Friday, 24 November 2017

Midnight Blade - Early Book Review


Midnight Blade (Soul Stones, #0.1)
by T.L. Branson


What is it about:
Kingdoms rise and fall by the blade.

For Davion Callum, that blade is closer than he'd like. Ever the pawn in a scheme of epic proportions, he is given a choice to stand beside those who would wield him as a weapon or defend those who would call him friend.

When the lines blur between ally and enemy, all is not as it seems. Will he uncover the truth? And what will he do when he does?


What did I think of it:
I really enjoyed Soul Siphon, so when I was offered a review copy of Midnight Blade - which is set in the same world, but earlier than Soul Siphon - I jumped at the chance.

This story is a bit longer, so there was more room for character building. The lead character is Davion Callum who also had a role in Soul Siphon. This made that I already knew what choice he would make, but I can't say I minded. Callum is easy to relate to and I rooted for him from the start. Even knowing what he'd eventually decide this is a suspenseful story.

There were several fight scenes again and these were all well written and enjoyable. I also really liked seeing more of the world and being introduced to more characters. Branson already managed to paint a picture of the world in Soul Siphon, but here that picture gets even more interesting details.

All in all this is yet another cool Fantasy story. You can read this one either before or after reading Soul Siphon in my opinion. You bet I'll be keeping n eye out for the next Soul Stones story.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool and enjoyable Fantasy read.


Expected publication: December 5th 2017
Buy from Amazon

Thursday, 23 November 2017

On McPig's Wishlist - Recoil


Recoil (Recoil Trilogy #1)
by Joanne Macgregor


When a skilled gamer gets recruited as a sniper in the war against a terrorist-produced pandemic, she discovers there’s more than one enemy and more than one war. The Game is real.

Three years after a series of terrorist attacks flooded the US with a lethal plague, society has changed radically.

Sixteen year-old Jinxy James spends her days trapped at home – immersed in virtual reality, worrying about the plague and longing for freedom. Then she wins a war simulation game and is recruited into a top-secret organisation where talented teenagers are trained to become agents in the war on terror. Eager to escape her mother’s over-protectiveness and to serve her country, Jinxy enlists and becomes an expert sniper of infected mutant rats.

She’s immediately drawn to Quinn O’Riley, a charming and subversive intelligence analyst who knows more about the new order of government and society than he is telling. Then a shocking revelation forces Jinxy to make an impossible decision, and she risks losing everything.



Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Gift - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


The Gift
by Margaret Mallory

Lily’s well-honed sense for trouble tells her no healer is safe in London while gangs roam the city looking for witches to burn. In the dead of night, she escapes on a northbound ship, intending to return after Christmas celebrations calm the city’s witch fever. But when Lily lands in the wilds of Scotland, her skills for surviving in the city can’t save her.

Roderick MacDonald is on a secret mission for his chieftain when he finds a lass near death on a barren hillside and is forced to take her with him. Though this mysterious Sassenach may have The Gift his clan needs—and he burns with passion for her—he’s determined to resist the enchantment she weaves on his scarred heart.

When love blooms amidst the harsh winter beauty of the Highlands, will these two obstinate souls from different worlds accept the Yuletide gift?


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
Sullivan met Margaret Mallory at the Love Letters Convention in Berlin and got me this novella as he thought I might enjoy Mallory's writing.

This is a nice read.

As it is a novella the attraction and romance move fast, but not unbelievably so. I liked both Roderick and Lily, although at one time during the story I thought everyone, including Roderick, was being very unfair towards how Lily is feeling. But this being a novella there's not a lot of room to work with storywise, so I decided to not hold it against Roderick too long.

The ending was a bit rushed in my opinion. I'd have loved another more intimate scene between hero and heroine before being ushered to the Happily Ever After epilogue.

Overall this is an enjoyable novella though, and I think I'll investigate what other books Mallory has written.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice historical romance.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Dangerous


"My team and I have been holding and studying these for years," said Howell. "As you can see, we're perfectly fine."
That might be a matter of opinion, I thought.

(page 63, Dangerous by Shannon Hale)


Buy from bookdepository

---------

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 20 November 2017

Spell Games - Book Review


Spell Games (Marla Mason #4)
by T.A. Pratt


What is it about:
Brain-eating fungi, wannabe sorcerers, long-lost relations–does even a hard-core witch stand a chance?

Mad sorcerers, psychic vampires, an army of vengeful demons, Marla Mason would rather face them all than a flesh-and-blood ghost from her dysfunctional family past: her con artist brother, Jason. As Felport’s chief sorcerer, Marla would ordinarily consider it her duty to protect her town from such an unscrupulous ne’er-do-well. As his sister, things are a lot…trickier. Now, as Marla attempts to train an apprentice oracle whose magical wires have gotten crossed, Jason is setting up an elaborate sting and drawing her ever-so-corruptible partner Rondeau into the ruse.

Their patsy is a filthy-rich wannabe mage and their bait is something so valuable, so dangerous, so sought after, it probably doesn’t exist. But now word’s gotten out that the Borrichius spores do exist and instead of a sucker Jason and Rondeau have a much bigger–and much deadlier–fish on their line: a reclusive sorcerer whose devotion to the mushroom god and command of vegetal magic could bring a fungal apocalypse to Felport. It’ll be the mother of all bad trips unless Marla can pull off the ultimate magical switcheroo…and somehow live to tell about it.


What did I think of it:
It 's been a while since I read Dead Reign, but I remembered all too well how it ended, so it took me no time at all to get back in Marla's world.

And this book is yet another roller coaster of action. Marla has her hands full with trying to keep her beloved city from danger. A character from a previous book is back to help her, and he was just as cool as I remembered. And there's Rondeau of course, Marla's right hand man.

With each book there are new things added to this world, but in a way that makes you feel they've always been there. They just needed to be encountered. I liked the glimpse into the magic of the other sorcerers in the city, and of the mushroom god who sets eyes on Felport.

It was also good to see that with all her power Marla has her flaws and weaknesses. It makes it easy to root for her and her close friends.

The ending was gut wrenching and heart breaking. I need the next book!

Why should you read it:

It's a really cool UF read.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 17 November 2017

Zombies vs The Living Dead - Book Review


Zombies vs The Living Dead (Surviving The Evacuation 0.5)
by Frank Tayell


What is it about:
The outbreak began in New York. Within days the world descended into chaos as the infection spread to every corner of the globe. Across Britain, millions of people are told to leave the less defensible villages, towns and cities for the safety of one of the enclaves being established around the coast.

For George Tull and the other residents of the Waverly-Price Retirement Home, evacuation is not an option. Finding the staff have left, George has to choose between trying to save those he loathes, or abandoning the woman he loves to an uncertain fate.


What did I think of it:
This is a nice short read with zombies.

George Tull is a character I could sympathize with and I cheered him on as he's trying to find out where all the staff is gone when a zombie invasion is imminent. He's resourceful and can kick zombie ass better than many younger guys could.

For a short story there's a really decent story line and the suspense and action build up nicely towards the ending.

All in all an entertaining read.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable zombie read.


buy from Amazon

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Ashes by Laura Bickle available as a stand-alone ebook!

Until very recently you could only get Ashes by getting the book Fantasy Medley 3, which contains 4 stories by 4 different authors. But now you can get Ashes as a stand-alone ebook!


Ashes (Anya Kalinczyk #3)
by Laura Bickle


With “Ashes,” Laura Bickle revisits Detroit arson investigator and powerful spirit medium Anya Kalinczyk as she, her five-foot-long salamander familiar Sparky, and Hades’ Charon pursue a destructive fire elemental named the Nain Rouge through the city’s festival in his dubious honor.


My review:
This is a really cool and touching story. Anya and Sparky team up with Charon to save the city from destruction. I will keep hoping for more books and stories in this series, but if this story is the last then I'm happy with how Bickle leaves things for Anya and Sparky.


Find buy links here

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Grid Seekers - Book Review


Grid Seekers (Grid Seekers #1)
by Logan Byrne


What is it about:
In a dystopian future, WorldNet, a semi-autonomous evolved form of the Internet, controls daily life. WorldNet allows people to plug themselves in, transporting their minds and sensory organs into what citizens call the grid while their physical bodies stay put. Inside WorldNet they can shop, bank, dine, travel, and do everything they can do in the real world, and although WorldNet itself is free, there’s a cost for doing business.

Any citizen aged sixteen to sixty who accesses WorldNet during the year is entered into a lottery. Twenty-four people, four from each of six megacities, are randomly chosen to compete in an annual televised competition in which they’re plugged in and forced to search for one of two hidden talismans. If they fail to find one of the talismans, or if they die in the process, they’re sentenced to three years of hard labor. But if they win, they’re granted one wish, any wish, that could completely change their lives—or the world.


What did I think of it:
24 people battling it out every year as a punishment for a rebellion a long time ago. Does that sound familiar?

Yup, this book is The Hunger Games all over again, including the participants getting trained before being send off to fight it out in a foresty (virtual) world.

But as The Hunger Games isn't original either and draws heavily from Battle Royale, I couldn't hold it against Grid Seekers.

This is an entertaining read. I had hoped that Byrne would use the fact that these games are set in a virtual environment to its full advantage, but alas. Apart from some minor thing the whole virtual part of the games could have been left out. I also didn't get Alexia. You get entered into the lottery if you used WorldNet in the previous year. Now maybe I missed something and Alexia did use it earlier that year, but it read like she decided to use WorldNet the day of the lottery and could have escaped being entered that year if she would have waited just one more day.

These things aside it's a fun, uncomplicated read. The ending feels a bit easy, but maybe that will be remedied in the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice Dystopian read.


Buy from Amazon

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Spell Games


"You have a brother?" Langford said.
"I do," Marla said. "Don't get any ideas. You aren't allowed to dissect him."

(page 136, Spell Games by T.A. Pratt)


Buy from bookdepository

---------

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Blood Beast - Book Review


Blood Beast (The Demonata #5)
by Darren Shan


What is it about:
Grubbs Grady has so far escaped the family curse, but when he begins to experience alarming symptoms at the onset of the full moon, he is scared that the jaws of fate are opening and about to swallow him whole.

He has cheated death, defeated demons, moved on with his life. But Grubbs is torn between the world of magic and his wolfen genes. Can he fight the beast inside or will he fall victim to his tainted blood?


What did I think of it:
I loved Bec, which could easily be read as a standalone, so it took me a while to gather the courage to pick up book 5 in this series, knowing I'd be going back to the continuing adventures of Grubbs.

You see: I do not like Grubbs most of the time. He's a self centered little jerk. He's friends with those who are useful to him instead of being friends for who they are. And he is telling himself and the reader that is ok, because all kids act like that. I can tell you: no, not all kids are like that. Just jerks like Grubbs are like that.

Still the story was compelling enough to keep reading although there was a lot of grumbling towards Grubbs. I sure am starting to hope that Bill-E will man up and kick Grubbs ungrateful ass.

Things are a bit predictable in this book again, and it seems there was a red herring in a previous book, because something I expected to happen there and thought I'd gotten wrong, happened in this book.

All in all a nice read, although I'm reading it more for the action and the other characters than for Grubbs. I'll pick up the next book soon.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining read for younger teens.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 10 November 2017

Dead But Not Forgotten - Book Review


Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse
Anthology


What is it about:
Charlaine Harris' smash-hit Sookie Stackhouse series may have reached its conclusion, but the world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, lives on in this all-new collection of 15 stories. Written by a killer lineup of authors, including New York Times best-sellers Rachel Caine, MaryJanice Davidson, Jonathan Maberry and Seanan McGuire, and with introductions by Charlaine herself, Dead but Not Forgotten puts your favorite characters center stage.

