Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review: Revolution

TITLE: Revolution
AUTHOR: Jennifer Donnelly
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Historical fiction, drama
PREMISE: While dealing with the death of her brother a girl finds a diary dating back to the french revolution...
MY REVIEW: Personally, I liked this book a lot better then the rather over-praised Northern Light. But that is just me. Both books have really good writing in them, it's just that Revolution was ten times more interesting to me then Northern Light. It also was free of the obvious messages that weren't terribly subtle in NL. Now I will say some may find this boring because there's very little romance, sometimes Andi's angsting got annoying (but she got better at least), and occasionally the book was slow so this is not your usual YA book. I also found the ending chaotic and hard to buy but at least it was satisfying.
But on the whole this book is really good. I found the history stuff really interesting because she goes into a part of the french revolution most people don't go into: the aftermath. It was nice to see fully fleshed out characters for a change (Vijay was my favorite) and it was nice to see that rarety of plot points: ACTUAL character growth. It does exist! It was also nice seeing an author do actual research beyond a google search.
Again not a perfect book but defenitely an interesting one. I look forward to whatever Donnelly writes in the future. I would love see her tackle Victorian England for instance.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Northern Light, history buffs
MY RATING: Four out of Five diary keys

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In My Mailbox (37)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that tells people what books we got over the week. All the links in this post go to the book's Amazon page if you want more info.

Bought (yes, I broke my book buying ban but only cause I'm not sure when I'll get to a B&N next and that's the only place around here I could find these books):
The Curse Workers Book 2: Red Glove by Holly Black-LOVED White Cat and I can't wait to read this but there are several books I need to read before it so it'll take awhile to get too.
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney-Debut author challenge book that I can't wait to read. How pretty is that cover? I tell you, paperback book covers have come a long way in the past few years.

From the library:
Across the Universe Book 1 by Beth Revis-Yes, I finally got my hands on a copy of this. Another debut challenge book that I've been waiting for at the library because I'm generally wary of super-hyped books like this one was but I do hope this one is as awesome as it sounds.
Shadow Walkers by Brent Hartinger-2011 LGBT book that looks really interesting. Can't wait to read.
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper-2011 book that I've been wanting to read.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book Review: Nightshade

TITLE: Nightshade
Book 1 in the Nightshade series
AUTHOR: Andrea Cremer
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: werewolves, urban fantasy, romance
PREMISE: Calla is a alpha wolf bound to marry Ren but then she meets Shay...
MY REVIEW: This book is a perfect example of why I don't buy into hyped books. When it came out everyone and their mother was gushing over it so I was curious but hesitant because the plot sounded like pretty much every other YA romance fantasy book out there. Turns out I was right to be hesitant because this is basically pretty much more of what is already out there. It's not completely hopeless because I did find some of the world stuff interesting (a little off-putting but interesting) and for the first few chapters I did like Calla. For the first few chapters. The writing is also passable but could use some polishing.
The biggest problem about this book for me is that it's honestly just more of the same old that we've been seeing and not terribly original at all. Love triangle? Check. Stereotyped characters? Check. Girl confused about what she wants? Check. This book is seriously nothing new. The second issue I had with it was Calla herself. At first she was kind of awesome. I love the idea of alpha female wolves. I dug that and related to how she hated to wear dresses. Bur then suddenly it felt like she was Alpha in name only. Because what happens when males show up? She defers to them. That includes Shay the guy who told her to fight for her independance (but then quickly had no problem bossing her around when he became a guardian) and when the guys are gone the pack that she's supposingly in charge of doesn't really listen to her so how is she an alpha exactly? Because from where I'm sitting she's not. It doesn't help that about 80 percent of this overly long book (of which about 50 percent of it could have been cut with no problem, seriously writers: EDIT) is Calla fretting over whether she should go with Ren or Shay both of whom she kisses and flirts with at the same time. Not cool.
Then there's the pack. I have so many issues with the pack politics in this it is not funny. First off the way they treat women reeks of sexism but the women are okay with it and go along with it. Hell, Calla doesn't even see anything wrong with it till Shay points it out to her! What? Feminism never happened here? Then there's the way the Keepers treat the Guardians. Basically, they treat them like slaves and THESE ARE THE GOOD GUYS. I'm sorry I'm supposed to root for good guys who keep slaves (and those slaves never protest?)? I'm sorry, but NO. On top of this, none of these characters are compelling in any way, they all are two-dimensional stereotypes.
The writer did try, I'll give her that and I am keeping in mind that this is her first book. But still, from all the praise heaped on this book I expected a much better book then THIS. Younger Twilight fans will probably eat this book up. But everyone else? This book is pretty much a waist of your time.
WHO SHOULD READ: Tweens, Twilight fans
MY RATING: Two out of Five flowers

