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!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher

The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher
Published 2014, Quirk Books
Stars: ★★★☆☆

This Star Wars retelling in the form of a classic play was entertaining and highly clever, but much of it felt forced.  I enjoyed it, but I didn't LOVE it.  I'd consider reading more at some point in the future, but it won't be a series that I *have* to read RIGHT NOW.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
Published 2011, Del Ray (US version)
Stars: ★★★★★

"Oh, a shiny new blender!!! Let's throw some stuff in."

*digs around in the shelves*

"Let's start with a British crime procedural type mystery!"

*picks up a Ruth Galloway book by Elly Griffiths and tosses it in, then rummages around for something else*

"OH! An Anne Bishop novel about The Others... in it goes!"


"Needs a little something else... EUREKA!"

*grabs a Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher and throws it in*

"And one last little touch."

*picks up a shaker full of pop culture and other fiction references and shakes in a large portion*

"There... now it's perfect!"

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Undying Legion: Crown & Key #2 by Clay and Susan Griffith

The Undying Legion: Crown & Key #2 by Clay and Susan Griffith
Published 2015, Del Ray
Stars: ★★★★☆

In exchange for an unbiased and honest review, Netgalley gave me this ARC.  Thanks, Netgalley!

It took me a while to get into this one.  Not because of the book itself, but because for a week or so I was in a serious reading slump.  I just had no motivation to read (or do much of anything else). 

I picked this one back up yesterday after the off and on, a bit here and a bit there reading for a week or two, and tore into it.

These books are just pure unadulterated fun.  I mean seriously, the Skin of Ra in this one? So creative!

I don't want to give too much away, so I'll stop before I get too wordy, but the magic, the villains, the fun steampunk, even the slightly cliched/trope characters are just loads and loads of entertainment.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cracked by Eliza Crewe

Cracked by Eliza Crewe
Published 2013, Strange Chemistry
Stars: ★★★★★

Guys, Dangerous Deception must have put me in a YA mood, because after reading it, I picked up this little gem.  It was just a rock when I picked it up, but then I Cracked it open (haha, bad pun!) and found it was a friggin' diamond inside!!

Eliza Crewe, though not free from some glaring grammar errors that some editors *should* have caught, rocked my world with this one.  It was JUST PLAIN FUN, but she also avoided SO MANY things I hate about YA -- there was no love triangle, there was no insta-love, the characters weren't all stereotypical, and they all actually followed the motives that their backstories and character types would actually have.  There was very little whining, it actually took ALL the main characters working together to save the day (no "I'm the only special butterfly snowflake, let me handle it all" moments), and the main character HAD A PERSONALITY that wasn't a cardboard cutout.

All in all, a solid first book by Eliza Crewe.  I can't wait to read book two.

...but, be warned... there's one very obviously coming moment that *is* a little predictable and is a twist that can be found in so many books, not just YA ( <spoiler>The death of Uri</spoiler> ) but I feel like that might not be the end of it, thanks to <spoiler>Meda's ability to see ghosts and him reappearing at the end</spoiler>. I was still upset though. LOL

That's enough rambling for now.  On to more books, and Crushed is coming up soon.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dangerous Deception by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Dangerous Deception by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Published 2015, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Stars: ★★★★☆ (3.5)

3.5 stars

It's no secret to anyone that I really enjoyed the Beautiful Creatures series.  While it wasn't anything groundbreaking or amazing, it was lots of fun and had a great concept and world.  The Claiming, Light and Dark Casters, etc, all really entertained me.  So you could color me excited when I found out that they were writing a follow-up series with Ridley and Link in the starring roles.

Dangerous Creatures, book one, was fast-paced and highly entertaining, though quite a bit different than the first series.  Unfortunately, Dangerous Deception fell flat for me.  I was really enjoying it until I hit the end, not even realizing it was the end until I turned a few pages and fell straight into samples from each of their solo books.  It just felt unfinished... like a filler story.  It moved the story along, sure, and introduced some radical new elements to the overall arc.  I just wasn't left satisified with the plot -- it definitely couldn't have stood both on its own AND as a part of the series.  It could only work as part of the series.

