Category Archives: Book Reviews

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) – Book Review

Published Date: September 5, 2006

Publishing Co.: Berkley Sensation

Pages: 334

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I read Singh’s first book in her Guild Hunter series years ago and really enjoyed it at the time. Rarely am I in the mood to read romance so when I found this at a used bookshop for $0.50, I thought I’d give the series a try.

There were aspects of this that I really enjoyed. The emotionless race of Psy and the network they linked their conscious to for information was a pretty fascinating premise and I could read about it for hours. I will always remain a sucker for shapeshifters so combining the two races and the hierarchy of the world they live in was another reason I should love this series. I even enjoyed the burgeoning relationship between the two main characters, and many of the side characters as well.

BUT, the gratuitous sex scenes just interrupted the more interesting parts of the story. I wouldn’t have minded that in and of itself but I didn’t particularly like the sex. I think a lot of it had to due with the naivety of the female MC. I guess I like a female that knows what she wants and has no problem demanding it of a man.

Unfortunately, after taking a peak at the summary of the next book, this is one of those series that each book focuses on a new couple and that just isn’t something I dig. Once I get committed to characters, I like to stick with them. If the series continued with the characters we were introduced to in this series, I would at least give the second book a shot, but since it doesn’t, I don’t think I’ll be continuing.

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Girls Burn Brighter – Book Review

Published Date: March 6, 2018

Publishing Co.: Flatiron Books

Pages: 309

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A story I won’t soon forget.

Poornima and Savitha are two girls born into a poor village in India. Everyday is a struggle to survive. To have enough food, not to fill their bellies, but just enough to keep them alive. To make enough money to buy the bare essentials. Living in shacks with no doors, dirt floors and sleeping on mats. Poornima’s father is desperate to marry her off, but her skin is too dark for most men’s taste. The dowry their families demand, too high for him to pay so he grows to despise her even more. Why did she have to be a girl?

Savitha’s father is an alcoholic who begs at the temple for hand outs. Her mother works as a servant, which is considered low class. She has several sisters and she’s determined to earn their dowry money before her own so that they may have better lives.

The two girls find each other and become best friends. Savitha brings a light to Poornima’s life that she didn’t know existed after the death of Poornima’s mother. Life begins to have a kind of hope.

Then, life promptly crushes that hope. Stomps on it and spits on it’s ashes, for both girls.

A cruel act forces Savitha to run away, and Poornima is married off to an evil family. Despite their desperate situations, they are both determined to find one another again. This begins a journey across countries, that takes darker and darker twists, with no promises that they’ll ever make it back to each other.

At times, this story tore my heart out of my chest. It is beautifully written, moderately paced and achingly real. A testament to the light that burns inside every human being, and that some torches refuse to be snuffed out no matter how dark life gets.

One Word Kill (Impossible Times #1) – Book Review

Published Date: May 1, 2019

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 201

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A group of D&D playing friends in the 80s struggle with their friend’s deadly illness, life drama and a stranger from the future who needs them to steal something from a tech company.

It’s incredibly hard to review a 201 page book without revealing too much about the plot and any surprises.

I found the characters to be enjoyable, relatable and fully able to carry the story to the places it went. The story itself was fast paced, only slowing down when our MC was dealing with his chemotherapy. Here, I thought Lawrence excelled at how it must feel to be battling a deadly disease. My one is issue is the ease with which they break into a tech company, their only real obstacle something completely unrelated to their mission.

This would work well as a stand alone so I’m not entirely sure where Lawrence will head with books 2 & 3.

Wanderers – Book Review

Published Date: July 9, 2019

Publishing Co.: Del Rey

Pages: 800

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review.

What if the world began to end today? That is the essential premise behind Chuck Wendig’s new apocalyptic novel Wanderers.

Set in today’s political atmosphere, with the twist that the opposite team won the election. The losing political side is having a hard time accepting those terms and when the world starts to go to Hell in a hand basket due to a mysterious sleepwalking sickness, they stoke the fires of rebellion. Of course, they don’t call it rebellion, they call it revolution. (It’s always considered revolution if you’re on the “right” side.)

Shana’s sister Nessie is the first person to begin wandering the land, blank faced, and unresponsive. She’s shortly followed by other random people in town. Every few hours the herd grows. People try to stop their loved ones, but the results are deadly. The only thing Shana can do is follow her sister into whatever awaits, as her shepherd. Her guardian. Who else is going to do it?

