**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Stacking the Shelves [336}


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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Both of us seem to  have picked up some kind of crud on our Thanksgiving trip, so it's been kind of long week, filled with lots of coughing and sneezing. It's a good thing that I have PLENTY to read, even if I didn't get all that much this week.

Here are a few of my favorites from this week's full stack over at Reading Reality

The Infamous Duchess (Diamonds in the Rough #4) by Sophie Barnes

The Temple (Guardians of Destiny #4) by Jean Johnson

Who Slays the Wicked (Sebastian St. Cyr #14) by C.S. Harris




Please link your STS post in the linky below:


Saturday, December 01, 2018

Stacking the Shelves [335]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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And we're back from the Thanksgiving holidays with another edition of "As the Bookshelf Overloads", otherwise known as Stacking the Shelves. My full stack is over at Reading Reality, and it isn't too big considering that it's two weeks' worth of stack.

The more the merrier! Or, to put it another way, So many books, so little time! But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Here's just a few of this week's highlights:

The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs #15) by Jacqueline Winspear

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick

The Sentence is Death (Hawthorne #2) by Anthony Horowitz





Please link your STS post in the linky below:


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Hardcover: 390 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release date: July 17, 2018

Series:  Nyxia Triad, #2

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Emmett Atwater thought Babel's game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn't take long for him to learn that Babel's competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis spaceship survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces-Babel and the Adamites-with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it's too late?

There's once again a lot of things going on in this novel (too many?).Our Genesis 11 and 12 crews have been dispatched to a new world on Babel's mission. There's an entirely new world we know practically nothing about, a new culture of the Adamites or Imago, an underlying mystery of the Imago, plus Babel's secret plot and then, what's happening on the Babel spaceship? Then you add in the insta-romance of Emmett and Morning, the feud between Isabelle and Emmett because of Roathy, a revenge plan by the Genesis crew for their fallen members and Babel's lies...this is a lot for a reader to process. I really wish it would have slowed down!

From the last book, the character development really seemed to improve, especially since we already know a lot of the characters. I was frustrated at the relationship between Emmett and Morning mostly because Morning seems like a Mary Sue. She's pretty perfect but her one weakness is the boy? Pah. There's one point in their story where Morning is really upset by calling home and she doesn't tell Emmett, and then you might realize that Morning actually never says anything about her past and her family. Why? I had trouble connecting with her. I did, however, absolutely love the character of Anton (even though we know little about him too), so I'm really looking forward to reading more about him in the last book. We only get to see a few glimpses of what he's up to in the latter half of the novel. One of the characters to really change is Longwei, from a silent, winning-is-the-only-thing-that-matters player to one of the team because of Emmett's friendship and support.

The worldbuilding in this novel gives me echoes of a few different things. The mining camps remind me of Fallout vault shelters (why is a spoiler). The rings and different walls of the Imago's city remind me of Gondor in Lord of the Rings. I loved the scene that played out in the Sixth ring with the talented chef. That was possibly my favorite part of this novel. Yet with the strange land I also see connections to C.S. Lewis's Perelandra series. Maybe this is due to the allegorical references to Biblical names in this novel with Babel, Genesis, Jerricho...

Lastly, I have trouble recalling all of the events at the end. There was such chaos and confusion between plots and subplots that I honestly don't remember what significance each event had. I'll have to read it over again for it to sink in... I will definitely be reading book 3 out in 2019. Give this series a try? What did you like? What did I miss? Which characters stood out to you?

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Stacking the Shelves [334]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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For those in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I hope that your turkey wasn't too dry, and that there aren't more leftovers than you can stomach!

I've been out of town this week, celebrating the holiday with friends, which does solve the leftover problem. We don't have any, and since we're flying we can't be asked to take any home. We get to see friends and family-of-choice, so I call this a win!

But there are always books on my stack. Even if I haven't picked up anything new this week, there are always things on my "comfort reads" shelf that come out whenever I need a break, or a pick-me-up or a guaranteed good read.

I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne (particularly good in audio!)

Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews

Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James



Please link your STS post in the linky below:


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Hardcover: 371 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 12, 2017

Series:  Nyxia Triad, #1

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

What would you be willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune?
Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

Okay, so at last year's YALLFest (the current one is actually going on as I write this) I went to a panel all about scifi and Scott Reintgen was on it. A coworker's dad also has a connection to him, so I figured I needed to pick this book up pretty quick. It sounded interesting from his talks and the books were circulating pretty well at my library.

