Thursday, June 15, 2017

New Releases I'm Looking Forward To: 3rd Quarter 2017

My usual disclaimer:
Let me state, this is really based on authors or series that I'm already reading since those are the things I follow.  I'm not paid to write this blog nor do I have any affiliations with any publishers so I don't receive free books or advance notice of things except what I glean off Facebook from people who do have those contacts or what I research on my own (which again, leads back to authors that I'm already reading).  Maybe someday I'll be one of those who has the contacts and gets ARCs but it's not today.

I'm still falling behind on my reading goals for this year.  But then again, I feel like I'm behind with everything these days so I guess that's not a surprise.  I'm hoping to be able to find time to get more reading in this summer to maybe start gaining some ground on my To Read list. *crossing fingers*

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price starts off the quarter.  I'm really happy that whatever caused the long break between books 3 and 4 seems to be resolved and we have a new one so soon.  I like the magic/Fae stuff in this world a lot so it's nice to be able to return.

Release Date - July 4

Two are coming out later in July. Buried Heart by Kate Elliot is the conclusion to the Court of Fives trilogy.  War is coming and Jessamy must try to bring the two sides of her country together to save those she loves.

Release Date - July 25

Also coming that day is Wildfire by Ilona Andrews, the third book in the Hidden Legacy series.  Book two was delayed and I haven't read it yet so I need to catch up on what is going on between Rogan and Nevada since it looks like things are getting more interesting between the two of them with this book.

Release Date - July 25

Only a week later and there are another two books out that are on my radar.  The Urban Enemies anthology collects stories from 17 authors including some of my faves like Seanan McGuire and Kelley Armstrong and lets them tell tales from one of their villains points of view. Since villains rarely see themselves as such, it should be interesting to see how each of these see themselves.

Release Date - August 1

I'm less excited about this one.  Ride the Storm by Karen Chance is the latest in the Cassie Palmer series and I just didn't enjoy the last one very much.  I feel like we are in some sort of static bubble where nothing really happens or changes with the plot or the characters. I've been hoping for the last couple of books to see things move forward and it looks like this might finally be doing that.  Here's hoping.

Release Date - August 1

Rituals by Kelley Armstrong is the final book in the Cainsville series which I have been really enjoying but am unfortunately a book behind in.  Need to hurry up and fix that because I'm dying to see how all this resolves!

Release Date - August 15

September starts off with what I'm sure will be a good laugh with White Trash Zombie Unchained by Diana Rowland.  These books have amazed me with the fact that they are so much fun but at the same time, the character growth and development is phenomenal!  Not what I would ever have expected from a zombie series, let alone one titled as White Trash Zombie.

Release Date - September 5

The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire finishes out the 3rd quarter and I can't wait to see what trouble Toby gets into this time.  With her mother demanding that she find her long lost sister, I mean really, what could possibly go wrong?

Release Date - September 5

Thursday, June 8, 2017

41:120 Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older

Carlos Delacruz knows that he works for the New York Council of the Dead taking care of their "problems".  That's about all he really knows since when he died but came back as an inbetweener, one who hovers somewhere between life and death, he lost all memory of who he had been before. Even his name was given to him by those who found him and helped him heal.  He always thought he was unique until the night he met another one on an errand for the Council. Now that one is dead by his hand and he has even more questions about his existence. Questions that might be answered on his current case but considering what he is dealing with, that might be a tall order.

First book in a fairly new series by an author that was nowhere on my radar until I saw this on a list of good urban fantasy series to read and since several series I enjoy were on the list, I figured I would likely enjoy the others.  This did not disappoint.  The world is intriguing and the characters engaging and I will be looking to get the other books in the series to see how it holds up.

Page count: 326p/8,777p ytd/283,180p lifetime

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

40:120 The Orange Cat and Other Cainsville Tales by Kelley Armstrong

Free collection if you pre-ordered the 4th book in the Cainsville series, Betrayals, and features three stories from that universe.

The Orange Cat - Gabriel has never had a client quite like this man.  He has come in and told Gabriel that he has tried to get rid of his cat many times and it always comes back. He is sure the last time, he lost his temper and broke the cat's neck but the next day it was back.  Now Gabriel grew up with time in Cainsville so he knows weird things can happen but this one may just be the one that stumps him.

Bad Publicity - Patrick has always made it a point in his writing career to make sure his contracts keep him from having to go out and do any kind of publicity since that is the last thing he wants. Unfortunately, he is ambushed by his new "publicist" who manages to find a loophole and that's when things take a turn from the mundane.

