Tuesday, August 28, 2012

110:90 Cat Tales by Faith Hunter

4 short stories set in the Jane Yellowrock universe.

The Early Years ~ We get to meet Jane just as she's leaving the group home and embarking upon her life as an adult where the first thing she does is try to find the place she has seen in her dreams.  It's the first time in her conscience memory Beast takes over her form.  It's an interesting little footnote but doesn't really give much detail of her past.

Cat Tats ~ We finally learn where Rick's cat tatoos come from and a bit of his backstory which was really nice.

Kits ~ The story of how Molly and Jane meet and become friends.

Blood, Fangs, and Going Furry ~ How Rick ends up in the care of Kemanabi at Jane's insistence.

Nice little short stories.  All but the first actually fill in some holes or backstory that while not necessary is nice to have.  The first one I had high hopes for but in reality, nothing happens so it was a bit of a letdown.

Page count: 113p/28,555p ytd

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

110:89 Widow's Web by Jennifer Estep

The 7th book in the Elemental Assassin series.  Now that Gin is back from vacation and has finally resolved her past with Donovan, she is looking forward to her future with Owen and the time when she doesn't have every crook looking to make a name for himself trying to take her out.  Unfotunately, there's a new hotshot in town and it's one that will give Gin more than a little challenge.  Enter Salina, a dangerous and psychotic water elemental and Owen's ex-fiance.  She's looking for revenge on a long list of people and to get Owen back for keeps.  Needless to say, this doesn't go with Gin's plans for the future.

A fast paced book and one I didn't want to put down.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of redundancy in trains of thought getting repeated a lot which is problem for this author and does detract a bit from the story.  Usually at it's worst in the beginning but it does pop up throughout but the story was incredible and I love these characters.  I can't say I was happy with how it ended but I can only hope that Jo-Jo is right about the future.

Page count: 364p/28,442p ytd

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

110:88 Darkness Devours by Keri Arthur

The 3rd book in the Dark Angels series.  Something is killing and eating vampires and Hunter and the Vampire Council have decided that it's the perfect test for Risa to prove her worth to them and of course, rather than make it easy they will throw more wood on the fire than water as she tries to find this mysterious killer.  But, of course, this isn't all that is going on in Risa's life since so many factions are still looking for the keys to the gates of heaven and hell and are throwing everything they've got at her since she is the only one who can find them.  How much more of this she and her friends can take is anyone's guess but Risa is pretty sure whatever they can take, it won't be enough.

A bit slow at times but then the action gets packed on and is non-stop.  Could have done with a bit better pacing and more movement on the original plot with the keys but otherwise, a good read.

Page count: 392p/28,078p ytd

Friday, August 17, 2012

110:87 Baby Bumps by Amy Sprenger

Described as the Almost, Barely, Not-Quite-True Story of Pregnancy, Bed-Rest, and One Bat-Shit Crazy Famiy and that about sums it up.  Everything was going hunky dory in Annie's life until her u/s to check on the gender, er the health, of her baby and then it went downhill with incompetent cervix, irritable uterus, 4mos of complete bedrest with a complete remodel of their home in progress.

Amy is the author of the award-winning blog, Snarky Mommy, and brings her singular humor and wit to a situation that was insane in the extreme.  She manages to poke fun of herself and her situation but then the screen lowers and you see what the humor hides.  Having had high-risk pregnancies and been on hospital bedrest with a husband who was cracking jokes while I snarked, I found myself by turns laughing at the absurdity and crying at remembered fears.  A fantastic read!

Page count: 206p/27,686p ytd

110:86 The Years by Virginia Woolf

My first time reading Virginia Woolf.  I was going to start with one more normally spoken about but I needed a book starting with 'Y' for a challenge and went with this one and I'm glad I did.  It was a slow read but I feel that's how it should have been.  It was a series of snapshots in time of one family as the children grow up and become parents in their own rights.  It encompasses their lives, their thoughts, their feelings from a time when so many things were left unsaid.  There was no plot per se, but just a snapshot of their lives in different years.  Sweet and poignant.

