Joint Review: E.A. Copen’s Guilty By Association

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guiltybyassocEverything’s bigger in Texas…Including the monsters.
When a young werewolf is murdered on the Paint Rock Supernatural Reservation, the local cops think it’s a drug deal gone bad. BSI agent Judah Black knows better. An occult expert, she knows magick is at work from the beginning. Using only her wits, knowledge of the supernatural and her limited magickal abilities, she must untangle a web of cover-ups and lies before the killer finds his next victim.

 

 

Liza’s Review

Guilty by Association had me in its’ grip before I realized it. From start to finish it is a non stop procession of action. Judah Black is a BSI agent, assigned to Paint Rock Reservation in Texas. As we follow her we quickly learn that this 5′ spit fire isn’t about to let anything stand between her and justice, even if you are a monstrous Werewolf that stands taller.
Immediately I was in love with her presence, and the fierce way she cares for her son. She strives so hard to do the right thing, even if it means battling herself over what that actually is. She has a softer spot for the paranormal, that we watch unfold as she finds herself walking into the center of a madmans plan to eradicate the varying species that have shown themselves to the world.
This book gave me a charming sense of discomfort. I say this because in most paranormal books I have read there are always rules, boundaries to what can and can’t be done. Not here, here we have yet to really find those boundaries, the government still only knows a fraction about this old world that has come to light. It only makes sense to lack the knowledge of a world that has existed for centuries, and only been exposed for a decade. We grow along with Judah as she dives past the surface of what she knows.
This story is full of everything that a supernatural fan loves: Fae, Vampires, Werewolfs, Glamours and so much more.
My only complaint is the lack of depth or background in some spots, in some areas the story felt a little compacted. In turn I felt some detail was lost. At the end of it all the author put me at ease, the level of acceptance that Judah has for what she has to do was consoling. I look forward to the next book!!
4 out of 5 quills.
Evie’s Review
This is the first book by EA Copen that I have had the pleasure of reading, but I can say with certainty that it won’t be the last.
Judah Black is a flawed character and that’s what I love about her. She’s prejudiced against almost everyone around her and, to be fair, everyone around her is prejudiced against her. She faces the challenge of earning the trust of the reservation’s citizens while trying to solve a few murders.  The thing about trust is it’s hard to earn trust without also giving it. This story is Urban Fantasy meets Dystopian meets Western meets Detective story and it is done fantastically.
The novel is paced well and I didn’t notice that the plot jumped leaps and bounds. Most of the Judah’s leads brought more questions than were answered and it was most definitely an uphill battle, but the story pulls you in and keeps you interested. Some of the characters I immediately liked, even if our MC (main character) didn’t, and others I hated (usually Judah did too), but some characters kept me guessing until the end and even better… some characters I still haven’t made a decision on.
The only complaint I had, and it wasn’t a very big one, was that there was no hint of The Ways until suddenly they were there. They were explained a little bit, but other things were explained much better, like the way Judah’s magic works and the transformation of werewolves. The reason this is a very small complaint is that this is the first book in a series… things can and probably are expounded upon in the next novels. I find that there are usually two ways that first novels go, they either focus on the character building or the world building, but some novels, like this one, focus pretty evenly on both. As a reader, I prefer this way because it leaves room for the world to grow and gives us a baseline for the characters. It creates balance.
I also want to point out that I like that BSI, the government agency that Judah works for, is presented in a not so flattering light. It is multi-faceted and rings very true to quite a few real-life agencies throughout the world. I’m sure that more than Americans can relate to it. I also love that Copen addresses other countries besides America. So many Urban Fantasy novels never address that their world of werewolves and vampires and fae expand past the borders of the USA and it leaves you wondering…how did the rest of the world handle it? While E.A. Copen didn’t go into details about the rest of the world’s policies on the supernatural coming out, she at least acknowledged that they had policies in place.
The last thing I want to talk about and that I absolutely loved is the ending. The author satisfactorily ends one story line, but in the process opens up a few more, not to mention a couple that she hints to throughout the rest of the story. It leaves us wondering where the next book will go and how long until all these story arcs are addressed…because you know it won’t all be in one novel. This book is expertly written and I’m going to say that you need to read it if you like detective stories or urban fantasy or westerns.
I give this story 4 out of 5 quills and you can rest assured that I will be reading the rest of the series.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Quills. It’s obvious that we here at Bibliophile’s Delight love Guilty by Association!

