Friday, August 29, 2014

Alien™: Sea of Sorrows - Review

Title: Alien™: Sea of Sorrows
Author: James A. Moore
Series: Alien™ Trilogy #2

Synopsis: “As a deputy commissioner for the ICC, Alan Decker’s job is to make sure the settlements on LV178 follow all the rules, keeping the colonists safe. But the planet known as New Galveston holds secrets, lurking deep beneath the toxic sands dubbed the Sea of Sorrows.
      “The Weyland-Yutani Corporation has secrets of its own, as Decker discovers when he is forced to join a team of mercenaries sent to investigate an ancient excavation. Somwhere in that long-forgotten dig lies the thing the company wants most in the universe – a living Xenomorph.
      “Decker doesn’t understand why they need him, until his own past comes back to haunt him. Centuries ago, his ancestor fought the Aliens, launching a bloody vendetta that was never satisfied. That was when the creatures swore revenge on the Destroyer… Ellen Ripley.”

 Review: I did not like this second installment in the new Alien™ series as much as I did the first (read BookGirlR’s review of Alien™: Out of the Shadows here) because my favorite thing about the entire Alien™ franchise is Ellen Ripley. Without Ripley it’s not a part of the Alien™ fanchise, in my opinion. Women today need more strong female role models. Ellen Ripley kicks some serious ass and doesn’t need a man to swoop in and rescue her. The author, James A. Moore, has made his main character Alan Decker a distant relation to Ellen Ripley, but it’s not enough. He’s taken a strong female character and replaced her with a mediocre male character. Not cool Moore, not cool.
      If you read Alien™: Sea of Shadows as if it is not a new installment in the Alien™ franchise it’s not so bad. The setting is creepy; the Weyland-Yutani Corporation is more evil than the Aliens; and there is enough gory action to keep you on the edge of your seat. So, pretend that this is merely a science fiction action thriller, don’t expect it to live up the Alien™ franchise reputation, and you’ll like it fine.

Publisher: Titan Books

If you like this book you may want to read:

This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman

 Species Imperative Series by Julie E. Czerneda

Alien: River of Pain (Alien™ Trilogy #3) by Christopher Golden
**Release Date November 25, 2014**

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The House of the Four Winds - Review

Title: The House of the Four Winds
Authors: Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
Series: One Dozen Daughters #1

Synopsis: “The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.
      “Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.
    “Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.”

 Review:   Mercedes Lackey is my favorite author. It’s hard for me to choose a favorite because I love books so much, and I have several favorite authors, and several favorite series. But Mercedes Lackey is my favorite, of my favorite, authors. I have read her Valdemar series over, and over, and over again. I will never get tired of it. I will read anything with her name on it. Most recently I read The House of the Four Winds.        
     The House of the Four Winds is a fascinating read. I had a busy week last week, and couldn’t read it as quickly as I would have liked, every time I started reading it was torture to have to put it down. This novel has everything you could want in a good read: pirates, adventure, action, romance, cross-dressing, magic and lovable characters!  And can we talk about the cover for a minute?  What a gorgeous work of art!  I want to frame this cover and put it on my wall!  If I could change one thing about The House of the Four Winds I would like a bit more information about what Clarice did after leaving home and before meeting Dominick. Don’t get me wrong, this novel is wonderful just the way it is but adding a bit more information would make it perfect! I highly recommend that fans of fantasy, fans of pirates and fans of romance all read this book!

 **I received this Kindle ARC through NetGalley. **

Publisher: TOR

If you like this book you may want to read: 

The Cipher by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Five Hundred Kingdoms Series by Mercedes Lackey

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Magic Bites - Review

Title: Magic Bites
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Katie Daniels #1

Synopsis: “When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.
      “Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.
      “The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league—but she wouldn't have it any other way…”

Review: After reading Magic Bites I had a few questions. The first is: why, oh why, haven’t I read this series sooner? The second is: why hasn’t anyone told me about this series? And the third question I had after finishing Magic Bites is: How soon can I get the next book in the series?
      Fans of urban fantasy will love Magic Bites. The world building that has gone into creating this novel is amazing. The magic “waves” that come and go and make technology unusable is an awesome and very different concept that I loved. Andrews does a remarkable job playing the cards close to her chest. She gives us only the information we need at exactly the time that we need it and keeps the rest to herself, leaving us wanting more when we finally reach the end of this wonderful introduction to a series.
      My only complaint is the character of Curran. He is obviously supposed to be Kate’s love interest, but I didn’t feel it. There’s no heat between the two other than hatred, they are constantly battling with each other and trying to kill/maim each other. That’s not love, or even lust, in my book. I understand that a Beast Lord needs to be very dominant and alpha, but he could be dominant/alpha and still caring. At the end of Magic Bites I’m just afraid that Kate is going to end up in a relationship with an abusive man/Beast Lord. I hope that this issue gets cleared up in the next installment.
      Overall though, I loved this novel and am looking forward to the rest of the series. Seriously, why hasn’t anyone told me to read this? I wasted so much time reading other books.

