Month in Review: April 2018

Month in Review

Read this month: 8 Books, 2,384 Pages 

Read this year: 30 Books, 9,233 Pages 

CatStronauts: Mission Moon Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10) Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5) The Taster Head On (Lock In, #2) Legacies #2: Best Defense Legacies: Book 1: Captain to Captain

 

Looking Back:

Audiobooks saved my butt this month.  I’m truly surprised that I managed to read eight books this month.  I DNFed a couple of titles but it just felt like I spent so much time not reading this month… I shouldn’t be complaining though.  I only have 15 books to go until I meet my reading goal of the year.  I have to say though, the most exciting part of the reading month was the opportunity to go meet John Scalzi in Iowa City and getting my first edition of Old Man’s War autographed.

Looking Ahead:

I have like five review request books to read.  One of them has passed its release date and one or two of the others releases this month.  I have been itching to work outside and with temps finally warming up I need to get my garden in the ground.  Other than trying to get my reading groove on I don’t have a lot of plans for the month of May.  I have started a new weekly blog post of What I’m Reading Wednesday which is in conjunction with the new dedicated Instagram account for the blog, seen in the sidebar on this page.  Have a great month!

Happy Reading ~Amy

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Wolf Undaunted by Shannon Curtis

Book Review

 


Wolf UndauntedBook Genre: Romance, Paranormal

Book Series: N/A

Released: 5/1/18 by Harlequin Nocturne

Pages: 304 Price: $4.99 e-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Mortal enemies…

…bound by a kiss

When his spirit is separated from his body, werewolf Zane Wilder is invisible to everyone—except Vivianne Marchetta. A vampire who has good reason to loathe all lycans, Vivianne is eager to be rid of her shifter shadow. But the spell that should sever the connection between this mismatched pair only deepens their bond. Can they trust each other enough to survive this transformation, or will it destroy them both?

My Review:

I have a confession.  I’ve never read a Harlequin romance before.  Ever.  There is a certain undeserving stigma that comes with the brand that sells millions of popular books each year in the romance genre.  Romance, in general, tends to get looked down upon as “trashy” but publishers like Harlequin seem to catch the brunt of the prejudice.  I, like many of you, grew up with mothers and grandmothers devouring these books by the shelf full and in high school, I had friends that would raid those very shelves for reading material during study hall.  I simply never picked one up to read myself before now.  When I spotted this interesting title available for review I decided to rectify that immediately!

I wasn’t expecting a bad story after all a company does not stay in business 69 years by publishing books that people don’t want to read.  I was expecting a stand-alone paranormal romance and I don’t think that was the case.  After exploring other titles by this author I have a feeling that this title is part of a series and I was jumping in on the action mid-plot a bit.  I wasn’t lost but it would have been nice to read the other stories first.  That is my biggest complaint about the book.

It was a fun read, though, I like the tough heroine and the enemies becoming lovers plotline worked for me.  The steam level of the story was just right, enough to keep it interesting but the plot wasn’t simply a series of setups to get these two in bed.  Plenty of action as well along with quite a suspenseful scene near the end of the book where both the hero and heroine got to shine and become united as one.

This is perhaps why I enjoy romance books the most.  I know when I pick one up what to expect.  I know I’m going to get a funny or thrilling or suspenseful or mysterious plot where two people come together and overcome their circumstances to build a future together.  I want that happy ending, especially in the world where reality fails to deliver constantly.  This title delivered on all those points but I really wish I had read its predecessors first.  I would have been more invested in the characters and action.  Still, it was a good story and I’m glad I tried it!

My Rating: 3 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

 May 1: Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early

I have to say one of the definite perks of being a book blogger is that we sometimes get our hands, or e-readers, on books that we want to read before anyone else does.  Below are some of the titles I’d LOVE to get ARC for!

Ten books that I’d love to read early

  1. Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland #1) I have to say on this list this book is probably the one I’m most excited about!  The spin-off Chicagoland Vampire series Heirs of Chicagoland.  Yes, please.
  2. Slaying It (Chicagoland Vampires, #13.1) Might as well put these two together.  I would love to read the upcoming unexpected novella in the Chicagoland Vampire series.
  3. Time's Convert (All Souls Universe #1) This is the second book I am most excited about reading.  Another book set in the All Souls Universe featuring Marcus.  Be still my beating heart!
  4. Vampires Like It Hot (Argeneau, #28) Still, a huge fan of the Areneau series and I’m keeping an eye out for the next book in the series to be offered up over at Edelweiss.
  5. Blank 133x176 Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones.  The release date for this book has been pushed back until next year.  Disappointing but not unheard of for a final book in series.  I’ll wait. Patiently.
  6. Shades of Wicked (Night Rebel #1) Another book from the Night Huntress world!  We don’t have long to wait for Ian’s story.  Can’t wait! Also, yummy cover.
  7. Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3) The first two books in the Wayfarers series were such a delight that I am eagerly awaiting the next book and watching Net Galley for it.
  8. Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8) This used to be a finished series but it looks like the author is going to release another title set in the Dark Protectors series.  Put my request for review in for this one recently so fingers crossed.
  9. Stygian (Dark-Hunter, #29) I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of Ms. Kenyon’s books up for a review request.  Doesn’t mean I don’t keep an eye out for them.
  10. Born of Blood (The League: Nemesis Rising, #11) Looks like the league books might be self-published now.  Doesn’t matter to me one bit but I would still love to get my hands on one of these titles early.

Another week, another list.  What books would you love to get a chance to read before everyone else? Leave them or a link to your list in the comments!

 

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Book Review

 


Only Human (Themis Files, #3)Book Genre: Science Fiction,  Dystopian

Book Series: Themis Files #3

Released: 5/1/18 by Del Rey Books

Pages: 336  Price: $28.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.

My Review:

I am so glad I gave this series a second chance.  The first time I attempted book one in this trilogy the way the story is told threw me for a loop.  Each chapter is a government document or letter or some other sort of file.  There is no or very little setting description and dialog is not formatted the way most fiction books are.  It was just too difficult to adjust to and I gave up. Then I got into audiobooks and decided to give this book another try.  Listening to the story with different narrators for each character made it so much easier for me to follow along.

Then I saw this book available at Net Galley and hesitated.  I really wanted to know how it ended but wasn’t sure I could get into the print version… Perhaps I should just wait until the audiobook comes out.  Well, my curiosity won out and I put in a request.  This time while I was reading I could hear the voice of the actors and way the story was formatted wasn’t as big a hurdle for me to overcome.  Still strange but I quickly adapted.

This was an awesome ending to a highly interesting and innovative trilogy.  There is so much I loved about this book that I’m not sure where to start.  There is so much social commentary on the current state of our society and I loved every comparison or parallel the author drew.  Xenophobia, fear, hate, over-reaching governments all of it was touched on in this book.  The author portrayed us pretty accurately and it might be enough to make you frustrated but by the end, after a few moments where I teared up I have a feeling of hope for our future.  The author doesn’t solve our problems for us in this book but he did give me perspective.  I’m not going to share more because I don’t want to spoil it for you.

This was a probably my favorite book in the trilogy.  Something that doesn’t often happen as I usually enjoy the first book far more than the others.  This series though ended strong and I’m glad I read them.  I hope you give this series a chance because it is one that I think people should read if we are ever going to evolve as a society.  Sometimes it takes an author to hold a mirror up to us show us who we truly are as a society.  And if they are really good they will deliver a great story along with it.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Monday Check-In: Busy

I think I’m going to drop the morning in my graphic and just call this a Monday Check-In from now on.  I was busy this morning so I didn’t get a chance to post until now.  Not a lot of reading over the weekend.  We were out of the house most of the time.  Did manage to see the new Avengers movie like most the rest of the world and absolutely loved it.  My husband has warmed up to superhero moves over the years through repeated exposure.  Which is great for me, a long time fan, because now he is just as excited to see the movies as I am and actually wants to talk about them afterward!  Sunday we went thrifting and then fiddled around the house.

Today it is more chores but I did manage to make some progress on my audiobook while working.  Going to be a disappointing month for reading because I don’t think I finished many books this month.

Have a great week!

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson

Book Review

 


Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No NormalBook Genre: Graphic Novel, Comic, YA, Superheros

Book Series: Ms. Marvel #1

Released: 10/30/14 by Marvel

Pages: 120  Price: $15.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I Borrowed this book from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey! 

My Review:

Teens are a fickle group of readers and one area that is severely lacking at the library where I work is in the graphic novels section of YA.  With the popularity of the Marvel movies, I decided to start there and came across this comic.  Now I’m not really a fan of GN but even I have heard of Ms. Marvel from when it came out and decided to add this one to our library.  Of course, when it came in I needed to check it out for research purposes.  The wink is implied here…

I actually quite liked the GN and finished it in one sitting.  I liked that the hero is female and Muslim yet remains relatable to most anyone from the age group.  She faces much of the same problems any teen is going to have of fitting in, peer pressure, overbearing parents, struggling to find one’s own identity.  I liked that the comic wasn’t over sexualized which will make it an easier sell to parents.  It was fun and I hope teens in my community give it a chance.

Overall this book isn’t quite my style and didn’t convert me over to GN or Comics.  I still struggle to appreciate the graphics part of them.   Ms. Marvel wasn’t really written for someone like me however and I’m keeping that in mind with my rating.  I liked it.  I see the value of it and look forward to introducing it to others.

My Rating: 4 Stars

CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington

Book Review

 


CatStronauts: Mission MoonBook Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Comic, Cats, Humor

Book Series: Catstronauts #1

Released: 4/18/17 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 160 Price: $16.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this book from my library

 

Book Synopsis:

CatStronauts, you are needed!

When the world is thrust into darkness due to a global energy shortage, the Worlds Best Scientist comes up with a bold plan to set up a solar power plant on the moon. But someone has to go up there to set it up, and that adventure falls to the CatStronauts, the best space cats on the planet! Meet the fearless commander Major Meowser, brave-but-hungry pilot Waffles, genius technician and inventor Blanket, and quick thinking science officer Pom Pom on their most important mission yet! 

My Review:

Not the typical type of book that I review on this blog but it was new book day at the library and the first couple of pages of this one made me chuckle so I decided to check it out.

I was actually the one that suggested this title be added to the catalog where I work.  Cat books have been fairly popular with this age group and I thought the premise sounded cute.

First impressions turned out to be spot on as this was a charming read that tackles quite a serious topic of renewable energy.  The gags were cute and each catstronaut had a unique personality quirk that carried through the book.  The artwork is well done and I made sure to pay attention to what was going on in the background imagery and not just read the text which I tend to do with graphic novels.  I did catch a few clever details that I would have missed had I not been forcing myself to pay attention.   I’m still pretty new to the graphic novel scene so cut me some slack…

Anyway, I’m glad I suggested this book to our library and look forward to my young patrons discovering a new series.

My Rating: 3 Stars

The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones

Book Review

 


The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10)Book Genre: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Book Series: Charley Davidson #10

Released: 6/28/16 by St. Martin’s Griffen

Pages: 352 Price: $26.99 hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

As a part-time PI and full-time grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: 
* Why can I see dead people? 
* Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? 
* How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? 
* But, “How do I trap not one malevolent god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.

There’s just one problem. One of the three stole her heart a very long time ago. Can the Razer, a god of absolute death and destruction, change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiances lie with his brothers?

Those are just a few of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl running for her life, an innocent man who’s been charged with murder, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, and Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…

My Review:

I can’t believe I’ve finished book 10 of my reread/listen of this series!  I’m going to have a bit of a wait for book 11 and 12 which is alright as the last book doesn’t release until 2019.  I have to say it has been a blast listening to these books and I’m going to explore rereading other series I enjoy in audio format.  I used to not enjoy audiobooks but now that I’ve gotten used to them it is a rewarding and different way to enjoy books.  After all, doesn’t most of us start off with having books read to us as children?

Not a lot I can add to my previous review as I’m getting into the books in this series that I’ve read fairly recently.  Much of the plot is fresher in my memory and there are fewer surprises of stuff I forgot.  I had forgotten that this book ended on a huge cliffhanger but since I know what happens next it isn’t such a big deal.

At the end of the audiobook, we are again treated to an interview with the author which is simply the icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned.  It is so cool to listen to Ms. Jones’s thoughts on the characters and how she got some of her inspiration.  Totally worth listening to the books for the interview alone.

One thing that rereading this series has made me realize is just how much I’m going to miss this series when it ends.  I really like Charley, Reyes, Cookie, Uncle Bob, and all the others.  I do hope that Ms. Jones takes this series into the future and does a spin-off featuring beep and her army.  Fingers crossed!

My Rating: 5 Stars

What I’m Reading Wednesday

Welcome to a new weekly blog feature here at Read What I Like.  So new that I’ve not made up a graphic for it yet and decided to just use my banner.  Since I’m putting in an effort to be more active on the blog and its new Instagram account I thought I would try this idea that just popped into my head out.

So what can you expect from this weekly post?  The title is pretty self-explanatory I’m just going to talk about what I’m currently reading each Wednesday.  Let you know my thoughts on the titles and how it’s going.  Not a full review but maybe why I picked that book and such.  Might be a good way to discuss some titles as I’m working on them and why I might DNF them.  So here we go!

This week I’m reading:

 The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10)  Souls on Earth: Exploring Interplanetary Past Lives  Quinn (Vampires in America, #12)

The Curse of Tenth Grave is part of my reread of the Charley Davidson series in audiobook format before the last book is released.  It’s going well.  I only have two more books after this one and both are available for borrow through my library.  The hold list is a mile long for book 12 but I have the better part of a year to wait for book 13 so I should be good.

Souls on Earth is a review book that comes out in August, I believe, so you will have to wait a while for the review.  It is a NF title on reincarnation one of the few non-fiction subjects I enjoy reading about.  It is going well so far, a bit slower with NF but I have lots of time.  I’m about half-way through the book and plan on finishing it.  I’ve read a book by this author before.

Quinn is book 12 in the Vampires in America series and another review book that releases on Friday.  I don’t think I will be finished by then but decided to put another read on hold so I could at least start it before it comes out officially.  I’ve only read 19 pages and I think I’ll enjoy it.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue this series because of the heavy gun violence but decided to give it one more chance.  This book takes us to Ireland and with my recently discovered Irish DNA I thought it might be a fun read.

How about you?  What are you reading this Wednesday?

Top Ten Tuesday: Overused Words…

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

 April 24: Frequently Used Words In Paranormal Titles

This could be a lot of fun or a really short list.  My most read genre of books are paranormal romance or urban fantasy so I’m going to go with that.  I had considered science fiction but I think I’ll have a larger pool of titles to select from with paranormal. After the word most used I’m going to give some examples of titles using that word and link to their Goodreads page so there will probably be little commentary this week.  Also note that I will include variations of the word, for example, darkness counts for dark in my opinion.

 Ten overused words in paranormal book titles

  1. Blood: Half-Blood, Blood Bound, Blue Bloods, Bloodfever, Angels’ Blood, Blood Brothers, Bloodlines, My Blood Approves
  2. Dark: The Darkest Night, Dark Lover, Dark Fever, Dead until Dark, Dark Prince, When Darkness Comes, Touch the Dark, Demon from the Dark, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
  3. Dead: Undead and UnwedDead Witch Walking, Dead to the World, Third Grave Dead Ahead, Club Dead, Dead Beat, Dead Beautiful, Generation Dead, Dead HeatDead is the New Black
  4. Bite: Bitten, Some Girls Bite, A Quick Bite, Once Bitten Twice Shy, Magic Bites, Friday Night Bites, Spider’s Bite, Bite Me, Eighth Grade Bites, A Bit of Bite, Big Bad Bite, One Bite with a Stranger
  5. Born: Born of Night, Lover Reborn, Born of Illusion, Storm Born,  Born Wicked, Born to Bite, Born Sinner, Born in Blood, Born in FireBorn to Be Wild
  6. Bone: City of Bones, Bone Crossed, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Bone Season, Shadow and Bone, The Bone Witch, Ink and Bone, Bloody Bones,
  7. Vampire: Vampire Academy, A Girl’s Guide to Vampires, Interview with the Vampire, A Shade of Vampire, Vampire Kisses, Vampire Girl, Vampire Moon, Vampire Interrupted, The Accidental Vampire, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire
  8. Midnight: Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Kiss of Midnight, Midnight’s Daughter, Born at Midnight, Midnight Awakening, Midnight, A Stroke of Midnight, Past Midnight
  9. Moon: New Moon, Moon Called, Blue Moon, Fool Moon, Once in a Full Moon, Leopard Moon, Moon Spell, Full Moon Rising
  10. Grave: Halfway to the Grave, Grave Sight, One Foot in the Grave, Grave Peril, Grace Mercy, At Grave’s End, First Grave on the Right, Grave Witch, The Grave Winner, Grave Intentions, Grave Girl

When you line all the titles up together like that it does make them look a tad cliché, but that’s alright.  When you have a genre that works for you it sure does make it easier to find new reads when the titles sound similar.  This week’s list was more fun than I anticipated and I hope you enjoy my list.  I’ve not read them all but there are some good ones listed up there.  The titles italicised are ones I’ve read.