Sunday 31 December 2017

TBR Orphans Challenge - 2017 results

The one "positive" thing about having trouble concentrating on reading, is that I got behind on my reading, turning more books into Orphans. This means I read 24 orphaned books this year.

I had a slow start: I read my first Orphan in March. I did read 3 that month, so made up for my lack of orphans at the start of the year. I forgot all about those poor orphaned books in April, but after that I read at least 1 orphaned book a month, and even 6 in November!

I ended my challenge with 2 orphaned books read in December (pictured above). I'll continue this challenge next year.

Here's the list of TBR Orphans I read in 2017:

Slawter by Darren Shan
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Bec by Darren Shan
Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels
Desert Rising by Kelley Grant
Pleasure and Purpose by Megan Hart
Past Malice by Dana Cameron
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
The Nothing by Kerry Schafer
The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Invaded by Melissa Landers
White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland
Ninth Key by Meg Cabot
Dead In The Family by Charlaine Harris
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
Blood Beast by Darren Shan
Spell Games by T.A. Pratt
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Dangerous by Shannon Hale
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Demon Apocalypse by Darren Shan
Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine
Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

How did you do this year?

Friday 29 December 2017

Kiss of Death - Book Review

Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires #8)
by Rachel Caine

What is it about:
Vampire musician Michael Glass has attracted the attention of a big- time producer who wants to cut a demo and play some gigs-which means Michael will have to enter the human world. For this, he's been assigned escorts that include both a dangerous immortal as well as Michael's all-too-human friends. And with that mix of personalities, this is going to be a road trip from hell...

What did I think of it:
It has been awhile since I read book 7, so it was high time to continue with this series.

This book was nice, but I wasn't loving it. Claire's boyfriend Shane was really getting on my nerves. Was he always such an annoying, unthinking jerk, or is the road trip bringing out the worst in him? And can we just please stop it with the sneaky Goth bashing in these books? One of the main characters is Goth, but there keep being mentions about how cute she is when she's not wearing her Goth make up and clothes, and there is one clear negative comment about other Goths.

All in all this book was entertaining, but I really hope the next book will be set in Morganville again.

Why should you read it:
This is an entertaining series overall.

Buy from bookdepository

Thursday 28 December 2017

Top Pearls of 2017

It's that time of year again!

Looking back on 2017 it has been a bumpy year with months where I read almost nothing to months where I managed to find my groove again.

I read a great deal of cool books, and I have a list of twelve books/authors to share with you this year.

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
I picked this one up because Kelsey Sutton would be at LLC Berlin. I fell in love with this book and bought Sutton's other books as well. They are beautiful as well.
Roar by Cora Carmack
Another LLC author, although Roar came out after LLC, so I couldn't read it in advance. It turned out to be a beautiful read. I also read a couple of her Contemporary Romance books: those were fun.
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Even if the story hadn't sounded really cool, I'd have gotten my trotters on it because of the cover. I was lucky to get the special silver edition in a FairyLoot box, and it turned out that the story was amazing. Bring on the next book!
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
This re-imagining of the rise to power of the evil queen of Snow White is set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world and is one of the best books based on a fairytale that I've read. I will get my trotters on the next book when it releases.

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
A beautiful, slow paced Fantasy with a heroine I could really root for. I loved this book so much I'm a bit afraid to read the next book, especially after reading what the next book is about.
Vanguard by Ann Aguirre
This companion novel to the totally amazing Razorland Saga has the most beautiful interspecies romance I've read so far. That I received this ARC from Ann herself at LLC was the icing on the cake!
Dandelions by Shauna Granger
If you love post apocalyptic stories you really should read Granger's Ash & Ruin series. I was more than happy that she decided to write this companion novel set in the same world.
Flesh by Laura Bickle
Ghouls, giant catfish, what more could you want? Maybe a man-eating dachshund? This book is totally awesome, with lots of icky and creepy stuff. Next to this book Laura Bickle also released The Dragon's Playlist this year - another amazing read. I also reread Dark Oracle.

World Tree Girl by Kerry Schafer
This Paranormal Murder Mystery is both fun and suspenseful. Maureen is one of the coolest heroines around. I also read The Nothing by Schafer and I Wish You Happy, which she wrote as Kerry Anne King. Both great reads as well.
Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
I received this fun superheroine story as a present, but immediately ordered the next book after finishing this one. What a cool and fun series.
More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs
I read Future Shock - a time travel YA - by Elizabeth Briggs and loved it so much I ordered Future Threat and signed up to Briggs' newsletter. I received one of her Contemporary Romances as a freebie and decided to read it. I loved it so much I have bought and read all of Briggs' books this year. Me being a gaming and comic book geek it might not be a surprise this is my favorite of her Contemporary Romances.
With a Prince by Jeffe Kennedy
We've read Last Dance, With a Prince, The Shift of the Tide, Since Last Christmas, and The Snows of Windroven by Jeffe Kennedy this year, as well as having reread a few of her other books. All of Jeffe's books are amazing, but Voodoo Bride wanted me to post With a Prince as she just loves the cover and the hero of this book.

That's my Top Pearls list of 2017.

What were your favorite reads?

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Shadow and Bone - Book Review

Shadow and Bone (The Grishaverse #1)
by Leigh Bardugo

What is it about:
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

What did I think of it:
I loved Six of Crows and The Language of Thorns, so I was very happy when I got this book as a present on Saint Nicholas' Eve.

And this is yet another great read.

The setting of this book and the choice of words makes Ravka sound like Russia from around 1900. There's even a character that resembled Rasputin. I must say I loved the setting and the atmosphere of this story.

Alina is mostly a heroine I could root for. She does at one time act rashly in my opinion, by believing and acting on a story told by someone without checking the facts or asking for proof. I shook my head at her gullibility, and later again when I found out that the story turned out to be true. But that one point of lazy storytelling aside the plot of this book is fairly solid and intriguing.

I didn't like one of the love interests and of course it looks like he's the one who will come out on top of the love mountain. But it seems that the one I liked will still play a large part in the next two books, so I will see how things turn out.

There are a couple of really interesting minor characters as well, and I hope those will be in future books as well. I'm very interested to see what will happen to them.

All in all this is a really cool story and I most definitely get my trotters on the other books in this trilogy.

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

Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Shadow Study

A few more squishes set my heart to beat in double time. I tightened my grip on my switchblade.

(page 15, Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder)

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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!

Sunday 24 December 2017

Wanted and Wired - Book Review

Wanted and Wired (Wanted and Wired #1)
by Vivien Jackson

What is it about:
Rogue scientist • technologically enhanced • deliciously attractive
Heron Farad should be dead. But technology has made him the man he is today. Now he heads a crew of uniquely skilled outsiders who fight to salvage what's left of humanity: art, artifacts, books, ideas-sometimes even people. People like Mari Vallejo.

Gun for hire • Texan rebel • always hits her mark
Mari has been lusting after her mysterious handler for months. But when a by-the-book hit goes horribly sideways, she and Heron land on the universal most wanted list. Someone set them up. Desperate and on the run, they must trust each other to survive, while hiding devastating secrets. As their explosive chemistry heats up, it's the perfect storm...

What did I think of it:
This was an enjoyable read but felt a bit out of balance.

It starts out with a hit gone wrong and Mari and Heron on the run. While on the run they suddenly feel the need to give in to the lust they feel for each other. Now I absolutely have nothing against romance, but I seriously hate it when people who are in danger start making out instead of waiting with their make out session until they're safe.

Still the story was entertaining enough to stick with it. I really liked the writing and a lot of the characters.

Then the story took a turn that didn't work for me. It felt like the romance climax came much too soon and then there was a lot of extra story still left. I'd have liked the story better if the romance had been stretched out until the end instead of getting resolved long before the action storyline.

