Friday, September 27, 2013

Made of Stars by Kelley York

I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review contains a mild spoiler for the ending. 

A really well written story of friendship and love. I really liked all the characters, and the depth of their bonds with each other. I loved how Ashlin, even though she didn’t get what she thought she wanted, was never made out to be the bitchy, jealous female, and how her love for both her brother and her friend never wavered. I really liked Hunter, and his need to appear to be strong, and protect those he cared about. It never came off as overbearing, or possessive, just very loving. I liked Chance as well, and even though I felt like I had a hard time getting a grasp on him, his purity of heart shined through. I liked their father as well. Their family connections were not the usual, but that didn’t make Ashlin and Hunter any less brother and sister, nor their father any less loving. It was nice to see some strong adults amongst the rest.

The plot was well developed, and I was quickly drawn in by the story and the style of the writing. I liked that things took a little while to develop before the main thrust of the action began. It gave me a much better feel for the characters, and only deepened my concern for them when things started to go wrong. That ending <spoiler>be forewarned there is not HEA or even a HFN broke my heart a little, and a petty part of my wanted to hate this book for that, but in the end I know it is that it</spoiler> was the only honest way to end this story. After I finished I was still wondering, and worrying a little about what would happen to the characters now, and isn’t that the mark of a great story.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Northern Light by E.J Russell

I received this story as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

There was a lot of promise to the story. The premise was interesting, and I loved the ghost story aspects of the plot. The connection between Luke and Stefan felt real, and I liked their chemistry. Overall though it felt like the story was a bit too rushed. It felt like events moved too quickly for me to get a handle on the characters, and the conclusion felt a bit abrupt and lacked the kind of punch I would have liked. I would have liked to see how things worked out with Luke's employer. I also would have liked to get a better handle on Edward's relationship with the painter. It felt more like obsession than real love, but that's probably because the only opinion I was given. I would have loved to know what either man really thought of each other, and if there was anything to the love that drove the ghostly aspects or if it was just the painter's obsession with his subject. Too many important questions felt like they were left unanswered, and what was presented was a bit too neat an ending considering the obstacles and problems both men are facing. I think if the pacing were slowed down a bit, and people, events, and relationships were allowed to develop at a bit more natural pace this would have been a four star read for me, but not as it stands now.


Northern Light by E.J Russell

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shelf Inflicted: Banned Books Week and Goodreads Censorship

Shelf Inflicted: Banned Books Week and Goodreads Censorship: It's that happy-clappy time again! Banned Books Week draws attention to the many and various attempts to censor what kind of reading m...

The Devil at the Crossroads by Cornelia Grey

I received this story as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

An interesting take on Robert Johnson's legendary tale. The writing is compelling, and even though the story is short I felt like a got a good feeling for the characters and their situation. I loved the slight twists on the tale, and the implications that things might not be quite as bad as feared.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships by Kim Knox

I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Another enjoyable installment in a fun new series. Unlike many second books the plot in this story continues to move forward, and it didn’t feel like a filler book. The story was fast paced, and an entertaining read. It did feel like Mason did spend a bit too much time angsting over Frost, and their relationship, but at least there are reasons for Mason’s dependence on Frost in the plot. Mason has had every bit of humanity stripped from him, and Frost is the only one who can keep the voice in his head at bay. A bit more character development might have helped me feel a bit more invested in these books, but the love story is only a very small part of this book, and I was glad to see that the alien plot is still the driving force of this story. A fast paced and entertaining read I’m looking forward to seeing how events play out in the next book.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Little Pony Mane Tales volume 1

I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Before I start I’d like to say a big hello to all of my fellow original My Little Pony fans.

I think part of the reason I liked this story so much is that this is what I kind of wished My Little Pony was when we were kids. Not that I didn’t love My Little Ponies when I was a kid a legion of plastic ponies, a little stable, a castle, sticker books, and yes some unfortunate clothing (cut me a break I was a kid in the 80’s) will say very differently.

When Elspeth and I tried to watch one of the original movies as adults I hate to admit it, but it was bad. Okay not  just bad, but terrible. So bad I apologized to my parents sort of bad.

Reading the newer My Little Pony comics they have a lot to appeal to the younger set. The colors are bright, and the artwork expressive and bold. The ponies are a nice mix of personalities, and temperaments. The importance placed on the value of friendship, loyalty, and being true to yourself are nice without feeling too much like heavy morality tales, or lectures. I also appreciated the little asides, and some of the humor that is aimed at the more adult set. Nothing offensive, but enough to gives adults who will probably have to read this more than once to an eager child or two something to smile about, or you know people without kids, like yours truly, who read for their own reasons.

Darned good reasons let me tell you!

Overall it was a fun, and enjoyable read. One that made me feel that The My Little Pony from my childhood was as enjoyable now as it was then. Feel grateful My Little Pony fans of today that there is a better chance that when you’re my age you will be able to look back on your childhood show and not cringe the way I do.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Light by Nathan Burgoine

Light by Nathan Burgoine 

I received a copy of this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this story. The plot was engaging, and I appreciated that there wasn't a love triangle. I loved the tone, and mood of the story. The writing style was nice, and fit the mood of the story really well.

