
I know the above makes it sound like I didn't enjoy the book but I did. These were relative small things and the rest of the story made up for them. I will be reading the next book to see what ramifications come out of decisions made but will always miss what made me love this series in the first place.

Rating: 3.5-4 (still cannot decide)