Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, #1)Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Anyone who knows me knows that I am an avid Jennifer Estep fan. I am not familiar with her first series. But, I am totally enamored of the Elemental Assassin series. When she first announced in her newsletter that she sold a YA series and gave some hints on what it would be about I was extremely excited to get my hands on the first book, Touch of Frost. Every since I was a teenager I have been very interested in mythology, especially Greek and Chinese mythology. I tried reading a mythology book that strictly talked about the different gods and goddesses, but, it was a bit boring for a younger teenager. I have been tearing through the Internet, Amazon, BN and Goodreads looking for Urban Fantasy and YA Urban Fantasy that covered Greek mythology. It was like a coup to have one of the most talented authors around write a series that covered this topic. I received an ARC of Touch of Frost, read it immediately, and loved it! I just re-read it so that I could post a review close to the release date. I plan to purchase it to keep it in my library so I can read it again just before the release of Kiss of Frost.

I finished the 2nd reading of Touch of Frost last night which only confirmed how much I love this new series. Gwen Frost is this quirky teenager who has a gift of receiving images about the history of an item or a person if she has contact with the either on her bare skin. This works in her favor sometimes and when she least expects it the gift turns her world upside down. Gwen finds herself in an academy styled school to learn how to control her gift. This school is full of students that have their own special gifts and histories. One of the great things is that in the first book we get a great glimpse into the Greek mythology world and how this school is related.

Gwen becomes embroiled in a huge mystery that has her learning more about her own history, her family's history, and the real purpose of the new school she is attending. It takes a while, but, Gwen starts making a new life that includes her new school and some of the people that she has managed to let into her life. Her relationship with her grandmother grows as secrets are revealed. There are Amazons, Valkyries, Spartans and a host of other descendants of serious kick butt heroes from throughout history and mythology.

One of the fun things was a nice tie in to the Elemental Assassins world and of course the great food that is depicted has crossed over and morphed into things that Gwen and her grandmother love to eat. Another great thing in this book was Gwen’s new friendship with Daphne. She turned out to be more than we could ever have guessed judging by the first run in that she and Gwen have at the beginning of the book. Daphne turns out to be a bright light in this series. The jury is still out on Logan, but, he has potential. A sneak peak at the first chapter of the next book in the series (which I usually stay far away from when they are posted because they just drive me nuts with the wait for the entire book) looks like the possibility Gwen might have some choices at Mythos Academy. I look forward to the next in the series!




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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Perfect Cover (The Squad, #1)Perfect Cover by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Who knew I would enjoy a book that had cheerleaders in the backdrop? I am so much like Toby, sarcasm and all, that it was like reading an biography of myself, well minus the cheerleading and the secret agent parts, maybe. I am the smart-mouthed techie! Too hilarious. It was like she was reading my mind. I was laughing out loud throughout most of the book. I stayed away from the popular crowd in high school and in college until my last year when I decided it was time to grace them with my presence, well in high school I was recruited and in college I wanted to share my desire for public service with an amazing sorority.

Perfect Cover was great fun and a very entertaining story, so much so that I already bought The Squad: Killer Spirit. Ready! Go!


Review can also be seen at http://ladytechiesbookmusings.blogspot.c...



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Monday, July 11, 2011

Goddess Boot Camp (Oh. My. Gods, #2)Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What fun was this book? I was a little skeptical because of the title. But, I went from Oh. My. Gods directly to this one and that is why there is one review. I have to go back to book 1 and put in a 5. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Yes, there was the typical teenage angst which totally rang true, but, there was also a deeper story there that deals with family and relationships and Tera Lynn Childs did a wonderful job capturing it from a teenage point-of-view. I have had step siblings before and it is not easy. To be honest when it comes to our parents we're just a bit teenage like, especially when it comes to mourning their loss. To me, my daddy is and always will be my daddy even though he is gone and Phoebe expressed those feelings the same way I do even given my over 30 status (Don't judge my inability to accept my age!).

Goddess Boot Camp is a continuation of Phoebe's story continuing where book 1 left off where Phoebe just finds out about her lineage and she has some serious trials coming up. She still has her running trials and the trial of changes in her friendships with her best buddies from California. But, she now has new close buddies that she is learning and growing with which includes her boyfriend Griffin. They both have learning pains because despite his having an on again, off again relationship for a very long time with one person that relationship never seems to have grown into what his relationship is with Phoebe. Phoebe only has one relationship with men to draw from and it ended badly. They learn from each other and learn about trust and faithfulness even when each doesn't realized that they have exhibited distrustful behavior.

Phoebe gets a great surprise in her final trial of the book and the end leaves me hoping that there is possibly more left to everyone's story.

Review can also be seen at: http://ladytechiesbookmusings.blogspot.c...



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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Model Spy (The Specialists, #1)Model Spy by Shannon Greenland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I am seriously hooked on these teen spy books right now. I really liked this book. I was a bit unhappy that books 3 and 4 are on Kindle but book 2 is only paperback or audio. The paperback was not available locally so I had to stop reading the series and order it through Amazon. Hopefully the publisher will work on that. I do not agree with the people who gave the book a 1 on Amazon because book 2 is not available on Kindle. It has nothing to do with the book's content or author's ability to write a good, entertaining story and the rating system should not be used as a club to force the publisher to make it an e-book. It actually makes it look like people did not like the book and therefore it is not a good investment for making it an e-book so the exact opposite is likely to happen. Since I was formerly someone who did forecasting and budgeting for a major corporation I speak from internal knowledge on how decisions are made on where to make investments. There is a button at the top of the page that allows us to request the publisher make it a Kindle e-book. Okay, off the soapbox and on to the review.



This book was fun. I found myself going into my library and looking around to see if I had anything like it to hold me until book 2 arrives. I had a few YA books, but, they mostly were urban fantasy YA which I also love. In this book a super smart programmer and inventor who finds herself in a bit of trouble after trying to help someone in her dorm using her programming skills. She winds up in a special training program for teen spies. I know this is not a new concept but it is new for me. I am on a roll with them and enjoying them. I really like GiGi and in her case she was never a bad person or someone who got into trouble. She lived a pretty solitary life so the change was still big for her. I really like the entire crew, especially the techies who I really relate to. I thought the GiGi's speech quirk was great too.



GiGi has her first assignment and it was great to see her work with the team and get into her role as a model, the very last role you would have expected her to play. She is a bit of a klutz and despite being very attractive, she is unaware that she is attractive. A lot of this is related to her childhood and rings true for children that have gone through what she has gone through. The other teens that are part of the program like Bruiser and Mystic all make a great part of the story and I look forward to learning more about each of them. I found the author on Facebook and mentioned that I would love to see more of her writing in that series.



I am really looking forward to book 2 getting here.



Review can also be seen at: http://ladytechiesbookmusings.blogspot.c...



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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)Heist Society by Ally Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Ally Carter really is a gifted storyteller. I was wondering if there would be any blending of the characters from the spy novels, but, Kat is her own person. They come from different worlds and want different things. Kat comes from a family of very gifted thieves of Russian descent. They are very close and have a sort of hierarchy that is very respected both inside the family and outside. They have some family members that have been adopted over the years that are just as close to them as the blood relatives. I must say that I love Hale. One thing they do have in common is the early loss of one parent, one that is held in very high regard by all that knew them. I hope in future books we get to learn more about Kat's mom.

In this first in the series Kat is dragged back into her old family business to try and protect her father from a very dangerous man. Because she is being forced to do something she was trying to get away from, and heads of her family have warned her off, she has to plan and somehow pull off something that has never been done. Along for the ride are the other family members her age and a stranger she has befriended which her father has dubbed the Heist Society. Ally Carter has plotted this thing within an inch of its life. The story is very tight. If there is a flaw in there I missed it. One of the best parts of this series is the traveling from country to country. I, of course, had to get on the Internet looking for a museum called The Henley.

Of course I am already looking forward to the next in the Heist Society, Uncommon Criminals. The synopsis sounds like a great ride!

Review can also be seen at: http://ladytechiesbookmusings.blogspot.c...



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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


It goes without saying that I loved Only the Good Spy Young. This book continued with the same great action scenes and an excellent mystery. There were even several good curve balls thrown in there. The characters were still well written.

I am looking forward to #5, Out of Sight, Out of Time. I'm a little worried about it though based upon the ending of this book. The ending was good but, it sounded it like it was ramping up for Cammie to do something really stupid. Yes, she is impetuous at times, but, she tends to be pretty smart. She does tend to sometimes believe she can compare her teenage skills to those of an adult in the field who has not only the same education, but, many years of field experience. It goes without saying that she is pitting herself against killers with weapons. The title of this book sounds like it could go either way on whether she goes through with her not-so-smart plan considering leaving doesn't stop the bad guys from still hurting someone she loves to make her change her plans or control her. As a matter of fact, it pretty much makes it easier since they will be short 1 person and she will have no backup. Well, a year to wait and see. On to Heist Society.


Review can also be seen at http://ladytechiesbookmusings.blogspot.c...



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Monday, July 4, 2011

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3)Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I feel like I'm being redundant with my raves for this series. I started Don't Judge a girl by Her Cover in the middle of the night right after finishing the last one. That is the beauty of eBooks. I am really happy to see that there is a book 5 in the works. I know that I now will have to go right to the Heist society books because one thing I realized while reading this series is that I just like Ally Carter's writing.

This time she threw in not only the usual action and intrigue, but, she also threw in a mystery that has you doing a double take at the end. You're reading it so fast because the book has you completely enthralled, so quickly that you do not even have time to try and guess who really is whom or what is really going on. Of course, I bought Only the Good Spy Young and will be starting it right away. That's what holidays are for, enjoying great books!



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Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2)Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This was a great Sunday read. It continued the story of Cammie and her roommates at the Gallagher Academy. This time there are a ton of secrets being held by the staff, including Cammie's mom. But, she made a promise to her mom, who also happens to be the headmistress of the school. Those promises were seriously tested and it all ties in to the results of I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You.

There are some serious surprises for the girls and they are going to be tested, especially Cammie. Has she learned anything from her adventures in the first story? I really think she did. They all have gone through some changes, even Macey. Liz' choices in what she wants to do for the agency means her path is different at the school than Cammie and Bex and she was really up for it. Even Anna showed some growth. Macey demonstrated that there is more to her than the side she shows her parents. The girls learn how to work with people that do not attend their school.

Ally Carter shows that she can really tell a story and that she is not afflicted by the 2nd in a series curse that some authors suffer. I have already downloaded and begun reading Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover which is just as exciting as the first two.


Review can also be seen at http://ladytechiesbookmusings.blogspot.c...



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Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I loved this book. It was fun, well written and thoroughly had my attention. I started it yesterday and stayed up until the middle of the night to finish it. I had this book on my shelf for several years. I then bought Heist Society and shelved it next to it. I have been having trouble selecting books for the last month. I can only attribute it to being over-saturated with urban fantasy.

Ally Carter is really a gifted writer. She has very good knack for telling a story. Her characters are believable. Macey was meant to be a spoiled, insufferable brat and she really came across that way and made you hope that Bex would deck her. Liz was the brainiac of their crew and she did an excellent job of showing you just how smart she is and how much she cares for her friends. Cammie's relationship with her mother brings back memories of how even I as a teenager tried to maneuver around my mom when I knew something was against the rules and she would put me in my place by showing me she was always a step ahead of me. Cammie's grief about the loss of her dad literally had me crying and remembering the loss of my dad and how I felt and still feel every time I run into one of his friends or previous co-workers and they tell me about him and how much he meant to them.

I have already downloaded the sample for Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy as well as the other 2 books in the series. I already follow Ally Carter on Twitter and look forward to the Heist Society series. I cannot wait to see what else they have in store for her fans.

Review of this awesome book can also be seen on my blog at http://ladytechiesbookmusings.blogspot.c...



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Friday, July 1, 2011

Children of the Lost MoonChildren of the Lost Moon by Gabrielle Blue

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Huh, go figure. Over the year or so that I have been a member on Goodreads I have had a few authors request that I add them as friends. I am happy to do it since I am always open to try new books. Yesterday I happened to finish one book which had a very good ending. That normally makes me extremely critical over whatever comes next. I happened to receive a Tweet from Gabrielle Blue requesting friend status on Twitter. I love following authors, even those I have not read before. Some people are music groupies. I am a book groupie. I love to learn about new books and the ideas that go into them. So I sent a sample of Children of the Lost Moon to my Kindle. I liked the sample and decided the price was good.

Anyone who knows me really well knows that though I loved the Twilight series books I am not a fan of the movies at all and have stayed away from them since the first movie. I was a bit worried when I began reading Children of the Lost Moon. I was not in the mood for anything that was going to be reminiscent of Twilight. I stuck it out and I really am glad that I did. Not only was Savannah a good character in her own right, but, I loved the whole fencing backdrop. I have wanted to take fencing lessons for a long time. I waited so long that the local fencing school suffered from the economy and closed. Now, I have to register as a student at Michigan State University to have access to their fencing club. Since I am already nearing the end of a PhD that is really not something I want to do at this time. It was wonderful reading about it and learning the names of the different positions and thrusts. I loved reading about the competitions. I enjoyed reading about Savannah's love for the different blades.

Another great thing was Roxy. She was great comic relief and really loved grapes. I hate to see what would happen if they ever had a freeze in Florida and could not find grapes for that bird. I'm imagining no sleep to be had until they had some imported as Roxy yelled "grapes", "grapes", "grapes" all day and all night. There were some really great characters in this book. To be honest I was happier with Savannah not being that predictable with her transitions and growth. This made the story Gabrielle Blue's original work and her own niche. But, outside of that Ruth and Poppy were my favorites. The very ones that seemed to have the most depth to them were the ones that stood out because they were not the warriors of the pack. They brought the most to the story by how much they gave to the pack by just being different. I am not sure what the future holds for these characters. But, I would enjoy reading more about them.



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A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain My rating: 5 of 5 stars  A Twist in Time is proof that the second book in a series can be sometimes jus...