Lady of the Lake - Ricky and Liv decided to go on a vacation at the end of book 3 and this takes place during their motorcycle trip. They are up in Canada and find a lovely little lake to stop and refresh themselves. Of course they manage to find a portal and a water fae there. They escape and promise not to go back until they are begged by a young woman in the town where they are staying to help look for her missing baby and they realize they may just know where to find her.

A lovely collection of stories that help fill in and enrich the characters we know and enjoy but aren't necessarily needed for the main story but fulfill that desire to know more.

Page count: 164p/8,451p ytd/282,854p lifetime

Monday, May 29, 2017

39:120 All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Tom Barren's 2016 is nothing like the one we currently live in. There, an unlimited supply of energy was created in the 1950s and led to a society where basic needs are always met and the only thing worth pursuing is entertainment. Now his father has created the ultimate entertainment device, a time machine but he didn't foresee all the problems that would arise when his disappointment of a son goes and mucks it all up.

But did he? Sure, he went back in time and kept the unlimited energy thing from ever happening but he is so much happier in this 2016. He has a better relationship with both his parents, a sister that did not exist in his 2016, and may have even found his soulmate.  Does he try to change things back to the way they were, the way he thinks they should be? Or does he enjoy what he has in this timeline?

That description of the book actually makes it sound interesting and so does every other description of it that I've read.  Too bad reality doesn't align with those. It read like three different books with the first book being dull and plodding and why would you even care about any of these characters? The second book got interesting. There was plot, there were interesting psychological questions being posed, the characters were more engaged (seriously, I want a book from his sister's pov after all the sh*t went down), and this is the book that I wanted to read.  The third book was just a rushed mishmash of gobbledegook that just did not work and made me want to throw things. There was no reason behind much of it in terms of the story I had been reading and enjoying and it just made me angry to have to leave that story for this one.  Honestly, save your time and money and avoid this.

Page count: 384p/8,251p ytd/282,690p lifetime

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

38:120 Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

The previously untold stories of the African-American female computers at NASA who helped to make space flight a reality during the era of segregation and Jim Crow laws.  It follows several women through the different paths their lives took to get to NASA and their experiences there including touching upon the discrimination they faced not only in work but in their every day lives and how they handled it.

This is a story that I wish I had read growing up because it is so inspiring!  There are times when it is a bit dry and there is a LOT of information on all sorts of things packed into it but really, so much more interesting than many of the history textbooks and a story that I'm so glad has finally been told!  I only first learned about it from hearing about the movie which I knew I had to see in theaters and take my whole family to.  The movie did speed things up a bit especially since it kept the focus more narrowed on just three women. There were liberties taken with the movie, mostly to show more of the prejudice of the time without moving away from the main story but for the most part, the movie did a good job but the book goes really indepth on so many things that it is well worth reading.

Page count: 373p/7,831p ytd/282,306p lifetime

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

37:120 Wings of Fire Legends: Darkstalker by Tui T. Sutherland

Taking place 2000 years before the War of the Sand Queens, we get the tale of Darkstalker and how he became the most feared dragon on Pyrrhia.  We see his parents meet and the obstacles they had to overcome to be together. We see him born under the light of a triple full-moon.  We see his love Clearsight always trying to find a better path for all of them and his friendship with the Seawing, Fathom, who is always trying to dissuade him from using his powers.  So what goes wrong with all these people who love and care about him in his life?  It's the sort of tale that has perplexed so many people throughout history looking back at those who have done monstrous acts so it's interesting to see such a deep issue dealt with in a children's fantasy novel.  I commend Ms. Sutherland for handling such a weighty and nuanced issue so well in such a setting and I'm interested to see how my son will react in a year or so when we study someone like Hitler in history if he will draw any parallels.

Page count: 400p/7,458p ytd/281,933p lifetime

Sunday, May 14, 2017

36:120 A History of US, Vol 6: War, Terrible War by Joy Hakim

Review from 2013:

Middle-school history focusing on the Civil War.  I still find her way of jumping around a bit disjointing but I think the presentation of the material worked better for this one than previous ones.  It allowed the horror of the war to be told but she broke it up with other information to keep it from being overwhelming for the intended age group.  There was a lot more information on the Generals and who they were both before and during the war which I think is good to show that none of these people were evil although the things that happen during a war certainly are but that they each thought they were trying to do the right thing for their side.  I found it to be fairly balanced over all with lots of good information.

Page count: 167p/7,058p ytd/281,533p lifetime