Thursday, March 21, 2019

Review: In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In an Absent Dream In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While still a good story, this was not my favorite of the series. It wasn't as whimsical as the others, it was far more serious with less action and adventure. This felt more character driven than plot driven which isn't my taste. This is still extremely imaginative and well written. It is still enjoyable and fits right in with the rest of the series. I recommend it for fans of the series and I'm looking forward to more books in the series. Unlike the other books in the series, this focuses on one character instead of visiting other characters at the school or somehow ending up back at the school with the other characters.

This is the backstory for Katherine Lundy, who if you recall is the child therapist at Eleanor West's school for wayward children who have gone through doors and can't quite adjust to their original lives. We learn about Lundy's experience in the Goblin Market and the choice she was faced regarding her door. Lundy grew up as a lonely young girl, but found her true identity in the world of the Market. As she traveled between the land of the Goblin Market and the "real world" she learned about fair value, trade, friendship, family, and love. In the end she must provide fair value in one world, but she must give up the other world completely because she can't provide fair value in both.

As always McGuire paints such a vivid picture of the characters and the world they are in. While I didn't love Lundy, I also don't think I was supposed to. She was detached and cold for much of the book only showing warmth to The Archivist and Moon, and then at the end to her little sister Diana. Her closed off demeanor is part of the reason why she ended up in the Goblin Market, she was lonely and detached from the world. I don't think you were supposed to love her. The rest of the characters aren't the focus of the story and they are well developed for the roles they play. The world building as always is great. I really love how Seanan McGuire tells a story.

View all my reviews

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Review: The Test

The Test The Test by Sylvain Neuvel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a strange little novella. It packs a punch in such a short little book. I really enjoy Nuevel's writing and his imaginative plotlines. If you are expecting giant robots and aliens you won't find them here. This is more speculative/realistic fiction set in the future. I can actually see this happening in the not so distant future, but I hope this never comes to pass. Parts of this read like a psychological thriller. This book is the perfect length and the story is well developed. Because it is a novella and fairly short, I don't want to spoil too much.

The story follows Idir, a dentist from Iran, who wants a better life for his wife and two small kids. He is taking a citizenship test so they can move to the UK. He has to answer 25 questions on UK facts and history to see if he and his family will be granted citizenship. While his family is waiting, terrorists swarm the testing center and Idir is singled out by the ringleader. Idir is tasked with choosing who lives and who dies? As you read you find out if it is too much for him and if he can actually make the choice? All he wanted when he started his day was a better life for his family. I won't say more than that.

This book really makes you think. The things that happen in this book could actually happen in some form or fashion and in some ways they already do. I hope that what Idir went through never becomes a reality.

As far as the character development goes, Idir was great we get to know him very well. Some of the side characters were lacking, but I almost feel like that was by design as they weren't a major part of the story but they did drive what happened. Overall, this was a quick read that really made me think. It is a bit dark, but it was well worth the read.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 15, 2019

Review: Space by Penny Reid



Space Space by Penny Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an arc of this via the Author in exchange for an honest review.  This was released on March 11, 2019.  Check out my blog tour post for an excerpt and all of the purchase links.

I love Mona and Abram together. I also love that we get to see Kaitlyn from the Elements of Chemistry and I really like how she has grown since finding her passion in music. She is a great friend to Abram and so much like Mona that she sees through the hot mess of Mona's emotions.

Mona and Abram have been apart for 2 years since they spent a week together. Mona still feels guilty about not telling him the truth, and she hasn't been able to move on. They are forced to spend time in the same house during Mona's winter getaway because her brother Leo invited all of his musician friends to their mountain house to write music. Abram is not happy to be snowed in with Mona after realizing she deceived him. Mona wants to clear the air, however Abram gives her the cold shoulder. Mona of course shuts down because she doesn't know what to do with her feelings which makes Abram rage all the more. The entire time they are drawn to each other like magnets and can't deny the attraction they feel for each other. When Abram challenges her to be honest, Mona is finally able to tell her side of what happened that week. Abram lets his wall of anger down and lets himself get to know the real Mona.

