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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

cinder

Synopsis:

Cinder, a cyborg mechanic, is looked down on by everyone she knows, simply for being what someone made her to be. She works while her stepmother and two siblings sit at home. One day, while working, an android is dropped in front of her and a harried young man asks her if she can fix it. She is about to tell the young man that the android probably isn’t worth saving but realizes the young man is none other than Prince Kai. She then promises to work on the android and return it as quickly as possible.

A plague has swept the globe and no one knows its source. On the same day that Prince Kai drops off his android, the market sees its first case, and it’s not to far from Cinder’s booth. She rushes home and finds her sisters and stepmother getting fit for new dresses for the ball coming up. When Cinder tells her stepmother she will be out for her dress fitting after she gets cleaned up, she tells Cinder she is not going unless she gets their family vehicle fixed. While out at the scrapyard, the only sister who cares about her begins showing signs of the plague, she is forced to call and report her case and she is shipped away to die with all of the other plague victims.

Review:

Android Cinderella!!! Take everything you love about the classic story and add robots, a plague and an evil Lunar queen and you have one of the best retellings I have read to date.

I loved every aspect of this book and I cannot wait to start the next book. I have nothing more to say, because I feel it would all be redundant.

Favorite Quotes:

“I don’t know. I don’t actually remember anything from before the surgery.”

His eyebrows rose, his blue eyes sucking in all the light of the room. “The cybernetic opetation?”

“No, the sex change.”

The doctor’s smile faltered.

“I’m joking.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

“Cinder twisted up her lips. “Do you think it could have a virus?”
“Maybe her programming was overwhelmed by Prince Kai’s uncanny hotness.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

“The queen’s eyes smouldered. “I know my own kind when I see them, and right now there is one in these city walls.” She pointed a finger toward the balcony.”I want her found and brought to me.”
“Right,” said Kai,”that’ll be no problem in a city of two and a half million people. Let me just go dig out my special Lunar detector, and I’ll get right on that.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Recommendations:

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)  by Kady Cross

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)  by Julie Kagawa

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)  by Gena Showalter

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)  by Victoria Aveyard (Review to Come)

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Posted by on November 29, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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The Martian – Andy Weir

martian

Synopsis:

Mark Watney is abandoned by his crew on Mars when a huge storm comes through. As the crew is leaving, he is impaled by a metal rod and tossed to the ground. His crew assumes he has been carried away in the storm and they take off.

After they are gone Mark realizes he has to try and figure out how to survive on an uninhabited planet for four years, until the next shuttle mission comes to him. Being a botanist and a mechanical engineer, he is able to rig some things so they will work for him and prolong his life for just a while longer.

Review:

Okay, this book did have some great one liners. However, this book was one of the most boring books I have ever read.

Sorry, I know that is not popular opinion but I had no interest in the main characters struggle, mainly because it was so watered down with terminology and mathematics that I started hearing “Blah, blah, blah” running through my head.

I thought I would be a fan of the journalesque style of this book but I find it was one more thing that put me off to the book. I knew it was written that way, but I was not prepared for there to be nothing but journaling throughout the entire novel. It never picks up. It doesn’t get better.

I hate to say this but I have a feeling the movie will be quite hilarious, and maybe the book was put out just to see if someone would pick it up for a movie…

Favorite Quotes:

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”
Andy Weir, The Martian

“Also, I have duct tape. Ordinary duct tape, like you buy at a hardware store. Turns out even NASA can’t improve on duct tape.”
Andy Weir, The Martian

“Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be “in command” if I were the only remaining person.”
What do you know? I’m in command”
Andy Weir, The Martian

“If ruining the only religious icon I have leaves me vulnerable to Martian vampires, I’ll have to risk it.”
Andy Weir, The Martian

“They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially ‘colonized’ it. So technically, I colonized Mars.
In your face, Neil Armstrong!”
Andy Weir, The Martian

Recommendations:

(Just gonna go with a few sci-fi recommendations, since I am quite certain I have never read anything quite like this.)

Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, #1)  by Neal Stephenson

Ilium (Ilium, #1)  by Dan Simmons

Nirvana (Nirvana #1)  by J.R. Stewart

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)  by Pierce Brown

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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Lord of Snow and Shadows – Sarah Ash

lordofsnow

Synopsis:

Gavril was raised by his mother and lived the quiet simple life of an artist, until one day he is snatched up by his father’s army.

The Drakhaon has died, poisoned. His legacy must live on.

Gavril arrives to the wintry kingdom of Azhkendir to find he is the decedent of a King with dragon blood running through his veins. Upon his arrival he can feel the changes beginning in him. He is haunted by his dead father and is told a blood debt must be paid for his death. Gavril has no desire to bloody his hands but he cannot rid himself of this phantom.

As war wages, Gavril must find the darkness inside and either embrace it or find some way not be taken over by the power.

Review:

I could not finish this book. I have been trying for two months. There was no plot, no character development, no real story. I have no idea how I pushed through half of it.

Her imagery is truly well done. She is able to set a beautiful/horrifying scene but it just wasn’t enough.

I loved the idea of this story so much that I purchased the trilogy all at once. I am completely bummed that it didn’t work out.

(No quotes because nothing stuck out to me :/ )

Recommendations:

Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels #1)  by Anne Bishop

Dragon Champion (Age of Fire #1)  by E.E. Knight

Magic’s Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1)  by Mercedes Lackey

Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy, #1)  by Jacqueline Carey

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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The Shards of Heaven – Michael Livingston

shards

Synopsis:

With Julius Caesar assassinated on the senate floor, Rome is divided. Octavian, Caesar’s ambitious great-nephew and adopted son, decides to take on the great Marc-Antony and Cleopatra and a battle ensues to win the heart of Rome.

