YA Weekend: Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Seriously WickedSeriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Series: Stand Alone

Publisher: Tor Teen (May 5, 2015)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Mogsy’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Seriously Wicked, though feel I should also preface my review with the note that I’m probably not the intended demographic for this book. Young Adult and Teen Fiction is a genre I dip into quite frequently, but I was initially thrown off a bit by this novel’s tone and writing style which felt skewed even younger, maybe preteen (back in Grade Five and Six, we were already reading books about high schoolers, so it’s possible). It took some adjusting, but once I was able to get used to the crushes on “boy-band boys” and girls named Sparkle, I felt I could give this one a shot. And really, it was a lot of fun. If it were possible to go back in time, I probably wouldn’t hesitate a second to hand this one off to my 11 or 12-year-old self.

The story begins with an introduction to our 15-year-old protagonist Camellia Anna Stella Hendrix, whose days consist of figuring out ways to foil her adopted witch mother’s plans for world domination, running around town collecting strange and sometimes disgusting ingredients for her magical spells, and all the while trying to pass her algebra test and not get distracted by the cute new boy in town. However, the witch Sarmine’s latest plot to take over the world by harnessing the power of a dying phoenix on the night of the big Halloween dance might complicate matters slightly.

Actually, scratch that. Matters are complicated by A LOT when Sarmine’s failed demon summoning session ends with the demon taking over the body of Devon, the aforementioned cute new boy in town. Now on top of not flunking algebra, Cam has to worry about getting the demon out of Devon and preventing the school getting destroyed. Can things get any worse? Well, yes, yes they can. Hunting down hidden phoenixes and chasing after demon-possessed boys is just the beginning.

As you can probably tell from its description and cover, Seriously Wicked is a fun, quirky book – emphasis on the quirky. Like I said, the story is probably geared more towards preteens or young teens, which might account for some of the silliness. It’s a very lighthearted and upbeat book, which means it’s probably good for providing some cheerful, innocent entertainment for folks of all ages. Its lightness and YA designation notwithstanding, the story actually has a lot of complexity, quite a few not-very-obvious twists and turns, as well as many instances of Cam finding very creative and outside-the-box solutions to her problems. Readers will adore Cam, whose quick thinking and determination can help get her out of any difficult situation, from dealing with high school mean girl cliques to procuring a source of goat’s blood for Sarmine’s spells.

My final verdict is, if you’re an older teen or adult looking for more age-appropriate reading, Seriously Wicked probably will feel too immature for you. However, yours truly did her best to put herself in a middle-grader’s shoes and was still able to find plenty to like about the book. Those curious about Tina Connolly’s work but aren’t into Children’s or YA fiction could probably check out her Ironskin series which is said to be quite good, and having read the second book Copperhead I can attest to that. If you don’t mind a cute, charming read that clocks out at just a tad over 200 pages though (so it’s also very quick), give this one a go.

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Backlist Burndown: Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

Backlist Burndown

As book bloggers, sometimes we get so caught up reading review titles and new releases that we end up missing out on a lot previously published books. As a result, one of my goals this year is to take more time to catch up with my backlist, especially in my personal reading pile. And it seems I’m not the only one. Backlist Burndown is a new meme started by Lisa of Tenacious Reader. Every last Friday of the month, she’ll be posting a review of a backlist book and is inviting anyone interested to do the same. Of course, you can also review backlist books any day you want, as often you want, but be sure to watch for her post at the end of the month to link up!

For this month’s Backlist Burndown, I’m reviewing…

Artemis AwakeningArtemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Book 1 of Artemis Awakened

Publisher: Tor (May 27, 2014)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Mogsy’s Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Artemis Awakening is a strange novel, one I wish I could have enjoyed a lot more. I wouldn’t say I disliked it, but neither did it hold my interest…and later on it just plain weirded me out. After mulling it over for a bit, I’ve concluded my disappointment probably stems more from feeling suckered in by its description, rather than something specific associated with the story.

