Saturday 31 December 2016

Last TBR Orphan Update of 2016

Another reading year draws to a close.

I managed to read 15 Orphaned books this year, and there were two more I tried to read, but ended up as DNFs.

I totally failed to read any of the recommended books, showing once again that I'm bad at planning my reading. I read what I feel like and not what I think I should read.

Next year I'll continue my attempts at reading at least one Orphaned book a month. With my Dragon Age addiction making this year my worst year when it comes to how many books I read in total, that is becoming easy I will confess. Lots of books waiting for some attention.

Have a great New Year's Eve, everyone.

I wish you lots of fun and good books for 2017!

Friday 30 December 2016

The High Ground - Book Review (repost)

The High Ground (Imperials #1)
by Melinda M. Snodgrass

What is it about:
Emperor’s daughter Mercedes is the first woman ever admitted to the High Ground, the elite training academy of the Solar League’s Star Command, and she must graduate if she is to have any hope of taking the throne. Her classmate Tracy has more modest goals — to rise to the rank of captain, and win fame and honor. But a civil war is coming and the political machinations of those who yearn for power threaten the young cadets. In a time of intrigue and alien invasion, they will be tested as they never thought possible.

What is it about:
I came across the blurb of this book when Jeffe Kennedy went to a signing where Melinda Snodgrass would be as well. I was very intrigued and Jeffe being as awesome as she is, got me a signed copy.

And I can tell you this book not only delivered on the promise given in that blurb, it's even better than I hoped!

Mercedes is a strong, determined young woman. She wants to show everyone she is capable not only of succeeding at The High Ground, but of leading the empire. Lots of people want to see her fail, others want to get close to her because of what she is instead of who she is.

All Tracy ever wanted is to become more than a tailor like his father. He never wanted to become a soldier, but circumstances force him to take the free scholarship to the High Ground. Being one of only a few 'charity cases' he's having a hard time.

I loved the writing, the world building and the setting (you might know by now I have a soft spot for boarding school stories). I liked Tracy from the start, and soon fell in love with Mercedes as well. There were a couple of other characters that I was rooting for as well, and some I totally loathed. The interaction between the students was cool to read and felt real. Especially the friendship/romance/something between Mercedes and Tracy developed in a very believable if at times frustrating way.

The story focused on the training and how Tracy and Mercedes handle their new life at The High Ground at first, but later in the book there are some really exciting developments and the speed of the story kicked up considerably, making it impossible to put the book down.

And the ending! I need to know what will happen next!

All in all this book was totally amazing and you bet I'll be getting my grabby trotter on book two when it releases next year.

Why should you read it:
It's a totally awesome SF read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday 29 December 2016

Sweet - Book Review

by Emmy Laybourne

What is it about:
The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She's already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli—the hottest guy ever!—and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save.

What did I think of it:
This is a really fun read.

I will confess I had expected the mayhem to start sooner, but even so I enjoyed this book from start to finish.

I very much liked Laurel. She's got a lot of insecurities, but I liked that her weight wasn't one of them. She went along with her friend for the luxurious cruise and not for the weight loss part of it. For a change it was the male lead who has a difficult relationship with food and his weight. I liked how Laybourne shows that both men and women can be insecure about their weight.

As I said the real mayhem starts quite late in the book, but I must say I enjoyed the events that lead up to the catastrophe. Laybourne knows how to combine humor, suspense, and horror elements and I was totally engrossed. The cruise ship is the perfect place for this story to play out. Nothing so scary as people starting to act creepy and no way to escape them.

All in all this is a very entertaining read and you bet I'll be keeping an eye out for Laybourne's next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and suspenseful YA read

Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Teasing on a Wednesday - Pawn

"Shh," murmured Daxton, brushing my hair aside. Before I could push him away, a needle pricked my neck, and everything went black.

(page 55, Pawn by Aimee Carter)

Buy from bookdepository


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!

Tuesday 27 December 2016

The Edge of the Blade - Book Review (repost)

It's release day for The Edge of the Blade by Jeffe Kennedy, so here's a repost of my review.

Go buy this awesome Fantasy Romance!

