Succubus Blues is an interesting take on an underground demon culture living in our world - starring a succubus who hates to be a succubus. Right off...moreSuccubus Blues is an interesting take on an underground demon culture living in our world - starring a succubus who hates to be a succubus. Right off that bat it intrigued me.
Some things were rather predictable - I had the "bad guy" pegged pretty early on. I wasn't entirely sure what his story was, but I knew he was sketchy.
The majority of the steamy bits from Succubus Blues are flashbacks to Georgina's mortal life. I thought this was a clever way to include scenes that romance readers look for while still giving Georgina's relationship insecurity room to exist.
The Rose Garden was a beautiful read and one of my favorites so far this year, but it falls just short of a really fantastic 5 stars.
I loved the senti...moreThe Rose Garden was a beautiful read and one of my favorites so far this year, but it falls just short of a really fantastic 5 stars.
I loved the sentiment behind Eva's story, the exploration of love and family and what it means to loose someone. As Daniel so eloquently puts it, "Whatever time we have," he said, "it will be time enough."
The characters were all well-developed and interesting. The twist at the end was amazing and, although I saw part of it coming, the revelation wasn't at all what I expected. There were several touching moments that were thisclose to bringing on the tears.
The only thing keeping me from giving this five stars was the romance. During the first half of the book I was impressed with the slow building relationship, but towards the end I felt like it got to a point where the romance had to happen to tie up the book so there it is. Because of the way the time travel works in The Rose Garden, there is little time outside of the narrative for Eva and Daniel to get to know each other and it just felt rushed.
I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Kearsley's books!(less)
I loved the alternate history world that Meljean Brook created in The Iron Duke, so I was excited to finally get back into this series.
In The Iron Du...moreI loved the alternate history world that Meljean Brook created in The Iron Duke, so I was excited to finally get back into this series.
In The Iron Duke, Yasmeen threw Archimedes Fox off of her airship after he tried to take it from her, so I was really curious about how their relationship was going to get from that to the kind of relationship that always happens with the two characters named on the back of a romance novel. I was not disappointed.
Neither Yasmeen nor Archimedes are typical romance characters, but they totally fit here and I love how their characters play off each other. (less)
I can't believe I never reviewed this, oops! This was the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout read for September and I surprisingly enjoyed it.
The stories in this...moreI can't believe I never reviewed this, oops! This was the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout read for September and I surprisingly enjoyed it.
The stories in this collection vary A LOT. Some of them horrorific, some are romance-y, and some of them are just... weird. It did, however, inspire me to check out some real Lovecraft, so that's on my TBR tower now. (less)
It is rare that a book literally makes me laugh aloud and I laughed my way through this book. I absolutely adore the characters and the sense of humor...moreIt is rare that a book literally makes me laugh aloud and I laughed my way through this book. I absolutely adore the characters and the sense of humor that Kevin Hearne has. Definitely looking forward to more in this series!(less)
We3 is a fascinating read that explores the humanity (or lack there of) of using specially trained animals in place of human soldiers. Each of the ani...moreWe3 is a fascinating read that explores the humanity (or lack there of) of using specially trained animals in place of human soldiers. Each of the animals has their own personality which really makes you feel for them.
No only that but there are some stunning and innovative visuals! There are some very interesting scenes which are laid out to mirror the way in which animals see and process time. My favorite scene is a 108 panel sequence that mimics the view a security guard might have through cameras monitoring different physical areas at all the same time.
It reminded me a lot of Laika, so if you enjoyed that graphic novel you will probably like We3. Although, be forewarned that We3 is exceptionally more violent and graphic!
I read this book for a challenge where I needed to read an anthology of short stories. I don't remember how I stumbled across it, but I'm almost posit...moreI read this book for a challenge where I needed to read an anthology of short stories. I don't remember how I stumbled across it, but I'm almost positive I decided to read it because it was available for free on Goodreads. But I'm so glad I did.
Other Sides is a speculative fiction collection that includes fantasy, science fiction, vampires, time travel and more. Some are clever short stories and others are prologues or excerpts of the authors' bigger webfiction stories.
I definitely picked up a few new authors who I'll be following and reading in the near future. I definitely recommend this if you're looking for a quick read and for some new authors! (less)
The Golem and the Jinni is a great unexpected story about two supernatural creatures trying to find their place in turn-of-the-century New York.