The characters were well drawn, and interesting. I liked that Kieran never felt too dark, or angsty. It made for a refreshing change from many stories of this genre. It was nice seeing that Kieran wasn't the toughest or most powerful character around. It made him more relatable, and I liked Miracle Woman. I was surprised by how much I liked love interest. He was far from the controlling jerk characters of his ilk tend to be, and I loved seeing the connection between the two of them grow. I liked the secondary cast. There might have been some interesting characters, but they felt like people instead of stereotypes.

It was nice to see a woman with such strength, and character. The ending was well done, and a bit unexpected. I liked that things didn't play out exactly how or why I expected early in the book. A fun read.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Fairies in my Fireplace by R.L. Naquin

Warning: This review will contain spoilers.

First off I want to say that I am trying my hardest not to just squeeee and gush about this book. I will probably fail cause this book was just that good, I just want to point out that I am trying.
This series has easily become one of my top ten favorites, it's a series that I drop all other titles I am reading to pick up the new installment. Possibly to read the whole series again.
These books make me happy, and I just want to shout out to the book world that you really need to read them...really...please...I want people to talk about them with!

Okaaaay, to the book at hand...Fairies in My Fireplace is book three in the Monster Haven series. We start off not too long after Pooka ended. Zoey and the gang are exhausted with the hidden coming to her in droves. Something, or someone in the world is hunting the hidden, and Zoey as the last Aegis is the only refuge.
That is until it comes to town and strikes in her backyard.

There is a ring of Hidden trafficking, and they have one of her own.

This is all I want to say about the main plot like cause it was just so well done, so connected to the first two books that it was pure joy to read.

There were a few new characters in this, and I hope a few stick around for the novels to follow. Kam, how I love you, with your Pat Benatar outfit, exuberant nature, and constant failures to do housework. (Poor, poor Maurice).


The prom dress scene was just so much awesome, it had me giggling like a fool.
Now I want to warn you about the ending. My heart, it was just so much. The feels. There were many. So, so many.

I loved it, and I really hope my friends with too!
- Elspeth

Engines of the Broken World by Vanhee

I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Did you ever start watching a movie thinking that the ideas and the plot sounded really interesting only to discover that the movie wasn’t quite strong enough to carry the all the ideas it was trying to. You can see where the plot is trying to go, but it never quite gets there, or if it does it does so in such a fractured and disjointed way that you felt left behind long before the ending is reached. This is how I felt about this book. It seemed like an interesting concept, and it started off pretty interesting, but by the end it had fallen apart for me. 

The characters were interesting, but I found them frustrating. The answer to the big question for a part of the book seemed so obvious to me, but it wasn’t until I was ready to scream at the main character that the reason they weren’t able to find the really blatant answer. It made sense, but I would have liked a bit more leading up to that point. I found Merciful to be annoyingly dense at times, and while I understand she had a limited education, and limited social interactions, but the way she seemed to believe anything and everything people told her drove me crazy. She didn’t seem able to process information, and form her own opinions. She thinks about how she doesn’t necessarily trust different players, but when they tell her things she just seems to go along with it even when information she is given is contradictory. If she really doesn’t trust anyone why is she believing everything they seem to say no matter what? It just never made sense to me.

The other characters are interesting, but they seem to fit roles more than they are actual people.  Her brother is the half wild boy, her neighbor the wise old woman, and the half crazy lady in the mountains. Even when the “angels” come in they only add confusion to the story. The second “angel” especially just muddied the waters of the story. It was like his story line just came in too late to make sense, or add much to the story. It felt like it was a big part of the story, and should have been worked in better from the beginning. I actually felt that way about the first “angel” as well. It felt like there was more there I should have known about earlier. It felt like the angel story line was never quite as developed as it should have been, and the parallels between it and Merciful’s world never quite came together. I could see where they were supposed to, and I could infer some, but it wasn’t as fully formed as  I would have liked especially considering it was a major plot point.

The ending felt a bit rushed, and dragged out at the same time. It was a rush to get there, and when we finally do there’s a lot of talking in circles. She talks to one player, believes them. Talks to another player, believes them, and so on and so forth.  Then she finally takes action, and it makes no sense to me considering what came before, and her personality. I can see what impact the author wanted this ending to have, but nothing that came before was strong enough to make me invested enough in the story for me to care. If the plot lines had worked better, and the characters more consistent and complex it might have worked, but as the story stands now it didn’t.


Monday, September 9, 2013

I wanted to get my review of Fairies in my Fireplace by R.L. Naquin done tonight, but today was a loooooong day.

So I will leave with a tease...

Pat Benatar and the boobies of doooom!
- Elspeth

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I figured out how to add the "followers" button today. There are a lot of things I like with this blog site, and then there are some things that irritate me. I hate that some gadgets have adds that I cant remove. It's been so long since I played with HTML, I need to brush up on my skills!

- Elspeth

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Today we to alleviate boredom Em and I decided to go to the "big city" for some fun. The first store we stopped at has some cheap sunglasses so we picked up some.

Commence hipster day!

See, I didn't even get myself in the first picture!

- Elspeth