Saturday, April 8, 2017

Once Bitten, Twice Dead by Bianca D'Arc (Read 4/2/17 to 4/7/17) - 2.5 Star

This book was given to me as a birthday present.  There has been a mistake at a lab and instead of super soldiers, the scientist created zombies!  Officer Sarah Petit was attacked while on patrol, and instead of turning she is one of the very, very few who is immune and she joins forces with the Green Berets to fight the infestation in her home town.  There is a love story, here with Sarah and one of the Green Beret officers Xavier Beauvoir. I liked the story premise.  My issue with the book is the sex.  I'm not saying I had an issue with the sex itself, was it a little more unrealistic, vulgar and violent than my preference, yes but that wasn't my problem.  This is a paranormal romance, I expected sex and even some rough sex, and unrealistic romance novel sex.  Maybe my sex life has sucked for the past 18 years, but I have never had the sort of sex portrayed in romance novels, I've had good sex but not that connected OMG he kisses me and I come sex.  I don't mind that is how it is portrayed.  My problem was that the sex was a bigger part of the story than the story.  D'Arc has a great storyline with the attempt to make super solider and ooops we made zombies.  Its not a world wide epidemic yet, and it not a post apocalypse world.  It was what would lead up to that unless they get it under control.  I love that, I loved the science aspect and wish that had more detail.  I wish there had been more investigation into culprits behind the scenes, expand on that criminal thriller aspect.  I liked the fight scenes, and was disappointed that there were so few.  I feel like if D'Arc had focused more on the storyline and a little less on the "amazing" sex that I could have rated this book higher.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Homeland by R.A. Salvatore (Read 3/8/17 to 3/28/17) - 2 Star

This is March's BOTM book. In Menzoberranzan, a city in the underdark, is here the dark elves or drow live. This is the story of Drizzt Do'Urden from birth until he reaches adulthood. I found the writing very dense and I had to really concentrate. A lot of the book dragged for me.  I will say that it was fun to read from the bad guys perspective, the backstabbing and pettiness, different from always reading from the Hero.  Although the idea that evil society being matriarchal  had some social commentary messages I'm not sure I am so keen on.  It is obvious that this is part of a series, but I can say for sure I have no intention of picking up the rest.  This just didn't interest me enough to continue.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton (Read 3/24/17 to 3/27/17) - 3 Star

This book was recommended to me by a friend, that it would speak to me where I am in my life.  She was both wrong and right.  I could see that Glennon was going through a personal crisis and facing a divorce.  However I couldn't relate to her indecision and inability to see herself. When I left my ex-husband things made sense again, there was no indecision or doubt.  I could relate to her sense of loss, and once she found her inner warrior that made sense, but the difference is my warrior appeared the night I left and I walk the path to this day.  I knew from the start the healing had to start with me, for my children.  I can relate to her feeling of not belonging and inadequacy, I have my own self esteem issues, not going to try and cover that up.  But it seemed like she had a much further journey than I did, where she ended is where I started at.  It felt like she was confirming things I already knew, not opening my eyes to a new view.  And maybe that was my mistake, my friend made it seem like there was great insight in this book, which there is, but it is insights I discovered over a year ago and it didn't speak to me as much as I thought it would.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch (Read 2/28/17 to 3/3/17) - 4 Star

This is from my March book club book, and recommended by another member.  This was a super fun book, and I can't wait to read the whole series.  One of my other book club members said it was like X-Files, Men in Black and Buffy all rolled into one, and she is right!  There is a fun an quirky sci-fi element that doesn't take itself or the storyline too seriously along with a kick ass protagonist with witty repartee to give Joss a run for his money.  There were times where the cheese factor was a 10, but your so busy laughing that you don't care.  You are thrown into the action from the very first page and it doesn't slow down. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Three Sisters Island Trilogy by Nora Roberts (Read 2/16/17 to 2/27/17)

300 years ago to avoid persecution during the Salem witch trials, 3 witches Earth, Air and Fire joined powers to create a safe haven, Three Sisters Island.  But their haven wasn't as safe as they thought it would be, each sister made a choice that set a course for their decedents.  300 years later each "sister" must face their ancestors mistake and make it right, or doom the island they love to sink into the sea.

Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts (Read 2/19/17 to 2/11/17) - 4 Stars
This was for my book club February read.  We are introduced to Three Sisters island and the three witches that must break the curse to prevent it falling into the sea.  The first witch is Nell, I could easily relate to her. Be warned she is an abuse victim and there are some graphic scenes that could cause the need for some trigger warnings.  Nell has run to the island to escape her abusive husband, and there she finds what she has always been looking for, a home and a family, but how long can she hold on to it?   I really liked it, I think I just like Nora Roberts.  The Characters were very relatable and likable, and I enjoyed the magic element.  The love story was good, not overwhelming but just right. I thought Nell and Zack were great together, he was just what she needed.  He was there, he acknowledged her past, but didn't treat her like a victim.  He showed her respect and love, and allowed her the time to trust him and open up to him. 

Heaven and Earth by Nora Roberts (Read 2/11/17 to 2/16/17) - 3 Stars
This follows the second witch Ripley and her path to love and breaking the curse.  Ripley walked away from magic 10 years ago, and curse or no curse she has no plans to go back.  I don't really like Ripley, so I had a hard time getting through this book.  I also don't care for her love interest MacAllester Booke, the whole thing didn't do it for me really.  I just wanted to get it done with so I could read the third book.  There was a lot more internal struggle here, and the love story was very blah to me, probably because I didn't like the characters so I had no vested interest in their romance.

Face the Fire by Nora Roberts (Read 2/24/17 to 2/27/17) - 4 Stars
This is the final book in the series and we deal with the final part of the curse.  Mia lost her love Sam logan 10 years ago, he left her broken hearted, but unlike her ancestor she found a way to survive the loss and may have even grown stronger despite it,  Then Sam comes back to the island and she has to face not only her part of the curse, but her broken heart too.  I thought this was a great conclusion to the trilogy.  It did a great job of wrapping up all the storylines.  I like how strong and independent Mia is.  Sam has a lot to live up to earn her love in my opinion after the hurt he caused.  I'm actually kinda on the fence about him, there were things I liked about his character, but at time I felt he should get thrown in the sea too.  I think they were a good match ultimately though.

I've decided after these books and reading the in-death series (a loooonnngggg post to come when I get to end of that series)  that I like Nora Roberts writing.  I like her style and here stories are always engaging to me.  I know that she is known as a romance writer, and there is the romance element, but that is really a side factor to whatever story she is trying to tell.  Almost like throwing sex in a movie, does it make the watcher happy?  Yeah.  Would the story still be good with out it?  Yeah.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hangsman by Shirley Jackson (Read 2/2/17 to 2/21/17) - 2 Star

So this is supposed to be a coming of age story I think.  Natalie goes off to college and leave her childhood behind and becomes an adult.  Now I normally like Shirley Jackson, but I didn't like this book.  I felt it was hard to follow and the characters were un-relatable.  I think Jackson did it on purpose, made them all seem a little crazy but I can;t for the life of me see why.  Natalie's father is controlling and she is sheltered.  I also wonder if she doesn't have multiple personalities.  The writing felt disjointed and hard to read.  It almost felt to me like I was reading a stream of consciousness of a crazy person.  I couldn't follow the timeline or the character arc...and then it ended and I didn't see what was accomplished.  
The description says its based on an actual disappearance...totally missed that part, as far as I can tell nothing bad happens to anybody, besides miserable marriages.  Its supposed to be this chilling and suspenseful story, but I had no interest on what happened to Natalie and I didn't feel it was chilling, it was chaotic maybe.  I just didn't like it, I was bored and found it a bit tedious to read.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2017 to current.

I swear I am going to get back on the blogging horse...I just have failed...with this post though I am 100% back up to date and I will do it right from here on out!

