Mount TBR 2013 Reading Challenge discussion

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Level 2: Mount Blanc (24 Books) > Lynn's Mount Blanc

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message 1: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I am going to start with Hounded by Kevin Hearne. I will publish reviews because I have a review blog but I have 46 books that I still need to publish the reviews for because I only release one a week. When I finish the book I will write a review here and be willing to talk with anyone about the book(s) as I read them.


message 2: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on “Hounded” by Kevin Hearne. It is the first in the Iron Druid Chronicles and is 304 pages long, including a preview if book two Hexed. It is published by Ballantine Books. The cover has the main character in profile drawing a sword from behind him. The intended reader is an urban fantasy fan and that is mostly it but most of us like urban fantasy and this is not a bad one to start with. There is talk about sex, there is detailed violence, and there is bad language so beware. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old- when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.
Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power- plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartended possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish- to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.
Review- I was not expecting much from Hounded other than entertainment but Hearne knows his lore. I have personally studied mythology for almost 20 years when I was very young and learned that people believed in gods other than Jesus. I am not a scholar by any means but I like to think that I have more than just a basic understand of mythology. Hearne passed that tested with ease. He loves his myths too and it shows in this book. Atticus himself is an interesting and fun character. He takes the blows the plot throws at him with grace and ease. He does not really grow but I am willing to put that to the side because this is not just a first novel in a series but Hearne’s first novel. There are some very witty lines but I like the ending lines the best-

“You used way too much Cold Fire,” the Morrigan said. “You should plan on being immobile for a couple of days. I hope that you put on some of that lotion the mortals are so infatuated with. Can’t have you dying of skin cancer.”
The Morrigan laughed mockingly and then squawked harshly as she changed into a crow and flew away. And she wondered why she didn’t have any friends.
Hearne does a lot with the little that he is given. I am looking forward to reading the next and seeing where he goes with this series.
I give this book a Four out of Five. I get nothing for this review and I got this book for free from Dragon*Con 2010.


message 3: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments The only thing that I do not like about Atticus is that he is a slut but I do not like that in any of my characters. It is some that I just do not like. Maybe because it is too easy of a weakness to have, anyone can have it, and maybe that is the appeal of it. Anyone can have it so maybe more reader will relate to it, I do not know, but other that than minor problem a good first novel.


message 4: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Next for my Mount TBR is The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson and The Singing by Alison Croggon and then Tin Swift by Devon Monk. I read very quickly when I do not have anything else to do and at this time I am out of term and out of work. So here's to reading!


message 5: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on “The Well of Ascension” by Brandon Sanderson. It is the second book in the Mistborn Trilogy and is published by TOR. It is 796 pages long including Metals Quick-Reference Chart, Names and Terms, Summary of Book One, and a sample of An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham. The intended reader is someone who loves high fantasy, political intrigue, and sharp twists. Parents be warned: There is much bloodshed, gore, and darkness. Over fourteen (14) should be fine but use your own judgment. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- Evil has been defeated. The war has just begun. They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.
They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.
It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.
Review- Just like with Mistborn I feel at a loss to try and give this a good enough review. This is hands down one of the best second novels in a trilogy that I have ever read. I have many trilogies over the course of my life and I will no doubt read many more; but this one will stand the test of time. Sanderson does something amazing with this novel. In Mistborn, the first novel, he created a vivid and dramatic world and he fills it out but he does not really leave the main city of Luthadel. The characters grow so much over the course of the story and unlike Mistborn, which takes place over a year, this one happens in months. Vin and Elend grow apart then they come back together even stronger. Sanderson does not really tell the reader much about the past of this world. Why is this god trapped in the well? Where are, if any, other gods? But he does explain much of the Terris lore but I look forward to discovering more. He weaves more and more threads together and I cannot wait to see the end picture. There are epic battles in this one, there are villainous villains you love to hate, and there is betrayal that is unexplained and unexpected. Still little is explained about why Vin can do what she can. Why someone is mistborn or misting is still a mystery but I did not think about this until after I finished reading this novel. I was pleased that Sanderson has think up a faster way to travel that I thought about in the first novel. It is Vin can push and pull metals so she makes herself the center of a wheel basically and rolls to the great battle. Everything about this book will please you as a reader. The more I read of Sanderson the more I understand why Robert Jordan chooses him.
I give this Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.

2 down from my TBR pile. Next up Tin Swift by Devon Monk.


message 6: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I'm adding Devil in the White City as my non-fiction read. I should start it tomorrow. Almost done with Tin Swift


message 7: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on ‘Tin Swift’ by Devon Monk. It is the second in her Age of Steam series. It is 369 pages long and is published by ROC. The cover has one of the main characters (I think that it is Cedar Hunt) with a Steampunk rifle in his hands, goggles on his head, and an airship behind him. No mistaking this one; it is Steampunk. The intended reader is someone who read the first one (you need to know what is going one), likes Steampunk, and things blowing up (good thing for me because I have read the first book and I like the other two things.). There is some language but not too bad, there is no sexuality, but the violence makes up for that. There is a torture scene with some detail; so the weak of stomach be warned. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of book- In Steam Age America, Men, Monsters, Machines, and Magic Battle To Claim The Same Scrap Of Earth And Sky. In This Chaos, One Man Fights To Hold On To His Humanity- And His Honor…
Life on the frontier is full of deceit and danger, but bounty hunter Cedar Hunt is a man whose word is his bond. Cursed with becoming a beast every full moon. Cedar once believed his destiny was to be alone. But now Cedar finds himself saddled with a group of refugees, including the brother he thought lost.
Keeping his companions alive is proving to be no easy task, in part because of a promise he made to the unpredictable Madder brothers- three miners who know the secret mechanisms of the Strange. To fulfill his pledge, Cedar must hunt for a powerful weapon known as the Holder- a search that takes him deep into the savage underbelly of the young country and high into the killing glim-field skies defended by desperate men and deadly ships.
But the battles he faces are just a hint of a growing war stirring the country. To keep his word, Cedar must navigate betrayal, lies, and treacherous alliances… and risk everything to save the lives of those he has come to hold dear.
Review- This is a very strong second novel in a series. Monk does not drop the ball; the only I wish I had done was reread the first one because it has been over year and so I have forgotten too much, I spent some time remembering details and so on, but it did not stop me from getting into the story quickly again. The story picks up a few weeks after the first novel with our heroes on the road to Kansas. Mae Lindson is going insane from the binding her and that is important to the story. The details are important but they came back to me as I continued reading. The characters are wonderful as before with brave heroes and I really loved the villains in this one. By that I mean they are very good villains. There are new characters introduced both heroes and villains. The best villain from the first book Mr. Shunt is back in this one and he makes the other villains even better. The magic is still really unknown but believable and wonderful. Honestly I can think of nothing that I did not like about this book. The dialogue is good, the characters grow well over time, the plot is fun and just the right amount of twisty. If you have not read Monk before or her Age of Steam series I do recommend highly.
I give this a Five out of Five. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.


message 8: by Lynn (last edited Jan 30, 2013 02:38PM) (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments 3 down from my TRB pile and up next is The Singing by Alison Croggon and Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.


message 9: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on “The Singing” by Alison Croggon and it is the last volume in the Pellinor quartet. It is 470 including notes and appendixes and it has maps so the reader can follow Maered and Hem’s journeys. The cover has Maered and Hem on looking at the reader with her harp in her arm and Hem’s tuning fork around his neck. It is published by Candlewick Press. The intended reader is young adult but anyone who loves high fantasy and sword and sorcery books will love this series. There is violence in this book but anything more than any of the others in the series so parents need not worry. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the dust jacket- This breathtaking final volume of the Pellinor epic follows the separate journeys of Maered and Hem as they desperately seek each other out in a battle-ravaged land. With the Black Army advancing north, all Seven Kingdoms of Annar are on the brink of defeat. Reports are dire on every front- and the way is fraught with bloodshed, betrayal, and, for Maered, horrifying visions. But brother and sister share an unshakable resolve. Together they possess the secret to the mysterious Singing. Prophecy holds that, as one, they can release the powerful ancient music of the Elementals and defeat the Nameless One and the accumulating forces of the Dark. But will they find each other in time?
Alison Croggon masterfully fulfills the promise of the first three books in a startling, richly satisfying conclusion to an acclaimed quartet.
Review- This is a strong ending novel. Almost all questions are answered and the ones that are not are more character histories that we just do not get to see. I really enjoyed this book and this series. The characters are interesting and the final character movements are fun and I did not see them coming. I expected at least one of the main characters to die but Croggon saves everyone in the end and that was very nice. This has been a very dark YA series and I was expecting a dark ending but Croggon pulls it out and it is wonderful. I was so glad that Maered, Hem, Cadvan, and everyone else makes it. She leaves it open to go back to this world and tell more stories with this characters. I hope she does. There are not plot holes, not one dropped anything to pull you out of the story. The darkness in this one is not as bad as The Riddle, more like The Crow, and so it does overwhelm the reader with it. The final image of Maered and Hem releasing the song back into the world moved me to tears. The notes at the end of give us some information about the characters after the end of the novels and I hope that Croggon goes back and tells us more than that. I know that she is working on a new story in this world and it follows Cadvan but I hope for more.
I give this one Five out of Five Stars. I get nothing for this review and I bought this book with my own little money.


message 10: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments 4 down from my TBR pile. I am reading Skinwalker by Faith Hunter and Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I think that I will have Skinwalker done first.


