Tag: Fiction

Book Review: A Touch of Power (Healer #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Posted January 19, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Title: A Touch of Power

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publisher: Mira

Publication Date: December 2011

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One
Synopsis can be found here.

Netgalley review.

Review: 
I enjoyed Maria Snyder’s Insider series so was excited to get a galley for this new one.

Avry, the last healer alive after the plague, is on the run. Everywhere she goes, she is hunted. She tries to slip in and out of towns, but she can’t go very far before she decides to heal someone. And this time, she is captured.

On the night before her death, she is rescued by a mysterious stranger named Kerrick, who kidnaps her and takes her on a perilous journey over the Nine Mountains to save a King. But Avry doesn’t want to save the King. And she will do everything she can to get away. That is, until she spends time with Kerrick and his band of misfits running from being hunted by another man who will use her power to his advantage. She begins to wonder if maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t want to run from them at all.

I enjoyed Touch of Power way more than I thought I was going to. I sat down one night, really exhausted after work, and thought I only had it in me to read a couple of pages or two.
I was still reading an hour later.

Kerrick’s band of men are fun, warm and a good comic relief. I have mixed feelings about Kerrick. Although he does redeem himself to me by the end, I do have a slight problem when the love interest is especially brutal to the heroine before he falls for her. It’s a little too Stockholm syndrome for me, especially that Kerrick has in fact kidnapped her in order to bring her to his King.

Avry is trying her best when saddled with a huge responsibility- being the last Healer in the Realms. Will she heal a King she doesn’t believe in? What if it ends the war? Her bravery is what I liked most about her. She is selfless, without being a oh-woe-is-me.

I liked the world the story was in, but felt like it was barely there. I wanted more history, more information on this magical place, before and after the plague. And more on the Death and Peace Lilies. Such a creative idea! Tohon, the man hunting Avry, is sadly the least fleshed out of the characters. Yes, he’s evil, with an evil mind and an evil plan. But I don’t get the sense of him having more depth than what he is supposed to be- the bad guy.

Overall, Touch of Power is a fun, fast read filled with adventure. I’m glad there is going to be a second book!

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted January 19, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment


Book Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted January 9, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 8 Comments

Title: Every Other Day

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publisher: Egmont USA

Publication Date: December 2011

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: n/a

Synopsis can be found here.
Netgalley review.

Review: Well, that kicked my butt.

Kali is special. Every twenty-four hours, she changes from normal girl to demon hunter and back again. She doesn’t know why. She can’t ask her mother, who left her when she was three. She can’t ask her dad, who barely notices her as it is. And she might have a hero complex.  She’s a hunter of things that go bump in the night, and now someone may be hunting her. No, it’s not that simple. It’s totally spin-yourself-around and stand-on-your-head complex by the end of it. Yeah you’re going to want to read this.
Through a series of rash decisions, Kali finds herself a group of loyal friends who may know more than they let on.
There are a lot of characters in this book, but it didn’t bother me at all. Skylar, the loyal best friend, Bethany the cheerleader with hidden depths, Elliot the skeptical brother, Zev…. What IS Zev? Read to find out.
I loved this book. I sat down to read a couple of pages before going to bed and three hours later, I was well on my way to having an addiction. I’ll be honest, I’ll probably read it again just for fun. It’s THAT good.
This isn’t a typical teenager swooning over a mysterious boy. It’s more about friendship, forming close bonds with people, learning to trust. Throw a couple of zombies in there and you’ve got some awesome.
The mythology and back story are well though out; the pacing is fun, fast and addicting; and Kali’s a strong heroine.  I loved her voice and her sarcasm. She’s a girl you can get behind, kick butt with and root for.  Smart, smart, smart! There were some predictable parts, but they didn’t bother me.

I don’t know if it’s the start of a new series. I hope it is.

So, go on.
Get your butt kicked.


Rating 9, Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream

Posted January 9, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 8 Comments


Book Review: The Postmortal by Drew Magery

Posted December 5, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Title: The Postmortal

Author: Drew Magery

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: August 2011

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.

