**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.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This book was SO GOOD!!!  I hate that I have to wait until September for the sequel!  A coworker of mine recommended this to me, and I'm glad I took her advice.  I was hesitant to try it, because I've never read any of the Grisha books.  Let me reassure you that you don't need to have read the Grisha books to fully enjoy this spin-off series starter.

This review may be boring- I found nearly nothing wrong with it.  This review will just be a fanfest.  :)  It's got everything from it's metaphorical head down to it's metaphorical toes!  First, the book design itself.  It's got an AWESOME cover graphic, incorporating the crow wing and the cityscape.  I love it.  Then you've got the page edges.  You know how many Bibles have gold page edges?  This book has got black page edges.  It looks very cool.  Then there are the maps.  Don't you love books with maps of their worlds?  Six of Crows has two maps:  one of the Grisha world in entirety (very helpful if you've never read a Grisha book) and a detailed one of the city where the heist takes place.  Further, the book is split into a few parts, and each part has a two-page spread that's a black-and-white celestial-feeling image.

But don't let me convince you to judge a book by it's cover!  Six of Crows has also got a ton of plot, setting, and character "meat."  The story is super engaging:  a sorta street urchin Robin Hood-type character puts together a fantasy team from the dregs of society to pull off a huge heist and, in a way, save the world.  Or, at least, society as they know it.  I didn't have to read too far to make the connection with the classic movie Ocean's Eleven.  The first part of the book consists mostly of introduction of the main characters, with a little insight into their back stories.  There is also development of the world in which they live, and the society in which they operate.  All of the teens who join Kaz's crew (the Robin Hood-type main character) live in "the Dregs," which is a slum area in the Grisha world.  These teens have very, very little to lose and much to gain and a ton of guts.  Their heist "assignment" isn't to steal money directly, but something that is worth lots of money.  If they pull it off, they will all receive payments that will set them up for life.  The catch?  This heist is super dangerous, and is widely considered (by others outside the group) to be totally impossible.  As I read the book, I kept thinking that the characters were going to fail after all.  Everything that could go wrong, did.  I couldn't put it down!  I was so nervous for them!  I won't spoil it, and won't tell you whether or not they do finally succeed.

Then there are the characters.  As the synopsis on the back of the book says, there's a criminal prodigy, a convict, a sharpshooter, a runaway, a spy, a Heartrender*, and a thief.  None of these are particularly "warm and fuzzy" sounding, right?  But they are!  By the time you've learned some of their backstory and their reasons for doing this heist, and see their devotion to each other, you'll love them.  There wasn't a single one I disliked!  Each chapter is told from a rotating point of view, so you really get into their heads (and hearts).  Yes, they're rough around the edges, but with reason.  I just wanted to bring them all home and give them warm cookies.

*Heartrenders are explained in this book, in case you're new to the Grisha world.  Turns out some characters in this world have the ability to manipulate matter and/or physiology.  Magic!

So just as my coworker said to me:  "You need to read this."  Heed her advice!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Gathering of Shadows: A Novel by V. E. Schwab

This is actually the second book in the Shades of Magic series.  I will be bringing up plot points and other things that reveal the ending of the first book (otherwise know as spoilers) in the course of this review.  So, if you're thinking about reading, but have yet to read A Darker Shade of Magic, check out my review and then check out the book.

In the previous book, we met Kell, his foster brother Rhy and Delilah (Lila) Bard.  These three work together (sort of) to keep the blackest of magics from over-taking Red London.  To do so, they had to take down Astrid and Athos Dane, the twins that ruled White London.  Kell also had to deal with fellow Antari, Holland, by forcing him near dead into Black London.  Something Kell knew to be certain death for Holland.  In the middle of all the fighting, Rhy, Prince and only heir to the crown, is mortally wounded.  Only through magic that binds Kell's life to Rhy's saves him but, at a cost.  Both must live for either to survive.

The story picks up a few months after all the events of the first book with Lila doing what she does best: pushing the boundaries of this exotic new world in order to get what she wants.  Scheming and conniving towards her ultimate goal of owning her own ship even though she know practically nothing about sailing.  Lila's story is what we can expect from this book.  It's chief focus seems to be the growth of the main characters and the introduction of a few more.  It's all very well done and really brings us deeper into the lives of these characters.

