Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Magic Dreams and Magic Steals Combo Review

Magic Steals (Kate Daniels, #6.5)
Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels, #4.5)
Series: Kate Daniels Series 4.5 & 6.5 
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Published: 2012/2016
MD Addit // Buy it
MD Rating: 4/5
MS Rating: 4.5/5

Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him--a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack's headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim's attention--but now he needs her help. 

Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali's flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits. 

These are two very fun novellas that I picked up because I need Andrews' writing in my life and I need a taste of the Kate Daniels world while I wait for Magic Triumphs. Dali is quite the opposite of Kate in many ways and it was really interesting to see the world from a different perspective. 

Dali's magic is another awesome element to these stories and her self-depreciating humor really amused me. Not only is she funny, she doesn't take any crap either. She knows her magic, even if it doesn't always work for her, and she doesn't let anyone tell her otherwise. Even so, she has her human moments, like when her mom embarrasses her or she worries Jim doesn't like her, which made me love her even more. 

Can we have more Jim and Dali screen time? These two are fantastic and a little less toxic than Kate and Curran. (and by a little I mean they aren't toxic at all) I loved their slow burn romance and I want to see more of their adventures together.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review - Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #4
Age Group: Adults
Genre: Paranormal
Published: February 2009 (Ace Books)
Hardcover - 309 pgs
Add it // Buyt it

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her perternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan - and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

At the end of Iron Kissed I was convinced and disappointed Briggs was going to gloss over any further repercussion from the events of that book. Instead, Mercy continues to struggle with what happened which was realistic and I liked that Briggs took the time to address it. Mercy continues to develop as a character and the entire cast of characters finally feels fleshed out and full of personality.
Bone Crossed is mostly a bridge book. Mercy needed time to recover, like I mentioned before, and Briggs needed to fill in some holes she had left open during the first few books. The book did its job though the plot of this installment was a little bland for me. Most of the details have already escaped my brain. The romance in this series is starting to take a larger role as well, but it is nicely balanced and everyone had issues to work through.
There is a distinct lack of women in this series though. Mercy doesn't have many close female relationships and she is combative with most of the women in her circle. I'd like this to change, there are some promising signs, in the future. Even though most werewolves are men, it would be nice to see Mercy have some female relationships.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

End of Year Book Tag

The lovely Ariel Basset created a really fun tag for the transition to the end of 2017. I had a lot of fun answering these questions and I had a chance to wear my favorite romper one more time since the weather has been warm here in the Northeast. I hope you will check out Ariel's cool original video after you listen to my answers.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

My Used Book Shopping List

This post is shamelessly stolen from TrishaJennReads. Her blog is gorgeous and full of fun context so I recommend you also check out her original post as well. 

I adore shopping in a used book store or browsing a used book sale. There are always books you are hoping to find, but it rarely works out that way. Most of the time when I browse the sales, I find something I've never heard of rather than something I am looking for. However, there are a few titles I keep my eyes peeled for when I browse a book sale. 

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Outlander Hardcovers
Tamora Pierce Books of Any Variety
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Austenland by Shannon Hale

Friday, October 13, 2017

September Real Time Book Haul

September was a weird month for me. I've had some weird health issues going on and it has made me lethargic. Even though this haul idea didn't work the way I wanted it to, I think I will try it again in the future. What did you pick up in September?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review - Code by Brendan Reichs and Kathy Reichs

Series: Virals #3
Genre: Science-Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: Young Arrow (2013)
Paperback - 408 pg

Rating: 4/5

The Virals are put to the ultimate test when they find a geocache containing an ornate puzzle box. Shelton decodes the cipher inside, only to find more tantalizing clues left by "The Gamemaster." A second, greater geocache is within reach—if the Virals are up to the challenge.

But the hunt takes a dark turn when Tory locates the other box—a fake bomb, along with a sinister proposal from The Gamemaster. Now, the real game has begun: another bomb is out there—a real one—and the clock is ticking. 

After a very long break between books, I've finally picked up the third book in this series. I forgot how much I love this group of intelligent and quick thinking kids. At times this is a mix of Scooby-Doo and the Temperance Brennan novels which is a lot of fun to read. This particular book features a serial killer, which as a crime show fan I approve of, and the kids need to beat him at his own game.

Just like the other novels in this series, the story starts off a little slowly, but events start to pile up as the book continues. By the second half it was hard for me to put this book down because I need to know what will happen next! 

