Saturday, 22 July 2017

Chuckles Weekend Roundup


Welcome to my new feature Chuckles Weekend Roundup where I will be looking at what books I've received, anything interesting I've done or bought or watched and other random stuff. I'll be taking a look back at what happened in my blogging world too, sort of like The Sunday Post that some of you do! 

Please note that I'll be visiting your STS/SP as normal, but I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow DISQUS to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I am the only one who does that on my social media! Sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me because I deleted my account with them but I will persevere as it only happens the odd time!
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Another week has ended here at The Book Cave and it was not very productive! I have got very little reading done-a few samples for my post tomorrow, DNFed two books and started a third one. Not great! I spent the mornings blogging, the afternoons watching Game of Thrones season three with my dad (he's in shock about the Red Wedding right now!!!) and being too tired after dinner each night to do anything but watch S8 of Masterchef Australia from last year! It hasn't really been a booky week! I need to come up with some sort of plan or I'll be falling behind in my reading soon. Not sure what to do yet. 

Blogging has been a bit mixed-still three weeks ahead in things like TTT, CWW, GoT Gossip, Chuckles Chat, Chuckles Cover Love which is good but not getting time to do reviews in advance (which I need to tackle today) and I'm not getting to as many blogs as I'd like as often as I'd like. It's a bit frustrating to feel like I'm chasing my tail a bit these last few weeks! I need a plan for this too! I showed restraint again and bought no paperbacks, just downloaded some samples, so this week I'm showing you a few downloads I found in previous weeks but hadn't added to my shelves yet.

DOWNLOADS:



EARLY BIRTHDAY PRESENTS:
I had some gift vouchers from trading books online so I bought myself a few Game of Thrones Banners! Once I get my books sorted and find somewhere to hang these things I'll maybe get some photos on the blog. I have others on order, a few paid for by my dad as early presents, some others as a treat for myself! Hopefully they will arrive next week. Exciting! My house is going to look like the Hand of the King tourney from season one!!!


Chuckles Blogging World:
 As I mentioned earlier I feel a bit like I'm chasing my tail and always trying to catch up on things before each weekend. I need to cut off a few blogs that never interact with me and use my time better. But I have found some good posts to enjoy this week and I'll always give priority to my best blogging pals! As always, a link is provided for each blog post from last week to take you straight to anything you missed. Comments are moderated so it might take a day or two to see it on the blog! Don't forget to check out my Next Week section to see what excitement is coming...

Book Reviews:
This week was not great again for getting book reviews posted and I really need to get my review notes and get them into reviews ready to post when I need them instead of scrambling to get one written and posted on the same day. It's frustrating that I can't seem to get myself organised with this! Today I need to get motivated and do a few as I'm still looking at notes on books I read back in May! What I think I'll do to mix it up a bit is stop concentrating on getting all the reviews written for May read books and just write any from May, June and July that I feel like writing. Maybe that will help me get things done quicker!

Nicholas Sansbury Smith-Extinction Horizon (EH #1)

Nicholas Sansbury Smith-Extinction Edge (EH #2)

Nicholas Sansbury Smith-Extinction Age (EH #3)

Regular Features:
I'm three weeks ahead in most of my Regular Features which I'm happy with. It's going to be a big help in allowing me time to go lurking on your blogs and watching some Masterchef Australia which I LOVE! This week on Cover Love I featured Sarah J Maas, I brought you the best of the bloggyverse in Around The Blogs With Chuckles, Top Ten Tuesday continued my look at the Best Urban Fantasy Series, Can't Wait Wednesday was all about the apocalypse which looks great, Feed my TBR looked at sea monsters! I also have a new feature where I share a few thoughts on book samples I've downloaded, called Chuckles Goes Sampling.

Chuckles Cover Love-Sarah J Maas

Around The Blogs With Chuckles

Top Ten Tuesday-Best Urban Fantasy Series pt 3

Can't Wait Wednesday-Brothers

Feed My TBR-Sea Monsters

Chuckles Goes Sampling

Discussion Posts: 
Chuckles Chat this week looks at what I don't get about Selfies, while  my Game of Thrones Gossip looks at Dany in Qarth!

Chuckles Chat-Selfies

Game of Thrones Gossip-Qarth

Special Features: 
none this week

Book Tags: 

A-Z Bookish Survey Book Tag

Book Challenge Updates:

New-To-Me July Challenge Update

My Goodreads Challenge total currently stands at 150/250.I didn't finish a single book, DNFing two, starting a third and reading a few samples.

