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 😉


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: 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;
The Revenge
Son’s of Anarchy
Terra Nova
Jersey Shore
The Secret Circle
Downton Abbey
Warehouse 13
Hart of Dixie
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

Review: Street Magic (Black London #1) by Caitlin Kittredge

 Her name is Pete Caldecott. She was just sixteen when she met Jack Winter, a gorgeous, larger-than-life  mage who thrilled her with his witchcraft. Then a spirit Jack summoned killed him before Pete’s eyes—or so she thought. Now a detective, Pete is investigating the case of a young girl kidnapped from the streets of London. A tipster’s chilling prediction has led police directly to the child…but when Pete meets the informant, she’s shocked to learn he is none other than Jack. Strung out on heroin, Jack a shadow of his former self.  But he’s able to tell Pete exactly where Bridget’s kidnappers are hiding: in the supernatural shadow-world of the fey.  Even though she’s spent years disavowing the supernatural, Pete follows Jack into the invisible fey underworld, where she hopes to discover the truth about what happened to Bridget—and what happened to Jack on that dark day so long ago

I’d seen a review for this somewhere (most probably Goodreads) and it instantly caught my attention. It sounded dark and gritty, both of which I really love so I kinda had high hopes.

We meet Pete in the middle of a case where children are going missing. It felt like I’d been dumped in the middle of something and didn’t know what the hell was going on, but saying that, that can be a usual thing for me. And although I liked Pete right away I Initially I found the 3rd person narration a little confusing. I don’t normally, but for some reason I did while reading this.

I was disappointed to be honest. Street Magic had everything I like but it never got me excited. There was just something missing that I can’t put my finger on. I don’t know whether it was the fact that Jack was a heroin addict, or that there was no spark between the two, I just don’t know. And I don’t just mean a romantic spark SPOILER (scroll to see) incidentally, I really didn’t understand why she’d offer to die for him. Up to that point it came across as she really didn’t care for him at all END SPOILER. 

I need to mention the swear words. They were so distracting. On one page it would be all Wankstick, demon-buggering gits, then on the next it would be fucking cunts and dickheads. You either commit to swearing or you don’t. The strange mix of hard and soft swear words just sounded stupid. 

Also I never really believed that they were in London. The story could have took place anywhere really. I first thought that it was maybe it was London USA until Big Ben chimed. But I never really felt it but that could be just my predjuice. If I think of London I think dank and dark Jack the ripper London. 

I never connected with Jack and I know it’s not the actual drug theme as I never had a problem with the drug use in the Downside Ghost series. It’s because he’s a heroin addict. It’s just a dirty stanky drug. I think if he’d had an addiction to a fictional drug, or pills, or anything else but heroin I would have felt differently but I just didnt like him because of that drug, and couldn’t take to him on an emotional level. I’ve already said that I liked Pete, and I did at the start but Jesus H Christ what a nag she was. I felt like yelling for her just to stop. She didn’t shut up whinging and moaning and after a while it wore on my nerves a bit. 

I just didn’t become emotionally engaged in the two leads or the story at all. Not at any point of the story did I feel like I knew what the hell was going on, even the magic was confusing and wasn’t very visual. The second half of the book was much better than the first but it wasn’t enough. I will read the 2nd book in the series though. I thought it was okay (I did finish it) but I had issues with it. I’m sorry I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. 

Rating: 3/6 – it was okay

Review: Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1) by Kalayna Price

As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead-she’s even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she’s seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she’s raising a “shade” involved in a high profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn’t want her to know what the dead have to say, and she’ll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why.

I saw this book a while ago on a book blog or Goodreads, I forget which and I managed to picked it up a few weeks ago. It was the cover that caught my eye originally but the story also sounded really interesting so I didn’t wait too long before starting it.

