Wednesday, March 21, 2018

T5W - Favorite SFF in Other Media - Booktube SFF Award Crossover

This week on Top Five Wednesday the topic turned out differently than I was expecting. Personally, I thought it was going to be really difficult to find favorite SFF things outside of books to recommend It turned out to be more difficult to narrow things down once I discovered a large portion of my favorite things in other media are SFF anyway.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My Spring TBR

Here we are again! Every season I make a list of books that I hope I'll read soon. It doesn't usually work out, but I keep trying! I looked back at my Spring TBR from 2016 (I didn't have one last year) and there were a few I still haven't read. I excluded one book, Lady Midnight, because I'm working on rereading TMI Series before I pick that up. I've included the three I haven't read at the top of this TBR in hopes I can prioritize those. The rest are books I'm excited about and hope I can read this spring. Let me know if you have a TBR for the Spring and if you can stick to TBRs or if you struggle like I do.

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) All the Light We Cannot See

Uprooted The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1) Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2) A Thousand Nights (A Thousand Nights, #1) 

Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles, #1) Rebel Magisters (Rebel Mechanics, #2) Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1) 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Review - Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs

Spider Bones (Temperance Brennan, #13)
Series: Temperance Brennan #13
Genre: Mystery
Age Group: Adult
Source: Purchased used
Hardcover: 306 pgs
Scribner (2010)
Add it // Buy it

Rating: 3/5

John Lowery was declared dead in 1968—the victim of a Huey crash in Vietnam, his body buried long ago in North Carolina. Four decades later, Temperance Brennan is called to the scene of a drowning in Hemmingford, Quebec. The victim appears to have died while in the midst of a bizarre sexual practice. The corpse is later identified as John Lowery. But how could Lowery have died twice, and how did an American soldier end up in Canada?

Tempe sets off for the answer, exhuming Lowery’s grave in North Carolina and taking the remains to Hawaii for reanalysis—to the headquarters of JPAC, the U.S. military’s Joint POW/ MIA Accounting Command, which strives to recover Americans who have died in past conflicts. In Hawaii, Tempe is joined by her colleague and ex-lover Detective Andrew Ryan (how “ex” is he?) and by her daughter, who is recovering from her own tragic loss. Soon another set of remains is located, with Lowery’s dog tags tangled among them. Three bodies—all identified as Lowery.

And then Tempe is contacted by Hadley Perry, Honolulu’s flamboyant medical examiner, who needs help identifying the remains of an adolescent boy found offshore. Was he the victim of a shark attack? Or something much more sinister?

It has been a few years since I read a Temperance Brennan novel. It surprised me just how long it has been. I was a big fan of the show based on these books, and I think the show ending spurred me onto picking up this book. I've missed the murder mystery aspect even though the characters are very very different from the ones I know and love on Bones.

To me the focus of this book on POW and MIA soldiers was fascinating.  Knowing JPAC, the organization that helps recover these soldiers for their families, was real connected me to the story in a way I wasn't expecting. In the middle of reading I looked up this organization and looked at the numbers of still missing soldiers. It made me rather emotional about their work and those sections of the book. The mystery wasn't the strongest one in Reich's arsenal, but I couldn't pin it down and figure it out either.

Though I found the mystery and forensic anthropology aspects of these novels intriguing, the characters seem to spin their wheels. Katy, Brennan's daughter, is in the same position as she was several books ago. Tempe seems to be stuck since her marriage fell apart. Ryan is in and out because things with Tempe have gone bad, but he still works the cases. I'm just unimpressed with the character development over the books. I'd like some growth and change. Hopefully this holding pattern will break in the next few books!

Hopefully I'll check out the next book in a more timely fashion. Three years was too long. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Top Books on my TBR

Though I am excited about a lot of the books on my TBR, there are ones right at the top of the list even if they aren't the ones I've had the longest. These are just a few of the books I'm really excited to read, in theory, and hoping to get to soon. It doesn't mean that I will get to them tomorrow though. In fact, the way my book moods have been lately I'll be surprised if I pick up anything other than romance for a long time. I've been on quite the romance/paranormal kick.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

February Book Haul

This month I picked up quite a few books! I didn't mean to pick up so many, but the universe worked against me (or for me) and there were a lot of sales going on. I'm very excited about these new books and I'm hoping to read them soon. Of course, I always say that. This group though had some very exciting new releases and books I've been excited for a long time.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Review - Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

Rebel Mechanics
Series: Rebel Mechanics #1 
Genre: Alternate History/Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pgs
Published: Square Fish 

Rating: 4/5

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children's young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret. 

Recently I feel like I'm using the word delightful to describe all the books I've been reading. However, I don't think I can use anything else to describe Rebel Mechanics. I loved this first book in this series and I'm so glad I took the plunge and picked this up.

Verity is a feisty character who I really enjoyed following through her adventures in this first book. She does what she thinks is right even though she knows she is risking her job. I like how she is unique and integral to the rebellion, but she isn't a "chosen one." Even though she can be a bit naïve about her new surroundings, Verity is smart and quick to figure out problems. She uses her knowledge and her skills to help her though. I love her as our main character and her journey through this book was fun to follow.

