The King’s Blood by Sabrina Zbasnik

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The King’s Blood by Sabrina Zbasnik

 

kings_blood_coverBook Description:  Save the Prince, save the world. Maybe stop for coffee.

Magic is coming back. Or so say the old prophesies cobbled together from wandering soothsayers, women huffing broken gas lines, and the back of comic tomes. The Evil Empire™ of Avar and its perfectly sane, in no way crazy Emperor risks others’ life and limb to stop it from coming to pass.

The only obstinate chunk of gravel in their shoes is a small kingdom warring against the over confident reach of the growing Empire. The fight was going well for them, all things considered, right until their King went and let his head slip right off his shoulders.

Now Ciara, a black servant into her sixteenth year, finds herself on a mad quest across the countryside trying to get the second son and possibly only hope of the severed Ostero line back onto his throne. Along the way, she and Aldrin — the rather simple and OH GODS KEEP HIM AWAY FROM ANYTHING SHARP prince — find themselves at the mercy of assassins, witches, traveling historians, a sect of killer doctors, and the unblinkers.

Can two teens survive an entire Empire crashing down upon them while a shambling army of corpses waits patiently in the shadows? Will the religious fight for and against magic rip apart the world they all became rather fond of? And just how can a fifteen year old take over a throne dangling precariously over the edge of war?

 

My Review:  I will be the first to admit that I haven’t read a lot of epic fantasy.  I had The Hobbit read to me in library class when I was a child.  I have also read the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.  I guess I characterize epic fantasy by how many pages it has or I would count Ice Forged and The Palace Job too.  I realize that doesn’t make me a card carrying member of the epic fantasy fan club but it does equip me to know what epic fantasy is.  So I can tell you without a doubt The King’s Blood is definitely epic fantasy.  It’s also really good epic fantasy.

This story is fun, funny and well told.  It’s everything in the book description and more.  My favorite character was Ciara.  It’s hard not to pick her.  She goes from serving girl to heroine.  There is also the small of matter of her nearly dying.  I won’t say more than that because you really need to read this book.  You won’t be disappointed.   You have to root for the girl who almost dies.

This book contains some of the best lines I’ve ever read.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

-Lord Albrant, who was perched percariously upon his chair, ready to leap to Edric’s assistance should the King’s makeshift throne finally commit suicide.

-Kynton, raised on a heavy diet of taking the world with a grain of salt, peered into the hazy void.

 

There is more where that came from.  This book is filled with stressful moments lightened by funny dialog.  You don’t want to miss Ciara’s journey.  Alright, there is a rag tag group that travels with Ciara.  I guess you don’t want to miss them either.  They are almost as interesting as she is.  Ohhhh, you will also want to see the prince become his own man.  I guess that was interesting too.

This book is on the long side.  If you, like me, are not a card carrying member of the epic fantasy club you should not be put off by the number of pages.  Once you get going you will become so wrapped up in the story you will be traveling with this rag tag group and you will lose all sense of time and place.  This book really is that great.

Don’t miss our interview with author Sabrina Zbasnik tomorrow.

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PicsArt_1375992730999PG-13  Violence

 

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

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The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Narrated by Eric Meyers

Maltese_falcon_bookThe Maltese Falcon is my Throwback Thursday pick this week because Dashiell Hammett ignited my love of detective stories with this book.  Yes, I know I’ve spoken of my adoration of Sherlock Holmes but in my humble opinion they are horses of different colors.  Samuel Spade is plain reckless in the way he goes about rooting out clues while Sherlock Holmes plays chess with his cases.

 

Book Description:

Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, first serialised in a magazine in 1930, is best known through the iconic Humphrey Bogart film of 1941. But it was the book that created the classic ‘noir’ genre with its tough private detective threading his cool way between the criminals and the law. Sam Spade, the private eye solving the mystery of the Maltese statuette, was the template for Philip Marlowe and a host of others – but they come no more shrewd and cunning with Hammett peppering the text with one-liners. Not even Bogart bettered the original. An idiomatic new recording from Eric Meyers.

 

My Review:  This audiobook was fantastic.  The narration was just plain excellent.  I was completely entertained and couldn’t put it away.