First of all, the setting is Artemis, described as a distant world created by an advanced human empire to be a pleasure planet for its richest and most elite to play in. Centuries later, the empire is no more and much of its technology has been lost, and Artemis itself is all but forgotten. The story begins when a young archaeologist named Griffin Dane crashes his ship onto the planet’s surface, stranding himself. Enter a local huntress named Adara and her psychic-linked puma, who encounter Griffin and lend him their help in his predicament.

From all this, I expected more of a sci-fi adventure. But what Artemis Awakening offers (at least in the beginning) is actually something closer to a spiritual journey. Not a very compelling one either, if I’m to be blunt. In the introduction, there’s lot of talk and not much action, and most regretfully of all, very little by the way of science fiction elements. Sure, I found certain concepts fascinating, such as Artemis’ past as a bioengineered “wild” playground for the rich and powerful, the adapted humans and creatures that have persisted and live there now, as well as the mental links certain individuals have with their animal companions. All that potential feels squandered, however, as none of these ideas come to fruition, doomed instead to wither on a vine behind a brick wall.

So much amazing world building, but where the story was taking me was definitely not where I wanted to be. The plot went in a direction that was rather unexpected, but I was also baffled by how the author decided to tackle it. After spending a few days alone together (with Sand Shadow the puma) in the wilderness, Griffin and Adara grow close, so that upon their return to Adara’s home, her kind-of-but-not-really-boyfriend grows upset with the new boy in town for macking on “his” woman. Had I wandered into a Young Adult novel without realizing it?

This bizarre love triangle is further complicated when the three set out with Adara’s mentor to figure out what to do with Griffin. This is where a lot more starts happening in the story, but it’s also where things get perplexing. It didn’t help that I was so numb at this point, not much was going to help turn my tepid opinion around. Add to that, further along our characters’ journey came the ridiculous villain, a man who is ancient but physically never ages (how random), then there was the uncovering of the conspiracies and the kidnappings, the horrible revelations of the breeding facilities and the forced rape and pregnancies of women, and by now I’m just like a deer in the headlights going, um? Whu? Ugh…

I’m still a bit confused, trying to figure out what kind of book I just read. Half mysticism, half quest narrative? A mix of YA and some very mature adult themes? Something that’s more paranormal than science fiction? Probably the thing that frustrates me most about this book is how thoroughly it left me cold. Thing is, I didn’t hate the novel or even wholly disliked it. Instead, I watched event after event unfold before me with something close to mild curiosity, but with no real interest. Despite reading about everything that happened in the story, I remained feeling unaffected, which in some ways is even worse than being just outright disgruntled or upset. It means I hardly made a connection to any of the characters or the conflict. It’s a shame too, because there was so much potential, and the story certainly had plenty of merits. Nevertheless, somewhere along the way I simply stopped caring.

I had originally picked up Artemis Awakening so I could read it before picking up the sequel Artemis Invaded this summer. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be doing that anymore. Still, I’m open to checking out other books by Jane Lindskold; this was my first book by her and while it didn’t really work for me, I hear a lot of her stories involve humans with very close and special bonds to animals. Sounds like something I would enjoy very much. I’ll be keeping an eye out on Lindskold’s other work, but it’s looking like I’ll be giving book two a pass.

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Tough Traveling: Heists/Cons

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The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan oReview Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in (and inspired by) The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information.

This week’s tour topic is: Heists/Cons

Smash and grabs are not always the best way to illicitly acquire objects in fantasy land. Sometimes these things take planning, a loyal crew, and a little bit of luck. But a good crew can always get the job done.

Mogsy’s Picks:

I LOVE this week’s topic! Heist books and stories about daring capers are like my guilty pleasure and I’m really looking forward to what everyone else has on their lists. I’m constantly on the lookout for more heist books.

Palace JobEdit: Well, I originally thought I’d leave The Palace Job for either Tiara or Wendy but I guess we love that book so much here that it’s a given. Patrick Weekes‘ rollicking fantasy heist book definitely deserves top spot in this week’s topic. It’s great. Read it.

