Memory Zero is a rerelease of Keri Arthur's Spook Squad series.
Set in Melbourne, Australia the book follows Detective Samantha Ryan after she shoots...moreMemory Zero is a rerelease of Keri Arthur's Spook Squad series.
Set in Melbourne, Australia the book follows Detective Samantha Ryan after she shoots and kills her partner of 5 years Jack Kazdan. Only he's not really dead. And Sam has been suspended. And...Sam seems to have some special abilities she was not aware of.
Enter Gabriel Stern of the Special Investigations Unit, a part of a covert group called the Federation and also known as Spook Squad. Gabriel is investigating the case and sees that Sam is unique, something that has not been seen in over 50 years. Sam is interested in proving her innocence - and she likes to work alone - just like Gabriel.
I don't know. It was really hard to stick with this book. I had difficulty connecting to either Sam or Gabriel. Sam played the TSTL card often and took some unnecessary risks with her life. Gabriel was just too secretive for me to fully enjoy the book.
I've got to hand it to Jack. Jack was probably one of the most annoying villains I've encountered in a while.
I felt that the plot could have been better developed, perhaps giving the reader a little more information about the paranormals from the start, rather than making us wonder why the characters were so important.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Dell for a review copy of this book.(less)
Initial Thoughts Fans of James Stark will love this latest installment of the Sandman Slim series. It's raining in LA and the population is leaving th...moreInitial Thoughts Fans of James Stark will love this latest installment of the Sandman Slim series. It's raining in LA and the population is leaving the city in droves. All that's left are the Lurkers, the Golden Vigil, and a demented serial killer. This was an amazing romp through a water-logged LA and its parallel world "Downtown." Full of sarcastic wit and attitude, this book rocks!
It is not often that I give 1 star to a book. I usually try to find the good in each book that I read. Even books that I have not finished do n...moreARGHH!
It is not often that I give 1 star to a book. I usually try to find the good in each book that I read. Even books that I have not finished do not get a star rating, that's just how I review. But - this book drove me bonkers and I must highlight the things that drove me crazy.
1)This is a dystopian book along the lines of The Selection (which I haven't had the pleasure of reading, but the synopsis sounds right) and The Handmaid's Tale (of which there is absolutely no comparison).
2)Young women are groomed to become auctioned off as surrogates to the wealthy and privileged royalty of this world. They are given a lot number and dressed up in spectacular gowns and costumes and sold to the highest bidder. Sounds like slavery to me. Oh, the girls are never referred to by their names, only lot numbers.
3)The women are treated like pets by their "owners." They are led about on a leash, told what to eat, what to do, and how to behave. Good behavior is rewarded, bad behavior is punished.
4)There's a lot of invasive medical testing with our main character being drugged, poked, and prodded way too many times.
5)Too much emphasis is placed on the beautiful dresses and gowns and balls. The reality is that this is a race to produce a super baby.
6)There is a much more sinister aspect to this whole baby making process. Surrogates are told that once they produce a child, they will go on and retire in another part of this world. Wonder if that's true? Also, there is work to lobotomize the surrogates so they would just have a breeding womb available. Gross!
7)The writing is weak. The story is told in first person POV, so we only know what Violet is doing or thinking. See my status updates for an example.
8)Love triangle - is there or isn't there? Can't tell you for sure. Our heroin falls in love with a character, who is the love interest of another.
9)Cliffhanger - If you hang on until the end, you'll be treated to a surprise cliffhanger.
I'm sure that there will be plenty of people who will enjoy this book. For me, it was not a pleasant read. Read at your own risk.
Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for a review copy of this book.
Initial Thoughts: This is one of the best young adult books that I've read this year. Written in the first person point of view of the main character...moreInitial Thoughts: This is one of the best young adult books that I've read this year. Written in the first person point of view of the main character Anika Dragomir, we get a glimpse of life in small town Nebraska through the eyes of a 15 year old girl who is near the top of the popularity pyramid. Anika has the same worries as everyone else and her life is dictated by the evil queen bee Becky. Only Anika has a mind of her own, a conscience, and she has empathy for others, and much to the chagrin of Becky, she has the hottest guy after her. Anika has a wonderful sense of humor and her observations had me chuckling throughout. Full review to come.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for a review copy of this book.(less)
Initial Thoughts: This was a really fun book to read and I was not aware that this is a spinoff from the author's Spooks series. (By the way, there is...moreInitial Thoughts: This was a really fun book to read and I was not aware that this is a spinoff from the author's Spooks series. (By the way, there is a movie coming out in January 2015, so read them now, the movie looks like an action packed adventure!) Anyhow, back to the book - I had no idea what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. Tom is the seventh son of a seventh son and because of this, he has some abilities. He is now the Chipenden spook and he is on his own. He guards his country against ghosts, ghasts, boggarts, witches, and other things that go bump in the night. The story is told from two points of view - Tom and his apprentice Jenny. The story is captivating and I almost read it in one sitting. It's a lot of fun and should appeal to young adult readers and up. Full review to come...(less)
This book had a promising start, then it rapidly descended into a slog of a read.
A few days shy of her 17th birthday, Eveny Cheval is whisked away fr...moreThis book had a promising start, then it rapidly descended into a slog of a read.
A few days shy of her 17th birthday, Eveny Cheval is whisked away from her life in Brooklyn, NY and taken to the walled and gated town of Carrefour, Louisiana. The town is odd - those in the periphery live an impoverished life while those in the center of town live a life of luxury. Eveny is surprised to find out that she is the owner of a large mansion in the town.
Enter The Dolls. The Dolls are a vapid, materialistic, shallow twosome named Peregrine and Chloe and together they use Zandara to conjure up their wealth and the good things in life. They are the most popular girls at school and have their minions providing them with blinis, caviar, champagne and other drinks for their school lunches daily. Turns out that Eveny is supposed to be one of them.
Here's my problem with this book: It had a good start and an intriguing gothic atmosphere. Then, it just got ridiculous. First of all, Aunt Bea moves Eveny in the middle of the year to a new town, new school, new everything - then becomes an absentee parent figure. Next, we have a love interest, but he avoids Eveny because as her protector, he is not allowed to have a relationship with her. Then we have some mysterious group called the Main de Lumiere who send an operative to kill Eveny - and that was way too easy to figure out who it was. So much time was spent on clothes, hair, cars, and other materialistic things and these were the girls who were to keep the town protected? Also when Eveny's estranged father shows up, she just accepts that he was there for her even though she had not ever met him.
Not sure if I can recommend this. It is a quick read so that's a plus.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Balzer and Bray for a review copy of this book.(less)
I tried. This book just did not hold my interest. First of all, if your character is dead, how can they possibl...moreThis is a DNF (did not finish review).
I tried. This book just did not hold my interest. First of all, if your character is dead, how can they possibly feel pain? Second, what's with all the cats? (Nice tie in to the title....) Third, I don't think I can take a book with high school angst right now.
Some readers may enjoy this book. Sadly, it wasn't for me.
Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for a review copy of this book.(less)
Initial Thoughts: So sad to see this series come to an end. The Hollows series was my first foray into the world of urban fantasy and because of that...moreInitial Thoughts: So sad to see this series come to an end. The Hollows series was my first foray into the world of urban fantasy and because of that series, I've discovered so many other wonderful authors. So thank you Kim Harrison for writing such a wonderful series. It was so nice to revisit my favorite characters and to see how much Rachel has grown and matured throughout the series. I'll miss you Rachel Morgan. And...I'll miss Al, Newt, Jenks, Trent, Ivy, Bis, and the rest of the gang.
