Saturday, September 29

Pile Denial: 6

I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:
Net Galley:


Email:

Library:
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Purchased:

Traded:

Borrowed:
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Won:

Phew. . .not near as bad as last week. I really feared it was going to be a repeat.

Pile Reduction:
Given Away:

Traded:

Read:
Ruby by Amanda Burke
Grimalkin by Joseph Delaney
Secret of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

DNF:

The boat is sinking but I seem to have temporarily stoppered the holes. I am now back to keeping afloat, if barely.

Bottleneck Effect:
Reading:
Absolutely nothing right now. I am considering reading Inheritance by Christopher Paolini so I can discuss it with my husband. The problem is that I do so only reluctantly. I didn't like Brisingr and I don't have high hopes of enjoying Inheritance. It is a behemoth.

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books: 53
eBooks: 26

Considering I had company this last week I still managed to get a fair bit of reading done. Of course I stayed up until three in the morning reading Edenbrooke. I just don't know what to read after that book. I am in raptures. Either that or I just need some sleep.

How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.

Friday, September 28

Eye Candy: XXXVI

During the week I spot different book covers that catch my eye for one reason or another. I keep track of them all here on my weekly Eye Candy post. Most of the books featured here I have not bothered to read the synopsis for. Just plain old fashioned cover envy or not in some cases. There are the occasional covers that catch the eye but not in I want to read that book more of a oh my goodness what were they thinking.

Sweet:

Between

Kerry Schafer


Ever since the Firelight trilogy ended I have been on the hunt for more dragon books. This one looks like it might fit the bill.

Cast in Peril

Michelle Sagara


Green, magic, stellar background. What is not to love?



After Dark

Emi Gayle


She has a very dramatic model like pose going on. I really want to know what that is all about.


Boundless

Cynthia Hand


Oh my goodness!!! My interest in this story fizzed out after the first book. But this cover has lit a whole new flame for me. I absolutely must read this one. So very beautiful!








Borderline:

Opal

Jennifer L. Armentrout


I guess I don't like her facial expression.


Liar's Moon

Elizabeth C. Bunce


The moon and purple background is stunning. But I am not such a big fan of the girl. I don't think her hair and purple are a great fit.








Sour:

Shadows in the Silence

Courtney Allison Moulton


Perhaps it is because I have too high of expectations for this one. But her pose just looks so fake. More like cover model with the wind machines blowing than a girl who can actually fight for her life. I do feel a little guilty. Other than the fake pose I like the cover.




 






What do you think about the covers?

Like it, love it, or could do without it? 

Thursday, September 27

Afterlife: Book Review

Afterlife

Claudia Gray

HarperTeen
March 8th 2011
Young Adult | Fantasy
Vampire | Ghost

Official Blurb -

The fourth novel in "New York Times"-bestselling author Gray's Evernight series, "Afterlife" presents the powerful conclusion to the love story between a vampire-born girl and the boy trained to kill her kind.
There are a smattering of great characters in this book. Sadly Lucas and Bianca don't make the bar. It took me too long to care what would happen to them. I was fairly happy resigning them to hopelessly separated and felt they should just accept it. They bugged me with all the downer emotions. Vic and Ranulf are the top characters on my list. Very funny pair! After that follows Patrice and Balthazar on my list.

Several interesting deep sub-stories are revealed in this book. The worst part is that the story is slow to build and doesn't demand your attention.

I wish they hadn't brought up the future of their relationship at the end. It brought reality crashing down around the book, sort of soured a beautiful moment with sadness even if they were attempting to be all positive about it. The ending felt like one of those twisted logic problems. The harder I tried to follow the logic the more confused I became. I decided to just accept it works and move on.

I am a bit curious about what will happen with Balthezar. Perhaps I will try to read Balthezar and see what it is about. 

It wasn't horrible but it wasn't terribly exciting either. Maybe it would have been better if there wasn't such a time gap for me between the books. It seemed I had lost touch with the plight of their situation and couldn't easily get back into it. This whole series would probably work better read in one big lump.

