November Reading Part 1

I stopped doing wrap-ups a while ago, they are too long to do as blog posts. Or they had been. So then I started doing quarterly check-ins, highlighting my readings. Sometimes I would a bunch a books that were just okay, and so it seemed pointless to just say that over and over. But this month, books have been sort of a hit or miss with me. So I thought that I would check in now and talk about them. I want opinions on some the books.

What I’ve Read:

Shadowshaper (Shadowshaper, #1)

Shadowshaper (Shadowshaper#1)by Daniel Jose Older 5 stars– This was a re-read for me. I listened to this one on audio and enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time I read the book.

Shadowshaper (Shadowshaper, #1)

Archangel’s Consort (Guild Hunter#3) by Nalini Singh 4 stars– This is one of those series that I randomly picked up and ended up really enjoying.  I liked this installment very much and can’t wait for the next one.

Just a Kiss (Summer Harbor, #3)

Just a Kiss (Summer Harbor) by Denise Hunter 3.5 stars -This is the last in a trilogy, so a series that I was able to knock out before the end of the year. While this was not the best thing that I had read this year, it was refreshing and easy. It was a quick read and I still very much enjoyed it.  This is an old Netgalley title that I had, so a review will be posted shortly.

Currently Reading-

The Unleashing (Call of Crows, #1)

The Unleashing (Call of Crows) by Shelly Laurenston– I heard about this series from a Book Riot podcast, and immediately requested it from my library. I finally picked it up and I am surprised at how much I like it. I will be finishing it tonight, and I am pretty sure it’s going to be 5 stars. The humor is what hooked me, along with the premise that it’s about women tapping into and following their anger.  (Finished and loved it!)

Can't Help Falling by Kara Isaac

Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac– This is the second Isaac book that I’ve read. One that I immediately wanted when I finished Close to You. I am sad that it has taken me forever to pick up this title, as it is another that I have from Netgalley. But, I am happy to be reading it. It’s a sweet romance with humor, and blunders and mistakes.  (Finished and loved it!)

Books that I’ve Not Yet Finished-  These are books that I’ve started but have set aside for one reason or another. Let me know if there is one that I definitely need to finish before I officially decide to DNF or not.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

A Throne of Glass (A Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Mass – This is a book that I am reading for my #offmybookshelf project. Honestly, this book isn’t bad. But it also isn’t very good. I mean, if I didn’t have a million other things that I was dying to read I probably wouldn’t mind reading it. But I’ve spent two weeks with this book and I am only halfway through it. Whereas, I picked up The Unleashed yesterday and I’m going to finish it tonight. Yes, I know that some books take longer to finish then others, but there’s no reason it should take me this long to get through 400 pages.  If this was a library book, I’d dnf it and move on. My indecision comes from the fact that this is my book, and I own the next two plus the book of novellas.

The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance

A Memory of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson- This was a Clarke Award Nominee, so it fits in my goal to read all of the Clarke and Nebula award nominees and winners. I have heard of Robin and had been meaning to read something of his. But, this book is a bit off putting. It is all about music, and I often find myself tuning out for paragraphs or pages at a time. From what I have read, it is a bit interesting, just not enough to hold my attention for a long time.

Warrior Women

Warrior Women edited by Paula Guran-  I have no idea how I heard about this anthology. I know that as soon as I heard about it I requested it from the library. The first two stories grabbed my attention immediately. I stumbled through the third one and that was when my attention started to lag. This is one that I am pretty sure I’m coming back to at a different time.

Books I Dnf’d

Black Goat Blues (The Mythos War #2)

Black Goat Blues (Red Right Hand #1) by Levi Black- To be honest, this is a series that I had been meaning to get to for a while – since the first book came out. But I didn’t pck it up until I was selected to be a part of the blog tour. I started the first book,  Red Right Hand, fully expecting to enjoy it.  I didn’t make a quarter into the book before I DNF’d it. It was too repetitive, I didn’t like the character and the plot -at that point- was too vague for me to care. The only reason that I picked up the second book was because I was selected for the blog tour and they had already sent me a review copy. I did try to read it, depsite of what I thought about the first book. Unfortunately, I DNF’d the second book for pretty much the same reason I dnf’d the first one.

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims (Adventures of Rush Revere, #1)

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims by Rush Limbaugh-  I picked this book because I am looking for fun and interesting ways to introduce and teach history to my kids when we get there in homeschooling. I wanted to get multiple perspectives. But I made it to the middle of the second chapter before I put this one down. The main character just sounds pretentious, and there was too many flaws with the time-traveling aspect for me to take it serious.

Always Shine!

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Book Chat: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1)

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber 

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1

June 6, 2017 – Thomas Nelson

Source: BookLook Bloggers

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

Rating: DNF 

If you want to know what this book is about, you can click here for the Goodreads Summary.

To be completely honest, I cannot say that this was a bad book. I can say that I was hoping and expecting something a little bit more. The idea was a great idea, it was just poorly executed. I really wanted to like this book, and I made it halfway through before I decided to put it aside. There were things happening, and the story was moving forward. But, I still didn’t know very much about the characters, what was happening or even why it was happening.

I really wanted to like this book, at least enough to finish it. But, that was not the case.  If I had finished, I know that the rating wouldn’t have been higher than 3 stars, but it was currently sitting at a 2. Would I consider coming back to this book? Possibly, but not anytime soon.

 

Always Shine!

Review: Imaro by Charles Saunders

Imaro

Imaro by Charles Saunders

Imaro #1

February 1, 2006 – Nightshade Books

Source: Library

Goodreads Summary 

This is my first Charles Saunders book, and I am hoping that this is not my last, but I am not sure if I will continue with the  Imaro series, since it is out of print and my library only carries the first two.

This is the story of Imaro, it starts with Imaro being left with his mother’s peoplelyassai, the I on the condition that she leaves the tribe and never comes back.  He struggles with being accepted by a group of people who have no interest in accepting him. Despite that he is a stronger and more capable warrior than anyone else in the Ilyassai tribe, they reject him. This is in part their own dislike for Imaro, since his is not a full Ilyassai, he is known a son of no father because his father is unknown. The other reason for their dislike is due to their sorcerer, who is aligned with the Mashataan, demon gods, manipulating their minds.

His stories is a continual push and pull of Imaro trying to strike out on his own, his subliminal search for a group of people he can belong to and be fully accepted by and his attempt to find the Mashataan and the Sorcerers of Naama. The Sorcerers and the Mashataan appear to be after him, though the reason is never fully disclosed in this installment. This story is saturated with African traditions and legends and takes place in a place that mirrors a pre-colonial Africa.

I enjoyed this story, a lot more than I anticipated. This is a classic hero tale, with the exception that the main is character is not white. There are a lot of bloody battles, love and the struggle for Imaro to be true to himself and to find his people.  By placing Imaro’s story in Africa and adding its legends and traditions, Saunders has added a rich and vital element to the fantasy genre.

Imaro’s journey is not complete, it has just started. There are four books in the series but only the first two books have been reprinted.  That is why I am not sure if I will continue with the series. I enjoyed this book, and want to know what happens next. But if book 2 ends like the first one, I will be left wanting to know the ending of a story that essentially will not end.  Either way, I will be reading more Charles Saunders.

 

Always Shine!

First Impressions: The Blind by A.F. Brady

 First Impressions: The Blind by A.F. Brady

September 26, 2017 – Park Row Books

Purpose: Review

Source: Edelweiss

DNF

The premise sounded interesting, that’s what initially caught my intention. From what I read, this is the story of Sam who is a psychologist who works in a tough mental institution. She is known for taking the cases no one else wants or can handles. The new patient that is admitted comes with a bunch of rumors and very little facts. When I started reading it, I couldn’t get into it. The writing was simplistic. Being inside Sam’s head was boring. It was not what I was expecting, and not in a good way. While I was curious about how the story would unfold I was not curious enough to continue.

 

Blog Stop: Ferocious by Paula Stokes with a Giveaway

Ferocious

Ferocious by Paula Stokes 

Vicarious #2

August 15, 2017 – Tor

4 stars 

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

The Link for the giveaway is at the end of the post.  Do you like book trailers? You’re in luck, there a Book Trailer for FerociousBook Trailer for Ferocious!

Today is my stop for the blog tour, if you want to check out other stops click here!

Synopsis 
 

Paula Stokes returns to the world of Vicarious in this sequel, a high-action psychological thriller with a protagonist out for vengeance.

When Winter Kim finds out that her sister is dead and that she has a brother she never knew about, only two things matter―finding what’s left of her family and killing the man who destroyed her life. Her mission leads her from St. Louis to Los Angeles back to South Korea, where she grew up.

Things get increasingly dangerous once Winter arrives in Seoul. Aided by her friends Jesse and Sebastian, Winter attempts to infiltrate an international corporation to get close to her target, a nefarious businessman named Kyung. But keeping her last remaining loved ones out of the line of fire proves difficult, and when all seems to be lost, Winter must face one last devastating decision: is revenge worth sacrificing everything for? Or can she find a spark of hope in the darkness that threatens to engulf her?

 
Praise for VICARIOUS

“Combining elements of sci-fi and mystery, Vicarious is an expert blend from an author gifted with the ability to jump genres and stick the landing every time.” ―Paste Magazine

“A total mind-bending thrill ride, with a heroine who’s as smart as she is strong. Readers will love Winter!” ―Lindsay Cummings, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zenith and The Murder Complex

“Reading Vicarious is like tiptoeing across a field of landmines. Blindfolded. Stokes delivers enough adrenaline to make readers beg for mercy.” ―Victoria Scott, author of Titans and Fire & Flood“An action-packed thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end–I couldn’t put it down!” ―Kristi Helvig, author of Burn Out and Strange Skies