Oh, by the way - why only 4 stars and not 5? Well, I had the ARC copy provided by Edelweiss and Harper Voyager and my copy had the epilogue redacted, with a note from the author. That was diabolical of you, Ms. Harrison! Full review to come...(less)
Initial Thoughts: What an interesting read - I really had difficulty putting the book down. This is the first time I've read anything by Susan Elia Ma...moreInitial Thoughts: What an interesting read - I really had difficulty putting the book down. This is the first time I've read anything by Susan Elia MacNeal and it certainly won't be my last. I loved the backdrop of WWII to the story of Maggie Hope, a spy and trainer in the SOE. Maggie is a capable agent, haunted by the events of the previous books (which I must find and read) and I loved reading about her.
The Review: Funny, a few days after I read this book, I watched an episode of The Bletchley Circle. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that series, it is the story of four women who worked at Bletchley Park during WWII. Interestingly enough, there were some parallels with that episode and this book, especially on the topic of biological warfare.
Disclosure - I haven't had the opportunity to read the earlier books in this series so I jumped into this book not knowing anything about Maggie's background. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to enjoy this book. I didn't feel like I missed much although I will definitely go back to the earlier books just because I enjoy this author's writing style.
What caught my attention at first was the inclusion of Commander Ian Fleming discussing spycraft with another character at the beginning of the book. Yes, that Ian Fleming. The man that wrote the James Bone novels. And - get this- he drank a martini, shaken, not stirred. Awesome!
I think I liked this book because I am a sucker for books about women during WWII. Any book which portrays the contribution of women to the war effort is a must read for me. I loved how the author set her story against the historical events leading up to the attacks on Pearl Harbor. But this is not only a historical book - there's also a whodunit murder mystery, too. Nicely done.
As mentioned above, there are several story lines in this book. The story revolves around Maggie Hope who is in Arisaig, Scotland teaching field operatives. She's a tough teacher and rarely calls here students by name. I liked Maggie's character. She's tough, she's bright, and she perseveres. Maggie also has bouts of depression which she seems to hold off through most of the book. The secondary story also revolves around Maggie as she goes off to watch her friend Sarah perform at the ballet. When a ballerina dies, Sarah is accused of murder. Maggie investigates the murder with the tenacity of today's CSI agents. Yet another story line involves the impending attacks on Pearl Harbor and how message intercepts gave the exact dates of the attacks. I was fascinated by the work of the cryptographers who essentially decoded the messages by hand. Imagine doing that today.
The Prime Minister's Secret Agent was an enthralling read. I literally read it in one sitting - I just couldn't put it down. I can't wait to go back to read the earlier books in the series. If you enjoy books about women during WWII, then this may be the book for you.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Bantam Books for a review copy of this book.
Initial Thoughts: An entertaining read and a cute little romance. Loved Charlie's brothers and best bud and all of their shenanigans. A nice, light re...moreInitial Thoughts: An entertaining read and a cute little romance. Loved Charlie's brothers and best bud and all of their shenanigans. A nice, light read.
The Review: What a wonderful, feel good type of read!
On the Fence was a pleasure to read. I had one of those goofy, ear to ear smiles on my face as I was reading this book. Sometimes, all you need is a little light romance to lift your spirits. This is that type of book.
On the Fence focuses on Charlotte (Charlie) Reynolds and her neighbor Braden. Charlie is the youngest in her family, surrounded by her protective older brothers. Charlie is a bit of a tomboy, preferring to play football with the guys and hanging out with them. Braden lives next door, but he is over at Charlies so often that he's kind of like another member of the family.
Charlie lost her mother ten years earlier in a car accident. As a result, Charlie suffers from nightmares and has difficulty sleeping. She runs to exhaustion so that she can sleep through the night without dreams. When Charlie can't sleep, she goes outside and talks to Braden through the fence. This was my favorite part of the book. I liked how Charlie and Braden really knew each other well. Their conversations were interesting and I loved their little facts game that they played.
