Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Lost Prince (Seaborne, Bk 1)


Title: The Lost Prince (Seaborne, Bk 1)

Author: Matt Myklusch

Publisher: Egmont USA

ISBN: 9781606845264 (Advance Reader Copy)

Obtained: NetGalley

This is the first book I've ever received through NetGalley.

I enjoyed it, especially Dean Seaborne (though the name Dean just doesn't strike me as very pirate ... or spy).  He was resourceful and didn't give up on life when he very easily could have.  Also, he was relatively honorable and loyal, considering what his "profession".

I look forward to seeing more of his adventures.  But while I wait for the bk 2 in the Seaborne series to come out, I think I may try Matt Myklusch's Jack Blank series.  It sounds interesting, with a common orphan theme.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Catch-up, Pt 3

Title: O Pioneers!

Author: Willa Cather [Willa Cather Foundation][Willa Cather Archive][PBS American Masters]

Read for a book discussion.  At first it very much felt like required school reading, but eventually I became more interested.  The last quarter was strange, IMO.

Title: Paradise (Second Opportunities, Bk 1) (re-read)

Author: Judith McNaught [Website][Facebook]

Read just because.  I admittedly skimmed some at the beginning.

Title: Remember When (Foster Saga, 2) (re-read)

Author: Judith McNaught [Website][Facebook]

After reading Paradise, I had a need to read this one.

Title: Tell Me No Lies (re-read)

Author: Elizabeth Lowell [Website][Facebook][Twitter] aka Ann Maxwell

This was in the same box as the Judith McNaught books and appealed.  I couldn't remember much of the story, just that I had liked it when I initially read it and the one time I re-read it before.

Title: Heroes Are My Weakness

Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

The title caught my interest.  But it turns out I enjoyed it.  I liked the ventriloquist thing.  And quite frankly I liked Annie.  Though the big bad secret from the past was weird (kinda horrible, really).  And I guessed parts of the history in question before it was revealed.  I wasn't especially happy about the other stuff going on, either.

Title: Breathing Room (re-read)

Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Read just because.  I admittedly skimmed some at the beginning.

Title: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Author: Jonas Jonasson [Website]

Read for book club.  This was my pick and I was so pleased to find it was hilarious.  I loved the historical elements.  Allan kinda struck me as a sociopath, but in such a way that I couldn't resist enjoying him and his exploits anyway.  Also, the author is Swedish.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Catch-up, Pt 2

I continue to attempt catching up with the many books read but not posted in months.


Title: Loot: How To Steal a Fortune

Author: Jude Watson [Websiteaka Judy Blundell [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Scholastic Press

ISBN: 9780545468022

Length: 266 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book:

It features thieves, and I love books about thieves.

Comments:

It was okay, but not as good as I had hoped when I read the blurb and requested the library purchase it.

Christine Feehan [Website][Facebook][Twitter]'s GhostWalker Series

A friend asked me to be in her wedding.  while we were discussing old times, she asked if I still read Christine Feehan (an author I introduced her to)'s books.  I said I hadn't in a while.

But afterwards I suddenly felt like catching up on this particular series. So I read all that have been published to date.  I'll indicate if it was a re-read or new to me next to the title.

1. Shadow Game (re-read)
2. Mind Game (re-read)
3. Night Game (re-read)
4. Conspiracy Game (re-read)
5. Deadly Game (re-read)
6. Predatory Game (re-read)
7. Murder Game (re-read)
8. Street Game (re-read ... I think)
9. Ruthless Game (new-to-me)
10. Samurai Game (new-to-me)
11. Viper Game (new-to-me)

Comments:

These seem to be focusing more and more on sex.  I guess I should expect that, but it was annoying because I was skipping chunks of pages looking for the story toward the end of the series.  But I am still interested in reading more, so we'll see how it goes with future books.

Title: An Early Wake

Author: Sheila Connolly [Website][Facebook] aka Sarah Atwell [Berkley Prime Crime]

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery

Series: County Cork Mystery, Bk 3

ISBN: 9780425252536

Length: 291 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I've been enjoying this series and author.

Comments:

Offered an interesting look into Irish musical history.  I enjoyed the overall story, but there were some inconsistencies that frustrated me beyond belief.  I had to keep setting the book down and distracting myself from whatever inconsistency before I moved on.

Nora Roberts [Website][Website 2][Facebook] re-reading and catch-up and all new...



Title: Brazen Virtue (re-read)

Follows Sacred Sins.  I've re-read this before and know and like the story.  But this time I saw it with fresh eyes.  Oh, technology.  How it does date books so.  I was 4 yo when this book was published.



The Sign of Seven Trilogy (new-to me ; catch-up)

Blood Brothers
The Hollow
The Pagan Stone

I had some trouble with picking these up when they came out years ago (even though I do own all of them).  Once I actually started I found myself caught up.  The books were interesting, and I liked the characters.



The Circle Trilogy (new-to-me ; catch-up)

Morrigan's Cross
Dance of the Gods
Valley of Silence

If I was going to catch-up on some unread trilogies, I may as well go all the way.  I was apparently in the right frame of mind for vampires now (that is, initially, why I never read this series).  I breezed through the series; I especially looked forward to the vampire's story in the 3rd book of the trilogy.



Title: The Liar (new)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

ISBN: 9780399170867

Length: 501 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

It's the newest Nora Roberts.

Comments:

It was pretty interesting: 1) the look at verbal abuse and its spiraling effect, 2) how one falls into the web of a master con-man, 3) how someone can pick themselves back up.

Shelby did seem to go from being shamed (courtesy of lies of an abuser) to proud (she had to do all the financial pick-up herself... no bankruptcy etc. for her).  But I still liked her.  And Griffin was pretty good too.  I did figure certain key aspects out way before any of the characters in the book.  Maybe because I've seen it in other books/movies before.  And I'll say no more lest I give something away.

Catch-up, Pt 1

Life got busy and complicated and my blog suffered for it.  But I have still been reading.  I'm going to try to remember everything (except the kids books).  I'll write a little something about the books if I can (such as if I jotted notes down, or if I read it recently).  I have to do this in multiple parts because I'm limited by the tags.

Here we go...

Title: Prayers for Sale

Author: Sandra Dallas [Website][Facebook]

This was a book club read.  I had the following notes saved on my phone...


I enjoyed. Historical fiction can be so interesting, and this fit the bill. Stretched between the Civil War, the Depression, and Mining. Plus the Colorado Mountain setting, the old teaching the young, the storytelling, and the friendship aspects... They combination appealed to me. There was both sorrow and joy, but overall I enjoyed the book and look forward to trying more by Sandra Dallas. I discovered at the end that some of the characters can be found in other books so I intend to go back and discover these additional stories.





Title: Trust No One

Author: Jayne Ann Krentz [Website][Facebook] aka Jayne Castle aka Amanda Quick

Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons

ISBN: 9780399165139

Length: 327 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

It's JAK.

Comments:

I like Grace and Julius. ... and that is as far as I got on this book in my draft posts from early February.

Title: The Curl Up and Dye [Goodreads]

Author: Sharon Sala [Website][Facebook][Twitter] aka Dinah McCall

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Series: Follows the novella Color Me Bad

ISBN: 9781402283970

Length: 288 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:

It was the January title for the discussion group I'm leading.

Comments: Also as far as I had gotten in a draft post from early February.  LilyAnn has been living a tedious life, until one day she gets a wake-up call and starts making some changes.

Is the south (southern USA) really like this?  Every time I read a book about small town southern life I wonder.

Title: The Tusk That Did the Damage

Author: Tania James [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Obtained: Free ARC from ALA Midwinter Conference

Why this book?:

I couldn't resist the cover, the title, or the little bit that I read of the blurb (the first sentence or two).

Comments:

It wasn't exactly what I expected, especially with the multiple perspectives.  But that didn't make it less interesting.  As I was adding this my nephew (7 yo) came up behind me and read the title.  I told him that some people do horrible things and kill elephants and rhinos for their tusks/horns.  He says, "Can't they just cut them off without killing them?" I say, "Cutting them off can kill them.  People don't need that stuff."  He thinks and responds, "Why don't they just cut them off dead ones?" (meaning those who've died of natural causes).  He was called away before I could respond...  ::sigh::

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Undone Deeds

Title: Undone Deeds

Author:  Mark Del Franco [Website][Facebook]

Publisher: ACE Fantasy (Penguin Group)

Series: Connor Grey, Bk 6

ISBN: 9781101578667

Length: 336 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:  The is the final book in the series.  I had to see how it all ended.

