Wednesday 30 September 2020

The Psychology of Time Travel - Book Review

 


The Psychology of Time Travel
by Kate Mascarenhas

What is it about:
In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

What did we think of it:
As some of you might know I'm a sucker for time travel stories, so when Gilbert saw this book he immediately thought of me. The only problem with time travel stories is that a lot of them have ridiculous and unbelievable time travel theories.

In this book the time travel theory used was very interesting and even though not possible it worked really well for the story. We were able to suspend disbelief in favor for the story. 

Even though set in this world the time travel makes this story an alternate history and next to it being a thriller it also explores what it would do to people if they are able to time travel and go back and forth along their own timeline. 

There are multiple viewpoint characters and as the story unfolds it becomes clear what all of them have got to do with each other.  That some of these people can time travel makes the story intricate and intriguing. Who is the dead woman? Can events be changed by time travel? I was on the edge of my seat to find out what was going on and if my favorite characters would get a happy ending.

Overall this is a really cool and satisfying story. You bet we'll read more by Mascarenhas in the future.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool and intriguing time travel thriller.

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - The Book of Dragons

 


The way he crept closer every day reminded Joe of the stray cats who hung around the complex. First he watched from the door of his family's apartment.


(page 108, The Book of Dragons, Where the River Turns to Concrete by Brooke Bolander)


buy from Amazon

---------

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 28 September 2020

White Fragility - Book Review by Gilbert

 


White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
by Robin DiAngelo

What is it about:
The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.

What did  Gilbert think of it:
I think it's important to be aware of your own flaws and shortcomings, so I decided to pick up White Fragility.

And this is an eye-opening book.

It explains really well why white people are prone to act defensive when their privilege and racist thinking and behavior is pointed out to them. It explores how Western society is build on white being the norm and how that benefits those who are white.

This book made me think about how I view the world and challenged me to look inside for my own prejudices and automatic reactions when my worldview is challenged.

All in all I can advice this book  to any white person who is willing to take a good look at how they view themselves, the world, and the people around them. 

Why should you read it:
It's eye-opening and thought provoking.


Buy from amazon


Friday 25 September 2020

Moth and Spark - Book Review (repost)

 


Moth and Spark
by Anne Leonard


What is it about:
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.


What did I think of it:
I totally bought this book because I was lured in by the cover. That it sounded like it might be a nice Fantasy was all the excuse I needed to get hold of this beauty.

And it turned out this is a really enjoyable Fantasy!

Although the blurb promises lots of dragons and action, the first part of the book is mainly about Corin and Tam getting to know each other. I can't say I minded: their banter and the court intrigues were very pleasant to read. I really liked both of them, especially Tam, who's not just smart, but also level headed.

There were some events and things that happened that were a bit too convenient in my opinion, but the overall story was cool enough that I decided to let it slide.

Once Corin and Tam set themselves to getting the dragon problem solved, the action kicked in and the story sped up. With the dragons not being very cooperative and with visions entering the story, it was a bit difficult at times to make sense of what was going on and why. But luckily things got clear after a while.

The ending wasn't the strongest point of this book, but all in all I very much enjoyed Moth and Spark. The setting, the writing style, and the characters all drew me in and I will most certainly reread this book, and keep an eye out for more books by Leonard.

Why should you read it:
If you're looking for lots of dragons, this isn't your book, but if you want a very entertaining and enjoyable Fantasy read, you should pick this up.


buy from amazon

Thursday 24 September 2020

On McPig's Wishlist - A Crown of Talons

 


A Crown of Talons (A Throne of Swans #2)
by Katharine Corr and Elizabeth Corr

Fight or flight . . . or both?

Three months after Aderyn's coronation the court is celebrating the Solstice, but Aderyn is preoccupied by Lucien's continuing hostility. The celebrations are interrupted by the arrival of nobles who have escaped from the neighbouring country of Celonia - the flightless have risen up and overthrown their rulers. The world is changing.

As people being to question whether Aderyn and Aron are strong enough to rule, there is an attempted assassination on Aderyn's life. Siegfried and Tallis have made their move - they have formed an army, declared war and will take the throne, by any means necessary.

