Friday, April 29, 2016

Old Farmer's Road By Isaiyan Morrison

I have to say that Old Farmer's Road is one of those books that is chilling and suspenseful.  Old Farmer's Road has been the center of several mysterious deaths for centuries. No one knows of the true horrors that reside in that swampy area except for two teenagers: Isaac and Elsie. They quickly befriend Cecilia shortly after she moves from California to Minneapolis. The conduct a ritual that turns Cecilia into the same rare creature they are, an Impa. Each day Cecilia is plagued with a voice asking for "just one more," and a hunger that can only be quenched by the flesh and essence of humans. Soon the voice and the hunger become more than she can bear, and Cecilia tries to find another way to save herself as well as the unwilling victims of Isaac and Elsie. Meanwhile Jan and Derek are investigating the murders since Derek brother became one of the victims. Little do they know the truth that is lurking in the swamp. There is some truth to the old legends revolving around Old Farmer's Road, but is there a way to eliminate an ancient evil with a grudge against the town?

 This book was probably one of the best books I have read so far this year.  There is so much in it that makes it a great novel to read, one that I couldn't put down.  I would lay awake reading telling myself "one more page, just one more.  Just to the end of the chapter" then it would be 3 in the morning and I would growl at myself.  When I did put it down, I couldn't stop thinking about it.  There were points in this book that were down right terrifying as Morrison describes the Impa and their feeding habits. I thought the folklore around the Old Farmer's Road was interesting and a great use of how small towns hold on to things.  I enjoyed that Morrison used a different legendary creature that we don't see too often in literature.  Instead of relying on the vampire lore, Morrison created something even more terrifying.

Morrison's writing simply radiates off the page as the characters develop and become something new right before our eyes.  Readers quickly get dragged into the story and it clings to them until the bitter end, although I hope there will be more books from Morrison.  I give this book a 5 out of 5 because it is completely unique and well written.

See my other review of this book at as well as countless other reviews of phenomenal books.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Such a hard life

Life as a literary cat is so hard.  Sometimes you need to take a nap with your favorite stuffed animal before beginning a new book.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Fathomless is the third book in Pearce's Fairytale Retelling series, and probably my favorite thus far.  In this novel we meet Celia and Lo.  Celia is one part of a set of triplets with unique qualities, they have special powers.  Celia's power is that she can see someone's past, something she doesn't find as exciting as her sisters' powers of seeing the present and future.  Lo is a mermaid, or ocean girl, trying to remember who see previously was and why she wants to become human.  The two cross paths when together they rescue a boy who had fallen into the ocean.  When Celia touches Lo, she sees a past full of screaming.  Lo continues to come to see Celia after learning her true name and the two work together to discover more about Lo's mysterious past.  But soon the two girls are competing for the affection of the boy they saved: Jude.  According to the ocean girls, Lo could get her life as a human back if she can get a human to love her and then she must kill him and steal his soul.  Lo quickly discovers the things she hears about her future are not what they appear to be, and that there is someone who has more sinister plans for the girls of the ocean.

Fathomless seemed to have a little more action and build up to it as Celia tries to help Lo, and hold a relationship with Jude, and become someone separate from her sisters.  Much like Sweetly, Fathomless plays on elements from the previous two novels.  Things we learn about in Sweetly play a major role in this novel, and there is a hint at a connection to Sisters Red.  The continuation of the story in this manner is very interesting and keeps me intrigued at where Pearce is going to take the series, will they all somehow come to a close together in a final book?  I love his descriptions of the ocean girls as having skin tinted blue or green showing they are something different from humans.

This one isn't as slow to develop as the previous two were.  It takes us through the eyes of Celia and Lo which makes for double the action until their story lines become one. It is definitely not the sweet little mermaid tale we remember for Disney as Lo kills a young boy within the first few moments of the story, and then another ocean girls tries to kill Jude.  The character I think developed the most was Lo as she develops back into Naidia and fits for her humanity.  The end is completely surprising and not what I was expecting.  Pearce has developed a way of connecting with her readers and keeps them wanting more from her work.  I know I do!

I give Fathomless a 4.5 out of 5 stars.  The pace of the story is still a little slow going but it doesn't take away from the overall feeling of the story.  It still progresses nicely and keeps the readers wanting more, I look forward to picking up Cold Spell next.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Crown of Midnight by Sarah Maas

Crown of Midnight is the second novel in Sarah Maas' Throne of Glass series.  The book picks up after Celeana has been named the King's Champion, and she defeated the evil within the castle only to discover something more sinister is happening.  This book opens with her carrying out one of the King's orders.  All this time Celeana has been giving her marks an option to  fake their death and leave or she kills them.  When she is given an order to kill a former associate, she decides to try and gather more information about a rebel uprising.  While looking for secrets and answers Celeana stumbles upon another passageway leading to a big iron door.  Throughout the book, she discovers a throng of secrets being held from her, even from those who are the closest to her: Crown Prince Dorian, Princess Nehemia, and Captain of the Guard Chaol.  Who can she trust, if anyone?  What lies underneath the castle?  What kind of secrets is the King himself keeping?

There are no words to describe this novel, it was so engrossing I actually stayed up until 2 A.M reading the book because I couldn't wait to see what happens to Celeana and her friends.  Crown of Midnight is chalk full of secrets including Celeana's own secrets.  We get a lot more information in this novel, but there are still a number of questions left open for the next novel.  The end was surprising and left readers craving more, Maas expertly closes one story and opens the door for the next installment.  She completely blows fans away with the ending of this novel.  Everything in the novel feels like it happens naturally and isn't forced.  Everything unravels perfectly until the perfect cliffhanger ending.

The beginning of the book starts out slow and appears to be about political agendas, but as the book progresses into the story line, it picks up the pace.  I admit I was one of the girls that was hoping for something to happen between Chaol and Celeana, but who knows what the future will hold for these two.  There is nothing predictable about this book, there are so many twists and turns you would think you are on a country road in West Virginia.   There is not one moment when you are not on the edge of your seat waiting for what will happen next.  I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. 

Some books that show a political side tend to make it difficult to read or understand, but not the Throne of Glass series, Maas makes it interesting as she weaves it into the story of magic and what happened to magic of the land.  I cannot begin to recommend this book enough.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and cannot wait to move on to the next one Heir of Fire. I give this novel a 5 out of 5 star rating.  Excellent.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sakura Hime by Arina Tanemura

This past weekend was Pittsburgh's anime convention: Tekkoshoken (Tekko for short).  It is a convention dedicated to the art and culture of Japan primarily anime and manga.  So in the spirit of the past weekend this post is one of my favorite manga series: Sakura Hime.  Sakura is the grandaughter of a moon princess who slayed demons with her blade: Blood Cherry Blossom.  The young woman has been forbidden from looking at the moon her entire life, one night she looks up and sees a demon attacking her thus beginning an epic battle for her life and those she loves.  There are 12 books in this series and each one is just as riveting as the last.  Each volume picks right back up where the last one left off, so it is easy to remember what happened in the previous volumes. 

Sakura is a strong female character as she develops into the person she is destined to be.  There is a lot of action packed into each short volume.  I would love to see this one in bigger volumes like I seen with Alice In The Country Hearts where each big volume has three smaller volumes inside. One it saves space on the book shelf and it curbs the anxiety while waiting for the next installment.  The artwork in this series is simply beautiful and well detailed.  No two characters look a like and they all have their own facial expressions which radiates their personalities.  I would love to see this series in an anime format and really see the characters come to life.

Since I began reading the series I fell instantly in love with Sakura.  I mean how can you not look at her beauty and grace that exudes from the page.  She is not a whiny character that complains about her destiny, but embraces it with dignity and grace of a true princess.  I unfortunately have not gotten the chance to complete the series, so I don't know what happens in the end, yet.  But I do know from my research on the series that it is heartbreaking and a series that evokes emotions from the readers.

I truly give this series a 5 out of 5, there isn't a thing I would change about Tanemura's work.  She created a beautiful character for girls to look up to and respect.  I would love to cosplay her at a convention one day, but that will come in time I guess.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Not reading much

It grieves me to say that I have not been reading as much as I normally do lately.  For some reason, I have not had the motivation to put up a book and read more than 2 or 3 pages.  For someone who lives and breaths books that is disconcerning.  Have I become so stressed out that I cannot shut my brain down long enough to get captivated by the multitude of books waiting to be read?  Have I burned myself on the thing I am most passionate about?  Maybe I need to read a new genre or revisit one that I have left long ago like manga.  I am not sure what put me into the reading funk, which seems to correlate with me not sleeping well. 

As the weather begins to get nicer and the city puts the fountain on, I hope to relish in the beauty that is Pittsburgh with a good book.  Hopefully this funk will pass soon and I will be wrapped up into a fantastic book in no time.  Until then, what books are you reading, what have you found compelling or even life altering?