Monday, July 30, 2012

110:81 San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats by Mira Grant

A prequel to the Newsflesh trilogy.  The rumors of a zombie outbreak are just starting to circulate through the country and people are still considering it a hoax more than anything and packing up to go to Comicon as usual.  It will be the last big gathering of people like this to ever take place.

The preview night is underway, the dealers are almost done setting up their booths, and the crowds are growing.  All it takes is just one person not feeling well deciding to attend one of the largest gatherings of people for all hell to break loose.

Another brilliant story in an amazing world.  Even in just a short novella, Ms. Grant manages to infuse her characters with depth and make us care what happens, even when we know what's coming.  I'm not normally one for zombie novels but hers are just absolutely incredible.

Page count: 120p/25,974p ytd

110:80 A Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp

A friend recommend this to me as I was looking for an author whose name (first or last) began with Q for a challenge.  It looked interesting so I picked it up not quite sure what I was in for but trusting that it would, at least, be an interesting read.

It was an amazing read.  Witty, insightful, humorous at times, poignant, and unfortunately also a sad commentary on the human race as a whole in how we treat those who are different especially if they are true to themselves instead of hiding it away.  No matter what tho, I walk away after reading it admiring Quentin for his honesty in how he lived his life.

Page count: 212p/25,854p ytd

Thursday, July 26, 2012

110:79 Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong

The finale of the Women of the Otherworld Series.  A war is brewing between those who think that the supernatural world should come out to the humans and those who don't agree and even the angels and demons are taking sides.  There is a madman who thinks he has made an immortality serum and is testing it out on other supernaturals including Savannah's brother, Bryce.  Can Savannah and her friends stop the release of this virus and keep their world hidden?  Why is her grandfather so intent on her being on his side?  Why is Adam's father contacting him for the other side?  Will Savannah ever get her full power back?  And most importantly of all, what will this cost them all personally?

This book was most definitely an epic conclusion to this series.  Fast paced with tons of action going on but in between, signs that life continues even when the world is going to hell in a handbasket.  I have to admit that I wasn't too keen on the final three books all being about Savannah but this one had each of the women speak for a bit although the primary focus was on Savannah.  I thought that was a nice touch to let each of them have a voice in this book.  I admit it tho, I'm sorry that the series is over as it's been one of my favorites.  Ms. Armstrong has said that she always envisioned it ending this way but that there are more stories in this world to be told . I can honestly say I can't wait to read them.

Page count: 444p/25,642p ytd

110:78 The Society for Alternative Business by Zachary Lee

A book written by a friend of my son about escapes and capers of the villains told from their point of view.    The writing is simplistic but there were a lot of little details added in throughout to keep it engaging.  I found the premise cute and original and a good first attempt by a new author of his age.

Page count: 100p/25,198p ytd

110:77 Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews

The third book in The Edge series.  Something has been stolen and Kaldar has been sent to go retrieve it.  Audrey helped steal the item for her family and is the closest link to help Kaldar find them.  Helena is looking for the item to use it's power for her own country and getting Kaldar would be a bigger bonus as revenge for her uncle, Spider.  Jack is afraid of being sent away to the evil changling school and George convinces him to run away and hide out on Kaldar's wyvern not knowing the danger they are heading into.

There are many players in this book and I right now want to say that I retract my impressions from the last book about Ilona Andrews doing what other urban fantasy romance novelists do and leave couples behind as soon as their story is told.  Cerise and William are back and working together on another case that intersects with Kaldar's.  George and Jack play prominently in the story although Declan and Rose are sidenotes.  I'm really, really hoping that they continue this trend of not just forgetting about the people we've already come to know.

This was a fabulous novel and I'm so glad there is another one coming out later this year.  I can't wait to see whose story gets told.  I also love that the villains from previous novels don't just go poof either but continue to be a presence.   I really enjoyed the story of Audrey and Kaldar but I also enjoyed watching George and Jack grow-up a bit more and come into their own.  This is shaping up to be a brilliant series.

Page count: 372p/25,098p ytd

Thursday, July 19, 2012

110:76 Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

The 2nd novel of The Edge.  It's been two years since Rose and Declan went off to live happily ever after in The Weird and William left to live in the The Edge and work in The Broken but now William has been approached by the Mirror to find an artifact that has been hidden in The Edge and better yet, it gives him a chance at Spider, a man he's tried and failed to kill twice already.

Cerise Mar's parents have vanished and their long-time enemies, the Sherilee's, seem to be behind it but they don't have the manpower to have pulled it off alone.  She needs to find out who is really behind the abduction of her parents and get them back but how?  Then she meets William and their paths are entwined and they will need to work together to accomplish both their goals.

This series is going into the new romance formula of following a different couple as they hook up and then basically ditching them once they are together to follow a new couple as they get together.  I like the book but hate this formula.  It's too predictable.  Ilona Andrews does it better in that at least the characters get to know each other, talk about their pasts, and like something about the other besides the way they look/smell but still, it's a formula.  I like the world and the writing so I'll keep reading but I just hope that eventually they'll throw in multiple possible partners to keep you guessing or have it take more than one book for the couple to fall into each other's arms.  You know, mix up the formula a bit.

Page count: 462p/24,726p ytd

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

110:75 Bushido: Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobe

A nice breakdown of the different facets of Bushido, what purpose each part of the code served, where each piece came from in terms of socio-political nature or philosophy.  I found the breakdown fascinating and appreciated that it was well explained but I did not feel like it was dumbed down.  A definite must read for any person studying Japanese culture.

Page count: 244p/24,264p ytd

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

110:74 On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

The first book in The Edge series.  Something is hunting the forest of The Edge, that place which lies between The Broken (where most of us live) and The Weird (where the magic resides), a place where people have some magic but don't really fit into either world fully.  Rose lives there with her two brothers, orphaned and abandoned and trying to make ends meet when a handsome stranger shows up at her door.  As much as she despises him on sight, the two of them must work together to protect her home and the rest of The Edge or all will be lost.

Another incredible novel by this incredibly talented husband and wife team. Quick paced, tension driven, but with enough humor thrown in that it doesn't get tedious.  A fabulous start to a new series.

Page count: 309p/24,020p ytd

Thursday, July 12, 2012

110:73 Labyrinth by Kat Richardson

The 5th book in the Greywalker series.  Wygan's plans are coming to a head soon.  Harper is almost shaped the way he needs her to complete what was set into motions centuries before she was born.  Harper wants to stop him but the Grey is pulling her more deeply into it's fold and she's no longer sure if the next time she goes in if she'll be able to get back out.

This was an incredibly intense book.  It really is the culmination of the story arcs from the last 4 all pulled together and resolved.  I enjoyed it very much as Ms. Richardson is incredibly gifted with words, especially her descriptive language but at the end of it, I'm feeling a bit burned out. I found that I kept gripping the book a little tighter and I would have to find something else to do for a few minutes just to bring myself out of the battle and back into reality.  A very good series but even with another one on the shelf, I think it's time for something a bit lighter

Page count: 357p/23,711p ytd

Friday, July 6, 2012

110:72 Vanished by Kat Richardson

The 4th book in the Greywalker series.  Harper has received a mysterious phone call from her ex-boyfriend, her dead ex-boyfriend, who tells her that things are not what they seem.  This leads Harper to confront her past which answers some questions but asks many more than it answers.  When Edward recalls her home to send her on a mission to London, she realizes this may be a chance to learn more and takes it.  What she doesn't know is who will be waiting for her on the other side and just how the answers will affect her life going forward.

I absolutely love how stuff that was set-up even as early as the first book is now being answered and we are getting all this background information in her quest to find out why she has become a Greywalker.  Not everything is resolved tho and I'm so glad I have two more books out to find out where things go from here.  Fast-paced, richly descriptive, and completely gripping.

Page count: 354p/23,354p ytd

Sunday, July 1, 2012

110:71 Underground by Kat Richardson

The 3rd book in the Greywalker series.  Something is killing the homeless people of Seattle and Quinton suspects the vampires so he goes to Harper to ask her to intervene.  Problem is, it's not the vampires so it's time for some good old fashioned detective work.  But what do you do when your witnesses are unreliable and are talking about snakes or bears or something?  Well, if you are Harper, you start questioning the ghosts.  Only problem is what do you then do if they start talking about ancient monsters from Indian myth?

Yep, it's one of those books where every thing leads to something a bit more out there but it all just flows from one to the next.  Nothing is easy but that keeps the "you have got to be kidding me" factor way down.  You can sink yourself into the world because while some parts are fantastical, the rest is so relatable that it's easy to just go with what the author weaves.

Page count: 358p/23,000p ytd