Comments:

As it turns out, I do not really know what to say about this one.  Connor is scrambling, things are crumbling.  The world is on the verge of war, starting in Boston.  A war between Celtic fey, Teutonic fey, the Dead, Solitaires, and humans.  The end is a whirl of confusion that, quite frankly, was difficult for me to follow.  And "that's all there is; there ain't no more."  Because I have no other thoughts on the matter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dreamer's Pool

Title: Dreamer's Pool

Author: Juliet Marillier [Website][Facebook]

Publisher: ROC

Series: Blackthorn & Grim, Bk 1

ISBN: 9780451466990

Length: 434 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

The series title "Blackthorn & Grim" caught my attention when I saw this on Wowbrary... it's the Grim thing.  I had to read the synopsis, and though it obviously was unrelated to anything "Grimm", the concept sounded very intriguing.

Comments:

This was the second book I read on my trip to the Dominican Republic, and it was a great choice.  Blackthorn and Grim's circumstances in the beginning are horrible, drear, and, quite frankly, hopeless.  But I guess there is always hope, because they end up on a journey that, if finished could bring a new chance at life.

The characters have very strong perspectives, and I always appreciate that in a book.  The character that really stood out to me was Grim.  I really, really liked him.  If felt sorrow for his hurts, and proud when he showed himself off well.  I also liked Blackthorn, but I didn't relate to her all-consuming sense of bitterness and anger.  Perhaps if I walked in her shoes.  But I would guess that I'm more the type to react to troubles in life more like Grim than Blackthorn overall.  I cared least for Oran's perspective, though he seemed like a mostly okay guy.  I was always impatient to get back to Blackthorn or Grim, though.

When it came to Oran's issue, I did suspect what was wrong long before anyone else.  So I simmered with impatience while I waited for Blackthorn and Grim to discover what was wrong.  There is also another mystery in the story that I guessed, somewhat off hand, and then dismissed so it managed to surprise me when it came back up.  And even then I never guessed all the details.

While not the longest ever, this is a book of substance, and I moved relatively quickly through it.  It had its moments of high emotion, and by the end I was crying.  I cannot wait for book 2, Tower of Thorns, expected to be out in late 2015.

Interview with the author can be found here:

Darkstars Fantasy News Interview with Juliet Marillier
and
in German

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Question of the Missing Head

Title: The Question of the Missing Head [Goodreads]

Author: E.J. Copperman [Website][Facebook][Twitter] aka Jeff Cohen [Website][Facebook][Twitter] aka Jeffrey Cohen

Publisher: Midnight Ink

Series: Asperger's Mystery, Bk 1

ISBN: 9780738741512

Length: 324 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I enjoy cozy mysteries and this sounded especially interesting.

Comments:

I started reading this on January 1st, on a plane to the Dominican Republic.  I sometimes have trouble reading on planes because I can be distracted by motion sickness (nothing horrible, just a little uncomfortable).  So the choice of book was important.  It had to catch my attention and keep it.  I wasn't sure if any cozy was really going to do that for me, but to my pleasure, this one did.  So I read it on the plane, on the beach, and in my air conditioned and fan turned all the way up room (I'm not good with heat).

I found Samuel Hoenig to be a very interesting character.  I understand not everyone with Asperger's is the same. Not only is that addressed in the book, but I also "read" (spoke to) a "Human Book" about Asperger's at a "Human Library" booth at the past Printer's Row Lit Fest.  And I have a cousin with Asperger's (granted, one I don't know well because of an age difference), that is different than both the fellow I met at the Lit Fest and Samuel.  But that did not make Samuel any less interesting as a character.  He has a certain routine he expects to follow even as he runs his own business (of one).

His business is also interesting.  Questions Answered does exactly what it seems.  Questions varying from the answer to a crossword, to if a ball can be hit out of the park in a new stadium, to where a head may have disappeared to.  As a librarian, I'm in the business of answering questions myself (though I don't believe myself to be nearly as intelligent and/or observant as Samuel nor do I have the time for such extensive research).

Samuel has just met a lady, Ms. Washburn, and asked her to assist with his newest question.  Ms. Washburn is interesting in and of herself.  She was a substitute teacher, one with training in instructing children with autism spectrum disorders.  (Though who knew substitute teachers got any real training?  I certainly didn't.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't in my hometown.)  But she is able to work with Samuel in a way others do not.  I liked her.

The case itself is strange.  A head has gone missing from a Cryonics Institute.  Samuel plays detective of sorts (though he wouldn't look at it that way himself) in attempt to determine who might have stolen the head, where it might be, and who might have committed murder.

I look forward to reading more of this series, which is supposed to have at least two more.

Uncerain Allies (Connor Grey, Bk 5) AND New Tricks ; Unleashed ; Play Dead (Dog Days, Bks 2-4)

Uncertain Allies (Connor Grey, Bk 5)

Author:  Mark Del Franco [Website][Facebook]

Publisher: ACE Fantasy

Series: Connor Grey, Bk 5

ISBN: 9781101514078

Length: 308 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:  I've been reading the series.

New Tricks (Dog Days, Bk 2)

Author: John Levitt [Website] aka J. R. Levitt

Publisher: Ace Books

Series: Dog Days, Bk 2

ISBN: 9781440642814

Length: 320 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:

I've been reading the series.

Unleashed (Dog Days, Bk 3)

Author: John Levitt [Website] aka J. R. Levitt

Publisher: Ace Books

Series: Dog Days, Bk 3

ISBN: 9781101151532

Length: 304 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:

I've been reading the series.

Play Dead (Dog Days, Bk 4)

Author: John Levitt [Website] aka J. R. Levitt

Publisher: Ace Books

Series: Dog Days, Bk 4

ISBN: 9781101477786

Length: 304 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:

I've been reading the series.


Comments:

I was on something of a Urban Fantasy kick, finishing up some series I had started.  I read all of these in December 2014.

Uncertain Allies - More of the world tearing apart and Connor being blamed for at least some of it.  By this point I was ready for Connor to get a break.

New Tricks - Mason doesn't clue in about something pretty big, and his poor judgment of character was very annoying.  But otherwise I guess the book was okay.

Unleashed - The title says it all.  Bad stuff has been unleashed on the world.  Mason must fix this (not only to save the world, but because he is at least partially to blame).

Play Dead - The cliffhanger ending, combined with the fact that this is likely the last book (no more are planned), has overwhelmed the rest of the story for me.  What on Earth?

Anyway, this meant the end to the Dog Days series, and I finished the final Connor Grey book, Undone Deeds, in the new year (post to come).  You know what I was thinking as I read these?  I want another Twenty Palaces book by Harry Connolly (another series that is gone).  ::sigh::  Maybe I'll finally read some of the Dresden series soon (as almost EVERYONE refers to it when speaking of male-author urban fantasy series).

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Black Widow

Title: Black Widow

Author: Jennifer Estep [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Pocket Books Urban Fantasy

Series: Elemental Assassin, Bk 12

ISBN: 9781476774541

Length: 357 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I'm a big fan of this series.

Comments:

Once again I was tense through much of this book.  It was pretty consistently high danger.  The exception being some of the description, which I tend to skim over (I'm not a very visual reader - I "hear" more than "see" when I read.)  There are flashbacks, which I'm not a fan of, but as long as they remain about events that I haven't already read are acceptable.  And they were relevant to the story.  Which is...

Gin's world is constantly changing as she faces each new bad dude, and her conflict with MM Monroe will bring even more change.  The late big bad Mab's daughter has finally chosen to strike out at Gin.  She isn't so direct as her mother, and her maneuvering seems to hit all the harder because of it.  But Gin isn't one to just back down.

I can't wait to read the next book, Spider's Trap, due out July 2015.

Dog Days

Title: Dog Days

Author: John Levitt [Website] aka J. R. Levitt

Publisher: Penguin

Series: Dog Days, Bk 1

ISBN: 9781101208663

Length: 304 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:

I saw another book in this series on Wowbrary and it caught my interest.  But I read series in order, so this one needed to come first.  I didn't want to wait for ILL so I requested my library purchase the ebook.

Comments:

Mason is a magic practitioner with a dog-like companion (an Ifrit) name Lou/Louie.  He's not very invested in his magic.  He uses it sure, but he doesn't put much into it.  Music is more his thing.  But someone seems to have a problem with him, and he's found himself in some sticky situations.  Situations that may or may not be related to some strange goings-on.

I enjoyed reading this, though I had trouble with one part.  The reasoning in the book is that people familiar with magic and Ifrits just expect things to happen a certain way, but... Well it bothered me, but I moved past it, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, New Tricks.