Monday, November 30, 2015

The Fire Sermon; by Francesca Haig

In this post apocalyptic tale, everyone is born with a twin.  The catch is that one twin is born with a deformity of some sort.  Soon after birth the deformed child, known as an Omega is branded on their foreheads and sent to live with their Omega family.  If one is hurt, the other is hurt as well, one dies, the other dies; that is their curse together. Omega's are ostracized a treated poorly, while their Alpha twins live in luxury.  Cass is a rare Omega, in that her deformity is that she is a seer.  She was able to hide her "deformity" from her family for years until she is discovered and sent away.  Her twin, Zach, gains power within the government and Cass dreams of equality between the two.  Cass is held prisoner at Zach's request in order to keep others from attacking her to get to him.  She manages to escape while rescuing a boy from a tube.  Together they embark on a quest for survival and to discover a legendary island where Omegas live in peace and harmony.

This dystopia novel is perfect for fans of the genre.  Haig's debut novel is difficult to put down.  The world she builds within  "Fire Sermon" is spellbinding and full of imagination. There isn't a point where the book felt like it was generic or full of clichés.  It gives Hunger Games and Divergence a run for the money. 

Cass is a great character,  she accepts her "deformity" and becomes a powerful woman because of it.  She strives for equality even if it is an idea that seems foreign to everyone else. The other characters are just as strong.  Her traveling companion (his name escapes me..Kip maybe) despite not only missing an arm, but also his memory fights the Alpha mindset and displays intelligence and a strong will.  I actually wanted more from his character.

Haig does deal a lot with disability discrimination and how the Alphas try to find ways to eliminate their deformed twin.  It puts into perspective about how people honestly treat those with disabilities.  Too often people get the mindset that because someone has a disability they are incapable of things.  This book takes that idea and expands on it, and turns it around to show strength and perseverance.

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from this novel, but I am glad I picked it up.  I cannot wait to pick up the next installment in the series.  I would recommend this to fans of dystopia type of novels and I give this a 4.5 out of 5.  Great job Francesca.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

From our home to yours, may you have a wonderfully happy Thanksgiving and a joy holiday season.  Thank  you all for the support you have shown thus far.  There is so much in life to be utterly thankful for.  Take a moment this whole holiday season to reflect on everything to be thankful for no matter how large or small.  There is always something.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Daemon's Mark by Caitlin Kittredge

A young teenage werewolf turns up murdered, Luna cannot rest until she finds the killer.  Her team (known as the Freak Squad") begin investigating a man who has been known to leave bars with young women.  What Luna didn't expect was the investigation to be tied to the Russian mob and human (or were) trafficking.  Quickly Luna finds herself ensnared by the very men she is trying to capture. 

I picked up this book based on the blurb on the back, it sounded so interesting and really drew me into the plot.  When I opened the book and started reading, I discovered the blurb on the back was not for this book!  How did that manage to get past editing?  I decided  to  give this book a chance  despite  the  error in the blurb.

I  was an able to get into this book, no matter  how  hard  I tried or how long I read.  I remained bored throughout the story.  The aspect  of human (or rather paranormal) trafficking  was forced.  It wasn't  at all what  I  expected from  the beginning of the novel.  It completely  strayed away from the original  story  of  finding  a murderer.  I understand  their trail lead to the trafficking, but it just didn't  seem to fit the atmosphere  of the novel.

Luna is a hard character  to get a handle on.  There are so many sides to her, you  don't  really  get deep into her character,  at least  that is the way it felt.  I don't  know  what  it was about  her, but I didn't like her as a main character.  Maybe if I had read a prior book or the actual  book I thought  I had bought  I would have felt different. 

Unfortunately, I couldn't  finish  the book acted in my world that is a travesty.   There are not many books that I couldn't  get through.  I just had to put it down and couldn't  come back.  Therefore I am sad to say I give this novel a 1.5.  It started out interesting, but went completely off base.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Painted Girl: A Kiowa in Love by RA Winter

Painted Girl is the second novel in RA Winter's Kiowa in Love series, and it does not disappoint.  This novel follows Sarah, or Painted Girl, and she learns to accept herself for who she is and learn to love a man for who he is; faults and all.

