Saturday, 29 August 2015

Stacking the Shelves #99


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress so you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
   
I still have the annoying head cold and I'm getting really hacked off that it won't just disappear! Still it could be worse, it could be one of those horrible viral things I used to get which stopped me doing anything! After hitting my 500 tbrs target last week, I stopped reading for a few days and concentrated on repairing one of my old bookcases. When I have fully tackled my bedroom and have it fit for human habitation, I'll post photos of all my books! It's quite a sight! That'll be a couple of weeks by the time I get myself motivated...
 
I also went through my books, checking that everything was on Goodreads. I found a few that weren't so I added them and the ones I bought this week and the tbr jumped back up to 514! I'm not worried about that because that will cover 2 or 3 STS postings and I'm not buying anything new right now so I'll get back below 500 in a week or two when I start reading a bit more again. So that has been my uber exciting week!
 
So the books this week! I recently read the first Dying of the Light book: End and I loved it so I just HAD to buy the next one in the series. I also loved the first part of JT Sawyer's zombie series First Wave so I bought the trilogy which is available in one handy paperback volume AND I grabbed a download of another series ny the author which sounds just as good! Picked up a couple of shorter downloads to try out two new authors and see what they are like.
 
DOWNLOADS:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Book Review: Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey (Drake Chronicles #4)


The Drakes and friends will be tested when an infestation of deadly vampires threatens Violet Hill.

Lucy's cousin Christabel has come to live in Violet Hill, and adjusting to the difference between life in a small mountain town and her home in the city is difficult enough. The strict curfew that Lucy's parents enforce is the worst part. Something really dangerous couldn't possibly happen in this tiny town.


But Christabel has noticed some mysterious happenings, and it seems like Lucy, her boyfriend Nicholas and his brother Connor are all in on a secret that Christabel doesn't understand—one that seems deadly serious. Although she won't admit it, Christabel would love to be in on any secret with Connor Drake. But when she is kidnapped by the ruthless Hel-Blar vampires, Christabel must cause more and more trouble in Violet Hill, Lucy and Connor finally fill Christabel in on all the undead drama. Together, they must find a way to stamp out the Hel-Blar for good.


My Review:
Bleeding Hearts is narrated by Lucy, Connor and Lucy's snotty cousin Christabel, who has come to stay with her. I was really happy to see Lucy telling part of the story again as she is my favourite character in the series!

Lucy, her parents and the Drake family are aware that they will be keeping a lot of secrets from Christabel when she arrives in town. The best that they can do is to tell their guest that there is a night curfew because of a serious gang problem in town, which Christabel does not believe for a minute. She's smart enough to know that there is some big secret that is not being shared with her. When she does finally discover the truth, her world is going to change in many ways.

I didn't like Christabel in the beginning. She seemed to think that she was smarter and superior to everyone around her, and I did not like her snotty attitude or the way she thought that rules were for everyone except her. Her comments about hick towns and the way she looks down on everybody made me want to scream. I'm not really sure what Connor saw in her. Frankly her one saving grace is that she liked books, even if I didn't like the ones she liked to read! Thankfully, her attitude does change as the book progresses or I would not have enjoyed it much. Solange is the other one that I'm getting tired of. She is being a brat and a bitch to everyone who cares about her, especially Lucy and Kieran and she needs a slap on the butt to set her straight.

The Drake family certainly have their problems at the moment. I don't think they have really done enough to work out what is wrong with Solange and solve it. In the last book, she expressed fears about the change having gone wrong in her but everyone kept fobbing her off and didn't seem interested in doing something to help her. THat denial has allowed things to get out of control, as we see by the actions of Solange at the end of this book. You'll need to read it for yourself to see what I'm talking about but it was certainly an interesting cliffhanger! Lucy is also facing up to the possibility of losing her best friend, and is feeling in danger with all the vampires running around, forcing her to consider her future.

