Review: Strange Angels (Strange Angels #1) by Lil St Crow

In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

I’d had this book on my TBR pile for quite a while. It was definitely something I wanted to read but something else would always catch my eye and I would forget about it for while. Well nothing else did this time.

I liked it right from the off. The tone and the pacing felt just right. I really liked Dru. She’s tough, savvy, and didn’t whine and moan like some lead characters do.

It reminded me of Supernatural, only with a female lead. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with that, I love Supernatural – I then read other Goodread reviews that said the same thing. I took to Graves right away as well, but I can’t believe that he took everything in his stride as well as he did. Dru’s reaction to her dad dying and then coping with the events afterwards were more realistic.

I would have liked more dialogue. This is my first time reading Lil St Crow so I don’t know whether this is just her style, but I felt that the long narration sometimes had me biting at the bit. Don’t get me wrong, I actually did liked the narration. Dru’s voice was great but so much of it in a continuous chunk was a little monotonous at times.

Then things started to go a little airy. Around 60% of the way in, so slightly over the halfway mark, it just kinda started to lose it. The characters started to really annoy me. It was like the Author got to a certain point and thought shit! What now? Then threw everything together no matter how ludicrous it sounded. It was either that or someone else started writing it. I really had to force myself to finish it. I couldn’t believe my quickly my feeling towards this book changed.

It was on it’s way to earning itself 5 stars, but I just totally disconnected from the characters and the story. It saddened me as I was really enjoying it. However, it did kinda settle again right toward the end. I liked it more than I didn’t so I’m definitely going to continue with the series.

Right, time to go empty the dishwasher 😉

Rating: 3/6 – it was ok

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Review: A Touch of Crimson (Renegade Angels #1) by Sylvia Day

 Adrian Mitchell is a powerful angel leading an elite Special Ops unit of Seraphim. His task is to punish the Fallen-angels who have become vampires-and command a restless pack of indentured lycans. But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals- losing the woman he loves again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found her-Shadoe-her soul once more inhabiting a new body, with no memory of him. And this time, he won’t let her go.

It was the cover that attracted me to A Touch of Crimson, that and the fact that I have a real soft spot for angels.

I found it easy to get into the story, even though I seemed a little disorientated with the mythology at first. I don’t particularly like it when a book has a glossary at the beginning of the book… Okay maybe for subsequent books in the series for reference, but not the very first book. I just think that the information should be woven into the story. If I see a glossary I automatically think the story must be confusing, and to be honest I don’t actually take the time to read it either.

I liked Adrian. I loved the power that oozed from his every pore. Lindsay was easy to like and like her I did. The other characters were well rounded and interesting.

I’ve read reviews on Goodreads which complain that it was a slow burner, and it took them awhile to get into the story, but I can honestly say (not that I’d be dishonest, mind) I didn’t find that at all. The first meeting between Lindsay and Adrian had enough chemistry to keep to keep things interesting. Nor did the opening get bogged down with to much information either. I’m easily distracted and I wasn’t distracted reading this.

The sex had a little too much dirty talk for my liking. It kinda reminded me of bad porn dialogue, and I found that calling her vagina ‘her sex’ just as jarring as saying the dreaded C word. And It kinda got a little crazy there at the end.

I first thought I’d found another author, and series to compare with the Guild Hunter series, but I was wrong. The world building isn’t as impressive and the story not as intricate but I still enjoyed it and I will definitely be reading the next book, and continuing the series.

Rating: 4/6 – Really Liked it

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.
R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.

I was a little sceptical about reading a zombie romance. I first I thought that it was going to be some kind of zombie survivors romance, but no, it’s most definitely a Zombie romance.

R is a fresh zombie (just R because he can’t remember his name. Zombies don’t have great memories, ya know), which means that’s he’s not as ‘rotted’ as most; his flesh isn’t dropping off and his organs aren’t showing. Hot, right? He can speak a few one syllable words if he really, really tries (although practice makes perfect). R’s bestfriend is M. M likes porn and women, only he doesn’t quite remember what to do once he’s naked. None of them do. So he spends a lot of time standing around naked with zombies of the lady variety.

R is more coherent than the average zombie. He gets married and obtains 2 children (this was a shock to me too, and seemed to come from nowhere). He wants the 2.4 children kinda simple zombie life, but then he manages to complicate things by rescuing a young woman and deciding he wants to keep her ‘safe’ in a boeing 747.

Part of the story is told by Perry. This happens every time R nibbles at Perry’s brain; he get visions of perry’s life. I found this a little confusing at first, especially towards to end. I’d be reading then realise I didn’t have a clue what was going on.

There’s also a zombie school where they teach zombie kids how to properly kill a living human. We wouldn’t want them to starve would we! Again, like the marriage, I found this a little left field.

So, in between talking the kids to school and keeping the wife happy, R goes and falls for the stupid human. Taking her on ‘dates’ and entertaining her. Don’t feel too sorry for the wife tho, she’s at the church stepping out with some other rotter. In fact don’t feel too sorry for any of them. Emotions are a distant memory so they’re not really bothered.

