Tag Archives: Book Review

I’ll have my super powers, and I’ll use them, too. A review of Anomaly by Tonya Kuper **** Four Stars!

Anomaly by Tonya Kuper (Ebook)

This book is about a girl who suddenly 20696040can make almost anything appear. Anomaly takes place in present day, but there is a secret society of Pushers (those who can make anything inorganic appear) and Pullers (Those that can retract, or make things disappear). Occasionally among these people is born an Anomaly that can both Push and Pull. (Yup, our heroine is an Anomaly) She may be the most powerful anomaly the world has ever known, and they need to train her fast, because they need to get a top secret serum to the Vice President quickly, but there is another secret society that wants to stop them. (Okay, it’s a little more complicated than that, but this is the jist of it.)

I really enjoyed this book. The writing flows nicely and I felt completely engaged with the characters. My only nitpick might be that the big, scary job that they are 23014836training her to do didn’t really seem all that big and scary to me. And when they got there, there was this epic battle, but I wasn’t really sure why the main character HAD to be the one. (Especially since there were so many others there.)

Pushing that aside, this was a really fun read, and there is a double-edged twist in the end that really caught me off guard. Never saw either one coming.

So, yes, a thumbs up on this one. I will be reading and reviewing the next book, Enigma, shortly.

Book two just released, so no worries about having to wait to continue the series. And according to the author on Goodreads, this s only a two book series. So… ready, set, go! (She reaches for her Kindle and opens up the next book)

Ex Navy SEALs Turned Bike Repairmen? A Review of Wile Ride by Julie Ann Walker

Format: Audiobook **Adult Content Warning**

This is the second Julie Ann Walker book I’ve read, but the first in this Black Knights series. I really loved Devil and the Deep, and was expecting the same 30166725non-stop action in this new book.

Wild Ride was not as Wild as I expected. It was a little, no, it was a lot more general contemporary than I expected. I expected a little more excitement for an ex-navy SEAL novel, but the first 3/4 of this book was just really about bikers, which I found to be a bit of a turnoff. Walker’s writing and readability are just as awesome as ever, and I am wondering if the other books in this series have more action in them. The last, say 25% of this book was a heck of a lot of fun… exactly what I expected… it just took me a long time to get there. If you don’t mind bikers in your story, and a slower pace at the beginning of a novel, you’d probably rate this four or five stars. It’s a great book, just not quite what I was expecting.

When a book brings you on a grand adventure: A Review of Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake (Ebook) It’s kinda hard to explain what this book is about. Most large libraries hold magic books that are actually portals. 17669243There are people guarding these portals from things that go bump in the night that might try to use the portals to move into our world. Our heroine accidentally falls through one of these books because she is actually one of these wardens because her mother was one. – Okay, that is really oversimplifying it, but that’s the best I can do.

This book is really rich with world building, and the world created is pretty cool, with a life all its own. There is a whole lot of story going on here, and at times I felt a little overwhelmed. This book also seemed really long. But again, a lot was going on.

Our heroine is falling for another warden, and he is very interested in her, but they are forbidden from being together because of a curse. There is also another guy in the picture, creating a love triangle (To be honest, I kinda like the other guy better) This is definitely a book one, because most of the story is left open at the end. If you are into rich, fantastical worlds, are okay with a long (not boring, just long) read, and like a series, this it totally the book for you. Four Stars.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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in a great while, A Movie is Actually Better Than The Book – THE IRON MAN vs. THE IRON GIANT

The Iron Man / The Iron Giant by Ted Hughes (Paperback) 

Now, This is just an opinion, please don’t start freaking out because this is a classic book… Hear me out!

The well-known USA animated movie, THE IRON GIANT was based off of a 1968 kids book called THE IRON MAN. It was renamed for the movie because “Iron Man” was already a superhero franchise in the USA. I saw the movie first, and it was one of those stories that stuck with me, and probably helped spur my love of contemporary science fiction today.

The original book by Ted Hughes was a cute story about a big robot that shows up and starts eating tractors. 119502The townspeople, sick of losing their tractors trap him in a big hole. After he escapes, they lead him to a junkyard where the Iron Man is more than happy to sit around eating cars and other metal junk all day, every day. Then a space dragon the size of Australia shows up and the Iron Man needs to save earth (with an odd contest, not a fight). (Note: the book is only about 70 pages long with REALLY BIG type and pictures. I finished it in under half an hour)

While I do applaud Ted Hughes’s vision of a simple, non-violent story for kids, I have to admit that the adaption for film was a lot more fun. The introduction of the psycho FBI Agent and the government wanting to find and destroy the Iron Man added what I consider a much more realistic element. And while the relationship between Hogarth and the Iron Man is hinted at in the book, their friendship really comes alive in the movie. And that ending… wow, sooooo much more satisfying that a non-aggressive “who is stronger that who” contest at the end.

119502Hughes’s original book was about peaceful existence and tolerance for all. The move delved deeper. While still having a profound theme of tolerance for those who are not like you, it also really pushed friendship, and believing that you can overcome all odds to be who you want to be, rather than who everyone thinks you are.

For me, the movie touched on what I deal with as a person every day, where the original book seemed more of a political statement. Again, yes, I applaud the original author’s intent for peaceful existence for all; but in the end, I’d rather show a little realistic violence and learn a message that people of all ages can apply to everyday life.


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Take me where no one has gone before. A review of Avalon by @MindeeArnett

Avalon by Mindee Arnett (Hardcover)

This book is a hard sci-fi, which isn’t usually my thing, but I am happy to say that I really loved it!

17149396We are taken off planet where we are introduced to a group of kids that are deviously good at stealing things. Their leader is working off his uncle’s debt in order to hopefully one day have enough money to buy his deceased parent’s ship back. They end up voyaging into a dangerous part of space to retrieve some sort of weapon. This is where the fun begins.

I really enjoyed the rag-tag group of characters in this book. Each was distinct and could probably hold a novel on their own. The Main character’s plight is engaging and relatable, and you are genuinely concerned about the fate of him, his crew, and the ship.

I definitely recommend this one. This is a duology, but I was not left hanging without an ending. I will still most likely read the next book thought. Great sci-fi fun.

Strap yourself in for a heck of a ride: A review of Betrayed by a Kiss

Betrayed by a Kiss by (Ebook)

This book starts out with a huge bang. Hacker Marnie races to save a retired cop after finding out that her former boss has put a price on his head.

The beginning of this book really drew me in. Marnie was hired for her hacker skills to find out information about her boss’s enemies. While researching the cop, she falls for him, and when she discovers that people she has researched had a bad habit of being murdered, she decides to try and save him.

This is a really interesting clash of two worlds, because we have this straight-laced cop being helped by this white-collar criminal, and also by several people that he would have felt compelled to arrest not to long ago.

This is a romance, at heart, where the cop and Marnie team up to clear their names and bring down the boss and the corporation that has marked them both for death. I give this four stars, taking off one because it gets a little slow here and there, but this is true to the story and didn’t really affect my enjoyment. Overall, I found myself excited to get back to this book every evening.

Hanging out AMONG THE HIDDEN, a review of the book byMargaret Peterson Haddix Margaret Peterson Haddix Margaret Peterson Haddix

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix – This is a middle grade dystopian. Middle grade is not normally my thing, but I was trying to 1222403encourage my youngest to actually finish a book by reading it with him.

This is a pretty dark look into the future, and it probably enough to scare the pants off younger middle graders, so please take caution.

There is an evil-overlord government, and people die for the crime of being born… yeah, pretty scary.

My son liked it overall, and he DID finish it. He was not disturbed, but he is 11… take caution for younger readers. He did say he would be willing to read the next book in the series, so I’d call that a win, being that he has not finished a book in months before this.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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Ooo! Ooo! Pick Me! I Wanna be a Princess! – A Review of THE ONE (The Selection) by Kiera Cass

The One (The Selection) by Kiera Cass (Audiobook)

10507293This is Book Three of THE SELECTION series. In book one, 35 girls enter a competition to marry the prince and become the future queen. 16248068In book 2, THE ELITE the competition is cut down to four girls. In The One, those four girls battle it out, so to speak, to become “the one”.

I loved book one, and I liked book two. Book 2 started to get a little political, which I didn’t enjoy as much.

18635016While the politics are still there in book 3, the author manages to make it a little more fun again, with a fluffy feel that I enjoyed so much in Book 1.

The author never tried to keep it a secret who would win this competition, but the ending of The One managed to surprise me. In some cases, I was disappointed. In some cases, I was shocked. I think some of my shock came from knowing there were two more books. Too much seems to have ended here for two more books, and I wonder if the author intended to finish the series here, but got cajoled into writing two more.

Anyway, there is no real reason to read the next two books after The One. This book definitely has a feeling of “The End”. And where I was disappointed in part of that ending, I won’t let the last 20 pages of the book ruin how much I enjoyed the ride to get there. And, yes, I will probably pick up the next two books. I’m curious if the author will be able to keep the momentum going in this wildly entertaining world, or if it will run dry now that “The Selection” part of the world is over.


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Bring on the POWER OF SIX – A review of book 2 in the Lorian Legacies

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore (Audiobook) This is the second book in the Lorian Legacies series. In book one, we met up with Number Four, who was 8659601marked next in line to die after the bad guys killed numbers one through three. At the end of book one, Four met up with Number Six.

In book two, we continue our story with Four and Six as they run from the human police who think they are terrorists, while still hiding from the alien bad guys.

We are also transported to Spain to see what’s going on with another Lorian in hiding.

This book really amps up the action, and places some pretty high expectations on book three, because we know all these kids are going to meet up soon, and the bad guys are going to throw some pretty heavy mojo at them. I liked this book a lot, and am once again looking forward to book three.


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This might be the best book I’ve ever read-A Review of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Ebook, Audiobook, and Hard Cover) I picked up this book because I’ve heard a lot of talk about it, 23395680despite not being fond of one of the book’s authors. I never in a million years expected to like it so much.

I started reading in ebook format, but quickly realized that you really can’t read this in ebook. Well, maybe if you downloaded it on your television so you can make it really big.

Illuminae suffers from the same problem that comics and graphic novels do on ebook… it just does not work for me, because Illuminae is very graphics-intense. There are pictures of the ships, blood splatter on the documents, and graphic representation of madness. It is one thing to know that your character is on level 130 of a ship, with the bad guys on specific floors. It is completely another thing to see the actual picture of the ship the character is looking at, knowing she is the white circle in the engine room, and the bad guys are the stars ALL OVER THE FREAKING SHIP.

Yeah – the pictures are important.

Now, you’ll notice that I list ebook, audiobook, and hard cover as my method of reading Illuminae. At first I didn’t “get” the whole graphics thing, so I switched to audio book. But I found myself referring back to the hard copy daily to help fully 23395680immerse myself in the story. For me, this was wonderful because I could hear the character’s voices. I could hear the beep in the background, counting down the arrival of the ship that was chasing them, I could hear the banter of the fighter pilots in their own voices, and I could hear the screams of the “bad guys” running through the ship. Then, I would go to the text and see how the computer saved this information for later review, which was a treat in itself.

I think reading and listening definitely enhanced my enjoyment, because I’m not sure I would have read every word on the high-graphic pages, and thus I would have missed out on the story. Right now, writing this review in January 2017, this book is in contention for best of the year, and is probably in the top ten books I’ve ever read. If you decide to give this a try, don’t bother with ebook. It does not work. If you read in paperback/hardcover, make sure you read every word on the page, even the little sticky notes. They are there for a reason. And when the nutty computer draws shapes with words… read the words. If you don’t you will miss out. If you listen on audio book, get a copy of the paperback to read along. You really need to see the pictures. And the pictures are also a clue to a HUGE plot twist that I did not see coming, but made sense when I went back and looked at the graphics.

So, yeah, Illuminae… it is a multi-media experience. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this one.


 

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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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