“Vicarious by Paula Stokes is a fast-paced thriller that grabs your attention on page one and doesn’t let go. The main character is a fresh take on the usual heroine in YA novels.” ―Julie Bond, Sales &Marketing Manager/YA Specialist, Read Booksellers

“This is the thrill ride you’ve been waiting for all summer.” ―PopCrush

“Pulse-pounding adventures and high-tech blend masterfully with romance, intrigue, and current issues, making this book completely captivating for any audience.” ―VOYA, starred review

“Stokes delivers fans of suspense a story full of twists and turns…The author admirably handles graphic and disturbing material in a subtle way.” ―School Library Journal

“A powerful kick-ass girl caught up in a high-tech, twisty mystery…Buckle up, this thrill ride travels at breakneck speed.” ―Justine Magazine

“Smart twists and turns…smart sci-fi worldbuilding. Complementing the mystery is a slow-burn love story between Winter and Mexican-American Jesse Ramirez, a fellow stunt artist. Their relationship is tender and complicated, with enough tension to sustain itself and enough heat to pop when things pay off.” ―Kirkus Reviews

My Thoughts:
I am not sure what I was expecting or hoping would happen. But, I can say that I got more than I expected.  And I am not sure what I can talk about without giving anything away.  So, I will do my best to be as thorough as possible, but really you should check this series out.
Book 2 picks up right where the first book left off. Winter is still trying to deal with everything that happened and all of the new information that she got-literally pages from the end of the first book. So, I am very glad that I already had the second book and could jump right in.  This new information takes her from St. Louis to Los Angeles to Seoul.  Along the way Baz and Jesse join her, and offer her their assistance in her mission.
Man, it so much harder to not give things away than I thought that it would be. I enjoyed this book so much more than the first one. The stakes were raised immediately from the beginning and that tension was well-maintained throughout the story. I like Winter in this one, she is more real. She struggles trying to figure out who she is in this world now that she knows that what she thought was true isn’t. The attraction between her and Jesse is cheesy at times, but for the most part it is stuttering and awkward -as it should be.
Thought the content of the books make it weird to say that I enjoyed it, I did. And I will be keeping my eye out for more from Stokes.
Always Shine!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious and Girl Against the Universe. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

Photo Content from Paula Stokes

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 10 Winners will receive a Copy of FEROCIOUS by Paula Stokes.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!!!!! CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 

First Impressions: The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne

The Paradise Prophecy

The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne 

July 21, 2011 – Dutton

Purpose: Review

Source: Netgalley

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

DNF

This is about the war in heaven continuing on Earth. It sounded really good when I read the synopsis. When I finally started reading the book though, I knew that I wasn’t going to finish it. Within the first twenty pages there were two sexual encounters for no apparent purpose. It was awkward and pulled me out of the story.  I have no problem with sexy times in a story, but if it’s not a romance then there should be a reason why it’s there. It should fit into the story and not ” Oh I don’t know what else to write so I’ll throw in a sex scene!” Maybe there was more to this story, but I lost interest in finding out.

Always Shine!

Featured Book Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

Featured Book of the Month: Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

August 8, 2017 – Amulet Books

Purpose: Review

Source: Publisher, Netgalley

 5 stars

Goodreads Summary

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

Genie Lo is your typical seventeen-year high school student. She studies extremely hard and is doing everything that she can to ensure that she can go to a top-tier school and get herself out of the Bay area. Then she meets, Quentin, a very strange new student who has set his eyes on her.  And the multitudes of demons that are trying to overtake her town. Quentin than begins to clue her in that there is more to her than meets the eye.

Okay, so the premise of a teen suddenly discovering that they have powers and are expected to become the savior of the world is not all that original. Do not let that deter you. Because this book is so much more than that. This book had me laughing out loud while reading this. Even if I was in public. Genie Lo is, by far, one of my favorite characters this year.  Her biting humor pulled me into her orbit, making me wish that she was a real person. Then there is Quentin, the monkey king has returned to Earth because of the increase of demon activity in the Bay Area and because he recognizes Genie Lo’s aura. This story is steeped in Chinese folklore and culture. Sometimes discussing the culture, or the stereotypes of the culture with humor.  Genie Lo bumbles around destroying demons as she re-discovers her powers. Quentin is awkward initially, but we soon see it’s just a ruse.  Genie’s interactions with Quentin were hilarious and warm, like joking around with a long -time friend. He’s an awful teacher, but a pretty decent friend. Even if he is a bit stalker-ish and creepy at times. It’s okay because it’s Quentin, and as you get to know him, this explanation makes sense.

In this story, the side characters had their own distinct personalities and added their own bits of humor.  They flow in and out of the story the same way that they flow in and out of Genie’s life. But they are no less important. They make this book, Genie’s purpose, a little more grounded.

This is one of the few books that impressed me and made me want to read it over immediately.  I wish that I had so many copies of this books so that I can hand it out to everyone I encounter. I am looking forward to this release so that I can add it to my own collection.

Since this is August’s featured book, there will be other posts inspired by and related to Genie Lo. So stay tuned for those.

Always Shine!