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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
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