Category Archives: reviews

#BestReads2014

Here is a list of my favorite first-time reads in 2014, in no particular order:

A Working Theory of LoveA Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve never read a book like this before. What do I mean by that? Well, for one, this book is honest about the messiness of relationships, and all of the questions and self-doubt that occurs for most of us. Hutchins sprinkles hilarity throughout to lighten the seriousness of Neill’s journey through relationships. I laughed, hard. I shed a few tears. Many times, I came across a sentence or paragraph that caused me to stop and think for a while. This is the type of book that causes the reader to drift off into self-reflection.

I imagine the book particularly resonated with me because of the setting. I worked as an engineer in Silicon Valley for eight years. I also lost my father suddenly two years ago, and appreciated Hutchins’ exploration of Neill’s relationship with his father. The use of an AI to explore how relationships change over time is nothing short of brilliant.

I think that in order to fully appreciate this book, the reader has to have lived and loved for a while, and/or lost a parent.

I want to read more books like this, so if you know of any, tell me.

I noted some of the passages that had particular impact on me as I was reading. The one below didn’t fit in the update box.

“When you spend significant amounts of time with someone they offer constant feedback, becoming part of the patterning of your brain. In other words, part of you. But I take your point–constant feedback is not always deep feedback. A good measure of how much of you they’ve become is your level of distress when they’re gone. If they form a large part of your patterning, then you’ll experience a major culling of the self. That’s what’s known as grief.” –Henry Livorno, speaking to the protagonist, Neill.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That HappenedHyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love how honest Brosh is. The dog chapters are hilarious. The chapters on depression and self-image combine ugly, raw truths with really funny pictures, softening the blow. I felt contemplative while reading this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone, particularly if you have dogs.

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED this book. The Way of Kings set my expectations high. WORDS OF RADIANCE did not disappoint. I very much look forward to the rest of the series. I love the characters, the worldbuilding, the plot, everything. Read this series. Read it now.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the CrematorySmoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hilarious and thought-provoking, with excellent job details. I read this because I’m considering a mortician character, and I got more out of it than I could have ever hoped for. A real eye-opener into the current state of the death industry. The author is witty and thoughtful, and her background in medieval studies enhances her narrative.

I book I recommend to anyone and everyone.

The Drowning GirlThe Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is unlike anything I have ever read before. It could be the most fascinating book I’ve ever read. You should give it a try.

Reading it, for me, is an exercise in self-exploration, to a degree. The book is written as a memoir, in the style of a journal, almost, by a schizophrenic character who is exploring herself, searching for the truth, and the facts, exorcising the ghosts of her past. It is thoroughly inspiring. I’m not sure how, exactly, yet, but I just know that it is–to me as an author, and also, I think, to me as a person. It references a bunch of different mythologies that I find very interesting, some I already knew about and some new to me. I find it particularly interesting because I’m interested in writing urban fantasy that incorporates different mythologies.

Deathless (Deathless, #1)Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is excellent. If you like historical fantasy, and you like the real, gritty fairytales, you will love this book.

If that’s not enough, here are my status updates:

A quote from Baba Yaga: “Better married than rendered into girl-broth and maiden-cutlets.” 🙂

Baba Yaga is one of the most awesome characters I’ve ever read. “The littlest fly on a lump of goat shit interests me more than what you want.”

The Slow Regard of Silent ThingsThe Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a wonderful, touching innocence to Auri’s childlike whimsy. Rothfuss’s diction is impeccable, Auri’s voice crystal clear, a poetic rhythm to his writing; a beautiful thing. The painful darkness that surrounds her is heartrending. The joy she finds in little things is magical; the distress she finds in them is gut wrenching. An unobtrusive, bright intelligence shines through her simple facade.

I should note: don’t read this until you’ve read the first two books in the Kingkiller Chronicles. And don’t read it if you aren’t intrigued by Auri’s character. If you’ve read the other books, and Auri has stolen a piece of your heart, you’ll love this slice of her life story.

