Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Review: Inked

InkedInked by Eric Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
Source: Netgalley review copy

Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.

Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.

And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can't escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.

But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.

Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.

Although there were some original elements in Inked, I couldn't help but feel like it was a story I'd read before. There was nothing that really drew me in, and I spent the whole time while I was reading waiting for it to get going. I never warmed up to the characters, setting, plot, or any of it, for that matter.

This might appeal to someone (maybe teenage or younger boys) looking for a book with a male protagonist, but it just wasn't my thing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review: You Had Me at Bonjour

You Had me at BonjourYou Had me at Bonjour by Jennifer Bohnet
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication Date: September 2014
Source: Netgalley

If you’d asked Jessica a year ago, she would have told you that her life was pretty near perfect. But one year – and one very messy divorce – later, she’s not so sure. Which is how she found herself boarding a plane to the south of France, determined to put her past behind her… preferably via some deliciously chilled rosé.
Meeting a new man was never part of the plan. Yet when she meets Nino, her new neighbour’s impossibly sexy nephew, steering clear of romance seems easier said than done. Suddenly, Jessica finds herself right back where she started: with her heart on the line. But now she’s made a new start, perhaps it’s time for Jessica to throw caution to the wind, take a few risks… and learn to regrette rien!

The diary format of this book just really didn't work for me. It was very dry and quite boring. I never really felt much about the main character, and definitely not any of the secondary characters. There was absolutely nothing to pull me into the story.

It was like if I picked up some random person's journal and started reading it, but it was all just boring day to day stuff. Not something I would read past the first couple of pages. But since this was a review book, and fairly short, I pressed on.

I thought I would like this since it's set in France, and I have liked diary formats before (like Bridget Jones's Diary). But the main character has to be interesting, and has to write in a voice that makes me want to read more. This book just fell flat.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Review: Nine by Night pt. 1

I received Nine by Night for review from Netgalley. Since it is nine books long, I will periodically post some short reviews for the books included in the collection. Here are the first two:

Witch Hunt  (Preternatural Affairs, #1)Witch Hunt by S.M. Reine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
 This was okay, but I didn't love it. It's different reading an urban fantasy from a male POV, so I guess that was nice. The romance, what there was of it, was annoying to me. I didn't buy it, and it happened way too fast. Which I guess was my main problem with the book as a whole, is everything moved so fast. There was a lot of plot, but not a ton of world or character building.

Death's Servant (The V V Inn, #0.1)Death's Servant by C.J. Ellisson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I read this as part of the larger Nine by Night collection that I got for review from Netgalley. I really feel like this will only appeal to fans of the V V Inn series, which I had never heard of before reading this novella. I don't think it's aimed at all as an introduction to the series, because it just didn't seem to be written in a way for the reader to meet and connect with these characters.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Review: I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas

I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas (Half-Moon Hollow, #2.7)I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas by Molly Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: December 2013 on audio, November 17, 2014 on ebook
Source: Netgalley review copy

College co-ed Gigi is headed home to Half-Moon Hollow for her first Christmas since her sister, Iris, was turned into a vampire by her beloved undead husband, Cal. Iris is working overtime to make this holiday as normal and special as possible. After all, it’s taken her months of working with Jane Jameson and the Hollow’s vampires to convince herself that she won’t bite her baby sister on sight.

Gigi has her own worries. She’s falling out of love with her high school sweetheart, Ben, and has no idea how to tell him. She’s got a secret job interview with terrifying teen Council official, Ophelia Lambert. And there’s a handsome but cagey vampire following her around town and then disappearing before Gigi can confirm that he’s not, in fact, a figment of her fertile imagination. Holidays with family are complicated. Christmas with an undead family can be downright dangerous.

This was a really fun read for the holidays, when you're busy and you don't have a whole lot of time or brainpower. It was really short, and I did feel like it ended rather abruptly. I realize it's a short story, and part of a larger series, but I really thought that we would at least find out who the mystery vampire was. Granted, I haven't read any of the other books in this series, so maybe it made more sense to those who had. I have read the Jane Jameson series, though. So this world wasn't entirely new to me.

I enjoy reading this author's books, and they always make me laugh, or at least smile.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: Storm Siren

Storm Siren (Storm Siren, #1)Storm Siren by Mary Weber
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication Date: August 2014
Source: Netgalley review copy

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

I don't think this story was necessarily bad, but something about it just didn't click for me. I the the plot idea was fine. The characters all seemed well thought out. I just didn't connect with either the characters or the story.

And there were a couple of quirks that the writer had, that once I noticed seemed to happen every few pages and really drew me out of the story. The most noticeable was the counting. The narrator would say something like: I took one, two, three steps over towards him.

Also, this being the second in my recent reading history to be written in first person, present tense, I've realized I don't care for that style of writing.

Still, as I said, this is not a bad book. There are some interesting things going on, and some good twists and turns. It just wasn't for me, and I won't be continuing with the series.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Review: This Is Your Afterlife

This Is Your AfterlifeThis Is Your Afterlife by Vanessa Barneveld
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Source: Netgalley review copy

Keira is a high school girl who suddenly has the ghost of a classmate show up in her room. He has been missing for a few days, so obviously they figure out he must have died. Her and the boy, Jimmy, decide that have to find out how he died in order for him to "move on". She enlists the help of Jimmy's brother, Dan, who she has been friends with for a long time.

I liked Keira well enough. She seemed to take the events that came at her fairly well. But as a detective solving a mystery she was pretty horrible. The romance that built up between Keira and Dan was nice, and it was nice to read a YA novel without a love triangle for a change.

This was a very short, easy read, which is nice if you're looking for something that doesn't require a lot of time commitment or brain power. I don't know if I'd seek out more by this author in the future, but I would be averse to reading another of her books if it sounded good.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review: Trace of Magic

Trace of Magic (Diamond City Magic, #1)Trace of Magic by Diana Pharaoh Francis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: September 2014
Source: Netgalley review copy

Even the most powerful tracers can’t track you if the magical trace you leave behind is too old. But I can track almost anything, even dead trace. That makes me a unicorn, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Lock Ness Monster all rolled into one. In a word, I am unique. A very special snowflake. And if anyone ever finds out, I’ll be dead or a slave to one of the Tyet criminal factions.  
Riley Hollis has quietly traced kidnapped children and quietly tipped the cops to their whereabouts one too many times. Now she’s on the radar of Detective Clay Price, a cop in the pocket of a powerful magic Tyet faction. When he blackmails her into doing a dangerous trace for him, Riley will have to break every rule that keeps her safe. Or become a Tyet pawn in a deadly, magical war. 

If I think about it too much, it would be pretty easy for me to start nitpicking this book and listing all its flaws. Ignoring that, I really enjoyed reading it, and thought it was a good start of a new series. I didn't much care for the romance, and felt like the love came way too quick. But that seems to be normal for romance books, which this partly is. The magic system, and fantasy part of the book was interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it all goes.