Saturday, April 08, 2017

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

From Goodreads:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

The Raven Cycle was my first encounter with Maggie Stiefvater, and it made her an immediate favorite author.  She is talented in so many different ways, writing, art, music, cooking, she just constantly amazes me.

Going back to Shiver, which was not her first novel, but at least one of her earlier ones, I was interested to see how it compared to The Raven Boys, and while TRB is a much more complex story, there is plenty in Shiver to like.  I actually ended up listening to this one, and the voice for Grace just seemed too young to me, but then it's been quite awhile since I was that age.  Yes, it is an angsty teen werewolf story, there is romance, and friend troubles, but the main characters are well done, with back stories and family challenges that add depth to their story.  The method of becoming a werewolf is traditional, being bitten, but there's more.  Grace herself is an anomaly, having been bitten in her childhood, but never turned.  Turning isn't moon driven in this story, it's based on temperature, but they can still only hold it off for so long, and there comes a time when they may not turn back, so there is the tragic aspect of losing your humanity forever. While some revel in the wolf and never want to turn back, Sam wishes he could stay human, to be with Grace.

I can definitely see Maggie has matured and grown as a writer over time, but I feel like whatever she does, she adds a unique spin, and I'm looking forward to the rest of this series, and catching up on everything else she has done, and will do!  In fact, I had to pre-order  All the Crooked Saints because she was offering to draw doodles on a limited number and I couldn't resist! Here is artwork she made for the Raven Cycle books, along with music she wrote for The Raven King, which I believe they used in the audiobook:


I may just be a little bit of a Stiefvater fan girl. ;)

My TBR List Winner April 2017 - The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley



 And the winner is...


From Goodreads:

The Invincible Ninth Roman Legion Marches from York to Fight The Northern Tribes. and then Vanishes from the Pages of History.

Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea.

Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he's finally found it—not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has "seen" a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades.

Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason.

There are so many of my interests packed into one book!  Scotland, Archaeology, Roman History, Ghosts!  I'm really looking forward to it, thanks for the pick everyone!



50% of the votes

33% of the votes

17% of the votes

Saturday, April 01, 2017

My TBR List April 2017 - Animals



Welcome to my April 2017 edition of My To Be Read List, hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. This is a monthly meme where we offer up 3 choices from our TBR pile for our readers to pick from to help us make the super hard decision of "what do I read next?" a little easier and to whittle away at the ever growing TBR Mountain! 

Theme: Animals -  Each of these has an animal in the title, and a mystery to be solved!  You may in fact notice that two of them appear to be about the same mystery, at different times, and I swear I didn't even notice that until I did this write up, I just picked them from my voluminous shelves because they had animals in the title, synopsis unread!

I still owe you last month's review as well, for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, coming soon!

The poll will stay open through Friday 4/7, and I'll update this post with the winning book on Saturday 4/8, then post a review on the last Saturday of the month, 4/29.

If you think this sounds fun and would like to join (the more the merrier, because we love voting!) please head on over to Because Reading where Michelle lays out the rules for us!

And the choices are...



Book Synopsis:

The Ninth Legion marching into the mists of Northern Britain -- and they were never seen again.  Four thousand men disappeared and their eagle standard was lost.  It's a mystery that's never been solved, until now...

Marcus has to find out what happened to his father, who led the legion.  So he sets out into the unknown, on a quest so dangerous that nobody expects him to return.
From Goodreads:

The Invincible Ninth Roman Legion Marches from York to Fight The Northern Tribes. and then Vanishes from the Pages of History.

Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea.

Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he's finally found it—not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has "seen" a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades.

Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason.


From Goodreads:

Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagines he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less an audacious teenage girl with a penchant for detection. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes' pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises and danger. But when an elusive villain enters the picture, their partnership is put to a real test.


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Saturday, March 11, 2017

My TBR List - March 2017 Winner: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater



 And the winner is...


From Goodreads:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

You all were clearly into werewolves this time!  I'm really looking forward to any and all of Maggie's books, so here we go!  Check out this blog post from Maggie herself talking about what it's like to be on her side of the signing table.



9 votes


4 votes


2 votes

Saturday, March 04, 2017

My TBR List - March 2017 - Maggie Stiefvater



Welcome to my March 2017 edition of My To Be Read List, hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. This is a monthly meme where we offer up 3 choices from our TBR pile for our readers to pick from to help us make the super hard decision of "what do I read next?" a little easier and to whittle away at the ever growing TBR Mountain! 

Theme: Maggie Stiefvater.  Maggie's The Raven Boys series really caught my attention and now she's an automatic buy for me. Help me decide what to start next!

The poll will stay open through Friday 3/10, and I'll update this post with the winning book on Saturday 3/11, then post a review on the last Saturday of the month, 3/25.

If you think this sounds fun and would like to join (the more the merrier, because we love voting!) please head on over to Because Reading where Michelle lays out the rules for us!

And the choices are...

From Goodreads:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
From Goodreads:

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
From Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .


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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.


My Review:

I was a little confused at first with the vampires but not vampires Blue Bloods, but quickly sorted that out. I liked Blade and his motley crew of humans and not humans, who of course are all more noble and loyal than the actual Nobles. His cockney accent that appears and disappears depending on his mental condition was a little irritating, but overall Blade is the type of damaged, doomed hero that I just love. Honoria is a great character too, taking the weight of the world on her shoulders until it finally falls apart and she has no other choice than to ask for help. Of course she should have asked so much earlier, but then we wouldn't have the emotional story that we have that showcases our characters honorable to a fault, but afraid to trust because they've been hurt in the past, tendencies. Not to say that they don't have their wicked sides, we get to see plenty of that too. ;)

I do think it's funny how Honoria is portrayed on the cover here, as she was actually quite modest and concerned about how she looked except when they were alone.  I'm quite certain she would have not been caught dead outside in fishnet stockings!  Not to mention the chiding she would have received from her sister, "You're not going to go out in that are you?!"

This was an enjoyable Victorian London, vampire romance with an interesting batch of side characters that I'm sure we'll see more of in the rest of the series. I'm looking forward to them!

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 11, 2017

My TBR List - February 2017 Winner - Kiss of Steel



 And the winner is...


From Goodreads:

When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

I'll eventually get to all of these, but for now you've chosen Kiss of Steel for me!  Check back on 2/25 to see what I thought!


8 votes6 votes5 votes

Saturday, February 04, 2017

My TBR List - February 2017 - Kissing Books?!



Welcome to my February 2017 edition of My To Be Read List, hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. This is a monthly meme where we offer up 3 choices from our TBR pile for our readers to pick from to help us make the super hard decision of "what do I read next?" a little easier and to whittle away at the ever growing TBR Mountain! 

Theme: Kissing Books! These books all have "Kiss" in the title.

The poll will stay open through Friday 2/10, and I'll update this post with the winning book on Saturday 2/11, then post a review on the last Saturday of the month, 2/25.

If you think this sounds fun and would like to join (the more the merrier, because we love voting!) please head on over to Because Reading where Michelle lays out the rules for us!

And the choices are...

From Goodreads:

Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family beats her to it.

Complication One: Her grandfather was Mr. Wainwright and the artifacts are lost somewhere in what is now Jane Jameson's book shop.

Complication Two: her new neighbor, Jed Trudeau, who keeps turning up half naked at the strangest times, a distraction Nola doesn't need. And teaming up with a real-life Adonis is as dangerous as it sounds, especially when he’s got the face of an angel and the abs of a washboard—can Nola complete her mission before falling completely under his spell?
From Goodreads:

When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.
From Goodreads:

One kiss can change the course of destiny...

When ace accountant Sara Keegan decides to settle down and run her quirky aunt's New Age bookstore, she's not looking for adventure. She doesn't believe in fate or the magic of tarot cards, but when she's saved from a vicious attack by a man who has the ability to turn into a fire-breathing dragon, she questions whether she's losing her mind - or about to lose her heart.

Self-reliant loner Quinn Tyrrell has long been distrustful of his fellow Pyr. When he feels the firestorm that signals his destined mate, he's determined to protect and possess Sara, regardless of the cost. Then Sara's true destiny is revealed and Quinn realizes he must risk everything - even Sara's love - to fulfill their entwined fates.


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