Two things I really liked about it:
1) My favorite character in this first book is Bilal -- he is just so nice and kind it defies logic and yet he is a decent human being. He still even comes off as human. I without a doubt loved him. Not to say I didn't like a few other characters, but it takes some time to get to know them due to them being Emmett's enemies for the most part. I also really liked Kaya, Emmett's roommate. I can't say any more about these two specific characters without spoiling the story. I'll talk about that in the next review. 2) Despite a few of the backstory/flat character issues, he really writes dialogue and multi-character interaction well. Although there are like 10-20 characters who all interact a lot with each other, they are easily kept separate and memorable. Additionally, there is a great degree of diversity here that I really appreciated. Most of it doesn't feel trope, but that you can really tell Reintgen traveled and talked with all sorts of people from different backgrounds and countries and cultures. I really loved that.

At times, it resembles The Hunger Games with its competitions and bloodthirstiness, but then there's the added individual matches plus a teamwork component that THG only picked up in Catching Fire as part of their alliance. It also bears comparison with Pierce Brown's Red Rising series with being a helldiver versus mining the nyxia. But where I would argue THG series and Red Rising series are rich and mostly original in their worldbuilding and plot, I almost felt like I had read parts of this before...

This is a book that despite its flaws, you'll probably still keep reading. It grabs you and forces you to wade through the different challenges that each member of the Genesis 11 team must overcome. I had a few issues with this book that made it just miss the mark for me. Many of the characters seem very flat and stock at times and a few of the Emmett's comments about culture or race or slang (or his mental filing system *sigh*) make this story seem like it tries too hard to make you like Emmett and care about him. The subplot and the prospect of what Babel might really be up to creates a problem of almost too much going on and yet, not enough substance to tie it together. If it had just slowed down a bit more to add in some more backstory and smoothed down some of the rough edges in transition, I think it really would be stellar. I certainly enjoyed it enough to keep reading. I think it might be suited for more middle grades and reluctant readers due to the fast pace and holes. Also,  Emmett being so old creates some conflict with the reader audience that I think will become more of an issue in later books. Still, the creation of nyxia and its capabilities is certainly very intriguing, and automatically you want to know more about the Adamites and how they use nyxia, but this must wait for the next book.

Happy Thanksgiving, United States readers!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Stacking the Shelves [333]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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Thanks for your patience, followers, with my absences. We've had no few of life events in the last couple months, some good but a lot of work and others much more sad. However, it's the middle of NaNoWriMo and I've been writing (no, I'm definitely not making 50k words but at least it means I'm doing better about writing/blogging in general)! Are any of you also writing and reading this November? Here's some of what I've been reading lately...

[Pssst! Isn't Marlene's kitten adorable?
 It's the best to have pets to cuddle with you when you're busy reading!]

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen (Nyxia Triad #1)
Completed in September.

Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen (Nyxia Triad #2)
Completed in September.

Preschool Clues: Raising Smart, Inspired, and Engaged Kids in a Screen-Filled World
by Angela C. Santomero
Completed in September.

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike #4)
Binged in September.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians #1)
Completed in October.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (Project Nemesis #1)
October's teen book club pick

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris (Aurora Teagarden #1)
Completed in October.

A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris (Aurora Teagarden #2)
Recently completed.

Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris (Aurora Teagarden #3)
Recently completed.

The Julius House by Charlaine Harris (Aurora Teagarden #4)
Current reading.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Current reading.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Hardcover: 425 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release date: December 1, 2015

Series:  Starbound, #3

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now-infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness LaRoux Industries' corruption. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were the only survivors of the Icarus shipwreck, forced to live a double life after their rescue.

Now, at the center of the galaxy on Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players in the fight against LRI.
Gideon Marchant is an underworld hacker known as the Knave of Hearts, ready to climb and abseil his way past the best security measures on the planet to expose LRI's atrocities. Sofia Quinn, charming con artist, can work her way into any stronghold without missing a beat. When a foiled attempt to infiltrate LRI Headquarters forces them into a fragile alliance, it's impossible to know who's playing whom--and whether they can ever learn to trust each other.
With their lives, loves, and loyalties at stake, only by joining forces with the Icarus survivors and Avon's protectors do they stand a chance of taking down the most powerful corporation in the galaxy---before LRI's secrets destroy them all.


I was really excited Sofia got her own book! I really liked her from the last series. And from what I can remember, the Knave was mentioned in earlier stories too? Appreciated the strings of how they came together in this novel. With both of these interesting characters having, shall we say, layers of persona, it took some time to be able to tell what was fiction and what was truth with Gideon and Sofia. They've both put up so many walls that you had to wade through the plot action until they both softened a bit. I thought this book was possibly the most creative in the series because it shows a very futuristic business-oriented world with layers, from rich to poor and pristine to filthy, sort of a sci-fi picture of modern day Edinburgh with the vaults and streets buried underneath (you know, if people still actually lived underground).

One of the side characters I identified most with is Mae, the secret mom hacker, whose kids make her vulnerable to LaRoux. It's so true that your kids are your biggest weakness... Another character who stood out to me was the scientist Sanjana. I would have liked to see more of her since she's a tough, defiant woman and one of the few adults who helps the group of radical teens. What stands out about this book is the discussion around different emotions and sacrifice. While the characters do discuss these topics, the small interruptions in narrative, similar to the previous novels, also explore these emotions and even what it means to be human and to care about humanity.

The pace in this novel is possibly the fastest of the series what with LaRoux Industries having a countdown to some horrifying plan, and Gideon and Sofia seeming to be a step behind in thwarting it. Their flirty banter and comic escapades at times gives the reader a break from the high risk of discovery for Gideon and Sofia and their fight against LaRoux Industries. A high point in the book is when we get to observe the six main characters in the series join together in a weird but enthralling kismet of fate, and experience a devastating plot twist that changes everyone's plans. Then it's a dystopian battle for the end reminiscent of The Hunger Games at Snow's mansion, except the enemy isn't "Snow" like you would expect. Shocking. Twisted. I couldn't put this book down! That final plot twist...wow. I don't think I really saw that coming? Possibly the most thing that frustrated me at the end was how I was still craving what happened. I wanted more resolution. I wanted more books, what happened to the characters...Probably this is a really good thing for an author. Total book hangover at the end that I had trouble starting other books for a few days.

Have you read this series? What did you think? Should I start their newest series ASAP?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Stacking the Shelves [332]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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I have an itty-bitty-kitty sitting on my shoulder as I put this post together. She's absolutely adorable - right up to the point where she tries to add extra piercings to my right ear. Also, I can't move my shoulder much because it upsets her. But she really likes the high-up view!



Speaking of views, I've got a few (more than few) interesting books for you to view. My full stack is over at Reading Reality, but here are the teasers:

Cast in Oblivion (Chronicles of Elantra #14) by Michelle Sagara

Mission: Her Security (Team 52 #3) by Anna Hackett

Script of the Heart (Celta's Heartmates #15) by Robin D. Owens

Please link your STS post in the linky below:


Thursday, November 08, 2018

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

 This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Hardcover: 390 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release date: December 23, 2014

Series:  Starbound, #2

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. His sister died in the original uprising against the powerful corporate conglomerate that rules Avon with an iron fist. These corporations make their fortune by terraforming uninhabitable planets across the universe and recruiting colonists to make the planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage against the military occupying his home, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape base together, caught between two sides in a senseless war.
The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.

A new planet, a new pair of heroes, and a new star-crossed love. Having been used to Lilac and Tarver from the first series, it was a bit jarring to start over with Lee and Flynn. Rather than being immediately sympathetic to the characters this time around, I, too, found Lee cold and living up to her Stone-face nickname. She was hard to trust. Flynn, by contrast, seems immediately likeable. Hurting him seems like kicking a puppy. It's easy to see why he was the one who cracked her hard exterior worn like battle armor throughout her military career due to her childhood trauma.

This is probably by far my favorite planet of the series. Avon reminds me of Dagobah from Star Wars. Murky, swampy, filled with plops and oozes, slime and sludge. I didn't notice any mentions of animal life in the book, which struck me as odd. Here we have an ecosystem of algae and water, and while there's a bit of a mention of fish, there's no crocodile or snake equivalent that present a danger to the populace. That and maybe the lack of swarming insects? However, I think it can be written off as a result of their unstable climate.

In this novel, there's a different literary device used to tell the story. The narrative element of third-person descriptive scenes breaks up the action between Lee and Flynn and tries to give the reader a different perspective of Lee through past, present, and future. Sometimes I felt it was really used well and other times it carried me out of the story when I just wanted to know what happened next and couldn't be bothered to figure out yet again why there was a third narrator. However, the concept is intriguing (especially once we find out the why of said perspective). It seems to be related to dreams or predictions or memories of Lee, but none of these seem to fit exactly. Once Lee has the incident in the cave that results in a very sad death, that was when I started questioning everything and really trying to figure out, was this girl going mad too? Have we been following a would-be murderer this whole time?

You tell me.

P.S. This isn't so much relevant to this novel, but it's really easy to see this narrative plot device  morphed into the dossiers, IMs, emails and various other mediums used in Illuminae. . . Fascinating to study Amie's earlier work and how it evolved!

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Stacking the Shelves [331]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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If you take a look at my complete stack over at Reading Reality, you'll see that there's definitely a theme going on.

The Charley Davidson series is coming to an end in January. So it looks like the publisher has decided to put the ENTIRE series up on NetGalley, probably to generate buzz for the previous books in advance of the series finale coming out.

I decided to bite. This is a series that has been recommended to me multiple times, and I was looking at the whole thing just before Halloween, so I decided "what the heck!" and added them all to the towering TBR pile.

I may not get caught up by January, but I'l make at least a little dent.

Of course, I had to get one more book this week, so there wouldn't be 13 in the stack. Wouldn't want to be left with an unlucky number on Halloween week!

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson #13) by Darynda Jones



Please link your STS post in the linky below: