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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-03 11:30
Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles–January Edition

 

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on March 3, 2018.

 

2012

 

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The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

 

I don't much remember what went on in this book, except there being a plot to replace the Queen with an automaton clone. Must have made an impression on me because I rated it 4 stars on GR. Oh, and the covers in the series are beautiful! I recently and reviewed the second book in this series.

 

 

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Must Love Hellhounds by Various Authors

 

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GR tells me that I loved most of the stories from this anthology. Must have been a good collection. I remember trying it out because it also included a story by Ilona Andrews -- a favorite author couple of mine.

 

 

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Frostbite by David Wellington

 

If you don't yet know that an awesome vampire series by David Wellington's exists, then you haven't been paying attention. Like the Laura Caxton series, this one is creepy AF. My GR review tells me I recommend it to:

 

                         people who like werewolves without the romance and cheesiness

 

I loved it and I don't even like horror much! Here, let my gushing adoration convince you that you need to try Wellington's books.

 

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Stray by Rachel Vincent

 

When I first read it, one of the most annoying things about this series was its heroine. She was a whiny, selfish brat who didn't care about the consequences of her action. One of the best things about it, as I continued to plod along, is how she changed! By the end of the series, the events have transformed her into the alpha her father always knew her to be. If that doesn't float your boat, maybe stay for all the violence and the gore? Oh, and did I mention that the series is complete? You can binge read it!

 

 

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The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

 

Maybe I have a soft spot for tortured, lonely werewolves or maybe it's something else. Either way, I just completed this series. While the first had impressed me, the second and third fell short. All I'm saying is that even with the cliffhanger at the end of the first one, it can easily be read as a standalone.

 

2013

 

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Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

 

I have had much to say about the second book in this series on this blog. All good things, I promise. Therefore, it won't come as a surprise that I loved the first one, as well! The ending blew me away even when I have become so jaded about last-minute twists that change everything. Check this one out!

 

 

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He was a Hero, He Shouldn't have Died by Kenneth Mugi

 

If you asked me to describe this book in a word, I'd probably say weird. But wait, this is what I said in my review:

 

I got this book for free, in exchange for an honest review from Making Connections. Get your copy here.

 

This book is very different from the plethora of Paranormal novels out there- it turns the idea of Dorian Gray’s picture on its head.

 

What I really liked about it was that the touch of fantasy/paranormal elements didn’t overwhelm Kasumi’s story.

Another thing to like was that if the new edited version had any errors, I couldn’t find them.

 

There is enough humor to balance the darkness in the story.

 

I would have liked to see more of Morgan but watching Kasumi grow into her powers would be exciting too.

 

Hoping that there are some fight scenes in the next book!

 

This book isn’t for everybody but if you’d like to read something unique, give this one a whirl.

 

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The Gods Among Us by D.C. Belton

An old read, an old review:

 

The author was kind enough to give me a free review copy.

You know those books that you just don't wanna put down? Not because there's something exciting happening in the story or it is a good story...not only that but mostly because the writing flows and the story is being told so smoothly that you just read on and on. This book was such a book.

 

The parts I loved the most began when Pallas is aboard the ship and meets the crew. Their humor, lightheartedness and loyalty towards each other made them lovable.

I also liked that we're set up to hate Elena in the beginning of the story but we find out she has more depth and understands political intrigue much better than her younger sisters give her credit for.

 

Othello, I feared and hated just like I was supposed to. Even when I laughed at his antics, I wasn't less creeped out by him!

 

description

 

About the gods and their machinations: a) I'm not yet sure if they're actually deities and not humans who know what opposable thumbs are, b) they just don't care whose life they ruin, do they? Even Pallas who claims not to believe in gods & goddesses can't escape their schemes!

 

Pallas keeps mentioning how her father must miss her and I couldn't shake the feeling that there's something wrong there. Poor Pallas!

 

What would have made the book even better was a little more world building, maybe? Or a map, so we could understand what this world is like even better.

 

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Lovely, fun at times and sad at other times, quirky as heck read. I liked it, maybe you would too?

 

Well, those were my faves from the past years. You can also find reviews of books from 2018 that stuck with me. 

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review 2017-10-03 20:17
Frostbite
Frostbite - David Wellington
I don’t typically read books with this subject matter so I was surprised how much I enjoyed this novel. There wasn’t any specific character I liked the best, I liked how the story progressed, how the author explained things, and the excitement the novel provided. There was closure at the end of the novel yet I see that this is the beginning of a series for the author. I can see where the novel might be headed in the future though and I might pick up the rest of the series next month.
 
The novel begins with Chey out in the forest, making her way through the dense trees, when a flash flood comes barreling her way. She loses most of her belongings as the water tumbles her about. As she gets her bearings, she finds herself staring at multiple sets of glowing eyes behind the trees. Climbing a nearby tree for safety, she realizes that she is surrounded by wolves and begins to wonder what her next step will be. A howl rings through the trees, a chilling and unique howl, which sends the wolves running. As she watches the scene unfold, Chey sees another animal circling her tree. With white fangs, the silver and black animal gazes up at her before he begins to reach for her. She tries to be beyond the animals reach but it isn’t long before the animal has found blood, he has finally reached her and left his mark. Later, as Chey climbs down from the tree, she smells hope. Slowly making her way towards the smell, Chey comes upon Dzo cooking over a fire. Dzo is one unique individual and the more I read, the more I found out about Dzo’s past and who he really is. Dzo brings her to Powell’s cabin so he can tend to her needs. Located in an isolated part of Canadian wilderness, these two men are comfortably living separate lives with a shared secret. Chey thinks she is safe now but this feeling is short-lived when she hears the men talking. Everyone has a history and eventually the author gets around to sharing each of the character’s pasts with me. I loved how the novel all came together and I enjoyed the little twists that the author revealed slowly as the story intensified. They had each thought that their lives were difficult but now as they meet each other, it is only going to get more complicated. The Canadian wilderness is entering turbulent territory.

 

Using this novel for Halloween Bingo 2017 for the werewolf square.

 

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text 2017-01-21 08:58
First Book Loot for 2017!

 

 
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New Arrivals at appear Midu Reads as the new year starts. I have 3 nonfiction books in the pile & am really excited about those! You can also see Assail by Ian C. Esselmont, a Joe Abercombie, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, and  Monster Island by David Wellington--all of which are going to be awesome. There's also Dragon Horse by Peter Ward, which I bought because a) shiny, b) hardcover, c)it had the words, epic, fantasy, & China written on it!
 

Book Synopses

 

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1. Dragon Horse by Peter Ward

 

"Set in ancient China, two brothers fight the classic battle between good and evil as the Shadow-without-name attempts to break free from eternal imprisonment by utilizing the strength and power of the famed dragon horses. Rokshan and An-Lushan are drawn into this centuries-old struggle, along with a young girl destined to become the Spellweaver of her nomadic tribe.
 

As An-Lushan is pulled towards the dark, Rokshan must embark upon a dangerous journey and learn the innermost secrets of the dragons."

 

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2. Assail by Ian C. Esselmont

 

"Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region's north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor's tavern, and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adventurers have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait -- hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. And beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history's very beginnings." Read more.

 

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3. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

 

"Cryptonomicon zooms all over the world, careening conspiratorially back and forth between two time periods--World War II and the present. Our 1940s heroes are the brilliant mathematician Lawrence Waterhouse, crypt analyst extraordinaire, and gung-ho, morphine-addicted marine Bobby Shaftoe. They're part of Detachment 2702, an Allied group trying to break Axis communication codes while simultaneously preventing the enemy from figuring out that their codes have been broken. Their job boils down to layer upon layer of deception. Dr. Alan Turing is also a member of 2702, and he explains the unit's strange workings to Waterhouse. "When we want to sink a convoy, we send out an observation plane first... Of course, to observe is not its real duty--we already know exactly where the convoy is. Its real duty is to be observed... Then, when we come round and sink them, the Germans will not find it suspicious." Read more.

 
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4. The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Obsession, Commerce, and Adventure by Adam Leith Gollner

 

"Tasty, lethal, hallucinogenic, and medicinal – fruits have led nations into wars, fueled dictatorships, and even lured us into new worlds. Adam Leith Gollner weaves business, science, and travel into a riveting narrative about one of earth’s most desired foods." Read more.
 

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5. A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm by Dave Goulson

 

"In A Buzz in the Meadow, Goulson returns to tell the tale of how he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France. Over the course of a decade, on thirty-three acres of meadow, he created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive. But other creatures live there too, myriad insects of every kind, many of which Goulson had studied before in his career as a biologist. You'll learn how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, why butterflies have spots on their wings, and see how a real scientist actually conducts his experiments." Read more.
 
 
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6. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

 

Betrayed by his family and left for dead, Prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted.


But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself - all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge.


Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi's path may end as it began - in twists, traps and tragedy...

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7. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

 

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. Read more.

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8. Monster Island by David Wellington

 

It's one month after a global disaster. The most "developed" nations of the world have fallen to the shambling zombie masses. Only a few pockets of humanity survive — in places rife with high-powered weaponry, such as Somalia. In New York City, the dead walk the streets, driven by an insatiable hunger for all things living. One amongst them is different; though he shares their appetites he has retained his human intelligence. Alone among the mindless zombies, Gary Fleck is an eyewitness to the end of the world — and perhaps the evil genius behind it all. From the other side of the planet, a small but heavily-armed group of schoolgirls-turned-soldiers has come in search of desperately needed medicine. Dekalb, a former United Nations weapons inspector, leads them as their local guide. Ayaan, a crack shot at the age of sixteen, will stop at nothing to complete her mission. They think they are prepared for anything. On Monster Island they will find that there is something worse even than being undead, as Gary learns the true price of survival.
 
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-08-17 19:00
My Edition is Prettier Thanks to Online Books Outlet and a Review!
Department 19 - Will Hill

 

So the amazing part about having read this book has nothing to do with the book itself. It was a personal achievement of finishing a 500-page long book in a day like I used to in the good old days. I thought I had lost that talent but it was just me being over-dramatic In short:

 


 

About the Book:

 

I liked it! It took me by surprise. Granted, I was sitting and waiting to get my documents attested by HEC at that moment and anything, even a Chinese food menu would have sounded good. (For those of you who do not how agonizing and aggravating this visit can be, it is akin to a day wasted at the DMV or so it seems on tv).

 

The book may have been written for a YA audience in mind but it kept me entertained even when I returned home (unsuccessful, I'd like to mention).

 

I really dug the level of violence that was included in the book because it only reinforced the idea that Stoker tried to get across to his readers. Vampires are unnatural and completely other-than-human.

 

 

The author went the extra mile when they included how the majority of the bloodsucking population was kept docile by pumping them full of drugs. The practicality of the situation hits home when we discover that the source of that drug is a vamp who gets all his supply from the very organization that is supposed to be hunting him and his kind!

 

Another part that I really loved was how natural it felt that the original vampire hunters would be the foundation of a vampire hunting organization. They had promised to stay vigilant, after all. Only now they could do it with the government's resources on their side.

 

Now for the nitpicking

 

The inner monologues of all the characters sounded quite similar, which took away from how much I had been enjoying the book. Maybe the author could have just shown us the actions when it came to the others and only left the monologues for the MC?

 

I found the inclusion of some parts to be unnecessary. This includes the appearance of the werewolves. Why throw a couple of werewolves in a story that was completely about vampires? Why do it close to the end as an afterthought or a gimmick? 

 

The biggest issue of them all was why were the vampire generals after Jamie in the first place. Just as in those cartoons where a villain wants to destroy the world, there was no clue behind their leechy motivations. 

 

 

 

 

A minor turn off happened as I read the vampire ball scene. It was too reminiscent of the one from the movie, Van Helsing, and completely unsurprising.A fun book that tries to stay true to the work that it is inspired by. Give this one a try! I can't really end this review without mentioning the best vampire series that I have read, can I? Read this one if you don't read any other vampire books ever.

 

 

I bought two of these pretties from Paperback Emporium. Get yours now!

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photo 2016-06-10 18:29
Birthday Made Even More Special

 

#bestbirthdayever❤️ #booklove #howawesomeisthat #paperbackemporiumrawks #davidwellingtontheauthor #23hours #99coffins #lauracaxtonseries

Source: www.instagram.com/p/BGe0V1plPK8/?taken-by=miduhadi
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