Content:
Sexual: Mild
Swearing: Mild
Violence: Moderate
Moments Divine:
"All my best friends are dead people. Someday I've got to figure out how that happened."
------------------------------------------------------------
"Talking to yourself, freak?"
"Sometimes that's what you've gotta do for some intelligent conversation," Lucas answered."

Tuesday, September 25

Velveteen: Book Review

Velveteen
Daniel Marks
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
October 9th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Vampire

Official Blurb - 
Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal... and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

The synopsis makes this book sound extremely interesting. Serial killer, check. Stubborn and slightly deranged heroine, check. That is about as far as I was able to get before I put the book down. The serial killer is very disturbing and her haunting of him no less disturbing. Velveteen is no average girl. She doesn't have any problem with the serial killer. Other than he killed her which has set her on a rampage. Both Bonesaw and Velveteen think similarly which was what I found more disturbing. I gave it up because I couldn't relate to Velveteen and I didn't want to know any more gruesome details about Bonesaw and his after hours preoccupation.

Content:
Violence: Heavy

UNFINISHED

Monday, September 24

Obsession Confession: Audiobooks

Better than reading or worse?

Pros -
Hands free
Good narrator

Cons -
Need a listening device
Can't as easily mark a favorite passage
Bad narrator
Hands free (Hey some of us like to hold the book and flip pages.)
Takes longer
Limited Selection

I always wonder if I would feel the same about the book if I had the ability to both read it and listen with fresh eyes. Does it make a difference to listen rather than read? For instance, I tried to listen to Captivate and just couldn't stand the main character. Was it the physical voice of the narrator or the story itself? I enjoyed Need so I don't think it was the story. Then again sometimes the second books aren't the best. Guess I will never know. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Wonderous Strange. I absolutely enjoyed listening to Wonderous Strange. It took my breath away and left me with a craving for more. Narrator or story? In this case I did read the sequels and loved them so who is to know if listening to the first made it better.

I like audiobooks when I cannot sit down to read. They are nice to listen to when on a car trip or doing boring chores. Sadly I have yet to find the right way to make the chore part work. I want a wireless headset so I can roam the house but not disturb its other occupants. I can't have wires because they get in the way and I also have a baby who loves to grab that sort of thing. The last set I had were flops.

I get all my audiobooks from the library. The sad fact of that is there is a limited time to my reading experience. It makes me feel rushed. Which then just stresses out my listening experience. I just can't seem to keep it up regularly with all the stress. If I have a big project that is all hands on and little mind involvement an audiobooks is perfect. Too bad it isn't as easy to get just the right audiobook when you need it.

I think for me audiobooks just don't tip the scales in a good direction. Maybe at some future point that will change but until then I am going to stick to reading a good old fashioned book.

How about you, do you like audiobooks?

Saturday, September 22

Pile Denial: 5


I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:
Net Galley:


Email:

Library:
Inbetween by Tara Fuller
Vanquished by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Dark Destiny by Mary Jo Putney
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Purchased:

Traded:

Won:

It wasn't pretty this week. But can you blame me. I had requested my library pick up these new books weeks ago. It seemed so long I had forgotten. Then I suddenly found a notice I had books waiting to be picked up. In many ways it was a really nice surprise. I even got to speak with the librarian in charge of purchasing the new YA books. She told me that I am responsible for half of the new books she purchases for the Young Adult area. How cool is that? Inheritance was not a book I had requested. But I picked it up because my husband just finished listening to it on audio. And he really wanted to talk to someone about stuff in the book. So I have to read it not only to talk with him but to finish out the story. It is a mammoth book.

Pile Reduction:
Given Away:

Traded:

Read:
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Speed of Light by Amber Kizer


DNF:

Captain the ship seems to be sinking. There are leaks sprouting all over the place and there doesn't seem to be any hope they will be mended. I may in fact be in a sinking ship. Should I just admit defeat?

Bottleneck Effect:
Reading:
Ruby by Amanda Burke

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books: 54
eBooks: 27


How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.

