Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fire by William Esmont


Synopsis:
No one knows what caused the dead to rise. No one knows what caused them to attack the living. Fighting for their lives, scattered survivors find the attempted cure to be almost worse than the disease. In the twilight of a shattered civilization, the fate of humankind rests upon the actions of a handful of war-weary survivors. Driven to a scorched corner of the former United States, they alone hold the key to a global reawakening. Or the final epitaph for a dead planet.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
I have had Fire for quite a few years now. Recently, I've been extremely sick, which has given me some extra time to read a lot of my older books in my tbr pile. After reading Fire, I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I loved it. In fact, I'm writing this review right after finishing Fire so I can read the second book in the series, Air, immediately.

If you follow me on any social media site, you know I am slightly obsessed with zombies. I've read a lot of zombie books, and watched quite a few zombie themed tv shows and movies. I think that Fire is one of the better zombie books that I have read. In my opinion, it is an accurate description o what would actually happen in a zombie apocalypse. The one thing I loved that William Esmont did is that not only can a zombie infect a person by biting them, but zombie blood is also infectious. That's something that doesn't happen in a lot of zombie stories, but I feel like it would happen in real life.

Esmont also creates some very complex characters that you just want to root for (or love to hate in one particular character's case). Even though there are several different points of view, all of the characters come together in a way that is brilliant. Also, one of the characters has a particularly nasty past, but once the zombie apocalypse happens, that doesn't matter anymore. I believe that's how it should be. My favorite character is Megan. She's been through hell and back, but she doesn't let it get to her. I can't wait to see what she does in the future.

I loved Fire by William Esmont. It's one of my favorite zombie books that I've read this year. I think that Esmont has a great future ahead of him writing zombie/survival novels. I can't wait to see where he takes the story next. I recommend this series for fans who like The Walking Dead, with more realism. I also recommend it for people who like survival stories.

I give Fire: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.williamesmont.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/williamesmont
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WilliamEsmont
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+WilliamEsmont/posts
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/WilliamEsmontBooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4090088.William_Esmont

I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Seth's review of American Science Fiction: Five Classic Novels 1956-1958 by Various Authors


Synopsis:
This second of two volumes surveying the best science fiction novels of the 1950s presents works by five of the field’s most admired and influential practitioners. In Robert A. Heinlein’s Double Star (1956), an actor forced to impersonate a twenty-second-century political leader intent on forging bonds between Earthlings and Martians learns hard lessons about the nature of power. Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination (1956), which Neil Gaiman has called “the perfect cyberpunk novel,” is a classic revenge tale set in a nightmarish future dominated by corporations.

In James Blish’s A Case of Conscience (1958), space voyagers on the remote planet Lithia find themselves challenged by the values of an alien civilization. Algis Budrys’s Who? (1958) unleashes Cold War anxieties about technology and human identity with its story of a scientist rebuilt beyond recognition after a devastating accident. Set in “the Place,” a bar and bordello in the backwater of time’s stream, Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time (1958) explores the implications of the “Change War,” an endless cosmic struggle in which shadowy antagonists dart in and out of history in a contest to control destiny.

The range of styles—by turns adventurous, satiric, incisive—is as varied as the themes addressed by these novels, all now acknowledged as American classics. Together they mark an explosively entertaining era in modern fiction.

(Synopsis taken from Goodreads.)

Seth's Thoughts:
While not an elegant title for a book, it is quite accurate. Once you crack it open you find quite a few stories in it. The running time on this book if you are going to read it from cover to cover is quite long. You’re looking at a little over 20 hours of reading, possibly more.

The first story in this collection is Double Star by Robert Heinlein. It follows the life of a has been actor who takes on a role of a lifetime. Quite literally it seems. While slow paced, it has a knack of keeping you interested to find out what happens to ‘The Great Lorenzo’. Overall, the story seems quite credible for science fiction. It keeps away from anything too exotic like light speed travel and all the other staples of sci-fi stories like giant star ships etc. The only thing unrealistic about it is the presence if aliens on Mars, but as this was something written back in the 50’s it’s to be expected seeing as how practically all planets in the solar system were perceived as being inhabited. I give this story in the collection a 4/5.
The second story in this collection is The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester. This covers an alternate history where sometime after man began to colonize other planets in the solar system and the asteroid belt, they discovered how to teleport (jaunt). This has a huge impact on how the world economy works. Cities spring up in unlikely places. Roads are left in disrepair. Telepathy becomes a thing with some people as well. This story focuses on the life of Gully Foyle who is left to die in space only to eventually track down and get his vengeance on those who left him to die. This story is much faster paced than the last one, which was a nice respite. I give this one as well a 4/5.