Alex is a grave witch. She can raise and speak to the dead but she goes near blind afterwards. I really liked that using her grave sight had a price -I not sure why I like the fact that she became vulnerable, but I did. She isn’t stupid and that is a big plus for me. There’s nothing I dislike more than an annoyingly stupid heroine (coughMacfromDarkfevercough). Okay she rushes ahead sometimes and that can get her into trouble, but you can see why she couldn’t wait around so it’s easy to let that go.

Death (a sole collector only Alex seems to be able to see), and Falin (a police detective) are the two love interests and I liked them both. I felt that Death could have played a bigger part in the whole scheme of things than he did but because there was a lot more of Falin, it was him I felt I ‘knew’ better so was rooting for him throughout.

It was very easy to get into and the writing was really good. Alex is a rounded character and very likable. Death was cool but Falin was sexy.

I couldn’t put it down. I really, really enjoyed it.

A great start to a promising series.

Rating: 5/6 – Really liked it

Review: Hunted By The Others (H&W Investigations #1) by Jess Haines

Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm – if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires. As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend – a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing – and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil – whether she likes it or not.

I’ve been in a bit of a slum these past few days, flitting from book to book. I’d read a few pages of one then quickly leave it for another. Then the cover of Hunted by The Others caught my eye on Goodreads, I saw all the good ratings and thought why not. I’m kinda glad I did, at first.

Shianna is a PI, a PI whose business is in trouble and both she and it, are running in the red. Needing money fast she takes a seemingly easy job for a lot of money and bites of way more than she can chew.

I don’t know how I feel about this book. It started off good but slowly turned into Darkfever #2.

The weapon cave made me think of Batman but nowhere near as cool. There was lots of mundane dialogue, no humour and not very exciting. I don’t get why she was so special that everyone wanted a piece of her. I didn’t feel the attraction/spark between her and Royce either.

I quite liked Shianna but I’d like her more if she’d shown some loyalty instead of switching sides so easily. I get the she was struggling with the fact that there wasn’t a side she wanted to be on, but wow a show of fangs/a slight hint of a threat and she was anyones. A pair of balls wouldn’t have gone a miss.

With frequent info dumps, no excitement and a dull protagonist, I not so much struggled to finish this, more that I wasn’t really interest. After taking 3 days to read the first half of the book I finally seemed to settle into it around chapter 19. I still found the plot up to this point a little lame but I knew if I could get past all the setting up of the story/characters I’d start to enjoy it more because the writing was good.

I did hate the fact the belt could ‘talk’ but I guess I’m nic-picking now.

Chaz was boring and I didn’t trust him, in fact I didn’t really care for any of the characters and I guess that was one of the main issues I had with it.

I may get tempted to read the next installment in the hope of it getting better, but I don’t hold out too much hope.

Rating: 3/6 – It Was Okay

Monthly Round Up: July 2011

An okay month this time round with a total of 9 books read. I’ve even managed to post it on time 🙂 Only 2 re-reads this month so I can add 7 to my 150 book goal. Sadly though I’m currently 7 books behind so I’ll have to get a shift on in August. Most anticipated book was Grave Dance, and I loved My Life as a White Trash Zombie.

72. The First Days, Rhiannon Frater
73. Ashes, Ashes, Jo Treggiari
74. Grave Dance, Kalayna Price
75. Firewalker, Allyson James
76. Strange Angels, Lilith staintcrow
00. Mind Games, Carolyn Crane
00. Double Cross, Carolyn Crane
77. My Life as a White Trash Zombie, Diana Rowland
78. Raised by Wolves, Jennifer Barnes

Review: The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1) by Amanda Stevens

My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims—lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

I’d been looking forward to reading this after seeing the cover a few times on various book blogs (I can’t actually remember where). I love the cover and it sounded really interesting. The concept of a cemetery restorer really intrigued me.I hoped it wouldn’t let me down like The Demon Trapper’s Daughter and it didn’t 🙂 from the first sentence to the last, I was hooked.

