Just Another Reader

I read a bit of everything. I read a lot, and I like what I like, though my opinions can change.

Fairest

Fairest - Marissa Meyer

Fairest is the story of Queen Levana, the embodiment of the evil queen from Snow White. Apparently when she was writing Winter, the final book in the series, Marissa Meyer was having difficulty and ended up starting to write Levana's story which turned into a book of its own. Unfortunately this ended up pushing back Winter's release date to the fall. Her next book Heartless is now coming out next year instead.

 

But it's another book and a great one. It starts with the funeral of Levana and Channery's parents due to a shell assassin. Channery becomes Queen, but has little interest in the politics while she enjoys herself and taunts her sister. Levana enjoys the political scheming and has ideas of how the planet should be run. But she is also withdrawn because of the burns on her face her sister inflicted while they were children.

 

The book follows as Levana falls in love with a married guard and schemes to get him, and eventually the throne, before turning her gaze to the earth.

 

Would Levana have been so cruel without her sister? I don't know. But I am happy we got this book because I was a bit confused on what exactly had happened. The book can technically be read before the series, but I think it is placed best in published order before Winter.

The Perfume Collector

The Perfume Collector - Kathleen Tessaro

The Perfume Collector is a historical fiction book about two women.  Grace Monroe is married and trying to fit into her husband's social circle in 1950s London. She receives a message to travel to Paris where she is to inherit the estate of Eva d'Orsey. A person she has never known.


The story alternates between the story of Eva in the 1920s and 30s and Grace in the 1950s as she uncovers Eva's past and their connection. I really liked the book, but it was a bit predictable.

At Grave's End

At Grave's End  - Jeaniene Frost

Another Night Huntress book. Unfortunately Cat's vampire hunting has made her too much of a target and someone from Bones's past is determined to take her out.

 

It's another fun action packed book with fun writing that is so much fun to read. I highly recommend the series.

 

We also got to meet Vlad, aka Dracula, who I know gets his own series later and is how I stumbled onto these books. I look forward to finally being able to start them as I have been loving these books and Vlad was a really interesting character.

Obsidian

Obsidian - Jennifer L. Armentrout

I'm still not a big fan of this series, but this book was better. It takes place a few months after Shadows. Another new girl moving to town. But since the book takes place from her point of view, she doesn't find out the secret for most of the book. So reading this after Shadows and knowing the secret is a bit annoying.

 

But something about the book didn't annoy me as much as the other. I don't think I'll continue the series either way.

Shadows

Shadows - Jennifer L. Armentrout

Whoops. I'm always a proponent of when in doubt, read in published order. And I though I checked the release dates. But apparently this was released after Obsidian. This does take place before though.

 

I felt like I was reading "Twilight, this time with aliens". I mean the love thing wasn't that bad. But it's basically the same concept. Mysterious families. New girl in town. Attracted to each other instantly. etc. etc.

 

Also, why is it always a thing that whenever someone is new in town, the book they are reading in English is always something the new person has read a bunch of times (and is usually Jane Austen)? Why is that a thing.

 

It did give insight for when I was reading Obsidian. But it should be read after.

 

 

Hyperion

Hyperion  - Kevin Pariseau, Dan Simmons, Marc Vietor, Allyson Johnson

I first read Hyperion back when I was in high school and I always meant to go back since it definitely ends on a cliffhanger. At this point I knew I would have to reread it since I only vaguely remembered the storylines.

 

It's still a fantastic book that is set up like a sci-fi Canterbury tales. Seven pilgrims have been chosen to travel to the planet Hyperion, where the mysterious time tombs are set to open soon. Each pilgrim takes a turn to tell their story of their connection with the planet and why they wanted to travel there.

 

Sol Weintraub's story was my favorite then and it still is today. He is the only one of the seven who had never travelled there before. His daughter had been investigating the tombs and had been affected by a mysterious illness that causes her to age backwards, losing a day each time. One story I didn't remember much of was Martin Silenus's, the poet and his thoughts and dealings with publishing. Especially compared with how publishing is now.

 

I wasn't big on the audiobook. It does work, but there were four male voices and one female. When the person was narrating their story, it would be completely narrated by that person. So the only time you had the female narrator talk (other than the parts between stories) was in her story. But it's a great story and a classic. I will actually read the followup this time.

