Friday, April 28, 2017

Blow Out

The murder of a Supreme Court justice is always a terrible thing, for Sherlock and Savich as their weekend away in the Poconos is ended when they need to fly back for the investigation.  Callie Markham is an investigative reporter with a lot riding on this investigation for her career and personal life as the Justice was her father.  She is partnered with the police liaison, Ben, but within a day there is another murder.  One exactly the same as Callie's father's.  Every lead the detectives find seem to be far-fetched and unrelatable to each murder, but is it possible that everything is somehow connected to one another.  Is Callie onto something about the murder of her father and the others that seem to have the police detectives stumped.  Callie is a woman determined to find out all the answers no matter what the costs may be.




This was my first novel by this author, and honestly I wasn't all too impressed, but some other reviews I have read stated this wasn't her best novel.  I had a hard time relating to Callie, sure I felt for her with the lose of her father but I had a hard time beyond that.  While the story is engaging and interesting it seemed to be lacking something, something that I cannot put my finger on what it is.  The book didn't do much for me being a first time reader.  I wish I can say that it did.  I had a hard time connecting with the characters, in fact thinking now it's a little hard to remember much about them (I read the book about a month ago). 


While there were moments of suspense, it wasn't something that had me on the edge of my seat excitedly waiting to see what will happen next.  Some things were almost predictable which seemed to be a let down when discovered that my theories early on were correct.  The characters were kind of bland as I mentioned before, but they didn't seem to grow as the story progressed and the situations they were in did not feel realistic, nor did the dialogue. 


I had high hopes for this novel because I have heard such great things about Coulter.  The plot itself seemed interesting enough, but I don't think it was executed well.  Unfortunately, I would not recommend this novel and give it a 1.5 out of 5 rating.
 


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Firefly Hollow

Sarah had a plan for her future,  but while away at school the tragic death of her father forces her to rearrange her plans.  Her family's land borders the land of the Campbell's and she was not supposed to go on their land, but she discovered a swimming hole that is perfect to read and reflect.  Owen Campbell has taken over his family's estate and has a secret about himself he wishes no one to know about, but keeping his secret is harder with Sarah around.  His attempts to keep her at bay seem futile.  Both are faced with new realities they need to come to terms with.

I'm not 100% sure how i feel about this book. I had a really hard time getting into it and believing in the characters. They seemed cookie cutter characters,  not that that is a bad thing, but it was hard to relate to them and feel a connection.  The characters are not one sided there is a lot of depth to them, probably the sister Kathy most of all.  We see them all experience a wide range of emotions throughout the novel.  I'm not sure why i couldn't get behind these characters.

The story is well right enough.  There were moments when i knew i was being told a story rather than watching it unfold before my eyes.  We do watch as their relationship grows from the awkward meetings to something more...um..steamy.  It was an interesting read, just not exactly what i was expecting.  It was a sweet story, and I can see people falling in love with the characters.  Haddix does a good job presenting the characters and their conflicts.  I wanted to see the story build up a little more, more of the shifting involved like with him visiting her as a deer.  I thought that was cute and almost hoped for a little more or him saving her as a wolf.  The sex scenes are very descriptive and are not for those who love a clean romance. As I said, things get steamy.

I do recommend the novel, it may not have tickled my fancy, but someone else who enjoys romance novels  may enjoy it.   My rating would be a 3 out 5.  I have not decided if I will check out the other books in the series, I guess we will have to wait and see.
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Alice

Through a hole in the wall, Alice makes her only friend, Hatcher, in the hospital. After days, months, years the two form a bond.  Then one night Hatcher is frantic, the hospital is one fire and he urges Alice that a creature under thr hospital will escape. A creature he feels connexted to, one he calls the Jabberwock.  The two escpae their confinement and emabrk on a quest to find the object that the Jabberwock is searching for.  Their quest takes them throughout different territories of Old Town to Chesire, Caterpillar, The Walrus and ultimately to the one place Alice never wanted to face again, the Rabbit.  They make alliances along the way and Alice learns secrets about herself and Hatcher that strengthens the belief that only they can stop the terror of the Jabberwock.

