Top Ten Tuesday:Odd Crossovers

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:

August 7: Books You’d Mash Together

 

I kind of love the idea for this week’s list!  I’m going to put a bit of a twist on it however.  I’m going to select some of my favorite series or trilogies that I would love it if the authors got together and did a crossover story with characters from both worlds visiting each other.  Something like that Marvel does where you get Ironman and Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange team up to have an adventure.  Alright let’s see what awesome story ideas we can make up.

Ten Series Crossover Ideas

  1. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, #1) Love at Stake & A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1) Argeneau: These two series are my favorite light and fluffy chick-lit vampire series.  The Argeneau is still an active series but Love at Stake is finished so maybe some of those characters could show up in one of Lynsay Sands books.  Could be fun.
  2. Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends Series #1) The Dark Hunters & Born of Night (The League: Nemesis Rising #1) The League: I thought this might be a fun crossover being that both series are written by Ms. Kenyon.  We could have The League discover Earth and interact with the Dark Hunters. I’ve also always wondered how all the Gods and goddesses would influence a mulit-planet system.
  3. Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) Night Huntress & Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1) Chicagoland Vampires:  These author’s writing style remind me of one another.  Perhaps Bones and Cat can take a trip to visit Merit and Ethan in Chicago.
  4. Redshirts John Scalzi & The Martian Andy Weir: This is the only exception to this week’s list.  Weir has only written/published two books neither one a series and Redshirts was a stand-alone for Scalzi.  They also have a slightly different writing style but what they do share is a great sence of humor and I’d love to see what they could write if they teamed up.
  5. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) Charley Davidson & Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) Mercy Thompson: It might be because I’m currently rereading these books in audio format and they are narrated by the same person but I think these two series might be fun for a crossover.  In Jones’s world there is only angels and the grim reaper for paranormal elements  what would happen if they learned there were also shifters, vampires, and fae, oh my!
  6. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) Blackdagger Brotherhood & Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1) Guild Hunter: I almost pared up Ms. Ward with another author but at the last-minute I remembered Singh’s series (which I keep meaning to return to…) and thought they would be a great fit.
  7. Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians, #1) Immortal Guardians & Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends Series #1) Dark Hunter: I have alway thought the Immortal Guardians series reminded me a lot of the Dark Hunter series so for the purpose of this list why not pair them up and see what happens!
  8. Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) The Hollows & Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1) Alpha & Omega: I wanted to match Ms. Harrison’s Hollows series up with someone because I thought it was such a great series but I struggled to find the right fit.  I think the Alpha and Omega series might work because of the character Charles.  He is such a stoic character that it might be fun to see how he handles interacting with Rachel and her crew.  Jenks would drive him mad, I think.
  9. Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1) Blackdagger Legacy & Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed,  #1) Midnight Breed: Decided to match Ms. Ward’s spin-off series with the Midnight Breed world because the two world seem like they would work well together.
  10. A Girl's Guide to Vampires (Dark Ones #1) Dark Ones & Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, #1) Jane Jameson: Returning to lighter hearted paring for my final selection.  Both of these authors have great senses of humor and tend to write wacky female characters that would be fun to see interact.

I tried to pair up authors and series that would compliment each other either in plot or in writing style.  How about you?  What series would make good crossover novels if their authors teamed up?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Lost Interest.

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:

 June 25: Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish

I’m going to have to put some limitation on this list because it could quickly get out of hand.  I’m going to exclude series where I’ve read only one or two books.  I’m going to say I needed to have read five or more books before calling it quits.  Five books demonstrates some level of commitment to the series and I will usually stick with them for longer than that.

Note:  I know this published on Monday…  I’ve been writing up these TTT blogs a few months in advance and must have gotten the date wrong for this week.  I’m not going to redact it and re-post it tomorrow.  This week I’m just a day early.  Sorry.

Ten book series I’ve given up on.

