Posts Tagged ‘reading roundup’

Hello and my apologies for the lateness of this reading roundup.  I started a new role at work this week so it’s been a very busy week.  I’m switching from shiftwork to a more regular Mon-Fri job, so my blog posts may be somewhat irregular until I get myself into a new routine.  Please bear with me.

I did read some great books over the last little while.  I read and finished Furthermore, Shatter Me author Tahereh Mafi’s foray into middle grade.  While it wasn’t really my cup of tea, the writing was beautiful.  I will be writing a full review of Furthermore shortly, so keep an eye out for it.  I hadn’t intended to pick up Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, but I started reading/listening to the sample and I was hooked.  I’m about four fifths of the way through it, so again expect a review at some point in the future.  

This week I finally started to read another of the ARCs I received from BEA, Replica by Lauren Oliver.  It moved up my TBR because of the EpicReads First 5 newsletter to which I am subscribed.  This is a email where they send you the first five chapters, one a day, by email of upcoming books.  It’s a really great way to preview upcoming releases.  Anyway, back to Replica.  This was one of the books recently previewed and the preview was interesting enough to get me to pick up my ARC.  While I’m not yet 100% sold on the characters or plot, I am intrigued by the format.  The book is in two parts, one part told from Lyra’s perspective, the other from Gemma’s.  it can be read either as two separate sections or as alternating chapters from the two storylines.  I’m choosing to go the alternete chapters route and so far I’m really appreciating how the plotlines are tightly woven together and each enhances the other.  Again, I will write a longer review when I’m finished.

Today I went to see the movie Bridget Jones’s Baby, which I loved.  The script is funny and the performances are excellent, especially Zellwegger and Firth.  They really GET their characters now, and they both bring their Oscar cailbre acting chops when required.  I also enjoyed Emma Thompson’s performance as Bridget’s doctor.  I understand Thompson collaborated on the script – she clearly took the opportunity to give herself some of the best lines! Patrick Dempsey did well as the new guy on the block, but I really regretted that Hugh Grant chose not to reprise his role as Daniel Cleaver.  The script and actors have to work that much harder to make brief fling Jack Quant a believable rival to Firth’s Mark Darcy given Darcy’s long term love of and relationship with Bridget.  Cleaver’s history with Bridget and their sustained sexual chemistry would have made him a more believable alternative.  Ah well.  Still, we can hope for an adaptation of Mad About the Boy with Daniel Craig as the love interest please.

That’s all I have to share this week.  Did you see Bridget Jones’s Baby?  If so, let me know what you thought in the comments!

Reading roundup – September 17th 2016 was originally published on Canadian eReader

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Hello, yes I know I’ve missed a reading roundup – my apologies for that.  I’ve had a lot of shifts at work and was working some crazy hours over the last few weeks.  Also I had a virus which left me rather run down.  Also, there were some great season finale TV shows on – Game of Thrones and Outlander – which I really wanted to watch.  Also LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens won’t play itself.  Anyway, enough excuses.

Right now I’m in a kind of reading slump.  I have many, many books in my TBR, but none of them are taking my fancy.  Don’t you just hate that?  I have hopes that Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch may help ease me out of that slump.

Since my last roundup, I have managed to finish a few books, and consign one to my Did Not Finish pile.  Sorry The Crown’s Game, you just didn’t grab my interest fast enough.

The books I completed were Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine, for which you should have seen a full review go up earlier this week, Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige, one of the ARCs I received at BEA 2016 and On the Merits of Unnaturalness by Samantha Shannon.

Danielle Paige’s Stealing Snow was one of my most anticipated ARCs from BEA and I was really looking forward to reading it.  However, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped.  I will write a full review nearer to the time.  I didn’t find Snow as engaging a protagonist as Dorothy Must Die’s Amy Gumm, and I personally prefer the world of Oz to Hans Christian Andersen’s world.  From Dorothy Must Die, I know that Paige’s narrative and characters become much stronger as the series progresses so I will be more than happy to check out book two. I gave Stealing Snow three and a half stars out of five.

