Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A to Z Challenge ~ Z ~ The Zombie Always Knocks Twice by E.Van Lowe

Hollywood, California, is known for swimming pools, movie stars…and now the risen dead. 

Hollywood can be a difficult place to grow up, especially if you’re Kristine Golden, a fifteen-year-old necromancer with a sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest and no desire to be in the movie business. 

When handsome deadie Alex Romero swaggers into her life, Kris must keep her promise, despite her growing feelings for him. If that’s not enough to give a girl a headache, a murderous zombie comes knocking at Kris’s door, rocking her world and threatening her family. 

Can Kris solve the mystery of the rampaging zombie before someone else winds up dead? Or will the walking dead take over Hollywood and turn it into…Hollyweird?

My Review:

I had fun reading this one. It is a fun zombie romp through Hollywood.  The zombies in the story are voodoo zombies, not virus zombies.  That means they aren't mindless eating machines. Someone raised them from the dead and they have memories and feelings and such. This isn't an apocalyptic zombie novel, it is more a teen mystery with zombies in it.  But please don't let that deter you from reading this one.  As I said before I had fun reading it and would definitely recommend it.

The characters are well written and enjoyable.  Despite her necromancer powers Kris is your average teen, more worried about her social life then the lives of her undead charges.  But don't get me wrong, she isn't completely self absorbed and she is very likable.  Even the supporting characters are interesting. For example Talia, Kris's best friend, is hysterical.  She isn't necessarily the best role model out there, but her antics were funny.  The zombies weren't all brain dead either.  Their stories gave them depth and I got attached to them and didn't want to see them go.

I enjoyed the story as well. It was a mystery, but there was so much more to it than that.  The mystery part was well written though.  I liked the way the author wove all the final pieces together.

This is obviously the beginning of a series.  The ending tied up certain aspects of the mystery neatly.  Some strings not involved in the mystery itself were not neatly tied up, but I assume they will eventually be dealt with as the series progresses.

There are some questions I had about the story.  Just little things though.  For example there is a scene on Rodeo Drive where Kris, Alex and one of the zombies are scene fighting, but nothing comes of it.  No one mentions seeing it in the papers or anything.  I kept waiting for them to read about it in the papers and have to come up with an explanation or something, but nada.

There weren't many of these questions and the book was fast paced.  There was lots of action, comedy and even some tear-jerking scenes as well.

I definitely recommend picking this one up and am keeping my eyes out for the sequel!

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Manga/Graphic Novel/Video Game Novel Challenge 2013

So this year since I said that I would try to get to Level 3 of the Challenge That means I need to have at least 25 books read before the end of the year. That's at least 2 books a month. (and one extra one in at least one of those 12 months)   As a change from last year I'm gonna be putting the reviews up here as I get them done and then linking them in the monthly round-up at Mother/Gamer/Writer.  I also plan to try to remember my update my Challenge page at the end of the month. Want to see what the other people in the challenge are reading this month? Click here!

In a future overrun by out-of-control machines and monsters, a handful of human survivors try to fight their way back to a normal life. But what is normal in a world where both monsters and machines need human blood? And which are the real bad guys?

My Review:

I picked this one up through NetGalley.  It looked interesting and who can resist Vampires Vs. Robots, right?
I was a bit disappointed.  I mean it wasn't bad...but it wasn't great.  The story itself was short, really short, only 66 pages.  It was decent enough, the story got it's point across. The only part I had issue with the writing itself is when the truth about the machines is revealed. I think it could have gone into a bit more detail there. But over all the story wasn't bad. My main issues were with the artwork and lettering.
First let me discuss the lettering.  I was reading it on Adobe Digital Editions, so maybe that is part of it. But there were whole pages that I could barely read because the lettering was blurry.  The problem I had was that this wasn't the case with the whole book, just certain pages the lettering was different and it made it incredibly hard to read. I know I've had this issue before with other graphic novels in Adobe, but it just bothers me that when they put the material out there they don't check that it can be read on electronic devices.
Then there was the artwork.  The whole book was basically in black and white, except for the blood, that was red...really red.  I liked most of it, the fogginess and the lack of color really set the mood for the story.  However there were some scenes and panels, especially farther into the book that just felt incomplete.  Just lines on the paper or overly blurry. No details at all.
As I said before the book wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either.  I wouldn't necessarily suggest not to read it, it just wasn't my favorite cup of tea.