  1. Midnight Breeds by Lara Adrian 15/23 read:  This series simply became too difficult to follow with a ton of novellas showing up in anthologies where that would be the only story read.  When I dedicate myself to a series I like to read all the books and to have to pick up a bunch of books for just one short story.  I also started having trouble keeping all the second generation characters straight.
  2. Broken Heart by Michele Bardsley 10/19 read:  This series was a case of waiting too long for the next book.  I think the author lost the publisher or changed publishers halfway through and there was a delay in release.  I simply lost interest along with too many novellas in anthologies.
  3. House of Night by P.C. Cast 6/12 read:  I made it halfway through this series.  I was never super excited about it and eventually asked myself why I was reading them.  All three-star ratings.
  4. Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole 7/19 read:  Only one of the books I read in this series made it to three stars.  The other six were all two-star ratings.  I truly don’t understand why I stuck with them that long.  I probably bought them…
  5. Scanguards Vampires by Tina Folsom 8/12 read:  I’m surprised I have given up on this series as I actually really enjoyed it.  There was one book I DNF due to violence or something but I had planned on simply skipping that story and picking up with the next book.  That never happened and I’ve simply moved on.
  6. Half-Moon Hollow by Molly Harper 5/12 read:  Another series with tons of novellas in anthologies.  Although, that isn’t what ended my journey with this series.  This was a case of constantly being turned down for an ARC and then never making time for the book once it released.  I eventually just quit trying.
  7. Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey 8/13 read:  I might even own two of the remaining book in this series but I am so over YA that I don’t even care that I paid for them.
  8. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin 5/7 read:  I don’t care anymore.  I’m done.  Not that the sixth book will ever come out.
  9. V.I. Warchawski by Sara Paretsky 12/20 read:  I slowly lost interest in this series as my taste changed.  Out of all the series on the list, this is the one most likely to be picked up again.
  10. Vampire for Hire by J.R. Rain 10/29 read:  This is a case of the author made me mad.  He decided to not offer his self-published books through Barnes and Noble anymore and I decided to stop reading his stories.

What series have you decided to be done with?  Share in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday:Passing Fancy

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 10: Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read

There are several series that I am working on rereading and a few more that I plan to re-read in the future.  Then there are some series that I truly enjoyed but don’t need to revisit.

Ten series I enjoyed but don’t want to re-read

  1. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1) This was a fun YA paranormal series that never really took off.  It ended after two and a half books.  Thought it was not as well-known I enjoyed it but not enough to ever re-read.
  2. Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1) I loved this series when it first came out and desperately wished that I had stopped reading around book nine or ten.  If I had I probably would have wanted to reread this series but with the way it ended, I simply can’t revisit this world or ever read one of Ms. Harris’s books ever again.
  3. Happy Hour at Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, #1) This was a lesser known quartet of books that took me forever to start but once I did I was super impressed by how good it was.  Not enough to reread though.
  4. Fated (Dark Protectors, #1) This was a hot urban fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal series that I zipped through.  I’ve tried other series written by this author but never found one that I liked as well as this series.  completely recommend to others but won’t be re-reading.
  5. I'm the Vampire, That's Why (Broken Heart #1) This series kind of fizzled out for me and I never ended up finishing it.  The first few books were great though, but I don’t think I’ll be rereading them in an effort to finish the series.
  6. Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1) Another great urban fantasy/paranormal romance world that I loved.  Haven’t given her other series a try yet and I don’t think I ever will.  Nor will I be rereading this series.
  7. Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, #1) This series is freaking hilarious.  I used to love her work and then I kept getting turned down for her ARCs and never seemed to make time to pick them up and read them after release.  Finally, I have just given up on keeping current with her series altogether.  Kinda sad.
  8. Bared to You (Crossfire, #1) The Crossfire series is kind of like a train wreck that you just can’t look away from.  I was glad I read it and enjoyed the ending but I don’t think I will be revisiting this world again.
  9. The Passage (The Passage, #1) I’m so glad I stuck with this trilogy to the end.  I’m also thrilled that I got a chance to meet Mr. Cronin at BEA a couple of years ago.  That being said I don’t think I’ll be rereading this series.
  10. Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) I read this series last year, actually need to finish the last two books still…, I thought the first two books were great but I don’t think I’ll be re-reading it even though I plan on keeping my signed copy in my home library forever.

What books did you love but never plan on reading ever again?

The Rings of Haven by Ryk Brown

Book Review

 


The Rings of Haven (The Frontiers Saga #2)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Audiobook

Book Series: The Frontiers Saga part 1 #2

Released:  2/3/2012 by Ryk Brown

Pages: 241  Price: $2.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  Ep.2 – “The Rings of Haven” (The Frontiers Saga)

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A ship stranded halfway across the galaxy. A difficult and lengthy journey home. A homeworld in urgent need of their return. And now they are running out of food.

The crew of the Aurora must now trust their new allies in order to survive. But their situation may be far more serious than they imagined. And their actions could have repercussions across the galaxy.

