February Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 12

Total Pages Read: 3434

Audio: 3

Digital:1

Print: 8

Review: 4

#offmyshelf: 2

Library: 6

My Favorite Read: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

My Most Disappointing Read: Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

My Most Surprising Read: Wild Born by Brandon Mull

MY Least Favorite Read: Torched by April Henry

How was your reading this month?

Always Shine!

Blog Tour Stop: Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis

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I am excited for the opportunity to be one of the stop for this blog tour. This is one of my anticipated reads for this year.  I am going to put all of the info about the book and author first, but keep going. I will be giving a first impressions review and  there will be a link for a giveaway at the end!

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Synopsis 
Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he’s ever seen. He’s assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.
Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.
Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.

 

Praise for GAME OF SHADOWS

“A fantastical journey that I didn’t want to end!” ―Sherrilyn Kenyon, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“It’s impossible to put this riveting page-turner down!” ―Stan Lee, author, editor, actor, and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics

“This book’s got heart . . . a wonderful adventure.” ―R. A. Salvatore, New York Times bestselling author of The Hunters Blades novels

“One of those thrilling tales you can’t put down . . . the perfect blend of imaginative world-building and nonstop action wrapped up in a compelling mystery.” ―D.J. MacHale, New York Times bestselling author of Pendragon and The SYLO Chronicles

“We were hooked. This is an adventure story for the ages.” — John Barrowman & Carole Barrowman, authors of the Hollow Earth trilogy & Conjuror

“Riveting from the start.” ―Steven Gould, author of Jumper

“Lewis has created a whole new world that is at once exciting and affecting. . . . She weaves a web of mythology that is both reminiscent of the Celtic world and redolent of the unique creation of a rich and fertile imagination.”―Dara Hellman, Lecturer, Celtic Studies Program, University of California, Berkeley

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

Erika Lewis graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Math. And what do you do with a degree in Math? You become a writer of course… eventually…

She moved to the west coast following her dream to work in television. And after fifteen glorious years developing and producing for truly awesome places, like Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fireworks Television, 20th Television, that’s a division of Fox if you didn’t know that, and then at G4, where she could finally be free to be the nerd she had always been. She had more collectible toys in her office than even the famed executive producers of ATTACK OF THE SHOW and XPLAY. At least that’s the way she remembers it.

So how did this circle back to the beginning of this bio? A Math major becoming a writer? Because she’d actually always been a writer, she just never told anyone. She would write and write, edit and edit, then realize that it wasn’t good enough and go back in for yet another pass. And when she finally had several projects she really loved, that’s when she knew it was time to unleash them to the world.

Her first project, a graphic novel, THE 49TH KEY, is currently being featured in Heavy Metal Magazine, and will be released in trade in summer, 2017. Along with her amazing partner, Jessica Chobot, she’s currently working with LINE Webtoon and Legendary Comics on FIREBRAND, an ongoing comic series. Her first novel, GAME OF SHADOWS hits the bookstore shelves February 28th, 2017 from TOR/Forge Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.

There are several other really exciting projects that you will be hearing much more about soon, but if she leaked them now, she’d get in big, big, big trouble. She resides in the sunshine state of California. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she’s usually playing with her big fluffy Golden Retriever, or running, or at one of the bookstores or comic shops by her house. And always drinking coffee.

My First Impressions:
Normally, with a blog tour I would post a full review to go along with all of the promotional items. Unfortunately, I had to choose between making sure that my post would go up on time or post a full review. So, in short, I have never done a first impressions review. I’m not certain that it would be fair to my readers since I have not read the entire book. At this point I have about a hundred pages left, and I am certain that the ending will not be disappointing. So here we go:
I was immediately drawn into the story from the first few page. Lewis starts the story off with hints that something much bigger is going on. But it is impossible to tell how big the secrets are until the action starts.  Ethan Makkai is a surprising character. He teeters between being completely lost and afraid in the new world that he is thrown into and being a very capable brave leader. I would have to say that the journey to save his mother helps him grow into the person his country has been waiting for.
Lewis has worked really hard in creating characters with distinct voices and personalities and talents that propel the story forward without losing momentum. Also the work that went into the world-building of Tara is evident. Even things that are out and out unbelievable are molded into something familiar and real.
The whole “character doesn’t know who he is until a catastrophic event reveals the truth, leaving him with no one and nothing to trust” trope is a bit old and annoying in most works. But not here, Lewis makes it work. She keeps the pace steady between learning  what is really going on and the action that is engaging and captivating.
I find it really hard to put this book down. I am sure if life, I.E.  my two year old, did not interrupt, I would have finished this book.  From everything that I’ve read so far, I can easily say that this is one of my favorite reads. Regardless of what happens in the last one hundred pages, I am certain that this book is one that I will continuously recommend to friends and fellow readers!
Want a chance to read this amazing book for yourself? Check out the rafflecopter link below for a chance to win your own copy!
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

 – 10 Winners will receive a Copy of Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js” target=”_blank”>Rafflecopter Giveaway  for Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis
Check back soon for my full review!
Always Shine!

