Never would I have thought I'd enjoy reading about the drama of a 14 year old girl. Georgia is hilarious and reminded me of a younger, British version...moreNever would I have thought I'd enjoy reading about the drama of a 14 year old girl. Georgia is hilarious and reminded me of a younger, British version of Daria. Between Georgia dressing up as an olive, shaving off her eyebrows, her Scottish wild-cat Angus and her crazy baby sister who calls everyone a tosser... well Georgia is a new favorite. (less)
So my reading sci-fi is completely out of character and if it wasn’t for the recommendations of trusted individuals I never would have picked this up....moreSo my reading sci-fi is completely out of character and if it wasn’t for the recommendations of trusted individuals I never would have picked this up. Regardless of this being set completely in space, this is definitely what I would consider sci-fi-lite. The world building is sufficient enough without boggling my mind with excessive detailing which I appreciated. Fortune’s Pawn was absolutely fantastic though. I can’t remember the last book I read that was so freaking exciting, and I don’t say that lightly. It was so thrilling my mouth was hanging open in several scenes, I was flipping pages at lightning speed and I made sure to limit my blinking so as to not miss out on precious reading time. You know that moment in a relationship where you can look back and remember when you fell in love? I remember the exact moment I fell in love with this book and how I got so damn excited I put the book down and yelled:
I wish I was exaggerating. My fiancé looked at me like I was a complete nutter.
The battle scenes were thoroughly exhilarating and the absolute best part of this book but this book would be nothing without Devi Morris. She’s a mercenary and a total badass but she’s far from perfect. She makes silly decisions because of love but they’re all credible and realistic decisions. At no point did she turn into some weak-willed chick just because she had a crush and I’m so very thankful that the romance didn’t completely overpower the story. It was the perfect balance. And speaking of Rupert...
I don’t care if his name is funny, Rupert is fabulous. He’s a total badass just like Devi but he’s much more subtle about it; less flashy. Their romance is blended well with the story and mystery so it didn’t fell like yet another unnecessary romance showing up when it never should have been invited. When I think back, they fell for each other pretty quick it seemed but the feelings of insta-love weren’t there for me (*phew*). There was some major relationship drama going on though, a constant push and pull between them. “I love you! But I can’t, I’m dangerous. Oh, but I love you! I have no self control!” If I hadn’t been so completely enthralled I would’ve been raising my eyebrow at this. It’s not revealed the details as to why he’s so dangerous so I’m hoping his secrets and “danger” better be really freaking dangerous to justify this dramatic time wasting nonsense because those two are pretty fabulous together.
One more lovely thing about this story that’s worth mentioning is the fabulous secondary characters. Hyrek is the ships doctor who is also a xith’cal, an alien race, and he’s got a super snarky sense of humor I immediately loved. There is Devi’s partner Cotter who was a big meathead that was always good for a laugh, Caldswell is the mysterious captain with a bucketful of secrets and Devi’s roommate Nova who totally reminded me of Luna Lovegood. It was a wonderful cast of characters.
There have been comparisons to Firefly, Alien and even Battlestar Gallactica. Well, I suck and haven’t seen a single one of those (I TOLD YOU I don’t do sci-fi) but the one thing I can compare it to is Ann Aguirre’s ‘Sirantha Jax’ series. Devi reminded me a lot of Sirantha (but Devi quite a bit more of a badass) and the storyline was much more thrilling, so if you enjoyed that series you’ll absolutely love this. Suffice to say, this is going on my best of 2013 list and I’m immediately starting book two. Boy am I so very fortunate to have it available. Upon completion I felt like running around flailing my arms like a crazy person so I hope my thoughts came out in a sensible manner. Read this book, people.(less)
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Author for the Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion...moreMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Author for the Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
‘It was more than a sense or a smell, picking up on who was here before. There was a feeling that something terrible happened here and that feeling was snaking up my body, intent to drown me in it.’
It’s 1851 and in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, 18 year old half-native Eve Smith is approached by a group of men requesting her assistance in tracking evidence of the Donner Party. A seemingly simple excursion quickly turns into a nightmare brought to life.
Growing up in Northern California, I learned a lot about the Donner Party early on and even went on a few field trips to visit the sites. The information I read about never bothered me too bad because the issues these people faced seemed like such an alien concept. Donners of the Dead really brought that concept to life and I’m going to be hard-pressed to ever get it out of my mind.
‘It raised its head and looked at me. There was no air in my lungs now, the whole forest seemed to still at that moment, as if it too were chilled by the monster’s presence, the smell of evil. It was when it smiled at me with bloodstained teeth that I snapped out of it.’
The monsters that Eve and her party discover in the woods seemed at first to be some type of zombie but Karina Halle applied the Algonquin based Wendigo legend to explaining these creatures. The following is a line from a website explaining the Wendigo legend which describes these gruesome creatures perfectly: “By eating another human being, even out of necessity for survival, a human can be overcome by these spirits and be transformed into one. The fear of turning into this creature was so strong that it was preferable to kill one’s self rather than resort to cannibalism.” -Source
“We’re still human even in the fact of beasts, even with our lives at risk. When you’re close to death, love is sometimes the only thing that makes sense in life.”
The romance between Eve and Jake was a bit out of left field for me considering Jake’s racist leanings toward Indians due to them being responsible for the death of his family. Seeing him overcome his issues in order to be happy with Eve was touching but didn’t strike me as being very likely especially how quickly his feelings develop. The perilous positions they continued to find themselves in the middle of do enough to justify these doubts though seeing as they needed someone, anyone, to rely on.
Donners of the Dead is an eclectic mix of cannibalistic horror and romance but is an enjoyable, thrilling and unforgettable read.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars I received this book free from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or...moreMy rating: 4 of 5 stars I received this book free from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
‘So, too, have I gathered the ingredients of my life and carefully flavored them, patiently beat my whites, and lovingly folded together all the elements of my existence. Put my proverbial batter into the appropriately prepared ramekin and gently placed my world into the oven. And yet I must have done something wrong, made some false move or ignored an important step in the recipe, because my life has suddenly collapsed around me into a charred, inedible ruin.’
Ruby McMillan’s husband announces one day that he’s leaving her for another woman. Their marriage had been slowly dissolving for the past years so it’s not as devastating emotionally, but she’s left scrambling for a hold on life while managing her failing bakery and trying to figure out how to inform her children that their father has left them. Things start looking up when Ruby moves her husbands stuff out of the house, gets a makeover and decides to take a chance on the unexpected by signing up to teach a cake class. She also meets Jacob Salt, a man that makes her feel something she hasn’t in years.
This was such a fun and light-hearted read despite the serious nature of the topic. It could have easily been a sob story about trust being shattered and hearts being broken but I found myself laughing out loud at times and reading with a smile on my face. It was so refreshing to read a book about a heroine that is faced with a devastating loss but is able to overcome it all while still maintaining her sense of humor. Ruby’s character was fantastically written and was quite the inspiration.
Obviously, my favorite aspect of this book is the foodie bits. I’ll read the occasional chick lit of course but foodie books? Anytime. Ruby is a baker and ends up being a teacher of a cooking class so we’re given all kinds of fabulous baking details that made me want to hop up and bake some muffins (because I couldn’t bake half of the amazing things Ruby could so I had to settle for muffins.) Not only were the details absorbing but she was constantly coming up with new recipes as a sort of coping mechanism. Every time she’d get overwhelmed or stressed about something, her creative subconscious would come up with something amazing sounding to try.
‘Homemade marshmallow cream and roasted almonds sandwiched between bite-size graham-cracker squares, enrobed with Callebaut milk choolate.’
I pretty much loved everything about this book and I read it during a time where I needed to be reminded that despite hardships in life it’s possible to remain strong and power through. It was the perfect book for my current mood and Ruby delivered the emotional boost I needed. This is my first book read by this author but I’ll definitely be picking up her other works. Highly suggested for those looking for a fun and entertaining (and inspirational) chick-lit type read.(less)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars A copy of Simon's Cat vs. the World was provided to me by Akashic Books/Library Thing for review purposes.
Simon's Cat began as...moreMy rating: 4 of 5 stars A copy of Simon's Cat vs. the World was provided to me by Akashic Books/Library Thing for review purposes.
Simon's Cat began as a series of YouTube videos and quickly turned popular for their hilariousness and how accurate the depictions were of how cat's truly are. The first Simon's Cat video was uploaded over 5 years ago, on March 4, 2008. It's one of my all-time favorites. You can watch it here.
While the books aren't nearly as hilarious as the videos, they are still entertaining and fun to flip through for a good laugh. Simon's Cat vs. the World are single page illustrations detailing various encounters from visits to the Vet, holiday outfits, discovering the vividness of HD TV and even fireworks.
In addition to that, there was also a short section in the back that details how to draw a few of the animals that feature in his books.
And my favorite part? A whole page of adorable stickers.
The best thing about these books is just how realistically the illustrations showcase the shenanigans of cats and what cat owner's constantly have to deal with. Simon's Cat is highly amusing and a source of good quick fun. Recommended for any cat lover and anyone who just enjoys a good laugh.(less)