Monday, 22 August 2016

Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop



TRIGGER WARNING: CUTTING

I went into this book with admittedly high expectations: the reviews were great and it's firmly established as one of the best urban fantasy series.
And I have one thing to say for this book: it keeps you reading. I was never bored despite its many flaws, which include:

  • Racist worldbuilding: 

So apparently a long time ago Humans came to be, possessing many of the blessings of nature, including creativity and just being generally great and smart, always furthering society with inventions and progressive views.
But when they built ships and decided to go explore the rest of the world they found out it was already occupied (read inhabited because, amazingly enough, things don't automatically belong to white people - I'm sorry - Humans) by the Others.
The Others are barbaric shifters and an assortment of other supernatural beings who are incapable of inventing things or pretty much learning Human inventions because... I guess the rest of the world is just backwards like that?

Anyway, the book tries to make us feel sorry for the Humans because whenever they reached other parts of the world intent on living there (read: conquering them) they were slaughtered and eaten.
I'm sorry but this to me sounds like a great AU for what happened in the real world.
Imagine all the white people arriving to other continents intent on genocide, rape, and pillaging, and instead of succeeding they ended up killed and eaten. A+++

  • Mary Sue protagonist:

Personally I don't get the appeal of having an emotionally child-like lady protagonist who sees everything with wonder and innocence because of her ~magical blood~, and thus charms the hearts of all the Others - even though most of them eat people for fun and just hate Humans in general.
She arrives with no skills, gets an important job, makes everyone absolutely love her and be obsessed with protecting her for no reason.

  • Abusive love interest:

Sure Simon is an alpha werewolf who hates Humans (whom he, and others, constantly refer to as monkeys) for murdering his sister (and don't you love the old trope of women dying just to provide a tragic backstory for the man?), and is just into eating people in general. 
But, taking into account Meg's abusive past, is the author expecting me to feel anything about Simon other than abject horror?
He constantly threatens to kill her and eat her. his emotions are hyper-volatile, he loses his cool at the drop of a hat and if others are not there to calm him down he seems determined to slaughter Meg. 
Like... is this for real? We're supposed to want them to be a couple? What?

  • Absurd villain: 

There's the main unseen villain who's trying to get Meg back, but the one who really goes around actually thwarting our ~heroes~ is named Asia and is constantly slut shamed. Not to mention the fact that, in the middle of trying to sabotage/kidnap/poison/etc. our protagonist she starts pretending to be a P.I. for a tv show because her dream is to be an actress? So she goes about her life, doing evil, as a villain does, and before she does anything she stops and goes, "What would a fictional character I would play if I were an actress do???"
I mean... wtf.


If you can get past all of this stuff... I don't know... read it, I guess. But it certainly wasn't for me.


Sunday, 21 August 2016

Made for Sin by Stacia Kane



                                     Arc provided by Loveswept through Netgalley

                                                             Release Date: August 30th

Here's the thing is, I love the author's "Downside Ghosts" series.
Even when the thing is breaking my heart, I am loving it. From the plot, to the amazing characters, not forgetting that amazing setting, that series is a must to all urban fantasy addicts.
And then you start reading this, and you have to adjust your expectations, because when it comes down to the characters, this story feels too paranormal romance, and I've stopped being a fan of it...

"Made for Sin" had a potentially amazing storyline. Not that it hasn't been done before, but, this is queen Stacia Kane, so yeah, great expectations.
The idea of a normal guy having to share his body, more precisely his mind with a Demon is a great one, and the author knows how to write: this was an engaging story from first page to last.
Thing is, I didn't care about the characters.
I didn't even memorized their names: his seemed to come from an old noir movie. Hers? Well it could be at home in "Lord of The Rings". lol

So E.L. Speare is supposed to be this big shot PI who occasionally does the dirty jobs of this Mafia boss guy. Also, he may be related to said Mafia guy, so things are even more complicated, as if hosting a Demon in his head wasn't enough trouble already.

We get the story from Speare's pov, but the thing is, at time he felt way too young for all that he had gone through. I don't know if it was just me, but with the exception of the steamy parts, he felt a little too YA: too emo. I got a little tired of being in his head.

As for Ardeth, most of the times she was just this red haired Barby, with the great body, and with a plastic personality. She's supposed to be this master thief, but it was hard to get on board with that, since she spends most of the time bickering with Speare.
And it isn't as if that bickering led to great sexual tension. Because it didn't!
Most of the times they just came out as two (okay, she more than him) stubborn, moronic people, wasting time on frivolities. Yes, Ardeth, I'm looking at you.