message 11: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Still working on Skinwalker and Devil in the White City but for a grad course I have added Leviathan. It has been in my TBE pile for far too long. When I finish one of those three I am going to be adding Five Little Pugs by Agatha Christie.


message 12: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments So I finished Leviathan first but I am almost done with Devil in the White City. Here is my review of Levianthan.
Today’s post is on “Leviathan” by Scott Westerfeld and is illustrated by Keith Thompson. It is the first in the Leviathan trilogy and is 440 pages including an afterword from Westerfeld about the real world people named in the book. It is published by Simon Pulse. The cover has intricate machinery and textures that make it fun to hold and run your fingers across. The intended reader is young adult but anyone who likes Steampunk, alternate history, and fantasy will like it. There is no language, sex, or anyone to make parents worry. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the dust jacket- Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
Review- This book is very interesting and fun and has been on my TBR pile for far too long. The two main characters, Deryn and Alek, grow from the beginning to the end of the story and I look forward to seeing where they go. The chapters go from one viewpoint to the other in two chapters at a time from Alek to Deryn. The side characters help strengthen the story and make Alek and Deryn more solid in your mind. As far I know there is no magic everything is science based from the beasts of the Darwinist to the walkers of the Clankers just science. The illustrations help make the chapters and inside both covers is a beautiful map of Europe with all the nations personified as either Darwinist or Clanker. The action scenes are fast and intense but the only downside is that I did not believe that any of the main characters were in danger. That is the only real problem with the story is that I did not believe that anything really bad was not going to happen to the main characters. I am not sure why that is, maybe because I know that Alek and Deryn will live to the end of the trilogy. That maybe not be a bad thing but it definitely toned down the tension for the book. But other than that the book is very good, the prose is strong and so very readable. I would 100 pages before I knew it so I flew through this book. Westerfeld is doing good things for the Steampunk genre and I think that he is giving it a good, strong voice. So if you are looking to get into Steampunk I would start here.
I give this one Four out Five Stars


message 13: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s non-fiction review is on “The Devil In The White City” by Erik Larson. It is 447 pages long including notes, index, and credits. The cover has a picture of the white city from across a lake. The intended reader is anyone who likes history and who wants to know more about the first known serial killer in America. There is talk of sex, there is language, drinking, murder, and some talk of the torture that Holmes did to his victims; you are warned. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that 'The Devil in the White City' is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.
Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.
The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.
Review- This book is wonderful and so interesting. The writing is strong, the pacing is a little slow at the start but then it just goes. Larson is putting together all the different threads that made both the World’ Fair and Holmes’s murders. It is told in four parts with separate chapters following Burnham and Company building the fair to Holmes as he moves and hunts. Larson has it full of notes, dairy entries, newspaper stories. I want to learn more about this time and the people that I have meet because of this book. It would be easy for the reader to be overwhelmed with all the information given to us over the book but Larson does not do that. He gives it to us in small, manageable doses, with reminders of who people are as the book moves along. The subject matter is strong so if you are not into murders or serial killers do not read this. Holmes is the first serial killer that is known so the notes from different people about him are little unnerving but I think that Larson handles this well and I did not feel overwhelmed by the accounts.
I give this one Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and this was given to me as a gift.


message 14: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I am now still reading Skinwalker and Five Little Pigs from my TBR pile.


message 15: by Daphne (new)

Daphne Sayed | 20 comments What genre is the 'pigs'?it is an intriguing title.


message 16: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Five Little Pigs a mystery by Agatha Christie.


message 17: by Daphne (new)

Daphne Sayed | 20 comments Lynn What a wally I am not to recognise title.I have quite a few Christie.I can't remember this story so I'll find and read.Daphne


message 18: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments It is wonderful so far. I have seen the movie with David Suchet and I loved it, so far the book as been better but no shock there.


message 19: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I just counted how many books I have read from my TBR pile and I have read six books so far! I'm very pleased with myself


message 20: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Griffin | 50 comments Lynn wrote: "I just counted how many books I have read from my TBR pile and I have read six books so far! I'm very pleased with myself"

Great job! I'm enjoying reading your reviews.


message 21: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Thank you for the encouragment!


