Sunday, April 12, 2015

Book Review: The Fire Sermon

The Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon, #1)The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: March 2015
Source: Netgalley review copy

 They were born together and they will die together.

One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.

The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts.

The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they're free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts.

Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose.

The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they're not careful both will die in the struggle for power.

This wasn't bad, but altogether it fell short of being something that I would recommend. Even though the main characters were on the run, and it should have felt very suspenseful, I didn't ever feel a whole lot of urgency. The characters and the story just kind of ambled along until the end.

Kip, the love interest, wasn't appealing to me at all. The love story itself wasn't great, actually. To have your hero have amnesia, and no personality whatsoever, is not a good way to draw your readers in and make them root for the couple.

Overall this book felt very blah to me, and while I may read the next book in the series, it's not something I'm really anticipating.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review: Nightbird

NightbirdNightbird by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication Date: March 5, 2015
Source: Netgalley review copy

Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.

I love to read, and in general it doesn't matter what age group a book is written for. If it's well written and interesting, I like it. Having said that, this book just felt way too young to me. It wasn't very interesting, and I didn't really connect with the story. And besides that, it was a little too happily ever after.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review: Flunked

Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School, #1)Flunked by Jen Calonita
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Source: Netgalley review copy

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villain really change?

This wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. As someone who really loves fairy tales, I was expecting to like this a lot more than I did. I think it had a lot of potential, but for me it just failed to deliver. I wish the fairy tale world had been used more, but it felt like mostly it was just name-dropping of fairy tale characters. Overall just not what I was hoping for. Younger readers might like it more than I did, but I've read better middle grade books.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review: Dead Heat

Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4)Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Source: Netgalley review copy

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way...

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire. 

I liked this okay, but it wasn't my favorite by this author. I seem to be liking her books less and less lately. Dead Heat seemed to get really bogged down with all the horse talk, and I found it rather slow in the middle. Even though this is the 4th book in the series, I didn't feel much of a connection with the characters.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Review: Wide-Open World

Wide-Open World: How Volunteering Around the Globe Changed One Family's Lives ForeverWide-Open World: How Volunteering Around the Globe Changed One Family's Lives Forever by John Marshall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: February 2015
Source: Netgalley

John Marshall needed a change. His twenty-year marriage was falling apart, his seventeen-year-old son was about to leave home, and his fourteen-year-old daughter was lost in cyberspace. Desperate to get out of a rut and reconnect with his family, John dreamed of a trip around the world, a chance to leave behind, if only just for a while, routines and responsibilities. He didn’t have the money for resorts or luxury tours, but he did have an idea that would make traveling the globe more affordable and more meaningful than he’d ever imagined: The family would volunteer their time and energy to others in far-flung locales. 

This started off really good, and I was smiling and even laughing a little bit as I was reading. As a person who would love to travel around the world, I thought this was going to be a favorite book for me. And it really started out promising.

But then somewhere around India I started to get a bit bored. I just didn't care anymore, and was ready for the book to be over. I don't know if it's that the author cared a bit less at this point, and didn't try to make the book as interesting, or if I was just over it. Their last volunteer stop just bored me completely, and there was almost nothing interesting about it.

I'm glad I read this, if only to let me know that I probably don't want to go volunteering around the world. I'd rather travel as a tourist, as selfish as that might make me sound.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review: Shadow Study

Shadow Study (Soulfinders, #1)Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Source: Netgalley review copy

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous,

When I saw this available on Netgalley to review, I was pretty excited. I love it when I can get favorite author's books early. I enjoyed this one, but was a little disappointed in it. I felt like it moved a bit too slowly until the end when everything happened way too quickly.

I didn't understand how the story was going to get all wrapped up when there wasn't very much book left. Well, it didn't really get all wrapped up. Obviously there's more to the series, but this book left a lot of things up in the air, and what it did resolve it did so in a matter of pages.

I liked the characters, but the more I read books set in this world, I find Janco less endearing and more annoying. Still, I did enjoy reading this, and will definitely continue on with the series.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review: Snow Falling on Bluegrass

Snow Falling on Bluegrass (Bluegrass, #3)Snow Falling on Bluegrass by Molly Harper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: September 2014
Source: Netgalley review copy

 Kentucky Tourism Commission employee and executive assistant extraordinaire Kelsey is known around the office for having everything under control. So it’s not surprising that she and her boss, Sadie, have everything planned to the second for the office winter retreat. But there are things even Kelsey can’t micromanage.

An unprecedented snowstorm smothers half of Kentucky and knocks out the power, closes the roads, and generally shuts down the state. Luckily, the lodge has working fireplaces and enough food to keep the staff from turning on each other like something out of The Shining. Kelsey wouldn’t mind being stuck inside if it wasn’t for the tension with her not-so-secret crush, Charlie, the office’s statistician. But handsome Ranger Luke, the lodge’s only employee on hand, is there to take Kelsey’s mind off her discomfort.

Even though this weekend is supposed to be a planning session for KTC, Kelsey can’t help her mind from wandering and finds herself conflicted over Luke and Charlie. Someone’s love will keep her warm, but whose will it be?

This is the third book in a series, and I didn't read the first two. But I saw this on Netgalley, and I've liked Molly Harper's books in the past, so I figured I'd give it a try.

I really like Molly Harper's writing. It's easy reading and there's always some humor and fun in the stories. I didn't really get a good feel for any of the characters, though. I feel like maybe I would have "known" them more if I had read the previous two books.

That's not to say that I didn't like the characters. They were fun, and I liked the geeky references some of the characters made. I might go back and read the first two books someday, but I probably won't be in a huge hurry to do so.