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I’m Shunning Werewolves (#bookreview)

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The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest. A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift. As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man. (From Goodreads)

Jeebus what a long synopsis. Apologies my dears!

Let’s go back in time shall we? enter my wanna be time machine, in the shape of a Tardis, but made out of cardboard and lots of duct tape! *wooooooosh* look at lil ol me at the tender age of 17 reading Anne Rice and falling in love with Lestat and his crew. I will never get rid of my beat up copy of The Vampire Lestat. These novels made me love vampires even more. When I migrated to The Mayfair Witches. Sure I liked them too. Not as much as Lestat, Armand, Pandora and Marius. (Don’t ask me about whiny Louis please).

*Back to present time where I’m nowhere near the 17 year old. Grew older but not necessarily wiser…*

So when she had to take a hiatus and then came back to write books about Jesus, not my style but okay. Respect to you Miss Rice.

Then she came back to write about Werewolves. I did a backflip with a triple twist because she’s back to writing about supernatural paranormal beings and maybe. Just maybe Lestat will have some sort of cameo role and I can say smile and hug the book

**Before we begin, possible spoilers here. You’ve been warned**

Nope. Just nope. What the heck was I thinking. Oh my did life mock me. As I progressed further into the book at first, I thought hey! This is not bad. Reuben of course, could be worked on…maybe with a couple of bats to the face, groin…maybe hear a bone crack or two for his incessant stupidity but hey! We don’t really have to like our main characters do we? I mean come on! It’s werewolves! They’re the rivals to vampires! They’re almost the second best thing when it comes to reading about supernatural beings!

Life continues to mock me as I turn the pages. My darling girl, you never learn do you? But please keep reading because your blind faith and love for one of your favorite authors is keeping you going. Perhaps you think there’s going to be a sudden twist and everything is alright with the world right?

Haha. Nope.

Despite the fact that I didn’t mind Reuben became this werewolf vigilante and there were others who were just as interesting. The plot itself wasn’t so bad. The pages kept turning. Progress was made. Descriptions of scenery and the setting was excellent enough that a clear picture could be done and makes the reading experience better. So what bothers me the most about this?

Werewolves and humans interbreeding….with the werewolf still in wolf form.

No. JUST. NO. WHY.

As I continued reading and when these parts start popping up in the book I started to cringe. I started to develop this horrible taste in my mouth and suddenly the descriptions cannot be unseen in the mind and I had to put the book down and immerse my brain into something Disney related so I can erase those awful pictures in my head. Not my kind of thing. I should have stopped then and there but my loyalty to Miss Rice got the best of me and I continued.

And it ends with a possible sequel.

I’m sorry I just can’t. I tried. I’m going to stick with the vampires. Reuben isn’t likable, the incessant poetry of having this “wolf gift” just doesn’t quite cut it and isn’t quite the same as what I thought it would be in past novels. I’m skipping the next book and getting the next Lestat book instead. The scenes between human and werewolf just ruined it for me.

I don’t recommend this one. It’s not my thing. I really tried. At least I can say I read it. Albeit, a painful read.

I give it a 2 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

April 25, 2017 at 8:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Why do I Keep Reading This Stuff? (#bookreview)

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0425184056.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgAs the Resistance attempts to overthrow their vampiric alien masters, elite Cat force member David Valentine embarks on a terrifying journey in search of a long-lost weapon that will guarantee their victory-and the end of the Kurian Order’s domination of Earth. (From Goodreads)

 

 

***Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned***

Why do I torture myself by reading this? It seems I have a love/hate relationship with the Vampire Knight series. I can’t help but reading it because the action is pretty awesome and the vampires in it are what you want. Bad, evil, tyrannical, ruling the world, pretty much all seeing and all knowing.Yes I’m rooting for the bad guy in this one. I have an affinity for vampires.

So where does all the hate come from? Valentine himself. He’s not swoonworthy. He’s not that big of a badass even though he has his moments. I’ve seen better. I’ve read better. A newbie jedi knight has a better chance at being a badass than this guy.

And somehow the ladies love him.

And I quote:

“Is that some kind of crack?” (female character asking)

He explored further with his fingers.

“No but this is”

Yes ladies and gentlemen, vampires and ghouls, that above actually happened in the book. Pardon me while I go into this insane rabid rage and nearly throw this book across the room. I don’t know about you but someone having a hand on my bum crack isn’t my exact idea of lovely and romantic and could possibly emit a hard slap across the face or a good knee in the groin from me. Not even my fiance could get away with this type of behavior on me.

And lo behold Carrasca is also pregnant. For crying out loud when are we going to advocate birth control in novels like these? Did they cease to exist?

If this is some kind of idea of romance then this is exactly why I can’t stand romance in novels. It ruins everything. I’ll accept it in YA novels. But this? Not in an action packed book. Please. For the love of humanity don’t put things like this in novels. It’s tacky, ridiculous and just all around wrong.

I cannot fathom why. What the heck is so attractive about this piece of meat with barely any personality but is basically used as a tank. I would seriously cheer on for the vampire who can take this POS on and just have a feast.

I digress.So besides the action, what the heck do I like about the novel?

The secondary characters are really what lets me hang onto this for dear hope that this story will turn into something tolerable and readable. The action is just really great to read and as long as I ignore Valentine’s odious personality and character and just see him for a cardboard stick character that just goes through the motions, yes it’s a tolerable read. Yes the action is really damn good. Yes read it for the vampires and the fighting scenes.

Despite all this, am I going to read the next novel?

Because of the bloody cliffhanger ending. Yes.

Valentine, please for the love of all things human (because there’s a few in the book and there’s going to be fewer if the vampires have their way) stop saying stupid nonsense and stop impregnating the female locals. Seriously. Just stop. Slay the evil guy and stay that way or at least, have them feast on you while I cackle with evil glee.

I give it a 6.5 out of 10.

 

Written by Karoline

April 18, 2017 at 8:35 am

Review of Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

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0425184056.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Amy Goodnight knows that the world isn’t as simple as it seems—she grew up surrounded by household spells and benevolent ghosts. But she also understands that “normal” doesn’t mix with magic, and she’s worked hard to build a wall between the two worlds. Not only to protect any hope of ever having a normal life. Ranch-sitting for her aunt in Texas should be exactly that. Good old ordinary, uneventful hard work. Only, Amy and her sister, Phin, aren’t alone. There’s someone in the house with them—and it’s not the living, breathing, amazingly hot cowboy from the ranch next door. It’s a ghost, and it’s more powerful than the Goodnights and all their protective spells combined. It wants something from Amy, and none of her carefully built defenses can hold it back. This is the summer when the wall between Amy’s worlds is going to come crashing down. (From Goodreads)

First I have to add, what a beautiful cover this is. Normally we never “judge a book by it’s’ cover” but this one is so eye catching and lovely so, yes, I am guilty of this. Just for this one.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a book that made me laugh as much as this one! Amy is such a likable character, one that you can relate to and instantly befriend if she were in your class/neighborhood/work place. It makes the story enjoyable to read, and adds more personality to the book. Supporting cast around Amy also do a great job and are fun to read as well. Her sister Phin is such a great laugh and fun to read. Amy has a pretty kooky family to begin with which adds more to her imperfections and makes her all the more likable.

The romance aspect was cute and fun to read. To be expected as the main central theme is seen with a comedic light. Loved Amy and Ben hating each other first and then it grows to love. Yes it sounds pretty cliche and very Harlequin Romance. It’s over done isn’t it? I’ll accept it for this time. If it’s done with likable characters, then it makes the romance bearable.

Onto the plot itself. It was well done. A mystery with supernatural elements to it. It’s a well rounded book with plenty of other elements drawn in without making the plot confusing or all over the place. It’s well written, and enjoyable. I couldn’t really compare this with anything else that I have read in the past although Nancy Drew with supernatural powers comes pretty close. Although the plot was great and everything in it was a joy to read, 400 and more pages is just a little too much. Maybe there was just too many ‘fillers’ in the book added to make it this long. It’s not necessary. Short books are okay too, we have a huge pile to go through as readers. 🙂

Overall worth a read. Love it for the comedy factor and a well written murder mystery with paranormal elements. Also love it for the well written characters featured.

I give it an 8.5 out of 10.

 

Written by Karoline

April 10, 2017 at 9:11 am

Review of Rebel Heart by Moira Young

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Saba thought her world would return to normal after they defeated the Tonton and rescued her kidnapped brother Lugh. The family head west for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But a formidable enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? (From Goodreads)

 

**Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned**

First, it’s recommended you read Blood Red Road before you jump into this one. It starts off a little later in the storyline but it’s best to get your background information so you can better understand the second one of the series.

