Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review: City of Fallen Angels

TITLE: City of Fallen Angels
Book 4 in the Mortal Instruments series
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: urban fantasy, romance, drama
SHORT PREMISE: Clary and friends are back in further adventures.
MY REVIEW: In the next book in the MI series Clary and friends deal with unresolved issues from the third one. People are murdering those within Valentine's circle, Simon's vampire statis is exposed to his mother, Clary and Jace are wondering if their love really is true, and so on.
Okay I'm honestly split on this one. On one hand, it's MI and I'm always up for MI even if the series is rather mediocre and cliche. What saved for me it was that it was fun and entertaining. But on the other hand I didn't see the need for this or any further books for that matter. I kind of think at this point Clare is beating a dead horse. She should have stopped after book 3 which tied everything up nicely. She should focus on Infernal Devices or just come up with something new. Because while this was still entertaining it really lacked focus and again I don't see why it was necessary.
I will be reading the next books in the series. Don't get me wrong because at this point I'm too invested in it to stop now, but honestly I sort of wish Clare would move on to another project because I want to see her put her skills to something else. This one is still good but I was not nearly as into it as the previous books.
WHO SHOULD READ: Those that have read and liked the first 3 MI books, Twilight fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five outlandishly dressed Magnus Banes

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Top Ten (8)

MY TOP TEN: Heroines That Don't Suck
Lets face it a lot of female leads in books nowadays are whiny and literally don't do much of anything. It's a very annoying trend that I wish would would stop but with the success of books like Twilight and House of Night it probably won't. But there are female leads who don't suck. Here are my top ten.

1)Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling-Without Hermione, Harry and Ron would have died a long time ago and the boys openly acknowledge this. Hermione is proactive, clever, is girly but not useless, and do not make her angry because she knows curses. Pretty much all the women in HP are great but Hermione is the ultimate.

2)Annabeth from Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan-Annabeth is another really smart girl who manages to keep Percy in check but also help him. She's the daughter of Athena and it shows in the great plans she comes up with. Also, don't mess with this girl, she has hero training.

3)Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-Katniss is kickbutt but compasionate and so inspiring that she helped ignite a second revolution across the 12 districts and eventually led the rebels to victory over the Capitol.

4)Lyra from His Dark Materials by Phillup Pullman-Lyra is badass. She went on a journey head on, faced down an army, different dimensions and even sacrificed her first love to keep the world from falling apart.

5)Alanna/Daine/Kel/etc. from Tortall by Tamora Pierce-The girls in the Tortall series were my idols growing up. Alanna was kick butt, Daine had awesome magic and arrow skills, and Kel was smart and kick butt. Pierce writes some of the best well-rounded female characters in YA. See also Tris, Sandry, and Daja from Circle of Magic.

6)Rose from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead-Rose takes some warming up to but you can't help but be charmed by her by the end of this series. She's kick ass but vulnerable at the same time and somehow manages to keep herself together during court plots, vampire attacks, and romantic drama.

7)Evie from Paranormalcy by Kierstan White-Evie is a charming character. She's naive but strong at the same time and just so full of life that you can't help but grow to love her and want her to be okay.

8)Sophie from Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins-Sophie is another character that's just charming. She tries her best with the hand that she's been dealt even when that hand she's been dealt sort of sucks.

9)Cam/Bex and co. from Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter-Forget princesses. These girls may go to a faux finishing school but in actuality they're training to be spies.

10)Gemma from the Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray-Gemma Doyle is one of the best examples of character growth that I can give. In the beginning Gemma isn't much but by the end she's pretty awesome. Has some of the best female characters in YA.

Adult heroines: Mercy Thompson, Alexix Tarrabotti from the Parasol Protectorate, Sookie Stackhouse, all the women from Women of the Otherworld, Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, Arya Stark and others from Games of Thrones.

Next Week: Favorite ghost books

Book Review: Wake Unto Me

TITLE: Wake Unto Me
AUTHOR: Lisa Cach
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Romance, fantasy
SHORT PREMISE: A girl time travels back and forth finding her true love.
MY REVIEW: Pretty much the summary is what this was about. Honestly this book was very dull and predictable once one got the gist of what the author wanted to do. Characters were flat, the writing was amateurish (especially when one realizes this author has written over twenty adult books apparently). In short it was uninteresting.
Granted the historical research in it was nice and I did find that interesting. But everything else? Not so much. Seriously, can we stop this time traveling to find your true love business? It didn't work in the Time Traveler's Wife, it didn't work in Timeless, and it doesn't work here. Find a new plot device authors, please.
Sorry, I'm just getting really tired of all these unimaginative plots I keep running into this year. It probably doesn't help that I read this after The Iron Thorn which was ten times more creative. Skip this one unless you really like time travel romances and even then I say just check it out from the library.
WHO SHOULD READ: romance fans, fans of the Time Traveler's Wife
MY RATING: Two and a half out of Five watches

Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review: Dreadfully Ever After

TITLE: Dreadfully Ever After
Sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
AUTHOR: Steve Hockensmit
GENRE: zombies, retelling
SHORT PREMISE: Elizabeth and Darcy return for more zombie killing
MY REVIEW: When Darcy gets bitten by a vampire Elizabeth goes in search of a cure for her husband. Pretty much about it.
Honestly I don't have much to say about this one that I haven't already said about the other two books. Writing is still bad, characters are still butchered, and it was still predictable as hell and slightly yawn worthy.
I really hope this is the last we see of the PPandZ because really there's no need for more. There wasn't even a need for this one but it's there. Only read if you were a big fan of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of this monster mash-up business
MY RATING: Two out of Five zombie attacks

Book Review: Abandon

TITLE: Abandon
Book 1 in the new Abandon Trilogy
AUTHOR: Meg Cabot
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: retelling, paranormal, romance
SHORT PREMISE: A modern retelling of the myth of Persephone
MY REVIEW: Pierce has died and come back and what happened in that short time she was dead still haunts her two years later. Because someone wants her back...
Abandon isn't so much a retelling of Persephone as it's a reimagining. Personally I liked it. It's not the best of Cabot's work. But it's still very intriguing and a good start to an interesting looking trilogy. I liked the different take on the underworld and the mythology. She still respected the original mythology but put her own spin on things and even more great, didn't ignore the fact that hey, not everyone believes in this particular religion so what about them? She also didn't ignore the darkness factor of the Persephone myth namely that hey he DID kidnap her you know? One thing that has always irritated me about Persephone retellings is they focus on the romance and tend to ignore the fact that he essentially kidnapped her against her will and that Hades is not an altogether decent guy (yes, Goddess Test, I'm looking pointedly at you). Cabot doesn't ignore the wrongness going on with that and I appreciate it.
Now the issue is this is very much a first book and thus it feels like we're only getting a prologue to a much larger story. But luckily that prologue is enough to really interest me so I'll definitely be reading the next books. No this is not the best of Cabot's ability but it's still a very nice start to an interesting looking trilogy that I'm keeping an eye out for.
WHO SHOULD READ: Cabot fans, fans of the myth of Persephone, mythology fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five apples

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (52)

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

Downloaded to Kindle:
Bonnie Pinkwater Book 1: The Witch of Agnesi by Robert Spiller-My mystery addiction strikes again...

From the library:
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford-Angel debut book that I've heard nothing about that looks interest.
Matched Book 1: Matched by Ally Condie-Finally sitting down and reading this. I hope it's actually as good as all the hype it recieved.
The Beauchamp Family Book 1: The Witches of East End by Melissa De La Cruz-So I wasn't that crazy about Blue Bloods but I'm giving this one a chance because it looks interesting. Maybe her adult books will be better then her YA ones, who knows?
The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker-A mystery that looks really interesting that I haven't heard much about.

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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Review: The Iron Thorn

TITLE: The Iron Thorn
Book 1 in the new Iron Codex Trilogy
AUTHOR: Caitlin Kittridge
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: steampunk, dystopian, fantasy, faeries
SHORT PREMISE: A girl goes on a journey to find her brother.
My REVIEW: Aoife fears going mad like her mother and brother in a world that looks down on things like madness and being an outsider. But then she gets mysterious letters from her brother that actually sound like he's quite sane and goes deep into unknown magical lands that her society has always warned people to stay away from.
After the yawning cliche that was Haven this book was very refreshing. Granted one or two things made me raise my eyebrow and I sort of found being told over and over again that Aoife was clever kind of annoying. But other then a few minor qualms this book was a delight. I mean it had actual plot and good writing and it was creative! A decent female (and male) lead! Intrigue, great world building, and I was interested all the way through which in a 400+ page book is no easy feat. I seriously don't understand why this hasn't gotten more attention because as far as I'm concerned it's one of the best debuts from this year. Of course the author has written adult books before this apparently so she has a wee bit of an edge but still, it's GOOD.
If you want a plot focused on romance, this may not be your book. But if you don't mind that, I totally recomend it. I cannot wait for the next book in this trilogy and I'm definitely going to be checking out the author's other books in the adult category.
WHO SHOULD READ: steampunk fans, dystopian fans
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five engine rooms