This book is a retelling of Alice in Wonderlan, a morbid, grotesque version.  Christina Henry has a way of writing some of the most horrific scenes in an utterly beautiful way.  There are topics that might be a trigger for some such as rape,  but Henry does it in a way that gives strength to Alice.
I lived every character in this novel, they dit their roles perfectly and contained aspects from Carrol's characters as well.  I couldn't get enough of them and simply fell in love with Hatcher (a variation of Hatter, which could be why I love him so.) 

Alice is great she starts out weak and unsure of herself and begins to grow into a badass character.  Hatchet was already a badass from the beginning.  Cheshire i wanted to both hug and kill him.  The others...made me crimge and hate the roles they were given, but interested to see them in those roles.  I was able to picture them each as Henry described them. I love how Henry integrates some of the characters like the white rabbit, Dormouse,  and March Hare.
 
I am completely fascinated with retellings especially Alice in Wonderland.  Some have been well done while others have not.  This novel was very well done and had an American McGee's Alice in Wonderland feel to it, and I love that feel.  I couldn't get enough of this book once i began to read it.  Some parts did seem a little bit slower than others but i still flew through it in about a day.  I did not want to put it down, I have read a lot of different Alice in Wonderland retellings, but honestly nothing come close to this one.  This may be my favorite retelling thus far, and I know there is more to the series.

I highly recommend it for those who enjoy retellings or want something a bit different from the normal or thise who enjoy a horrorish (not really horror but grotesque if that makes sense) either way i recommend it.  Rating I would give is a large 5 out of 5.  I cannot wait to pick up Red Queen, the next book in the series and see where Henry decides to take this story.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

I read too





SOmetimes you just need a little fuzzy reading partner to snuggle with...but sometimes that little partner attacks when you try to turn the pages.  Little miss Harley loves to snuggle up with books, instilling the love of books at a young age....how cute is she!


Friday, April 21, 2017

Ensnared

Alainn's father is a genius when it comes to robotics, he has created some of the most useful AI units around.  He promises a unit to Lorccan, but needs more time to complete the project, time Lorccan declines.    The AI Unit Rose devises a plan of her own to send Alainn in her place and then try to rescue her when another unit is created.  When presented with this idea at the last minute Alainn goes through with it, against her better judgment.  She then spends the next few weeks having dinner with a scarred man, pretending to be a self-actualized AI unit.  Things begin to get cloudy when they begin to fall for each other and Alainn discovers Rose's true plans.  Will Lorccan still love Alainn once he discovers she is not a robot?  Will she be able to put a stop to Rose's plans before it's too late, and save her father from imprisonment.




**This is another book I have received through Netgalley for an honest review.  Seriously if you haven't tried it yet..do so soon.**




I have really gotten back into fairy-tale retellings lately and this one is fantastic!  I could not put my kindle down until I finished it.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about it when I began because I am not really one for stories with AI units, but I loved this one.  I loved the Lor has little monkey AI's and that they could communicate or that the tower itself was an AI unit.  Very interesting and different from others.  What I was a little confused on was what did her father do to get himself into this predicament, there were different things mentioned like fraud, gambling, booze.  Were those what got him into such trouble that he could have gone to prison for it?


I have seen shows and things about people falling in love with AI units, such as Ex-Machina movie or the anime Chobits, so this didn't faze me too much.  What I did question a few times was how did Lor not question a lot of things including romantic things.  Regardless, this was a great retelling.  It still had the feel of Beauty and the Beast, but it was it's own story.  It almost had the same feel as Melissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, but different as well.  Aliann is an interesting character, its a little uncertain of what she wants in life or even what she expects.  We get little snippets of her past that play a small role in the story, but it isn't heavy like we don't have whole chapters devoted to flashbacks and memories, which I liked.  The novel kept to the story and didn't deviate into something else. 


The descriptions were interesting, I could picture the scar on Lor's face or the feel of the computerized windows.  Something I found very interesting and plausible was the use of 3d printing, it seems this is something that is making headway now and I enjoyed seeing the ideas that Rita took with this concept.  She used a lot of things in her book that I have not seen used before.  The novel is well written, it didn't feel slow or forced, everything flowed well together.


For those who enjoy fairy tales, retellings, Beauty and the Beast, then I highly suggest this novel.  I also suggest it if you like sci-fi, and romance because those elements play a large role in this story.  As for a rating I would give this a 4 because there were still some questions left unanswered.  I look forward to reading more from Rita, maybe a retelling of Aladdin or even Thumbelina *hint hint Rita!**

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Cat Who Saw Red

Hello internet literature type people.  This is Harley today, the human is sound asleep so I decided to help her out with this book.  The Cat Who Saw Red a book about not one but TWO crime fighting cats how awesome is that!  I wish I could solve crimes...anywho.  Koko and Yumyum are Siamese kitties who move into a new home with their human., Qwill who writes for a newspaper (I don't know what that is, I think it's something to play with).  Some people in the house are weird but this nice lady, Joy goes missing so does the young kid that plays with the kitties.  Qwill tries to figure out who did it, he thinks he knows but can't just accuse people.  So Koko helps Qwill out and shows him some interesting stuff to help is investigation until he discovers something very important about the color red and the pottery Joy's husband puts on display at a showing.


This is some interesting stuff.  I see why the human is always reading.  She said she used to read these as a kid (like 10 I fink she said), and wanted to fall in love with Koko and Yumyum all over again.  Why would she need two more cats to love she has me, and my brodders.  Anyway this was an easy book for youngster like me to read.  It was perfect because it wasn't scary or had bloody scenes in it like some of the other stuff she reads.  It is great to begin someone on reading and mysteries.


This is a series that could easily be a classic book for people to read, a great transition from chap books to longer chapter books.  This series is known as cozy mystery and it definitely lives up to that.  What I love about this book is that it could be read within a few hours on a lazy weekend afternoon and a cup of coffee.  If you are looking for something suspenseful, this is not it.  It is very easy-going, but that doesn't mean it is slow.  I love how Koko does little things like typing letters on a typewriter or knocking books of the shelf to help Qwill think of things.  I also love when readers get to see them be cats like being afraid of a bearskin rug or dragging yarn across the apartment (I love playing with the human's yarn but she gets mad when I do).


Such a fun book and it brought back a lot of childhood memories.  I highly recommend this series for anyone who has fledgling readers and seasoned readers a like.  It is a great book to just relax to and clear your mind.  I give it a 5 out of 5 and look forward to rekindling a love for the Cat Who Series.

Monday, April 17, 2017

After the Bloom


In the mid-1980's Lily goes missing, something she has done before, but never for long periods of time.  Her daughter knows her mother wanders off and suffers from dissociation and memory lapses.  The police reluctantly take the case and Rita feels they are not taking things seriously, so she takes matters into her own hands and begins her own investigation. Rita quickly discovers various family secrets including her family's  internment at a camp in the California desert during the Second World War, and the father she has never known.  Through her search Rita learns more about her family, her mother, and herself than she imagined. 




** I will start this review off by saying I received this book for net galley for an honest review. If you review books and haven't signed up for Netgalley, then you are missing out on some great opportunities.**




I have gotten more and more into books like this and I am loving the things that I am learning and they way it is changing my views as a reader and woman.  There are aspect of our history that we don't know about because we don't do much research anymore.  In this novel a woman begins a search for her  mother and gains so much more understanding of her mom, family, and begins to understand herself in the process.  I love how these books make me look at myself, even sometimes look at my mom and wonder what are some things she experienced that I don't know about, how has her life shaped her into the woman she is.


This is a book that touches your hear and makes you long for something more.  It does have suspenseful moments, but not in the edge of your seat kind of suspense, but the anticipation that builds and grows until you cannot hold it in any longer. It is very well written and easy to get lost within.  While this isn't my normal genre I go to, I did enjoy reading Leslie Shimotakahara's novel.  I will be looking for more from her and give this a 5 out of 5.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Mechanique

War has destroyed much of the world, cities have crumbled and fallen, people have died or become lifeless beings.  Outside the fallen cities is a promise of something to help forget the pain, forget the fear, forget the war.  outside the cities is the tent for the Circus Tresaulti.  A circus where the performers all have something unique about them...they are made of spare parts, copper bones, and gears.  Boss is the creator and ringmaster for the circus, and is what allows the circus to have the magic that it does.  Soon they find themselves at war within as two performers battle to obtain coveted wings, as they work to solve this issue the war outside comes to their doorstep, threatening to destroy everything Boss has built.  Will they be able to put differences aside to survive the war at hand?

As I was reading this novel, others would ask me to describe it and all I could say was a post-apocalyptic, steampunk, circus.  I can almost barely tell you what this story is about because I got lost so many different times while reading.  The story is broken in various different narrators which makes it hard to follow what is happening.  Often the narrator flashes back to another time without any indication which makes it all the more difficult to understand.  It wasn't until the last 20% was I able to deduce what has really happening.  So much is happening in this novel from Stenos and Bird both wanting the wings to the government man wanting Boss's secrets to even George trying to figure out the circus and convince Boss to give him bones.

Characters were vague and hard to get an handle on, they all began to run together aside from a few of the more predominant ones, there was no real "main character" since the story was told through many viewpoints.  The descriptions seemed bleek and bland, matching the setting, although I will say occasionally the descriptions were beautiful such as the description of the coveted wings.  I have seen many others compare this to Night Circus, but they are complete opposites.

There are not many times when I do not recommend a novel, this is one of times.  I do not recommend it, while I am sure many others will love this book and have loved this book.  But I found it too difficult to follow and really tell what it is about, therefore I cannot recommend it.  As for a rating I would give this a 2 out of 5.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Silver City

While out hunting Halthris comes across a Ska'i tribesman, a tribe who should not be within her homeland.  She and her brother discover a larger group of the barbarians massing in the hills.  They embark on a journey to warn the city of this impending threat.  Halthris is thrown into an unknown world of royalty, politics, magic and even a little bit of romance as two sons of the royal house attempt to not only court Halthris but also gain control of the future of this city.  While the two fight for her attention and their control, the Ska'i plan their attack and bide their time until the time is perfect.


** I will start this review off by saying I received this book for net galley for an honest review. If you review books and haven't signed up for Netgalley, then you are missing out on some great opportunities.**


This felt really long to read because it is very descriptive and detailed.  For me it was slow to start, but then began to pick up later in the novel.  It is unpredictable with a lot of twists and turns that I honestly did not expect to see in this novel.   I have seen a lot of people saying there aren't many books that have a strong female lead..well this is a book that has one.  Halthris is a strong woman who strives to prove that she is capable of doing things and does not need to settle down with a man to be happy.  She is very interesting and has a lot of depth to her character, meaning there is more to her than what readers see on the surface.


There are moments that seem to be at a standstill and it took a little while for me to really get into the novel, but once I hit Part 2 I think is when I started to really get into the story.  Don't get me wrong I was enjoying it and wanted to read it, but it was easy to get distracted by another novel for a little while.  Overall I ended up really enjoying this novel and find myself wanting to read something else by Pamela Belle.


Belle does a fantastic job writing this novel, I know it was released in the early 90's an recently re-released which is great, a new fan-base can be reached with this novel.  When you look through other ratings and reviews, you will not find one that goes below 3 stars and that is the case with me.  I rate this novel a 4.5 because it does start slow and has moments when it seems like it drags on.  But I do recommend it for those who love this type of novel.