I might still try the next book in this series though, as I liked the world, and the hero of the next book was introduced in this one and I liked him.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable SF Romance.

Buy from bookdepository

Saturday 23 December 2017

Since Last Christmas

Looking for a Christmassy read?

Be sure to get hold of this Contemporary Romance that is full of Christmas spirit! And romance, and yummy food (and men according to Voodoo Bride), and lots more!

Since Last Christmas (Missed Connections #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

This Christmas, Amy is getting what she wants. Her career in fashion design is taking off. Her boyfriend Brad is the dictionary definition of a catch. Soon he’ll buy the massive diamond that makes it official: she’s nobody’s hard luck case anymore.

Her old friend Jon ought to understand. A decade ago he was the other scholarship kid with a crap family. He got her quirks, her insecurities, her rules, her passions. Now he swears she’s not really happy, and she’s forgotten something that proves it.

When Amy throws away everything she’s worked for with one impulsive, impossible word, she’s horrified she’s proved Jon right…and strangely, secretly excited. That he knows more than the past she wants to forget — he knows what heats her up, what makes her heart race.

But remembering what she’s forgotten since last Christmas might mean breaking all the rules…

Find buy links here

Friday 22 December 2017

Who Needs Enemies - Book Review

Who Needs Enemies
by Keri Arthur

What is it about:
Harriet Phillecky is a rare part elf, part siren and wanted by neither race. Not that she really cares. A successful news photographer turned paranormal investigator, she now has a 'family' of friends that includes ogres who constantly raid her refrigerator and take over her TV, and a dragon who drinks far too much for his own good.

But when the only elvan relative she has any contact with asks her to investigate the disappearance of a siren, she finds herself unable to refuse.

All too quickly the disappearance becomes murder, relatives come out of the woodwork, and a man she'd much rather forget steps back into her life. Harri wants nothing more than to run—especially when the evidence beats a path to the doors of those who'd long ago abandoned her. But when the life she's created for herself comes under threat, Harri has little choice but to hunt down a killer—before everything she holds dear is destroyed.

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

I loved all the different races and how Arthur gave them form. Harri has a colorful circle of friends and I loved how they played a big part in the story. I especially loved the ogres and Harri's grumpy neighbor.

The story was both fun and suspenseful. There's a lot going on and Harri has her hands full with figuring out how everything fits together and who's responsible. And if that's not enough her ex is back in town and the ogres are out of beer. I kept reading to find out what would happen next, laughing at the antics of the ogres, worrying about Harri's safety.

This is a standalone book, but there's enough hinting at things that happened in the past and enough cool characters that I hope Arthur will write more books about Harri and her friends, because I'd love to read more.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and suspenseful Urban Fantasy read.

Buy from bookdepository

Thursday 21 December 2017

On Voodoo Bride's Wishlist - The Witch's Thirst

The Witch's Thirst
by Deborah Leblanc

For Evette Francois, falling in love is the end of the world—literally. A witch from a long and distinguished line, Evee wields power that comes at a devastating price. If she ever loves a human, all of humanity will suffer. Resisting the temptations of men has never been terribly difficult—until she meets Lucien Hyland.

One member of a cabal devoted to preventing a race of interdimensional monsters from ruling the universe. Lucien is the most exquisite creature Evee has ever seen. If she succumbs to passion, death and chaos will follow. But she may not be strong enough to fight her desire.

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Wednesday 20 December 2017

Christmas in Dogtown - Book Review

Christmas in Dogtown
by Suzanne Johnson

What is it about:
A standalone novella from the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series and Penton Legacy paranormal romance series (as Susannah Sandlin). Expanded from a previously published short story, now out of print.

A woman who spent years escaping her rural past learns that Dogtown, Louisiana, hides more family secrets than just the recipe for boudin blanc.

