Artemis by Andy Weir

Book Review

 


ArtemisBook Genre: Science Fiction, 

Book Series: N/A

Released: 11/14/17 by Crown Publishing

Pages: 384 Price: $27.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Artemis: A Novel

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

My Review:

Let me start this review off by stating that I love The Martian,  I mean really love that book.  If you follow my blog then you already know this because it seems like I am constantly pimping the book.  I have reviewed it three times after all…(all linked in this review) I was super excited to get my hands on Mr. Weir’s second title because I have also enjoyed many of his short stories that he has published on his website.  Let me also get this out-of-the-way, Artemis is not as strong a story as The Martian.  It simply isn’t.  That’s okay, though, there was a lot to live up to in The Martian and that doesn’t mean that Artemis isn’t a thoroughly enjoyable book because it is.  I’m still giving it five stars, not that I think they are equal, just that The Martian probably deserved like ten stars from me.

Before I started my review I decided to check out some of the other blogger’s thoughts on Artemis and found a mixed bag, some glowing some more critical.  I tend to agree with many of the points of either type of review but they didn’t sway my opinion and decision to give this book five stars.  Let me tell you why.

Lets start with Jazz who seems to receive most of the harsh criticism from reviewers.  Yep she is a little rough around the edges and it can be difficult for a male author to capture the essence of female-hood.  Not that it can’t be done, but it can be a challenge, just as the opposite can be true of a female writing a male.  The tendencies to get carried away with stereotypes can be strong, also sometimes the character can come off feeling a bit off.  Personally I liked Jazz.  I thought she was well written, sure a bit awkward at times and juvenile, but that isn’t necessarily mean she isn’t authentic.  When you take into account the history of the character I think Jazz is pretty true to form.  She was a young girl raised by a single father on the moon.  She is a tomboy and probably didn’t have a strong female role model in her life.  I think she works and have known people in real life like her.  She was smart and funny and I appreciated the strong moral code she lived her life as a smuggler under.  She was flawed but redeeming which makes for a pretty strong character in my book. Just because you might not like someone and think they are awkward doesn’t mean they are lacking.

Now for what I love most about Andy Weir’s books.  The science!  I love that his science fiction is based in real science.  He doesn’t cheat, at least to my non-scientific liberal-arts fine art-degree mind that is.  I might not understand everything he explains in his stories but I love the fact that he takes the time to anyway and doesn’t make me feel stupid in the meantime.  I also enjoy how the lead character talks to the reader, breaking the fourth wall can be tricky.  Easily overdone but not in this instance.  Weir uses it to keep the reader engaged and invested in the story not to mention for comedic reasons.  I loved it!

On last point in this book’s favor that I feel has been overlooked in all the reviews I’ve read thus far.  The diversity in this book is amazing!  I can’t think of a more diverse cast of characters in any book that I’ve ever read, and there have been quite a few.  I don’t know if this speaks more to my reading taste or the industry in general but one of us needs to expand our horizon’s more.  This book was amazing in this regard.  Jazz is a Muslim Saudi female who is the hero of this story!!!  I don’t want to spoil anything else (that was leaked already by Mr. Weir on Facebook) but this book does an excellent job of portraying a diverse blended society.  One other thing I noticed in this book was the lack of Americans.  I’m sure they were there but most of the main functions of this society were not run by companies or people from The United States.   Hmm.  I wonder if this was a bit of social commentary by the author of what might happen to a powerful society that rejects science.  I think it does.

Is the book perfect.  No it can feel a little awkward at times but it was still fun and the ending was amazing.  I can’t wait to add this title to my home library permanently.   I also can’t wait to share this review and book with you my followers and my library patrons.

My Rating: 5 Stars

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The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones

Book Review

 


The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson, #12)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Charley Davidson #12

Released: 10/31/17 by St. Martian’s Press

Pages: 352  Price: $26.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  The Trouble with Twelfth Grave: A Novel (Charley Davidson Series)

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

 

Book Synopsis:

Ever since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up. 

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?

My Review:

This book took me so long to get through.  Not because I struggled with the story but life got in the way, majorly.  I wish I had held off starting this book until I had the time to commit to reading it straight through.  I know I missed bits and pieces because some days I only had time to read a page or two.  The last hundred pages I was able to sit down and focus and was blown away by how much this book made me laugh, I don’t want this series to end.  Book number 13 will be the last and I get it, better to end on top than let the series stretch on and compromise its integrity.  My only hope is that Ms Jones brings us a new series to fall in love with because I would miss fresh titles to look forward to from her.  Her humor is something I need in my life.

The 12 instalment of this series felt much like the books near the beginning of the series.  Reyes was absent from much of the book thanks to plotting but when he was there he had that dangerous bad-boy feel to him again.  I did miss him for much of the book but felt that those moments he did show up were all the more delicious.  While this book had the feeling of earlier books it is an interesting twist to have Charley fully aware of who she is and the role she plays in the universe.  Her grasp on her powers is almost complete yet she continues to be the Charley Davidson that we all fell for.

Being the book before the last book there was movement on loose plot threads that are beginning to be wrapped up.  Some surprises that I did not see coming and a character that has been around but up until now had no page time is summoned and I found the way Ms Jones handled that fascinating.  No spoilers so I won’t say more.  Of course, the book ended with a major cliffhanger that I am super curious to see how this new issue is going to be resolved and only one book left in which to tie it up in!

If you are a fan of this series I would not miss this book or the next.  There isn’t much further to go before getting some resolution in this world.  Personally, I plan to reread the series before the last book which comes out in October of next year.  I simply adore this couple and will be sad to let them go but you have to give it to the author it has been one helluva ride!

My Rating: 4 Stars

Immortally Yours by Lynsay Sands

Book Review

 


Immortally Yours (Argeneau #26)Book Genre: Romance, Paranormal, 

Book Series: Argeneau #26

Released: 9/26/17 by Avon

Pages: 384 Price$7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book:  Immortally Yours: An Argeneau Novel

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

One hundred and twenty-five years is a long time to nurse a crush. That’s how long it’s been since Beth Argenis first met Cullen “Scotty” MacDonald and he instantly became the star of her most X-rated dreams. Back then, he was rescuing her from a Rogue Immortal. Now Beth’s a Rogue Hunter—a damn good one. She doesn’t need saving anymore, despite what Scotty thinks. What she does need is the fierce, wild desire that finally erupts between them.

Scotty has hesitated to claim Beth as his own. But one explosive kiss confirms what he’s long suspected: She’s his life mate. But Beth is tough, fearless, beautiful…and in immortal danger. Unless he wants to lose her forever, he’ll have to rethink everything he once believed about love and destiny as well as confront an enemy who’s terrifyingly close.

My Review:

I’ve been reading this series for some time now and have absolutely no plans to abandon it anytime soon.  I’m in it for the long haul regardless of if I love the current release or not.  Fortunately, the latest book is one that I LOVE!

The 26th installment of the Argeneau series brings us back to Canada where the rogue hunters are little scarce thanks to the drama going on with the doctor.  They are relying on hunters on loan from Europe and we end up with Beth and Scotty’s story.  Some parts of this story felt familiar and we probably met these two before for another couple’s coming together.  Please note Ms. Kenyon, this book is a perfect example of how you can revisit a plot from an earlier book without copying scenes word-for-word…  Moving on.

Beth and Scotty’s book is one of the more somber and serious Argeneau books focusing more on drama than laughs.  Don’t worry they are in there too.  But both leads had a pretty tough human life and we deal with topics in this book that don’t lend well to slapstick.  I loved how Ms. Sands tackled some heavy topics and didn’t sanitize what was most likely reality for many young poor women from Beth’s human era.

I enjoyed how it wasn’t an easy coming together for these two.  They had to work at finding their h.e.a.  Both needed to overcome insecurities and prejudices and grow as individuals before they could work as a couple.  Scotty was fun but came with his own set of baggage and needed to own up to it.  Beth was a kick-ass heart of gold heroine and I simply loved her.  She was a great pick for the pompous Scotty.  In the end, as with all of Ms. Sands’ stories, they found their H.E.A. and the mystery was solved.  There were some fresh faces in this book and I look forward to seeing who they might get paired up with in future novels.

If you love this series then I think you will love this one too.  If you feel that it is getting a little stale then I implore you to hold on for this book as it had a fresh feeling to me.  Over all, it simply was a great read and I enjoyed every minute of it.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Woman by Loryn Brantz

Book Review

 


Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a WomanBook Genre: Non-Fiction, Humor, Comics

Book Series: N/A

Released: 9/ 26/17 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 128  Price: $14.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book:  Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Woman

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

Book Synopsis:

A collection of Loryn Brantz’s vibrant and relatable Jellybean Comics about her everyday experiences as a lady 

Home manicure tips, awkward seduction techniques, scoping out the snack table, and—most important—prioritizing naps: Lady Stuff reveals these womanly secrets and more. In sections like “Grooming and Habitat Maintenance,” “Mating Habits,” and others, these brightly colored, adorable comics find the humor in the awkwardness of simply existing.
 
Like the work of Sarah Andersen, Gemma Correll, and Allie Brosh, Loryn Brantz’s Jellybean Comics are accessible and funny; lighthearted takes on the author’s everyday experiences and struggles being a woman.

My Review:

Like many of you, I’ve seen this author’s work on Facebook and other social media platforms as memes but did not realize that when requesting this book for review.  What pulled me in was the title and description, also the fact that it was a read now title on Net Galley.  I decided to take a shot and see what this book was all about.

What I received was a fun little read that was quite clever and poignant at times.  Besides being totally funny I found myself thinking oh yeah I totally get that.  These illustrations are going to be so relatable to any woman, this would make an excellent gift for your best girlfriend!  Not very long but well done this book also worked well on my e-reader, perhaps the only time that a graphic novel book worked for me!

Not much more I can say beyond that.  It was a fun read that would make a great gift!

My Rating: 4 Stars

Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

Book Review

 


Reincarnation BluesBook Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Humor

Book Series: N/A

Released: 8/22/17 by Del Rey Books

Pages: 384 Price: $27.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads,

Buy the Book: Amazon  Reincarnation Blues: A Novel

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A magically inspiring tale of a man who is reincarnated through many lifetimes so that he can be with his one true love: Death herself.

What if you could live forever—but without your one true love? Reincarnation Blues is the story of a man who has been reincarnated nearly 10,000 times, in search of the secret to immortality so that he can be with his beloved, the incarnation of Death. Neil Gaiman meets Kurt Vonnegut in this darkly whimsical, hilariously profound, and wildly imaginative comedy of the secrets of life and love. Transporting us from ancient India to outer space to Renaissance Italy to the present day, is a journey through time, space, and the human heart.

My Review:

I absolutely loved this book.  Completely.  I actually believe in reincarnation, much like what was described in this book.  My belief is that we come back to Earth time and time again in order to experience every part of humanity and evolve as a soul.  I also believe we plan each life, to some extent, in order to reach our goals so while this is a great story of human nature and love there was also the added bonus, for me, that so much of the plot fed into my belief system of life and death and reincarnation.  Score!

Okay putting that aside for those of you who don’t share my beliefs this is still an amazingly good book.  The story is entertaining, the characters not taking themselves too seriously, willing to poke fun at themselves.  They were also full of depth, complex and unique.  Some of their quirks had me laughing but the author also knew how to set the fun aside and get serious for a chapter or two.  There were such profound moments in this book that it made my heart wrench for the characters.  The author did an excellent job of showing the human race for what we are, blemishes and all.  He also showed us the potential for what we could become, though.  That in each of us we have the potential to do great things and some pretty crappy things too.  Of course, then there is karma which will get us in the end and rewards us for our actions be them good or bad.

The synopsis leads one to believe this is a story about love and it is but it is also so much more.  I would have to say that the love plot line almost took a back burner for me.  Oh sure I wanted to see those two crazy kids get together and have their H.E.A (e standing for eternity here) but it isn’t what kept me engaged in the story.  The observations on humanity are what kept me turning the page.  The jumping back and forth in time, done well by the way and not confusing at all, to observe how the human race evolved over time and how one small act can ripple through out time and change the course of humanity for years to come.