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Haven

TITLE: Haven
Book 1 in a new series
AUTHOR: Kristi Cook
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: fantasy, romance
SHORT PREMISE: A girl with visions gets sent to a magic school.
MY REVIEW: That premise I gave pretty much describes the book. She gets there, discovers everyone has gifts, falls in instant love with a guy who is basically Edward Cullen with a different name and not as sexist and of course he's a vampire.
The number one problem with Haven is that it is completely unoriginal. Emphasis on completely. Literally this book brings nothing new to the table. Magic school? Been done several times over and in better ways (see Harry Potter and Hex Hall). Girl falling for guy who turns out to be a vampire? Again, done several times (Twilight? Hello? Although at least this couple is somewhat tolerable). Girl in love with vampire learns it's her destiny to kill vampires? Done (see Buffy for a much better version of this). Then it has all the current YA tropes: plain girl gets hot guy. Instant love. Instant friends. Girl turns out to be uber special in the land of special people. Blah blah blah and I'm bored now.
I'm giving it more then one because this is the author's first book and there did seem to be some sort of plot in there that might (emphasis on MIGHT) lead to something more interesting in later books. The writing was also not bad for a first book and I did find the friends somewhat enjoyable even if they were totally stereotyped and underdeveloped. So maybe in the next book the author will have something more going on. Unfortunately she failed to make me care enough about these bland cookie cutter characters and therefore I will most likely not be bothering with the next book. Only check this out from the library if you're curious about it. Otherwise don't bother.
WHO SHOULD READ: Twilight fans, those not caring about lack of originality
MY RATING: Two and a half out of Five magic schools

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Top Ten Tuesdays (7)

My Top Ten Faerie books in no particular order

1) The Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr-One cannot discuss faeries without discussing this series. It has deep faerie lore in it and not sparkly happy faeries either. The dangerous seductive and destructive kind. This book series is responsible for me getting into faerie books in the first place.

2) The Tithe Trilogy by Holly Black-Not Black's best work (I still think that's White Cat) but this is a memorable series about a girl who learns that she's actually a changeling and goes to find the child she replaced.

3) The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa-An imaginative world involving a girl who learns she's the daughter of the faerie king and goes to find her missing brother. Full of cliches, yes. But highly addictive.

4) The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning-One of the best adult faerie series out there. Full of deep mythology, a hilarious hate/love relationship, and a murder mystery to boot. Just ended this year and is apparently getting a spin-off series which I can't wait for.

5) The Need series by Carrie Jones-This one is a interesting series about a girl fighting against her faerie relatives along with shifters.

6) Lament/Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater-A book about a girl falling in love with a faerie. Companion book is about the girl's best friend (who she totally doesn't deserve, just saying).

7) The Replacement by Brenna Yvonoff-A dark look at a town that's ruled by faeries and a boy realizing he's one of them.

8) Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog-A girl learns her boyfriend is actually a changeling.

9) The Spiderwick Chronicles-Faeries don't feature heavily into this series but they are present and many of the creatures in it are considered part of the fae so I'm counting this great children's series as a faerie book. In it three children discover their backyard is full of magical creatures.

10) Peter Pan/Disney Fairies books-Yes, I know, but one must discuss Tinkerbell when discussing faeries. I actually quite like the Disney faerie books for kids, they're cute, follow the Pan mythology and I adore the illustrations in them. Peter Pan is mentioned because well...that's where Tinkerbell comes from and many people's ideas of faeries come from Peter Pan.

Next Week's Top Ten: Heroine's that don't suck

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review: The Pale Assassin

TITLE: The Pale Assassin
Book 1 in the Pimpernelles series
AUTHOR: Patricia Elliott
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Historical fiction, drama
SHORT PREMISE: A young aristocrat deals with the horrors of the French Revolution
MY REVIEW: Young Eugenie is a well to do living in France during the brink of the French Revolution. She goes from rich to poor to persecuted and having to run for her life to England.
The Pale Assassin certainly is a well researched and well written book, sadly it's only interesting to those who actually want to know more about the French Revolution. For anyone not a historical buff...this book will probably be a tad boring. Part of the problem is the summary is very misleading. From the book's summary it sounds like Eugenie gets driven into the French Revolution fight and uses her brains in court intrigue and so on. Unfortunately that does not happen. Really Eugenie is basically a spectator to the horrible events and never really goes beyond that, except at the end when she flees to England. Thus...I was rather bored despite loving the detailed history that the author put into this novel.
So it's not a bad book persay, it just wasn't what the summary made it sound like and I kind of get annoyed when that happens. But I blame the publisher not the author for that because publishers write the summary. This book is good, but you have to have a taste for it. I'd recomend it to all history buffs for sure though.
WHO SHOULD READ: history buffs
MY RATING: Four out of Five gaudy period dresses

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (51)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at the Story Siren that tells people what new books we've gotten over the week.

Downloaded to Kindle:
A Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep-A new fantasy school-type series that looks fun.
Beautiful Creatures Short Story: Dream Dark by Kami Garcia and Margeret Stohl-A little disapointed I have to pay for this considering it's a short story but it's BC, I can't resist. Should tide me over till Beautiful Chaos comes out in October.
Firelight Book 1: Firelight by Sophie Jordan-Currently only 1.99 on Kindle guys! Since this is one I missed last year and my library refuses to get it this is a pretty good deal. Hopefully it's actually as good as the blogosphere gushed about.

From the library:
Spyness Mystery series Book 1: Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen-Yes, another random mystery series that I picked up on a whim. This one about a low ranking royal who is solving a murder. It looks really fun.
Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach-A debut from this year that seems to have been virtually ignored by bloggers. I'm hoping it's good because the summary makes it sound interesting.
Mortal Instruments Book 4: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare-Despite being somewhat mediocre I enjoy the MI series. I don't really see the need for more books because I felt the trilogy tied up nicely but I'm probably in the minority there. Hence I'm checking it out instead of buying to see if it's actually worth it. Honestly though, more looking forward to Clockwork Prince then this. I also kind of wish Clare would do something other then the MI world. But whatever, gives me something to look forward to I guess.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Review: Throat

TITLE: Throat
AUTHOR: R. A. Nelson
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: vampires, adventure, drama
SHORT PREMISE: A girl gets turned into a vampire
MY REVIEW: A girl gets bitten by a vampire and deals with the consequences of it. When her maker returns and threatens her family she runs away in the hopes of keeping them safe.
Throat is...odd to be honest. Some things I absolutely loved about it. For instance someone finally points out all the problems that come with being a vampire and how no, it's actually not very fun and there are severe consequences for it. It's not treated as glamourous or this fantastic thing to covet. I also liked that the vampires were actually scary, bloodthirsty, and violent.
What I didn't like was the main character. She was bland and boring and the entire book had that attitude of "all preps/popular people are horrible" that really bugs me in YA. Also there was ableism (much discriminatory comments about people with mental/health afflictions) that rubbed me the wrong way. Also I found it bizarre that there were vampires who were religious. Actually the whole religious thing in here was wierd and felt random in a book littered with violence. Also while it was nice seeing scary vampires, after awhile the violence sort of became ridiculous and felt like the author was trying too hard. Then the book just dragged and became uninteresting for about a hundred pages in.
Honestly this was a good start but it quickly fell apart near the middle. I do think this is a interesting take on the vampire genre and is definitely creative, I just felt it dragged on for too long and needed a lot of work. It felt like a rough draft of something much better. I'd recomend checking it out from the library and seeing for yourself though.
WHO SHOULD READ: vampire fans, fans of scary books
MY RATING: Three out of Five goth chicks

Book Review: The False Princess

TITLE: The False Princess
AUTHOR: Eilis O'Neal
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: fantasy, drama, mystery, adventure
SHORT PREMISE: A princess discovers she was actually a decoy for the real princess in danger.
MY REVIEW: Nalia learns that she was never actually a princess like she's been led to believe all her life. She was actually a stand in for the real princess who had a prophecy made about her death. Now she's sent away to live in poverty with an aunt she doesn't know and then soon learns a larger plot that puts the princess back in danger.
First off, it is so nice to see a new idea out there. This author thought outside the box and it wasn't full of the typical YA tropes you see out there. The main character is likable, you root for her, there's a plot outside of romance, and even the romance was sweet (even if it was a tad obvious). The world building was also very nice and interesting. Unfortunately it dragged because of juvenile writing, slow moving plot (interesting but slow), and rather predictable ending.
For a debut book this was very good. It just wasn't fantastic. I do however look forward to seeing more from this author in the future as her writing matures because she's definitely a promising one.
WHO SHOULD READ: fantasy fans, fairy tale fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five spells

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Top Ten Tuesdays (6)

My Top Ten Favorite Vampire Characters That Don't Suck (in no particular order)

1)Adrian/Dimitri/etc. from the Vampire Academyseries by Richelle Mead
Do I have to explain this one? If you've read VA you know exactly why these guys and gals are on this list. They are fun, complex characters and kick butt to boot. I for one cannot wait for Bloodlines.