There are also interesting developments with the Hel-Blar, who have to be one of the most interesting versions of vampires that we have in urban fantasy. They are very scary and very infectious, so you can understand the panic when they get their hands on Christabel, thinking her to be Lucy, so they can negotiate with the Drakes. Yes, because kidnapping someone close to the Drakes is going to put Helena in a really good mood! And that is one Drake that you don't want to get on the wrong side of! However, I found the kidnapping part of the story interesting, and it makes the reader as well as the characters understand that the Hel-Blar are more complex than imagined. I found this a lot more interesting than Solange and her spoiled brat tantrums.

I liked this book despite my misgivings over the new character and the twists that were introduced were fascinating. My one big misgiving is the way Solange has changed and I'm not sure I'm going to like that as the series develops. 
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Chuckles Chat: When Authors drive Bloggers crazy...#1 The Demanding Author



We've all seen those posts haven't we? Authors complaining about all the things that bloggers and reviewers do to make their life difficult-sometimes the complaints are justified and sometimes it just makes me roll my eyes over what the complaints are about. So lets reverse it shall we, and look at a few things that authors do that have made me really mad!

The Demanding Author
These are the authors who contact you about reading and reviewing their book, and then are on your back constantly about whether you have read it yet and when the review will go up. I've had a few different demanding authors over the last few years and I get pretty annoyed with some of them.

1-An author asked me to read her book. I told her I would but I was pretty busy and it might be 2-3 weeks before I got to reading it, and she said this was fine and sent it. Two days later the email arrives 'so what did you think of it?'. Grrr. I explained again what the situation was. Four days later I got a similar email. Feeling rather pissed, I told her that I would get to her book when I had finished the books I had already agreed to read. Her reply? Just shove them to one side and read mine instead. OK I will NOT deal with pushy, rude and inconsiderate people. I told her what I thought of her manners and refused to read her book. Judging by the reviews I've seen, I didn't miss out on much! She has since asked me to look at other books and I've ignored every email.

Conclusion: Your book may be the most important thing ever to you, but I will NOT bump it up the queue for no good reason when I have promised to read other books first! You take your turn as agreed or you get nothing!

2-An author sent me a message on Goodreads saying his book was the best ever written, that Harry Potter paled in comparison, and that I must read it. He enclosed the copy and instructed me that I had three days to read it. Why? Was the bugger going to self destruct or something? He also gave a list of everywhere I had to upload it and the date he wanted it done by. I emailed back to say no and he wasn't pleased about it. I was missing out on the greatest thing ever! I said I could live with that. 

Conclusion: You might get away with talking to people in your family like that buster boy, but not with me! You will ask nicely and not issue demands as if I am your servant!

3-An author I know emailed to chat to me about her new book and if I was interested in reviewing it. I was excited as I liked her first book and agreed to clear my schedule as she needed it read and reviewed pretty sharp. That was February. I have still to receive the review copy and had no email to say why it hasn't arrived. The book is available to buy online, she is active on many sites and others have reviewed the book. This kind of thing pisses me off. Can you imagine if I had done this to an author over a review??? All hell would have broken loose!

Conclusion-Don't jerk me about! I don't accept it from anybody, including friends!

4-Several authors have sent me books on spec without asking if I'm interested, and then emailed to ask why there is no sign of a review. OK this is just totally rude! You don't ask if I'm interested in reading it, you don't ask if the subject/genre interests me or if I have time to read it and then you get pissy because I don't read it? How many books have been sent to us bloggers that are in genres we don't read or have plots we aren't interested in? We can't and won't read everything and just because you want ME to read it doesn't mean I want to!

Conclusion-Ask and you MAY receive!


Have you as a blogger or reviewer had similar experiences? If so please share them!

Chuckles TV Catch Up #5

This is my new feature for the summer! I have sooo many great sounding TV shows that I want to watch but because of all my reading, I haven't had time to catch up with any of them! So this summer I'm doing a Chuckles TV catch up where I hope to get a look at some TV, decide what I like and don't like and tell you all my thoughts on everything. Now, my TV watching is very much mood related so I can't predict what I'll want to watch...

This Week: Alcatraz starring Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia, Sam Neill and Parminder Nagra.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1728102/?ref_=nv_sr_2
Filmography links and data courtesy of IMDb.

