Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland

Title: Promise of Shadows
Author: Justina Ireland
Published by: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Released: 2014
Source: Library

Summary: Zephyr is a Harpy, currently residing in the Underworld prison of Tartarus. Her crime was murdering a minor god, which a Harpy is not supposed to be able to do. That minor god had just killed her sister, so she had reason to exact revenge. The price of admission to Tartarus is losing her wings. So Zephyr is not in a happy place right now. She's made a friend in Tartarus, a friend that looks out for her, which is a good thing. 
When the chance for escape from Tartarus comes, Zephyr grabs it. She then embarks on a wild adventure, learning family secrets, and discovering things out about herself. Zephyr is one Harpy you don't want to mess with.
My Thoughts: Meh. That's my overall opinion, meh. I wanted to love this book, but I just never connected with the story or characters. I was probably drawn in by the beautiful cover and the lure of Greek Mythology, which is something that happens to me every now and again. I just never fell in love with the story I was reading.
Good things about the book: Awesome Cover, which I already mentioned. Cool concept of Harpy's and Tartarus and Secrets. A Diverse Main Character that is pretty tough.
What felt off to me about this story was the weird timeline that was presented. I would have been much happier to follow the action as it actually happened, not get random flashes back in time or meager explanations of things that had happened in the past. This also felt like a whole series squashed into one book, which I wasn't a fan of. It was just a strange experience. I feel like it could have done better as a series, then we could have gotten more fleshed out characters, been able to care more about the characters, and felt a greater sense of closure when the story ended.
I just wasn't in love with this story. It could have been something cool, but it just turned into a meh read.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

Title: A Kiss In Time
Author: Alex Flinn
Published by: Harper TEEN
Released: 2009
Source: Library

Summary: Talia has lived her whole 15 years in the company of guardians and guards. She has never been able to make friends, travel, or feel the first sweet pangs of love, all because of a curse put on her at birth by a witch named Malrolia. A curse that said Talia was destined on her 16th birthday to touch a spindle and die, but was quickly revised to falling into a deep sleep until awakened by her true love's first kiss.
Jack is on a forced European journey that he's really not enjoying too much. On an attempt to sneak away from the tour group with endless museums and an annoying tour guide, Jack and his friend Travis try to find a beach in Belgium, but end up in the kingdom of Euphrasia, a place lost in time and trapped by a curse. Upon exploring the town, the boys discover all the residents in a deep sleep and a magnificent castle. In the castle, Jack spies a beautiful girl, and with one fateful kiss, the curse is broken!
Now, Jack either has the choice of taking princess Talia to Miami, or being trapped in the dungeon for defiling the king's daughter. Is it possible for these two characters to love each other? A very clever and witty retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
My Thoughts: Loved it! Such a cute, witty book filled with funny banter between the two main characters. I loved the humor that was infused in this book and Alex Flinn's lovely writing style. This story is a great retelling of Sleeping Beauty. 
I loved how Alex Flinn portrayed the characters of Talia and Jack, how they acted like true, believable teenagers who just happened to be part of a magical destiny. I really liked how Talia was introduced and reacted to the wonders of technology and the fashion choices of 21st century women. 
This book was just so cute and funny. I loved the believable way that the characters grew and developed throughout the story, and how they really came to care for each other. No insta-love in this story.
The only negative, if it could even really be called a negative, is some parts of the story seemed far-fetched and magical. Just the idea of this magic still existing in the 21st century world and the eventual ending up of Euphrasia. Although, it should be remembered that this is a fairy tale retelling, so that magic and make believe does have to be incorporated in some way. I guess what I'm trying to say is the mash-up of fairytale and current world, if that makes sense.
Just a great story and I highly anticipate reading some more works by Alex Flinn. This book showcased her great characterization, writing style, and A+ sense of humor.  I would recommend this to any lover of fairytales, magic, and true love. A light, fluffy, irresistible read.
A Magical Time

Friday, October 14, 2016

Reading Right Now! (87)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is... the exact same thing I was reading last week. This past week was just kind of a slow reading week for me. I've been kinda tired, Netflixing it up with The Walking Dead, and just haven't been in the biggest reading mood. I'm not in a slump, it's just been a week where I don't want to read every second.
So I thought I'd show you the book that's next on my TBR, just for some kind of excitement. I guess I could give you an update on my other books too, it'll be quick.