The stories included in Dead but Not Forgotten are:

"Nobody's Business" by Rachel Caine (featuring Kevin Pryor & Kenya Jones)
"Tyger, Tyger" by Christopher Golden (featuring Quinn)
"The Real Santa Claus" by Leigh Perry (featuring Diantha)
"Taproot" by Jeffrey J. Mariotte (featuring Andy Bellefleur)
"Knit a Sweater Out of Sky" by Seanan McGuire (featuring Amelia)
"Love Story" by Jeanne C. Stein (featuring Adele Hale Stackhouse)
"The Million-Dollar Hunt" by Jonathan Maberry (featuring Mustapha Khan)
"Borderline Dead" by Nicole Peeler (featuring Desiree Dumas)
"Extreme Makeover Vamp Edition" by Leigh Evans (featuring Bev & Todd)
"Don't Be Cruel" by Bill Crider (featuring Bubba)
"What a Dream I Had" by Nancy Holder (featuring Alcide Herveaux)
"Another Dead Fairy" by Miranda James (featuring Claude & Claudia Crane)
"The Bat-Signal" by Suzanne McLeod (featuring Luna)
"The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars" by Dana Cameron (featuring Pam Ravenscroft)
"Widower's Walk" by MaryJanice Davidson (featuring Eric Northman)

Dead but Not Forgotten was edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner.


What did I think of it:
I thought the idea of letting other authors write stories in the Sookie Stackhouse universe was too interesting to let this book go unread. It was on sale at bookdepository as well, so all the more reason to finish my Sookie Stackhouse experience by reading this anthology.

And it is a fun read.

It was interesting to see what characters the authors had picked to write about. Some were favorites of mine as well, others left me cold.

My favorite stories were Nobody's Business by Rachel Caine, The Real Santa Claus by Leigh Perry and The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars by Dana Cameron.

I will confess I skipped a few stories, especially the ones about characters I really didn't like (Amelia, anyone?).

All in all a nice read that I recommend to fans of the series.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable anthology.


buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 9 November 2017

On McPig's Wishlist - Rage


Rage (Stormheart #2)
by Cora Carmack


Princess or adventurer.

Duty or freedom.

Her Kingdom or the Stormhunter she loves.

If Aurora knows anything, it's that choices have consequences. To set things right, she joins a growing revolution on the streets of Pavan.

In disguise as the rebel Roar, she puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion. But the Rage season is at its peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. Yet these storms are different—they churn with darkness, and attack with a will that’s desperate and violent.

This feels like more than rage.



Expected publication: June 5th 2018
pre-order at bookdepository


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Dead Ever After - Book Review


Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13)
by Charlaine Harris


What is it about:
There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart...

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough...


What did I think of it:
I did it! I managed to finish the Sookie Stackhouse series.

I will admit: it was a bumpy ride. Sookie wasn't an easy character to love for me, and in book eight I got so angry at her it took me years to continue the series.

Still I enjoyed the series overall. The characters, the mysteries, the world building were all enticing enough to convince me to get reading again, even after my anger at Sookie.

I couldn't help being spoilered about the ending of the series: it was all over the internet when this book came out. But I think Harris worked towards this ending, so even without the spoilers I wouldn't have been surprised. I thought it was a fitting end for this series.

The overall plot of this book isn't the best in the series, but entertaining enough that you won't hear me grumble. And all's well that ends well for one of my favorite characters, so I was happy about that.

All in all a nice ending for an entertaining and mostly enjoyable series.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable UF read.


buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Bodies in Motion


"Yes." The word was divorced from any emotion, her face blank and uncaring.
"So, you would have the skill level to open a door in the Enclave Shield."

(page 22, Bodies in Motion by Liana Brooks)


Buy from Amazon

---------

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Fairytale Christmas - Book Review


Fairytale Christmas (The Fair Folk Saga #1)
by Merrie Destefano


What is it about:
Three thousand years ago, a war began between the immortals and the mortals. It's a war that continues to this day...

Before history began, a legendary queen battled a foreign army, braved the death of her husband, and faced betrayal at the hand of someone she trusted. This is the story of Eire, Queen of the Faeries, the Immortal One, and the leader of the Tuatha de Danann.

To this day, her homeland, Ireland, bears her name, and this is the story of the war that drove the Immortal Ones into exile. It's also the tale of how she found help from an unexpected place, leading her to a love like she had never known before.

Fairytale Christmas is a story that spans thousands of years. It's also the beginning of all of our fairytales and legends; it's where mortals and immortals survive because they love one another, proving that love is the greatest gift of all.

This is the first installment in the Saga of the Fair Folk, a journey that lasts until the end of time.


What did I think of it:
I usually don't want anything Christmassy before December 6th, but the cover of this novella was too gorgeous to resist.

And luckily it also turned out less Christmassy than the title suggests, making it a beautiful read for any time of the year.

This is a story about Eire, Queen of the Faeries. It is a beautiful, bitter-sweet tale of betrayal, loyalty and love. I was hooked from the start and finished it in one sitting. I could easily picture Eire and the trials she goes through. There was one scene where things got a bit confusing, but apart from that this is a magical and suspenseful tale.

I will certainly keep an eye out for more.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful Fantasy read.


Buy from Amazon

Friday, 3 November 2017

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns - Book Review


Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1)
by Julie C. Dao


What is it about:
An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.


What did I think of it:
I love a good fairytale retelling, or as in this case reimagining, so when I heard about this book it immediately ended up on my wishlist.

And this is a wonderful read.

Even though this is a reimagining instead of a retelling and it tells the story of the rise to power of the Evil Queen - something the original fairytale of Snow White doesn't show - there are similarities to be found. But this tale is so beautiful and engrossing that those similarities are the last thing on your mind. I was too invested in the story to be busy comparing anyway.

Xifeng is a character who I could both relate to and despise, depending on the choices she made. During the story my opinion on her kept changing, but even at the moments I didn't like her I still wanted to keep reading to find out if her plans would work out.

The world building is absolutely beautiful. I could easily picture the settings, from the enchanted forest to the palace everything felt real.

