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review 2017-09-05 02:31
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Waking Gods - Sylvain Neuvel

My review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had so much fun reading this book! I recently listened to the first book in this series so I was pretty eager to fit this book into my reading schedule. It turned out to be one of those books that are almost impossible to put down. Every time I would tell myself that I was just going to read one more chapter something would happen in the story and one more chapter just wouldn't be enough. I ended up reading the whole book in a single day and enjoyed every minute of it.

This book picks up ten years the events of the first book. This is a series that really does need to be read in order since it really is a continuation of the same larger story. Due to the nature of the series, there may be some spoilers for the first book in this review. If you haven't read the first book yet and plan to, I would recommend trying not to read anything about the later books in the series in order to avoid spoilers.

Things have been pretty calm for the Themis team since the events of the previous book. That changes quickly when a second giant robot shows up in the middle of London. It doesn't really do anything at first but its presence alone seems threatening enough. The world is at a loss as to what they should do about it and fear what the robot is planning. Events get exciting really quickly and there may be more danger than they ever imagined.

All of the characters from the first book are back for this installment. Since I recently listened to the audio of the first book, I had their voices in my head as I read through the journal entries, interviews, and reports. I think that this really added to the enjoyment of the story for me. Rose, Kara, and Vincent all have personal issues to deal with in this book in addition to the world events. There are some new characters that make an appearance and add to the story as well.

I would recommend this series to others. It is a really great mix of characters cast in an incredibly exciting story. The book is told in such an interesting manner through journal entries, interviews, and documents. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this exciting series!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I am thinking that this book is somewhere between 4 and 5 stars right now. This book is even more exciting than the first one. I would have never guessed some of the directions this story went. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.

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review 2017-08-20 21:59
MOLTEN DUSK BY: KARISSA LAUREL
Molten Dusk - Karissa Laurel
 
  Words can't even express how excited I was to get my hands on an early copy of Multen Dusk! So I'll just let Thor do it. 
 
 
 
 
 
Actually, I've enlisted Thor and co. to help me with this review to better express all the many feels this book has inspired. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Molten Dusk pretty much picked up where Arctic Dawn left off, with Helen, Skoll and their goons trying to devour Solina and bring on the second Ragnarok. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I did appreciate just how much Solina and Thorin had grown in this addition to the series. Solina was definitely on a smarter path this time around. She was more hesitant to jump straight into each new dangerous situation. Solina was never one to sit back and let her friends fight the good fight without her, but she did learn to trust in them more and know when to listen to her head and let others take the lead when it made sense. But when the time did come for her to storm in she did so with flare! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Solina went through a lot in this book too. But I think the most devastating was the faceoff with Val. I knew it was inevitable, but man it still stung. I'm honestly glad that Solina seemed to feel that too. Val weasled his way in your heart throughout this series, and it wasn't an easy feat to cast him out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
And then there was Thorin.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thorin was still the protective, mighty bit of yumminess that we've come to know and love. But I feel like we also got to see a much more vulnerable side to him this time that we haven't really seen much of before. I especially liked hearing more about his past in Asgard, even if it was incredibly heartbreaking. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was nice to see him opening up to Solina and putting himself out there. And the chemistry between the two was off the charts! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Besides the smoking hot smoochy stuff there was that whole stopping the end of the world as we know it thing they were smack dab in the middle of. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Being that Solina and Thorin were more inclined to trust people (with a heavy dose of weariness, of course), that did put them in the position to possibly be betrayed by those closer to them. And there were many likely candidates for this. It was nearly impossible to foresee exactly who was truly on their side or just laying in wait to make their move against them. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Let us not forget to mention the incredibly awkward/adorable situation where Solina's parents finally came into the fold and were introduced/bombarded with the fact that she and her brother were not exactly human, Norse Myths are real, and all their lives are in danger. Oh, and mom & dad...have you met Thorin the God of Thunder? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I quite enjoyed Thorin whipping out his Hammer for them! And no pervs, that isn't an euphemism for something lewd. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We finally come to the EPIC final showdown at the end. I honestly LOVED the way it all played out. There were quite a few things that I didn't see coming that I wouldn't dream of spoiling for any of you. I will say I was honestly more surprised by those who stepped up and chose to act for what's right than the deceivers this time around. Which was a refreshing change of pace after the (cannot be topped) betrayal in the last book. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I thought things wrapped up nicely in general. It was sad to say goodbye to this story and these characters, and while I would have loved to get a little better of a glimpse past all this chaos and bloodshed, I was pleased to get the little sneak peek. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you haven't started The Norse Chronicles yet, I highly recommend doing so! It is a perfect blend of Norse Mythology and modern atmosphere, and the series is now complete for you to gobble 'em all up at once! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*Thank you gif maker extraordinaires for the wealth of Thor related gifs on the interwebs that made this post possible*
 
 
 
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. 
 
 
 
**A special thanks to author Karissa Laurel for creating this awesome series, and so kindly sharing early copies and always shouting out your appreciation to your biggest fans (including little ole me!). I can't wait to see what you come up with next!** 
 
 

 

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review 2017-08-14 15:37
MR. TROUBLE BY: NANA MALONE
Mr. Trouble - Nana Malone

 

  This was a cute contemporary romance. It was a quick read, which explains why like went to love rather briskly. The characters were well developed and likable. Kinsley was smart, sweet, independent lady and Jarred was your typical billionaire on the playboy path that needed something or someone to point him in a better direction. While it sounds pretty standard for the romance genre, I liked that Jarred wasn't a total jerk. It seemed like it was more him finally living up to the low expectations his parents had set for him. It was nice seeing him grow out of his parental issues and finally take his life more seriously. Kinsley and Jarred made a cute pair and they seemed good for each other. I was hoping for a little more of the happy couple at the end, but things wrapped up in a nice way.

 

 

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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review 2017-06-14 17:55
Out Soon
Surfer Dude: The Legendary Stallion of Chincoteague - Lois Szymanski,Linda Kantjas

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review

 

                To be honest, this is the time of horse book that I normally hate.  There is a bit too much romanticism to be honest, and the ending sequence is bit too sugary.

                Yet, and it is a big yet.

 

                Yet, this is actually pretty good.  Part of this is the afterword where Szymanski acknowledges that the story is romanticized This furthered not only by a summary of actual facts but also a page identifying the other horses, each with a brief biography.  There is even detail about other animals on the island with a challenge presented to find them in the illustrations.  These last few pages carry the book from a 3 or 4-star book to a 4 or 5. 

 

                The basic story is that of Surfer Dude, a stallion on the island of Assateague.  He was popular among residents and tourists because of his good looks.  His life is a little atypical, in particular in regards to one of his sons. 

 

                The artwork is quite lovely and fits the story quite well.  The animals are well drawn, and the ponies look like ponies as opposed to well-groomed thoroughbreds.  It is quite easy to imagine prints of the illustrations on a wall.

 

Despite the sometimes-romanticized tone, Szymanski doesn’t shy away from horse herd behavior, in particular the rejection of older colts by stallions. 

               

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review 2017-06-08 01:27
THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM BY: ELISE KOVA
The Alchemists of Loom - Elise Kova

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The Alchemists of Loom was definitely a unique read. I appreciated the vast world building that Kova pulled off beautifully and I also found the characters to be very dynamic and intriguing. The only thing that threw me off at first was it wasn't exactly clear that the dragons were not actually huge flame breathing beasts, but really people...in a sense. It was confusing at first because you have a distinct picture in your head already of what a dragon should be and unfortunately it takes a bit to understand that the dragons in this story are a breed of their own and nothing like what you thought.

 

Once that little tidbit sinks in you end up wanting to know more about these dragons and the dangerous world you've been immersed in. Of course I was greedy to know more right away, but Kova hands out little nuggets of truth and clarity as you go so it takes awhile to put it all together. All in all I liked the story, even more so after the confusion was cleared up, and I have high hopes that the sequel will be very interesting!

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