Daja's Book

Daja's Book  - Tamora Pierce

So for the Emelan series, I have only read the Circle of Magic quartet, which this is the third of. For whatever reason, Daja's Book was also the one I remembered the most and it's as great as I remember.

 

The four students and their teachers go with Sandry's uncle as he inspects the northern area of their country, Gold Ridge Valley. Daja is a former trader who was cast out of the Trader clan when she was the lone survivor of a shipwreck. In their lore, she was now untouchable, trangshi. While she helps out in the blacksmith with her metal and fire abilities, a trader stops by to buy some materials. Because the four young mages have been having issues with their powers since they combined their abilities in the first book, Daja suddenly finds herself creating a living metal tree. One which the traders want to buy, but to do so Daja insists that they negotiate with her.

 

At the same time, the group discovers that this mountain town has not had any fires in many years due to a mage who stops them as soon as they begin. A drought resulting in a dry region and years since a fire to clear out all the brush are a bad combination.

 

Another great book and one that stuck with me for over 10 years.

 

Proof by Seduction

Proof by Seduction - Courtney Milan

Another fun Courtney Milan historical romance. This one takes place years after the prequel novella, This Wicked Gift. In that story, William White helped the younger Gareth Carhart take control of his fortune. Now about 10 years later Gareth is trying to control his younger cousin, Ned, who has been consulting a fortuneteller for two years.

 

Said fortuneteller, "Madame Esmerelda", aka Jenny Keeble, has been helping Ned after first meeting him as a suicidal 19-year-old. She told him that his fortunes would be good and has helped keep him in good spirits since their first meeting. Ned believes her powers are real and she and Gareth agree on a wager to test her abilities.

 

The two of them end up drawn together and Ned gets himself in trouble trying to help prove Madame Esmerelda's fortune.

Burned

Burned (Fever: Dani O'Malley) - Karen Marie Moning, Natalie Ross, Phil Gigante

Back to the Fever series. This was the first one to come out since I had caught up on the series, and it was another great book. I do feel a bit bad for the series, since it is clear that based on the backlash Iced got, the idea of a Dani O'Malley trilogy is gone.

 

I was looking through Shadowfever while listening to this and it says at the beginning that this ends Mac's story. Burned follows multiple POVs and Mac's is the most prevalent and drives the story. Maybe at one point her story was going to be done, but this book goes firmly back into Mac's storyline.  Dani is in this book, but at a much reduced time that I think she would have if the original storyline idea had been followed. This book felt like KMM either dropped or condensed most of her story.

 

I still really liked the book and I love Mac. I wish I had been able to read the original plan, even though there would have been less of her.

 

The book did jump around a bit more than I'd like, but the story is fun and exciting. One highlight was the chapters from the perspective of Lor, one of the nine

or based off the end, is it the ten now?

(show spoiler)

 

Both narrators are incredible in the accents that they can do and Phil Gigante's Lor was the highlight. Recommended if you enjoy the series. The eighth book, Feverborn is already scheduled to come out in the fall :)

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstroe

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan

From the title I knew this was a book I would eventually read and I finally did.

 

For a book three years old, it already comes off as dated. It is a quick read, but I can't say I was a big fan. When it comes to the paper v. ebook debate, I love both and will never choose and this book felt biased, granted in the ebook side whereas most books trend towards the paper.

Golden Son

Golden Son - Pierce Brown

Aw, Golden Son. The book, that while I enjoyed, caused a book slump which I am never too happy about. I started it, but for whatever reason, had trouble reading and it took up a decent chunk of my month.

 

I definitely liked it more than Red Rising. I knew the storyline of Red Rising had a lot of promise, but I had issues with the second part, but I knew that the overall series would go beyond that. And it did. This was a much better book, even though I took a bit to really get into it. The ending. Oh the ending. OMFG the ending. I need the next book.

Ghost of a Gamble

Ghost of a Gamble - Sue Ann Jaffarian

Another Ghost of Granny Apples book. It's a fun paranormal mystery series I picked up years ago when the first one was free and I keep going back to it.

 

This book, takes Emma Whitecastle, who can communicate with ghosts to Vegas where she meets the mother of her mentor (and fellow ghost communicator), Milo. His mother is connected to the seedier side of Vegas's past and Emma soon finds herself embroiled in a new mystery. Another fun book and I will be continuing the series.

