Friday, January 17, 2014

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Title: The Name of the Wind

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Published: Gollancz, 2008

Pages: 662

Series: Book 1, Kingkiller Chronicles

Summary: Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: So many good things had been said about The Name of the Wind and I was very excited to read about it but then looking at the size of it I was a little bit intimidated.  Mostly because I always feel like big books can sometimes be scary in that pages can go by where not a lot happens.

Unfortunately with the Name of the Wind, I feel like it was missing an overarching plot or something.  It’s hard to place but I just have this feeling like there was something missing.  Pages would go by and I would just feel as though nothing significant was happening.

That being said, when things did happen, I found them to be really interesting and enjoyable to read about.  The main part of the story took a while to get into but I felt like once Kvothe got to the university things were really exciting and interesting.  It was a little reminiscent of an older Harry Potter.

One thing I noticed was that being such a big book, there were so many characters it was hard to keep track of them all for a while.  Eventually I managed to figure out who was who and picked out some characters I liked and others I thought were a little annoying.

Overall, I thought that The Name of the Wind was a really interesting book and being a fan of high fantasy I would say that it’s a good thing to read for anyone who enjoys the high fantasy genre.  I’m very interested in reading the next book in the series.

Source: Purchased

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Adult

So, I know that I’m a tad late with this post but I’ve had it sitting in my documents for a really long time and finally decided to finish it.

The short version: I feel like it’s just another label that I’m still not 100% sure if it should really hold a place on shelves.

I almost feel like the title new adult seems kind of degrading.  Almost like you’re a beginner and need to be spoon fed some easier books or something.

The long version:  So I know that there are young adult books and adult books although sometimes there were crossovers and I guess you could say that now these crossovers would be deemed as new adult.
I heard about this term last year quite a while ago, it’s just taken me this long to actually write a post about it.  Anyway, from what I heard back then, new adult was a term used to describe books featuring people between 18 and 25 but now I am hearing that it’s like that but also with steamier sex scenes.

Now correct me if I am wrong but I feel like there are already a bunch of books with characters of this age group.  They’re found in the fiction category of bookshelves and there are a number of urban fantasy novels that I could point out which contain characters of this age group.

Does adding a new category actually make a difference?  I really feel like you can just pick up books of this type in either adult or young adult.

There are a few things that I don’t particularly like about this either.  Is it a way of justifying older people reading young adult type books?  If so, I don’t think it should matter.  Most people who read young adult who are over the age of 18 really don’t care what other people think.

My other thing is, are they trying to put books into specific categories for certain age groups?  Does this mean that soon we will see such things as senior fiction, a genre specifically aimed at those aged 55+

I’m sure that there could be some benefit to this, such as a handy marketing tool for publishing companies, but I personally, don’t think it’s something that fantastic.  I just feel like it’s trying to put even more labels onto things as humans seem to be very good at categorising things.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Demonically Tempted by Stacey Kennedy

Title: Demonically Tempted

Author: Stacey Kennedy

Published: Stacey Kennedy, 2012

Pages: 212

Series: Book 2, Frostbite

Summary: Tess Jennings, now a member of the Memphis Police Department, is on her first cold case. The suspected suicide of Lizbeth Knapp ten years ago isn’t a theory her family accepts—they believe she was murdered.

But the case is only one of Tess’s worries. Ghosts are talking, and word of her abilities rapidly spreads. A dark ghost is terrifying the spirits of Memphis, and she must force the entity to cross over.
Tess doesn’t have to do this alone. Not only does she have her ghost-lover, Kipp McGowen, but the department has brought in a medium. Dane Wolfe might answer all her questions, but he also brings a world of trouble. Will Tess finally have all she’s ever wanted, or will everything she’s vowed to protect be ripped away?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I really loved the first book in the series and couldn’t wait to start reading the second one, but then for some reason I kind of forgot about it until now.  I’m glad I picked up my Kobo and began to read it though because once I started I couldn’t stop.

This book concentrated more on the mystery element than the first book and I really enjoyed it.  I managed to pick up on what was going on in terms of what happened to certain people which was awesome.

I feel like Demonically Tempted is really easy to breeze through and read in no time because each chapter is incredibly interesting and engaging.  I was able to read through about 70% of the book just a couple of hours.  I didn’t want to put it down.

The ending was such a surprise; it has got me excited to read the next book in the series definitely.  I did not see that one coming and it is very exciting.  I won’t talk about it anymore though because I don’t want to give anything away.

Overall, I really enjoyed the second book in the Frostbite series and can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Source: Purchased

Friday, January 10, 2014

Operative by Kate Kaynak

Title: Operative

Author: Kate Kaynak

Published: Spencer Hill Press, 2013

Pages: 260

Series: Book 5, Ganzfield

Purchase Links:
Book Depository*

Summary: Maddie and the rest of the team must catch the person selling classified information to terrorists--before they become the targets.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have had this one for a while and it has taken me a really long time to get around to reading it.  I’m kind of kicking myself that I didn’t get to it until now because it is so good.  On the other hand, it’s good that I read it now with the next book in the series coming out soon.

Operative is full of surprises and some of them I quite enjoyed.  I don’t want to give anything away but there’s something new and very intriguing in this one which if you have enjoyed the series so far you will definitely find to be an interesting element to the story.

As always, once I started this one I couldn’t put it down and spent the entire day just sitting down reading.  Every part of the book is action packed and leads to another more interesting part.  Things just kept going and happening and before I knew it I was at the end of the book.

The Ganzfield series is really amazing and I feel like if you haven’t started reading this series yet then you really need to because they are so incredible.  Kate Kaynak is an amazing author and I cannot wait for the next instalment in the Ganzfield series.

Source: Spencer Hill Press for review

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Series I thought I had finished but have had books added to them later on

Finishing a book series is always a happy and sad process.

On the one hand you have made it through however many books there are in the series, sometimes there can be only 3 books in a series and other times there can be around 20.  Either way, it always feels like a nice achievement finishing the series.

On the other hand you feel sad because it’s the end of something and well, endings tend to be sad no matter what.

Here are some series that I thought I had finished but have discovered that the series just wasn’t over yet.

The Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  I really thought this was a trilogy but I have just recently discovered that there is a fourth book in the series.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.  This one was over and then Eoin Colfer was hired to finish the series based on notes left by Douglas Adams.  I haven’t read it yet but I may pick it up eventually.

Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley was a standalone novel until they released the sequel three years later.  This is good because there were a couple of loose ends left in the book that I really hope get tied up in the second book.

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith, I really thought this series was finished after book 3, Blessed but nope, there is a fourth book, Diabolical.

Alex Rider – Anthony Horowitz stated that he wouldn’t write any more books after Scorpia Rising, he did say that he was thinking of writing a book about Yassen but that was years ago so I figured it would just never happen.  Now I have made the discovery that indeed there is a “final” book in the Alex Rider series and that it is the book about Yassen.

 So are there any series that you thought were over but were surprised to see another book?

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Beautiful and the Damned by Jessica Verday

Title: The Beautiful and the Damned

Author: Jessica Verday

Published: Simon Pulse, 2013

Pages: 272

Series: Companion to The Hollow trilogy

Summary: Cyn’s blackouts have deadly consequences in this sexy, suspenseful spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Hollow series.Cyn and Avian are far from a perfect match. She’s a witch who casts spells on men so she can steal their cars. He spends his time being judge, jury, and executioner to the truly evil in the supernatural realm.

When the blackouts Cyn’s been having ever since her time in Sleepy Hollow start escalating, she finds herself unable to remember where she’s been or what she’s been doing. Frightened, she seeks guidance at a local church, and it’s there she meets Avian.
The unlikely pair soon discovers that her blackouts are a side effect of what she truly is—an Echo—a conduit for souls of the dead. The only way to prevent Cyn from losing complete control is to return to Sleepy Hollow and vanquish the source of her power—but she may not survive the process. And if she does? She won’t ever be the same... (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After reading and loving The Hollow trilogy I was really excited to read the next book by Jessica Verday and it just happened to be a sort of companion to the Hollow trilogy which is pretty exciting.  I did enjoy The Beautiful and the Damned.

My only issue with the book was that I felt like the resolution of everything was really fast and things just went away without too much of an explanation as to how and why.

I thought that Cyn was an interesting character and I liked that we got to know more about her in The Beautiful and the Damned.  Another character I thought was interesting was Avian, I was intrigued by how different he was to the Remnants in the Hollow trilogy.

One thing that I really liked with this book was that there were so many different supernatural creatures around and the way they worked and behaved was quite interesting.

I thought the Beautiful and the Damned was a good read, it’s short so you can sit down and read it in one or two sittings.  I did feel like it didn’t have as much of Jessica Verday’s descriptive writing in it as the Hollow trilogy did but I still feel that fans of Verday’s work won’t be disappointed.

Source: Purchased

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell

Title: The Last Precinct

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 2000

Pages: 544

Series: Book 11, Kay Scarpetta

Summary: May contain spoilers! Physically and psychologically bruised by her encounter with the killer Chandonne, Dr Kay Scarpetta has to leave her home in the hands of the police team investigating the attack. She finds shelter with an old friend, Anna Zenner, but it is not the haven of security she needs when she discovers that Anna has been sub-poenaed to appear before a Grand Jury which is investigating Scarpetta for murder. Kay knows she is being framed and she also knows she can trust no-one. Meanwhile it appears that Chandonne killed a woman in New York before his murderous spree in Virginia, but when Scarpetta looks more closely into that case with the NY prosectuor Jaime Berger, proof of his guilt is far from certain - in fact she begins to believe that he may not be the perpetrator of any of the crimes he is accused of. As she follows the forensic trail to the real killer she gradually realises that someone has been spinning a web for years with the aim of entrapping her. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: The Last Precinct starts off straight after the events of Black Notice and from there takes off into this intense story which I found to be interesting and for the most part enjoyable.

There were a few points in this book where I felt like things were getting a little slow, this was especially true around the start of the book but I felt like things picked up about halfway through the book and from there I was hooked.  There is a mysterious element which drew me in and kept me reading until the end.

I felt like Kay’s behaviour was a little better than last time which made the book a bit more bearable.  Though I did find some of the things that were happening to her to be a little strange.  Like, there was this one huge thing going on in her life except that the way that it was treated made it seem like it was nothing even though it was huge.

I definitely found The Last Precinct to be quite interesting and the way that some of the events turned out was quite surprising but still very interesting.  I’m definitely interested in picking up the next book in the series soon though as I am intrigued by the direction that it will take.

Source: Purchased

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

It is a new year and I figured that it would be a good time to restart the blog as a regular thing.  I have been trying to revamp things a little and several times last year I would start blogging again only to fall behind in my schedule and things like that.

That being said, I am now finished university for at least the near future and aim to spend more time reading and reviewing books.  My goal for this year is to work on reducing my tbr pile because at the moment it consists of a total of 315 books.  If I could half that by the end of the year then I would be incredibly happy so my goal at the moment is 160 books and I am very much hoping to achieve that.  I will of course be updating that if I add more books to my tbr pile and such so I will be doing little monthly updates at the beginning of each month to talk about how I'm doing and things like that as a way to keep me motivated and hopefully on track with things.  One thing I like to do is set a monthly goal and so my monthly goal for each month is 14 books roughly.

Anyway, expect a lot more from me now that I am back and I hope that everyone else has a great reading year.  One of the things I am planning on doing each month is a monthly wrap-up sort of thing and so I figured what better way to start off the year than by doing a December wrap-up.

Books read in December:
Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell
Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell
The Beautiful and the Damned by Jessica Verday
The Libertine by Saskia Walker
Operative by Kate Kaynak
Demonically Tempted by Stacey Kennedy
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling
So I'm happy with my progress for the month.  I'm hoping that I will read about 14 books in January although, if I could read a lot more than I would be even more happy.  There aren't any specific books that I'm hoping to read this month as I'm basically just going to read whatever takes my fancy.