PremonitionsPremonitions by Jamie Schultz

Premonitions has got it all, including your quintessential caper crew. However, there’s nothing typical about Karyn Ames and her team of thieves. Karyn herself fits the role of mastermind, but also has this debilitating condition which allows her to hallucinate slices of the future – a useful power when you’re the one responsible for the safety and wellbeing of your crew, but it can get out of hand, especially when a notorious crime lord offers you and your friends two million dollars to steal an ancient occult artifact.

California BonesCalifornia Bones by Greg Van Eekhout

California Bones has everything I want in a heist novel: a diverse crew with each member equipped with specific, specialized talents? Check. High stakes? Check. Innovative solutions to get around alarm systems, physical barriers and other security measures? Check. And last but most importantly, lots of plot twists to set up an explosive final act. Double check. Our protagonist Daniel and his friends are offered the job of a lifetime. The score? Caches of untold osteomantic treasures in the Heirarch’s heavily guarded storehouse.

The Magician's LandThe Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

In the first half, we have an exciting heist story. Quentin meets up in the back of a book store with a bunch of other strangers, called there by a mysterious benefactor, a…talking crow? All of them are put through tests until the ultimate team is chosen. Departing from convention, however, this heist doesn’t go well at all. Despite months of preparation, things get pretty disastrous.

f0f2b-skingameSkin Game by Jim Butcher

The latest Dresden Files book is a heist story, I was happy to discover when I picked it up. Some old friends come along for the ride, as well as a few new faces. Among this team of talented individuals, we have the thief Anna Valmont, the rogue warlock Hannah Ascher, the wizard mercenary Binder, a shapeshifter named Goodman Grey, and even a forest creature called a Genoskwa. And of course, Harry, Karrin Murphy, and Michael Carpenter. They are led by the nefarious Nicodemus and his daughter Deirdre, and as we all know, whenever the Denarians get involved, we get our fair share of treachery, deceit, and unexpected twists and turns.

The Lies of Locke LamoraThe Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

I would be shocked if we don’t see this one on a lot of lists this week. Young Locke Lamora and all his friends in the Gentleman Bastards crew live for heists and long cons, led by their mentor Father Chains. This first book as well as its sequel Red Seas Under Red Skies both prominently feature a heist story or caper themes.

mistbornMistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

It’s easy to forget sometimes that Mistborn is essentially a fantasy caper story. We have Kelsier the charismatic leader and mastermind, his various friends with clashing personalities and unique talents, and finally a young newcomer in the form of Vin to round out this motley thieving crew of magic users. The job: to overthrow the Final Empire by robbing its treasury blind and collapsing its entire economy.

NeuromancerNeuromancer by William Gibson

Most heist stories make for rather light and fun books, though the same really cannot be said of Neuromancer it’s a much heavier and more challenging read, but it does feature a caper. Case is a burned out hacker and cyberthief, ruined when his ability to jack into the matrix is taken away by a neurotoxin. Then a mysterious employer contacts him and offers him a sweet job to steal a ROM module that holds the saved consciousness of one of Case’s old mentors.

089df-jheregJhereg by Steven Brust

Vlad Taltos works as a killer-for-hire in the House of Jhereg (an order like the mafia in this fantasy world). One day, a powerful underworld boss offers him a lucrative contract to track down and assassinate a council member. It is discovered, unfortunately, that his target has fled to the home of Dragonlord Morrolan who is also Vlad’s good friend. Now Vlad has to try and figure out a way to fulfill his contract without royally pissing off Morrolan, whose strict rule against the killing of anyone on his premises while they are under his protection is proving to be more than just a minor inconvenience. Much of the book revolves around Vlad trying to come up with creative ways around the rules of Morrolan’s hospitality.

5d23a-thespiritthiefThe Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron

Some thieves like to go big, but none probably go as far as Eli Monpress who has gotten it into his head to steal not an object of value or item of power. No, the magician-thief has set his sights on stealing the king himself. If he pulls this off, he’ll gain what he’s always wanted, which is the reputation as being the best thief in the world. His plans to increase his notoriety fall through, however, when he unwittingly brings about political turmoil that could threaten the kingdom and even the spirits of the land.

InceptionInception written and directed by Christopher Nolan

While I’ve got a couple more books in mind, I wanted to stick to 10 and round up my last pick with a nod to a great film, one of my favorite sci-fi heist/caper stories of all time. The film is, of course, Inception. Cobb works as a freelance “extractor”, cracking into people’s dreams like a thief would crack into a bank vault. He rounds up a team for one big job, though instead of “stealing” something, they are attempting to plant an idea in their target’s head.

Tiara’s Picks

Since I’d used The Palace Job for a lot of these, I decided not to use it this time. I was actually going to choose Neuromancer first, but Mogsy best me to it. I’ve actually read more heist/con-like stories than I give myself credit for but more in the science fiction vein. However, I was able to rustle up a few fantasy books I’ve read, too, aside from The Palace Job. The Palace Job was just one of the more fun fantasy ones I’ve read.

The Quantum ThiefThe Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

Jean le Flambeur is a thief including being a mind-thief. In fact, he’s been many con-types throughout his lifetime, and now, he’s serving time in the Dilemma Prison, which he’s sprung from by a woman named Mieli. However, he now has two dilemmas. He has to keep his other self from killing him and he has to pull off a helluva heist, the one that got away.

The Space MerchantsThe Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth

In the 22nd century, people are needed to colonize Venus because Earth is overpopulated. Only problem is Venus is not a great place to live (yet), so the government uses a copywriter, Mitch, to write enticing ads, conning people into moving to Venus. Mitch wakes up one day to find his identity erased, but he still has his skills and starts using them to not only find out what happened but to help the revolutionists with their plan.

The Long RunThe Long Run by Daniel Keys Moran

Trent is the last of Earth’s telepaths (latent telepathy in his case) after a massacre orchestrated by the Peacekeepers rids the world of them. Treat is an engineered human who becomes a cyberthief intent on taking down the military force dominating the world. He teams up with another telepath and his old crew for quite the adventure. Trent kind of makes me think of Case from Neuromancer.

Signal to NoiseSignal to Noise by Eric S. Nylund

Cryptographer, Jack Potter, works for the highest bidder–legal or not. This is one of those somewhat hard sci-fi books that’s full of cyber theft, espionage, and shady aliens. The problems come into play when Jack begins trading information with aliens who are a little too happy to deal with humans. Then, the con really starts.

The HobbitThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I don’t like Tolkien (but I’ve read the books). A kinder, gentler heist, but a heist all the same, and I don’t care what you say. This was a damn heist. You know it. I know it. That’s all I have to say here. Let’s move on.

God StalkGod Stalk by P.C. Hodgell

God Stalk follows Jame, a woman who has amnesia (except the amnesia works kind of stupid and is just obviously a plot device as needed) and Penari, a thief. They live in a world described as “god-infested.” Jame (who also has a strong moral compass and sense of honor despite even going as far as to join a Thieves Guild) manages to find a lot of excitement in their “god-infested” city, especially when she takes up a daring task.

Retribution FallsRetribution Falls by Chris Wooding

The Ketty Jay is manned by Captain Frey and his band of degenerate misfits. They do various things from robberies to whatever the hell else they think will annoy the law. Frey and friends find themselves targeted when a heist goes extremely wrong, and then, suddenly, it’s not so fun to be the outlaws anymore. This kind of makes me think of Firefly in terms of setting and storytelling.

TwinbornTwinborn Trilogy by J.S. Morin

Pirate ships. Fire. Antics. This probably has heist/con-like elements more so than being a straight up heist/com. The premise of this book says that our dreams are actually real, alternate, magical realities and tells us what happens when these two worlds get a little too close for two people. Did I mention there were pirate ships and fire? You can’t go wrong there.

The Adventures of the Stainless Steel RatAdventures of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison

James Bolivar DiGriz alias The Stainless Steel Rat alias Slippery Jim should’ve had a place on The Weasels list and/The Ace list, but I didn’t think about him until a friend and I started talking about this series. DiGriz does a little bit of everything–master thief, master martial artist, master con artist, master… you get the point. In his mind, he’s providing a service to the populace by keeping them entertained with his antics.

Valour and VanityValour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal

If Jane Austen wrote a heist novel with magic, I’m sure this what you’d get. In this world magic is known as “glamour” and its users “glamourists.” I actually found this book through my mother who is bookish, too, while I was on hiatus from the site last year. This hiatus including me spending a lot of time with my mom, and this was one of the books she was reading at the time. I don’t think I got a chance to read the ending, though, because I can’t remember how this ends. Two glamourists, Jane and Vincent, are robbed by corsairs. Vincent ain’t having that, and they concoct a heist to get their money back. Also, this is not the first book in the series. I’m glad I couldn’t tell and my mom kept quiet. I would’ve died.

Audiobook Review: Gears of War: Aspho Fields by Karen Traviss

Aspho FieldsGenre: Gaming, Post-Apocalyptic, Military Science Fiction

Series: Book #1 of Gears of War

Publisher: Del Ray (October 28, 2008)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Tiara’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Narrator: David Colacci | Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins | Audiobook Publisher: Tantor Audio | Whispersync Ready: Yes

Gears of War is the story of humans battling a species of reptilian humanoids known as the Locust and their variant species, the Lambent, on a fictional planet called Sera (Earth, basically). Sera has always been plagued with wars, even prior to the game and the introduction of the Locust, as overpopulation and energy shortages took its toll on humanity. After finally brokering a peace treaty between themselves, humans are faced with a new threat when the Locust and Lambent start surfacing soon after, causing devastation throughout Sera. This became known as Emergence Day.

The Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) becomes the main military force standing between the horde and humanity. These game largely follows a group of Gears (soldiers) led by Marcus Fenix, war hero and purported traitor for his actions during one of the battles.

What I love about Gears of War is that it’s teeming with tension. As much as I love Mass Effect, nothing ever feels really urgent in those game despite there being an intergalactic war against an almost unstoppable force going on. Gears of Wars fills that part of me that loves the almost nonstop action froth with pressure. So much is thrown at you in this game and it never feels like you really get a breather. I recently replayed these games co-op with my cousin and gaming partner. We made a mad dash through all three games, and I can remember there being moments when we had to take a break as the intensity intensified. You’re always moving, always fighting, against this opponent that seems countless in number while humanity dwindles to fewer and fewer people each day. This game is dirty, gritty, painful.There’s nothing romanticized at all about this military epic.

Unfortunately, that means the in-game lore is really just a quick series of cut scenes and random ambient conversation that give you a vague sense of things. There’s not much to work off of in terms of character and story, even though it’s easy to get attached to the characters and their struggles, and some personal things you do know about the characters beg for more exploration. This book allows players to explore Fenix’s world both before Emergence Day and after, filling in blanks about the story prior to the beginning of the first game while bridging the gap between Gears of Wars and Gears of War 2.

Continue reading Audiobook Review: Gears of War: Aspho Fields by Karen Traviss

Waiting on Wednesday 05/27/15

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that lets us feature upcoming releases that we can’t wait to get our hands on!

Mogsy’s Pick:

The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley: March 15, 2016 (Tor)

I want this, I want this now! And what a gorgeous cover, featuring Gwenna and Valyn plus their Kettral, a massive bird mount that they ride in their military order. The second book The Providence of Fire was one of my favorite reads of 2014 (technically, it came out in 2015 but I read the advance copy) and it completely sold me on the series. I can’t wait for this third and last book, which sounds like it’ll be an explosive finale to the trilogy.

The Last Mortal Bond

“The climactic third and final novel in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne

The trilogy that began with The Emperor’s Blades and continued in The Providence of Fire reaches its epic conclusion, as war engulfs the Annurian Empire.

The ancient csestriim are back to finish their purge of humanity; armies march against the capital; leaches, solitary beings who draw power from the natural world to fuel their extraordinary abilities, maneuver on all sides to affect the outcome of the war; and capricious gods walk the earth in human guise with agendas of their own.

But the three imperial siblings at the heart of it all–Valyn, Adare, and Kaden–come to understand that even if they survive the holocaust unleashed on their world, there may be no reconciling their conflicting visions of the future.”

Book Review: The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Shadow RevolutionThe Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Book 1 of Crown & Key

Publisher: Del Rey (June 2, 2015)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Mogsy’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

If summer blockbuster action movies existed back in the Victorian era, they would look a lot like The Shadow Revolution. This book doesn’t mess around. It makes its goals very clear right from the beginning, and that is to stuff as much fun and excitement as it can into its three hundred or so pages.

Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith take readers on a wild ride through Victorian London in this feisty, ass-kicking adventure about magic and alchemy and werewolves and mad science. Spell-casting scribe Simon Archer and his mentor Nick Barker have an unfortunate run-in with a lycanthrope one night, and the hunt for it leads them to discover something bigger and so much more disturbing stirring within the city’s shadows. Meanwhile, the brilliant alchemist Kate Anstruther’s younger sister Imogen is snatched by a werewolf, prompting Kate to join forces with Simon, Nick, and a Scottish monster hunter named Malcolm in order to stage a daring rescue.

Being a fan of the authors, I was really excited when I first heard about this book. I saw the kind of magic the Griffiths worked with historical fiction, fantasy and adventure in their Vampire Empire series, and it looks like they’ve dialed things up even higher here for Crown & Key. This first installment wastes no time throwing readers into the thick of things, going straight for pure fast-paced and unadulterated fun. Sometimes it felt like the story only took breaks long enough to push things along, and then we’re plunging right back into the action again. As you’d expect, this makes for quite a page-turner.

Of course, this also makes the book a bit weaker in other areas, most notably in the character development and world building departments. That’s not to say these aspects are completely lacking, just that we get the minimum to satisfy the story and to care about our protagonists. In spite of this, I still found the characters fascinating and memorable, and a great air of intrigue permeates the setting. Simon Archer captured my attention with his roguish charm, and I loved Kate’s cleverness and stalwart determination. The story even leaves plenty of room for characters to grow and relationships to develop. Already I’m looking forward to finding out what secrets Nick might be hiding from Simon, or whether or not Kate and Imogen will ever be the same again, or how Malcolm will fit into the equation in future books.

So maybe it’s not a terribly deep or sophisticated experience, but so what? It’s not really meant to be. Entertainment value is what this novel is all about, complete with snappy dialogue, tons of throwaway violence and a sweet little romantic subplot. It’s fun as hell. The book and its two sequels following right on its heels will make the perfect 2015 summer beach reads for lovers of steampunk gaslamp fantasy and urban paranormal mysteries, count on it. The story might not stay with you for very long, it’s true, but you’ll definitely want to pick up the next book straight away and get right back into the world.

All told, The Shadow Revolution is an exciting introduction to a series that knows exactly what it wants to be, and it’s scarily good at what it does. If you’re willing to go with that, then you’ll probably enjoy this one as much as I did. I’m already excited to dive into book two, The Undying Legion. Highly recommended if you’re in the mood for something fast, pulpish and wicked cool to brighten up your day.

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Teaser Tuesday & Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer or Ten Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads

TeaserTuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Tiara’s Teaser

Storm SirenPage 1: "For my shield this day I call: Heaven’s might, Sun’s brightness, Moon’s whiteness, Fire’s glory, Lightning’s swiftness, Wind’s wildness, Ocean’s depth, Earth’s solidity, Rock’s immobility."

Mary Weber, Storm Siren

 

toptentues

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. They created the meme because they love lists. Who doesn’t love lists? They wanted to share these list with fellow book lovers and ask that we share in return to connect with our fellow book lovers. To learn more about participating in the challenge, stop by their page dedicated to it and dive in!