I notice with the second book of almost every series I’ve read, they hit a bump in the plotline and it either goes very well, or sometimes it goes not so good, or terribly bad. In this case, it went a little lackluster. However it wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either. I suppose sometimes it’s hard to live up to the how high the bar is set when the first novel was written and released. As readers, we expect the same kind of emotional excitement.

So what I notice is a trend in the second book of the series as well, the main character always, (almost always) have their emo moments. This brings the plot down and establishes a lull and you’re left with this mopey character who’s on a complete pity trip while things are hitting the fan everyone around them. For crying out loud Saba. Seriously? I did not expect this from you. Sure, we’re all entitled our own moments but what ever happened to the pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and carry on motto? We need more of that instead of ‘woe is me the world is against me, I can’t take this anymore’ sort of thinking. So I’d have to say this aspect of the novel, I didn’t like so much.

I wasn’t expecting Saba to meet DeMalo so soon in the series. But oh my goodness he’s bloody insane. His way of thinking of his purpose makes you want to slug him one but you understand given the circumstances and the living conditions of the setting, yeah. It’s enough to make you go completely batshit crazy and think of these things as a way of survival or a way of life in order to make things ‘better’. What baffles me is….she ends up sleeping with him and just wow….seriously? Sleeping with the enemy doesn’t give you any bonus points here Saba darling. So…why? Just why? Don’t give me this emotional fragility crap. That’s getting old and useless.

The pace of the plot is noticeably slower given that perhaps this second book is going to be geared towards character development. Lugh’s still a twit and he wasn’t that likable in the first place – plus you feel like asking what the heck his problem is because he’s just so filled with resentment and anger. Jack is hardly anywhere in the book. He disappears and doesn’t interact with Saba. Still a mystery character with no answers. Sort of made me wonder, then why was he mentioned so much in the first one, to have no place in this one? Frustrating considering he played a big part and his character was one of the most likable in the story.

So overall, it’s okay. Second books in series always go through ruts and patches. I’m reading through this series because I really did like the first one and I’ll finish this one hoping the ending will go with an awesome bang so I can forget Rebel Heart.

I give it an 7 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

March 27, 2017 at 9:41 am

Review of Starters by Lissa Price

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Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . . (From Goodreads)

I loved the idea behind this book. An interesting concept that makes for good reading for a novel that features dystopia themes. Although it’s not that much different from your usual themes (your usual plague ridden society, with the poor suffering, and the rich being..well rich) it was still worth a read and I rather enjoyed it. The world building and setting is well written and provides a good foundation for reading.

I can’t say I really like Callie though. Sure, who wouldn’t like to live the life of the Ender with all that luxury but she’s not that likable (and you just have those moments where you shake your head and think to yourself ‘really? REALLY? DID YOU JUST DO WHAT I THOUGHT YOU JUST DID?’) and Blake. I really don’t know what the appeal is with him. Sure Callie, he’s cute and all and he’s a lovely treat to look at. That’s ok right? Because poor Michael is back there at home with your suffering brother wondering where the heck you are. But that’s ok, you can walk all over Michael while you fawn over Blake like a lovesick cow.

I have no patience for that kind of stupidity. Really.

So aside from the characters that don’t really appeal to me, I still thought the book was worth the read.  It’s a good addition to one’s collection of dystopian fiction. Give it a try. I’ll be reading Enders (sequel to this) for sure just to see where the story ends up. (Also if my prediction ends up being correct..)

I give it a 6 out of 10

Written by Karoline

March 20, 2017 at 8:17 am

Posted in 6, Review, Uncategorized

Review of Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw

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0425184056.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgTen years ago Kate Winters’ parents were taken by the High Council’s wardens to help with the country’s war effort. Now the wardens are back…and prisoners, including Kate’s uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane – the High Council’s most feared man – recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council’s experiments into the veil, and he’s convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft – a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. (from Goodreads)

The story was pretty interesting and had a neat concept with the “Skilled”. I also liked the setting with the Graveyard city. So this is what rather kept me going for a bit while reading. The magic system itself was interesting and somewhat different from what I’ve read in the past. That kept the flow of reading along. Somewhat. The world building was alright although I wanted more detail and more explanation. What type of world was this? Yes it’s got magic in it but am I looking at fantasy with a Graveyard city? Is it a steampunk setting? What am I looking at here?

Now let’s move onto the characters.