Tory's strong personality and her independence are both qualities I admire in her, but I wish Reichs balanced the characters a little more. At times Tory's take-charge attitude was a little overwhelming and the other three characters get overshadowed.  I really enjoyed how Reichs has written this group. All of the characters read as teens and have teen problems even though they are incredible smart and inventive. They worry about high school bullies and curfew while they try to defeat a killer. 

Though the pack does some pretty unbelievable things with their enhanced abilities, I had the hardest time believing their break ins at the lab. After the events in book two, Tory mentions a lot of increased security measures. I don't believe the kids could skip through these so easily. This part of the story really bothered me especially since it happened multiple times throughout the book. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September Wrap Up

In September I read quite a few books. During the month I felt like I was really struggling to read even though I read a lot of good books. Hopefully I won't struggle quite as much in October. Check out my wrap up to see exactly what I read last month!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Top Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers

Once again we have come around to Top Ten Tuesday. This week I've chosen my favorite orange, red, yellow and brown covers. Some of these are my favorite books of all time. I wonder if there is any further correlation between my favorite season's colors and my favorite books.

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1) The Will of the Empress (Circle Reforged, #1) The Scorpio Races Homegoing Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3) This Monstrous Thing In Search of Lost Dragons Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review - The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher


Genre: Autobiography 
Age Group: Adults
Published - November (2016)
Audiobook - 5 hours 10 minutes

Rating: 4/5

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager. 

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. 

Listening to this audiobook was incredibly emotional for me which I did not expect going in. The memoir itself is very interesting and full of anecdotes about Fisher's time on set before, during, and after she was cast in the Star Wars flims. She also covers her affair with Harrison Ford and her experience/struggle being Leia since the film's production. Because the audiobook is read by the author, her inflection made the writing a lot easier to understand. I can imagine some of the stories would not come across as well in text as they did when Carrie Fisher told them. 

Even though the book was incredibly funny, Fisher touches on many dark points in her life as well. Her struggles with drugs, alcohol, anxiety, and growing up in Hollywood are all a part of this story and she reflects on most of it with humor. However, these sections were difficult to listen to knowing Fisher (and her mother who she mentions often in this book) has since passed away. As I mentioned at the beginning this was incredibly emotional and I cried a few times as I listened to it.

Carrie Fisher's daughter. Billie Lourd, reads the journal entries from which this book sprang into life which was rather haunting. I'll admit it put me in strange head space and I was completely submerged in this book when I was listening to it. It was a strange experience listening to Fisher relate her personal life in her own voice six months after her death. Even so I would highly recommend the audiobook and I will be reading more of Fisher's books in the future. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Updates, Birthday Haul, & Currently Reading

I know I haven't updated you on any of the books I read or purchased last month. Don't worry that is coming soon. However, I'm really excited about the books I'm reading right now and all the books I picked up for my birthday so I skipped ahead a little bit.

This month I'm trying to do the #30daybookbinge again which is hosted by Misty at The Book Rat as well so there are some updates about my plans for that. Let me know what you are currently reading!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Top Five Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

Out of all the book recommendations I see and hear on a daily basis, how do I pick which ones to purchase.

1) If Sam (Sam's Nonsense), Sam (Thoughts on Tomes), Lia (Lia Cooper) or Misty (The Book Rat) recommend a book- These four ladies combined make up the majority of my book that I pick up based on recommendations. They are superb at what they do and it is rare that I dislike something they recommend. Their reviews are fantastic and I love their other content too. Check them out.

2) Covers - There are a lot of different things that attract me to a cover. There are a few examples here, but this could be its own post or video so I'll let you take a look at these.

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)   The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1) The Summer of Chasing Mermaids 30809689 24790901
How do you say no? 

3) The words Fairytale, Jane Austen or Myth in conjunction with retelling or reimagining: Honestly I can never have enough retellings on hand. They are usually easy to fly through so I can fly through them if I'm in a good reading mood and they break me out of a reading slump if I am having trouble finding something I want to read. I tend to keep an eye on the Kindle Deals and Book Bub for steals to keep my ereader well stocked.

4) If Tamora Pierce or Garth Nix Wrote it - I could include other authors and make this a list, but these two publish books less often than most main stream authors. Because of this, I tend to be on alert for their books and instantly want them.

5) An Original Concept- While #3 on this list tells you I like tropes, if something sounds interesting and new I definitely want to give it a shot. Books with diverse casts and a fresh take on some of my favorite tropes grab my attention as well. In this world of redundant/recycled plot lines anything that seems new is worth a second look.

What grabs your attention about a book? What makes you want pick up one book over another?