The third story in this collection is A Case of Conscience by James Blish. This one follows the story of three men contacting an alien race for man for the first time. They aren’t nearly as advanced as man is in some aspects of technology because the planet they evolved on didn’t have enough heavy metals to do much with. But they had managed to develop flight with what was available to them. The three men observe and collect information on the aliens up until they have to leave. Upon leaving they are gifted with one of the alien young to take back to Earth with them. While I enjoyed this story somewhat, it left me wanting more from it I think. I can’t explain what. Anyways, I give this one a 3.5/5.

The fourth story in this collection is WHO? By Algis Budrys. This one follows a cold war scenario with more technology than was available in our history. A man who was thought to have been dead was brought back from Russia, but his identity can’t be confirmed because all his identifying characteristics have been replaced by mechanical items. No teeth, no fingerprints, even his eyes have been replaced. As such, he is under suspicion for the whole rest of his life on whether he is an American or in reality a Russian spy. I also give this one a 3.5/5.

The last story in this long winded collection is The Big Time by Fritz Leiber. It covers something called the Change War. It follows an entertainer who is stuck outside of space and time along with several others. They ostensibly ‘entertain’ time travelers who combat different scenarios in history where things could have gone horribly wrong. To be honest, I thought it was a quite boring story and was just glad to be done with this collection. I give this one a 2/5.


Seth gives American Science Fiction 1956-1958: 3.5/5.

Want to know where to buy this book?
I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated in any way for this review.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Last Good Knight: Sore Spots by Tiffany Reisz


Synopsis:
With a potential stalker on the loose, Kingsley hires Lance as Nora's bodyguard, but stipulates no sex while he's on duty. Frustrated by the ex-SEAL's noble chivalry, Nora is driven to seek release with the one man she's trying to forget….
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
When I read part one of The Last Good Knight, Scars and Stripes, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. The second part of the series went up on NetGalley shortly afterwards, and I decided to give the series one more shot to see where the story went. I'm glad I did. I liked Sore Spots so much better than Scars and Stripes.

Sore Spots picks up exactly where Scars and Stripes left off. The first book in the series was a lot of plot setup, whereas with Sore Spots, the reader gets to see the plot develop and get to know the characters a little better. I'm really starting to like Nora. Her take no crap from anyone attitude makes her incredibly badass. I also enjoy Lance and the chemistry between them that just sizzles off of the page. Soren is still a mystery to me. I'm curious to know more about him as I find his mystery appealing. Oh well, I guess that's what I get for not reading the original series first.

I will be continuing The Last Good Knight series as soon as I possibly can. Tiffany Reisz didn't have me hooked after the first book, but she definitely does now. I can't wait to see what happens with the Lance/Nora/Soren love triangle. Also, I'm interested in hearing more about Nora's clientele.


I give Sore Spots: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.tiffanyreisz.com/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littleredridingcrop
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tiffanyreisz
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/tiffanyreisz
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4480131.Tiffany_Reisz

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Seth's review of Atlas 1-3 by Isaac Hooke


Synopsis for Atlas:
Rade Galaal enrolls in the hardest military training known to man to become a member of the MOTHs, the most elite fighting unit in the galaxy. MOTHs are tacticians, corpsmen, snipers, astronauts and commandos rolled into one. They also happen to pilot the atomic-powered ATLAS mechs, specialized military hardware that brings new meaning to the phrase "one-man-army." 

When Special Warfare Command orders MOTH Team Seven on a covert operation beyond the furthest reaches of explored space, Rade realizes he's signed up for more than he bargained for...

Synopsis for Atlas 2:
The desperate battle on far-flung Geronimo may have ended in a qualified victory for the elite MOTH soldiers in their devastating, atomic-powered ATLAS mechs…but the cost was a massive one, paid in blood. Rade Galaal, graduate of the toughest military training in the universe, barely survived the terrifying mission in deep space that claimed the lives of the two people he couldn’t afford to lose: a comrade who was more than a brother, and someone who was his whole world.

