I ended up abandoning this one at 50% complete. The premise of Aliens protecting Earth caught my attention, but there was too much romance and not enoI ended up abandoning this one at 50% complete. The premise of Aliens protecting Earth caught my attention, but there was too much romance and not enough action and adventure for me. If you don't mind teenagers kissing all the time and stating over and over how much they are attracted to each other you might enjoy this one....more
It’s over. My adventures with the coolest fictional librarian I’ve never known are over. Revisionary marks the end of the Magic Ex Libris series. No mIt’s over. My adventures with the coolest fictional librarian I’ve never known are over. Revisionary marks the end of the Magic Ex Libris series. No more pulling stuff out of books to save the World. Unless, of course, I find the time to re-read the series. And I hope I do. Because this series is just plain fun.
After finishing Unbound, I jumped right into Revisionary because I had to know how everything would all fall out. Issac was somewhat manic in the last book and I was concerned for his life. He’s did some crazy things in book 3 and it led to some pretty devastating consequences.
In the end, my copy of Revisionary is studded with post-it tabs. Eleven of them to be exact. This is a good sign that Jim had me feeling things and thinking deeply for most of the book.
Throughout the course of the book, Jim touches on human rights. He touches on what happens when your passion consumes you and how that affects other people in your life. He touches on our need to go at it alone whether that’s in our best interest or not. Overall, Revisionary is about change—the good and bad.
Revisionary is definitely an emotional book. The political aspects of the plot gets lost and muddled behind Issac’s drive to rescue and set things right. And while, I am an emotional reader, I do wish the political arguments would have been stronger because I can see a direct correlation between the conversations happening our real world about diversity, human rights and the current political climate. (I live in Iowa. The caucuses just finished up. Need I say more?)
My favorite thing about this series as a whole is the amazing growth of the characters. I look back at my review of Book 1 compared to how I feel now that I’ve read Book 4. These are characters I want to have in my life. I want Issac to dazzle me by pulling things out of books and pop culture references. I want to spar with Lena (and perhaps pig out on junk food with her, too). I want to have a heart-to-heart conversation with Nidhi. There is no question that these three have an amazing, unique relationship that no one questions. It just is. They depend on each other yet they are individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses. To me, they are real.
So who should read the Magic Ex Libris series? Fans of pop culture will definitely get a kick out it. Fans of magic and paranormal worlds will definitely feel a connection. Bookworms, in particular, should pay attention because books are magic. And in Issac’s world there is an amazing truth in that statement. If you have ever dreamed of having access to Lucy’s healing cordial to help a loved one or Dorothy’s silver slippers to skip your commute, the Magic Ex Libris series is definitely for you.
I am a big fan of Heather Gudenkauf’s novels. I’ve read everything she’s released except for one book. I was shocked and surprised to get approved viaI am a big fan of Heather Gudenkauf’s novels. I’ve read everything she’s released except for one book. I was shocked and surprised to get approved via NetGalley to read Heather’s latest release, Missing Pieces.
I was immediately sucked into Missing Pieces. The prologue pulls you in and from that point forward the story doesn’t really let up. Set in Iowa, Jack returns with his wife, Sarah, after a close relative is seriously injured. Jack left Iowa over 20 years ago and this is his first trip back. Through the course of the novel, Sarah discovers things about Jack that she never knew. It’s creepy. It’s scary. It will make you want to avoid basements in old farmhouses. It will have you looking at your significant other and asking, “There aren’t any secrets about your past that you want to share, are there?” I may or may not have asked my husband this several times during day it took me to read Missing Pieces.
The book is fraught with tension which Gudenkauf has mastered writing. As Sarah slowly starts to put the pieces together, your mind starts turning and you can’t flip the pages fast enough to get to the reveal. And that’s where this story falls short. It hits a sour note on the reveal. Not enough pieces were shared for me to make the connection until it was too late. This is my least favorite thing about mystery novels. I want to get to the point of discovery JUST before or JUST as the character figures it out.
That’s not to say that Missing Pieces is a bad book. It got my heart racing. I kept asking questions. I kept looking at my husband out of the corner of my eye. I finished the book in one day and said at the end said, “Well, I didn’t see that coming.” It also got me out of a funk of one bad novel that I finished and one bad novel that I decided to DNF. Gudenkauf’s writing certainly delivers even if the ending was a bit rough.
