Monday, November 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #9


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books!


[Received from November 16 - 23, 2014]


For Review:

City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett


Free from Amazon:

A Rule of Queens - Morgan Rice
Finding Cinderella - Colleen Hoover
All for Anna - Nicole Deese


I didn't get many books last week, but I'm hoping to make up for it later this week with the Black Friday sales.


Review: Breathkept by Saundra Mitchell

(Purchased)

Read from October 27 to 28, 2014. 

Considering this book was less than 200 pages long, I was surprised at just how much information the author could include. Part young romance and part murder mystery, this was a quick and compelling read.

The characters were flawed, but likeable. I liked that they weren't perfect. The romance aspect of the book happened a bit too quickly for my taste, but it didn't detract from the story. There were a couple of surprising plot twists, and it was a nice change of pace to not be able to predict exactly what would happen at the end.

I would highly recommend this to young adult readers. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #8

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The thrilling third installment to the Edgar-nominated, bestselling series.

Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.

Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they'll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself—and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.

Publication date:  February 10, 2015

Click to pre-order on Amazon

Click to view on Goodreads

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review: Impossible (Piercing the Veil, #3) by C. A. Gray




Read from October 20 to 22, 2014.

Read my reviews for the first two books in the series:  IntangibleInvincible

Impossible picks up where Invincible left off and quickly gets right back to the action. I started reading this as soon as I finished the second book, and it was a really smooth transition. This is one of those series that almost feels like one really long book - I wanted to read to the very end of the series without stopping. It's a definite page-turner, and I found myself on the edge of my seat several times.

One remarkable thing about C. A. Gray's writing style is that it is so easy to fall into her world. I was held spellbound right from the very beginning of the series, and that remained true all the way to the end. She has quickly become one of my favorite authors, and I can't wait to read more of her work in the future. Her grasp of Arthurian legend, science, physics, biology, and myth is obvious, and she clearly knows what she's writing about. I feel like I learned a few things along the way, and that's always a bonus.

I don't want to go into detail about what happens in the book as I don't want to risk spoiling it, but it is action-packed and I was kept wondering how it would work out all the way to the end. I laughed and shed a few tears, and my jaw may or may not have literally dropped during the final battle scene.

This was a very satisfying conclusion to an amazing series, and I'll miss these characters. Well-written and well-researched, Impossible is a gem. 

Rating (out of five stars):  

Click to purchase from Amazon

C. A. Gray's website

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: Invincible (Piercing the Veil, #2) by C. A. Gray




Read from October 18 to 20, 2014.
Click to read my review of the first book in the series, Intangible

When I read the first book in the Piercing the Veil series, I knew absolutely nothing about the book, but I quickly fell in love with it. To say I had high standards for Invincible would have been an understatement. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed.

Invincible picks up where Intangible left off, and it wastes no time getting back to the story. We learn a lot of information rather quickly, but it's never overwhelming. As I briefly mentioned in my review of Intangible, C. A. Gray does an excellent job of describing tricky scientific terms without being condescending.

I loved the plot and character development, and the author captured the teenage angst perfectly. Sometimes the second book in a trilogy can be a bit slow, but that isn't true for Invincible, which is just as fast-paced as Intangible.

I would highly recommend this series. 
Rating (out of five stars):  

Click to purchase from Amazon

C. A. Gray's website

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #8


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books!

[Received from November 9 - 16, 2014]


Purchased:

Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen


For Review:

Real Santa - William Hazelgrove
The Sham - Ellen Allen


Free from Amazon:

Runes (Runes, #1) - Ednah Walters
Rising (Rising, #1) - Holly Kelly


From BookShout:

The Christmas Bake Off - Abby Clements
Ismeni - Tosca Lee

Review: The Crawling Terror (Doctor Who, #55) by Mike Tucker


Read from October 31 to November 10, 2014.

(I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.)

Giant insects have started terrorizing a normally peaceful village, and the Doctor attempts to get to the bottom of it. After closer inspection, it seems that the creatures are being created at the local science park, and the number one suspect is the mask-wearing scientist who works there.