Monday, April 10, 2017

Suspended


Suspended tells the tale of the Vagabond Circus, a place where dream travelers could be safe and be able to utilize their powers without fear of what the outside world would think.  Things begin to change when a stranger joins the ranks and Dave changes the story of the circus to accommodate a new act.  There is someone else creeping around the circus, attempting to take the life of the circus's ringmaster Dr. Dave. .  Dr. Dave has two rules for the circus, only two, 1. Respect one another, 2. No relationships.   Finley keeps himself a mystery which causes the others in the circus including his partner to have a hard time respecting rule number 1, and question his motives  and why Dr. Dave allowed him to join the circus.  Secrets become revealed and members of the circus begin to risk their lives to save the only home that they know.




I  have really been in a circus theme lately (and am finding it hard to find more books with this theme).  I was pleased with this book because I was not sure what to expect from it.  I picked it up as part of a kindle daily deal and fell in love with it, I need more both from this series as well as Sarah Noffke.  The cover is beautifully done and draws the reader into finding out more about the novel. The book starts off a little slow, but still pulls you in with someone lurking in the shadows.  The book does end with a cliffhanger which left me almost screaming at the kindle screen. 


I liked the dream traveler aspect of the story and wished this was utilized more, but I hope that it is in future novels.  The characters themselves were interesting.  I had a love/hate relationship with Findley, I wanted to like him so much but he was so mysterious even with his partner, Zuma whom I absolutely loved but could tell there is something more to her character that we haven't been introduced to yet.  I am interested to see where Noffke takes Zuma's character.  The phrases within this novel are what dreams are made of really, they are beautifully written and gives readers an insight to what's to come for example:


"Finley was a tornado, changing every second, beautiful and dangerous and unpredictable.  But Zuma loved storms.  Always had."


Does this tells us more about their relationship than we know?  I get goosebumps re-reading lines I wrote down.  It didn't seem like there was a dull moment, everything in the story lead up the suspenseful ending and revelations throughout the novel.  Somethings can be predictable while other things are not like you know someone is out to get the circus but you don't know who (or what).


My hats off to Sarah for writing an excellent novel and leaving her audience craving more from her.  I highly suggest this book to anyone who loves a good novel regardless of their normal genre.  For a rating I would give this a 4 out 5 because I think more of the dream travel scenes could have been used such as during practice.  Otherwise fantastic.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Hello my lovelies, I apologize for the long absence, I have been majorly sick lately and it has taken a lot out of me!  But I am back to normal with a new review for you of a book that I simply fell in love with.


Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is set in 19th century China, and follows the story of two girls from different towns; everything about them is the same except for social status, but they are still matched together to become life long friends with the understanding that nothing will come between them, nor will they become close friends with anyone else.  Their bond is supposed to be stronger than that of a husband and wife.  They share secrets through a "woman's language" written on a fan.  These two share everything from their foot binding to marriage, childbirth, and even death.  The girls discover what it means to stand by one another through trials, tribulations, heartache, joyous moments, and betrayal.

This was my first book from Lisa See, as well as in this genre, the cover just drew me in and then when I read the blurb I thought: "lets give it a shot".  I was greatly surprised and happy that I did step outside of  my comfort zone to read this book.  I found myself getting invested in the friendship of these two girls all the while learning some of the cultural aspects of the setting such as the foot binding process.  That part may have made me cringe a little bit just thinking about what has to happen to make the feet smaller. 

Lisa writes beautifully and develops her characters into complex people that readers are longer for more from.  I know I wanted more from Lily and Snow Flower.  Nothing about the book was predictable and I felt like I was in a state of suspense at different moments such as when as adults the women fled from their towns.  I almost want another book along the same story, but through Snow Flower's eyes rather than Lily's.  We don't get to see much of her side of the friendship other than what Lily tells us.  I couldn't wait to see what would happen next to them, I read through this one rather quickly and want more from Lisa See.

If you are looking for a great chick-lit book or something along the lines of Amy Tan then this is a great book for you to pick and read.  I give it a 5 out of 5.  Fantastic and I will be looking for more books from Lisa See.