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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1) 

Blurb from Goodreads:
In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

4 stars
So lots of my friends didn't like this one, but I felt it was a good, solid read and a great start to a series. I still am not certain if it is a fantasy or a dystopian or a little of both. I understand there is magic, but there were so many references to a previous society and a collapse that I was wondering if we were supposed to assume that it was a dystopian. The supernatural elements in the form of immortals was done well. I really felt that the world that was created was well thought out and incorporated these elements seamlessly. I wanted more to do with the gargoyles although they reminded me of mockingjays - man messes with animal genes and gets a hybrid which is left loose in the wild. I am hoping that there will be more world building in the next installment so we can get a chance to explore the wilderness a little more.

I really enjoyed a story that didn't focus on the romance. Too many times the characters are in a life and death situation when the protagonist notices how hot the other person is. Big turn-off for me! I need my heroines to be level-headed and smart. Kai's focus (and rightfully so) was on her mission to get her brother back. She didn't allow an attraction to distract her from that. Now, that is not to say that there wasn't a romance - there was. It just didn't take precedence over rescuing her brother.

I really liked this one, and I am looking forward to the next one. I am having a hard time lately of remembering what has happened in the previous books when I read a sequel. Fortunately someone pointed me in the direction of Recaptains at These guys are awesome!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

Magic Study (Study #2) 
Blurb from Goodreads


With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better....

Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training—especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.

If that wasn't bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies...
** spoiler alert ** 4.5 stars
I enjoyed this one so much more than Poison Study. Snyder has a definite gift for writing great characters, and I really enjoyed all of the relationship dynamics in this book. I also appreciated the PG version of the sexual relationships. I shy away from so many adult books because I am such a prude. I liked Valek a lot more in this book. I really didn't like him in Poison Study. And I am so glad that there was no love triangle. There was the opportunity, but thankfully Snyder didn't take it.

The action was non-stop although I think I screamed at Yelena more than once for being so reckless and foolish. It seemed that she never learned her lesson and would go off as a rogue agent more than once. Then again, things worked out for her so is there really a lesson that can be learned?

I am excited that the library has an e-copy of Fire Study so I can start right in on the next book. I typically don't like to go right into the next one, but this one was so good that I am going to take the plunge.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Recently aquired books....

I have been in a reading slump lately.  Don't know why, but I am hoping that seeing all of the pretty book covers that I have gotten recently will snap me out of it.  What do you think looks good?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta 

Blurb from Goodreads
Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.

But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself

3.5 stars
I hesitated to read this book. I read all the reviews and know how much it is loved by most everyone. So I am sure that I will be drawn and quartered when I say that this was just a good read for me. It meandered in places, and the info dumping in the beginning made me want to pull my hair out. I would have loved for there to be a map so I would know where all the different countries were rather than relying on my faulty memory. I see that there is a map in the next book, and I really wish I would have known before reading this one.

I felt the first part of the book was confusing (I'm still not clear about all of the differing countries.)  The second part was much better. I felt like I knew the characters and who was important and what I could ignore.
When I read, I want to feel part of the world. I want to experiences things with the protagonist, and I just didn't feel it with this book.

I will continue with the series even though I really didn't like Froi. And since he seems to be subject of the next book, I will have to deal with his almost raping Evanjalin. Hmmm... I don't feel that he redeemed himself quite yet for that.

This had several suggestive dialogues and use of language.  There is an attempted rape without any discussion of the implications.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga 

Blurb from Goodreads
What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

3.5 stars
8 days. That's how long it took me to read this book. I am officially in the biggest reading slump of my life. So I don't think it was the book because it was a fascinating look into the mind of serial killer. I am so glad that Barry Lyga is a good guy because he would make a gruesome serial killer. Jazz is one of the most layered characters I have ever read. My mother's heart broke for him as he struggled with his own frailty. Is he evil like his father or can he break the mold and be his own person? I also loved Connie and wished we would have seen more of her in the book. She was strong and sensitive.

The level of thought that went into making Jazz a believable character was amazing. It was full of little revelations that made you believe you were indeed reading about a kid trained by a serial killer. I'm not sure what kind of research Lyga did, but the detail was in-depth and intricate (and kinda scary).

I look forward to reading the next two in the series. This was such an intense, dark book, I think I need a light, fluffy read next though and hopefully I will beat the slump.