So Far …. February part 2

Okay, so I thought that Saturdays would be the best day to post these updates. And as it is so appears, I was wrong. I will keep doing them, but they won’t be labeled as Saturday.  Anyway… this is what I have read the rest of February:

Justice Delayed (Memphis Cold Case #1)

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley 

Memphis Cold Case #1

Purpose: Revell Reads Review Program

2.5 Stars

Full Review on Blog

Merlin's Nightmare (The Merlin Spiral #3)

Merlin’s Nightmare by Robert Treskillard 

The Merlin Spiral #3

Purpose: Booklook Review Program

5 stars

Full Review on Blog

Wild Born by Brandon Mull

Spirit Animals #1

Purpose: Read to Peanut

5 Stars

This was my second attempt at this book. The first time I stopped almost halfway into it. But, I think the problem was that I wasn’t reading it to my son on a consistent basis.  But the second time around we both enjoyed it.  Just when you wanted a bit of a pick me up in the story is when the anticipated action takes place.  Perfect timing. I am so glad that we stuck with it, and that we already have the second book to start. My only complaint is that there isn’t a true ending. The first set of challenges and obstacles are dealt with or overcome, but the adventure is just beginning.

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, #12)

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris 

Sookie Stackhouse #12

Purpose: Complete a Series

4 Stars

I have to admit that this one was a lot better than the last one. At this point, I can’t really guess what the final book is going to be like. I think Sookie is finally growing in this book. She’s less whiny and annoying in this one at least.

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews 

Kate Daniels #9

Purpose: Complete a series

5 stars

I am so glad to be back in this world! Kate Daniels is my hero.  In this one, Kate learns more about herself and her father. She also faces one of the biggest challenges yet. Without giving anything away, I can say that all of the action, high stakes adventure and sass and sarcasm that one has come to expect from a Kate Daniels novel is all there, but there is so much more.

Always Shine!

BookLook Review: Merlin’s Nightmare

Merlin's Nightmare (The Merlin Spiral #3)

Merlin’s Nightmare by Robert Treskillard

Merlin Spiral #3

Blink – May 13, 2014

Purpose: Review, Complete a Series

Source: Booklook Blogger Program

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

5 Stars

This is the third and final book in the Merlin Spiral trilogy.  So I can’t say very much about what happens in this book without spoiling the book. I can say that this is the book where Arthur has grown up and learns the truth of his birth and history. If you have been following me for a while you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two books. So no surprise that I enjoyed this one, though the enjoyment is bittersweet. I am very happy to have arrived at the end of this trilogy, but I am also very sad that this adventure has come to an end.

I am only sorry that it has taken me so very long to read this. Part of it was my aversion to reading the final book in a series, something that I am getting so much better at. Part of it was simply that I knew that it was going to take me a while to get through. I say that not to turn people away from this book, it is not a quick read. Though, it is hard to put down.  Once again, Treskillard has a way of packing his books with so so much goodness. It doesn’t feel like you are not just captivated by the story but that you are right there along the characters experiencing their adventure with them.

We have a returning cast of characters, and while they are all essentially the same, they are also different. So much has changed, the characters have grown and gone on with life. They have different roles and have taken on new challenges. I, once again, really enjoyed this book. It is hard to pick a favorite, so I would recommend that you just read the entire trilogy.  And once you have finished, keep an eye out for Treskillard’s new trilogy The Pendragon Spiral, where Arthur steps into his role and becomes the main character.

 

Revell Reads Review: Justice Delayed

Justice Delayed (Memphis Cold Case #1)

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

Memphis Cold Case #1

Fleming H. Revell Company – January 31, 2017

Purpose: Review

Source: Revell Reads Review Program

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

2.5 stars

Andi Hollister is a TV crime reporter for a Memphis news station. Detective Will Kincaide has recently been promoted to the newly established Cold Case Unit. Eighteen years ago, Andi’s sister Stephanie was murdered. Eighteen years ago, Will’s cousin, Jimmy, was convicted of Stephanie’s murder. Today, in less than a week, Jimmy is scheduled to be executed. Today, he receives a letter stating that he did not kill Stephanie. And so the story begins.

I wanted to review this book because Bradley keeps popping up on my book radar. I really wanted to like this book, and for the most part I did. Well, it was just okay. There are some things that stuck out to me that I had a problem with. And I guess I should start with them.

First, Will was not the only detective investigating this case. There was his supervisor/partner in the Cold Case Unit, Lieutenant David Raines, and Brad Hollister, a homicide detective. Brad is investigating a case that may or may not have anything to do with Stephanie Hollister’s homicide. Andi is also investigating her sister’s murder, though she is doing so under the guise of reporting and making a documentary. So in total, you are following four different people as they investigate the same case. Some of it is them trying to cover as many possible bases as possible since they have such a short amount of time. That is not the problem. The problem is that they don’t talk to each other.  If they had talked to each other, they may have been able to make connections a lot sooner. Characters (Andi) would not be put into unnecessary danger or accidentally reveal information to the wrong people.

