Review: The Paladin Caper by Patrick Weekes

The Paladin Caper (Rogues of the Republic 3) by Patrick Weekes

TPCBook Description:  A thief’s good deeds are never done.

Loch and her crew are determined to stop the ancients from returning to reclaim the world they once ruled, but the kidnapping of a friend throws their plans awry. When a desperate rescue turns into a shocking reunion, the ancients return and seize power. Determined to stop them, Loch and the group look for a way to close the gate to the ancients’ world, but this time, they find themselves up against an enemy that has insinuated itself into the highest ranks of the Republic. Cruel, cunning, and connected, the ancients target the crew’s families and histories, threatening to tear friendships apart.

If that weren’t bad enough, Loch must deal with her treacherous assassin sister, her turncoat ancient friend, and a daemon who has sworn to hunt her to the ends of the earth. In order to save the Republic and pull off her largest con ever, Loch will need her friends…and maybe her enemies too.

My Review: I really enjoyed this book. I decided to listen to it instead of reading it because in the past I’ve gotten hung up on the complicated names of the characters. Justine Eyre narrates this series and does a far better job of saying the names than I ever could. So, I was happy to let her entertain me. I enjoyed her narration of this series. She has a dozen different voices in her arsenal which I appreciate. An audio book is a lot more fun when the narrator is very talented.

This books wraps everything up so I think it’s the last one. I can’t say that I was ready for the series to be over but this was a great end. It was also left open so maybe it’s not the end forever.

Patrick Weeks writes fascinating characters and I’m going to miss these characters. My favorite thing about this series has always been the characters. They are balanced and well thought out. I’m not just talking about character arcs. The personalities of the characters are balanced, not just with the other characters but within themselves. The book I read before this one had a strong main character who went completely off the rails. The character began acting in a way that moved the plot along put abandoned all semblance of who the character had proven herself to be up to that point. I stopped reading. It made me appreciate how this story’s characters were constructed.

I was surprised when the end came. I should have known that Patrick Weeks would bring the series together in the same fashion that he does each individual book. I always expect to see how the con will conclude because the author always appears to share everything of consequence. I have never felt as if something was being kept from me but something always has. I guess that’s the trademark of a great storyteller. If this is the last one, I’m going to miss this series.

Lynn

 

 

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Background Image: Falkensteiner Cave by Hans

 

Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn

Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn

 

poeBook Description:

It’s Halloween, and life is grim for twenty-three-year-old Dimitri Petrov. It’s the one-year anniversary of his parents’ deaths, he’s stuck on page one thousand of his Rasputin zombie novel, and he makes his living writing obituaries.

But things turn from bleak to terrifying when Dimitri gets a last-minute assignment to cover a séance at the reputedly haunted Aspinwall Mansion.

There, Dimitri meets Lisa, a punk-rock drummer he falls hard for. But just as he’s about to ask her out, he unwittingly unleashes malevolent forces, throwing him into a deadly mystery. When Dimitri wakes up, he is in the morgueicy cold and haunted by a cryptic warning given by a tantalizing female spirit.

As town residents begin to turn up gruesomely murdered, Dimitri must play detective in his own story and unravel the connections among his family, the Aspinwall Mansion, the female spirit, and the secrets held in a pair of crumbling antiquarian books. If he doesn’t, it’s quite possible Lisa will be the next victim.

 

My Review: Richard Ellis Preston Jr. tweeted about this book.  And he kept tweeting and talking about it. I gave in and checked it out. He wasn’t wrong. I really liked this book. Thank you Richard Ellis Preston Jr. Dimitri isn’t Romulus Buckle but he still took me on an adventure and that’s what books are for.

I felt sorry for poor Dimitri from the beginning of this story to the end. He is used and abused by forces far beyond his control for most of the book. That’s not to say that he wasn’t used and abused by forces beyond his control before the story begins. Let me be clear about the main character of this book. He doesn’t have superpowers. In fact there isn’t anything special about him until he has a horrible accident. Even the accident doesn’t give him superpowers. Mostly it gives him a headache. Dimitri is a little different and yet still completely ill equipped to deal with the things happening to him. In fact none of the characters are really capable of handling what is happening in town. Even the guy that should have the answers doesn’t have them all. The characters in this book mostly react to what’s being done by the bad guy and very little taking charge. That isn’t exactly a criticism even though I would have liked to see more “this is what we’re going to do” and less “I’m going to hope my ghost comes to its senses and tells me what the heck is going on.”

