Thursday, 5 May 2016

On McPig's Wishlist - Lady of Devices

Lady of Devices (Magnificent Devices #1)
by Shelley Adina

London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world. At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband.

Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices...

When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his... if they can both stay alive long enough to see that sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals...

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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Quick Book Reviews

I read these books quite a while ago, but at the time of reading I had events and stuff going on at my blog that made me keep postponing writing a review about these books. I decided to give you a quick overview of my thoughts.

Eye of Heaven (Dirk & Steele #5) by Marjorie M. Liu
Not my favorite book in the series, but certainly a really good and suspenseful story.
I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a well written en entertaining PNR read.

Bloodstone (Deadtown #3) by Nancy Holzner
I love this series and really should catch up on it. Bloodstone is an action-packed read that I very much enjoyed. The zombies in this series are different, but fun.

Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts #4) by Stacia Kane
Somehow I did review book 5, but skipped my review of 4.
This series awesome! Go read it! I myself am hoping there will be a book 6.
I must warn you that not everyone likes the heroine, because she's an addict.

The Mortal Bone (Hunter Kiss #4) by Marjorie M. Liu
Another awesome book in an awesome series. I love Maxine and her demons. I need to read book 5 one of these days.

Why should you read them:
All four of these books are very enjoyable reads, and part of cool series.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

TBR Orphans Update - April

Time to look at my TBR Orphans Challenge.

For those of you with a keen eye: Yup. I didn't read any orphaned books in March. In April I tried to read two, but one of them was a DNF, so one and a half orphan read in April.

True Blood was the DNF and had been in my TBR pile since July 2015.
Wicked as She Wants has been on my shelves since May 2013, because I was afraid to start on it, as I didn't like the male lead when he had a supporting role in Wicked as They Come.

How did your challenges go?

Monday, 2 May 2016

Geektastic - Book Review

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
by Holly Black, (Editor), Cecil Castellucci (Editor), M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Greg Leitich Smith , David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Tracy Lynn, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfeld, Lisa Yee, Sara Zarr, Hope Larson (Illustrator) and Bryan Lee O'Malley (Illustrator)

What is it about:
Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside) and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!

What did I think of it:
When I saw this anthology I just had to get it. Being a geek myself, I was very curious about these stories.

As this is an anthology I'll give my thoughts about each story. There's also some comics between the stories, but these were all one page and entertaining filler.

Once You're a Jedi, You're a Jedi All the Way by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
At a gaming convention a Jedi and a Klingon wake up next to each other. Can two people from different fandoms be friends or is this a recipe for disaster? This was a really fun read. I very much enjoyed the humor and the story. I could relate with the Jedi the most, but the Klingon was a cool character as well.

One of Us by Tracy Lynn
A cheerleader wants to learn about geeky things to understand her boyfriend better.
Another fun story. The geeks (and cheerleader) in this story were a bit stereotypical, but I liked how the cheerleader and one of the geeks got more character as the story progressed.

Definitional Chaos by Scott Westerfeld
A gamer guy and his ex have to take a journey together.
This story didn't work for me at all. I didn't like either character and DNFed.

I Never by Cassandra Clare
A girl goes to a get-together to meet the guy she fell in love with online.
I very much enjoyed this story. It's both sad and sweet and touches on the problems you can encounter when people take on a different persona online.

The King of Pelinesse by M.T. Anderson
A boy goes to meet the author of his favorite Fantasy serial.
I didn't like this story. There are other reasons for wanting to meet the author than you think at first, and I didn't like some things that were implied.

The Wrath of Dawn by Cynthia and Greg Leitcich Smith
A girl is set up with a blind date by her stepsister for a Buffy Singalong.
This is a nice story. It's about feeling left out and overlooked. Very recognizable for more than just geeks.

The Quiz Bowl Antichrist by David Levithan
A group of teens is competing with other students to win the Quiz Bowl.
Another really nice story. I liked the lead character. He's struggling with who he is and where he belongs.

The Quiet Knight by Garth Nix
A teenage boy tries to find happiness in Live Action Roleplay.
I loved this story. I could really understand how the lead character feels, and I rooted for him to find a place and people to belong.