The way this books ends makes that you could easily read it as a standalone, but also hints at enough things still to come to make you want to get hold of the next book. I will most certainly keep an eye out.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Fantasy read.


Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 2 November 2017

TBR Orphans Challenge - Update



Thanks to the fact I decided to try to finish the Sookie Stackhouse series I read a total of 4 orphans in October.

Two of them had been in my TBR pile since May 2014 and one since last January. Add the second book in the Mediator omnibus to that and I'm on a roll.

How about your challenges?

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Language of Thorns - Book Review


The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (The Grisha)
by Leigh Bardugo & Sara Kipin (Illustrator)


What is it about:
Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.


What did I think of it:
This is such a gorgeous book!

My copy was an extra book in the October 2017 FairyLoot box and as I understand it differs from the regular version in that the text on the cover has another color.

That explained: Just look at the beautiful illustrations within this book:


Even if the stories had turned out to be mediocre or worse, I'd have kept this book just for the illustrations alone.

Luckily the stories are also amazing!

They all read like Fairytales or Fables. In some the fairytale that inspired the story is still faintly recognizable, but Bardugo has taken them in new directions and made them her own. I understand these are the tales people in her Grishaverse books tell each other, and these stories made me curious about this world. You can bet I'll read more of her books in the near future.

There are six stories, and I loved them all - The way Bardugo tells them paints a vivid picture and the beautiful illustrations in the margin build up to a climax along with the story - but my favorites are The Soldier Prince and When Water Sang Fire. Both of these have a certain melancholy that spoke to me.

All in all this book was more than what I had expected and it is a definite keeper. I can advice this to anyone who loves a good fairytale.

Why should you read it:
It has gorgeous illustrations and beautiful stories.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Happy Halloween!

Anyone looking for a Halloween read should check out:


The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.

Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.

Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.



buy links

Monday, 30 October 2017

Deadlocked - Book Review


Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12)
by Charlaine Harris


What is it about:
Sookie has a murder investigation on her hands.

A young girl has died at a vampire party - and it looks as though her lover, Eric, might be responsible. Eric swears he didn't do it, the police don't believe him, and even Sookie isn't so sure. Nor is she inclined to take his word for it, not having caught him enjoying the victim's blood minutes before she was killed.

But something strange is going on. Why had Sookie been asked to come to the fateful party a few minutes early - just to catch Eric in the act? And why had the victim spiked her own blood before approaching Eric? Was it simply because she wanted to be irresistible, or was it something more sinister?

Sookie will have to find out ... but it's the worst moment to investigate, as her Fae family are having troubles of their own and Sookie is, inevitably, drawn in. And there is one last complication. The cluviel dor her grandmother left her. It will grant her one wish, which could fulfill Sookie's heart's desire. The only problem is, she still doesn't know what - or who - her heart truly desires ...


What did I think of it:
My attempts to finally finish this series continue.

And this was yet another very enjoyable read that had me firmly engrossed in the lives of Sookie and those around her. Maybe it's that I already know a bit about how this series ends, but to me it seems this book and the previous one are clearly paving the way for that ending. And I must say I'm looking forward to seeing everything falling together. Something I'd never thought would happen after book 8.

Talking about that book. There was one minor grumble in this book: Sookie hears from Quinn and apparently he had something with a were-tigress called 'Tijgerin'...

Yeah...

Tijgerin is the Dutch word for tigress, so... that's like calling your daughter Girl or Woman. Those parents should be kicked in my opinion.

That grumble aside this was a fun and entertaining read. I hope my copy of Dead Ever After arrives soon, so I can find out how everything ties up.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun UF read.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 27 October 2017

Dead Reckoning - Book Review


Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse #11)
by Charlaine Harris


What is it about:
With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

What did I think of it:
Even though Dead in the Family started really slow, I was firmly back in the world and story at the end. So I decided to pick up the next book to see where things were going.

And this book was much better in my opinion. There was action from the start, interesting developments, and I even agreed with Sookie about some things.

There is more revealed about Sookie's family and Sookie's particular talents, and next to some cool action scenes there are developments in Sookie's love life as well. Some things are resolved, but others promise to play a big role in the next book.

All in all I'm enjoying this series again, and I'm planning to finally finish it. I already have Deadlocked on my shelves and I ordered the last book so I can finally read the apparently controversial ending that had so many people in a snit.

Why should you read it:
It's an action-packed and fun UF read.


Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 26 October 2017

On McPig's Wishlist - Gunpowder Alchemy


Gunpowder Alchemy (The Gunpowder Chronicles #1)
by Jeannie Lin


In 1842, the gunpowder might of China’s Qing Dynasty fell to Britain’s steam engines. Furious, the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers, eliminating China’s best chance of fighting back.

Since her father’s execution eight years ago, Jin Soling has kept her family from falling apart. With her mother addicted to opium and her younger brother in danger of being sent off to the factories, Soling has no choice but to sell off the last of her father’s possessions. Unwittingly, her actions bring her to the attention of the imperial court—the same court that betrayed her father.

The Crown Prince has launched a secret mission to bring together the remnants of the former Ministry of Science. To restore her family’s name, Soling must track down the rebel alchemist who holds the key to powering the imperial fleet. Her only ally is a man she’s just met—the engineer with a mysterious past who was once meant to be her husband…



Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Dead in the Family - Book Review


Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse #10)
by Charlaine Harris


What is it about:
It's all about family ...

Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton.

In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.


What did I think of it:
It's been awhile since I read the previous book, but I finally decided to try to continue this series.

And maybe this isn't the best book to pick up after being in a series slum. it was slow.

The previous book had lots of action and heartbreak, so maybe it's not so strange that Sookie is taking things easy, but for me it felt like ages before the story was going somewhere. Still I decided to stick to it and finally stuff started to happen and I was dragged into the world again. At the end of the book I was happy enough about developments that I might just pick up book 11 soon.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable UF read.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Heat Stroke


The Ifrit purred, "Peace to you, my sisters."
"War, my sister," Rahel answered softly.

