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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Series I Need More of in 2012

Along with the books I already have on my shelf and the books I need to read releasing this year, there are also a few existing series I want to catch up on.

Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series

I've read books 1 and 2. Need to finish Hammered before Tricked comes out. Male-lead UF with lots of mythological beings.

Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom series

I have book 1 waiting for me. I really liked Dead Iron, interested in Monk's take on UF. Female-lead UF with magic.

Lilith Saintcrow's Dante series & Dru series

I've read the first in the Dante Valentine books. Need to read the next one (I bought the complete series bundle, so they are all waiting for me). Female-lead UF with demons and psychics.

Dru - I've read the first 2 books, need to finish the series and read books 3-5. Female-lead YA UF with vampires and werewolves.

Jim C. Hines' Princess series

I've been told by more than one person that I have been remiss in reading Hines' self-rescuing princesses, so I will be fixing that problem. Female-lead UF with fairytale retellings.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recent Reviews

Given this past months craziness, I'm a bit backed up. The good news: I am never without books to read. The bad news: time is not always my friend. So here's a few reviews to get things moving again. I've got a sci-fi with zombies, a fantasy with romance, an urban fantasy, and a short story.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today I'm at...

Stellar Four!

You know I love this Geek Girl site, so I am so, so excited whenever I get to post over there.

Today I'm discussing some recent fairytale offerings, especially the battle between Snow White & the Huntsman and Mirror, Mirror. But, of course, there is also the Snow White movie I really want to see...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Kind of Reader/Reviewer Are You?

There has been much hubbub on the internets about reviews, who they are for, bad behavior (from authors & reviewers) to avoid, etc, etc. I'm not linking to any of it, if you haven't heard about it, just wait, it will undoubtedly happen again sometime in the near future. I've read a lot of blog posts on this topic, put my 2 cents in the comments, and so forth. At the end of the day, though, when it comes to me personally, the question I was left with: What kind of reviewer am I?

But before I can think about that question, I first need to answer: What kind of reader am I?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A little upkeep...

There's been a few things I want to change/clean up on the ol' blog, so I'll be doing that for a bit. Be back soon with reviews and books coming soon (I just finished Feed by Mira Grant - damn good, still getting my thoughts together).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On Strike

I'm on strike with a lot of other sites, bloggers, concerned internet citizens. And I hate piracy. If you are stealing, you are a tool. End of story. But I do not believe that SOPA or PIPA are the answer. I truly believe that they will cause more problems than they solve (if anything gets solved at all).

The internet is a big place, sometimes a scary place, but how many times has it been an outlet for those whose voices would otherwise be silenced? I think about the countries that crack down hard on internet freedoms. It's not where I want to live.

I'll also admit I am very jaded as to the ability of our Congress to actually solve anything. If we want a convoluted mess and shouting matches between the parties, then Congress delivers. Fixing real problems, not so much. I doubt half the Congressmen/Senators even understand what they are voting on. I refuse to believe that SOPA and PIPA are the best they can come up with.

CNET has a FAQ on SOPA
BBC Explains SOPA & PIPA
For info on the strike:

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Review: The Cabinet of Earths

The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet

Note: I'd put this one in the middle school group. It has a female protagonist, but I think it is good for both boys and girls. There is no romance.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has some dark moments, including kidnapping, but the pacing is so fast that you don't dwell on them too long, although it does leave much to think about.

Maya and her family have just moved to Paris. She is not thrilled about this decision as she had to leave her dog and her friends behind, but she tries to put on a sunny front because this is her mother's wish. Her mother had been very sick, her cancer is now in remission, but Maya is always worried that the "cold" her parents tell her is nothing to worry about is really the cancer returning. Maya's brother James is 5, a natural charmer, and Maya is envious of the fact that he exists perpetually happy, while she had to grow up fast while dealing with her mother's illness. Of course, she also feels protective over her brother. Once in Paris, Maya starts noticing odd things - almost as if there is magic. They meet their strange cousin Louise, who seems forgettable, like she is just a shade. They also find a family connection in the Fourcroys, an old man with a strange Cabinet that Maya is drawn to, and Henri, a beautiful man that Maya doesn't quite trust, and there is a group of magnetic, beautiful people who never seem to age. Maya also makes a friend with Valko, an outsider like herself. He is a very logical person and his explanations balance out Maya's burgeoning belief in magic. Then James is in danger, and Maya needs to step up and save him.

I thought that Maya's reactions were believable, and the reasoning in the end as to why she alone had to help her brother vs going to her parents felt believable as well (a must in a children's book). I appreciated that very little of the book takes place in school - this is not the story of how Maya and Valko team up against the mean popular kids (refreshing for this reviewer). I also thought that the book raises some very interesting questions on the consequences of an immortal life, how an unchanging existence eats away at your humanity, your capability to enjoy and participate in life. While there are no vampires in this book, it is not hard to draw a comparison to the very popular paranormal creatures. Stealing the vitality from another human takes on a different meaning when you see if from the victim and their family's point of view.

[I received a copy of this to review from Amazon Vine.]

New review: Angels of Darkness

Angels of Darkness featuring stories by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Sharon Shinn and Meljean Brook

Overall I really enjoyed all 4 novellas. 1 is a standalone, 3 are part of a series. I'm not caught up on the ones that are part of a series, but I thought that the stories were good on their own, and I wasn't lost at all. There might have been some slightly spoilerish things that didn't bother me (I still plan on reading the series) but might bother some folks who must read things in order. I have read and enjoyed every one of these authors, although I haven't read as much of Shinn's work as I want - will have to fix that this year. There is a definite trend here of characters that have been broken and need mending. There is romance, and a little steam, but the focus was more on the building of the relationships.

Note: If you are a reader that dislikes novellas or romance, you probably shouldn't get this one as it has both.

Angel's Wolf (Guild Hunter 4.5) by Nalini Singh
Singh's seemed a little anticlimactic to me, mostly because we have 2 kickass leads who do very little kicking of the ass. Nimra has a pretty scary power, but also cares deeply for the few she allows to get close to her. Noel is recovering from a traumatic assault. He has been sent to Nimra after an attempt on her life. The story for me was more about 2 wounded people finding each other and recovering together, and the solution to the mystery made sense as well (I'd just expected more fighting). I still liked it, and I'm looking forward to reading more Guild Hunters. I've previously read book 1 and some novellas, so the world wasn't brand new to me.

Alphas: Origins by Ilona Andrews
Lots of action in the one by Andrews. It is not a Kate story, not an Edge story, it's its own thing. The world was cool (that is consistent with Andrews other works). Not as funny as the other series, though, so if you need the comedic asides you might find them missing here. I do hope there will be more stories set in this world. Darker, edgier, more than a little twisted, but I liked it. I think it was just twisted enough to stay on this side of the line where I was satisfied with the ending and still enjoyed reading about the characters. I really liked the resolution and final battle. I'd been wondering where the "angel" would come into play.

Nocturne (Samaria series) by Sharon Shinn
I had not even heard of this series before reading this novella, but I will be checking it out. Set in a world ruled by angels, the intermediaries for the god Jovah, the story takes place in an out of the way school as far from the rest of civilization as possible. Moriah is new to the school. Adventurous, this is the latest in a long string of places she has run from. I liked her a lot. She was sneaky, calculating, strong, resourceful - it was not hard to believe that she was a survivor. Corban is a blind angel in hiding at the foreboding house on the hill. The two strike up a strange relationship that is really beneficial to both. I enjoyed their verbal sparring and that each gave as good as they got. Not much action in this one.

Ascension (Guardians 7.5) by Meljean Brook:
Here we have 2 Guardians who are nursing old wounds they gave each other years (and years) before. The initial issue was a big miscommunication, but I'm glad that they didn't spend all of the story focused on the miscommunication. There is also a problem with someone killing vampires, a potential demon to sniff out, and teens getting in over their heads. I really liked Marc and Radha's powers, how they worked together. Even though it was a short, I got a good feeling for Marc's progression from naive, zealous young Guardian to the more cynical, withdrawn one we meet in the story. There was some action in the story, especially at the end. I haven't started this series yet, although I have read a novella set in this world, so it wasn't completely new to me. It does make me want to dig more into this world.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Must Reads - UF/Fantasy

So, I've been going over my TBR list and thinking about my Must Reads that are releasing this year. I already posted some YA books I'm eagerly awaiting. Now it's time for my adult UF/Fantasy Must Reads. I included release dates and covers when available, but we all know sometimes things change. Let me know what is on your Must-Read list.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Must Reads - YA

Hope the new year is treating you right. Seems about time to focus on some of the books coming out this year that I must get my hands on. It's a big list (and you know this is only a small part of it), and I wanted to include covers when possible, so I am splitting it between YA and Fantasy/UF reads. I included release dates, but we all know sometimes things change. Let me know what is on your Must-Read list.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More Reviews...

And with this I will be caught up, until tomorrow or the next day. :) Today's reviews include a fantasy with romance (by an author I usually associate with UF), a YA short, and a UF novella. I also got some new books for Christmas, so there's a whole lotta reading goin' on right now.