I keep going back to re-read this every two months or so and it's always just as funny as the first time. It takes about 20 minutes to read, it's free...moreI keep going back to re-read this every two months or so and it's always just as funny as the first time. It takes about 20 minutes to read, it's free and it's guaranteed to improve your mood. You can download the ebook on Goodreads book page or you can read online here: http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/r...
Go read this, people. It will make your day! (less)
After reading this for the second time, I had to resist the urge to write Ann Aguirre a lengthy fan letter with a bunch of exclamation points (view sp...moreAfter reading this for the second time, I had to resist the urge to write Ann Aguirre a lengthy fan letter with a bunch of exclamation points (view spoiler)[and possibly even a heart or two (hide spoiler)]. I never get tired of her worlds or her characters, nor can I stop admiring the ease with which she pulls me into one of her stories.
Corine Solomon is a handler. She has the gift (or rather the curse) of psychometry: she can see things by touching a charged object. Unfortunately, no matter how many people she helped by using her ability, handling brought her powerful enemies as well so she’s been forced to live in Mexico under a different name for the past eighteen months. To make matters more complicated, she’s also been hiding from her ex-boyfriend and manager Chance, whom she abandoned in the middle of the night after a job gone wrong. Corine is convinced that Chance never loved her the way she needed him to, so when he shows up in her small shop in Mexico and asks her to help him find his missing mother, her first instinct is to run and hide before she gets heartbroken once again. However, Chance’s mother was always kind to her and Corine simply doesn’t have it in her to turn her back on either one of them when they really need her. Instead she chooses to return to the US with Chance, where she is forced to face demons, powerful necromancers, zombies and the scariest thing of all, her ex’s vulnerability.
Corine is not an easy character to love, that’s for sure. She can be petty, vindictive and completely blind to what’s right in front of her. She often made choices that made me want to strangle her with my bare hands. But she’s also smart, unflinchingly loyal and brave, even when she’s at her most vulnerable. Ann Aguirre never writes simple, easily likable characters. Those of you who are familiar with her Sirantha Jax series will remember some of Jax’s actions and know exactly what I’m talking about. But the best thing about that is that it leaves a lot of room for character growth and, even though it takes her a while, she always brings her characters to the point where I admire them completely, possibly even more because I know how they started out. Knowing what I know now, after reading four Corine Solomon books, I can see exactly what she was aiming for at the beginning and what risks she took to make her characters seem more human.
The first time I was reading this (exactly a year ago, thank you, GoodReads) I didn’t know what to make of Chance. He was saying and doing all the right things and I believed him, I did, but there was just something missing, there was an emotional distance present even when he was proclaiming his love for Corine. I guess I understood and liked him better this time around, and I was able to read his actions (or lack thereof) much better. Needless to say, there was a lot of sighing and swooning involved. And then there’s Kel Ferguson (yep, Ferguson, like my Kindle :D). I won’t even try to explain that complicated story, but suffice it to say that he’s one of the most intriguing characters ever and that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him this past year.
I can’t emphasize enough how much I love this series and everything else Aguirre writes. Oh, and did I mention the zombies? :D
It’s a bit hard for me to write this review. I noticed a long time ago that the more thrilled I am with a book (or a movie, for that matter), the less...moreIt’s a bit hard for me to write this review. I noticed a long time ago that the more thrilled I am with a book (or a movie, for that matter), the less likely it is that someone will listen to my recommendation. I’ll keep it short and simple and try not to sound overly enthusiastic.
The first book about Charlie really blew me away, therefore I expected a lot from the second one. It really was fun, fast-paced and emotional, but what ruined it a bit was the relationship between Charlie and Hank. I liked Hank better when he was a normal, fun, reliable and incredibly handsome (off-limits) partner. Now that he is all that + a love interest + an overconfident bastard, I like him considerably less. The whole thing that happens between them (and I won’t go into details) wasn’t believable. And it really should have been. Other than that, I was relieved that Emma wasn’t an active participant this time – I know it’s silly, but I’m someone’s mother, too. I can’t stand even fictional children being put in danger.
I should probably mention there’s a big red circle around August 30th on my calendar. I can’t wait to find out where Charlie will go next. I just hope Hank will go the other way.
I know I said I wouldn’t, but I have to write this: The truth mark on Charlie and Hank is just… stupid! They are bonded and they aren’t able to lie to each other, so they made a pact not to ask personal questions of any kind!? Please! My first question would be about the feelings they have for each other! Besides, the bond thing is so worn out. Charlaine Harris milked that cow long ago. (less)
4.5 stars. Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe we have a winner! Ilona and Andrew have done it again.