2)Eric/Pam/Bill/and co. from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
I adore the vampires in Sookie Stackhouse for a couple of reasons. They're fun, they're interesting, and oh yes, actually scary. They do not apologize for who they are and are definite bad asses.

3)Dracula by Bram Stoker
Cannot have a vampire list without the original vampire. Everyone's idea of vampires come from this guy, whether you actually like him or not.

4)The vampires from Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine
Vampires that are actually evil. Yay. I don't think much of this series, but it's so nice having vampires back into their evil category and not as a love interest.

5)The vampires from Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Again, they're actually scary.

6)Bianca and co. from the Evernight series by Claudia Gray
These vampires were interesting to me for a variety of reasons. I liked that they had different views, not all of them cared about being nice to the humans, and all were interesting in their own little way.

7)The vampires from Infinite Days series by Rebecca Maizel
They were interesting.

8)Lucien from Insatiable by Meg Cabot
If you must have a vampire as a love interest, do it like Lucien. He's interesting, not completely moral because oh yes, he's a vampire, and has flaws. But is also rather sexy. I'm convinced Lucien is what Meyer was going for with Edward but failed because she tried to make him too perfect.

9)Jenna from the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins
I adore Jenna. She's fun, she's enamoured with pink and technology which is hilarious for a vampire, she likes girls and has a sexy girlfriend, and has emotional baggage and strength and interesting character history. In short, she's a nice change from all the sex on legs confidant vamps out there.

10)Lord Akeldama from the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
Another one I absolutely adore. Like Jenna Lord Akeldama is fun because of how much he's not like the vampire stereotypes out there. He likes bright colors, men, and giving pet names to humans just to annoy them and be contrary.

Next week's Top Ten: Top Ten Faerie books

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review: Airborn

TITLE: Airborn
Book 1 in the Matt Cruise series
AUTHOR: Kenneth Oppel
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Adventure
PREMISE: A boy finds adventure on a luxury airship.
MY REVIEW: Matt has been cabin boy on the luxury airship Aurora for a few years now and is slowly working his way up the ranks. On a routine flight they get boarded by pirates and he meets the daughter of a adventurer who claimed to see flying beasts.
I honestly don't have much to say about Airborn. I thought it was nicely written. There was a definite adventure feel to it and I adored Kate with every fiber of my being (even though sometimes I felt she was a little too perfect). But I think it suffered from dragging and the fact that it was a tad predictable.
I rec this one for younger teenage boys, anyone who loved books like Treasure Island, and anyone looking for a good adventure book.
WHO SHOULD READ: younger teenage boys, fans of Treasure Island
MY RATING: Four out of Five spyglasses

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In My Mailbox (50)

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

Downloaded to Kindle:
River of Time Book 1: Waterfall by Lisa T. Begren-Freebie on Kindle

From the library:
Haven by Kristi Cook-debut from this year that I wanted to read.
Pimpernelles Book 1: The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliot-historical fiction about french revolution that looks fun.
The Iron Codex series Book 1: The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittridge-Steampunk from this year that I hope is as awesome as it sounds.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

TITLE: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
Prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
AUTHOR: Steve Hockensmith
GENRE: zombies, retelling
PREMISE: The Bennet sisters learn how to fight zombies.
MY REVIEW: In the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies we learn how Mr. Bennett decided to teach his daughters how to train to fight.
Okay, I mildly enjoyed PPandZ. Was it badly written? Yes. But it was obviously meant to be a parody so I didn't outright loathe it or these other monster mash-ups that some have expressed hatred for. I will say, though they've gotten a tad out of hand lately (Little Women vampires? Really, guys?). So I don't loathe these. But nor do I think they're great stuff. They're kind of just there, you know?
So with some hesitation I got Dawn of the Dreadfuls at the big deal thing for 99 cents on Kindle. Like PPandZ it was just okay. I personally didn't understand the purpose of it because we already learned how the Bennetts trained in PPandZ, this was just unneccessary to be honest. I also didn't care for the further ruining of Mr. Bennett and the rest of the sisters or Mrs. Bennett herself. It's very obvious Hockensmith has deep character bias and you can tell in the treatment of the characters. It's annoying. Especially considering he takes the interesting character of Elizabeth and has basically made her a Mary Sue.
So I have misgivings, but these aren't really meant to be great literature so complaining about stuff like that is rather pointless. I honestly have no real opinion on this. It's just there. Some will like it, some will hate it. Me, I just sort of shrug at it.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, you like moster-class mash up thing going on.
MY RATING: Two and a half out of Five dreadfuls

Friday, August 12, 2011

Book Review: Timeless

TITLE: Timeless
Book 1 in a apparently new planned series
AUTHOR: Alexandra Monir
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: romance, time-travel, fantasy
PREMISE: A young woman time-travels back and forth between the past and the present.
MY REVIEW: Michele has just lost her mother and gets sent to live with her estranged grandparents. While there she finds a key that lets her travel back and forth between the past and the present and meets her soulmate. In the past.
Timeless had such a promising idea. I mean time-travel! I love anything to do with time-travel, when done in a good way (I just tried reading Time Traveler's Wife and HATED that so much that I couldn't finish it, hence why there's no review). Unfortunately the way in this book is wonky. Also it's rather lame. Now, bright side, the author did some research so there are no glaring historical gaffes. Unfortunately that does not help all the cliches found in here. Literally it's like the author took every cliche in the book and crammed into one story. It's unoriginal and the author's writing is the bland tell don't show kind that treats the reader like they're dumb. It's also very juvenile in tone and the dialogue is bad.
For younger readers who love Twilight, this book will be fun. But personally, I found it dull and predictable and completely unoriginal. Going to have to say skip this unless you don't mind cliches or figuring out how the story is going to go five chapters in. Why this is being made into a series I don't know, the ending was pretty satisfying to me. But what can you do? We live in a series world.
WHO SHOULD READ: younger Twilight fans
MY RATING: Two and a half out of Five keys

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Top Ten Tuesdays (5)

MY TOP TEN DYSTOPIANS (or Dystopian like books) in no particular order.

1)The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins-If you have not read this yet now is the time to do so since the movie comes out next year. I promise you, the hype is worth it. This series is wonderfully written, powerful, and despite what the fandom would have you think, there's more to it then the love triangle. Pick it up, you won't be sorry.

2)Life As We Know It by Susan Beth Pfeffer-This wonderful, little known book is about what happens to our world when a comet knocks the moon out of orbit. The result is some scary weather catestrophies and half the population being wiped out from tsunamis, harsh winters, and even lack of electricity. The author brings alive a scary but plausible world in a diary from a girl living through it all.

3)Delirium by Lauren Oliver-In this one, love has been declared a disease. The cure for it has been found and as a result too much emotion shown is seen as wrong. Lena can't wait to get the cure when she's old enough, but then she meets a boy and wonders if her world really does have the right way of thinking it. A powerful look at how love drives what humans do and well written to boot. I cannot wait to see how this all turns out in Pandemonium.

4)Incarceron/Sapphique by Catherine Fisher-In the future a government has a mechanical prison known as Incarceron where a man has been dumped with no memory of who he is. This technically is more steampunk then Dystopian but it still fits in the category.

5)The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan-A virus has taken over the future world and people have turned into living corpses. Mary lives in a scary world ruled by the religious sect but slowly begins to wonder if everything they're told is correct.

6)Wither by Lauren DeStafano-I hesitate to put this one on here because there are several issues I had with it, like sloppy world building. However it is a very interesting book with a promising start. I just hope the author solves some of the issues I had in the next one.

7)Across the Universe by Beth Revis-Another one I hesitate to put on here because it's honestly not the best. But it definitely is an interesting start even if I hope the author improves on the next book.

8)Matched-Haven't read this one yet. It seems something along the lines of Delirium where everyone gets set up with their most practical mate by the government. This is a popular one which is why it's on here despite the fact that I haven't read it. I do plan on reading it soon though. So stay tuned.

9)The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield-Another I haven't read yet but everyone says is really good. Westerfield is one of my favorite authors so I'm sure it is. Again, plan on reading soon. On here because it's super popular.

10)The Giverby Lois Lowry-Classic dystopian novel that one awards and everyone should read at least once.

Next week: favorite vampire books

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Review: Vesper

TITLE: Vesper
Book 1 in the new Deviants series
AUTHOR: Jeff Sampson
CATEGORY: Young Adult
GENRE: werewolfs, mystery, urban fantasy
SHORT PREMISE: A girl starts taking on a new personality during nighttime.
MY REVIEW: Emily is a geek and proud of it. After the other Emily in her school dies, she starts taking on a whole new personality at night though. It wreaks havoc with her life.
I honestly don't quite know what to make of Vesper. It was definitely a unique take on the tired werewolf trend and I really appreciated that the author didn't stereotype and oh hey, actual characters! There was also a nice healthy dose of intrigue going on here. I was just as confused about Emily as to what could be going on with her. That said, I'm still a tad confused about stuff. I don't feel everything was properly answered in the slightly rushed ending. However, this is a first book, so I'm thinking many more questions will be answered in the coming books to which I'm looking forward to because this was otherwise a well done intro and not bad for a YA debut.
For anyone looking for a well written unique take on werewolfs, I recomend this. If you happen to like a little more romance in your books, then this probably isn't for you. Like I said, it's a first book but this is definitely a promising start.
WHO SHOULD READ: Werewolf fans, those who don't mind a lack of romance
MY RATING: Four out of Five video gamers

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In My Mailbox (49)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that tells people what new books we've gotten or recieved over the week. Sorry this is so late, I had to work all day today and this is the first time I've been able to get to the net. For the record, tax free weekends are the devil. Just saying.

Bought books:
Insatiable Book 2: Overbite by Meg Cabot.-I loved Insatiable last year, it was one of my top ten of 2010, I can't wait to read this but will probably take a while because I still have o read Abandon as well as Game of Thrones beforehand and do you all know how big that book is?!
Prophecy of the Sisters Book 2: Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink.-Another one I've been eager to read but have waited to buy because I bought the paperback copy and I have this thing about all my books series need to be either all paperback or hardcover. Preferably I'd like them all to match cover wise but sometimes that's not possible.

Library books (I discovered my library has inter-library loan reserve! Squee!):
Timeless by Alexandra Monir.-I'm hoping this is not as smultzy as I fear.
Throat by R. A. Nelson-vampire book that I've heard basically nothing about.
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal-I've been wantint to read this since I heard the premise. I hope it's as good as it sounds.
Deviants Book 1: Vesper by Jeff Sampson-shifter book thing from Jan. Already finished and I really liked it. Review forthcoming.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

July in Review

Just realized I didn't do this for July, so here's a review of all the read books in July.

Airhead Trilogy Book 3: Runaway by Meg Cabot.-Trilogy complete. 4 out of 5.

The Blood Journals Book 1: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton.-New series, 2011 book. 3 out of 5.

Seven Realms series: Fire by Kristin Cashore.-Caught up in series. 4 out of 5

Hex Hall series Book 2: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins.-caught up in series, 2011 book, 4 and a half out of 5.

Wicked Lovely series Book 5: Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr-Series now complete. 2011 book, 4 out of 5.

Fever Series book 4: Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning-4 out of 5.

The Dark Lord of Derkholme by Diana Wynne Jones.-4 out of 5

If I Stay by Gayle Forman-4 out of 5

The Edge series: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews-New series started, 4 out of 5.

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney.-New series started, 2011 debut book, 3 out of 5.

Theatre Illuminata series Book 2: Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev.-Caught up in series, 4 out of 5.

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson-New series started (but probably won't be continuing), 3 out of 5.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman-4 and a half out of 5.

Vampire Kisses Book 8: Cryptic Cravings by Ellen Schreiber.-caught up in series (and probably won't be continuing), 2011 book, 3 out of 5.

Dresden Files Book 1: Storm Front by Jim Butcher.-New series started, 4 out of 5.

Finished in July but reviewed in August:

Fever series Book 5: ShadowFever by Karen Marie Moning.-Series now complete, 2011 book, 4 and a half out of 5.

By the numbers:
YA books read-9
Childrens/Middle-Grade books-2
Adult books-5
Total books-16
Series started-4
Trilogys/series completed-3
Series/trilogys caught up on-5

Ditched books not reviewed because I couldn't finish them due to horribleness: Switched Book 1 by Amanda Hocking (seriously, she got a million dollar book deal WHY?), Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer (couldn't stand main character and that made it difficult for me to want to continue)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Review: Dead Reckoning

TITLE: Dead Reckoning
Book 11 in the Sookie Stackhouse series
AUTHOR: Charlaine Harris
GENRE: urban fantasy, vampires, werewolves, faeries, romance
SHORT PREMISE: Sookie is back in the next installment of the series behind True Blood.
MY REVIEW: You know it amazes me when people say nothing happens in a Sookie Stackhous book. I mean really? No there wasn't much romance in this one or the last one. That's because Eric and Sookie are together. They still have plenty of problems though and being Sookie her life is hardly ever quiet.
I mean in this book alone, she deals with Sandra Pelt (yes, again), her bond with Eric breaking, secrets in her family life including the fact that her telapathy was actually given to her, Eric and Pam stage a coup and she winds up in a bloody battle and even her relationship with Eric gets in trouble because it turns out Eric is betrothed to the Queen of Oklahoma.
So nothing happened? Honestly people, I'd hate to see what you guys call a exciting book. By now most people have probably figured out if they're a Sookie fan or not. If you've enjoyed the books and are still sticking with it carry on. If not, carry on. I for one can't wait to see what's in store next. In the meantime I'll console myself with True Blood.
WHO SHOULD READ: Sookie Stackhouse fans, True Blood fans, Charlaine Harris fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five coffins

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Top Ten Tuesdays (4)

MY TOP TEN URBAN FANTASY BOOKS/SERIES (in no particular order):

1)Women of the Underworld series by Kelley Armstrong-This series centers around women in various parts of the underground supernatural world. It switches from woman to woman about every four books or so and in some cases comes back to a woman for a book. So far there's been a werewolf woman, witches, demons, and many more. They deal with mysteries and the supernatural and have a little romance thrown in. Armstrong has been one of the top writers in the genre for a few years now and this series proves why.

2)The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs-These books are about a woman named Mercy Thompson who is a Coyote shape shifter garage owner who deals with the neighboring werewolf pack and daily mayhem from faeries and vampires in a world where the supernatural has been outed and people aren't taking it well.

3)The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris-Harris has been writing for years and with these books, it's easy to see why she's popular. Sookie is a small town girl who can read minds in a world where vampires have come out of the closet (so to speak) now that there is a synthetic blood they can drink and shifters are just making themselves known. When a vampire named Bill moves in next door Sookie's quiet lay low life is changed forever. Unless you've been living under a rock you know these are the books the hit show True Blood is based on. While I adore True Blood the show doesn't hold a candle to the books.

4)Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman-A man enters a underground London full of magic and mayhem when he helps a mysterious seemingly homeless girl. If you have not read this book that put Gaiman on the map (as well as Sandman Chronicles) then do so immediately. You won't be sorry.

5)The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger-In a alternative Victorian London where vampires and weres cohabitate with humans Alexia is reaching old maid stage and finds herself involved in a mystery and consorting with all sorts of people her proper mother just wouldn't approve of. This series is hilarious and is urban fantasy if Jane Austen were to write it.

6)The Curse Breakers series by Holly Black-Cassel is part of a family of Workers (people with particular magic gifts) who are apart of the mob. Determined to leave that life behind, Cassel has enrolled in a school where his only major crime is the betting pools he runs. Sadly, no one told his family he was out of the business. A fascinating well written series by the awesome Holly Black. I also recomend Tithe.

7)The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher-Harry Dresden is a PI who is the only publically working wizard in Chicago. This long series involves Dresden's cases and is good old fashioned PI mystery series with magic thrown in.

8)The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane-A lesser known series about wizards that help slow down planet Earth's death by various tasks. This series is a fascinating blend of fantasy, realism, and science fiction. I wish it were more popular, but there you go.

9)The Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr-A series about fae politics that (to me anyway) is fascinating and imaginative.

10)The Paranormalcy series by Kierstan White-A hilarious series about Evie, a girl who works for an organization that moniters fae, shifters, and all sort of creatures.

Next week's Top Ten: Dystopians

Monday, August 1, 2011

Book Review: Shadowfever

TITLE: Shadowfever
Book 5 in the Fever series
AUTHOR: Karen Marie Moning
GENRE: urban fantasy, romance
SHORT PREMISE: Mac's journey comes to an end.
MY REVIEW: All that Mac has been working for comes down to this. Finally we get answers as to who killed Alina (ouch, guys, just ouch), semi-answers to what Barrons' deal is, a conclusion to the epic war, and yes even Barrons and Mac finally stop bickering long enough to resolve their UST. Sort of.
The Fever series has been an interesting ride for me. I discovered it when the first book was being offered for free on Kindle and downloaded. I liked it but at the same time I was wary of the sex and felt that dragged down the quality a bit. I still sort of think that to be honest but hey, what can you do? At the very least, it adds plot developement of a sort and is hot so it could be worse. By the third book the series felt like a complete turn around and pumped up all the stuff in terms of writing, quality, and storyline. Now I pretty much love this series and will whole-heartedly recomend it to anyone.
If you've read books 1 through 4 you know what to expect. Shadowfever is one wild whirlwind of emotion from beginning to end and I must say Moning brought it in this. Also, it looks like there's going to be a spin-off! ;crosses fingers and prays it's about Dani;. This is a must read for all Fever fans. For anyone who has looked at this, please give it a chance. Especially if you're an urban fantasy fan.
WHO SHOULD READ: urban fantasy fans, those that have read books 1 through 4
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five evil demon books