I really enjoyed this book and I was happy to discover this author. I can't wait to read more books by Kasie West in the future.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Teen for a review copy of this book.(less)
Initial Thoughts: I am really not sure how to rate this book right now. In many ways, it felt like Romeo and Juliet for young adult readers. It's been...moreInitial Thoughts: I am really not sure how to rate this book right now. In many ways, it felt like Romeo and Juliet for young adult readers. It's been so long since I've read the original that I'll need to check and see what was changed. The characters are the same but the story is told from Benvolio's point of view. Anyhow, while I had that deja vu feeling, I still felt compelled to read on.
The Review: I must confess that I read Romeo and Juliet way back in high school. I don't remember all the details and they are probably skewed by the movie versions of the play. I also not sure how to rate this book. I didn't love it nor did I hate it. I did feel strangely compelled to keep reading, staying up late at night and ignoring my family's pleas for dinner.
Yes, Ms. Caine is a very talented writer. Perhaps taking on Romeo and Juliet to create her own Prince of Shadows was a risk. Was it successful? I think so. Again, there was this unexplained compulsion to keep on reading.
The cast of characters are the same as the play. Prince of Shadows is told from Benvolio's point of view. Benvolio is Romeo's cousin and his is charged with protecting Romeo and ensuring that the heir to the Montague fortune doesn't do anything stupid. This is pretty much a hopeless task because Romeo is an idiot. Benvolio also has an alter-ego. He is the Prince of Shadows, a cat burglar who robs from the rich and gives to the poor (with a little bit on the side for himself).
Romeo is your typical spoiled rich boy with not enough to keep him busy and out of trouble. He writes poetry to Rosaline who is a Capulet. I liked Rosaline - she seemed to be the only one with a head on her shoulders.
This book made me want to dig up my copy of Romeo and Juliet to compare Prince of Shadows to the original. Perhaps this is the appeal of this book - it made me want to dig up the classic.
Thank you to Edelweiss and NAL for a review copy of this book.(less)
Initial Thoughts: This was really good, about 4.5 stars with .5 stars deducted for ending too soon, lol. The story is told in alternating first person...moreInitial Thoughts: This was really good, about 4.5 stars with .5 stars deducted for ending too soon, lol. The story is told in alternating first person points of view of the main characters Juneau and Miles. Juneau lives in a small enclave near Denali, Alaska. Miles lives a privileged life in LA. At first, I wondered what the two could possibly have in common. Then they find each other in Seattle and Miles is conscripted to help Juneau find her clan. Oh, and Juneau is very special so the bad guys are chasing them. Wonderfully written, hard to put down.
The Review: I can't even begin to imagine how I would react if I found out that my whole life was a sham. Personally, I might just curl up into a ball and just check out. Not Juneau, the 17 year old girl at the center of After the End. Juneau is one plucky heroine. She responds by going on a road trip. Let's take a step back - Juneau has lived an isolated existence with her clan in the Denali Forest. When her home (they lived in yurts!) was attacked and her friends and family were kidnapped by marauders (or what appears to be marauders), Juneau vows to find them. Then she discovers that the world is very different from what she thought.
Juneau begins to experience a lot of new things - she's never seen a city before, nor has she ever seen so many people. Despite all of her lack of experience, she is remarkably savvy at surviving and even manages to find her way from Anchorage to Seattle by ferry. Juneau remains one step ahead of her pursuers.
The story is told in alternating points of view. We get to see the world through Juneau's eyes and at first I really felt like I was reading a totally different story. All the things that we take for granted in our world are new to Juneau. The second point of view is that of Miles Blackwell, the son of the big pharma company that is pursuing Juneau. Miles lives the life of a privileged rich boy and he keeps getting himself into trouble. He believes that if he helps his father find the missing girl, he will gain favor in his father's eyes. When I first started reading, I couldn't see how these two points of view fit together. It really felt like two different stories and two different worlds.
This is a fun story where our main characters learn about themselves and begin to question their upbringing. I did enjoy the road trip and how the two learned to work together. There is a mystical aspect to this book and I am looking forward to reading the next installment to see how that pans out.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Teen for a review copy of this book. (less)