Monday 24 October 2022

Back Soon


We've been busy playing games again, so new reviews of books will be coming next week.

Friday 21 October 2022

The Annual Migration of Clouds - Book Review

The Annual Migration of Clouds
by Premee Mohamed

What is it about:
In post-climate disaster Alberta, a woman infected with a mysterious parasite must choose whether to pursue a rare opportunity far from home or stay and help rebuild her community.

The world is nothing like it once was: climate disasters have wracked the continent, causing food shortages, ending industry, and leaving little behind. Then came Cad, mysterious mind-altering fungi that invade the bodies of the now scattered citizenry. Reid, a young woman who carries this parasite, has been given a chance to get away - to move to one of the last remnants of pre-disaster society - but she can't bring herself to abandon her mother and the community that relies on her.

When she's offered a coveted place on a dangerous and profitable mission, she jumps at the opportunity to set her family up for life, but how can Reid ask people to put their trust in her when she can't even trust her own mind?

What did I think of it:
When I was investigating this year's Nebula Award winners I stumbled on this book (which didn't win the Nebula, but Premee Mohamed's And What Can We Offer You Tonight did). I will confess I fell in love with the cover, and when I read what it was about, I had to have it.

And this is such a beautiful read.

Set in a future that seems all too plausible this novella explores what we owe or don't owe to those close to us. Where do we as individuals draw the line? When have we done enough for our parents and are we allowed to live our own lives? What do we owe our (childhood) friends?

I was pulled into the story from the start. The setting, mood, and themes were enough to keep my interest, the parasite inside of Reid was an added bonus. This being a novella it won't surprise you I read it in one sitting.

You bet this will be a keeper, and I'll most definitely will check out other books by Mohamed.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and thought provoking post apocalyptic read.

Thursday 20 October 2022

On McPig's Radar - Exit Interview


I had the opportunity to read the ARC of this book and it's totally amazing! So you bet I preordered the book to add to my keeper shelves. And you should totally preorder as well, because you need to read this book!

Exit Interview: an a.k.a. Jayne novel
by Dana Cameron

Reporter Amy Lindstrom has just witnessed the sudden, suspicious death of the powerful arms dealer she's been investigating. Jayne Rogers, the deadly covert operative assigned to work with the arms' dealer, has been accused by her boss of killing him, as well as turning traitor and picking off her former colleagues one by one. The only one who believes Jayne is being framed is Nicole Bradley, whose technical skills are as stealthy and lethal as Jayne's abilities with her fists and weapons. All three must work together to prevent a hidden arms cache from falling into the wrong hands. 

Expected publication: December 6th, 2022

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Dead Sexy - Book Review

Dead Sexy (Garnet Lacey #2)
by Tate Hallaway

What is it about:
From the author of Tall, Dark & Dead, the second in the paranormal series featuring a gem of a heroine (Mary Janice Davidson).

Tall, Dark & Dead introduced Garnet Lacey, a bookstore manager/witch who accidentally unleashed the dark goddess Lilith on Vatican assassins. Now she has other things to worry about-like pesky frat boy zombies, a gorgeous FBI agent hot on her trail, love spells gone wrong, and keeping her vampire boyfriend a safe distance from her vampire ex-boyfriend. There's just no rest for this Wiccan...

What did I think of it:
I had a great time with the first book in this series, so when I was in the mood for an enjoyable Paranormal read I picked up book 2.

And this was just as fun.

Garnet does seem to attract problems and men, but were I usually get annoyed by love triangly stuff, here it somehow works. I was invested in Garnet getting herself out of trouble and for her to figure out her feelings.

I really love the sidekicks in this series as well, apart from one of the guys in the love dodecahedron square: Garnet's ex, who is just a bit too sleazy in my opinion. I actually worried a lot over one of the side characters, hoping he would be ok.

All in all another fun read. I'll probably pick up book 3 soon 

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

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Improbably Yours - Release Day Book Review (repost)


Improbably Yours
by Kerry Anne King

What is it about:
An unusual inheritance leads to a life-changing journey in a novel of romance, secrets, and the treasure of found family.

