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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

 

9166877

 

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

 

1

 

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

 

375802

 

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.

 

13491299

 

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 SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-01 08:59
February 2018 — A Wrap Up

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on March 1, 2018.

 

 

 

Department 19: The Rising by Will Hill

 

Several things about this book annoyed the heck outta me, including:

I have begun to detest Jamie who is a Mary Sue if there ever was one!

 

Talbot stared at Jamie, admiration on his face. “Bravo”, he said. “There are men and women a lot older than you who fail to understand that. You’re absolutely right…”

 

He is the youngest this and the smartest that while also being the best at everything! Oh, and he actually left his female friends behind because he “couldn’t bear if anything happened to you”. One of them is a vampire with superstrength and other powers. Both of them are members of a covert organization that keeps the supes under check. They are at least as old as Jamie is.

 

The worst part: they let him They understood he was just worried about them. Needlessly worried but Jamie’s just so sweet, y’know? Ugh!

 

There are at least two instances of a character who looked as if about to say something but “then the door rolled shut with a loud thunk.

 

Every development was repeated endlessly. If one character found out about it, they’d tell the others and we’d be there for every conversation!

 

We are almost 65% into the story and a new character who is supposed to be dead shows up. And I am not even talking about the other character who also died in the first book and showed up in this one alive. At least, that guy had the decency to arrive right from the start!

 

We also spend a lot of time learning about people who have nothing to add to the story. Seemed like filler so the book would swell up to 560+ pages.

 

So yeah, bad experience! Read my review of the first book here.

 

 

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

 

During my second visit to Discworld, I discovered the following to be true:

Luggage is my favorite character:

“The Luggage said nothing, but louder this time.” 

And then there is all the Pratchett-ness to love and laugh at:

“It looked like the sort of book described in library catalogues as ‘slightly foxed’, although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had been badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well.” 

 

 

 

 

A big part of that is because he can poke fun at almost anything. Have a look at his disregard for the Asgardian deities:

In fact the Gods were as puzzled by all this as the wizards were, but they were powerless to do anything and in any case were engaged in an eons-old battle with the Ice Giants, who had refused to return the lawnmower.

Also, I finally figured out that I am Twoflower. Evidence:

It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate beauty, he just appreciates it in his own way. I mean, if a poet sees a daffodil he stares at it and writes a long poem about it, but Twoflower wanders off to find a book on botany.

That Rincewind will stay true to his character. Even when he has a chance to be less cowardly, he does the expected…or the unexpected!

A fun book and quickly finished.

 

 

The Dinosaur Knights by Victor Milán

 

One of the complaints that I had after reading the first book:

Insufficient dino-action. Yeah, that complaint wasn’t reirst bmotely true for this one. Epic dino-battles shook the world like literally!

A quote that stayed with me:

Through the trees on the far heights emerged a colossal silvery-grey shape. Even the Companions gaped: it was a Tirán Rey, a bull Tyrannosaurus rex, most feared of all Aphrodite Terra’s dinosaurs. Even at this range Jaume could see the monster dwarfed Falk’s albino adolescent Snowflake.
“Beautiful,” murmured Rupp. “He must weigh seven tonnes!”
Jaume found a smile inside himself. “You shame us, my friend, finding Beauty where even we find only terror.”

The other complaints, such as the princess being a pain in the butt, remained as they were. In fact, she was even more of a pain in this one. She is improving but her getting her friends killed in every scene can get tiresome!

We finally get to see the Grey Angels in action and it is pretty much horrifying what they can do. I loved every bit of it!

I wanted to rush in to read the next book in the series immediately but found out that the author recently passed away.  Sad sad news but it made me want to save the last book to read later. Because there will be no more Game of Thrones and Jurassic Park hybrids for us!

 

 

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

 

Thursday Next steals people’s hearts and I am no exception. She gets into all sorts of literary trouble but handles it in a no-nonsense way. She is into solving problems and not whining. Next also isn’t afraid to ask for help or doesn’t judge people by their looks, species, gender, or whether they are real or not. I like her; it is likely that you will too!

 

Plus, the humor in this series is decidedly Douglas Adams-ish! Next named her son Friday Next. Has a pet dodo whose son is a hooligan and doesn’t have the decency to go Plock. He goes Plick just to be contrary! This book also had cameos by the Cheshire Cat, Hamlet, and many other literary darlings.

 

 

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

 

I was reading reviews for this book on GR and people seem to think it was dull, cheesy, and repetitive. I don’t get how it can take them 8 books to realize that! Since I will be reading it anyway, why bitch?

 

 

Endurance by Jay Lake

 

I wonder how I ever got along with the protag from this series — well enough to have completed the first book! She is annoying, reckless, rude, manipulative, and as if that wasn’t enough, she also thinks she is better than everybody else! Should I explain it all away by saying that is how teenagers are? I don’t think I should!

 

There were other issues that made this a difficult read, such as the copious amount of foreshadowing. If only she had known…if only she had done that…and so on! Aptly placed and lightly done foreshadowing is always welcome but this book didn’t have it.

The only part that made me laugh:

though five centuries past this had been the very pinnacle of architectural taste in Copper Downs.
A good education never went to waste. If I did die here, at least I would have the comfort of knowing I’d passed on amid high style.

The only part that stayed with me:

I wondered how it had been for the miners, back in the morning of the world. Had they broken open the crust of the world only to find a population of haunts and legends already awaiting them? Or had they brought their fears with them on first creating the Below?

Some readers might like the endless descriptions of everything that was around the protag at any given time but I didn’t!

So, there. If I do read the next one in the series, I wouldn’t be reviewing it.

 

 

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

 

An okayish installment since I wasn’t too worried about anything bad happening. After the horror stories we were told about Underhill, a visit to the place didn’t have that intensity or scariness.

 

Then there is the Walking Stick. I think the author got that it was turning into a deus ex machina and got rid of it — even if it took her the whole book to do that!

 

And, of course, Mercy didn’t shift. Not even once.

 

The good things about this one:

1. No Stefan. I have no idea why he was even introduced in the series

 

2. Adam finally realized what his pack had been doing to Mercy since like forever. I mean what he did next was the worst thing he could have done but at least, he opened his eyes.

 

3. A Doctor WHO reference!

 

 

4. The scary-ass little not-really-human but not-fae-either kid that the pack had to provide shelter to! He broke my heart by being so broken.

 

I hope the next installment is more exciting!

 

 

Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman

 

 

 

The book refers to a backstory that I read and reviewed before. You will find the review here.

 

 

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

 

Something about this series makes me think not-YA. It could be that the main characters are struggling with darkness and the struggle is real. Whatever it is, while the story failed to wow me — and I could see the major reveal coming from a mile away —, I still liked the book.

 

So, this is what I did in February. What have you been doing?

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review 2017-08-26 20:37
Vigilante Book Review
Vigilante - Kady Cross

I seem to be on a losing streak with books lately. This was just full of ich factor for me. It felt very squeamish most of the time. A book about a girl making revenge on her dead best friends rapists. Yea, it goes there. I didn't love the main character. I get it, rapists go free and something needs to be done about it. But nothing in this book was okay. I couldn't get past the idea. It got very far fetched in the end as well. 

 

If anything, I'll give credit it where its due, I probably won't forget this one anytime soon. 

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review 2017-07-27 21:59
The Girl in The Steel Corset
The Girl in the Steel Corset - Kady Cross

Not a lot to say besides I really liked this book. I thought it mixed together the elements of steampunk and the Victorian Age very well. I loved the characters, and I loved how Cross added in Gothic elements as well by using inspiration from some stories we all know and love (Frankenstein--well I hated that; Jekyll and Hyde--ditto) and threw some twists in.

 

"The Girl in the Steel Corset" included a nice little backstory to the character of Finley Jayne. From there it goes into the longer story that has Finley meeting other characters I assume we are to follow for the rest of this series. 


Finley's backstory gave us enough of a glimpse to know there is something about her. You don't know what. But at times she feels like she is two people trapped in one body. The short story that began before it included the longer story was so good. I loved it and wish we had followed up with characters introduced in that. When we catch up with Finley again, she ends up fighting off a young lord of the manor who thinks he can take her and do what he wills. When she flees after injuring him, she runs into Griffin King and his friends who are doing what they can to defend the country (England) against outside enemies.

 

Besides Finley and Griffin, we also have Emily, Sam, Jasper, and a young man called Jack Dandy. We quickly find out that Griffin and his friends (Emily, Sam, and Jasper) are out to capture a man/woman called The Machinist who is behind several crimes that took place involving automatons. However, suspicions turns towards Finley for maybe being involved with the Machinist when things start happening that shows that the criminal is out to get them. 

 

Even though this is a Young Adult book (and yeah I had no idea when I borrowed it from the library) this book reads much older. I didn't even realize the characters are teenagers until I saw someone's age mentioned. That's not a knock against Cross either, it was delightful to read young adults who actually for the most part had sense and thank goodness two love triangles reared their heads, but one was absolutely resolved and I think the other one is too for what it's worth. 

 

The only complaint I will say that I really did have is that this book was a bit too long. I know that Cross had to set up the other characters and do world building though so it's to be expected in the first book in a series. I just honestly didn't need the story to be swinging back to much to Sam. He got tiresome after a while. I do wish we had spent more time with Griffin's aunt on her adventures though.


The setting of a Victorian age with steampunk (think automatons walking around, things people cannot see that are little machines that can repair, people having eyes replaced, etc.) really hit the sweet spot for me.


The ending leaves things in the air for some people. I am definitely going to continue this series to see where it goes. 

 

 

Kindle edition: 473 pages

$10.00

Total: $ Balance: $189

 

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text 2017-07-27 03:04
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Girl in the Steel Corset - Kady Cross

When I get a chance I'll try to go back to this series. I really enjoyed the steampunk elements and loved it being set in the Victorian age in England. My main criticism is that it was a little overly long. 

 

Kindle edition: 473 pages

$10.00

Total: $ Balance: $189

 

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