-- 21st Century Dead edited by Christopher Golden-- I've made some pretty good progress with this one. I think it's going to end up as an average read for me. Some of the stories are good, a lot of the stories are weird. I'm currently reading the story by Jonathan Maberry, and I'm enjoying it just like I thought I would. So I'm hoping to finish this this weekend.
--Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout-- This one is turning out to be all right. It's addicting and kind of fun, but I'm not in love with it. I have a weird relationship with Jennifer L. Armentrout, in that I just never seem to love her stuff like everyone else does. I can see the draw, she does have a very addictive writing style, but I just never seem to fall in love with her stories, at least so far.
It's also been a weird reading experience just because of the things that are going on in the real world. This political season, people have been tweeting up a storm, authors' included. I am of the opinion that I like an authors' work better if I don't really know much about the authors. Once an author starts tweeting all their political causes and political propaganda, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, just because I don't want to hear it. So this week, the thing that blew up was the Trump being a misogynist thing, and how awful he is for saying what he was saying. Jennifer L. Armentrout sent out a tweet that mentioned something about that. I was then reading this book, and there is a scene where Ren, who Ivy has known for like a handful of hours, pushes her against a wall and kisses her, just out of the blue. Now because this is in a romance book, it's supposed to be sexy, but if it had happened in real life, with any other man, it would have been some kind of sexual assault, or at least unwanted advances thing. So that just struck me. Why is that okay or sexy for leading men book characters? Isn't it kind of hypocritical? This is why I don't want authors to tweet their thousands of political opinions, because it makes me view them and their works differently, when maybe I could have just enjoyed them before. Just my thoughts.

What I'm hoping to read next!!!

--The Crooked House by Christobel Kent-- What sold me is the blurb that said it was reminiscent of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which I LOVED!!! I'm hoping for a creepy, gothic kind of tale. Something just perfect for this spooooky season.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! and hoping to read next! What are you reading?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Review: Wytches: Volume 1: Issues #1-6 by Scott Snyder

Title: Wytches: Volume 1: Issues #1-6
Story by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Jock
Colors by: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by: Clem Robins
Editor: David Brothers
Published by: Image Comics, Inc.
Released: June 2015
Source: Library

Summary: New town, new hope? Moving to a new place after tragedy should signify a new beginning, but not if you move to a crazy, creepy town. The dark invades. Things are not as they should be. This family must now fight a new horror.
My Thoughts: As far as Halloween reading goes, put this one on your list. It is super dark and creepy. I also like that it's not the kind of "witches" that you would first think of. The monsters in this book are scary. The way they live and survive is scary. What they do to people is scary. I won't look at the woods the same way again, or at least suspicious looking, old trees.
The whole atmosphere of the comic was dark and creepy, and that meant that a majority of the panels were very dark too. At times, that made for kind of confusing reading. There were times that the panels were so dark, I couldn't exactly make out everything that was happening. There was also a lot going on in each panel, which made it hard to keep up. I liked the ambience it added to the comic, but it didn't exactly make for the easiest of reading experiences.
This comic is perfect for Halloween reading. It has the right amount of horror, gore, and hopelessness. I'm interested to see where the next chapter takes off.
Dark and Creepy!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Reading Right Now! (86)

What my Reading Right Now! plans for this weekend are...


--21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology Edited by Christopher Golden-- It should be no surprise to anyone to hear that I love zombies!! Ever since I stumbled across the TV show, The Walking Dead, I've been pretty much hooked. So being as it's the Halloween season, and I love reading about them, I thought I'd pick this zombie anthology up. So far, I'm mehh about it. I've read 8 of the stories, and they are not exactly the type of zombie stories I crave. Each one has some kind of 21st Century twist to it, whether that be with technology or something else. There have definitely been some stories that I've liked so far, but there have been a lot of weird ones too. That is what tends to happen with anthologies though, you never know just what you are going to get.

--Wicked (Wicked Saga 1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout-- I've had a mixed relationship with Jennifer L. Armentrout so far, I hated her Covenant series, but enjoyed her mystery/thriller/stand-alone Don't Look Back. I hope Wicked falls into the I Like It category. I don't really know too much about what this one's about. I haven't started reading it yet, so I have formed no opinions. I think it's New Adult, set in New Orleans, and there's something paranormal going on.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you Reading?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: Shadows in the Asylum: The Case Files of Dr. Charles Marsh by D.A. Stern


Title: Shadows in the Asylum: The Case Files of Dr. Charles Marsh
Author: D.A. Stern
Published by: Emmis Books
Released: 2006
Source: Library

Summary: Dr. Charles Marsh has just begun a new appointment at Kriegmoor Psychiatric Institute. He's hoping to step back into the practice of treating patients and build up his good name, after the scandal that sidelined his career. 
One of his patients is Kari Hansen. She claims to see things no one else can see, things that are after her. Kari's problems started after a school archaeology trip to an island with a history of the paranormal. The more Dr. Marsh treats Kari, the more he starts to believe that what she's seeing is real. He becomes obsessed in finding proof, even if that means putting his job in jeopardy again.
Told through Dr. Marsh's notes and case files, we discover just what Kari Hansen is seeing. 
My Thoughts: I Loved This! It was so fun to read. The layout was what drew me to the book, and it was done right. I was interested from page one, and had to race to the end to find out the shocking conclusion. After finishing, I looked for more books by D.A. Stern, because I wanted to read more by him. 
I'm always drawn to books with unique layouts, they call to me, and just look like such fun things to read. I have been burned by books with unique layouts though. Sometimes the way the story is told can make the reading experience not fun. My biggest example of this was House of Leaves by Danielewski. That book took me ages to get through, and the format made for confusing and frustrating reading. Also, to a lesser extent, Illuminae  by Kristoff and Kaufman, I didn't hate the book, but the unique layout kind of got repetitive, and I became over it very quickly. Shadows in the Asylum was this unique type of layout done right! It was just so fun to read, it felt real, like I was really reading Dr. Marsh's notes and case files. I loved the commitment to making it look real. That's actually another thing that's funny about this story, passing it off as a work of nonfiction, making the reader believe that all this stuff actually happened. It was just a lot of fun to lose myself in the book, flipping through these interviews with Kari, seeing Dr. Marsh slip deeper and deeper into his belief of what haunts her.
The things that happened in this book were kind of shocking too. Perfect Halloween read! Dr. Marsh has some interesting treatment methods, that's all I will say. The ending of this book, that was an I can't believe that happened  moment.
I totally recommend this. It was tons of fun. I flew through it. I am now excited to read the other book I found that D.A. Stern wrote, it's The Blair Witch Project!! So yeah, this was great. If you see it, definitely pick it up. It's a fun reading experience.
I Loved This!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: East of West: Volume 2: We Are All One (Issues 6-10) by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, and Frank Martin

Title: East of West: Volume 2: We Are All One (Issues 6-10)
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Nick Dragotta
Colors by: Frank Martin
Letters by: Rus Wooton
Published by: Image Comics, Inc.
Released: 2014
Source: Library

Summary: The journey continues in this second installment, where the Old West meets Space meets the Four Horsemen. Death is out to find his son. Others are out to protect their interests. Things get weird.
My Thoughts: My main takeaway: I understand nothing! If you ask me what this comic series is about, I honestly don't think I could tell you. I know it involves the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I know it involves some shady business dealings between members of a mysterious organization. I know it is the most interesting mash-up of the Old West, mixed with science fiction, mixed with weirdness, that I've read.
The art style is beautiful! I love the use of color in the panels. It is just very pretty to look at.
This comic series is very interesting. I have no idea what's going on, but I keep on reading it. It's visually stunning, so read it just for that. I'll most likely continue with the series, once I can get my hands on the next volume.
Look at all the Pretty Colors!