Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Snow White Red-Handed by Maia Chance

Title: Snow White Red-Handed

Author: Maia Chance

Published: 4 November 2014, Berkley

Pages: 336

Series: Book 1, Fairy Tale Fatal Mysteries

Summary: 1867: After being fired from her latest variety hall engagement, Ophelia acts her way into a lady’s maid position for a crass American millionaire. But when her new job whisks her off to a foreboding castle straight out of a Grimm tale, she begins to wonder if her fast-talking ways might have been too hasty. The vast grounds contain the suspected remains of Snow White’s cottage, along with a disturbing dwarf skeleton. And when her millionaire boss turns up dead—poisoned by an apple—the fantastic setting turns into a once upon a crime scene.
 To keep from rising to the top of the suspect list, Ophelia fights through a bramble of elegant lies, sinister folklore, and priceless treasure, with only a dashing but mysterious scholar as her ally. And as the clock ticks towards midnight, she’ll have to break a cunning killer’s spell before her own time runs out… (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:   I've been going on a cosy mystery frenzy lately and so when I saw this one recommended to me on Goodreads I jumped at the chance to read it so purchased it immediately.  The premise of this book sounds so intriguing and makes the book split into two mysteries of sorts.

The first mystery is that of the strange cottage found in the woods and the dwarf skeleton found there.  I felt like this mystery wasn't as looked into as the second mystery but I really loved what there was of it.  The history of what happened to Snow White after the story everyone knows was quite interesting too.

The second mystery is the murder mystery aspect and I felt that this was quite interesting.  There are so many suspects in the book and I'm not sure why but I found it hard to keep track of who each of the people were and it made it harder to figure out who the murderer was.  In the end, the reveal was a surprise to me.

One other thing that sticks out in my mind is that I really love the cover of this book.  There's just something about it that makes me want to pick up the book.

I felt like this book took me a lot longer to read than the usual cosy mystery does and I can't tell if that's because I felt the book switched between characters too quickly so it was hard to follow the story or I just wasn't really feeling the book so much.

Overall, I feel like I liked Snow White, Red-Handed as the premise was really intriguing and I do enjoy mysteries, however, I feel like it could have been a lot more interesting.  I'll be picking up the next book in the series when it comes out however, and we will see what that one is like.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Title: The Strange Library

Author: Haruki Murakami

Published: Harvill Secker, 2 December 2014

Pages: 88

Purchase Link:
Book Depository*

Summary: On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake. Led to a special 'reading room' in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only a sheep man, who makes excellent donuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying why he hasn't returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have an appetite for eating small boy's brains. How will he escape?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Lately I have been hearing amazing things about Murakami's books and when I read the synopsis of this one I thought that it definitely seemed like something I would be interested in reading.  When the book arrived, I was blown away by how gorgeous it is.  The cover actually has a little card pocket on the front, it isn't just a picture.  Scattered, throughout the book are so many beautiful illustrations and they match up with what's being told in the story.  Not to mention, quite a few of the pages are made up to look like pages of an old library book.  It's definitely really nice to look at.  Ever since I got the book I've been showing to my friends and they too have marvelled at how pretty the book is.

As far as the story goes, I thought it was interesting and reminded me a little bit of Neil Gaiman's books, as it had some dark undertones and the main character was in a situation that he didn't want to be in.  I thought I knew the direction the story was going to be headed in and when I got to the end I was kind of left speechless a little bit.  It definitely left me with something to think about.

The book is really short so it doesn't take too long to fly through but I also found myself going through it a little bit more slowly than what I normally would have, just because I was enjoying it and wanted to savour the story.

I don't have a lot more to say about this book as I feel that would give the story away, but what I can say is that I really enjoyed reading The Strange Library and would highly recommend giving this book a read.

Source: Penguin Random House for review

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Title: Dead Until Dark

Author: Charlaine Harris

Published: Gollancz, 2011

Pages: 326

Series: Book 1, Sookie Stackhouse

Summary: Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this sort of "disability." She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the kind of guy she's been waiting for all her life.

But Bill has a disability of his own: He's a vampire. Worse than that, hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble - of the murderous kind.
And when one of Sookie's colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she'll be next ...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I've had this book for a few years and the other day I just picked it up off the shelf and started reading it.  Needless to say, I couldn't put it down and so I continued on through the book because I was intrigued by the story.