That said, there is also a great deal of action in this book as well.  This is story is very well balanced between action and exposition.  The best part to me was it didn't treat the first book like a formula to be repeated.  This is a continuation of a story rather than a new version of the old story.

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab is an entertaining follow-on to the first book.  There are some mature situations and quite a bit of violence but none that are overly graphic.  That all earns it a PG13 rating from me.

Roberts Signature

Monday, March 28, 2016

Gabriel by Nikki Kelly

Despite my minor issues with the first book of this series, I thought I would give it another try. I thought the first book had too many clichés and the writing lacked a bit of maturity, but personally, Gabriel exceeded my expectation. The writing improved, the story and the world felt a little more developed and I enjoyed getting to know the characters a little bit more.

Lailah might not be my favourite heroine, but she is quite interesting. As a half vampire and half angel hybrid there's still a lot to learn about her abilities and her destiny. The love triangle that existed in the first book is only somewhat present now because for some mysterious reason, Lailah can't remember anything about Jonah. She remembers her angel pair Gabriel just fine, and she hasn't forgotten anything about other vampires, but for some odd reason, she can't recall anything about the vampire Jonah. Which is sad because Jonah was the most interesting character in the first book, in my opinion. On the other hand, Gabriel is moody and I feel like he's hiding so many things from Lailah that he can't really be trusted. As much as I liked Gabriel in the first book, I didn't like him in this one.

Gabriel was a character building book, where we learn more about the main characters, especially about Gabriel and Lailah. Despite their strong feeling for one another, they are still conflicted about their relationship, mostly because both of them have a hard time accepting Lailah's dark vampire side. Lailah refuses to drink blood despite weakening from lack of it, and Gabriel is too oblivious to realize that by ignoring Lailah's hunger, she's only hurting herself. Lailah has a long way to go before she fully accepts who she is, what she's capable of, and what she will do with her abilities. As for Jonah, Lailah still feels something but has not memory of their past. She feels responsible for Jonah and would do anything to help him, because she know he would do the same for her. Despite his bad boy persona, Jonah is very likeable. Especially when you compare him to Gabriel in this book.

I'm a sucker for a good story about good vs. evil, and this series definitely delivers that. Lailah might be the one to balance out good and evil, but this war has been going on for many centuries. A young band of generational vampire hunters join the fight and although they might be a little naive when it comes to the origin of vampires, they are still trying to do the right thing, for the most part. The author throws us quite a twist when it comes to these hunters, which I definitely didn't see coming.

Gabriel is an easy to read, fast paced book. I like this book more than the first one, probably because so many of my questions were answered. I also appreciate the fact the author refined her writing so that the story doesn't feel as rushed anymore. Lovers of paranormal romance will appreciate this one, but make sure to be prepared for a love triangle, strong feelings and complicated characters.

stephsig moon

Friday, March 25, 2016

Stacking The Shelves [203]

Stacking the Shelves

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!


 Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying your Easter holiday!

I'm pretty busy here with the kids but took time to head shopping yesterday to buy tulle to make a tutu maternity dress. I cant wait to get started but I still need some supply. Since I was right next to costco I decided to drop by and I stumble on a copy of Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare!! So I had to buy it, of course!

It's all I got this week, but it's still pretty amazing I think!

What did you add to your shelves?

tynsignew[inlinkz_linkup id=619247]

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner

To be honest, y'all, I deliberated over this review.  I read Circa Now a couple of weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it, but I also felt slightly misled.  In the back-of-book synopsis, I felt promised "a hint of magic."  In fact, that final paragraph of the synopsis is a bit off base.

It is, however, truly a "gripping story full of hope and heart."  So that's excellent!  Circa Now is Circa's story- a young teen who lives in a small town with her photographer parents.  One night her dad goes out to deliver some photos and is caught by a tornado.  Just as she and her mom are beginning to pick up the pieces and find their new normal, Circa begins to notice that things that she and her dad Photoshopped in photos are coming true.  A strange boy even shows up on their porch, the exact right age to match a baby that she and her dad Photoshopped into a picture!

More than anything else, Circa Now is a story of hope and healing... and maybe not so much of magic.  You know that we here at Tynga's Reviews avoid spoilers like the plague, but I can't help this one:  there is no magic.  I enjoyed the story.  The author is quite talented.  But the publisher put a misleading synopsis on the back cover.  I think there was enough in the book to recommend it even without a teaser of magic, but maybe that's just me.  From what I've been able to glean from author interviews and talking to other bibliophiles, authors very rarely have hardly any say over these synopses, so don't hold this against the book!