message 22: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on “Five Little Pigs” by Agatha Christie also called Murder in Retrospect. It is the 24 Hercule Poirot novel, it is 240 pages long, and is published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. The cover has a hand with a paint brush in it and fades into a bright orange. The intended reader is someone who loves mysteries but this, like all Christie novels, is so well written that anyone who reads it will have a good time. There is no language, nothing illicit in this but there is talk of affair(s) by the murder victim and the murderer is very, very cold. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the dust jacket- It was an open and shut case. All the evidence said Caroline Crale poisoned her philandering husband, a brilliant painter. She was quickly and easily convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Now, sixteen years later, in a posthumous letter, Mrs. Crale has assured her grown daughter that she was innocent. But instead of setting the young woman’s mind at ease, the letter only raises disquieting questions. Did Caroline indeed write the truth? And if she didn’t kill her husband, who did?
To find out, the Crale’s daughter asks Hercule Poirot to reopen the case. His investigation takes him deep into the confliction memories and motivations of the five other people who were with the Crales on that fatal day. With his keen understanding of human psychology, he manages to discover the surprising truth behind the artist’s death.
Review- This is my favorite Poirot novel and one of the best by Christie; in my opinion. The mystery is being told to both Poirot and the reader backwards. Poirot is hired sixteen years after the murders, I say murders because Caroline Crale dies in jail because of the real murderer, and how it fits together is just chilling. When I read the final chapter and Poirot unveils the killer and their reasoning I got cold chills. One of the things that I love about Christie is that I do not have sympathy with her murderers and this one is no exception. The murderer is one of the most cold blooded killers I have ever read about. The writing is, of course, is superior to so many both in her time and in ours. The characters have layers upon layers that has the novel moves towards it conclusion they just become more and more complex. Everyone one of them has reasons for wanting Mr. Crale dead and Poirot is the only man who could uncover not only who but why he was murdered. Poirot himself does not have any character development but he is more like the reader than an active part of the cast in the story. Poirot is being told things and unless he has a question there is no interruption in the flow of the narrative. Only Agatha Christie could think of a story like this; much less write successfully. Pick this one up for a engrossing mystery and watch her do some of her best work.
I give this one Five out of Five Stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.


message 23: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I am going to just work on Skinwalker now from my TBR pile and after that I don't know what I will read next. Just see what is up front I guess.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Lynn wrote: "Today’s non-fiction review is on “The Devil In The White City” by Erik Larson. It is 447 pages long including notes, index, and credits. The cover has a picture of the white city from across a lake..."


I really need to give this book a second chance. I've had it in my stacks for years, and I even started it at one point, but I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. The beginning was a bit tedious and I just didn't have the patience to stick it out. :-/


message 25: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Yeah you have to stick out the first little bit but once the fair is going and Homles is getting busy with killing people it gets really intersting. I was/am not kidding about wanting to learn about this time and place because I really enjoyed the book.


message 26: by Lynn (last edited Mar 17, 2013 08:54AM) (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on “Skinwalker” by Faith Hunter and it is the first in the Jane Yellowrock series. It is 320 pages long and is published by ROC fantasy. The cover has Jane dressed in black leather, not showing too much skin, on her motorcycle Bista with a shotgun in her hand looking at the reader; surprisingly not too sexual. The intended reader is adult, someone who likes dark urban fantasy, and that is who should read it. There is some talk about sex, some strong language, and there is graphic violence. Under about age 16 should not read this one. The story is told from Jane Beast’s first person point of view. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- Last year Jane nearly lost her life taking down a deadly family of vampires who preyed on the helpless local populace. Now, after months of recuperation, she’s back and ready to fight again. Except this time, she’s been hired by those she’s trained to kill- Vampires.
Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind- a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires- and hunts the undead for a living. But now she’s been hired to Katherine Fonteneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.
Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a how Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission… or else the next skin she’ll need to save may be her own.
Review- The blurb is not a bad but it is not really what the story is about. To start with Skinwalker is fierce. This book is about a strong female protagonist who does not really need anyone else. There is no romance in this story. She is sexually attracted to the Cajun biker, Rick, but she is there on business and does have the time to get involved. I liked that about her. I liked that there is no love story in this book. I like love stories, I like my characters to have something more than killing the bad guys but I do get sick of every urban fantasy heroine has to have a guy when that is not true with the male heroes of urban fantasy. The story is strong, the characters, mainly Jane and Beast are interesting and very engaging. The mystery of who, what, and the what now of Jane is something that I look forward to reading more about. Also vampires are vampires, they are bloodsucking cursed beings not good guys. They are not bad or evil but they are the not good guys in this book. I did not guess who the killer was but when his plot was laid out I was impressed with evil he was. One thing that the villain did for the story was making Jane question and learn about herself and that is impressive because we only see him about three times in the book. The play of religion is interesting the book not just for the vampires but for Jane as well. I highly recommend this book.
I give this one Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.


message 27: by Lynn (last edited Mar 19, 2013 01:25PM) (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Next up Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson, The Golden Compass By Philip Pullman, and The Damned Busters by Matt Hughes.


message 28: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman. It is the first in His Dark Materials trilogy, is 399 pages long, and is published by Alfred A. Knopf. The cover is blue with the author’s name and title in a raised golden square, behind that is are constellations of the night sky. There is no language, no sex, but some of the violence is cruel and vividly described. So be warned before reading. It is told from third person close, mostly focused on Lyra but the narration does jump to others at different points in the story. There Be Spoilers Ahead.