I’ve come to terms with books written in this era.  I look at them as pillars marking history.  I do my best to look past the racism and sexism and focus on the entertainment value.  In the Maltese Falcon there is sexism but I choose to look at it this way; Brigid O’Shaughnessy could have taken Spade out at any point if she had maltese_falcon_posterreally wanted to.  She was smart but her failing was that she fell in love with Spade.  Yes, I do think she loved him.  A clever girl like her would have had a way out.  One that didn’t depend on Spade taking the fall for her.

My next project is to see the film version.  I can’t believe it either but I’ve never seen it.  Humphrey Bogart is one of my favorite actors of all time so it is kind of ridiculous that I’ve never seen the movie.  This weekend.  I promise.

maltese_falcon_movieSo don’t forget about the Maltese Falcon when you’re audio book shopping or book shopping for that matter.  This isn’t some dry detective story that Hollywood had to make into a movie to breathe some life into it.  Samuel Spade isn’t just some detective.  Brigid O’Shaughnessy is a whole lot more than she appears to be which offers some balance in the story.  If all of that wasn’t enough-  The maltese Falcon that everyone is searching for?  Not what it appears to be either.  This story has a lot of drama in it so don’t pass it up.

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PicsArt_1375992730999PG  Mild violence.  It’s practically nothing compared to today’s violence.

 

Angelfall by Susan Ee

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Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days by Susan Ee

Narrated by Caitlin Davies

Audiobook_Review

 

 

Audiobook Description:

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 44 minutes
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Language: English
  • Told in:  First Person

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her 17-year-old sister, Penryn, will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister, and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

 

angelfall coverMy Review:  I really liked the way this story was told and I loved the narrator.  The book is unique.  It’s a different take on the usual dystopian theme.  This book has angels running amuck (literally- like actually mad with murderous frenzy).  The angels in this book are bad, bad news.  Really, really bad.  Have I sold my point yet?  They have been set loose on earth and they realize that they don’t actually have a plan since the leader of the angles had been killed.   So they think: Let’s wage war on the humans, yea that sounds like fun.

I honestly had no idea what would happen in this book with one exception.  Raffe.  Anyone who has ever read a book in their lives knows who Raffe was going to turn out to be.  That however was it.  That was the only predictable thing in the whole book for me.

I only had one problem with the narration and it’s me simply being picky.  Well it’s that and the fact that this audio book had the terrible misfortune of following Hamlet Prince of Denmark: A Novel narrated by Richard Armitage.  He does several dozen different voices and I was spoiled.  It was so good that I couldn’t review it between the excellent writing and the unbelievable narration I was dazzled.   My problem with this narration isn’t really a problem at all but more of a nitpicking observation.  Caitlin Davies male voices were a little creepy to me.  They weren’t over the top or annoying and in no way detracted from my listening experience.  They were just a little creepy and in the angels and bad guys that’s great but in Raffe not so much.

This story was disturbing  and had its fair share of death and destruction.  There aren’t any light themes running through this book.  It’s dystopian through and through.  There is lots of observation by the main character that are disturbing.  There is also the little problem of the angels stealing human children.  Creepy!

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PicsArt_1375992687897PG-13  You may not want to listen to this in front of small children.   There are no sexual situations but there is plenty of death and disturbing imagery.

 

 

 

 

 

Try these other stories:

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Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

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18594594Cop Town 

by Karin Slaughter

Book Blurb:

Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.

My Review:

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I haven’t been this caught up in a book in a while.  To say I couldn’t put it down would be an injustice.  It was fast paced and I just had to know what happened next.

Cop Town takes you on twists and turns that you don’t see coming.  It’s set in 1974, which I had to keep reminding myself of; because the feminist in me wanted to reach threw the pages and smack the crap out of most of the men in this book. That being said this was an age when woman weren’t really wanted on the police force but they were there and still many things to overcome.

That brings up to our four main characters in Cop Town, Jimmy Lawson, Maggie Lawson, Kate Murphy and Fox.  Jimmy is your all american cop. Star high school football player who got injured and force to follow in his Uncle’s foot steps. Maggie is Jimmy’s kid sister and has always idolized Jimmy. She has been part of the police force for about four years and has taken the occasional beating from her Uncle Terry.  Then there is Kate, the new recruit.  She has started on a heck of a day. There is a Shooter out there killing cops and Jimmy’s partner has been  murdered.  So everyone is on high alert.  Then there is Fox.  Fox is the Atlanta Shooter.  He is cunning and ruthless and has killed more people then we would like to know.  I have to admit I didn’t see it coming when we find out who he really is.

This book is an excellent read. Karin Slaughter has done an amazing job of keeping you excited and wanting more.  Jessica

 

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PG-13 This is a book about murder and it’s very racist based on the setting of 1974

 

 

 

 

 

Modest Musings

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Welcome to Modest Musings!

This is were we will tell you what books we have acquired this week.  Whether it is through purchases, NetGalley or one of our many book list emails.  Please feel free to tell us what you think and if there is a particular book you are interested in seeing a review of.  Hope you enjoy!

Jessica’s Modest Musings

9781940716213Queen of Hearts 2 – The Wonder by Colleen Oakes – An Exiled Princess. An Ancient Tribe. A Dangerous Stranger with Unknown Loyalties.

Dinah, the former Princess of Wonderland Palace, has been chased into the wilds of Wonderland after the brutal murder of her brother and the ruin of her impending crown. Now, as her half-sister Vittiore sits on the throne beside her Father, the brutal King of Hearts, Dinah finds herself alone in the forbidding Twisted Wood with only Morte, a homicidal beast, for company.

Hunted by the King and his army of Cards, Dinah struggles to evade those who long for her head, including Cheshire, the King’s clever advisor, who is slowly tightening his grasp around her. Spurred on by her rising terror, the former Princess finds herself at the center of a web of conspiracy reaching far beyond the Palace and deep into the mysterious Yurkei mountain tribes.

Even with the balance of an entire Kingdom at stake, Dinah knows something that her allies and enemies do not: that the most dangerous conflict of all has already begun as she battles the rage that beckons her ever closer as love slips further from her grasp.

The second book in the bestselling and award-winning Queen of Hearts Saga, The Wonder takes readers back to the most wondrous and curious places in Wonderland, and continues this darkly addictive tale featuring one of the most infamous villains of all time.

But be warned…not every fairy tale has a happy ending.

This is the story of a princess who became a villain.

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Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell – Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But try as she might, she can’t come up with a logical explanation for the recurring dreams that have always haunted her. Dark dreams. Dreams of a long-ago place filled with people she shouldn’t know…but does.

When her family moves to a New Orleans plantation, Lucy’s dreams become more intense, and her search for answers draws her reluctantly into the old city’s world of Voodoo and mysticism. There, Lucy finds Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they’ve known each other forever. Lucy knows Alex is hiding something, and her rational side doesn’t want to be drawn to him. But she is.

As she tries to uncover Alex’s secrets, a killer strikes close to home, and Lucy finds herself ensnared in a century-old vendetta. With the lives of everyone she loves in danger, Lucy will have to unravel the mystery of her dreams before it all comes to a deadly finish.

16290859The Shadow and the Rose by Amanda DeWess – In the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains, Ash Grove High School for the Performing Arts draws the brightest and most talented teens. But beneath the peaceful surface, supernatural forces are at work…
When ordinary high-school junior Joy Sumner visits a graveyard at midnight on a dare, she doesn’t expect to end up sharing a kiss with brooding teen model Tanner Lindsey. And she definitely doesn’t expect to make an enemy of Tanner’s seductive, sinister mentor, the ageless supermodel Melisande—who may not be entirely human—or to find that her sleepy little corner of North Carolina is buzzing with supernatural energy.
While Joy fights to free Tanner from Melisande’s grasp—and from his own self-doubt—she finds that she’s pregnant. And when Tanner’s love for her puts his life in danger, will she be able to rescue him and save their future together?

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Night Swim by Jessica Keener – “Sixteen-year-old Sarah Kunitz lives in a posh, suburban world of 1970 Boston. From the outside, her parents’ lifestyle appears enviable–a world defined by cocktail parties, expensive cars, and live-in maids to care for their children–but inside their five-bedroom house, all is not well for the Kunitz family. Coming home from school, Sarah finds her well-dressed, pill popping mother lying disheveled on their living room couch. At night, to escape their parents’ arguments, Sarah and her oldest brother, Peter, find solace in music, while her two younger brothers retreat to their rooms and imaginary lives. Any vestige of decorum and stability drains away when their mother dies in a car crash one terrible winter day. Soon after, their father, a self-absorbed, bombastic professor begins an affair with a younger colleague. Sarah, aggrieved, dives into two summer romances that lead to unforeseen consequences. In a story that will make you laugh and cry, Night Swim shows how a family, bound by heartache, learns to love again.”

12429386Lost (Cinderella’s Secret Diaries)  by Ron Vitale – What happened to Cinderella after she married the Prince? Set in the late 1700s as Napoleon is rising to power, Cinderella embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to come to terms with her failed marriage and her inability to have a child. Torn between the Queen’s insistence that she try all means necessary to conceive and her own desires, she agrees to travel to Paris to consult with a witch to help her become pregnant. Her journey leads her to find her long lost Fairy Godmother and aids her to solve the mystery behind her mother’s death. Yet the Fey Lord, the Silver Fox, also takes notice in her and her world is suddenly turned upside down…

Lynn’s Modest Musings

19004663Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich – Catch a professional assassin: top priority. Find a failure-to-appear and collect big bucks: top score. How she’ll pull it all off: top secret.

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.

To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.

Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret

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Chance of Rain by Laurel Veil – Ashley’s dad moved out and now she’s stuck dealing with her overprotective mother. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, her dad’s friend seems to have a newfound interest in her mom.

Ashley’s dad is working undercover, like he’s done a million times before, but Ashley can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something. She enlists her best friend, Brianne, to help her spy on her father.

While out with Brianne, Ashley meets Trent. She falls for him, but soon learns that he, like her father, has something to hide, and it’s not long before Brianne and Ashley are spying on Trent, as well. And they don’t like what they see.

It isn’t until Ashley’s life is on the line that she finds out what her dad is hiding, and, in the process, discovers his mysterious connection to Trent and learns the ultimate truth—that things aren’t always what they seem.

18588895RecruitZ by Karice Bolton – Scientists are the new rock stars. The infection has been contained for nearly three months, and the world is celebrating. But humans are still dying. Rebekah Taylor has seen it firsthand. Her husband was killed right in front of her by the very creatures that humans were told they no longer had to fear.

Rebekah is determined to find out who is responsible for the death of her husband and the obvious cover-up. Fueled with revenge, she begins to find answers that lead to one frightening conclusion. The apocalypse might be over, but the battles are just beginning.

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The Young Clementina by D. E. Stevenson – Charlotte Dean enjoys nothing more than the solitude of her London flat and the monotonous days of her work at a travel bookshop. But when her younger sister unceremoniously bursts into her quiet life one afternoon, Charlotte’s world turns topsy-turvy.

Beloved author D.E. Stevenson captures the intricacies of post-World War I England with a light, comic touch that perfectly embodies the spirit of the time. Alternatively heartbreaking and witty, The Young Clementina is a touch tale of love, loss, and redemption through friendship.

21000717The Policeman (The Dead Planet Series) by Drew Avera – It is 2400 years in the future and Serus Blackwell is a policeman. His job, though, is not to uphold the law, but to kill political targets within the Syndicate, the centralized government on Mars.

Follow Serus in this short story that sparks the beginning of the end, for a future that is darker than you think.

Remembrance by Michelle Madow

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downloadRemembrance

By Michelle Madow

Book Burb:

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England … but she doesn’t know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie’s high school, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can’t stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can’t she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn’t going to be easy.

My Review: 

Imaging coming back to fix the wrong that done.  This is what happens in Remembrance.  In a past life things didn’t go the way they were supposed to, so now Drew, Liz, Chelsea and Jeremy are back to do it again. Hopefully this time they can get it right.

It was a riveting ride from present to past as the past unfolded.  I didn’t like Drew at first and couldn’t figure out why he would be so mean to someone, but as the story went on, questions got answered.  As a best friend Chelsea is selfish and self centered.  I probably would have kicked her to the curb a long time ago.  And as for Jeremy, I don’t know what he was like before, but where the book picks up in their relationship he is not a nice person.  The flash backs to the past are done very nicely and it doesn’t draw you away from or confuse the story.

I absolutely love that Lizzie can draw out what she sees and the masquerade scene is one of my favorites with the dress and the mask.

I enjoyed this book and will be picking up the next ones in the series.

Jessica

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:

5028484Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video. Michelle’s latest YA novel, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, was published in March 2014. It is the first in an upcoming trilogy. The second part, Diamonds in the Rough, will be coming out in November 2014.

Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook (/MichelleMadow) and Twitter (@MichelleMadow).

 

 

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

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Skin Game by Jim Butcher

19486421Book Description:  Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day…

Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.
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He doesn’t know the half of it…

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It’s a smash and grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he’s dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance…

 

My Review:  I love the Dresden Files.  I adore them.  This book did not disappoint.  In fact I raced through this book and then turned right around and listened to the audio book.  That’s how much I love these books.  I usually don’t review books by authors that I love this much but I think I’m still objective with this series.  I keep waiting for one of these books to be poorly written.  Let’s be honest, this is book fifteen, I’m starting to think that Jim Butcher is an actual wizard.   He just keeps writing fantastic books.

This book is clever and action packed just like the books before it.  So when you get to a certain point and you realize that you only have a certain number of pages left don’t panic.  Jim Butcher pulls it out in true Dresden Files fashion.

Audiobook_Review

I think that it’s only fair that I talk about the audio book as well.  James Marsters is beloved as the narrator of this series for a reason.  He is Harry Dresden.  He can do the voice that fans of this series have in their heads when they read the books.  If you’re already a fan and haven’t listened to the audio books then you’re missing out.  He really is that good.

If you’re not a fan of the series yet you can start now.  You will most likely want to start at the beginning but you could just as easily start with this one.  This book is an awesome adventure even if you don’t know anything about the series.  There’s a Wiki that could possibly help you too but you’re probably better off finding a friend that can answer your questions.

So what did we learn?  Skin Game is so fantastic that you should read it now and that I should join a Goodreads support group for people with a Dresden Files addiction.

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PicsArt_1375992730999PG-13  These books are not for children; mild sexual content, a tiny bit of language, and plenty of blood.

 

 

 

 

 

Try these other adventures:

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Modest Musings

Modest_M

Welcome to Modest Musings!

This is were we will tell you what books we have acquired this week.  Whether it is through purchases, NetGalley or one of our many book list emails.  Please feel free to tell us what you think and if there is a particular book you are interested in seeing a review of.  Hope you enjoy!

Jessica’s Modest Musings

18940399Five (Elemental Enmity #1) by Christie Rich – Rayla Tate dreams of escaping her ordinary world for a bright future in the art world. Throw in an overbearing aunt who is keeping major secrets, a disgruntled best friend tagging along to college, and a bunch of fae warriors waiting in the wings to claim her the minute she leaves her sleepy little town, and Rayla’s dreams are about to shatter.

She soon discovers she is a coveted Elemental with power she never knew she possessed–a power that could change the world. Everywhere she turns another man tries to woo her. The weird part is she’s drawn to each one of them. Who are these strange men, and what dark power do they hold over her? Rayla must quickly learn to fend off these beautiful and seductive pursuers using any means necessary or find herself lost to the fae world forever.

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Beckoning Light (The Afterglow Trilogy #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy – As Charlotte steps through the gate, she has a strong feeling that nothing will ever be the same again.

Moving back to South Carolina after three years away, Charlotte knows she’s going to have to face people from her past and adjust to a new high school, but she’s completely unprepared for what else waits for her in Charleston.

Drawn through an old garden gate, Charlotte discovers a hidden world where she meets Calvin, a boy to whom she is inexplicably attracted. As Charlotte is pulled deeper into this hidden world, it’s up to her older brother Kevin to rescue her. No matter how hard Kevin tries, the rescue depends upon Charlotte fighting her intense feelings for Calvin while mastering a set of abilities that she has only just discovered she possesses.

9606627Marysvale by Jared Southwick – John Casey was ten years old when his mother was murdered and ten when his father hid the truth from him. Without that knowledge, he has no idea of the enemies that lie in wait. Now grown up, John lives a solitary life, in a world enslaved by ignorance and superstition, when anyone unusual is treated with distrust and even killed and has some very unusual gifts. When he is accused of witchcraft, John does the only thing he’s ever done, Run That is, until he meets Jane, who lives in the bleak, imprisoned town of Marysvale. Life outside the saftey of the town walls means certain death from the brutal monsters that hunt there. However, life inside, under the rule of a tyrannical leader, means no life at all. As the love between John and Jane grows, the dangers of Marysvale unfold; and for the first time in his life, John discovers that there is something worth dying for.

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Sierra by Taylor Dean – Alyssa Fontaine’s life, loved ones—everything familiar and dear—are brutally taken from her.

Taken captive by two men, she endures a horrific nightmare. A new life is forced upon her and even a new name.

Just when it appears that no hope is in sight, she is saved by an unlikely twist of fate. Trapped in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, life will open its arms to her again and she will embrace it. She will find love such as she never knew existed.

Sierra is a heart-wrenching story of the power of the human spirit to survive amidst impossible circumstances and severe losses. It is a story of survival . . . and hope.

22380859Be in the Real by Denise Mathew –  In a world where technology rules, and everything is computer and virtual based, is it possible to create a virtual identity, one that is so different from your reality that no one knows who you really are? Do we ever know who is actually on the other end of our feed of bytes and megabytes?

With a wildly successful blog that people all over the world read, Trillian has a following. Trillian’s far flung musings push the envelope of thought and reality, leaving her thousands of blog readers hanging on her every word. All are eager to catch a glimpse into Trillian’s mind, the world through her eyes. Nobody knows much about who Trillian is and as far as anyone can see, she has no past only a present, and an original perspective on life. But Trillian has a secret, something that no one knows; there is no Trillian only a Kaila.

Kaila has lived fifteen of her twenty-five years as a patient in a mental health facility called Wildwind. When Kaila isn’t Trillian, she too has questions about life, but her queries are less esoteric. Kaila simply wants to know what true love is, she longs to feel all that it entails, dive into the pool of it and feel it with all her being. Kaila thinks that she can find the love she is searching for with a fellow patient named Norm. But before she can, Norm is discharged from Wildwind. With Norm’s departure Kaila’s life is suddenly tilted sideways, leaving her searching for a handhold, a way to get back to where she began, back to the only life she has ever known.

And just when Kaila thinks her life is over, another chapter begins when Derrick a new patient to the facility, pushes his way into her life. Derrick’s unpredictable behavior both baffles and also intrigues Kaila. Before she knows what is happening she falls under his spell, believing in his claims that he has precognitive abilities, ones that allow him to predict when people are going to die. In a quest to change the future and stop one of Derrick’s predictions from manifesting, Kaila grabs at an opportunity to find real magic and purpose. But with her quest comes sacrifices and letting go of the one thing that has been her reality for as long as she can remember, her life in Wildwind.

Lynn’s Modest Musings

64207Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer  –  A great deal is happening in London and the country this season.

For starters, there’s the witch who tried to poison Kate at the Royal College of Wizards. There’s also the man who seems to be spying on Cecelia. (Though he’s not doing a very good job of it–so just what are his intentions?) And then there’s Oliver. Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn’t bothered to tell anyone where he is.

Clearly, magic is a deadly and dangerous business. And the girls might be in fear for their lives . . . if only they weren’t having so much fun!

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Fireblood by Jeff Wheeler  –  Tyrus of Kenatos has made it his life’s work to banish the plagues that ravage the kingdoms. He believes the answer to ending the devastation lies in the Scourgelands. Yet, Tyrus’s first expedition into the cursed woods failed after being defeated by mysterious minions who stalked and killed most of his band.

Now a prisoner in his own tower, Tyrus has summoned his nephew Annon—a Druidecht possessing innate magic called the fireblood—on the guise of finding a hidden treasure with which to purchase his twin sister Hettie’s freedom. But in reality, Tyrus is using his niece and nephew, and their magic, as an opportunity to escape and resume his desperate mission. And to aid them, he has enlisted the warrior-monk Paedrin—who is almost as green as the siblings when it comes to traveling these troubled lands. The trio is determined, and along the way they grow to trust each other—and new additions to the group—in order to accomplish their missions…whether or not those missions are one and the same.

But the Arch-Rike—ruthless ruler of Kenatos—has learned of these plans, and has sent the fearsome Kishion to destroy all those that oppose him. Now Tyrus and his unwitting allies must face down not only the plague, but this new enemy—and fulfill their quest before a fresh horror is unleashed on the world…

19486421Skin Game by Jim Butcher  –  Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day…  Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.

He doesn’t know the half of it…

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It’s a smash and grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he’s dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance…

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In The Blood by Steve Robinson  —  Two hundred years ago a loyalist family fled to England to escape the American War of Independence and seemingly vanished into thin air. American genealogist Jefferson Tayte is hired to find out what happened, but it soon becomes apparent that a calculated killer is out to stop him.

In the Blood combines a centuries-old mystery with a present-day thriller that brings two people from opposite sides of the Atlantic together to uncover a series of carefully hidden crimes. Tayte’s research centres around the tragic life of a young Cornish girl, a writing box, and the discovery of a dark secret that he believes will lead him to the family he is looking for. Trouble is, someone else is looking for the same answers and will stop at nothing to find them.

In the Blood is the first book in the Jefferson Tayte mystery series

 

The Cistern Mission by Michael Dadich

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The Cistern Mission by Michael Dadich

TCMBook Description:

Captain Rostand knows the importance of his undercover mission. The families of Azimuth’s proud officers have just been slaughtered as a statement by the evil dictator Hideux. But how did Hideux know where Azimuth’s forces were hidden? How could his Nightlander army be one step ahead of the powerful Azimuth Alliance at every turn?

The hard truths he discovers on his quest for justice may mark the incendiary beginning of the war of all wars. Will Azimuth survive the great onslaught?

 

My Review:  This story was really short and really fun.  You know the story is going to be good when the bad guys have pet monsters called Disembowlers.  In case you had any doubt, they do exactly what the name suggests.

The story starts out with a man breaking in to a military compound and a woman is breaking out of prison.  They meet in the middle and have an intense adventure.  It was great.  I loved it.

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PG  DISEMBOWLERS!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A White so Red by K.D. Jones

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White_Red_Sml.1A White so Red 

by K.D. Jones

Book Blurb: 

Take back what is yours.

Seventeen-year-old Snow’s life changed forever the night her stepmother, the Queen, sent her huntsman to cut out her heart. Fleeing for her life, Snow runs to the Silver Forest, a place as dangerous as it is enchanting, and begins an adventure she could never have dreamed.

With no one at her side but a rowdy band of carnivorous dwarves and an arrogant, rogue prince who’s too handsome for his own good, Snow must confront the challenge that’s been laid before her: Kill the Queen, and take back the kingdom that should have been hers.

But if she is to succeed, Snow will have to tap into a powerful, ancient form of magic, one that may have been sleeping inside her all along.

My Review:

This is a much darker take on a classic fairy tale.  Natalia and Rose have been enslaved after there father’s death and Octavia has assumed the throw.  The first time we meet Natalia she is in front of the Queen protecting Rose and gets her hand smashed to pieces.  Did I mention it was a darker tale.

The Huntsman is eventually sent to kill her and she gets away threw a magic mirror.  Now in the silver forest she must figure out how to survive and who she can trust.  You learn that in there world only the charmed ones have magic and Natalia who used to be charmed doesn’t believe she has any.  Until the spell that was cast upon her for protection until her 18th year is gone.  Now she must learn to harness her powers and defeat the Queen to restore her land to it’s former glory.

The dwarfs in this retelling are very imaginative along with pretty much everything else.  They skin humans, are mean and snarky and generally dislike everyone. They form a complicated bond with Natalia, who they know as “Snow”.  The story is creatively written and the characters are strong.  It is a very good retelling of Snow White and you liked the original fairy tale I believe you will enjoy this book. Jessica

 

PicsArt_1375992687897PG-13 there is lots of death

 

 

 

About the Author:

Krystle Jones was born and raised in the small, southern town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Reading and writing have been lifelong passions of hers. In addition to being a novelist, she is also an award-winning flutist, and moonlights as a voice actress. Her voice can be heard in the popular online game, Alice is Dead 3.