Saturday, February 27, 2016

Review: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Sixteen-year-old Nix has been to many places and times, real and mythological, as part of the crew of her father's ship. This time, they are seeking to return to Hawaii in 1868, the time before her mother died. Nix is worried that if they get there and prevent her mother's death that it will affect her very existence. She is torn between helping her father and self-preservation.

Her father, Slate, comes across the necessary hand drawn map at a Christie's auction. When they use it to plot their course, it delivers them to the right place, but the wrong year. Slate is contacted by a group of men who would like to exchange the real map he needs for a task. It's up to Nix to help her father figure out how to do it with the help of the crew, especially her best friend and possible love interest Kashmir.

As the plot progresses, Heilig introduces a second possible love interest and a sort of love triangle develops. Nix seemingly has to decide which boy she is more interested in and whether she wants to stay land-bound or go back to traveling with her father.

It's an interesting book. I liked the history of Hawaii that was thrown into the mix. It was accurate and is explained in an afterword. I wasn't crazy about the introduction of a love triangle of sorts, but it works. It's a little slow towards the middle, but the action picks up especially towards the end. Slate makes for a good tortured captain. He leads a small, but diverse crew. And Kashmir gets some good lines. This is aimed at the YA audience, but I still enjoyed it and I am long past being a young adult.

Overall, this is a good book. I gave it 4 stars out of 5.

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


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #126: Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip


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

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of three brand-new stories, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents.

Within these pages you will find a youthful artist possessed by both his painting and his muse and seductive travelers from the sea enrapturing distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life and two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.

Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will delight in these previously uncollected tales; those new to her work will find much to enchant them.


Dreams of Distant Shores is due out June 14, 2016 from Tachyon Publications. 

Why am I waiting on this book?
The descriptions of the short stories mentioned in the synopsis sound good. And then there is a blurb that writer/poet Jane Yolen did for the book: “I love Patricia McKillip’s novels, but even more, I am passionate about her brilliant short stories." I respect Jane Yolen's opinion. I'm looking forward to the variety that a collection of short stories brings along with quality writing.

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, February 23, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig


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.

"You've seen it on the horizon. You know what's coming. Paradise is always lost." 

~ Nixie speaking to Blake at 89% on my Kindle

Would you keep reading?

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig is due out March 3, 2016 from Hot Key Books in the UK. It is already available in the US as of February 16, 2016.

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


The cover above is the UK cover. The one to the right is the US cover. Which do you like better?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

2016 - 2017 Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers Nominees Are:

As announced by the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers: 


The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
Con Academy by Joe Schreiber
Dime by E.R. Frank
An Ember in Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios


None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
The Novice by Taran Matharu
Paperweight by Meg Haston
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes


The Secret Side of Empty by Maria Andreu
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee


We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielson
When by Victoria Laurie
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
X: a Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

There will be one winning book and 2 honor books for the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers. Any ideas as to which they might be?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review: Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

Previously thought dead, Finn's mommy dearest reappears. Finn is thrilled. Gin, not so much. Her mentor Fletcher has left her some information indicating that Deirdre Shaw, a strong ice elemental, is not to be trusted. And Gin feels that Deirdre is up to something, just not sure what. As things progress, will blood win out over friendship and growing up together?

Gin and her usual group of friends work together to solve the mystery of why Deirdre Shaw has returned and just what she is up to. Gin vows to put her in the ground if she hurts Finn who is Gin's foster brother. I liked that the plot was a lot about Finn. It meant that he was fleshed out a little more.

It's fast paced and has twists, especially towards the end of the book. The ending provides a bridge for the next installment in the Elemental Assassin series.

Overall, it's a good book. Jennifer Estep manages to keep the Elemental Assassin series fresh with this, the 14th entry. It would probably be enjoyed most if you have read other books in the series prior to this one. It's not really a standalone. I give it 4 stars for characters and content. I am looking forward to the next installment. And I would buy this series for anyone who enjoys urban fantasy.

Bitter Bite is due out February 23, 2016 from Pocket Books. You can read an excerpt on Jennifer Estep's website.

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #125: The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish


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

The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish is due out May 10, 2016 by Vintage Canada. Not sure yet if this edition will be available in the US, but I hope so.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

For the first time since we launched Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Random House Canada is thrilled to announce the debut of a new urban fantasy series. Kristi Charish's The Voodoo Killings introduces Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner...

For starters, she's only 27. Then there's the fact that she lives in rain-soaked Seattle, which is not exactly Haiti. And she's broke. With raising zombies outlawed throughout the continental USA, Kincaid has to eke out a living running seances for university students with more money than brains who are desperate for guitar lessons with the ghost of a Seattle grunge rocker--who happens to be Kincaid's on-again, off-again roommate.

Then a stray zombie turns up outside her neighbourhood bar: Cameron Wight, an up-and-coming visual artist with no recollection of how he died or who raised him. Not only is it dangerous for Kincaid to be caught with an unauthorized zombie, she soon realizes he's tied to a spate of murders: someone is targeting the zombies and voodoo practitioners in Seattle's infamous Underground City, a paranormal hub. When the police refuse to investigate, the City's oldest and foremost zombie asks Kincaid to help. Raising ghosts and zombies is one thing, but finding a murderer? She's broke, but she's not stupid.

And then she becomes the target...As the saying goes, when it rains it pours, especially in Seattle.
 


Why am I waiting on this book? It's billed as a new urban fantasy series. Even though I am not that keen on reading about zombies, it sounds like a good paranormal mystery to me. And I have to admit I usually like stories with a voodoo aspect to them. 

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


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep


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.

"Maybe I should start doing something similar with my magic. Let little ice spikes shoot out of my fingertips when someone annoyed me. Maybe even give them a cold glare and casually threaten to freeze them on the spot. Silvio would complain that scaring people into submission wasn't the best policy, especially with the crime bosses who were already plotting against me. Then again, he wasn't the one who had to listen to them whine."
~ 11% on my Kindle

Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep is due out February 23, 2016 from Pocket Books.

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

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Quickie Review: Adulthood Is a Myth by Sarah Andersen

Adulthood is a Myth: A Adulthood is a Myth: A "Sarah's Scribbles" Collection by Sarah Andersen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A collection of humorous strips that have so much truth, but still make you laugh. Covers introverts and general adulthood issues. Great especially for someone in their 20s, but also fun to read for those older.

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



View all my reviews

Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky

The Greek gods have dispersed from Greece and now live unworshipped throughout the world. Artemis aka Selene DiSilva walks the streets of New York City. Her goal? To protect the innocent, particularly women it seems.
In the predawn hours, Selene is walking her dog and finds the body of a woman wreathed in laurel. Someone has made a sacrifice of her.
She meets Theo Schultz, a classics professor and friend of the deceased. Together they begin to look into the mystery of what happened. They find there is more to it than meets the eye. Someone is trying to recreate the Eleusinian mysteries with a cult using human sacrifice to give them more power. Who is it? And why does it seem to be giving Selene more power than she's had in years even as her mother fades?
Selene is a strong female character. She is a little awkward, insensitive, and not quite human. What would you expect from a former goddess who has been fading from her  glory for years? Theo makes  a good counter to her, opposite to her in so many ways. He is for a minimum more empathic and more human. And yet, there is a growing attraction between the two of them.
The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky is first and foremost a mystery, a bit of a thriller. It is the first book in a proposed trilogy and can be read as a standalone. It is also urban fantasy since the gods and goddesses are an important part of the book. I've seen it recommended for adult fans of Percy Jackson. It is definitely an adult book based on the goriness of the murders, especially the first one.
The romance portion is mostly a subplot. There is interesting information about the character of Selene and bits of history of New York shown through how she has spent her time in the area since she arrived. It's interesting too to see what attributes the other gods and goddesses have retained as they fade.
At the end of the book, the author has several sections devoted to information about what she's covered in the book. There is information about which New York sites are real and whether or not they are available in the author's note. And in the appendices there is information about the greek gods/goddesses and the Eleusinian mysteries. There is also a glossary  of Greek and Latin terms used in the book.
It's a solid start to the Olympus Bound trilogy. The characters are interesting. I actually liked Theo a little better than Selene, but both are good. The mystery of who is sacrificing the innocents and why is a good one. It has twists. There are a few parts towards the beginning that are slow, but then it speeds up. I gave this book 4 stars. It's due out February 16, 2016 from Orbit.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #124: Roses and Rot by Kat Howard


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

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love in this haunting debut fantasy novel from “a remarkable young writer” (Neil Gaiman).

What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.


Why am I waiting on this book? Well, the fairy tale theme is a big part of why I'm waiting on it. I love fairy tales and retellings. I like the idea of this one. Sounds a little like "Be careful what you wish for" too. And then there is the fact that Neil Gaiman thinks that the writer is a "remarkable young writer." I like his writing and if he likes their writing, there is a good chance I will too.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our ever-growing TBR lists. Thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig


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:
February 16th 2016 by Greenwillow Books

"Kashmir was right about the captain; when he wanted something he did not stop until he had it. No matter what it cost. No matter who it hurt."
~ 2% on my Kindle

What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Thanks for coming by!


Friday, February 5, 2016

Quickie Review: Unicorn vs. Goblins by Dana Simpson

Unicorn vs. Goblins (Heavenly Nostrils, #3)Unicorn vs. Goblins by Dana Simpson
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Heavenly Nostrils series. It's a cute collection of humorous comic strips. The primary audience is children, but there is a lot of humor that will also appeal to adults. It follows the adventures of Phoebe and her unicorn friend, Marigold, through the summer and into the school year. Phoebe is in elementary school. The book hits on some key issues: making friends at camp, having a frenemy, and being picked last for a team among others. One of my favorite bits was one involving Marigold, tacos, and the Lake Monster at summer camp.

I expected more about Goblins than there was. And I thought some of it was a little more repetitive than the last 2 books. As a result, I gave this collection 3.5 stars instead of 4 this time around. It's still a good book. And it's funny. I just didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first two. That being said, perhaps kids would rate it differently.

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


View all my reviews

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

When Clay wanders into Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore on an impulse after seeing the help wanted sign in the window, Mr. Penumbra asks, "What do you seek in these shelves?" (p.8) That sounds likeMr_Penumbra an excellent question for the beginning of a quest. And basically, Clay embarks upon a quest of sorts after getting hired. He is introduced by Penumbra to his unusual bookstore with its small collection of more recent books and its stories high collection of what Clay starts to call the wayback list and its unusual clientele.
Clay and his friends begin to work on the mystery of the books and the clientele and just what is it that they are getting out of these books that appear to be in code. This leads them from the bookstore to Google to New York City and back as they attempt to find out just what's going on.
I love books about bookstores and the people that inhabit them. This book was no exception. I liked the bit about the secret society trying to decode the books. And I liked the way Clay and his friends work together to try and solve the mystery of what's in the books. Someone remarked that they thought Clay had it too easy in his quest, and maybe it could be a little true, but I prefer to think he is just good at using the resources and contacts he has access to.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan came out in October 2012. I listened to the unabridged audiobook. It was great except for the part where he is listening to an audiobook inside the book. I just couldn't make out what was being said, but that could be my ears and fine for most people as I am hard of hearing. I think I might read this book again in the future as opposed to listening to it. Might give me a slightly different take on things. Still, I would expect my overall view to be positive as it is now after listening to the book.
I give this book 4 stars. The book is worth a read. It's fun to read and see where they are going as they try to solve the mystery of the books and the clientele that make up the secret society that reads them. The ending is a little philosophical. And there is a long epilog,  but it's an interesting way to wrap things up.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #123: Brotherhood of the Wheel by R.S. Belcher


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

In the same world as Nightwise, comes a new book March 1, 2016, Brotherhood of the Wheel by R.S. Belcher.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

A unique new urban fantasy by the author of The Six-Gun Tarot, exploring the haunted byways and truck stops of the U.S. Interstate Highway System
In 1119 A.D., a group of nine crusaders became known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon--a militant monastic order charged with protecting pilgrims and caravans traveling on the roads to and from the Holy Land. In time, the Knights Templar would grow in power and, ultimately, be laid low. But a small offshoot of the Templars endures and have returned to the order's original mission: to defend the roads of the world and guard those who travel on them.

Theirs is a secret line of knights: truckers, bikers, taxi hacks, state troopers, bus drivers, RV gypsies--any of the folks who live and work on the asphalt arteries of America. They call themselves the Brotherhood of the Wheel.

Jimmy Aussapile is one such knight. He's driving a big rig down South when a promise to a ghostly hitchhiker sets him on a quest to find out the terrible truth behind a string of children gone missing all across the country. The road leads him to Lovina Hewitt, a skeptical Louisiana State Police investigator working the same case and, eventually, to a forgotten town that's not on any map--and to the secret behind the eerie Black-Eyed Kids said to prowl the highways.


Why am I waiting on this book? Well, I've enjoyed reading The Six-Gun Tarot and Nightwise by the same author. And RT magazine gives it 4 1/2 stars. Looks like it's going to be a good dark urban fantasy book.

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

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Unicorn vs. Goblins by Dana Simpson


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:
 February 23rd 2016
by Andrews McMeel Publishing
The Unicorn regarding the camp counselor's description of the Monster that Lives in the Lake: "I met him! He was  hungry, but I brought him some tacos and he is full now. Nice Fellow!"

p. 32 in Unicorn vs. Goblins by Dana Simpson (Heavenly Nostrils #3) It's a collection of comic strips.

It's supposed to be for kids, but I love the humor in the series. The forward is done by Cory Doctorow and his daughter.

What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Thanks for coming by!