Their journey home may just have gotten slightly more complicated.

My Review:

I was surprised that my library actually purchased the second instalment of this series, there must be someone else that suggested the addition to their online catalog too.  I still don’t have high hopes that I will ever finish the series, as there is something like 19 parts and the only easy way to get a hold of them is an e-book through Amazon limiting their availability.

Took me a moment to piece together what happened in part one but once I remembered I did enjoy the story.  Not quite as much as the first but it is difficult to keep the action going in episodic fiction.  Sometimes you have a slower book than others, wherein a longer piece the slow parts are used to break up the action.  Sometimes when a story is released this way, in parts, you end up with a part that is simply all slow.

The story still feels a lot like an episode of Star Trek where the crew interacts with a potentially hostile new world after being marooned on the other side of the galaxy, Voyager anyone.  Don’t get me wrong I love that aspect of the story.  I would like to know more about what happened to humanity on Earth, we still get teased with the setback to the human race but I don’t feel like we were ever really explained what happened.  A couple more pieces were shared but the events still a great mystery to me.

Bottom line I still like the series.  The author is talented and tells a great science fiction space opera story.  If I get a chance to continue through my library I will but if not then I will probably let this one go.  The price is fair, but for so many parts $3 will add up quickly and prices this story right out of my affordability range.  If you have access to Kindle Unlimited, however, this story is one that you can read for free and would be a great option.

My Rating: 3 Stars

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Book Review

 


The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)Book Genre: Fantasy, Western, Post Apocalyptic, Adventure

Book Series: The Dark Tower #1

Released: 6/10/1982 by NAL

Pages: 231 Price: $20.00 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

Source: I borrowed this book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.
This new edition of The Gunslinger has been revised and expanded throughout by King, with new story material, in addition to a new introduction and foreword. It also includes four full-color illustrations in the hardcover and trade paperback formats.

My Review:

This my second reading of this book. The first time took place in January of 1991 when I was in high school.  How do I know this? Because I wrote the dates I finished each section in the table of contents of my book which is currently being read by my husband.  All through middle and high school I read everything I could get my hands on written by Stephen King.  Partially because it was a way to rebel, another because these were books my deceased mother had read, and because I enjoyed how pieces or clues to this epic series would be found hidden within other stories he wrote.  I have long since broken up with the author but still, I hang onto the main books in this series in case I ever wanted to revisit them.

My husband and I recently went to see the movie loosely based on the books and my husband enjoyed it so much he decided to read the first book.  Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to read the same book he was I decided to check this one out from the library and read it too.  I was also curious to see if I would feel the same about this epic fantasy that I once did.  I was obsessed with this series, after all, it was time to see if I still was.

I wasn’t.  I can see why my younger self was so enamored by the story but my 26 years older self found a lot lacking.  Younger Amy fell hard for the epic good vs evil the magic and the mysticism.  She wanted a story to get lost within something to sink her teeth into.  Older Amy knows how this story plays out and isn’t interested in taking this journey twice.  Ironic when you think about how the last book ended.  My older reading self comes to this story with more experience and was able to see the flaws of this story.  It wasn’t awful but I’ve read better where my 17-year-old self most likely hadn’t.

Basically, I’ve moved on much like the world Roland inhabits.  There were a time and place for this series in my life and it was 26 years ago.  This is one I am fully able and willing to let go because after reading this book for the second time I will not be rereading the rest. The book was a bit slow-paced for me and near the end, I kept thinking I should just put it down. But I finished it and now the husband and I can discuss it over lunch sometime.  I didn’t care for the characters much, Roland was alright and Jake was just annoying.  The man in black was probably the most interesting which surprised me.  If they ever make a second movie I’ll probably go see it but quite frankly I don’t think that is going to happen.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: I give up…

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

July 25, 2017: Series I am giving up on. 

There comes a time when we all have to face facts, tastes change. We evolve as readers and books or series we once enjoyed might not work for us anymore.  Or perhaps too much time has past and we don’t remember what is going on anymore.  Whatever the reason sometimes we just stop turning to authors or series we once enjoyed in favor of something shiny and new.  Below are ten series that I am removing from to-read list today.  I’m not saying that I will never consider picking up the next book in these series but it is becoming more and more unlikely.  It was fun while it lasted but it is time to move on.

Ten series that I am putting out to pasture.

  1. Broken Heart Tails (Broken Heart, #10) Broken Heart Series: This was such a fun series that I enjoyed once upon a time.  The author is quite funny and the series was hilarious at times.  I was keeping up with this one and then the author didn’t publish any new books for a while and I moved on to other series.  I tried to go back but the book I attempted just didn’t work for me and so I fell even further behind.  I need to just own up that I probably won’t be returning to this world. Weeded.
  2. Tracking the Tempest (Jane True, #2) Jane True Series: Read the first book in this series and just never got around to picking up the second.  Now I don’t even remember what happen in the first book.  Time to let it go. Weeded.
  3. Defy the Dawn (Midnight Breed, #14) Midnight Breed Series: This one pains me to say goodbye to.  I really enjoyed this series and it is still the best example of a series reinventing itself that I’ve seen.  Another case of I didn’t get review book and put off requesting and Inter Library Loan to keep up and then I see that many of the next works are actually novellas inside anthologies.  I’m afraid I just don’t have the time to keep track of what book I need to request anymore.  Goodbye dear friend.  Weeded.
  4. Eternal Sin (Mark of the Vampire, #6) Mark of the Vampire Series:  I think this is a case of the author moved on without me.  She hasn’t published a book in this series in some time.  So I don’t feel too bad about letting this one go.  It was a great series while it lasted.  Weeded.
  5. Dragon Storm (Dragon Falls, #2) Dragon Falls: This one I feel a tad bit guilty over.  I was gifted the first two books in the series and then bought the third… I read the first one and attempted the second and it just didn’t work for me.  I think it might be time to break up with this author in a case of it isn’t you it is me.  I’m not into the fluffy fun paranormal romance as much as I used to be.  Only a few authors do I actually enjoy anymore.  Weeded, but not deleted from my Nook I might go back some day with this one.
  6. The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire (Half-Moon Hollow, #3) Half-Moon Hollow Series: I’ve tried time and time again to request review books in this series and have been turned down repeatedly.  Not big deal except that it means the series doesn’t often make it into my reading priority list, top that with the need to request the books through inter library loan through my library and it means that I am now three books behind in this world.  I’m giving up.  No mater how much I enjoy the series it obviously isn’t a priority for me and I’m going to move on.  Weeded.
  7. Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) Throne of Glass Series: This was a kick-ass series and so popular that I could never get my hands on it at the library.  So I waited and waited and now there are two or three books out and I don’t care anymore how it ends up.  So I’m moving on.  Maybe someday when the series is done I’ll come across them while thrifting and pick the series back up again.  Weeded.
  8. Cain's Identity (Scanguards Vampires, #9) Scanguards Vampires Series:  I DNF one of these books a long time ago and meant to pick up the next in series to see if the story still worked for me.  Didn’t happen so now its time to let this world go.  Weeded.
  9. Accidentally...Cimil? (Accidentally Yours, #4.5) Accidentally Yours Series: I think I might own at least two of the remaining three books in this series…. I’ve not made time to get to them and I don’t think I ever will.  I enjoyed this one while it lasted but it fell victim to too long of a wait between releases.  Weeded, but not deleted.
  10. Outlander (Outlander #1) Outlander Series: Several people have recommended this series to me.  I’ve not started it and I probably won’t ever get around to reading it.  Why?  I’m not a huge fan of historical romance and there are a ton of books in the series and they are all bricks.  My reading pace has slowed down considerably.  I hate to say it but a thousand some page book by an author I’ve never tried before just isn’t in the cards for me currently.  Maybe I will look into this one as an audiobook selection from my library.  Weeded before even starting.

 

There you have my list for this week.  What series have you moved on from recently?

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Book Review

 


Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel, #1)Book Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Humor, Fantasy, Audiobook

Book Series: Lizzy & Diesel #1

Released: 9/14/10 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 313  Price: $27.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  Wicked Appetite (Lizzy and Diesel)

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers. He’s an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.

That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She’s freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston’s North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle’s bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it’s suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.

Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She’s not sure about Diesel. He’s offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.

The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that’s fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.

My Review:

Full disclosure, I only checked this book out so that there would be an E author on my reviewed index page on my blog.  I only need a U and an X author now.  For some reason, I’m not a big fan of Ms. Evanovich.  I know people love her and we have library patrons that loyally check out and devour each new release in her Stephanie Pulm series.

This wasn’t bad, I enjoyed listening to it more than the other series, probably because of the supernatural element to the story.  There are moments of humor but on the whole, I found the female lead kind of annoying. Diesel was an alright male lead but he just lacked chemistry in my opinion.  The monkey was over the top but I loved the one-eyed cat.

Basically, this story is the beginning of a supernatural series full of immature humor and low-level sexual tension.  If I am ever desperate for another audiobook I might listen to the next book but probably not.  There are far better, far funnier paranormal mystery series out there and I would suggest trying the Charley Davidson series instead.

My Rating: 2 Stars

The Long War by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

Book Review

 


The Long War (The Long Earth, #2)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Book Series: The Long Earth #2

Released: 6/18/13 by HarperCollins

Pages:426  Price: $9.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon The Long War (Long Earth)

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A generation after the events of The Long Earth, mankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping. Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. Mankind is shaping the Long Earth – but in turn the Long Earth is shaping mankind… A new ‘America’, called Valhalla, is emerging more than a million steps from Datum Earth, with core American values restated in the plentiful environment of the Long Earth – and Valhalla is growing restless under the control of the Datum government…

Meanwhile the Long Earth is suffused by the song of the trolls, graceful hive-mind humanoids. But the trolls are beginning to react to humanity’s thoughtless exploitation… Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a gathering multiple crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any mankind has waged before.

My Review:

While I am enjoying this series I have to agree with other criticism that has been made about this book.  That this is an interesting story that is fairly lacking in plot.  The authors have a point (I hope) and seem to feel that it is going to take hundreds of pages and several volumes to get to the heart of the action.  Also, much of this second book feels as if it is simply setting up future books.  Not the first time, and probably not the last, that a second book simply feels like filler.

I had trouble getting into this second book mainly because I had to wait so long for my turn at the library’s copy.  If I had been able to dive right into this one after the first I might have had an easier time remembering who carried over from the first book and who was new.  Around half-way through I was invested enough in this storyline that it didn’t matter that much and I could follow what was going on.

Still, I did enjoy listening to this book as the authors continue to bring up interesting questions of what makes a society, or makes us human, and what would happen if the people were truly free.  The technology continues to fascinate me as well as the idea of exploring parallel Earths with slightly changing variables in its environment, history, and development.  The characters continue to be well-developed and I spend much of the time thinking who they might represent in our own society.  Even though this book was written in 2013 I have to say who the authors wrote as the President reminds me an awful lot of who is our current President-elect…  Not a pleasant indicator of what our country might be in for in the next four-year.

Even though this story felt as if it was all over the place, though still interesting, I am going to continue for one more book at least (last one offered in audio format at my library).  I did get my act together and requested it before finishing this book and able to start right away.  I’m going to see if that makes a difference or not.

My Rating:3 Stars

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Book Review

 


Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Book Series: Old Man’s War #1

Released: 12/27/05 by Tor Books

Pages: 362 Price: $6.99 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Old Man’s War

Source: I own a signed copy of this book.  

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce– and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine–and what he will become is far stranger.

My Review:

Redshirts was my introduction to Mr. Scalzi’s work, then I tried Locked In and was approved (and read) his upcoming release of short stories titled Miniatures I figured it was about freaking time to try the series this author is most known for Old Man’s War.  When I started the book I knew the odds of me liking it were pretty high and figured I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.  I had no idea.  Not a clue of what I was getting myself into.

Let me end the suspense, I loved this book like I loved The Martian sort of love, and if you have been following this blog for any amount of time you know just what that means ( I pimp The Martian frequently).  I have to say this one is most definitely better: deeper, richer characters, more complex plot, just more…  But both are great science fiction stories, just slightly different branches of the genre so it really isn’t fair to compare the two except that they are both these author’s first published work read by me, someone who enjoyed them both.

Like I stated above I really had no clue as to how great this story would be.  It is also a story that I didn’t love every single minute of, it does have its faults in my opinion.  Let’s start there so we can end with the love.  There were a couple of points where I thought some information was conveniently dropped for the reader to have on hand for an upcoming scene.   There was one really bad spot where I was reading and thought where the hell did this come from and why are we getting this little tangent only to have the details become uber-relevant in the next scene.  Made me roll my eyes a bit when I realized what Scalzi had done.  Thought the history or concept we needed to know could have been woven into the story a little smoother.  Not a big deal really.  Another not really problem I had but more of a feeling I felt was that I didn’t quite like humanity for much of this story.  We kind of came off as bullies, arrogant, and entitled in our quest to take over the galaxy.  Our less than favorable traits came shining through, which is perhaps a good thing, too often people forget that humans are not infallible and good vs evil is simply a matter of perspective.