(page 93, Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine)


Buy from bookdepository

---------

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Ninth Key - Book Review


Ninth Key (The Mediator #2)
by Meg Cabot


What is it about:
Everything is going great for Suze. Her new life in California is a whirlwind of parties and excellent hair days. Tad Beaumont, the hottest boy in town, has even asked Suze out on her very first date. Suze is so excited that she's willing to ignore her misgivings about Tad... particularly the fact that he's not Jesse, whose ghostly status - not to mention apparent disinterest in her - make him unattainable.

What Suze can't ignore, however, is the ghost of a murdered woman whose death seems directly connected to dark secrets hidden in none other than Tad Beaumont's past.


What did I think of it:
This is yet another fun book by Cabot.

Suze is jumping to conclusions rather fast, and has poor judgement at times, but it makes for an enjoyable story, so I won't grumble about it. It did feel like there was less action in this story, but that may be because in the first book lots of things had to be explained and had to happen to get to know Suze, so it might have felt like a faster story because of that.

All in all this is a fast and entertaining read. I might pick up the next book when I'm in the mood for something breezy.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable Paranormal YA read.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 20 October 2017

Ashes of the Phoenix - Book Review


Ashes of the Phoenix (Phoenix Rising #1)
by Jess Haines

What is it about:
Lyra Adams enjoys her job as a rare books dealer, but when an angry wizard barges into her store and demands she fork over a unique tome from the antiquities section, she's not about to let him get away with grand larceny without a fight.

Except it's suddenly very difficult to defend her wares, seeing as the wizard turned her into some kind of weird red bird by flinging a handful of ashes in her face.

Her only hope of returning to her normal, human self lies in the hands of the one man she never wanted to see again: her lying, stealing, sorcerous scumbag ex, James Pierce. The same light-fingered thief who tried to steal that very same tome from her a few days before.

She knows she can’t trust James with her heart or her inventory. Can she trust him to turn her back?


What did I think of it:
I love Haines' H&W Investigations series, so when I had an Amazon gift card to spend Ashes of the Phoenix (which isn't available at bookdepository where I get most of my books) was one of the books I just had to get.

And this is a fun book.

It's set in the same world as the H&W Investigations series, with Lyra being a normal human who gets mixed up in the affairs of wizards.

I liked Lyra and the way she reacts to the things that happened. I did not like her ex. As so often there was another man I thought would be a much better fit with Lyra, but I'm used to that by now, so it didn't diminish my enjoyment.

This being a book of about 150 pages, it's a quick read. There's also lots of action, so I finished it in a couple of hours. The ending is satisfying, but leaves a lot open for more adventures to come. I'll be keeping an eye out for the sequel.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun UF read.


Buy from Amazon

Thursday, 19 October 2017

On McPig's wishlist - Like Never and Always


Like Never and Always
by Ann Aguirre


A dark, romantic YA Suspense edged in SF and with plenty of angst, layering the secrets we keep and how well we truly know the ones we love best.

On a hot summer night, a screech of brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever.

Liv wakes in the hospital, confused when they call her Morgan. She assumes it’s a case of mistaken identity, yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s.

Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ann Aguirre deftly weaves an enthralling tale of twisted realities, salacious intrigue, and pulsing, page-turning suspense. This is Ann at her best, an extraordinary tale of endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal.



Expected publication: July 17th 2018 by Tor Teen

pre-order at bookdepository

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

White Trash Zombie Unchained - Book Review


White Trash Zombie Unchained (White Trash Zombie #6)
by Diana Rowland


What is it about:
Angel Crawford has finally pulled herself together (literally!) after her disastrous dismemberment on Mardi Gras. She’s putting the pieces of her life back in order and is ready to tackle whatever the future holds.

Too bad the future is a nasty bitch. There’s a new kind of zombie in town: mindless shamblers, infectious and ravenous.

With the threat of a full-blown shambler pandemic looming, and a loved one stricken, Angel and the “real” zombies scramble to find a cure. Yet when Angel uncovers the true reason the plague is spreading so quickly, she adds “no-holds-barred revenge” to her to-do list.

Angel is busting her ass dealing with shambling hordes, zombie gators, government jerks, and way too many mosquitos, but this white trash chick ain’t giving up.

Good thing, since the fate of the world is resting on her undead shoulders.


What did I think of it:
I love this series.

In this book Angel has just recovered from literally falling apart, only to discover there are shamblers about and that there's a leak within the zombie organisation she's a part of.

With stuff like that going on, there's not a dull moment in this book. I was hooked from the start and had a hard time putting the book down. Angel is resourceful, smart and has great instincts, which lead her in the right direction to try and save the day, but it also puts her in the line of fire.

There are developments both with old characters and new ones. One seemed to go a bit fast, but for the sake of the story I was willing to go with it. I'm also starting to like angel's father more and more I must say.

All in all a great read. I hope there will be more books in this series, because this series keeps getting better and better.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool zombie read with gators!


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - The Mediator


"Murder?" Suddenly, I forget all about the prom.
"What about a murder?"

(page 372, The Mediator Omnibus - Ninth Key by Meg Cabot)


Buy from bookdepository

---------

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 16 October 2017

There's Someone Inside Your House - Book Review


There's Someone Inside Your House
by Stephanie Perkins


What is it about:
Over a year after her parents sent her away from Hawaii to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, Makani Young is still adjusting to her new life. She's made a small group of close friends and even flirted with romance, but her past in Hawaii is still hard to forget. And then . . . one by one the students of her new high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders.

Makani doesn't know who's next on the list. Between this, and a secret scorching relationship with the school weirdo, this school year may turn out to be one to die for . . . literally.


What did I think of it:
I picked this book up because Voodoo Bride liked two of the three other books by Perkins that she read, and because this sounded like a nice Halloween read.

I did enjoy this book, but can't say it's in anyway scary though.

The book started out with a murder and I was hoping for it to continue like this, but that was not to be. The story turned out to be more of a love story between Makani and outsider Ollie than an actual slasher. After the first murder there are 5 chapters that are mainly about Makani, her mysterious past that isn't actually named until much, much later, and Ollie.

Not that I minded. The romance between Makani and Ollie was awkward and cute, and I also liked Makani's grandmother and friends (although their role could have been bigger). So after the initial disappointment that this was less suspenseful than I hoped, I settled in and enjoyed this romantic slasher-light.

There are more murders after the first 6 chapters, and Perkins mostly avoided the cliches I feared would be used. All in all not the scary read I was looking for, but entertaining and enjoyable nonetheless. I'll keep an eye out to see what Perkins writes next.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable YA read.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 13 October 2017

Angel-Seeker - Book Review


Angel-Seeker (Samaria Published Order #5/chronological #3)
by Sharon Shinn


What is it about:
The award-winning author returns to Samaria in this richly romantic tale that begins where Archangel left off. In that time, the women who craved the attention of angels were known as angel-seekers, a term used with awe by some--and scorn by others.

What did I think of it:
Of the Samaria books this one is most easily read as a standalone as the action and romance mostly isn't connected to the larger worldbuilding that is going on in this series.

This tells the story of two very different women: Elizabeth - a young woman who dreams of nothing more than finding an angel-lover and carrying his angelic offspring. And Rebekah - a young Jansai woman, who has her life planned out for her by the males in her family and grudgingly accepts this. Until she finds a wounded angel that is...

I will confess that although Elizabeth's journey to love and happiness is really well written, I just never clicked with her, even on rereads. She's too shallow at first and her change seems to go too smoothly. Still it's a nice story that shows that dreams don't always come true the way you want.

I love Rebekah's story. I know: the Jansai are once again all painted as scum, with Rebekah's younger brother as the one exception. Still I love the romance between her and Obediah. I love how she is so attracted to the angel that she can't stay away from him, but still refuses to leave her confined, but certain life behind for him and an uncertain life of freedom.

It's this love story that makes me reread this book and grumblingly accept the black and white worldbuilding. For fans of the series there are also cameos of characters from Archangel, and it gives a view of how people move on from events in that book as well.

All in all a very enjoyable read that I'm sure to revisit again in the future.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable SFF Romance read.


buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 12 October 2017

In McPig's TBR pile - Dead in the Family

Sookie and I have a rocky relationship. She even made me so angry it took me years to pick up book 9 after reading book 8. Still the overall world and the writing is cool, so I might pick this book up as my next TBR Orphan.


Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse #10)
by Charlaine Harris


It's all about family ...

Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton.

In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.



Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Flight - Book Review


Flight (Samaria #1.5 chronological order)
by Sharon Shinn


What is it about:
The anthology Quatrain contains 4 stories, but I'm only reviewing one of them at the moment:

Flight
To be chosen as the lover of an angel is the highest honor in Samaria, but narrator Salome knows the hidden dangers of such a life and tries to warn her niece Sheba.


What did I think of it:
When rereading the Samaria books I discovered I didn't have all the short stories yet, so got my trotters on Quatrain which contains the Samaria story Flight.

I will confess: although this is a nice story, it's my least favorite of the shorter stories. This might have to do with the fact I do not like it when older siblings or family members try to interfere with the choices of the younger sibling/family member.

I liked discovering Salome's past and I liked how she got a second chance at something that went wrong so long ago, but I must say I could really understand why Sheba acts like she does. Salome is acting much too smothering.

All in all a nice story, but it won't be high on my reread list. I might give the other stories in this book a try and see if there's another series by Shinn I should give a try.

Why should you read it:
This one is for fans of the series. Don't use it as a start.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Ashes of the Phoenix


Right now, he was her best option.
Her only option, if she was being honest.

(page 25, Ashes of the Phoenix by Jess Haines)


Buy from Amazon

---------

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Seeded By The Alien Tentacle King - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Seeded By The Alien Tentacle King
by Maci Bright


What is it about:
Amanda is fed up with her life and decides to take a break from it all.

A king in need of someone like her has been waiting. Will Amanda be able to give the king and his two bodyguards what they need....


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
After the disappointing lack of tentacle action in Tentacle Lord I went in search of something better. After two tries that went wrong (first was ridiculous, second was disturbing) I stumbled across this title.

And if you're looking for creative tentacle action this is a fun quick read. No romance build up, just a small bit of actual story, lots of tentacles.

It's a short read, so there's not much more than I already mentioned. If anyone knows of a book that combines a great story with some tentacle or other alien action, let me know.

Why should you read it:
Tentacles!


Buy from Amazon

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Tentacle Lord - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Tentacle Lord (Tentacle Lord #1/#5)
by M. La Mer


What is it about:
Stranded on a decaying 19th century lighthouse out at sea, a beautiful and wealthy socialite wants nothing more than to return to the comforts she knows. Yet when a mysterious, intimidating stranger living within the lighthouse makes himself known, her desire to return to an unfulfilling life on the mainland is put on indefinite hold.

Unable to resist his multiple arms and fiery passion, Margaret finds she is desperate to get close to the tormented man/creature who has opened her up to discover and explore her own dark desires before the outside world threatens to intervene.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I ran into this title and was too curious to resist. The story is divided into 5 separate novellas, and I decided that if I was going to indulge in something called Tentacle Lord anyway I might as well get the boxed set that contained them all.

While reading this series of adventures I was torn between two thoughts: "WTF am I reading" and "I expected more tentacles".

This series is described as an ongoing romantic adventure story. Well, there is indeed adventure. The first novella is about how Margaret gets involved with the Tentacle Lord, Corwin. (I must say even after finishing the series I'm not sure where the Lord part comes from except that it sounds cool.) It involves murderous husbands, crashing helicopters, and instalove.

In the next four books Margaret and Corwin have all kinds of outrageous adventures, including a sort of The Island of Dr. Moreau, a SciFi, and a straight up kidnapping. Luckily for the both of them there's time for a little sensual tentacle action along the way.

And there's where this series is lacking in my opinion. With a story called Tentacle Lord, with such outlandish adventures, and warnings of mature content, I would have expected both more tentacle action and creative tentacle action. Alas...