Friday, September 21

Eye Candy: XXXV

During the week I spot different book covers that catch my eye for one reason or another. I keep track of them all here on my weekly Eye Candy post. Most of the books featured here I have not bothered to read the synopsis for. Just plain old fashioned cover envy or not in some cases. There are the occasional covers that catch the eye but not in I want to read that book more of a oh my goodness what were they thinking.

Sweet:

With All My Soul

Rachel Vincent

I am not normally a fan of gold but this is rather stunning.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter

Cassandra Rose Clarke

The title, half moon, and gray background drew my eye.




The Art of Disappearing

Elena Perez

Perhaps it was the red lips against the pale skin that snagged my attention.

A Matter of Magic

Patricia C Wrede

What is not to love? Cute girl, beautiful dress, glowing sphere, and a nice soft light coming from the window.

Forever

Maggie Stiefvater

I love black, white, and red as a color combination.

Ironskin

Tina Connolly

So awesome! I like the swirling grey stuff. Plus she is wearing a neat dress. Who says gray can't look good?


The Cadet of Tildor

Alex Lidell

Maybe I am just in the mood for some good old fashioned sword swinging but this cover really struck me.






The Rising

Kelley Armstrong

This might just be my favorite of the three covers. I like the lighting better as well as the angle of her face.






Borderline:


If I Should Die

Amy Plum

Sadly not my favorite of the three. I like the cover. The sunset really makes me a bit worried and sad. Is time running out?

Solstice

P. J. Hoover

I love everything about the cover except for the font and effects they used for the title. It just looks a little odd.

 

Inhuman

Kat Falls

Once again I am in the mood for some sword wielding and I always like the idea of a girl who can fight. But it is all the yellow that drags this down from being awesome.

Blood Storm

Rhiannon Hart

Love the blue! My biggest miff is with the bird. It just looks a bit out of place.


Sour:

Sacrifices

Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

Maybe it is the dresses or the hair that just didn't work.




 



Wow, there were a lot of covers that caught my eye this week. I wonder if that means next week will be a veritable drought.

What do you think about the covers?

Like it, love it, or could do without it? 

Thursday, September 20

Cinder: Book Review

Cinder

Marissa Meyer

Feiwel & Friends
January 3rd 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Fairytale Retell

Official Blurb -

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Marissa Meyer on Cinder, writing, and leading men
Which of your characters is most like you?
I wish I could say that I'm clever and mechanically-minded like Cinder, but no—I can't fix anything. I'm much more like Cress, who makes a brief cameo in Cinder and then takes a more starring role in the third book. She's a romantic and a daydreamer and maybe a little on the na├»ve side—things that could be said about me too—although she does find courage when it's needed most. I think we'd all like to believe we'd have that same inner strength if we ever needed it.
Where do you write?
I have a home office that I've decorated with vintage fairy tale treasures that I've collected (my favorite is a Cinderella cookie jar from the forties) and NaNoWriMo posters, but sometimes writing there starts to feel too much like work. On those days I'll write in bed or take my laptop out for coffee or lunch.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which character from Cinder would you want with you?

Cinder, definitely! She has an internet connection in her brain, complete with the ability to send and receive comms (which are similar to e-mails). We'd just have enough time to enjoy some fresh coconut before we were rescued.

The next book in the Lunar Chronicles is called Scarlet, and is about Little Red Riding Hood. What is appealing to you most about this character as you work on the book?

Scarlet is awesome—she's very independent, a bit temperamental, and has an outspokenness that tends to get her in trouble sometimes. She was raised by her grandmother, an ex-military pilot who now owns a small farm in southern France, who not only taught Scarlet how to fly a spaceship and shoot a gun, but also to have a healthy respect and appreciation for nature. I guess that's a lot of things that appeal to me about her, but she's been a really fun character to write! (The two leading men in Scarlet, Wolf and Captain Thorne, aren't half bad either.)

Recipe for making this book:
1 Fairy Tale Compendium
1 generous dollop Sci-Fi (A few cyborgs and some space travel)

Place in blender and frappe.
Serve up with a red shoe.