Lost, broken, and questioning his place as a MOTH and as a man, Rade faces a new crisis when an enemy force—a terrifyingly familiar one—threatens the future of humanity itself. Entering human territory from the depths of uncharted space, this massive alien vessel wears the face of death.

Once the nightmarish invader begins threatening total annihilation, can Rade and his team hope to prevail…or even survive?


Synopsis for Atlas 3:
The ATLAS mechanized battle suits are the pinnacle of military technology, boasting awesome destructive power—but what is behind the armor is only human. Rade Galaal, elite soldier and ATLAS operator, has been tested—and broken—by savage battles and devastating losses. Now, an old enemy poses a new threat.



The vile insectile aliens that once threatened Earth have regrouped to engineer a new apocalyptic assault on mankind, and the ATLAS mechs are called to defend the very survival of the human race.



On the desolate, far-flung moons of Tau Ceti II, there will come a reckoning. Earth’s adversaries are legion, and the planet’s soldiers—for all of their rigorous training and amazing ordnance—are only flesh and blood. But they possess a defiant will to survive. Will Rade find the strength to reforge his shattered spirit and defeat the alien onslaught before all is lost?

(All of the synopsis were taken from Goodreads).

Seth's thoughts on the series as a whole:
Hello again one and all. I have once again read a book for my lovely wife, and as such I am happy to give a review for said book. The one in question for today is a series rather than a single book. It is the Atlas series by Isaac Hooke. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this series. I’m pretty sure it was the reason I didn’t sleep for several days in a row. The story starts out small, following Rade, a Dissuader who finds himself quickly down on his luck. Having had enough of his poor lifestyle, he decides to make a go for a new life in America. So, this story seems typical enough right? Small town dude from a south of the border city decides to move to America for a better life right? Well, it’s not as simple as that. America has pretty much turned into a wet dream thought up by Donald Trump. Any non-native born people seeking citizenship have to serve time in the military to gain citizenship, and even then they get treated like crap by most people outside of the military.

Oh, I should probably mention right about now that this series is set in the future. I can’t recall if an exact date is given or not, but humanity has advanced enough that we as a whole have become space faring. We can also use gates, a la Cowboy Bebop, to travel vast distances. So, the human race has spread to the stars. What does this have to do with Rade? Well, he gets to choose which branch he would like to serve. He just so happens to pick the hardest branch available. The Moths.

What are the Moths? Imagine Navy Seals, but Navy Seals that have been concentrated to the levels of badassdom that would happen if Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee were able to have children, and then those children were strapped into giant mechanical suits of armor. That, in short is what a Moth is.

I could go on and on about the story and all that, but you probably want to know: is it worth the read? The simple answer to this question is yes. The long answer is composed of several questions. Do you like action? Do you like sci-fi? Do you like space operas? Do you like reading stories about how underdogs struggle and eventually redeem themselves in the eyes of themselves? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you will enjoy reading this series.


Seth gives the Atlas series: 4.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://isaachooke.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorisaachooke
Twitter: http://twitter.com/isaachooke
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/isaachooke/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/isaachooke
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/isaac-hooke/51/a16/75
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+IsaacHookeAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6876662.Isaac_Hooke

I received these books from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated in any way for this review.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Scars and Stripes by Tiffany Reisz


Synopsis:
The Last Good Knight: An Original Sinners novella told in five parts.

Part I: Scars and Stripes

It's lust at first sight when Mistress Nora encounters a sexy newcomer to The 8th Circle. She's happy for the distraction, since she left her lover, Søren, but her session with Lance is cut short when her boss, Kingsley Edge, reveals they're all in danger….

(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
I've always wanted to read a Tiffany Reisz book. When I saw that this was a prequel to her Originals series, and that it was on NetGalley, I decided to give it a try. The beginning was extremely confusing for me, but by the end of the book, I started to enjoy it.

Even though this is a prequel, I think I should have read the main series first. During the beginning, I was so confused. I had no idea who the characters I was reading about were, or what the heck was going on. I think if I had read the main series, I would have known these things and caught on to references that I probably missed. 

After I figured out what was going on, I enjoyed the characters. My favorite character was Lance. I hope he continues to show up in the prequels. I will be upset if he was just a one time thing. It was also interesting meeting Siren. Everybody who has read this series talks about how amazing and swoon-worthy he is, but so far I am not impressed

All in all, I really did enjoy the book. I'm interested to read the next prequel in the series and figure out what happened after that crazy cliffhanger. I recommend this for people who have read the original series, and want a bit more of Nora in their lives.


