Thursday, 22 February 2018

On McPig's Radar - As She Ascends

I loved the first book, so you bet I pre-ordered this pearl.

As She Ascends (Fallen Isles Trilogy #2)
by Jodi Meadows

Mira Minkoba is on the run with her friends after a fiery escape from the Pit, where she’d been imprisoned for defending the dragons she loves. And she wants answers. Where have all the dragons been taken? Why are powerful noorestones being shipped to the mainland? And did the treaty she’s been defending her whole life truly sell out the Fallen Isles to their enemies?

As her connection to the dragons—and their power—grows stronger, so does Mira’s fear that she might lose control and hurt someone she loves. But the only way to find the truth is to go home again, to Damina, to face the people who betrayed her and the parents she’s not sure she can trust.

Home, where she must rise above her fears. Or be consumed.

The second page-turning novel in Jodi Meadows’ Fallen Isles trilogy scorches with mysterious magic and riveting romance as one girl kindles a spark into a flame.

Expected publication: September 11th 2018
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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Aliens Abroad - Book Review

Aliens Abroad (Katherine "Kitty" Katt #16)
by Gini Koch

What is it about:
With the human population growing and alien refugees pouring in from around the galaxy, Earth is becoming too overcrowded to sustain itself--and the solar system is filling up with the alien overflow. Advanced technology from the Alpha Centauri and Vatusan systems offers one possible solution. It's time to explore new planets and see if any uninhabited ones can be claimed.

The President and First Lady, aka Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini, aren't supposed to be on this mission, but what looks like a snafu during a political photo op on the newly christened Distant Voyager spaceship turns out to be a call for help from a planet that might be Earth's salvation...or its destruction.

The discovery of a world at the opposite end of the galaxy that seems like it could be a twin to Earth creates the usual issues for Kitty & Company. It also raises questions of Z'porrah and Ancient influence--not to mention cloning, the multiverse, and, scariest of all, whether or not the Black Hole Universe Police are starting to take too much of an interest in this particular universe.

What did I think of it:
If you still haven't started on this series, you should go get the first book asap.

For those familiar with this series: this is yet another fun adventure in the roller-coaster ride that is Kitty's life.

Kitty and co get taken on a trip into space and things get wild. There are lots of new things they discover, Kitty has to save the day, and just when one crisis is averted the next comes knocking. There's a lot going on, and once again I had to keep paying attention to keep up with what's happening.

I loved exploring the galaxy together with Kitty and her crew. The ship they're on is very cool, and the things they encounter disturbing, cool, fun, and more. It's a good thing Kitty usually figures out what should happen to set things right, because there's a lot to fix in the galaxy.

All in all a fun and very enjoyable read. The ending makes me eager for the next book to find out what's thrown on Kitty's plate next.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining, SF roller-coaster ride.

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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - City of the Lost

"You're not getting in," he says.
"To your town, I presume. Because I don't take direction well?"

(page 53, City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 19 February 2018

Etched in Bone - Book Review

Etched in Bone (The Others #5)
by Anne Bishop

What is it about:
After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

What did I think of it:
Things I've learned from reading this series:
Humans are evil and never learn
Women don't like bison meat
Meg is super special with special sauce on top

To be fair:
I very much enjoyed this series. Bishop is a master at world building and she creates really cool characters. It's just a shame that her heroines are lacking for me.

This book is a great read, but it felt as if Bishop had concluded her main storyline for this series in the previous book and then remembered she had forgotten to finish some minor storylines, so she came up with the plot in this book to tie everything up.

The story is almost entirely set in Lakeside and there's a lot of Meg. Luckily there were enough scenes with my favorite characters to make up for her specialness. I liked reading about Monty's mother, and I enjoyed the antics of the crows. The storyline isn't the best in this series, but it's entertaining.

All in all a nice wrap-up of the dangling storylines in Lakeside. I must say I'm looking forward to the paperback of the next book - Lake Silence - as it has new lead characters, one of them a Crowgard.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Urban Fantasy read.

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Friday, 16 February 2018

Siege and Storm - Book Review

Siege and Storm (The Grishaverse #2)
by Leigh Bardugo

What is it about:
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

What did I think of it:
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, so when I won a book of my choice at a giveaway by I Smell Sheep I didn't have to think very long about what book to pick.

And this book is just as cool as the first.

I love Alina and I was invested in what's happening to her from the start. I didn't like Mal in the first book, and this book only made me dislike him more. He seems very selfish, and doesn't consider Alina's feelings. He's only focused on the future he wants, instead of trying to build a future that also includes Alina's dreams and desires. Still I very much fear he will be the one to end up with Alina in the last book of this trilogy.

Mal aside, this story is wonderful. There are a couple of really interesting new characters, some with dubious loyalties. I loved learning more about the world and about the plans of both Alina, the Darkling ,and others. I kept reading to find out where things would lead. Did Alina put her trust in the right people? Is the Darkling really as evil as he seems? Will Ravka survive its civil war?

All in all a very entertaining and enjoyable read. I'll get my trotters on the last book soon.

Why should you read it:

It's a wonderful YA Fantasy read.

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Thursday, 15 February 2018

On McPig's Wishlist - The Plagued Spy

The Plagued Spy (The Immortal Spy, Book 2)
by K.A. Krantz

It’s all fun and games until someone breaks out the needles.

It was supposed to be a simple retrieval mission. Go in, grab the bespelled package of evidence against some very corrupt superpowers, and get out. The mission turns sideways when a vengeful spy Bix blackballed during her time in Dark Ops crashes the job and injects Bix’s teammates with an unknown toxin. Succumbing to a horrific mutation, the dying spook whispers the Mayday protocol for a compromised covert operation involving a biological weapon.

With her friends infected and sequestered in quarantine, a mole inside the spy guild exposing its undercover agents, and the brightest minds in the Mid Worlds unable to identify the biologic, Bix picks up the mission to find the creators and the cure. She’ll square off against Fates, dragons, angels, and even the god of plagues to save her friends; yet the greatest threat might well be the darkness growing within Bix and the evil on which it feeds.

Beware the plagued spy, for wrath and ruin are sure to follow…

Expected publication: April 24th 2018

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

No Life But This - DNF Rant

No Life But This (UniCorp #2)
by Anna Sheehan

What is it about:
Rose spent most of her life asleep. Otto spent his as an object.

Rose Fitzroy woke from her long sleep to a changed world and new life. Her friend Otto watched her from afar, longing for what he felt he couldn't have. But just when things seem to be going right, his own biology backfires, sending him into a deathly spiral that neither of them can stop. His only hope lies on the distant ice moon of Europa, where an experimental treatment might bring him back from the brink.

But Europa is in a state of revolution, and Otto's brother Quin is tangled up in it. With Otto going slowly insane, and Rose haunted by ghosts of her old life, more than one world may soon be destroyed around them.

What did I think of it:
*Warning: I will spoil the crap out of at least two events in this book, one that made me throw this book aside*

So I really enjoyed A Long, Long Sleep and this book was about my favorite character from that book: Otto.

At the start of this book it turns out Otto is desperately in love with Rose. He knows she doesn't feel that way about him, because when he touches people he can read their surface thoughts. He has a code of ethics that makes him stop to delve further in people's minds. On top of his feelings for Rose, he is feeling unwell, and might be dying from a condition that others like him have died from in the past.

So far, so good. It started to go wrong for me when Otto invites Rose into the pool to show her why he usually doesn't swim with other people. Here it is revealed that because of the water he feels Rose and her thoughts and emotions all over his body. I will confess this squicked me out a bit. Not what he feels, but that he only tells Rose this once she's in the water with him. It felt like a huge intrusion of her privacy. I know I wouldn't like someone to feel my emotions all over his/her being/body without me knowing about it and having chosen to share something so intimate.

A bit leery of Otto by this I read on.

Then the thing happened that made me toss the book:

Otto is getting worse and needs to travel to Europa in hope for a cure. He needs to be put in stasis, a procedure that might kill him. Rose volunteers to stay with him until the moment he's put in stasis. Otto is feeling very sorry for himself, because he might die, and because his feelings for Rose aren't mutual.

So what does Otto do?

He uses his telepathic powers to convince Rose's subconsciousness that he is her boyfriend from before she was put into stasis for 62 years, so he can kiss her (and maybe more)...


I don't care that Otto tries to tell himself it's ok, because conscious Rose supposedly knows it's Otto and not her old boyfriend! I don't care he thinks it's unfair he's going to die! I even don't care if he might feel sorry for this mind rape later! Because: Yes, this is Mind Rape!

I put the book down right there and then. Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe Otto will grovel for the rest of the book to make it up to Rose. Still: I just wasn't interested in finding out what happened to Douche Canoe Otto after this second huge breach of privacy and trust. You just don't do this kind of shit to people! Ever!

You bet this book is not a keeper and will be donated to the charity shop asap.

Why should you read it:
Maybe you want to find out if Otto can redeem himself.

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