On the Merits of Unnaturalness by Samantha Shannon is a companion novella to her Bone Season series.  At only 37 pages it is very short, but it is jam packed with worldbuilding and useful information.  It is written as an in-world pamphlet explaining the different orders of clairvoyants appearing in the series.  The Bone Season series is one that is really growing on me as it progresses – we’re at book two of a seven book series – and this novella has really whetted my appetite for The Song Rising due in March 2017.

That’s all for today.  Have a great weekend!

Reading roundup – July 15h 2016 was originally published on Canadian eReader

Good morning and welcome to another reading roundup.  And happy St Jean to my fellow Quebecers!

This week I read the wonderful Iron to Iron, the prequel novella to Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf.  Like Wolf by Wolf, it is set in an alternate universe in which the Axis won World War II.  It tells the story of Luka Löwe and Adele Wolfe’s burgeoning romance during the 1955 Axis Tour, a relationship which causes much of the tension in Wolf by Wolf.  Within a couple of pages I was immediately back in the world created by Graudin and back following the Axis Tour.  I listened to Wolf by Wolf in audiobook and although this novella is an ebook only, I still heard it in my mind with Christa Lewis’ voice.  It’s not often that I have such a strong link with narration.  

For those of you who have not yet read Wolf by Wolf (and why not may I ask?) the Axis Tour is a motorcycle race between Berlin and Tokyo, with the winner receiving an Iron Cross and many accolades.  Iron to Iron is told from Luka’s perspective, and we learn more about him.  Both he and Adele are strongly motivated to win the Axis Tour, he to prove his worth to his father by winning a second Iron Cross, she to prove that women are equally as competent as men.  Of course, having read Wolf by Wolf we know the outcome of this race; Graudin does a wonderful job of keeping the tension high despite that knowledge and without the addition of the whole shapeshifter trying to kill Hitler plot of Wolf.

My only gripe about Iron to Iron – and it is very minor – is that fräulein is written with a lower case f.  In German all nouns are capitalised, so this really irritated me.  I gave Iron to Iron a well deserved five stars out of five.  Now when is Blood for Blood out?!?

This week I also started reading His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik.  So far I’m really enjoying it.

Game of Thrones thoughts after the cut

 

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Hello and welcome to another reading roundup.  Again, it’s been a month where I’ve really struggled to focus on reading and blogging.  I really should be more ruthless about putting books into my Did Not Finish pile.  I spent too much of the month plodding through books which really weren’t doing anything for me.

Reading roundup – March 30th 2016Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #3
Also in this series: Dorothy Must Die
Format: eBook
Pages: 288 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Evelynne’s rating:

three-stars

With regards to Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige, I’ll be perfectly honest and say that my opinion and rating is heavily influenced by my – mistaken – impression that this was the final book in the Dorothy Must Die series.  This is a series involving an updating and reimagining of the world of L Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz. I had been expecting, and looking forward to, resolution to the plot points introduced in Dorothy Must Die and The Wicked Will Rise.  So coming towards the end of the book when I realised there were no resolutions coming, I felt annoyed and frustrated.  My own fault, I freely admit it.  Had I known there was one more book to come, I could have better appreciated the continued excellent worldbuilding and character development in Yellow Brick War.  I will certainly read the conclusion when it comes out.  I look forward to reading the conclusion of Amy’s story.

I gave Yellow Brick War three stars out of five.

Reading roundup – March 30th 2016A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Series: Charlotte Holmes #1
Format: eBook
Pages: 336 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery
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Evelynne’s rating:

two-stars

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro is one I should probably have consigned to the Did Not Finish pile much sooner than I did.  The concept sounded fascinating.  In Cavallaro’s world Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson were real and their modern day teen descendants Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson meet up at an exclusive boarding school to solve mysteries.  It’s clear that a significant effort was made to reflect the personalities of Holmes and Watson in a modern day setting and to some extent it succeeded.  What completely turned me off this book is that the author introduced sexual tension between Holmes and Watson.  With that partnership it is a meeting of minds, not bodies and I personally lost all interest in the story after that.  That is a personal opinion and your mileage may vary.