A to Z Challenge 2013 ~ Y ~ Young Lord of Khadora by Richard S. Tuttle

A skilled warrior gets entangled in a corrupt political world, his cunning strategies pitted against thousands who seek his death. Marak challenges the clans of Khadora and the Chula, the dreaded cat people of ancient times, in a struggle that will change the fate of the world. Young Lord of Khadora is a tale of magic, military cunning, and political intrigue set in a land where honor is everything yet deceit is everywhere.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this one.

I liked the characters.  I loved seeing how they all interacted.  I especially enjoyed seeing how Marak's mind worked. It was fun seeing how he used his opponents own words against them.

I also enjoyed the story.   I think it was really detailed.  I liked the different lands that the characters lived in and the descriptions.  As well as how the clans interacted with each other and how they viewed the world around them.

The book is the first part of what looks to be an awesome series.  However it didn't end on a cliffie and most of the loose ends were tied up.  Not all, but I assume those will be addressed in future installments.

I think I only had two issues with the book.

The first was the prophecy of the Torak. It was never fully explained. While this will probably be explained later in the series I would have really liked to have it explained in this book OR  at the very least to have someone say what the prophecy was.

The second issue was the first scene in the story.  It obviously is the time when the first of the clans ancestors came to the continent and started to take over, but it just didn't seem to relate to the rest of the book.  Also there was another prophecy spoken of in this scene that wasn't really gone into either.  I just didn't see why it was there in the book, and I don't think the book would have been missing anything if it hadn't been included.

Overall my two issues really didn't make a difference in my enjoyment of the book.  I definitely recommend this one and I want to get my hands on the rest of the series.

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Manga/Graphic Novel/Video Game Novel Challenge 2013

Mother. Gamer. Writer.

So this year since I said that I would try to get to Level 3 of the Challenge That means I need to have at least 25 books read before the end of the year. That's at least 2 books a month. (and one extra one in at least one of those 12 months)   As a change from last year I'm gonna be putting the reviews up here as I get them done and then linking them in the monthly round-up at Mother/Gamer/Writer.  I also plan to try to remember my update my Challenge page at the end of the month. Want to see what the other people in the challenge are reading this month? Click here!

So the other day while I was out I picked up a couple of World of WarCraft Manga from Tokyopop.  Book one of  WarCraft: The Sunwell Trilogy and World of WarCraft: Death Knight. 

Set in the same rich universe as Blizzard's upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game World of Warcraft, Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy is a fresh take on the Warcraft universe using original characters and storylines. The three manga volumes follow the adventures of Kalec, a blue dragon who has taken human form to escape the forces that seek to destroy his race, and Anveena, a maiden with secrets of her own. What starts as a flight for survival turns into a quest to save the entire High Elven Kingdom from the forces of the Undead Scourge.

My Review of WarCraft: The Sunwell Trilogy Book 1:

This one started off with a few pages of introduction into the WarCraft universe. The brief history gives some back ground on the story itself and I think is great for those not overly familiar with the WarCraft.
I enjoyed the characters.  They were well drawn and interesting.  My only complaint is that I didn’t get to find out more about the characters.  There was tons of action and there was some background given on some of the characters, but not a lot.  Altogether the story actually went by very quickly and felt short, but it was still good. It of course ended with a cliffie, it is the first of a trilogy, but it wasn’t that bad and it was kinda expected.
I also enjoyed the artwork.  Some of it was a bit dark, but the detailing was excellent.  Even the darker frames really helped to convey the mood.
Overall I think this is a great book and I hope to be able to get the rest of the books in the trilogy very soon.

Summery from Back Cover:

In World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Thassarian is a renegade death knight, one of the few of his kind to be free of the Lich King's control.  Although Thassarian has turned his incredible powers against his former master, he remains feared and despised by most of his Alliance allies.  Countless players have aided Thassarian in game as he battles against the Lich King's agents in Northrend, but few fans know the details of his former life.  Death Knight is Thassarian's story, a tale that reveals the origins, motivations, and darkest secrets of Warcraft's newest incarnation of death knights. 

My Review:

I was eager to read this one when I picked it up.  The cover looked good and the first couple pages looked promising.  However the further I read into the book the more issues I had.
My first main issue is with the story itself.  It just seemed really jumpy.  It felt as if certain parts of the story were missing.  I still liked the background that it gave on Thassarian, but it felt incomplete.
The other issue I had was with the artwork.  Don't get me wrong I think the artwork itself was great! The issue I had was that some of the characters looked the same, and by the same I mean virtually identical.  I don't know if it was done purposely or not.  Maybe there was some sort of statement being made by it?  I don't know.  I do know that it was just annoying.  Maybe if the book had be done in color the characters would have had more obvious differences, but it isn't and I think this is something that should have been noticed.  
Would I recommend it? Sure. I think it gives an interesting insight into a character that people have seen in the game.  But I think going into it they should know the issues ahead of time so they won't be as disappointed. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013 ~ X ~ Xenolith by A. Sparrow

Lassoed, knocked down, face planted in the dirt -- best thing to happen to Frank Bowen in years. When wife Liz went missing in the wilds of Belize, the constables of San Ignacio could find no trace. Years later, on a pilgrimage to her remote 'grave,' Frank is abducted and whisked away to a place he can't identify, by people whose motives and origins baffle him. Could this be what happened to Liz?

My Review:

Ok.  So I reviewed Peregrin, the second book in this series, earlier this month as part of the A to Z Challenge. If I had realized that I had picked Xenolith as my X letter I would have read the books in order. 

I liked this one about as much as I liked Peregrin and pretty much for the same reasons.  

I liked the characters. This time around I got to know Tezhay and Frank better and I have to admit out of the two books Tezhay has been my favorite character. He's a good person and funny as well.  Seeing what led the characters to do what they did in the next book did help me to understand some of them better, and why they made the choices that they did in the second book.  However there was very little background on Liz.  I had been hoping that in this novel, the first one in the series, that it would maybe tell a little more of what happened to her. How she got abducted, how she got her injury, what actually happened to Father Leo, all things that I would really like to know. 
I enjoyed the world that the author created. Having read the first book finally it did clear up some questions that I had about it from the second one.  Overall I think that the author did an amazing job with the world they created.  
Again, as with Peregrin, my biggest issue with the book was the writing style.  It only happens in the beginning of the novel, but the author does a lot of skipping back and forth from the past to the present.  I liked that the author gave background on the characters, but the way it was done became frustrating.  First you would go back into one characters history then come forward in another characters, then go back in another's.  It annoyed me in Peregrin and it annoyed me in this one as well. At least in the second book the all the stories eventually met up and then the timeline stabilized from there. In this one I assume that the present timeline for one group of characters is the same as the time for the second, but I'm not sure. It just left the book feeling like it was jumping all over the place. 
Also, as with the second book, there were some minor editing issues.  I didn't bring them up with Peregrin because while I noticed them they really didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the book. However seeing that there were similar issues in the first book that basically carried over in the second and they were never corrected does kinda irritate me.   It's something that an editor or a beta reader should have picked up on and then been corrected before it went to be released.
Overall I enjoyed Xenolith as much as I enjoyed Peregrin.  The main issue I had with Peregrin, the jumping back and forth between past and present, was the same that I had with Xenolith.  I would be interested in reading a third book in the series if there was one, especially if it meant finding out more about some of my favorite characters from the first two novels. The series is interesting and I would definitely recommend it, with the exception that it be read in order. (Which I unfortunately didn't do! Bad me!) In fact the first book is currently free for Kindle so why not pick it up. 

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Night Huntress Series Read-A-Long

Mother. Gamer. Writer.

So I decided to join in the fun of the Night Huntress Read-A-Long that is being hosted by M/G/W & Literary Sweet.

It will run from May to October and there will be tons of fun, conversation and giveaways! All the fun starts May 1st with Halfway to the Grave.

Want to join in the fun and find out the rest of the details?
Click here to be taken to the sign up page.

Hope to see you there!

A to Z Challenge 2013 ~ W ~ The Weight of Blood by David Dalglish

The Weight of Blood
By: David Dalglish

Amazon Summery:

When half-bloods Harruq and Qurrah Tun pledged their lives to the death prophet Velixar, they sought only escape from their squalid beginnings. Instead, they become his greatest disciples, charged with leading his army of undead.

While they prepare, Harruq trains with an elf named Aurelia, to whom he owes his life. She is a window into a better world, but as war spreads between the races their friendship takes a dire turn.

Velixar orders them to fight alongside the humans, changing Aurelia from friend to foe. To protect her, Harruq must turn against his brother and fight the killing nature of his orcish heritage.

To side with one means to turn on another. No matter Harruq's decision, someone he loves will die.

My Review:

In my opinion this is a great start to what looks to be an intriguing fantasy series.
The world the author has created is vast and offers multiple possibilities.  Although the story so far only touches on certain races mentioned in the book there is the opportunity for more to be introduced. 
Also the characters really drew me in.  I kept wanting to read more to see what made Hurruq and Qurrah tick.  For the main part of the book they are the villains. The author gives the reader the opportunity to see what made them the way they are.  He also lets us see where their thoughts are while they are creating havoc.  I was drawn in, watching as they develop and start to grow apart, yet still struggling to keep the ties that bind them.
I didn't have any real issues with the book, and definitely enjoyed it and want to pick up the rest of the series.  I will say however that the book IS dark.  Not everything is bloodshed and gore, but a lot of it is.  Harruq and Qurrah do some very cruel and evil things.  Dalglish doesn't glorify it,  but he doesn't shy away from it either.  I can see where some scenes could definitely be disturbing to younger readers and I wouldn't recommend this one to any age group but adults.
This is classic fantasy and I hope to get a chance to read more in the near future.
This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013 ~ V ~ Viridis by Calista Taylor

In steampunk Victorian London, where airships dot the sky and tinkerings abound, Lady Phoebe Hughes develops an herbal elixir, Viridis, unlike any other. London's elite flock to her club to experience the euphoria and heightened senses the drink brings, an orgasm brought on by a single kiss. But when Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her club, Phoebe is shocked to find that not only was he working for the Special Services to infiltrate the Cause, a movement fighting for the city's poor, he was also in possession of her secret formulation for Viridis.

Adding to her difficulties is the unexpected return of Mr. Seth Elliott, a brilliant tinkerer who stole her heart and imagination, only to abandon her when she needed him most. Unable to ignore all that is between them, Phoebe finds herself falling for Seth once again, only to have a powerful rival for her affections wrongly accuse Seth of attempted murder. As Phoebe struggles with a way to free her love, revolution, conspiracy and murder threaten to ruin it all.

*** Author's note: Some scenes are not suitable for those under 18 years of age. ***

My Review:

Ok. First let me second the author's note that is put in with the blurb.  There are definitely "some scenes" that "are not suitable  for those under 18."  Just want to point that out before I go any further. (more on that in a sec) Second there are going to be a major spoiler in this review. That being said don't say I didn't warn you.

Alright, for the most part I really enjoyed this novel.

I loved the way the story was written.  The author brought the combination of romance,steampunk, and mystery together wonderfully.  The steampunk was fun, I liked all the gadgets that the author created.  The romance was definitely swoon-worthy. Seth and Phoebe so right for each other.The mystery! Even up 'til the end I thought I knew who the guilty parties were and I was mostly right, but the twist was definitely a good one.
I liked the characters. Not just the main characters, but even the supporting ones as well. They had personality and made me want to learn more about them too.  I also liked how they interacted with each other and how their relationships developed.

Now I did say 'for the most part' so lets get onto the part that I didn't like.  Lets start with the minor frivolous parts. There were some editing issues.  For example one minute it says that Phoebe has turned away from Seth. Then a few lines later it says she turns away from him.  It didn't really ruin my enjoyment of the book, but it agitated me that things like this happened more than once in the book. Considering how well the book was written otherwise this is something that I feel should have been caught at some point before the book went to the public.  Again a frivolous complaint in the fact that it is my personal pet peeve, and the overall awesomeness of the book makes me want to overlook it.

Now for the main part of my issue with the book and the spoiler. (again you've been warned.) Also here is a prime example of the 18+ warning (told you we'd get back to that).
Ok. There is one scene in the book that REALLY tainted the book for me.  Fortunately it came at the end of the book so it wasn't like it ate at me for the whole thing, but it just really turned my stomach.
It was the scene were Phoebe goes to Victor in an attempt to talk him out of pressing charges against Seth.  At first I kept thinking that at some point someone was going to come to Phoebe's rescue. Even after Victor gave Phoebe a huge dose of Viridis so that she would be forced to enjoy him whether she wanted to or not. Even after she was naked in his room. I kept thinking "ok someone is going to break down the door". Didn't happen.  I understand why she did what she did. I get it.  Seth's understanding of her actions later in the book marks how much they love each other. Fine. That part made me sad for Phoebe, that she wasn't rescued and had to basically allow someone to rape her to save her love.  And don't make the mistake of saying it wasn't rape because she went into it willingly.  She was coerced into such a position that if she didn't let Victor do what he wanted that her fiance would die. That's not giving consent, because consent implies that there is a choice. In Phoebe's mind and her world she really didn't have one. Again it made me said for Phoebe but it wasn't the actual part that turned my stomach.
The part that did was the scenes that followed describing the sexual acts that Victor committed on Phoebe. How he whipped her, sodomized her, and while mentally she wasn't into it the Viridis made her body enjoy and get off on it.  In a way it felt that those short sex scenes between Victor and Phoebe were more descriptive than the multiple love scenes between Phoebe and Seth that are scattered throughout the book. I understand that maybe the author was trying to make sure how Phoebe felt. But I think this is one of those cases were less would have been more.  The fact that I really wasn't expecting it to happen combined with the graphicness of it really I think is what made that scene that much more disturbing to me.
 Did I enjoy the book? In general yes. Would I read more of Taylor's work? Yes. But it would be with the knowledge that there is the potential for above scenes in future work.  It wouldn't stop me from reading more books in this series or by this author, but it would still be in the back of my mind that none of his characters are above any horror, even if they are the main character. Also that even though the main characters romance might achieve a happily ever after, the rest of their lives might not be so happy.
There I said what really bothered me about the book. Overall I loved it except for those two issues.  I hope I didn't ruin the book for anyone, and I said ahead of time that there was a major spoiler in the review.  I would still read more by the author.  I would still recommend this book, but I had to be honest and say how I felt.

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013 ~ U ~ Unspent Time by Graham Parke

Warning: reading this novel may make you more attractive and elevate your random luck by about 9.332%* 
(*These statements have not been evaluated by anyone of consequence.)

From the award winning author of ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ comes a collection of 20 impossible tales. Permeating the cracks between the past and the present is the realm of Unspent Time. Pockets of ‘should have been’s and ‘might have happened’s. Time that was allotted but never spent. In this realm we find the stories that could have been true. 

Such as the story of Kiala, whose aunt and caretaker disappears one day, leaving her as the sole Huntress to battle the giant octopi to feed her village. Or the revealing tale of Goki Feng Ho: the ancient Chinese art of decoding the meaning of car license plates. And the heartbreaking story of the man responsible for choosing the colors of the insides of your shoes. As he toils away in obscurity, his work impacts society in ways we’ll never fully comprehend. And let’s not forget the story behind Unspent Time itself, the metaphysical ramifications of which will leave the scientific community feeling mostly indifferent about it for decades to come… 

My Review:

I enjoyed all of the stories in this collection from Graham Parke. 

The author's work is interesting and quirky.  Some of the stories were less stories and more small scenes, less than even a page in length.  But all were enjoyable in one way or another. Some of the stories even had comments from the author following them. I think these were great.  They helped to give the reader a better insight into what the author was thinking while writing.
I'm going to review this one the same way I reviewed Apocrypha Sequence earlier this month. Just a few words about each story.  

Sunday Brunch:

This was the first entry in the Unspent Time Omnibus.  It was about a page. It was interesting and the ending was a twist.

Carbon Copies:

This one was a full story.  I thought the story was really interesting.  The way that the main character handled the 'carbon copies' in his life definitely kept me reading.  I kinda figured out which copy was which, but seeing how the main character handled it was definitely drew me in.

Why I Drink Liquid Explosives:

Again this is another one that is less than a page, in fact it is only two paragraphs.  It is more of a statement on modern airplane security issues than a story.  It still however has a bite at the end. This one is more of a 'makes you think' type of thing, and I think it get's it's point across even in small amount of words.

Don't Look Over the Edge of the World:

This is another full length story.  I was drawn into this one.  I like the way the author at the beginning makes it seem to be something completely different than what it is.  There are also quite a few parts that had me laughing.  The only issue I have with this one is I wish there was more to it.  I would love to find out more about the world that is created, as well as what happens to some of the characters.  It doesn't end on a cliffie or anything, I just wish there was more to read.

Goki Feng Ho:

Okay this one was REALLY funny.  Of course now I want to go actually try out the 'art' of Goki Feng Ho...

Favorite White Bones:

Again I expected something completely different from the beginning of this one.  However it wasn't a bad twist and it was funny at the end.

What I Figured Out So Far:

This one is just a page, and is just a list of observations. However they are funny and worth the read.

Someone Called Me Sebastian:

An interesting take on a young man's outlook and his reactions to a pretty girl.  It was interesting and quirky.

The Hunted:

This one was funny! I enjoyed it, the only issue with this one is it felt like it could have had a more complete ending.  It just stopped.  It kinda made sense how it ended, but I think there could have been more.


This one is a bit confusing at first.  By the end though it makes sense. It was a very sad story, did not see the ending that it came with coming.

It's Her Birthday, After All!:

OMG! This one is dark but sooo funny!  I know people that I could see doing this and having the same excuses. The humor however is dark, not gory or scary, just dark.  

What You Should Know About My Toes:

Again this one is also darkly humorous.  I got a good chuckle out of it.

Following the Khyserians:

This one was one of those 'makes you think' kinda ones.  It was interesting and I liked the main characters point of view.  Again this is one of those that makes me want to read more about the world that the author created.

Davenport, Actor:

This one seems more like a clever tale you would read in a Hollywood memoir.  It was interesting and amusing though, if short. 

Lost Knock:

HAHAHAHA! I loved the twist at the end of this one. I wasn't sure what I expected but this wasn't it.

Dear Damian:

I wasn't sure about this one at first.  It is a series of letters that are arranged out of order so it seems to bounce back at forth.  But this was sooo touching and overall my favorite story in the whole book, even though it almost brought me to tears by the end of it. Definitely read this book if only for this story!

The Interview:

So tongue in cheek and sarcastic. Loved it!

Unspent Time:

Almost as good as Dear Damian.  Very touching and makes you wonder what might have been and what might be.

What Makes People Interesting:

Amusing.  Cute little tale about an 'interesting' person.  I like to see how the author takes the most mundane thing and turn it into a likable story.

This is Not What it Looks Like:

Another one pager that while short, is extremely funny!

Overall this collection was interesting, touching and even laugh out loud funny.  I definitely recommend picking it up. 

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A to Z Challenge ~ T ~ Toonopolis by Jeremy Rodden

Toonopolis is a cartoon city that is home to the thoughts and ideas of all sentient beings in the universe. As the center of the Tooniverse, it acts as an other-worldly rest stop for these creations.Gemini is a teenage human boy who is thrust into Toonopolis through his father's scientific research program. He loses part of himself in the process and immediately begins a quest to regain his lost memories with the help of his Tooniverse guide named Jimbob the Talking Eggplant.After an altercation with a mysterious Shadowy Figure, Gemini's mission is changed, and he begins a new quest to defeat Shadowy Figure and protect Toonopolis from his nefarious destruction. Along the way, he meets new friends, discovers just how diverse and strange Toonopolis is, and learns lessons about compassion, forgiveness, redemption, and being true to oneself

My Review:

I really enjoyed Toonopolis.  I think it's a great book for mid-grade on up.  

The characters are interesting.  I liked how Gemini developed along the way in the story.  I also really liked the reasoning behind why he did what he did.  (I won't explain more it will spoil the story) The interactions between the characters were also fun. Quite a few of their dialogues had me laughing out loud.  
I also liked the story. It was full of adventure and laughs.  Yes there were some serious parts but overall the book never seemed to take itself too seriously. But is does take place in a land created for cartoons.  Some of the puns were groan worthy in their corniness, but they still drew a smile. The way the author worked the cartoon aspect was fun to see too.  All the different cartoon areas and how they exist etc.  
The book ends with a few strings left untied.  But nothing annoying, more in a "ooo maybe that will be answered in the next book sort of way".  Overall the book was solid and funny.  Definitely recommend it for mid-grade and up.  Even for adults and young adults who don't take themselves too seriously.  

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013 ~ S ~ Space Junque by L.K. Rigel

The DOGs want to destroy the world. The gods want to make a new one. The trick is to survive both.

At the end of the 21st century, civilization is at the brink of environmental collapse. As Char Meadowlark prepares to board the Imperial Shuttle for some time off planet, the airport is attacked by the DOGs, an eco-terrorist group.

Jake Ardri, pilot of the private shuttle Space Junque, offers Char her only hope of survival. He takes her to the orbiting Imperial Space Station, the seat of world government.

As the conflict escalates and global war threatens humanity's existence, ancient gods return to take control and impose a new world order. Char and Jake are caught up in a divine plan to save the world - but first they have to survive the apocalypse.

My Review:
I actually read the first chapter of Space Junque a while back on a blog that I follow.  I remember wanting to finish reading it when I was able to pick up a copy of the book and things came up and I just wasn't able to get around to it.  Gosh I'm kicking myself now! lol.  

I really enjoyed this one.  The future Rigel has envisioned is enthralling.  I loved the world she has created.  It has so many possibilities.  I can't wait to read future books in this series and see more of it. I want to find out what is going on with the rest of the humans and non-humans on the planet! 

I liked the characters as well.  I got attached to them.  They are interesting as well as funny and I wanted to see them succeed.  I think the only thing I didn't like about them was that some of them don't make it in the end.  In killing them off it makes it so that I won't be able to find out more about them and enjoy those characters as the series progresses! Not fair to me! (I'm not saying who doesn't make it, trying to not spoil too much)  

The story was interesting.  There's just enough left undone that it leads well into another novel, just enough mystery to keep it interesting without becoming obnoxious. Obviously there is a sort of cliffie at the end, but it isn't anything terribly steep and again, it leads well into the next book.  

P.S. I also really love the cover!!! 

I definitely recommend this one and since it is currently free on Amazon go take advantage and get yourself a copy!

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013 ~ R ~ Re:union by Eric Liu

I was born twice, but the first time wasn’t my choice. In fact I don’t remember anything about it. The second time, now that's a different story. It began with a game.

Re:union is a previously unreleased science fiction short story by Eric Liu, author of the science fiction novel "Terrene: the hidden valley." Part disaster story and part romance, Re:union is a thrilling and touching exploration, delving into the very meaning of humanity.

My Review:

First let me start by saying this is a short story, a very short story.  At least it felt extremely short to me.
I enjoyed the author's writing style and I liked the whole idea behind the story.  I just wish there had been more to it.  It just felt that right as I was starting to really understand what was going on in Liu's world and starting to connect with the main character, that the story ended. 
I would love to read more about the futuristic word he has created. I would definitely like to find out how Symspace operates.  I would also like to find out more about Troy and how he assimilates into the new world he is being given the opportunity to join. 
Overall it's a nice little bite of the authors writing. Again the only issue I had with it was the fact that it felt like it ended just when the story was really beginning. I would read more work done by the author just based on this example.  It's currently free on Amazon so picking it up wasn't like it killed my wallet or anything. I definitely recommend picking it up and giving it a go. 

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013 ~ Q ~ QB1 by Pete Bowen

Have terrorists killed the Superbowl Quarterback? Private investigator Tom Mullins and his 12 year old boy-genius next door neighbor are on the case in this story of a championship football season wrapped in a quirky, fast moving, whodunit. 

My Review:

I'm not always big on mysteries.  It's not usually an issue of how easy or hard the mystery is, but usually an issue of how it's written.  I get very tired of books that throw more and more red herrings into the story.  Some red herrings and false leads are fine, but changing it up EVERY page drives me crazy!
Fortunately this was not the case with QB1.  
While I figured out early on who was the responsible party for Tony Reilly, I was so off on the motive!  It was a nice surprise.
I liked Bowen's characters.  They aren't all perfect, but it's their flaws that made them more interesting.  I was a bit bothered by how much Tom curses and berates his main partner in crime solving.  After all Roger is ONLY 12, but the author does go into detail on their relationship and why they interact the way they do.  *shrug* I just know I would have an issue if someone spoke that way to my kid no matter what the circumstances.  But when you start seeing more of their interactions, Roger doesn't sound or act like your normal 12 year old, so....meh...it didn't bother my enjoyment of the book that much.
I also liked the way that Bowen tied his story together.  The story starts with Reilly's murder and then goes back in time a few months before.  Throughout the novel he also throws in scenes of Reilly's life and the games in the year leading up to his death.  They show why he was such a good quarterback and how he became so famous in such a short time.
There were sections that my eyes kinda glazed over.  They were only the parts that went into details on the games and how they were played.  I'm not a big football fan so even rereading the information didn't make it anymore understandable.  The author definitely sounded like he knew what he was talking about, again I'm not even an amateur, much less an expert, so it was nice to see that he put so much effort into the details.
I wouldn't mind reading about more of Mullins and Roger's adventures.  The book was well written and entertaining and I would definitely recommend it to my mystery lovin' friends out there.

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.

Treasure Chest Giveaway Hop April 19th-22nd!

Argh! Welcome me maties to my stop on the Treasure Chest Giveaway Hop!   A hearty thanks to V @ Vvb32 Reads for hosting this hop as part of the virtual book even On A Sea Voyage!
Due to shipping and handling my giveaway is open to U.S. residents only! Sorry!

The winner gets an e-copy of:

The Kraken's Mirror
By: Maureen O. Betita

Amazon Summery:

Captain Alan Silvestri is a man haunted by a strange curse. Good luck is his to command, but it comes at the cost of any place to call home or people to reckon as family. Resigned to die and shunned by all, he is forced to sail every three days, until he begins to dream of a special woman.

Treated by our youth-oriented society as invisible and sexless, Emily Pawes is ready to move on with life. She attends a pirate festival, hoping to recapture the make-believe magic she knew as a young woman. Lucky to win an interesting bit of booty at a brick-a-brac stand, she finds herself transported by the Kraken’s mirror through a magical portal to a land of Hollywood piratitude, where swashbuckling heroes own iPods. With little choice, Emily embraces the madness. Playing pirate has to be safer than falling into the arms of handsome Captain Silvestri, right?

When they meet, sparks fly, passion flares. He needs her to be free, but more than that, he needs her to be whole. Setting sail and uncertain of who actually controls the wheel, they seek ways to defeat his curse of good luck and discover the Kraken’s mirror has plans for them. Will Emily stay in this pirate haven to fight alongside him or will he lose her because of his curse?

To read my review click here.
To find out more about Maureen O. Betita check out her interview and spotlight here!

The winner also gets:

A shell bracelet, earrings and a 3-d killer whale bookmark!

To enter just fill in the Rafflecopter form below! Then hop on to the next blog on the linky!

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