Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #93: Hunter by Mercedes Lackey


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

Expected publication: September 1, 2015
by Disney-Hyperion
This week the book that I am waiting on is Hunter by Mercedes Lackey. 

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.

Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close-knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.

With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

Why am I waiting on this one? I've enjoyed the author's adult works and this is both the first one in a series as well as the first book by Mercedes Lackey that is being marketed to YA readers. I'm curious as to how it will be. I wonder if it will be as good as say The Heralds of Valdemar series. It's definitely a different direction. It appears to be a combination of dystopian and fantasy. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wicked Charms Leaves You Greedy for More (a review)

Who will end up with the charm for greed? Can a ceremony turn someone into the demon Mammon? Wicked Charms is the third book in the Lizzy and Diesel series. Each book is centered around one of the 7 deadly sins. Book 3 is about greed.

Somewhere off the coast of New England is a hidden treasure including a cursed diamond and the avarice stone. This comes to light along with a body in the pirate museum of Salem. Lizzy must use her talent to help find the stone before Diesel's cousin Wulf finds it. As if Wulf wasn't enough competition, a businessman named M. Ammon believes that if he can get his hands on the stone, he will be able to transform himself into the demon of greed, Mammon. Lizzy's friends all get involved as does a coroner named Nergal and a museum pirate named Josh. We learn about the tunnels beneath Salem as well.

The "evil" characters are interesting. Hatchet, Wulf's servant, has several humorous things to say as he is searching for the stone and has misfortunes happen to him. Rutherford, M. Ammon's faithful servant seems to be on the verge of hysteria many times in the book.

I love the setting of Salem and the tunnels beneath. The rest of the settings are interesting as well, a mansion in southern New Hampshire and an island off the coast of New England. The island and the search for the treasure made me think of the movie The Goonies for some reason.

The pace is pretty good. It fluctuates with the plot and gradually speeds up.

The book leaves you greedy to read more about Lizzy and Diesel's search for the rest of the stones that represent the 7 deadly sins. What will happen if Wulf gets them? What will happen if Lizzy and Diesel get them all? Who does Diesel work for? And what will happen if Lizzy and Diesel finally consummate their relationship by going all the way? It's not exactly a cliffhanger, but the questions are open for sequels.

I kind of felt like the title of the book didn't suit the story that much and would have been more appropriate for a series conclusion. My reasoning is that the book is about one stone and it's consequences rather than many stones.

Still overall, I give this book 4 stars for interesting plot ideas and the writing.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Teaser Tuesday: Fatal Brushstroke by Sybil Johnson


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Published November 18, 2014
by Henery Press
This week's teaser is from Fatal Brushstroke by Sybil Johnson, Book #1 in the Aurora Anderson Mystery series.

Rory wasn't normally superstitious, but after everything that had happened, she wasn't taking any chances. Since she couldn't remember which shoulder would ward off bad luck, she tossed a pinch of salt over each one, then washed the tile floor, starting with the area where the white grains had spilled. (p.11)

Synopsis from Goodreads.com
A dead body in her garden and a homicide detective on her doorstep…

Computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson doesn’t envision finding either when she steps outside to investigate the frenzied yipping coming from her own backyard. After all, she lives in Vista Beach, a quiet California beach community where violent crime is rare and murder even rarer.

Suspicion falls on Rory when the body buried in her flowerbed turns out to be someone she knows—her tole painting teacher, Hester Bouquet. Just two weekends before, Rory attended one of Hester’s weekend painting seminars, an unpleasant experience she vowed never to repeat. As evidence piles up against Rory, she embarks on a quest to identify the killer and clear her name. Can Rory unearth the truth before she encounters her own brush with death?
 

What's your teaser this week? Leave it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #92: The Silenced by Heather Graham


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

Expected publication:
June 30, 2015 by Mira
This week the book I am waiting on is The Silenced by Heather Graham. It's #15 in her Krewe of Hunters series. 

Synopsis from Goodreads.com: 

Lara, a congressman's media assistant, suddenly quits her job—and disappears on the way to her Washington, DC, apartment. 

Novice FBI agent Meg Murray, a childhood friend of Lara's, gets a message from her that same night, a message that says she's disillusioned and "going home." To Richmond, Virginia. Meg discovers that she never got there. And bodies fitting Lara's description are showing up in nearby rivers… Could she be the victim of a serial killer? 

Meg is assigned to work with special agent Matt Bosworth, a hard-nosed pro in the FBI's unit of paranormal investigators—the Krewe of Hunters. They trace the route Meg and Lara took more than once in the past, visiting battlefields and graveyards from Harpers Ferry to Gettysburg. Places where the dead share their secrets with those who can hear… As Meg and Matt pursue the possibility of a serial killer, they find themselves in the middle of a political conspiracy. Is there a connection? And who—besides each other—can they trust?


Why am I looking forward to it? Basically it's part of a series that I really enjoy reading. Most of the novels in the series can be read as standalone books. And it's expected to be published on June 30, 2015 so there isn't that long to wait on it. I think that this series can make good beach reading or summer reading as well. It's basically paranormal romantic suspense. 

What book are you waiting on this week? Leave the title or a link in the credits so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Expected publication:
June 23, 2015 by Bantam
This week's teaser is from Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton. It's due to be released today from Bantam. It's hard to pick just one teaser from this book, but here goes.

"That is so adorable," the waitress said. "What's your monkey's name?"

"Carl," Diesel said. "And it would be great if you could hurry things along because Carl is probably gnawing on the steering wheel. We just got back from Sri Lanka, and he's still freaked over the elephants. There were lots of elephants."

location 254 on my Kindle

There are stones that represent the Seven Deadly Sins. This is book 3 in the series where they are trying to acquire the tokens and keep the bad guys from getting them. The sin they are exploring in this book is greed.

What 's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fantasy or magical realism? Book Review: The Book of Speculation by Erka Swyler

Expected publication: June 23, 2015
by St. Martin's Press
How long can you hold your breath? Simon Watson can hold his breath for up to 10 minutes according to The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. He gets this ability from his mother who taught him how to do it. His mother worked as a "mermaid" in a traveling carnival. He shares this ability with his sister Enola, a tarot card reader who is in a traveling carnival. 
One summer, Simon gets an old book in the mail. It appears to be the log book of a traveling show. From reading the book, Simon concludes that it is entirely possible that the family has been cursed. He is worried about his sister Enola in particular and how the curse could affect her. The women in his family seem to drown on July 24th which is only weeks away. This is in spite of their having "mermaid" capabilities. The women in his family also appear to have an uncanny ability to read tarot cards. What can Simon do to prevent Enola from following in the footsteps of their mother into the ocean on the 24th?
The book alternates between the present and the past. Simon, a reference librarian, and his sister Enola are the subjects of the present day parts. The past is mostly about Amos and Evangeline and the show that they travel with. I found both stories to be interesting. One wasn't really any less important than the other.
Do you call it fantasy because it has parts in it that seem unreal? Things that have to do with the curse and passing it down to generations of the family. Or is it magical realism because it is generally fiction with one magical element involved? In my opinion, I consider it magical realism. It reminds me in some ways of what Alice Hoffman writes. Everything is pretty much normal except for this one area where you are invited to suspend your disbelief.
The characters are well developed. Simon especially is well developed as the real main character. The others are developed to a slightly lesser extent, but still come across for the most part as real people. Each has their own wants, needs, and growth.
The pace reminded me a little bit of a wave approaching shore. It gradually increased speed as the book got closer to the end. 
The writing itself was well done. I had no problem as a former library technician identifying with Simon and his career. In fact, there may have been times I over-identified and it affected my moods. While reading when I took breaks, it took me a few minutes to come back to my surroundings and what was going on. It was smoothly written and engrossing.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars because of the quality of the writing, the character development, and the pace. 
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #91: Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 


This week I'm waiting on Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep. Due out July 28, 2015 from Pocket Books, it's #13 in her Elemental Assassin series. The series features Gin Blanco aka the assassin known as Spider. 

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death.

Why am I waiting on this book?
I am a fan of urban fantasy. And this series has been good so far. I can only hope that this book will live up to the rest. 

What book are you waiting on this week? Leave the title or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!