When I went to watch this I was aware that it had been cancelled after one season so I wasn't expecting much from it to be honest. But I actually really enjoyed it! I'm a big fan of Jorge Garcia, who was my favourite in Lost, so it was nice to see him in something like this. The plot is basically that one day in 1963, every prisoner and guard on Alcatraz vanished, with news of it being covered up. Now the prisoners are reappearing in present day SF and continuing with their crimes. Detective Rebecca Madsen finds herself involved in a case where the trail is linked to Alcatraz and she enlists Alcatraz expert Dr Diego Soto to help. Their interference means they are brought into the loop about what happened, joining a team led by Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) who seek to recapture the escapees.

I very much liked the plot, which was a bit different from the usual crime dramas you see on TV. I liked the twist on Alcatraz history as this is a subject that has always interested me. The flashbacks to the past gave you the prisoner's story and why they committed their crimes, but bringing the story up to date made things interesting! I liked the strong acting from the entire team and the way the crimes were solved. There was humour, tension and action, and the series had such great potential. The fact that yet again, another series is cut off just as it is finding it's feet is very frustrating.

Book Review: Out For Blood by Alyxandra Harvey (Drake Chronicles #3)


Hunter Wild just wants to get through her last year at the secret Helios-Ra Academy. To do so, she'll have to betray her grandfather, date a vampire and possibly take down the entire League - all before the end of term.

My Review:
I read this book back in 2011 but I'm only getting round to writing this review now! Luckily, I took notes when I was reading it which helped me write this!

Hunter Wild comes from a family famous for vampire hunting so she had no hesitation in joining the elite training school that produces Helios-Ra vampire hunters. Her views that all vampires are evil is challenged when she meets the Drake family, and falls for Quinn.

OK it sounds like just another YA teen romance...However, there is much more to this series than just hormones. I don't like YA romance books but I really enjoyed this book so don't be put off by the blurb! There is a lot of action, vampire attacks and humans behaving badly and the romance is nicely mixed in with humour and tension. It is very easy to fall in love with the whole Drake family!

In the first two books we are introduced to the younger brothers, their sister Solange and her human friend Lucy. We also briefly met Hunter in the last book when she mistrusted every vampire. In this book we see a different girl who wants to live up to the family heritage and be the best hunter in her school. She is a kickass heroine who is smart and funny, and I liked her straight away. Her best friend Chloe is an amusing airhead who gives a few funny moments to the plot. I liked seeing the Helios-Ra recruits in a totally different environment where they are not just the people threatening the lives of the Drake family. Here we see them as normal teenagers-worrying about passing exams, worrying that they aren't strong enough to defeat the vampires, having hormonal issues and friendship problems. I liked seeing them as people who think they are doing the right thing, unaware that not all vampires are evil.

There is plenty to enjoy with the Drake family as well. Solange is having trouble adapting to her new vampire life, and fears that her blood cravings mean that there is something wrong with her. I still love the ongoing relationship between Lucy and Nicholas-now THAT is how you write chemistry between two characters! Perhaps some other authors need to take notes here! We also have the continued issues over Helena's disputed crown, the truce between the Drake family and the Helios-Ra and the ongoing battle against the Hel-Blar, who are growing in numbers and intensity. And of course in this book, we get to know Quinn better, which was nice!

The added interest in this book is the problems at the academy because of drug misuse. I liked this story, not only because it brings Hunter and Quinn closer together, but because it shows us the pressure that some of the kids are under to become stronger and better fighters. I'm not going to say anything more about this plot as I don't want to spoil it but there are a few interesting twists and turns.

Overall, another good book in the series!
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Monday, 24 August 2015

TBR 100 Book Countdown Challenge (504-500!!!)


My tbr managed to sneak up over 600 books again and action was taken!!! So I am setting myself a tough challenge-to get that tbr from 612 as it stands today, down to 500 books by December 31st. Yes it is an impossible sounding task but not everything on the tbr is full length reading-there are short stories, novellas and novels to be devoured! Even if I don't get to the target, I'll be pleased if I get close. It would be the first time in 5 years that my tbr was 500 or less! My updates on my progress won't be weekly, just whenever I have something to report! Anyone who wants to try and reduce their tbr is welcome to post on my update posts about their progress!