For entire series:
Repeat above directions four times with different dressings.


My favorite scene in the whole book involves a greeter. He is witness to a shocking sight and just stands there stunned and disgusted. Meanwhile Cinder acts like nothing is wrong and goes about her business. It just cracks me up.

This book didn't live up to the hype for me. I think when I read a fairy tale retelling I want to gain a deeper knowledge into the mind of the characters. Especially since there are no surprises in how it will all turn out. There is quite a bit more development into the Prince in this version of Cinderella but it is still lacking somewhat. I just wasn't swept off my feet. Someone should give that Prince a good beating. Some sense in that thick skull of his wouldn't hurt. Which is just so sad since he starts off so promisingly.

He is so deluded and knows nothing about what is going on in his kingdom. Illegal Lunars, plague caused by Lunars, and so on and so forth. I have very little confidence in his ability to rule the kingdom. I do like Kai even though for an Emperor he isn't very wise. He comes off naive and blind. All this can be chocked off to his age, a flimsy excuse, and his circumstances, ailing father, still a stretch.

Cinder had nothing remotely like a fairy godmother. She was a train wreak when she showed up at the ball.


Iko is hard to accept with her emotions. They are really extreme such as getting the hots for the Prince, wearing make up, and wishing to attend balls and go dancing. 

I don't even know what some of the words meant. Thurmatage? Is there a geek society that understands this lingo or is it just made up?

My biggest beef with the whole thing is the ending. Come on, we all know how it should end. Who hasn't heard the Cinderella story before? The ending definitely falls short and leaves you hanging.

Alright, there is one other thing that really bugged me. It gives off the impression of being about Cinderella. But really it felt like it was more the story of The Little Mermaid
  • Voice manipulation
  • Princess
  • Prince
  • Wicked Witch (Trying to marry Prince)
  • Interspecific romance
Throw in a shoe and a not so nice step-sister and it becomes a mix of Cinderella and The Little Mermaid. Except for the fact that neither of those endings matches up with the ending of Cinder. It was more like an ending interrupted. In fact if you have ever seen the movie Everafter you will get a better idea of what happens with this ending. The ending felt loose and unfinished. More than likely this is due to my prior knowledge of the Cinderella tale. We all know how it should have ended. All this other fancy stuff is just prolonging it. The question is will it be worth it and does it work.

The view the people have of cyborgs is rather sad. It would be like grouping all recipients of organ donations into a leper colony. As if they really asked to be anything but whole and hardy. Are these people really that daft? Apparently so.
I am hoping the next book brings more story and less wow factor. Please ground me somewhere and allow me to connect with the characters. The most I got out of it was a strong desire to visit Asia. It sounds really pretty.


Content:
Sexual: Mild
Violence: Moderate

Moments Divine:
"Besides," said Peony, hopping off the trunk, "the rumor that he's looking for a bride at the ball is a lot better than what the other rumors are saying."
"Let me guess. Prince Kai is actually a martian? Or no, no-- he had an illegitimate child with an escort, didn't he?"
"Escort-droids can have children?"
"No."
---------------------------------------------------------------
"I'm sure I'll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on."
---------------------------------------------------------------
"Do you intend to always let your adviser make your decisions for you?"
"No," said Kai, allowing a cold smile. "Eventually, I'll have an empress for that."

Tuesday, September 18

Poison Princess: Book Review

Poison Princess 

The Arcana Chronicles #1

Kresley Cole

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
October 2nd 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal | Post-Apocalyptic
Arcane

Official Blurb -
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

Whoa.

Disturbing, dark, dangerous, terrifying, heartbreaking, and AMAZING!

At first I wanted to run from the creepy book. From the terrifying world it held. But I persevered because it has spellbinding characters and a unique story. So much mystery and the temptation that one more page might hold the answer. By the end I am not sure you could have pried the book from my fingers.

Finally a book that makes me fall in love with the bayou or more specifically Jackson. He is infuriating at nearly every turn and so very addictive. A small listen to his accent and you will be hooked. A bad boy so smokin' you will wonder how any other could possibly hold a flame to him.