As I mentioned, it is a story of healing and growth.  Circa is quite a young teen, and she's having to deal with the horrific tragedy of losing her dad.  Her mom has depression and anxiety, and there are even hints of mild agoraphobia.  Not only is there a beautiful story here of a young girl coming into her own through hope and help from friends and family, there's also a story of friendship.  In the middle of all this, there's a strange boy, Miles, who shows up on their doorstep with amnesia.  After the tornado he found a photograph on the ground with Circa's parents' photography studio address on the back, and he found his way to them.  Circa and her best friend really step up and they befriend Miles.  I love that this is a YA book without romance!  Just friendship.  It's really sweet.

Overall, I very much recommend this book, even minus any actual magic.  The writing is superb, and I had trouble putting down the book ever.  The plot kept a good, steady pace and the characters are 110% lovable.  Then there are these cool photos roughly every other chapter.  A big part of the plot focuses on photographs that Circa and her dad Photoshopped, and the author put them into the book so that we can see them!  I loved that detail.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Calamity: The Reckoners Book 3 by Brandon Sanderson

This is the review for Calamity: The Reckoners Book 3 by Brandon Sanderson.  This is, obviously, the third book in this series and this review will likely contain spoilers.  If you have not yet read, though plant read, this series, read Steeheart and start the journey.  Otherwise, please continue to read!

At the end of Firefight, the second book in the series, we were left with a much damaged band of Reckoners.  The cell that was in charge of the city Babilar (formerly known as New York City) is nearly annihilated and the one-time patriarch, founder, leader of all the Reckoners, and father-figure to David, Prof , has let the darkness of Calamity take him over.  Also taken out was the Epic Regalia who was in control of Babilar.  Final count, Prof is gone, Megan is on the Reckoner's side and the Reckoners are on the run.

The series up to this point has been action packed and full of twists and turns.  This installment is no different.  We start off with the new leader of the remaining crew, David.  Yes, the kid who was barely allowed to join after pulling a dangerous stunt to get their notice, now runs the operation.  We get a good idea how that happened as time goes on.  David uses his leadership to keep the Reckoners and the story going.  Brandon Sanderson has always been a master at pacing and it really shows in this series and especially in this book.

One thing a reader can usually look forward to in a book sequel is character growth and that is exactly what we get this time.  Not only do we witness David's growth within the group but also with him as an individual.  David isn't the only one who grows.  We actually get some good looks into the lives and motivations of some of the others like Abraham, Cody and Megan.

Calamity: The Reckoners Book 3 is a very exciting and entertaining book that could be used to round out this series.  I think Mr. Sanderson hinted or outright said so but, I can see a way he could keep things going if he chose to.  This is marketed as a YA book and I would give it a PG13 due to it's violence.  There's no really objectionable language or mature content to worry about.

Roberts Signature

Monday, March 21, 2016

Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning

This series has been one of my favourites, however, I had a hard time getting through this book. I thought it dragged on at times, despite having really good scenes. In my opinion, the first five books of this series were the best ones, and lately, the books seem to be coasting.

I was overjoyed when I realized Mac would be the main narrator again, however, I've come to believe that maybe it's time to let other characters, like Jada, shine. Mac and Barrons are without a doubt a great pair but I feel like their story has come and gone. They're great together, don't get me wrong, but I just feel like there's nothing new happening there. I believe it's time for Jada and Ryodan to finally have their own story and hopefully it will come soon.

Speaking of Jada, I'm still a little bit confused about how Dani became Jada. I'm not completely satisfied with Moning's explanation on the transformation, but in a way, I think it was necessary for Dani to become Jada in order to be taken seriously. She spent years in the Silvers, which turned out to be weeks for everyone else. I understand her need to reinvent herself in order to be taken seriously and viewed as an adult, and not just some untrained teen. Now that she's older, hopefully she'll be able to work on whatever she and Ryodan have. Whatever they do have does seems a little bit creepy but I'm curious on how everything will work out.

I'm also curious about this new character, Shazam. I still don't know what to make of him, whether he's real or not. I kept wondering if he was a figment of Jada's imagination, a way for her to cope with everything that's been going on. I think Shazam is a way for her to keep holding on to her childhood, whether he's real or not.

