Thursday, December 22, 2016

109:120 Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep

A novella set in the Elemental Assassin universe.  Silvio takes his job as Gin's assistant much more seriously than his boss does but even he is finally starting to see the light in trying to start up a new relationship so on the day of Gin's holiday party, he decides to take the plunge and go out for coffee with the handsome man that has been hanging around the Pork Pit.  However, while they are out he realizes that there are giants lurking around almost every corner and since he works for the Underworld's boss, he can only assume they are after him.  Now to find a way out of the trouble without ruining his date...

Nice to see a bit more about Silvio and I'm enjoying the side stories with the male members of the group.

Page count: 100p/26,318p ytd/275,475p lifetime

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

108:120 Blood Magic by Yasmine Galenorn

The set-up to a new series by Yasmine Galenorn.  Maddy has been in a funk since the divorce (before that even) but now her friend Sandy has convinced her to buy a mansion in Bedlam and start a new life.  However, after moving she goes exploring in the house and finds a vampire has a lair in the basement.  This is no ordinary vampire though and she is no ordinary witch so maybe the two of them can have something more special than anyone can imagine.

An interesting set-up to a new series.  Looks interesting and the first book is apparently due out in January so I'll be giving it a go.  Ms. Galenorn's work generally keeps me interested and entertained nicely and with two new series starting up next year, I'm hoping to have lots of things to smile about in the publishing world.

Page count: 53p/26,218p ytd/275,375p lifetime

Monday, December 19, 2016

New Releases I'm Looking Forward To: 1st 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.

So I'm trying desperately to find time to read and finish up at least one of my reading goals for the year.  I'm really not sure what has happened to all my time this year but apparently it wasn't spent reading and even though this past quarter had less new books in it, and this year seemed down a bit from previous years, I'm pretty sure I've managed to add more books to my to-read pile than I've read.  The first quarter of 2017 looks to be pretty typical in terms of quantity and pretty awesome in terms of content.

The kicks off with a new standalone novella, Dusk or Dawn or Dark or Day by Seanan McGuire.  Jenna is dead and as a ghost, she must make amends for the time debt so she does this by volunteering at a suicide prevention hotline but now there is something that coming for the ghosts of New York City and now Jenna must make a stand.

Release date: Jan 10

The Turn by Kim Harrison takes us into the past of the Hollows series with Rachel Morgan, the kick-ass witch, and shows us how that world came to be.  This promises to be fabulous!

Release date: Feb 7

After two months of single releases, March packs three into one day.  Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire is the 6th book in the Incryptid series and the first time for Antimony to be the lead.  Now that Verity has declared war on the Covenant of St. George the Price family needs to know what they are up against and since Annie doesn't carry the family resemblance she is being packed off to London as their spy.  Good luck kiddo!

Release date: March 7

We also get the new Mercy Thompson book, Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs.  Mercy has been kidnapped (again?!) by the most powerful vampire to serve as a message to Adam and the werewolves.  Being able to change into a coyote lets her escape but now she is trapped in Prague and unable to contact Adam or her friends so she must find her own way home.

Release date: March 7

Lastly is the first book in the new Lily Bound series by Yasmine Galenorn, Souljacker.  A succubus who runs an elite sex salon, a souljacker who wants his artwork (re: tattoos) back of which she has one, and a chaos-demon PI all come together in this new work.  Looks like it could be interesting.

Release date: March 7

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

107:120 Shadowed Souls by Various Authors

A short story anthology.  I bought it because it had new works by Seanan McGuire and a new Dresden Files story and things by other authors that had been recommended to me.  The Dresden File story was about Molly now that she is the Winter Lady and her discovering more about her powers and makes me wish that Mr. Butcher would continue exploring that path.  The Seanan McGuire story was set in the Incryptid universe but focused on Ellie, the cousin of the Price family from the books, who is kidnapped in an effort to save a little girl from a group of ghouls. Both stories were very enjoyable and made the purchase worthwhile.  As with any anthology, there were stories in there that I really enjoyed and some that were ok but overall, I think it was well balanced with good stories and I will definitely be checking out some of these authors' other works.

Page count: 338p/26,165p ytd/275,322p lifetime

106:120 Sunken Treasure: Wil Wheaton's Hot Cocoa Box Sampler by Wil Wheaton

Being the geek that I am, of course I have known who Wil Wheaton was from a young age.  I didn't see most of his dramatic pieces but I've seen every episode of ST:TNG more times than I care to think about (it's actually on my tv as I type this, thank you BBCA).  As a child, I was thrilled to see someone not much older than myself be part of the crew of the new Enterprise but even I got annoyed at how often he seemed to save the day.  As time passed, he fell off my radar but then social media came about and I found that several of my friends were talking about him and his writing and I became intrigued.  A friend had this book and loaned it to me so I was able to get a taste of his writing style through the many excerpts in it and I will definitely be looking to read more.  His style is very relateable and easy to read.  This book was all more personal stories but it definitely makes me curious to read some of his other works as well to see if that style holds up.