Julie, the human, is a tough little cookie and gives off some serious attitude, which gets on my nerves a little (read quite a lot). I don’t know which is worse, romance between 2 zombies, or one between a human and zombie. No, actually I do… :/

However, even though I felt all kinds of icky I wanted to keep reading, I couldn’t stop.

The continuity was a bit baffling. At some point I was told that they don’t have sex because there’s no blood pumping through the body, so you know, it was kinda impossible. And even putting that aside, they can’t remember how to do it anyway. But then he’d wake up to his wife having sex with her ‘boyfriend’. I don’t want to know if he’s limp or that she’s dry. Yeah, I did say icky :s

I was a little confused when R had a vision and was able to talk to both Julie and Perry, and they him. And I was a little EWW when julie asked R if he wanted to sleep in the bed next to her, because, really?! Even when bugs crawl out of his mouth in the morning? Takes morning breath to a whole new level.

I tried but failed to take to julie for the first half of the story. She was just too hard faced for my liking, but she grew on me and by the end, and even though she kissed a zombie, I liked her.

The ick factor kinda faded as the story proceeded, and if you like the sound of the above this book is for you. I couldn’t bring myself to dislike it because of it. Over all it was a quick, fun read. I really did enjoy it.

Rating: 4/6 – I Liked It

Review: Divergent by Veronica Moss


Beatrice “Tris” Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

I read this in July 2011 and July was a great month for reading. I’d been seeing reviews for Divergent pop up here and there before I really took any notice (I’ve kinda developed a thing for dystopia since, and as of yet it’s never disappointed me), so once it was put on my TBR pile it wasn’t long before I picked it up.

I’ve only read a couple of Dystopic stories before this but I’ve really liked the few I’ve read and I had a feeling I’d like this too, but saying that I’ve been a pretty bad judge of new books lately (unknown to me authors). However, I wasn’t surprised to find my first thought was right. I loved it.

The story was engaging and I really liked the tone and pace. I settled into it quite quickly, then found myself carried along.

I liked Tris. Her attitude fitted her real well and was believable for someone in her situation. Both Four and Eric caught my attention early on. I thought Eric was interesting and Four intriguing. I really wanted to get to know both of them better. I liked that at first I didn’t know who to trust out of the two, or if in fact I could trust either of them.

I enjoyed reading about the other characters as well, and the world building was really effective. I don’t want to say much for fear of giving anything way. I loved that I didn’t know much about the story before I I started read it.

Divergent is the first in a series (I’m not sure how many are expected to be written), but it could be read as a stand alone. I hope it’s just the start though as I really do want to read more by this author.

Edit: Insurgent is just out (May 1st 2012)… very late posting review

Rating: 6/6 – Loved It

Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

I went into Inside Out with no expectations whatsoever. I’d just finished Working Stiff (after much struggling I have to admit), and I’m pleased to say that, like with every other Dystopian story I’ve read so far, I really liked it. I found that it was just what I needed to get me back into reading after my little slump.

I found I flew through this book which I’m quite happy about. I hated being in a slump and watching the books I needed to read to keep up with my reading challenge go up and up was depressing. I think I’m currently behind by 17 (make that 25) 😦 but hopefully now I’m back I’ll get through quite afew of those.

The difficulty I have when I like a book and get into it is that I end up not writing any notes, so I then struggle writing the review. Not good. I have a soft spot for Dystopian fiction and haven’t yet read a book I didn’t like, or struggle to finish.

It was no different with this book. I liked Trella and took to her right away. I like that she was ‘The queen of the Pipes’. I thought that maybe I’d have trouble visualising the Cube they lived in but I didn’t. I had a clear picture in my head.

That’s all I can say really. Sorry about that! (Although it’s not like my reviews are ever essay like) I liked it. It was a quick, enjoyable read and I recommend you read it 🙂

Rating: 4/6 – I Liked It

Monthly Round Up: December 2011

Head rush, Carolyn Crane
Kiss of Frost, Jennifer Estep

Wow what a lame month. I’ve kinda lost my reading mojo haven’t I :/

I’ve had a lot on to be fair but hey, it is what it is. Head Rush was Decembers fave read. I’d been waited for what felt like forever for that sucka to hit my kindle. I’m sad that it’s the last book in the series. I know Jennifer Estep has other books out but the style of the books puts me off; form what I’ve read they’re on the silly/over the top side of things.

So now I now to wrap up 2011 and post my various blog reading challenge stats. February isn’t too late for that is it 😉

Monthly Round Up: November 2011

I was hoping to amaze myself this month and read a heap of books and magically get myself up to date with my reading challenge. I’d also planned for either November or December to be the month I’d finish all the books I abandoned. Sadly I was way too far behind for either 😦 I’d had hoped to sample some Steampunk this year but that hasn’t happened. Maybe I’ll get to it during 2012. Last years failed challenge will at least keep me from making the same mistake with 2012’s reading challenge (I’ll keep my fingers crossed but I’m a glutton).

So, November’s books. I managed six :/ but I’m sure it’s not been my worst month. My favourite has to be The Scoripo Races. I adored it. Close second came Drink Deep. I’m loving the Chicagoland Vampire series. I was disappointed with the emotional connection, or the lack of one, I felt with Voyage of the Snake Lady as I loved and have very fond memories of the first adventure, Moon Riders. I was also disappointed with Crossed mainly because nothing much happened at all. I think that Ally Condie has kept all the action for the trilogy’s 3rd instalment. Well, I certainly hope so!

Magic on the Line, Devon Monk
The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater
Crossed, Ally Condie
Drink Deep, Chloe Neill
Voyage of the Snake Lady Theresa Thomlinson
Carrier of the Mark, Leigh Fallon

Review: Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl’s unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.

Epidemics, floods, droughts–for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she’s rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can’t continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There’s something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

As with a few of the books I’ve read recently, I was really looking forward to this book. I wasn’t very happy about the price of the kindle version though. £9.36 +_+ almost double the usual price, and a few pounds more than the physical copy. (Edit: the average price of ebooks has now gone up since I wrote this review, a lot of them are now £7+)

Although the price seemed extreme most of the reviews on Goodreads were really good, and even though I was still on my zombiefest I was looking forward to reading it. It was slow to get going, with lots of exposition and I found myself skim reading. Once it hit the halfway mark the info dumps petered out, and the story got going.

Alice is surviving on her own as the story opens. I liked Alice’s independence, the fact that at 16 years old and she survived on her own for over a year, this is thanks mainly to a survival book she had the savvy to pick up along the way. I liked Aiden but I felt that, as with Del and Sammy, he could have had a little more depth. All the face and hair touching was sweet but there needed to be more to him than the fact he liked Alice.

The book felt like a start of a series, and it would be a good book to start one, and although it does stand up on its own as well it definitely felt like it could have been the beginning of something. I really hope there is a second book because I wasn’t satisfied with the epilogue of Ashes, Ashes.

Over all not a bed read at all

Rating: 4/6 – I Liked It

Monthly Round Up: October 2011

89. Spider’s Revenge, Jennifer Estep
90. Nightfall, Ellen Connor
91. The Diviner’s Tale, Bradford Morrow
92. Silence, Becca Fitzpatrick
93. A Touch of Crimson, Sylvia Day
94. Fallen, kristina Douglas
95. Demon, kristina Douglous

So it seems October has been a better month for reading than September was but let’s face it, that wouldn’t take much. I’m still on my TV buzz but not as much as last month. I’m feel quite stressed with a situation I’ve got going on but I really need to focus on reading if I have any chance of successfully completing my 150 book goal this year. I’ve kinda done better than I thought I would if I’m honest. I knew when I set my goal that around half way through I’d begin to flag, and I wasn’t wrong. What surprised me though was that I still kept going. My posting of my review took a hit, and I’ve still have loads I need to write up and get posted but I’ve done okay. I was hoping to use December to finish all the books I abandoned throughout the year but I’m thinking that may not be the best idea at the moment as it might stop me reading altogether.

Anyway…

Best read of October? Well Silence really surprised me. I thought I’d hate it, but even though I really struggled with Crescendo, I actually liked it. It was a really enjoyable read, but it wasn’t my fave. Biggest disappointment was Nightfall. I can’t tell you how bad that let me down. I just expected so much more than it turned out to be. Maybe it was I expected more from Ann Aguirre as I really enjoyed her Corrine Soloman series.

My favourite has to be good ole faithful Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep, followed by either Fallen or Demon but I think Demon has the edge on Fallen.

So on to November. I’m hoping my Situation evens out to enable me to get back into the swing of things ready for the last push. The way it is I doubt it. I’m fighting an ox.

Monthly Round Up: September 2011

September has to have been one of my worst months for reading since I was 19. I thought August was bad. Well September has left August in the dust. Five. A total of five books read, and one was a short story. I have no excuse except that I’m still trying to dig my way out of my reading slump. TV is the devil 🙂

I have actually watched way too much TV this month. -‘m eating it up like devil cake. I’m currently enjoying;
Alphas
The Revenge
Son’s of Anarchy
Terra Nova
Jersey Shore
The Secret Circle
Downton Abbey
Warehouse 13
Hart of Dixie
Haven
Awkward (although this has just finished)

And that’s not including shows I’m downloading but have yet to start.

Anyway. Reading. I really enjoyed Outside In, Archangel”s Blade, and Touch or Frost. Archangel’s Blade being my fave of the month. I was only a little disappointed with One Grave at a Time.

85. Outside In, Maria V. Snyder
86. One Grave at a Time, Jeanniene Frost
87. Archangel’s Blade, Nalini Singh
88. Devil to Pay, Jeaniene Frost
89. Touch of Frost, jennifer Estep