Evie is so perfectly disguised. Innocent and weak in appearance and mind but when push comes to shove she is anything but.

The romantic tension is absolutely sizzling off the charts. Wowzer!

An apocalypse like you have never seen and scarely dared envision in your darkest nightmares. So vivid, so cruel, and somehow all too realistic feeling. It leaves you wondering what if this really happened? How would I fare?

The ending is stunning and will leave you raw. A dark journey that is not to be missed. The future promises more darkness and betrayal. Enough heartache to drown in and next to no prospect of happiness. Regardless, I will gladly, if not patiently, stand in line for more. 

This book is much like the Empress, "Come touch. But you'll pay a price." Consider yourself warned, steel your courage and charge in.

Content:
Sexual: Moderate
Language: Moderate to heavy
Violence: Heavy

Moment Divine:
"Um, Finn, I couldn't help but notice that you seem really calm."
"I am calm, blondie."
"Even though these men are probably slavers or cannibals?"
"Nah, homeowners association gone awry."

Monday, September 17

Book Blogger Confessions: Blogger Relations


Question: 

Blogger relations: Are there blogs you visit and comment on because you like their style, voice etc.(maybe you even converse with the blogger on Twitter & Facebook) but those comments are never reciprocated on your blog?. Do you get a bit offended or do you understand that they may be busy? Or do you comment just because you like a post not expecting anything in return?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I comment I don't expect anything in return. I simply want to show my appreciation of their post. There are bloggers that I stalk fairly closely on Twitter. If I see their name pop up I make a point of at least reading what they have to say. I try to always comment if a thought pops in my head in response to what they say. I know what it is like to send information off into cyber space and not get a response.

This is a great topic, it is making me consider possibilities I never had before. I am not really great at reciprocating comments. There are times when I make a huge effort to track the comments down and return the kindness. Usually I do this all in one day. Luckily I don't have that many comments. More often than not I just try to reply to the comments.

I never even considered the idea I might be offending people by not following their comments back to their blog and returning the favor. Yikes! I will have to try harder and set aside some time for this. Do you think it is common to take offense at not having your comment returned? I really am sorry if that has happened. Life is pretty busy. I have found that being a book blogger is far more time consuming than I originally thought. You need time for:
  • Reading(obviously, without books how can you blog about them?)
  • Writing Reviews
  • Responding to Review Requests
  • Following other Bloggers Posts and Tweets
  • Trying to keep an eye on publishers and authors
  • Writing Posts
I find there are so many places for my attention that there is always something slipping through the cracks. In fact sometimes they don't feel like cracks so much as a grand canyon that swallows everything. I am sure I didn't even remotely cover all the places my attention is needed in blogging. If it weren't for other bloggers doing the leg work I would be in the dark most of the time. So I would definitely not want to be offending them when I am so grateful.

Anyway, thanks for the topic.

Saturday, September 15

Pile Denial: 4


I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:
Net Galley:


Email:

Library:

Purchased:

Traded:

Won:
Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent
Soul Screamers (Vol. 1) by Rachel Vincent
Soulbound by Heather Brewer


Yet there is some hope. I am trying to fight back and recover. Behold my tiny victories over the pile.

Pile Reduction:
Given Away:

Traded:

Read:
Frost by Wendy Desol
Defiance by C. J. Redwine


DNF:
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult

Any recovery is slow going. I can only read so fast and here is where things are getting slowed down.

Bottleneck Effect:
Reading:
Speed of Light by Amber Kizer

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books: 50
eBooks: 29

Progress report: I didn't get as much time reading as I would have liked but I was able to finish up some of the stragglers. Or in one book's case to give up on it. I was just too busy this week preparing for an upcoming event and some visitors in the real world. 

I am dragging through Speed of Light. I can only read a book so many days in a row before I start wishing to be reading something else. Hopefully the ending is fantastic or I might find it a disappointing read.