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Review: Warped

TITLE: Warped
AUTHOR: Maurissa Guibord
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: unicorns, mythology, fantasy, romance
PREMISE: Tessa's father purchases an unusual tapestry and case of books. After pulling a thread from the tapestry a young man appears in her bedroom...
MY REVIEW: I admit, so far the 2011 books have been kind of ho hum for me. The only ones I've been truly excited about are sequels to last years stuff (Red Glove, Overbite, The Gathering, Iron Queen, Clockwork Prince/City of Fallen Angels) or authors that I'm already fans of (super excited for Abandon by Meg Cabot). None of the new stuff has really thrilled me aside from maybe Unearthly but even Unearthly looks very similar to everything else that is out there. Lets face it, angel books are dime a dozen these days. So Warped was definitely a pleasant thrill for me that I wasn't expecting.
It's not a perfect book. The romance is a tad rushed (but still fun), and plot gets somewhat chaotic at times and writing is about average. But for a first book this is some good stuff. It helps that the author has imagination and is thinking outside the vampire/werewolf/angel/faerie love triangle box that most YA authors seem to be stuck in nowadays. It also really helps that this book has lots of things that make me giddy: unicorns, time travel, past lives, wyrd sisters (love those broads), snarky couple, a female who uses her brain and has personality, and an awesome sidekick (Opal was my favorite in this book, she had all the best lines). As an added bonus the plot was interesting, the characters interesting and fun, a great sense of humor too it (did I mention I love Opal?), and again: creativity.
Again, I admit, not totally perfect but definitely enjoyable and I look forward to more from this author. From the looks of the ending she's setting it up for a series and I really hope that happens because I want more. But I'd be up for just more of her books period and won't complain if she writes something else instead. This is definitely one of the better debuts this year.
WHO SHOULD READ: Team Unicorn folks, fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five tapestrys

Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Review: Dead Beautiful

TITLE: Dead Beautiful
Book 1 in what is apparently a planned series
AUTHOR: Yvonne Woon
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: zombies, paranormal, romance
PREMISE: Renee's parents die and she's sent to live at Gottfried Academy where students are disappearing and she meets the mysterious, gorgeous Dante.
MY REVIEW: So this doesn't turn into a huge rant, I'll say the nice things about the book first. One is the cover. It's very pretty. Two, the mystery part was actually mildly interesting and it was nice to see Renee be proactive which is a nice change from all these passive female heroines. I also appreciated that at least Dante wasn't a semi-abusive jerk for a change and yay for no love triangles.
So the book isn't completely hopeless. However, that still doesn't save it from being mediocre. First problem is that the author is very poor at creativity. She doesn't think outside the box very much and as a result this book is basically a obvious Twilight rip-off that's trying to be Twilight mixed with Harry Potter but is really Twilight mixed with Evernight/House of Night with allusions to Harry Potter but no where near as good that series. The other issue is the writing. We have yet another Stephanie Meyer admirer. Spare me. Don't get me started on the ridiculous names in this book either. Really, the guy's name is Dante Berlin. Then there's names like Genevieve Tart (who is naturally the mean girl, hence the last name Tart), Professor Mumm (who is of course the horticulture teacher). UGH. Yes, Harry Potter had random names like this but Harry Potter was a magical world and most of those names had meanings and made sense in a world full of witches and wizards. This book takes place in the REAL WORLD other then the zombie thing. Therefore these names feel and look ridiculous. While I'm at it, what the hell is up with this school's curriculem? I know it's a private school, but private schools have to follow the standard curriculem as well, the only reason they're a private school is that they follow a higher standard then regular schools (and you have to pay tuition to go there). But the point is they still have to teach regular things like biology, calculus and so on. They most certainly would not teach stuff like they're teaching at this school because then they'd probably lose certification. Also, that lights out rule makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. Don't get me started on how they have a no dating policy and get away with it. Please. Oh, and school files generally don't have people's height, weight, and hair color on them. School files are for things like medical records and grade records from past schools. Amen. They don't go into parentage or looks at all. Do some research.
It's random things that make no sense like this that really drag this book down. As well as the yet another female lusting after a male and obsessing over him. I could go on about how horrible I find it that Renee flunks her Latin tests on purpose just so Dante could continue to tutor her and how this is not a good message to send to teenage girls nowadays who get enough crappy messages already. The thing is, this book had promise and could have been much better if the author had put in more effort and took a good look at the little details and have gotten a good editor. But unfortunately this is apparently the norm nowadays. I do not approve.
WHO SHOULD READ: Twilight fans, House of Night fans, zombie fans
MY RATING: Two out of Five school uniforms

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My Mailbox (36)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that tells people about what books we got this week. All the links in this post go to the book's amazon page if you want more info on them.
All I have are library books this week because as I said, I'm on a book buying ban till I finish at least ten of the ones I have that I haven't read yet.

From the library:
Nightshade Book 1 by Andrea Cremer-2010 book I've been meaning to read but didn't want to buy in case I ended up hating it. Due to the mixed reviews there's about a fifty percent chance of that.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly-Another 2010 book I wanted to read but didn't want to buy because I was just okay about Northern Light.
The Hollows Book 1: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison-Been hearing really good things about this adult series and my library FINALLY had the first book in.

That's it for me this week. What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review: The Last Olympian

TITLE: The Last Olympian
Book 5 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
CATEGORY: Childrens/Middle-Grade
GENRE: adventure, drama, fantasy
PREMISE: The battle with Kronos finally comes to a head in Manhatten with Percy and his friends in the center of it all.
MY REVIEW: I know there are a lot of haters for this series and all I can say is haters to the left. Yes, I give that it's not terribly complicated and the writing could be better and messages less blatant. But I still say it's an enjoyable series that sets out what it's meant to do: get reluctant readers to enjoy reading. Riordan never set out to topple Harry Potter (no matter what the media and Potterhead fans claim) he just set out to prove that Potter wasn't a fluke. That kids can enjoy reading something that isn't Harry Potter. For that, I applaud him.
Frankly I enjoy this series and Riordan's spins on mythology. There are many sly jokes and nods to mythology and yes, some of the jokes are obvious but they are still funny. I also love the characters, particularly Grover and Annabeth. The action is exciting, you're never confused about what's going on and like I said it's just plain enjoyable. I don't know how anyone can not grin at stuff like Demeter, Persephone, and Hades argueing like a regular family(Demeter would totally be the annoying mother-in-law type, wouldn't she?).
So yes, this series isn't crazy original or even that complicated but I'm sorry, I like it. I think it's a nice solid series that is fun and entertaining without being patronizing to it's audience and throws in some deeper stuff like not ignoring family and whatnot. I think this was a nice ending to Percy Jackson's story and I can't wait to read The Lost Hero finally as well as the second Kane Chronicles book.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that have read the first 4 books, mythology fans, fans of The Kane Chronicles
MY RATING: Four out of Five hero items

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Review: Faefever

TITLE: Faefever
Book 3 in the Fever series
AUTHOR: Karen Marie Moning
GENRE: urban fantasy, faeries, drama, romance, mystery
PREMISE: Mac finally starts to take matters into her own hands when she learns that Barrons has been keeping quite a few things from her.
MY REVIEW: Okay, Moning. I'm now officially a fan of this series. I've been on the fence about this series in the first two books because while I did find it intrigueing I wasn't thrilled with how Mac seemed to let everything happen to her and the sex stuff sort of made it feel a little trashy to me (no offense) plus I was confused about world building and such.
But now Moning has cleared up the world building and I love that she's brought all this mythology into it because now it makes it more real. Mac starts taking matters into her own hands in this and relationships are heavily tested, particularly the one between Mac and Barrons. I am now starting to really love this series. Also, holy cliff hangers, Batman!
Yes, Moning, you definately brought it in this book and have erased my doubts. I still have some issues with writing and the sex but they are minimal now and the good far outweighs the bad in this series. Can't wait to read Dreamfever and Shadowfever now.
WHO SHOULD READ: Sookie Stackhouse fans, Kelley Armstrong fans, Patricia Briggs fans, Kate Daniels fans, fans of urban fantasy
MY RATING: Four out of Five faerie spears

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book Review: Chime

TITLE: Chime
AUTHOR: Franny Billingsley
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: historical fiction, drama, fantasy
PREMISE: Briony is convinced that she is a dangerous witch who ought to be hanged. Don't believe her? Here's her story.
MY REVIEW: I'm honestly not sure how to go about reviewing this. Because here's the thing. Chime is a very good book writing wise. The characters are well fleshed out, the world is unique, the prose are lovely. The thing is...I can't highly reccomend it because I know that this is one of those books people will either love or hate. It won't appeal to everyone and honestly even I wasn't that crazy about it but I did see that it was a good book, it just didn't appeal to my taste.
The main issue is that the narration and way of speaking in this book is odd and slightly frusterating to me. I know in my head that the author did this for a reason and I respect that but it was still frusterating because I spent much time trying to figure out what was being said instead of enjoying the story. It was like being back in English class and trying to decipher Shakespeare. Another frusteration was lack of details. I am STILL trying to figure out what time period this book takes place in cause I honestly have no clue. I know it's not modern times but it's not in the witch hunting era like I'd originally thought because Sherlock Holmes is mentioned. I'm sorry, I like knowing stuff like this, it helps me get a better feel for a book. Then there's the fact that it was honestly just boring a lot of times. I found myself starting to skim through it a lot. When that happens it means I'm bored with your book and want it finished.
So is it horrible? No. Like I said, it's very well written and parts were definitely interesting however, I can't highly rec it because I know there will be a lot of people who won't like this and be mad that I raved about it. Plus like I said, it was a tad boring at times. So in short it's good book but it's not for everyone.
WHO SHOULD READ: those not afraid of quirky books
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Review: The Mermaid's Mirror

TITLE: The Mermaid's Mirror
AUTHOR: L.K.Madigan
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: mermaids, drama
PREMISE: Lena has always been drawn to the ocean and to the idea of surfing but her strict father won't let her. When she disobeys him she discovers it's not just overprotectiveness that makes him keep her from the ocean...
MY REVIEW: This book reminded me of two really old Disney Channel movies: Riptide Girls and The Thirteenth Year. Riptide Girls because of the whole father won't let daughter surf due to family secret thing and The Thirteenth year because of person discovering their real mother is a mermaid. Thankfully this is much better then those two very silly movies (seriously if you can find them, watch them...good times, especially The Thirteenth Year which was one of the first Disney Original movies ever). Still, though it's not...that great either.
Honestly the whole thing was rather predictable. I did enjoy Lena I will say. Especially when she hung out with her friends but honestly there isn't much to say about this book. It's sweet. That's about it. There's no great romance (I actually hated how she completely falls for Nix and then dumps Kai even though she probably had more in common with him then with a merman who she had maybe a handful of conversations with and honestly can't even BE with), there's no groundbreaking plot ideas or writing. This book is just sort of there.
If you're in the mood for a cute mermaid story then this book is for you. But if you want a little more substance and're probably better off looking elsewhere. Actually, I think I'm going to try and give mermaid books a shot now that I'm done with angel books. So expect more in the future.
WHO SHOULD READ: Mermaid book fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five fish tails

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Mailbox (35)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that tells people what new books we got over the week. All the links in this post go to the book's Amazon page if you want more info on them.

Downloaded to Kindle:
Switched Trilogy Book 1: Switched by Amanda Hocking-Hey, my book buying ban didn't include Kindle books. I want to see what the fuss is about especially as this author apparently just got a major book deal so I have a feeling she's going to be super popular soon. If you want to read her before she becomes Stephanie Meyer or Cassandra Clare her trilogy is currently only 99 cents each on Kindle right now.

From the library:
Warped by Maurissa Guibord-2011 book that looks cool.
Dead Beautiful Book 1 by Yvonne Woon-book from last year that I wanted to read but never got around to it but lo and behold my library finally has a copy. Yay library.

That's all I got this week. My mailboxes will probably be small for awhile as I'm on a book buying ban till I whittle down my to read pile of owned books to at least three.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Book Review: The Demon Trapper's Daughter

TITLE: The Demon Trapper's Daughter
Book 1 in the Demon Trappers series
AUTHOR: Jana Oliver
CATEGORY: young adult
GENRE: angels, urban fantasy, drama, romance
PREMISE: Riley is a girl in a world of demons determined to prove that she can trap demons just as well as her father...
MY REVIEW: I'm a little split on this book to be honest. A lot of it I dug. I will also say this author has a lot of potential because if this is her first book then we're in for some great stuff down the road when her writing really improves. But again, it was a first book so there are issues. Characters are not as well fleshed out as they could be, especially the minor ones like Harper who were two-dimensional (and in Harper's case, needed to go die in a fire). Plot also sometimes dragged, there were YA tropes abound, and sometimes Riley angsted way too much. Also some of the world building was rather confusing at times.
But this series has definite promise. It's not uber fantastic yet, but I did find a lot of it intrigueing and Riley was pretty enjoyable (when she wasn't being bratty) and there are some definite mysteries that I'm curious about and look forward to solving in the future books.
Note to younger teens though: this book has lots of swearing, slight adult situations/jokes, and drinking so if you have issues with that sort of thing you may want to avoid this. But for older teens who can handle it you may enjoy this. The next book in the series comes out in Fall of this year.
WHO SHOULD READ: Buffy fans, urban fantasy fans, Holly Black fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five demon traps.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review: The Iron Queen (contains spoilers)

TITLE: The Iron Queen
Book 3 in the Iron Fey series
AUTHOR: Julie Kagawa
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Faeries, fantasy, romance, drama
PREMISE: Meghan thought she was done with the Nevernever but they aren't quite done with her yet...
MY REVIEW: I admit, I was slightly surprised at how this book ended. Not completely because from the title and previous books it was kind of obvious Meghan was going to become the Iron Queen it was just a matter of how it played out. I was surprised that the author let there be consequences though, namely that she would have to give up Ash AND Puck. I think it was pretty gutsy of Kagawa to end it the way she did because she easily could have found a way for Ash and Meghan to be together despite her being the Iron Queen but she didn't and I am kind of glad she didn't because it made it more realistic and plus, we now get more books that from the looks of things, focus more on Ash and (hopefully) Puck which I'm all for. Nothing against Meghan, but I just enjoy the Ash and Puck rivalry (or as my inner slasher calls it, the UST) more then I enjoyed the overdramatics of the Puck/Meghan/Ash love triangle.
If you've read the first two Iron Fey books, you already pretty much know what to expect from this series. Much adventure into fun faerie worlds which is much of the appeal for this series for me anyway. Lots of questing, and of course romance thrown in because it's YA. Original? Not exactly but Kagawa does spin a good story and the humor in it is fun (I LOVE Grimalkin) and she has a lot going on so that makes the books a page turner.
Honestly this book for me was a tad better then the previous two and I'm definitely now looking forward to Iron Knight which comes out in November (just in time for my birthday! I know what I'm asking for now). I highly rec this series for all fans of faerie books.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that have read the first 2 books, Wicked Lovely fans, Tithe fans, faerie book fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five faerie swords

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book Review: Changeless

TITLE: Changeless
Book 2 in the Parasol Protectorate series
AUTHOR: Gail Carriger
GENRE: Urban fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, romance, drama, vampires, werewolves
PREMISE: London gets in an uproar when all the supernatural creatures become...not supernatural. Following clues, leads Alexia to her husbands old pack...
MY REVIEW: I fell in utter fangirl love with the Parasol Protectorate series last year and it took me awhile to get to this one but I got here and wow, I loved this just as much as the first. Carriger expands on her world building, adds in new characters (I LOVE Madame Lefoux), and there are a few surprises here and there.
I will say one twist in the ending I didn't care for mostly because I felt it was rather out of character but I trust the author has a plan. I also will admit the middle of the book sometimes dragged.
But overall this is an excellent addition to a series that is already one of my favorites in the urban fantasy genre. I can't wait to read Blameless which is sitting on my shelf right now waiting for me to get through my other books and the fourth book Heartless comes out this summer. It's one of my anticipated summer releases (along with the sequel to Insatiable by Meg Cabot, Supernaturally by Kierstan White, and too many others to name but it's going to be a good summer bookwise).
WHO SHOULD READ: Those that have read Soulless, Jane Austen fans, historical fiction fans, urban fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five of Ivy's ugly hats

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book Review: Crescendo (contains spoilers)

TITLE: Crescendo
Book 2 in the Hush Hush Trilogy
AUTHOR: Becca Fitzpatrick
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: angels, mystery, drama, romance
PREMISE: Nora breaks up with Patch and then starts to dig deeper into her father's death and uncovers secrets she's not sure she wished to know.
MY REVIEW: I confess myself pleasantly suprised once more by this. The author took this in a direction I wasn't expecting and managed to surprise me. Also, her writing has improved. Still not perfect by any means. There are YA tropes abound in this, Nora angsts over Patch way too much for my taste but at least she doesn't go around saying he's the perfect boyfriend, and sometimes the plot felt too similar to the first book. Like Fallen, this series tends to get compared to Twilight and many people say it's a rip-off and a poor one at that. Also like Fallen this is unfair. This is ten times better then Twilight Twihards, I'm sorry but that's the truth. While I don't deny there are similarities, this author is actually competant and weaves a good story.
One of the things I appreciated in this (and wasn't expecting) was Nora breaking up with Patch. Wow, a female who instigates a break up, that's new. Granted, I didn't care for her wishy-washiness about it and overdramatics afterword but I at least understood where she was coming from and it was nice seeing a girl go "hey, we're kind of in a messed up spot right now and even if we're not what future do we have anyway?" Another pleasant surprise for me was the Marcie feud subplot. In the first I found Marcie to be a horribly 2-dimensional mean girl, but Fitzpatrick actually has started to give Marcie depth and I love that she pointed out that Vee and Nora are just as vicious to Marcie as she is too them so it's not a one-sided thing. I also was surprised by the way the investigation into Nora's father went. I won't give it away but it was a decent twist. I can't wait to see the repurcussions of it in the next book.
Look, I give that this trilogy isn't terribly original and Patch could definitely use some more character. But this is a hell of a lot better then Twilight people. Please stop calling it a rip-off. For that matter, please stop comparing everything to Twilight to begin with. Unless of course the book is obviously trying to market itself to Twihards then I say go for it. I personally look forward to the next book which comes out in October.
WHO SHOULD READ: Twilight fans, Fallen fans, angel book fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five angel wings

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Review: Kitty and the Midnight Hour

TITLE: Kitty and the Midnight Hour
Book 1 in the Kitty Norville series
AUTHOR: Carrie Vaughn
GENRE: urban fantasy, werewolves, vampires, paranormal, drama
PREMISE: Kitty unexpectantly starts a radio show that caters to the supernatural.
MY REVIEW: I confess I was pleasantly surprised by this. Due to the cover and recent burn outs in the urban fantasy genre I went into this book with low expectations. But the author surprised me a lot with this. I will say the writing isn't all that great and it had that everyone against the main character trope that I'm finding is a common theme in urban fantasy and I must say I don't particularly care for it. Also, people (not me) may be bored by the lack of romance in this book.
But Kitty herself is enjoyable. She's sassy (WITHOUT being a bitch to everyone she meets may I add) and it's great watching her gain more confidence and independance in herself. I'm sure some won't care for it but I loved the angle that the author took with the pack and abusiveness because when you really think about it, the Alpha bossing everyone around like it normally is in werewolf books kind of is abusive. It was so nice having a female wolf recognize and fight it all the way. Oh and we actually have a female with a BRAIN who cares about issues and others. Thank you.
This book is by no means brilliant but it's definitely one of the better urban fantasy books out there. I look forward to reading the rest of this series and trying out the author's YA books. She just released one this year called Steel which looks really cool.
WHO SHOULD READ: Women of the Otherworld fans, Patricia Briggs fans, Kate Daniels fans, urban fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five radio mikes

Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Review: The Devil Inside

TITLE: The Devil Inside
Book 1 in the Morgan Kingsley series
AUTHOR: Jenna Black
GENRE: Urban fantasy, paranormal
MY REVIEW: My main issue with this book which is by no means the only issue) is that I severely dislike the main character. Had I actually liked and enjoyed Morgan, I'd have given this book one more star above the one I'm about to give it. I'm sorry, if I don't like the main character it's hard for me to like the book, especially if said book is in first person POV. By all rights, I should like Morgan. She's sassy and does what she wants and yeah that's great. My problem comes from the fact that she's basically a bitch to EVERYONE. Not just bad guys or people who are mean to her (which in this book seems to be everyone for some reason) but people who are trying to help her and hell, even her supposed best friend but of course best friend turns out to be against her too so I guess that's okay? Don't get me started on her lousy treatment of her boyfriend. It's bad when you want the boyfriend to dump the MC. It didn't help that honestly she didn't have much strength and guts to back up her bitchiness. She practically has all the men she hangs out with do the tough stuff for her and frankly beyond the bitchiness there was no personality to speak of.
Then there's the constant sex scene in every other chapter, the semi-abusive relationship that was Adam and his boyfriend, and the random lets have everyone gang up on Morgan plot. Now I do concede if it weren't for the (poorly written) sex scenes, awful MC, and the disturbing Adam relationship I might have dug this book more. The world-building is interesting and there does seem to be some buildup going on.
Unfortunately as it stands, I don't like the character enough to give the next book a try and see if this gets any better. I must say I'm disappointed too because I bought this author's YA book Faeriewalker before I read this. I really hope that's much better then this otherwise I'm going to be mad about the money I wasted.
WHO SHOULD READ: Anita Blake fans
MY RATING: Two out of Five demons