The plot was nicely done in a macabre way. Think Buffy and the Initiative episodes...

Towards the end, the pace picks up a little more, the story becomes more interesting with possibilities, some truths were revealed, and the pages flew faster.
I don't know if this is going to be a series, but if so, I really hope Ardeth gets a new personality. That, or that we get a new leading lady.
As for the ending, there's no cliffhanger, but there are obvious possibilities for this to get turned into a series.
Although, I would much prefer a new "Downside Ghosts" book.

Author's Official Blog

Kobo

Full of Briars ( October Daye 9.3) by Seanan Mcguire





What can I say?
My memory kind of sucks, so I really should have re-read the previous book before going into this new short story.
But even so, it isn't as if I don't "know" the characters and their peculiar "traits".
As such it was funny ( I must share Mae's sense of humour) to see Quentin's fretting about Toby meeting his parents. As always, Tybalt's nonchalance to everything "no cat... and Toby" related was a pleasure to read.
As for Tybalt's nephew, that "kitty cat" needs some boundaries. Crazy cat!
As for the ending, it took me a little by surprise. Did I forgot about it in the previous books?
Had there been signs of that relationship? Because I don't remember anything, but sometimes I feel as if I am going senile, so...

Kobo 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

New precious

Also known as books ;)
Here they are:



       Once Broken Faith (October Daye, #10) The Needle's Eye



"The Needle's Eye" by author Lani Lenore sounds deliciously creepy and mysterious. It is one of those books that I'm already curious to know what is going to happen.

Release Date: September 13 th

"Once Broken Faith" is the tenth volume in my favourite urban fantasy series. Last year's volume wasn't my favourite, so great expectations that this one will pick up things again.

Release date: September 6th

Sunday, 14 August 2016

A Witch's Kitchen by Dianna Sanchez




Arc provided by Dreaming Robot Press through Netgalley

Release Date: September 25th

This was actually pretty good. Very well written, with an interesting set of characters and a well thought world building. I think that, actual middle graders will love it. As for us adults, who read middle grade, this might read "too young", but like I said, it has a lot of positive points. In fact it ended up being better than a lot of the so called adult contemporary books that I read.

Millie is a sweet character who loves to bake... like, the girl REALLY likes to bake: Masterchef level.
Unfortunately she doesn't share the same success when it comes to all magical things, much to her mother's disappointment. But at least the mother doesn't have to cook...
Also, Millie's food is go good that she even got a ghost addicted to it! lol
One day, things change, and Millie sees her routine changed: from now on she will be enrolled in a magical school. More out of a political stance taken by her family ( her grandmother is a big shot in the Millie's world), than actually concern for her education. You see, young witches are normally home-schooled.
Once Millie joins school the fun begins ( not a very heavy handed message, though ;)
There she'll meet new friends and discover all her potential ( I know. But it is done well!), although not everything will run smoothly...
The description of the school, with all its magical characteristics was done really well. In fact I would love to see that magical giant tree on the cover of this book. More colour, it would probably attract younger readers.
As for the ending, I found it a little too well wrapped, but all in all, this was really a good story.
Definitely recommended. Especially if you have kids that like to read about magical beings.


Monday, 8 August 2016

Arc Approval

I think they must be mistaking me with someone  else on netgalley, because normally I mostly get NO'S.
So, let me enjoy while it lasts :D
Here, it is, my latest arc approval:
The Ferryman Institute 
THE SYNOPSIS SOUNDS AMAZING!
PLEASE BE SO!

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg




                                          Arc Provided by 47 North through Netgalley

                                           Book Status: Already Released (June 28th)

I'm afraid that the only positive remark I can write about this story (without revealing the WHOLE PLOT)... is that it didn't make me want to set it on fire. -_-
In the same state of mind, I have to mention that it never pissed me off... much.
No, wait there was that time in which the character... you know what? Never mind.