And as for Poe,  who’s name is the title of this book, I hope that we see Poe again someday because I hope there is more of her story to come. She is without question one of the most fascinating characters that I’ve read about in a while.

This book is very atmospheric. The author does a marvelous job of taking the town from every day small town life to eerie and really creepy. It goes from being a small town that’s seen better days to a place full of fear and suspicion. It was the best part of the book for me. It was almost like it was another character in the book.

I hope this is a series and that there are more books to come. The end is left wide open and our main character survives so I’m going to go ahead and hope. I’m only sorry that I didn’t read it sooner.

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Background Image: Hamilton Mansion by Bruce Emmerling

 

Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

We originally posted this review two years ago when we were brand new and we thought it deserved to be seen once again. It’s one of my favorite books ever and there are even more books in the series now.

Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

LODcoverBook Description:

London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.

At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices.

When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . if they can both stay alive long enough to see that sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .

My Review:

Lady Claire is plucky and there are few traits that I admire more in a heroine than pluck.  I enjoy it when a character doesn’t succumb to their plight and Lady Claire chooses to move forward.  She doesn’t wait for a husband or divine intervention.  She takes hold of her situation and navigates it just as assuredly as she does her landau.  She doesn’t just do it for herself.  She meets a gang of children and becomes their leader using her extensive knowledge of chemistry, her wit, and the manners that she mostly took for granted in her old life.  She soon begins to change the circumstances of the orphans and herself.

There is a delicate give and take between the band of orphans and Lady Claire.  They begin to trust her and her knowledge of the world.  She begins to trust them and their potential.  Shelley Adina did a great job of creating the children.  She balanced their real world concerns with the fact that they were actually children and prone to do childish things. In my opinion this book is worth reading for the Mopsies (the twin girls) alone they’re very entertaining.

Lady Claire is one of those characters that you have to go back and buy the next one in the series even though you can’t read it right away.  She is going to have grand adventures you just know it.  I for one can’t wait.  I immediately went back and bought the box set.

This would also be a great book to introduce anyone to the world of Steampunk.  It’s full of inventive devices.  The tube system, Mother’s Helper, landau, not to mention that incredible shotgun fit so well into the Victorian era that anyone would be curious how.  I can only imagine that the next book is full of Andrew’s improved coal and steam engine.  Lady Claire is going to have the best time in his lab.  There is a lot of technology in this book and you’ll be so charmed and mesmerized by it you’ll only want more.  Did I mention that I immediately went and bought the box set?

 

Here are the books in order:

Lady of Devices -Book One

Her Own Devices -Book Two

Magnificent Devices -Book Three

Brilliant Devices -Book Four

A Lady of Resources -Book Five

(There is now a combo set for books 5&6.)

A Lady of Spirit -Book Six

A Lady of Integrity -Book Seven

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Original Background Image: Old Car Horn by Petr Kratochvil from PublicDomainPictures.net

Obsession In Death by J.D. Robb

Obsession In Death by J.D. Robb

 

obsession in deathBook Description:  Eve Dallas has solved a lot of high-profile murders for the NYPSD and gotten a lot of media. She—and her billionaire husband—are getting accustomed to being objects of attention, of gossip, of speculation.

But now Eve has become the object of one person’s obsession. Someone who finds her extraordinary, and thinks about her every hour of every day. Who believes the two of them have a special relationship. Who would kill for her—again and again…

With a murderer reading meanings into her every move, handling this case will be a delicate—and dangerous—psychological dance. And Eve knows that underneath the worship and admiration, a terrible threat lies in wait. Because the beautiful lieutenant is not at all grateful for these bloody offerings from her “true and loyal friend.” And in time, idols always fall…

 

My Review: This book was exciting from start to finish. Was it a little predictable? Sure and I didn’t care. J.D. Robb isn’t going to kill off her main characters. We all know that isn’t going to happen even if this one came really close.

I loved this book. It is probably in my top five favorites of the series. I personally think that Nora Roberts talents are wasted on romance novels. She should be writing more books like these. I would definitely read straight up thrillers from her that didn’t contain her vast network of familiar characters. The characters that we have come to know and love.

As the book description above tells us; this book is about someone stalking Eve Dallas. (It was bound to happen sooner or later right?) What is really creepy is that some of the story is told about the stalker and we don’t get any clues to who this person may be. We don’t even get to know gender until Eve works it out.  J.D. Robb managed to tell us a great deal about the stalker without telling us anything at all. It made me feel like I knew the character and what the character was capable of when it came time to unveil said character. J.D. Robb did a delicate dance and the result was fantastic.

I honestly have no idea if we’ve met the stalker before. This is book forty and I simply don’t remember all of them in that kind of detail. I have always imagined Nora Roberts with a gigantic spread sheet. Something like what Santa would use for Christmas. That’s how I always imagined that she keeps the characters straight because the characters are what drive these stories.

Unlike Festive which was about former cases, Obsession is a walk down memory lane where we realize exactly how many people Eve and Roarke have come into contact with. How many they have helped or have helped them. Characters who have become part of their family. In this story family becomes the people who Eve needs to protect.

With all of that said. I think you could read this one even if you hadn’t read the others. There are reminders given to help us remember who some of these characters are. I think they would serve to explain who a character is enough to get someone through the story. So don’t let the fact that this is number forty put you off even if you’ve missed the last twenty books. Everything is turned up in this one. All emotions are heightened in this one and the end is something that you have to read and experience for yourself to fully appreciate.

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Alienated by Melissa Landers

Alienated by Melissa Landers

AlienatedcoverBook Description:

Interplanetary relations have never been more exciting! The first in a funny, romantic YA sci-fi series.

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life-not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

 

My Review:

I enjoyed this book.  I liked the idea of aliens trying to learn about humanity.  Yes they have ulterior motives but what book that involves aliens doesn’t have them off being cloak and dagger about something?  I will admit that I had worked out what they were actually after even though I didn’t want it to be true.  I had hoped it was something else.   It was alright though.  I was a little surprised about what Aelyx was up to.

This book is a little predictable but the characters are interesting.  Cara is a refreshing departure from some of the books that I’ve read recently that I couldn’t review.  She has a lot in common with Sophia Grey from Take Me Tomorrow and I couldn’t help but think as I read this book that if Sophia and Cara were real people they would be great friends.

Aelyx is a great character too.  The author did an excellent job of making him alien and still relatable.  He also changes over the course of the book.  The L’eihr are a very neutral everything society.  They wear neutral colors and eat bland food.  When he first comes to live with them Cara puts a great deal of effort into finding food that Aelyx can stand to eat.   Everything she has him try at first makes him sick.  His observations provide amusement as well as define his character.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it for anyone traveling.  Consider it for your trip around the holidays. It’s the kind of book that you can leave and come back to without loosing the story.  This is actually a 3.5 but I’m rounding up.

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Background Image: Desert Sunset by Aureliy Movila (Teslacoils) from freeimages.com

Author Interview with Sabrina Zbasnik

Today’s author interview is with the truly great Sabrina Zbasnik author of The King’s Blood.  We asked her some silly questions and some rather serious ones.  She gave us fun, informative answers in true Sabrina Zbasnik fashion which means that they are sharp smart answers that you’re going to enjoy reading.  So without further ado please enjoy our interview with Sabrina Zbasnik.
Letsbreaktheice
1. Do you prefer crushed or cubed ice? Crushed, that way it’s much harder for the ice golem to reconstitute itself.
2. Do you kill bugs or set them free? I set most of them free. The only bugs I will hunt down mercilessly are mosquitoes and hornets/wasps. Then I go full Raid Rambo.AHFS_cover
3. What is your favorite color? Blue, because Octeen hasn’t been discovered yet.
4.  If you could be a character in any fantasy novel ever written who would it be?  I’ll go with Granny Weatherwax in the Discworld novels because no one messes with Granny. She’s the female version of Gandalf.
5.  If you were in your very own fairy tale would you rather be the fire breathing dragon or the sword wielding heroine? You always go dragon.
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1.  Have you always been a fan of epic fantasy? Oh boy, right off the bat I’m gonna get myself into big trouble. Honest truth, I picked up the first Narnia book and hated it. It wasn’t grounded enough in reality for my tastes. Because of that I avoided the classic/epic fantasy for a long time. I read Goosebumps like all kids my age and played around in horror type fantasy and was a huge sci-fi fan. Animorphs was my jam in middle school. But it wasn’t until high school that I attempted Tolkien and fell hopelessly for the historically focused fantasy. Later, I found the magic of Discworld and loved the combination of science, humor, and fantasy. It was perfect for me.  What I do like about fantasy, and genre in general, is that you can easily twist it to be allegorical. With classic historical fiction you’re confined within human stereotypes, what people think happened in that time. With fantasy you can flip the script on something to highlight a strange or disturbing foible of human nature.
dictionary2.  As a reader I can’t imagine how you keep such a gigantic story straight as you write it.  How do you go about it and are there post-its everywhere? The King’s Blood took about four months to write the first draft. I always have the basic plot in my head before the first word is put down, focusing on the beats, what major obstacles will have to happen; but it’s the little stuff that creeps up along the way that throws me. Like Isa’s walking stick. It began more as a side joke, the witch with her wand that she can hit people with. But then I kept forgetting about it. There were drafts when she’d lose the damn thing for months, then suddenly it’d pop up again. That’s what editing’s for.
The worst is probably random names. I’d toss out the name of a place, a god, an old friend and then 40 pages later I make a reference back only I can’t remember what it was.  Then I lose a half hour combing through the manuscript to find the name before I can continue. Now, when I put down something like that, I jot it on the side in the research notes. With fantasy and genre one tends to use weird names in general, and my trick to spelling it properly from the get go is to add it to my word processor’s dictionary. It’s the spell check’s problem now.
3.  Your characters are complex.  What is most important to you when you’re creating your fascinating characters?  I suppose I want them to be believable. It makes me sound wacky, but I feel less like I’m god creating stories and more I’m the dungeon master. I gave these pieces their setting, now to sit back and see what they do and maybe throw a random encounter or two in. Characters often do something unexpected. Like Isa and Ciara not getting on due to religious differences. I hadn’t set out to have it happen, but it came up and I ran with it because it made sense to me. I’ll also have characters that refuse to do what I tell them. Taban was the worst. He had some vital backstory he needed to share but he would not talk about himself no matter how many times I threatened to get him stabbed. It reached the point I was afraid I’d never get it out of him and have to find some other way to stick it in there.
4.  You recently wrote a blog post about female characters.  The tagline “Strong Female Character” has become a catch phrase full of everything that a strong female character really isn’t.  What do you think it will take to shift popular thinking and what can female readers do to help shape the landscape so that authors and screenwriters choose to create actual strong female characters? I fear that a large part of the problem is this assumption that boys won’t read books with female main characters, boys won’t see movies with female heroes. It’s all about boys, boys, boys. You’d think Hollywood execs were teenage girls the way they go on about boys. We’ve become obsessed with gender dimorphism. Girls are only pink, boys are only blue, to the point we have color coded servingware for Processed by: Helicon Filter;kids and god help you if you eat off the wrong one. And since separate is never equal, it enforces the coded message of everything boy = good, everything girl = bad. Which is when you get that in order for girls to be interesting, to be worthy of listening to she has to act masculine, almost hyper masculine. She has to punch things through walls, she has to belch and fart, she has to never ever talk to another girl and declare herself “one of the guys.”
It is the nature of the beast, but because the female voice is equivalent to 1/10th of a male, those boys are the ones who can still enact real change. Getting boys to watch movies like Brave, to see other girls not as some unknowable species but a person like them is a huge and necessary step. It’s coming slowly. Things like My Little Ponies crossing the gender demilitarized zone helps greatly. Rising up and demanding it, making voices heard is all that gets through. Like the recent Assassin’s Creed fight about including female assassins. We’re sick of being treated like some abnormality. We’re over 50% of the population, not some tiny subset you have to cater to. I fear it is a fight that will never end.
5.  What inspired you to include zombies in The Kings Blood? I needed something to show the power the unstable magic had, a reason why everyone is working for this end goal. Walking dead seemed a pretty great deterrent. Also, it gave me an excuse to have a nameless horde for the heroes to fight off. I’m not a fan of black and white, good vs evil, but I couldn’t logically send a couple of untrained teenagers onto a real battlefield and expect them to survive. So, the magic zombies came into being.
big_italian_cheese_edit6.  What would you go on an epic adventure for?  What would be your goal? Cheese, I would go on an epic adventure for cheese. Preferably to eat it. Destroying it would be hard, because then I would lose the power to control all the cheese in the world.
7.  You have a lot of clever one liners in this book.  Do they just come to you when you write and do you have a favorite? Some come up when I’m in the middle of writing. Some I think of when I’m outlining the scene, usually while walking or doing other mindless tasks. For a few I put in a placeholder joke, something so terrible I groan every time I read it, to force myself to come back later and add a better one. Though there are plenty of times while editing I’ll read a joke and think “I have no idea what in the hell I meant here. Delete!”
One of my favorites is probably the exchange between Ciara and Aldrin:
“Did your father have a lot of enemies?”
“He was king. If he didn’t have enemies, he wasn’t doing it right.” It’s a nice little microcosm of all the drawbacks of this royalty thing and why wanting to be king is kinda overrated.
8.  What is your next project and where can we find you? I’m currently working on Dwarves in Space. As you can guess from the title it’s about Dwarves and they’re in Space. I call it Tolkien merged with Hitchhikers in a horrific transporter accident, though there are obvious touches of Firefly in there. It’s hard to do band of travelers skirting outside the law without paying an homage to Firefly. DiS also gives me a chance to skewer not only fantasy tropes but science fiction as well in one convenient series.
You can find some of my book info on my blog that’s still in the construction stages http://sezbasnik.blogspot.com/ Or follow me on twitter @introvertedwife I’ll post about any and everything on therekings blood from Halloween props, to video games, to other one liners I think of during the day.
(Her Halloween props are fantastic.  Her Doctor Who gallery is not to be missed.)
9.  Is there anything you would like to share with our readers?  I hope you like my book, as does every author in the history of the written word (except maybe for Jonathan Swift) and it helps continue the question of why can’t there be more diversity in fantasy.
But you cannot have the cheese. It’s mine, my own, my precious!

SZ_profile Sabrina Zbasnik is the author of The King’s Blood as well as TerraFae and Tin Hero – a rollicking tale of slime molds and their love of fine cigars.

Or a fantasy satire that lovingly pokes fun at those classic cliches.

Sabrina spends nearly of all her time in Nebraska but that’s because it is impossible to leave without finding the lamppost. She lives in a house that has at least four walls and there are some other souls wandering forlornly calling to their lost lives within.

Thank you for your time and wonderful answers Sabrina.  We are looking forward to Dwarves In Space.  We wish you luck and cheese.
Header image: King Family by Saavem from freeimages.com
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Italian cheese 2 by kalimevole from freeimages.com

Happy New Year!

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It is going to be a new year and we are excited about it.  A whole new year full of the prospect of good books.  All of that promise out there makes me giddy.  New worlds to explore and old friends to visit.  There is going to be so much to read.  How can anyone not be over joyed by all of that excitement?  I thought I would share just a small fraction of the books that we are excited about next year.  Shhh, don’t tell Jessica.  She’s still on vacation.

Alright, let’s face it, we’re excited about all of the books that are coming out next year.  That would be a really long list though so here are just a few of the ones that we’re paying attention to.  Just so you know- this is no where near a complete list.  We have calendars.  The real kind that go on the wall marked off with release dates.  Instead of composing an ode to the new year and how grateful we are for its bounty I’ll just get to the list now.

  1. Skin Game by Jim Butcher
  2. Rein of Ash by Gail Z. Martin
  3. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
  4. Sea of Shadows by Kelly Armstrong
  5. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page
  6. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
  7. Maid of Deception by Jennifer McGowan
  8. Unhinged by A. G. Howard
  9. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
  10. House on the Square by Kate Danley

We would like to thank you, our readers, for coming to us for your book suggestions.  It means a great deal and we are already working hard to bring you great reviews and author interviews for next year.  We would like to wish everyone a happy new year.  Please remember to be kind to one another and most of all read.

The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

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I was in desperate need of something fun to read.  The books that I’ve been reading lately have had serious, the world is in peril, plots.  If I remember correctly this book was a Kindle deal of the day.  I remember seeing it and thinking that it looked fun.  I love book covers.  You’ve probably guessed that by now.

I was right, by the way, it was fun.  It was a rousing tower heist with a diverse cast of characters.  There is a shapeshifting unicorn, a death priestess with a war hammer, a couple of former soldiers and a safecracker among others.  When I say tower heist I actually mean a floating city with palaces on it.  It’s called Heaven’s Spire.  Loch and her band of thieves want to steal a manuscript from the man that killed Loch’s family and left her behind enemy lines to die during the war.  The manuscript is worth a lot of money to the elves and Loch’s thieves want to cash in.  Most of them are there for the money.  I say most because the death priestess is there to fulfill the will of the gods.

This story was funny and sad and scary but my favorite part was the puppets.  Everyone gets the news by watching puppet shows.  There are griffons and dragons and a manticore.  They have a debate about the news story and say all kinds of things that a newscaster would never be able to say.  All of that accompanied by candy being tossed to the crowd and little bits of magic for special effects.  It had my attention.  They end every show with: “Remember, everyone, it’s your republic.  Stay informed!”  I loved it.  If our news was presented in such a fashion I would watch it instead of reading it online.

My only word of caution for this book is to pay attention.  The names are heavy.  The war hammer is called Ghylspwr.  I have no idea how you pronounce that.  The shape shifting unicorn is named Ululenia.  Again, I don’t have a clue.  It wasn’t distracting though.  I read enough fantasy that I don’t get hung up on it anymore.  There are few gods in the fantasy genre that I’m able to pronounce.  I even think it’s more fun that way.

I really hope Patrick Weekes writes more books.  I don’t know anything about gaming so his genius there is lost on me there but I can tell you that this was a great book and I wish I would have read it sooner.  I also had a really hard time putting it down.  It was entertaining and charming.  It belongs on the top ten list of best books that I read this year.

PicsArt_1375992730999PG-13 Kail insinuates that he has slept with a lot of men’s mothers.  The shape shifting unicorn, who’s name I still can’t pronounce, has a thing for male virgins.  There is also a satyr… you have to read it to believe it but it’s funny.

 

 

 

 

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Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol

Inescapable The Premonition Series  By Amy A. Bartol

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Evie Claremont starts her freshman year of college at Crestwood completely unaware that her life is about to change forever.  Reed Wellington knows Evie is trouble the second he lays eyes on her and he knows what he should do about it.  The problem is he’s drawn to her.  In an epic way that he doesn’t fully understand.

Everyone is keeping secrets.  Someone doesn’t even know that they are keeping a secret.  All of the secrets are huge. They will change lives or end them.

This book was completely unique, so unique in fact that I’ve had a hard time defining it. It isn’t angst ridden in the usual way.  I’ve read my share of angsty teen novels this year so I have become well acquainted with angst.  This angst was different it felt real and not manufactured.  The book starts out the way you would expect.  Girl meets boys, girl is confused by boys (for different reasons) but that is where normalcy ends.  I don’t want to say too much.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

I was surprised, however, that this book hasn’t had more attention than it has.  It is equal to the Fallen series and the Hush Hush series.  I was most impressed by the fight scenes.  You haven’t read anything until you’ve read an angel fight scene.  My favorite was the parking lot fight.  That was probably because of what came after it though.  I have found that in urban fantasy books the characters with the extra special powers often don’t really use them.  I was pleased to see that they did get used in this book.

This book explores a great triangle.  Like everything else in this book, it involves a unique love triangle.  Everyone has a soul mate and Russell is her soul mate.  What happens when someone unexpected shows up and fate is put to the test?  Fate doesn’t go quietly into the night I can tell you that.

I was impressed with the ending.  Not everything is fine at the end of this book.  The characters don’t come through it unscathed.  Evie is in a bad way by the end of it.  She is an emotional wreck and that carries over to the next book.

Evie’s journey is far from over and if this first book was any indication of her progression from mere human to heroine her fate truly is inescapable and I can’t wait to read about it.

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PG-13  Violence

The Best of 2013

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We thought that we would take a moment this holiday season and look back at all of the books we read this year.  It was an extensive list even though this blog was only started in May.  We read a lot more books than you see here.  That’s why practically everything on this blog has at least four stars.  We starting talking about how much we loved some of the books we read this year and decided to put our very favorites into a list.  Christmas is coming and any of these books would be a great gift to give or receive.  They are not in any order because we loved them equally.  This list doesn’t include any of the fantastic shorter fiction that we read this year.  That list will be a hard one to compile.  We’ve read some amazing short fiction.  We’ll have that list for you later in the month.  Enjoy our best of 2013.

Lynn’s List

1. Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin

2. The Woodcutter by Kate Danley

3. Cursed by Lizzy Ford

4. The Flash Gold Chronicles by Lindsay Buroker

5. Starling by Leslie Livingston

6. Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

7. Divergent by Veronica Roth

8. Allusive Aftershock by Susan Griscom

9. Ember by Jessica Sorensen (Original YA version)

10. Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol   (Review will post on Monday 12/16)

Jessica’s List

1. Something Wicked by Angela Campbell

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

3. First Frost by Liz Dejesus

4. Tomorrow’s Sun by Becky Melby

5. The Frog Prince by Elle Lothlorien

6. Remembrance by Michelle Madow

7. Captured by Erica Stevens

8. Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

9. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson

10. The Truth About Butterflies by Nancy Stephan