Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bout of Books 17 - August 22 - 28

Bout of Books

It's time for Bout of Books 17! It's just the thing to help me recover from Worldcon 74! So awesome, but so tiring, more on that in another post! I'm so glad I have this read-a-thon to ease me down from that amazing event back into real life again, so it isn't quite a full stop back into the everyday. Even as an introvert it's a little jarring to go from super event to normal work, like nothing really happened. Oh but things did happen! I met PEOPLE, and I even TALKED to them! *gasp* (like 20+ authors, seriously) but again, that's for another post! Now we're going to have a big old reading party for a week, want to join me? Click on the picture above, or the link below!

Visit with us all on Twitter at #boutofbooks
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Updates and whatnot:

Day 1 - 8/22:
With All My Soul = 3:11 (stopped at 5:48)
The Bell Jar = 55 pages

Day 2 - 8/23:
With All My Soul = 2:14 (stopped at 8:02)
The Bell Jar = 41 pages (stopped at 96)
Serpent's Kiss = 45 pages (started at 175, stopped 220)
Total Pages = 86

Day 3 - 8/24:
With All My Soul = 1:09 (stopped at 9:11)
Serpent's Kiss = 60 pages (started at 220, stopped 280)

Day 4 - 8/25:
With All My Soul = :44 (stopped at 9:55)
Serpent's Kiss = 32 pages (started at 280, stopped 312)
The Bell Jar = 60 pages (stopped at 156)
Total Pages = 92

Day 5 - 8/26:
With All My Soul = ?? (stopped at ??)
The Bell Jar = ?? pages (stopped at ??)

Total Pages = 293
Hours listened = 7:18

TBR Pile (subject to change without notice, even to me!):


Friday, July 22, 2016

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

From Goodreads:

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.

While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place - Aldrich Castle - but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

Mistaken for a lady's maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there's some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.

I joined in the Big Library Read this round for A Murder in Time.  Time travel, historical fiction, a serial killer, it sounded interesting, and I'm glad to say it was!  It was kind of like Downton Abbey meets CSI.  It seems far fetched that anyone would have paid heed to Kendra's knowledge of a serial killer's reasoning, but that is smoothed over with The Duke, who is a bit eccentric himself, and willing to be open minded when others are not. I really enjoyed his character and would have liked to spend a little more time with him and his interests and hobbies in the story.  I also liked the lynch pin that belief in her story rested on for Alec, but I don't want to spoil that tidbit for anyone.

A Murder in Time was historically interesting, fast paced and kept me guessing!  I really wasn't sure who the murderer was. I'm glad to see that there is another book in the series coming next spring, to continue Kendra's story.

COYER Bingo R15
I Love Libraries Challenge 2016
2016 New Releases Challenge
2016 COYER Summer Vacation

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Make Me Read It Read-a-thon - The Results and the Reading

I'm taking part in the Make Me Read It Read-a-thon hosted by  The Innocent Smiley and Tea and Titles, were I gave a list of books I needed to get through and had the public vote, with the most voted book being my starting point.

The results are in and it's time for the reading to begin!

I've ordered the covers from most votes to least (left to right), though I really only expect to get through 2 maybe 3 at the most.  I have to admit I'm not really surprised by the winner and next couple down. Time to put the eyes to the page and see how far I can get!

Come talk with us at #MakeMeRead !

So... pretty much I did terrible, thanks to Pokemon Go and just the book not going as quickly as I'd hoped, plus over extending my reading ability!  I did get to about 150 pages of Uprooted.  I really loved this idea, so I'm definitely in if there's another one!  hopefully next time no one will be releasing a super crazy popular game app at the same time! lol!


Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Master Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

From Goodreads:

Throughout her studies, Ceony Twill has harbored a secret, one she’s kept from even her mentor, Emery Thane. She’s discovered how to practice forms of magic other than her own — an ability long thought impossible.

While all seems set for Ceony to complete her apprenticeship and pass her upcoming final magician’s exam, life quickly becomes complicated. To avoid favoritism, Emery sends her to another paper magician for testing, a Folder who despises Emery and cares even less for his apprentice. To make matters worse, a murderous criminal from Ceony’s past escapes imprisonment. Now she must track the power-hungry convict across England before he can take his revenge. With her life and loved ones hanging in the balance, Ceony must face a criminal who wields the one magic that she does not, and it may prove more powerful than all her skills combined.

I read this as a Kindle Unlimited selection and really enjoyed the whole trilogy! I love the magic system that the author has created, with the paper folding and the glass, and other elements, and was really able to visualize Ceony's work in her different lessons, with the ability to bring origami creatures to a semblance of life.  It was delightful!

I love both Ceony and Emery, their personalities and their relationship, and Emery's complex creations, which I won't mention because I don't want to spoil anything.  I feel bad that I'm only reviewing the third book, in case you haven't read the others, so I'm going to be very general and not really discuss plot.

I will say that Ceony always seems to plunge headlong into trouble, after being warned to stay out of it, but in her defense, they always seem to ignore her worries, which turn out to be worth listening to.  On the whole I felt this whole trilogy was very engaging and enjoyable, I was very pleased with the ending, and after reading the first book, I did go check out some origami books from the library because I was just in the mood to make something! lol!  I didn't end up getting around to it, but the desire was there!

I highly recommend the Paper Magician Trilogy as a fun, fairly quick fantasy read.  I believe these would be good read-a-thon fare as all three are around 220 pages each and move at a good pace.

2016 COYER Summer Vacation
COYER Bingo Y23

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Updraft by Fran Wilde

From Goodreads:

In a city of living bone rising high above the clouds, where danger hides in the wind and the ground is lost to legend, a young woman must expose a dangerous secret to save everyone she loves.

Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage.

Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother's side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city's secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.

As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever - if it isn't destroyed outright.

Updraft was the June read in a Goodreads group I'm a member of called The Sword and Laser. It was an interesting world of bone towers rising above the clouds, where the primary method of transportation is for individuals to fly using what sounds like a type of hanglider contraption but with more detailed movement.  The picture above looks much larger and more framed than what is described in the book, in my opinion.  Not everyone flies, there are some bridges between towers, and there are flying traders that take goods between towers, of which Kirit's mother is one.  Kirit dreams of being like, and flying with her mother as a trader, but that is not to be, her fate lies elsewhere with other talents.

The structure of this world just brings up so many questions to me.  The bone is living, it grows, it fills in the lower spaces, the Singers can coax it to grow on the top of the towers, adding new living tiers.  So that hints at something very large living below the clouds that these bone towers, spires/spines? are a part of, doesn't it?  They are fairly sturdy, but they do sometimes break, toppling those who live there out of the sky, most likely to their deaths, what other outcome could there be?  What came about to cause a people to live that way?  I hope we learn more in the next book!

I liked Kirit, she knew exactly what she wanted, and it wasn't unreasonable.  The problem was there were so many secrets and past events stacked against her, she really had no chance of realizing her goals.  She was presented with many difficult dilemmas for young adult, and it seemed like the odds were constantly against her.  Sometimes the decisions she made were very unpleasant, in trying for the greater good, and there was a lot of weight on her shoulders.

Overall an interesting read with a very different structure of world, good characters and a plot full of intrigue.  I'm looking forward to the next book, Cloudbound, due out in September of this year.

2016 I Love Libraries Challenge
2016 COYER Summer Vacation
COYER Bingo E4

Monday, June 27, 2016

Night Shift by Charlaine Harris

From Goodreads:

At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town.

Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place.

And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose—which just might happen—it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be...

I am so sad to be saying goodbye to the residents of Midnight, Texas in this last book of the trilogy! I feel like we'd just really warmed up to them all, their quirks, their secrets, their abilities, and now it's over! A lot happens in this third book, most of it very spoilery if you haven't read the first two. There is a lot of big weirdness, some big reveals that I really didn't see coming, and while I did enjoy Night Shift, I really feel like it could have been made into a longer series that explored the characters more. Each book was successively more paranormal than the last as each of the residents is revealed for what they are, or what they can do.  Some you start out knowing and their talents grow or develop in different ways, some wait until near the end to show themselves in their glory, though you begin to suspect earlier on.

While I have a few personal criticisms of the plot, I really am sorry to see it end, and you know that when you feel that way, it was a good story, with well developed characters that have come to life.  There were character crossovers with Harris' other series, Manfred from the Harper Connelly series (probably my favorite of her stories), and I suspect Lemuel's associates may have appeared in the Sookie Stackhouse series though I'm only a few books in, so it's possible we'll see some of Midnight's townfolk again somewhere down the line.  Hope springs eternal!

2016 New Releases Challenge
2016 I Love Libraries Challenge
E9 of the COYER Bingo Challenge

Saturday, June 18, 2016

COYER - Clean Out Your E-Reader Summer 2016 - June 18 - September 2, 2016

What is it?

A read and review-a-thon that takes place from June 18th through Sept 2nd. Originally intended to help you work off those e-reader freebies, the Summer COYER throws those rules away and lets you read anything you want, any price you want, library books, freebies, review copies, your own purchased books, anything!

Where do you sign up?

Check out the rules and regs (I thought you said we threw away the rules?! We did, sort of, but you still have to sign up in the right place and do challenges in the right place, that kind of thing) at Fantasy is more Fun, Because Reading or Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!. All three have the same sign up, so you can go to any of them.

Then what?

Read! Read like the wind!  Do some reviews and just have fun! We also have a facebook group!

Currently Reading:

Finished - To Be Reviewed:



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