Shana and her wandering sister are joined by an eclectic cast of characters during their journey. Benji, a CDC doctor desperate to crack the mystery. Pete, an aging rock star clinging to any notoriety he can find even if that includes joining up with a disease no one understands. Sadie, the brains behind a computer program that is trying to save the human race. Marcy, a former cop injured in the line of duty who finds relief from the pain only by being near the flock of sleepwalkers. All act as shepherds along with dozens of other friends and family members who refuse to leave their loved ones to wanderer the countryside without protection.

On the opposite side of this mysterious malady, are the people calling for the extermination of the walkers. Stoking the fires of dissent and promising to take matters into their own hands if the government won’t stop these “terrorist agents.” Preacher Matthew Bird is gaining fame with his sermons calling these people “the Devil’s pilgrims” at the behest of a man he barely knows. A man he has been warned is dangerous, but popularity is an addicting thing. He’s looking toward the wrong evil and there will be hell to pay.

At 800 pages this is a whopper of an apocalyptic book. It took me about a month to wander my way through but it wasn’t boring. I could give it a break for a day or two and then pick it up and binge read for hours. This is an original tale and if you like reading about the end of the world, you should give this a try.

ARCs & Guilt

Amazingly, I am really good at controlling myself on Netgalley. I request one to two books every couple of months and I always try to read and review them before their release date as that helps the author sell. Being such, I’ve felt a bit of guilt lately. The last ARC I read, I didn’t review until after the release date by a couple of days. This guilt is all self-imposed, Netgalley doesn’t really require that you do reviews one way or another. At most, sometimes the publisher requests that you wait until two weeks before the release date to post your review.

So, the one that is laying on the guilt for me is :

I was SO excited to start this late last week and then I realized it releases today, the second. AND it’s 800 pages.

Now I love a fat fucking book but man, did that take the wind right out of my sails.

I still plan to start it here soon but it’s going to take me some time to get through, no where near it’s release date. But I love this author, so I think it’s making the guilt worse.

Now I’m left wondering, how the fuck do all these book reviewers who receive a metric fuck ton of ARCs manage to get through them all?

I want to know their secrets, I also want to know if they have any sanity left.

Now I’m just kind of grumpy and not reading anything. D:

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) – Book Review

Published Date: November 14, 2017

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 533

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Distinct and enchanting.

Ozzy approved.

As with many epic fantasies that I end up binge reading, I wish I had slowed down for a minute and wrote down a quote so that you may sample the lyrical wine. But, I have no djinn to grant my wish.

Turns out that’s a double edged sword anyway. You get all your wishes but you’ll likely be murdered in the end. Djinn slaves are not to be trifled with.

Nahri is a pick pocket from the streets of Cairo during the French occupation. She swindles to survive, using her unusual healing abilities to help birth children and run cons against the wealthy. She speaks a language she’s never heard another human speak before and learns languages as easily as riding a camel. She smiles at everyone she plans to rob. That’s sweet really. If you’re going to take something someone has, at least do it with a smile on your face so the mark feels good for a minute.

While hosting a fake ritual to heal a mentally broken girl, Nahri accidentally summons a djinn warrior and an ifrit, with a host of ghouls they summon to hunt her down. Not exactly the scam ending she had been hoping for. The surprised-to-be-summoned warrior saves her and they run from Cairo.

What follows is a countries crossed trek through the desert via flying carpet and stolen horses, battles with mythical creatures and the arrival to a secret city inhabited by beings Nahri has never heard of before but apparently, shares as least some small amount of blood with. She’s the last blood of a tribe that was massacred and the people are desperate for both what she represents and her healing abilities. It’s a city of wealth unlike anything Nahri has every seen and a life there is almost unimaginable, until the king offers her virtually everything she could ever want.

Nahri recognizes another con man when she sees one. She decides to take the offer and believes she can hold her own against him but she’s not well versed in politics and it’s games. The youngest prince appears to hate her, the princess tries to humiliate her and the king expects her to fail. She tries to learn to navigate this new world with the help of people from her tribe and her personal warrior, but everyone has their own agendas for her life and Nahri is too independent to be lead by the nose.

Everyone is running their own scheme in Daevabad, and every scheme is interrupted or spun into a new scheme is this politically unstable city filled with various tribes of magical people who cannot seem to get along for long.

Will Nahri survive the city or will she become the victim of a long con?

The Final Days of Magic (Witches of New Orleans #3) – Book Review

Published Date: June 18, 2019

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 340

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The King of Bones and Ashes review.

The Book of the Unwinding review.

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review.

The Final Days of Magic was the most solid installment in the trilogy, which is a good way to end a story. In my reviews of the previous books, I complained that the author appeared to skip important parts or explanations and it left the feeling of an incomplete story. I’m happy to report that seems to have been cleared up in this addition.