Sarah wants to marry Jack RedHorse, but of course Grandfather has other plans
While Painted Girl finds herself through her pottery and work with clay, RedHorse goes off to become great warrior, and Grandfather must come to terms with the circumstances of his own past to move forward to the future of the tribe. Painted Girl and RedHorse need to discover their Inner Indian, and Grandfather thinks he knows how to help them along their journey, and to each other. But as always, his plans don’t work out the way he expected.

One thing I love about RA is that her novels focus on the actual relationship building in romance.  She tells of the struggles and heartaches some couples are faced with as they learn to not only love one another, but love themselves.  That is what Painted Girl and RedHorse must do before they can properly love one another.  RA Winter shows the reality of a relationship rather than the physical aspect of it.  “It is good to know your heritage so well. You need to know where you are from before you go somewhere.” This line spoken by Grandfather is a strong example of one theme found in the series: honoring one’s heritage.  This is what the series is all about: honoring oneself, like I said loving yourself before you can love someone else.

This story is as much about Grandfather as it is about Painted Girl and RedHorse.  He struggles with his own background and knowing where he comes from.  I love Grandfather and enjoyed seeing a lot more of him in this novel, which is something I hope continues throughout the series.  We learn more about his thought process and where he wants the tribe to be.  We see his fears and insecurities as well.  I love that RA includes these elements into her stories.  Just a fantastic read, check it out.

I have a more detailed review on OnlineBookClub if you want to read more.  I give this novel a rating of a 5 out 5 and cannot wait for another novel

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Order of Seven by Beth Telino

Order of Seven is a fantasy novel that follows teenage Devi Bennet as she strives to discover the truth behind her heritage.  She continues to have a reoccurring dreams that troubles her as well as being drawn to a specific tree, and to top it off a physic ability.  Everything changes when she discovers she is something called a rune and there is the possibility that there is no one else like her.  When she meet Baron there is a charge between them, and not any charge, electric energy.  Now Devi must rely not only on Baron, but also her brother; an empathy, and his best friend: a seer to  help her research and discover the meaning behind her powers and dreams.  Their quest leads them to an ancient legend of seven beings who with combined powers can help save the world from disaster.  Now it is a race against time to find the other runes and protect the world from on coming danger.  Can they accept their roles in this divine plan and be able to stop worldly disaster?

What can I say about this novel other than it was a fantastic read.  I enjoyed each of the characters individually, but I enjoyed Baron the best.  There is more of a mystery behind this character and I wanted more of him.  Devi is a complex character as well, though she seemed more pre-occupied with her relationship with Baron than she was with her powers and research.  Through the research the group performs, it is evident Beth did her own research and knew what she was writing about.

There is a multitude of description and details involved in this novel, but it does not get too overwhelming. If anything it makes readers want more from this fantastic author.  I honestly have not read a novel that compelled me to stay up through the night in order to finish quite like this one did.  This is a novel that weaves all the great elements of paranormal, ancient culture, and a little religion/philosophy thrown in.  This is done with such talent that she makes her readers want to learn more about the elements she includes.  There is not one point where you can predict what is happening, the whole story is suspenseful and enthralling.  Beth did a fantastic job with this novel, and I honestly hope there are more to come!  I rate this a 5 out 5 and recommend this to everyone who enjoys a good novel. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Want to read list

I have found my want to read list keeps getting bigger rather than smaller, but I guess that is the mark of a an avid bibliophile.  I constantly am looking for the next book to read even though I have stacks of books piled everywhere in my room.  Sometimes I think I need to downsize then I realize the horror of my thoughts.  I wanted to share some of my want to read list and maybe you can share some of yours and maybe find something new to pick up.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire:  After Alice by Gregory Maguire explores what happened after Alice fell into the rabbit hole.  It doesn't exactly follow Alice as one may think but rather Ada; a friend of Alice's.  She is off to visit Alice, but arrives after Alice has fallen into the hole, and then falls in herself.  Ada brings a different viewpoint to a world we know and love so well.  She begins a quest to find Alice in addition to finding their way back home again.  Based on the descriptions, it seems she discovers everything just after Alice, almost like she is just one step behind as she is tracking down her friend.  While she is behind Alice it seems she is experiencing Wonderland different than Alice did.  Being an Alice in Wonderland fan, I cannot wait to get my hands on this book and devour it.

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon:  The Angel's Game follows his other novel Shadow of the Wind which is fantastic.  In this novel an aspiring writer David Martin is struggling to stay afloat.  It takes place in the heart of Barcelona.  David jumps at a mysterious publishing deal that seems too good to be true.  After beginning his work, he pays a visit to the Cemetary of Forgotten Books (we are introduced to this in Shadows of the Wind).  Since his visit he is beginning to realize there is a connection to his writing and the strange shadows lurking about.  Could the publisher be involved with the shadows as well?  What secrets is he hiding from David?  After reading Shadow of the Wind, I became an instant fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafron.  After reading the descriptions of this book, this book is taunting me from my bookshelf, I need to pick it up soon.

The Grindle Witch by Benjamin Myers:  The Grindle Witch by Benjamin Myers is the tale of an ancient evil awaiting to return.  The story follows Jack Jolly who recently move to the village of Grindle.  Having once lived in the city he thinks life is boring, nothing of entertainment in this small town.  That is until he finds himself knee deep in the mystery and possibly confronting the evil known as the Grindle Witch.  He and his friends think they have figured out how to stop the Grindle Witch, but in the process they could potentially unleash more than they expected.  What could be more evil and terrifying than the Grindle Witch?  This novel brings chills to my skin when I think about out it.  It reminds me almost like a story I read recent The Curse of Crow Hollow, and ancient being thought to be evil lurking in the shadows.  I have it sitting on my Amazon wish list and I keep hoping soon I can add it to my shelf.

There are so many different books on my to read list, this is just 3 out of over 1,000.  Can you imagine trying to read that many books while continuing to add to it because of new books that come out!  How will a literary cat be able to keep up? Head to the comments section and let me know what are some of your to read books you cannot wait to open up?

Friday, November 13, 2015

One Silent Night by Sherrilynn Kenyon

Stryker has plans to eliminate all dark hunters and humans like in order to avenge his sister's death.  When an old enemy returns all his plans are turned to dust.  Also add his ex-wife into the mix and things get really steamy.  Zephyra is the only woman he has ever loved, and also the one woman who could possibly stop him.  Not only does he plot the death of humans and dark-hunters alike, but he also thinks he can bring down one of the most powerful goddesses around: Apollmyi.  The dark hunters need to figure out what Stryker's plans are and how they can stop him before it is too late.

This is the book that started my obsession with the Dark Hunter series.  I kept walking past the book at work and decided to step out of my comfort zone and read a romance novel, and boy was I blown away.  I haven't stopped reading Kenyon since and have a very nice library of her books (I need to add to it as well).  I think what really drew me to the series is the heavy mythological basis it has.  Not only does it play on the Greek/Roman mythos, but also other mythologies as well as creates some of it's own.  Kenyon takes the things I love most and creates something new to love.  After reading this novel, I needed more from her.  And thus began my slight obsession with the Dark Hunter world.

Kenyon does a fantastic job with not only this book, but all the books.  While this is considered a paranormal romance novel, there is so much more included.  She does not focus completely on the physical relationship between a couple, but shows them growing and building trust and respect for one another.  Every character she creates are interesting and complex that one book doesn't seem to be enough to tell their tale.  She also includes minor characters that make you want to know their story and anticipate it as the next read.  It is completely easy to become enthralled in Kenyon's stories.  While it was brief, there was interesting dynamic between Nick, Stryker and Ash.  Because their encounters were brief it makes one wonder what is the story behind those three.

I recommend this book and the series to well...everyone.  If you enjoy paranormal romance novels, this is perfect.  If you like a little action and adventure, Dark Hunters are perfect for you as well.  There is a little bit of everything for everyone.  I give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Creatura by Nely Cab

Creatura is the first book in Nely Cab's Creatura series, and it was an interesting start.  Isis has been plagued by a mysterious creature in her dreams, causing her months of sleepless nights.  She finally decides to face her fears and confront this monster, only to discover it is not a monster, but a man.  One who is anything but a dream.  A jealous/violent ex-boyfriend, multiple discoveries, and a loving sacrifice through Isis' world upside down.  Will her life ever be normal again?  How will she be able to come to terms with her new discoveries, and possibly new identity?

Honestly I do not know how I feel about this book.  What isn't there to love: gods who are anything but mythical, a dangerous ex boyfriend, shocking news, young love.  Sounds amazing right?  Unfortunately, this novel seemed to fall short for me.  Maybe it is because I have read so many novels dealing with mythical pantheons, I had incredibly high expectations.  The mythology involved was well written and interesting, I wanted a little more on the Creatura other than basically being forbidden undesirable beings who were supposed to have been completely exterminated.  Then other creatures are mentioned such as Tribus (I think I spelled that correctly) but we aren't given much more information on them. 

The characters were weak, and almost generic.  At times I liked David, but other times I hated him.  He almost always contradicts himself.  One point he is sweet, caring, romantic, but then becomes possessive and borderline abusive.  When Isis simply says "hi" to a male classmate, David flies off the handle and manhandles her.  This is not a quality in a man that we should be promoting to young women as acceptable.  David is quick to anger and doesn't think before he acts, you would think a god would has been around for millennia would know think before he re-acts.  Galen and Eryx are a hilarious duo, I certainly wanted more of their characters.  I enjoyed seeing different aspects of the gods and goddess powers, but they all seemed to be empathic, able to see feelings and internal make-up.  It would have been far more interesting if there were other powers included.  While we are on that subject, David has a few powers that are mentioned but never explained such as his power to tranquilize someone, heal someone and if he is struck the offending person is infested with parasites.  Why is this not explained more??

Overall it was a decent first book to a series and left a lot of questions open that I hope will be answered in upcoming books.  Young adults and those who enjoy a little mythology would enjoy reading this book.  My rating I would give a 3 out of 5 because there were things that were unexplained and character qualities that were somewhat contradictory.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick is a young adult suspense/thriller, semi mystery novel.  It follows teenage Britt Pfeiffer as she is kidnapped and forced to help two wanted men down from the mountain.  Britt and her friends planned a weeklong camping/hiking trip at her friend's family cabin.  What Britt hoped for but didn't expect was Korbie's older brother (and Britt's ex-boyfriend) would be joining them.  When the two girls get stranded on the way to the cabin they abandon the car in search of shelter for the night.  They never expect to fall into a trap.  The guys they meet seem to be nice enough, that is until one of them, Shaun turns on them and demand the girls help them off the mountain.  Britt convinces the men to leave Korbie behind and risks her life to help these men.  Along the way she learns things about both men, all the while hoping that Calvin (the ex boyfriend) would find and rescue her.  Britt soon learns things are not as they appear, and people have hidden secrets.

<sigh>  There are good and bad things about the novel, sadly it seems the bad might outweigh the good.  While the story itself is interesting and has some merit to it, there are aspects of the storyline and characters that are disappointing.  First off we have Britt who completely admits that she relies on the men in her life to provide and protect her, so then how does she expect to backpack 40 miles by herself?  The novel spend a great deal of time with her re-living memories with Calvin and expecting him to come to her rescue, all the while thinking she might return to him if he asked.  She then begins developing feelings for her kidnapper!  WHAT REALLY?  I understand Stockholm Syndrome and all but she even tells herself this is the case, but still makes out with him and forgives him for what he's done.

Aside from the annoyance of Britt and her characteristics the story wasn't too poorly written, it was entertaining and compelling.  I actually finished the book within a day,  but I did find myself sighing throughout the novel.  at one point Calvin kills someone in cold blood and Britt doesn't bat an eye, and Ace continues to keep secrets from her and she completely trusts him enough to begin cuddling and kissing.  Her actions towards men are completely stupid and naïve, maybe that was the point as she is a teenager after all.  The good parts of the book were the descriptions of the settings, dialog for the most part, and while Britt's character can be annoying and starts off as a pampered little girl, she does change and begins to learn to try and protect/provide for herself.  She begins to actually think about her actions, though it is far and few between that she does.

I understand Mason/Jude was trying to find a killer, but what I don't understand is how he got mixed up with Shaun when he had no real evidence linking him to anything.  He was a likeable enough character, but when given the chance to explain everything to Britt, he still keeps secrets.  He did try to convince them to leave but doesn't even give the suggestion of driving them to their cabin.  We get the sense he isn't like Shaun at all, maybe a good guy mixed up with the wrong crowd feeling.  As for the plot twist, I feel it was almost predictable, I figured it out fairly early in the novel.  The clues were pretty obvious once you started into the core of the story.

Overall, this is a good YA book reading it as an adult does make it harder to find perfect enjoyment out of the novel because I think as an adult and see the stupidity in the actions taken throughout the novel.  I think a young adult who is into the thriller/suspense would enjoy the book.  Fans of Becca Fitzpatrick would definitely enjoy this novel.  As for my rating, I struggled with what I would give this book, and I decided to give this book a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Parables by John MacArthur

I am a huge fan of the parables Jesus told.  They taught us things using analogies that were easy to understand in that time, but might to hard to understand now.  Some things are different such as our words, jargon, and generally how the world is viewed.  In John Macarthur's book "Parables,"  he takes a deeper look into the parables and their meanings.  He looks at what the time period was all about and what people did and why it was so important.

Jesus used the parables to give His followers and understanding of faith and what it means to follow Him.  John MacArthur does a good job at breaking each parable down and addressing each aspect individually.    He uses historical and cultural facts to provide readers with the materials we need to understand and grow closer to God.  He provides readers with ways to appropriately interpret Jesus parables.   Something I enjoyed was that MacArthur pulls in other scripture,  showing even these teachings run deeper than we originally thought.

There were times when it felt like the book dragged on.  While he gives us a lot of information,  sometimes it feels like information overload.  I know some people have read this book quickly.   I suggest taking it slow and actually study the teachings John MacArthur provides along with the Bible. 

I completely enjoyed this book and learned a lot.  I think others would enjoy this as well.  If you are looking for ways to understand Jesus' s teachings,  then this book is the one you need to invest in.  I give this book a 3 out of 5 because there is so much information.  At times it was too much and actually made things a little harder to understand.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Kazuhiko is a former solider who is now a private investigator.  Kazuhiko has been given specific orders to pick up and bring in a rare being with extraordinary gifts, a "four-leaf clover" named Suu.  While this task seems simple and easy enough, it is anything but that.  There is a deeper, larger plot happening within this story which includes a shady governmental agenda, long lost love, and a long standing feud.  Everything that makes a story interesting and compelling right?

CLAMP does a fantastic job with this manga.  They continue with the elements that CLAMP is most known for - being primarily considered a female manga because of their appeal to emotions over action.  They appeal to the elements females find well..appealing.  Although I know several men who have also enjoyed the story of not only Clover, but also other CLAMP authored manga series. 

The artwork is stunningly beautiful, I mean look at the cover art.  The lines are fluid, the details are intense and the expressions throughout the pages match the mood and emotions the characters are experiencing.  The women of CLAMP seem to be experimenting with blank space in this manga series.  Typically we see clean lines between each sell, but in Clover, we see unique angling of the cell and usage of blank areas.  All this is good because the manga is fill to the brim with images and words, there is a break for the eyes to focus on for a moment or two.

The characters themselves are interesting and make readers want to know more about them, see more of them.  CLAMP experiments with technology a little bit within this manga, the characters can look completely normal and then have robotic wings the next as we see with Suu.  Suu is a unique character in that she is something that should not exists, something rarer than a four leaf clover.  A character of experiences a deep sense of sadness and loneliness.  It was really easy to relate to her as often times, I have felt the longing to belong somewhere as she does.

I would recommend this manga for any who is looking for something unique and interesting.  I give this manga a 4 out of 5 rating.  I wish there was more to it.  To me, it seemed to end abruptly and left several questions unanswered.