I give Scars and Stripes: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.tiffanyreisz.com/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littleredridingcrop
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tiffanyreisz
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4480131.Tiffany_Reisz

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Seth's review of Pathfinder Tales: Lord of Runes by Dave Gross


Synopsis:
Count Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan are no strangers to the occult. Yet when Varian is bequeathed a dangerous magical book by an old colleague, the infamous investigators find themselves on the trail of a necromancer bent on becoming the new avatar of a strange and sinister demigod-one of the legendary runelords. Along with a team of mercenaries and adventurers, the crime-solving duo will need to delve into a secret world of dark magic and the legacy of a lost empire. But in saving the world, will Varian and Radovan lose their souls?

From bestselling author Dave Gross comes a fantastical tale of mystery, monsters, and mayhem in PATHFINDER TALES: LORD OF RUNES, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

Seth's Thoughts:
I recently had the pleasure of reading Pathfinder Tales: Lord of Runes by Dave Gross. The story was great, I easily could imagine something like it playing out in the gaming groups I play with on occasion. I especially enjoyed the viewpoints swapping back and forth from the ‘boss’, Varian, and the ‘bodyguard’ Radovan. I get the feeling that there is an overarching storyline somewhere in the past, mostly because of all of the references made by the two characters. However, I am not left feeling lost. This book could easily be a standalone if it isn’t already.

Okay, so I got the niceties out of the way. Let’s get down to brass tacks. The way I understand it, the copy I received was not an advanced reader copy like I am accustomed to reading. It is a fully published and released copy. Having said that, I find the spelling mistakes inside of the book to be slightly aggravating. A simple spell check probably could have caught them. There aren’t many of them, but there are enough to make the back of my brain itch in irritation.

Anyways, aside from the mechanical errors in the book, it is a decidedly good read. In between my job and playing Minecraft I made quite a bit of time to read this book as quickly as I could. Were it not for the afore mentioned errors, I would be giving this book a half point higher on my grading scale. 


Seth gives Pathfinder Tales:  Lord of Runes: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://frabjousdave.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/frabjousdave
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2936691.Dave_Gross

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated in any way for this review.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Into the Nowhere by Jenny T. Colgan


Synopsis:
The Eleventh Doctor and Clara land on an unknown alien planet. To the Doctor’s delight and Clara’s astonishment, it really is unknown. It’s a planet the Doctor has never seen. It’s not on any maps, it’s not referenced on any star charts or in the TARDIS data banks. It doesn’t even have a name. What could be so terrible that its existence has been erased?
(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
Lately, I've been binge reading Doctor Who novels and short stories. I just can't get enough. That was going really well until I reached Into the Nowhere. It's the first Doctor Who short story I read that I really didn't care for. There were several things I didn't like about it.

The biggest thing that bothered me is that the way the author portrayed the eleventh doctor drove me absolutely crazy. It was like she was trying too hard to develop his wit and sarcasm. It just came off as forced and awkward. It seemed like he was just babbling instead of being his usual, eccentric, clever self.

The storyline also seemed rushed. The whole time they are wandering around this planet trying to survive all the things being thrown at them, which were explained in a confusing way. The climax of the story was also confusing. I had a vague idea of what was going on, but there weren't enough fleshed out details for me to know for sure.

I did enjoy the Harry Potter references that were made. There were only a couple of them, but they made the story that I wasn't liking at all a little more enjoyable. Even though I love everything Doctor Who, this story fell short of the rest of the Time Trips that I've read. I will continue to read Time Trips by other authors, but if this author releases another Time Trip short story, I won't read it.

I give Into the Nowhere: 2/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.jennycolgan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jtcolgan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennycolgan

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rapunzel by Jessica Kaye


Synopsis:
Rapunzel longs to experience the world outside. After ten years of imprisonment under the care of her well-meaning great aunt, the monotony of her life is finally broken when a handsome young man named Brendan climbs into her tower. But when Granny Aunt finds out, she forbids him to visit Rapunzel. Even though Brendan continues to call her from the base of her tower, Rapunzel refuses to acknowledge him, confused and caught between her loyalty to Granny Aunt and her desire for more out of life. When neither Granny Aunt nor Brendan show up for several weeks, Rapunzel realizes she must take her fate into her own hands. She leaves her tower to search not only for Granny Aunt, but Brendan, as well. In the city, she finds Granny Aunt on her sickbed. Rapunzel must discover within herself a new kind of courage and inner strength. City life is astounding to her, and even as she continues to search for the man she loves, she begins to wonder what secrets he kept from her. Outside the city, a brewing war threatens the new life she's built. She still can't find Brendan, and the once-lonely Rapunzel now realizes her new friends are at risk, too.
(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
When I was a kid, Rapunzel was my favorite fairy tale. I thought it was amazing how she grew her hair so long, and wanted to grow my hair long, and be just like her. Needless to say, that didn't work out. Even as an adult, I love reading fairy tale retelling about Rapunzel. When I saw Rapunzel by Jessica Kaye on Goodreads, I knew I had to request it for review. I'm so glad that the author approved me to review it. I really enjoyed the story.

Jessica Kaye put an interesting twist on the Rapunzel story. It made the reader think about it more deeply. For instance, in the original story, everyone thinks the old lady is a horrible person for keeping Rapunzel in the tower, and that she's evil. I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil anything for those that may not have read it, but in Jessica Kaye's Rapunzel, you learn that might not have been the truth with Granny Aunt, and that things might be different than what they seem.

I have to admit that I found the story predictable, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Shortly after we meet Brendan, I guessed who he was, and I guessed correctly. I also knew what was happening with Rosemary and Theodore before it was revealed. However, none of that took away from the story line. I still found it to be a cute, fun read. I actually enjoyed it so much that I finished it one sitting, which is unusual for me.

I really enjoyed Jessica Kaye's version of Rapunzel. I am excited to read Rapunzel's Prince and find out what happened the whole time he was gone. I hope that Jessica Kaye writes more fairy tale retellings in the future. If she does, I will definitely buy them.

I give Rapunzel: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.jessicakaye.net/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782238.Jessica_Kaye

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Lights Out by Holly Black


Synopsis:
A Doctor Who short story featuring the Twelfth Doctor. It follows in the tradition of the series of short stories published last year by Puffin featuring each Doctor.
(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
Out of all of the Doctors, I haven't got to watch that many episodes of Doctor Who that feature the twelfth doctor. It isn't on Netflix yet, and I don't have cable. I did watch five or six episodes of the twelfth doctor at my mother-in-law's house though. From what I've seen, I enjoy him, but not as much as the previous doctors. I did enjoy Lights Out.

I already knew that Holly Black is a fabulous storyteller from reading her other books, so my expectations were high. She definitely met them. There was so much that I enjoyed about her interpretation of the twelfth doctor that I'm not even really sure where to begin. First of all, I loved that the story was about a planet that basically worships coffee, and its citizens need coffee to function on a daily basis. As someone who needs at least one cup of coffee (some days it's more like four) to function in the morning, it made the characters more relatable to me. 

I also loved that the plot centered around a minor character from a previous Doctor Who episode. It shows that Holly Black is a true Whovian, and does her research while writing a book. The subtle references to Ten throughout the book were greatly appreciated, although it made me miss him more. From the few episodes I've seen, I think Holly Black accurately portrayed Twelve. She stayed true to his more serious character.

All in all, I really enjoyed this. I hope Holly Black writes more Doctor Who stories in the future. I think it would be interesting to see her take on Four or Eleven, but I would read anything she wrote about any of the doctors.

I give Lights Out: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.blackholly.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HollyBlackFan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hollyblack
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/hollyblack/
Tumblr: http://hollyblack.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/25422.Holly_Black

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Duff by Kody Keplinger


Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. 

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
When I first heard of The Duff, I had no interest in reading it. Young adult contemporary isn't usually my thing. If I'm going to read a YA book, it's usually going to be a fantasy book. However, once the movie trailer came out, the book started getting a lot of buzz. I wanted to see what all of the hype was about, so I decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did. For the most part, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

There is one thing I didn't like about the book. The main character's maturity level drove me crazy. She was very immature. Her immaturity lead to her making stupid decisions. For example, she was playing a guy that really cared about her, and messing with his feelings, because she was in love with another guy. It made me mad. She was also whiny. She complained about a lot of things when it was her fault that those things happened in the first place. Towards the end of the book, she began to grow as a character and wasn't so bad. The rest of the book, I just wanted to reach into the book and smack her.