TBR total of books I own but haven't read yet stands at 809. *grimaces* I hope the sampling for the second half of the year instead of impulse buying helps.

Currently Reading/Next Up:  
Out of the three books I highlighed as my next reads on last Saturday's post, I DNFed The Immortals and Six of Crows but I have started The Shadowkiller and it has been good so far so fingers crossed. I really need to get that finished tonight and get back on track. With time running out on this month's reading time, I'm switching to a few shorter books by new-to-me authors. Next up, I hope to get these books read.


Next Week On The Blog? 
Chuckles Cover Love features Kasey MacKenzie, Top Ten Tuesday features part 4 of my Urban Fantasy list, Can't Wait Wednesday features a very long awaited book, Game of Thrones Gossip features Joffrey Baratheon, Chuckles Chat looks at ARCs. There will also be a Game of Thrones special post on S7 Ep 2 to enjoy and reviews of samples from my ereader! There will also be a chance to give your feedback on the features on this blog and a newly created book tag if I get it done in time!

That's all for this week! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to visit my blog and leave comments. You guys are great! 

 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Feed My TBR #5 Sea Monsters!


Welcome to Feed My TBR, my new feature. Each week I'll select a specific subject or theme and recommend books that I've read or share books I've heard of or have on my tbr and wishlist. I invite all of you to also share your recommendations on the subject chosen...and if you could, please say what kind of book it is ie PNR, horror etc. In the comments section you can also ask for specific types of books on the subject and see if someone can help. Hopefully we can share lots of book ideas and flood each other's tbrs with new book grabs! NO EROTICA please! I don't have that at all on my blog!

This week we look at other monsters in the water! These are the books I've either read or are on my tbr. 

 
 
 
There are a LOT of books out there about giant squids, killer fish and other nasties but which are the good ones? What do you recommend and which water monsters are on your tbr and wishlist? Please share!

Chuckles Chat #26 Selfies

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

Chuckles is about to show her technophobe side again on the subject of Selfies! 

I love photography and I like nothing better on holiday or a day out than to take a few scenic photos. Some make it onto my blog, but most are just for my personal enjoyment. It's great to look back at these memories and remember a great day or trip. I have a digital camera-a Panasonic Lumix which I love...but I've never taken a selfie or ever plan to!

It's really twofold for me. I'm very fat and I hate getting my photo taken. In fact I hated getting my photo taken even when I was thin! There is no urge to shove my fat face into every shot I take! I like scenic photography so I really don't want to put myself at the front with a scenic landscape shoved behind me like an afterthough. For me, the important thing is the scenery, not showing that I'm there y'know?

That's not to say that I don't understand why people take selfies on a holiday. I get why you want to be seen at various landmarks and enjoying your holiday. Sure I get that. It's no different from someone taking a photo of a friend or family member at the gates of Buckingham Palace or something, all about capturing memories. I even understand using that selfie stick thing to get a better photo of you at whatever place you go to. Nothing weird about any of that.

What I don't get is the urge to take multiple selfies every day of your own face in exciting locations like your bathroom! My neighbour's friend takes 200-250 selfies a DAY of her own face and nothing else and in every one she has that same twisted pout, reminding me of a trout at the fish counter in Morrison's supermarket! This I don't greatly understand. Why do you feel the need to take all these photos of yourself every day, then pour over them for hours to decide which are the perfect ones to put online for others to look at? Is it a desire for attention? Is it pure vanity? What is the point of it? All I know is this girl goes into a mood if she doesn't get enough likes or if there are critical remarks from trolls. I don't see why people care so much about compliments from strangers, I really don't! Sure it's nice if someone likes my book posts but I don't go and cry if it gets no comments!!! 

And why that same pout??? Why not just do a nice smile? Every time we see something on TV about a dead teenager, the photo used in the story is always one of those weird pouts that makes the poor girl look a bit odd. Is there an actual reason for the face pulling thing? I don't personally think it makes anyone look attractive! Do people actually enjoy looking at these kinds of photos of other people pouting? If so, what do they like about them? If I'm looking at a blog or social media site, the last thing I want to see is a pile of this kind of photo. I'd rather see you smiling with a book in your hand, photos of the books and nice shots of your holidays and stuff. I'm not greatly interested in trout pouts in the dimly lit bathroom!

