Thursday, July 29, 2010

Library Loot - Latest Additions

Hosted by Marg and Claire, Library Loot encourages you to share what you found at the library and brought home for the week. Or in my case the past couple of weeks :)

1. Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway
2. Jamaica Inn by Daphne DuMaurier
3. French Milk by Lucy Knisley (all 3 are "reloot" for me)

4. Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn
5. The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan
6. Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

7. The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
8. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
9. From Doon With Death by Ruth Rendell

10. Red Hot Fury by Kasey Mackenzie

No matter how hard I try I can't seem to stop putting books on hold at the library...especially after I have been reading through the posts in my Google reader. I know there could be worse addictions but seriously?!?! I'm acquiring books from the library at an alarming rate. Must read faster! I know I can't be the only one out there that bites off more than they can chew but does anyone else wanna share so I can feel like I'm in good company :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hunted By The Others by Jess Haines

Summary from back cover:

"Shiarra Waynest's detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm-if it doesn't kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York's most powerful vampires."

My Thoughts:

What a great start to a new series! I was hooked with this book from the beginning. Shiarra is a private investigator that is in a bit over her head. She is a human dealing with vampires, mages, and werewolfs...all considered to be Others with supernatural talents and abilities. And they all seem to want something from her except that she is unsure as to what, and all she knows for sure is that it can't be good. Shiarra is a great main character and her adventures were fun to read about. She comes across realistically, a bit unsure of herself but willing to put herself out there for those that she cares about. I enjoyed the secondary characters as well which I thought really helped to make the story even better. Her ex-boyfriend is a werewolf, she gets help from a mage, and her partner is a normal human. It made for an interesting cast of characters in my opinion. The plot itself was fast paced and I was instantly caught within the story. I literally flew through this book and couldn't read it fast enough which meant staying up extra late to read it. I'm excited to read more of Shiarra's adventures and am looking forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.

Bottom Line: For me this would be a must read for any urban fantasy fan!

Disclosure: Another book from my local library...
*I read this book for the following challenges:
Speculative Fiction Challenge
New Author Reading Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
1st in a Series Reading Challenge
Debut Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Sunday Salon - It's Been Awhile

Wow! It has been a really long time since I've done a Sunday Salon post. Life just gets in the way sometimes but I have definitely missed participating and sharing everything book-related in my life :) Which makes me very glad to be back and see what you are all up to as well.

On the reading front, I have been reading up a storm lately. Well, maybe not compared to others but for myself I have been reading a lot. Just in the past couple of weeks I have finished 4 or 5 books and it all started with Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman. A book that I haven't even taken the time to review yet. Ugh! Arcadia Falls had a nice dark, slightly creepy atmosphere that left me wanting more. I don't usually read horror novels (and I HATE scary movies) but I've been in the mood for more books like Arcadia Falls. I picked up and finished Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay after that (here is my review) and it still left me wanting more. So I'm opening it up to suggestions with the warning that I don't want too scary...whatever that means to you.

I just finished Changeless by Gail Carriger and loved it! I mean LOVED it! But the ending....oh my. I am absolutely, positively chomping at the bit to get my hands on a copy of Blameless. I'm pretty sure that I cannot wait until the end of August. And I don't care if that is next month, I can't wait! (I'm pretty sure that I cannot use enough exclamation marks when talking about this book as well.) I'm also pretty sure that this book may be the one to break my book buying ban. I'm thinking early birthday present as my birthday is in the beginning of September. But if I do that I might have to add a few others on as well...

I'm currently reading Another One Bites The Dust by Jennifer Rardin. Really enjoyed the first book in the series so I'm hoping that this 2nd book is just as good or better. Not sure what is up after that as I try not to plan too far in advance. I am just too moody of a reader. But I'll admit that there is a good chance that it will be Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn. Which after I read that will leave my waiting impatiently for the next Kitty book. So maybe I'll wait a little bit more...sweet anticipation and all that.

That's it out of me as I'm off to see what all of the other Saloners are off too. Happy reading and hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

As soon as I read Lesley's (A Life In Books) review of this book, I knew that I had to pick it up. It just sounded like a book that I had to read and right away. And when I opened up the book and read this I knew that I had made the right choice.

"Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is Fact or Fiction, my readers must decide for themselves. As the fateful picnic took place in the year nineteen hundred, and all the characters who appear in this book are long since dead, it hardly seems important."

Don't you just love that? I mean I was intrigued from the start after reading that and am happy to report that this book didn't disappoint. First though I should give you a brief (and I mean VERY brief) summary of what the book is about. Picnic at Hanging Rock begins with a group of young girls that are away at a boarding school going away for the day with two of their teachers to Hanging Rock. The story is about the events that happen while the girls are at Hanging Rock and everything that happens afterwards. And that is all that I can tell you since I think that you should go into this like I did not knowing very much.

Let me tell you that I was engrossed within this novel. The atmosphere that this author creates is creepy and tense. I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on, what had happened, etc. I flew through this book which suprised me as this is an older novel which usually takes me a bit longer to read. But the pages just kept turning because I I needed to see what had happened. My only quibble is very minor and that was the ending. It just wasn't what I expected so at first I'll admit to being a tiny bit disappointed. When I thought about it though I decided I liked it more than I thought and on the whole really enjoyed this book.