From the back of the book- Lyra is content to run wild among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle- a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold, far North, young Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle.
Philip Pullman’s award-winning The Golden Compass is a masterwork of storytelling and suspense, critically acclaimed and hailed as a modern fantasy classic.



Review- This is an interesting, twisted, and good plot. The characters grown, are interesting, and they are why you read this story. Lyra is interesting and she grows so much over the course of the novel. Starting out she does not really do much thinking about anything but at the end she is willing to try and stop her very powerful father from doing something, that he think is good, but really does not know. Lyra is willing to face the unknown with just herself and her soul animal, her daemon Pantalaimon because they believe that they can. There is hope in the future, hope that children can make a better world than their parents have made. The mystery of what the Dust is, what Lyra is to do, and so much more. I enjoyed reading this book, I look forward to reading the second volume The Subtle Knife. I do not get why so many people get angry about this book. Yes I can see his religious dislike, I can see where some people do not read anything that is so religiously charged but it is just a book in the end. But it is no more than any other book where religion is the villain. To be honest, religions make good easy villains. It does not take much to make a religion, any religion, a villain. So read this book and enjoy the villain because the church in Lyra’s world and those hands for it that she encounters, make good, interesting, and evil enough villains.



I give this book Five out of Five Stars. I get nothing for this review and I bought my copy of this book with my little moneys.


message 29: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments So Hidden Empire by Kevin J Anderson and The Damned Busters by Matt Hughes. I have read 9 books out of my 24 for the Mount TBR Challenge.


message 30: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on “The Damned Busters” by Matthew Hughes. It is 413 pages long including an author interview at the end. It is published by Angry Robot Books. The cover is simple cartoon drawing of the characters and how the plot starts. The intended reader is adult who likes comic books heroes, humor, and it is not offended by mocking of religion. There is no language, mention of sexuality, and the raising of demons but nothing in poor taste. The story is told in third person. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- After accidentally summoning a demon while playing poker, the normally mild-mannered Chesney Anstruther refuses to sell his soul... which leads through various confusions to, well, Hell going on strike. Which means that nothing bad ever happens in the world- and that actually turns out to be a really bad thing.
There’s only one thing for it. Satan offers Chesney the ultimate deal- sign the damned contract, and he can have his heart’s desire. And thus the strangest superhero duo ever seen- in Hell or on Earth- is born!
Book one of the To Hell & Back saga is a riotous fantasy from the acclaimed author of the Henghis Hapthorn stories.
Review- This is one of the funniest books that I have read all year. It has its moments of laugh out loud humor but mostly it is going to put a smile on your face. The blurb on the back is not bad but Chesney does not sale his soul and that is what causes all the problems in the novel. Hughes is playing the superhero tropes and he does it well. The first two chapters are a little slow but after those the story just gets going. One thing if you are a very religious person then you may find some of the plot points offensive but if you are more like me and know that a story is just a story then you will not care. I give this warning because of the underlying themes is that God is writing a book. That is both the heart of and the solution to many of the problems in the book. I was not offended by anything in this book it was just funny to me. The characters are all pretty interesting, even the ones that are clearly straight from comics that I have read in my past.
I give this one Five out Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.


message 31: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Next up is Hidden Empire by Kevin J Anderson. I have read 10 of my TBR pile and I am very proud of myself for it.


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 07, 2013 11:04AM) (new)

Lynn wrote: "Today’s post is on “The Damned Busters” by Matthew Hughes. It is 413 pages long including an author interview at the end. It is published by Angry Robot Books. The cover is simple cartoon drawing o..."

This sounds like a fabulous book! I love graphic novels and humor (even at the expense of my own religion).

Amazingly, my local bookstore has it! It's raining, cold and miserable in Southern Oregon today, and I was going to spend the day in my pajamas eating fudge cookies and poking around my own stacks; but I think I'm gonna go get dressed and go pick The Damned Busters up now! :-)

Congratulations on being a "ten!" :-D


message 33: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Tanya/dog eared copy wrote: "Lynn wrote: "Today’s post is on “The Damned Busters” by Matthew Hughes. It is 413 pages long including an author interview at the end. It is published by Angry Robot Books. The cover is simple cart..."

Thanks and I hope you enjoy the Damned Busters as much as I did! Stay warm up there


message 34: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Well I am having to take Hidden Empire slower than I thought I would be man the plot is thick. So I am reading it and Ill Wind by Rachel Caine. I may add more just to break the serious up.


message 35: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Because I am now out of class and waiting for my last tow classes of grad school I am adding Stalking the Dragon by Mike Resnick. Still working on Ill Wind and Hidden Empire


message 36: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on “Ill Wind” by Rachel Caine. It is the first in her weather warden series and is 337 pages long. It is published by ROC fantasy. The cover has a beautiful car with a woman standing next to it facing away from the reader looking at a coming storm. There is sex, language, and violence in this book so 16 and older. It is told from first person point of view of the main character Joanne. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- Rider on the storm. The Wardens Association has been around pretty much forever. Some Wardens control fire, others control earth, water or wind- and the most powerful can control more than one element. Without Wardens, Mother Nature would wipe humanity off the face of the earth…
Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden. Usually, all it takes is a wave of her hand to tame the most violent weather. But now Joanne is trying to outrun another kind of storm: accusations of corruption and murder. So she’s resorting to the very human tactic of running for her life…
Her only hope is Lewis, the most powerful Warden. Unfortunately, he’s also on the run from the World Council. It seems he’s stolen not one but three bottles of Djinn- making him the most wanted man on earth. And without Lewis, Joanne’s chances of surviving are as good as a snowball in- well, a place she may be headed. So she and her classic Mustang are racing hard to find him because there’s some bad weather closing in fast…
Review- This was a great book with only one problem. There are only five chapters. Yes you read that right; only five chapters and the book is 337 pages long. I say that this is a problem because while there are break inside each chapter sometimes they come quickly and sometimes in more than 20 pages of text. Knowing that I would have still read the book but I would have changed how I read it. I was reading it on my lunch break but that did not work out. So I finished reading it at home and enjoyed much more. Caine is a great writer, this is the first time I have read her, and this book is a work of art. Joanne is likable, relatable, and you want her to win. Caine builds the world slowly giving the reader time to process all the details and rules because this world is full of them. There are only a few side characters with the biggest being David; Joanne’s love interest but all the characters are interesting. For a book with all the violence in it there is a surprisingly small death toll in fact only three deaths that I can think of. The magic is fun, the Djinn are Djinn, and I am excited about reading more in this world. While not all of the characters get as fleshed out as Joanne, I felt that I understood the motives of the side characters.
I give this book Four and a half stars out of Five. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.


message 37: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I am still working on Hidden Empire and Stalking the Dragon.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Lynn wrote: "Review- This was a great book with only one problem. There are only five chapters. Yes you read that right; only five chapters and the book is 337 pages long. I say that this is a problem because while there are break inside each chapter sometimes they come quickly and sometimes in more than 20 pages of text. Knowing that I would have still read the book but I would have changed how I read it. I was reading it on my lunch break but that did not work out. So I finished reading it at home and enjoyed much more."

LOL, The way the next is formatted directly affects when and how I read a book and, sometimes even if! Before I start any book, I always sit down to see how it's broken out. A few years ago, I picked up a book that had no chapter breaks and my brain just said, "NO!" Though there were sub-sectional breaks, there was something too daunting about the volume and density of the text.


message 39: by C. (friends, please call me by name) (last edited May 09, 2013 07:41PM) (new)

C.  (friends, please call me by name) (riedel) With **MULTIPLE** reading events, they choose what I read. Some days I say "F it" and pick my favourite genre a time or two (anything paranormal, or gothic mystery). But I admit I get a lot of fun out of strategizing like a chess-player: how many themes can I hit with a few titles? :) Carolyn www.CMRiedel.WordPress.com


message 40: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on “Stalking the Dragon” by Mike Resnick. It is the third in John Justin Mallory series. It is 296 pages long including six appendixes and a very detailed author’s information pages. It is published by Pyr. The cover has John Justin standing in the middle of a group of fantastic creatures. There is no sex but talk of it, there is some language but nothing too foul, and there is only humorous violence. Anyone over the age of 13 should be just fine. It is told from third person close focused on John Justin. There Be Spoilers Ahead.



From the back of the book- It’s Valentine’s Day and private detective John Justin Mallory is planning on closing up the office early and taking his partner, Col. Winnifred Carruthers, out to dinner since he’s sure that no one else will do so. But before he can turn off the lights and lock the door, he is visited by a oanic-stricken Buffalo Bill Brody. It seems that the Eastminster pet show is being held the next day, and his dragon, Fluffy, the heavy favorite, has been kidnapped.
Mallory’s nocturnal hunt for the tiny dragon takes him to some of the stranger sections of this Manhattan- the Frump Tower; Horrid Hubert’s; Greenwitch Village (which is right around the corner from Greenwich Village but is far more dangerous); a wax museum where figures of Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre come alive; and more- and as he follows the leads and hunts for clues he comes up against one dead end after another.
Along the way he meets a few old friends and enemies, a host of strange new inhabitants of this otherworldly Manhattan, and the most unique cell phone in all of fantastic literature. Aided by Felina (the office cat-person), a Samurai goblin, and a zombie name Dead End Dugan, Mallory and his unlikely crew have only one night to find a tiny dragon that’s hidden somewhere in a city of seven million.



Review- I really love the John Justin Mallory adventures for many reasons. They are funny, the plots are fun, and Resnick is a wonderful writer. His sense of dialogue is unmatched by anyone. He parodies the tropes of all genre books. I just love this series. It is fun, funny, and just everything for someone who loves humor well done. Terry Pratchett is king of high fantasy humor but Resnick is of urban fantasy with John Justin. As this one is the third book about John Justin you really need to have read the first two to really get all of the jokes. Resnick still does some world building in this book but that Manhattan is so like our Manhattan that he just fills in the details so you can see the differences between the worlds. There are jokes from the other books like John Justin still betting on Flyaway and losing more money on that horse. So expect more humor and more wonderful writing from the master Mike Resnick.



I give this book Five stars out of Five. I get nothing for my review and I brought this book with my own money.


message 41: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments C. wrote: "With **MULTIPLE** reading events, they choose what I read. Some days I say "F it" and pick my favourite genre a time or two (anything paranormal, or gothic mystery). But I admit I get a lot of fu..."

lol! Some days I feel like that too.


message 42: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I am still working n Hidden Empire and The Hero of Ages. I am 12 books into my challenge! Half-way there!


message 43: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I'm back! There is the review of Hidden Empire by Kevin J Anderson. I am glad to be reading again and I will have more reviews coming soon! This make book 13 that I have finished for the year from my TBR pile. I am now reading The Hero of Ages and The Last Dragonslayer.

Today’s post is on Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson. It is the first in his Saga of Seven Suns series which is seven novels long. It is 637 pages long including a glossary characters and terminology. The cover has Jupiter on it with the title in orange and the author’s name in yellow. The intended reader is someone who likes space operas, does not mind a lot of people dying, and general hard science fiction stuff. The chapters are told from third person close of a different main character. There is violence, talk of sex, and foul language; but you like any of the above then this is not shocking or new. Just to be safe 16 and up. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- Mankind has colonized the worlds of the Spiral Arm. The galaxy is theirs for the taking. But humanity will soon discover the brutal, horrifying price of arrogance in deep space.
The Kilkiss Torch is a device of unimaginable power, capable of transforming gas giants into new suns. However, unknown to humanity, the Jovian worlds are home to an undreamed-of alien species: the hydrogies. Infinitely advanced, supremely powerful, and now the victims of accidental genocide, the hydrogues don’t seek apologies or reparations. Instead, incredible armadas of invincible city-sized warships suddenly emerge from the galaxy’s numerous gaseous worlds with a single mission: to annihilate every last human being in the universe.
And so begins the Saga Seven Suns- an action-packed epic of mankind’s destiny among the stars.
Review- This is a fast-paced, action filled space opera. As a long time science fiction fan this was an interesting and different ride. As I read this book at times I had to put it down because Anderson made me care about the characters so when really bad stuff happened I needed a break. So I would put it down then pick it back up and so on for about four months now. And now I have finished the first novel. It was good. It was everything that I was hoping for. Space ships, tricky politics, innocent people fighting for their lives, and truly bad guys. In my opinion the bad guys are not the Hydrogues, at the moment at least, the bad guys are the ones in power both the human and the Ildirans. The human in power is pretty amoral but the Ildiran leader is not really grey but more like darker shadow. He creeped me out really bad. The robots in this are important to the future of the story and I look forward to seeing where they are going. In general I think that this is a strong first novel in a series.
I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.


message 44: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on "The Last Dragonslayer” by Jasper Fforde. It is 286 pages long and is published by Harcourt. The cover is light green-yellow with an orange VW bug under the title. It is told in first person point of view of the main character Jennifer. There is no language, no sex, and no violence. The author is British so some of the language may not be easily understood by someone who does not know British culture but Google will help with that. There Be Spoilers Ahead.



From the back of the book- In the good old days, magic was indispensable- it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians- but it’s hard to stay in business when mafic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam- and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something knows as… Big Magic.



Review- I went into reading this book with some caution because I love Jasper Fforde. He is a wonderful writer but until this book he has only written books for adults. The Thursday Next Series is a literary marvel. So I was worried that Fforde would change his style now that he was writing for young adults. I should not have been worried. This book is wonderful. It is not as funny as Thursday Next but it is very well written and I think that teens would enjoy it. Jennifer is a good heroine who fights against some very bad odds. The plot is not too twisty but that is normal for Fforde. He likes to take small things like an orphan and make them into something bigger and wonderful. Jennifer is important and she learns that she is more than just a foundling. She is blessed with honor, a desire to do the right thing, and a very carefully controlled temper. The Last Dragonslayer is a great read by a wonderful author and I cannot wait to read the second one.