It’s really well written, and the characters felt real. I liked Amelia and took to her right away, but even though I liked Devlin, I didn’t really feel connected to him like I did with Amelia. I can’t wait to see what happens between them.

It didn’t seem like I was reading an urban fantasy book. It reminded me somewhat of a Dan Brown novel; the symbolism, secret societies, intrigue and suspense, and with an interesting but non sexual relationship.

I liked it even though it wasn’t what I was expecting to read. I will definitely read the next book in the series, The Kindom, which is expected to be released some time in October.

Rating: 4/6 – I Liked It

Review: Hell Fire (Corine Solomon #2) by Ann Aguirre

As a handler, Corine Solomon can touch any object and know its history. It’s too bad she can’t seem to forget her own. With her ex-boyfriend Chance in tow-lending his own supernatural brand of luck-Corine journeys back home to Kilmer, Georgia, in order to discover the truth behind her mother’s death and the origins of “gift”. 

But while trying to uncover the secrets in her past, Corine and Chance find that something is rotten in the state of Georgia. Inside Kilmer’s borders there are signs of a dark curse affecting the town and all its residents-and it can only be satisfied with death.

I was eager to start reading Hell Fire after finishing Blue Diablo. It starts off shortly after Blue Diablo, just long enough for Corine not to have to answer Chance at the end of the last book. I had hoped that we’d have some kind of resolution during some point of this book, but the love triangle was still there, although maybe not as all consuming as previously, but it was there, with no resolution in sight.

I was quite perplexed as to why Chance had done a total 360. If Corine had left him because she didn’t think he loved her, then why was she able to keep him dangling like a love sick puppy in this and the previous book?

I don’t know. Ann Aguirre left me with lots of questions by the time I finished reading Hell Fire, questions that I didn’t really mind not asking during the last one. I think maybe I wasn’t bothered by them in the first book.

The plot was again a little ropey at times, events seemed to come out of the blue, and the world building… Well the world building was slightly off. I don’t know if this is just me but I wasn’t left with a solid grasp of the world Corinne lives in, even after reading 2 books. The good thing about that is that there’s no info dumping, and instead, a fast pace story. Maybe the world is being slowing introduced and more is to come. It is only book three after all.

Sometimes the characters seemed to be bundling along aimlessly, not really knowing what to do, or why they were doing it and that distracted me at times. You know I like to moan about books I really like, and I do like this series, and I did really like this book. It was an enjoyable read, all be it one that leaves me all kinds of heartbroken. (My current mantra: there’s still time, there’s still time, there’s still time…)

Rating: 5/6 –  Really Liked It

Monthly Round Up: June

A good month this time round, especially if it’s compared to the last few months. 13 books read and no re-reads! Mid month I began my zombie kick and it hasn’t abated yet. Two of my favourite authors had books released. Nalini Singh with Kiss of Snow, and Ilona Andrews with Magic Slays. I really enjoyed reading both of them. I’ve been waiting for Hawkes story for a while now. (Psy-Changling #10 by Singh). My favourite of the month has got to be Feed, with Deadline a close second. Feed introduced me to the zombie genre (although maybe Enclave prepared me a little) and blew me away.

70 books read out of the 150 challenged. I think I may be one book behind, but I think that’s only happened because I have at least four books that I’m more than halfway through and can’t seem to finish (Darkfever, Shiver, Passion, Dime Store
Magic), and I’m not really keen to abandon and read again in december.

58. Kiss of Snow, Nalini Singh
59. Magic Slays, Ilona Andrews
60. Street Magic, Caitlin Kittredge
61. Divergent, Veronica Roth
62. Enclave, Ann Aguirre
63. Feed, Mia Grant
64, Deadline, Mia Grant
65. Unearthly, Cynthia Hand
66. Matched, Ally Condie
67. Warm Bodies, Isaac Marion
68. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan
69. The Dead-Tossed Waves, Carrie Ryan
70. The Dark and Hollow Places, Carrie Ryan