A Study in Charlotte rated barely two stars out of five on my scale.

Reading roundup – March 30th 2016The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Format: eBook
Pages: 468 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Supernatural
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Evelynne’s rating:

four-stars

This was my second attempt to read Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys.  The first time I started, I just couldn’t get into it at all.  This second attempt was much more successful.  It’s clear that this is setting up a series.  The book opens with a real bang – Blue is fated to meet and/or kill her one true love within the next year.  I definitely want to read how that plays out.  There were multiple points introduced that I expect will pay off in later books – I would say Stiefvater is an architect rather than a gardener.  I found the characters interesting even if not all of them are immediately likeable – or intended to be so.  The type of supernatural events in this book are ones that to me, personally, are very creepy.  I will have to take a break and read a cutesy contemporary to clear my mind before I start The Dream Thieves!

I gave The Raven Boys four stars out of five.

Reading roundup – March 30th 2016Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #9
Format: eBook
Pages: 350 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Evelynne’s rating:

three-half-stars

Fire Touched is the ninth book in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series.  I must admit I wasn’t overly excited about reading it.  I like Mercy and the rest of her allies; I just feel after nine books her story has pretty much come to an end.  I’ve felt that way for the last couple of books.  It’s like a long established, high quality TV procedural.  You pretty much know what you are going to get going into it, but you still enjoy it.  I keep saying I’m not going to read any more, yet I still do and still enjoy them.

I gave Fire Touched three and a half stars out of five.

In other news, I’m beginning to get excited about Book Expo of America, BEA, in Chicago in May.  This will be my first time there, so if any of you old hats could give me some tips that would be very much appreciated.

Upcoming releases in April

There are two books coming out in April about which I’m rather excited.  

The first of these is Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.  This is a young adult fantasy and I was drawn to it by the concept; what happens to young people like Alice or Dorothy when they return home from Wonderland or Oz?  How do they adapt?  Every Heart a Doorway is released on April 5th and I’ve preordered it in Kindle format.

The second is Eligible, the next in the Austen Project series of modern retellings of Jane Austen classics.  Eligible is the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and is written by Curtis Sittenfeld.  There is a sneak peek of the audiobook available on SoundCloud, which sounds fantastic.  I have preordered the book in audiobook format based on this snippet.  That’s not to say I don’t have my concerns.  The Austen project adaptations have ranged from the bland and uninspired (Emma, Sense and Sensibility) to the very, very good (Northanger Abbey).  Pride and Prejudice is probably the best known – and most adapted – of Austen’s works and Eligible has a lot of work ahead of it to compare to the superb Lizzie Bennet Diaries YouTube series. I am intrigued that Sittenfeld has moved the story to Cincinnati and aged up our protagonists to nearly 40, giving a more modern pressure point for Lizzie and Jane to look for a husband.  It could well work, and from the snippet I am cautiously optimistic.  Eligible is released on April 26th.

Have a good week and will review more books soon. 

three-stars

Reading roundup – March 30th 2016 was originally published on Canadian eReader

Gosh, it’s been quite a while since I last posted.  My apologies.  I seem to have been going through not quite a reading slump but a lack of focus in my reading – I’ve been all over the place.  I’ve started so many books and not actually finished them before moving onto another book.  Sigh.

Some of the books that I have managed to finish have been by Brandon Sanderson who published not one, not two but THREE books in the last couple of months.  These are: Bands of Mourning, Mistborn: A Secret History and Calamity.  Bands of Mourning and Mistborn: A Secret History are both set in Sanderson’s Mistborn world, the first being the third in the four book Wax and Wayne series and Secret History a short novella set just after the events of the original trilogy.  While I very much enjoyed Bands of Mourning – the pacing, characters and plot were all wonderful, and an incredible ending – I was less happy with Secret History.  For those of you unaware, all of Sanderson’s adult novels are set in the same world, which he calls the cosmere.  In other words, Mistborn, Warbreaker and the Stormlight Archives are all happening in the same universe.  At this point in the Mistborn story the worlds are beginning to collide and I’m not 100% sure how I feel about that.  I gave Bands of Mourning five stars out of five and Secret History four.

The final Sanderson book I read was Calamity, the final book in the Reckoners trilogy.  I had high expectations of this one as one thing Sanderson does very very well is end a series.  His endings to the Mistborn trilogy and his work on ending Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time have been among the most memorable for me.  I must admit Calamity didn’t quite live up to expectations, although that was more of a personal choice for me; I just didn’t enjoy where Sanderson took the story and characters as much as I’d hoped.  I gave Calamity four stars out of five.

Reading roundup – all over the placeThe Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Nathan Osgood
Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
Genres: Travelogue
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Evelynne’s rating:

five-stars

One book I did very much enjoy this month was Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling.  This is a travelogue in which Bryson takes a trip around the UK.  Bryson is an American married to a Brit who lived in the UK for many years.  It’s always refreshing to see one’s home country from a foreigner’s perspective and this is no exception. This is one to enjoy in audiobook format.  The style of the book is as if Bryson were sitting down over a cup of tea with the reader talking about his travels, which makes this an excellent choice for listening and Nathan Osgood does a great job as narrator.  Each chapter is introduced by some music typifying the region which adds a little something to the experience, too.  Be warned though.  The audiobook includes a song “The Bryson Line” written and performed by Richard Digance which is a real ohrwurm.  I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks. I gave The Road to Little Dribbling five stars out of five.

Reading roundup – all over the placeUprooted by Naomi Novik
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Julia Emelin
Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
Genres: Epic Fantasy
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Evelynne’s rating:

four-stars

Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a book I listened to this month which very nearly went into my did not finish pile.  This is a stand alone epic fantasy about a young woman who is chosen against all odds to serve the local magician as he works to contain the evil Wood.  Novik has created a wonderful, magical world, and the characters are interesting.  However the pacing and buildup is very, very slow.  For quite some time I kept saying to myself, OK one more chapter and if I still amn’t hooked, I’ll leave it.  Eventually I realised I was finally becoming invested in the story and characters and was happy to finish the book.  I did very much enjoy the audio performance of Julia Emelin.  The book is worth persevering with and I gave Uprooted four stars out of five.

Reading roundup – all over the placeThe Diary of River Song by Big Finish Productions
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Various
Length: 2 hours
Evelynne’s rating:

five-stars

This is a production I’ve had on my radar for a while.  As I’ve mentioned, the relationship between River Song and The Doctor is one of my favourite fictional relationships and I was intrigued to see how she would pair up with the Eighth Doctor.  Big Finish has long been known for Doctor Who audio productions – indeed most of the Eighth Doctor’s adventures take place in this medium – and their production quality is absolutely stellar.  For this particular adventure they hired Alex Kingston and Paul McGann to play River and The Doctor and both really get their characters.  I must confess to a slight disappointment that River did not reveal her true identity to Eight; but then again that would have broken the internal logic of the TV show.  All in all these productions are wonderful and if you like Doctor Who you really should check them out.  I gave The Diary of River Song five stars out of five.

And now onto books I started but did not finish this month.  The first of these was White Queen by Philippa Gregory.  At first, I found myself being really sucked into this story – it is written in a very engaging manner.  However, historical dramas is not my usual genre and I found myself leaving it aside for my more usual fare.  I imagine I will return to White Queen at some point in the future.