This week’s topic: Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer or Ten Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads

Tiara’s Picks

The Prophecy ConThe Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes

I started this, and then, put it on the backburner for a bit as I tried to get through other audiobooks (and books in general) that I needed to finish first. This is the sequel to The Palace Job, which you know I’m a big fan of that book. However, I have some trips and things coming up for the summer with the family. This is exactly the kind of read that I’d take on the beach or listen to during a drive.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00034]Meredith Against the Wind by Amanda Gale

A few of my friends have read this series and liked it, so I decided to give it a try.  I read the first book Meredith Out of the Darkness a couple of months back. The story revolves around a teacher (and daughter to two emotionally distant, overachieving parents and sister to a brother who’s “disappointed” their parents by becoming a drifting painter rather than continuing the longstanding family tradition of being a teacher) named Meredith as she tries to piece her life back together after the death of her fiance. I really, really need to find out if a certain part of this story ever comes together because I’ll die if it just ends on that note.

Willful ChildWillful Child by Steven Erikson

And I quote: “These are the voyages of the starship, A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life life-forms, to boldly blow the…” How could I not read this? Humorous space opera? Always here for it.

Give You the SunI’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I recently bought this during Audible’s Deal of the Day. One of the narrators is Jesse Bernstein who I’m a fan of due to his readings of the Percy Jackson series, and the premise sounded interesting:

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world

When  Mystical Creatures AttackWhen Mystical Creatures Attack by Kathleen Founds

Do you see that cover? Do you? Tentacles and unicorns. It seems like it is probably relevant to my interests. Also this blurb:

In When Mystical Creatures Attack!, Ms. Freedman’s high school English class writes essays in which mystical creatures resolve the greatest sociopolitical problems of our time. Students include Janice Gibbs, “a feral child with excessive eyeliner and an anti-authoritarian complex that would be interesting were it not so ill-informed,” and Cody Splunk, an aspiring writer working on a time machine. Following a nervous breakdown, Ms. Freedman corresponds with Janice and Cody from an insane asylum run on the capitalist model of cognitive-behavioral therapy, where inmates practice water aerobics to rebuild their Psychiatric Credit Scores.

Seven YearsSeven Years by Dannika Dark

I was actually gifted this book as an audiobook and Kindle book by a friend who loves to feed that part of me that enjoys this kind of stuff (light paranormal romance). I’ll definitely be more in the mood for this kind of read now that it’s summer.

OutlanderOutlander by Diana Gabaldon

Buddy read with my friends Monica and Sparkle. I’ve had this book for years and years and years. Still haven’t read it. I was thinking about watching the series soon, so I decided that I’d better started on reading this, too. My friend Monica will be reading this for the first time, as well. My friend Sparkle will be rereading and offering moral support (which means she’ll patiently let us flail at her).

SourcerySourcery by Terry Pratchett

I know some people have recommended that I read these books in order, but I already had this book when some people started imploring that I read these as they were published. Part of the Rincewind series of these books. I’m buddy reading this series with my friend, Nick. This will be the third book that I’ve read by Pratchett. If I find myself confused or put off, I’ll definitely switch gears and read these in order.

The Girl Who Played with FireThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Another buddy reading with my friend, Monica. We’ve watched the extended versions of the Swedish version of these movies on Netflix (Loved them!). We’ve watched the remade version with Daniel Craig. And, of course, we’ve read the first book together. Now, it’s time for us to read the second and third books together, especially in light of there now being a fourth book written by  David Lagercrantz, which we haven’t decided if we’re going to read or not yet since Larsson’s partner has criticized the project and says that she has an unfinished manuscript for the next book in her possession.

SpotlessSpotless by Camilla Monk

They had me at “A gentleman professional killer with a bad case of OCD and zero tolerance for unsorted laundry, March isn’t there to kill her…yet.” Sounds like a total fluffy, mysterious, summer read.

 

tiara

A Book Blog for Speculative Fiction, Graphic Novels… and more!

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