Publisher: Ace
If you like this book you may want to read: 

 Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay (read BookGirlR’s review here)

 Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch (read BookGirlR’s review here)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Midnight Crossroad - Review

Title: Midnight Crossroad
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Midnight Texas #1

Synopsis: “Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and the Davy highway. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.
      “There’s a pawnshop (someone who lives in the basement is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).
    “Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…”

Review: Midnight Crossroad is my current favorite book. I finished it last night and I’m still thinking about Midnight, Texas. I loved everything about it! This is the first novel in a new series by Charlaine Harris. The plot starts out a bit slow, but her writing is so interesting that it doesn’t matter and it’s because she is introducing us to an amazing cast of characters. I loved learning about Midnight, Texas and its secretive inhabitants. My favorite character is Mr. Snuggly, all of my LOL moments involved the cat (and I did actually laugh out loud several times. SuperSteve thought I was going crazy). And I had no idea “who done it” until it was revealed, the whole ending was perfect! If you haven’t read it yet go and get it now! If you only buy one book this month make it Midnight Crossroad! I don't regret it and you won’t either!

Publisher: Ace

If you like this book you may want to read:

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

 The Graveyard Queen Series by Amanda Stevens

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Autumn Bones - Review

Title: Autumn Bones 
Author: Jacqueline Carey
Series: Agent of Hel #2

Synopsis: “Fathered by an incubus, raised by a mortal mother, and liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, Daisy Johanssen pulled the community together after a summer tragedy befell the resort town she calls home. Things are back to normal—as normal as it gets for a town famous for its supernatural tourism, and presided over by the reclusive Norse goddess Hel.
      “Not only has Daisy now gained respect as Hel’s enforcer, she’s dating Sinclair Palmer, a nice, seemingly normal human guy. Not too shabby for the daughter of a demon. Unfortunately, Sinclair has a secret. And it’s a big one.
      “He’s descended from Obeah sorcerers and they want him back. If he doesn’t return to Jamaica to take up his rightful role in the family, they’ll unleash spirit magic that could have dire consequences for the town. It’s Daisy’s job to stop it, and she’s going to need a lot of help. But time is running out, the dead are growing restless, and one mistake could cost Daisy everything…..”

Review: I loved the first book in this series, Dark Currents (read my review here) and I think I loved this installment even more! It don't want to give anything important, but once you start reading Autumn Bones things start to happen, and when those things start to happen you will not want to stop reading until you are done. There are some new characters that are interesting, there are some new “romantic” developments that were really, very interesting. Daisy is still trying to keep the town’s harsher elements away from the view of the tourists. She’s struggling with certain elements of her job and her love life is about to take a completely unexpected turn. It’s hard to say too much about Autumn Bones without giving away any spoilers so I won’t say anything more. But, if you are a fan of paranormal fantasy you should check out this series!

  With the third installment, Poison Fruit, being released this October, now is the perfect time.

 Publisher: ROC

If you like this book you may want to read:

 Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop

 The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Man with the Golden Torc - Review

Title:   The Man with the Golden Torc
Author:   Simon R. Green
Series:  Secret Histories #1

Synopsis:  “The name’s Bond.  Shaman Bond. 
     “Actually, that’s just my cover.  I’m Eddie Drood.  But when your job includes a license to kick supernatural arse on a regular basis, you find your laughs where you can.
     “For centuries, my family has been the secret guardian of humanity, all that stands between all of you and all of the really nasty things that go bump in the night.  As a Drood field agent I wore the golden torc, I killed monsters, and I protected the world.  I loved my job.
     “Right up to the point when my own family declared me rogue for no reason, and I was forced to go on the run.  Now the only people who can help me prove my innocence are the people who can help me prove my innocence are the people I used to consider my enemies.
     “I’m Shaman Bond, very secret agent.  And I’m going to prove to everyone that no one does it better than me.”

Review:  I’ve been very lucky with the books I’ve been choosing lately.  It has been awhile since I read a book I didn’t like.  (I originally made a typo and typed that as lick, a book I didn’t lick.  Well… If I like it well enough maybe…) I liked The Man with the Golden Torc.  I didn’t love it, but I liked it.  At first I had trouble getting into it.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it was the alignment of the moon?  The writing is good, the characters and story are entertaining, and yet I kept finding myself putting it down.  But I persevered because I was intrigued by the story and the plot, and I wanted to see how Green was going to pull Shaman Bond, uh… I mean Eddie Drood, out of his tight spot.  Once I reached the midpoint of the novel that was it.  There was no more putting it down.  I had to finish and find out what was going to happen as quickly as possible.  I wasn’t disappointed and you won’t be either.  I’ll be buying the next in the series soon.

Publisher:    Penguin/ Roc
ISBN:   978-0451462145

If you like this book you may want to read: 

Daemons are Forever (Secret Histories #2) by Simon R. Green

The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne (See BookGirlR's review of Hounded here)

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reading "deals"

How far would you go to get a loved one to read a book or series that you just know they will love?  Would you read a book or series of their choosing in exchange?

SuperSteve and I have just made such a deal. He is reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and I am reading The Dark Tower Book I. I just know he will love Harry Potter, but he has been resisting it so I offered to read his favorite book if he would read this. We have to both finish before the end of July.