The Edge of the Blade (The Uncharted Realms #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
"The Twelve Kingdoms rest uneasy under their new High Queen, reeling from civil war and unchecked magics. Few remember that other powers once tested their borders until a troop of foreign warriors emerges with a challenge..."
Jepp has been the heart of the queen s elite guard, her Hawks, since long before war split her homeland. But the ease and grace that come to her naturally in fighting leathers disappears when battles turn to politics. When a scouting party arrives from far-away Dasnaria, bearing veiled threats and subtle bluffs, Jepp is happy to let her queen puzzle them out while she samples the pleasures of their prince s bed.
But the cultural norms allow that a Dasnarian woman may be wife or bed-slave, never her own leader and Jepp s light use of Prince Kral has sparked a diplomatic crisis. Banished from court, she soon becomes the only envoy to Kral s strange and dangerous country, with little to rely on but her wits, her knives and the smolder of anger and attraction that burns between her and him...

What did I think of it:
As some if you may know I'm a total fanpiggy of Jeffe and her books, so it may not come as a surprise when I tell you I LOVE this book.

But there is so much to love about this book! And not just for fanpiggies like me.

Jepp is a wonderful heroine. She is confident, knows her strengths and weaknesses, and doesn't mince her words. Kral has been raised to think of women as creatures who should be cared for and sheltered (to the point of slavery). He's the perfect hero to spar with the freedom loving Jepp. and spar they do. The banter (and romance) between Jepp and Kral is fun and delicious.

I also loved seeing Dasnaria and learning more about the land and the culture. Most of the time spend in Dasnaria Jepp and Kral are in one place, but still you learn a lot about how the Dasnarians think.

New characters are introduced and some are so intriguing I hope they get their own book. Others are vile and/or dangerous and made that I worried for Jepp. At times the odds are high and it was only the knowledge that this is a Fantasy Romance that I didn't get too nervous. Jeffe sure knows how to tell an awesome romance while also giving you a very suspenseful story - both keeping you reading to find out what happens next.

The ending had quite a punch, and while I was satisfied it also made me hungry for more books in this wonderful world. Luckily it looks like there will be at least one more book, if not more.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome Fantasy Romance read.

Find buy links here

Monday 26 December 2016

The Power - Book Review

The Power
by Naomi Alderman

What is it about:
In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there's a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.

What did I think of it:
What can I say...

This is a compelling read, but I had some issues it as well.

So teenage girls start developing a supernatural power and soon women start to rise in power and men have to fear for their safety...

Either Alderman doesn't remember how it was to be among other teenage girls, or she was lucky. What I missed in this story and what seemed like a more believable outcome was teenage girls going ballistic and hurting and killing each other over boys and/or clothes or something before anyone even could think of harnessing their power to change society. There was some mention of girls bullying the girls who didn't develop any powers, but nearly not as much as would happen in a situation like this. Either that or teenagers in the Netherlands are apparently a lot more vicious than those in the UK.

That aside this is an interesting read. It's told from several different viewpoints and as always some are more intriguing than others. I didn't much care for the religious parts of the story, I will confess.

Overall it was cool enough that I kept reading even though I had my doubts about how things progressed. Alderman does know how to keep readers engaged.

Why should you read it:
It's a well written Paranormal read.

Buy from bookdepository

Friday 23 December 2016

Nine of Stars - Early Book Review

Nine of Stars (Wildlands #1 / Dark Alchemy #3)
by Laura Bickle

What is it about:
Winter is the most deadly season in Temperance. And it’s not just because of the fierce cold. Evil is stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, killing wolves and leaving only their skins behind.

As the snow deepens, Geologist Petra Dee is staring her own death in the face, while former Hanged Man Gabriel struggles with his abrupt transition back to mortality. The ravens and the rest of the Hanged Men are gone, and there are no magical solutions to Petra’s illness or Gabriel’s longing for what he’s lost…and what he stands to lose now.

Meanwhile, there’s a new sheriff in town. Sheriff Owen Rutherford has inherited the Rutherford ranch and the remnants of the Alchemical Tree of Life. He’s also a dangerously haunted man, and his investigation of Sal’s death is leading him right to Gabriel.

It’s up to Petra, her coyote sidekick Sig, and Gabriel to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being stalking them all – before the trail turns deathly cold.

What did I think of it:
I pre-ordered this pearl as soon as it was available on bookdepository so I would get my trotters on it as soon as it released. Then the awesome Laura Bickle provided me with an Advance Reader Copy so I could even read it sooner!

And this is such a great read.

This book continues the story lines from the Dark Alchemy books, but is set up in a way that it would work as a first book in a new series for new readers as well. But let me tell you: You want to read all the books in this setting. They're awesome!