I real...moreThe Golem and the Jinni is a great unexpected story about two supernatural creatures trying to find their place in turn-of-the-century New York.
I really enjoyed it, but didn't love it. I can't think of a single thing wrong with it, except for the fact that it left me wanting for something. I can't put my finger on what it was lacking, but there was definitely something missing for me.(less)
Audiobook: If you're looking for a good free audiobook version of A Princess of Mars, I can't recommend this LibriVox recording by Mark Nelson enough....moreAudiobook: If you're looking for a good free audiobook version of A Princess of Mars, I can't recommend this LibriVox recording by Mark Nelson enough. He was a fantastic performer, and I wish he had recorded more of the Barsoom books, because I would definitely continue on with the series in audio version if he had.
On the Novel: I picked up A Princess of Mars because John Carter was coming to theaters and I don't like to watch the movie before I read the book. It's definitely not the science fiction we're accustomed to these days - it's more of an adventure story that happens to take place on another world, the science isn't as believable or well-thought out as more modern science fiction. But overall, I really enjoyed it and will continue with the series... eventually.(less)
There isn't much I can say about Goliath that I haven't already said about Leviathan or Behemoth, other than to say that it was a great conclusion to...moreThere isn't much I can say about Goliath that I haven't already said about Leviathan or Behemoth, other than to say that it was a great conclusion to the series.
The series has a great setting and I would love to see more books set in the world Westerfeld has created, though I unfortunately don't see that happening.(less)
I had fun with Leviathan Wakes. I liked that the novel was light in terms of science-fiction; it had enough of a realistic...moreAudiobook Review at the end.
I had fun with Leviathan Wakes. I liked that the novel was light in terms of science-fiction; it had enough of a realistic base that it seemed plausible, but not enough that you felt inundated with scientific jargon. Not that I don't like a heavier science fiction book - but it was a nice change of pace.
I did, however, struggle with the pacing throughout the book. It started off slow, ramped up to a head-to-head conflict with the "middle-man" of bad, then lulled while the characters spent time in their space station while waiting to come up with a plan to finally take on the major threat of the novel.
The novel is no great feat of literature. The dialogue is bloated with he and she saids, and the language is pretty basic. I like an easy read, so this wasn't a turn-off for me - but if may be for others.
I'm not rushing to read the next in the series, but I am definitely interested and will add it to my to-read list.
I was not impressed with the audiobook version of this novel. The narration was slow and I had to up the speed to 1.25x in order to make it feel like a natural reading of the novel. The narrator had a way of drawing things out when it didn't seem necessary. I definitely will not be listening to the next book in this series, though I may pick it up in book form.(less)
Early on, I was fairly certain it would be a 5 star read for me, but the end didn't quite cut it.
The main idea of the story...moreAudiobook Notes at the End
Early on, I was fairly certain it would be a 5 star read for me, but the end didn't quite cut it.
The main idea of the story is very similar to Flowers for Algernon. Lou Arrendale is high-functioning autistic in a near future where an experimental treatment is being developed that will reverse the effects of autism in adults (children in this near future have been treated and "cured" in utero).
The author did a great job of representing a wide variety of characters throughout the book. Lou's voice is distinct from the non-autistic characters in the book, appropriately focusing on specific descriptions and sensory observations instead of dialogue. The supporting characters represent a wide range of attitudes towards autistic people, from supportive and understanding friends to others who misunderstand or pity them.
The science fiction part of this book is extremely light. The biggest science fiction moment is advanced treatments for diseases. Briefly mentioned are solar powered cars, space-based employment and advanced global warming.
The only downside of the book was that the ending seemed rather abrupt and too cleanly tied up, I would have liked to see it fleshed out a bit more.
Audiobook Notes: Jay Snyder put on a decent performance, nothing overly groundbreaking but entertaining. There were places where the audiobook was difficult to follow and I would recommend a text version. My biggest issue was in distinguishing Lou's inner and outer dialogue. Lou is constantly thinking about what is said and translating speech idioms into his own words before responding. The audiobook often made it difficult to tell what was his inner dialogue and what he was saying in conversation.(less)
If my reading of this book hadn't stretched into the wee hours of the morning, I easily could have listened to the whole thing in one sitting. I was p...moreIf my reading of this book hadn't stretched into the wee hours of the morning, I easily could have listened to the whole thing in one sitting. I was pleasantly surprised with the book, definitely worth the read and will read more by Courtney Milan.
The story was extremely character driven, with wonderfully developed and deeply complex characters. The relationship between Ash and Margaret is also fantastically built and I found it refreshing to read about a hero who is willing to wait for the lady to come to him. No alpha male stereotype here.
Note: This is a review of the audiobook, my notes on the narrators are at the end.
Boneshaker is one of the more creative novels I've read recently - t...moreNote: This is a review of the audiobook, my notes on the narrators are at the end.
Boneshaker is one of the more creative novels I've read recently - tying together zombies, dirigibles, mad scientists, steampunk weaponry and an overall western feel takes skill to do right, and Priest definitely delivered in her world building.
The story kept me on my toes. I was never entirely sure what Dr. Blue's fate was. I thought I knew and then something would change my mind - something that happened many times throughout the book.
There was a very fun cast of secondary characters, all with their own personality quirks.
I'm interested to see how Priest continues to build her Clockwork Century world, and will be continuing with the series.
Audiobook Review The audiobook was narrated by Kate Reading (Briar's POV) and Wil Wheaton (Zeke's POV). I really enjoyed Wil Wheaton's reading on Zeke's point of view, but Kate Reading left me wanting more and she didn't quite seem to fit with the world as well as Wheaton did.
As I read through some other reviews, I note that some people complain that they couldn't connect to the main characters or didn't really care about them. I didn't feel this way, and I think the audiobook may have helped lend to that emotion that others didn't feel while reading. (less)
Using the cross-dressing trope to get Harriet to find herself again really worked for me, her self-discovery seemed more genuine than Poppy's.
I did think Strange's attraction to Harriett/Harry was a bit, well, strange. His mindset seemed to be something along the lines of "I think this guy is attractive, I must be turning gay in my old age."
I'm also really starting to like Isidore and Villers, looking forward to their books! (less)
There are so many interesting things in Promise of Blood and I give a lot of credit to McClellan for being able to b...moreNotes on the audiobook at the end.
There are so many interesting things in Promise of Blood and I give a lot of credit to McClellan for being able to blend sorcery and gunpowder. The Power Mages are mages who get a steroidal effect from the ingestion of gunpowder and can use magic to control bullets (nudge them a bit if their target moves, keep them flying for longer distances than should be possible, etc). It was a very interesting and unique concept that really drew me in from the beginning. But the Powder Mages aren't the only great thing in this novel.
The world-building was superb. The world has a very rich history that was revealed to us naturally, as opposed to an information dump. There are a lot of conflicts going on in this story - the oncoming war with Kez (a neighboring country), the internal conflicts of Adro, and the conflicts between characters - and I thought they were all weaved together elegantly.
The PoV characters include Tamas, the aged powder mage Field Marshall who leads the coup against his king; Taniel, a skilled powder mage and the estranged son of Tamas; and Adamat, a retired inspector. I thought the three stories were crafted and fit together well, especially because they were three very different PoV.
I also have to say that I admired McClellan's ability to make this book stand on it's own while still being part of a much larger trilogy. I often find when reading shorter series that the books don't stand well on their own - you finish one book and you're left with a disappointing feeling and far too many questions. There are definitely some ongoing conflicts, unanswered questions and a pretty major cliffhanger; but overall I was satisfied with the book on it's own.
Promise of Blood has a bit of everything in it - politics, mystery, fantasy, gods, religion, war, poverty, money, power, traitors, sorcery - but it all fits. I'm definitely looking forward to the next in the series which, unfortunately, will not be out until February.
The audiobook was narrated by Christian Rodska. It was pretty decent and I did love his Tamas, but I felt like Tamas and Adamat could have had more of a separation. I was also a bit weirded out by some of the accents. Most of the main characters have a British accent (some more 'proper' and others closer to the Cockney accent), but a few of them had accents which were closer to an Irish or Scottish accent. I'm not sure if that was a distinction intended by the author or if it was just a way to distinguish characters, but given that the characters in question were all from the same country, it seemed odd to me. (less)