Other than the main character, I really did enjoy the book. I thought the plot was fun, and I enjoyed the lessons that she learned in the end. It kept my interest the whole way through. In fact, I liked the book so much that I finished it in one day on finals week, which is really unusual for me. Once I got to about ten percent through, I couldn't put it down.

I enjoyed The Duff. It made me want to read more of Kody Keplinger's books, especially her new book, the companion to The Duff, called Lying Out Loud. It should be interesting to see cameos from the characters of The Duff to see where they are now. However, I don't think I will be seeing the movie for The Duff. The trailer makes it look like it will be a very unfaithful adaption.

I give The Duff: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: 
http://kodykeplinger.com/
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kody-Keplinger/143755808998957
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/kody_keplinger
Instagram: 
https://instagram.com/kodykeplinger/
Tumblr: 
http://kodykeplinger.tumblr.com/
YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/user/KodyKeplinger
Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3095919.Kody_Keplinger

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Bog Warrior by Cecelia Ahern


Synopsis:
Arriving on the planet Cashel, the Tenth Doctor witnesses a strange masked ball. To guarantee peace, Prince Zircon has to choose a bride from the Bog People - dead men and women who have been resurrected as slaves. Or as warriors. But Zircon is in love with the enslaved Princess Ash, whose parents were deposed and executed by the current Queen. As usual, the Doctor has walked right into trouble, and it's up to him to sort it out.
(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
For anyone that follows me on my personal Facebook page, you will know that I am a diehard Whovian. I am absolutely addicted to Doctor Who. I watched the new series, and am making my way through the classic series. I love reading Doctor Who books, graphic novels, and fan fiction. You name a Doctor Who story, and I've probably read it. Therefore, when I saw a couple of Doctor Who novellas from a series called Time Trips, it was a no brainer to request them. I am so happy that the publisher was awesome enough to approve me. I really enjoyed The Bog Warrior.

The Bog Warrior was like a cross between Doctor Who and Cinderella. I really enjoyed reading it because Cinderella is one of my favorite fairy tales of all time. I thought Cecelia Ahern did a great job capturing the spirit of Ten. She did a great job staying true to the character by implementing a lot of his witty, snarky, cleverness into the character. I could almost imagine that it was an actual episode of Doctor Who.

The Bog Warrior was the first Cecelia Ahern book I have read. However, it definitely won't be my last. I enjoyed her interpretation of Doctor Who, and the Tenth Doctor so much that as soon as I was done reading it, I went out and bought a couple of her full length romance novels. If the writing style is anything like this book, I'm sure I will love it. I can't wait to read more from the Doctor Who Time Trips to see what kind of crazy, original adventures that all of the Doctors get into next. I especially want to read a time trip about Nine, because he is my favorite Doctor.

I give The Bog Warrior: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://uk.cecelia-ahern.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ceceliaahernofficial.int?brand_redir=125929650786731
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cecelia_Ahern

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin


Synopsis:
The moon is missing from the remote Village of Clear Sky, but only a young boy named Rendi seems to notice! Rendi has run away from home and is now working as a chore boy at the village inn. He can't help but notice the village's peculiar inhabitants and their problems-where has the innkeeper's son gone? Why are Master Chao and Widow Yan always arguing? What is the crying sound Rendi keeps hearing? And how can crazy, old Mr. Shan not know if his pet is a toad or a rabbit?


But one day, a mysterious lady arrives at the Inn with the gift of storytelling, and slowly transforms the villagers and Rendi himself. As she tells more stories and the days pass in the Village of Clear Sky, Rendi begins to realize that perhaps it is his own story that holds the answers to all those questions.

Newbery Honor author Grace Lin brings readers another enthralling fantasy featuring her marvelous full-color illustrations. Starry River of the Sky is filled with Chinese folklore, fascinating characters, and exciting new adventures.
(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
I love books about folklore. I find folklores of different countries to be fascinating. I especially love learning anything I can about Asian folklore. Some of the the folklores stories from Asia are really creative and amazing. Therefore, it's no surprise that I really enjoyed Starry River of the Sky.