Resa Madere’s on the verge of losing it all. The boyfriend’s gone. The job’s history. Her beloved house is on the brink of foreclosure. She’ll do anything to save it--even spend a long Christmas holiday working in St. James Parish, Louisiana, helping her uncle run the family meat business. But the community of Dogtown, which has been home for seven generations of the Madere and Caillou families, has deep roots and deeper secrets. For Resa, going home is one thing. Getting out might not be so easy.

What did I think of it:
I have yet to come across a book by Suzanne Johnson/Susannah Sandlin I do not like, so I was happy to receive this story for free as a newsletter subscriber.

I loved the atmosphere Johnson created and could picture Dogtown easily. Resa was a character I could relate to and I was rooting for her to find happiness. The story is set up nicely and I really liked to read about the Christmas preparations of this close knit community.

As Resa finds out more about the secrets of her hometown she has choices to make. Whether you think she finally makes the right choice will depend on your view of the world.

All in all a very enjoyable Christmas novella that I can recommend to anyone who loves a story full of atmosphere and secrecy.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable Christmas read.

Buy it here

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Death's Shadow

"Any other time, Dervish would have welcomed you warmly." Meera continues. "But he's mixed up and you've become part of all that's wrong with his life."

(page 19, Death's Shadow by Darren Shan)

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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 18 December 2017

This Mortal Coil - Book Rant

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1)
by Emily Suvada

What is it about:
There's no gene for RUN LIKE HELL.

When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta's death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world's leading geneticist, and humanity's best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole's genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine. Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her.

The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world's genetic tech. But it's too late to turn back.As the pieces fit together it's clear there is one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything.

What did I think of it:
*warning: spoilers*
I was drawn in by the title of this book and it did seem to have a cool premise. Yet I was left with a bad taste in my mouth when I finished the book.

There's Cat. She is portrayed as a heroine with a disability compared to the other people in the world created in this book. Of course it turns out that she does not actually has a disability, but her supposed disability is a plot point... *sigh* Shall we bet that in book two she's the best in everything she couldn't do in this book because of her 'disability'.

Then there's the contradicting messages this book is shouting all over the place: Science is bad! No, wait... It isn't! It's anti-vaxxers who are bad! No, wait... Maybe they have a point... Science is the root of all evil! Etc...

Maybe the author didn't mean to put messages into this book and she was just trying to tell a story, but the constant flipping of focus made both the story and the underlying messages a total mess. That I kept reading was because I was curious where the author tried to take this story.

There were of course two love interests, although one of them was as so often in YA there to make Cat insta-special. It was clear he was going to be booted to the curb.

The one thing that I liked was the virus and how it acted, but there were not enough scenes that really dealt with the effects of the virus.

All in all I was disappointed, and I won't read the next book.

Why should you read it:
The virus is really cool!

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Friday 15 December 2017

Mass Effect: Initiation - Book Review

Mass Effect: Initiation (Mass Effect: Andromeda #2)
by N.K. Jemisin and Mac Walters

What is it about:
Lieutenant Cora Harper joins the Andromeda Initiative, a mission to send a fleet of colonization arks to the Andromeda Galaxy, each carrying a different council race. When key data is stolen by unknown parties, Alec Ryder personally recruits Harper to retrieve it before it can be used against the Initiative. If she fails, the Andromeda mission may be crippled before it begins. Harper is a human who has trained with the asari squad known as Talein's Daughters, under the direction of Nisira T'Kosh herself. Yet her training may not be enough when she discovers that she can trust no one-perhaps not even Ryder himself.

What did I think of it:
I'm addicted to the Mass Effect games and had hoped for some cool DLCs for Mass Effect Andromeda. Now that it's clear that's not going to happen, I decided to feed my addiction with this prequel. I really didn't like Cora in the game, but I thought maybe this book could change my mind.

Well, I will confess I did enjoy the story for the action and the intrigue, but it lacked in emotion, making it hard to see Cora in a new light. There were some attempts to show what Cora is feeling, but it never went too deep. And the one scene that could have been really emotional and could have been used to make haters change their minds about Cora, was told from the perspective of Alec Ryder! Talk about a missed opportunity. It's as if they want me to keep disliking Cora.

I really enjoyed revisiting places and even a minor character from the original Mass Effect trilogy and I'll confess I took a break from this book to replay Mass Effect 3. So in worldbuilding and creating atmosphere this book did a great job.

All in all this is a nice read if you love the Mass Effect Universe and action-packed and intrigue-filled SF. Nexus Uprising is the better book in this particular series though. Still I'll keep this book even though I don't think I'll reread it.

And I'll keep an eye out for the next book, which is set in Andromeda and won't have Cora in it.

Why should you read it:
If you love Mass Effect you'll enjoy this read.

Buy from bookdepository

Thursday 14 December 2017

Teasing on a Thursday - Wanted & Wired

"So, partner, when are you planning on telling me how badly I just fucked up?"
Definitely a muscle twitch that time.

(page 18, Wanted & Wired by Vivien Jackson)

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 13 December 2017

The Last Namsara - Book Review

The Last Namsara (Iskari #1)
by Kristen Ciccarelli

What is it about:
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari - a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend — a slave boy from her betrothed’s household — Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

What did I think of it:
Dragons are cool, so I had to get my trotters on this book. It looked like it might be included in the November FairyLoot box, so I ordered that box and hoped I was right, while promising myself to order the book if it wouldn't be in the box.

Luckily it was - with a lovely silver edition of the cover - and even better: it turned out to be a beautiful read!

Asha is so used to being feared and reviled that she has closed her heart and is always on guard. Only when she's with her cousin or her brother she lets her guard down. If it wasn't so clear she loves her cousin and is fiercely protective of her, it would have been easy to dislike Asha. But the small glimpses of the real Asha, buried deep inside the hard outer shell she gave herself made me fall in love.

I was totally invested in her struggle to gain freedom, and could understand why she hesitates to do what's right instead of what's safe for her. She's stubborn and makes mistakes, but out of the wish to gain her freedom instead of just being irrational or unthinking.

As she slowly learns to question what she's taught and she becomes more aware of the world around her, and her own place in the world, she has choices to make. And none of them are easy.

Not just the story is wonderful, but the worldbuilding as well. I loved the dragons! Next to Asha there are a couple of really cool and intriguing characters as well.

This book is readable as a standalone and won't leave you with a cliffhanger. From what I understand the next two books will be companion novels, featuring side characters from this book. I'll keep my out for those for sure!

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful YA Fantasy with dragons.

Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Amid the Winter Snow - Release Day Alert

Amid the Winter Snow

As the snows fall and hearths burn, four stories of Midwinter beginnings prove that love can fight its way through the chillest night…


The mark Jahna Ulfrida was born with has made her a target of the cruel and idle all her life. During the long, crowded festivities of Deyalda, there’s nowhere to escape. Until a handsome stranger promises to teach her to save herself…

THE CHOSEN, by Thea Harrison

In her visions, Lily sees two men fighting for her tiny country’s allegiance: the wolf and the tiger, each deadly, each cunning. One will bring Ys chaos and death, one a gentler path—but she’s destined to love whichever she chooses. The midwinter Masque is upon them, and the wolf is at her door…

THE STORM, by Elizabeth Hunter

When her soul mate died in a massacre of the half-angelic Irin people, Renata thought she’d never feel happiness again. She’s retreated to the snowy Dolomites to remember her hurts—until determined, irrepressible Maxim arrives to insist on joy, too. And before she can throw him out, they discover a secret the Irin have to know…


As a blizzard threatens their mountain keep, the new Queen Amelia of the Twelve Kingdoms and her unofficial consort Ash face their own storm. Ash knows a scarred, jumpy ex-convict isn’t the companion his queen needs. But when a surprise attack confines them together in their isolated sanctuary, the feast of midwinter might tempt even Ash into childlike hope…