All in all this is a wildly unbelievable and erratic series, but if you're looking for a 'WTF is happening' read that's not too daring on the tentacle action, this is an entertaining series.

Now to find a tentacle read that's a bit more heavy on the tentacles.

Why should you read it:
It's a highly entertaining read.


Buy from Amazon

Friday, 6 October 2017

A Long And Wild Hunt - Early Book Review


A Long And Wild Hunt (Dark Heart Chronicles #2)
by Merrie Destefano


What is it about:
Trapped in a cursed forest with the boyfriend who murdered her wasn’t how Katrina planned to spend the Afterlife. She might be a ghoul and hell-bent on revenge, but that doesn’t mean she has to be miserable.

Or does it?

Someone or something has been singing at night, a voice that makes her wonder if there’s still hope. It actually makes her want to right one of her many wrongs. If she could help another ghost find its way out of this wood—to be buried on hallowed ground—then Katrina will know she’s not truly a monster.

But what if the magical creature who cursed this wood finds out her plans? And what if he offers her what she’s been longing for ever since she was murdered?

Revenge in the Afterlife isn’t what she expected.

Neither is love.


What did I think of it:
This story continues where A Dark Twisted Heart left off, but this time it's told from Katrina's point of view.

I liked this story and Katrina's thoughts on everything that happened. I also liked how she tries to stay in control of her afterlife.

What did throw me is that this story changed from a spooky, ghostly read into something more fantastical, and I had to adjust my expectations of the story midway. Not that this is a bad thing. I liked the developments, however unexpected they were for me.

All in all this is yet another cool read and an enjoyable follow up on A Dark and Twisted Heart. I will keep my eyes out for the next work by Destefano.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool Halloween read.


Find buy links here

Thursday, 5 October 2017

To DNF or not to DNF - Getting Wilde


Getting Wilde (Immortal Vegas, #1)
by Jenn Stark


What is it about:
Using her well-worn Tarot deck, magical-artifacts hunter Sara Wilde can find anything—for a price. And the price had better be right, since she needs to finance her own personal mission to rescue several young psychics recently sold on the paranormal black market.

Enter Sara’s most mysterious client and occasional lover, the wickedly sexy Magician, with a job that could yield the ultimate payday. All she’ll have to do is get behind Vatican walls… and steal the Devil himself.

But play with the Devil and you’re bound to get burned.

Pressure mounts for Sara to join the Magician’s ancient and mysterious Arcana Council, as militant forces unleashed by even darker powers seek to destroy all magic—including the young psychics Sara is desperate to keep safe. The Council may be their only hope. . . but it could also expose Sara’s own dark past.

From the twisting catacombs of Rome to the neon streets of Vegas, Sara confronts ancient enemies, powerful demigods, a roiling magical underworld about to explode… and immortal passions that might require the ultimate sacrifice. But oh, what a way to go.

No matter how the cards play out, things are about to get Wilde.


My thoughts:
Right from the start there's a big jerk wanting things from Sara and Sara being a push over.

I will confess I didn't read much further then the first 20 to 30 pages before picking up another book. Still I feel like I should give it another chance if only because of the pretty cover.

Anyone read this and can give me advice?


Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Wizards of Once - Book Review


The Wizards of Once (The Wizards of Once #1)
by Cressida Cowell


What is it about:
Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.

Wizard boy, Xar, should have come in to his magic by now, but he hasn't, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he's got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.

Xar doesn't realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.

And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.

Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.

But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring...


What did I think of it:
So this was totally a cover buy, although the story sounded fun as well. When the book arrived it turned out it was full of beautiful illustrations as well.


The book is a children's book, but a treat for any fan of Fantastical stories. I very much enjoyed the antics of Xar and his companions, and I really liked Wish and her bodyguard assistant Bodkin.

The illustrations show scenes in the story, but are also used as a storytelling device. Like in the part of the books that shows Xar's spelling book.

The story is both fun and suspenseful. Xar and Wish have to team up to get themselves out of trouble and to keep horrible things from happening. This book ends with some major storylines resolved, but also leaves enough open to keep you guessing what things might come next for Xar and Wish.

All in all a very enjoyable and action-packed read, and a beautiful addition to my keeper shelves.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and fun Fantasy read.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - White Trash Zombie Unchained


"Could be worse," Brian said, mouth crooked in a smile. "That gator could've bitten your face off."

(page 84, White Trash Zombie Unchained by Diana Rowland)


Buy from bookdepository

---------

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 2 October 2017

In Evil Times - Book Review


In Evil Times (Imperials #2)
by Melinda M. Snodgrass


What is it about:
Scholarship student Thracius "Tracy" Belmanor and Princess Mercedes de Arango have graduated from the High Ground and become officers in the Orden de la Estrella. Stung by Mercedes' choice of Beauregard "Boho" Cullen as her consort, Tracy is glad that they are posted on battleships light years apart, but soon finds that without her protection he is nothing but a target.

Meanwhile, Mercedes' posting has its own challenges, not least her unfaithful husband.Both young officers find themselves part of forced "assimilations" of settlers on Hidden Worlds, which lead them to doubt the intentions of the Solar League. And when Tracy witnesses an horrific event that threatens the fragile human and alien peace, Mercedes must decide where her loyalties truly lie...


What did I think of it:
I loved the first book in this series and really liked Tracy and Mercedes.

In this book I really started to loathe Tracy. Was he this much of a dick to his alien servant in The High Ground and didn't I notice? Or is he the typical person who when bullied by people of higher rank will lick up and kick down?

And Mercedes wasn't at her best either. I seriously started to root for the aliens, because all the humans were big jerks.

Even so I very much enjoyed this book. The world building and the story are great. Even without a lead character to root for I was invested in the story and wanted to find out what would happen next.

There are a few time jumps in this story, so at the end of this book years have passed since Tracy and Mercedes graduated from the academy. Lots of events have shaped them and the world they live in. Even though I disliked them both by the end of this book, I'm eager to see what will come next for them and the other humans. A big part of me hopes there will be a reckoning.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool SF read.