There are several threads of romance in this book as well, but none of them are the main focus of the novel. Romance takes a backseat to revolution and activism for the most part. The writing might be the weakest part of the novel. It is a tad immature even for a young adult novel and I’m hoping things will improve in the next two books. I’m very excited to see where the story goes in the future and how the author balances the plot and the romance.

Overall this was a strong start. Even though there are some parts that follow tropes and are predictable, it is very enjoyable and fun to read. I’m completely engaged and ready to read the next book. (Good thing I’ve already picked it up, huh?)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

February Wrap Ups

February was a rough month for me so I'm glad to say it is over and move on! I had planned to post my first wrap up in the middle of the month, but it didn't work out that way. So they both went up this week. The first is a traditional wrap up. The second part of my wrap up is the reading vlog I made for the month. I hope you enjoy the vlogs. With my surgery in the middle of the month, things got a little messed up so I hope it still makes sense.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Prudence by Gail Carriger

Series: Custard Protocol #1 
Genre: Historical Paranormal Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Paperback- 357 pgs
Orbit - March 2017 

Rating: 4/5

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances - names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

Once again Gail Carriger kicks of a delightful series with a delightful set of characters and adventures. In this first book we follow the next generation as we pass the torch from Alexia to her daughter. International travel is once again on the table as Prudence takes on India and the perils of travel. Prudence is a little more reckless than her mother (I know I was surprised too) and she takes on the world in a whirlwind fashion. There is a lot going on, but it happens at a leisurely pace for the most part.

One of the things I like best about Carriger's series is her ability to integrate real history and her paranormal elements. India and Britain had a difficult relationship to begin with, but Carriger adds her own flavor to things. We also see some of the results of the bargains from the end of the Parasol Protectorate Series sixteen years down the line. The continuation and consistency is excellent. I really enjoyed the small glimpses of the old guard, but we never dwelled on them and jumped into the new story very quickly.

I imagine there are Easter Eggs in this story for the careful reader, but I am still trying to puzzle them out. I read this book in chunks that were spaced very far apart so in my mind the start of the story is a little fuzzy. I would have liked a little more clarity in regards to the resolution though in honesty I don't know if my confusion was because my gaps in reading or the author's text. Even so, the whole thing is delightful, entertaining, and fun. I can't wait to read volume two.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Eight Books I Could Re-read Forever

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Check out her site for future topics.

This week I didn't get ten titles. I probably could've found two more, but they wouldn't have been on the same level as these eight books. These are the ones on my shelves I've read time and time again. I will probably reread them even more in the future.


Persuasion by Jane Austen - I have been rereading this book every year since 2012 so it feels like I am rereading this forever. I adore it and I find something new in it every time I read it. Depending on the time of year and my moon I see the characters differently

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater - The audiobooks of this series are amazing. I love listening to them and I love relistening to them as well. This series is one of my favorites and I catch something new whenever I reread them as well.

Sabriel by Garth Nix - I just adore this series of audiobooks as well. The first three area just amazing audiobooks and I could listen to them forever.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas - This book is just so feels filled. I love the character development and how character focused this book is. The other two in this series are not quite the same, but I love this one.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini - I have reread this book so many times the book has started to fall apart! I love this first book. It is fun and easy to read and I have a lot of good memories attached to it. I've purchased a second copy so I can reread it again soon without losing any pages.

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout - One more book I cannot reread enough. I love the introduction to this series. Kat and Daemon fight nonstop and I love their dynamic in this first book. Even though it gets even better as we go along, the two of them are great in the beginning. I love rereading this and I can usually do it in just one day.

In the Past: 

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - No joke. In the first year of high school, before there was any other books in this series, I reread this book more than I can count. I recently found my copy and it was a disaster. The whole book has fallen apart. I probably wouldn't enjoy it if I read it now, but I loved it then. 

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - There was one summer where I read this book several times in a row. I couldn't get enough of analyzing the characters and picking apart everyone. I still enjoy this Austen work, but I can only read it once every few years now.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Unhaul #1 - February 2018

For the first time I've decided to film the unhaul of some books. I've donated and given away books before but this group of books were more mainstream. They were books I'd talked about recently or books that are popular so I decided to let you all know they are headed out the door. Most of these books are ones I've just decided I don't want to read. Some of them I've read and disliked.

I hope to comb through my shelves a few times a year and clear out things I've grown out of or lost interest in. So this could be the first of many!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Reads - February 23rd

This week a few library loans I've been really excited for arrived at the end of the week. First I received the email about Peter Darling by Austin Chant which is a trans-retelling of Peter Pan that I've heard a lot of good things about since it came out. I've read the first few chapters and really enjoyed it so far.

The Doctor's Discretion was available later that same day and I've torn through this short novel. It is just under 200 pages and I'm nearly done. This will done by the end of the morning I think. This is a historical m/m romance that is rather similar to An Unnatural Vice that I read last month. This story is working better in my opinion though. There is a good balance between romance and plot and I like both of the characters.

Peter Darling The Doctor's Discretion

The last thing I'm reading the another C.S. Lewis novel for book club. I hope I can finish this by Saturday night since that's when we are meeting! 

The Magician's Nephew