View all my reviews

Cindy Vaskova is hosting a list of #BestReads2014 over on her blog. Check out what books other people loved last year! What were some of your favorites?

Send to a friend:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Follow:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrss

10 Best Reads of 2013

I’ll start with novels:
The Ghost BrideThe Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Choo does an amazing job of seamlessly intertwining the history/worldbuilding with the story, creating a vivid picture of the main character’s life in Malaya in the late 1800s. The writing is excellent. Choo’s imagery is just detailed and descriptive enough to really bring you into the world of the story, but not so detailed it gets boring. I like the weave of mystery and adventure that runs through the story, even though the protagonist is scared. She’s brave too.

The RithmatistThe Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was awesome. If you liked Harry Potter, you should read “The Rithmatist.” It’s darker, there’s more intrigue and mystery, and the magic’s cooler. What more can I say? As an audiobook, you definitely want to reference the drawings Sanderson posted online, or take a look at a hardcopy (I bought a signed hardcover when Sanderson came to a local bookstore). The premise is that you draw chalk monsters/animals/people and they come alive. Are you excited now?

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, #1)Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked Sanderson’s voice for this book. The narrator was very good for the audiobook version; I think he added a lot to the experience of reading/listening to the story. I like the universe that was created and the characters, who have strong personalities. It was a very fun and funny read.

Note: I’m now listening to the fourth and final installment in this series. It’s still fun. 🙂

Biting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires, #6)Biting Cold by Chloe Neill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another book I zipped through. I was really busy so I didn’t get to read it all in one day, but I really wanted to. It was well-written and full of surprises. Chloe Neill continues to be one of my favorite authors. I’m really excited she writes so quickly and the next book is out already!

Note: This is the sixth book in the Chicagoland Vampire series. I highly recommend the entire series. It’s fun and fast-paced.

These next two were re-reads, but with good reason:

A Wrinkle in Time (Time, #1)A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one of my favorite books as a child. I wrote one of my first real works of fiction (fan fiction as an assignment in elementary school) based on this novel. In my story, my brother and I took a trip to a new world. This book started me dreaming up fantasy worlds and alien creatures (with tentacles). It started me on my journey as a writer. A friend I met at the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference told me that one of the characters in my first novel reminded her of “the old woman” (I think Mrs. Whatsit) in this story, who I couldn’t remember. It was high time to read it again.

Although there is some telling in the book (stating of emotions), and perhaps overuse of adverbs, and dialogue tags that stick out, it is still well-written. The pacing is swift, the characters vivid and distinct (although Meg is at times a bit melodramatic, she is a teenager). The sensory descriptions are wonderful, especially during tessering. I love the setting descriptions of the different worlds. They could be expanded upon, but it’s a childrens’ book, so I understand wanting to keep it brief. Above all, the plot is wonderful. How L’Engle presents differentness and tolerance in multiple forms: life on earth being better than a dysfunctional utopia, Meg getting over her social awkwardness by finding a friend in Calvin and seeing the world differently through trying to communicate with Aunt Beast.

I was shocked to discover how inspired I think my writing is by this book, even though I hadn’t read it in over 20 years. The tone of the book is essentially the same as what I choose to write (Ominous Whimsy). There’s a paragraph in which L’Engle describes Charles Wallace that is almost a paraphrasing of the way I describe the main character in my first novel. It’s the same concept, in different words. How is it that I created a 28-year-old man with a piece of the same backstory as a 6-year-old boy in a book I read over 20 years ago? (And that’s not the whimsical character who reminded my friend of Mrs. Whatsit. That’s even another similarity.) Of course there are many differences too. But it’s bizarre, and crazy to think how influential one book can be, even subconsciously.

Thoughtless (Thoughtless, #1)Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I decided to re-read this book because Stephens writes sexual tension better than any other author I’ve read, and her romance scenes are really good too. The beats and descriptive language she uses bring the scenes to life. I thought re-reading this before writing the steamier scenes of my novel might be useful…

(Original Review Follows)
Stephens’s characters are so real. I love her writing. The body language she describes, the dialogue, the inner monologue – it’s all very believable and realistic. While the situations or storyline may seem unrealistic, the way she portrays them sucks you into the story, makes you sympathize with the characters, and want to keep reading well into the night until you’ve finished every novel she’s written about the characters you’re reading about.

Here are two collections of short stories. They might have been my two favorite books of the year.

This Is Paradise: StoriesThis Is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is Paradise: 5*’s: From the first paragraph, this story is ominous and authentic with an edge of humor. The author’s voice is loud and clear. Written from 3 different 1st person POV’s tracking a visitor to the island, at first I was a little confused, until it came full-circle back to the original group of narrators. The story was very compelling and fast-paced, and I was still shocked at the ending, even though I saw it coming. The way the three different groups handled it was masterfully written.

The other stories in the collection were also well-written (in one third person POV each). Emotions infuse the stories: love, loss, grief, frustration. The characters are authentic. The stories are well-researched. Hawaiian culture is smoothly woven into each tale.

I found it very challenging to read the stories that referenced losing a father, since I lost mine last year. That’s why it took me so long to finish reading the collection. I cried more than once, which doesn’t happen to me often when reading.

Amor and Psycho: StoriesAmor and Psycho: Stories by Carolyn Cooke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cooke isn’t afraid to write about edgy or painful subjects such as cancer, suicide, sexual abuse, pornography, and misogyny. Her writing is authentic; her characters are real. I found myself relating to characters I never would think of relating to in “real life”. If you’re not afraid of reading about these subjects, pick up a copy of this book.

“The Boundary” is going to stick with me for a long time. I liked the comparison between Native Americans and Jews. It reminded me of my own search for identity. The way she sprinkled in sentences of backstory about her ex-husband was expertly done. The voice was powerful, authentic, and poignant. At the ending, I physically felt what the character felt, and was left sitting in my living room for minutes, unable to move myself to continue to the next story. I don’t remember the last time I was so physically impacted by words (or have I ever been?), and I think that’s about the highest compliment I can offer. I think Cooke captured the way teenagers behave perfectly, and (view spoiler)

The language in “Swing” really resonated with me.
“During the season Riva thought of as the autumn of her divorce, life became so quiet that she heard fog drip. Big spongy porcini pushed up under the orange pine needles and hissed as they grew…”
And a little later, “She thought about the atmosphere she and Roberto made together those five hears, about mushrooms and butter and wine and bare feet and West African music, as if happiness were a country where she’d once owned a house.”

Finally, a couple of my new favorite resources for writers:

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character ExpressionThe Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The introduction is solid, the writing tips given with each emotion are good (one for every emotion/2-page spread), and the physical signals, internal sensations, and mental responses are great jumping off points to describe emotions.

I’ve already pulled this book out while editing when I see an emotion named, or when I see a gesture that’s too common in my writing, to find something else to use to express that emotion, or to use what’s listed as a jumping off point for brainstorming beats.

Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective ProseSin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose by Constance Hale

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is full of incredibly useful information on how to improve your prose. It includes sections on Words, Sentences, and Music. Each section includes the Bones (grammar lesson, with examples), Flesh (writing lesson, with examples), Cardinal Sins (errors with examples), and Carnal Pleasures (good examples). I dog-earred the book like crazy, underlining occasionally.

A new edition just came out, which I bought for my kindle so I can easily highlight and bookmark useful passages. The new edition is going to be great to read because it will have all new examples in it, so it will be a fresh opportunity to reinforce learning the material. I would recommend buying both editions to be able to go over the material twice (you can get an old edition super cheap on amazon). Your writing will be the better for it.

Note: I attended a book club where Hale lectured about this book and her other book on Verbs, her background, and her work. I found her engaging, funny, delightful, and educational. I would highly recommend attending any lecture or class with her if you are able.

View all my reviews

Send to a friend:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Follow:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrss

Time for Some Book Reviews

Books are a great place to find inspiration. It’s been a while since I’ve posted any book reviews, so here’s my backlog. I hope you find something worth reading!

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the way this book combined anthropology and science with urban fantasy. The descriptions of setting were very good, particularly the library and the vampire’s mother’s home. It was evident that the author did extensive research about the books, architecture, and setting involved. However, the pacing dragged in the repetitive detailed description of the books the main character researched, and in her repetitive daily routine. The romance also seemed too contrived. I did enjoy the aunt characters. I thought they were well-developed and refreshing. I also really enjoyed their house as a character, and all of the ancestral ghosts that inhabited it. I thought that was a nice touch. There were many things to enjoy in this book. However, I would have enjoyed it more had it been ~3/4 as long.

Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective ProseSin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose by Constance Hale

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is full of incredibly useful information on how to improve your prose. It includes sections on Words, Sentences, and Music. Each section includes the Bones (grammar lesson, with examples), Flesh (writing lesson, with examples), Cardinal Sins (errors with examples), and Carnal Pleasures (good examples). I dog-earred the book like crazy, underlining occasionally.

A new edition just came out, which I bought for my kindle so I can easily highlight and bookmark useful passages. The new edition is going to be great to read because it will have all new examples in it, so it will be a fresh opportunity to reinforce learning the material. I would recommend buying both editions to be able to go over the material twice (you can get an old edition super cheap on amazon). Your writing will be the better for it.

Note: I attended a book club where Hale lectured about this book and her other book on Verbs, her background, and her work. I found her engaging, funny, delightful, and educational. I would highly recommend attending any lecture or class with her if you are able.

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of ViewRivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was definitely worth the $3 kindle price. It has excellent examples of how to deepen the POV of your characters, whether you are working with 3rd person or 1st person POV. The book has exercises in each chapter on how to change sentences that exemplify each way a POV can be shallow, so you can try to change them to deepen them, then check your answers with those given by the author on the following pages. I highly recommend it to anyone writing fiction or creative nonfiction. It’s a very quick read and a great reference.

Note: Rachel Russell recommended this book to me after she critiqued the first 50 pages of my novel. I think it will help me deepen the POV of my characters to make the novel more immediate and immerse the reader into the minds of the characters.

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had a strange experience reading this book. In each moment, I felt like I could predict exactly what was going to happen next. But then, what actually happened, wasn’t what I expected in each case. It was weird. So, the book felt predictable. But it wasn’t. Also, the writing wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t good enough to make me lose myself. I love the concept of fae. I enjoyed the plot and the worldbuilding was excellent. The romance made me cringe sometimes. That subplot was very predictable. I really wanted to love this book, but I couldn’t. I don’t think I’m going to read the next one either. If Kagawa writes something for an older audience, I would be game for reading it. And I plan to read her vampire book (eventually), because it’s something different (supposedly darker).

Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (Alcatraz, #2)Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener’s Bones by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, but not as much as the first. The satire is funny, but the voice got to me at times. It could be the narrator, although I thought he did a great job in general (I listened to the audible version). The story was fun, and I really enjoyed the ending. I will always admire Sanderson’s ability to create a universe. I love all of the glass-related technology in this story.

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards, #2)Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, Lynch’s characters are so real. You fall in love with them (or you hate them). They are passionate, and they are flawed. And they swear a lot. I can picture the events of this book very clearly in my mind. I can still remember events from the first book as crystal clear images. This is unusual for me (my memories fade quickly in general). Lynch has a special talent of painting a picture, using all the senses.

I kept taking breaks between listening to this book (the narrator is excellent, btw), which I wouldn’t recommend. There is definitely a bit of a lull in the middle, somewhere maybe 1/3 in. I got a little bogged down by all the political intricacies. But when they got on the big ship, things really started to speed up. The last 1/4 or so, man, whoosh! Things were hopping. A fantastic ending. I look forward to the last book, and anything else Lynch writes.

Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They DoWhy We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do by Meredith Maran

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved reading this book. It gives great insight into the minds of 20 very different authors. They have very different stories to tell, but certain themes popped up over and over, and others popped up several times. It’s great to read in small bits, otherwise it can get repetitive. I found it inspiring to read one or two author interviews, then jump right into writing.

Here’s a summary of the advice that kept popping up:

1) Don’t write for money. Even famous authors barely (and often don’t) make enough to live off of. Jodi Picoult said, “Write because you can’t not write, or don’t write at all.”

2) You need to find the time and discipline to write often and consistently, even if you don’t feel like writing. You can’t edit a blank page.

3) Read a lot. It will give you new ideas and influence the way you write.

4) Write what you want to research and read, not what you think will be popular or what you think an agent/publisher will want. Trends change overnight and you need to be motivated from within.

5) If you can’t find a publisher, self-publish. Times are changing. (Only a few said this, but at least a few did.)

Note: If you purchase a copy of this book, the author will donate a portion of her royalties to 826 National, a nonprofit organization that ensures the success of its network of eight writing and tutoring centers, which each year assist nearly 30,000 young people.

View all my reviews

thurschilbadgejpg

Read the other Thursday’s Children’s posts by clicking on the link below (and consider joining in the fun):

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Send to a friend:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Follow:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrss

Book Reviews

The RithmatistThe Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was awesome. If you liked Harry Potter, you should read “The Rithmatist.” It’s darker, there’s more intrigue and mystery, and the magic’s cooler. What more can I say? As an audiobook, you definitely want to reference the drawings Sanderson posted online, or take a look at a hardcopy (I bought a signed hardcover when Sanderson came to a local bookstore). The premise is that you draw chalk monsters/animals/people and they come alive. Are you excited now?

How to Write a Great Query Letter: Insider Tips & Techniques for SuccessHow to Write a Great Query Letter: Insider Tips & Techniques for Success by Noah Lukeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A free ebook with useful tips for how to write query letters (including a checklist). It could benefit from a few example letters, but those can be found on agent’s blogs (Query Shark) and elsewhere.

How to Land (and Keep) a Literary AgentHow to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent by Noah Lukeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A free book with some good tips on how to prepare for a query and what to expect once you get an agent (including timelines).

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, #1)Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked Sanderson’s voice for this book. The narrator was very good for the audiobook version; I think he added a lot to the experience of reading/listening to the story. I like the universe that was created and the characters, who have strong personalities. It was a very fun and funny read.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fascinating, edifying book. I recommend it to anyone who wants to be more introspective, learn more about introverts/extroverts, societal standards, and/or experiments done to study introversion/extroversion and “sensitivity.”

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)Hyperion by Dan Simmons

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not sure I can really take credit for reading this book because I fell asleep so many times and had my husband just give me a summary of what I missed instead of going back and listening (we usually listen to an audiobook for 1/2 hr before bed). The reason is that the writing was of average quality at best. However, the concepts in the novel were highly creative and original, especially for the time period it was written.

The novel is about a pilgrimage of 7 characters. They each draw numbers to tell their stories in a random order. We only ever hear from 6 characters, but we hear their 6 stories from 6 POV’s in 6 different voices (audible version). Some stories are much more interesting and engaging than others, depending on the narrator and the story.

The ending was also dissatisfying. It seemed like a cop out, like the author was too lazy to get into the final concluding action, so he cut the story off before the actual ending. There is a sequel, but it takes place in another location, so I don’t know that it would address this issue.

View all my reviews

Send to a friend:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Follow:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrss

A few book reviews

The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1)The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me because it has gene splicing in it (humans and birds, resulting in people who can fly).

Things I liked:

*The alternating combination of 1st person narrative with 3rd person or omniscient POV narration. This builds suspense well, and isn’t something I’ve seen before. I’ve seen different 3rd person POV’s alternated, but not 1st alternated with 3rd or omniscient. I like it. It’s something I might try sometime.

Things I didn’t like:

*The tone seems particularly young to me (eg. one character is named “The Gassman” because he has a lot of gas. You can imagine what kind of jokes result from that.

*The unusual names are off-putting (eg. “The Gassman” and “Maximum Ride”). Why can’t these kids have normal names? This isn’t off-world sci-fi. There’s no reason for them to have strange names, in my opinion. It felt gimmicky.

*Is it just me, or does any book that has the phrase “stroked hard”/”stroking hard” as many times as this one does, really not belong in the children’s section?

*Click here to see full review on Goodreads for spoilers. There was no resolution to these questions in this book, and it wasn’t interesting enough or well-written enough for me to want to read further.

The book did inspire me to add a certain type of experiment to my novel, so I guess I accomplished my reading goal.

 

Undead Sublet (Half Moon Hollow #2.5)Undead Sublet by Molly Harper

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a funny quick listen. It was a free download from Audible for Valentines Day. I really liked the attitude of the protagonist; she was a fun character. I liked that she was a chef. Harper had fun with the plot. The ending was a bit too predictable, otherwise I would have given it a higher rating.

 

American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For some reason I couldn’t get into this and finally gave up listening, I think about halfway through. I don’t know if it was the story or the narrator, or a combination of the two, but I kept falling asleep and re-listening, falling asleep and re-listening, and it made things confusing and I lost interest.

I think the premise is interesting, and if I had a paper or ebook version, perhaps I would be able to get into it. Maybe I’ll try at some point, but I think I’ll read some of his other works first.

 

Biting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires, #6)Biting Cold by Chloe Neill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another book I zipped through. I was really busy so I didn’t get to read it all in one day, but I really wanted to. It was well-written and full of surprises. Chloe Neill continues to be one of my favorite authors. I’m really excited she writes so quickly and the next book is out already!

View all my reviews

Send to a friend:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Follow:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrss

A few reviews

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3)The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really fun, fast read. I really love Mead’s style. She’s good at creating characters that are easy to relate to, even in their supernatural environments. You become attached to them and invested in their outcomes. She skillfully takes advantage of that to increase the tension as each novel and the series progresses.

I read this and then immediately started listening to Storm Born, which might be my favorite of her books so far. The different series are so different from each other, but Mead’s wit and ability to keep suspense and sexual tension rising throughout her novels is common among them. I definitely think I’ll end up reading everything she’s written sooner rather than later. I eagerly await the next book in this series, and I’m curious what the new series she’s coming out with this spring, Gameboard of the Gods will bring.

Storm Born (Dark Swan, #1)Storm Born by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book reminded me of Laurel K. Hamilton’s writing, both the Meredith Gentry series, in that there are fae, and the Anita Blake series in that at the end of the novel, the main character has a spirit journey that reminded me of Anita’s vampire-controlled dreams. However, Mead handles both the fae and Eugenie’s journey into darkness very differently than Hamilton handled the fae and Anita’s dreams. It was really interesting to read this book and see another way folklore can be presented in a similar style novel. I’ve read several other novels with fae, and I intend to include them in my second novel. They can be depicted in many forms. It was inspiring to see these two authors create similar yet very different worlds with them. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Onyx (Lux, #2)Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read this really quickly and didn’t review it right away and now I don’t remember it all that well. I do recall that the science behind the sci-fi seemed totally implausible to me (view spoiler)[the whole half-alien thing just seemed ridiculous to me, both that they could be created and their powers (hide spoiler)]. Also, the way the government agents behaved didn’t seem likely either. The whole plot seemed laughable. It was all a construct for the romance, which was done fairly well, but I still didn’t particularly like the male character, even after he became somewhat nicer.

I think this author does romance well. The buildup of sexual tension is good throughout the novels. However, her sci-fi… leaves something to be desired, in my opinion.

View all my reviews

Send to a friend:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Follow:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrss