Scattered Reading Saturday *1*

Normally, I tend to only read one or two books at a time, a print and digital one. Sometimes, there’s three when one is being read in the background like a book for the Goodreads group. But today as I was looking at the stacks of books that were growing in my house, I decided to just read a little from some of the books I wanted to get through. So today my reading was all over the place-scattered. Here is what I was reading today:

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

Binti:Home by Nnedi Okoraafor

Ash by Malinda Lo

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

And

Ring of Fire by Susan Fox

I may pick one of these to focus on Monday, but I plan to do some more scattered reading tomorrow, I kind of like reading this way. Or maybe it’s the books that I like.

 

Always Shine!

 

Series That I am Currently Reading and Would Like to Finish This Year

This year I set the goal to finish 10 series and so far I’ve completed 3. Of course, I thought that I would be finishing series that I had already started, but it appears that I have started quite a few new series in the course of reading books for review and a couple of my reading projects.  But these are the ones that I plan to complete.

  1. Patrick Bowers by Steven James- I am about to pick up the third book in the series.  I have the next 5 books, need to get 2 more (one is already out and another is slated to be released soon).
  2. Harry Potter by JK Rowling – I am on book 4.
  3. Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – Man! I wish that I read this book when I originally received it for review. Though this had been on my radar, I picked this one up for my Kindle Clean Up project. I am currently reading the first book, but I know that I will probably marathon this trilogy.
  4. Guild Hunters by Nalini Singh- I read the first book because I wanted to read one of the later books in the series, and I can’t wait to continue on with this series.
  5. The Guardians by Nora Roberts- A friend gave me this trilogy to borrow because they thought that I would enjoy it. I read the first one and loved it. I had planned on finishing the trilogy immediately but had review books that I needed to finish. But I plan on finishing this trilogy this month (July).
  6. Stork series by Wendy Delsol – I read the first one a long time ago, because I received the second book for review. Now that I am doing the Kindle Clean Up project I will complete the trilogy, this is the next title for the project.
  7. The Others by Anne Bishop- I read the first book and loved it, then immediately went out and purchased or pre-ordered the rest of available titles. Then promptly (unfortunately) forgot about it. But I plan to catch up with this series this year.

 

Not that if this is not enough books to keep me busy for the rest of the year I do have three other series that I would like to complete. All the books are out AND I own all of the books so there’s really no excuse.

*Nadia Stafford by Kelley Armstrong

**Circle series by Ted Dekker

***Hollow Earth by John Barrowman

Review: Dark Exodus by Thomas S. Sniegoski

dark exodus

Dark Exodus by Thomas S. Sniegoski

The Demonists #2

July 11, 2017 – Roc

Purpose: Review

Source: Netgalley

4.5 stars

I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Mild spoilers for the first book

Wow! This book turned everything that I knew or assumed on its head. In this installment, John and Theo have realized that what happened the previous Halloween wasn’t an accident, someone had manipulated them to be at the house and to find the jar of demons there. Now they are trying to find out who it was and why, while other infernal incidents vie for their attention. New characters join John and Theo’s team, old characters have bigger parts and the infernal side gathers new followers and minions.

But, everything isn’t as it seems.  In this one, as the story progresses we get more backstory for a couple of the characters. This allows us to see more of the bigger picture, and all the reasons that we make it to the ending the way that we do. We also see that the clear line between the infernal and the divine is not as clear as we suspect it to be. Each of the characters are faced with their own set of challenges and obstacles, as the infernal manipulate and move along in the background.

And I loved every minute of it.  I was surprised at some of the things that were happening, wondering how I had missed so much. While almost everything seemed to be wrapped up at the very end, it’s not. There are seeds for what is going to happen, some of the challenges/temptation that the characters will face in the next book. And I have to say that I can’t wait for it. This was just as engrossing as the first book, if not more so. More emotional strings were pulled and while other sides may or may not be clear, I was still rooting for John and Theo’s unconventional group to save the day.

 

Always Shine!

Review: Pinned by Sharon G. Flake

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Pinned by Sharon G. Flake

October 1, 2012 – Scholastic Press

Source: Personal Collection

Purpose: #offmybookshelf, #blackwritersmatter

4 stars

Autumn is the only girl on the wrestling team.  She is a super star on the mats but failing in the classroom. Adonis is the team manager and an exceptional student. But, he was born without legs. If I had to describe the book with one word it would be real.  The writing had a nice rhythm. The characters were distinct and relatable. Adonis was a bit conceited, but still understandable.  Both of the characters have their own issues that they need to work through. Autumn and Adonis are both soaring in one area and struggling in others. Autumn’s issues stems from her inability to read. This is due to the fact that her parents were always moving around during her educational foundation years, and they didn’t really care.  So it doesn’t appear that she is dealing with a disability. But Adonis is living with a physical disability. He is accepting of it, but overcompensates by attempting to be perfect in every area of his life. Flake handles both of these issues realistically and respectfully, as far as I can tell from an outsider’s perspective. This was a pretty quick read but it was packed with  so much.

 

Top 7 Books I’ve Read So Far

Top 7 Books I’ve Read and Would Recommend so Far

I thought that now would be the perfect time to review the books I’ve read so far, and see which books have stayed with me.  Though these are supposed to be books, there are three exceptions….

Borderline (The Arcadia Project, #1)The Ballad of Black TomGame of ShadowsMagic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)Binti (Binti, #1)Princeless, Vol. 1: Save YourselfOur Talons Can Crush Galaxies

 

  1. Borderline by Mishell Baker- this is a book that I picked up because of my Awards project. It was nominated for the Nebula, and I completely understand why. While I had heard about this book previously it was in a vague “Ooh I’d like to read this one day” kind of way. Millie was a character that I really liked, though she is completely flawed. I have already ordered the next book in the series and can’t wait to read that!
  2. That Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaVelle – this is the first exception, since this is a novella. But this is something else that I picked up for my Awards project. This was nominated for both the Nebula and the Hugo. LaVelle is an author that was never on my radar, but now I want all of his books. I’m excited because he has an assortment of books to choose from; short story collections, novellas and full length novels.
  3. Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis- this was a book that I was given for review, and I loved it. I want to say that this is the first book by this author, but I could be wrong. Either way, I am looking forward to the next book.
  4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor- Again, this is a novella. It’s something that’s been on my radar for a while, but I picked it up when I received the second one for review. I really liked this story, and I can’t wait to read the second one. (I don’t know what I’m waiting on since I have it ready to go….)
  5. The Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews- I didn’t read the entire this series this year, but I read the last two or three books this year. I am eagerly waiting for the next book, unfortunately I will have to wait a year.
  6. Princeless Volume 1 Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley – This is a graphic novel, and it’s a re-read. I really enjoyed it and while I tend to not collect graphic novels, this is one that I will collect.
  7. Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander- this is the final exception, as this is a short story. I was surprised that I loved this short story so much. But it was exceptional. I hope that Bolander plans on writing a full-length novel soon. This is another story that I read because of my Awards project, it was nominated for the Nebula.

Well, these are my favorites so far. And I would recommend all of them to everyone. I have been pretty happy with all of my reading so far this year. I am still surprised that I have enjoyed the picks for the Awards, I didn’t expect to enjoy every single book. But I’ve only been reading the shortlist for the Nebula. Next, I will read the shortlist for the Hugo. After that I’m going back in time in reading the shortlist for the very first Arthur C. Clarke award, so we will see how that goes.

 

Review: The Secrets You Keep

secrets you keep

The Secrets You Keep by Kate White

March 21, 2017 – Harper Paperbacks

Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Adult

Purpose: Review

Source: Requested from the publisher

2 stars

I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion,

Bryn Harper is recently recovering from a car accident that she can’t remember. She is now living full time with her husband of two years. What was once a working commuter relationship is now beginning to fray around the edges. When the chef from the catering company hired for a dinner party ends up dead, Bryn’s world begins to come undone and the man she thought she knew reveals himself as a stranger.

First, I want to say that I really like the idea of this story. It was what caught my eye and caused me to reach out to the publishing company for the chance to review it.  Unfortunately, I have to admit that I found that the writing was a bit formulaic and it was easy to predict what was going to happen. Within the first 50 pages, I was aware that there was something off. Either Bryn had to know more than what she was saying or the author, White, was working overly hard to make us look in a certain direction.  Psychological thrillers, if done correctly, will leave me questioning everything that I had assumed to know about what was happening in the book. With this story though, I could spot what the author was doing immediately. Psyc Thrillers work the same as magic, it is a subtle nudge to look in one direction while the truth lies in the other.  With this book though, the author heavy-handedly told where to look. This made me look in the opposite direction. Because of this, I knew the big reveal almost 300 pages before it happened.

With that being sad, I continued reading, because it was interesting to watch Bryn flail desperately throughout the rest of the story. I wanted to see how the messages of her dreams played out in the full scale of the mystery. Again, that was disappointing. And the ending? The most disappointing of all. The story unravels and then ends. But then as an afterthought, White adds a chapter to tie up all of the loose ends still hanging around at the end of the story. Not only that, but even after all that Bryn has been through we see about to make the same choice/mistake that she made to get her in the position she was originally in. You would think that she would have learned more from her experience and attempt to be a bit more cautious. You would think that she would not immediately jump from one stranger to the next, and yet. She does.

If I hadn’t picked up another book by White, I would confidently say that I wouldn’t read her again. But, I came across one of her older titles for a steal of a dollar and couldn’t pass on it. So, maybe I will ty her again a little while from now and see if The Secrets You Keep was just a fluke.

Always Shine!

 

Review: The Demonists by Thomas S. Sniegoski

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The Demonists by Thomas S. sniegoski

The Demonist #1

April 5, 2016 – Roc

Purpose: Review

Source: Requested for Review

 4.5 stars

I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Click on the image for Goodreads summary.

It is the hope that in the end, good will overcome evil. John and Theo are one of the many defenses that keeps the demons from overstretching their domain. Theo becomes a literal and physical defense as the demons have taken up residence inside of her. John’s search for a way to save his wife takes him across the globe, and into deeper darkness than he was aware possible. But there is so much more going on, and it may be more than the couple can handle.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have been wanting to pick up something by Thomas S. Sniegoski for a long time, and I am glad that I finally did. This is a blend of fantasy and horror, heavy on the horror. Especially depending on your own personal beliefs. With stories about vampires and werewolves, it’s easy to dismiss. But stories of demons? These hellish entities are written in the core of almost every religious belief, even if the practice of exorcism has disappeared from our modern eyes. Paranormal stories of ghosts, benign and malevolent spirits are especially creepy, since most everyone has experienced something that defies logical explanation at some point in their life. And it’s this familiarity that Sniegoski uses to makes it easy to accept Theo’s situation and the potentially real danger that the missing kids face.

The world in this book is our world, the only difference is that the spiritual veil has been removed for certain people. We are able to see behind this veil through their eyes. And it isn’t pretty. Scaly demons. Inhumane strength. Undulating flesh. It’s all here within the pages, waiting to feed on fear and twist dreams into nightmares. Fast paced and characters that invest you  in the story and the fate of the world.

If you’re looking for a good story, that keeps you on the edge of your seat I would recommend this one. I would also recommend it if you enjoy reading the works of someone with a very twisted imagination. I can’t wait to start the second book in the series and I am sure that I will be reading his other series sooner rather than late.

Always Shine!