Aderyn must fly to unchartered territories and risk the lives of everyone she loves to defeat her enemies, secure her throne and unite her people.

Epic, dangerous and impossible to put down, this finale takes you on a soaring journey through grief, strength and determination to fight for what is right, what you love and what is yours.


Expected publication: January 14th 2021
preorder from bookdepository


Wednesday 23 September 2020

Foreplay - Book Review by Voodoo Bride (repost)

 


Foreplay (The Ivy Chronicles #1)
by Sophie Jordan


What is it about:
Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real...


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I was in the mood for more Contemporary Romance and this one sounded like it might be a fun read.

And it is!

Pepper thinks she knows what she's in for: she's going to let the playboy bartender give her lessons in making out, so she can impress the guy she's obsessed about since she was twelve. Little does she know Reece might look as gorgeous as she was told this playboy bartender looks, he's not the playboy bartender she was looking for.

I liked both Pepper and Reece. From the things you learn about Pepper you can really understand why she's so unreasonably obsessed over Hunter that she can't see a good thing when it's kissing her. Reece is intriguing as well, with secrets and troubles of his own.

There are some pretty steamy scenes between the two of them, as well as some really tender and sweet ones. I kept rooting for them to see how perfect they are for each other.

All in all this is a hot and fun New Adult Contemporary Romance. I'm not sure if I'll read the other books in this series. They're about Pepper's friends, and I wasn't impressed by her friends in this book. But maybe they will be awesome in their own book, so I just might give them a chance one day.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable NA Contemporary Romance


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Our Wayward Fate


"Like a boyfriend?" I blurted out, then immediately regretted it. In retrospect, I think I was trying to find a way to tell him I'd noticed and that I supported him whatever his preference was.


(page 35, Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao)


buy from Amazon

---------

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 21 September 2020

The Hate U Give - Book Review (repost)

 


The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas


What is it about:
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


What did I think of it:
I think everyone who has ever felt the need to respond with All Lives Matter when they are confronted with Black Lives Matter should read this book.

It's emotional, raw, honest, and doesn't pull any punches. I've always known I'm privileged, but this book drove it home once more.

I could say lots more, but I feel like I can't do this book justice. Go read it yourself, because this is a well written, powerful story.

Why should you read it:
It's an emotional and powerful read.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday 18 September 2020

The Gilded King - Book Review

 


The Gilded King (Sovereign #1)
by Josie Jaffrey

What is it about:
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

What did I think of it:
I've really been enjoying Josie Jaffrey's books, so I was very happy I won this book in her monthly giveaway. 

And this is a cool read.

The story switches between Julia and Cameron. Julia is a human born in the Blue, the world's last city (or is it?). She longs for different things, but the danger of the Red keeps her captive in the Blue. Cameron hasn't been human for ages and is hunting for his lost queen in the Red.

I will confess I like Julia's storyline the most. I could relate to her and feared for life and that of her best friend. I was totally rooting for her to find a way to live the life she wants.

Cameron's storyline is the most action-packed and therefor also cool, but I didn't connect with him. Still I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next.

All in all this is a very cool and suspenseful read. I most certainly will get my trotters on the next book to see what will happen next.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool Dystopian YA read.


buy from amazon


Thursday 17 September 2020

On McPig's Wishlist - Fugitive Telemetry

 


Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries #6)
by Martha Wells

No, I didn’t kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn’t dump the body in the station mall.

When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people—who knew?)

Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans!


Expected publication: April 27th 2021


preorder from amazon


Wednesday 16 September 2020

Raybearer - Book Review

Raybearer (Raybearer #1)
by Jordan Ifueko

What is it about:
Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

What did I think of it:
This book surprised me.

From the blurb I had my expectations for how this story would go, but instead it went in very different directions and in a good way.

I liked Tarisai, she grew up lonely and is then thrown in competitive surroundings without so much as an explanation to what she has to do. And if that's not frightening enough, she discovers she is destined to kill the Crown Prince, a boy who she connects with from the moment she meets him.

