Monday, January 31, 2011

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane (thoughts)

Dennis Lehane is fast becoming one of my favorite authors for a number of reasons but the main reason being I love the characters he creates. This book is the 6th book in the series and even though I've never read any of the previous books, I still grew to care about the characters from the very beginning of the story.

Moonlight Mile begins with private investigator Patrick Kenzie getting a late night phone call and then being approached by a former client the next day. The client is the aunt of a young girl that Patrick found years ago and was also part of a case that still haunts him to this day. Now she believes that her niece is once again missing but the problem is no one will believe her including the police themselves.

I was pulled into this story almost instantly mainly because the characters were so likeable and so realistically portrayed. I loved the relationship between Patrick and Angie from the very beginning. Their relationship wasn't perfect, nor did they pretend like it was, but it came across as real and it played an important role throughout the story. Patrick seemed to be at a crossroads with his job as a private investigator at the beginning of the story and that came across as realistic as well. I liked how all of the storylines worked together within the book. Although this was a suspenseful read, what really made the story come alive for me were the characters. I was constantly rooting for them and wanting to make sure that everything turned out okay for them. The storyline itself was good and helped to make this a book that I didn't want to put down. After reading Shutter Island last year, I figured that I would never know exactly what was going on. And I was right....I didn't see the ending coming whatsoever and was surprised by how everything turned out. My only complaint isn't really a complaint, but I have to admit to wondering if I missed anything starting this far into the series. I didn't feel like it was a problem while I was reading the story though. I just think that I would like to see Angie and Patrick's relationship evolve from the very beginning. All in all, I am really glad that I got the chance to read this series and will definitely be going back and starting at the very beginning. Recommended to anyone looking for a suspenseful read!

Disclosure: I was sent this book for review from a Shelf Awareness offer by the publisher (I belive) in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Library Loot - January Edition

Sorry for the lousy's getting late and I was feeling a bit lazy. I realized the other day that it had been awhile since I shared my latest library finds and so I thought I better share my madness. Because if looking at my stack of craziness doesn't make you feel better about your own stack of books...well, then maybe you should keep in mind that this isn't all of it. Aack! I'm thinking that I should probably stop going to the library for a bit. But realistically that isn't going to happen as I still have a few books on! I told you I had an addiction to the library :) Anyways, from top to bottom here is what I've brought home lately:
  • Amazon Ink by Lori Devoti

  • Taken By The Others by Jess Haines

  • B is For Burglar by Sue Grafton

  • Destiny Kills by Keri Arthur

  • Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

  • Stray by Rachel Vincent (I did decide that I want to reread this series before I move on to the 4th book)

  • Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux (And I squealed when I saw this one waiting for me on the holds shelf)

  • These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

  • Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda by J.P. Stassen

  • Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisen (This is for the Women of Fantasy of Book Club that I had to join after I read Christine's post on it)

Oh boy! What have I gotten myself into? So many books, and so little time is such an understatement when I look at my pile from the library. But they all look and sound so darn good that I seriously can't resist. And you know the library is free, right? I felt like I should emphasize that because if I had bought all of these ....oh boy! What do you think I should read first out of this stack?? Recommendations or thoughts are much appreciated. And now I'm think that I should probably go dive into my current read :) Thanks to Marg and Claire for hosting Library Loot...make sure you share what you've checked out from the library lately!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn (thoughts)

Kitty Goes to War reinforced why I love this series so much! Filled with action and some suspense throughout the book, I found this to be a fast-paced enjoyable read. I can't wait for more and am now anticipating the next book more than ever.

In this installment Kitty is dealing with a multitude of problems. She has been asked to help deal with some military werewolves that have gone rogue and are now a danger to her pack and society. She is being sued for libel and is dealing with the lawsuit. And on top of everything she has to be the one to lead and protect her pack. With everything going on, it's no wonder that Kitty has her hands full!

I love this series for a variety of reasons but the main reason is that each book is so enjoyable. I like reading these books, I like Kitty, and when I'm finished I look forward to reading the next book. Makes it pretty easy to see why this is one of my favorite series, doesn't it? One of the things that makes this series so different is that Kitty is married which isn't something you see in many urban fantasy series out there. I really enjoyed the fact that in this book we got to see more of Ben, Kitty's husband, and we also got to see more of their relationship together. I love the chemistry that the author has created between these two characters and find it refreshing to read about. Each storyline in this series is unique and this book was no different. I thought the idea of werewolves in the military was original and I also found it interesting to see how Ms. Vaughn tied it in with actual events going on today. Be warned as this is spoilery (don't say I didn't warn you) but the whole twist with Cormac really surprised me. I can see this being dealt with in future books and I'm curious to see what Kitty does with it. All in all, this is a series that I highly recommend although I really think that you should start at the beginning. As for me...well, I'll be waiting impatiently for the next book to come out :P

Disclosure: I snatched this book off the shelves of my local library!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sunday Salon - Rereads

Good morning saloners! January is flying by and the weather here is cold, cold, cold. Cold enough that my son got to stay home from school on Friday with the young ones which meant a nice three day weekend :) Well, except for me as I had to work of course....but the rest of the family stayed inside nice and cozy.

I've been reading up a storm this week which is a nice change of pace for me. I just finished reading Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn (be on the lookout for my review this week) which was a fast, enjoyable read. I'm now reading Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane. Shutter Island was one of my favorite reads last year so I have high hopes for this book. Although I didn't realize that this book is part of a series, I'm liking what I've read so far. And now I'll just have to go back and start at the beginning of the series of course :) I'm also about to begin Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This will be my 1st classic of this year and I'm both excited/nervous to read it. Has anyone else read this or is anyone currently reading this?? I just love the cover of the edition I'm reading which helps make me want to pick it up and read it...I'm a nerd like that :)

But I've been thinking about rereading lately which brings me to the topic of my post. I'm a series reader which I'm sure most of you know. I love series and finding new series to begin. But lately I've realized that I read so many different series that I sometimes feel the urge for a reread in the middle of the series. Case in point would be Rachel Vincent's werecat series. I've read the first three books but rather than continuing on to the fourth book, I'm thinking of starting at the beginning and rereading the previous books first. Part of the reason why has to do with her recently publishing the last book in this series (I believe there are 6 total) and part of it has to do with it being over a year since I've read this series. Does anyone else reread books from series?? I'm considering doing this with a couple of other series where I've only read the first book and never actually continued on with. And this doesn't only apply to books that are in series. I've been seriously considering rereading The Thirteenth Tale and Rebecca which were both books I read in 2008. But there are so many other good books that I still haven't read as well. Are you a rereader? Why or why not??

I'm off to read and comment on everyone's posts that are in my reader...that is until the Bears come on. And then all bets are off as it will be football Sunday for the rest of the day :) Happy Sunday to everyone!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bloggiesta Goals

It's time for Bloggiesta and all of the fun that comes along with it to commence! Or actually it has already begun but now I'm joining in on the fun :) It's the perfect time to work on our blogs and get all of those tasks that we've been thinking about doing, planning on doing, or just have been procrastinating on doing...well, it's time to get them done! And I can't help but wonder how many of us ate tacos tonight?? I know I did. I think that Bloggiesta makes me hungry :) Here's a list of some of the things that I would like to get achieved over the weekend:
  • Catch up on some reviews (I only have one review from this year that needs to be written but there are plenty of books I read in 2010 that still need to be reviewed)
  • Write up a few On My Wishlist (Radar) posts
  • Write up a new library loot post
  • Link up my reviews to my books read pages for 2008, 2009, and 2010
  • Update my blog links in the sidebar
  • Join those last couple of challenges that I've been meaning to sign up for

I'm sure that I'm going to add to this list as I go but this is a pretty good start for now. I have absolutely no idea how many hours I'll be able to devote to bloggiesta with my kids causing chaos all around me but I'm sure going to try :) Ole!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott (thoughts)

Can I just start off by saying that I loved this book? Cold Magic is just one of those books that grabbed me and didn't let go. Filled with twists and turns, I was utterly entralled throughout the story and now all I want is more.

This is the story of Cat and Bee, two young women going to college and living during The Industrial Revolution where the story is set. But there is magic in this world, cold magic, and before they know it they are ripped away from each other and the only lives that they have ever known by cold mages. Their lives are turned upside down and danger is lurking around every corner. The question remains, who can they trust?

I can do nothing but sing this book's praises. The world that the girls' live in is fantastically described, and I was caught up within the pages of the story instantly. The storyline itself was fast paced and filled with surprises. There were a couple of times where I was reading (thinking I knew what was going to happen next) and just had the rug pulled out from underneath me. It took my breath away and all of a sudden I was frantically reading the pages as fast as I could trying to see what was going to happen next. I loved it. I loved the experience of reading this book, never really knowing what was going to happen next, and just going along for the ride that the author was taking me on. It was an amazing journey as this book was a chunkster at a little over 500 pages. And the characters were great as well. Both Cat and Bee were well fleshed out characters and even though this was mostly Cat's journey, I still grew to care about what happened to both characters. I also liked that this book was filled with different types of characters like trolls, cold mages, and an eru. It helped to make the story that much more interesting. I'm pretty sure that I don't have a single complaint with this book. All in all, this is a book that I am still thinking about after finishing a couple days later and one that I would highly recommend. All I have to say is Ms. Elliott, would you please write fast...I cannot wait for book 2 in this trilogy!!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Orbit Books...I'm pretty sure that I love them now after reading this book :) And of course this is my honest opinion.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On My Wishlist (Radar) #3

On My Wishlist is my way of sharing all of the books that I cannot wait to get my hands upon and read. These are all 2011 releases and I can't wait till they come out. It is so hard to be patient sometimes...especially when I want to read them RIGHT NOW!

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

"Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

I love the sound of this and you can bet that I will be picking it up as soon as it comes out.

Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

"The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. She has to save her sister from her mysterious captors. And in order to do that, she has to broker a deal between the mages and the vampires before all hell breaks loose. But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won't be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about, she's got to save herself from the ghosts of her past. Because the past is haunting her. Literally."

I've been waiting and wishing for this book every since I read The Mage in Black. I want it so badly...must read it soon!!!!

Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle

"Enter the world of the dark dynasties....

For centuries, shapeshifting vampire Tynan MacGillivray has prowled the night as an outcast, valued only for his ferocious hunting skills. When a feud among the immortals escalates into all-out war, he is ordered by his ruthless queen to locate a Seer- a human woman with a special gift- who can secure victory for their clan. Ty's search leads him to a quiet New England town, but once he has the seer in his grasp, her touch awakens within him a hunger like he's never known..."

I love, love, loved this author's previous trilogy so I can't get my hands on this one fast enough. I'm hoping it is just as good as the Highland books :)

Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux

" One woman's story as she blogs- and fights back- the zombie apocalypse.

Allison Hewitt and her five colleagues at the Brooks and Peabody bookstore are trapped together when the zombie outbreak hits. Allison reaches out for help through her blog, writing on her laptop and utilizing the military's emergency wireless network (SNET). It may also be her only chance to reach her mother. But as the reality of their situation sinks in, Allison's blog becomes a harrowing account of her edge-of-the-seat adventures (with some witty sarcasm thrown in) as she and her companions fight their way through ravenous zombies and sometimes even more dangerous humans."

I CANNOT wait to get my hands on this one. Zombies and a bookstore = awesomeness in my opinion which means that this should be a winner for me.

Don't you just love all of these covers? I have to limit myself when I do these posts or I add too many books to my TBR list. I just can't seem to help is a book addiction :) Any other new or old titles to add to my wishlist?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee (thoughts)

My first read of 2011! I chose this book to read first as I've heard good things all over the book blogs and the synopsis sounded interesting. For instance on the back of the book it gives this very short but succinct summary:

"In the gritty world of Victorian London, in a house with many secrets, nothing is as it seems...least of all Mary Quinn."

What a perfect way to describe this book! Because Mary Quinn is a spy working undercover in her first assignment as a companion to a difficult young woman with secrets of her own. In fact, everyone in the household where Mary works seems to have secrets and hidden agendas. This was a fast paced read that hooked me into the story from the very beginning. I loved the idea of a young woman (especially during this time period) being a spy and Mary's adventures were a lot of fun to read about. Mary has a lot of spunk to her character and I liked her from the beginning. I also liked that there was a history to her...a past that even she doesn't completely know but that she began to learn about in the book. It made her background more mysterious and I'm anxious to see what else she will learn in future books. The atmosphere of the book was filled with suspense at certain moments which caused me turn the pages even faster. And I enjoyed the gritty Victorian feel that was present throughout the novel. I find that I am quite a fan of reading books set in this time period and the mystery aspect just was an added bonus. I didn't end up having any major complaints with this book although the ending wasn't quite a surprise for me. But it was a good mystery overall. All in all it ended up being a good read to begin the year with, and I will definitely be reading more in this series in the future just to see what kind of trouble Mary gets herself into next.

Disclaimer: Obtained from my local library :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kiss At Your Own Risk by Stephanie Rowe (thoughts)

Kiss At Your Own Risk is one of those books that I just had to pick up after reading the premise for it. It sounded like such a fun read!

"Trinity Harpswell is a cursed Black Widow-death and mayhem are all part of the job description. If she can manage to go just one more week without accidentally killing someone, she'll break this killer curse and put her Black Widow days behind her. When sexy Blaine Underhill III shows up at her door and asks for her help rescuing his friend from the clutches of Death's evil grandma, Trinity gets pulled into a daring high stakes adventure." (Synopsis from Goodreads)

Doesn't that sound cute and fun? And I was in the mood for a fun romance so I figured I would love this book. But really I was left with mixed feelings. Was it a fun read? Yes. But it was also a book that left me feeling a bit frustrated and to be honest I'm not quite sure why. The attraction between the two main characters worked for me and although there was obviously a huge obstacle (the Black Widow thing and all), I was interested in the relationship. I wanted to see how things would work for the two of them and how they would resolve their problems. I liked the concept of Trinity having this Black Widow curse which basically meant she killed any man that she loved. And there were some really strong parts of the story that kept me entertained throughout. But I kept finding myself with mixed feelings towards the main characters at certain points. Trinity had dated a serial killer in the past (and then killed him herself accidentally) but her reasons for dating him...the whole scenario itself...did not work for me. And it was the little things like this that took away from the reading experience for me with this book. On the whole, I did end up liking it enough that I would read more by this author but I wasn't completely sold on it. I'm interested now in reading other people's thoughts on the book just to see if anyone felt the same way. And I'm curious to see what the author will do next with these characters in future books or where the storyline may go next as there were a few things left open.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Sourcebooks. My thanks to Danielle!