I love Petra, Gabe and Sig. They're a good team. Lots of nastiness is coming their way, both supernatural and mundane, but they are doing their best to overcome their problems and to stay alive.

The story switches between Petra and Gabe, and Owen. Usually when a story switches to a character who opposes my favorite characters I don't much like reading from their point of view, but Bickle managed to get me invested and to even root just a little bit for Owen at times.

The ending of this book is quite the cliffhanger, and you bet I'll be getting my greedy trotters on the next book.

All in all an awesome read that I can recommend to anyone who's looking for a cool UF read set outside of the city.

Buy from bookdepository

Thursday 22 December 2016

Teasing on a Thursday - Nine of Stars

She wanted to tell Mike, to warn him there was something weird out there. But there was no way she could go down that rabbit hole of crazy with him and make him believe, not without jeopardizing Gabe and his secrets. Not yet, anyway.

(page 68, Nine of Stars (Uncorrected Proof) by Laura Bickle)

Buy from bookdepository


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!

Wednesday 21 December 2016

The Sidekick - Guest Post by Laura Bickle + giveaway

A big warm welcome today for one of my favorite authors: Laura Bickle

The Sidekick: Not Always What He Seems
By Laura Bickle

When I was writing NINE OF STARS, I wanted my protagonist to have an animal sidekick. Petra Dee is the daughter of an alchemist, but she’s a geologist who doesn’t practice any magic. She finds herself drawn to an old Gold Rush-era town that was founded by an alchemist a hundred and fifty years ago. Some of that alchemist’s failed experiments still wander the countryside: undead cowboys, basilisks, restless ghosts. Given the magnitude of these threats, I needed to give her a stalwart companion to fight the monsters.

Sig showed up at Petra’s doorstep in search of lunch meat, and Petra has adopted him. He behaves pretty much as an ex-feral dog might: he’s shy around strangers, possessive around food, and loves his blanket. He’s very attached to Petra, and really doesn’t give other people the time of day (unless there’s a food bribe involved). He’s a good source of unconditional love, and he manages to anchor Petra in the daily bits of life.

But the more I wrote about Sig, the more I realized that there was more to him than I originally intended. He has a nose for trouble, and he seems to be able to track magical creatures with uncanny precision. In the prequel book, DARK ALCHEMY, he dug up a magical compass for Petra. He’s able to make friends with wolves, and not immediately become dinner.

When I was looking at Sig through the eyes of wolves, I realized that he might be more. He might be THE Coyote with a capital “C,” come down to earth in a fur-suit for his own purposes.

In that case, he has his own agenda beyond lunch meat and fuzzy blankets. What does he want? How involved is he in the magical mysteries of Temperance, Wyoming? Whose side is he on, other than his own? He certainly knows more than he’s telling.

And it made me realize: Sig is probably not Petra’s sidekick. Petra is Sig’s sidekick. To what end, I’m not entirely sure. But I can’t wait to find out!


Nine of Stars

From critically acclaimed author Laura Bickle (Dark Alchemy) comes the first novel in the Wildlands series, NINE OF STARS. Longmire meets Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson in this exciting new series that shows how weird and wonderful the West can truly be.

Winter has always been a deadly season in Temperance, but this time, there’s more to fear than just the cold…

As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors – especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can’t explain the creature now stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.

The new sheriff in town, Owen Rutherford, isn’t helping matters. He’s a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill – a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra’s partner Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he’s all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.

It’s up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all – before the trail turns deathly cold.

“Bickle is well on her way to establishing her work as a cornerstone of her genre.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Following the prequels Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde, Bickle’s series launch mixes alchemy, folklore, and Native American traditions with a wintry Western landscape that will intrigue fans of the Weird West subgenre.” – Library Journal

“Full marks to Bickle for being unafraid to shake things up on this still relatively new, but consistently engaging series.” – RT Book Reviews (4 Stars)

Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and HarperCollins.

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams. The latest updates on her work can be found at



I'm giving a print copy of either Dark Alchemy, or Mercury Retrograde to one reader of my blog.
(see my two previous posts for info on the books)

- Leave a comment on this post
- Leave a way for me to contact you
- You have until December 26, 2016 to comment, a winner will be randomly selected soon after.

