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text 2018-11-08 19:14
TBR Thursday
Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean - Morten Str√łksnes
Magic Triumphs - Ilona Andrews
SuperMutant Magic Academy - Jillian Tamaki
The Mark of Zorro - Johnston McCulley
Dark Force Rising - Timothy Zahn
Hellburner - C.J. Cherryh

 

I'm currently working on The Witch Elm (which is due in 9 days) and The Waste Lands.  Not to mention that I need to finish A Fatal Inversion and get going on The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs.

 

I finally read 2 books last week because I was sick of them showing up here on Thursdays.  The same will probably be true of Shark Drunk eventually.  In the mean while, Magic Triumphs is due in 16 days, with 20 people waiting for it.  It will be my next priority after The Witch Elm

 

I think that The Mask of Zorro, with the rearing horse on the cover, will be one of my 24 Tasks of the Season.  Dark Force Rising will also fall into this category, being the second book of the Thrawn Triology. 

 

SuperMutant Magic Academy will count towards my Book Riot Read Harder challenge for 2018 and Hellburner is part of my ongoing Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

 

You know what?  I'm cutting way back on reading challenges next year, so I have time to read what I please.  Not sure that I'm completely ready to abandon ship this year, but next year will be mine own, to do with as I please.  And I have ideas about that.

 

My sister from B.C. is coming to our province today and tomorrow I must driver to Red Deer to catch up with my youngest sister.  Then we will all go & visit my niece and her new baby, little Hazel.  Then, my sisters & I will go visit elderly relatives in our home town.  So, you will hear little from me until Tuesday.

 

Have a great weekend, friends.

 

 

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review 2018-10-31 01:17
ARC Review: The Academy by Quinn Anderson
The Academy - Quinn Anderson

This was a not so stereotypical college romance, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It had some issues, on which I'll elaborate further down.

Nick arrives at The Academy for his senior year after having taken a year off due to the death of his father. Starting over a tiny Catholic college wasn't the plan, but here we are. Nick plans to focus on his studies, maybe making some friends, and then getting his diploma and go home. Still struggling with grief, and on a tight budget, Nick knows that he's dependent on the scholarship he got, and has no plans whatsoever for a college romance or any such nonsense. 

Sebastian is the college campus player. When he spots Nick, he makes a bet with his two oldest friends, Dante and Theo, on who can kiss the new guy first - with the provision that the new guy has to initiate the kiss. Sebastian is the proverbial spoiled rich kid. Or so it seems. 

Nick doesn't want to give Sebastian the time of day at first, but slowly the ice melts a bit. 

With the premise as it is, Nick and Sebastian don't spend a whole lot of time together on page to begin with, though that time becomes more and more as the plot progresses. As Sebastian develops real feelings for Nick, he's terrified of the bet coming out. The author attempted to show us that despite all the material things he has, Sebastian is still yearning for something money can't buy, something that he lost and cannot get back; his insecurities are hindering him, and causing him to covertly lash out and hurt others before they can hurt him.

There are some clever plot twists here as well, which I didn't see coming, so I was pleasantly surprised toward the end. 

What didn't work so much for me is that Sebastian and his friends often sounded and acted a lot younger than their actual presumed ages - they read a lot more like moody highschoolers (especially Sebastian seemed very much a jerk) than college juniors. The poor little rich boy trope is a little overused here also, and while Sebastian's background makes for a good explanation of his behavior, I didn't buy the rapidity with which he falls for Nick, especially considering the fact that Nick and Sebastian have no more than maybe 10 or 15 actual conversations with each other over the course of the book. I wasn't sold on there being an actual romantic relationship between them - it felt more like lust than love.

Dante and Theo, Sebastian's friends - those two had their own issue to work out, and they did, and while they're supposed to be side characters, they actually felt more real to me than the MCs, probably because we see them spent more time together on page than Sebastian and Nick.

The author does a fine job writing the steam, and while there are but two steamy scenes in this book, they were pretty damn hot, but also continued to lead me down the path of believing in their lust, not their love.

Probably not my favorite by this author, but a good effort, and an enjoyable read. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-10-23 00:42
Halloween Frost

Halloween Frost (Mythos Academy #1.5)Halloween Frost by Jennifer Estep



I didn't know anything about the world of Mythos Academy because I have never read the first installment but it sounds like the protagonist Gwen Frost, is training to be a kickass warrior. I like it a lot. I picked it up because it is near Halloween.
Gwen's friend wants to dress up and go trick or treating but their fun was lost on a monster and that is just how it is at Mythos Academy. Fight and kill as many of those things as possible. However, the one she has a crush on saves her, yet again. O be still my heart. Her sword, Vic, can talk and has a mouth on him. It was a gift from some god. I need to work out the details guys so don't @ me. It looks like their bags of treats was lost on someone playing a mean trick on them.

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/32516150-halloween-frost
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review 2018-09-19 02:16
Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies by Shana Galen & Theresa Romain
Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen,Theresa Romain

Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen,Theresa Romain 

 

I'd describe this duo as one of those that give you an AWWWW! feeling and that feeling stays with you long after you put the book down. Both stories are about second chances. 

The Way to A Gentleman's Heart by Theresa Romain stars Marianne, a lady of society-turned cook, and James, a man with plenty to regret but willing to make amends and hoping for forgiveness. I always find this author’s stories kind of hard to understand in the sense that I don’t connect with the characters right away. At first I thought James had hurt Marianne too much and grueling for the rest of his life wouldn’t be enough to deserve forgiveness, however once Marianne’s musing put their relationship in a different light and she realized he was a worthy man I too realized just as much. 

Counterfeit Scandal by Shana Galen intertwines characters from No Earls Allowed, book 2 in her The Survivors series but you don’t need to read that book first in order to read this one. Bridget and Caleb were forced to part ways at a moment when Bridget needed him the most. Fast forward several years later and Caleb seems to be the only one to help her find what she once lost but loves the most. I liked this story a lot. The author was able to pack plenty of character development, emotions, action, and redemption in only a few pages. The fact that Caleb was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for Bridget was kind of the cherry on top. 

I think this set perfectly represents what each author is about so if anyone's thought about trying something by either one I encourage you to give these novellas a go. 

I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

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review 2018-09-13 17:07
A High-Octane YA Paranormal Thriller!
Dickensen Academy - Christine Grabowski

Dickensen Academy is a young adult paranormal story that holds the power to reach out and grab not only protagonist Autumn Mattison, but her readers, as it opens with her first impression of one of the big dreams of her life, and a looming puzzle. Autumn's first day at the exclusive Dickensen Academy introduces a bizarre secret that none of the new students sees just yet.

 

Besides her impression of the physical academy's setting, Autumn experiences a secondary certainty: somehow, she's been on this campus before. But, that's impossible. Or, is it?

 

As she tries out for cross-country and seeks to expand her horizons, 15-year-old Autumn seems on the brink of achieving much, but she keeps feeling something is wrong; especially when one of her courses turns from a predictable study to incorporating Dream Management into its curriculum, leading students on a discussion that introduces Autumn to some uncomfortable realizations.

As the 'why' behind the 'how' becomes more and more apparent, Autumn and her classmates face some of the biggest decisions of their lives. From her struggles with her parents over her grades and objectives at Dickensen to persistent nightmares and dreams that spill into daily reality, the events, people, and secrets at Dickensen are about to take over.

Amidst all this, Autumn is finding herself and discovering the true strengths of attending Dickensen.

 

Young adults who enjoy boarding school stories, paranormal encounters, and stories of growth of a teen who receives lessons on romance, mistakes, and special abilities will find much to like about Dickensen Academy, an institution which specializes in making dreams come true in more than one way.

 

Autumn's first-person character is nicely done and inviting, and the world of Dickensen with all of its conundrums and confusion comes to life through her eyes, making for a story that is hard to put down.

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