Truth is, I found it incredibly boring and many were the times in which I almost DNF it.
The beginning, and really, I am talking about the very first pages weren't bad: I like a mystery
 just like every one else, but then things got so strange in a, "oh, here's a few crumbs of different colours and textures, and I know that nothing makes sense, but you'll keep on reading, right?", meaning that I only reached the last page by pure stubbornness. When I want, I can be the queen of stubborn people.
There were no tangible facts: no world building. There was also a strange mish mash of stories, and concepts, to which I never warmed up to.
The characters, with the exception of Maeve, were pretty forgetful, and the whole abstract feel of the story, didn't help the matter.
The romance was dealt in a pretty meh way, especially for people who are supposed to be... who they are. Yes, I am being  vague on purpose.
In the end, when I found out about why our character had done what she did _ ????_ was when I got a little pissed off, because I felt that different concepts had been completely mixed ( human and not so human)... and I don't know how to be more clear without spoiling the whole thing. But I felt that I was being somewhat preached ( as a woman) and I had a huge problem with that.
Not for me, I'm afraid: for me, strange does not a book make.
And here it is: a confusing book review for a strange story concept.

Author's Official Site

Bookdepository.com

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Arc Approvals

I know that I haven't been very active lately here, but I hope to remedy that in the next couple of days. Especially with the bunch (okay, there's three of them ) of arcs to which I was approved to.

                   

Look at those pretty... bluish... colours!
Please be good! Really!

August Releases: The ones I can't wait to read!


This are the books that I am dying to get my hands on!

Betrayals (Cainsville, #4) The Girl Who Drank the Moon The Rat Prince Made For Sin
Magic Steals (Kate Daniels, #6.5) Full of Briars (October Daye, #9.3) No Mistress Of Mine (An American Heiress in London, #4) Summerlong
                                                   Kingdom of Ash and Briars

Kelley Armstrong's  volume "Betrayals" because I follow the series (Cainsville), and even if its path frustrated me as hell in the last book, I am still pretty much invested in it.

"The Girl who drank the Moon", because I loved the author's previous work, "The Witch's Boy".

"The Rat Prince" because my inner child apparently never gets tired of retellings :)
And because this sounds super cute!

"Made of Sin" because it is written by author Stacia Kane, creator of all things "Terrible and Chess" ;)

"Magic Steals"
I used to be head over heels crazy about this series, but then the sixth volume of the "regular" Kate Daniels was released, and... let's say that Curran could go on a long, long trip -_-
I do however love Dali. And I didn't know this was going to be released, so... YES!

"Full of Briars"
Because it belongs to my *not so long ago* favourite series, October Daye.

"No Mistress of Mine"
Up until not long ago, in a time when I used to devour historical romances as air, Laura Lee Gurhke was one of my favourite authors. I think it's about time for me to renew some routines.

"Summerlong"
Basically because of its author, Peter S. Beagle... and because I have an e-arc :)

Dates:

Armstrong, Kelley, Betrayals ( #4),published by Sphere - August 4th

Barnhill, Kelly, The Girl Who Drank The Moon, Algonquin Young Readers, August 9 th

Hodder, Bridget, The Rat Prince, August 23rd 2016 by Macmillan/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Daniels, Kate, Magic Steals ( ebook) , August 16 th

Mcguire, Seanan, Full of Briars (ebook), August 2nd

Gurhke, Laura Lee, No Mistress of Mine, Avon, August 30th

Beagle, Peter S. , Summerlong, Tachyon, August 22 nd

West, Hannah, Kingdom of Ash and Briars, Holiday House, August 30th

What about you? What are you guys dying to read?

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Princess and the Hound ( The Hound Saga, #1) by Mette Ivie Harrison




This story is told pretty much in the classic fairy tale style.
As such don't expect today's usual tropes: there's no waste of pages telling how pretty and special our characters are.
Also, unlike most stories, here our main character is the guy, Prince George, and we get to see him growing up. That means, that yes, this is mostly a slow type of story, but I had no problem with that, because the author nailed the story's "voice" perfectly.

I liked that George wasn't the usual "perfect" fairy tale prince. He deals with life the best he can and he does what is expected of him without pulling stupid stunts.
As for the Princess... well, she is something different. And I liked that about her ( yes, I am really vying for vagueness here).
The mystery keep me wondering for a bit, although I do think some things should have been more explained.
Basically I wanted to know more about the exchange between Beatrice and Marit.
I loved the "old tales" about the king that had been turned into a bear, and how we got to see the characters of the next book come together.
I only wish that the romance here had been a little more developed. With that, and with a little more tension added, this would have been a five star read.

And now I can't wait to read the second volume, which apparently is going to arrive a month from now through a seller of abebooks.
I bought this one in the hardback edition, and I want to keep the collection in the same size, so, used books it will be. At least for the second and third volumes.

 #bookwormProblems


Bookdepository.com (paperback edition)

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