Find buy links here

Monday 11 December 2017

Demon Apocalypse - Book Review

Demon Apocalypse (The Demonata #6)
by Darren Shan

What is it about:
Hell is revealed in the sixth nail-biting, hair-rending, creepy cool episode of the Demonata.Fire! It's all around me, fierce, intense, out of control. I feel the hair on my arms singe and know I have only seconds before I burst into flames. Total panic. There's a horrible shrieking sound, piercing and destructive. My eardrums and eyeballs should burst. "It's hell!" I moan.One boy's life ripped to shreds before his eyes...One wrathful demon master hellbent on revenge...An army of grisly Demonata on the rampage...It's the end of the world as we know it.

What did I think of it:
This is yet another entertaining read.

Shan pulls a stunt he also used in the Cirque du Freak series and which isn't something I particularly like. Still it's not as big a cop out as it is in Cirque du Freak, so I let it pass with only a little bit of grumbling.

All in all an entertaining read with one very interesting development. On to the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining read.

Buy from bookdepository

Friday 8 December 2017

The Kiss of Deception - Book Review

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
by Mary E. Pearson

What is it about:
The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

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

Although I can understand that Lia isn't happy about her arranged marriage, I thought she really didn't think through the consequences of her actions before running off. But then again Lia isn't the sharpest tool in the shed.

She has this huge very recognizable temporary tattoo made especially for her marriage. So when she and her maid have reached the town they want to start their new life, she of course goes bathing in a creek instead of waiting for her maid to finish bathing in the tub inside their cottage! And they talk about their former life while walking around town. At times it's like Lia wants to get caught.

And you don't want to know how prejudiced Lia is, or the weird conclusions she draws from a minimum of information.

The main suspense for a big part of this book is which of the two handsome strangers is the prince and which is the assassin. Both of course fall head over heels for Lia, although it's a bit of a mystery for me what it is in Lia that makes her the object of their obsession. As for which one is what: let's say that I would have written the story differently.

The worldbuilding is sparse, but imo hints at this being a SF Fantasy world. In other words: A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away they once set out to colonize a new world and somehow ended up going back to medieval/renaissance times. But I could be wrong.

Still this is an entertaining read, even if it's just to see what stupid things Lia gets away with. I also liked some of the secondary characters. I will most probably get hold of the next book to see if Lia will learn or will keep bumbling around.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining YA Fantasy read.

Buy from bookdepository

Thursday 7 December 2017

In McPig's TBR Pile - Crossed

I fell in love with Matched and immediately bought the other books in this trilogy.

And then I let them linger on my shelves, because I'm afraid they won't be as good as Matched...

One of these days I'll gather the courage to pick this book up.

Crossed (Matched #2)
by Ally Condie

The Society chooses everything.

The books you read.
The music you listen to.
The person you love.

Yet for Cassia the rules have changed. Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him.

And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope.

But on the edge of society nothing is as it seems...

A rebellion is rising.

And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything.

Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Otherworld - Book Review

Otherworld (Otherworld #1)
by Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller

What is it about:
The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

What did I think of it:
I'm a gamer as well as a book addict, so this sounded like a cool read.

It starts out with Simon playing Otherworld, but after one chapter it switches back to the normal world. It takes forever to get back to Otherworld, and I even wondered why they had the book start this way. The first chapter didn't seem necessary to the story apart from giving Simon easy access to information I had wanted to see him struggle for.

This story is very different from what I expected. Apart from Otherworld only getting a bigger role later in the story it's also less about Otherworld as it is about conspiracies and human greed, with Otherworld as backdrop for part of the story.

And it's an entertaining story, but at a couple of points not very believable. I'm not talking about the setting here, but about the mechanics of the conspiracy. Otherworld itself didn't really do it for me either, it was bland compared to the worlds in games I love.