Dangerous Ways to be Entertained

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Blog update:

It’s been awhile since Liza or I have posted. I decided to go back to school and it took up much more time than I was expected and Liza’s life has gotten equally busy in different ways. She approached me about getting back into the swing of things. We both love books and love to share our love of books. We want to focus more on indie or lesser known authors who deserve recognition. The industry is hard for new names or indie names. Now onto today’s book!

Evie

PS. I think I’ll post a blog on Friday to go over all of the books I read in 2016 with a sentence or two about what it’s about and whether or not I liked it.

dangerous-waysThe Blurb:

Jonathan Hawthorne has lived over a century beholden to one rule: do not meddle in mortal affairs. He’s broken it twice. So when he crosses paths with Cassidy Winters, he’s forced to interfere again.

Strike three. And the third time’s not the charm.

Hawthorne is swept along as Cassidy slips through the cracks in reality.

And being hunted by bands of monsters doesn’t help.

To find the answers they need, they’ll have to play in a dangerous world. One where the odds and rules are stacked against them. They will have to navigate magical courts, queens and lords all while trying to keep Cassidy out of their scheming hands.

If they fail, she will end up a pawn in a plot that will consume them all.

Hawthorne will have to face the consequences of his past, and risk his future to ensure Cassidy can have one of her own.

For a man with all the time in the world–it seems to be running out–fast!

My Review:

R.R. Virdi is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy authors. His Grave Report series (which I’ve reviewed here…and here) are fast paced and full of witty dialogue. I love witty dialogue. So when he announced that he had a new series coming out that existed in the same world as Vincent Graves, but was not about Vincent, I was ecstatic. And then when I found out that this series was going to be Epic Urban Fantasy I was not only ecstatic but my mind was officially blown. I bought it the day it came out and immediately set to reading it.

Let me just sum this up for you in a sentence, in case you’re in a hurry. Dangerous Ways is what you would get if Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearn, Brandon Sanderson, and Robert Jordan (Rest in Peace) could write a book together.

The story is exciting and you just keep wanting more but when you’re done you feel like you’ve been living a different life. I immediately wanted to start on the next book, but then I remembered I’d have to wait.

I want to go more in depth. I want to talk about all of the characters and the relationships, but I do firmly believe that it’s best if you read it for yourself and experience the story as it goes. I have re-written this review four or five times because I keep catching myself giving to much away. Too many character secrets or plot reveals.

If you love Urban Fantasy or Epic Fantasy, or are thinking about giving either genre a try, I cannot recommend this novel enough. You do not need to read his other series first even though they take place in the same universe.

Find it on:
Amazon
GoodReads
R.R. Virdi’s Website

 

 

A Fox’s Love

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51xz7kT6THLGoodreads Blurb:

The story of a boy, a fox, and a lot of fanservice…

Kevin Swift has the worst luck with women. It’s not that he’s unattractive or even unpopular. He just can’t talk to them. He blames it on all of those shonen love comedies that he enjoys watching. Fortunately, or unfortunately—depending on who’s asking—Kevin’s love life is about to start looking up.

After saving a fox, Kevin discovers that he actually rescued a kitsune, a shape-shifter capable of transforming into a beautiful girl who appears to have popped right out of the pages to a shonen manga. Her name is Lilian, and she has decided that he is going to be her mate—whether he wants to be or not!

Between dealing with an overly amorous vixen’s zealous attempts at getting into his pants, his inability to talk to girls, and school, Kevin is going to have his hands full.

Review: A Fox’s Love is written almost like the novelization of an existing anime. I enjoyed it so much more when I imagined the characters as anime rather than live action. It made certain tropes funny rather than weird. Seriously, think of some of things you see in a romcom anime and then imagine it live action. It’s squiky.

The main character of this story is Kevin who is a shy do-gooder who has a crush on his female best friend. The most odd thing about him is his disabling fear of girls and his completely absent mother. Then one day he finds and injured fox with two tails outside of his job. He sneaks her home as per his do-gooder habits require and begins to treat her wounds before he notices that she is healing abnormally fast. A couple days later the fully healed fox becomes Lilian, a voluptuous girl with fox ears and two fox tails.

Let’s start with something I liked: Kevin. He seems a little plain at first, but he handles the supernatural extremely well and even though I wish he would be a little more… willing to stand up for himself, he never bends on the things that really matter to him. Mainly his own virtue. He and his best friend Eric are the personification of opposite ends of a spectrum. Kevin is polite, shy, smart and well-spoken. Eric is crass, loud, obnoxious and kinda gross. I like them both. I wouldn’t get along with Eric, but as a character he’s not only deplorable, but depicted as deplorable.

The only two problems I had were the pacing and Lilian. The pacing was a little slow and dawdling. I wasn’t sure that the story had an direction until the very end. That being said this is a common problem in the first book in a series which sets up a lot of relationships and atmosphere so that later books can be faster paced. I almost never really hold pacing in book one against the series. It’s kind of like the pilot episode of a tv series. It has to give you an idea of what to expect in the future while at the same time introducing all of the characters.

The other problem as I mentioned before was Lilian. I found the lead female almost completely unlikeable. She had funny bits, but even then I found myself routing for the childhood friend. Aside from being completely obnoxious and clingy, she also had no respect for her so called “Beloved.” She willfully hears what she wants to hear or flat out ignores him. The sexual harassment is surreal. He is constantly fighting off her advances. I hate when controlling, manipulative male characters are painted as romantic and I hate it just as much when it’s a woman. Let me be clear about one thing though, just because I don’t like one character (even a main character) does not mean I do not like the book. I just don’t like one character.

What I absolutely loved about the book was the fourth wall breaks. It took me a second to realize what was happening but once I did these easily became my favorite parts. They weren’t treated as asides, but the author and Lilian spoke to one another. Kevin can’t hear the author, but can hear Lilian. Seriously great.

I also truly loved that Kevin didn’t ditch his crush on Lindsey because of Lilian. In fact, even though he is no where near immune to her outlandishly good looks, he says no. He is the type of guy that every girl should look for. It is completely understandable that Lilian falls for him…even if she does it a touch to fast.

I have already order the second and fourth (I accidentally order the fourth book first. Silly me). I will be starting it here soon.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5. There is a lot of room to grow, but some of my favorite series start with much worse stories.

An Interview with R.R. Virdi

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This was scheduled to post last Friday, but for some reason none of my scheduled blog posts are actually being posted. (I suspect this has more to do with my phone where I had been scheduling drafts to post than anything about WordPress. Well… live and learn.)

R.R. Virdi

R.R. Virdi

I recently reviewed the second book in the Grave Report by R.R. Virdi (which you can find here… or the first book’s review here) and all it’s done is made me crave more. So I sent him a message and asked if he would mind doing an interview and HE SAID YES! Here’s my online interview with a really awesome author:

Bibliophile’s Delight: Let’s start off with some Grave Report related questions… Are all of Vincent’s cases going to be in NYC?

R.R. Virdi: For the main body of the series (IE. the novels), yes.

The short stories, which I do have many planned, will take place all over.

BD: Sweet. Does Graves have cases between the NYC cases (novels)?

RRV: Yes, he does; many of the short stories will cover those.

BD: I’m super excited! That leads to me to my next question… When he’s not on a case, where is he? Is he sentient between cases?

RRV: Ah. That I can’t answer. Well I can, but I won’t. Not yet. That’s going to be explained.

BD: Gasp! I am wounded… Okay. Not wounded. Impatient. I’m impatient.

RRV: Haha

BD: Church dropped a huge bomb at the end of the story and it has a lot of possible ramifications, but my first thought (as I’m sure many a fangirl has had) was “does this mean that Vincent and Camilla have a chance?” (Side note that I did not say to Mr. Virdi at the time: I’m shipping this as Vinilla)

R.R. Virdi and Jim ButcherRRV: Spoilers?! Sacre bleu! I’m not gonna tell you.
Always wanted to say that after [Jim] Butcher said it to me once at a Q&A.

BD: Rhyming Rejection? I think that hurts worse. Alright…let’s steer clear of huge spoilers…

How did you come up with the idea for Vincent Graves?

RRV: Ah. I wanted a hero that had the masked hero effect… ie. Spider-man. Batman. You know who they are…but you can imagine anyone under the mask. Even yourself. It’s a mantle of sorts.

Vincent graves has no set body. Anyone can be Vincent. He’s a hero for everyone.

…and I’m a huge urban fantasy nerd so ta-da.

BD: I like it. I could be Vincent…though I’d have to die horribly first…besides the point…

Here’s a big one, how much time and effort do you put into plotting?

RRV: Plotting?

BD: Are you a pantser?

RRV: I am. That’s not to say I don’t know what will happen. I always know the general idea for each novel. This thing dunnit. Beginning, opening lines, ending, climax, few scenes here and there. That’s natural whether you pants or plot. Your mind’s going to come up with something if you’re a writer.

Fan art of R.R. Virdi's Camilla Ortiz

Fan Art of Camilla Ortiz

BD: Since we’ve seemed to have switched gears… Let’s get into general writerly questions.

RRV: Okay!

BD: How long have you wanted to be a writer?

RRV: Since age 18, so eight years. That’s when I started. I’d like to think..I count as one now??

BD: You do, but you still want to be one…so my question is a valid one lol

What was the first thing you wrote?

RRV: A horrible piece of unfinished fantasy. Twelve chapters where I left off, 200K words. It was a monster. Both in size and writing quality.

BD: So I have heard on the not-so DL that you have another book coming out this December. What can you tell us about it?

RRV: It’s going to push the mythology and lore in my world to a new level. Flesh things out from new perspectives and show that Vincent Graves isn’t the only one dealing with the supernatural.

Church and Vincent Graves Fan Art R.R. Virdi

Church and Vincent Graves Fan Art

BD: Can you let something slip about the main character? Or maybe the blurb?

RRV: Unfortunately, at this time I can’t since its still in editing, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the novel completely. As it stands, there are two traditional publishing offers as well that I’ve been really lowkey on talking about because… reasons.

BD: Alright. Let’s get on to the personal.

What does the R.R. stand for?

RRV: Ronnie (my nickname I’ve gone by my whole life) and my legal name.

BD: You are a man of secrets. Share just one secret?

RRV: Which one?

BD: Which ever you think you can while still remaining a mystery man?

RRV: My middle name is Ranbir.

BD: !!! I love it!

Well, thank you for answering my questions. I can’t wait for your novel coming out in December. Anything else you would like to say?

RRV: You’re awesome.

Vincent and an Ifrit Fan Art R.R. Virdi

R.R. Virdi is a blast to talk to… even if he won’t even hint at anything spoilery, which in the long run, I’m probably grateful for. I don’t need the spoilers to keep me interested. I love his novels and will pre-order both The Books of Winter and the Grave Report book 3… as soon as they are available.

If you haven’t given R.R. Virdi’s books a try you can find them here

If you would like to find his social media… it’s here…

Facebook
YouTube
Twitter
Blog/Website
Instagram

Grave Measures

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book-review1Hey! This is a sequel. You can find my review of the first book in the Grave Report here. This review may contain spoilers for that book, so if you consider spoilers to be Satan’s handiwork then click on the link above and read that review. You have been warned.

GoodReads blurb

What do shadows darting across walls, cryptic writing, black fog, and a little girl who can see ghosts have in common? Paranormal investigator and soul without a body, Vincent Graves, has forty-four hours to find out.

To make matters worse, his years of body-hopping and monster-hunting are catching up with him. He’s losing his mind. An old contact has shut him out. To top it all off, something’s skulking through an asylum, killing patients.

Three guesses who might be next, and the first two don’t count. The writing on the wall is not so clear. But one thing is: if he doesn’t figure this out he’s a dead man—well, deader—and a strange young girl might follow. Vincent’s got his back against a wall, and that wall’s crumbling.

Some days it’s not worth it to wake up in someone else’s body.

Review

Let’s just get this straight. R.R. Virdi writes some of the most smartass, nerdy, pun-addled and badass stories I have ever read and I love it. I will sit over here and try not to fangirl all over the place, especially since Mr. Virdi promised me an interview. (Which I’m hoping will be posted on Friday… if I don’t get too caught up in asking questions.)

Vincent wakes up in a mental institution wrapped up all snug in a straight jacket. Getting himself out of the jacket and into a chapel turns out to be one of the easiest challenges that Vincent faces. Church is still as vague and cryptic as ever, but I feel like at some point in the future we’ll actually get to know him a lot better. And, boy, does he drop a huge bomb at the end.

What surprised me about this book was how the characters are still traumatized from the events of the last book. They are all still dealing with the emotional fall out of almost dying and dealing with new things. It’s wonderfully done. Many serial mystery/urban fantasy novels just pretend like what happened in the previous books was not a huge deal. They’ll refer to them, but rarely do the events of previous books take a huge toll on the characters mental states in the current novel. I love that even as the characters are dealing with new horrors, the old ones directly effect how they are dealing with the current ones.

The one thing I don’t like is how Vincent treats Ortiz. He says he trusts her with his life, but he doesn’t trust her with the truth? I get that it’s a lot to handle, but the toll of feeling like every time a “tattoo guy” shows up in her life, she’s going to have to accept that at the end of the case she’ll lose someone she risks her life to help has got to suck. Knowing that Vincent would be back, even in a different body, would probably do wonders for her psyche. That being said… I’d love to read a short story about Camilla Ortiz on her own…

I highly recommend this book to any one who likes urban fantasy, mysteries, or smart-ass characters. Oh! Or mythology. You’ll be googling monsters for days.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 quills. C’mon Vincent! At least give Ortiz some hints.

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer and Its All Around Awesome

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The Sea of TrollsGoodreads blurb

Jack was 11 when berserkers loomed out of the fog and nabbed him. Now in 793 AD, Jack and his little sister Lucy are enslaved by Olaf One-Brow, and his fierce young shipmate Thorgil. Alongside the crow “Bold Heart”, they learn to “Just say no to pillaging.”

Review

Um…why are you reading this review and not out picking up your copy of The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer? This book is jammed full of story! It probably could have been a trilogy all on it’s own, but Jack’s wonderful author said “NOPE! This trilogy is going to rock your world in 3 completely different settings… just with (mostly) the same characters.” (By the way, I don’t know if you can tell, but I am already most of the way through the second book.)So… let’s get this review out so I can get back to reading.

I had read this book first when I was in middle school and at the time— because I am old— there wasn’t even the hint of a second book. When I found out recently that not only was there a sequel but there were in fact two I decided I had to re-read it. Getting started, I was super nervous that it was going to be one of those books that I loved when I was younger but now I am really unimpressed by. Not young adult/middle grade books can be Harry Potter.

Imagine my surprise upon opening the book to find that re-reading this book was basically like reading it for the first time. I disliked Jack’s father just as intensely as I did the first time for being a buffoon. I had the same love-extreme dislike relationship with Lucy, Thorgil, and the vikings as I did the first time. And I was thoroughly enraptured, just like the first time. I suspect that it won’t take me another 12 years to read this trilogy again.

Over and over again Nancy Farmer shows that just because a culture is different than yours— and even harsher than yours— doesn’t mean that the people who it belongs to are evil or wrong. Usually a culture is driven and developed by a need to survive in a certain climate and locale. It’s why on coasts rely heavily on fishing and inland they rely more heavily on agriculture. So what do you do when the climate you live in is almost to harsh to live in? You become a viking.

I also adore that this book talks about Yggdrasil/the Tree of Life and how we shouldn’t decide that one religion is right or wrong. Jack is just barely pagan. His mother speaks to bees. The bard believes in the Irish gods. Thorgil is Norse. And Jack’s father is an annoyingly devout Christian. (There are other Christians in the book that I like much better. Jack’s father just uses his faith as an excuse to be borderline abusive and I don’t approve.) Sometimes it is a good thing when an author writes a thoroughly hateable character who is not evil or even meant to be the bad guy.

I can’t imagine there are many fans of fantasy… or historical fiction… that would dislike this novel no matter what their age.

Rating

5 out of 5 quills. If it wasn’t obvious from the review, I recommend this book whole-heartedly and with Odin’s blessing.

Darkest Fear — Birthright 1

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indexGoodreads Blurb

Vivi has known the truth about her family—and herself—since she was thirteen. But that doesn’t mean she’s accepted it. Being Haguari isn’t something she feels she’ll ever accept. How can she feel like anything but a freak knowing that it’s in her genes to turn into a jaguar?

Now eighteen, Vivi’s ready to break away from the traditions of her heritage. But all of that changes with the shocking, devastating deaths of her parents and the mysteries left behind. Vivi discovers family she never even knew she had, and a life open with possibility. New friends, new loyalties, and even romance all lay ahead—but so do dangers unlike anything Vivi ever could have imagined.

Review

I read Cate Tiernan’s Sweep series a million years ago when I was 12/13. I loved it back then and still have many of the books on my shelf. Some got misplaced by friends who borrowed them. Though I loved them when I was younger I have seriously questioned whether or not I would love them if I re-read them now. When I found her new Birthright series I knew I had to give it a try.

I found it interesting and I will definitely be reading the sequel. That being said…I give a lot of leeway to books I know will be the first in a series. This novel seemed like it was more about setting up the character’s family history and friends. So not a lot happens and though it was a quick read at the end I didn’t feel completely satisfied. It felt like we had just gotten to something good when it ended.

Next on the list, is the romance. I both love and hate how the romance was handled. On the one hand, I absolutely love that (so far) the romance is not central to the storyline. It’s about an 18 year old girl, so of course she focuses some on boys, but the story is more about getting to know her family, figuring out what happened to her parents, and figuring out what she was going to do with her life now that they’re gone. On the other hand, I absolutely hate that the guy she moons over is kind of a jerk. It’s obvious he has some tragic backstory from the get go, but still. I am super tired of the trope, I’m traumatized so I get to be an asshole and it’s okay. It is not okay.

As for the main character, Vivi isn’t awful. She’s just a sheltered 18 year-old. I like that she refuses to accept her family’s traditons and customs. And she reacts to her parents’ deaths like you would expect. But my favorite part is that she is a virgin for valid reasons, not because she’s shy or doesn’t know that she’s beautiful. She acknowledges that she could be very beautiful if she put any effort into it. But she wasn’t interested in being Haguari. At all.

All in all, I reserve the right to save my judgement of this series until book 2 comes out in July.

Rating:3 out of 5 quills. I liked it and will be buying the sequel, but I can definitely see why it gets a bad rap

 

The Scavengers by Lucas D.J. Grubbs

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About the book from Amazon.com: When the apocalypse comes knocking, don’t be afraid to slam the door in its face. Unusual storms are becoming so frequent that they no longer count as unusual. James Black, a young man living in the Midwest, watches as the storms grow to titanic proportions and evacuations begin. Every city within hundreds of miles starts to flood and the real fight for survival begins. Panic becomes widespread, the government loses its grip, and the evacuations are called off. Individuals who are desperate to control their own fate begin to emerge and the scavengers are born. The remaining populace becomes a danger to itself as the last bits of law and order are stripped away. James does what any strong, intelligent, and unattached man would do…. He hides. The road to safety is treacherous at best, so James bides his time while planning for the future. All of his plans blow up in his face when he helps a young woman named Emma. She changes everything. The world may never again be the place that it once was, but people will never change. The good, the bad, and the somewhere in between will always be a factor. James learns about himself, and the people around him, while discovering what it truly takes to survive.

The book was very entertaining with a witty cast of characters that keep their humor as they face world disaster. James and Emma quickly form a unique bond that continues to blossom throughout the story. I love Emma’s edge and her ability to push James outside of his already uncomfortable comfort zone. James himself is an awkward guy that you can’t help but like immediately. The thing that I love most about this book is when the main characters find themselves in the company of trained soldiers, who all quickly learn that no amount of training can save them from the wrath of people fighting for their own gain. It brings on a real sense of the chaos and the “survival of the fittest” mentality that people take on when their way of life has been threatened.

I can officially say that every time it rains this book comes to mind, and the image in my head is so vivid that I can feel my own body becoming water logged. The story flows at a nice pace up until the end. The last couple of chapters feel a little rushed though it doesn’t disappoint. It ends with an opening for a sequel that you will find yourself wanting to read. (So hurry up Lucas and get that baby published!) The book is available for order on Amazon and the digital copy is only $1.99. It is a book that is worth buying, and Mr. Grubbs is an author I feel will continue turning out impressive stories.

4 out of 5 quills

The Books I’ve Read This Year (so far)

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Liza’s review isn’t quite finished yet so we’ve decided to swap places. Today you get something random but book related from me and on Friday she’ll post her review. I personally can’t wait.

January…

21414439I read Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I had read and reviewed (here) an extended excerpt in December and was so interested that I preordered the hard back so that I would get a first edition. I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved it. I loved that the relationship that the story focused on was not a romantic one but the one between two best friends.The world building could be a bit better, but there are more novels to come and I think it was written so that little bits came out at a time. I completely recommend this to any fantasy lovers.

A Game of Thrones was the next book that I finished. This is the second time that I’ve read it. I will say that I liked it better this time. My major problem with the A Song of Ice and Fire Saga is that I dislike 90% of the characters and I only get to read about the characters I do like maybe 3 or 4 chapters in what amounts to almost a thousand pages. A friend of mine suggested that I watch the show first and then come back to the books. I’m going to see if this works.

February…

8835379I read the entire Precious Stone Trilogy (Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, and Emerald Green) by Kerstin Gier. I’m a bit torn on the series. I loved the characters, but it feels like she forced it to be a trilogy. The whole story takes place in a few weeks. I just thought that if she had made the book a little bit longer it all could have been one or two books. Making it 3 makes me feel like it was a way to get more money. I will say that I devoured the books. The story was interesting and the characters delightful.

20698530I read P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. I really wanted to write a review of this, but since I hadn’t written one on the first book and it’s been over a year since I read the first one I decided not to. I didn’t absolutely love this one, but I did enjoy it. I like that the first book didn’t end with a happily ever after high school relationship. There’s nothing wrong with those except that they are over represented. I loved that this series focuses on an interracial relationship. I like that it’s a cute and light read.

FangirlWIPFangirl by Rainbow Rowell… how have I never read a Rainbow Rowell novel before? It’s just… cute and adorable and it makes you think. I never thought I would relate so much to a fan fiction author (not because there’s anything wrong with being a fan fiction author, but because I’ve never written or read any fan fiction). The weirdest part though was that I’ve met a balding guy name Levi who was pretty goofy…so I couldn’t stop picturing him even though I only knew him for like a weekend.

March…

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan … you can see my review here.

24885636Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. Why haven’t I done a review of this? I think it got lost in the Chaos of my life. I’m not going to say much because I think I’m going to write a blog on it. I’m just going to say that I liked it for now.

 

Snakewood by Adrian Selby…you can find my review here. I should point out that my review may be a little harsh and I am already likely to dislike any book written in first person. It takes a lot to change my mind.

April…

And The Passage by Justin Cronin which was my review last week and you can find it here.

Next week is the Double Review of Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, where both Liza and I review a book together. I can’t wait to hear her opinion.

Don’t forget to come back for Liza’s review on Friday!!

 

End Note: You may notice that the first reviews I posted this year ( The Painted Maidens Trilogy and Uprooted)  are not on this list. While I posted the reviews in January, I had actually read them in the very end of December so they didn’t qualify for this list.

The Passage

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6690798I won my copy of The Passage from a GoodReads giveaway.

GoodReads blurb: An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape— but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

The Passage by Justin Cronin is and is not about Amy NLN (No Last Name). We see the events that lead to her birth and also the ones that lead to her abandonment. We see why the government is interested in her and why she eventually escapes the secret installation they take her to. But the story is about so much more than her than her. She will probably factor more into the next two books.

Although the plot in this book is a little slow in place (seriously, only slightly slow), it’s not enough to make you want to put it down for even a second. It took me about a week to read this, but that’s more because I have 2 jobs and a blog and a dog.

Let’s talk about the characters for a minute. I have very strong opinions on most of the characters. I loved Peter, Alicia, Auntie, Caleb, Michael and Wolgast. On the other hand, I really disliked Richards, Doyle, Sanjay, Theo, and Sarah. The only thing that bothered me was that Amy was a non-character. She was more like a pawn used to move other characters through the story. She was the why of the story more than a who in the story. There’s room for growth in the next book and I hope most of it is devoted to giving Amy some personality.

I can’t say too much about the plot because it’s so much better if you get surprised by the details of the story. It’s definitely a pilgrimage/epic journey; it’s just more of a science fiction epic than a fantasy, which was a refreshing take. The only thing I will say is: take your time. Don’t skim the parts that you don’t think will be relevant or rush through parts that you think are filler. Mr. Cronin wraps everything in and I can’t wait to see what he does in the next part of this story. I plan on ordering his next book, The Twelve, on the first of May.

Rating: 3.5 quills out of 5.