Next up was The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey.  I really loved the narrator and her sassy attitude in the face of alien invasion.  However, I read the rest of the synopsis on Wikipedia and decided I really wasn’t interested in where the story was going.  

I started listening to Star Wars Darth Plagueis at the gym, but the story never really grabbed me.  I had been hoping for some insight into the world of the Sith and maybe I didn’t give it long enough, but the first few chapters really didn’t grab my interest at all.ianna

Having watched a couple of episodes of Outlander, I dived in once again to the fourth book, Drums of Autumn.  These are real doorstops of books and much as I love the characters and story, I find I cannot read them all at once.  I read a few chapters, wait a few months, then go back in again.  I did enjoy the chapters I read which focussed more on Brianna’s and Roger’s adventures.  

So there you have it – my update for the last month.  Hopefully in March I will be more focussed.  We do have Cassandra Clare’s latest Shadowhunter series starter Lady Midnight being released as well as the conclusion to Danielle Paige’s modern adaptation of the world of Oz, The Yellow Brick War.  I’m hoping they will keep me out of trouble!

five-stars

Reading roundup – all over the place was originally published on Canadian eReader

First of all, my apologies for not having posted much in the last few weeks – I’ve been too busy reading to write about reading.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, in the months of October and November there were a shedload of new releases about which I was very excited.  I’ve only just now caught up with all of the new books in my life.  Some of the reviews will be quite brief as it’s been quite a while and several books ago that I read them It will take a couple of posts to go through them all so let’s get started.

Reading roundup – November 18th 2015The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Series: Prisoners of Peace #1
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Madeleine Maby
Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
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Evelynne’s rating:

four-stars

The Scorpion Rules is the first in Erin Bow’s Children of Peace YA series.  In Bow’s world, peace is maintained by an AI named Talis who forces each country’s leaders to provide a child or grandchild as a Child of Peace – if the country enters a war, the hostage is killed.  The book centres around a young princess named Greta, whose orderly world as a hostage is shaken by the arrival of a new Child of Peace, Elian.  Elian is new to the hostage system and struggles to adapt.  Things escalate when Greta’s and Elian’s countries declare war.

I really loved the concept and worldbuilding in this book.  I found the idea of the Children of Peace to be intriguing and well written.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same way about the human characters, especially Greta whom I found to be very bland and irritating.  It is kind of a problem when the artificial intelligence is more interesting than the humans.  Think Siri with the world’s nuclear codes.  It’s fair to say though that the events of the book have changed Greta and she promises to be more interesting in future books.

I gave The Scorpion Rules four stars out of five.

Reading roundup – November 18th 2015The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Christopher Guetig
Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult
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I really love Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and I was very excited for this  new one with Norse mythology.  His writing is always filled with such humour, and Sword of Summer was no exception.  I did realise, though, how unfamiliar I am with Norse mythology compared to Greek/Roman although Riordan did a great job of filling in the blanks.

Sword of Summer is pretty much what you would expect from a Rick Riordan book and I gave it four stars out of five.

Reading roundup – November 18th 2015The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
Series: The Cinder Spires #1
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Euan Morton
Length: 21 hrs and 46 mins
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy
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My attention had been drawn to this book because of two things; Jim Butcher and talking cats.  I enjoy Butcher’s Dresden Files series, and I am a real cat person so picking up this book was a no brainer.

The Aeronaut’s Windless is Butcher’s first foray into a kind of steampunk genre and as such it feels very different from the stories of Chicago consulting wizard Harry Dresden.  Butcher has created a vast new world with politics, magic and aerial battles.  I liked the characters as well, especially Rawl the cat and Folly.  It made me wish for a whole book from the cats’ perspectives.

I gave the Aeronaut’s Windlass four stars out of five.