As for the main conflict in this book, it seems there isn't much driving the characters. Sure, the black holes and the Sinsar Dubh are ever present, and I love the fact that Mac, Barrons, Jada, Ryodan and even Christian are teaming up to fight these problems, but I feel Feverborn was missing action. There were some epic scenes towards the end, but the beginning and the middle of the book was filled with filler and repetition.

Personally, I think it's time for Karen Marie Moning to move beyond Mac and Barrons. At this point, her series is coasting and it could definitely benefit from new blood. I would welcome more about Jada and Ryodan, and honestly, I think Christian deserves his own story too. Because of my early addiction to this series, I haven't given up on it yet, however, something dramatic and new needs to happen in order to keep my interest. Here's to hoping the next book will be much better!

stephsig moon

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Stacking The Shelves [202]

Stacking the Shelves

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!


 Happy Saturday, everyone!  It's starting to feel like SPRING, isn't it?  I love it!  I'm in the middle of a grad school semester, so not so much leisure reading time- my stack is a bit shorter this time around.  Mostly library books, and one new.  How about you?  What have you brought home lately?  To join the fun, click on the linksy below!

Library at Mount Char Scott Hawkins

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins:  this is my new book, and I bought it based entirely on the word "library" in the title.

What's Your Worldview James Anderson

What's Your Worldview? by James N. Anderson:  (From the library)  This slender volume was recommended to me, and it looks really good.  The author teaches at a local seminary.

Make 3D CAD with Autodesk 123D Jesse Harrington Au Emily Gertz

Make: 3D CAD with Autodesk 123D: Design for 3D Printing, Laser Cutting, and Personal Fabrication by Jesse Harrington Au with Emily Gertz:  (From the library)  I work part of my week in a makerspace, and I have personally been doing quite a bit with CAD and 3D printing in the space.  Looking forward to reading this book and expanding my knowledge even further.  And don't you love the 3D fabricated robot guy on the cover?

Ice Whale Jean Craighead George

Ice Whale by Jean Craighead George:  (From the library)  I started to read this book as an egalley on my Kindle, and realized that unfortunately some of the images didn't make it through the download, and those images are necessary to understanding the story.  Fortunately, I waited long enough to start the egalley and my library owned a copy I could check out!

Only What's Necessary Chip Kidd

Only What's Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts by Chip Kidd:  (From the library)  This was an impulse pick-up at a library branch I visited this week.  It's got history in it, of how the Peanuts characters evolved, and some rare sketches and art from Charles Schulz's archives.

Limpopo Academy of Private Detection No 1 Ladies Detection Agency Alexander McCall SmithMinor Adjustment Beauty Salon No 1 Ladies Detection Agency Alexander McCall Smith

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection and The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith:  (audiobooks from the library)  I've been listening to this series during my commute!  Not too terribly deep, but often funny and always fun.

Click on the Linksy to share what you brought home this week!

[inlinkz_linkup id=617407]

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Fair Tours: RT Booklovers Convention

*Post in partnership with Palasso, but it does not alter the information given in this post*


Continuing our book fair tour, I’d like to take you on a trip to crazy fun Las Vegas, Nevada!  The 2016 RT Booklovers Convention is being held in the Rio Hotel there April 12-17.  

Y’all, this convention is HUGE!  How have I not heard about it before?  Shame on me.  It travels, being held in a different location each year, so you can bet I’ll be watching out for it to come near me in the future.  It sounds perfect for TyngasReviews.com fans- the reviewers at RT Book Reviews read similar books to what we read and review here (romance, paranormal, sci-fi, YA, etc.)!

If you’d like to go, I’d register soon.  The ticket prices are cheaper until 3/22.  (I’m definitely a fan of a good deal.)  I was able to find good deals on hotels in the area too.  You can get rates low enough to stay right in the convention hotel!  That way you won’t miss a second of the action… and there’s LOTS of action at this booklovers convention!  (And who knows?  You could run into your favorite author in the hall or at the pool!)

There are more than 200 workshops and sessions to choose from, many led by your favorite authors.  There’s also the chance to meet over 800 authors and over 3500 fellow book fans.  It’s SIX DAYS of bibliophilia!  Lots and lots of opportunities to learn more about your favorite books, gather free copies of books, get your books signed by your favorite authors, and learn more about the publishing process if you’re an aspiring author yourself.

