Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell (Although more of a series rant)

Title: Red Mist

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 2012

Pages: 502

Series: Book 19, Kay Scarpetta

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! Kay Scarpetta has arranged to meet an inmate at the high-security Georgia Prison for Women. Against advice, she is determined to hear this woman out - she believes the prisoner may hold some answers to the murder of her former deputy. But soon she finds connections to a string of grisly killings.

As she learns more, Scarpetta is compelled to conclude that this is the only the beginning of a terrying terrain of conspiracy on an international scale. And she is the only one who can stop it... (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  Reading this series is a journey.  I started last year and fell in love with the first few, so I ordered the first 20 books in the series because the 21st book wasn't yet out in the edition that I wanted.  I decided that it would be a fun idea to read the first 20 books before the release of Dust in May 2014.  Needless to say that date has been and gone and I have just finished the 19th book.  

My reading of the series has slowed down considerably since the 12th book.  That one changed to third person narrative and from more than just Scarpetta's viewpoint.  That wasn't the only thing that changed however, the characters just changed and the majority of the bad guys have been enemies of Scarpetta and everything revolves around Scarpetta which I just find to be so ridiculous.  Now, from book 18 we've switched back to first person perspective from Scarpetta's view only.  I have to say that I did find the first 3/4 of the 18th book to be enjoyable but then I realised that Scarpetta didn't actually do anything much.

One thing I have come to realise reading the last few books in the series is what the hell has happened to Kay?  I remember the days where she used to examine the bodies both in the scenes where they are found and in the lab where she could examine people deeper.  I loved the explanations of the process and some of the deeper science behind some of these things. There is none of that now.  The last couple of books have just been Kay looking at other people's work. 
In Red Mist she looks at one victim when she finds them but other than that I swear she just sits around talking and reading other people's work.  There was even one point where I got a little bit annoyed because she started commenting to Marino about possible things happening and he's supposed to be the detective not her.

I thought the murders in Red Mist were very interesting and mysterious.  I liked that they were different to the usual murders in the series but I found it odd that it took a really long time to actually get to anybody being murdered.

I feel so conflicted about these books.  The murder mysteries are intriguing and I enjoy reading those parts for the most part.  I just hate that I have to swim through a ton of junk about how paranoid Scarpetta is and how everyone either worships her or hates her and wants to destroy her.  Everyone has secrets and Scarpetta can't really trust anyone.  Honestly, I just want to go back to the days where Scarpetta actually did her job and not everything revolved around her.

How keen am I to read the next book?  Well, I'm thinking I'll read it next month and basically it will depend on how I feel about The Bone Bed as to whether or not I will carry on with the series or I will just leave it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mr Monster by Dan Wells

Title: Mr Monster

Author: Dan Wells

Published: Headline, 2010

Series: Book 2, John Cleaver

Summary: May Contain Spoilers!  In I Am Not a Serial Killer, John Wayne Cleaver saved his town from a murderer even more appalling than the serial killers he obsessively studies.

But it turns out even demons have friends, and the disappearance of one has brought another to Clayton County. Soon there are new victims for John to work on at the mortuary and a new mystery to solve. But John has tasted death, and the dark nature he used as a weapon---the terrifying persona he calls “Mr. Monster”---might now be using him.
No one in Clayton is safe unless John can vanquish two nightmarish adversaries: the unknown demon he must hunt and the inner demon he can never escape.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After reading I am Not a Serial Killer I just had to get my hands on this one to start reading it.  As soon as it arrived in the mail I started reading it.  Dan Wells has such awesome writing.  He just has this way with words that makes it really easy to get caught up in the story.

Mr Monster picks up a few months after the first book in the series and I thought it was good to see people's reactions to the string of murders from the last book.  I thought it was handled in a really realistic way too.  The townspeople were still nervous and on edge which is to be expected.

There was actually a point where I had to put the book down and I was too scared to pick it up again.  Not because the book is scary because that kind of thing doesn't bother me.  No, what bothered me was John's actions.  Ugh, I was just so scared that he was going to get caught doing the things that he was doing and I just wanted to grab him and tell him he was being an idiot.  This book just made me feel so much for John.  I just wanted to look after the guy, I wanted to guide him in how not to attract attention to himself.

While I felt like the first book had a lot of predictability about who the bad guy was.  I felt with this one I was guessing a bit more which was good.  I really enjoyed that I was questioning all of the characters and trying to figure out who the bad guy was.

I loved the way Mr Monster ended.  It just left an opening for the next book that has me really intrigued.

Needless to say I will definitely be reading the third and final book in the series.  In fact, as soon as I finished Mr Monster I ordered the next book.  I just really love this series and I can't believe it took me so long to pick up the first one.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Traitor

Author: Julie Kagawa

Published: Harlequin Teen, 2013

Pages: 304

Series: Book 2, The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again. 

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: It had been a while since I read the previous book in the series so I couldn’t remember a lot of things that happened in the first book.  There were some things that I definitely remembered but I found that the other thing sprang to mind the more I read through the book.

I have to say that while I enjoyed The Iron Traitor I didn’t think it was the best book in the Iron Fey series.  Some parts were really exciting and interesting and I really loved them but I feel as though the characters aren’t as lovable. 

One thing I really like is the unpredictability of the story.  One minute the story is headed in one direction and the next it’s going in a completely different one.  It was really good like that.

I also really enjoyed seeing some of the old characters from the original series and seeing how some of them had changed and some of them were pretty much the same.

The ending was such a cliffhanger that I really need to read the next book now but that is not happening.  I looked into it the other day and from what I can tell the next book won’t be coming out until 2015 sometime.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Recommend Me:

I wanted to try something new on the blog and one thing that I would love to do is give some personal book recommendations.  So what I am thinking is making a weekly or bi-weekly feature depending on how many responses I get where I give some recommendations.

I've created some questions in a google form so that you can fill out as many or as few as you like and I can provide some reading recommendations during the weeks.  I've left the questions all optional so that you can be as vague or specific as you like.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Adventures in Funeral Crashing by Milda Harris

Title: Adventures in Funeral Crashing

Author: Milda Harris

Published: 2011

Pages: 212

Series: Book 1, Funeral Crashing

Summary: Kait Lenox has a reputation as the weird girl in her high school, mostly because of her ex-best friend turned mean popular girl, Ariel, but maybe it has a little to do with the fact that Kait has a hobby crashing funerals. At one of these, Kait is outted by the most popular guy in school, Ethan Ripley. Yet, instead of humiliating her for all the world to see, he asks for her help, and Kait finds herself entangled in a murder mystery. Not only is the thrill of the mystery exciting, but more importantly Ethan knows her name! A little sleuthing is well worth that!  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had this ebook sitting on my ereader for quite a while now and the other day I finally decided to try it as it sounded really interesting just from the title alone.

Not knowing what I was going into I wasn’t entirely sure how the book would go.  When I started reading I thought the book might have just been about a girl who was upset about the death of her mother and so crashes other funerals to feel closer to her mother.  This is partially true, but even more than that it is a murder mystery which I always love.

I found Adventures in Funeral Crashing to be such a good book.  I sat down and started reading a few pages and in no time I had finished the book.  Each chapter ends in a way that keeps me wanting more and I just couldn’t stop reading it.

I had figured out the mystery about halfway through the book but when I got to the end I found I was only half right which was still pretty exciting.  I always like to see if I can guess what’s going on and who the bad guy is and then when the revelation happens I always find it exciting to see if I’m right or not.

Overall, I thought Adventures in Funeral Crashing was such a pleasant surprise and thought it was such a great book.  I am definitely going to be recommending this one to fans of murder mysteries and I can’t wait to read the second book in the series.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Way of Kings

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Published: Gollancz, 2010

Pages: 1008

Series: Book 1, The Stormlight Archive

Summary: Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soiless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.
One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Brandon Sanderson is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.  I have had this book on my shelf for a while now and I kept looking at it but couldn't help but feel as though the 1008 pages made this book seem a little intimidating.  However, I finally picked it up and I am so glad I did.

I felt like the book started off straight away and there was never a dull moment.  There was so much going on and it was done at such a pace that I never felt like I was left behind or like I was bored.  In fact, I love that Brandon Sanderson gives hints about things and you have to read more of the book to get to know more information about them.  Sanderson is just brilliant at getting people hooked into the stories.

I loved all of the characters and thought they all had very unique but interesting aspects to them.  I'm curious to see how they will all come together and grow and what their roles will be later in the series.

I am impressed with how much detail has gone into the world building and the way the magic systems worked.  It's so different but so amazing and impressive that I loved reading every minute of it.

Another really awesome thing about this book is the illustrations.  They were so gorgeous and I just loved looking at them.  They added an extra element which I thought went along perfectly with the story.  It helped solidify some of the different creatures and world element's in my mind and I really loved that.

I loved The Way of Kings so much, it is such an amazing well-written book and once you get into the story the size is nothing to be worried about at all because the pages just fly by.  Needless to say I will be picking up the sequel, Words of Radiance very soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

Title: I Am Not A Serial Killer

Author: Dan Wells

Published: Tor Books, 2010

Pages: 271

Series: Book 1, John Cleaver

Summary: John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practising normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.
Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Such a good book!  I started reading through I am Not a Serial Killer and I found it really difficult to put down.  The descriptions of the embalming process and things like that were gory but I found them really fascinating to read about.

I felt like the story itself was relatively predictable and I could guess what was happening throughout the book but that didn't stop me reading it.  The writing is just so nice that I found it really easy to just fly through the pages.  It was very captivating.

I thought that John was a very interesting protagonist and I enjoyed reading the book from his perspective.  His obsession with serial killers and the knowledge he relays to others about this subject was really impressive.

I loved I am Not a Serial Killer so much that as soon as I finished the book I ordered myself the second book in the series.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

Title: Blind Spot

Author:  Laura Ellen

Published: Harcourt Children's Books, 2012

Pages: 336

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have to say that I didn't particularly enjoy Blind Spot.  The description and the marketing of this book make it out to be a thrilling murder mystery and that is really not entirely true.  Yes there is a death and there is some investigation into the death.  However, this book more focuses on the main character, Roz's dealing with her disability and her relationships with different people.

Now, why did I not like this book?  One, it really isn't a murder mystery book which is what I had expected it to be.
Two, the main character is terrible.  Yes she has this bizarre disability but she is so hostile towards so many people and ridiculously naive that she just drove me nuts.
Three, most of the side characters were ridiculously unrealistic and I just could not believe the way they behaved and the attitudes they had.  The teacher Mr Dellian, was one of the worst people and I don't even understand how someone in his job could even act like that.
Four, the story took some really odd directions at some point and I found it to be a little bit too much.
Five, even though it's marketed as a murder mystery, you don't really get an actual solid answer.

Were there any redeeming qualities for this book?  Well, I think that the cover is really pretty but as far as content goes I just feel like all of the things I didn't like about the book outshone anything in the book that could have been good.  There were a couple of characters that I really liked but everything else about this book just really bothered me.

Overall, I thought this book was ok but not something I personally could really enjoy.  It just was not for me.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Title: Vicious

Author: V. E. Schwab

Published: Tor, 2013

Pages: 364

Summary: Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?   (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Vicious is such an amazing book.  From the first page I was hooked and I just couldn't put it down.  Each chapter was short but left me at a point where I just had to know what happened next.

The writing is so brilliant and poetic and I just loved it so much.

I feel like I could just keep gushing about how much I loved this book.  The premise was really great and I loved that while Victor was a villain it was hard to hate him and I found myself siding with him definitely.

I thought that the ExtraOrdinaries and how people became them was so fascinating.  It reminded me a little bit of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson and I love books where people have super powers.

I just really loved Vicious and I want to hand it over to so many people and just tell them to read it because it's so amazing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Scarpetta

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 2009

Pages: 500

Series: Book 16, Kay Scarpetta

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! Leaving behind her forensic pathology practice in South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes up an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured patient in a psychiatric ward. The handcuffed and chained patient eventually begins to talk - and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard. He says his injuries were sustained in the course of a murder ... that he did not commit. Is Bane a criminally insane stalker who has fixed on Scarpetta? Or is his paranoid tale true, and it is he who is being spied on, followed and stalked by the actual killer? The only thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered - and that more violent deaths will follow ...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I actually thought this book was an improvement on the last few books in the series.  The mystery was a little different and I was actually really intrigued by who did it, how and why they did it.

I have to say that I did think it took a little while to get into the story as it was a little odd to begin with.  In fact, I was a little confused about how much it seemed to be similar to Gossip Girl in some ways which just seemed crazy.

I hate how the characters are all so unhappy and have so much drama in their lives that every time they aren't looking into the mystery of what is happening they're either fighting with each other or dwelling on how awful things in their lives seem.

That being said, I do think this book was a big improvement on the last few as I was actually really intrigued by the mystery aspect and there was more focus on it than there had been in previous books.  I just hope that the next book continues in this way.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Wrap-Up and July TBR

June has been an amazing reading month for me I managed to get quite a lot read.  So today I thought I would do a little wrap up of the books I read in June and over the next few days I'll be posting up my thoughts on some of the books I read.  I have also started making myself a tbr each month again because I reduced the number of books on my tbr a couple of weeks ago and since then I've had trouble deciding which books I wanted to read next and so I have been constructing smaller lists of books to read through in the month which helps.

Anyway, here is what I read in June:

Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
Vicious by V. E. Schwab
Blind Spot by Laura Ellen
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
I am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
Soulmate by Kate Kaynak
Psych's Guide to Crime Fighting for the Totally Unqualified by Shawn Spencer with Burton Guster
Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
Legion by Brandon Sanderson
The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

And the books I'm hoping to read in July:
Rumours by Anna Godbersen
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin
Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde
Mr. Monster by Dan Wells
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

So yes, that is what I read and what I hope to read.