Saturday, April 27, 2013

Relationship Status (Auto Series #1) by David Wailing

Read: April 26, 2013
read in under and hour
pages: approximately 20

Relationship Status

This was a GREAT find!!  I'm so glad I read this short story! I remember getting it a while back for free on amazon and thought eh why not. Now I am so glad I did. I'm now a fan of David Wailing and will have to check out more of his stuff. I really like his voice and his take on things. This short story looks at todays society and their all consuming need to be a part of the online social media but fast forwards to the year 2022 and speculates just how consuming this way of life could potentially become.

This story looks at the invention of what is called an "AutoMate" which is defined as a digital avatar of yourself that streamlines the things you did, sifts out the internet chatter you don't need and brings all of your data into one place freeing you up to live your life. Intriguing? And not too far behind reality I'm willing to bet. For instance Amy, the character of the story, her mother passed away two years ago but opted to continue her presence out in the internet social construct. It is not as strange as you would think since I just heard a couple weeks ago on the radio that Google is giving people the option as to what happens to all their data when they die....yeah people this is real.

I found this to be a cute story and also a scary one as we watch Amy's AutoMate take over and begin living a life Amy is not living in the real world. She finds herself to be completely lost when she can't figure out what is going on when the AutoMate is a bit haywire. She has a complete meltdown and is set to kill her internet presence when she can not get it back under her control. It is scary to think someone can become so one with their presence online and completely disconnect from the real world. This future world has lost the ability to communicate and there are even laws in place that speak against speaking aloud. 

Granted this was sooo short it really packs a punch and speaks about the world we live in. It is a double edged sword in a way our reliance on the social networks. This story will really make you evaluate your own interactions on the web and wonder should a line be drawn and if so where?

Highly recommended. And even if its not free, you know what you will be pleasantly surprised I think!!

The Queen is Dead (The Immortal Empire #2) by Kate Locke

Read: April 14-26, 2013
read in 13 days
pages: 337

The Queen Is Dead (The Immortal Empire, #2)

I'd only been somewhat looking forward to continuing this series. I only had luke warm feelings for the characters with the exception of Vex when reading God Save the Queen. He kept me reading in the first novel because there was just something about him that was interesting. Xandra is still just as emotional and quick to act as she was in the first novel which tends to get her caught up in quite the mess.

In this book much like the first we have a family crisis and it seems only Xandra is the one who can save the day. At least now she has the backing of the Goblins now that she has discovered she is actually Goblin and not a Halvie as she was lead to believe her whole life. There are many things going on in her life that Xandra just can't and won't face because she just doesn't know which way to choose. Should she accept her place as the Goblin Queen and thereby not feel quite so guilty every time she asks for help from the prince, William, and his minions? Or does she attempt to distance herself from them and try to get her life back. When things turn on their head she realizes she must make a decision....and fast.

The novel was ok and left an ending open for the next book in the series. I'll likely read that one as well just because I'm a little curious now as to what will happen. This novel brought to light that the human league had begun slowly but surely to raise violence to the Aristocracy and it will be interesting to see all of this play out.

As far as steampunk goes once again not much here to really classify it as such, more paranormal than steampunk. Also there is still the annoying repetition of "Fang Me". Ugh find a new phrase and try changing it up once in a while!! Really cool cover though!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

After by Amy Efaw

Read: April 3-14, 2013
read in: 12 days
pages: 350


I don't remember why I wanted to pick up this book. I knew nothing about it, but something about the cover and title made me pick it up. After reading the blurb on the back of the book I was a bit curious as to what exactly happened to this teen to cause her life to be turned completely upside down.

The book is a heart wrenching tale of a teen who makes a decision that changes her entire life. She will never be the same. A decision made after months of denial alters the course her life was on forever. The story slowly unfolds for the reader as snippets of That Night slowly come back to Devon. Given the subject matter I think the novel is written very well. I think the perspective is perfect at capturing what Devon was thinking and feeling not only in her present situation but also in the months leading to the present. This took longer to read than I had expected. Once I get started on a book and  actually like the book I read pretty quickly. But with this one I found times where I just had to put the book down and walk away. It was an emotional ride for the reader as you follow in Devon's footsteps physically and mentally as she prepares for what her future may hold.

The book does not provide an cookie cutter ending to Devon's story, but does paint the picture of just one girls story, a story that is happening to many other girls even as I type, and attempts to get into the mindset of how someone can deny the truth for so long and actually make a decision even they themselves can not come to grips with. A decision even they never thought they were capable of making.