Open to anyone who lives somewhere bookdepository ships to and is legally allowed to enter this giveaway

Pearl Cast Before A McPig is not responsible for books that get lost in the mail.

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Mercury Retrograde - Book Review (repost)

Today a repost of my review of Mercury Retrograde.

Stay tuned for a guest post with giveaway tomorrow.

Mercury Retrograde (Dark Alchemy #2)
by Laura Bickle

What is it about:
Something venomous has come to Temperance...

It's been two months since Petra Dee and her coyote sidekick Sig faced off against Temperance's resident alchemist, but things are far from quiet. When an Internet video of a massive snake in the backcountry of Yellowstone goes viral, a chase for the mythical basilisk is on. Monster hunters swarm into the area, and never one to pass up the promise of discovery, Petra joins in the search.

Among the newcomers is a snake cult on wheels―the biker gang Sisters of Serpens. Unlike some, the Sisters don't want to kill the basilisk―they want to worship it. But things get complicated when the basilisk develops a taste for human flesh that rivals the Sisters' own murderous skills.

Meanwhile, the alchemical tree of life is dying, and the undead Hanged Men of Temperance who depend on it know the basilisk may be their last chance for survival.

With time running out for everyone around her, Petra will be forced to decide who survives and who she must leave behind.

What did I think of it:
I'm a total fanpiggy when it comes to Laura Bickle, so it might not surprise you I got my trotters on this book as soon as I could. I even debated if I should get the ebook, so I could read it sooner, but I wanted the print version to hug and pet.

And this book was worth the extra wait.

I love Petra and Sig, they're an awesome team. Petra has had enough happening to her she's sensible and smart. She doesn't just run into things blind. That doesn't mean she's not caught by surprise at times.

There's lots going on: a big nasty basilisk, the tree of life is dying, Gabe not recognizing Petra, and lots more. I was hooked from the start. Will Petra be able to defend herself when she encounters the basilisk? Will Gabe recover his memories? Can they help each other stay alive? And what's going on with Cal?

This book is action-packed and at times grim. I feared for the life of some of my favorite characters. There are wins and losses along the way, and the ending gives hope and closure on some things, but also gives a glimpse of more nastiness coming Petra's way.

You can bet I'll be getting my trotters on the next book!

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome Dark Fantasy read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Monday 19 December 2016

Dark Alchemy - Book Review (repost)

Next week Nine of Stars by Laura Bickle releases. It's first in a new series, but there's a prequel series to it that is awesome as well.

This week I'll be reposting my reviews of the prequel books, there will be a guest post by Laura Bickle with a giveaway, I will post a teaser of Nine of Stars, and I'll post a review of the book as well.

So stay tuned!

Dark Alchemy (Dark Alchemy #1)
by Laura Bickle

What is it about:
Geologist Petra Dee arrives in Wyoming looking for clues to her father's disappearance years before. What she finds instead is Temperance, a dying Western town with a gold rush past and a meth-infested present. But under the town's dust and quiet, an old power is shifting.

When bodies start turning up - desiccated and twisted skeletons that Petra can't scientifically explain - her investigations land her in the middle of a covert war between the town's most powerful interests. Petra's father wasn't the only one searching for the alchemical secrets of Temperance, and those still looking are now ready to kill.

Armed with nothing but shaky alliances, a pair of antique guns, and a relic she doesn't understand, the only thing Petra knows for sure is that she and her coyote sidekick are going to have to move fast, or die next.

What did I think of it:
I'm a big fan of Laura Bickle, so I was very excited when I got the opportunity to read an ARC of Dark Alchemy.

And this book is so good!

Petra is someone who's had some hard blows dealt to her by life, and hopes to find some peace in Temperance. Looking for her father is part of trying to get her life back under control.

Instead of finding peace she's thrown into chaos though.

I loved Petra. She's a survivor. She also is someone who cares about others more than herself, and that makes her a bit rash at times. Throwing herself in danger to help others. She even befriends a coyote, who soon becomes her sidekick, helping her in ways that go beyond the loyalty of an ordinary pet.

And then there's Gabe.

Gabe is one of those people who Petra tries to help, but he's not as human as Petra thinks he is. He is mysterious, a bit creepy, and more than intriguing. Some parts of this story are told through his eyes, making you understand a little of what he is and what he feels. I absolutely loved Gabe from the start.