Buy from bookdepository

Sunday, 1 October 2017

TBR Orphan Update - Still on Track


I read one orphaned book in September.
I pre-ordered White Trash Zombie Gone Wild back in 2015, but it took the arrival of the next book in the series to pick this one up to catch up with Angel's adventures. I'll have to make sure that White Trash Zombie Unchained will not wither on my shelves for almost two years as well.

I still have trouble concentrating on my reading, so I do confess I read lots of shorter stories and reread some favorites in September.

How did your challenges go?


Friday, 29 September 2017

Angelica - Book Review


Angelica (Samaria #4)
by Sharon Shinn


What is it about:
Two hundred years ago, the god Jovah created a legion of land dwelling angels, led by an appointed Archangel. Now, Jovah has a new appointee: Archangel Gaaron.

For his life-mate, his Angelica, Jovah has chosen a woman named Susannah. Slowly, an unspoken affection develops between the two. But there is a terrible threat besetting the land-and the true hearts of Archangel and Angelica may never be known.


What did I think of it:
This was a reread, but I never reviewed the book before so it's high time I did.

This is chronologically the first story set in Samaria, but it's book #4 in the series. And to new readers I can advice to start with either book #1 (Archangel), or better yet book #2 (Jovah's Angel), because my copy of Archangel pretty much ruins the suspense of Jovah's Angel in the cover blurb. But then again I started reading this series with Jovah's Angel, so I might be prejudiced.

Anyway, I think this book is best enjoyed after reading the first three books and knowing a bit more about the world of Samaria.

I really love this world and this story is very enjoyable although of all the books it's my least favorite. I think that is because the romance between Gaaron and Susannah is too understated. True: it's a realistic romance in that it's no instalove or even instalust, but two people getting to know each other and respect each other. Still I think there's not enough actual interaction between the two to believe they get to know each other enough to fall in love.

Next to their story is the story of Gaaron's willful sister Miriam and this part of the book is my favorite part. Miriam is a handful and the things she does would drive most people crazy. It was fun to see her struggle to find her place in the world and when she does she shines.

The world building in this series is mostly based on biblical and middle eastern culture. And here we find the one thing that bugs me about this series: The Jansai.

The Jansai are half nomadic people who keep their women veiled and mostly hidden from other people. I think it's easy to see where the inspiration for the Jansai comes from, therefor I'm disappointed by the one sided nature of the Jansai. Basically all male Jansai are painted as sneaky, untrustworthy & abusive. I would have liked a bit more diversity there, and no: that one exception in Angel Seeker (which I'll be rereading and reviewing soon) doesn't count imo.

All in all this is an enjoyable read, and I liked revisiting it, although of the books in this series it's the one I've reread the least.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Biblical Fantasy read.


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Thursday, 28 September 2017

To DNF or not to DNF - Rampant


Rampant (Killer Unicorns #1)
by Diana Peterfreund


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 thoughts:
I've been picking this up, reading a bit, and putting this down a few times now.

The premise of this book is cool: killer unicorns! And some of them are even the proper goaty kind of unicorn. The story however feels much too slow and too focused on Astrid trying to get laid to escape her destiny. I want more killer unicorns!

I keep saying to myself to give it another try in hope there will be more unicorns if I just read a bit further, but maybe I should just give up and consider this book a DNF.

Anyone read this and can tell me if it's worth slogging through all the teen angsty stuff?



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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A Dark And Twisted Heart - Early Book Review


A Dark And Twisted Heart
by Merrie Destefano


What is it about:
Katrina is so beautiful, she's almost perfect. She only has two flaws. She's possessive.

And she's dead.

William adores Katrina, but he almost forgets about her when he meets Adelle, with her gentle smile and winsome ways.
So what's he to do? He certainly can't be faithful to a dead girl.
Even though he loves her, so much so he visits her grave every day.
Even though she haunts him and constantly reminds him of the terrible thing he did.

Even though she might just drive him to do something terrible again. Very soon.


What did I think of it:
This is a really cool spooky read.

William is haunted by Katrina even while he's courting her best friend. What happened to make Katrina haunt him, and what will happen next?

I loved the mood Destefano creates in this short story. It drew me in and painted a vivid picture even though the world building is practically non-existent. It shines through in certain words and remarks though. Destefano's writing lends itself perfectly for this sort of story: atmospheric and disturbing.

A perfect read for Halloween.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice, spooky short story.


Releases October 1, 2017
Find buy links here

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - In Evil Times

I made a false start on this book a few months ago, but on second try I'm hooked. SF at it's best.


There was a crack as the cartilage in her nose broke. The woman screamed, hands flying to cover her face. The white material of both her suit and Mercedes' were spattered with blood.

(page 240, In Evil Times by Melinda Snodgrass)


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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 25 September 2017

Soul Siphon - Book Review


Soul Siphon (Soul Stones, #0.1)
by T.L. Branson


What is it about:
Alexander Drygo, king of Sunbury, is reeling from the loss of his wife. Despite his best efforts using an incredible power, she is no longer among the living.

When a rival kingdom seeks to take advantage of this delicate time in Drygo’s life, he is thrust into a battle for the future of his kingdom.

Can he save his people where he could not save his queen?


What did I think of it:
This being a short story (24 pages), it's a quick read.

I must say I really enjoyed it. It's a kind of intro to the series, leading up to the events of book one - Soul Render.

With this being a short story there's little time for character and world building, but Branson did manage to give me a clear view of the world with just a bare minimum of world building. There are quite a few fight scenes in this short story and those were well crafted. It's easy to get bored or confused during fight scenes in my opinion, but here I kept my focus on what's happening.

All in all a nice, quick read to get a sense of the world and of what to expect from Soul Render. I'll be keeping an eye out for Soul Render for sure.

Why should you read it:
It's a quick action-packed Fantasy read.


Soul Siphon will release September 29th
Find out more about Soul Siphon & Soul Render here