I have a plan to save urban fantasy. I’m not a megalom...more4.5 stars. Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe we have a winner! Ilona and Andrew have done it again.
I have a plan to save urban fantasy. I’m not a megalomaniac or anything, I just think that UF needs saving and I care enough to try. Therefore, I’ve developed a cunning plan: I’m going to buy four more copies of this book. The first I’ll send to Jeanine Frost because she was the first of my favorite UF authors to disappoint me this year. (view spoiler)[Hot wax? So not cool! (hide spoiler)] I’ll send the second book to Chloe Neill, though I’m afraid she may already be beyond all hope. The remaining two copies have to be sent to the queen bee herself, our very own Charlaine Harris. She needs to read one and swallow the other like a medicine. Hell, I might even go wild and send a fifth copy to Patricia Briggs, because let’s face it, River Marked really wasn’t all that!
Amazing, amazing, amazing! That’s pretty much all I can say about this book. I especially love that there’s some Slavic mythology thrown into the mix.
Kate aka bunnycakes and her sugar woogums, His Furriness (hey, her words, not mine) are in a world of trouble… again! A secret society known as the Lighthouse Keepers hired a crazy scientist. He's building a device that can wipe out all magic within a four-mile radius. Life without magic isn’t easy for most of our characters, but the much bigger problem is that the device also kills every single magical person. That means the Pack, the People, witches, mages and just about everybody else. It’s basically an atomic bomb for the magical community. In addition to that, the Beast Lord and his Consort (who hates to be called Mate) have other problems: Kate finds out the truth about her mother, which brings out a series of very difficult questions regarding her relationship with Curran, Andrea’s retired and not at all herself, a very important person gets mortally wounded, the boudas are creating more trouble than they’re worth and there’s even a pregnant Alpha in the Keep.
Favorite quote: I could've fallen for someone steady. Dependable. Well-grounded. But nooo, I had to lose my head over this idiot.
After all that, the only thing left to say is: Go read this book. Now! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
When I chose Grave Witch from my to-read list, I did it with a severe lack of enthusiasm. You see, I just finished two (great) Charlie Madigan books,...more When I chose Grave Witch from my to-read list, I did it with a severe lack of enthusiasm. You see, I just finished two (great) Charlie Madigan books, so any book I chose to read next would have to overcome an automatic disadvantage. The truth is, while I admit I was still under Charlie’s influence, I don’t think I would have liked Alex anyway. She doesn’t possess the depths of a real person, and I had the impression that she doesn’t know herself all that well. She is a lost puppy by choice and she doesn’t connect to people very well – not just the men, but her friends as well. I don’t like people that are cold and distant, and Alex is a little bit of both. The second thing that really annoyed me is the city itself. Price didn’t build her world around a real city. I don’t particularly like that, but I can live with it. Instead she created a whole new city and called it Nekros. Oh, come on! Nekros?! That’s the most terrible cliché she could come up with. It most certainly isn’t something I can forgive easily.
But let’s find some good parts or it will seem I hated Grave Witch. I usually don’t like the fae very much (ok, I’m scared to death of them) but I went through the whole book full of fae and witches really relaxed and comfortable. There was a small part in a fae bar that made me get goosebumps all over, but I lived, obviously. I came out of the experience without a permanent damage of any kind. I’ll probably just have bad dreams for a while. The plotline was strong and very interesting – the whole story about a crazy fae killing girls and performing rituals to steal their souls kept me interested to the very end.
I’m still not sure how I feel about Death as a character, and even a love interest. And to be completely honest, Falin is a real bastard - and a mysterious one at that. Plus, another love triangle was so not what I needed. But here I am, marking July 5th on my calendar, waiting impatiently to find out where things will go from here.
Rating this book was a real challenge for me. There was literally nothing wrong with it, and yet I couldn't bring myself to give 4 or 5 stars. It's a...moreRating this book was a real challenge for me. There was literally nothing wrong with it, and yet I couldn't bring myself to give 4 or 5 stars. It's a real page turner, it has tattoos in it (view spoiler)[I have a thing for tattoos - I look like a damn easter egg (hide spoiler)], it didn't have inconsistencies, the characters were all very interesting, there are some pretty good moments and it certainly is different from every other UF I've ever read.
So when there's nothing objectively wrong with a novel, the only thing that remains to be said is whether I liked it or not. But that's a tough one too. I'm not the biggest fan of dark urban fantasy. Anything darker than Kate Daniels or Fever is probably more than I can take. And Anthony Francis writes really dark UF.
On the other (funnier) side, I just couldn't stop thinking about Sonya Tayeh. Dakota looks just like her. Well, except for the moving dragon tattoo. (view spoiler)[ And yes, I've seen every single episode of So you think you can dance. I love it. (hide spoiler)]
To be perfectly honest, the 3 star rating is really gnawing at my conscience. This is the first time I've disliked a book fully aware that the problem is just me. Objectively this book deserves more. It's simply a matter of taste. And as we all know: De gustibus non est disputandum.
Now multiply that feeling of disgust by ten. Or even better, by a hundred. Oookay. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty nauseous here.
If you’ve got it, try thinking of a way to make that feeling and that relationship adorable. You heard me! Adorable. I thought it was impossible too, but I was very wrong. Isaac Marion actually did it.
R is a zombie. He and many others of his kind live in an old airport. A small group goes out regularly to hunt the Living. None of them remember anything from their previous lives, not even their own names. They aren't supposed to have feelings and they don’t speak. Some of them are pretty intelligent and observant, they just can't articulate thoughts into words. Here’s how our R describes them:
Eating is not a pleasant business. I chew off a man’s arm, and I hate it. I hate his screams because I don’t like pain, I don’t like hurting people, but it’s the world now. This is what we do. Of course if I don’t eat all of him, if I spare his brain, he’ll rise up and follow me back to the airport, and that might make me feel better. I’ll introduce him to everyone, and maybe we’ll stand around and groan for a while. It’s hard to say what friends are any more, but that might be close.
I don’t know why we don’t speak. I can’t explain the suffocating silence that hangs over our world, cutting us from each other like prison-visit Plexiglas. Prepositions are painful, articles are arduous, adjectives are wild overachievements. Is this muteness a real physical handicap? One of the many symptoms of being Dead? Or do we just have nothing left to say?
A love story from a zombie’s POV really isn’t for everybody. Marion’s prose is beautiful and breathtaking at times, but he describes his world in gory details. It’s often bloody, smelly and disgusting. But, as it turns out, it’s also very sweet, gentle and simply adorable.
Through the memories of a guy whose brain he ate, R falls in love with a Living girl named Julie. He soon saves Julie from other zombies and hides her in an airplane to keep her safe. Step by step, Julie helps him remember what it was like to be alive.
If you think you can handle zombies carrying pieces of brain in their pockets and other zombies trying to have sex but not quite succeeding, you should really read this book. You won’t be sorry.
Favorite quote: She smiles. Her eyes are classic novels and poetry. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I hate having to review this book. I've spent the last 24 hours thinking about it, trying to figure out a way to point out the good and the bad, inste...moreI hate having to review this book. I've spent the last 24 hours thinking about it, trying to figure out a way to point out the good and the bad, instead of just listing all the things that annoyed me. Here’s my conclusion: the only remotely fair thing to do is to write two separate reviews: one of the first and one of the second half of the book.
First half: ***** (five stars) The first half of Ashes was one of the best things I’ve read recently, and that’s saying a lot! It was amazingly well written, fast paced, with interesting, layered characters and a compelling plot. Alex is a 17-year-old girl with a brain tumor. She’s lost her parents a few years back and is now living with her aunt, but she spends most of her time in the hospital. At the beginning of Ashes, she is out of the hospital and has just decided not to do any more treatments, seeing as they are not helping her in any way. Instead, she chooses to go hiking in the wilderness. There she meets an old man and his granddaughter Ellie and shares a meal with them. Shortly after that, an EMP wipes out every electronic device and kills the old man in the process. That leaves Alex with the 8-year-old girl to take care of and some new abilities she doesn’t fully understand. After only a short walk, the girls stumble upon two teenagers who are eating another human. It becomes pretty obvious that the EMP affected human brains as well as the electronic devices. But why then did Alex and Ellie remain unchanged?! Ok, so we have a great plot, interesting characters, a subtle love story AND zombies eating intestants and gouging out people’s eyes. It’s no wonder we were all so thrilled. But then the second half came…
Second half: ** (two stars) I can pinpoint the exact moment where it all went wrong. From the end of one chapter to the beginning of the next, everything changed. Ashes went from being amazing to being utterly unimaginative and even boring at times. I had to force myself to finish it. It picked up the pace again on the last 50 pages or so, but only to make the most horrible, cliffhanger ending possible.