I enjoyed this Doctor Who title more than the last one I read. There was a good bit of action, and though character development for non-recurring characters is not usually a priority in the Whoverse, I enjoyed most of the ones introduced in this novel. We got a bit more insight into Clara's relationship with the newest incarnation of the Doctor, and it stays true to their characters, especially in light of the recent season finale.

Including a bit of time travel (of course), a little telepathic transference, and some military involvement (which the Doctor isn't happy about), The Crawling Terror fits well in the current Whovian canon.

A personal anecdote: While reading this book, I looked up to see a huge spider on my kitchen wall. Of course it would be the one thing out of the book that I wouldn't want to come to life. I would much rather have the TARDIS materialize in my kitchen, but I digress.

In short, I believe fans of the Doctor Who novelizations will enjoy this book.


Rating (out of five stars): 


Click to view this book on Amazon

Mike Tucker's Goodreads profile


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #7

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

A thrilling new fantasy trilogy for fans of DIVERGENT and THE HUNGER GAMES.

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?


Publication date: February 10, 2015


Click to pre-order on Amazon

Click to view on Goodreads



Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Will Starling by Ian Weir

 Read from October 14 to 18, 2014. 

I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I have mixed feelings about this book. While I was reading, I was really interested to know what would happen next. But as soon as I would put it down, it was a struggle for me to pick it up again and keep reading. It was really slow at the beginning, and I was afraid I would have to mark it as "did not finish", which I always hate to do. Fortunately, it picked up a bit once I got into the story.

I did enjoy the author's writing style, however. It was very descriptive without being too flowery, and it flowed really well. He did an excellent job of describing London in the 1800's, and it was really easy to "see" the city and characters.

Will Starling is an orphan who, quite by accident, becomes an assistant to a surgeon. He suspects a rival surgeon of going a bit too far with his experimentation and is determined to prove it. Along the way he meets an assorted cast of characters, some of whom try to help him, while others do everything they can to thwart his attempts to learn the truth. Will Starling explores the dark underworld of medical study in the 1800's, and doesn't shy away from the dark and macabre details.

I think readers interested in resurrectionists, body snatchers, Doomsday Men, and anatomists will enjoy this novel.


Rating (out of five stars):  

Click to pre-order from Amazon

Ian Weir's website

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #7


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books!


[Received from November 2 - November 8, 2014]


Purchased:

Atlantia - Ally Condie
A Thousand Pieces of You - Claudia Gray
Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story - Rick Bragg
For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund
The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen


For Review:

Loving Lucianna by Joyce DiPastena


Free from Amazon:

Rumors - Erica Kiefer
Against the Tide - Elizabeth Camden
The Mind's Eye (SYNSK, Book 1) - K. C. Finn


From BookShout:

The Engagement Party - Kimberley Freeman
If I Had Lunch With C. S. Lewis - Alister McGrath
Until I Found You - Victoria Bylin
The Honorable Imposter - Gilbert Morris



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #6

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


From Goodreads: For nearly 300 years, the mysterious journal of Jacobite exile Mary Dundas has lain unread — its secrets safe from prying eyes. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas has been hired by a once-famous historian to crack the journal's cipher. But when she arrives in Paris, Sara finds herself besieged by complications from all sides: the journal's reclusive owner, her charming Parisian neighbor, and Mary, whose journal doesn't hold the secrets Sara expects.

It turns out that Mary Dundas wasn’t keeping a record of everyday life, but a first-hand account of her part in a dangerous intrigue. In the first wintry months of 1732, with a scandal gaining steam in London, driving many into bankruptcy and ruin, the man accused of being at its center is concealed among the Jacobites in Paris, with Mary posing as his sister to aid his disguise.

When their location is betrayed, they’re forced to put a desperate plan in action, heading south along the road to Rome, protected by the enigmatic Highlander Hugh MacPherson.

As Mary's tale grows more and more dire, Sara, too, must carefully choose which turning to take... to find the road that will lead her safely home.


Publication date: April 7, 2015

I absolutely adore Susanna Kearsley's books. They're always beautifully written, and she does an amazing
job of blending contemporary and historical fiction. She is definitely one of my favorite authors, and I would highly recommend her novels. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir


Read from October 31 to November 03, 2014.  

(I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

After the tragic deaths of her parents, Imogen moves to New York with her guardians and tries to live a normal life. Her life is about to get turned upside down once again, however, once she receives the news of her cousin's untimely death. She returns to England as duchess of Rockford Manor, and in addition to learning the intricate rules of the English peerage, she also tries to figure out what really happened to her cousin.

Suspicion is a little bit The Princess Diaries and a little bit Downton Abbey, mixed with magic, murder, and mystery. Haunting and suspenseful, I would consider this a light Gothic romance.

It was well-written and had excellent pacing, and there were a couple of plot twists that I was definitely not expecting, but which worked really well.

And finally, I just have to say that I adore this cover. It's gorgeous!

Rating (out of five stars):


Click here to view and/or pre-order this book on Amazon

Alexandra Monir's website

Review: Tolkien (How an Obscure Oxford Professor Wrote the Hobbit...) by Devin Brown


Read from October 29 to 31, 2014.

(I received a copy of this from Abingdon Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

As a fan of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, I was extremely excited to read this book. At only 192 pages (the last few only contain trivia), it doesn't go into too much detail, but it was surprisingly informative, nonetheless.

The author briefly touches on Tolkien's childhood and time at Oxford, and spends a little time discussing his friendship with C. S. Lewis, as well as focusing on how The Hobbit came to be.

It was an interesting and quick read, and I learned a few things about the Professor that I was surprised I didn't already know. Though not an in-depth biography, this is a good introduction to Tolkien's life, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about him.

Rating (out of five stars):  

Click to view this book on Amazon

Devin Brown's Goodreads profile

Books Read in October 2014

I've been keeping a list of the books I read for the past few years, and I've decided to post my monthly list here, as well. I keep the main post on my personal blog, but you can also find my 2014 list on the left side of this blog.


Court of Traitors (Bridget Manning, #2) - V. E. Lynne
The Walled City - Ryan Graudin
The Daughter of Highland Hall (Edwardian Brides, #2) - Carrie Turansky
Wishes and Sorrows (Myth and Magic) - Cindy Lynn Speer
The Body Electric - Beth Revis
Will Starling - Ian Weir
Invincible (Piercing the Veil, #2) - C. A. Gray
Impossible (Piercing the Veil, #3) - C. A. Gray
The Here and Now - Ann Brashares
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography - Neil Patrick Harris
Saving Grace (A Hearthfire Romance, #1) - Michele Paige Holmes
Breathkept - Saundra Mitchell
Tolkien: How an Obscure Oxford Professor Wrote the Hobbit and Became the Most Beloved Author of the Century - Devin Brown
Suspicion - Alexandra Monir
Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror - Mike Tucker


I'm not sure why, but I almost always manage to read more during March and October than any other month. A few of these reviews have already been posted, but the rest are coming soon.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Review: Saving Grace (A Hearthfire Romance) by Michele Paige Holmes



Read from October 27 to 31, 2014. 

(I received a copy of this book from eBooks for Review in exchange for an honest review.)

Grace is the daughter of a worthless gambler, and the granddaughter of the Duke of Salisbury. After her grandfather passes away, her father plans to marry her off to one of the loathsome men he owes, and he sends her to visit several of them. Grace does her best to thwart her father's plan, and is even willing to ruin her reputation to do so. She only wants to hold out long enough for her inheritance from her grandfather to come through so she can move to a quiet place with her siblings. Her love for her brother and sister is clear, and she will do whatever it takes to protect them. When she unexpectedly ends up at Sutherland Hall, her plans begin to gradually change.

Saving Grace is enchanting and well-written, and I really enjoyed reading it. While I'm not usually a fan of love triangles, it actually made sense in this story, and it wasn't unrealistic for Grace to be torn between the two men.

While I had an inkling about what might happen, I was never absolutely sure, and it was gratifying to read to the end without already knowing the outcome.

This was such a sweet and clean Regency-era romance, and I would highly recommend it.


Rating (out of five stars): 


Click to view this book on Amazon

Michele Paige Holmes' website