Thursday, December 29, 2011

To Play the LadyTo Play the Lady by Naomi Lane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I totally loved this book! I have only read a handful of high fantasy and almost all of them have been in the last year or so. The reason I have not been able to read high fantasy before is that I had an aversion to author-developed worlds, hence my preference for urban fantasy which is also not something I have always read. Previous to my introduction to urban fantasies I was strictly mysteries and thrillers and that period was the longest for me in my reading history. I have to see something in the book synopsis that leads me to believe that a book will draw me into its world. I kept seeing great reviews for To Play the Lady. I eventually downloaded the sample and knew I would enjoy it.

Jenna is a girl that you care about from the moment you see that she and her brother Peter are different from all of the other teenagers coming to court. The other girls studying with the Queen as her ladies are all nobles as are the boys training to be knights like Peter. Peter seems to not have as difficult a time with his peers as Jenna has with some of the older girls. Not only is she not a noble, but, she comes from a wealthy family, is darker skinned and comes from a dessert area. In addition, she continuously stands out for her many talents despite her age and there is nothing meaner than a teenage girl so Jenna has to overcome a lot of petty jealousies as well. She stands out even from her brother who is also very talented.

One of the great things about To Play the Lady is that Jenna is learning about herself at the same time as we are learning about her gifts and about some of her family's history. It serves as a bit of intrigue because as much as she and Peter try to keep their family's secrets the more things happen to expose them. Another great thing about this story is how Jenna's gifts are discovered. She doesn't magically have a bunch of gifts and suddenly knows how to use them. She grows in every way in this book including her magical gifts. She has some talents that she has trained in as a child might when their parents invest in piano lessons or gymnastics lessons or the myriad of other things my parents invested in for me as a child to help me develop as a well-rounded individual. Jenna did not spring up perfect with a ton of friends with no problems. This story shows how kids, even in medieval times, are subjected to prejudices and abuse. It demonstrates how they can persevere when they have the right tools and support. The princes, Sebastian, Eamon and Dominic all have very different personalities but, they have friendship between them just as the love and friendship is very apparent between Jenna and Peter. I think there are several mysteries with other relationships at court waiting to be exposed.
There are twists and turns everywhere you look in this book. There is a bad guy who we can all see and something else in the works on that front along with the many machinations and politics of court life. I was not finished reading the book before I was researching more about the author and hoping that there were more books on the horizon. I cannot compare it to other fantasy books and even if I had read more than a handful I prefer to take it on its own merits and this book is great, with good character development, good world building, and a great story. I look forward to the next installment!

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

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Last Breath (The Morganville Vampires, #11)Last Breath by Rachel Caine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For me these books always entertain to the fullest. I may not have everything go the way I want. But, the vampires are always vampires and always protect themselves first. There is a very delicate balance between them and the humans. One of the things I'm curious about is when they say that Emily founded Morganville does this mean she founded and created this town? If so, I understand that they need some humans to remain there and those that come and go have a different relationship with the vampires than those that area aware of them. How did Michael, Shane and the others that knew each other since they were kids end up locked there? Were their families there already when Emily "found" Morganville or did they migrate there and get trapped there?

Claire is always the lynch pin for the stories but, for the most part this entire thing centers on how she came to Morganville, and her relationship with the vampires so when things happen like they did in this story then you have to wonder what happens when Claire's relationship with the vampires changes.

Reviews can be seen at

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was poetically written. Laini Taylor has a wonderful gift with words. I kept trying to tie being a daughter of smoke and bone to literal things. I was able to trace her definitely being a daughter of bone. I'm still a little unsure of the smoke but, that might not be a literal translation so I will have to give it more consideration.

I opted to take a risk and buy this on audiobook. The risk comes from the chance that having the wrong narrator completely ruining the experience of the story. I love listening to audiobooks. The narrator in this instance, Khristine Hvam, did a great job. There were one or two spots, mostly at the end when someone distracted me that I had to listen to the last 3 or 4 minutes a couple of times to ensure I did not miss anything. I was hoping that despite how hurt both sides had been due to the war there might be some form of peace without loss of Karu's family members. As both sides of the story are told you see that that each fight really does have two sides and it all depends upon perspective. Possibly, in the beginning there was one clear wrong, but, over the many, many years the wrongs on both sides were perpetuated. There were so many shocks and twists with the war and determining who was who in this story. It did not detract from the beauty of the story. You found yourself wishing for forgiveness all around and seeing similarities in this story to so many aspects of history.

One of the best parts is the author’s vivid imagery of place. I was already dreaming of visiting Prague after seeing a travel show with the bridge full of sculptures. It was great having Laini Taylor confirm its beauty through the gift of her words. I am imaging a place full of culture and art that will take my breath away the same way Rome totally amazed me with its history, people and culture. Another great part of this story is despite all the heartbreak and sadness that war can bring was Karu’s hope and I look forward to the next book in this series.

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

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Friday, December 9, 2011

The Hedgewitch Queen (Hedgewitch #1 )The Hedgewitch Queen by Lilith Saintcrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one is a little harder to review. I loved the story but, I am at a crossroads about how I feel about Vianne. Hedgewitch Queen was pretty well written with wonderful characters, imagery, and language. We only get a cursory glance into each of the main actors in this saga. The story is very focused on the current events beginning with some very serious court intrigue, which is one of my favorite topics.

Vianne is an interesting character but, I'm not sure she is very loyal to anyone other than the princess. It may be because of years of living and navigating the arena of high court or how things happened with her parents. But, the end of this story along with several of the thoughts that she had throughout the book leads me to believe that possibly her loyalty is a bit fleeting. It is not necessarily based upon her relationship with people like Tristan and the other guards, a relationship based upon months of traveling together, supporting each other and protecting each other. But, it appears words from people she met and has only known for a very short time can undo all that was built or possibly change her mind. She doesn’t know the character of many of the people she meets but, she has a chance to judge people based upon how they have treated her. Well there is the rub. This book ends in a huge cliffhanger wherein I do not get to make up my mind about her until I see which way the wind blows in the next book. I'm seeing ulterior motives in the whisperings of new found family members because I can say first hand that not all family has your best interests at heart.

I had to take a peek at Lilith Saintcrow's website to get a hint of what might be on the horizon for the next book and see it is to be released in June of 2012. The title and cover has me a bit worried. At least we already know it is a two-part series so we know things will be tied up and I hope everyone, but Duc and his vile sidekick, gets what they want!

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grave Mercy
By Robin LaFevers
Release Date: April 2012

I was interested in Grave Mercy from the moment I caught wind of it on I am grateful to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing me to obtain a copy of an ARC. The first thing that caught my attention in the synopsis was the sentence that said, “If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death.” That sentence is full of contradictions. I may not be Catholic, but, I do not remember convents being full of assassins. I was under the impression that they were full of women married to God who spend their time praying and doing community service. Apparently there is more going on in some of those places than I initially thought!

Ismae is taken there when she is a young teenager and she is happy to serve St. Mortain after the life she has escaped where an entire village both feared and hated her. Robin LaFevers does an amazing job of telling the little details. You cannot help but become involved in Ismae’s life at the convent. She makes friends and finally knows what it is like to have people be kind to her and treat her like a human being.

I love reading about the history of things and places. History was part of my major in my undergraduate degree, though I did get fixated on the history of China’s dynasties. Whenever I read a book that uses real places I tend to take Internet fieldtrips. When I read that most of this story was taking place in Brittany I hit the Internet to see if there really was a St. Mortain and find out the history of this country. I found information on Mortain but it looks like the storyline in Grave Mercy was a very well-developed story that Robin LaFevers did a wonderful job of developing. I was watching DVR recordings I have of re-runs of Passport to Europe and to my great surprise and delight I had one of what is now Brittany, France. Of course that tells me a lot about what the results of the fight that Brittany had with France to keep its independence. This book tells the story about the hearts and minds of the people who fought so hard to keep Brittany its own independent country. Interestingly enough Brittany was full of British people so of course they would not want to be annexed by France.

Grave Mercy is full of court intrigue and in-fighting that is so underhanded that you cannot tell who is truly working on behalf of Brittany and who is working on behalf of the France regent. The interesting part of this also is that the duchess, Anne is only 12 years old and despite her royal background we really get to see the inner workings of how things were for women of all stations in this book. Can you imagine not being able to walk around a party unescorted by an adult male or female for fear of what it would do to your reputation? Well that has not changed all that much depending upon how you behave while walking around a party these days!

Character development was very well done in Grave Mercy. You did not always know who the bad guy was in this story. The fantasy elements were exciting and the mythology surrounding St. Mortain was interesting and I hope we will get to see that mythology developed more. The fight scenes, though occasionally one sided, were well written. Death’s handmaidens were some kick-butt chicks. I am not sure how many books are in the series but, it appears the next book surrounds another of the girls from the convent. I look forward to that read!

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

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy, #2)Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book as an e-ARC a few months ago and read it immediately. I cannot wait to buy my paperback version for the cover to put in my library. I began re-reading it this week to refresh my memory of the details since I have read quite a few books since then, but, strangely enough for the first time I have vivid recall of the events and people. I am totally enamored of this series. It is exciting, fun, and well-written.

Of course it is the continuation of Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy series in the mountains of North Carolina, just a bit away from where all the action takes place in the Elemental Assassin series. Gwen is still hard at work training and working on some relationship issues and has a good candidate for a possible love interest. There was actually a couple of curve balls thrown in there because the end of Touch of Frost had me thinking of a possible candidate and shockingly I was so very wrong. Another great thing about this series is the unexpected friendship between Gwen and one of the "mean girls", Daphne. I am actually enjoying their verbal sparring and watching Daphne grow as a person. There are more surprises on the mean girls’ front this time around too!

I won't give a synopsis because the book blurb does that well enough. But, I can say that reading these books always leaves me wanting more right away. I am truly excited to see at least 2 more books already in the works. This author is definitely one that I am glad gets to write full-time. I think I need to back track and read the Karma series too. Back to Kiss of Frost, that does not disappoint on the good fight scenes and intrigue either. This installment also has a big mystery in it along with Gwen learning more about her friends, family and the staff at the school and of course Vic the coolest sword ever is my favorite. I'm a huge academy school urban fantasy fan so this setting also adds to one of the reasons I love this book. The majority of the scenes take place in another environment while the students are on a school trip, but the vivid descriptions of the mountain scenery helps paint a great picture in my mind. I am not a fan of sports in the snow because I hate the snow, but, I do enjoy watching those who like to ski and snowboard flying down the hills. I know this is ironic since I live in the Midwest. Snow and watching others ski and snowboard is quite breathtaking.

Now, on to the wait for Dark Frost, though I did donate to breast cancer research by purchasing Entangled which contains Halloween Frost!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Support Four Debut Authors

“Between” by Cyndi Tefft
It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile, and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries. 

“Until Dawn: Last Light" by Jennifer Simas
When darkness falls, whose side will you be on?

For the past six years, Zoë has been anything but “normal.” Struggling to accept her immortality and thrown into a war that’s been waging in the shadows for over a thousand years, Zoë must now become who she was meant to be, joining the other Chosen to save what’s left of humanity. When the endless night falls over the Earth, will she be able to save the one man who reminds her of what it is to be human, or will it be too late?

Until Dawn: Last Light is a story of death and despair, love and longing, hope and hopelessness, and the ability to survive and keep going even when it seems impossible – when you want nothing more than to give up.

“The Kayson Cycle” by Jonathan D. Allen
A stranger enters a dying town and makes a desperate plea…
The Kayson Cycle introduces the Kayson Brothers, a pair of faith healers who once wowed crowds in a traveling show but went their separate ways after a night in which a healing took a dark turn. Jeffrey Kayson disappeared into the wilderness and William Kayson, wracked by guilt, moved to the failing mining town of Calico Hills to build a nice, quiet life – one that has lasted for over ten years.

His quiet, predictable life crumbles when a mysterious stranger walks into his tavern bearing a proposal to find his long-lost brother and do the one thing that William has sworn to never do again - have his brother heal a woman. William soon learns that he can’t escape his family – or his destiny.

Includes an exclusive sample chapter of The Corridors of the Dead. Please note that this is a Kindle Single, and around 6,000 words in length.  

“Sundered” by Shannon Mayer
A miracle drug, Nevermore, spreads like wildfire throughout the world allowing people to eat what they want, and still lose weight. It is everything the human population has ever dreamed of and Mara is no different. Only a simple twist of fate stops her from taking Nevermore.

As the weeks roll by, it becomes apparent that Nevermore is not the miracle it claimed. A true to life nightmare, the drug steals the very essence that makes up humanity and unleashes a new and deadly species on the world that is bent on filling its belly. Locked down within their small farm home, Mara and her husband Sebastian struggle against increasingly bad odds, fighting off marauders and monsters alike.

But Sebastian carries a dark secret, one that more than threatens to tear them apart, it threatens to destroy them both and the love they have for each other.

Now Mara must make the ultimate choice. Will she live for love, or will she live to survive?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hunting LilaHunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hunting Lila rang a bell for me. What I liked is that it reminded me of something but I couldn't put my fingers on it. That is a good thing. I finally figured it out later but, it was not enough to turn me away. The fact that she put her own spin on this and totally made it her own is a credit to her writing skills. Her character development is wonderful.

One of the things that I loved about this story is Sarah Alderson's work with character development. Lila is a typical teenager with a huge crush. She has had some traumatic events in her life all spanning from a major event. But, along the way in this story everything she thought was real gets turned on its head. The fashion in which this is told was extremely climatic and I had the same thoughts as all the others on Goodreads. Where is the next book? I would appreciate very much having it right now. But, I can honestly say that it was not left in a way that made me angry. It was done so well that the reader just wanted to know what happens next.

I did want to address the title of book 2, Losing Lila. That title puts a little bit of fear in you, especially when you read the blurb on Goodreads about what the book is about. I was so anxious I was trying to read it on my small HTC screen because my laptop was not up and running. That blurb along with the ending of Hunting Lila and the title of book 2, Losing Lila is a wonderful setup and a great way to keep us hooked! This was a great, exciting, action filled book. I intentionally did not discuss the "bad guys" because that portion of the book is something each reader should experience for themselves. Suffice it to say, I liked it.

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

Friday, November 25, 2011

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18)Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always enjoy this series. Yes, it is formulaic, even if the details change. But, I'm not sure how readers would respond if she did change things. There is no need for me to rehash the blurb from the back of the book. But, I have to say that Joyce was quite entertaining in this book. I'm guessing if Stephanie did go up to her parents' house and talk to them either her mom would behave just like her, or she would be a person who is oblivious to most things going on around her.

Honestly, most of the funny parts involved Lula. That woman is hilarious and for someone as tough as she is she can surprise you with how tenderhearted and kind she can be. Sherry Shepard is about the only one in the roles that is the right fit for the movie, in my opinion. None of the others in the roles fit what I envision as I have read this series over the years. I can say that the new character of the book that was quite funny was Buggy the purse snatcher. I'm still an avid fan of these books and will continue to read them until I no longer laugh or enjoy the read.

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kissed by Fire (Sunwalker Saga #2)Kissed by Fire by Shéa MacLeod

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I am happy I found this series, especially since I have walked away from two or three that I was following closely. The one thing I like about Kissed by Fire is that the author does not drag a storyline on and on, sort of like how just when you think Jayne has caught Red John on The Mentalist after all these years, bam! He still doesn't have him. I am not a fan of storylines that carry on for multiple books, especially major storylines. I like to see some form of resolution in each book, even in a series. I have to say that Shea MacLeod was consistent with very strong writing, storyline, and characters.

In this installment all three of our major players Morgan, Inigo, and Kabita all have their individual story arcs or issues they are dealing with and there is a nice major story arch with the addition of dragons. I love dragons. Another thing that this author does well is flashbacks as a means of giving historical backdrop to Morgan's history. The reader does not get confused with tense or when something is occurring. A few great twists with Morgan's friendships/relationships and I like the way things turned out. I hope there won't be a lot of back and forth because that is one thing that makes me run screaming from paranormal romance along with love triangles. I'm more on the urban fantasy side of things and Shea MacLeod does a wonderful job writing UF.

I wanted to check on Shea MacLeod's website for the spelling of Morgan's best friend and boss and had a very welcome surprise. Book 3, Kissed by Smoke, is being released next month. Excellent!

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

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kissed by Darkness (Sunwalker Saga #1)Kissed by Darkness by Shéa MacLeod

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have not been really writing full reviews lately. But, this book deserves for me to spend a few minutes giving it a more detailed review than I have been writing lately. I am not positive but I think that Sunwalker Press the author's own organization and she is self-published. I was wondering how this book would turn out. The editing on the self-published books (I think this is self-published) I have read previously are usually not very well done at all. This book had about 1 missing word and the rest of the editing was very well done. In addition, this woman tells a wonderful story.

The heroine, Morgan Bailey, is seriously kick-butt and quite funny. Morgan is best friends with her boss, Kabita, and quite close with Inigo, the other person that works with her hunting vampires. The three of them have developed a family of sorts and they support each other totally even when they disagree with decisions they make. Inigo has his own secrets and hopefully they will come out in a future book. Jack has a long and troubled past and it was very well told.

There was a few nice twists in this book and I won't say anything about them other than part of the topic was new for me so it was great. I know I have seen other books that talk about this aspect of mythology but, I have never thought I would be interested in this aspect of mythology but I was pleasantly surprised. I don't know if Shea MacCleod has not pitched to a publishing house or if being independent is what she wants. Either way, I hope the word is out there on her books because I really like them. I plan to find out if she is on Twitter so I can continue to follow her work and I have already bought Kissed By Fire.

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate, #4)Heartless by Gail Carriger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent! I managed to get my hands on an ARC of Heartless a bit prior to release date. I also purchased the paperback because I like collecting the covers. I love this series so much that this is also one for which I buy the audiobooks. The reader is wonderful! I wanted to say awesome but, I have been told by my sister that this word is being overused so I have to find an alternate word for awesome and amazing. Hard work that is really. I am overdue for this review and I have to buy the audiobook because they tend to run a bit behind the physical copies. I hope they have it so I can purchase it for listening during my overseas trip.

Heartless is the follow-up to Blameless where things hit the fan with Alexia's pregnancy. She's back in London and extremely pregnant. Things have gone haywire with the vampires and their reaction to her pregnancy and these machinations go to the very top of their organization. There are a lot of surprises in this book related to Alexia's friendships and I think despite her being soulless she sure seems to draw people to her, even if it is just because she is needed for her help. I am not positive if her group is what people refer to as The Ton but, it seems like that might be the case and that group of people sure are gossipy.

Speaking of shake-ups. There is also a huge change with the werewolves. Boy, did I not see that happening. Gail Carriger sure does have a great imagination and she really does immerse herself in the world of Steampunk. Just take a look at her Tweets and her website. If there is anything Steampunk related you can bet she has a finger on the pulse of it. I am eagerly awaiting not only Timeless but also the first of The Finishing School series.

Review can also be seen at

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Better Off Undead (Bloodhound Files, #4)Better Off Undead by D.D. Barant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series just gets better and better. I am thinking the alternate, swapped realities, in this series is really original. I have not read all there is out there in the Urban Fantasy genre but, I have not seen anything like it and I love it. I put off reading this latest book for a while and then I began it and within the first few minutes I wished I had not put it off.

I forgot how funny D. D. Barant is, even when he is writing the most kick-butt scene. Yes, I said he. I really thought the author was a woman. I realized the other day, while thoroughly enjoying this book, that I did not follow the author on Twitter or Facebook so I went in search of a site or handle for these social media sites for D. D. Barant. What did I find but information that indicates that D.D. is a man. I went almost 4 entire books thinking this woman sure is a good author. How can the author be a man? Well, could it be my hanging out with my dad, cousins and uncles so much growing up means I missed a cue? Or, could it be that he is so good at what he does that it was not even noticeable? The second one is my vote.

D. D. Barant's Bloodhound world and, Jace's introduction to that world, was such a shock for her that she says and behaves in the most obnoxious fashion and it usually is attributed to her transition. She's good at her job and maybe that also dictates that she is forgiven a lot. Her witty banter with Charlie is some of my most favorite moments in the books. Despite how kick-butt she appears people are drawn to her and really like her.
I love that all the books do not center on the same essential mystery which drew her to this world in the first place. There is great mystery and even better magic and action scenes and each book stands on its own. I look forward to the next book in this series.

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

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trance (MetaWars, #1)Trance by Kelly Meding

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, I rarely read a book that totally enthralls me. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the e-Arc through a program with the publisher since the official release date is 10/25/2011. Though I am a huge fan of X-Men I don't read comics or many superhero stories. Trance is a good story with so many twists and turns that I knew this morning that regardless to how many pages left for me to read I would be finishing this book today. I had to know the answer to the mystery.

Trance is a great book and I have already recommended it to my online bookclub and posted about it to Twitter. My biggest fear was that when I was only 1/4 through the book I began raving on Twitter. What if I changed my mind after further reading? What if the author did not continue with the same writing style or somehow the story got lost? There are some things that kept striking me about the story that led me to write to Kelly Meding and ask a few questions. I will not go into the conversation because the results could possibly spoil the book for other readers. Suffice it to say that I had to stop and figure out what was keeping me glued to the book. Was it the story itself? At one point in the story I realized that it was the depth of the characters the author had described that I liked. Possibly I am just a different kind of reader and reviewer but, I cannot tell you how much Trance's response to the results of part of the Ranger's investigation resonated with me. This scene in the book and a few others showed the gift that Kelly Meding has with characterization. I did love the different superhero gifts Gage, Renee, Marco, Theresa (Trance), William, and Evan displayed.

The other Rangers have stories that it looks like will be the subjects of the future installments in the series. So much was found and lost in this book that it was heartbreaking even without having gotten to know some of the 12 Ranger children as they tried to reunite. Trance demonstrates that a person can still find their place in the world even after multiple mis-steps. This story does have some romance in it which anyone who reads my reviews knows is not really my thing. What is nice about this story is the way the story is told. It feels like a coming of age that was interrupted and continued much later. I cannot say the ending was what I would call happily ever after. I would call it satisfying and it left me looking forward to the next installment, The Changeling.

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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1)Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was pretty good. I love Greek mythology and despite being an adult I also enjoy YA urban fantasy books. Initially when I began reading the book I wanted a few things to be different about the relationship between Grace and her family and maybe it will be in the next book. It still works out well. Thane, interesting name for Grace's adopted brother, has a mystery background so far. It is going to be great and I hope it comes out pretty soon. There are several characters like Milo and Nick that you wonder what they know and if their role is bigger than it seems right now. So, there is some mystery to this story along with the action.

The author's take on Medusa was original and actually quite interesting. I especially like the lineage and history of Grace and the others. The story does have 3 different points of view or protagonists with their own stories, but, for some reason it felt more like Grace was more of the focal point of things. The writing was pretty good and the fight scenes were actually interesting if not a bit funny. There was a bit of humor with the girls and that made for an even better read.

I'll look for the next installment when it is released.

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I want to read it all over again. It is a definite re-read for me. I have always been fascinated by the Jack The Ripper case. It feels so far removed and so many detectives and authors have tried to solve the case over the years. Actually, that is the one thing that I like about this story. It has its basis in The Ripper story but it is its own story. It starts off looking like it is one thing and turns into something so much more.

Without going too much into a synopsis that is already available if you click the link of the book, Rory is a transfer student completing her last year of high school in London at an academy or boarding school. Did I mention that I love mysteries and urban fantasies where the students live on the grounds like college students. The freedom is not as broad since they are minors but, as Rory is going to find out, London teens have a lot more privileges than American youth. Rory has a great opportunity, one that a lot of students dream of and it works a bit differently than being an exchange student where the student typically lives with a family. Her parents are smart lawyers and are a few hours away doing an exchange program of sorts as well.