Something else that bothered me was the fact that none of the detectives were suspicious of anyone that they talked to. I understand that they were talking to people that were prominent figures in the community. They question each person, again not discussing what was discovered with each other, but it seemed to be more of going through the motions than real investigating. I would think that as detective that they would be more suspicious, or at least curious about the people that they talked to. But, no, they detectives and Andi took everything that was told to them at face value.

My final issue is Andi’s addiction to pain pills. It didn’t read as authentic as it should have been to make it believable. It read as more of a plot device than something that was really affecting the character. It read as if it was something thrown in to move Andi in and out of different positions that would move the story along. If she was not addicted to the pills, there would have been something more believable that would have done the same thing.

But on the other hand, I did  find the  story interesting enough to finish the book, I did like the characters and their relationship to each other.  I also liked the fact that the romance part of the story really did take a back seat to the main story thread.  Though the problems did stand a lot to me, enough to affect the rating, I would be interested in seeing where this series goes next.

Always Shine!

So Far Saturday…….2/18

18I had planned on posting this last week, but I hadn’t finished very many books so I waited. I have fallen behind with my reading, but that’s okay. I thought that I would be on track with my reviews and everything, but I’ve read a few duds. I started and DNF’d a few. There is one that I am still reading, but I plan on finishing it this week. But this is what I have read so far…..

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10)

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris 

Sookie Stackhouse # 10

Purpose: Complete a Series

4 stars 

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially since I wasn’t too impressed with the last book. But, surprisingly, I enjoyed this installment. Yeah, a part of me is glad that I am coming to the end of the series. But with Dead in the Family everything and everyone seems to be connected. All of the issues that came up are family related. Eric has to deal with his maker and brother. Bill is reunited with an old family -like friend, and is able to address his human family. Sookie is mending fences with her brother  and cousin, as well as other family. Even the werewolves have to deal with internal issues.  But even in the background, a storm is brewing. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Sister Sister

Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin

Purpose: Review/Buddy Read

4 stars 

Full Review on the blog

Torched

Torched by April Henry 

Purpose: Read an Author’s Backlist

2 Stars 

I really wanted to like this book. Henry is an author that I respect because of all the work she puts into her books. I have also enjoyed the books that she co-written by Lis Wiehl. I did enjoy her debut book Shock Point. But this one was a bit disappointing. It was a short book, but it still took a while for me to get through. It was slow and boring. The entire situation with Ellie and the FBI was unrealistic and Henry didn’t make a believer out of me. Ellie and Coyote gets an undeserved happily ever after. And though she hardly knows him, her experience with the lynx has convinced  Ellie that she loves Coyote. Umm….no.

City of Wolves

City of Wolves by Willow Palecek 

Purpose: A Random Pick

3.5 Stars 

This was a nice quick read. It was super short, and for the most part the shortness worked in its favor. Drake appeared to be operating on insider information that we, as readers, are not privy too. This made following the murder mystery harder to follow. This also means that we have to trust the conclusions Drake comes to explicitly. But, I did enjoy this story.

True to You (Bradford Sisters #1)

True to You by Becky Wade 

Bradford Sisters #1

Purpose: PW Review

3 Stars 

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, #11)

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris 

Sookie Stackhouse #11

Purpose: Complete a Series

3 Stars

Okay, so there’s only 2 more books left in the series. I have mixed feelings about this. Once again death and drama surround Sookie. it’s her reaction that I find annoying. This time she plotted and planned and knew that it had to be done.  And yet, she is reacting as if this is the first time she’s had to face it. At this point, if she can’t handle it she need to cut ties and be done with it. But we also learn more about Sookie and her ties to the fairies. It is an interesting history, and I am curious to find out what the fairies are up to.

Binti (Binti, #1)

Binti By Nnedi Okorafor 

Binti #1

4 Stars 

Review will be on the Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog

Friday Reads 2/17

I didn’t do a Friday’s reads post last week because my reading went off the tracks. I picked up a couple of books but then she’d them . This week has been better.

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Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

This is a review book that I received from Revell Reads. I am about half way into it so I plan on finishing it by tomorrow. The Fu review will be posted on Monday.

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Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

I plan to catch up on this series this weekend. This is the last published book, it info believe that there is another one due out sometime this year.

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

This is a book I’ve had for  a while. I am reading through my bookshelves and deciding whether or not I want to keep or regime certain books. Though this is a year long project, I want to spend more time on then I have been.

Army Brats by Daphne Benedis-Grab

I, and my son, have enjoyed the last couple of books by this author. So when I heard she had a new box coming, I contacted her publicist to request and ARC. I am really looking forward to reading this. The full review will be posted on February 27th.

So what are you reading?

Always Shine!