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In My Mailbox (34)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that tells people what new books we got over the week. All the links in this post go to the book's amazon page if you want more info.

ebooks via Net Galley:
Mercy by Rebecca Lim. From Disney Hyperion (thanks) that looks like it's an angel book and I know I said I was done with these but this one looks promising and I've had good luck with the Disney Hyperion books so I'm looking forward to reading it. It'll be released May 17th for those interested.
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab-From Disney Hyperion (thanks) that looks cool and will be released August 2nd.

Pre-Orders via Kindle:
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.-Currently being offered for free on Kindle starting April 12th. Been meaning to check out Johnson's stuff for awhile. This seemed like the perfect oppurtunity to do so.
Wings by Aprilynne Pike-Another being offered for free on Kindle starting April 5th. Also another I've been meaning to check out for awhile and can now do so for free.

From the library:
Chime by Franny Billingsley-I practically squeeled when I saw my library had this. Been wanting to read it since I heard about it. I also believe this is a 2011 YA debut.
The Mermaid's Mirror by L. K. Madigan.-2010 book I've been meaning to read and now have the chance too.

So that's all I've got this week. What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Book Review: Entice

TITLE: Entice
Book 3 in the Need series
AUTHOR: Carrie Jones
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: faeries, romance, drama
PREMISE: Zara does her best to bring Nick back to the mortal world.
MY REVIEW: Some of you may recall I was enthusiastic about Need but lukewarm about Captivate. Now I'm just getting further disappointed with this series. It started off SO promising and refreshing but now it's like every other YA book series out there.
For example in the begining, Zara was independant. She was perfectly all right on her own and had goals and aspirations. Now she's all Nick, Nick, Nick twenty four seven. and frankly Nick? Not that great. Zara's mother used to be interesting but now she's basically become the two-dimensional mother from hell that I'm obviously supposed to hate and there's next to no character developement for Zara's friends or even Zara herself. Oh and once again: love triangle. Because we don't have enough of those going around. One thing I really wish the author would address (but probably won't) is the out right prejudice that Zara's friends and even Zara herself have against faeries. I kept waiting for Zara to call her friends out on it, I mean this is a girl who hates injustice, right? But never happened. Hell, she even understood why her friends suddenly don't trust her just because she's now a pixie. That just really rubbed me the wrong way.
I am not totally giving up on this series. Because maybe it'll pick up in the next. Although, I honestly thought this was the last book. But I guess not. I just hope in the next one there's actual character developement and that the author addresses some of the issues I mentioned. There are still some good things about it. I'm just getting frusterated with the lack of character stuff.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that have read the first 2 books, faerie fans, fans of Iron King, fans of Twilight
MY RATING: Three out of Five iron forks

Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Sphinx's Queen

TITLE: Sphinx's Queen
Book 2 in the Nefertiti series
AUTHOR: Esther Friesner
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Historical fiction, drama
PREMISE: Nefertiti continues her journey to becoming queen.
MY REVIEW: Okay, I liked this I really did. The writing is great as always with Friesner, the character is a refreshingly strong female, and the historical aspects were wonderful. The only problem is it was predictable. There were no surprises here so I had very little motivation to continue it other then the good writing and likable main character.
Does it make it a bad book? No. Because like I said it was good. It's just predictable and thus I really don't have much to say about this book. Other then I want another Helen of Troy book but I don't think that's going to happen. Or I want her to do another historical woman. Perhaps a english royal this time? I'd love to see her tackle any of the great women from history personally.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that have read Sphinx's Princess, historical fiction fans, fans of Tamora Pierce
MY RATING: Four out of Five sphinxs