Bottom Line: Read this book if your in the mood for a book filled with atmosphere that is slightly creepy!

Disclosure: Checked this one out from the library through inter-library loan :)
*I read this book for the following challenges:
New Author Challenge
Suspense/Thriller Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Support Your Library Reading Challenge

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater

I'll admit that I was super excited to read this book just because of all of the hype that has been surrounding this author lately. This fit in perfectly with the Once Upon A Time IV Challenge so I picked it up at the library. I'm really glad I did since this was a good read and an author that I'll certainly read more of.

Deirdre is a talented musician who meets a mysterious boy named Luke at a music recital. From the beginning, Luke is very elusive and seems to know things about Deirdre that she really doesn't know about herself. Because Deirdre is starting to see things that only she can see and all of these new unknowns in her life seem to point to Luke. I really liked the premise of the novel as Deirdre is a Cloverhand which basically means that she can see faeries. Except that she never knew before now that she has this talent and it also means that she is in danger because not all faeries are good or want to be seen. I'm probably one of the few that hasn't read a lot of books about faeries (in fact, the only one that I can think of that I've read was Wicked Lovely) so this was a refreshing read for me. Luke and Deirdre are interested in each other although many of Luke's motives and thoughts aren't shared as to keep the reader in the dark about him. This made me a bit leery of their growing fact, I was much more a fan of Deirdre's best friend James. James was a great secondary character in my opinion whom I wanted to play a more important role than he did. He just clicked for me where Luke didn't. The conflict between Deirdre and the faerie Queen was interesting although it took me awhile to understand the relationship between the Queen and Luke. And the ending was good for me but not what I was expecting. It left things open a bit for another book which I *believe* there already is. All in all, I ended up liking this book and the characters in it. And while I had a few problems with it (mainly not being drawn into it right away) I'm planning on picking up the sequel to this one as soon as possible. I'm interested to see where Stiefvater goes with this story and the characters within.

Final Thoughts: An author that I want to read more of and a refreshing read!

Disclosure: I got this one from the library as usual :)
*I read this book for the following challenges:
New Author Challenge
Once Upon a Time IV Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
YA Reading Challenge
Support Your Library Reading Challenge
Fantasy Reading Challenge

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Library Loot - July Craziness

As always, library loot is a great way to share all of the books that you get from the library. And in my case it is a way to share my love/insanity for the library :) I have a tendency to go overboard....but I bet you can tell that just by looking at all of the covers. A few of the covers are a bit different than mine but that is besides the point. Oh, and I am DESPERATELY waiting for Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn to come in at the library for me. Patience is not my middle name. But here is what I pulled in from the library recently:

The Accidental Sorcerer by K.E. Mills
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay (currently reading)
Pastworld by Ian Beck

A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters
They Did It With Love by Kate Morgenroth
Hunted By The Others by Jess Haines

Another One Bites the Dust by Jennifer Rardin
A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
Into The Darkness by Barbara Michaels

Captivity by Deborah Noyes
Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

There you have it July insanity. Especially considering that I have every single book from my last library loot post still checked out. Seriously. Might have over done it a bit. Maybe. Much thanks to Lesley from A Life In Books who wrote the review that made me pick up Picnic at Hanging Rock. It is deliciously creepy (but not too scary) and I'll be sharing my thoughts on it soon just because I don't think that I can wait to post about it until I'm finished. If I can put it down that is....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Embers by Laura Bickle (thoughts)

Uggh! Why do I wait so long to review books sometimes?? Here is a book that I should have reviewed a month ago and one that I enjoyed so hopefully I can still do it a bit of justice.

Anya is an arson investigator/paranormal investigator that is caught up in the middle of an investigation into a series of fires that aren't normal in the least. Because the fires seemed to have started by themselves with no apparent reasons as to why they have begun or who started them. Anya also works with a team of investigators that deal with the paranormal going-ons in the Detroit area and it is to them that she turns when she realized that her investigation isn't a typical case.

What I liked about this book is that it is such a fresh idea for an urban fantasy. Anya is a "lantern" which basically means that she is able to kinda suck spirits into her and they are gone forever. It is almost like she eats them but not really (does that even make sense??). She works with a mixed group of supernatural investigators who all have their own talents. They work together to get rid of nasty spirits that are causing trouble. Anya also investigates fires as her main job in the real world and her most current job is combining everything she does for a living. She is a great main character because she is so down to earth and relatable. And by relatable I mean that she isn't perfect, doesn't always make the right choices, but is always trying to do her best and to get things right. In my opinion she makes a great main character for this new series. The storyline was interesting and kept my interest throughout the novel. I was left wanting more from the other characters though and felt that they could have been fleshed out a bit more which was my only real complaint with this book. But all in all, I really liked this book and am excited to read more from this author. I want to read more about how being a lantern affects Anya and I want to read more about the other investigators that Anya works with...her "Scooby Doo" team that another reviewer dubbed it :) And I want more of Sparky (Anya's familiar). All in all, I just want more which is always a good thing!

Disclosure- I was lucky enough to be sent this book for review by the publisher...still means that I gave my honest opinion.
*I read this book for the following challenges:
Once Upon a Time IV Challenge
Debut Urban Fantasy Challenge
New Author Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Speculative Fiction Challenge
"B" Author for A-Z Challenge (personal)