Just a few of the many, many authors attending:  Jennifer L. Armentrout, Shayla Black, Lexi Blake, Heather Graham, Donna Grant, Liliana Hart, Larissa Ione, Laura Kaye, J. Kenner, Laurelin Paige, Jennifer Probst, Kristen Proby, Christopher Rice, Carrie Ann Ryan, and Rebecca Zanetti.

I read through the agenda for the week and there are so many fun, unique events that I would sign up for in a heartbeat.  My personal fave?  A YA Slumber Party!  It’s hosted by more than a dozen popular YA authors, and will include classic slumber party games like Truth or Dare and Secrets, and you’ll get to write your own spooky YA flash fiction with the authors’ help.  Another event that appeals to this library employee:  48 Books in 58 Minutes.  Super fast booktalks!  There’s something on the agenda for EVERYONE, from Clean Reads to Erotic’s Eleven: Plan Your Heist.  And nearly every session is led by or includes multiple big-name authors.

And, of course, you’ll be in LAS VEGAS.  It sounds like the convention itself is more than enough to keep most people busy, but if you need STILL MORE…. the Rio Hotel is super close to the Strip, has it’s own casino (of course), it’s own nightclub, and lots of shows to choose from.  Even though Nevada is landlocked, at the Rio you can “go to the beach” and enjoy soft white sands poolside.  Want to enjoy the views and see Vegas from up high?  Take a ride on their zipline- it starts all the way up on the 50th floor and sends riders flying 400+ feet over Las Vegas at top speeds.  Wowza!

(And if you’re into this kind of thing… the famous Chippendales is also located at this hotel!)

If I wasn’t expecting my firstborn around the same time as the convention, I’d totally try to be there!  If you go, let me know- I can live vicariously through you.  :)  Happy travels, my friends!


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

What is the price of a dream?  What sacrifice would be reasonable to reach your goals and to have those things in life you dearly desire?  What if it meant a friend, a love, a lover or family?  Imogen, Marin and their new found friends will all put these questions to the test in the new book Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

This is a story that straddles worlds.  The subtle transitions from one to the another adds tremendously to the mystery and mystique of some of the places we get to visit.  The author takes us on a journey from the almost tragically mundane to the seductively fantastical.  This is where I might normally have a bit of a problem with the level of detail in a story.  Fantasy stories almost require rich descriptions of characters and places.  In my opinion, this is one of those books that is the exception that proves the rule.  Much like The Downfall of the Gods, the story is paramount here.  There is enough description to give the reader a framework to build on.  There are some very good moments where the author does make excellent use of all five senses  to make things real.

As important as the story is in this book there is still the matter of the characters.  This really is a fine example of the slow exposition as far as some of our central characters are concerned.  Most of the side characters show a good bit of growth as well.   It is not simply the way the characters develop that makes them come alive in this book.  It is also how they act and interact that really breathes life into them.  Here is where I must give fair warning:  This is a very emotional story.  This story relies less on action and more on the psychological and emotional to give us all the conflict, struggle and resolution we are looking for.

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard is a journey to the center of the artists soul.  While there is not a tremendous amount of violence, the mature content and deep emotional themes have it earn a PG13 rating from me.  Roberts Signature

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Stacking The Shelves [201]

Stacking the Shelves

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!


So, this week I've been a bit preoccupied but, I still managed to make a few acquisitions.  This time has been more about retro and returning to check in on old friends.

STS Mar 16

I have been a fan of C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series and was fortunate enough to find one of the books from his Cosmic series on sale.  It was Perelandra, the second book, that was on sale so, I wound up buying the first book, Out of the Silent Planet, at full price.  I'm sure that wasn't planned.

I also found the Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn on sale.  Fortunately, I already had book 1 of that series.


The above picture is what has had me occupied this week.  That is my right foot and, yes, those are screws and a metal plate.  Before anyone asks how......I'll just say: Stupid is as stupid does.

Now that you have my undivided attention, please, tell me what feats of literature, fictitious or for-real, made it to your shelves?

Roberts Signature[inlinkz_linkup id=615573]

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Book Fair Tours: The 56th Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair

*Post in partnership with Palasso, but it does not alter the information given in this post*

If you could, would you take a magical journey to a time and place where you could get the best stories of history directly from the source.  A chance to see the illustrations and vibrant illuminations of a bygone age.  Well, you can make that journey with no magic required. The Park Avenue Armory is closely located to many hotels, at NewYorkHotels.org you will be sure to find the latest deals.  All these things and many, many more will be on display and available this year in New York this April 7th – 10th.

