Friday, April 25, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon April 26th, 2014


It's time for the 2014 April Edition of Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon! I'm going to focus on short stories today as I have quite a few to choose from!  I'm actually going to cheat and start early since I'll have to run some errands tomorrow and just can't stay up as late as I'd like to and still function on Sunday, so for me, Read-a-thon starts.... NOW! WOOT!

TBR:

Magic Mourns in Must Love Hellhounds (Kate Daniels 3.5) by Ilona Andrews - 77 pages
The Grimoire of the Lamb (Iron Druid #.4) by Kevin Hearne - 76 pages
The Chapel Perilous (Iron Druid #4.6) by Kevin Hearne - 33 pages
A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows (Outlander #8.5) by Diana Gabaldon - 55 pages
A Plague of Zombies (Outlander, Lord John Grey #3.5) by Diana Gabaldon - 94 pages
Retro Demonology (Demon Trappers #.5) by Jana Oliver - 31 pages
Elusive Memories (The Hunted #1) by Amanda Shofner - 95 pages

And... whatever else I decide to be in the mood for! Pro Tip: If it's not working for you, switch to something else!  Nothing can kill your momentum faster than struggling with a book you're just not bonding with at the time.  Set it aside for something easier, shorter, funnier, scarier whatever it takes to keep your interest and get you back into the groove!

Updates:

9:00 AM - so my big talk about starting early didn't really happen.  Also, I wish that the Kindle short stories were more story and less excerpt of another book, because I don't read those, I wait until I read the actual book. I've managed 2 REALLY short stories, only about 31 pages so far because I slept in:

Retro Demonology by Jana Oliver
Guns for the Dead by Melissa Marr

4:30 PM - Back from errands and lunch, updating with a snack of strawberries and a Reeses Peanut Butter Egg!  While out and about I finished:

The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne
A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon
and started Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi

So my page count is up to 119, which doesn't sound like much, but for me lately, that's pretty good!  It seems like I manage fewer and fewer pages each read-a-thon!  See ya later!

 5:40 PM finished Roar and Liv, and now I'm going to dive into Elusive Memories by Amanda Shofner, coming soon!

10:00 PM - after an extended gaming and facebook and 2048 Loki edition break *looks ashamed* I jumped back in and really got going on Elusive Memories.  The Kindle says I have less than two hours to go on it, so fingers crossed that I can get that and maybe one more short story finished.  We shall see!  I am still going for the moment!

10:30 PM - I discovered I won a doorprize in hour 15!  First time ever!  Woohoo!  Thanks so much!

12:45 PM - Done with Elusive Memories!  I think that will be all for me for this Dewey's, so my total is around 267 pages.  Thanks again to everyone that helps organize the read-a-thon, and congrats on it being the biggest yet! 

Finished:

95 pages?
54 pages
55 pages
33 pages
11 pages
20 pages

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Disillusionists by Carolyn Crane


The Disillusionists by Carolyn Crane

Mind Games (#1)

JUSTINE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. ANY SECOND NOW.

Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.


Double Cross (#2)
Kitten-Tiger and the Monk (#2.5)
Head Rush (#3)
Devil's Luck (#3.5) 

I finally finished this series up earlier this year, and I loved it, it's become one of my favorite Urban Fantasy stories. I have only shown the blurb for the first book above so I don't spoil anything for you and because it was way too long otherwise. 

The idea of using personality traits as a weapon grabbed me first.  Zinging a criminal with an overdose of fear, recklessness, despair and apathy, anger and more in an attempt to short circuit them from their wicked ways, and reboot them into a life lived by the law isn't like anything I had heard before.  Normally your super powers are being able to fly, shooting lightning bolts, super strength, you know the ones.  But super paranoia? Super recklessness? How was that going to work?

While this new idea got my attention, it was the characters that kept me hooked, Justine the most, her inner monologues as she grapples with her paranoia were so akin to some of the conversations I've had with myself that I really bonded to her, I got her 100%.  The other Disillusionists are pretty much defined by their traits, but are lovable in their own ways. Packard is a mystery, and one Justine is alternately drawn to and frustrated by.  She initially idolizes Otto the Midcity police chief, as does most of the city for his heroic battle against crime, but in time finds out that he hasn't been completely honest with her either. 

Towering over all is the Tangle, a complex mess of highway bridges that seem to be a character in it's own right.  It's a fantastic stage that gives the feel of a system completely overburdened and decaying, that has become so massive and top heavy it's amazing it doesn't collapse on itself, but provides a perfect location for nefarious activity and hideouts.

I'm sad that the story has come to an end, but I'm satisfied with it. 

Right now Carolyn is working on a romantic suspense series called Undercover Associates that I'm looking forward to trying out.  While I'm typically more of a fantasy and paranormal fan, it's her character development and interaction that I really enjoy, regardless of the setting.  For more information on her work see Carolyn Crane's Website.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

From Goodreads:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

From Goodreads:

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

The Raven Boys was my first Maggie Stiefvater book and I'm looking forward to the rest! I have enjoyed the Raven Cycle so much so far, I was drawn in immediately, it was such an interesting idea that spoke to my love of ancient history and the mysteries that abound there. It seemed like such an odd combination to have a private school boy have an obsession with finding the burial place of an ancient Celtic king in Virginia, which isn't actually as out there as it at first sounds if you do a little digging.  History is full of very interesting things we were never told in school. ;)

The range of personalities is wide, from Gansey's easy elegance and competence to Ronan's abrasive destructiveness, Adam's struggles with his pride and anger at his inferior beginnings and Blue's disregard of their social status.  They are all far points on a compass that balance each other beautifully and make for a rounded story.  Even Ronan's pet Chainsaw has her own distinct attitude that made her seem very real, and very much a part of the story.

I actually have to say I liked The Raven Boys a little better than The Dream Thieves which focuses more on Ronan and his fight to master his dreams.  I love Ronan's character, and the dream aspect is very appealing as a plot device but the story line seemed a little more far fetched than in the first book, though still interesting and enjoyable.  I'm completely on board for the rest of the series, and the rest of Maggie Stiefvater's books!

See Maggie Stiefvater's Website for more information on her work.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Seriously Series 2014 - First Check In



I can't believe it's already April, this year is flying by! It's time to check in on the Seriously Series Challenge and see how we're doing! Above are most of the books I've accomplished so far this year for the challenge. Below are my status bars for each section.


Series Started Before 2014

Series = 5/19
 

Total Books = 8/32


Series Started In 2014

Series = 0/2
 

Total Books = 1/7


Series Re-Reads In 2014

Series  = 0/1
 

Total Books = 2/5


I'm exactly 25% of the way through the total number of books on my list, so I'm right on track!  How is everyone else doing?

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