I knew I had won the Rachel Vincent books but I was surprised by Soulbound. Wasn't it just a week ago that I bought myself a copy? Did I forget I had won or was it a surprise win? Hmm. . .my memory is starting to get unreliable. Oh well, I will just have to give away the extra copy. 

I didn't make any headway in my pile this week. An even in and out scenario. Plus, I have not gotten anything read in my ebook challenge to myself. September is not being good to my TBR goals.

How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.

Friday, September 14

Eye Candy: XXXIV

During the week I spot different book covers that catch my eye for one reason or another. I keep track of them all here on my weekly Eye Candy post. Most of the books featured here I have not bothered to read the synopsis for. Just plain old fashioned cover envy or not in some cases. There are the occasional covers that catch the eye but not in I want to read that book more of a oh my goodness what were they thinking.

Sweet:

Stalked by Death

Kelly Hashway

Sounds very thrilling and I like her mid fleeing pose.



The Other Normals

Ned Vizzini

How many times do we wish our life was more exciting? Wish you could be just like your video game hero?






Dark Heart Rising

Lee Monroe


I noticed this one on another blog. I really liked what she said about it. There is just such emotion in that pose.


The Emperor's Conspiracy

Michelle Diener

This cover opens up a longing for the good old classics. I like the old buildings in the back ground and her dress.


Reaping Me Softly

Kate Evangelista

I like butterflies and the cold background. Also her hair and dress are very pretty. Lately, I have also had a craving for things involving reaping. A win win.










Borderline:

Touching Smoke

Airicka Phoenix

I enjoy smoke effect art but I not so sure of the yellow portion of this cover.















Sour:

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft

Jody Gehrman

What is with that odd pose. Is she dead?









What do you think about the covers?

Like it, love it, or could do without it? 

Thursday, September 13

The Assassin's Curse: Book Review

The Assassin's Curse
 
Strange Chemistry
October 2nd 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal
Skin-walker | Benandanti

Official Blurb -
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

Waiting.
So much waiting and it wasn't really that nothing was happening; more like not enough was happening in the right directions. A fruitless journey over half of the world only to find three more quests, each as odd and crazy as the next.

No romance. Despite it starting off with an arranged marriage there isn't a lick of romance. Unless you consider one sided longing towards a person who suffers emotional constipation romance. On top of which said constipated individual just so happens to be completely unaware of the other person as a romantic interest. Talk about frustration.

Even though I could follow the reasoning behind Ananna's feeling and actions toward Naji I really couldn't empathize. He is very aloof and rough. There doesn't seem to be a single moment where he isn't straight forward with her about his desire to be free of the curse and her. He wants to go back to his self loathing as soon as possible. The curse itself is odd. I thought I must have missed a page that explained the curse. All we know most of the book is that he is in this strange predicament but has no idea why it could have happened. It wasn't until the very end that we find out what the actual curse is and its origination. It isn't some assassin thing but very particular to him. Even the description is a bit disjointed.

I enjoyed both of the characters. Naji has some really nifty abilities. I have a feeling we have only tasted what he can do. Ananna is really flamboyant yet a bit more of a mouse. I am thinking seeing her take charge would be really nice. That might be just the sort of situation in which real change can happen for the two of them.

The two of the three new quests don't sound all that interesting to follow. Maybe they are too vague for my imagination or even too crazy to seem real. The last quest just fills me with sadness. Naji is so wrapped up in his own misery about his disfigurement and career that he can't see anything else. He will have to undergo some real changes allowing him to open up.

The pirate factor in this book wasn't as cool as I was hoping. For the most part it felt more like background noise than a full-on flavor brightening everything.

Not a bad read. Assassins are always great, then add in some pirates and the party is ready to get started. The two characters are so very different and when thrown together there is so much potential for entertainment. I would love to follow how this relationship evolves but am wary of the odd quests. Guess this will be a wait and see.

Content:
Swearing: Moderate to Heavy
Violence: Moderate

Moment Divine:
"Yeah," I said. "This is Naji."
"I was expecting a little boy," Marjani said.
"He acts like one sometimes."

