Wednesday 31 January 2024

The Siren's Song - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


The Siren's Song
by Katelyn Brehm

What is it about:
A woman who’s lost everything. A demon without a care. And a chance encounter that sparks an unwanted passion.

Lena Sommer can’t win. Her marriage is a failure. The yoga studio she founded no longer needs her. And she just lost her grandma, the only family she’s ever known. Alone, grieving, and determined not to repeat the mistakes of her past, she tries to ignore the advances of a rakish singer she meets on the beach. But his carefree nature is infectious, and his mesmerizing voice proves too seductive to resist.

Elias Georgiou has it all—a loving family, the endless ocean, and, most importantly, his independence. Constrained by nothing but the pursuit of pleasure, the last thing he’s interested in is a relationship with any of the countless admirers he charms with his song. Until he meets Lena, and a future with the resilient and courageous woman becomes more tempting than freedom.

Can Lena learn to trust herself and Elias in the face of past betrayal? Or will the enchanted song of a consummate bachelor ruin all hope for a future filled with love?

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I loved The Art Collector by Brehm, so I decided to pick up her next novella.

Although these novellas are part of a series, both can be read as stand-alones without any problem.

And The Siren's Song is yet another great read!

I cared for Lena from the start and with her past I could understand why she was wary of Elias. I was invested in seeing her heal and be happy.

Elias was a yummy hero, but it was clear he had some growing up to do. Luckily he soon seemed up to the task to show Lena he's the right guy for her, although there are of course some stumble blocks on the way.

All in all this is a delightful novella that I finished in record time to get to the sweet and satisfying HEA. I sure will be keeping my eyes out for more by Brehm.

Why should you read it:
It's a sweet and delicious Paranormal Romance.

Tuesday 30 January 2024

Teaser Tuesdays - Iron Crowned


Masthera frowned. 'Dragons haven't lived in the Otherworld in centuries.'

(page 81, Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead)

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 25 January 2024

Rogue Protocol - Book Review (repost/reread)


Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3)
by Martha Wells

What is it about:
SciFi’s favorite antisocial A.I. is again on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah’s SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.

What did I think of it:
I'm loving Murderbot more and more with each book. It is such a cool character.

As much as Murderbot would like to be left alone to watch its shows, there's always something intruding. Certainly it can't be that it is starting to care about people, can it? To help Dr. Mensah with the case against GrayCris Murderbot is on the hunt for information. It once again ends up with people who are in way over their heads and need a SecUnit to stay alive.

I love how Murderbot thinks about itself and humans. Its internal monologues are dry and at times sarcastic. I have never related with a construct more! If not for the fact Murderbot wants to be left alone, we'd be fast friends if we ever met for sure.

The story is once again suspenseful and full of action. I cheered Murderbot on and was on the edge of my seat to see if Murderbot would save the day and all involved.

All in all this is yet another great read, and I ordered Network Effect (book 5) even before starting on Exit Strategy (book 4).

Why should you read it:
Murderbot is totally awesome!

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Artificial Condition - Book Review (repost/reread)


Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2)
by Martha Wells

What is it about:
It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

What did I think of it:
This is another Hugo read. I wasn't sure if I should read it as it's book 2 in a series, but then Jeffe told me she started it and didn't feel lost even though she hadn't read book 1, so I decided to give it a try as well.

And this is a really fun read. I especially loved ART and the interaction between ART and Murderbot. The two of them really have a unique and cool way of looking at things. I thought Wells did a great job at making them sound and act other than human.

The story itself delves into the past of Murderbot and also is about Murderbot trying to find out where it/they belong and how they want to be.

All in all a very cool novella. I think I'll go back and read the first one as well.

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

Notes on rereading:
Although this book is also perfectly readable on its own, I must say it's a more solid read if you also know what happened in the first book. I got a better grip on what's going on in Murderbot's head and was more invested. I still totally love ART!

Buy from Amazon

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Teaser Tuesdays - Lost in Time


Nora was dead.
That was Sam's first thought.
How? Was his second thought

(page 8, Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle)

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!

Wednesday 17 January 2024

Working Stiff - Book Review (repost/reread)


Working Stiff (Revivalist #1)
by Rachel Caine

What is it about:
Bryn Davis was killed on the job after discovering her bosses were selling a drug designed to resurrect the dead. Now, revived by that same drug, she becomes an undead soldier in a corporate war to take down the very pharmaceutical company responsible for her new condition...

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

The idea of someone resurrected from the dead was well thought out, including weaknesses and how such a person would react to her state. I also really liked the action storyline where Bryn and her allies are on a deadline to find a corporate thief before her boss decides she's a liability and she needs to be terminated. It makes this story very tense and suspenseful.

I had some difficulties with Bryn. For someone who's been in the army she's acting like a damsel in distress a bit too much in my opinion. I also had some trouble getting into the romance. I once again started rooting for the wrong guy and maybe that's why I didn't feel a connection between Bryn and her love interest at first. But after a shaky start it picked up nicely and I ended up enjoying the romance.