I loved the worldbuilding and the characters. There's a bit of romance that also went very different than I expected, but I loved it! 

The story is very engaging and I was eager to find out if Tarisai would be able to go against her destiny and find happiness with her found family. As she discovers more about both herself and her mother she will have to make some important decisions.

All in all a beautiful story that ends very satisfying. I'm curious where the author will take things in a sequel.

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


buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - The Psychology of Time Travel


A woman, dressed in leathers and a helmet, leant on a motorcycle at the side of the road. She beckoned Odette to her.


(page 25, The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas)



---------

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 14 September 2020

Ring the Bell - Quick Book Review

 


Ring The Bell
by Josie Jaffrey

What is it about:
Scale the mountain. Ring the bell. Buy your freedom. Or trade the prize to change the world.
Mia's life is defined by the Surge. The race comes every five years, and she's determined to win it. She'll make it to the top first, ring the bell and set her family free.

But victory comes at a price. The faster she runs, the more people she'll condemn to death in the valley below.

In Unterstrom, only the strongest survive.

What did I think of it:
This short story is devastatingly beautiful.

The people of Unterstrom have to endure the Surge every five years. Once it begins people have to make their way above the flood line before the bell rings and the water comes. The cruel twist: the bell is rung by the person from Unterstrom who gets there the fastest and who'll win a new life away from Unterstrom.

Following Mia through the years it was very emotional to see her thoughts about the Surge and ringing the bell  change throughout the years.

A bittersweet story about humanity you need to read.

Why should you read it:
It's a powerful and emotional short story.


Expected publication: October 1st 2020
Buy from Amazon



Friday 11 September 2020

The Devil's Due - Quick Book Review


The Devil's Due
by Melissa Marr

What is it about:
After Adelaide's sisters vanish with the captain of the Fitcher's Bird while she's away at sea, she decides there are only two choices—rescue them or avenge them.

With poisons in her hems and the ghost of her mother "helping," Adelaide sets out to marry the captain to get access to his ship.

This is a short adult story, highly influenced by the story of Bluebeard.

What did I think of it:
Another short story by Melissa Marr.

This has pirates and a Bluebeard like villain! It's short, but sweet and I loved the atmosphere and worldbuilding.

Recommended if you're looking for a quick and satisfying read.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool and quick read.

 

Thursday 10 September 2020

On McPig's Wishlist - Pretty Broken Things

 


Pretty Broken Things
by Melissa Marr

A sultry, twisty thriller set in the shadowy edges of New Orleans' French Quarter

After receiving a lead from an unlikely source, Juliana, the mortician tasked with the bodies of victims of the 'Carolina Creeper, ' the South's most notorious serial killer in decades, sets off to New Orleans in search of Theresa Morris, an heiress and presumably the Creeper's only surviving victim.

Theresa now goes by "Tess" and is a shadow of her former heiress self. She's also being pursued by famous novelist Michael, who sets his sights on Tess as the muse of his work-in-progress, oblivious to her former identity.

As Michael gets closer to Tess and begins to put the pieces of her traumatic past together, Juliana zeroes in on Tess's whereabouts. They don't know it, but the three of them are on a collision course, hurtling straight into the Creeper's path.

PRETTY BROKEN THINGS will release first as an Audible Original on 11 June 2020. Paperback and ebook will follow in December 2020.


buy from Amazon

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Sapphire Flames - Book Review

 


Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4)
by Ilona Andrews

What is it about:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.

What did I think of it:
When a good friend gifted me a copy of Emerald Blaze (book 5 in this series) I discovered I totally missed the release of Sapphire Flames. Luckily that same friend was willing to lend me her copy of Sapphire Flames so I could catch up.

And this is yet another cool addition to this series. 

I will confess I had difficulties warming up to the love interest, who is one of those cocky jerks who think they're charming and witty and who seem to dominate the world of romance these days. If he'd just been acting witty while not being so full of himself, I might have liked him better.

That being said: the action and the story are super cool. I was hooked from the start and rooting for Catalina to figure out what was going on. And there is a lot going on I can tell you!

The main storyline gets a satisfying conclusion in this book, but other things happen that will mean Catalina has lots of things she needs to deal with in the next book. You bet I'll pick up Emerald Blaze soon.

All in all a cool read, I'll need to get my own copy of this book.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool Paranormal Romance


buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - The Gilded King


'You were gone a long time,' Claudia muttered on her return, in the tones of someone who resented having to break her silence in order to satisfy her curiosity.


(page 41, The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey)


buy from Amazon

---------

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 7 September 2020

Carnival of Lies - Quick Book Review

 


Carnival of Lies (Untamed City #0.5)
by Melissa Marr

What is it about:
Aya must decide is death or love is a safer risk as she tries to hide her true nature in the Carnival of Secrets.

What did I think of it:
So I read some more short stories.

This short story is a prequel story to Carnival of Secrets which I have not read. Still I very much enjoyed it. The setting is very intriguing and I liked Aya. It made me curious as o what would be next for her, so you bet I'll be picking up Carnival of Secrets when I get the chance.

Why should you read it:
It's a very intriguing Fantasy short story.


Buy from Amazon

Friday 4 September 2020

The Gilded Ones - Early Book Review

 


The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1)
by Namina Forna

What is it about:
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity--and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki--near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire's greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she's ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be--not even Deka herself.

What did I think of it:
This book was set to release this year, but the release was pushed back to February 2021. Luckily there were finished copies of the book included in the June Fairyloot box and after some negotiations I managed to get my greedy trotters on a copy.

And what an awesome read!

I will confess I was surprised at how brutal some parts of this book were. The things being done to Deka after she is found to be 'impure' are horrifying.

But then she is offered the choice to become a warrior for the emperor and she is brought to the capital for training. The woman who rescues her is very intriguing and I wanted to know more about her, the alaki, and the monsters they would have to fight.

Deka's training, her new friends, and her quest for answers about who and what she is had me hooked and I kept reading to find out more about everything that was going on. There are many secrets, intrigues, and dangerous situations. It's a good thing Deka is hard to kill, because death is lurking everywhere.

All in all this is an intense and beautiful read. The ending is very satisfying, and this book is perfectly readable as a standalone. But you bet I'm keeping an eye out for the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool and inrtense Fantasy read.


Expected publication: February 9th 2021


Thursday 3 September 2020

On McPig's Radar - Auxiliary: London 2039


Auxiliary: London 2039
by Jon Richter

The silicon revolution left Dremmler behind, but a good detective is never obsolete.

London is quiet in 2039—thanks to the machines. People stay indoors, communicating through high-tech glasses and gorging on simulated reality while 3D printers and scuttling robots cater to their every whim. Mammoth corporations wage war for dominance in a world where human augmentation blurs the line between flesh and steel.

And at the center of it all lurks The Imagination Machine: the hyper-advanced, omnipresent AI that drives our cars, flies our planes, cooks our food, and plans our lives. Servile, patient, tireless … TIM has everything humanity requires. Everything except a soul.

Through this silicon jungle prowls Carl Dremmler, police detective—one of the few professions better suited to meat than machine. His latest case: a grisly murder seemingly perpetrated by the victim’s boyfriend. Dremmler’s boss wants a quick end to the case, but the tech-wary detective can’t help but believe the accused’s bizarre story: that his robotic arm committed the heinous crime, not him. An advanced prosthetic, controlled by a chip in his skull.

A chip controlled by TIM.

Dremmler smells blood: the seeds of a conspiracy that could burn London to ash unless he exposes the truth. His investigation pits him against desperate criminals, scheming businesswomen, deadly automatons—and the nightmares of his own past. And when Dremmler finds himself questioning even TIM’s inscrutable motives, he’s forced to stare into the blank soul of the machine.

Auxiliary is gripping, unpredictable, and bleakly atmospheric—ideal for fans of cyberpunk classics like the Blade Runner movies, Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and the Netflix original series Black Mirror.


 

Buy from Amazon