Juba, another of Caesar’s adopted sons, has decided to go after the Shards of Heaven, lost treasures that house the powers of the Roman gods, or in this case God himself. He already possesses what he believes to be the Trident, or in his mind, the staff of Moses. Now he will stop at nothing to obtain the other Shards, no matter the consequence.

Review:

I loved the rich history brought forth in this novel. Cleopatra is one of my favorite historical figures and I was thrilled when I received a NetGalley ARC.

The descriptions and battle scenes in this novel were quite epic. I absolutely loved the character building throughout the novel. The only thing that fell short for me was the dialogue. There were moments when conversations halted the story for me. I would set it aside and move on to something else. This made me feel like the book took way to long to read. But, I am a stickler for good dialogue. This was not enough of a deterrent to make me give a bad rating, in fact I would easily give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

(No quotes due to the fact that my copy was an ARC from NetGalley)

Recommendations:

Mystic (Mystic, #1)  by Jason Denzel

The Iron Lance (The Celtic Crusades, #1)  by Stephen R. Lawhead

The Burning Times  by Jeanne Kalogridis

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, #1)  by C.S. Lewis

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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Changeling – Philippa Gregory

changeling

Synopsis:

Luca Vero was given to the priesthood as a child. It is the only life he knows until the day he is charged with heresy. While imprisoned Luca is approached to join in with a group known as “The Order of Darkness” and is given orders to search out all evil and superstitions within the land.

Isolde, a seventeen year old girl, has just lost everything she ever hoped for in life. After finding out her father’s will has deemed her be locked away in a nunnery or be wed to a man who tries to rape her the day he meets her, Isolde chooses the nunnery. But things are not what they seem at the nunnery and things quickly go awry.

Their stories align when Luca is called upon to make inquiry on the nunnery. The women have all gone mad since Isolde’s arrival and many of the women are blaming Isolde’s lack of belief as the reason why.

Luca and Isolde will face all manner of medieval nasties before the story is finished and both set out on their own quests for truth.

Review:

Let me just say, I am a fan of Philippa Gregory. I started with her Wideacre series years ago and have been reading her books since.

I really enjoyed this book.

Does it achieve some kind of literary greatness? No.

Is it going to be one of those books that makes a lasting impression and changes your life forever? No.

It is just simply a good story. There are a few plot twists that I really enjoyed. There were a few lines I questioned the validity of but it was meant for teens and you can tell some of the phrasing and dialogue was geared towards a modern teen. But, hey, I see that as playing to your audience. I have read enough of her books to know she knows her history and I really didn’t question it with this novel. I do wish it was as engrossing as her other novels but again, awareness of her audience lent towards a shorter novel.

All in all, a great quick read.

Favorite Quote:

“Do you not think that God will protect us?”
“No,” he said flatly. “My experience is that He rarely attends to the obvious.”
Philippa Gregory, Changeling

Recommendations:

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)  by Robin LaFevers

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)  by Libba Bray

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)  by Kady Cross

Never Fall Down  by Patricia McCormick

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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Upcoming Reviews

changeling

Changeling (Order of Darkness, #1)  by Philippa Gregory

I love tales of the Fae, so how could I pass up a book with this title? I am a quarter of the way through and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

boneshaker

Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1)  by Cherie Priest

So far, this has been a great adventure!

lordofsnow

Lord of Snow and Shadows (Tears of Artamon, #1)  by Sarah Ash

I haven’t decided how I feel about this one yet. I am only about halfway through. We shall see.

shards

The Shards of Heaven (The Shards of Heaven #1)  by Michael Livingston

This is a NetGalley review book. I am loving it so far but I am only about 15% of the way through it.

stones

Only the Stones Survive  by Morgan Llywelyn

Another NetGalley, haven’t started this one but it sounds amazing!

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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Domnall and the Borrowed Child – Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

dom

Synopsis:

The Fae wars have ended and the only Fae worthy of rank or honor has fallen to the Slaugh. Domnall is the only scout left from the old wars and he is no longer a spring chicken. With battle wounds that give him hell and the next generation of scouts being nothing more than pampered babies, Domnall is very much a cranky old man. Now, with one of the Fae falling deathly ill, Domnall is the only Fae within his Sithen who knows how to track humans and is sent to trade the Fae child with a human child. What ensues is one hell of an adventure.

Review:

I received my copy through NetGalley!

Oh. My. Goodness. First, look at that cover, isn’t it stunning! I love it. Second, I love cranky old men. Third, I love Fae stories. This novella was such a fantastic read that I devoured it in one sitting. Domnall is essentially a veteran with a war injury that gives him pains throughout the entire novel. It makes him cranky but he pushes through and gets his job done. I love that he is paired with a spry young girl and the contrast between the two gives the novella a little friction. I also enjoyed the writing style. I felt as if I had sat down and someone was telling me a story, nothing about it made me feel as if I were reading it myself.

The only thing I didn’t like was that IT WAS TOO DANG SHORT! I want more!!!

No Quotes due to the fact that this was an ARC copy. 

Recommendations:

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)  by Julie Kagawa

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown  by Holly Black

Unbreakable (The Legion, #1)  by Kami Garcia

Changeling (Order of Darkness, #1)  by Philippa Gregory (Review to come)

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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