Our three witches, Alice, Evangeline and Lisette have for the most part, gone their separate ways again. Each trying to both heal but prepare for whatever the world throws at them next. They don’t have to wait long until they’re tested by the dark force that wants back into their realm.

This time the action felt much more fleshed out and kept me entertained. There were definitely some dark moments for some of the characters that provided a more emotional connection. However, the deaths of a couple of characters felt a little rushed and we were not given proper time to mourn them.

Overall, this series was entertaining and provided a great atmosphere with interesting characters. It’s hard not to love a story set in New Orleans with witches, but I’ve seen it fail before. The author clearly spent a lot of time researching history, the occult and magic and it really paid off.

Why My Cat is More Impressive Than Your Baby – Comic Review

Published Date: June 4, 2019

Publishing Co.: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 160

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Guilty as charged. I bought this as a birthday present for a cat-obsessed friend but when I realized I could read it without bending the pages/spine and making it obvious, I sat down with my coffee and dug in. (This person doesn’t have any social media pages so it’s a victimless crime.)

It is the purrfect graphic novel for your childless, cat-loving friend. Purrhaps, even a friend with children and cats that still retains their sense of humor. If your friend doesn’t like children OR cats and prefurrs dogs, well there are a few pages of dog humor as well. They’ll at least relate to how evil cats are.

So really, this comic has a little bit of everything for everyone. Making it a must-buy present for practically anyone in your life. Unless they lack a sense of humor and then, are you friends with an android?

True Crime: Michigan: The State’s Most Notorious Criminal Cases – Book Review

Published Date: June 7, 2011

Publishing Co.: Stackpole Books

Pages: 136

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The perfect coffee table/bathroom book for any Michigander home.

This easy-to-read true crime novel highlights some of Michigan’s most notorious crimes. From our polygamist king, a couple of serial killers, the original gangsters of Detroit (ones even Al Capone wouldn’t mess with) to the wild west of the Upper Peninsula, if there is one thing Michigan isn’t, it’s boring.

Despite living my entire life in the Great Lakes state, there were plenty of stories about cases I had no idea about in general or I just didn’t realized they had happened here. For example; the largest school massacre in US history happened in Bath, Michigan in 1927 and the culprit was raised in the town I currently call home. (Not exactly something they put on the welcome billboard and I’m sure the historical society likes to keep in the dark.)

Do you have to be from Michigan to enjoy this? Of course not, however, I do think it adds a personal connection to the stories if you are.

Reading Stats for the Year Thus Far…

Does that title look familiar?? Well it should since I 100% stole this idea from Ignited Moth. I told her I didn’t think I had the patience to do a post like this but where there is a will, there is a way to cheat the game. Print screen for the win!

June officially marks this as half way through the year and I’m just shy of meeting my yearly reading goal. I have got to say, not having the pressure to complete an enormous reading goal at the end of the year has been great. I feel like I’m enjoying reading much more again. Plus, it’s left me with more time to get out and try new things/hobbies.

I know you’re probably having to squint at this but I didn’t want to take 10 million screenshots.

Ahaha! If you look closely at my tabs, you can see my search for how to find my print screens. I’ve never tried since getting Windows 10.

Anywho, onto the subcategories she listed!

My favorite books I’ve read so far this year goes as follows:

Favorite (Fiction) novel so far: Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell.

5 out of 5 stars on this one. It’s my favorite epic fantasy of the year so far as well. It’s much like the 3 Musketeers but with fantasy and plot twists thrown in liberally.

Favorite (Nonfiction) novel so far: The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown.

This was such a thoroughly researched novel on the Donner Party. It really took you back in time and showed you how life was in the frontier days. Peppered with scientific facts about what the body goes through when you’re starving and freezing to death.

Favorite graphic novel so far: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol 1. by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

Honestly, this one kind of just wins by default as it’s the only graphic novel I’ve read so far this year. Does not make it any less fun of a read though if you like dark, spooky things.

Books that were re-read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

I was SO nervous to read this. I’ve never re-read it since I was a kid and I was really afraid that it wouldn’t hold up. But, it totally does! I was still too intimidated to write a review for it though. :3

Book suggestions from blogging buddies:

Recommended to me by The Shameful Narcissist. It was one of those ‘meh’ books for me, but I can see how people would really enjoy this post apocalyptic novel and if you’re interested in it at all, give it a try!

Suggestions from Ignited Moth:

I’ve called her it a million times now, she’s my Comic Book Fairy. ❤ She’s also always full of random non-fiction novels to recommend as well. I know there’s a novel about plagues on my TBR list thanks to her. 😛

Well that’s my 2019 reading so far! How is everyone else’s year going?