Twice a Month Update #3

Yikes. So I got a bit in a book rut the first half of February, and then went on overdrive in the second and have just been putting off writing this or any reviews.  My overall reading goal is safe, but unfortunately the goodreads group I joined with the yearlong challenge has dictated most of my reading so far. I love the group, but I can't read manga for it so that aspect has suffered.

 

Books finished since last update:

  • Ghost of a Gamble by Sue Ann Jaffarian
  • Golden Sun by Pierce Brown
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane
  • Burned by Karen Marie Moning, narrated by Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross
  • Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan
  • Daja's Book by Tamora Pierce
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons, narrated by Marc Vietor, Allyson Johnson, Kevin Pariseau, Jay Snyder, and Victor Bevine
  • Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost
  • The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  • Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
  • The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi, narrated by Joshua Swanson
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, narrated by Julia Whelan
  • The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
  • Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
  • Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
  • William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher, narrated by Daniel Davis, Jonathan Davis, January LaVoy, and Marc Thompson

In the middle of:

  • Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop
  • The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, narrated by Davina Porter

 

Books Read in 2014:

46/200

 

On Track?

13 books ahead of schedule

 

Reviews to write:

19 (YIKES!!)

 

Pages read in 2015 (to be added monthly):

14,582

 

Favorite Reads:

January: Oracle's Moon by Thea Harrison

February: Burned by Karen Marie Moning, narrated by Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October: 

November:

December:

 

Favorite book of 2015 thus far:

Oracle's Moon by Thea Harrison

Tris's Book

Tris's Book - Tamora Pierce

Finally continuing my Tamora Pierce reread.  Of all the Circle of Magic books, this was the one I remembered the least, but it's still great. While all the books deal with the four children, each one does focus a bit more on a character and in this one it is Tris, the merchant girl who was abandoned by her family and has been struggling to gain control over her weather powers.

 

The book picks up shortly after Sandry's Book with the cleanup from the earthquake. The four learn that when they bound their powers to fend off the earthquake, it was not temporary. 

 

I did remember this more as I went and I love seeing the bonds between the group. Hopefully I won't put off Daja's Book too long, as I remember that one the best of the four. 

Masque of the Red Death

Masque of the Red Death - Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death is based off of an Edward Allen Poe short story. I had no idea of that until I finished and was looking it up to shelve it. I'll have to read it at some point now but at this time, I have no idea on how they relate.

 

Araby Worth lives with the elite. Their world is crumbling due to a plague. People walk around with masks on to protect themselves and Araby's father designed the system. Therefore she lives in the nice area of town and has numerous masks for different occasions. 

 

But she still grieves for the loss of her twin brother and vows never to do anything he wasn't able to do. She distracts herself with drugs and alcohol from a club she visits. After a bit of this, the plot does start and involves the villanous Prince Prospero who controls the city and two groups working to overthrow him.

 

There is also a love triangle between Araby and the owner of the club who struggles to make ends meet for his younger siblings and the brother of her friend who needs her help to change the system.

 

I'm a bit mixed on the book. It was more on the okay-guess I liked it scale. There's only one book after this so I may pick it up just to finish it. 

Mr. Kiss and Tell

Mr. Kiss and Tell - Jennifer Graham, Rob Thomas

Can we please get about 20 more of these? I love Veronica Mars and though we likely won't be seeing more of her on the big screen (though I loved the movie and supporting it) her story continuing through books is paying off. I have thoroughly enjoyed both books so far and hope that more will be on the way.

 

Mr. Kiss and Tell takes place about eight months after the previous book and involves Veronica being hired to investigate a possible rape at the Neptune Grand for which the victim is suing. She feels invested in the case due to her past and the identity of the victim.

 

We do also get the return of Logan who was overseas during the entire last book and I love (LoVe) seeing them in a relationship again. Logan doesn't have a big part in the book, but I hope we will keep seeing him in the future.

 

I do love Leo, but it's the same dilemma as Piz versus Logan. The good guy versus the one you are meant to be with. LoVe forever!!!!

(show spoiler)

 

We also got to pick up on the Weevil storyline where it left off in the movie and another sheriff election.

 

Please let there be more...