Karen Chance really put me through an ordeal with this book. I was all sad for an entire day, not wanting to pick up the book for several hours, all t...moreKaren Chance really put me through an ordeal with this book. I was all sad for an entire day, not wanting to pick up the book for several hours, all the while hating Karen Chance's guts. And somehow she totally redeemed herself.
Anxiously waiting the release of the next book (please don't let it take another two-and-a-half-years). Five stars. (less)
This book is awesome for three reasons: 1) a zombie apocalypse, and 2) a very murdery vampire who doesn't sparkle in the sun, and, lastly, 3) it was w...moreThis book is awesome for three reasons: 1) a zombie apocalypse, and 2) a very murdery vampire who doesn't sparkle in the sun, and, lastly, 3) it was written by Chuck Wendig, my new favorite author–even if his stories tend to be more disgusting than others.
Love this book but not as much as I love Sacrificial Magic, book 4 in the Downside Ghosts series. Great writing. Four stars. Review to come...?
(I'm i...moreLove this book but not as much as I love Sacrificial Magic, book 4 in the Downside Ghosts series. Great writing. Four stars. Review to come...?
(I'm insanely busy these days, and honestly all the haters have pretty much killed any joy I had in reviewing books altogether and, lets face it, I was never consistent in writing reviews, even back in the good old days. So, yeah, screw all you Goodreaders and/or authors who can't accept the fact that not every person is going to love every book. The only reason I will most likely review this book is because Stacia Kane is one of the few authors who defended the Goodreaders/book bloggers who feel that honesty is the best policy when it comes to reviewing books. An author with that opinion deserves to be reviewed.) (less)
Never heard of Chuck Wendig until I received a copy of Mockingbird from Netgalley. He's on my radar now, not likely to fall off of it, honestly. What...moreNever heard of Chuck Wendig until I received a copy of Mockingbird from Netgalley. He's on my radar now, not likely to fall off of it, honestly. What can I say, I was hooked on page one. Lilith Saintcrow said it right, Mr. Wendig's writing, this series is chalk full of "trailer-park tension, horrified hilarity, and sheer terror mixed with deft characterization". I too could literally not put it down even though there were a few things within the story that didn't quite work for me—I stayed up all night finishing Mockingbird. I plan on getting a copy of Blackbird as soon as I finish typing this up.
In a nutshell, I really like this book, nitpicky issues and all. 4 stars.
(I really hope to write a full review of Mockingbird soon. I mean it this time. It's just I'm still on the road—summer Roadtrip 2012 will be wrapping up by this comig Monday, I swear. So you're all just going to have to wait.)(less)
(Hey everyone! If all goes well this will end up being an honest to goodness--traditional!--book review. Before I get started I feel I should warn eve...more(Hey everyone! If all goes well this will end up being an honest to goodness--traditional!--book review. Before I get started I feel I should warn everyone I have ADHD and my medication is starting to wear off, also I dislike doing things the way they should be done--did I mention I also have Oppositional Defiant Disorder? Because I totally do. Anyway, my point is, despite the fact that I'm attempting to write a legitimate review I might go off on a few tangents like this. Just thought I'd warn you.)
When City of Ghosts begins our protagonist, Chess, is on medical leave, recovering from the events of the last book. Not only has her work life been put on hold, but her personal life is in shambles. The only friend Chess ever had--Terrible, enforcer to a powerful drug lord--wants nothing to do with her, treats her with disdain, and rebuffs her attempts to make things right. The other guy in Chess's life, Lex, is reluctant to walk away even after Chess tells him she's not interested. Much drugs are had.
She wonders why she let anyone into her life to begin with; her old solitary life was less complicated.
Then it seems things start looking up for Chess. She's able to return to work, agrees to assist the Black Squad on a particularly difficult case involving dark magic. Bound by a powerful spell, Chess is unable to tell anyone what she's doing, why she's investigating a building near one of her dealer's properties. Because of this she is forced into working with Terrible once again--though, in all honesty, she craves Terrible's company, wants a chance to talk to him--and allow him to accompany whenever possible as she investigates so he can piece together what's really going on and report back to his boss.
Duty bound, Terrible does as he's told--works with Chess--but he is mercilessly cruel less than happy about the arrangement. They discover there may be more to the case than originally thought: more players in the game, and a form of black magic Chess has never encountered before. To make matters worse the woman Chess is reporting to is condescending and just plain irritating to be around. Oh, yeah, and Lex keeps showing up. It's a disaster.
I enjoyed this installment of the Downside Ghosts series. I wish I could say I loved it, that I'll be giving City of Ghosts five stars, but I can't. While I reveled in the relationship aspect, I sort of had to slog through the mystery/Chess's professional life. It's not that the latter was uninteresting, it's just that personal relationships have become a big part of Chess's life, key to her overall character development. Things between Chess and Terrible are so unbearably awful that it's difficult for Chess not think about it all the time. Even I spent way too much time being angst-ridden over the whole ordeal. I lost much sleep over it, walked around feeling like crap for a couple of days. True story. This isn't typical behavior; it's rare for a book to affect me so immensely.
Because of my complete inability to relax until things were somehow resolved between Chess and Terrible, I could not focus on the mystery. This is pretty unfortunate as the details of this particular case were a lot more complicated than any of the other cases Chess has worked on. Which means I got a little confused from time to time and I was frustrated with myself and the book.
Do I place the blame on Stacia Kane? In her writing? Her storytelling abilities, originality and timing? When it comes to this specific series I'd have to say no, I don't blame Stacia Kane for my frustration. Sure there are aspects of the Downside universe that don't quite work for me, details that are a little fuzzy, and some grammatical errors (ironic I point this out, I know, seeing as I hardly ever edit what I say or write) but none of it stopped me from being so completely consumed by this series that I could do little more than think about it for a week straight.
I mean, it's a dystopian urban fantasy about a drug addict who traps ghosts for a living. The characters are named Chess and Terrible. Other than Kane's talent for storytelling, for writing emotion in such a way that it moved me on so many levels, there's no reason for this series to be among my favorites.
But it is, it totally is. The Downside Ghost series by Stacia Kane is going on my 'favorites' shelf, and even though City of Ghosts probably only deserves three stars--overall--I'm going to go ahead and give it four because it ends on such a satisfying note.
Kat, fellow Goodreader (and my favorite Australian) summed up this book best: gut-wrenching. This book ripped out my innards, tap danced all over them...moreKat, fellow Goodreader (and my favorite Australian) summed up this book best: gut-wrenching. This book ripped out my innards, tap danced all over them, unceremoniously shoved them back inside me, and sewed me up haphazardly. Sure, in the end, my guts were no longer all over the place but serious damage was done. And I liked it.
This book sent me on an emotional roller coaster ride from hell. Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing. I mean, I do love roller coasters. I love the sensation of plunging down steep slopes and shooting through loop-de-loops at eleventy-billion miles an hour. I love screaming like a maniac, thinking I might die any second (knowing I won't). But see, that's just a regular roller coaster ride.
Unholy Magic, is more like a terrifying ride on a rickety old roller coaster that may or may not be missing some track. While being stark naked. Halfway through the ride you see that, indeed, there is a section of the track missing, and you realize you're about to die--But, wait! Instead of flying off the track and plummeting to a gruesome death, the roller coaster sails across the gap--Speed style--and lands on the other side, tracks lined up and everything. It's unbelievable.
In the end you're still alive and you feel exhilarated and invincible and you want to do it again. You see that you can because, hey, there aren't many people in line. But as you prepare to get up you vomit in the lap of the stranger sitting next to you. Oh, and hey, you're still mysteriously naked.
It's horrible, but in the best way possible. Does that make sense?
Now you're probably thinking I don't like this book--I mean, "horrible in the best way possible" doesn't sound like high praise, amirite? Well, you couldn't be more wrong. I enjoyed Unholy Magic despite all the feelings--some downright beautiful, some so cringe-worthy I wanted to crawl in a hole and die--it stirred within me.
I don't know, I guess another way to describe the experience is by saying Kane's writing is so good I felt as though I was there, within the pages of the book, watching everything play out. Not only that but I felt all of the characters emotions and it was amazing and terrifying and overwhelming all at the same time.
It was great.
I'll be reading Unholy Magic again, sooner rather than later, I just need a little time to recover. Four stars.
I listened to this audiobook forever ago. Not sure why I never got around to listing it here. 3.5 stars. This book is a fun YA UF. If you liked Parano...moreI listened to this audiobook forever ago. Not sure why I never got around to listing it here. 3.5 stars. This book is a fun YA UF. If you liked Paranormalcy you'll probably enjoy You Are So Undead To Me.
About the narrator, Jessica Almasy's performance: I think they got the right narrator for this book. She's got the right voice for a teenage girl which, for whatever reason, is pretty rare when it comes to audiobooks. Pitch-perfect performance.
P.S. If you've got an audible membership you can purchase You Are So Undead to Me for $6.35 <-----this is the real reason I gave this book a chance. You can't beat that price. (less)
***Warning: this review contains spoilers for Feed***
I really don't know what I can say about this book besides how disappointed and frustrated it le...more***Warning: this review contains spoilers for Feed***
I really don't know what I can say about this book besides how disappointed and frustrated it left me. Not that I was expecting something incredible mind you. I mean, it's not like Feed left me begging for more so I have no idea why I gave Deadline the time of day.
Actually I do know. I'm not too bright. I was going to purchase The Demon's Surrender on Tuesday June 14th, because that's when it was released, but for whatever reason the audiobook was not available for sale at audible. So I wasted a precious audible credit on this ridiculously long piece of trash. How long is this audiobook you ask? 15+ hours.
Yes, more than 15 hours of what amounts to a really long episode of The Incredible Hulk, featuring zombies and the magical world of news blogging. Except to make things extra fun The HulkBruce Banner Shaun, our main character, has his dead sister's voice stuck in his head running commentary on everything he does. And he talks back to that voice. Vocally. Like, all the time no matter who is around.
When people encounter Shaun's strange behavior and make the mistake of asking if he's feeling okay, Bruce Shaun looses his crap and 'splodes out of his clothes in a fit of rage, turns green and goes on a punching spree. And he's all 'HULK MAD! HULK SMASH! HULK KILL!' starts acting like a massive douche-canoe--like, way more douche-y than he usually acts--and threatens to punch the crap out of whoever has the nerve to ask him about the state of his mental health.
That wouldn't be such worrisome behavior if he were some crazy urine-soaked hobo who lives out of a refrigerator box. But see, Shaun is the head blogger at popular news blog he and his (dead) sister started a few years before. He has a ton of employees all over the world.
Mr Crazy Pants is in charge. Really. And that's where my first issue with Deadline springs up.
Who in their right mind would put up with that crap? The answer is no one. Not even people who are supposedly friends with said crazy person. Especially when that person has not contributed ANYTHING worthwhile to the blog in over a year. A person who doesn't even make any real decisions anymore. A person who does little more than show up and carry on conversations with the dead sister living in his head himself and threaten to punch people, occasionally carrying out those threats, breaking noses in the process.
We're supposed to believe that his employees are that loyal and/or so stupid they'd be willing to stick around and take that sort of abuse. Bloggers who are at the top of their fields and could go to a number of other news blogs or easily start their own.
One could argue that he just lost his sister and his friends/employees are just really patient and understanding, but here's the deal: his sister died a year prior to the events in Deadline. Plus, they live in a world where zombies run free. Every last one of them have lost close friends and loved ones yet none of them act like Shaun.
So...what makes Shaun so special?
Nothing. He's not special. Which is why I grew weary of this book almost from the get go. But I kept reading because I thought Shaun was going to calm down and pull his act together. Don't want to be all spoiler-y but it needs to be said: that never happens. In fact his behavior worsens yet NO ONE takes a cattle prod to his crazy ass; no one throws him to the zombies just so they can get rid of their little "Debbie Downer".
There is a whole lot of other stuff that happens which, I'm sorry, doesn't really matter because (view spoiler)[Grant decides to pretty much undo something HUGE that goes down in the first book. (view spoiler)[ George is magically alive at the end of the book. That happens. Really. (view spoiler)[The author pulls the cloning card, and a piss-poor job she does with the whole cloning thing if you ask me. Why? (view spoiler)[Because everyone knows cloning doesn't work that way. (view spoiler)[ Clones don't retain the original's memories. Sometimes they don't even look exactly like the original (hide spoiler)] And no, I don't think it's cool to just pretend it does for the sake of the story. Grant went out of her way to create the whole back story to Kellis-Amberlee, correct? So why is it so difficult for her to think up a semi-feasible reason as to why George is magically alive? The whole thing comes off a little too Resident Evil if you ask me, and no, that isn't a compliment (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)]. To be honest, I feel there is little of importance that goes down in this book. It's all a bunch of happenings that don't amount to anything in the end. If you've read Deadline and you don't agree with me, that's cool. Just do me a favor and ask yourself this: what, if anything, happened in this book that wasn't made so completely pointless by the way the book ended? I bet your answer is along the lines of 'nothing'.
And then there's the plot holes. So many plot holes. Gigantic ones. One in particular that is so infeasible, so massive you sort of want to write Mira Grant hate mail while reading it. Or maybe that's just me.
Speaking of holes, am I the only one that thinks the answer to the zombie problem, should a zombie apocalypse ever occur, is the Grand Canyon? I mean, it's a massive hole in the ground, right? All we'd have to do is round up and herd all the zombies to the Grand Canyon. We could walk them in at ground level and then brick them in, or just let them walk over the cliffs (this option is rather inhumane but, hey, it's flesh-eating, disease-carrying zombies we're talking about not adorable puppies and kitties). I'm also willing to consider using Carlsbad Caverns, as it is also a massive hole in the ground and I'm not a huge fan of New Mexico.
Don't even get me started about Shaun's (not at all thought out) motorcycle ride of karma from zombie hell. I'm sorry but who is that stupid? Why would anyone let anyone else ride a motorcycle into a place so insanely infested with zombies? I kept wondering why they couldn't strap that thing to the back of the van, or, I don't know, LEAVE IT BEHIND. Hell, even if there really wasn't room left inside the van, Shaun could have easily strapped himself to the roof, or (call me crazy) strap some of their equipment to the roof of the van in order to make room for him. Either way, he would have been safer.
One last thing: (view spoiler)[I was so totally right about the incest thing. I knew George and Shaun were too close to not be sleeping together. And no, I don't think that Grant is so edgy by going that route. If anything Grant is all about cop-outs. The incest was a cop-out and so was the cloning of a dead character. (hide spoiler)]
I will not be reading the third book in this series. One-and-a-half stars.
Enjoyed this installment of the Cassandra Palmer series but, as with all the other books in this series, some of the scenes ran entirely too long--way...moreEnjoyed this installment of the Cassandra Palmer series but, as with all the other books in this series, some of the scenes ran entirely too long--way too much detail. Usually that sort of thing doesn't bother me but Hunt the Moon kept me in anticipation way longer then I could handle. Plus, I'm not a huge fan of Mircea, especially how he handles himself in this book. So I gave myself permission to do something I never do (and I really mean never). That's right, I totally skipped entire paragraphs at a time. Sometimes multiple paragraphs & entire pages.
You know what I missed by doing so? Absolutely nothing. Because the only parts I skipped were the parts with Mircea. (view spoiler)[for what it's worth I noticed that he did open up a little more about his family. But because I've read the spin-off series--Dorina Basarab--I already know his history. So, no big revelations as far as I'm concerned. Also, HE NEVER TELLS CASSIE THAT HE HAS A DAUGHTER! When is that little nugget of information going to be revealed? Never? (hide spoiler)] I did, however, learn that Mircea talks too much & most of Mircea's and Cassie's conversations--when they actually take the time to speak to each other--are about control. Also, whenever Cassandra is talking to Mircea, she's wondering what he's up to, what his ulterior motive is--Wow, Cassie sure knows how to pick 'em. Way boring. And dysfunctional*.
I mean, really, are we supposed to enjoy the time they spend in each others company? The time they're actually speaking to one another, I mean? I'm not sure if Karen Chance is just trying to make a stronger case for Pritkin or if I'm actually supposed to enjoy the whole Cassie/Mircea pairing--I don't, in case anyone was wondering.
The worst part is Mircea is out of town for most of this book yet he still manages to sully a good portion of Hunt the Moon's pages--I'd say one-third, at least.
Otherwise the story arc, character development, etc were great. Everything I loved about the other Cassie Palmer books are back. The great one liners and so-absurd-they're-awesome scenarios are back, too.
And of course Pritkin is back. *sigh* Pritkin. (for the record: I spent the first two books hating his guts/hoping he'd die. Mircea just fell out of my favor a few books back and that sneaky Pritkin started to grow on me). Cassie and Pritkin still have an interesting relationship that, even by the end of Hunt the Moon, has no real definition. I'd say they were just friends, because, despite all the sexual tension, they're wanting to keep it that way. But then you take that friendship and compare it to Cassie's friendship with Marco, or any other character, and it is incredibly clear: what they have is much more then a mere friendship.
Undefined relationship status aside? I love each and every scene that feature these two together. Their working relationship, their partnership, is as fun as it ever was. Same goes for their conversations--vair entertaining. Pritkin and Cassie spend a little more time talking about their pasts--Pritkin shares a doozy with Cassie.
There is also a few new characters. One of these new characters happens to be Cassie's mother. Exciting, no?
Part of me wants to give this more stars--because I really liked it--but I can only give it 3.5 stars.
*Look, I understand 'dysfunctional' is the new 'twuuu wuvvv', particularly in urban fantasy, but it's not really my bag. Sure there are messed up UF couples that I actually enjoy--Kate & Curran--but those couples actually speak to one another about a wide variety of subjects; aren't limited to the topic of control which ultimately leads to "hero" bedding heroine.<-----in a series this scenario can only happen so many times (*cough*TWICE!*cough*) before jumping the shark. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm going to start this review off on a tangent--when do I not? As far as I'm concerned 2011 has been the Year of Meh. Television has been practically...moreI'm going to start this review off on a tangent--when do I not? As far as I'm concerned 2011 has been the Year of Meh. Television has been practically unwatchable. Movies released this year: heinous. The books were, at best, mediocre. Admittedly, there were a few notable exceptions but, for the most part, I'm disappointed.
Over the past six months I've grown weary; struggled to finish most of what I've started, and, by the way, failing more often then not--you should see my pile of abandoned books. Because of this I've been feeling the need to take a step back, maybe not read so much. Maybe spend my money more wisely--it is ridiculous how much I spend on books and audiobooks. You know, take a break.
2011 killed my love of books (and movies and television).
That said, over the past couple of days I've fallen in love with books (and reading) all over again. I'm in love. Love I tell ya. Can't-get-enough-make-everyone-sick-can't-eat-or-sleep-head-over-heels in love. Me and reading? It's like we're on a second honeymoon. I have Stacia Kane and her Downside Ghost series to thank because of it.
I know, I know--none of the books in the Downside Ghost series were published this year. It doesn't matter. What does matter is I love reading. Again.
Funny thing, it's not like Downside Ghosts is The Best Series, Ever. And it has to be said: it's definitely not for everyone. However, as far as I'm concerned, it is compelling and addictive. It's good.
So. Unholy Ghosts. Where to start? Twenty-five year old Cesaria "Chess" Putnum is a hot mess, and not in that chick-flick cliche can't-get-my-life-together-because-I'm-so-adorably-clumsy-and-I-wear-glasses-that-make-me-look-unfortunate-until-I-finally-remove-them-during-the-makeover-montage-and-that's-when-everyone-discovers-I'm-super-hot sort of way. I mean the sort of hot mess that's boozy and pops pills all the live-long day.
I'm not going to lie to you. I avoided this series for that exact reason. Boozy pill-poppers just aren't my thing, or so I thought.
Then, other day, I was looking through my Kindle bookshelf and I noticed that I had the sample of Unholy Ghosts--for the life of me, I can't remember when I downloaded it. Curious, figuring I had nothing to lose, I decided to give it a chance before I went ahead and removed it. Imagine my surprise when I realized I couldn't go the rest of my life without reading more. So I purchased it (FYI, the Kindle edition of Unholy Ghosts is just 99 cents).
The thing I like about Chess is, well, I pretty much like everything. Honestly, I don't even mind that she's a drug addict. Of course, most of her problems wouldn't happen if she wasn't addicted to pills, but if that were the case Unholy Ghosts wouldn't be so good.
One of my favorite aspects of Chess's life her employment. She works for the Church of Real Truth as a Debunker, a person who goes around trying to debunk claims of hauntings. If she's able to then she gets a bonus and if she isn't, if the haunting is authentic, the homeowner is compensated by the church and the debunker will rid the home of the ghost.
Sidenote: Did I mention this is a dystopian urban fantasy? Because it is. Basically way back in the year 1997 ghosts escaped wherever it is ghosts go (or actually The City, as it's called in this series) and got all murdery, killing one-third of the world's population. At the time The Church of Truth was just a small organization but they succeeded in capturing all the ghosts. 25 years later The Church of Truth is the only religion. They pretty much run the government too. Worldwide.
The church has vowed to keep people safe from ghosts, which is why homeowners are compensated if their haunting is real. /sidenote
Chess is good at being a Debunker and it's something she's proud of. She also loves the Church of Truth, despite the fact that it reigns supreme. I can't fault her for it because everything else in her life is crap--growing up being passed from abusive foster home to abusive foster home will mess you up, you know? And anyway the Church is the only place she's ever felt safe, the only thing that's ever given her life value.
Anyway, things get really interesting when Chess's drug dealer blackmails her into working for him. <--and I'm stopping right there because I don't want to ruin it for you. Plus, this review is entirely too long.
This isn't my favorite book in the series, there are a few things that didn't exactly work for me, but I still like it. (Just so you know Unholy Magic, the second book in the Downside Ghost series is...um...intense. I'll be reviewing it soon). Three stars.