Out of all of them, Silas even though he was pretty much your typical villain, was actually the most interesting. Even though he was the most interesting though, he wasn’t really that likable (understandably so, he’s a villain BUT I  always root for the bad guy). He wasn’t really part of the “cool bad guy” crowd I suppose for lack of a better explanation.

Edgar, who is Kate’s friend, meh. Not sure if I really liked him. He was a wuss. Sure, he had some few good moments. Otherwise though he just wasn’t that great at all. Kate was okay. She was a typical strong girl character you see in most YA novels like these.

In summary though, I’d have to say these characters in the book are ho hum. There’s not much feeling to them, they’re not likable, and they’re just…blah. Because of this and the lack of world building I just didn’t feel that much into the book and didn’t grab my attention. Sure, there were good points in the book but it just wasn’t quite enough to get me into the book like some others have. I’m not sure I’m going to go further into the series. I’d say take it or leave it with this one. I’ve seen other reviews where some have really enjoyed the book. Unfortunately much as I wanted to, I didn’t so much.
I give it a 7 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

March 13, 2017 at 7:24 am

Review of A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger

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London, 1385. Surrounded by ruthless courtiers—including his powerful uncle, John of Gaunt, and Gaunt’s flamboyant mistress, Katherine Swynford—England’s young, still untested king, Richard II, is in mortal peril, and the danger is only beginning. Songs are heard across London—catchy verses said to originate from an ancient book that prophesies the end of England’s kings—and among the book’s predictions is Richard’s assassination. Only a few powerful men know that the cryptic lines derive from a “burnable book,” a seditious work that threatens the stability of the realm. To find the manuscript, wily bureaucrat Geoffrey Chaucer turns to fellow poet John Gower, a professional trader in information with connections high and low. Gower discovers that the book and incriminating evidence about its author have fallen into the unwitting hands of innocents, who will be drawn into a labyrinthine conspiracy that reaches from the king’s court to London’s slums and stews–and potentially implicates his own son. As the intrigue deepens, it becomes clear that Gower, a man with secrets of his own, may be the last hope to save a king from a terrible fate. (From Goodreads)

 

Definitely not a book to be read in a quick setting. Are you into literary figures? Historical fiction? Historical mystery filled with spies and intrigue? Something that takes place in the Middle Ages? All of the above in one book? Sure! Let’s take it!

I’d have to say, there can be no better description of the Middle Ages than in this book. Everything was so visual and well written. The setting itself has good amounts of description, the characters definitely helped as well. They even had the mannerisms and speech of the time.

Speaking of characters.

Oh Chaucer. No. Just no. I don’t like you. He’s not exactly painted in the most best of light here is he? Manipulative, wife stealer, even with his supposed close friend he’s not upfront and honest with. You definitely have sympathy with Gower here. Even though he has a questionable job and past with his son Simon, he’s still a much more likable character than Chaucer in my opinion. Other characters that I liked; Edgar/Eleanor – the story arc with Millicent and Agnes was a good one. I enjoyed their side of the story with the ‘dregs’ of society. Another character I liked, Hawkwood. Yes he’s an odious villain that oozed all the horrible things you didn’t like. But he was such an awesome villain! Cold, calculating, and not one to trifle with when you get on his bad side and think you can get away with (that poor sod – those who read the book should know what I’m talking about)

The plot itself was pretty good. Lots of plot twists and turns. You’re left peeling layer after layer of intrigue and mystery while you get to the bottom of it. Once you had it figured out there’s still more left to figure out. I enjoyed it! There’s something about all the layers of intrigue that makes it a more compelling read.

However, a couple of things that made this read a not so easy one. The amount of characters. Quite a few to keep track of. So this isn’t the type of book that you can drop and come back to after a while (I mistakenly did that unfortunately, as life got in the way). You need to take you time, get to know the characters, the plot and how everything comes together. It sometimes can get a little confusing so some extra attention is needed while reading this book. Also, have a dictionary beside you. I suppose to keep with the medieval thing, there’s some medieval terminology that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with. It adds more to the book but I could have done without it. To be on the bright side, my vocabulary has increased with various middle age words.

Overall, take the time to read the book and enjoy. The spinning and weaving of the web and trying to find the center spot is fun and always is a treat to read when figuring out a historical mystery. Greatly recommended for Hist-fic fans.

I give it a 6 out of 10.

Thank you William Morrow for providing me a review copy!

 

Written by Karoline

March 8, 2017 at 7:42 am