Rory becomes very involved in The Ripper investigation. Her life goes into a tailspin of sorts and the danger is quite real. This is not so much a coming of age story as it is an adjustment to new surroundings. The great thing about that is we get to hear more about London's history while Rory is schooled on the proper way of understanding the difference between London, England and Great Britain and the United Kingdom. I never knew that! I love the colloquialisms that I've heard previous co-workers that work out of the Chelsea office use like, brilliant, when we might say sweet or awesome, or even cool. I enjoyed picturing the descriptions of the area where the academy was located. Maureen Johnson did a great job with the characters and with the imagery. I have a feeling this is a series, or at least I have my fingers crossed.

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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Target (Court Gentry, #2)On Target by Mark Greaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unfortunately, I started this book then had to work on my dissertation to meet a deadline. It took me a while to turn off scholarly think mode and get going again but when I did I loved it. This is a great series and I look forward to Ballistic next week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Spider’s Revenge (Elemental Assassin, #5)Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot rave enough about this series. I don't have a favorite anything, not favorite colors, numbers, authors, or even musicians. But, I can definitely step out and say that the Elemental Assassin series is one of the best I have read and a favorite of mine. I thoroughly enjoy every book from cover-to-cover, even when something I may not particularly want to happen occurs. By the way, the covers are very well done.

Spider's Revenge seems like the culmination of the story, and it definitely is a crescendo that is very poetic and seriously climactic. I feel like I'm overdosing with the metaphors here, but, you get my drift. This is the story where the two most dangerous of the elementals come to blows and this installment in the Gin Blanco story does not disappoint. The action is excellent. Jennifer Estep knows how to write a fight scene. I love the phenomenal display of elemental powers that are displayed in all of the books. Of course, with the strongest known fire elemental going head-to-head with the strongest unknown stone/ice elemental in Ashland, NC, there are bound to be serious cataclysmic effects.

Owen, Finn, Bria, Sophia, and Jo-Jo are marvelous support characters. Owen is a stunning man. He makes a reader so happy that Donovan Caine is out of the picture. Everyone plays their part and though I wished there was time for an extra butt whooping in this book, Spider’s Revenge does a very nice job of answering some questions and making the reader want more. I really cannot wait to read By A Thread early next year.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

The Gray Man (Court Gentry, #1)The Gray Man by Mark Greaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had been on a teenage secret agent book bender for a few weeks. Prior to that I was on an urban fantasy kick for possibly a year or more straight with breaks in between for mystery/thriller releases in series that I like. I was looking for something different and exciting to read. I read a 2nd in a series with a female assassin and really liked it and decided to see what else was out there. I did a search and found the Mark Greaney series, The Gray Man. I started reading it about 15 minutes before I had to start work and then wished I could take the day off.

This book was so full of action and intrigue. There was a great plot, but, the thing that draws me to this story is Jim. He is this larger than life character, part of which comes from the reputation and rumors that those in his part of the world have talked about for years, and the other part is just him. Mark Greaney writes these characters that jump off the page. The bad guys are extremely bad or, are they? The good guys might be good, but, given what is at risk in this book, maybe the good guys are the bad guys. It all gets thrown in the air and blown around like a huge tornado while the story is moving at a breakneck speed across multiple parts of the world.

If there any problems with spelling or editing I sure did not notice them and I am a stickler for those things. I was working on my dissertation yesterday and kept glancing at my Kindle wanting to pick my book up and read it. I had to make it a reward to read my book so I could make some progress and I have a huge deadline facing me on 9/15 for the first 3 chapters. This is how much I loved this book. I have already purchased On Target, the next installment in The Gray Man series and cannot wait.
Okay, now to see if the author has a Twitter account or Facebook page so I can follow him adoringly.

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

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Monday, August 15, 2011

The Set-up (Medusa Project, #1)The Set-up by Sophie McKenzie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not sure how I feel about this book. I was enjoying it and either its my mood or I rushed to judgment when I ordered the next 2 books. I enjoyed parts of it, but, I am NOT a big fan of love triangles and that is what this is shaping up to be for at least a book or two. I do have to remember that it is a teen book. But, all I kept asking myself is do teenagers really act like this. All of them drove me nuts. If they all were not so annoying I could have loved the book and been a definite five stars. But, these teens are the teens that made me not want to teach anyone who was not an adult. Too much hardheadedness and jumping to action without any real thought. They just literally made me want to scream. My trainer did remind me, when I was lifting weights and screaming about it, that when a book elicits strong emotions then the writer might be doing something right. She definitely did that! I will read the others and probably scream at these kids all the way.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Agent 21Agent 21 by Chris Ryan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a good read. I found it by searching for other books like the Alex Rider series. A search on UK book seller sites led me to Agent 21. It was not an easy book to find here in the U.S. so I had to order it through a bookseller that sold in both the U.S. and the U.K. online. Zak's story is similar to other young adult secret agents' stories in that he has a huge loss and is noticed by a covert government agency that see something in him and offers him a chance to train to work for them.

Zak trains for many months and is sent on his first case which is by all accounts extremely dangerous. Not only is the man he is investigating ruthless and dangerous, but, he employs a man that leaves bodies with every step he takes. Zak's first case out of the gate puts him not only in touch with his past, but also on a collision course with both of these terrible men.

The people that are fast becoming very close to Zak, especially Raf and Gabby are working to gain his trust and the jury is still out on Michael, his new boss. This is already shaping up to be a very interesting, action-filled series. I look forward to hearing more about Zak and his new colleagues. I hope it continues to be original, fun, and look forward to seeing some interesting investigations.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford, #2)Made to Be Broken by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great edition to Kelley Armstrong's Nadia Stafford series. In this installment one of her employees, a teenage mother. The very bad part is that the baby is also missing. Despite how hard the employee's life has been she has studied and done everything within her power to be a good mother and ensure she does not end up on government assistance. Unfortunately, everyone in town expects nothing less of Sammi given her and her mother's background. Nadia is suspicious. Jack, Quinn and Evelyn all become involved in the search for baby and mother which turns out to be something well outside the realm of small town Canada problems.

I love both Jack and Quinn. I even love Nadia. The jury is out on Evelyn. How can someone love assassins? Well, look beyond what they do for a living maybe! The investigation was quite interesting and the scenarios in which Nadia and Jack run into the bad guys turn out to be great action. Of course I wanted to now if the next one was already out since I read this so long after it was released. I checked on the author's website and as of 2010 she had begun writing the third book but so far had not posted any plans for it being published. This book left things unsettled in several places. I'm hoping the publisher is interested because I know that I want the next book.

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

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sleeper AgendaSleeper Agenda by Thomas E. Sniegoski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an awesome kick butt ending to this 2 part story. I wish there were more coming. I think there is room for more espionage, especially with that ending. It was full of loss, sadness, love, friendship, and growth. It also showed how you can find family in the strangest places.

Tom's story in part 2 is full of the agony of getting to know himself in the most extreme way. He also had to come to terms with what his family really had been. Sometimes when you only have part of a story you do not see the truth of things. This was true for both Tom and Madison. They were surrounded by adults that kept secrets, sometimes deadly secrets. Part of the difficulty of being a child or teenager is when you are too powerless or young to take control of your own life even when you have all the facts. Sometimes, if all goes well, there is someone out there that can and will help you move forward. Another great thing Sleeper Agenda shows is how great it is when someone labels you as something negative and you get the chance to prove them wrong and sometimes rub it in a bit.

I sure hope this is not the end!

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

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Sleeper CodeSleeper Code by Thomas E. Sniegoski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a sensational book! It embodies all that is great in an action book. Tom has a huge secret, one that even he is not aware of for many, many years. The people in his life are not who he thinks they are and his illness, a severe form of narcolepsy, is a bigger problem than he ever dreamed. Tom's narcolepsy has been exploited by some really bad people who are supposed to be the good guys. Just when he finds out the truth the lid is blown off the secret in so many ways.

Madison is the girl next door, literally. She is staying with her aunt and uncle because of some issues with her parents back in Chicago. She reaches out to him when he most needs it and has not had any friends his age in over 3 years. Tom and Madison are great young adults who have found each other right when they both needed a friend. Both of these characters are being bombarded with really adult issues and finding the people they have come to rely on are not quite stepping up to the plate.

My favorite part of this book, the fights scenes. The fight scenes explode off the page and yes, as a Jason Bourne fan, I was picturing just that level of action. The author did not disappoint. I have the first book in the other Sniegoski series but have been on a teenage secret agent kick for a few weeks and this one just adds to my love of this niche in the YA world. I have already bought Sleeper Agenda and will be tearing into it quickly.

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

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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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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2)Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Just wow! I know I am really late with this one. But, I found myself in a snit when I bought Bayou Moon on the date of its release and found that it was not about Rose and Declan. I am not a fan of series that are about different characters in each book, even if there is a bit of crossover. But, now that I finally picked it up I found myself seriously engrossed in this book and it took me less than 2 days to finish it. I found myself on the edge of my seat and ignoring television. When I reached the last few pages I was not happy that it was about to end. I immediately went to the Ilona Andrews site looking for news about if and when the next book would be out. I was excited to see 2 more books under contract.

Bayou Moon was a spin-off of the tales surrounding The Edge, which apparently borders Louisiana. It feels almost like it is more of a border into another realm as opposed to a separation between land where magic rules and land where people who also have magic but are exiled. This place borders what is considered The Broken that is where non-magical humans live. This story focuses on William from On The Edge and what happens in his life after that story concludes. We learn more about him and his childhood and how his life evolved. He takes on a mission for a group on his side of these strange worlds which takes him right into a conflict with Spider, his arch-enemy. In the beginning of this story William is traveling with Cerise who is from the swamp area of The Edge. I see some similarities between Cerise and Rose which makes it understandable that William would be drawn to her. Cerise's family, The Mars are an amazing, quirky group of people and this book is their story also. One of my favorites is Kaldar! He is funny and great comic relief. But, the strength of this group of people is their love and devotion for one another.

I am not sure if Gordon Andrews writes the male parts and Ilona writes the women parts. However this happens they make it work. They are an excellent writing team and somehow play off each others' skills very well. I thought I could love nothing as much as I love The Kate Daniel Series, but, this series comes really close. The magic is amazing and one of my favorite parts and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grave Dance (Alex Craft, #2)Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Grave Dance was a good read. When I first started it I did not remember anything from Grave Witch. I re-read my review which did not have enough details in it to remind of anything. I decided to get it out of my library and re-read it. I read the first few chapters again and the characters and story started coming back to me. I read the last 15 pages again and remembered. I really liked Grave Witch and was now looking forward again to seeing what happened to Alex, Falin, Caleb, Holly, Rianna, and even Death. I was not too fond of Alex's father and sister by the end of Grave Witch, but, I had high hopes for her father.

In this latest portion of the story, Alex is called out to use her grave witch gifts to help the police when body parts are found in a remote area of "Nekros". I am not sure where the name of this city comes from but, it reminds me of New Orleans when it is described throughout the book. Alex is brought into the investigation and the story goes sideways. I was not in love with part of the way the end unfolded. But, it was not enough to keep me from the story or to stop me from enjoying Grave Dance.

Grave Dance was intricately woven with detail and what appears to be several story lines. I cannot imagine the map or flowchart Kalayna Price had to use to keep up with things. This story started out as a mystery that appeared to be tied to the Fae and then it appeared to be tied to the witches, then the collectors. To borrow from Winston Churchill, "it was a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma." For a while I thought I would get confused by the way the mystery was unfolding especially when Fae politics came calling. I love Fae politics. I detest the machinations of some of the Fae, but, it makes for great entertainment.

One of the things that I found myself liking about Alex is that she was strong but, she had a couple of major weaknesses, some of which revolved around the use of her powers. The other revolved around her relationships with her friends and men. The unfolding of one of the relationships was a zinger and I loved it. Alex showed some serious backbone and I loved how she stayed true to herself, especially as she learned more about her own past and met people that were more a part of her life then she realized.

In addition to Fae machinations we get to see more about Death and his cohorts. We also get a better glimpse at how his and Alex's relationship evolved. Another great thing about Grave Dance is Roy the ghost. I'm happy to see he is part of the story. He is great! Not only is he funny, but, he makes an excellent sidekick. Although his story is told in Grave Witch, we get reminders of what happened in that story, which makes it a bit easier for people who read Grave Dance without knowing it has a predecessor. You can read it without it but, you miss out on a great story if you do not start out with Grave Witch. I look forward to the next installment in the Alex Craft series.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

HourglassHourglass by Myra McEntire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hourglass is a breath of fresh air. In a young adult arena that is flush with love triangles, werewolves, vampires, and now dystopia, Myra McEntire has found a place in the YA genre to call her own, and shine. I made a couple of tweets about the great editing really early on and became very worried that I I had gotten ahead of myself. Unfortunately, or maybe not, this made me scrutinize the writing and editing even more. I am in the middle of writing my dissertation proposal so I cannot help but read and critique a little more harshly on the style and editing. It is a habit. I was ecstatic to see that Myra McEntire and whomever she has editing on her behalf did an amazing job.

Emerson Cole is a strong girl who sees herself as the exact opposite because of her past. She has had a very tough childhood and the next few days just seem to add on to that. Despite all that she has been through she has some good people standing by her who all have a lot to lose themselves. The one thing I love about this story is how much her sister-in-law stepped in and loved Emerson, and helped her brother, Thomas, make a family for Emerson. Her best friend, Lily, is made of true best friend material. I wish she was more a part of the story and hope she is in future books, that is, if I am guessing correctly and this is the great start of a new series. Thomas is a smart, gifted, amazing man who steps up and takes in his younger sister. He straddles a thin line between being a supportive brother and being a father to his minor sister. He works diligently to find help for his sister and when she is experiencing some things that most would merely assume were the hallucinations of a mentally ill person he steps out on faith that there is more there. He finds her help even if it means unconventional methods.

Now Emerson's world has taken on a completely different slant. Good or bad she has stepped into something big and dangerous. Myra McEntire does a good job of developing this world, these characters, and this story. Every time you thought, is this going to be predictable? It was not. Every time you thought, are the characters just going to be like characters in other books or thought you saw right where the story was going, you were wrong. That is what makes this book so brilliant! Not only is it a great urban fantasy, but, now the story steps up and pulls in some science fiction and a bit of romance. There are twists and turns with not only the story, but also with the characters. People we thought were one thing might just be something else. That means we also have a bit of mystery and thriller going on here, and a bit of action. Emerson is a fighter and I look forward to more of her story.

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

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Dark Waters by Chris Goff My rating: 5 of 5 stars Completely phenomenal! I have a new go-to author. I will read whatever Chris Goff write...