There is also this desire to take inappropriate selfies at disaster sites. In my terrorism post about the Westminster Bridge attack, I showed a photo of a man taking a selfie in front of the ambulances attending to the dying and injured and that made me so mad! Recently arseheads have been travelling to the Grenfell Tower in London after that horrific disaster to taking selfies of them SMILING in front of the burned shell of the building. How sick are these morons? And don't get me started on idiots taking selfies on train tracks and on cliff edges and getting themselves killed! Gah, the stupidity of some people...

I guess my thoughts on selfies is that they are fine in the right time and place but I don't get the obsessed side of it at all. What are your thoughts on selfies? Do you take many and what kind? Do you rage when people don't *like* them? Do you think people are too obsessed with their looks and getting attention online? Is the selfie causing body image issues for kids and teenagers?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Book Review: Extinction Age by Nicholas Sansbury Smith (EH #3)


On the eve of extinction all seems to be lost, but there is still one final hope...
Operation Liberty has failed. Humans are losing the war. With no other option, General Kennor decides to pull back the troops and give science a second chance. 

Trapped in the extensive sewer system beneath New York, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the survivors of 1st Platoon must battle through the tunnels--where they make a grisly discovery in their attempt to escape. At Plum Island, Dr. Kate Lovato is working on a new bioweapon to destroy the Variants. But when a derelict Navy Destroyer crashes into the Connecticut shoreline, she is forced to deal with a nightmare she thought had ended. 
As the doomsday clock ticks down and military bases fall across the country, the human race enters the age of extinction. Will science prevail--or will mankind vanish off the face of the planet?

My Review: 
Beckham's team are racing through the sewers pursued by variants, and hurtle into the den where Meg is attached to one of the webs. Knowing that he cannot free everyone and that many have already been fed on, Beckham is left with a hard decision-leave them or kill them out of mercy. However one lax moment is all it takes to bring disaster to the team as they try to reach an abandoned Humvee to get towards the extraction point.

Plum Island is in panic mode as a naval ship appears to be on collision course but the seemingly abandoned ship avoids them and runs aground further up the coast. Knowing that supplies are beginning to run out, Jensen decides to take a team to the beached vessel in the hope that there will be supplies to salvage. But what else could be lurking in the depths of the ship? Despite the danger, Fitz is delighted to be given the chance to do active service again. When things go badly wrong, Kate thinks that bombing the ship with her weapon might be a last option to prevent catastrophe.

Kate and Ellis start work on finding another bioweapon to destroy the variants, starting with using a captured variant. The General decides that Plum Island will now be under the overall command of Wood, Gibson's best friend and colleague, who Jensen doesn't trust. Wood stamps his authority over all operations which in particular angers Fitz, demoted to guard duty with Apollo. Kate and Ellis become aware that everything they say and do are being monitored and they find out just how deep in the initial program Wood was. With Ghost on a recon mission it is Fitz who notices that there are swarms of variants swimming towards Plum Island...

Command bunkers have already been infiltrated and now it is the General at Central Command who is under threat and trying to find a way to stop the variants from getting inside. Beckham's team are on a mission to get to one of the bunkers that they have lost contact with to find an important government member and get the supplies that Kate needs for her newest weapon.

This book was another high octane rollercoaster of action and tension. There are several great action scenes to enjoy like the escape from New York, the raid on the ship, the attack on Plum Island, the two different bunker stories and the tension of developing another weapon to take care of the variants. Add to that the simmering tension of Wood taking over command and there is plenty going on to keep the reader happy. I enjoyed the addition of the German Shepherd Apollo though it gives me something new to worry about! There is also a very shocking finale which I wasn't expecting...

This series continues to greatly entertain with constant plot twists to keep you guessing.
Read May 2017.
5 stars.

Game of Thrones Gossip #25 Qarth

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I did a few spoiler free posts about the series last year but I found that there were other bloggers out there who were also itching to talk more freely about favourite characters and events without spoiling things for those visiting the blog. So I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you nor do I take responsibility for any mistakes on the pages I link you to.

For those of you who stuck with me through my season one posts, thank you loads! Now I'm going to look at the main characters introduced in season two, what our season one characters were doing in season two and looking at all the bests bits. Enjoy the season two posts! 