Wednesday, September 12

Favorite Posts: Poll

I have an event coming up involving the use of polls. I needed some way to test if my choice for a poll will work. So this post will help me out.


Tuesday, September 11

Covet: Book Review

Covet
The Clann #2
Melissa Darnell
HarlequinTeen
September 25th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal | Romance
Vampire | Witch | Werepanther | Dhamphir

Official Blurb -


Dangerous to be together. Painful to be apart.Savannah Colbert knows she broke up with Tristan Coleman for the right reasons. Most of all, to keep from killing him with her new vampire abilities. But try telling her heart. Now, lost in a sea of hostile Clann faces, Sav tries to come to terms with what she's becoming and what that means for her future. And that someone is doing their best to bully her into making a terrible mistake.

Tristan can't believe Sav won't even talk to him. If being apart is her decision, fine. Just don't expect him to honor it. But even as he prepares to fight for the girl he loves, forces beyond their control take them both in directions neither could have foreseen or prepared for.

A reckoning is coming… and not everyone will survive.
"Oh my ---. What have I done?"

That is pretty much the closing line of the book which for me perfectly sums up the entire experience. Did I really just spend hours and read nearly 500 pages of that? It would appear so.

This was much like attending a ginormous buffet. Instead of food the table is arrayed with a vast spectrum of all things fictional. Instead of picking a few things resulting in a satisfyingly full plate, we have a spoonful or two of almost everything. The plate is a heaping mountain and it runneth over. Everything is mixing together and by the time you see the plate you can't believe you just ate all that. Not to mention having no real recollection of what you ate individually. I had a feeling similar to after Thanksgiving dinner and I was wondering if there was any way to throw it all up. Not so much.

Tristan is so sure and such a strong and grounded individual that others can gravitate around him. But almost within a paragraph he loses his foundation and spends most of the book being tossed by the wind. Savannah is emotionally weak and a wreak. She transforms and takes over the spot Tristan once held.

The miscommunication between Tristan and Savannah is ridiculous and annoying. Could they be any more dumb? They don't even attempt to find out what the truth is, but rather willingly allow themselves to ride a roller coaster through misledville. The section on personal forgiveness was just cheesy to me and caused me no small amount of eye rolling. The time span covered in this book feels rather large. It often felt like I was stuck in the mire of mundane with only an occasional juicy tidbit. Letting this one simmer a bit longer would have weeded out a bit more and made the high points that much better. They seem to have every magical and mythical ability at their finger tips and yet they do not take advantage of them. Just one more example of having too much stuffed into a short span of pages. I feel like I really know these characters and just how they would react to anything. But I didn't feel very connected to their plight despite that knowledge.

I certainly don't covet what they have going on. In fact Covet doesn't even seem like the right title. You can't covet what belongs to you. A better title might have been Pining. I liked this book in a hopeful sort of way. I wanted some resolution after so many pages. When I hit the end I really wanted to rate this a two. But after sleeping on my thoughts I woke with a curiousity. So despite the ending I did have some care distilled into my brain where it concerns a few of these characters. 

Spoiler Section:
I am curious to read the epic show down between Emily and Tristan. Hypocrite, anyone? I am not really sure why Savannah is so torn up at the end. She can't make the decisions for everyone nor can she take the responsibility for their decisions. Tristan got what he wanted so just let it go and move forward. Tone down the guilt already. I really have some desire to see a team made up of the half-breeds and the werepanthers. It sounds like it would make for some super outcast society.

Content:
Violence: Moderate

Moments Divine:
"My mother would crap kittens if she knew all this."
------------------------------------------------------------
"First off, no one goes hunting with a gun. Guns are for hunting people. Rifles are for hunting animals. . . Besides, compound bows are more fun to use than a rifle and a heck of a lot harder to shoot yourself with." Her face wrinkled into a frown. "Though I guess if you were a complete idiot you might accidentally shoot yourself in the foot. Or if you had the worst luck on the planet, a crappy shaft could explode and stab you through the hand. And of course you have to use proper technique so you don't derail the string and kill your arm or take out an eyeball or something. . ."