FYI: A few people have asked why the number of books I've reduced the pile by in the post title does not match the number of books I mention in the actual blog post. Simple really, I'm still adding new books to the tbr each week, and a few are rereads.


YAAAASSSSS! I hit my 500 target this week and I'm a happy bunny! Yeah I know, it sounds weird to be celebrating the fact that you still have 500 unread books in your house and on your ereaders but I'm so happy I could sing! In September 2014 my tbr was getting very close to 1000 so I've pretty much halved that in a year which I'm very pleased about! So what next? Hmmm, I was thinking about trying to reach 450 by the end of the year but I'm not setting that in stone. I'll just continue with the countdown each week or two to stay motivated to reducing the numbers.

How are you guys getting on with reading challenges?

FINISHED:

Keith C Blackmore-Safari
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13648624-safari 

Jody Duncan-Making of The Lost World, Jurassic Park 2
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1251666.The_Making_of_The_Lost_World 

Steve Bell-Seven Summits
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/112011.Seven_Summits 

Reed Timmer-Into the Storm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9563548-into-the-storm 

Jennifer Chiaverini-The Quilter's Kitchen
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2881228-the-quilter-s-kitchen 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Stacking the Shelves #98


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress so you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
 
I still have this stupid head cold that I can't get rid of and it's so annoying! I'm tired and fed up but this week I managed to put some effort into writing and uploading reviews to the blog, some of which are books I read in 2011 which is unbelievable! Still, I'm gradually going to catch up with them this summer and autumn I hope! 
 
I didn't get as much reading done as I hoped this week-a mixture of being tired and watching reruns of Masterchef! Funny how I'm not a cook of any kind yet I'm addicted to watching all the different versions of Masterchef! I've only got a few books to add to the haul this week but I am excited by them! Judith Post's book is the third in the Wolf's Bane series and I loved the first two, so I'm excited to read the third one. It's just a pity that they aren't available on p[aperback so I can keep rereading them! I received my copy of the last in Carrie Vaughn's Kitty series, another one that I need to do some series catch up on! I also grabbed the next books in the Deacon Chalk series (books 2 & 3) after loving the short story 'That thing at the zoo' which is free online if you want to try it. So I'm happy with this week's haul again!
 
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Friday, 21 August 2015

Book Review: New Order by Helen Harper (Bo Blackman #2)


Bo Blackman is not adjusting to her new life as a fledgling vampire particularly well. Drinking blood sickens her and, despite her new enhanced physical skills and the attention she's receiving from Lord Montserrat, she's desperate to find a cure. When her illegal search takes her to the door of Fingertips and Frolics, a small family-run magic shop, she becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of tit-for-tat with murderous consequences. To complicate matters further, she's forced to also take on a case of apparent kidnapping. But with no ransom demand and a client she despises, it may be more of a struggle to solve than she realises.

My Review:
Don't read this review unless you have read book one 'Dire Straits' or aren't planning to read the series! The whole review centres around how the last book finished so it will spoil book one for you if you read any further. You have been warned!

Bo is not coping well at being turned into a vampire to save her life, and everyone rallies to try and help her. Michael wants her to run a liason office for House vampires who need help with problems, giving Bo a bit of freedom from being stuck at the House. She is determined to use every chance to research for a possible cure for her condition, which does not please Michael. I understand that Bo does not want to be a vampire and is pissed at how things turned out but at some stage you have to quit moaning and try to deal with it. Hearing the same complaints over and over do get annoying after a while and it was the main reason that I stopped reading Chloe Neill's vampires series. Use the whinging time to train and learn and make the best of a bad job!

Michael and Bo are becoming as annoying as Ethan and Merit in aforementioned vampire series. There is constant angst, fighting over stupid things, Michael being an arse and not listening to anything Bo had to say and then yelling at her for keeping secrets from him, Bo being a pain because of her vampire angst and pushing everyone away...it was frustrating and annoying. And I still can't see any chemistry between the two of them.

The other big problem with this book is the very dull side story of Bo's investigation. Stephen was Arzo's best friend until he ran off with Arzo's love Dahlia. Now Dahlia is missing and Stephen wants her found, and Bo decides not to involve Arzo. This story was dumb and pointless. Stephen was a complete asshat, Dahlia was a cheating bitch and this pair broke Arzo's heart so I couldn't care less what happened to either of them. Plus Bo is avoiding Arzo so we don't see much of him and he is my favourite character. We also don't see much of my other favourite Beth, because we are constantly dealing with Stephen! We got more of O'Shea in the book but this time he was seriously annoying and that bugged me.

I also do not like the way the author gives each chapter a title that hints at what is about to happen. I don't want the author giving me plot spoilers while I'm reading the darn book!

Arrgghh! The things I liked so much in the first book were all missing in this one. Characters I liked were underused, characters I hated were dominating the story, there was too much moaning and fighting and no solid plot to hold the book together. This was very disappointing and I feel no urge to read the next book in the series which is a shame after enjoying book one. 
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Book Review: Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey (Drake Chronicles #2)


It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks. 

The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.

My Review:
I first read this book back in 2011 and I'm only just getting round to writing up my review of it!

I was a little concerned when I noticed that the book was narrated by Isabeau, a vampire Hound Princess on a diplomatic mission to see Helena, and Logan Drake. I was a big fan of Lucy so I wasn't sure about the changes. However, once I started reading it, I was enjoying the story too much to be bothered by it.

I liked Logan, and it was interesting to get his view on what was happening-Solange being pursued by Montmartre, assassins trying to kill Helena, Hel-Blar trying to kill everyone, and dealing with his newfound love for Isabeau. Isabeau's story was interesting and we get to see the life and history of the Hound tribe of vampires this time. There is the brief introduction of Kieran's vampire killing friend Hunter, who is ready t kill anything with fangs. She will become more important in upcoming books in the series. There is still plenty of Lucy and her fiery relationship with Nicholas, and we see the other members of the Drake family as well. So that was all good.

Isabeau's murderer who left her buried alive has allied with Montmartre, giving her plenty reasons to ally with the Drake family, even though her Hounds and their vampire security aren't happy with the arrangement. Add in the attempt to get a treaty between the Helios-Ra and the 'good' vampires and there is a lot of mistrust, leading to isolated attacks on each other, which adds some nice tension to the plot.

Again we have the menace of the Hel-Blar, the most dangerous kind of vampire, and they make several battle appearances which I always enjoy. There is a lot of action in the books where the Drake brothers fight to protect themselves, their parents, their sister and their allies. These scenes are always well written and exciting, and sometimes action takes place in more than one place at a time which adds some nice chaos into the equation.

This is another solid story from the Drake Chronicles series. The plots are interesting, the characters are all well written and developed and everything flows along at a nice pace. I'm not generally a fan of romance in my vampire books but in this series the romance is light, fun and never gets in the way of the plot. Very enjoyable!
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Book Review: Blood Slaves by NL Hoffmann (Daughters of Darkness #1)


Blake Noble is assigned by her superior, of the Supernatural Crime Division, to investigate the disappearance of his niece and to take down the Covert, a several hundred year old vampire organization known for abducting their victims off the streets. Things begin to go south when she begins to uncover truths about the people she loves.

After finding out she is the daughter of Lucifer and a famous vampire mother, she begins to use her newly appearing abilities to survive through the investigation. Between demon lessons from her father and falling for the Deputy Director of the Michigan, she attempts a nail biting journey to shut down the biggest secret in vampire history.


My Review:
Looking at all the high reviews on Goodreads made me wonder what is was that I blinked and missed in this book, as I thought it was pretty poor in every area!

I noticed with interest that the author mentioned having a proofreader. It might have been an idea to save some money by not hiring one as this book was riddled with bad spelling and grammar, strange sentence structure, weird punctuation etc. If this was the proofread version I dread to think what the previous versions looked like. It wasn't ideal but I can overlook things like that if I like the story and characters. In this case, sadly I didn't.

I didn't like the style of writing that was chosen for the book. It was full of short and robotic sentences, which lacked the descriptive detail that you expect to bring you into the story and the world it is set in. At times I didn't understand what the author was trying to say and it actually felt at times as if the first half of the sentences were missing and you were jumping in midway through something. There was no flow to the story and no depth to the world, with so little interesting detail give. It was all tell and no show and was poorly constructed! Things were left unexplained and at times you were scratching your head as you wondered what was going on. It was a struggle from the start to force myself to keep reading.

I felt that the book was just jumping around too much at the start and not letting things flow, which meant that I felt no emotional connection to the MC Blake. Character development was lacking from the start and it didn't take long for Blake to start getting on my nerves. It was also very slow to get into the story which does not help when you are already struggling with the book.

I couldn't honestly find anything to like or any redeeming feature. I certainly won't be reading the rest of the series or anything else by the author.
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

Book Review: Dire Straits by Helen Harper (Bo Blackman #1)


Bo Blackman is a rookie private investigator working for the London based firm of Dire Straits. She doesn't often get triber-based assignments, which is just as well. Vampires and daemons don't interest her as much as humans do. However, when she has to serve a summons on a dodgy daemon called Devlin O'Shea and she ends up saving his life instead of being framed for his murder, her life takes a shocking turn for the worse. And when the vampire Families start involving themselves too, Bo no longer knows where to turn...

My Review:
Bo may be a rookie P.I but even she senses something wrong when she finds herself in a room with a seriously injured demon she was sent to arrest and armed police about to arrive. Getting her target to safety is one thing, working out who tried to kill him and who wanted to frame her for murder is another. Is it someone she worked with at the agency? Or someone connected to her grandfather's past? And why are the Vampire houses suddenly so keen to recruit her?

The book starts as an on-the-run investigation, where Bo and O'Shea need to share information to discover why they were targeted. I thought their working relationship had potential and had hoped to see more of it. However the plot changes when the Vampire Houses come into the story and Bo's investigation. Bo is asked to join a Vampire House as a new recruit to try and discover who in the House is a traitor. If she can survive the initiation and a month of Bloodlust without drinking human blood, she can remain part human and still have a reasonably normal life. If she drinks blood during the month she will become a vampire, a thought that scares and horrifies her.

I liked the initiation, and meeting the others who join along with Bo, all for different reasons. She is torn between having these people as new friends and viewing them all as suspects. Bo is also unsure whether she trusts her vampire contact Michael and finds his ever changing attitude to her frustrating and annoying, hindering her investigation at times. Bo is also driven by the fear of becoming a vampire and struggles to resist the blood that is on offer through the initiation month. There is a lot of interest and a lot to like in this section of the book and the reader gets to play 'guess the traitor' along with Bo.

I liked Bo as a character. All she wants to do is clear her name and get away from the vampires but being prime suspect in multiple murders means that only a Vampire House can protect her and Michael's offer is about the best that she can hope for. Her fellow recruits are a good bunch of characters and I liked her relationships with them. Peter, Beth, Nicky and Nell added to the story as Bo had to interact with them as part of her job. I particularly liked Azro. Michael got on my nerves half the time. Why would you hire Bo, make her go through the change to part vampire which she doesn't want and then declare you don't trust her as she might be a traitor? I wanted to slap him at that point!

Overall I liked the book. It had a strong plot, interesting characters and potential to become a good series. For me the one thing that didn't seem convincing was setting up the potential relationship between Bo and Michael. I wasn't feeling any chemistry with them and I don't see it working. Still, there was enough here to get me to look at book two.

Read in January 2015.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Book Review: Captured by SJ Harper (Fallen Siren #0.5)

Join FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.
She’s a Siren. He’s a Werewolf.
Their mission is redemption.


Emma Monroe is a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now she works for the FBI and is on temporary assignment in Charleston. Solving this next missing persons case could be the key to ending her ancient curse—unless the temptation that’s her new partner gets in the way.

Zack Armstrong is a Werewolf. Tall, dark, and dangerous, he currently works for one of the bureau’s elite Child Abduction Rapid Deployment teams. In many respects the man is every bit as mysterious as his secret and perilous past. But there are two things he’s certain about, that he’s going to get his man and his woman.

When Zack finds himself suddenly shy a partner and a third child goes missing in Charleston, Emma goes from consultant to CARD team member in the space of a few hours. The abductions of the first two boys ended in murder, an outcome that neither Zack nor Emma can abide. As they race against time to track down the kidnapper and rescue the latest victim, they find themselves fighting something just as treacherous—a growing attraction that can’t be ignored or denied.


My Review:
Emma is an expert in child abduction cases and is called to help an FBI agent with a new series of abductions. Emma is also a cursed fallen Siren, trying to hide her power from the FBI agent who is secretly a werewolf. I liked the idea of two supernaturals with secrets tryi ng to solve the crime together but it just didn't fully deliver on its promise.

First problem for me was the details given on things you don't give a damn about. Every single meal that they ate during the investigation was described in massive detail, as well as countless discussions about the full menu and what each option was. This got to be very annoying and it added nothing to the story.

We are constantly reminded about their attraction to each other every few paragraphs as well as all the reasons why they couldn't be a couple. This repetition also became boring.

The actual plot was interesting enough but we didn't really see the use of their powers until the very end so it felt more like a basic crime novel than a paranormal mystery. The reason it gets three stars on Goodreads is because it was well written and showed promise but the full length novel needs to really deliver to keep me reading on in the series.  


2.5 stars for this one is a fairer option.

Monday, 17 August 2015

TBR 100 Book Countdown Challenge (510-504)


My tbr managed to sneak up over 600 books again and action was taken!!! So I am setting myself a tough challenge-to get that tbr from 612 as it stands today, down to 500 books by December 31st. Yes it is an impossible sounding task but not everything on the tbr is full length reading-there are short stories, novellas and novels to be devoured! Even if I don't get to the target, I'll be pleased if I get close. It would be the first time in 5 years that my tbr was 500 or less! My updates on my progress won't be weekly, just whenever I have something to report! Anyone who wants to try and reduce their tbr is welcome to post on my update posts about their progress!

FYI: A few people have asked why the number of books I've reduced the pile by in the post title does not match the number of books I mention in the actual blog post. Simple really, I'm still adding new books to the tbr each week, and a few are rereads.

***NEARLY THERE! Next week I should hit my target of 500 with any luck and I'm so pleased about it! I've been wallowing in self pity because of viral infections and wallowing in zombie books most of the week, so I guess it has been quite productive!  I think I might need to give myself a non book treat! I'll need to think that over...So here is what I looked at this week***

FINISHED:

ES Moore-To Walk the Night
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11776582-to-walk-the-night 

James R Tuck-That Thing at the Zoo
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13182622-that-thing-at-the-zoo 

JT Sawyer-First Wave
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20878938-first-wave 

Jason Kristopher-The Dying of the Light: End
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13826654-the-dying-of-the-light 

Keith C Blackmore-Mountain Man
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13254665-mountain-man 


ABANDONED:

Dana Fredsti-Plague Town
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12730666-plague-town 

Stephen Blackmoore-Dead Things
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15784263-dead-things 

Susan Krinard-Mist
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16059384-mist 

Griffin Hayes-Hive 2
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15743613-hive-ii 

Susan Stec-They're So Vein
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16070846-they-re-so-vein 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Stacking the Shelves #97


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress so you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
                  
Ugh. I haven't been able to post a single thing this week because of a viral infection. It's nothing serious but it was enough to make me very tired, grumpy, and left me with no concentration or motivation to get anything done! Thankfully it did not affect my desire to read, so I still got a good deal done. I'm very close to finishing my 100 book countdown challenge, over four months ahead of schedule! Very happy about that and will post an update either tomorrow or Monday. So the tbr is getting close to 500 books for the first time in many years! Once I get below the magic 500 I'll feel as if I'm slowly taking control of my tbr again!

So what did I do this week? Not much really. I spent my birthday in my doctor's waiting room which was a great laugh. I treated myself to an awesome dinosaur duvet set! I wanted a Jurassic World one but they only seem to do duvets for single beds which is annoying for the mature fan! I did get this set from Amazon and it is so brilliant! My dad bought me a pile of dvds which I hope to get watching at some point-he had already got me Arrow 1 & 2, Strike Back 1-4 and Hannibal 2 but surprised me with Alcatraz 1 and Teen Wolf 1 as well. Yea! And I treated myself to a few books as well but I might save them for next week's haul!
So, this week's haul is another example of restraint! I bought the next two volumes of Rhiannon Frater's companion short stories for her As the World Dies series. I won't be able to read them until I read books 2 and 3 in the actual trilogy but it's something to look forward to. If you love zombie books, you have to read this author! I picked up the Making of Jurassic Park 2 cheap on Amazon which was nice for my dinosaur addiction! I have the other 6 Slow Burn books so I just HAD to grab book 7 as well. So far, I've only read the first book but I really enjoyed it and plan to get on with this series soon.

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Jurassic Quilt!



Sunday, 9 August 2015

The TBR 100 Book Countdown Challenge (519-510)


My tbr has managed to sneak up over 600 books again and action must be taken!!! So I am setting myself a pretty tough challenge-to get that tbr from 612 as it stands today, down to 500 books by December 31st. Yes it is an impossible sounding task but not everything on the tbr is full length reading-there are short stories, novellas and novels to be devoured! Even if I don't get to the target, I'll be pleased if I get close. It would be the first time in 5 years that my tbr was 500 or less! My updates on my progress won't be weekly, just whenever I have something to report! Anyone who wants to try and reduce their tbr is welcome to post on my update posts about their progress!

FYI: A few people have asked why the number of books I've reduced the pile by in the post title does not match the number of books I mention in the actual blog post. Simple really, I'm still adding new books to the tbr each week, and a few are rereads.

*SCREAMS* I'm only 10 books away from my target!!! I had a good week of reading and motored through some books that have been sitting on my bookshelves for a year or two. So despite buying a few new books, my total has dropped nicely this week! I think another two weeks maximum will ensure my target is reached. Pretty exciting stuff...

FINISHED:

Ken Mooney-The Hades Contract
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18300381-the-hades-contract 

Melanie Karsak-Midway
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22435511-midway

Rhiannon Frater-As the World Dies Untold Tales volume 1
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12295280-as-the-world-dies

Patricia Briggs-Hopcross Jilly
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25076719-mercy-thompson

Hailey Edwards-Dog with a Bone
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23211040-dog-with-a-bone


ABANDONED:

Keith Melton-The Zero Dog War
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10069851-the-zero-dog-war

Alex Laybourne-Highway to Hell
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10478399-highway-to-hell

Jim Bernheimer-Pennies for the Ferryman
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6516513-pennies-for-the-ferryman

EJ Stevens-Shadow Sight
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12670968-shadow-sight

Karen Greco-Hell's Belle
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18455501-hell-s-belle

Jamie Quaid-Boyfriend from Hell
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12891555-boyfriend-from-hell

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Stacking the Shelves #96


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress so you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
                 
This has been another productive week for me. I've got some reading done, checked out a few new TV series that I found on some old VHS tapes ie Legend of the Seeker, Prisoners of War, Camelot and Hunted, and got another bit of the house tidied. I've even been able to watch a few favourite films just for fun! (Resident Evil and Jurassic Park 1-3!) I bought a few things this week which has not helped my TBR but you can't resist these darn shiny new books can you! I was excited by the arrival of a pre-ordered book, the latest in the Alex Verus series. Yes! Now I just need to catch up with the series...
 
My birthday is coming up and my dad gave me the package today! Having NO restraint it has already been opened and he has bought me Arrow season 1 & 2, Hannibal season 2, Strike Back seasons 1-4! Yea! Very happy with that haul...I've watched season 1 of Hannibal so I was happy to get season 2 but the other series I haven't seen so I'm excited to get stuck into them!
 
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