Page count: 90p/25,827p ytd/274,984p lifetime

Monday, December 12, 2016

105:120 Fall Like Snow by Seanan McGuire

Zephyr has never been outside.  Her mother keeps her safe in their house all of her days because outside the snow and cold will freeze her but it's tricky because the snow wants Zephyr to come outside so in the spring it looks warms and pink, the summer is blue and green, and the fall snow is the most dangerous with it's firey snow.  Mother goes out to get supplies from time to time and Zephyr knows she is lucky her mother is so brave to do this.  But now Mother is getting old and there is no food and Zephyr has no idea what to do...

A short story for Seanan's patreon supporters, not set in a previous world.  It's not a comforting story by any means, more bittersweet than anything but lovely in its way.

Page count: 20p/25,737p ytd/274,894p lifetime

Saturday, December 10, 2016

104:120 The Giver by Lois Lowry

Jonas is about to turn 12yrs old and find out what career has been chosen to be his life's path.  In a village where everything is concerned with Sameness and society's rules are rigid to enforce this, it comes as a big surprise when Jonas is chosen to become the new Giver, the keeper of memories, for the village.  His instructions are very different than anything he has ever seen in that he is told he can ask any question of anyone and he is given permission to lie.  He doesn't know what to think!  But once his training starts, he starts learning just how much he doesn't know about so many things like love, family, pain, and death.  How can he continue to live in the village knowing what he does and how much everyone else doesn't?

I had heard so much about this book for so long and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.  Reading it as part of my 10yr old's literature studies was even better because we read it together (he loved it!) and were able to discuss it together.  I think it's an interesting study in that the village seems like a utopia at the beginning but as you learn more, you realize that it's more dystopian than utopian but since no one knows this it's quite the quandry.  They are happy as they are and don't know how bland their lives are and what they have given up to achieve this.  Only the Giver ever knows and he is only called upon for advise when something knew comes up...until Jonas comes along.

Page count: 179p/25,717p ytd/274,874p lifetime

103:120 The Devil's Diadem by Sara Douglass

It's mid-12th century England and Mistress Maeb Longforte's father, having recently returned from Jerusalem is dead and has left her with nothing but her name and nothing else for a dowry so she enters the household of the Earl of Pengraic to serve as a lady's maid to Lady Adelie.  At 16yr, she is young and so far, untutored in the ways of the court but shortly after arriving a plague breaks out in southern England and while the Earl is helping the King to keep order, the rest of the family tries to move ahead of the plague to Pengraic, a castle in the mountains near Wales.  The plague follows and Maeb soon finds herself embroiled in more politics than she could ever have imagined, especially after the Earl announces that he will take her to wife now that his wife and all his children dead.  However, strange things continue to hound her including the devil's imps and dreams of a golden knight and wolves.  She must figure out what all these things mean if she is to survive.

This book was recommended to me by my favorite local bookstore several years ago and I'm so glad I picked it up.  This is the author's last book as she was writing it while dying but I'm definitely going to go look up some of her other work to read in the future as many reviews say that while this was good, because the other books tended towards series they were much deeper.  I liked the character growth that I saw in this book and the twist at the end was well done and not something that I had in anyway foreseen.  Maeb had more spirit than you would normally think to see in one so young and in such a position and it's interesting to see how she learns but again, how she doesn't.  It made for a more believable character.  There were a few "come on, really" moments but in some ways they do as you find out more through the story.  In all, I really liked it.

Page count: 522p/25,538p ytd/274,695p lifetime

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

102:120 Stage of Fools by Seanan McGuire

Set before October in a time centuries ago, we find Tybalt newly a King of Cats in a court with no subjects as he has chased them off to make sure they avoid the plague that is in London.  Now he's out enjoying the merrymaking when his sister finds him and she is on the run from the nobles of the High Court after being accused of murdering their heir.  The only thing is, she didn't and she has their shared baby as proof.  Now Tybalt must find a way to get the Fae Court to back off his sister and keep her and her baby safe and to do that, he must figure out who would have wished the High Prince dead.

Set after Forbid the Sea (and should have been read before Voice of Lions...whoops), it's another chapter in filling in Tybalt's past which is something I've been thrilled that we are getting.  I think I love Tybalt even more than October so any time I can get more about him, I'm a happy camper.

Page count: 18p/25,016p ytd/274,173p lifetime

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

101:120 The Levee was Dry by Seanan McGuire

We are in a world where a virus has changed our brain chemistry so that the precise second you turn 35, you can no longer hear recorded music that you haven't heard before.  It all becomes static.  It has become a tradition that just before your 35th birthday, you start binge listening to get as much as possible before the static starts and then you are thankful that live music isn't affected by this.  The big question still being asked though, is how did this happen and can it be reversed someday?

A Patreon short story in its own world.  Wasn't as big a fan of this one, I love music but the whole concept just didn't make sense to me especially since live music was still available.  The whole thing just didn't gel right for me.

Page count: 30p/24,998p ytd/274,155p lifetime

Friday, December 2, 2016

100:120 Wake Up in Vegas by Seanan McGuire

There is one more thing that Dominic must do in order to stay with Verity, he must become a new person so the Covenant can continue to believe that he is dead.  It means giving up his name and identity and there is no one better in the business than Verity's Uncle Al so they are heading to Vegas to get him all setup so maybe they can get married before anything else goes awry.

A fun little tale that seems to wrap up their roadtrip pretty darn nicely.  Those Price girls certainly do seem to have a thing for those Covenant boys but it sure seems to work out okay for them.

Page Count: 21p/24,968p ytd/274,125p lifetime