All in all a nice read, but if you want a book about gaming I advice you pick up Erebos by Ursula Poznanski or Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining YA read.

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Tuesday 5 December 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - MEA Initiation

As there will be no DLC for the game, I decided to feed my Mass Effect addiction with the prequel novel, even though I really don't like Cora.

Edit Team 1: Can we use Vaenia's music?
Edit Team 2: No, are you high? We want "inspired," not "let's go f*ck an alien."

(page 7, Mass Effect Andromeda Initiation by N.K. Jemisin and Mac Walters)

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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 4 December 2017

Dangerous - Book Review

by Shannon Hale

What is it about:
Maisie `Danger' Brown needs excitement. When she wins a harmless-sounding competition to go to astronaut boot camp, that's exactly what she gets...

But she never imagined it would feature stumbling into a terrifying plot that kills her friends and might just kill her too. Now there's no going back. Maisie has to live by her middle name if she wants to survive - and she'll need to be equally courageous to untangle the romance in her life too.

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

I liked Maisie, her best friend, and her parents. For most part of the book I was invested in what happened to Maisie.

I did not like the love interest however and things happen that only made him more of a skeeve in my opinion. No matter the explanations after the fact. In fact one remark late in the story made me dislike him even more!

The action was cool although the story did drag a bit. Some events could have been left out or sped up a bit, but overall it was entertaining enough to keep me reading.

All in all a nice read. I might investigate what other books Hale has written.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable YA SF read.

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Saturday 2 December 2017

TBR Orphans Update

I'm still having trouble concentrating, so I picked up easy reads in November. It turned out a lot of those reads were Orphans, so I read six books that were on my shelves for more than three months.

The City of Ember
has been on my shelves since July 2015
Dangerous since January 2017
Spell Games since February 2016
The Kiss of Deception since early August 2017, making it a very recent Orphan
Blood Beast since September 2016
Demon Apocalypse since December 2016

All in all a good month for my orphaned books.

How did you do in November?

Friday 1 December 2017

Fall of the Flamingo Circus - Book Review

Fall of the Flamingo Circus
by Kate Rigby

What is it about:
Fall Of The Flamingo Circus is the story of a strong and independent girl’s childhood and adolescence, her desperate battle to make something of the fearful hand dealt to her.

Through her eyes we see the realities of poverty in England – hunger and junk food, boredom and noise at home, snobbery and notoriety at school – and the fear of a brutal father...over the years we watch Lauren’s voice grow in power and imagination, as her life – a rebel, a punk, admired by her gang but rejected and victimised by men – bursts out of its sad confines...

but Lauren is always alone with her restless and furious self: she alone will discover the pain and loneliness of being different, crazy, colourful in an England turned grey, obedient and satisfied.

What did I think of it:
I first read this book back in 1990 in the Dutch translation and fell in love with it. I reread it many times in the years after, but not since I switched to mostly reading in English.

Not long ago I mentioned this book to a friend and it made me want to do another reread. I got hold of the English version this time.

And again I was gripped by this story and I was reminded why I fell in love with it all these years ago.

Lauren is a bit of an antihero. She doesn't fit in and is angry at the world. Then Punk arrives and it's like it is made for her. All her rage and disgust find an outlet. She revels in being different, in shocking people. In rebelling against the world she finds her place in it.

But then her friends all find purpose in life, other ways to live and they move away from the Punk scene. Can Lauren find a way to do the same, to find peace and a way to move into adulthood without losing herself?

So many things in this story spoke to me back then and still resonate with me now. Lauren's life might not be like my own, but many of the feelings she struggles with feel familiar.

Told like a diary the story begins when Lauren is seven years old. One of the things I like is how her writing progresses as she grows up, making it feel real.

Lauren isn't easy to love, but to those who struggle, or have struggled, to find their place in life she's very relatable.

Why should you read it:
It's a strong story about finding your place in the world.

Buy from Amazon