Friday, November 22, 2013

119:120 Parasite by Mira Grant

The first book in a new duology from the author of the Newsflesh trilogy!  Symbogen has created the ultimate new device in medical technology, a symbiotic parasite that is tailor made for you to keep you healthy.  It gets rid of almost all need for daily medications for things like high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, etc.  What could be better?  Then the sleeping sickness starts affecting people who have the parasite.  They just seem to go out to lunch and never return and it seems to be spreading.  Sal is a survivor of a horrible car crash who was saved by her parasite six years ago but now the sleepers seem to be cropping up near her constantly and when they do, she seems to be the focus of their attention.  What is going on and how do they make it all stop?

A thoroughly enjoyable read.  Not much in the way of twists and turns that aren't easily figured out early on but there were a few minor ones that were fun.  A bit slow in a few places but more often it's moving at warp speed.  If you enjoyed Feed or like scientific horror, go grab your copy now!

Page count: 512p/32,910p ytd/177,310p lifetime

Monday, November 18, 2013

118:120 Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland

The 2nd book in the White Trash Zombie series.  Angel is finally getting her life back on track, now that she's a zombie.  She has a job, a boyfriend who happens to be a cop, and is even working on passing the GED to complete her probation requirements.  Yep, life is pretty good so long as their is a stead supply of brains until she is held up at work and a body stolen.  Suddenly no one believes her but even once she can start offering proof that things aren't right, it just gets weirder and weirder.  Now she is finding out about the zombie mafia and government agencies wanting to create zoldiers.  What can one screw-up like Angle do about these kind of things?

I really enjoy how this series has real plot and character development with plenty of humor and crazy situations.  It's definitely not a series I would have ever picked up on my own but after my oldest got the first one for a present last year and we both read it, I made sure he got the next two for his birthday because it's a fun series.  I've even picked up another book by this author in a different series as I've heard the same things I like about this one are present there as well.  Here's hoping!

Page count: 312p/32,398pytd/176,798p lifetime

Friday, November 15, 2013

117:120 Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

Framboise has returned to the small French town of her youth under her married name, unable to stay away but not willing to face the mistrust and hatred of the town as the daughter of the infamous Mirabelle Dartigan.  Unfortunately, the past is not so easily put to rest as she finds when she starts reading through her mother's journal filled with her famous recipes but also pieces of her thoughts written between the lines.  The memories take Framboise back to her childhood in German occupied France when as a child of nine, she had little understanding of the world and words like collaborator and resistance.  Will she finally be able to put the demons of her youth to rest or will what happened to her during that year continue to haunt her forever?

A story that seems to wind it's way along, going back and forth between present day and the past but then I would look up to find that 30min or more had passed and another 10% of the book was done and I would just want to keep reading because it was quiet and deliberate, descriptive without droning on and on, touching and poignant without being heart-breaking.

Page count: 307p/32,086pytd /176,486p lifetime

And with that, I've read 40 new authors this year with time to spare. I'll easily make my goal of 120 books but not sure the goal of 40,000 pages is going to happen. I thought with reading GoT, that would make it easier but those are so in-depth and rich that I'm not whipping through them quickly like I would with other books. We'll see what happens but right now my big goal may just be to get through the rest of that series before the end of the year.

Friday, November 8, 2013

116:120 A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

Charlie Asher couldn't believe his luck.  He was married to a beautiful woman who had just given birth to their first child, a healthy baby girl.  Yep, everything was going great until he went back to the hospital to bring her a CD and found a man dressed in mint green next to her bedside as she died.  Now objects coming into his second hand shop are glowing red and he's hearing voices from the sewer grates.  Then people start dropping dead when his daughter says "kitty" and she has two large hellhounds as her constant companions and he's been charged with collecting souls (the glowing objects) to help them move on.  Then the sewer harpies start coming out and souls aren't being collected properly and everything seems to moving towards a big time confrontation, good vs. evil, kind of thing.  Charlie is the last person anyone should be hoping to have as their savior but if he's the one who has been chosen, he will do his best!

Having not read a Christopher Moore book before but hearing that they were  not to be taken at all seriously I figured I'd give it a go.  Having dealt with my share of death lately I wasn't too sure I wanted to be reading a book about death but was hoping a more humorous take on it might actually be just what I needed.  I found it to be just that.  There was reverence for the dead and dying but the rest of the story was fun and light and easy to laugh at.  And hey, squirrel people!

Page count: 387p/31,779p ytd/176,179p lifetime

Thursday, November 7, 2013

115:120 After Dead by Charlaine Harris

Billed as "What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse" and supposed to fill in what happened next to everyone.

It falls woefully flat.  As in, this is a one-star, avoid at all costs book.  I have read all the books and most of the short stories and didn't recognize even half the names in the book.  The majority is bit, throw away players that you didn't care about when they were in the main book and care even less about now and there is zero cross-referencing so you can't even try to figure out which book they were in to try and remember why you should know them.  The blurbs are generally short and the few characters other than Bill, Eric, and Sookie that you might want to know more about generally just state "They had plenty of other adventures".  Sorry Charlaine but if that's your way of trying to get me excited for more books set in this universe with your characters, you are sadly mistaken.  I'm done and unlikely to buy another book of her's.  I've been disappointed with the last several books in this series and this was just a blatant money grab.

Page count: 195p/31,392p ytd/175,792p lifetime

114:120 Darkness Splintered by Keri Arthur

The 6th book in the Dark Angels series.  Risa has done her best to go on a bender after banishing Azriel and when she finally emerges, everyone is searching for her with the 2nd key in the hands of the dark sorcerer but not yet having opened the second gate to hell and they are all willing to hurt and kill her friends to provide "motivation".  Can Risa find the sorcerer in time with Azriel?  What will happen to her friends if she can't?  And what will she do about Director Hunter when push finally comes to shove?

Apparently the next book will be the last one which explains why after 5 books and fairly little movement there is now a ton of energy and things happening to push Risa forward at this point.  I really wish the series had been a bit more like this the whole way through as it felt like the earlier books were just "oh yeah, gotta go find those things eventually but only after I have sex a few more times".   Now there is just one more key to find and I'm anxious to see what happens next!

Page count: 394p/31,197p ytd/175,597p lifetime

113:120 Over My Dead Potty by Amy Sprenger

A short novella from the author of Baby Bumps on her joys of potty training her three kiddos and how she found that what works with one will then work with none of the rest.  Having gone through it four times myself, I was able to find a lot of humor in it although there was the part that wished mine a few of mine had been anywhere near as easy as hers were.  A fun read for anyone in the midst of training, done with training, or looking forward to the time when they will there.

Page count: 53p/30,803p ytd/175,203p lifetime

112:120 1984 by George Orwell

This is the third time I've read this book.  Here's my review from the last time back in 2010:

Um, wow...Talk about a riveting but terrifying book.  I can see how he got his ideas and have to admit that there have been times in the recent past when things felt eerily close to trying to go down that road but unlike that book, I'm hopeful that the human race won't allow things to ever get to that point where it could continue in that type of oligarchy.  Please God!

Unfortunately with all the stuff coming out about the NSA and the continuing eroding of our rights, this novel is looking more and more like a possible future if people don't start waking up and demanding change.  My 15yr old just finished this book and wrote a scarily accurate comparison between the ministries of 1984 and various organizations in our government today when you start actually digging.  I'm not an alarmist nor a conspiracy theorist but I am scared for the future of my right's and my children's rights as we move forward.  Fear is not the way I want to live.

Page count: 328p/30,750p ytd/175,150p lifetime