Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Favorites

A little hard to believe that it's New Year's Eve already - wasn't Christmas yesterday? Like everyone else, I have my own little list of favorite books from 2011. A lot of my favorites come from series I already enjoy, but there are some new authors/series added to the mix. I also discovered a few series that came out a few years ago, but that I've added to my TBR list, like Rob Thurman's Cal Leandros series, Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax, and Kalayna Price's Grave Witch.

Favorite Kid's Book

You know I love YA and Middle School books. Have read quite a few very good ones, like Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Lost & Found by Shaun Tan, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Game of Triumphs by Laura Powell, Ship Breaker by Paolo Baciagalupi and many more, but one book just really stood out for me.

The Boneshaker by Kate Milford

It's a middle school read, but I think that there is something for readers of any age, male and female. This one had a Something Wicked This Way Comes vibe. A small town set at the crossroads, an ominous traveling medicine show, a family legacy, deals with the Devil, and children having to face the fact that sometimes adults don't have all the answers. I'm saving this one for my kids to read when they are a little older. Fantastic book.

Favorite New Series

Started quite a few new series this year, ones where I am counting the days until book 2 comes out. I really enjoyed Enclave by Ann Aguirre, the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne, Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison, Phoenix Rising by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris, First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones, Dark Descendant by Jenna Black, to name a few, but my favorite remains

Dead Iron by Devon Monk

A Western-Steampunk-Fantasy that was different from what I've been reading lately. You've got a man cursed by an Indian god, Strange beings that stalk humans, witches, a zombie, and a girl who is more than she seems. It's in 3rd person following a handful of characters (both heroes and villains). I've read some books where this effect leads to too many threads and an inability to connect to the characters, but this book did not have that problem. The different POVs propelled the action along, gave me a greater sense of the scope of the world and the magic system, and let me get to know several characters better than I would have in a 1st person narrative. It was a tight story that still leaves a lot of room for more adventures. The worldbuilding was fantastic and I know we've barely scratched the surface.

Favorite Continuing Series

Most of my favorites came through continuing series. I do love seeing characters progress from the actions in previous books. Since a few of my favorites ended, I've broken this category into Favorite Continuing and Favorite Endings. Notable continuing series reads this year, Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews, Ganymede by Cherie Priest, Under Witch Aura by Maria Schneider, Heartless by Gail Carriger, and others, but the favorite of the year has to be

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

This is the fifth book in the Kate Daniels series, a series that still for me is at the top of the list for worldbuilding, action, character progression, relationship evolution, and still makes me laugh out loud. A lot of writers can bring the action and the drama, few are able to also bring the funny. There are dark times in this series, but it is also balanced with hope and determination. This is a series I've re-read more than a few times and I still love it. It makes me happy, takes me away from the real world for awhile, and is just plain fun.

Favorite Endings

All good things must come to an end sometime. I've finished quite a few trilogies this year, and am happy to say that most ended on a strong note, like Head Rush by Carolyn Crane and Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, but my favorite has to be

The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin

I have loved every book in Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy. This is not your traditional fantasy saga where a disparate group gathers together and journeys to defeat a big bad. Each novel tells a unique story with a different main character, but the underlying issues that began before book 1 continue to progress throughout the trilogy. Gods, godlings, demons, mortals, all living together in a world out of balance. This book centers on Sieh, the eldest godling, the god of childhood, who finally has to grow up. This is one of those books where I don't feel in any way my words can do it justice. I fell in love with the breathtaking world, have been intrigued by the characters (even if I would never want to meet them), and held my breath wondering what would happen next.

What were some of your favorites?

Hope you all stay safe out there tonight, and looking forward to sharing more awesome reads with you in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Catching Up On Reviews

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday! After many cookies, candies, and longing gazes at my new pretty books, I've got some reviews to post. An Urban Fantasy, a Paranormal Romance, and a Novella.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday and that Santa brings you lots of good books! :)

I've had a lot of fun sharing books with you, and I'll be back next week with my favorites of 2011 and my Must Reads for 2012.

If you haven't heard: Ilona Andrews is giving away a free Kate novella - Magic Gifts. It is set during events in Gunmetal Magic, the Andrea book coming out in 2012. Kate, Curran, Vikings - yes it is awesomesauce!

Here's the catch: it's only available for the next 2 weeks, and only at Ilona Andrews website, so grab it while you can. It's an eBook now, but it will be included as a bonus with Gunmetal Magic.

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Couple of Good "Ends"

The last couple of months have seen the end to a few trilogies that I have enjoyed. I mentioned Westerfeld's Goliath a week or so ago. This time I have two adult series - Head Rush, the long-awaited end to Carolyn Crane's Disillusionists trilogy, and Kingdom of Gods, the end to NK Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy. I am going to attempt to write about both without being horribly spoilerific, but come on, these are the last books in a series. Some stuff is going to spill if you haven't read book 1 yet, so enter at your own risk...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fate's Edge Giveaway Winner!

Update #2: I had to choose another winner - Melissa Landers! And she has responded so the book is making it's way to her! YAY!

Update: I had to pick a new winner  - so Eternal Werecat you are the new winner! e-mail me at with your contact info. Please respond by Wednesday December 14.

Congrats to

Amanda Grinstead!!!

I hope this helps you reach your goal of reading 100 books in 2012!

Please e-mail your contact info to me at kindleaholic (at) gmail (dot) com

You have until Saturday, December 10 to respond or I'll have to pick another winner (I won't like it, but I'll have to).

Thank you to everyone for entering the giveaway. I hope to have more of them in 2012.

Thank you so much to Amanda Carlson for donating her extra copy and for shipping the book - you are awesome! If you haven't checked out Amanda's website, I hope you do (and keep an eye out in 2012 for Full Blooded).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December Books I Want to Read

Here's a few books coming out in December that I have on my list.

Head Rush (Disillusionists Book 3) by Carolyn Crane Out December 6 (eBook; print version out in 2012)

I am really happy to finally read this one - it's been a little while, but thanks to the November re-read, I'm ready! We finally get to see what will happen with Justine, Otto, Packard, and the rest of the Disillusionists. I can't wait!

And I'd also like to add that the cover is great - it's my favorite out of the trilogy.

Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla Out December 6

This one sounds very interesting - assassins, interesting world, lots of grey areas.

Under Witch Aura (Witch Moon #2) by Maria E. Schneider Out December 15

Really looking forward to the further adventures of Adriel, White Feather & Lynx! I've heard that this one will be a bit darker - can't wait!

Schneider is having a cover poll on her site December 10 - check it out and vote for your favorite!

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder Out December 20

I absolutely loved Snyder's Poison series. Hoping that she can mine some more fantasy magic here. There's a healer, intrigue, danger - good stuff like that.

Christmas Prezzie List #3 - Tween/Mid School Books

On to some recs for the older readers (and adults who like to read kids books). For some of these, I'm also going by what I liked to read when I was a tween, in middle school. That's when I first got into Fantasy.

I've been steadily building up a library of more advanced books for my own kiddos to read, too. My daughter will be hitting these first, so I admit to a preference for strong female heroines, although most of these are ones my son would enjoy reading too (he totally ate up The Wizard of Oz - I know boys can read and enjoy books with girls as the main character).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fate's Edge Giveaway

Update: this contest is now closed. The winner will be posted today, Thursday December 8.

Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews came out this week. My friend, Amanda Carlson (I gushed about her here), was so excited she went out and bought it, forgetting about a certain pre-order. That means she has one extra, shiny, pretty, paperback. And so, lucky readers, Amanda has graciously agreed to a little giveaway here for her extra copy of Fate's Edge.

We're making this one easy - just leave a comment below to be entered. You could also talk about your favorite book this year, or one that you are looking forward to in 2012, but any comment will do. You have until 11:59PM on Wednesday December 7, 2011 to enter.

Updated to add: Yes, this contest is international! Woohoo!

If you have trouble leaving a comment (as happens sometimes) just e-mail me at kindleaholic AT

I'll pick the winner using

I'll announce the winner Thursday, and the winner has until Saturday December 10 to respond with contact info so that Amanda can send you the book, or I'll pick a new winner.

Thank you, Amanda!

To keep up to date on Amanda and her upcoming book, Full Blooded (as well as some helpful writer tips) check out her website. She's on Facebook and Twitter too!

And here's a link to my review of Fate's Edge - awesome good fun!