On to what I loved.  The humanity, yes the very thing I was criticizing is also what I loved about this story.  Scalzi shows the good and bad of human nature in this book and we are also treated to just how good humans can be to one another.  The characters made this story, getting to know them and grow with them and grieve them.  Took my breath away at the end.  John is, of course, the main character in this story but also my favorite.  He was everything you would want in a hero and in the end Mr. Scalzi brought me to tears over this man.  His story isn’t done, I believe we return to him in book 3, but man,  I was feeling all the feels for him by the third section of this book.  Of course, there were times that I thought he was a bit too perfect, he has all the answers, always lucky, saves the day one too many times.  He is the hero, though, and Scalzi is no George R.R. Martin (thank God) and does not feel the need to kill off all the likable characters in a story.  If you want that go read A Game of Thrones…  No, Scalzi’s Hero is fairly typical for most stories and a bit too perfect at times.  Still, I loved him and eagerly await book three to see what happens to him.

This was perhaps the best Science Fiction story that I have read in quite some time, definitely as far as space opera’s go.  I must leave this here, as I have book two sitting by my side, go read this book if you enjoy Science Fiction at all.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Aden by D.B. Reynolds

Book Review

 


Aden (Vampires in America, #7)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Vampires in America #7

Released: 11/26/13 by ImaJinn Books

Pages: 258 Price$6.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Aden (Vampires in America Book 7)

Source: I own an e-copy of this book.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

She was seeking revenge. What she found was a vampire who swept her into the darkest depths of passion.

Chicago, Illinois… the windy city. Home to football greats, dinosaurs named Sue, and, when the sun goes down… powerful vampires battling for the right to rule the city and beyond.

Born into slavery, Aden is one of the most powerful vampires in North America, waging war on others of his kind in a struggle to become the next Lord of the Midwest. But in the midst of the deadliest fight of his long life, the ghosts of his past have come back to haunt him. Slavery still exists, and Aden is hellbent on destroying it and the vampires who profit from it.

Sidonie Reid is an investigative reporter in pursuit of the biggest story of her career, until that story costs the life of a friend and Sid realizes she has to do much more than write about it. Intent on bringing down the vampires and their slave network, Sid gains entry to the highest levels of vampire society, where she finds herself confronting the raw sexuality that is Aden.

Caught up in a dark passion that neither can resist, Aden and Sidonie join forces, determined to defeat the old regime and everything it stands for. The dangers are beyond calculation, but the ultimate reward is worth the risk. If they survive…

My Review:

Not having any review books and still suffering from a slight reading slump I decided to go back to some favorite authors to read something I knew I would enjoy.  This is one of my favorites and the only book I had yet to read in this exciting series so I decided it was time to catch up.  Good call.

This series has its ninth title coming out soon, fingers crossed for a review copy, and so far it seems to only get stronger with each new release.  This one is a few books back and I have to confess not my absolute favorite in the series, but still you just can’t go wrong and any detracting factors as so minor.  Simply I didn’t enjoy Aden and Sid’s story as much as some of the others, still a great action packed read though.

This book brings us to Chicago as the Midwest territory east of the Mississippi gets a new lord, a totally drool worthy alpha from Morocco named Aden.  Having a husband of Turkish decent I did enjoy the Middle Eastern twist.  I also appreciated the Chicago setting for this story as it is a city I’m quite familiar with.  I also liked how the author delved into the topic of modern slavery in this country.  Sure vampires aren’t really the cause but it is still relevent and happens more often than people realize in this country.  Kudos to the author for shedding light on the subject and hopefully it can help create more dialog about the problem.

The coming together of the two love interests in this book is fairly typical for the series, this one attempting to take a bit more exotic turn by delving into a little BDSM.  Have to say this fell a little flat for me, not that I’m a real fan of bdsm anyway, but the author didn’t take it much beyond a little spanking and tying up.  We take a look at Aden’s toy collection but it all stays put away.  The sex in these books is plenty steamy on its own there really wasn’t a need to tease all the readers with this toe-dip into the romance genre.  Really my only issue I had and it wasn’t really even a problem, simply an observation.

This is a strong series, with strong female leads paired up with yummy alpha males. If you haven’t given it a try yet I don’t know why the hell not.  I am so looking forward to this author’s next book and those beyond as she takes up Europe.  Can’t wait!

My Rating: 4 Stars