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore (Listened to 1/3/17 to 1/6/17) - 3 Star

This is the January book for my book club NNCC.  I listened to the book on audio, and as plus the narrator did a good job, in fact my kids listened to parts and liked it too.

This is the story of the famous lawsuit between Edison and Westinghouse over who invented the light bulb, and the reality that it was about much more than a simple patent, it was about the future of electricity as we know it.  It is set in New York in 1888; George Westinghouse hires Paul Cravath fresh out of Columbia Law School to be his lawyer on the billion dollar lawsuit between Westinghouse and Thomas Edison.   The case affords Paul entry to the heady world of high society—the glittering parties in Gramercy Park mansions, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task facing him is beyond daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal—private spies, newspapers in his pocket, and the backing of J. P. Morgan himself. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his famous adversary a compulsion to win at all costs.   In obsessive pursuit of victory, Paul crosses paths with Nikola Tesla, an eccentric, brilliant inventor who may hold the key to defeating Edison, and with Agnes Huntington, a beautiful opera singer who proves to be a flawless performer on stage and off. As Paul takes greater and greater risks, he’ll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem.

The book was good; I liked the dynamics and the writing style.  I knew a little about the historical figures, especially the rivalry between Edison and Tesla because my Ex was fascinated by Tesla and had both told me a lot about him and I had read some of Tesla's papers and biography.  I liked the main character Paul and how in the end everything wrapped up nicely, I suspect if this had been more fact than historical fiction it may not have been quite so smooth, life rarely is.  I liked that there was enough fact in the fiction to make the story feel authentic and I don't feel like Moore took too much creative license. 

How to Murder a Millionaire by Nancy Martin (Read 1/6/17 to 1/7/17) - 3 Star

I have had this book on my shelf for some time, and I just finally got around to reading it.  This is about Nora Blackbird, a former Socialite in Philadelphia.  Her Parents left her with the family farm, and the 2 million dollar tax debt.  In order to pay the bill, she must get a job, and she beigns working for a newspaper as the society page writer.  It is during one of these parties that she finds murdered body of the host, and her friend.  This of course pulls Nora into the investigation, can she figure out who, what and why before it becomes her life on the line.

This was exactly what I thought it would be, a fun light read.  The characters are quirky and the storyline is engaging.  The love story angle took a backseat to solving the murder, which was nice.  And it was obvious that Martian was doing some world building to set the scene for a series.  Which I admit, I went and put on my wish list.  I enjoyed the characters and their craziness.  The murder was tame compared to some I have read, and the mystery was good.  Upon reflection there were some clues and I had my suspicions, but the actual murder was not who I thought it was.  Although, I knew the murder was involved in some way, just not the actual deed.  So although the clues pointed in the right direction, they did not give away the ending.  I liked it.  The writing was good, it flowed smoothly and made it a nice quick weekend book for me.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (Read 1/17/17 to 1/28/17) - 4 Star

This is a Victorian drama in true Dickensian darkness.  Sue Trinder is an orphan and raised by Mrs. Sucksby in the London slums.  Sue is offered to participate in a Con, become the maid of Maud Lilly and help Gentleman entice her in to marriage for her fortunes.  But there are twists, and then there are more twists!

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris (Read 1/2/17 to 1/22/17) - 3 Star

This is the new series by Charlaine Harris and there are lots of characters from other books in it, which let me tell you sent me down some rabbit holes since I have read ALL of her books and I had to remember where they came from.  But it was fun, I like the town and the characters, they all have great back stories, maybe I liked them so much because I actually knew the back stories.  Gotta give Harris her props, my jaw actually fell open at the end of the who dunnit.

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris (Read 1/29/17 to 2/1/17) - 4 Star

The next one in the series, built nicely upon the first book.  I liked the storyline better, the end wasn't as shocking.

Night Shift by Charlaine Harris (Read 2/5/17 to 2/7/17) - 4 Star

This felt like a wrap up for me, everyone's storylines seemed concluded, a nice little trilogy.