More mini reviews soon!

four-stars

One of the books I started listening to this week is Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas.  This is the story of two young socially isolated boys who become penpals.  Their respective issues – one is highly allergic to electricity and the other requires an electrical pacemaker – precludes their ever meeting.  I’m about a third of the way through it and am very much enjoying it.  It is written in the style of letters the two boys send to each other – which means it’s about as perfect for the audiobook format as you can get.  Both narrators are doing an excellent job.

I may do a full review on this later, so I won’t say much more.

Reading roundup – June 13th 2015Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega
Format: eBook
Pages: 338 pages
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy
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Another book I started reading this week was Patricia Briggs’ Dead Heat, the fourth in her Alpha and Omega series.  I felt in the mood for some contemporary fantasy.  I’ve only just started, but so far, so good.  Briggs is usually a reliable go-to for this kind of good, and her characters are generally well-developed and interesting.  I’m beginning to feel though that she has just about come to the natural end of the stories she can tell about Mercy, Adam, Charles and Anna.  We’ll see.  I’ll keep you updated.

Not much more to add this week.   Have a good week and catch you soon!

Yikes, has it really been a month since my last reading roundup?  My apologies for the delay – life got in the way as it often does.

Star Wars NPR productionAs I’m back on nightshifts again (cue: sob, wailing, gnashing of teeth) I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks.  My favourites, and a highlight of my reading/listening month, were the NPR radio adaptations of George Lucas’ Star Wars. I picked the first one up, Star Wars, some time ago when it was one of Audible’s Daily Deals but had not got around to listening to it.  I rectified that mistake last weekend and loved it.  This adaptation has been licensed from George Lucas, so they were able to incorporate John Williams’ iconic music and the sound effects from the movies (blasters!  lightsabers! R2D2!).  It boasts an excellent cast including Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels from the movies.   At first it did take me a short while to adapt to the different voices for Leia, Han and Darth Vader, but the production quality and the excellence of the cast soon made me forget about that.  As I’ve said before on this blog, the original Star Wars movies have such strong themes and powerful storylines and these productions did them justice. There were a few clumsy script moments as the radio production tried to explain what was going on (“oh wow, my lightsaber is coming towards me by the Force!) but other than that, there is nothing to fault these fantastic productions.

I enjoyed this so much that I bought extra Audible credits so that I could pick up The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi. Although I have not yet listened to Jedi, Empire was equally engaging.  I give the productions five stars out of five.

Thief's Magic by Trudi CanavanTowards the middle of the month I hit a bad reading slump.  To get out of it I did what I often do: I browsed through the first few chapters of several books in my TBR pile to see which one would engage my attention.  This time it was Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan.  This is set in a world where magic is being used up by industry – rather like our fossil fuels – and is therefore highly restricted and follows two very different characters with two very different but parallel paths.  What originally attracted me to the novel is that one of the “characters” is a talking magic book!  Although it didn’t immediately grab me – it grew on me more slowly – it was enough to break my reading slump.  I started reading it, but switched to the audiobook to continue during my nightshifts.  I particularly enjoyed the narration for this book by Grant Cartwright and Hannah Norris.  At first it took me aback that they are Australian, but then, I realised it made sense given that the author is Australian, too.

I did enjoy Thief’s Magic and gave it a solid 3.5 to 4 stars out of five.

Orphan QueenJodi Meadows’ Orphan Queen has been highly publicised recently and I gave in to the hype and bought it. This book is about an exiled queen whose land was conquered while she was a baby and, now a teenager, plots to infiltrate the enemy’s stronghold to help her win back her kingdom. In all honesty, this book frustrated the heck out of me, and not in a good way. Too many times I found myself thinking “what, seriously?” at some of the things our protagonist says and does.

The book got off on the wrong foot with me when I found several grammatical mistakes in a the first chapter.  When I’m paying $11 for a book, I do expect that the author and/or editor has corrected these.  One or two I could overlook, perhaps, especially in an unfinished ARC, but not for the finished copy.