Everyone But You by Lisa Yee
A peppy girl has to move from Ohio to Hawaii.
Another really cool story. I loved reading how Felicity struggles to belong, and how she slowly starts to realize that being popular isn't the same as being happy.

Secret Identity by Kelly Link
A girl confesses to someone about a meeting in a hotel.
Both the way this was written and the story itself didn't work for me. I DNFed.

Freak the Geek by John Green
Two girls are singled out as freaks because of being geeky.
This is more about friendship and identity than the actual bullying. I enjoyed it.

The Truth About Dino Girl by Barry Lyga
A girl who's obsessed by another girl learns the truth.
Started out fun, but finally turned into something I really didn't like.

This is My Audition Monologue by Sara Zarr
See title or what it is about.
Didn't work for me because of the way it was told and because of the story.

The Stars at the Finish Line by Wendy Mass
A boy and a girl compete in being the best.
I loved this story, it's very sweet. I could really understand the boy's motivation and feelings.

It's Just a Jump to the Left by Libba Bray
Two young girls grow up in different ways.
This story was sad and I could really relate to the lead character. It's about that awkward time when you're partly still a child, but are also growing into adulthood and how you handle all the feelings that come with it.

Overall this is a really good anthology with lots of stories I could relate to. I can advice this to anyone who considers him/herself a geek.

Why should you read it:
It's a great anthology about being a geek.

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Friday, 29 April 2016

True Blood - DNF Book Review

True Blood
by Patricia Waddell

What is it about:
She's a diplomat…
Danna MacFadyen of the League of Planets is assigned to investigate the explosion of a space freighter. She must use her psychometric skills to determine whether this was an accident or terrorism -- but for Danna, the hardest part of this assignment is working with Korcian Enforcer Cullon Gavriel.

He's a warrior…
Fighting isn't just in a Korcian's blood -- it's in his very soul. Cullon Gavriel already knows the freighter explosion was terrorism -- targeted at the Korcian prince traveling incognito aboard the ship. Cullon's single goal: to discover who is killing Korcian True Bloods. He never expects to become enchanted with a beautiful Terran female who has the ability to step into the past.

As the pieces of an explosive puzzle fall into place...
Danna and Cullon realize they have uncovered a conspiracy that stretches across the galaxy. The trail leads to the capitol city of the Korcian Empire, where shocking secrets lie hidden-- and where the lines between politics and love cross unexpectedly.

What did I think of it:
Another SF where all the aliens are basically humans (well, ok: there are dwarves as well), but I'm used to that by now, so I went along with that.

I had a hard time getting to like any of the characters. Danna is a bit bland and easily impressed by looks, while Cullon is an alpha asshole. The only character I even liked a bit was the dwarf, but he was friends with the alpha asshole, so I didn't really trust him because of that.

The story felt a bit static and didn't really draw me in. The interaction between Danna and Cullon felt stilted as well. When for the gazillionth time Cullon was being a jerk again, and Danna was still swooning over his feline/viking good looks, I threw the book across the room and decided it wasn't for me. I just couldn't stand either of them any longer.

I do have the second book in this series (True Deception) in my TBR pile. I understand it's about two different people, so if I ever feel in the mood for SF and have nothing else on hand, I might give it a try to see if its as infuriating as this book or not.

Why should you read it:
Maybe you like ├╝ber alphas being jerks.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

On McPig's Wishlist - The Blast

This sounds like it might be a cool read.

The Blast
by Sarah Perlmutter

After a series of blasts force Beatrice Hicks and her family into their prepper bunker, they emerge to discover they are among the survivors of a nuclear apocalypse. Fighting against rogue groups and coping with deaths are just some of the adjustments Beatrice must make to survive, but how will she maintain her humanity after the blast?

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Teaser Tuesdays on a Wednesday - Wicked After Midnight

I rolled my eyes and held up my hands, curling them into faux claws inside their gloves. "No. I'm totally going to kill everybody. Roar. Rawr."

(page 75, Wicked After Midnight by Delilah S. Dawson)

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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!