This is simply a great read done by a talented author who can weave a complex and fresh story that not only entertains but makes one stop and think for a moment.  It is one of those books that I’m better for having read it and you will be too.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Tomorrow’s Kin by Nancy Kress

Book Review

 


Tomorrow's Kin (Yesterday's Kin Trilogy, #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

Book Series: Yesterday’s Kin Trilogy #1

Released: 7/11/17 by Tor Books

Pages: 288 Price: $25.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Tomorrow’s Kin: Book 1 of the Yesterday’s Kin Trilogy

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Tomorrow’s Kin is the first volume in and all new hard SF trilogy by Nancy Kress based on the Nebula Award-winning Yesterday’s Kin.

The aliens have arrived… they’ve landed their Embassy ship on a platform in New York Harbor, and will only speak with the United Nations. They say that their world is so different from Earth, in terms of gravity and atmosphere, that they cannot leave their ship. The population of Earth has erupted in fear and speculation.

One day Dr. Marianne Jenner, an obscure scientist working with the human genome, receives an invitation that she cannot refuse. The Secret Service arrives at her college to escort her to New York, for she has been invited, along with the Secretary General of the UN and a few other ambassadors, to visit the alien Embassy.

The truth is about to be revealed. Earth s most elite scientists have ten months to prevent a disaster and not everyone is willing to wait.

My Review:

I’ve read a couple of books by this author and thoroughly enjoyed both of them, in fact, the first book that I read was Yesterday’s Kin.  The book that this series is based upon or is a continuation of.  I thought the cover looked familiar when requesting it so I dug a little deeper and discovered the connection and became concerned for a moment that I was about to read the same book twice.  The page count was different so I decided to continue and see what was different.

I have to confess I did skip the first third of the book which felt like it was either the same as Yesterday’s Kin or close enough that I would probably be fine if I jumped to the new material.  The book was divided into three parts and starting in part two the story picks up where the first novella left off.  If you want to read what I thought of that first third of the story you can do so here, Yesterday’s Kin Review.

So what did I think of this revamped or continued story?  I think it was bloody brilliant!  In my review of the previous story, I held back one star, mentioning closure for two of the characters but perhaps it was more of I needed closure.  I wanted to know more, what happened next.  In this book, the author delivers, big time.  The second part of the book picks up a few years after the first part ends and we get to see the aftermath of what happened on Earth when the aliens left and the disaster struck. It wasn’t pretty, but I think it was pretty accurate in what the author envisioned.  Like The Martian, Ms. Kress uses real science to weave a captivating and thoughtful story about human nature and human’s place in the world.  There was so much I hadn’t thought of if a disaster like this struck.  What the ramifications would be not only to our environment but our way of life and even our evolution.  It was truly fascinating.

The book does feel fairly science accurate but it was never stuffy or boring.  The author never lectures but simply illuminates and uses science to give her story teeth.  Ms. Kress is truly a gifted story-teller and I loved this book.  I am excited that there are two more tales to come as I can not wait to see where she takes these characters next.

If you want a smart yet thrilling science fiction story that echoes current environmental, political, and cultural struggles we face today while throwing an interesting twist then this is a book you are going to want to pick up for yourself.  This story has it all!

 

My Rating: 5 Stars

Talen by Rebecca Zanetti

Book Review

 


Talen: A Dark Protectors NovellaBook Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Dark Protectors #7.8

Released: 6/6/17 from Lyrical Press

Pages: 95 Price: $2.99 E-Book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  Talen (Dark Protectors)

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

She’ll love him forever . . . but he can’t make her obey . . .

The war is over. Danger has passed. Cara Kayrs is healed after decades of illness and ready for a break.

Too bad her brooding, alpha vampire husband can’t seem to change gears. In their twenty-five years together Talen Kayrs has learned to sense every shiver of her body, to ignite her desire with a word or a look. She would think he could learn she’s not some fragile damsel in distress.

But Talen is on edge, watching their backs, treating her like she’s made of glass. Like there’s something following them, a deadly threat that somehow none of their intelligence has uncovered. It’s enough to drive a woman crazy, and Talen has plenty of those tendencies already.

But what’s even more maddening is that he seems to be right . . .

My Review:

This was a fun visit to a finished series I enjoyed.  In this book we revisit the couple from the book that started it all and get a chance to see how their H.E.A has been after the war has ended.  As in real life just because peace has been declared sometimes it takes a while for everyone to get used to the idea.

As with the other books in the series if you have a problem with dominant alpha-males that push the envelope between a healthy and abusive relationship this might not be the series for you.  If you can overlook all that then this is one sexy read for an afternoon of relaxing.  There was plenty of action to go along with the sex as well as a pretty great plot that worked out in a clever way.  I had to smile and shake my head at how things turned out for this novella. If the men in this world would only turn things over to the females then there might not have been a war to begin with…

Anyway,  I am going to keep an eye out for future novellas in this world because I enjoyed this brief visit to this world. If you’ve read the series than this is a must add to your to-read list as it will be sure to make you nostalgic for the series.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Blog Tour: Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Week One

Monday, April 17 – There’s This Book
Tuesday, April 18 – Vicarious Bookworm
Wednesday, April 19 – Bad Bird Reads | Francesca’s World
Thursday, April 20 – Read What I Like
Friday, April 21 – Snoopy Doo’s Book Reviews | The Book Nympho

Week Two

Monday, April 24 – The Consummate Reader | Rantings of a Reading Addict
Tuesday, April 25 (Release Day) – Vampire Book Club | Literary Escapism | Saucy Wenches
Wednesday, April 26 – Cocktails & Books | Goldilocks & The Three Weres
Thursday, April 27 – Rabid Reads
Friday, April 28 – Tru Bookie’s Review


I am so excited to be a tour stop for the release of Blade Bound!  To help launch the last release in this epic series, Chicagoland Vampires!  I’m not one to sign up for many blog tours but when I saw Ms. Neill’s call for blogs to sign up I knew I had to take a shot.  I entered, crossed my fingers and here we are!  An official stop right there besides some truly amazing blogs, I am not missing a single stop on this tour and I hope you don’t either.

As to my turn to host the celebration of the release of Blade Bound I have altered my typical review post to include lots of fun stuff.  We have links to all the official tour stops above.  Next is my Spoiler Free review and links to where you can get your hands on a copy of Blade Bound.  After my review, there is a totally cool mini-interview with Merit where I got the opportunity to ask her four questions. Last but not least at the very end you will find not one but two different giveaways!  So be sure to check everything out.


Book Review

 

Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires, #13)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Book Series: Chicagoland Vampires # 13

Released: 4/25/17 by Berkley Publishing Group

Pages: 384  Price: $15.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy The Book Links: 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Books-A-Million | Indiebound

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

Book Synopsis:

The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees a sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it may usher in the fall of Cadogan House… 

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House.  She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House in infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined.  As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension.  It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

My Review:

I am sitting here wondering what to say… How to start this review… I mean just where does one begin?  Do I start by saying unabashedly how much I loved this book, this series?  Do I tease you with insight into the final chapter to this action-packed series?  Do I plead with the author and publishers to please, please don’t let it end? Or do I sigh, shed a tear, and smile at all the joy this world has brought into my life and wish these two characters all the best as they finally move into their H.E.A.?  I think that is where I will begin…

I did not start off loving Merit and Ethan, it took me about four books to actually warm up to these two.  It was a rocky start after all with Merit not liking who she became and Ethan having an ego the size of the State of Illinois.  I pushed on and eventually, the magic caught me.  Ironically it took losing Ethan to make me see just how special this series was.  There was so much to love; action, steam, quick-wit, drama, a fun supporting cast, and an amazing city for all their adventures to unfold in.  This has become one of my favorite worlds to explore and now it is over.  Merit and Ethan have earned their H.E.A and I wish them an eternity of joy together.  I will think of them every time I visit Chicago.

I have to say as far as series finales go this is one of the best ones I’ve ever read.  It had everything that made this series great and didn’t shove a forced farewell to all the characters that were no longer relevant to the current plot down our throats.  Most of the plot threads were wrapped up nicely, only one that I can think of that felt unresolved but such is life.  This book started off with a celebration which was an amazing way to honor this power couple that is leaving our lives.  Of course, being Merit and Ethan chaos quickly broke things up and the vampires were tasked with saving the city once again.

I loved how this series brought everything full circle and ended with a set of characters now a fully functional team working to defend their home.  We also get another tour of iconic locations in Chicago as the city is literally a central character to this story.  I  couldn’t think of a more fitting way to send off the Chicagoland Vampires series than this book.  It was perfect.

I have heard that we will revisit this city again in a spin-off series and I for one am thrilled.  Of course, it won’t be the same but knowing this author it should be one helluva ride!  I can’t wait.

My Rating:5 Stars


Mini-Interview with Merit

When I found out I would get the opportunity to ask one of the characters of the series four questions I about had a fit.  I rushed into my husband’s office to gush about this unique opportunity to interact with someone from a series I adore.  It is almost like I get to truly become a part of their world for a brief moment.  I was so excited.  My husband, less so, but he humored my enthusiasm and listened to me babble for about 10 minutes before returning to YouTube.   I left him in peace to work on my questions I hope you enjoy what I came up with.

Amy:  Greetings Merit, I’m so excited to get this chance to ask you a few questions. I live in Iowa and visit Chicago about once a year, I always think of you, Ethan and the rest of Cadogan House during my visits.  My first question is this.  What are your favorite hidden corners of Chicago that the typical tourist might miss?

Merit: Interesting question! I think a visit to Washington library is a must for any reader. The Winter Garden is spectacular! I love the cake shakes at Portillo’s, the shopping in Wicker Park, and Hash House A-Go-Go on the Gold Coast.

Amy:  Continuing with the tourist theme and knowing your love of Chicago’s cuisine what is one food or dish that every visitor to Chicago must try during their visit?

Merit: Most people would say Chicago-style pizza, but I’d recommend an Italian Hot Beef sandwich. Go to Al’s, and learn how to
lean in!

Amy: Changing topics, Excluding anything connected to Ethan what is your favorite moment or aspect of your life after becoming a vampire?

Merit: Considering my answer above, probably the fact that I can eat whatever I want! On a more serious note, probably the fact that I can now handle a katana with some skill. I like being able to take care of myself and those I love.

Amy: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions today.  Lastly, as a librarian, I have always admired your love of books so my final question is what are you currently reading or what was your last great read?

Merit: You’re very welcome! Right now, I’m loving Deanna Raybourn’s novels!


But wait, don’t leave yet!  There’s more…

How about a giveaway!!!  Ms. Neill sent me some awesome swag to share with my awesome followers. Giveaway is now closed.  Thanks to all who entered. Winners will be posted on my giveaway page once I receive confirmation from them.

The fun doesn’t stop here. 

Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Blade Bound Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs April 17 through April 28 on Chloe’s web site.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?

  • Engraved Cadogan House medal pendant
  • Signed 11×16 Merit poster
  • $50 Amazon gift card
  • $50 Garrett Popcorn Gift Card (Chicago’s hometown favorite!)
  • Tote bag containing Chicagoland Vampires and Devil’s Isle Swag

Thank you so much for joining me here at Read What I Like an official stop on the Blade Bound Blog Tour.  It was my pleasure to have you all here and to review this book and the series (you can find my other reviews on the Review Index page).  This is a spectacular series and if you have not tried it yet I envy you for I would love the chance to read it again for the first time!  For those entering the giveaway, good luck!

ARC Phantom Kiss by Chloe Neill

Book Review

 


Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires, #12.5)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction

Book Series: Chicagoland Vampires #12.5

Released: 1/17/17 by Berkley

Pages: 83 Price: $1.99 Ebook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires)

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Vampires generally aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, but Merit and Ethan are extra jumpy after a recent attack by a dark sorcerer. So when they learn that someone is messing with graves in Chicago’s cemeteries, stealing skulls and snatching souls, they fear that their powerful foe might be back for even more magical vengeance.

But after a specter begins haunting Cadogan House—and targeting vampires—they realize that their being taunted by an altogether different sort of monster. A ghoulish villain straight out of the Windy City’s urban legends is on the prowl—and he won’t stop until he’s killed again…

My Review:

I like many fans of Chloe Neill are both sad and excited about the upcoming release that will close this long run series.  Soon it will be time to say goodbye to Merit and Ethan and let them move on to their H.E.A. They deserve the peace and quiet but I sure will miss reading about their adventures.

I didn’t realize Ms. Neill was working on a novella between the last release and the last release so this was a pleasant surprise and a fun read.  We start out with some wedding drama and I loved that first scene where Merit kicked ass, kinda…  You will see what I mean when you read it and for the awesome price of $1.99 (according to the book info page over at Net Galley) I hope you do go out and pick this one up.

I’m actually surprised that this book is coming out in January as the plot seems more fitting to Halloween.  A good old fashion ghost story seems like a better fit for that time of year.

We have the return of many of the series familiar faces as well as a fairly recent addition in the last book.  Bottom line this was a great read, a quick read and those of you who have stayed current with the series will not want to miss this novella.  It will deliver everything you love about the series.

My Rating: 4 Stars

ARC Lucifer by D.B. Reynolds

Book Review

 


Lucifer (Vampires in America, #11)Book Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Vampires in America #11

Released: 11/18/16 by ImaJinn Books

Pages: 298  Price: $7.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Lucifer (Vampires in America: The Vampire Wars Book 11)

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

 

Book Synopsis:

Montreal, Quebec . . . A charming city on the St. Lawrence River, historic, sophisticated, but beneath it all lies an extensive underground where treacherous vampires are plotting to seize the country.

Lucifer Scuderi is a vampire—handsome and charismatic, a powerful hunter of unusual skill—who arrives in Montreal to take on the most important hunt of his life. Someone has kidnapped the mate of Canada’s ruling vampire lord, and it’s up to Lucifer to find him before his death sets off a crisis that could engulf the entire continent.

Eleanor Morel lost everything—including the love of her life—when she became a vampire. But now, twenty years later, she’s a trusted bodyguard to the Canadian lord, Sophia, and the only person Sophia can count on to lead the search for her endangered mate. But what Eleanor doesn’t know is that the special hunter she’ll be working with is none other than her long-lost love. And he’s demanding answers.

Lucifer’s love for Eleanor burns as hot as his anger towards her for leaving him. But they’ll have to find a way to set history aside and work together if they’re going to unravel the twisted betrayal that threatens not only Sophia and her mate, but the whole continent. Because the European vampires are on the move. And if Canada falls, the rest of North America could follow . . .

My Review:

Book number eleven in this series I adore brings us back to Canada to deal with Lord Sophia’s missing mate.  He has been kidnapped by the European vampires who are becoming ever more bold in their attempt to claim this continent for their own.  While I love this author and series I have to say this book wasn’t my favorite in the series.  I would have to say it fits in with other books I didn’t care for in the series, books 3-5.  Still committed to this world just didn’t care for Sophia’s drama I guess…

So what went wrong for me. The book had a different feel to it as we gear up to travel to Europe and take the war to those vamps on their home turf.  I did like Lucifer and Eleanor but struggled to build a connection with them.  I also didn’t care for the flashbacks.  I know they were necessary to build the history between these two, but I’m usually not a fan of them when they are used in any book/series I’m reading.  I just don’t care for the jumping back and forth in time.  A few are okay but this story had quite a few flashbacks in the first 50 pages and it didn’t agree with me.  As we move into the current action they decrease and I was finally able to get into the story.

Most of this book I wanted to follow two threads; how were they going to rescue the mate and how were they going to work it out for these two lost loves to stay together.  I’m not going to spoil anything but it did work out nicely and I appropriated how things played out.  Having just read Aden’s story I did enjoy revisiting this character, even if he didn’t get a lot of page time.

If you are a fan of the series I would NOT miss this book.  Don’t skip it.  If you’ve not tried this world yet start back at book one and enjoy the ride.  I’m glad I read this one, even if it wasn’t my favorite.  Looking forward to the next.  I’m curious to see how the series shifts as we journey to Europe and kick some ass over there.  Its time to take this war to them instead of waiting for the attack at home.  Should be good!

My Rating:3 Stars