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!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Review: Our Dark Duet

Our Dark Duet Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh. my. god. This book has broken me. Destroyed me.

Book one was nowhere near as good as this one.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Review: The Mermaid

The Mermaid The Mermaid by Christina Henry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley/Penguin Random House for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed my first Christina Henry book. I'd had my eye on her Lost Boy book and her Chronicles of Alice for a while now, but hadn't had a chance to get to them (we all know how big Mount TBR can get!). When The Mermaid popped up in my Berkley newsletter, I sprang at the chance!

It's a fun tale, but my favorite part of it all was the fact that we get to see humanity through the eyes of the non-human, the titular mermaid. And honestly, while there are some shining lights in the darkness, I tend to agree with Amelia that there is so much darkness in humanity - mostly because of an abundance of apathy towards our fellow man and our fellow creatures. We should be better caretakers and stewards of the world we're in.

Anyways, Amelia was a really cool and relatable character and a lot of fun to read. I'd say pick it up, grab a comfy reading space, and settle in for an afternoon of magic and entertainment. Just be prepared - this isn't The Greatest Showman. This one sticks more along the lines of how the real PT Barnum was.

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Review: Providence

Providence Providence by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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

I was a massive fan of Caroline Kepnes' book YOU. It was intense, intriguing, captivating, and terrifying (in an "OMG am I rooting for this psychopath?" kinda way). I've yet to read Hidden Bodies, the sequel, but it's on my plan for this year. When I saw this new standalone from her on Netgalley, I had to request it. YOU was just so compelling that I knew this one would have to be awesome.

Unfortunately, this one felt like a let down after such a great first read from her. The characters were all pretty unlikeable (I only cared for one character, a minor character, Eggs' wife Lo), and not at all easy to root for. There was very little action over all, and the plot felt like a slow trudge through a field of molasses and peanut butter in loose boots that you're not allowed to leave behind. Overall, just meh.

I didn't hate it completely, and the story concept was a good one, so I ended up settling on two stars as a final rating. I will say this, if you've not read a Caroline Kepnes book before, either read this one before you pick up YOU, or just go straight to YOU.
Review to come, but initial thoughts:

Slow trudge of a plot
Very little action
Highly unlikeable characters (Lo is only one I liked)
Overall meh-ness lol

Disappointing because YOU was amazing!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Review: Football Sundae

Football Sundae Football Sundae by Daryl Banner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars rounded up.

Fun and sweet little love (and lust) story.

Getting a little tired of the big muscly guy being the bottom in like every story I read lately. You know, some of us twerpy guys would like to read the opposite every now and then X) Especially when you make a point of saying over and over just HOW big the guy is in ALL senses of the word. LOL.

Wish the town of Spruce was a real place, though. Banner's note about making a town the way they SHOULD be was certainly true. It's a nice thing to imagine for the future. Maybe one day it'll be reality. :)

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Review: The Pharaoh Key

The Pharaoh Key The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

This book was a lot of fun. In typical Preston and Child fashion, we got adventure and action and romance and science and it was a blast to read. I read it in less than a day! Makes me want to go treasure hunting!!!

My biggest gripe is that, since it's the last Gideon Crew novel, I was hoping for a spectacular ending. Overall, I wasn't wowed by the ending, and in fact felt a little bit unsatisfied, so I had to do four stars instead of five. But I did really enjoy the book and the series, and would highly recommend it as a fast-paced, crazy fun story to pick up for a nice day on the beach or road trip where you don't have to drive. Set aside some time, because you won't want to put it down. :)

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Review: Ash and Quill

Ash and Quill Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

HOLY CRAP. Thank goodness I have an ARC of book four to pick right up or I'd be SO left in a book slump. What an ending, Rachel Caine!

Can't wait to see how this all plays out!

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Review: Awakened

Awakened Awakened by James S. Murray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher for reaching out to me to offer a physical ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I am shocked at how much I enjoyed this book! It was fast-paced. It was intense. It was chock full of action. It had at least moderately developed characters with some depth to them. The villains were both human... and mysterious other. (Can't say more, spoilers!)

The writers have created a really interesting world just like ours with a little twist. Okay, the twist is huge. It's like, EARTH huge. And while I'm glad I don't actually live in this created world, I was entertained by visiting it.

There seemed to be set up for a sequel. Damn, I hope so.

If you liked Ezekiel Boone's trilogy, you'll like this one.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Review: Brief Cases

Brief Cases Brief Cases by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

MORE DRESDEN! FINALLY! Okay, so, I'm not going to get into how much Butcher is driving me nuts over here with his newly found George R.R. Martinism. But I will say YAY, because finally more Dresden.

Let's be honest here, though... most of these shorties were already released in other anthologies. Only one is new and original to this anthology. But, as someone who doesn't usually purchase many anthologies unless they are author-specific (like this one, or Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock anthology, or Patty Briggs' Mercyverse anthology) or they have at least two or three shorties by authors I already know and love... this anthology was a gem. I got all of these other shorties without the expense of buying many more anthologies with things I probably wouldn't love in them. :) And we got a brand new standalone story called Zoo Day.

My favorite stories in this collection were the Molly stories, if I'm being honest. She's become a very interesting and easy to relate to character, and it was cool (pun intended!) to see things from her point of view. She's got a lot of challenges ahead of her now, and I think she's going to remain one of my favorite characters in the growing cast.

I also really loved the Butters shorty. Seriously, I love Waldo "POLKA WILL NEVER DIE" Butters. I love all the nerdy references in his stories.

Zoo Day was great... and we got to see some of the story from a VERY cool perspective... MOUSE! I loved it... and loved the quote from a dog's viewpoint: "That might be the hardest part of human heart-stupidity: how much happiness you simply leave aside so that you have enough time to worry." Ain't that the truth? The foo dog speaks truth!

I liked being able to read all of the Bigfoot stories as well, and rereading Marcone's shorty Even Hand was fun too.

Overall, highly recommended to help tide you over if you are jonesing for a Dresden fix, especially if you are like me haven't read most of these shorties.
Review to come on release date, but initial thoughts:

I enjoyed the Bigfoot stories and the random other ones, but the best stories, in my opinion, were the Molly stories, the Butters story, and Zoo Day. :)

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