I loved the mood of this book. It's dark and intense, as is the story. I was totally engrossed in it and had a hard time putting it down. I wanted to keep reading and find out if Petra would conquer the ghost of her past, and would uncover the secrets of Temperance.

This book made me fear for the lives of my favorite characters, it gave me chills, and it made me cry. It's a very intense and beautiful read.

I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in this series, because I want more.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautifully dark read.

Find buy links here

Friday 16 December 2016

Graceling - Book Review (repost)

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)
by Kristin Cashore

What is it about:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...

What did I think of it:
This is a really cool read.

I wasn't so sure about Katsa at first, she seemed to act a bit too much as a victim when I thought that wasn't necessary. But it turned out that her behavior and the role she lets herself be put into were big parts of the story, which is as much about the mystery Katsa and Po try to solve, as it is about Katsa's transformation.

And Katsa's transformation is a really beautiful story to read. I liked how Cashore doesn't shy away from touchy subjects like premarital sex, and a woman's place in a medieval/fantasy marriage without it taking away from the flow of the story. She doesn't treat her YA readers as if they're too fragile to handle these issues.

The mystery Katsa and Po have to solve, and the journey they take is also very intriguing. I liked how they became friends along the way and how they interacted. There was heartache, cool action, intrigue and more. Everything I could wish for in a good Fantasy adventure. There were some things you could see coming from miles and miles away, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment.

The world building fell a bit short at times. There's all these people with graces, skills that are so advanced and better than in normal people, but I felt that they weren't explained enough. How common or uncommon are they exactly? Are some graces more common than others? I think they were supposed to be very uncommon, but Katsa keeps running into graced people once she leaves the castle she grew up in. I wanted to know more than was told.

But that one grumbling aside I really liked this book, and I will most certainly read the other books in this series as well.

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

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday 15 December 2016

On McPig's Wishlist - Ghost Talkers

Ghost Talkers
by Mary Robinette Kowal

Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Harford, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force.

Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence.

Ginger and her fellow mediums contribute a great deal to the war efforts, so long as they pass the information through appropriate channels. While Ben is away at the front, Ginger discovers the presence of a traitor. Without the presence of her fiance to validate her findings, the top brass thinks she's just imagining things. Even worse, it is clear that the Spirit Corps is now being directly targeted by the German war effort. Left to her own devices, Ginger has to find out how the Germans are targeting the Spirit Corps and stop them. This is a difficult and dangerous task for a woman of that era, but this time both the spirit and the flesh are willing…

Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Alphas - Book Review

Alphas (Alphas #1)
by Lisi Harrison

What is it about:
At OCD the losers are tormented.

At Alpha Academy, they're sent home.

Skye Hamilton has scored an invitation to the ultra-exclusive Alphas-only boarding school where beta is spelled LBR . What happens when the country's best, brightest, and hawtest begin clawing and scratching their way to the top?

What did I think of it:
I'm a sucker for boarding school stories, so that's how I ended up giving this book a try.

Pet Peeve number one: When the girls would say things like 'really' or something like that it was spelled sort of phonetically. Only because I'm not American to me it looked really dumb.

Pet Peeve number two: Weird speak. One girl kept talking about lip-kissing. I wondered what kind of kissing she usually got up to that she had to specify she was talking about normal kissing.

Those two things could have been overlooked if the rest of the story was good, but alas...

Most of the girls start out really obnoxious and bratty. Instead of them growing on me, or growing up, they only spiraled further out of control and even the one girl I liked at the start of the book was starting to act dodgy. By the end of the book I hated all of them! If these girls are the countries best and brightest, the country is doomed!

It will be safe to say I won't be reading the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
Maybe you like obnoxious and bratty teens.

Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Teaser Tuesdays - The Power

Enjoying this so far, but there are a few issues I'm having with this book which I'll probably go into in my review.

It doesn't matter that she shouldn't, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.

(page 71, The Power by Naomi Alderman)


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 12 December 2016

Conspiracy of Ravens - Book Review

Conspiracy of Ravens (The Shadow #2)
by Lila Bowen

What is it about:
Nettie Lonesome made a leap -- not knowing what she'd become. But now the destiny of the Shadow is calling.

A powerful alchemist is leaving a trail of dead across the prairie. And the Shadow must face the ultimate challenge: side with her friends and the badge on her chest or take off alone on the dangerous mission pulling her inexorably toward the fight of her life.

When it comes to monsters and men, the world isn't black and white. What good are two wings and a gun when your enemy can command a conspiracy of ravens?