I know the television show, True Blood is based on this series but I've only seen the very first episode of the show.  It did seem pretty similar though.  I think I'll be picking up the television series some point soon though and I believe I'll also be carrying on with the book series at this point too.

One thing that I really loved was that Sookie is a mind reader and it's something I'm always fascinated with.  I really liked how it worked for Sookie too and it made it seem quite realistic too.  There was also another supernatural being in the book and I actually had my suspicions about that character and then it turned out to be right.  I'm interested to see as the series progresses, what other supernatural creatures make an appearance.

The mystery aspect was really interesting.  I was really curious about the murders and while I had some suspicion about who it could possibly be, I felt like I couldn't be completely sure.  When the reveal happened though, I was pleased to see that I was right in my suspicions.

The vampires are very interesting.  I like Bill, it's interesting to see how he's just a casual kind of vampire and then he's friends with some of the more well-known type of vampire, the killer vampires who don't care about humans and separate themselves from humanity.  I also found Eric to be an interesting character, he was very mysterious which just made me want to know a bit more about him.

I really enjoyed Dead Until Dark and can't wait to read the next book in the series.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Where I've Been

So as it's November I have been a little bit absent lately.  This is partly because I am doing NaNoWriMo this year but unfortunately I seem to be failing badly but I am still trying to win.

I'm also really busy with university work.

In terms of reading I haven't been reading too much, I keep starting books and then putting them down after a few pages because I'm having trouble getting into them.

I'm hoping that December will be a far better month for me in terms of reading and also in terms of updating my blog.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Title: Dark Places

Author: Gillian Flynn

Published: Phoenix, 2010

Pages: 424

Summary: Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.

Since then, she had been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben's innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother's? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?

She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day... especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.
Who did massacre the Day family?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: The premises of Gillian Flynn’s book sound amazing and while I was disappointed with Gone Girl I felt like reading Dark Places because it sounded very intriguing.  Dark Places is the Gillian Flynn novel that I have heard the least about.  Most people I encounter talk about Gone Girl and Sharp Objects more.

I feel as though Dark Places just clicked with me a lot more than Gone Girl.  I thought the premise sounded really good but also the actual story was so intriguing.  I really liked reading this one.  One reason I love this one so much is the mysterious element.  The entire time I found myself sucked into the story wondering who had killed most of the Day family.

One thing I loved about this book was that there were so many different complex ideas about what could have happened.  Every chapter revealed some sort of new information and it kept me reading because I just had to know what would happen.

I had some ideas about what would happen and I can say that some of them were kind of right but the ending was a bit of a surprise too.  I really liked that.  I have to say there were definitely a couple of people that I was sure had something to do with the deaths.

Overall, I thought Dark Places was such a great read.  I think that Gillian Flynn has a really good way of writing awful characters which I really enjoy.  I’m definitely keen to read Sharp Objects.  It will be interesting to see what I think of it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Title: Talon

Author: Julie Kagawa

Published: Harlequin Teen, 28 October 2014

Pages: 400

Series: Book one, Talon

Purchase: Book Depository

Summary: Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Julie Kagawa is one of those authors who have made it to my automatic read list.  The Iron Fey books are all wonderful and The Blood of Eden trilogy is great.  So of course I jumped at the chance to read the latest book, this one all about dragons.

Generally when I start a Julie Kagawa book, I find them to start off slowly and they take a few pages to get into the action.  With Talon however, I found the book to be really interesting from the beginning. 

I found it so easy to just fly through this book because it read as though it was a summer contemporary story which I thought was pretty nice.  I had been reading a few heavy novels lately and thought this was a good, light change of pace. 

I’ve always been a person who didn’t like getting in trouble and so when characters get in situations where they are putting themselves at risk of getting caught and getting in trouble I get really squirmy and want to put the book down because I don’t want things to get intense.  But then I also really want to know what happens next.  The characters in Talon were all at risk of getting caught or doing things they really shouldn’t and I just had to keep reading because I needed to know what was going to happen.  About ¾ of the way through this book so many things started happening and it was just so intense.

In terms of the characters, I liked Ember; I thought she was pretty awesome.  The one thing I didn’t really like about her was that she was too trusting.  I have to say that I think Riley was my favourite character in the book because he was mysterious but he also seemed more like he knew what he was doing.  For the most part anyway, there was one thing he did that annoyed me a bit but I’m hoping to see some redemption in the next book.

So, Talon is such a great book and any fan of Julie Kagawa can proudly add Talon to their collection.  Will I be reading the next book in the series?  Definitely, especially with the way that the epilogue ended the book.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk

Title: Beautiful You

Author: Chuck Palahniuk

Published: Doubleday, 21 October 2014

Pages: 240

Purchase: Book Depository

Summary: Sisters will be doing it for themselves. And doing it. And doing it. And doing it some more . . . Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, aka "Climax-Well," a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of orgasmic pleasure for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of sex toys to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for erotically enabled world domination must be stopped. But how?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This book starts off pretty intense.  If it had been a few years ago I feel like I would have just put the book down and run away.  However, I have now read five of his books so I kind of know what to expect with these books.  Well, when I say that, I mean, expect anything shocking.

Right off the bat, this book is very sexually explicit and not in the erotica novel kind of way.  I found myself screwing up my face and just thinking how gross some of the content was.  It didn’t deter me from reading it was just icky at times.

I think one of the main reasons I love reading Chuck Palahniuk’s books is that I can never tell in which direction the story is going to go.  Most of the time I like where the story goes and I’m so surprised by the ending.  In all honesty, I was kind of looking out for signs and hints in this book.  However, once again I was taken by surprise at the ending.  I seriously love the reveals of Palahniuk’s books.

I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey but I feel a little like Beautiful You, grabs some of the ideas of Fifty Shades of Grey and tips them on their head, throws them into a furnace and just goes all out with the sexual weirdness.

Beautiful You is a very weird book but I loved it.  I read the first two pages and then set the book aside.  When I was feeling more like I could read this book, I picked it back up again and devoured the thing in a few hours.  It’s just so interesting.  The premise is really unique and of course provides a very interesting way of providing a commentary on humans and how we are all ruled by basic desires.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed Beautiful You.  It’s just a very interesting story.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bookish Bingo

I have seen this floating around on a few blogs and I thought that I may as well join in.  Now, Bookish Bingo is hosted by Bekka at Great Imaginations.  Sign-ups continue until the 15th of October so if you think this looks like fun then check it out by visiting here.

Here is my bingo card and I will be keeping track of all my reads on this post but will also do an update post at the end of the three months.

Some of these will be really easy for me to do but some of them could be quite difficult.  I am however, really looking forward to it.  As I read books that match certain squares I will be listing them here.

Green Cover: The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Set in New Orleans:
Romance: Haunted by Heather Graham
"Ice", "Snow" or "Frost" in title:
Creature on Cover: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Native American MC:
Red Cover:
Set on Halloween: Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard
Snow on Cover:
Black Cover:
Serial Killers: The Cleaner by Paul Cleave
Birds on Cover:
Mystery: Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet by M. C. Beaton
Set During Christmastime: Candy for Christmas by Joanne Fluke
Set in Space:
A Book that Was a Gift: The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Set in Autumn: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
Orange Cover:
Fall or Winter Release:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bring Your Lunch by Califia Suntree

Title: Bring Your Lunch

Author: Califia Suntree

Published: September 2014, Workman Publishing

Pages: 250

Summary: With over 60 delicious, healthful, unexpected recipes, BRING YOUR LUNCH ensures DIY lunchtime success--and significant weekly savings--while keeping the brown-bag doldrums away. And it doesn't matter if you're a make-ahead food planner or a harried last-minute type--with its innovative, doable strategies, cooks of all kinds can learn to overcome the obstacles that keep them hooked on expensive takeout or boring PB&Js. There are quick Last-Minute Lunches, including salads--Kale Salad Agrodolce, Beet and Apple Salad with Walnuts and Cheese--and sandwiches--Proscuitto and Provolone Sandwich with Fig Jam, Deli Counter Banh Mi, El Turkey Club. Leftover Leitmotifs: Lamb Pita with Spicy Yogurt Sauce, Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps, Salmon & Swiss Chard Summer Rolls, Lo Mein with Garlicky Greens. Recipes that use the freezer wisely--Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp, Easy Empanadas, and other recipes are ready to go when you are. Snacks for when you want to ditch the vending machine--Tropical Fruit Energy Bars and Chickpea "Nuts." Plus notes on essential equipment, tips for shopping and prepping, and a lunch larder of extras--Lemony Miso Dressing, Green Pea Hummus, Homemade Mayo. It's time to end the cycle of broken lunch promises, too many trips to the taco truck, and all that money that disappears every week. It's time instead to choose to BYOL--it's healthy, wealthy, and wise, and now easy as could be.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I really love recipe books and I am always looking for new ideas for things to take with me into work to have for lunch.  When I saw this on netgalley I snapped it up in the hopes that it would give me some good recipe ideas.

I feel like the cover doesn’t match who the target audience is.  I also feel this is the case for the tone of the text.  When I picked this book up I was expecting to find a book that would offer me interesting lunch ideas that I could take with me into the workplace. 

In terms of the layout of this book though, I thought it was really well structured and really well organised.  It made flipping through the pages really easy and there was a lot of information provided about storage for lunches and other interesting tidbits which I found really helpful.

In terms of recipes, there are so many and most of them sound really good.  There’s also a huge variety of choices.  There are vegetarian options as well as a large number of different meat options such as beef, lamb and pork.

I feel like this has some pretty good recipe ideas for what to bring for lunch and would recommend this one to anyone looking to do the same.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title: Wildefire

Author: Karsten Knight

Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011

Pages: 393

Series: Book 1, Wildefire

Summary: Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She's struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve's violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California's redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her.

But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn't go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school - being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger - Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood, and she's one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she's got some strange abilities of her own.

With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time...
And when warm and cold fronts collide, there's guaranteed to be a storm.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had pre-ordered this book and been excited to read it since before it even came out.  Needless to say, since then the other two books have been released, the first two books are in paperback and the third one comes out in paperback in November.  Therefore, it was high time that I get around to reading Wildefire.

Everything about Wildefire is wonderful.  The cover is so beautiful and the jacket has this amazing texture so just touching the book feels amazing.  The story itself is just as awesome.  I think that it took me so long to read this one because I was nervous that it wouldn't be as good as I was hoping.  But it was.  I really loved it.

One thing I have to say is that this book is a little more graphic than the usual YA paranormal stories but I didn't care because I thought it was pretty cool.  It also made the story that much more interesting.  I'm pretty much kicking myself for not reading this book sooner because it is so amazing.  I feel like while there is a little bit more violence and people do die, it kind of makes sense in the grand scheme of the book because the main characters are playing on a level that's above high school politics and coming to terms with who they are and the gifts they have.

There are so many twists and turns that are just so great.  I loved every page of this book.  There are so many interesting factors about the book that I'm not even sure where to start.

I liked Ashline, she wasn't your typical protagonist and she had flaws just like everyone else.  She was also sarcastic and made me laugh so much.  Her sister however, is a completely different story.  Eve is so opposite to Ash that it made for a very different dynamic.  It makes sibling rivalry look like child's play.

I feel as though Wildefire is a great book and I should have read it sooner.  I also feel like everyone needs to read this book!  I'm glad I already have the sequel as I am going to be reading it very soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Wrap-Up

September is over already and surprisingly October is already here.  I had a bit of a slow start in terms of reading this month but in the end I managed to read a total of 11 books.  I am actually quite happy with that.  Especially given that I only obtained a total of six books for the month which means I managed to reduce my tbr pile by five.  It's not much but at least it's something.  I'm also planning to pick things up a little for the rest of the year and try to buy less books and read more of my pile!  Anyway, here are the books I read in September.

That was my reading month in September, I'm hoping that October is a good one too!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September is for Sequels Challenge Wrap-Up

As you may or may not know this month I participated in the September is for Sequels Reading Challenge.  The challenge was hosted by Lisa at Lisa Loves Literature.  

So, I made an initial challenge posy in which I talked about how many books I wanted to read and which ones I wanted to read.  However, this is what I actually read for the challenge.

1. Death Du Jour by Kathy Reichs
2. I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells
3. Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs
4. Blood Storm by Rhiannon Hart
5. Scorch by Gina Damico
6. Myth Conceptions by Robert Asprin

Looking at my sign-up post I notice that the only book I read that I had put on my list was Death Du Jour by Kathy Reichs.

I am also part-way through Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore but that doesn't actually count.  The point of the challenge was to read at least 4 sequels for the month and I managed that!  I also managed to finish one series, and have made a little bit of progress on some of the series that I am partway through.  I'll most likely be carrying on with sequels next month but also read some other books in between.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Myth Conceptions by Robert Asprin

Title: Myth Conceptions

Author: Robert Asprin

Published: Ace, 1985

Pages: 208

Series: Book 2, Myth Adventures

Summary: After mistakenly being appointed court magician by a regent who should have known better, apprentice mage Skeeve must defend a kingdom from the mightiest invading army in the world.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After reading and really enjoying the first book in the series, I figured I may as well move on to the second book since it was also sitting on my shelf. 

Myth Conceptions is just as funny as Another Fine Myth and I felt like there were some jokes continued on from the first book which was really awesome.

This book is quite a bit shorter than the first one so it didn't take me as long to read through.  I pretty much just read it in a day.  It also means that I don't have as much to say about the book.

One thing I really enjoy about these books is that the end conflict doesn't take very long to resolve which is something that I really like because I find scenes that take a few chapters or a very long chapter can get a little tedious for me,

Overall, I really loved Myth Conceptions and thought it was super funny and a great light read.  I highly recommend this series to people looking for a hilarious fantasy series.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September Book Haul Part Two

So I know I said that I wasn't going to get any more books this month but there are two exceptions.  All summaries are taken from Goodreads.

The first of these is one I had pre-ordered and forgot I was expecting.  It is:

One drowsy summer's day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for 'asylum'. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking...

The Bone Clocks follows the twists and turns of Holly's life from a scarred adolescence in Gravesend to old age on Ireland's Atlantic coast as Europe's oil supply dries up - a life not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air and brief lapses in the laws of reality. For Holly Sykes - daughter, sister, mother, guardian - is also an unwitting player in a murderous feud played out in the shadows and margins of our world, and may prove to be its decisive weapon. 

The second book was really cheap online so I just had to get it.

Risha is strong and outspoken, and at 16 has developed into a leader of men, a strategic thinker, and a woman — one can imagine — who will assume the legacy left by her mother.
The story begins with 13-year-old Risha living a simple life in the mountains with her father. When her father suddenly dies, Risha is left alone, an outcast of her village. Disguised as a boy, Risha leaves the village with a group of traders, on a quest to find out the truth about her mother and her heritage. 

Here begins a grand sweeping adventure as Risha is caught up in dangerous pursuits, intrigue, trickery and betrayal. She is left for dead, confused by the actions of many, and is made to hide from those who wish her harm. 
She finds out by chance that she is Cattra's daughter. Who is Cattra — and why do so many wish Risha harm? 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Scorch by Gina Damico

Title: Scorch

Author: Gina Damico

Published: HMH Books for Young Readers, 2012

Pages: 332

Series: Book 2, Croak

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I read the first book in the series when it first came out, which was over three years ago.  I bought the next two books in the series as soon as they came out but for some reason just never got around to reading any of them until now.

One issue with reading the books so far apart is that it’s a little hard to remember exactly what happened in the previous book.  So going into Scorch I only really remembered the ending of Croak because seriously who could forget it.  Anyway, as the book progressed I started to remember more things but I think there needs to be a gap of less than three years between books.

One warning I have, is that the back of the book gives away what happens for almost the entire book.  I read the back and 200 pages in I was confused as to why some of it hadn’t happened yet. 

Scorched is full of a mixture of humour and sadness and it’s done in such a good way.  There are so many funny parts in the book.  But at the same time, things get pretty serious.

Scorch was such a good book and I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get around to reading it sooner.  I know I'll be getting to the next book very soon.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin

Title: Another Fine Myth

Author: Robert Asprin

Published: Ace, 2005 (first published 1978)

Pages: 208

Series: Book 1, Myth Adventures

Summary: Skeeve was a magician's apprentice, until an assassin hired by an ancient enemy struck and his master was dead. Skeeve suddenly found himself alone with Aahz, a purple-tongued demon the old magician had summoned from another dimension as a practical joke just before he was killed.

Aahz had lost his powers. Skeeve had lost his job. So together, they set out through a universe populated by Deveels (or devils), Imps, dragons, unicorns and more, looking for a way to get even...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I knew of so many books that were hilarious science fiction novels, one huge example of this being the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams and I could find quite a few more too.  What I really wanted to find were some humorous fantasy novels.  I had been told to check out Terry Pratchett for that, but in all honesty, I wanted to find something else.  Through a bit of searching on Goodreads I managed to find the myth series by Robert Asprin.

Was this book funny?  Yes, definitely.  There were just so many funny things and the entire tone of the story was hilarious too.  I liked how there were some really funny jokes and the banter between the characters made me laugh a lot.

In terms of plot, I have to say that it was a little all over the place and there were times when it was hard to remember exactly what the main character's purpose was.  However, Skeeve and Aahz got there in the end which was a good thing.

In terms of the world building, I thought this was really cool.  It wasn't a whole new world or anything but the way that there were different dimensions and different creatures came from different dimensions.  Those who travelled between dimensions were called demons.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Another Fine Myth.  It was a light and funny read that I had no trouble breezing through.  I have the second book on hand as well so am thinking that I might pick that one up pretty soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton

Title: Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death

Author: M. C. Beaton

Published: Robinson Publishing, 2010 (first published 1992)

Pages: 285

Series: Book 1, Agatha Raisin

Summary: Agatha Raisin has finally achieved her picture-book life in the beautiful Cotswolds. How better to make new friends than to enter a quiche-making contest? To ensure first prize, Agatha buys her entry at London's Quicherie. But when the judge, Mr. Cummings-Browne, succumbs after trying Agatha's quiche, her chances of winning the competition, or new friends are way beyond hope unless she can nab the murderer!  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Having never read a cosy mystery before, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this book.  I have to say that as I was reading the first chapter my mind started to wander and all I could think was what the f**** is this book.  It’s just weird.  This lady, Agatha Raisin, is such a snob.  I thought it was a little weird, but I carried on.  There is actually a lot of character development and it was really good to see Agatha change over time.

I think once I got over the beginning of the book, which I just wasn’t really expecting, I started to get into the book a bit more.  Although, I did find myself wondering if this was actually a murder mystery at one point just because it took, what felt like a while to get into the story.

One really cool thing about this book was that there were quite a lot of references to Agatha Christie.  They were just scattered throughout the book in a subtle way and it was really fun to spot them.

I feel like this book was quite odd but also quite enjoyable once I got past the first couple of chapters.  In terms of a mystery it had everything it needed.  There were red herrings and clues to things scattered throughout which I really enjoyed.  One thing that I really love about reading mysteries is guessing who the culprit is.  I always get excited if I guess it right and equally so if I don’t guess it.

At the end when there was the big reveal I wasn’t at all surprised.  It made sense to me and I had kind of guessed it.  I do have to say that I was surprised at how silly Agatha was when it came to the big reveal though.

So will I read the next book in the series?  Yes, I think so.  Once I got into the story I found it to be really enjoyable.  It was a very good first step into the cosy mystery genre.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How to Read More Books

Today I thought I'd write a little bit of an advice post on how to read more books.  This is just how I do it anyway.

1. Take a book with you everywhere.  This way if you ever end up waiting somewhere then you can just read a few pages.

2. Read on your breaks.  I always like to read on my work breaks.  I find that I have plenty of time to eat some food and also get a few pages of reading done.

3. Set some time aside each day to do a little bit of reading.  Whether it be in the morning when you get up or right before you go to sleep.  Just setting aside some reading time is a good way to get some more reading done.

4. Audiobooks.  I love listening to audiobooks.  You can listen to them while doing menial tasks such as housework, or you can listen to them while checking emails.

5. Read what you feel like.  If a book you're currently reading isn't doing it for you, pick something else up and read that.  Reading a book that you're really feeling just helps you get through it faster.

So those are my tips on how to read more books.  Anyone else have any other good tips?