Welcome to my train of thought. Just a warning, there might be turbulence. I'm a little eccentric, but hopefully you'll find something here that'll make the crazy worth it. Stay tuned for book reviews, ramblings on random things, and all sorts of stuff that tickles my fancy. But keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. My brain is a scary place!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: Wild Trail

Wild Trail Wild Trail by A.M. Arthur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The story of two guys trying to overcome their painful pasts and find love is nothing new, but A.M. Arthur certainly put a fun spin on this tale. Cowboys are hot, you know. Yowza. This one has everything a cowboy fan would love -- ghost towns, horses, ranches, rugged manly cowboys, and fun fun fun.

Mack seriously pushed every single one of my naughty buttons. I think I'm in love. Wes is cute enough, but I'm jealous. I want Mack all for myself!

I'll definitely be on the lookout for Clean Slate Ranch #2 (Colt's story) and Clean Slate Ranch #3 (Reyes' story). :)

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Review: City of Endless Night

City of Endless Night City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me a copy of this to read in exchange for an honest review.

So as many of you know, the Pendergast series is one of my longest followed and most beloved series. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller with adventure and strangeness mixed right in. This wasn't the strongest entry into the series, what with a relatively predictable villain and a meandering plot with some side stories that felt unnecessary, but it was still a Pendergast book... and one thing that seriously redeemed it was that we got to see a side of Pendergast we haven't seen very deeply before -- and he was VULNERABLE. Pendergast has always been one of those "step ahead of everyone" kind of characters, and it's part of his charm. He's crazy smart, can read people, and knows how to play them to get what he wants... but the events of the last book really brought him into a new realm, and this book played on that new weakness and vulnerability to show this side of Pendergast, and to almost bring him down to a normal human. Of course, it was awesome to see him struggle and find his mastery again, but it was an absolute pleasure to get to see him accept that maybe he's not always the smartest person in the room or the best player in the game.

I think that brought a fresh new perspective to the character, who after 17 books could be at risk of getting stale, right? Who am I kidding? Pendergast is the bomb.

Read this one. It's fun. And if you haven't already, read the rest.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Review: The Girl in the Tower

The Girl in the Tower The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'll begin by saying thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not a historical fiction fan. Occasionally, I can get into it, but not often. Books like this one though, with the hints of magic and deeper moments than many authors are capable of (so many are "oh, info dump about history, here you go!"), really make me want to try harder.

I mentioned in my review for book one, The Bear and the Nightingale, that when I first requested it based off of the description, I was disappointed to learn that it was not a standalone and was in fact the first of a trilogy. I also mentioned that by the end of book one, I was beyond happy that it had worked out that way... well, I'm still thrilled, because it means I get one more book, one more story in this world, one more adventure with one of my favorite heroines of 2017 - Vasya. Seriously, she's everything a good character should be -- strong but vulnerable, brave, smart, flawed, deep, and fiery. She's got the badass thing down pat.

I can't rave enough about Vasya or the depth and beauty of these two books. Give them a shot, even if historical fiction isn't really your thing. They have a fantasy element that kicks it up a notch, and they're beautiful, timeless, powerful stories about how one person can truly make a difference in her world, and how living life the way you're told isn't always the path you should take. Unless it means listening to me telling you to read this. That's one command you need to heed!

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Review: Into the Drowning Deep

Into the Drowning Deep Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

Seanan McGuire, you are a MASTER storyteller. Even when you're writing under your sci-fi/horror pseudonym, I love every single thing you write. I don't know how you do it, and so prolifically. Seriously, nonstop awesome, pouring out of you.

This book reminded me of some of my favorite authors/series, particularly the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. They're a mix of horror and science and mystery, and this felt like a very similar vein to those. I love techno/adventure/sci-fi/horror thrillers, even though the past few years my obsession has turned to urban fantasy more than anything, and knowing that one of the best UF authors out there has a whole extra side to her in one of my other favorite genres is so exciting to me.

This novel was terrifying. Not the whole time, but most of it. Who knows what lies in the deeps of the ocean, waiting for us? The whole thing was just plausible enough to scare the pants off of me.

Seanan/Mira, I was already wary of the ocean, and you've pushed me over the edge straight into #nope. All done with going in the ocean!

Make sure if you pick this one up to grab the prequel novella, Rolling in the Deep, as it sets some of this up and provides you a glimpse into what is coming.

Highly recommended.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review: Thirteen

Thirteen Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read the last 82% of this book in one sitting - stayed up until after midnight! I just couldn't stop. I'm really sad that the series is over. I have a few short story anthologies to read, but the main story is over. She did say in the little note at the end of the book that more might come, one day, for a bigger story. I'd LOVE it. Maybe following the kids???

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Review: The Beautiful Ones

The Beautiful Ones The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin's, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I've heard great things about Silvia Moreno-Garcia, certain great things about her book Certain Dark Things (see what I did there???). I haven't had a chance yet to read it, though I did buy it earlier this year to read, but when I saw this on Netgalley, I had to give it a shot. Telekinesis talked about as if it's relatively normal in this world? Sounds fun to me.

Well, here's the deal... if you're going into this expecting more of an urban fantasy or paranormal romance, you're in for a surprise. The telekinesis aspect, while it plays an important role in the development and relationship between two of the three main characters, is really a tiny part of the story. This book is mostly historical romance, a genre that I typically don't pick up except on rare occasion. So the telekinesis almost felt like it was there to trick me into reading something I normally wouldn't.

...and I'm glad it did. I ended up loving the book! Three compelling main characters, all broken in their own ways. Two of them fight to find something more, and one of them is one of the most despicable and cold and heartless characters I've seen on the page -- but she made for a great villain. Nina, though, stole my heart. She reminded me a lot of myself, and that made for an excellent read as I saw her grow and develop.

There were a few times the pacing felt a little off, and I would have liked a little more of the powers, but those are minor complaints about a really compelling read. I'm glad I took a chance on this. I can't wait now for Certain Dark Things, because if she does for vampires what she did for historical romance with a tinge of the supernatural, then I'm in for a treat.

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