The ending felt a bit chaotic and rushed though. I felt a bit disappointed by some of the solutions. There was also a plot line that was left open for the next book.

In the end I really enjoyed this book and apart from the flaws I mentioned it's a compelling read. I will most probably give the next book in this series a try.

Thoughts on rereading: 
Still think Bryn goes for the wrong man. He's ok, but the other guy is soo much cooler in my opinion. Alas. 

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

Monday 15 January 2024

All Systems Red - Book Review (repost/reread)

 Yup: another reread of All Systems Red. And each an every time it's just as cool!

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1)
by Martha Wells

What is it about:
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn't a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied 'droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

What did I think of it:
This is such a fun and cool read!

I love Murderbot. It is an android with human components that hacked itself to be free from its owner's control. As it works for a group of scientists Murderbot has to decide who it is and how it wants to act towards humans.

Strange and dangerous things start happening and it's up to Murderbot to keep the humans it works with safe.

I loved the interaction between Murderbot and the humans, and I loved how Murderbot questions itself and the world and people around it. I will confess I could really relate to Murderbot. It has a worldview that's just as cynical as mine while it still cares for those put in its care as long as they're not being stupid about it.

All in all this is a great first novella in what I'm guessing will become a quest for Murderbot to find out who it is and what happened in its checkered past.

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

Thursday 11 January 2024

Girl, Goddess, Queen - Book Review


Girl, Goddess, Queen
by Bea Fitzgerald

What is it about:
Thousands of years ago, the gods told a lie: how Persephone was a pawn in the politics of other gods. How Hades kidnapped Persephone to be his bride. How her mother, Demeter, was so distraught she caused the Earth to start dying.

The real story is much more interesting.

Persephone wasn't taken to hell: she jumped. There was no way she was going to be married off to some smug god more in love with himself than her.

Now all she has to do is convince the Underworld's annoyingly sexy, arrogant and frankly rude ruler, Hades, to fall in line with her plan. A plan that will shake Mount Olympus to its very core.

But consequences can be deadly, especially when you're already in hell . . .

What did I think of it:
This was a very enjoyable read.

I especially liked the first part of the book where Persephone and Hades get to know each other and Persephone tries to figure out what she wants to do with her life. Near the ending tings seemed to drag a bit, but as the writing didn't totally click with me, it might have been just me.

Writing aside I enjoyed the world building and characters, and I rooting for Persephone and Hades to realize what was clear for everybody else and just kiss already.

All in all an entertaining retelling.

Why should you read it:
If you like Greek Mythology You'll enjoy this

Wednesday 10 January 2024

The Inheritance Games - Book Review


The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games #1)
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

What is it about:
Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why -- or even who Tobias Hawthorne is.

To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man's touch -- and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a conwoman, and he's determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather's last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

What did I think of it:
This was an entertaining read.

I will confess I had hoped for some more suspense and danger and less mooning over jerkwads. I felt old when I noticed I was rooting for Avery's older sister wile not caring about Avery's love life at all. Still I enjoyed this book enough to finish it, even though certain things could be seen from miles away (Yes: this included the "oh, look how surprising" end twist). 

All in all a good book if you're looking for something easy and entertaining. I don't think I'll read more books in this series though, unless I come across them in a sale.

Why should you read it:
If you liked moody jerkwads you might root for Avery to end up with one of the Hawthorne boys somewhere near the end of this series.

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Teaser Tuesdays = Nettle and Bone


It was the dogs she wanted. Perhaps she might have built a man out of bones, but she had no great love of men any longer.

(page 2, Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher)

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!

Monday 8 January 2024

Ghost of a Chance - Book Review (repost/reread)


Ghost of a Chance (Karma Marx, #1) 
by Katie Macalister

What is it about:
While trapped in a house with her sleazy husband Spider and other characters, Karma Marx, who exorcises haunted houses for a living, investigates Spider's murder, forcing her to find the truth among the living and the dead.

What did I think of it:
A nice, if somewhat shaky mystery with an intriguing setting. In this book Macalister (writing under the name Marsh) proves she doesn't need snarky characters and steamy romance to keep you reading. I really liked how she uses creatures she also uses in her Dark Ones series and expands on them in this story. I also really liked Karma and Macalister's writing style holds up perfectly when stripped of the snark, which made it a lot more serious than her Dark Ones books, but I must say I enjoyed the more serious tone. The plot was a bit wobbly at times, but all in all I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope there will be more books in this series.

Notes on rereading:
I got the new (re-released) ebook and read that instead of my 13 year old print copy which should be somewhere among my many books. And I must say I'm tempted to dig up that old copy to see if the original ending is the same, as the ending felt rushed as if there was a scene left out or some extra scene was just slapped on to connect this book to the next one, Otherwise this held up fine and I'll be reading book 2 soon. 

Why should you read it:
It's a nicely written paranormal whodunnit

Thursday 4 January 2024

Poison Fruit - Book Review


Poison Fruit (Agent of Hel #3)
by Jacqueline Carey

What is it about:
The Pemkowet Visitors Bureau has always promoted paranormal tourism—even if it has downplayed the risks (hobgoblins are unpredictable). It helps that the town is presided over by Daisy Johanssen, who as Hel’s liaison is authorized by the Norse goddess of the dead to keep Pemkowet under control. Normally, that’s easier to do in the winter, when bracing temperatures keep folks indoors.

But a new predator is on the prowl, and this one thrives on nightmares. Daisy is on her trail and working intimately with her partner and sometime lover from the Pemkowet PD, sexy yet unavailable werewolf Cody Fairfax. But even as the creature is racking up innocent victims, a greater danger looms on Pewkowet’s horizon.

As a result of a recent ghost uprising, an unknown adversary—represented by a hell-spawn lawyer with fiery powers of persuasion—has instigated a lawsuit against the town. If Pemkowet loses, Hel’s sovereignty will be jeopardized, and the fate of the eldritch community will be at stake. The only one who can prevent it is Daisy—but she’s going to have to confront her own worst nightmare to do it.

What did I think of it:
This was the weakest book in this trilogy for me.

It still was an enjoyable read, but a couple of things pissed me off. And yes: Daisy ending up with the wrong person imo was one of them.

Still I had a good time with this book and the trilogy overall. It might not have ended with the bang I was hoping for (pun not intended) it did have some cool and suspenseful moments. 

I can advice this series to lovers of Urban Fantasy and I will probably read more by Carey.

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

Wednesday 3 January 2024

This Time It's Real - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


This Time It's Real
by Ann Liang

What is it about:
When seventeen-year-old Eliza Lin’s essay about meeting the love of her life unexpectedly goes viral, her entire life changes overnight. Now she has the approval of her classmates at her new international school in Beijing, a career-launching internship opportunity at her favorite magazine…and a massive secret to keep.

Eliza made her essay up. She’s never been in a relationship before, let alone in love. All good writing is lying, right?

Desperate to hide the truth, Eliza strikes a deal with the famous actor in her class, the charming but aloof Caz Song. She’ll help him write his college applications if he poses as her boyfriend. Caz is a dream boyfriend -- he passes handwritten notes to her in class, makes her little sister laugh, and takes her out on motorcycle rides to the best snack stalls around the city.

But when her relationship with Caz starts feeling a little too convincing, all of Eliza’s carefully laid plans are threatened. Can she still follow her dreams if it means breaking her own heart?

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This sounded like a cute read AND it has fake dating! I don't know why I like this trope so much, but you bet I got my hands on this asap once I read the blurb.

And I wasn't disappointed.

I loved everything about this book. The fake dating, the obvious real feelings, the cuteness, the setting. I reached the satisfying ending much too soon.

There's some drama to keep Caz and Eliza on their toes and to postpone the Happy Ending, but not too anxiety inducing luckily enough. You bet I'll reread this.

Why should you read it:
It's cute, fluffy, and fun!  

Monday 1 January 2024

Three Quick Book reviews


Quick Reviews

Sing by Karin Tidbeck
The biologist Petr explores the strange colony of Kiruna and meets the village outcast Aino, who seduces him unknowingly with her intoxicating singing voice. He finds comfort in her unusual way of life but soon discovers that a symbiotic relationship can be a blessing or a curse.

What did I think:
A weird, but alluring short story. I liked Aino, Petr is a bit of a tool though. I really liked the writing and the atmosphere.

Compulsory (The Murderbot Diaries #0.5) by Martha Wells
Murderbot—the sardonic, almost-homicidal, media-loving android created by Martha Wells—has proven to be one of the most popular characters in 21 st century science fiction. Everything that makes this protagonist (it would be wrong to call Murderbot a hero) beloved of fans is on display in Compulsory.

What did I think:
It's Murderbot! What's not to love?!

Relocating Christmas by Kerry Anne King/Kerry Schafer
A heartwarming Christmas mystery with a touch of magic.

Nickle Wood is not a thief, although her rap sheet begs to differ. It’s just that a lot of objects are not where they are meant to be and the universe has chosen her to move them. Christmas is absolutely the worst, with every brightly wrapped package a potential landmine.

She and her private-eye boyfriend, Hawk, have agreed: no presents. But he can’t resist giving her a little something and Nickle’s fragile trust is broken. She thought he understood the problem, but maybe he doesn’t really know her at all. Insult to injury, the gift, a beautiful pendant, clearly wants to be elsewhere.

Nickle ventures out into a Christmas Eve snowstorm, determined to relocate the pendant on her own, but when it leads her to a runaway teen and a dog sheltering together behind a dumpster, Nickle knows she’s going to need Hawk’s help to find the girl’s missing mother. Can they trust each other – and Nickle’s unusual ability – enough to work together and pull off a Christmas miracle?

This delightful stand alone novella continues the story of Nickle and Hawk from King’s beloved novel Other People’s Things.

What did I think:
If you paid attention you noticed this book was mentioned as a Christmas Reads and hopefully you read and enjoyed it already. If not: Go get it! It's a wonderful read as both a standalone and a continuation of  Other People’s Things! Also a great read outside of the Holiday Season, so don't wait until December to get it.