Here are some of my problems with the book: - Alex is 17, but she is far too skilled and mature for that to be believable, even more so because she's been very sick for a very long time. People who spend years in the hospital usually don’t know that much about surviving in the wilderness. She could have been book smart, sure, but building fires?!? I don't think so. She kept saying that her father taught her, but he was dead by the time she entered her teen years. - I had the same problem with her knowledge of medicine. Apparently her mother was a doctor and they used to spend their time together stitching up chickens. Honestly, I don’t know a single teen or pre-teen that interested in his/her parent’s work. - I hate cliffhanger endings, and this was the mother of them all! I don’t understand why authors feel the need to do that! A cliffhanger ending will make me less likely to read the next book, not more! And this particular author likes cliffhangers so much, she even ended a few chapters with them. When you end a chapter with a cliffhanger and start the next one with the words Three days later, you can count on losing a few readers.
Maybe Ilsa J. Bick is a pseudonym for two people, much like Ilona Andrews, only these two people don’t get along as well?!? I will still read the next book when it comes out, but I can’t say I’m too happy about it.
Michelle R., Wendy Darling and Bonnie have made this experience much better than it would have been without them. Thanks, girls! (less)
The Diviners is my first book by Libba Bray, but I can tell you right now that it won’t be my last. I’m thrilled to have discovered another YA author...moreThe Diviners is my first book by Libba Bray, but I can tell you right now that it won’t be my last. I’m thrilled to have discovered another YA author of such talent and prominence. I would have given her a chance even before now, especially considering all the raving reviews written by my most trusted friends, but I simply never got around to it. Fortunately, she left me no choice with The Diviners. New York in the 1920s was impossible to resist.
I’ll start with my favorite part – the setting. Libba Bray did an extraordinary job in taking her readers to New York during the Prohibition era. I could hear the music and the laughter, smell the forbidden alcohol, and it made me want to put on a flapper hat and dance my feet right off. I could spend an eternity reading about the Roaring Twenties, and the ghost of a serial killer only made it that much more interesting.
Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and takes your bones. Sells ‘em off for a coupla stones…
Yup, you read that right: there’s a ghost of a vicious serial killer on the loose, and the only ones with any chance of stopping him are an 18-year-old psychic girl and a group of people that share the same dream. Even Evie’s uncle Will, who runs The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and the Occult, also known as The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies, is powerless against this murderous ghost. And if that isn’t enough to freak you out, there are religious fanatics involved as well, and seriously, nothing is creepier than that.
To be quite honest, there were parts of this book that were a bit hard to get through. I’m not a fan of 3rd person, multiple points of view narrative to begin with, and The Diviners offered far too many perspectives for my taste. It’s so hard to connect with the characters that way, and Evie was the only one I really felt close too.
To top that off, Evie was a hard character to like. She was occasionally self-centered and a little too care-free. (I’m very organized and responsible and people who just breeze through life tend to annoy me.) But there were times when I felt I truly understood why she behaved in such a way, and I could connect with her regardless of her frustrating actions. The loss of a family hero, Evie’s older brother, damaged her family irreparably, and acting out was her way to cope.
But don’t let my ranting or those 600 pages scare you off. The Diviners is a book worth reading, although it will force you to read slowly and carefully – something I’m not quite used to. Bray’s talent for creating an eerie atmosphere is matched only by her intelligent humor. At times, I had to fight the urge to hide under my bed, only to burst out laughing five minutes later at something witty Evie said.
Uncle Will frowned. “Didn’t they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?” “No. But I can recite ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ while making martinis.” “I weep for the future.” “That’s where the martinis come in.”
Make no mistake, The Diviners is a demanding book. It requires your full attention, but whatever it takes, it gives back tenfold. If I were you I wouldn’t hesitate to pick it up. As for me, I’ll just sit right here, very patiently and without making a sound, and wait for Libba Bray to finish the sequel. Some things were left unsaid and I need to know, need to know, needtoknoneedtoknowneedtoknow… Oh, shut up, brain!
This is a book I keep coming back to. It's not an easy read at times, but it's certainly worth the effort. Don't let the four stars fool you: I'm beco...moreThis is a book I keep coming back to. It's not an easy read at times, but it's certainly worth the effort. Don't let the four stars fool you: I'm becoming more and more selective when it comes to my five star status. I really tought this book is awesome. (less)