Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams (thoughts)

From the back of the book:

"Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around-and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn't need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way."

I was hooked on this book from the very beginning. I've come to realize as I share my thoughts on books how important characters are to the story for me and Ms. Williams didn't disappoint. Both Tara and Harry were characters that I instantly took to. I was curious about their history and the relationship that was going on between them. Tara was a strong, likeable character with a layer of strength that surrounded her. She also had a mysterious history with the Delpi Daughter's that I wanted to read more of. What I also liked about this book was the history that the author incorporated into the storyline. The storyline was centered around the Chernobyl disaster which is sadly something I knew nothing about. I'm the first to admit that I'm not good with history (it was one of my weaker subjects in school), but how did I not know about this??? After finishing this book, I wanted to learn more about Chernobyl and what happened there. The author used this nuclear accident to create a book filled with suspense and intrigue. I wanted to know what was going to happen next and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I also enjoyed the fact that Tara was a Tarot card reader. It was interesting to read about the different meanings of cards and see how the author was able to incorporate it into the story. This was such a great read and I especially liked how the author veered away from the standard urban fantasy storyline to create something entirely unique.

All in all, this was an original urban fantasy read that I couldn't get enough of. It is the 2nd book in a series and I will definitely be picking up Dark Oracle soon! Recommended to fans of urban fantasy and I cannot wait to read more by this author!

Disclosure: I received this book as part of Gallery and Pocket Book's SciFi/Fantasy Blog Tour Group. The thoughts are all my own :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

B is For Burglar by Sue Grafton (thoughts)

In B is for Burglar, Kinsey Millhone is back and in search of a missing woman. At first the case seems to be a simple matter that can be solved within a couple of days, but as Kinsey begins to dig it becomes apparent that everything isn't what it seems. And the more that Kinsey searches for the missing Elaine, the more questions arise as everything begins to not add up. Can Kinsey figure out what has happened to Elaine before she finds herself in danger??

I am hooked on this series! Sue Grafton has created such a likeable, realistic female protagonist in Kinsey. She is an absolute delight to read about. What I really liked about this book is that Kinsey is still dealing with everything that happened in the previous book. I can't go into details without revealing spoilers but suffice it to say that it made the series that much better in my opinion. And it made Kinsey that much more awesome as a main character. The mystery in this book was page turning. I was constantly guessing and trying to figure out what had really happened to Elaine. And let me tell you that I didn't see the ending coming whatsoever. After finishing the book though, I realized that there were a few questions left open. I'm wondering if maybe the answers will be in the third book or if the author will just leave it the way it ended. I'm interested to see for myself and can't wait to snatch up the 3rd book!

All in all, this was a really great read and also really helped to cement my enjoyment of this series. I can't wait to see what kind of troubles Kinsey will get herself into next. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a good mystery series!

Disclosure: Another read from my local library!

And here is a link to my review of A is for Alibi if you are interested (this is the 1st book in the series)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Sunday Salon - What to Read Next??

Good morning Saloners! It is a lazy, rainy Sunday morning and we are all laying around with an episode of Scooby Doo playing in the background. I love that my kids love Scooby Doo :) It is one of those cartoons that I actually enjoy watching with them.

These past two weeks have been really solid weeks of reading for me as I've been able to finish three books. First I finished Merely Magic by Patricia Rice but don't expect to see a review until the first week in March when the book comes out. It has been a long time since I read a romance so it made for a nice change of pace in my reading although it was just an okay read. I then finished Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams for a blog tour on February 24th. I really liked this one and can't wait to go back and read the first book in this series. Finally, last night (and all day yesterday off and on) I flew through B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton. How I am loving this series!!! I just did not want to put this book down and was able to read it in two days.

But now the problem remains....what to read next? I have plenty of fact too many choices is more likely than not enough. I'm leaning towards one of these three though.

These all look and sound so good!!! And the covers...I'm having a hard time deciding which of these lovely books I should pick up next. Have you read any of these?? Suggestions for which one I should pick?? For now because it is such a gloomy day, I think I will continue reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I hope all of you have a wonderful week! And I'll be by to visit blogs later tonight :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stray by Rachel Vincent (thoughts)

Rachel Vincent's werecat series is one of my favorite urban fantasy series even though I've only read the first 3 or 4 books. And with the final book in the series having recently come out, I decided that before I continued on I would reread the beginning books. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this book just as much as the first time that I read it.

Faythe is a female werecat that wants nothing more than her independence from her family and Pride. Unfortunately, that isn't something she is likely to get since a couple of the other female tabbies have gone missing. But Faythe isn't about to let anything stop her from gaining the freedom that she desires. And now she is about to bite off more than she can chew in her attempt to get it.

I love this series for a variety of reasons with the main reason being that I literally CANNOT put these books down. And although I was rereading this book, I was still completely engrossed throughout the entire story. The book is such a fast-paced read that I found myself saying just one more page and reading five more chapters instead. The only problem that I had with this book was definitely a minor one but it was present for the first half. I found that I was less patient with Faythe this time around. And I think that is because this was a reread for me and I knew what would happen in later books. So it was hard for me to watch her make a few bad decisions...because I knew what was going to happen next. But I found that this still didn't detract from the overall reading experience for the most part. And I definitely still really enjoyed this book. If you haven't read this series yet, then what are you waiting for??? Recommended for sure!

Disclosure: Checked out again from the local library (my copy was missing a few pages from the beginning which was so frustrating....what can you do though??)

And here is the link to my review from the 1st time reading (quite short and sweet)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Feed by Mira Grant (thoughts)

From Goodreads:

"In 2014, two experimental viruses -a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as "Marburg-Amberlee"-escaped the lab and and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.

It raised the dead.

Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all:

When will you rise?"

Sorry but I had to cheat and use Goodreads summary as I was struggling for the words on my own. So let's start off with the fact that I loved this book. Loved it! I'm seriously thinking that this book has blown every book that I've read so far this year (and a good majority of last year's reads) out of the water. I enjoyed it that much! Feed is one of those books that sucks you in and doesn't let go. I didn't want to set it fact all I really wanted to do was sit and read which made getting anything else done a bit difficult. And I loved the fact that I was so caught up within the story that I would find myself reading nonstop for long periods of time or staying up late to keep reading. That almost never happens anymore.

One of the things that made this book so great in my opinion was the world building that the author creates. Feed was so incredibly detailed that I found myself feeling like I was living in Shaun and Georgia's world. A world of fear and change, with the knowledge that eventually no matter what everyone becomes the undead. It was a bit eerie, I have to admit. But the details and descriptions pulled me deep down into their story and the world that the characters lived in. I really liked the characters and the connection that Georgia and Shaun had with each other. I loved that they were bloggers and the important role that the author gave blogging within the story. And the storyline itself was great for so many different reasons. I found it refreshing to see that the author was able to keep the storyline almost realistic considering that zombies were involved. The way that it was written made it seem like it could almost really happen, that this was all really possible, and the results were pretty bleak. The story was fast paced throughout and there were a couple of twists that really surprised me. And the end. I don't even know what to say other than it was heartbreaking.

This book will hands-down be going on my top ten reads this year. I can just about guarantee it. I loved everything about this novel and don't have a single negative thing to say. So I'll leave you with a very high recommendation(READ IT!!), and I'll be waiting most impatiently for the 2nd book in this trilogy to come out.

P.S.- Did you know that this is pseudonym for Seanan McGuire?? I have the first book from her other series checked out from the library and I can't wait to read it now!!

Disclosure- I checked this book out from the library so my gushing review was all my own and not because I received it from anyone :) Just saying...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

It's true what they CAN sleep anywhere :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

January Review and Randomness

It blows me away just sitting here thinking that January has come and gone already! How fast the times goes....just the other day my youngest took his first steps. It was breathtaking to watch but I have to admit that I cried a bit. I guess I'm not quite ready for him not to be a baby yet and didn't realize it :) Even though he just turned one (literally a week before his 1st steps), looking back has made me just that much more conscious of time and how fast it goes. He is a joy each and every day though and I couldn't ask for a better baby. But on to bookish news :)

January was a good reading month for me as I was able to read and finish four books. Surprisingly enough I was also able to review all four of them which may be a first for me. I'm so proud of! In January I read the following (reviews are linked on my 2011 reads page):

  1. The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
  2. Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

  3. Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn

  4. Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

My favorite read of the month was Cold Magic by Kate Elliott but I was lucky enough to enjoy each book that I read. I also began reading Wuthering Heights in January but that is one that is continuing on into February. I just finished Feed by Mira Grant which was amazing. I can tell you right now that this is one book that will be on my top reads list this year. And now I'm about to begin a reread of Stray by Rachel Vincent. It is looking like February is going to be a really good month of reading as well!

But to continue on in my randomness, I have a question for all of you. Do you ever feel guilty for not reading?? The other day before I fell asleep I was pondering this in bed. It had been a crazy day at work, we all went grocery shopping afterwards (and yes my entire family goes grocery shopping, fiancee, and all), and when we finally got home it was a must for the kiddos to watch the DVR'ed American Idol episode. They love it. Followed by a couple of episodes of The Middle (also DVR'ed) and I was heading to bed. Where I promptly realized that I hadn't touched a book whatsoever the entire day. And normally this might not have bothered me if I wasn't reading such a GOOD book and I wasn't getting so CLOSE to finishing. I was too tired to read by then but obviously not too tired to think :) And wish that I had gotten the chance to read a little bit more of my book. But it got me thinking about all of the books that I want to read and if I should feel guilty that I had taken the day off of reading.

Ultimately, my sleep deprived brain shut down but not before realizing that taking days off from reading and books is not just okay but also a good thing once in awhile. Because books may help keep my sane on my craziest days, but there are also times when I need something else. And that day I needed nothing but relaxation and television. To be specific: The Middle. Because that show never fails to make me laugh. Does anyone else wonder why Brick whispers to his stomach?? And Sue's character?? I love it! And relaxing with my family made my day that much better. Ultimately, it comes to the fact that taking breaks from reading helps to keep reading fresh for me and helps me to avoid slumps as well. But I've still gotta ask if you ever feel guilty for not wanting to read?? Anyone??