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review 2018-02-20 13:11
Review: "Winterkartoffelknödel: Ein Provinzkrimi" (Franz Eberhofer, #1) by Rita Falk
Winterkartoffelknödel: Ein Provinzkrimi - Rita Falk

 

~ 4 stars ~

 

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review 2018-02-20 11:04
Review: Reign of the Fallen
Reign of the Fallen - Sarah Marsh
I received a copy from Penguin First to Read.

I finished this in December last year and I’m still struggling to put to words how to review it. I sort of liked it, I loved the diversity of the characters. This was one of my most anticipated January releases, but the actual book itself? Even after well over a month later I’m still undecided. 

I think my biggest issue with it was the whole the dead rule the world thing. In this novel you have a kingdom where Necromancers are the most powerful mages and when dead nobles die, it’s their job to go and retrieve their soul so the person can keep living and ruling as they have done. Maybe I’m getting too cynical but I’m struggling to grasp this concept. Mainly because from this reader’s point of view – it doesn’t teach anyone how to deal with the concept of death. Particularly the ruling class. Even their king is the living dead. I don’t get it. 

Best thing I loved about this book was BISEXUAL LEAD FEMALE CHARACTER!!! 

The novel starts with the lead female Odessa and her best friend/boyfriend Evander about to receive their commendation as official members of the Necromancer’s guild. As full Necromancer mages they can live in the palace and lead comfortable lives. Odessa sort of secretly wants to see the world, and you get the impression she thinks that Evander did too. Odessa has a friend (lady pirate) with a ship who can offer a passage out into the wider world. However, it’s forbidden to leaving their secluded comfortable little kingdom, even though the royals are mostly wise and seemingly well-liked and respected and everyone seems pretty comfortable. At least on the surface. There’s always going to be problems hidden in a kingdom like this which is never obvious to the people whom it should be. Which should raise questions as to why no one is ever allowed to leave. Why do the dead have to be brought back over and over? (There may have been an answer in the book I just can’t remember it).

The risen dead have certain rules to live by and there’s consequences, things can take a drastically bad turn and the risen dead can become murderous monsters known as Shades. On a seemingly routine job the kingdom princess Valoria accompanies Odessa and Evander and the reader gets their introduction into the land of the dead and the way things work.

Only a short time after the task is done there is a shock death. A loose Shade on the rampage. Odessa starts to question things about her relationship with Evander. The mystery in the dead lands is progressing, the Shade attacks are getting more frequent. 

Early on in the novel there was a really surprising twist I would never have guessed at.

The characters were great, I loved them all. A+ for diversity, a lesbian couple, a gay couple, and a bisexual lead female. The characters were well fleshed out, their emotions and actions believable. Though I did feel that Odessa could be a tad over dramatic. 

That being said, in the aftermath of an unexpected tragedy she falls apart. She breaks down. Completely understandable, but she also develops an addiction to a pain numbing tonic rather than dealing with the harsh reality and emotions. There was something very uncomfortable about this. I do understand and logical that it’s so much easier to give into an addiction rather than deal with the feelings when faced with something horrible.

I did find the pacing of the novel very slow, something would happen and then it would emotional turmoil and meandering and seemed like ages before anything else would happen. There didn’t feel like a whole lot of action going on. The second half of the novel picked up a bit, a new character is introduced who comes across as quite antagonising for Odessa and gives her more of a challenge, a new lead into the investigation into the increasing Shade attacks sets of a new direction which breathed more life into the novel. Also hinting at the possibility of a new romance angle as well. The character is mentioned in passing a few times earlier in the novel and comes in with her own agenda but finds herself becoming part of Odessa’s investigation. 

Meredy is a Beast Master, she can control animals as well as being a Necromancer. She’s smart, sassy and not afraid to call Odessa out on her bullshit. She doesn’t follow blindly, though she has some pretty misguided ideas of her own necromancy when she makes her appearance. She provides a good counter balance to Odessa.

When the force behind the Shade attacks is finally revealed there was a bit of eye rolling why didn’t I see this coming from a mile away? Kind of amusing in a way, should have been fairly obvious but actually it was quite clever that I never managed to figure out the twist to see it coming. 

While some of the novel I found slow and boring it did have its moments. I didn’t get some of the magical concepts. There were some of it I liked. It was certainly interesting and creative and not a fantasy type I’ve seen done a hundred different times. So plus points for uniqueness. I did buy a finished hardback, I may have to read this again at some point before the next one comes out. 
 
 

 

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text 2018-02-20 07:27
Catching up on the blog.. and a few random thoughts

Happy February! Can you believe that we are blowing through this month like crazy? I am not ready for February to end and March to roar in. I have been reading as much as I can with the free time that I have managed to carve out this month.

I have spent most of my time this month adventuring with the Emerson family from the Amelia Peabody series. I have read through six of them so far, and just started my seventh. I absolutely ADORE these books. They bring laughter, edge of the seat adventure, crime, archaeology, EGYPT, and MORE!  I am slow in adding them to my "read" list on here. It has been one to do after another this month! 

 

I am working on blasting my reading out of the water this year. In one of my previous blogs, I posted about NetGalley. I am here to report that I have quite a bit of reading ahead of me, and a few from Edelweiss as well. I really MUST stay away from those sites! There are some fantastic books coming out, and I want to read them all! I have created a word document to manage the books that I have, with dates that they must be reviewed by, so as not to lose track of what is on my kindle, and what needs to be picked up off the shelf to read. I have to say that while I have found several that are sure to be best sellers, there have been a few stinkers. Which brings me to one of the questions I want to pose in this blog..

 

How do you tell a publisher that you just could not get into the book? There have four this year that I have not been able to finish. I enjoy reading several different types of books, and subjects - but there have been a few that really need a better editor! While spelling errors and - even sometimes the grammatical errors - can be major distractions, there are just some books that make you scratch your head and wonder why they are being published. 

I have been honest with the publishers. I thank them for the chance to read the ARC, and then tell them why I could not get through the book. But there are many ways to deal with this conundrum. How do you go about letting someone know that you did not enjoy their book?

 

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text 2018-02-20 07:03
Release Day Blitz - Heartbreak For Hire

HEARTBREAK FOR HIRE IS LIVE!

 
 

I turn trusted housewives into adulterous whores.
 
Let’s face it, nothing lasts forever. She may have started out as your wet dream, but now she’s your ball and chain. Let me set you free.
I’ll turn your loyal lady into a lecherous liar.
I can give you the uncontested divorce you desire, end your impending engagement, or rid you of that clingy girlfriend.
Either way, you’ll be a free man.

 

My name is Rift, and men pay me to have affairs with their women. It’s my job to get caught. While unethical, my profession is easy. Hell, most days it’s fun. At least until I fall for the soon-to-be ex of my newest client.
 
 
ADD HEARTBREAK FOR HIRE TO GOODREADS!
 
 
Heartbreak For Hire parties will be hosted in the Wicked Bitches Reader Group. 
Join on Facebook today!
 
FOR MORE GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITES/STALK TABATHA VARGO
 
 

 

 
STALK MELISSA ANDREA
 
 
 
I reached out to unzip the plastic holding my dress, but just as I did, the door to the dressing room flew open, and Dylan stood there looking back at me.
His eyes were wide with shock, as if he hadn’t expected me to be behind the door, and then they dropped from my face and slid down my body in an invisible caress.
I should have covered myself; I should have screamed at him to get out, but I didn’t move or tell him to go. The way he was looking at me, I needed that. I needed to feel beautiful and desirable.
 
 
“What are you doing here?” I watched him, his eyes a stormy blue.
His eyes devoured me, making me feel uncomfortable. If Mitchell supposedly loved me and disliked what he saw when he looked at me, then surely a man who didn’t love me would see me as even worse.
 
“The lady out front said the bathroom was the last door on the right, but I’m guessing she meant the last door on the left,” he said, not bothering to the hide the fact that he was looking at my body.
 
 
I nodded, not sure what to say.
 
 
“I should apologize and turn around and leave.”
 
I swallowed hard.
 
He didn’t leave.
 
 
Instead, he moved into the room and quietly shut the door behind him.
 
 
“But you see, there’s a problem.”
 
“What’s that?” I asked.
 
 
He reached out, running a single finger over my shoulder and down across my chest. “I can’t stop looking at you.”
 
I folded my arms across my chest now, feeling more exposed than I ever had in my life. His finger dipped into the top of my folded arms and between my breasts.
 
“You’re covering yourself like a woman who thinks she’s unattractive,” he said, moving close enough that his whispered words ruffled the hairs on the side of my face. “But the truth is, my cock’s hard just looking at you.”
 
I stiffened at his words.
 
 
No one had ever spoken to me like that. No man had ever been so brazen, saying naughty words to me in such a manner.
 
 
“How does that make you feel, Gwyn?” He moved closer, his lips skimming my earlobe and making me bite my bottom lip.
 
I should have run out, but I was half naked. And the truth was, I couldn’t move. My legs were stiff, and my feet were rooted to the spot.
 
 
“How does it make you feel knowing my cock is hard and throbbing for you?” He licked my lobe, and I shivered. “Here you are, in your white bra and panties, looking so innocent and corruptible ... what’s an evil man like me supposed to do?”
 
“You’re not evil,” I said, finally able to speak up.
 
 
My voice squeaked with my words, making me blush even harder.
 
He leaned back, his brow lifting in question. “You don’t think I’m evil?”
 
I shook my head. “Not even a little bit.”
 
“I assure you I am.” Again, he leaned forward, pressing his lips against my shoulder.
 
 
As if an automatic reflex, I tilted my head to the side to give him more skin to explore.
 
 
“I’m jealous of the way the lace on your panties is riding up your curvy hips and disappearing into the sweet space between your thighs.” He kissed my shoulder once again, his breath striking the side of my neck and filling my ear. “I want to be that lace, Gwyn. I want to be resting inside your warmth.”
 
Dear God, he was good, and I was so very bad. 


 
 

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text 2018-02-20 03:10
It's Monday! Happy Year of the Dog! | 2/18/2018
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself.  It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile!  So welcome in everyone.  This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey.  Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.  And here we are!



First of all, Happy Year of the Dog to everyone out there!

The lunar calendar made it's round to the new year on Friday, and obviously Baby approves of the occasion, as it is going to be the Year of Baby!  Or, well... you know...

 


The weekend was kind of filled with a bit of fun and festivities, although not as much as we used to have when I was younger.  With everyone busy, busy, busy these days, it's hard to find a good time to get together for much.  At the very least, our immediate household did our thing with yummy, traditional feast food that always seems to grace the table whenever we celebrate anything!

There is always roast duck, roast pork, a lovely seafood soup, the big pot of tofu and veggie stir-fry, and various other savory dishes of the seafood variety (or not).  And then to top it all off, we have our steamed white rice that was cooked with the very flavorful Chinese sausage--with all of that sausage oil being dripped into the rice, it gives it a delicious touch.

Everyone, this food is not for the light of heart.  We Chinese love to eat flavorful and savory... and apparently we also love to eat oily and anything that will probably give us high cholesterol.

But, hey!  It's just so, so yummy!

I suppose the diet will finally start after this last holiday is over... *crosses fingers*

 

 

What I Read Last Week

 


Meanwhile, in bookish news, I've been slacking on my reading, which makes me extremely glad that I hadn't truly made a lot of reading challenge commitments.  I started reading two books this week, but didn't finish Cold Image until just this morning, in the wee hours a little after midnight.  It took longer than it should have, for many reasons...

Cold Image is bite-sized, and I typically would have flown right through it like it was nothing, being a romantic suspense with a lot of factors I liked, and a premise that was quite promising.  But time got away from me... and the book wasn't what I'd expected from Leslie Kelly after reading others of her works, and I was sadly disappointed.  There will be a review to come at some point.


Aside from getting sucked into an online multiplayer RPG with my brothers, I've also been indulging in a YouTube vlog called 'Strictly Dumpling.'  The host of this vlog introduces you to a lot of wonderful cuisines in places such as New York, San Francisco, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and most recently Vietnam.  And if it's one thing I love just as much as books, it's food, and Mikey Chen, the host of this vlog, does a wonderful job of showing us great places to visit and eat.

His focus is on Asian cuisine, which was how his vlog started off in the beginning, but I like that he's trying to branch out as well, as there is a food vacation tour of Peru as well.  I mainly have been loving this YouTube channel because this guy is strangely funny, with weird descriptions and analogies that sometimes make no sense.

Meanwhile, I don't always agree with a lot of his opinions pertaining to Chinese food, but I still love the way he presents them at his channel.  If anyone is interested, hop on over and watch a few if you like.  I highly recommend his most recent Vietnam vacation, as he features a lot of really awesome looking food for uber wonderfully affordable prices... well, after the plane ticket, I suppose.


Anyway... now back to our not-so-regularly scheduled bookish news...

 

 

What I'm Currently Reading

 


Meanwhile, I have a feeling I might have started loving All I Want because of our heroine, Zoe, but I tend to forget that Jill Shalvis is best taken in small doses.  As I had already finished listening to two other books in this series... I think I might be a bit Jill Shalvis-ed out.  I'm going to go ahead and continue listening to this book, as it is also narrated by one of my favorite audio book voices, and it's not like things are getting too tedious.  There are just always some Jill Shalvis elements that I will find a bit... repetitive, as well as frustrating.

On the other hand, I also started reading the third Tremaine Traditions book by Kylie Brant, Truth or Lies, and am immensely enjoying, having already breezed through the first quarter of the book.  The main hero, however, is annoying the heck out of me, and I'm hoping some development will come about rather than our heroine falling for him just because he's supposed to be badass.  She's smarter than that, and if it's one thing Kylie Brant is good at, it's writing smart heroines who aren't always losing their panties just because a man has a smoldering gaze.

 

 

What I'm Planning to Read Next

 

 

 

Other Plans On the Blog


As you can see above, I'm hoping to finish the rest of Kylie Brant's Tremaine Traditions, hopefully all this week, or at least by next week.  In which case, I'll have a full series review ready to publish at some point.  Following, I'm interested in continuing on with my Author Love challenge and hit another Jayne Ann Krentz book, or two.  Light in Shadow and Truth or Dare are books in a duology called Whispering Springs, and I'm looking forward to it... also I've checked out the second book from the library, so it needs to get read.

The blog has been sadly quiet lately, but with all the holiday "festivities" over, I'm hoping on getting some more posts planned and ready to go.  Maybe I'll be able to start some more books and have more reviews ready.  Maybe I'll just work on transferring more previously written reviews to Ani's Book Abyss.  Or maybe I'll just start filling out weekly memes again, just to have something to blog about.

I've already started drafting a few future posts, and am trying to figure out where to go from there.

Either way, like I keep promising, I really want to start being more active once again.  It feels oddly depressing to be away from the blogging community for so long just because I can't think of anything to write about.  And a lot of the time, I'm really just lurking, reading posts and commenting randomly.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/02/its-monday-happy-year-of-dog-2182018.html
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