Review:

Wow.
The story is of John Farrell, a divorce lawyer who is in his late twenties and decides to get “the Cure”. Not the cure from dying, but the cure from aging. As the story unfolds, John’s life takes many unexpected twists and turns, and by the end, he has to question whether it was a cure for anything at all.
Very well written fiction novel. John is a selfish and horrible man as well as a misunderstood soul looking for redemption. I couldn’t tell if I loved him or hated him, probably a little bit of both. His romances come and go, fleeting at best. And while they didn’t feel very honest or real to me, they did serve their purpose when they happened, as John is a selfish creature, the romances serve more as a character study.
There are funny bits to the book, mostly dialogue. But what really blew me away was the concept. The dark world John saw become a reality, the hell that crept over the gates. Magery does a fantastic and creepy job of imagining the world where every selfish human being is allowed to live forever. (Well, live for a very long time anyway). How nature fights this, and how humanity fights each other is both terrifying and real. I could see many of these things happening in real life, which was the most frightening thing of all. He touches upon a great number of topics surrounded by gray area and does not get preachy. Instead, the reader is left to imagine this new world and these peoples’ new existences in horror, where life and death have become so meaningless. 
The book may start off slow, but keep going. The path is not clear for John, (is anyones’?) but you’ll be glad you stuck with him.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted December 5, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment


Book Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Posted October 27, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Title: Abandon

Author: Meg Cabot

Publisher: Point

Publication Date: April 2011

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Retelling

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.

Review: Well, Meg Cabot has done it again.
I’m a big fan of her Young Adult series The Princess Diaries and her Insatiable adult novel. (If you haven’t checked those out, please do. I especially enjoyed the first three audio books in the series, which are read by Anne Hathaway. Classic.)
This trip down paranormal lane, Cabot has decided to follow the life of young Pierce. Having died when she was younger and brought back to life, death seems to follow her everywhere. Death in the form of a good-looking boy who hangs around cemeteries.
But this is no ordinary girl falling in love with death. Oh no.
This is more than that.
This is a retelling of the famous story of dear Persephone and her kidnapping to the Underworld. You know Persephone, right? Girl catches the eye of a god, Hades, and he kidnaps her, forcing her to live with him in the Underworld. Finally, the other gods intervene. Persephone must live outside of the Underworld four months of the year- corresponding to the seasons.  You can find more info on dear Persephone here.
Cabot does a wonderful job retelling the story, fleshing out her characters and creating fun “I didn’t see that coming” twists. I do have a soft spot for Greek mythology and this retelling does not let me down. Light and funny bits sprinkle the book in typical Cabot fashion. And her hero is one to root for.
John is tortured, difficult and may be more than he appears. But what else do you expect from a … well, I can’t tell you. But he does seem to have a soft spot that will show itself more and more as his armor falls apart.
Pierce is a pretty typical teenager, you know, besides the whole death thing.  I got a bit annoyed with her going back and forth, back and forth about John, about death, about what she should do, etc. But overall, that didn’t sour the story for me.
I believe Pierce starts in such a whiny place because she is going to grow immensely in the series. Even by the end of this first book, her character has developed into a deeper person. The plot leaves a little bit to be desired, but I have faith in Cabot that more will be revealed in the coming installments.   

A good start to a new series. Ii was still thinking about the story after I put it down. 


Rating 7 Pretty Good, Would Recommend

Posted October 27, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments


Book Review: My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares

Posted September 19, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Title: My Name Is Memory

Author: Ann Brashares

Publisher: Riverhead

Publication Date: June 2010

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.

Review:
Ann Brashares, best known for her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Young Adult series, takes on adult fiction in the first book to this stunning new trilogy.
Every lifetime, the love of Daniel’s life is reincarnated into another being, and he must find her. Sometimes, he doesn’t find her until she’s old. Sometimes she’s too young. This time, they are just right. Around the same age and in the same high school, Daniel remembers his past tries over the centuries. But someone from Daniel’s past lurks one step ahead of him, and he is intent on punishing Daniel forever.
I had never read Brashares’s other series, but was intrigued by the premise. A love story spanning hundreds of years? Sign me up! The true romantic in me swooned over the glittery cover and the promise of a well-told story. And after having read The Time Traveler’s Wife years ago, this seemed like something I would enjoy.
I dove into the lyrical language and beautiful tone of this novel. The heartbreaking history of these characters weighs heavily on Daniel, the only one who remembers all his lives. Daniel is a sturdy and true character. Complex and lonely, his soul relives every loss and win, every lifetime. Instead of being bitter, Daniel is a fighter and continues on, hoping for a better chance next time. Lucy, his soulmate’s name in this lifetime, is a strong teenager. She doesn’t flip back and forth or whine. She’s mature and though things seem a little unreal about Daniel, she does realize something special is between them.
Full heavy emotions fill the pages and I found myself really caring about these characters, rooting for Daniel and Lucy to somehow find a way to be together. The entire time I read this book, time did not exist for me. I was so swept up in their story.