There's a Human in My Closet by Ryan Leach, Mike Bombon (Illustrator)

Read: April 13, 2013
read in a couple minutes
pages: 26

There's a Human in my Closet! (Undead Zed, #1)

Free children's book on Amazon for my Kindle. Thought I'd check it out. This is a little twist on the story of the little boy that cried wolf, but for what I thought was a children's story this one was quite strange. I didn't expect the ending and don't think I would ever share this book with an actual child. Sure children now are like mini adults and are just as desensitized now with things, but I don't see how this would be appropriate at all. 

And I have to admit after reading the reviews of the book being labeled as "cute" and "adorable" I'm starting to wonder if we all read the same book or not!!

Anticipating in 2013

The Girl with the Iron Touch (The Steampunk Chronicles, #3)
The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross

When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What's left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends' lives. 

With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, the young duke's sanity is close to the breaking point. Seeking help, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. When Jack kisses her, Finley must finally confront her true feelings for him...and for Griffin. 

Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily, from Whitechapel's desolate alleyways to Mayfair's elegant mansions. He would walk into hell for her, but the choice she must make will test them more than they could imagine. 

To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist's ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she's to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn't know she has....

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

Read my review here.

The Queen Is Dead (The Immortal Empire, #2)
The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke

Nothing lasts forever---and immortality isn't all its cracked up to be.

When her brother Val gets in over his head in an investigation of Half-Blood disappearances and goes missing himself, it's up to Xandra, newly crowned Goblin Queen, to get him back and bring the atrocities to light. Xandra must frequent the seediest parts of London, while also coping with what she is, the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who wants her head. Add this to a being a suspect in a murder investigation, a werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy, and Xandra barely knows which way is up. One thing she does know is that she's already lost one sibling, she's not about to lose another.

Read my review here.

And simply because I'm a bit behind in my reading.....

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)The City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries #2)Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries #2) by Candace Bushnell 

Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream. 

This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her—to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City's most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.

Read my review here.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Evangeline by Alexia Purdy

Read: April 7, 2013
read in  20 minutes
pages: 29

Evangeline (A Dark Faerie Tale, #0.5)

I wanted to like this I really did. At first I did but as the short intro jumps from a visit to the woods surrounding Faery that introduces two male characters that the two sisters of course fall in love with, the next chapter jumps forward months that the sisters have been seeing these men. Evie the pure blood faerie is going to marry her man Jack. In the next chapter Jade the older sister is pregnant by her rouge Faery and has had her memory erased of all things Faery including her own sister. I would have enjoyed this more if there had been more story of the relationships. The lack of the detail felt jarring to me and incomplete.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Read: March 31-April 2, 2013
read in 3 days
pages: 276

Always a Witch (Witch, #2)

In all honesty I had totally forgotten about this duo-logy. Not because the first one Once a Witch was bad, I actually really enjoyed the first book, but because I for some reason forgot to look up the next book after I finished the first one! The thing that struck me first as odd with this second book was the fact that the cover of this novel does not at all jive with the characterization of Tamsin the main character. The girl was described in the first book as having really curly un-tamable hair and the cover somewhat hints to that. This cover however depicts a young woman with straight black hair. A little yeah a lot different. Silly to notice things like that I know BUT things like the cover are some of what draw my attention!!

Anyways the elements from the last book that I enjoyed are also found in this book as well. The time travel and the characters. I genuinely liked the characters the first time round so it was fun reading about them again.

In this book the struggle continues with the character Alistair and his quest to find the Domani and prevent the Greene family from creating it. His goal is to ensure the power is never taken from the Knight family and their days of torture and experiments are allowed to continue. So with this book the premise is for Tamsin to go back in time just before the Domani is created and help warn the Greene's, her ancestors, of the plot the Knight family has in the works. There were a lot of new characters introduced from the 1899 time period in particular the Knight family and some noteworthy characters in the Greene family. The glaring difference between the Greene family and the Knight family is that the powers that the Knights possess are much different than those in Tamsin's family. In addition the Knight family use their powers for darker purposes.

Although this book provides a satisfactory conclusion I'm a little disappointed that this is the end. As I said I really liked the characters and would like to see what happens to Tamsin in the future after her climactic ending.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Read: March 17-31, 2012
read in: 15 days
pages: 452

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)

I had been waiting for this book since I finished Cinder. I was debating was really up in the air over whether or not I would continue reading the series. I liked the Cinder character enough, but was a little unsure as to how the writer was going to introduce a new character when we didn't completely have an ending to Cinder's story. That being said, I did like the way the writer was able to keep an equal balance of both the new character Scarlet and Cinder's story throughout this book. I thought it was going to be a bit long as it is 450 pages, but the book never felt like it was off in the pacing nor did it feel there was filler.

I was still put off a bit initially when I started the book, wasn't sure I could buy into the missing grandmother, a play on the Little Red Riding Hood tale, but it worked very well. For me what kept me interested in this story are the futuristic aspects, the fact of Cinder being a cyborg and also the way in which the society seems to be put off by it. I love those elements. The use of the technology is really interesting. I liked the way the story has progressed and we are gradually learning more about Cinder as the book is beginning to show the overall arc of this story line. It appears with this book that we are about to have a rebellion and that I can't wait for. I'm ready to see more action. This novel definitely had more action that the previous since there were many altercations what with Cinder's adventure and Scarlet's as well.

So I think I've found myself committed to this series and awaiting the next in the series. Not sure what story the writer will take on next, but I hope she's just as successful with it as she has been in the past. Scarlet, much like Cinder left us with a bit of unresolved material so maybe there will be a flashback in the next novel that ties up some material that was left uncovered. I really liked how we learned Cinder's ending, the references to Cinderella worked very well with her ending, and I enjoyed the way it was introduced in Scarlet through the net screens in the bar. Very well done I thought.

Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum #3) by Janet Evanovich

Read: March 16-24, 2013
read: 9 days
pages: 350

Three To Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum, #3)

Three down....countless more to go!!! Continuing with the Stephanie Plum series. I enjoy the characters for the most part so I am willing to continue looking past the dated content. It is laugh out loud funny for me when she puts the character in such obviously dated attire, but then I have to keep reminding myself THIS WAS WRITTEN IN THE 90'S. So at THAT time the book is not dated, well it might have started to get there at the time of publishing. I honestly can't remember ever hearing anyone younger than my Granny use the phrase "pocket book". It is still odd to me. I know I keep harping on it, but it is just weird to me!!

Yet another light, quick entertaining read!!

Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley

Read: February 21- March 14, 2013
read: too long
pages: 378

Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5 )

I absolutely LOVE this series. I still am so incredibly happy to have stumbled on this wonderful series!! I adore Flavia and her spunk. I anxiously wait for the moment she actually does poison one of her sisters....

Once again Flavia is on the case to solve another murder mystery that has occurred in Bishop's Lacey. I was entertained as I always am, but this one did take me a bit longer to get into the flow and to get myself committed to the story. Once again I did not take notes, which I do in a way regret and I am quite a few weeks out from finishing the novel so I can't recall everything completely clear, however this book, like the previous in the series, does have its own stand alone mystery, but contains elements that add to the arching plot line of the characters and the family's struggles with finances.

BUT this book, unlike the others has left us with quite the cliffhanger that I honestly can say I NEVER saw coming. I remember sitting there reading the last pages and saying WHAT?!?!?!?! Yeah I won't give it away, but if you are following this series you had to have had the same reaction I did!! Once again I will be anxiously waiting for the next book in the series and can't wait to follow my favorite 12 year old sleuth on her next adventure!

Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum #2) by Janey Evanovich

Read: February 3-8, 2013
read: 6 days
pages: 325

Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum, #2)

See what did I say?? I would continue the series. I didn't take any notes over this just like I didn't take notes over the first book. This one is also light and fluffy with humorous points that give it enough entertainment value to keep reading. It was also a quick read so I'm enjoying that aspect as well. Once again as with the first the book is showing its dated qualities  Even to the point of her attire, much like can be seen in the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. With all due respect the Stephanie Plum series was starting to be published in the 1990' it makes complete sense how it is dated. We sure have come a long way since the 90's!!

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) by Janet Evanovich

Read: January 16-22, 2013
read: a week
pages: 320

One For The Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)

This series was recommended to me by a favorite coworker. We are always talking books. She recommended this series because she said its fun and at times just laugh loud out funny. The movie was also enjoyable so I also tried that. Sadly I made it through about 40 minutes and gave up on the movie. I just wasn't entertained. The characters, while likable enough, I even like Katherine Heigl, but the male characters just did not fit what I had envisioned in my mind. But my coworker warned me of this possibility.

Overall though the book is entertaining although there are some glaringly obvious points where the book is starting to show its age....the description of the cell phones and simple things like when the character refers to her "pocket book"....yeah its a purse now and "pocket book" just sounds like something my Granny would have said! Either way I'll likely keep reading the series if nothing else for the entertainment value. I don't feel I'm wasting my time when I'm reading it, and they read quick enough. I'd recommend the book if you are looking for something quick, humorous and fluffy!