Almost a year ago, I took part in the book tour for The Witching Elm by C.N. Crawford. I was excited when the author reach out to me directly to revieAlmost a year ago, I took part in the book tour for The Witching Elm by C.N. Crawford. I was excited when the author reach out to me directly to review book two in The Memento Mori Series. I snatched up the opportunity to review A Witch's Feast to continue to story of Toby and his friends. Book two picks up right where book one left off. Toby and his friends are escaping Boston for the relative safety of the New England countryside. For me personally, I wish that there had been more of a recap of the events in book one at the start. I have a shoddy memory and The Witching Elm was the second book I read in 2015 so I was really stretching myself to recall the all the key events.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy A Witch's Feast. There is a lot of action and a crazy, creepy cult. More political maneuverings and commentary about who has the right to wield the power of magic. There are some big topics up for discussion in this book and the kids in the story don't take them lightly. Just like book one, book two ends with a cliffhanger. I'm not sure what is next for Toby, Fiona and Thomas, but I hope they come out of their next adventure alive with their sense of humor in tact.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is the perfect mix of mystery and suspense. I first picked up this novel back in 2011 and zipped right througThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is the perfect mix of mystery and suspense. I first picked up this novel back in 2011 and zipped right through it. It’s a novel about two authors—both with secrets. And in September, I was in bit of a reading slump and decided to check out the audiobook from the library.
Is is possible that the audiobook was better than actually picking up the book and reading it? Granted, after a bit of research, I discover the MP3 version of the book my library had was the abridged version, which explains the bit of confusion I had when the Adeline and Emmeline’s mother was suddenly NOT around anymore. But that was the only time I noticed a skip in the story, something out of place. Despite being the abridged version, it was pieced together quite well.
Ruthie Henshall and Lynn Redgrave did a stellar job capturing Margaret and Ms. Winter. The story flowed back and forth between them as if we were sipping tea together in Ms. Winter’s cozy library. I was whisked to Angelfield watching Adeline and Emmeline grow up as Ms. Winter (Redgrave) revealed her story. When the story was told from Margaret’s point of view, I could feel the curiosity, hurt and longing in Ms. Henshall’s voice. Their narration went far in conveying the emotions and motivations behind the stories being told.
On this second reading, the reveal seemed a little hastily tied together at the end. I’m not sure if that was because certain aspects of the novel were taken out, or this was my second read and as a result, I pieced things together faster than the characters. Either way, I did enjoy the novel on this second read through. The story is wrought with suspense and for a brief time, you’re left wondering if Adeline and Emmeline will survive and if ghosts are real.
Is there anything more glamorous than a story about a flying ace trying to save his hometown? Set in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Storming is a high flyingIs there anything more glamorous than a story about a flying ace trying to save his hometown? Set in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Storming is a high flying adventure with a dash of dieselpunk. We follow the adventures of Robert “Hitch” Hitchcock and the mysterious Jael. Everyone has secrets, including my favorite character, Walter, who I wanted to hug and cuddle to make him feel better.
Now, I’ve been to Scottsbluff, granted it was just an overnight stop, but Nebraska is big state and I’ve driven nearly the length of it so it wasn’t hard to imagine the dry, vast prairie where the story is set. However, much of this story takes place in the air in open cockpit planes. Weiland deftly manages the scenes on the ground and in the sky. I was constantly amazed at Hitch’s skill and Jael’s bravery. It was easy to imagine what all the flyers were doing when they were up in the air. I could feel the wind in my face, my heart pounding, chewing my nails hoping they would land safely.
Walter, by far, was my favorite character. I figured that everything with Hitch and Jael would end up okay, but I was concerned about Walter from the point he was introduced in the story. I could see his potential even if he couldn’t and I was rooting for him the entire novel.
In the end, I wanted more time in Jael’s world. There was so much left unexplained and it wasn’t the language barrier holding things back. We were just never introduced to a character that could explain the technology which was disappointing as the technology holds a lot of potential.
I did enjoy reading Storming. The characters were ones you rooted for from the start. The mysterious Jael added a bit of intrigue even if her world was not fully explained. High flying adventures in small towns with a handsome Douglas Fairbanks-esque hero reminds me of home and old Hollywood. Two things I find hard to resist.
I love old Hollywood. The days of Clark Gable, Bogart and Bacall and Audrey Hepburn. In college, I spent hours watching Turner Classic Movies. I stillI love old Hollywood. The days of Clark Gable, Bogart and Bacall and Audrey Hepburn. In college, I spent hours watching Turner Classic Movies. I still lament the fact that there are few actors that pose a triple threat. I dream in Technicolor. When I came across Stars Over Sunset Boulevard on NetGalley, I was delighted by the the idea of following two women during Hollywood’s Golden Age during the filming of one of my favorite movies, Gone With the Wind.
Unfortunately, Stars Over Sunset Boulevard delivered a disappointing rehash of a standard love triangle that left me feeling underwhelmed.
One of my favorite devices in historical fiction novels is inter-chapters that connect the past to the present. In Stars Over Sunset Boulevard we are introduced to the famous green hat worn by Vivian Leigh in Gone with the Wind. The hat was introduced fairly early in the story. Then it was lost and everyone seemed to forget about it despite it being a key prop piece. The characters in the present time chapters that discovered the hat again had little personal or emotional connection to the characters in the past. As a result, I had cared little about them. When this plot device is used, I need to care as much about the characters in the past as the ones in the present.
Our main characters, Violet and Audrey, were cookie cutter paper dolls. I didn’t buy their friendship and I definitely didn’t buy their love an affection for Bert. If either of them cared so much about him, why was he always in the background? I never got to know enough about him besides the fact he “was a nice guy.” And nice guys, without some more description and explanation, fall flat with me. If this was suppose to be a love triangle, there needed to be more tension between Violet, Audrey and Bert. As it stands, they just feel into place exactly the way you expect based on their personalities.
The best thing about the book? Old Hollywood. Meissner painted it exactly the way I imagine old Hollywood to be. I was absolutely giddy when reading the descriptions of the filming of the burning of Atlanta and the massive casualty scene in the town square. I loved the details, many of which I knew, about the filming.
Of course, the Golden Age of Hollywood did not last forever and because the characters fell flat for me, in the end I did not enjoy Stars Over Sunset Boulevard. There needed to be more character development for the relationships to be believable and a better connection between the object and person(s) causing the strife. As it stands, the story is a predictable romance peppered with memories of time gone by.
Winter was everything I wanted it to be. It was the perfect series ender. There was tension and love, sadness and happiness. Everything seemed so perfWinter was everything I wanted it to be. It was the perfect series ender. There was tension and love, sadness and happiness. Everything seemed so perfectly balanced. I sped through 800+ pages in a little over two days and when I was finished, I wanted to read it all again. The entire series. I am a #LunarticForLife.
What I find most amazing about this final book is that all the characters were given somewhat equal time. Everyone, from Cinder to Torin, is brought together in this final book. The storyline isn’t muddled. Everyone still maintains their own voice, their own thoughts, their own personalities. I was amazed. Floored that someone wasn’t shuttled to corner and left out. Everyone played a part in the Revolution.
I did read the book with a bit of a heavy heart. I started it on the Friday night of the Paris attacks. As the news of the terror was broadcast, I was reading about Earth being attacked by mutant wolves and how Earth wasn’t prepared for war because they had been at peace for so long. What a beautiful dream, right? As a diverse cast of characters fought to save their respective homelands from a vicious ruler, I couldn’t help but be hopeful that perhaps someday, like in Winter, we could work together to destroy those who terrorize us.
book review winter marissa meyer><script async src= My copy of Winter is studded with post-its marking my favorite quotes. In fact, I considered making my review a list of my favorite quotes and the text, “I LOVED IT! READ IT NOW!” However, I thought perhaps my fans would want a bit more detail on why Winter is worth reading. This series sits near the top of my list of fairy tale retellings. The women are strong. The storyline is compelling. The world (as is the case with strong science fiction and fantasy) is a reflection of our own. I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to read this entire series again once I acquire all the books. (Note to my family and friends who are still out Christmas shopping, I need Cinder and Scarlet in hardcover yet.)
If you haven’t attempted to read The Lunar Chronicles yet, I encourage you to do so. Don’t let your fear of trying science fiction scare you away from these books. I’m almost certain that once you finish Cinder you will see a reflection of yourself in the key players in this story and want to continue on to the bittersweet end.