Because the introduced story elements were pretty awesome, I didn't drop my score completely... and I had lots of fun in the process, so I'm going to stick with my initial feeling of a 3.5 star rating.

I'll definitely finish the series, but I'm hoping book three will seriously up the ante.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child

The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child
Published 2015, Doubleday
Stars: ★★★★☆

I really like Jeremy Logan.  I'm hoping Lincoln Child decides to keep writing this character, and maybe to attempt to put out more books.  He works hard with Douglas Preston to do a Pendergast every year, and they also put out Gideon Crew books, so I know he's busy.  But I just can't help but wish Jeremy Logan would get more appearances.  I love his job, "enigmologist," and I like his personality. 

This book was a lot of fun.  I feel like I learned a little science along the way, but don't feel like it was overdone to the point where it felt like a lecture.  The pacing was great, the action built well, and the denouement, while a little obvious, was still loads of fun to "live out" through the page.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Blood Infernal by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Blood Infernal by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
Published 2015, William Morrow
Stars: ★★★★★

This was it.  This was the end... the end of the apocalyptic trilogy by James Rollins, one of my favorite authors, and his co-author Rebecca Cantrell.  And I must say I'm disappointed... not in the quality of the book, but in the fact that it's OVER.  James Rollins is an expert at adventure/action/techno-thrillers.  I mean it when I say that.  I preorder the hardcover of every new book of his that comes out.  I'm addicted like nobody's business.  This was really his first foray into another of my favorite genres: urban fantasy.  And now it's over...

James, you've made it hard for me to be satisified with just your Sigma Force series when I know you're capable of mixing such great urban fantasy into your work.  I guess I'll have to pick up your fantasy series written under your other pseudonym, James Clemens.

Anywho, enough of that digression.  This story picks up a little while after the second book ended, finding each of our three prophesied-trio-protags working together, well, by working alone.  Of course, their threads end up tying together again, leading them on a world-crossing adventure to stop the very dark angel of history himself, Lucifer, from rising and changing the world as we know it.  They're facing off against Legion, a demon who can possess multiple darkness-tainted creatures at once and control them and see through their eyes. 

Very explosive ending to a really fun trilogy.  The trilogy isn't without it's flaws, and it has some stereotypical issues that the genre typically faces -- like characters being on the brink of death multiple times but it all working out... but there are reasons for it.

Plus, my favorite character, the Countess, gets more development in this one. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Stormlight Archive: The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

The Stormlight Archive: The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Published 2010 and 2014, Tor Books
Stars: ★★★★★

I just can't even.  You have to read these...   Screw the fact that only two in the planned ten of the series are out.  Disregard the length, at over 1000 pages each.  I don't even care if you don't normally go for epic/high fantasy novels -- I didn't either, before Sanderson opened my eyes to the world of the Knights Radiant, the land of the Spren, the universe of shards and magical powers and good versus evil.

I read Way of Kings in April 2015, then Warbreaker in May (see review for that here), then Words of Radiance over the end of May and beginning of June.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Innocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Innocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
Published 2014, William Morrow
Stars: ★★★★★

This was my second read of this book, having read it new last year when it came out, and again now in preparation for finally reading the final book of the trilogy, which has been out for a few months now.  I've put it off, being too sad that it will be over to pick it up.  But it's time...

Yet again, Rollins and Cantrell do not disappoint.  Ripping some of their major players right out of history and slapping them onto their pages, they bring a life and depth of character to each of the heroes and villains of their story.

This book deals with innocence, sacrifice, and choice.  It's also an amazing testament to the power of two creative minds coming together to share a story with the world... one that demands to be read.

Pick up this series.  It's incredible.