Blythe Harmon is on the fast track to a life she never wanted. On her thirtieth birthday, just as she’s about to lock herself into a high-powered job and accept a marriage proposal to match, an unusual bequest from her beloved late grandmother, Nomi, offers an escape and an invitation to adventure.

Equipped with Nomi’s urn of ashes and a treasure map, Blythe sets off for a small island in the San Juans where she rents the mysterious and unsettling Improbable House. Secret by secret, clue by cryptic clue, she begins to unravel the puzzle her grandmother has left her to piece together. Her quest is complicated, though, by a powerful attraction to an enigmatic islander and empathy for his orphaned niece, both of whom are inexorably tied to the old house.

Just when Blythe thinks she’s on the verge of solving the mystery, her quest takes an unexpected turn and she discovers that the treasure she’s really seeking is something that could never be buried in the ground. On the treasure hunt of a lifetime, the past and the future are coming together in this magical novel by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Whisper Me This.

What did I think of it:
This is such a beautiful read!

Blythe is a really fun heroine. She starts out as someone who's going along with what her family expects of her, but when she gets a strange bequest on her 30th birthday from her grandmother, who died when when Blythe was a kid, she decides to go against her family's wishes and goes on an adventure to an island.

Blythe immediately has to deal with problems when she arrives on the island though. It seems like her quest is more challenging than it looked at first. And then there's the slightly grumpy Flynn and his niece Savannah who add to the difficulties.

I loved Flynn and especially Savannah. Their story interweaves with Blythe's in a compelling way. As the book progresses you learn more about their past, and about the past of Blythe's grandmother. Some things I could guess long before they're revealed, but I didn't mind that. I was too invested in all three of them overcoming their problems and finding happiness. I loved seeing Blythe move away from the rigid life she put herself in and open up to new possibilities.

I loved the setting as well. The island sounded really cool! I definitely would love to visit an island like that. There's also a touch of the supernatural in this story, just small enough to ignore if you're not into that, but big enough for this piggy to lap it up!

All in all I couldn't put this book down and was both happy with the conclusion and sad that I had to say goodbye to the island and characters. You bet this book goes on my Keeper Shelves and will be reread!

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Contemporary Fiction read with just a hint of magic.

Thursday 13 October 2022

DNF - Improper English

It seems the books by Katie MacAlister are either hit or miss for us.
We tried this one, but it was just too silly.

We'll have to pick up one of her Dark Ones books soon as we really like those.

Improper English
by Katie MacAlister

Brandishing a loaf of French bread at a dishy detective wasn't how Alexandra Freemar had envisioned starting her stay in London. But the sassy American wasn't about to put up with any flak from the uptight--albeit gorgeous--Scotland Yard inspector who accused her of breaking and entering. She didn't have time to deal with this suspicious upstairs neighbor. She had two months to write the perfect romance novel--two months to prove that she could succeed as an author.

Luckily, reserved Englishmen were not her cup of tea. Yet, one kiss told her Alexander Black might not be quite as proper as she'd thought. In fact, his lips could be classified as downright wicked, leaving Alix to wonder how far his talents extended. There was only one snag: The serious-minded gentleman wasn't interested in a mere summer fling. And while as a writer Alix knew every imaginable euphemism for the male member, as a woman she soon realized she had a lot to learn about love.


Wednesday 12 October 2022

Enchanted, Inc. - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Enchanted, Inc. (Enchanted, Inc. #1)
by Shanna Swendson

What is it about:

Katie Chandler had always heard that New York is a weird and wonderful place, but this small-town Texas gal had no idea how weird until she moved there. Everywhere she goes, she sees something worth gawking at and Katie is afraid she's a little too normal to make a splash in the big city. Working for an ogre of a boss doesn't help.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, Katie gets a job offer from Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., a company that provides tricks of the trade to the magic community. For MSI, Katie's ordinariness is an asset.