I give this book Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I was given book as a gift.


message 45: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I am reading Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson and the Society of Steam book one by Andrew Mayer. I have read 14 books of my challenge and am closing in my goal!


message 46: by Julia (new)

Julia (mizzelle) | 46 comments I agree about looking at how the book is organized beforehand to gauge how long it'll take to read -- although # of chapters (and length) can be deceptive, depending on the text. If it's dense literary material, it make take me awhile to get through even a short book, whereas a long book may go swimmingly if there's plenty of dialogue and interaction. The frustrating ones are where they're broken into parts and the chapters renumber, so I have no idea how long it actually is.


message 47: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on The Society of Steam: The Falling Machine by Andrew Mayer. It is book one the Society of Steam trilogy and is published by Pyr Books. The cover is beautiful with two of the main characters on it Sarah and Tom with a villain on the side; the title and author’s name in white. It is told from third person close varying from chapter to chapter but the movement is natural and not jarring to the reader. There is no language, no sex, and some violence but it is not graphic so 13 and up should like and enjoy. There Be Spoilers Ahead.



From the back of the book- In 1880 women aren’t allowed to vote, much less dress up in costumes and fight crime. But nineteen-year-old socialite Sarah Stanton still dreams of becoming one of the Paragons, New York’s greatest team of gentlemen superheroes.
Sarah finds opportunity in tragedy when Dennis Darby, her mentor and the leader of the Paragons, is murdered right before her eyes. To discover the truth behind the assassination, Sarah joins forces with the amazing mechanical man known as the Automaton. Together they begin to explore the mystery behind the assassination.
What they discover is a conspiracy among the heroes- a plot that will destroy the Paragons from within and deliver the secret substance that gives them their powers straight into the hands of the greatest villain the worlds has ever seen.
Now, is she is going to save them, and her mechanical friend, Sarah must become a true hero, no matter what the cost.



Review- I had so much fun with this book. The writing is strong, the characters are fun and interesting, and the plot is enjoyable. The only problem I have is that I do not have the other two novels in the trilogy… yet. The book happens pretty quickly once Sarah decides that she needs to avenge Dennis Darby’s murder, the story just flows. It starts with a bang and ends with twist that I guessed was coming but I was still pleased by it. Sarah is smart but she has been sheltered from the real world as a young woman of her time would have been. Sarah needs more and by the end of the novel she starts to get it. If you are an avid reader then you get where Mayer gets some inspiration for characters and I enjoyed that so much. If you are not in Steampunk or superheroes then is not the story for you. But if you like me and love both then go get this book today. You will not regret it.



I give this book a Four of out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.


message 48: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I am still working on Hero of Ages but I am less than 200 pages from ending and I will be starting Vampire Empire Book On The Grayfriar soon. I don't know what I will add when I finish Hero. I am 15 books into my challenge so only 9 more to go. Yay!


message 49: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments Today’s post is on The Hero of Days by Brandon Sanderson. It is the final volume in the Mistborn trilogy. It is 748 pages long including a names and terms list at the end. It is published by TOR. The cover has Vin and Elend, two of the main characters, standing with a ruined city behind them. There is no language, no sex but a lot of violence in this novel but the violence is not very graphic and very fantasy-like. The story is told from varying points of view moving from one of the main characters to another as the story moves. There Be Spoilers Ahead.



From the back of the book- Killing the Lord Ruler to end the Final Empire was obviously the right thing to do, wasn’t it? With the return of the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists, increasingly heavy ashfalls, and ever more powerful earthquakes, Vin and Elend are no longer so sure. Long ago, Ruin- one of the primal beings who created the world- was promised the eventual right to destroy all things. Now that Vin has been tricked into releasing him from the Well of Ascension, Ruin apparently intends to collect.
The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will you rubbing your eyes in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.



Review- This has to be one of the best final novels and best trilogies that I have ever read. When I finished the book I had tears in my eyes because the ending was just so beautiful. Only once before has a finale moved me so much and that was for The Darkangel trilogy’s final volume. Sanderson does so much right in this novel and series that I hardly know where to begin. The screws of the plot just get tighter and tighter as the story goes on. When I would stop reading I would say that. I love Vin so much. She is a real person, Sanderson makes her so awesome and real. She has thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Vin is the heart of this story but she is not the Hero of Ages. When the Hero comes to realize who he is; that is one of the most beautiful moments in the story. The ending to this series is perfect. I cannot think of anything that I would change about it. Sanderson has made a lifelong fan out of me.



I give this book and series Five out of Five stars. I bought with my own money, I proudly own it, and I will recommend this series to anyone who like high fantasy.


message 50: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (larainey) | 65 comments I am 16 books into my challenge! I am currently reading Vampire Empire Book One and The World Above.


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