 
Dany and the Dothraki have struggled through the Red Waste and finally come to the city of Qarth. The Thirteen who have joint rule in the city are prepared to let them enter the city if they can see the dragons. Dany does not wish to do so until they are secure inside the walls and being looked after so it looks as if they are initially going to be turned away to die but Xaro Xhoan Daxos offers to ensure Dany's people behave as his guests.


Xaro is an ambitious man, said to be the richest in the city and he offers his home to Dany and her people, allowing them to recover from the journey. He offers to marry her, splitting his huge wealth with her and helping her to win back the Iron Throne. Jorah is suspicious of him and urges her not to do it, offering to find her a boat sailing out of the city instead and she decides to follow his advice. Xaro is able to tell her that Robert Baratheon is dead and the Starks and Lannisters are fighting each other while the Baratheons have split and each plans to fight the Lannisters. With open war in Westeros, Dany seeks help from The Thirteen to get home but nobody else will help her.


The mysterious Quaithe warns Jorah that men seek power and may be interested in Dany's dragons and warns him about betraying her again. Jorah is already on edge and wants to find a way to leave the city but as he searches for a ship, Dany's dragons are stolen, Doreah is missing and Irri is murdered.


Dany returns from her meeting with The Spice King to discover her guards dead outside and Irri dead on the floor of her room. Dany panics and begs Jorah to find out what happened to her dragons. Xaro takes her to a meeting of The Thirteen to find out what is happening and the warlock Pyat Pree tells her that he took the dragons and locked them in his House of the Undying where she can go to them.


Dany is shocked to discover that Xaro and Pyat Pree have been working together and watches them murder the rest of The Thirteen to seize control of Qarth. Jorah, having been warned by Quaithe that Dany is with the dragon thief meeting The Thirteen, rushes off to find her, getting her safely away. She now has no option but to go to The House of the Undying to find her dragons. It is of course a trap and she is chained up beside her dragons as the warlock explains that she gives power to the dragons and they give power to him. The warlock is unaware that the dragons can already breath fire until Dany unleashes them on him.


A furious Dany leads her guards in search of Xaro and finds him in bed with her missing maid Doreah. The betrayal brings out the cold side of Dany and she locks both of them inside Xaro's empty vault, discovering that he even lied about his wealth. The Dothraki loot the house and head for Jorah's ship and sail for Slaver's Bay.

Gone is the young and shy Dany from the start of series one. Her rebirth from the flames with her dragons has given her confidence and grit, making difficult decisions and being a ruler. She shows that she has the Targaryen ruthlessness in dealing with her enemies so for the first time you can actually see her as the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. I love the way she has been shaped by events and developed into a leader. Her journey continues in season three.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A-Z Bookish Survey


This Book Tag was created by Perpetual Page Turner and the original post can be found here http://www.perpetualpageturner.com/2013/08/some-friday-fun.html but I saw it on https://darquedreamerreads.wordpress.com/

Author You've Read The Most Books From
Probably Richard Laymon. I have two still to read which I'm saving for horror month!

Best Sequel Ever
Michael Stephen Fuchs/Glynn James-Exodus (Arisen book #5)

Currently Reading
Leigh Bardugo-Six of Crows

Drink Of Choice While Reading
Don't drink much when I read but I like Fanta Orange.

E-Reader Or Physical Book
Physical book. They never jam, break down or need recharging...

Fictional Character You Probably Would've Dated In High School

I don't waste time on this book boyfriend thing, I just read.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

I wasn't greatly keen to read Harry Potter, thinking it was a kid's book. 

Hidden Gem

Melanie Karsak-The Harvesting series or RL Naquin's Monster Haven.

Important Moment In Your Bookish Life

Reading Harry Potter brought back my love of reading and I've never looked back!

Just Finished

Melinda Braun-Stranded

Kind Of Books You Won't Read

Erotica, Space sci-fi, western, PNR, monster porn, YA, contemporary, romance, crime, haunted house ghost things, steampunk, historical family saga, gothic/Lovecraft horror.

Longest Book You've Read

Stephen King-IT (over 1000 pages)

Major Book Hangover

Never ever had a book hangover. I finish one, I pick up the next however good or bad the last one was.

Number Of Bookcases You Own

In my bedroom I have six. In the rest of the house we have 1 for books, 6 for dvds and 1 for cds.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times

Stephen King-IT

Preffered Place To Read

In my bed on a cold rainy night!

Quote That Inspires You/Gives You Feels From A Book You've Read

"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie." Lord of the Rings. My dad read me this as bedtime stories and hearing the words still brings back the memories!

Reading Regret

That I don't have more time...or a smaller tbr...

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books in series are published)

Too darn many! I loved the first two in the Tomorrow when the war began series but never got round to the rest. I really want to read this amongst many others.

Three Of Your All Time Favourite Books

Stephen King-IT, Harry Potter 7, Arisen 5

Unapologetic Fangirl/Fanguy For

Harry Potter, Buffy and Game of Thrones!

Very Excited For This Release

George RR Martin-The Winds of Winter...yes, I know! *sighs*

Worst Bookish Habit

Buying too many? *looks away*
 

X Marks The Spot (start top left of shelf and pick 27th book)
Can't be bothered going upstairs to look.

Your Latest Book Purchase
GS Denning-Warlock Holmes, Chris Jameson-Shark Island, Arron Banks-Bad Boys of Brexit and Naomi Alderman-Zombies Run! all came yesterday in the post.

Z-Snatcher Book That Kept You Up Late

Lots of books have that effect on me! The last books I had trouble putting down were George RR Martin's ASOI&F books one and two.

Want to do this tag? Then I tag you!

Can't Wait Wednesday


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at http://www.wishfulendings.com/ to spotlight and discuss books we're excited about but haven't read, which may not even be released yet. 

This Week:Brothers by William R Hunt & Stephen M Truax


As a former Delta Force operator, Victor believes he has planned for every contingency. He and his brother, Dante, a recovering addict, escape the madness of the city and take refuge in a remote New England cabin.

They have food. They have water. They have guns. Everything appears to be going according to plan. Until Dante goes missing. The only clues left behind are blood stains on the floor and horse tracks in the dirt.

Caught in a race against time, Victor must rediscover his long-buried skills to navigate an unpredictable and ravaged landscape. Along the way, he must confront enemies old and new—including himself. Loyalty will be tested. Blood will be shed. Sacrifices will be made. How far will Victor go to protect the only family he has left? 


The cover was the first thing that caught my eye and I can never resist a good apocalypse book with death, danger and disaster! It was published on July 18th so I'll try and grab it soon, maybe a sample first! 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

New-To-Me July Challenge-Mid Month Update!


I can't believe it is this far into the year already but it's time for an update on how my New-To-Me author reading month is going! I will be looking mainly at new-to-me authors that I haven't read before.

Kermit looks like he's going to cry but actually I'm happy enough with progress so far. 11/31 read and 4/31 DNFed. So I've dealt with 15/31 by the halfway part of the month. Not bad! 16 left to tackle and hopefully I'll get to all of them...Next up are The Immortals, Six of Crows and The Shadowkiller in no special order!

NEW-TO-ME AUTHORS

1) Matthew Reilly-Great Zoo of China
2) Patrick Sheane Duncan-Dracula vs Hitler
3) Ryan Graudin-Wolf By Wolf
4) KT Tomb-Dinosaur Island (1 star)
5) MV Stott-Underground Magic (4 star)
6) JA Cipriano-Wardbreaker (3 star)
7) David Bussell-Deathday (3.5 star)
8) Leigh Bardugo-Six of Crows
9) Steve Alten-Meg (3.5 star)
10) Melinda Braun-Stranded (3.5 star)
11) Elizabeth Briggs-Future Shock
12) Jordanna Max Brodsky-The Immortals
13) John Ringo-Under A Graveyard Sky
14) Ann Charles-Dance of the Winnebagos (DNF)
15) Ann Charles-Nearly Departed in Deadwood (DNF)
16) Nicholas Erik-Paradise
17) Mira Gibson-Daddy Soda
18) Renee George-Pit Perfect (3.5 star)
19) Ken Greenhall-Hellhound (2 star)
20) Cynthia Hand-My Lady Jane
21) Saul Tanpepper-Golgotha (2.5 star)
22) Erin Hayes-Damned If I Do
23) Amy Hopkins-Dream Stalker
24) RL King-Stone and a Hard Place
25) Orlando A Sanchez-Tombyards & Butterflies
26) HJ Lawson-New Order (DNF)
27) HD Lynn-The Corner Store Witch (DNF)
28) William R Forstchen-Day of Wrath (5 star)
29) SD Perry Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy (3 star)
30) Simone Pond-Hidden Sight
31) Matthew Scott Hansen-The Shadowkiller

 NEW SERIES BY AUTHORS I LIKE

32) Nicholas Sansbury Smith-Hell Divers
33) MJ Kraus-Death Magic
34) Sonya Bateman-The Cursing Stones 

Book Review: Extinction Edge by Nicholas Sansbury Smith (EH #2)


A BIOWEAPON DESIGNED TO SAVE THE WORLD…
A SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY THAT WILL ALTER HUMAN HISTORY…
AND A NEW THREAT THAT WILL BRING HUMANITY TO THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION.

The dust from Dr. Kate Lovato’s bioweapon has settled. Projections put death counts in the billions. Her weapon was supposed to be the endgame, but it turned a small percentage of those infected with the Hemorrhage Virus into something even worse.

Survivors call them Variants. Irreversible epigenetic changes have transformed them into predators unlike any the human race has ever seen. And they are evolving.

With the doomsday clock ticking, the fractured military plans Operation Liberty—a desperate mission designed to take back the cities and destroy the Variant threat. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham agrees to lead a strike team into New York City, but first he must return to Fort Bragg to search for the only family he has left.


My Review:

At Plum Island, Kate discovers Central Command may have considerably underestimated the Variant population in New York. As Operation Liberty draws closer, Kate warns Beckham that Team Ghost won’t just face their deadliest adversary yet, they may be heading into a trap… 

Kate's bioweapon has killed 90% of the infected population but the others are turning into a variant kind of creature who is more intelligent, more dangerous and more lethal. Kate is horrified by the prospect that ground forces are being sent into the cities to kill the variants, including Team Ghost into New York. She and Ellis think they are going to need another bioweapon to kill the remaining variants and get to work on it.

Beckham and Horn are given permission to go back to Fort Bragg to look for survivors but they are overwhelmed by the amount of monsters in their path and ammunition is in short supply. Rescue comes at the hands of Chow and Jinx with four army rangers, who take them into the tunnels where the survivors are hiding. Horn is about to find out the fate of his wife and children and everyone who was at Fort Bragg when the zombies attacked. Now they are going to need to call for extraction and hope that all of them can make it to the incoming helicopters alive. Seeing a variant who seems to be giving orders to the rest is deeply troubling...

The mission to clear out the cities is about to begin but Kate fears that the number of variants has been badly underestimated but nobody seems prepared to listen to her. As she watches Jensen and Team Ghost prepare for the mission, she fears that a disaster is brewing. But Plum Island itself is going to face it's own problems with an incoming helicopter...

I loved the introduction of the new characters Chow, Jinx and Fitz after losing several members of Team Ghost in the first book. Fitz was a soldier until losing two legs in combat in the Middle East and has been feeling somewhat ignored and useless. When Beckham and Horn arrive and give him weapons so he can fight the zombies, Fitz is given a new purpose and finally feels he can contribute to the war effort. I love his character and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do.  

We are also following a side story of Meg, Jed and Rex who are trapped in a New York firehouse, hiding from the prowling variants in a basement. They witnessed the extraction of Beckham's team from the city and Meg thinks if they can get closer to that area, there is a chance that they might be spotted and rescued. Rex is frightened by the prospect of going out into the open and being attacked by the variants but the packs are getting too close to their hiding place, leaving them little option. As they leave the safety of their hideout, they are ready for trouble.

The fast pace of the story continues in this book which is what makes it such a great read. Team Ghost face several very dangerous situations which leaves your heart in your mouth as you fear for their survival. I love the characters and the plot, and the twist of the bioweapon turning some into this feared new strain was great for the story. I recommend it to fans of zombie books and who like apocalypse books.


Read May 2017.
5 stars

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!  http://www.brokeandbookish.com/   

With TTT still on hiatus, I'm continuing with part 3 of my Best Urban Fantasy Series! 


1) Jennifer Estep-Elemental Assassin
Gin is a deadly assassin and elemental who is determined to find out who killed her friend. With her snarky best friends and an honest cop who has a grudge against her, she must use her skills and magic to defeat the enemy who also has power of their own. This had a lot of action, one romantic scene and feisty characters. I've still to read the rest of the series but I certainly recommend the first book.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6611038-spider-s-bite 

2) Benedict Jacka-Alex Verus
Alex is a mage who wants to be left alone to run his magic shop but others want him to investigate a mysterious delivery to the British Museum, a delivery that other mages are willing to kill each other and Alex for. This is another action packed urban fantasy with quirky characters, talking giant spiders and lots of magic and snark. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series and it's great to find a good UK based one.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12760503-fated

3) MLN Hanover-Black Sun's Daughter 
Jayne inherits a large estate from her dead uncle, along with her own surprise magic powers. Eric and his team were trying to stop evil beings from taking human bodies when Eric was murdered and now Jayne has to join the team. I loved the group dynamic and the varied characters , the action, the way Jayne has no idea what to do but learn on the job. I've yet to read the rest of the series but look forward to it. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4476999-unclean-spirits


4) ES Moore-Kat Redding 
Kat is a vampire with a human companion who build her weapons. She is contacted by a werewolf worshipping cult who want her to destroy a Vampire House who are trying to enslave them but this job is going to be tougher than she thought. This was a grim, dark and gritty read as the MC is in a dark place mentally, and that made it different from most urban fantasy on my shelf. Look forward to the rest of the series.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11776582-to-walk-the-night  

5) Skyla Dawn Cameron-Demons of Oblivion
Zara is a kickass vampire, thief and assassin who is betrayed on her latest job. Vampires are being kidnapped and killed and she teams up with her nerdy biggest fan Peter, slimy Jamie and brooding Nate to solve the mystery. Zara is snarky and amusing throughout the book and I liked her interaction with Peter who has studied legends about her. Funny bits and a ton of action, another series I need to catch up on.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11364186-bloodlines
 
6) John G Hartness-Black Knight Chronicles 
Jimmy and Greg are pretty bad at being vampire detectives and stumble onto a kidnapped children plot and a plan to unleash real evil on the world. These vamps are going to have to recruit help to stay alive and win the day. This was a pretty funny book with hapless vampires as the MCs which I enjoyed. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the rest of the series.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9573469-hard-day-s-knight 


7) Alyxandra Harvey-Drake Chronicles
Solange becomes a full vampire on her 16th birthday like the rest of her family and vampires unhappy with the current Queen are trying to seduce or kidnap her to gain control. The Drakes and Solange's human friend Lucy are determined to protect her from them and their vampire hunter enemies. YA vampire drama that adults can enjoy and a great set of characters. I have actually finished this series!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9573469-hard-day-s-knight

8) Suzy Turner-Raven 
Lilly was abandoned by her parents in the UK and sent to Canada to live with her grandfather, who is part of a friendly shifter community who help Lilly to her own destiny and find a new home. A quest for answers about her parents will put them all in danger. This is not an all action YA but it is beautifully written with a great set of characters that should appeal to young readers. Slight touch of romance but nothing heavy.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11345170-raven

9) CE Murphy-Walker Papers 
Joanne is a police mechanic who witnesses an attack on a woman and goes to help her with the aid of her elderly taxi driver Gary. It brings them to the attention of the mythical Wild Hunt and they see Joanne's shaman powers as a threat to their plans. I loved having a pensioner as a sidekick hero for a change! This book has a really good mixture of action, mythology and great characters. Look forward to catching up with this!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/297929.Urban_Shaman 

10) AZ Green-Hidden Blood
Jaz is kidnapped by a relative and taken to a compound where she discovers that she is a shifter. She starts to learn, make friends and lock horns with her new nemesis while a plot to wreck their Pack is being put together. This gets off to a slower start with not as much action but it is all about the characters, and the plot comes to life through the dialogue. I've still to read book two but I enjoyed this first one.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20797344-beasthood



Monday, 17 July 2017

Game of Thrones Review: Season 7 Episode 1 (spoilers!!!)


Welcome to my Game of Thrones reviews posts which are an episode by episode guide of season 7. The entire post will be nothing but spoilers so don't read it if you intend to watch it! The format will be done as a house by house analysis, not a minute by minute report. 


Walder Frey gathers all the Freys for a special feast where he commends them for their service and for slaughtering the Starks. He admonishes them for leaving one wolf alive, as the men start to gasp and choke from the poison in their way. Arya pulls off her Walder Frey face and tells his young wife who she spared to bear witness to what has happened. House Frey has been destroyed and word of it reaches King's Landing.
 