Secondly, while the protagonist is kickass, her sheer cluelessness in certain situations really annoyed me.  Furthermore, I felt the relationships described – such as the one between Wil and her closest friend – were unrealistically drawn.  I just didn’t feel their friendship could continue in the way the author claimed it did after all that had happened.  I also had predicted the “huge reveal” at the end of the book back in the first couple of chapters.

To have something positive to say, I will say that I enjoyed Wil’s badassery and the snarky relationship between her and Black Knife.

For me, personally, I just can’t recommend this book.  Sorry.  I gave it two stars out of five.

The Indigo Spell by Richelle MeadRecently, Amazon had a one-day special offer where all the Bloodlines books were $1.99 each.  This was too good an offer to pass up, so I added the last four to my collection.  The series is growing on me, like the Vampire Academy series of which it is a spinoff.  I didn’t particularly engage with protagonist Sydney Sage in the first book, Bloodlines, but I do love the world Mead has created, and now, after three books, I really like Sydney as a protagonist.  I realised Mead had done her job well when I found myself mourning with Sydney over the loss of her car, Latte!  I probably won’t marathon the rest of the books, but they are fun reads.

I gave The Indigo Spell four stars out of five

Well there you go – that’s what I’ve been reading this month.  Speak to you soon!

Good afternoon!  I’m sorry for the lack of posts in the last couple of weeks, but I have been on vacation.  It was a very relaxing vacation spent visiting family and I got to read a whole bunch, which was excellent.  With being on holiday, I added so much to my library.

I was really in the mood for a quirky contemporary romance, so I added Rainbow Rowell’s Landline to my collection and read and finished it straight away.  It was an excellent choice and I devoured it straight up.  I loved the main character, Georgie McCool – what an awesome name! – and adored how her relationship with her husband was explored in both past and present.  Definitely worth picking up.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard has been promoted very heavily recently, and I gave in and bought it.  I ended up really enjoying it and will write a full review soon.

Despite not being blown over by Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, I was really in the mood for that kind of book and after leafing through Golden Lily in a bookstore I picked it up in Kindle format.  I did enjoy it more than the first book in the series, but not enough to want to go out and buy the rest of the series immediately as I did with Vampire Academy.  I will probably continue the series at some point but not immediately.

One of my most anticipated releases of March was Victoria Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic.  I’d been hooked from the sneak preview I saw and had it downloaded to my Kindle on release day, February 23rd.  I’ve already finished it and will be writing a full review soon.

One of my favourite YA series is the Gem trilogy by Kerstin Gier – Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green.  The German Blu Ray of Sapphire Blue comes out next week and I have ordered it from Amazon Germany.  Amazon also has the first five chapters for free of the English translation for Gier’s newest series Dream a Little Dream.  It has the same engaging narrative style as the Gem trilogy and although the first five chapters were not enough to give a real sense of the story, I will probably check it out.

Katytastic. one of my favourite booktubers, recently has started reviewing the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson and this has inspired me to pick up the books in audiobook format – read by the fantastic Michael Kramer – for a reread.  Excellent books, all, and I can’t wait for Kat’s thoughts on Hero of the Ages.

I also borrowed a few books from the library.  One of these was Golden Son by Pierce Brown.  I wasn’t really blown away by Red Rising, but Golden Son has been getting rave reviews so I thought I should check it out.  I’ll be honest and say I just couldn’t get into it.  I did spend an Audible credit to have it in my library, so I may try to go back to it again.

Another book I borrowed was Shopaholic in Hollywood by Sophie Kinsella which I borrowed in audiobook format. It was a lot of fun at first, but I found I got rather bored of the same situations coming up again and again and lack of character development for Becky.  I didn’t bother finishing it.

One borrowed book I did finish was Loki’s Wolves by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr.  This is a kind of poor man’s Rick Riordan with teens being linked to Norse gods and having to save the world.  It was a lot of fun, but probably not enough for me to continue the series.  I’d rather wait and see Riordan’s take o the Norse mythology.