Page count: 446p/27,480p ytd

110:85 Isle of the Dead by Roger Zelazny

I admit, I'm not a bit sci-fi fan tending to stick more to the fantasy side of that genre and even then, I like things with dragons and wolves and elves and things like that.  I don't do the darker nitty-gritty stuff since I figure I get enough of a challenge keeping 4 kids alive and reading is my escape mechanism so when my brother was telling me that I HAD to read Zelazny, I put it on my wishlist and out of my mind until we were both at our dad's house and this book was on the shelf that my dad had said to go see if I wanted to borrow off of.  My brother hadn't read this one but put it in my hands anyway and said "go forth and experience Zelazny".  I learn afterward that he has books with princes and unicorns and all that pretty stuff but nooooo, this is the one I end up with.

And I'm glad.  It was a provocative and thought-provoking read.  The protaganist, Sandow, is not a likable character.  He's lived over 1000yrs and just doesn't give much a hoot about anyone except a few people from his past, one "friend" in current time, and his Pei'an mentor who taught him how to world-build.  He's made enemies but none who are in any position to do anything to him so who is now sending him pictures of dead friends?

The search leads to answers of a sort but the truth does not set one free in this case.  He must go to one of the world's he created and face someone who has been planning his downfall for years but things change once he gets there and the one he thought was his enemy is now an aide and one he thought long dead is back and has a god working with him, the god that is the arch-enemy of Sandow's own Pei'an god.

I really enjoyed this book where things were never quite what you thought they would be and I was often on my toes trying to figure out where things were going.  And I'll definitely be reading more Zelazny.

Page count: 190p/27,034p ytd

Friday, August 10, 2012

110:84 Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn

The 10th in the Kitty series.  With preternatural creatures coming out of the closet, the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies is taking place in London with Kitty tapped as the keynote speaker.  Supernaturals and scientists have gathered along with the normal band of protesters and activists.  Unfortunately, this has brought the master vampires together as well including Mercedes and who knows how many others that are working for Roman.

Fast paced and witty, Kitty uses her words to try and sway things and gain allies as the Long Game's end game is obviously in sight.  A very enjoyable installment in the series and I'm anxiously awaiting see where things are headed.

Page count: 342p/26,844p ytd

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Hunter and the Hunted by Kelley Armstrong

Two short stories published as a novella set in the Otherworld series.

The Hunted ~ Clay and Elena are off on their honeymoon but have discovered that St. Louis is a bit more dull than they had hoped.  Than Clay discovers that a mutt is following them.  He is trying to relax and let it go since this is their honeymoon but the mutt just won't get the hint.  What's a werewolf to do?

The Hunter ~ Kris is working hard on a case during Eve's vacation from angelhood and she's bored to tears.  Then Kris asks her to go check someone out for his case and the chase is on.  The thing is, Eve finds a bit more than anyone could have imagined.

Both were fun stories although Eve's was a bit harder to get into.  I really love this world and I especially love reading more with Elena and Clay.  A nice little treat for fans of the series.

Page count: 95p/26,502p ytd

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

110:82 Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

The first fully published book set in the Kate Daniels world but not starring Kate.  Andrea is miserable.  She and Raphael aren't speaking to each other any more but now some of his clan have been murdered and Jim, Pack security chief, has called her in on the case so she has to try and put aside her feelings to concentrate on the job at hand.  What a job tho?  The werehyenas were bitten by multiple different venomous snakes with a fang span bordering on the impossible.  No reptilian were can do that so Andrea is trying to track down a whole new species of something.  How much easier this case would be without Raphael rubbing his new soon-to-fiance in her face or heck, having to deal with him at all.

This was an absolutely riveting story and it was so nice to see Andrea get some time devoted to her.  I love the whole universe and am excited for anything new in it and as much as I love Kate, sometimes it's nice to get things from a different perspective and this does not disappoint!

If you are a fan of the Kate Daniels books, this is an absolute must-read!

Page count: 433p/26,407p ytd