There will be an amassing of some of the best examples of the craft of story-telling to view, buy and trade.  The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers will be holding the 56th Annual Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.

The Antiquarian Book Fair is not the typical gathering of modern authors, publishers, agents and other industry types out to reveal the road map of the future in books and publishing.  This is a doorway to the past.  It is a gathering of book sellers, collectors and experts in the field of antique books, antique manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and other rare ephemera.  The variety in specialties includes art, medicine, literature, photography, autographs, first editions, Americana and so much more.  In short, this is a chance to see some of the earliest surviving examples of technical treatises, historical records and storytelling. With this group of professionals and expert in one place, patrons can be assured to the authenticity of the available works.

Exhibits of these fine works will be available in the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and ready for visitors for perusal at the following schedule:

Fri April 8     noon-8pm

Sat April 9    noon-7pm

Sun April 10 noon-5pm

Discovery Day, Sunday, 1pm-3pmNYC Book Fair

The Antiquarian Book Fair will be hosted by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA).  Since 1949, the ABAA is a group formed in order to promote interest in rare and antiquarian books and book collecting. The ABAA also wishes to nurture collegial relations among collectors and enthusiasts.

The Antiquarian Book Fair will also be sanctioned by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). Descendant from a variety of organizations in Europe from as early as 1906 ILAB has existed in its current form since about 1947/1948. ILAB unites 22 national associations under one roof.  

The Antiquarian Book Fair takes place in The Park Avenue Armory in New York City, New York.  A more perfect setting could not be chosen to showcase so many treasured examples of the past.  The Wade Thompson Drill Hall remains one of the largest unobstructed spaces of its kind in New York and will make a most proper home for over 200 American and international exhibitors. 

The Park Avenue Armory is closely located to many hotels but, be sure and make your reservations now to get your choice of the best rooms availableJust two blocks from beautiful Central Park it is very easy to find and getting there is as simple as quick a bus, subway or taxi ride.


Roberts Signature


Monday, March 07, 2016

The Divining by Jayne Faith and Christine Castle

I really enjoyed the first two books of this series, however, this third instalment was a little bit disappointing. I feel like this series started off strong, but now the authors are trying to drag it out, in order to come out with as many books as possible. Honestly, it almost feels like a serial, like novella length stories that are released a few month apart, with enough suspense to keep you hooked.

I really do like the main story of Maya, an Earthen woman who is fighting for her life in the ultimate battle of becoming one of Lord Toric's harem women. She never wanted this, but fate brought her to Calisto, an alien world who's inhabitants believe they will one day return to Earth, once a certain prophecy is fulfilled. The Calistians can only return to Earth once Calisto has defeated all of Earth's enemies. The Calistian beliefs in prophecy is a little bit far fetched and I was willing to ignore the weak religion that surrounded these people, however, the more I read, the more holes the religion seems to have. What's more, the story seems to have shifted away from Maya, and is more about the Priestess who will lead the Calistians back to Earth. I understand the Priestess may have a pivotal role in the Return, but I have a hard time relating to this character because of her religious ties. Maya and Lord Toric is what brought me back to this series, but besides their first scene together, there are very little scenes between the two. And when there is, it's disappointing and not as dramatic as before.

I'm also disappointed in Lord Toric. He has turned out to be a weak leader, believing in prayer in order to save Maya from a certain death, instead of taking action. He claims to love Maya, his dark angel, but he doesn't show it very well. Especially when he cheats on her by calling one of his harem women in order to satisfy his sexual urges. I know he's stressed and everything, but honestly, if he can't be faithful to Maya after a few days of having her in his bed, I don't think there's much hope for him.

Jeric, Lord Toric's brother, seems to have turned over a new leaf. This is one positive thing we can look forward to in the next book. Maya may have survived an execution attempt and the Tournament of Obligates, but I don't know if she'll be able to survive in Lord Toric's harem. She may have a few allies in the harem, but it seems everyone within its walls has a second agenda.

I can't say I enjoyed this book. Nothing much happened in terms of action so I have very little else to mention in this review. I'll probably end up reading the next book because at this point in the series, it almost feels likes an obligation. Based on this book alone, I wouldn't recommend this series. Hopefully the series, along with its characters, will redeem itself in the next and final book.

stephsig moon


Friday, March 04, 2016

Stacking The Shelves {200}

Stacking the Shelves

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!


 You guys, I can't believe it's already the 200th post of Stacking The Shelves!

Thank you all so much for tagging along for the past 3,5 (almost 4!) years! It's been really great sharing with you, and see what you've added to your shelves. I hope you are having as much fun as we do :)

I didn't get that many books since my last STS but I'm really happy with the ones I got.

I was lucking enough to be selected for The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead from Penguin's First To Read program!

I love Richelle and I was really surprised I got randomly selected!

I also got Patricia Brigg's Fire Touched in the mail from Penguin! Love Mercy so it really rocks!

What did you guys add the your shelves this week?

tynsignew[inlinkz_linkup id=613810]

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Book Fair Tours: The London Book Fair

*Post in partnership with Palasso, but it does not alter the information given in this post*

bookfairIn the next couple of weeks, you would see a series of posts, written by all of us, on book fairs taking place this spring in the US and also across the world. BEA is of course the most popular, but we decided the steer away from this one, and discover other venues. We sure hope you will appreciate it!


While working on this series of book fairs, I discovered many bookish events I wasn’t aware of, and the biggest has to be the London Book Fair. This year is already the 45th edition of this gathering, and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before. It will take place at the Olympia Exhibition Centre April 12 to 15th, 2016. Livres Canada Books describe it hasthe spring season can’t-miss opportunity to meet publishers, rights managers, distributors, wholesalers, booksellers, and literary agents from around the world.’ The fair hosts over 25k visitors every year, and nearly 50% of them are international! That’s quite a book event! It is also taking place in the middle of the Book & Screen Week, taking place in London. A great way to unite books and screen lovers alike.

A lot of action is planned aside from the exhibit proper. Ceremonies will be hosted such as International Excellence Awards & the Trailblazers awards. There will also be a plethora of conference such as ‘Introduction to rights’ and ‘What Works? Education Conference’. I don’t know yet how big of a place book blogger will have in this fair, but I know a convention named ‘Are Book Bloggers the Future of Literary Criticism?’ took place last year, so I wouldn’t be surprise if there was a bit of room for our community amongst the big names of the industry. Furthermore, Netgalley will have their own stand at the fair, 3B50, if you ever wish to visit them!

Of course, if you are to travel half way across the world (depending where you are from, of course!) you might as well do some tourist stuff as well!

As you can see, the Olympia Exhibition center is surrounded by tons of cultural interests! The natural History Museum, Science Museum, British Museum, the Tower of London, London Eye, even the Buckingham Palace! I bet you won’t have a minute to spare on your trip!

Of course you’ll need to fill those stomachs as well, so I took a look at the restauration you’ll be able to find around the center and there is something for everyone! Italian, Indian, Lebanese, French, Japanese, countless sandwiches bars and pubs are within walking distance. I even spotted a couple of ‘American’ restaurants from those who likes their classics even on the road hehe

After a long day of cruising we’ll all need some rest and there were plenty of hotels to choose from. In fact, there are over 30 hotels which are rated 4 or 5 star within walking distance. I found many interesting hotels for a variety of budgets and right now they are about 40% booked for the fair days, so there is still time for you to choose your accommodations. I wouldn’t wait too long though, since it is such a big event!

I totally wish I could visit myself, it sounds like so much fun, and maybe I will get to one day! Being the mom of two toddlers does limit my options, but it sure is a dream I can work towards ^^

If you do plan to go, please let me know in the comments! Or, if you’ve already been in the past, I’d love to hear about it!

On a side note, here are the opening hours: Tue: 9am-6.30pm
Wed: 9am-6.30pm
Thu: 9am-5pm


Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh

I very recently read and loved Shovel Ready, the first Spademan novel, so I was not surprised at all to end up loving Near Enemy!  (Yes, you read that right:  this is a sequel.  Check out my review of Shovel Ready HERE.)

Near Enemy begins very much the same way Shovel Ready began... and it also starts off much differently.  The story begins with Spademan getting a call- just a name, no other info, no introductions, then a click.  Spademan waits a few minutes for the money to clear his bank account, then begins looking for the person behind the name.  That's the similarity.  The difference?  At the end of the day, Spademan now has a "family" to go home to!  Mark has moved in with him, and he's also helping to look after Persephone and her daughter.

In Near Enemy, Spademan is supposed to "take care of" Lesser, a guy who creeps about in the limnosphere, peeping on other people's dreams.  No one would miss a creep like that.  However, when Spademan arrives at Lesser's apartment, he arrives at just the right moment, when Lesser wakes up screaming.  He was creeping on a guy's nasty orgy fantasy when all of a sudden a woman in a burqa shows up and blows up the guy, killing him.  Remember the rules from Shovel Ready?  You're not supposed to be able to die in the limnosphere.  Suddenly Lesser and Spademan are hearing reports of others getting blown up in the limnosphere by the same strange woman.  Just as in Shovel Ready, Spademan is intrigued enough to keep Lesser alive and investigate these strange doings.

There are so many things to love about these books:  they're super snarky (totally my favorite sense of humor), dystopian (taking place in a not-so-distant future after someone nuclear bombs NYC), and mysterious.  Adam Sternbergh manages to keep me guessing all the way to the end!

I gave a very short excerpt in my review of Shovel Ready.  Sternbergh uses the same composition tactics in this book- no quotation marks and no declaration of who's speaking.  But it works!  I wasn't sure about it at first, but I got used to it really quickly.  And y'all, I'm someone who is usually overly bothered by unconventional composition.  I read a book once in which the author would use two or even three exclamation points at the end of sentences and it totally distracted me from the entire point of the book.  For whatever reason, Sternbergh's lack of quotation marks didn't distract me at all.  It even feels right- the conversation in the book is very sparse, as is the landscape, so it seems perfect to have the physical type on the pages be sparse also.

I do so hope this turns into a whole mystery series.  I've really come to like Spademan, and I want to hang out with him more.  The mysteries in the first two books are so completely different from each other as well- no formulaic mystery here!  In Near Enemy, the mystery lies with a female Middle Eastern suicide bomber in the limnosphere... kind of like terrorism 2.0.  As I've mentioned, these mystery aspects to the story are really well plotted out, keeping the reader guessing.  Spademan is a truly reluctant hero:  who would guess that the hit man would turn detective/rescuer?

If I hadn't already given Shovel Ready five of five stars, I'd rate Near Enemy even higher than it.  (Alas, not mathematically possible.)  Perhaps because I already "knew" the main character, and was therefore all the more invested in his story?  I would've never guessed that I'd enjoy two books with a hit man as the main character so much!


Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Demonists by Thomas E. Sniegoski

On All Hallows Eve, when the boundary between this world and The Otherworld, John Fogg , his wife Theodora Knight and their team of paranormal investigators and TV crew investigate a haunted house.  The only problem was there were no ghosts.  They only found a strange container that would change their world forever.

The Demonists by Thomas E. Sniegoski is a book that is root world of demonology.  There are other paranormal aspects but, the subject of demons is really at its heart.  The book takes us on a journey mainly with John Fogg and the steps he takes to deal with what happened on that fateful Halloween night.  We go through his struggles and fights and the war he wages on that which upended his life.

The story itself moved along well.  It takes the reader event to event with all the exposition it offers in between the action.  It' does not feel  overly predictable or contrived   The problem I had was, the scenery.  Now, this may be a personal preference but, I believe certain types of stories require sufficient description.  In this case, I think it would have done much to contrast the demonic from the mundane worlds with a better description of the latter.  We get some very good ideas of the way demons appear as well as some of the more grotesque scenes.  What we don't get is memorable descriptions of the nicer scenes or even  characters.  This was a missed opportunity for contrast.  Bright colors, beautiful people or inspiring vistas could have create a defining line between worlds.  There wasn't even enough confusing grays to create or enhance conflict.

There is some very good exposition for John Fogg and we get an idea for many of his motivations.  He and his wife Theodora get the most development throughout the story though  we get some resolution for FBI Agent Brenna Isabel.  Most other characters seem a little like set pieces.  There are two exceptions that I believe will show up in any sequels.  Even with the growth these characters show, I still had trouble really connecting with them.  Of course, that could be from some of the uninspiring descriptions.

Overall,  The Demonists by Thomas Sniegoski is a tale with promise that can be realized in future books.  The violence and language get very graphic making me lean toward rating it R.

Roberts Signature