Upcoming releases in March

There are quite a few books coming out in March about which I am excited:

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs.  This is the fourth book in her Alpha and Omega series.  I do enjoy these so I have preordered this in Kindle format.  Dead Heat is released on March 3rd.

The Lost Herondale – Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.  This is the second in a series of novellas from Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman and follows Simon Lewis as he continues Shadowhunter training.  If it’s like the first one, it’s fun, but not particularly deep.  Still it will pass an enjoyable couple of hours and ease the wait for Lady Midnight.  I’ll pick this up in Kindle format on March 17th.

The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett.  This is the fourth in the Demon Cycle series.  I’m honestly surprised that I’ve not heard more buzz about this one.  I really enjoy Brett’s worldbuilding and the narrative he is developing.  It’s not yet available on Audible but I will be picking this up in both audiobook and Kindle format.  The Skull Throne is released on March 30th.

On March 31st Danielle Paige’s sequel to Dorothy Must Die, The Wicked Will Rise, will be released.  Now, I did have some serious issues with the first book, but the world is intriguing enough for me to want to continue the story.  I’ll pick this up in both Audible and Kindle formats.

One expensive splurge I’m making on March 31st is the updated version of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlandish Companion.  At $21 it’s quite expensive, but I do enjoy the series – both books and TV – and will enjoy learning more about the background.  It will be available in Kindle format.

My work hours have changed now, and I’ll have to go back to nightshifts very shortly about which I am pretty bummed.  The only bright spot is that I will be able to get through a lot of audiobooks.  Any recommendations for me?

Have a good week – until next time.

So welcome to my first reading roundup of 2015!  Yay!  The first thing I want to talk about this week is my GoodReads reading challenge for 2015.  I failed to achieve my goal of 100 books last year – I read 91 – and I noticed that because I was listening to more audiobooks, books were taking me longer to finish.  This year I have set my goal for 75 books.  That’s still just under a book and a half a week.

My family was also very generous to me over the festive season.  I was showered with Amazon and iTunes vouchers – thanks everyone, you know me well!  I also received the gift of Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please! book in my Christmas stocking.  I look forward to reading that.

This week I did something I don’t often do – I accepted I was never going to finish a book and removed it from my currently reading list.  The book in question was Endgame by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton.  I’m sorry, but life is too short to stick with a book that really isn’t doing anything for me.  You can check out my review to see why I dumped it.

To respark my interest in reading, I picked up a cutesy romance – in this case Stephanie Perkins’ Lola and the Boy Next Door.  I loved it and it really hit the spot.  Look for a full review soon.

I am currently reading Brandon Sanderson’s Firefight, which I’m enjoying immensely and this book also marks the first time I’ve listened to an audiobook since I got fitted with hearing aids.  Yay for Sanderson!  I’m hoping to  get back into audiobooks in the next couple of weeks when I take delivery of a Bluetooth streamer and headset which will allow me to stream my audiobooks directly to my hearing aids.  Woohoo for tech!

While I was on vacation with my family, I introduced my father-in-law to the delights of Whispersync for Voice with Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance.  I’m curious to learn how he gets on with it.  For me, the integration between Kindle and audiobook really rocks my world.

Added to my library this week

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson.  This is the second book in the Reckoners series.  I’m really enjoying it so far.  I picked this up in both Kindle and Audible formats.

Lola and the Boy Next Door.  I was really, really in the mood for some light, cutesy romance and Lola was really calling to me.  I’m happy I picked it up in, you guessed it, both Kindle and Audible formats

Amazon had a great deal on N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy.  I’d  heard great things about this, so I snapped it up.  This was in Kindle format.

As I mentioned I received Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please! as a Christmas gift.

The last book I picked up this week was borrowed from the library.  It’s the ebook of Poehler’s partner-in-crime Tina Fey’s Bossypants.  This is read by the author herself and I’m looking forward to it.

That’s all for this week folks!  Have a good weekend and stay warm.