Like Motion, this ends on a cliffhanger, but you knew that going in. I'm anxiously awaiting the final installment of this series. I love the main characters and I really like where their story is headed. I know there are more challenges that they will face, but I'm hopeful that all will workout for them in the end. I was surprised to get alternating perspectives, but it really gave the book something extra. As always Penny doesn't disappoint.


View all my reviews

Blog Tour: Space by Penny Reid

SPACE_BT.jpg

Space, the second book in the all-new Laws of Physics Trilogy from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!


LOP_SPACE.jpg

One week.
Private cabin.
Famous physicist.
Still an unrepentant slacker.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Mona’s meticulously planned allotment of relaxation is thrown into chaos by the unscheduled appearance of her older brother’s band of friends, including the one person she'd hoped to never face again. Abram still makes her feel entirely too much, which is one of the reasons she disappeared after their one week together. But now, trapped on a mountain of snow and things unspoken, Mona will have to find a way to coexist with Abram, chaos and all.
Laws of Physics is the second trilogy in the Hypothesis series; Laws of Physics parts 1 (MOTION) & 2 (SPACE) end with a cliffhanger.

SPACE_LIVE01.jpg

Download your copy today!


Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/SpacePR
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2RRny94
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2tfBT5C
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2SpmiKZ

SPACE_T02.jpg

Excerpt:

“Hi—hello,” she said, stepping forward but not out of the way, drawing my attention.

She was still staring at me, her face still pale, but her eyes had turned searching instead of stunned.

“I—” She stopped herself, swallowing, her gaze dropping to the front of my coat, a cute little frown furrowing her eyebrows. In the next moment, she was pulling off the glove of her right hand. Abruptly, she shoved the ungloved fingers toward me, returning her eyes to mine. “I’m Mona.”

I suppressed my disbelief at her small action before it could break my outward mask of calm. I wasn’t calm. Just to be clear, I was the opposite of calm.

The fact that she was introducing herself to me now meant that she thought I was too stupid to figure out her lies over the last two-and-a-half-fucking years. She was arguably one of the smartest people in the world, after all. To her, people like me must seem like housebroken pets. So it shouldn’t have surprised me. But it did. The tension and tightness around my ribs reappeared, squeezing uncomfortably.

Dropping my attention to her bare hand, I pressed my lips into a tighter line, dismissing the way my pulse jumped at the sight of her wrist, the olive tone of her skin under the yellow string lights overhead. Glaring at her outstretched offering, I considered telling her to go to hell.

I considered it, but I wouldn’t.

I didn’t trust myself to speak, that was reason number one.

The other reason was harder to explain, or use as a justification, or admit to myself. Staring at her hand, I braced against a sudden flare of hunger. She might consider me a lower life-form, but that didn’t change the fact that I wanted to touch her. I wanted to touch her more than I wanted to tell her to go to hell, and that was fucking pitiful.

But there it was.

Acting on the compulsion, I lifted my right hand and tugged off the ski glove, sliding my warm palm against her much colder one. Her hand felt good in my hand, the right weight, the right size, the right texture, and I inhaled freezing air.

Mona also seemed to suck in a slow but expansive breath as our hands touched, held. This brought my eyes back to hers in time to see her lashes flutter. Pink colored her previously pale cheeks. The sound of the wailing wind, the sting of the air and frost momentarily melted away, leaving just her, her soft skin warming against mine, her beautiful face filling my vision.

So beautiful.

She really was. She was stunning. I hated that she was still so beautiful to me.

Start the series today!

Motion

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Motion
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2DoH8pv
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2T4ebo9

Pre-order the highly anticipated conclusion today!

Time

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TimePR
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Sm1Zmu
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WSQbXe



Meet Penny Reid:
Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

authorphoto

Connect with Penny:

Stay up to day with Penny by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2szN34G





Thursday, March 14, 2019

Review: Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Before She Knew Him Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was so messed up and I mean that in such a complimentary way. So many time when I read a psychological thriller I find that I have things figured out by the halfway point. This had so many twists that I didn't see coming. I loved that this was not predictable. Everytime I thought I had things figured out none of those things happened and Peter Swanson took things in a completely different direction. This read like realistic fiction because the characters and the setting were so realistic and relatable. The thriller parts were dark and haunting and made my skin crawl. If you like psychological thrillers, you need to read this. It is well paced, and so well written.

This is told in multiple perspectives. Henrietta (Hen) the artist, Matthew the teacher, and Richard Matthew's brother all take turns narrating the story. I can't really say much more than the synopsis does about the plot because it would spoil things. I will say that I thought that Swanson's handling of mental health in this book was very open and respectful. I also love how Hen spoke up when she felt like she was being placated or ignored because she has mental health condition.

This was my first Peter Swanson book, but it certainly will not be my last. I was provided an ARC of this book via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This was released on March 4th, 2019. 

View all my reviews

Monday, March 11, 2019

Release Blitz: Space by Penny Reid

SPACE_RB.jpg

Space, the second book in the all-new Laws of Physics Trilogy from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!

LOP_SPACE.jpg
One week.
Private cabin.
Famous physicist.
Still an unrepentant slacker.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Mona’s meticulously planned allotment of relaxation is thrown into chaos by the unscheduled appearance of her older brother’s band of friends, including the one person she'd hoped to never face again. Abram still makes her feel entirely too much, which is one of the reasons she disappeared after their one week together. But now, trapped on a mountain of snow and things unspoken, Mona will have to find a way to coexist with Abram, chaos and all.
Laws of Physics is the second trilogy in the Hypothesis series; Laws of Physics parts 1 (MOTION) & 2 (SPACE) end with a cliffhanger.
SPACE_LIVE01.jpgDownload your copy today!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/SpacePR
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2RRny94
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2tfBT5C
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2SpmiKZ
SPACE_Teaser01.jpg
Start the series today!
Motion
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Motion
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2DoH8pv
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2T4ebo9
Pre-order the highly anticipated conclusion today!
Time
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TimePR
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Sm1Zmu
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WSQbXe


Meet Penny Reid:
Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher,
but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

authorphoto.jpeg

Connect with Penny:
Stay up to day with Penny by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2szN34G

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Review: The Illuminae Files Series Review

I binge read this series after getting sucked in by Illuminae.  I tried to read Illuminae several years ago via audio after hearing how awesome it was but I just couldn't get into it.  The epistolary nature of the book was  hard for me to follow the first time around.  Fast forward a few more years and about a hundred audiobooks later and I decided to give it another try.  I've listened to a few more books of this type and really enjoyed them.  I'm really glad I gave this series another shot, it was worth every second.  I'm actually sad to be done with it and almost want to start over from the beginning and binge it again.  The full cast was amazing and has some of my favorite narrators in the audio world.  I highly recommend checking out the books themselves as Marie Lu's illustrations in the print books are just awesome and give amazing visuals to an already excellent storyline.


Illuminae Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was amazing. It tells the story of Kady and Ezra, a former couple who have been forced to flee their home when evil corporation Bei-Tech attacks the planet they live on. When ships come to rescue the survivors of the attack, Kady ends up on one ship and Ezra ends up on another. In this universe, soldiers fight for corporations, and because we have two corporations at war, Ezra ends up being conscripted as a fighter pilot. Kady has a bad attitude, so she doesn't end up in military service but that doesn't mean she isn't a whiz with computers. Secretly Kady is a genius hacker while pretending to be inept.

As Kady and Ezra reunite via electronic means and begin to patch up their relationship, Bei-Tech is on the heels of the escaping fleet. In the meantime, the AI computer onboard on of the ships appropriately named AIDEN starts doing crazy stuff to protect the fleet. AIDEN is one of my favorite characters because you just don't know what he's going to do next. He's a computer, but he keeps giving you the vibe that he's a little bit human too, and he is completely unpredictable. Not only do the crew and passengers of the 3 ships in the fleet have to deal with their home being destroyed, an attack ship coming after them, but now they have a deadly virus spreading on one of the ships, and their AI system is going insane.

The story is told through emails, instant messages, radio transmission transcripts, and other mixed media. The audiobook is amazing because it has a full cast and each character has a voice so you almost always know who is speaking. This was such and exciting book to read. I was always on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next. I loved the characters and the world building was amazing. This story is incredibly atmospheric and I loved every second of it. I also recommend checking out the actual book. The drawings and mixed media on the page are amazing and while not necessary to understand what is going on, they are really cool.

GeminaGemina by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This picks up where Illuminae left off, but instead of telling us more about Kady and Ezra, we learn about Hanna, Jackson, Nik and Ella. We heard a bit about the Heimdall jump station in Illuminae, as the refugees are heading there. Heimdall is a wormhole station for interstellar travel and communication. Kady's father is stationed there and Hanna's father is the commander. Hannah is Heimdall's pampered princess, she is dating the cute technician Jackson, but she likes to have fun. Fun is where Nik comes in, he is part of the space mafia family who run drugs and other nasty things. He is also a little sweet on Hannah. Ella is Nik's cousin and another super genius hacker. We come to find out that Bei-Tech isn't only out to shut down Kerenza's mining operation, they are also out to take over Heimdall. When a strike team invades the station because there is a mole planted on Heimdall, Hanna, Nik, and Ella are found defending the station from the bad guys.

Just like in Illuminae, the cast of characters finds themselves fighting several different battles at the same time. Nik's mafia family runs drugs remember? Well the critters they use to produce those drugs get loose and start attacking anyone they come across. Oh and the wormhole generator is broken, and all the dimensions of space and time will be destroyed if our motley crew can't fix all of the the above mentioned problems. Our favorite insane AI along with Kady, Ezra, and the rest of the survivors on the Hypatia make a return to help Hanna, Nik, and Ella.

I loved this book. It was funny, atmospheric, the world building was awesome, action packed, and I loved all of the characters. Like Illuminae this is told through mixed media. The full cast of characters was as amazing as the last book. I also recommend checking out the print book so you can see Marie Lu's amazing illustrations.

ObsidioObsidio by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As with the previous two books, the audio cast was spectacular. I highly recommend the audio version, the print version is excellent as well. As with the prior books I did both at the same time and the illustrations from the print book just add a little something extra, but the full cast really gives life to each of the mixed media transmissions presented in the story. I will say I could have done without the date and timestamps being read to me every time we switched who was speaking or what the transmission in the file was. If you were reading the print book you would have skimmed over that part, but it was read to you on the audiobook and after three books you know who's voice is which character by now. That is really my only complaint.

Obsidio jumps settings quite a bit. Heimdall has been saved, but the Hypatia is on her last legs. We meet some new characters as we learn that there are survivors on Kerenza, oh and AIDEN is still insane and doing his own thing. As with the previous books, the gang is fighting more than one problem at a time before all is said and done. Our new characters Rhys and Asha are on opposite sides of the Kerenza conflict. Rhys is a techy soldier working for Bei-Tech, but he has a strong moral code and doesn't exactly know or support what Bei-Tech is doing on the ground on Kerenza. He has spent most of his time working on the mobile wormhole generator that Bei-Tech flies around with in their fleet. Asha, who happens to be Kady's cousin, works in the hospital and she is just trying to survive. We come to find out that Rhys and Asha had a romance in the past that didn't exactly end well for either of them. Rhys has to decide if he wants to join Asha and the resistance or if he wants to fight for the company that brought him to the planet. Meanwhile the refugees from Kerenza, the crew of the Alexander and Hypatia, and the survivors of Heimdall have to figure out how to get to Kerenza to save their friends and family and defeat Bei-Tech. If they can't win, they atleast have to get word to their company about what happened so Bei-Tech can be held accountable for this whole mess.

This book has it all, humor, action, romance, great characters, and some great twists and turns. I really wasn't sure how things were going to end. This is a great wrap up to the series. I honestly want to start all over again from the beginning and do it all over again and keep the books on repeat they were that good.

View all my reviews