It’s rare that I take a break from reading YA and MG, but I couldn’t say no when SOriginally posted at Esape Through the Pages with a 4.5 star rating.
It’s rare that I take a break from reading YA and MG, but I couldn’t say no when Savvy Fox offered me an e-ARC of Jillianne Hamilton’s MOLLY MIRANDA: THIEF FOR HIRE and I am SO glad I said yes! It’s a short read, at only around 150 pages, but still. I was planning to read it in bits and pieces as a break from lesson planning and correcting. Instead, I sat down to start reading and didn’t put it down until I had hit 100% read. I read through lunch and was starving, but it was so worth it.
Molly Miranda is a professional thief. She’s hired by a middle-man (or in this case, woman) to steal items for clients. Of course, or good-looking nice-guy roommate things her parents own a ski resort and pay for her gorgeous NYC apartment, but what are a few lies between roommates? Nthing, until things heat up between them! Of course, we can’t be good chick lit with the sexy, kind-of-a-dick at first professional thief she’s hired to do an assignment with. Rhys is all charm and Scottish accent, with a head for stealing and gadgets. But he’s not the nicest in the beginning. He flips attitudes pretty fast, but it fits. Thankfully, this book is not a full on crazy love-triangle or I might not have liked it as much! I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, thieving, car chasing and gun-slinging going on in MOLLY MIRANDA: THIEF FOR HIRE. It kept me on my toes and turning pages!
Molly is definitely the best part of this book. Boys, guns and cars aside, we spend the book in Molly’s head and it’s awesome. She’s a smart (but not good at geography), sarcastic, kind narrator who loves to steal and get paid for it. She tries the 9-5 thing and it does not go well. She has boy troubles, enemies, a best friend who’s not as straight in business (or in love, which was awesome) as you’d first expect when Molly mentions her, and a dad who can order a hit. Kind of awesome! I would have loved to read another 100 pages of Molly’s thieving ways and am hoping for a sequel!...more
Deborah Coates’ debut novel WIDE OPEN will leave you rushing to turn the pages too fast as you try to work out the mystery surrounding Hallie MichaelsDeborah Coates’ debut novel WIDE OPEN will leave you rushing to turn the pages too fast as you try to work out the mystery surrounding Hallie Michaels’ sister Dell’s death. This book was un-put-downable. Not a word, I know, but I devoured this chilly ghost story in one sitting and was constantly kept on the edge of my seat trying to put all the pieces together.
Hallie has arrived back Stateside on compassionate leave from the army after learning of her sister’s death. She exits the plane with ghost in tow, and is soon joined by a second – the ghost of her sister, Dell. Rumoured to be suicide, Hallie is stubborn and clings to the belief that her sister would never commit suicide. She has only ten days to figure out her sister’s death, and there are more threads to the case than she thinks she can ever put together. Add to that the strange storms and lightening that are plaguing her Prairie home, the ghosts of missing girls that keep appearing, and a handsome Deputy Sheriff that has the knack of popping up in the right place at the right time (or the right place at the wrong time, if you ask Hallie), and Hallie feels her ten days slipping through her fingers.
Hallie is stubborn, capable and determined. She doesn’t need to rely on anyone else to do what needs doing, but she’s not too proud to eventually accept help when she needs it. Her sister has died and she’s determined to figure out what happened, and she keeps that determination throughout everything that happens to her over the course of the book. Deborah Coates’ writing drags you into the story with vivid description and emotion. The descriptions of the cold ghosts, the fire that’s plaguing the prairie and Hallie’s thoughts at these times are tingling and so vivid. And our deputy sheriff! Deborah does a great job in keeping you wondering if he’s involved or not. He’s so mysterious!
WIDE OPEN by Deborah Coates is a murder mystery with ghosts and magic wrapped up in it. I loved working through the mystery of Dell’s death with Hallie. Though it’s one of those book where you’re pretty sure you know who done it, the little details and clues that Hallie finds along the way pointing her in the right direction were often complete surprises – until she finds it, and you’re like “ohhh, should have seen that coming!” Although sometimes it felt like she found her clues a little too easily, the end result is that there are people involved that were a bit sloppy, and Hallie is a smart woman that takes everything she’s given and runs with it. WIDE OPEN is a wonderful debut that will keep you ready long into the night and checking over your shoulder for ghosts every time you feel a chill in the air.
It is all to easy to imagine the near-future world in Tobias S. Buckell’s ARCTIC RISING. The Polar ice cap has all but melted and the Arctic has openeIt is all to easy to imagine the near-future world in Tobias S. Buckell’s ARCTIC RISING. The Polar ice cap has all but melted and the Arctic has opened up as a shipping lane, place to live and work, and of course – oil. Anika usually has a fairly easy job of monitoring shipping through the Arctic waters from her airship, until the day she looks a bit closer at a ship showing radioactive readings and is shot out of the sky. What follows begins as a simple need to find out why and quickly becomes a rush to save more than just herself, but the Arctic and the world.
ARCTIC RISING is almost non-stop action from the beginning to the end. Spanning only a few days, Anika’s airship is shot out of the sky, she finds herself in a fight for her life, flees her home and work, is captured, escapes engages in numerous shootouts and oh yea, is entirely too close to a nuclear bomb for her comfort. But even with this amount of action and running around, Tobias S. Buckell still manages to flesh out his characters and allow you to connect with them. I think the main aspect I really liked about this book is Anika. She’s a strong, capable, independent woman. She fights for what she believes in and those she loves, and can handle her own when it comes to the tough stuff. At any time she could have easily given up and given in, but she doesn’t. She keeps going and sees it through to the end. Oh! And, Anika happens to be a lesbian. Best part? She just is. There’s no big reveal or major plot revolving around this fact, her orientation is just one more aspect to her character and it’s wonderful.
I do have to admit that I was a little confused at times as to who were the bad guys and who were the good guys, but I’m thinking it’s supposed to be that way. Anika herself is often unsure as to who’s on her side, and whose side she’s on, and the plot reflects that, though it can be distracting trying to keep it all straight. I think I may have also enjoyed the book more (though I did enjoy it quite a bit) with a different writing style. The writing is good, don’t get me wrong, there were just some turns of phrase and sentences that seemed a big awkward to me, although they may not to another reader.
ARCTIC RISING is a fast-paced fire fight through the Arctic ice and cold. Books that have a plot rooted in possibility are always a bit more heart-pounding than complete science fiction, for the simple fact that such a future is scary to imagine and yet may very well be reality and sooner than we may think. The ideas presented by Tobias S. Buckell for reversing global warming are intriguing and I can’t help but wonder if, it ever came down to such a drastic change in weather and climate, would something like it be attempted? While ARCTIC RISING may be an intense action-adventure, it’s completely thought-provoking as well, and a science fiction that takes place in a not so distant future.
I highly enjoyed this anthology of Steampunk romances! Each short story was wonderfully unique and well written, and they worked well together to creaI highly enjoyed this anthology of Steampunk romances! Each short story was wonderfully unique and well written, and they worked well together to create a tapestry of elements in the Steampunk genre.
DEAD OF NIGHT has everything I could want in a zombie book. I was kept up late at night reading and I may have even had a zombie dream or two, not gonDEAD OF NIGHT has everything I could want in a zombie book. I was kept up late at night reading and I may have even had a zombie dream or two, not gonna lie. Zombies are my thing right now – I’m fascinated by them. Mostly because there is no one right way to write about a zombie. Fast or slow, virus or spell, intelligent or brain dead, there are so many possibilities. Jonathan Maberry’s zombies are just how I like them, though – shuffling, brain-dead, why-won’t-they-just-die cannibals. From a virus. Always a plus!
DEAD OF NIGHT actually takes place over a very short amount of time…only about twenty-four hours from first bite. And rather than be a story about a global apocalypse (though I do love those), the twenty-four hours showcase how and where the dreaded zombie apocalypse could start. Who would ever think it would be in small town America? From the moment our two main character cops Dez and JT come across the first risen bite victim, I started a body count – and that body count rose quickly. There are blood, guts and body parts galore, and that brief moment when you as the reader know that “there are zombies behind you, oh my god,” and want to yell at the unsuspecting cops to aim for the head!
Besides my obvious love for the zombies, I do still need some purposeful story to keep me entertained, and Jonathan Maberry delivers. Officer Desdemona (Dez) Fox is a kick-ass female lead who is brash, ballsy and one of those people you’re not sure you like right away but come to appreciate when it comes right down to it. Dez may not always be the best or nicest person, but she’s a good cop and by the end of the book I was cheering for her so hard. And her partner, JT Hammond…oh man, I don’t want to give anything away but…JT. An older cop, he’s still able to hold his own and blow away some zombies. Dez and JT compliment each other really well in temperament. He’s cool and collected, she’s loud and anxious. One of the other main characters of note – besides the serial killer who starts it all, Homer Gibbon – is Billy Trout, local news-reporter and on-again-off-again boyfriend of one Dez Fox. Billy’s character is our way of finding out the back story to the zombie apocalypse and his sections flow really well with Dez’s parts. We get some insight into Homer Gibbon, and the doctor that infected him with the virus. The voices in this book are all so unique and well written, but the best one? The zombie point of view. I was so excited to read parts from one of the first zombies, Doc Hartnup (mortician who accepted Homer Gibbon’s “body” into the funeral home). His thoughts are so intense, and really make you feel for the zombie.
DEAD OF NIGHT is a zombie novel that is about more than just the zombies. Jonathan Maberry’s take on how a zombie virus could come about is in-depth, well thought out and I’d believe it. Why not? There are odder ways for a zombie apocalypse to start! Characterization and writing drags you in and keeps you running for your life while zombies and the military are hot on your heels. I really enjoyed the glimpses into his idea of how the government would respond to a viral outbreak with an almost 100% infection rate. Everything in this book comes to a deliciously intense ending that had me gripping the book, afraid someone would make me put it down in the middle of such an intense scene. And the very end…dude. That’s all I have to say. Love. If you like your zombies definitely dead and gory, your book with substance and don’t mind leaking emotions all over the place, DEAD OF NIGHT is for you. Go read it.
THE BOOK OF AWESOME is, for lack of a better word, awesome. A collection of ideas of things that are awesome, each heading is followed by a small descTHE BOOK OF AWESOME is, for lack of a better word, awesome. A collection of ideas of things that are awesome, each heading is followed by a small description of exactly why that thing is awesome. My favourite? Illegal naps! There’s nothing better than taking a nap when you know you probably shouldn’t, but it feels so good anyway.
The anecdotes are quite humerous, or touching, and some just make you shake your head smiling, knowing that yes indeed, that thing is certainly awesome (laughing so hard it’s silent, anyone? Yea, it’s awesome). Some are things I never even thought about, but once it’s put into print you realize that it certainly is pretty awesome – like high fiving babies, or the moment at a concert before the band comes on stage.
This book doesn’t need to be read in one sitting, or even in order! Start in the middle, or the back. Read a few at a time, all at once, when you need a pick-me-up, or just because. Everyone deserves to have a little something awesome in their lives, and this book delivers it!...more
The fourth book in the series, THE CHRISMAS PROMISE, is just as well written and heart-warming as book three (the only other one I’ve read :P ).
The stThe fourth book in the series, THE CHRISMAS PROMISE, is just as well written and heart-warming as book three (the only other one I’ve read :P ).
The story takes place in the same town as the others, though the only recurring character is the doctor, Nathan. Gloria is a great character, she’s a good neighbour, kind to everyone and extremely loving. She’s lonely, though, since her husband died and youngest son disappeared. But, since it’s a Christmas story, everything works out for Gloria in the end! The secondary characters were quite integral to the plot, and I loved Nathan’s little cameo.
Donna VanLiere’s series is a wonderful addition to any holiday story collection! ...more
THE CHRISTMAS HOPE is book three in a series, but it’s not necessary to read the books in order (obviously, I didn’t). Each once stand by itself as aTHE CHRISTMAS HOPE is book three in a series, but it’s not necessary to read the books in order (obviously, I didn’t). Each once stand by itself as a wonderful story of the miracle of Christmas.
Patricia Addison is a social worker who hasn’t celebrated Christmas for the past four years, and is slowly losing the connection she had with her husband. After she breaks a rule and brings home foster child Emily for the holidays, she and her husband Mark are thrown back together in the desire to make this the best Christmas for Emily. It is through Emily that Patricia re-discovers the magic of Christmas, and the love that comes from being around family during the holiday season. It’s through Emily that she and Mark re-connect and learn to live again.
Donna VanLiere writes wonderful Christmas stories. This one is full of so much love and hope, and the magic of Christmas. I found myself cheering for Patricia and her family, and even though you know that everything will turn out again and that Patricia and Mark will adopt Emily (it is a Christmas story, after all), you still can’t help but be anxious for them. The story just invokes such a sense of warmth and fuzzy Christmas feelings in the reader. Patricia starts out the book as a fairly broken character, who has lost the love of Christmas and is losing her marriage. Through her social work, and the holiday magic floating in the air (plus, some help from her wonderful co-worker), Patricia manages to completely turn her life around and re-kindle the spirit she had long ago lost. And Emily is just the cutest kid ever. You really feel for her situation and just want everything to work out perfect. Thankfully, this is a Christmas book, so everything does!...more
Although not my usual style of novel, I quite enjoyed YOU comma IDIOT. Usually I’d summarize the book in my own words here, but the blurb from the bacAlthough not my usual style of novel, I quite enjoyed YOU comma IDIOT. Usually I’d summarize the book in my own words here, but the blurb from the back of the book does a pretty good job of describing the plot. The story is very much Lee’s life. Told from a first person POV that utilizes ‘you’ instead of ‘I’, the reader is sucked in to the ins and outs of Lee’s slowly wasting away adulthood. And Lee himself? What a character. A genuine normal guy (albeit one who sells drugs, is a handyman in a renovated warehouse turned apartment and sleeps with his best friend’s girl), Lee has a very pragmatic and sometimes cynical outlook on life. He’s incredibly harsh on himself, doesn’t always make the right decisions and skirts the law, but he’s a good guy.
While I may not have completely loved the book (though it’s a good story), I did love Doug Harris’ writing style. I can tell you right now, it was his prose and writing style that kept me sucked in and reading. It’s an incredibly well written novel, with smooth prose (even with some shorter sentences), good description, emotion and pacing, and has a very real and raw feel about it. The mystery surrounding Henry and the missing girl was done wonderfully, Lee’s emotions about Honey – his best friend’s girl – and his decisions regarding selling drugs and maybe getting a job come across loud and clear. YOU comma IDIOT is a book about life choices, events and the hassles of bad decisions....more