I read Starry River of the Sky for the Bout of Books readathon, and enjoyed it immensely. At first, I wasn't sure whether I liked the main character, Rendi, or not. However, as the story goes on, he goes through some major character growth and development. He becomes a much more mature character. By the end of the book, I liked him quite a bit. My favorite character was Mr. Shan. He made me laugh quite a bit. 

The plot could be slow at times in the beginning, as the reader is trying to figure out why all of this crazy stuff is going on. However, when everything is woven together at the end and revealed, it was pure magic. I didn't figure out anything at the end before it happened. I also loved the illustrations in the book. They added a lot to the story, and helped to visualize everything in my head.

I enjoyed Starry River of the Sky quite a bit. It was a good middle grade novel that also teaches a lesson about life. It made me excited to read Grace Lin's companion novel, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

I give Starry River of the Sky: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.gracelin.com/
Website: http://www.gracelinbooks.com/
Blog: http://www.gracelinblog.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGraceLin
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pacylin
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/59390.Grace_Lin

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Gettysburg After Dark by Annalise Grey


Synopsis:
Ever wonder what really happens when the streets of this little town go dark? Gettysburg once ran red with blood during the infamous Civil War battle. Spirits of the slain, the wounded, and those who witnessed these unimaginable horrors still walk the streets of Gettysburg. Join ghost tour guides as they tell of genuine sightings, smells, and the occasional physical contact with these wandering spirits.
(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
Ever since I first learned about it in eighth grade (or the first time I remember learning about it anyways), I have been obsessed with the civil war. It's something that is unlike anything that has ever happened in the United States before that time period. I find it fascinating. Ghost stories always scare the beejezus out of me, but I love them. Combine civil war AND ghost stories, and I'm entertained for quite some time.

This book is short, so I read it in one setting. I really enjoyed it. It was fascinating hearing about all of the author's experiences while being a ghost tour guide. I have to give Annalise Grey props. If I had seen or heard even a fraction of what she did, I would have run away screaming. She stuck with the job no matter how creepy things got. She has a lot of respect from me because of that.

I also enjoyed the history aspect of Gettysburg After Dark. The author didn't just tell about her experiences with ghosts. She also gave a lot of historical background about Gettysburg. She said what specific events happened in which places in the town, and what the buildings were used for back in the civil war era, and what they're used for now. I really liked that. It made me feel like I was on one of her tours while I was reading.

I greatly enjoyed this book. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys learning about the civil war. I also recommend it to people who love to hear creepy ghost stories and experiences. I look forward to hopefully hearing more experiences from Annalise Grey in the future.


I give Gettysburg After Dark: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://annalisegrey.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annalise.grey
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnaliseGrey
Instagram: https://instagram.com/annalisegrey/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5434956.Annalise_Grey

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Flight of the Ravens by Chris Butler


Synopsis:
A dark force has risen in 19th century Amsterdam. Elizabeth saw her best friend consumed by it. She is afraid her soul was tainted that day. Huginn lost his son to it, and his wife to madness. He is a man with secrets, his past shrouded in mystery. The darkness retreated into hiding, but soon it will return. Elizabeth and Huginn must unite against it, to fight for Amsterdam's survival and for the eternal soul of Huginn's only mortal son.
(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
Horror isn't usually a genre that I read a lot of. However, I do love paranormal. It happens to be one of my favorite genres. The Flight of the Ravens is a mixture of both. Both genres combined with an awesome story line made this a really enjoyable book.

I loved mostly everything about Flight of the Ravens. The plot was suspenseful. It had me turning pages, wanting to know what would happen next. There were a couple parts where it got kind of boring. That only lasted for a page or two before the plot picked up again. I also appreciated how the author wove mythology into the story line. It made the plot even more intriguing. I wish we had been able to get a glimpse into Odin's reaction to what the ravens told him.

I greatly enjoyed the characters. Elizabeth was a great female main character. I loved how determined she was. She also had amazing determination and willpower. It made her an admirable character. As I just finished taking a Psychology class last semester, I thought it was really cool the way the author incorporated Freud into the plot. I enjoyed it when he handed Huginn his manuscript on dream interpretation.

Other than a couple slow parts in the book, I really enjoyed The Flight of the Ravens. I can't wait to read more of Chris Butler's works in the future. I am interested to see what he comes up with next. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a darker twist.

I give The Flight of the Ravens: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://cbutler12.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisButlerAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbutler12
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/494197.Chris_Butler

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.