Jon addresses a meeting of the Lords of the North and states that all Maesters are to search through books for mentions of where to find dragon glass, and that everyone has to mine it for weapons to fight the White Walkers. He asks Tormund to man the castle at Eastwatch by the sea which he agrees to, joking that the free folk are now the Night's Watch, a prospect that unsettles a few Lords. Jon indicates that every male and female aged 10-60 will learn to fight and Lord Glover objects to arming his granddaughter. Lady Mormont scoffs and indicates that she has no plans for knitting and will arm Bear Island and train everyone. He disagrees with Sansa about how to deal with the Houses of Umber and Karstark, who fought for the Boltons. Sansa wants their castles confiscated and given to those who fought with Jon, as they are the first two strongholds south of the Wall. Jon wants to ensure loyalty of the new generation from both houses to have a united North, instead of punishing children, and gets it. A letter from King's Landing demands fealty to Queen Cersei. Bran and Meera arrive at Castle Black and Edd gives them shelter.

 

Cersei tells Jaime that Tyrion is Hand to Dany and asks where she will land. Jaime is sure that it will be Dragonstone and that to fight this war with winter here, they will need the supplies that the Tyrells have. He is disturbed when Cersei says that Tommen betrayed her and she will not cry for any of them. Cersei tells him that Euron Greyjoy is coming to King's Landing and wants a Queen.


Euron Greyjoy arrives to a hostile reception from Jaime and proves himself to be scathing of his fellow Iron Born and the brother he betrayed. He informs that Yara and Theon took their ships to aid Dany but he is serious about an alliance with the Lannisters, and wedding Cersei. He is not surprised to be rejected or not to be trusted but insists he will prove himself by returning with a gift for Cersei.


The Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners are moving north to take on the evil forces that are beyond the Wall. The Hound is uncomfortable to see the house where he stayed with Arya and robbed the father and daughter. He is guilt ridden when he sees that they committed suicide and buries then during a blizzard. He questions why the Lord of Light lets the Beric keep coming back and Th asks him to look in the flames. The Hound gets a vision of the dead marching by the Wall at a castle by the sea and Beric asks if he believes him now.
  

Sam finds his duties tedious, especially tending sick maesters and prisoners, emptying chamberpots and never getting near to the restricted books. The archmaester believes that he was truthful about seeing White Walkers and the Army of the Dead but he can't look at those books. Sam takes matters in his own hands and steals a key from a sleeping maester to get to the restricted section. That night, he discovers that there is a mine of dragon glass on Dragonstone and has to get word to Jon. He is questioned by Jorah, who is locked in a cell, about whether Dany is in Westeros but Sam doesn't know. 


Brienne is pleased when Jon declares that the women and girls are to be trained to fight and she continues her training with Pod, trying to ignore the obvious interest of Tormund. She is unhappy at the continued lurking of Littlefinger, who has been trying to cause trouble between Sansa and Jon.


Dany and her followers arrive at her birthplace and make Dragonstone their new home.

Thoughts:
I loved the opening scene at The Twins. When I heard David Bradley was filming again this year as Walder Frey, I figured it had to be Arya in disguise. How satisfying was it to see her destroy House Frey. My only question is, why did she not release Edmure from the dungeons? Walder said at the feast that Edmure was back in the dungeons so surely Arya heard this? Also loved Tormund making eyes at Brienne, the return of Lyanna Mormont and the redemption of The Hound. He's one of my favourite characters. Loved Sansa ignoring Littlefinger and the march of the Night King. Oh hell he has dead giants! I never saw that coming! Just please, no resurrected Hodor, I couldn't stand seeing that.

Please tell me that this is the season that we get rid of slimy Littlefinger! He's already trying to poison Sansa against Jon and I can't help feeling he is going to betray them all to Cersei at some point. I want to see Arya kill him! I despise Euron Greyjoy and I think there is a high probability based on trailers and spoilers that his gift to Cersei is going to either be Yara or Ellaria or perhaps both...I want to see Jaime gut him like a fish! Bit annoyed with the pop star cameo as I feel it is just pointless to have celebrity fans shoved in there for no reason. I also agree with Greg that it hardly seemed to take any time for Euron to build and launch a fleet to King's Landing. Remember how long it took Sam and Gilly to reach his father's house??? And finally we see the last shred of humanity leave Cersei as she whines about Tommen betraying her. Bitch!

What were your favourite bits and plot thoughts?