Lacking any bit of magic, she can easily spot a fake spell, catch hidden clauses in competitor's contracts, and detect magically disguised intruders. Suddenly, average Katie is very special indeed.

She quickly learns that office politics are even more complicated when your new boss is a real ogre, and you have a crush on the sexy, shy, ultra powerful head of the R&D department, who is so busy fighting an evil competitor threatening to sell black magic on the street that he seems barely to notice Katie. Now it's up to Katie to pull off the impossible: save the world and--hopefully--live happily ever after.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is a very fun Paranormal read. I'm not sure if I can call it Paranormal Romance as the triangly romance is not the main focus.

Katie is as unmagical as people come so ends up working for a magical company that needs someone like her to see through magic.

I had lots of fun discovering this world and seeing how Katie handles the things she encounters. Her practical way of thinking helps her out with both her job and the trouble that finds her.

There are many cool magical characters as well, and in the triangly/square romance thing that's going on I clearly had my favorite. Next to Katie getting used to her new normal there's a suspenseful storyline going on and I was invested in how that would play out.

All in all I had a good time with this book. I immediately borrowed the rest of the series from the friend who lent me this one.

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

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Teaser Tuesdays - Leech

I shift, suddenly very aware of the little container pressing against me. "It can wait until after supper/"

(page 36, Leech by Hiron Ennes)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, previously 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!

Thursday 6 October 2022

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Book Review


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1)
by Douglas Adams

What is it about:
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of the The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out of work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin their journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitch Hiker's Guide "A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have" and a galaxy-full of fellow travellers: Zaphod Beeblebrox - the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out to lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ball-point pens he has bought over the years.

What did I think of it:
I read the complete The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series ages ago. I did remember some parts and pieces of the story and as I also remembered I very much enjoyed reading the series I decided to get my trotters on the books and do a reread.

And I had lots of fun with this first book.

I love Adams writing style and humor. He describes things in elaborate and humorous ways that is similar to Terry Pratchett, but with his own special flavor of humor and thinking.

There are several storylines and characters you follow, but eventually these storylines come together. Of the different characters Arthur Dent is probably one of the most relatable characters, as the 'fish out of the water' human who gets taken along on the adventure of a lifetime. Although I must confess I have a very soft spot for Marvin, the depressed robot.

It was strange to discover which parts of the story I remembered and which ones I totally forgot about. Some scenes are of course unforgettable, but I forgot some pretty important plot points, while remembering small stuff as well.

All n all I had a great time rereading/rediscovering this book and I'll be picking up book 2 soon.

Why should you read it:
It's a super fun and cool SF story.

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Love on the Brain - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Love on the Brain
by Ali Hazelwood

What is it about:
Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project - a literal dream come true - Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school - archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas... devouring her with those eyes. The possibilities have all her neurons firing.

But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there's only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I loved The Love Hypothesis, so even though I didn't really get into Hazelwood's first novella, DNFed the second for a petty reason, and didn't feel in the mood for the third, I decided to give Love on the Brain a try.

This turned out to be a predictable, but very enjoyable read.

I liked the set up of the story much more than the set up of the novella, so I was interested in seeing how this romance would unroll from the start. Bee is a bit too much at times, but she never annoyed me to the point where I lost my interest in the story.

The romance is super predictable as I mentioned, but fun enough that I didn't mind. There's also a second storyline woven in to up the stakes, but that one didn't really interest me I'll confess.

There's one very unnecessary negative remark about Flemish Belgium that seriously annoyed me, but other than that I enjoyed this book. I think I'll keep an eye out for Hazelwood's next book, and might even give the DNFed and the third novella a try when I'm in the mood for a nice romance.

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

Tuesday 4 October 2022

Teaser Tuesdays - The Annual Migration of Clouds

Henryk feels it too, the rage I mean, the upward pull of it, when you know there's no starting over. When you know that everything we needed to start over was thrown away or burnt up decades before we were born.

(page 62, The Annual Migration of Clouds by Premee Mohamed)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, previously 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!