What did I think of it:
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, so I made sure to get my trotters on book 2.

And this is another cool and gritty read.

Nettie is not comfortable in her skin, but as Rhett she/he is finding his place in life. I'm not trans myself, so I'm in no way an expert, but I think the transformation from Nettie into Rhett over these two books was done really well. I loved reading how Rhett is discovering more about who he is, and about his sexuality.

The quest Rhett and his friends set out on is full of danger and mystery. I loved the parts where Rhett and his friends are together the most. I especially love Coyote Dan, I'll confess. When Rhett is on his own, he gets stupid at times, and I wanted to kick some sense into him. He sure needs to learn he's not invincible. Still I very much enjoyed the story, maybe even because the trouble he leads himself into.

I love the world building and the creatures that roam this world. The mix of a Western setting with lots of supernatural creatures is really cool in my opinion. The mythology is intriguing and lends itself for lots of adventures. The book ends with the main storyline resolved, but leaves you with a couple of other cliffhangers that makes me eager to get my trotters on the next book.

You bet I'll be getting the next book as soon as it releases!

Why should you read it:
It's a gritty and cool Paranormal Western read.

Buy from bookdepository

Friday 9 December 2016

On McPig's Wishlist - Iron Cast

Iron Cast
by Destiny Soria

In 1919, Ada Navarra—the intrepid daughter of immigrants—and Corinne Wells—a spunky, devil-may-care heiress—make an unlikely pair. But at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat.

When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne—her partner in crime—can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.

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Thursday 8 December 2016

Once A Witch - Book Review (repost)

Once a Witch (Witch #1)
by Carolyn MacCullough

What is it about:
Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family.

But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all.

What did I think of it:
I totally bought this book for the pretty cover. Luckily it turned out the cover isn't the only good thing about this book.

This is a great story.

I liked Tamsin from the start. Being the only one without magic she's the black sheep of the family. Mocked by her sister and cousins, she's happiest when away from her family among 'normal' people. I could really understand how she felt, and when someone mistakes her for her sister, I didn't even want to slap her for not telling the truth. Instead I wanted her to succeed and to show her family what she can do.

I loved Tamsin's roommate Agatha, who's a cool and quirky character. I was sad she only had a very small role in the book. Luckily Tamsin got help from another character I really loved: Gabriel.

Gabriel is the son of a family friend, and has a Talent, but he's not judging and mocking Tamsin for not being Talented. He sees Tamsin for who she is and not for what she can or can't do. He joins Tamsin on her search and together they get into lots of trouble.

I really enjoyed this story. It's fun, full of action and suspense, and has a sweet romance. The ending, although leaving you with a cliffhanger, is satisfying enough that you don't feel cheated. That being said: I immediately ordered the next book, because I want more.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and very enjoyable Paranormal YA read.

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Wednesday 7 December 2016

TBR Orphans update

I managed to read one Orphan in November!

Earth by Shauna Granger

It's been languishing on my ereader, passed over in favor of print books. It is a very cool read, so I will read the next book soon.

How are you doing on your challenges?

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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Alien Nation - Release Day Review

Alien Nation (Katherine "Kitty" Katt #14)
by Gini Koch

What is it about:
It’s a typical day of bureaucracy and stress for President and First Lady Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini, made more stressful when alien spacecraft are spotted making a beeline for Earth, none of them from the Alpha Centauri system. Then a cryptic request from an old adversary pulls Kitty out of the White House and into an explosion—and an even more explosive situation. Not only is the Mastermind back in the game, influencing the Club 51 True Believers to find and destroy all Centaurion bases, but he’s also found a dangerous benefactor and created some frightening new cloning abilities.

And, just to make things a little more challenging, those alien spacecraft are coming to ask Kitty for protection, and asylum on Earth. Police stations being blown up and war helicopters in play aren’t enoughto keep Kitty down, especially when she’s got some new alien friends helping out. But what these aliens share will rock the world—the other aliens on their way to Earth are fleeing an enemy so terrifying that even a Z’porrah ship is trying to get to Earth for safety and protection. And if Earth isn’t able to stop this threat, there may not be anything left of humanity. Now Kitty and Company have to figure out where the Mastermind is and stop him, before any new aliens land. And then they have to save the world from a deadly invasion. Or, as Kitty calls it, Thursday.

What did I think of it:
This is yet another fun and adventure-filled addition to an awesome series.

Fourteen books into this series Koch has developed a couple of 'go to' moves to keep the story going, but she knows this and makes fun of it, which makes that it's more a fun moment of recognition than anything else.

There's a lot going on and I was entertained throughout. There are new aliens, new allies, and more. Some longer running story lines are resolved, but others hint at much more to come. Kitty will need a long vacation once things calm down.

All in all this book is yet another rollicking ride and this piggy will stay on board of this SF train of wackiness and awesomeness for more.

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

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Monday 5 December 2016

Oasis -Book Review (repost)

by Joan De La Haye


What is it about:
2013 – The planet has been fried by solar flares turning it into a desert. The surviving population has been affected by solar radiation, turning them into Zombies. Only a handful of people remain unaffected. A family of civilians, guided by a crack army unit who has seen more action than they can handle, must make their way to the safety of a UN base at the South Pole called New Atlantis.

But can they make it to this oasis alive or will they only reach it as the undead?

What did I think of it:
This is such a cool read.

De La Haye manages to deliver a great zombie story in just 50 pages. In those 50 pages she succeeds in making me believe in the world and setting, caring for lead character Maxine and her family, and being gripped by the events and violence that they encounter.

De La Haye's website states she's a horror author, and believe me, this story sure shows you that she deserves that title. I was on the edge of my seat while reading this novella and had to finish it in one sitting to find out where this story would lead.

Overall this is a well written and suspenseful novella that I will most certainly reread. I will also check out what other stories De La Hay has written.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome zombie horror story.

Find buy links here

Friday 2 December 2016

On McPig's Wishlist - Trials of Magic

Trials of Magic (The Hundred Halls #1)
by Thomas K. Carpenter

There are exactly one hundred halls of magic to choose from. Ever since our parents were killed I knew exactly which hall was for me.

Aurelia "Aurie" Silverthorne is one of the best and brightest to ever apply to the Hundred Halls, the only magical university in the world. To be accepted, she must pass grueling trials that claim the lives of aspirants every year.

But more than her desire to practice magic is at stake.

Aurie's little sister has been courting powerful forces in hopes of protecting herself from the beings that killed their parents, but alliances come with complications. As things spiral out of control, and dangerous foes arise at every turn, Aurie knows the only way to protect her sister is to pass the trials—even if it means making a terrible sacrifice.

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Thursday 1 December 2016

Nightmare Ink - Book Review (repost)

Nightmare Ink (Living Ink #1)
by Marcella Burnard


What is it about:
With her art and magic, Isa Romanchzyk has the power to create or destroy. In her tattoo shop, Nightmare Ink, Isa helps those in need by binding the power embedded in their Live Ink—the magical tattoos that can enhance the life of the wearer, or end it. But binding tattoos has earned Isa the contempt of her fellow artists—including her former lover Daniel.

When a friend comes to the shop with a tattoo on the verge of killing him, Isa can’t turn him away. For the first time in years, she works Live Ink—something she swore she’d never do again. But a broken vow soon becomes the least of her problems.

The real nightmare begins when she’s abducted and inked with a Living Tattoo against her will. Now, saddled with a powerful, amoral entity willing to do anything to win his freedom, Isa must fight to keep her Living Tattoo from consuming her completely...

What did I think of it:
I absolutely love all of Burnard's books I've read so far, so when I heard she had written an Urban Fantasy I had to read that as well of course.

And this is such a cool read!

The idea of Live Ink is really intriguing. At the start of the story there are a few hints about what these magical tattoos are, but later in the story it gets more and more clear that people who get Live Ink are in for a lot more than they know.

Isa is a complex, but very likeable, heroine. She wants to do the right thing, but it's hard at times for to see what the right thing is. She has been hurt, has her secrets (even for herself) and this made her cautious. She's not your average Urban Fantasy kick-ass heroine, but she has an inner strength that keeps her going.

There are lots of other cool characters as well, I really liked Isa's friends. They were there for her when she really needed them.

The story was suspenseful and had me hooked from the start. I kept worrying and wondering where things would go, and if Isa would find a way to survive what's happening to her. There's lots of intense situations, and lots of action.

The ending had me eager for more. Some major plot-lines get a resolution, but there are enough things left open that I need to know what will be next. I will most certainly get my trotters on the next book once it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool Urban Fantasy read.

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