And then the end…
I almost screamed and threw the book down! The end?!  But no, thank goodness I went online and began searching the web in outrage over the book’s ending. Only to find it’s book one in the series. Whew! So don’t expect a neat ending because it’s not over.

Brashares, please write faster!! I’m eagerly awaiting book two.

Review: 10, One of the best






















Posted September 19, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment


Book Review: Faithful Place by Tana French

Posted September 5, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Title: Faithful Place


Author: Tana French

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: June 2011

Genre: Adult Mystery Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Three
Synopsis can be found here.

Review:
Tana French continues to impress me with her layered mysteries and haunted writing.
The first book in the series: In The Woods, is a creepy mystery that won many awards.
Book Three is another addition to this fantastic series.
Frank Mackey, a small supporting character that has popped up in the world previously, gets his own mystery to solve.
Faithful Place is Frank’s old neighborhood, a haunted poor town he fled twenty some odd years ago. He goes back only to find some things don’t change, such as his abusive family. But he also remembers the night he left, and the girl who was supposed to leave with him but never did. So begins his own investigation into his past, and solving a mystery that perhaps should have remained unsolved.
French’s stories are all haunting and beautiful, weaving Ireland and its people through like mythical beings. Honestly though, I think this is her best book in the series. Frank’s history is rich in detail, as is the town he once lived in. His family problems are laid bare, real and uncomfortable. The dialogue is beautifully written and I had to read slowly to get the full thickness of the words. I could hear the voices as clear as if they were next to me. And again, the writing, the mystery, it’s all done so well I forgot to eat, drink tea or feed my bunny. Seriously. I just needed to know what was going to happen.
This chilling and intense story will keep you reading through the night.
If you want to start at the beginning of the series, In The Woods is book one and The Likeness is book two. (If you are going to read either books one or two, read them in order. It makes a much more emotional punch if you do.)

But you don’t need to read either of these to enjoy Faithful Place. 

Review 10 One of the Best















Posted September 5, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments


Book Review: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Posted August 25, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Author: Helen Simonson

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: January 2010

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand AloneSynopsis can be found here


Review:

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is a charming story that takes place in the English countryside. As the Major finds himself drawn to Mrs. Ali, a widow who owns the local shop, the townspeople and their own families throw them obstacles which each must overcome in order to be together.

The language rolls over me, warm with beautiful descriptions. Every character is brought to life vividly.  This is a book about a sleepy town and the prejudices that crawl to the surface. The book is on the slower side, but not in a bad way. I felt the rolling of the English countryside and the quietness of the town which accents nicely the mayhem of the shooting party and the drama that unfolds later in the novel. To its core, it is an incredibly romantic story, about two people finding love but having to cross many barriers to be together.


Major Pettigrew, for all his upright and conservative views, is a kind and gentle man. Simonson makes him sympathetic without being narrow-minded and old. Mrs. Ali on the other hand is like a breeze of fresh air. Their courtship starts slow and it’s amazing to read about these two people whose relationship blossoms so slowly and naturally.
Roger, the major’s son is certainly on the other end of the spectrum. He’s equally parts yuppie young man and aimlessly wandering son. While he isn’t a totally unlikeable character, I found myself cringing at Roger’s comments.

I listened to the audiobook, read by Peter Altschuler, which was breathtakingly beautiful. The words and descriptions of the townspeople of Edgecombe St. Mary are well developed, even to the most minor of characters. And Altschuler does a superb job of reading in Major’s narration, his voice rich. 


Review 8 Cookie Worthy, bordering on 9!

Posted August 25, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments