Friday, February 23, 2018

Reading Right Now! (154)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...
I've been all over the place reading wise this week. I just finished a book, which I'll showcase a little and discuss. I have a review book that I'm planning to start and read. I'm also still chugging through a book that I've already mentioned in another Reading Right Now! post.

Just Finished

 

-- Valentin and the Widow: The Mandrake Machine and Valentin and the Widow: The Flowers of Mrs. Moore by Andrew Wheeler -- This was a Read Now option on NetGalley (it has since been archived) and I was under the mistaken impression that it was a comic book/graphic novel. So thanks to Netgalley and Chapterhouse Publishing for providing me with a free e-arc to read and review. I don't really know why I thought it was a comic book. 
These didn't give me the option to download onto my Kindle, so I had to download it to an app on my phone called Aldiko. This app has a time limit for reading the books. I had like 8 days left, and I thought I'd knock out the comic book I got from Netgalley. That plan almost backfired when I found out it was a book!!
This is actually 2 novellas, I guess, based on a podcast. It's about a lady named Elenora Rosewood whose husband has just died. She finds out some secrets and feels it is her place to put things right, and save the world. She goes to Shanghai to stop a machine that could destroy the East. Right as she steps off the boat, she gets involved in a sticky situation and is saved by an ex-Russian soldier named Sacha Valentin. She hires him to be her bodyguard/valet, and they are off to save the world! That's the synopsis of the first book.
Both of these books were really good! They were really fun! Very quick to get through. I'd definitely read more of this series. Recommend it!!! I will post a full review for it maybe next week. Look out for it.
Review Book


-- Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley -- I am on a blog tour for this one and my review post/tour stop is February 27, 2018. Thank you to the author and Rachel's Random Resources for providing me with a free e-arc to read and give an honest review.
This one sounds good. It's set in a New Zealand town and a murder takes place. I'm thinking maybe it will be about solving the murder. I bet New Zealand is a magical place to live, it looks so pretty! I also don't think this book is very long, so hopefully I fly right through it.

Still Chugging Through


-- Shade Me (Nikki Kill #1) by Jennifer Brown -- I'm still reading this. Granted, it did get put on the back burner because I started and finished the Valentin and the Widow books. I'm mixed with how I feel about this one. I love the cover, but I'm not sure I'm loving the story inside. I am kind of having trouble wrapping my head around why Nikki Kill is so involved in this investigation. I mean, the premise is that a girl that Nikki is not really friends with calls her right before she almost gets beaten to death, she is now clinging to life in the hospital. Nikki's number is the only number in this girl's phone. So I could understand why that would make somebody curious. I just don't get why Nikki has decided to go so hardcore on this though, maybe it could be because of the unsolved case of her mom's murder. Plus she's made some really dumb decisions so far. Like super dumb! She slept with the beaten up sister's brother, who she met and knew for probably 2 days, on the beaten up sister's bed!!! I'm sorry, that's just not normal behavior. Her investigation skills also just leave me scratching my head. It's dumb. She's kind of an idiot. I'm interested to finish this. See if I like it or hate it. Has anyone read this book? Tell me what you think.

That's what I'm Reading Right Now! and my Reading Plans. What are you reading?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review: Nemesis (#1) by Anna Banks


Title: Nemesis (#1)
Author: Anna Banks
Published by: Feiwel and Friends
Released: 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Princess Sepora is the last Forger of Serubel. A Forger produces Spectorium, which is highly valued and traded between the kingdoms. But the King of Serubel becomes too greedy for the Spectorium and wants to use it for nefarious purposes. Sepora won't have her ability be the cause of war, so she runs away.
She plans to hide in the Kingdom of Theoria, among the Baseborns. To get there, she has to cross a desert, which turns into quite a journey. She finds herself captured and sold to the King of Theoria. She must keep her true identity and ability a secret. She must also try to save both kingdoms. She also finds herself growing closer and closer to the King.
My Thoughts: This book was fun! It was a story that I managed to mostly breeze through. I have a strange relationship with fantasy books, sometimes I like them, sometimes I can't get into them. Nemesis definitely falls into the like category for me. I'm really interested to see where the next book goes.
I do have some cons as well as praises, and I will discuss them all!
My biggest complaint was that this book had no map illustration! I never before realized just how much I value a bookish world map. This book explores some pretty vast, different kingdoms. I wanted to know where the kingdoms were, what was next to what, but I couldn't because there was no map! I missed having a map.
I also could have done with less focus on the romance. Or have had the romance more hate to eventual love. The lovey dovey gooey mush kind of took over the story, and I wish it hadn't been as vocal. Not saying I'm against the romance, because I do like those two characters together, I just wish the romance had been not as in your face.
The beginning of this book was a little rough too. It made me a little nervous as to whether I would like the book or not. I understood that it was revealing information about the world, but it was a little clunky, it didn't have that flow.
My last little gripe is that this story introduced a lot of cool concepts, talked about them for maybe a minute or two, and then never brought them up again. I kind of wished for more with the Parani, more with the Forging ability, more even with the Harem.
Now for my praises. First off, I thought this story was really fun. It was quick, the characters were fun to follow. I definitely enjoyed the story.
Sepora was kind of a fun character, although her name did remind me way too much of the beauty store named Sephora (which I love! makeup addiction going strong!) Sepora definitely had some spunk. She was kind of wacky. Tarik was the more unexciting of the two, but I did enjoy his character as well.
I also really found the Forging abilities to be quite interesting. I kind of wanted more to be done with that.
I definitely enjoyed Nemesis. It was a fun read that introduced a really interesting world. I'm glad a book that I picked up 99% based on the cover didn't let me down with the story on the inside. I liked it, and I can't wait to check out the sequel.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.7/5
Pretty Cool!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Fantomah, Volume 1: Up From the Deep by Ray Fawkes and Soo Yee


Title: Fantomah, Volume 1: Up From the Deep
Written by: Ray Fawkes
Art by: Soo Lee
Published by: Chapterhouse
Released: ?? I'm a little confused as to the actual release date. Goodreads and NetGalley have it releasing in February 2018, while Amazon has it releasing July 10, 2018
Source: NetGalley e-arc thanks to Chapterhouse

Summary: La Fantomah. Who is she? What does she want? She is called by the prayers of missing children. The Weeping Woman is drawn to their locations, rescuing the children, and putting the monsters out-of-business.
Paz is a normal girl, caring for her twin half-sisters, dealing with a father who is out most of the time, and working. She lives in a rough neighborhood where a gang runs free.
When Paz's sisters go missing, she must find them. Other children have gone missing as well. Her journey turns into something she never would have expected.
My Thoughts: Thank you NetGalley and Chapterhouse for providing me with a free e-arc to read for an honest review. This was a Read Now option on NetGalley (it has since been archived), and I was drawn in by the awesome cover and intriguing synopsis.
This comic was super quick, and it had a nice set-up for future stories.
I really enjoyed the coloring of Fantomah, and especially enjoyed the art style of the actual character of Fantomah. She was pretty creepy to look at. The rest of the character art was just okay. It seemed to be put together kind of quick. Almost a rushed drawing style.
The story was all right. It zipped right along. It could have been more fun if it had been a little longer, a little more developed.
I was also a little confused by the introduction to the comic, before the Fantomah comic even started. It was talking about this Canadian Super Hero, who I had no idea who he was. I'd never heard of him. So, I thought the comic was going to be about him, but it wasn't. There was also a lot of Canada patting itself on the back for this wonderful super hero they'd created. Honestly, the introduction kind of put me off a little. And then it was confusing because those characters never showed up or were mentioned in Fantomah. Maybe it was just a mistake in my review copy, but it didn't make a whole lot of sense.
Fantomah was an enjoyable enough read. It was very quick, kind of interesting. I enjoyed aspects of the art style. If you're unaware of what Fantomah is based on, I think you could go into this blind and be okay. That's what I did and I still enjoyed it.
Thanks again NetGalley and Chapterhouse for letting me review it.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.3/5
Not Bad.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Reading Right Now! (153)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...


-- Shade Me (Nikki Kill #1) by Jennifer Brown -- I'm not very far into this one yet, but I'm enjoying what I've read. I'm about 40 pages in. If I'm being completely honest, it was the cover that drew me in. I think that cover is fantastic. I mean, it's a face, but it has such a cool use of color in it. The color is what makes it, and the typography. It just looks really cool.
On GoodReads, it has sort of mixed ratings. It seems like a lot of people didn't really enjoy it that much. I love a good mystery mixed with action adventure, so I'm excited to read more of this. It's about this girl named Nikki who has synthesia (?), basically she sees colors everywhere. It has made it very hard for her in school because the colors are very distracting. Each letter when she's reading is a different color. Each number she sees is a different color. She can also see colors when it comes to people's feelings or general well-being around her.
When this starts, Nikki gets a weird call on her phone, and is then asked to I.D. someone at a hospital. The girl who called Nikki has just been viciously beaten and is clinging to life. Nikki doesn't know why she would be the only number in the girl's phone, they're not even friends. So begins the mystery and Nikki's determination to solve it.

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: Robin Hood's Dawn (The Robin Hood Trilogy Book 1) by Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer


Title: Robin Hood's Dawn (The Robin Hood Trilogy Book 1)
Authors: Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer
Published by: Angevin World Publishing
Released: 2017
Source: Free Review Copy Sent From Publisher and Smith Publicity For An Honest Review

Summary: This is the story of Robin Fitzooth, better known as Robin Hood. A man celebrated in folklore for stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. The Champion of Nottingham, hero to the people. But how did he become Robin Hood? This exciting tale will answer all those questions and more.
Set in the 1100's, the reader follows the path of Robin Hood. Starting with the actions of his father and beyond. Full of political intrigue, knights, fair ladies, and the Crusades.
Falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to death, Robin Fitzooth is rescued from the gallows and becomes Robin Hood! Fighting against the evil Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Robin Hood fights for the people, and becomes a hero.
My Thoughts: I would just like to thank Angevin World Publishing and Smith Publicity for sending me a free copy of Robin Hood's Dawn for an honest review. I was part of a blog tour for it, and you can check out my post here.
I was very excited to read a book about Robin Hood. All of my Robin Hood knowledge comes from popular culture and Disney Movies. I could tell the authors' knew their stuff in this one. It was very historical and very meaty with facts. It covered a big chunk of time, 1154-1194. There was a lot of stuff going on. Kings and treachery and Crusades. A very interesting time and a very interesting story to read.
I definitely could tell the authors' were knowledgeable about their subject matter, but I wouldn't bill this as the most exciting of reads. It felt like I was reading a historical fiction heavy on the history, which I was, so I'm not saying that's a bad thing.
I found the beginning to be a little jumpy because we started out with Robin's Father as a younger guy. I understood that it served as set up for events to come.
I also found most of the characters to be a little flat. No one was brimming with personality. The character that I found had the most development was Guy Gisborne, a baddie! His backstory and motivations were explored more than the other characters. Sometimes I even felt sorry for him, but then I remembered that he's a hot head, and delusional.
I did enjoy the Sheriff of Nottingham as a villain. He was despicable! The kind of character that is just fun to despise.
I was surprised by how little time we had in the book of Robin actually being Robin Hood. I thought that would be the majority of the book.
Overall, I enjoyed Robin Hood's Dawn. A lot of stuff went down and I really did feel like I was back in the mid to late 1100's. There was a twist near the end that got me a little too. I'd definitely be interested in seeing how this series continues in Robin Hood's Widow. I'd imagine there are many more adventures to be had.
Thanks again to the publisher and Smith Publicity for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I enjoyed it.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.5/5
OH MERRY MEN!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Review: Sweet Tooth, Volume 1: Out Of the Deep Woods (Issues #1-5) by Jeff Lemire, Jose Villarrubia, Pat Brosseau


Title: Sweet Tooth, Volume 1: Out of the Deep Woods (Issues #1-5)
Story and Art by: Jeff Lemire
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Published by: Vertigo/DC Comics
Released: 2009
Source: Library

Summary: Disease has swept the world. Populations have been decimated. Every child born after the plague, and there have been few, are animal/human mutants. And the plague hasn't been cured, everyone eventually succumbs, except the mutant kids who seem to be immune. 
Gus lives in the woods with his father. He's never seen anyone else. Gus is a mutant, part boy part deer. The world is dangerous for him, people hunt mutant kids down and sell them. His world becomes even more dangerous when his father dies.
When Gus is almost captured, a mysterious man comes to his rescue. He promises to keep Gus safe, to take him to a place called The Preserve. So begins Gus's next adventure, through a dangerous land, with a mysterious protector.
My Thoughts: Not what I was expecting. I'd been hearing about this comic series for a while and always wanted to check it out. The premise is right up my alley. Post Apocalyptic world, disease, and a dangerous journey. I liked this first Volume, but I wouldn't say I loved it. It was kind of unexpected. This was very dark, and sad. I didn't know that the main character was so young, I assumed he was older.
The story also went very quick. I thought the journey would take longer.
I don't know how I feel about the art. That style isn't my favorite, but it did kind of fit the story. It just wasn't the most pretty, most pleasant to look at.
The ending was something too. I won't say it was a surprise, because there were warning bells throughout the story, but it still had an impact.
I liked Sweet Tooth, but I wasn't blown away by it. I'm not the biggest fan of the art style, and was surprised by how bleak the story really was. I do want to continue on with the series though. The ending left me with questions, questions that I want answers to.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.3/5
Very Dark.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Reading Right Now! (152)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...


-- Robin Hood's Dawn (Book 1 The Robin Hood Trilogy) by Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer -- Yes I'm still reading this. I've been reading other stuff and then coming back to this one. I was sent this book to review from the publisher (thank you!!!) and I was part of a blog tour from it. I was sent this for free for an honest review. I'm enjoying it. It's more of a slower read for me. It covers some years time wise. It reads like an adult historical fiction. It's good. I've got less than 100 pages left, so I am hoping to finish it this weekend, maybe.

I'm considering a lot of books to start next. A lot of books are calling to me. Some options

  

-- Shade Me (#1) by Jennifer Brown -- I really like the cover for this and the synopsis sounds good!
-- Because You Love To Hate Me by Various Authors edited by Ameriie -- Been wanting to read this one for a while.
-- Down Among the Sticks and Bones (#2) by Seanan McGuire -- I want to continue with this series.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! and my plans for what I want to read next. What are you reading?