Friday, February 12, 2016

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Title: The Invasion of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Published: Bantam Press, 2015

Pages: 528

Series: Book 2, The Queen of the Tearling

Summary: May contain spoilers! With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I read the first book in the series last month and basically as soon as I finished it I picked this one up.  The main reason for my picking this book up is because I was sent the book review and I try and make a point of reading and reviewing books sooner rather than later.

So, the main thing that I wanted to know from this book was more about the world and more about the magic.  I have to say that yes we definitely did learn more about the world and the people and the history.  I have to say that I was a little disappointed in terms of the 'magic'.  I feel like this is one of those fantasy series' that focuses more on politics and the world than any sort of magic and I just don't tend to like those very much.

We are introduced to some new characters in this book and while they were interesting I just felt like I couldn't connect with or feel sympathetic towards them.  I just felt like I didn't like any of the characters. I didn't even like the main character Kelsea.  There was just something about her attitude and the way she acted as a whole that I just couldn't get behind.

I feel as though I really do need to mention that my case of not really enjoying this book is due to its me and not the book.  This is a crossover between YA and an adult novel and I honestly find myself not enjoying YA very much if at all these days.  This book was a lot darker than the first one and other YA books in particular but I felt as though the romance and a lot of Kelsea's behaviour had quite a YA vibe to it.

Overall, I thought The Invasion of the Tearling wasn't too bad but at the same time it just wasn't the book for me.  I don't think that I'll be picking up the third and final book in the series.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Unholy by Heather Graham

Title: The Unholy

Author: Heather Graham

Published: Harlequin MIRA, 2012

Pages: 384

Series: Book 6, Krewe of Hunters

Summary: The 1940s: hard-boiled detectives and femme fatale are box-office gold. In one iconic scene, set in a deserted museum, the private eye arrives too late, and the buxom beauty is throttled by an ominous Egyptian priest. 
Now: the Black Box Cinema immortalizes Hollywood's Golden Age in its gallery of film noir tributes. But the mannequin of that Egyptian priest is hardly lifeless. He walks and a young starlet dies a terrifying death. Movie mogul Eddie Archer's son is charged with the grisly murder. Eddie calls agent Sean Cameron, who specializes in irregular investigations. As part of an FBI paranormal forensics team, Cameron knows that nightmares aren't limited to the silver screen. Working with special-effects artist Madison Darvil who has her own otherworldly gifts Cameron delves into the malevolent force animating more than one movie monster.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: It has been a little while since I picked up one of the Krewe of Hunters novels as I went back and read the rest of the Harrison Investigations series, also by Heather Graham, before going back to this one.  I enjoy reading these books when I'm looking for something light that doesn't take all of my concentration to read.

The story started off on quite an interesting note and from there the mystery got going a little.  The investigation from the beginning was quite interesting and I enjoyed following the characters along as they investigated the mysterious circumstances surrounding the victim's murder.

These books are quite enjoyable but I will admit that they are pretty formulaic in places and I find that I can't read too many of these books in too short a time or I will start to struggle with them.  I did find this one to be different to the previous books by Heather Graham I had read recently but at the same time some of the other aspects were 

The mystery aspect of this book was so good.  I had been trying to guess who the murderer was but I do feel as though Heather Graham does a good job of placing red herrings throughout the book.  Basically, right up until the reveal I had no idea who the killer was so I was definitely surprised.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Unholy but I did find my attention wandering a little in places mostly just due to the fact that this series is very formulaic in terms of the romance aspects and I find those bits a little tedious at times.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Title: The Queen of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Published: Bantam Press, 2014

Pages: 434

Series: Book 1, The Queen of the Tearling

Summary: It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able to take possession of what is rightfully hers.

But like many nineteen-year-olds, Kelsea is unruly, has high principles and believes she knows better than her elders. Unlike many nineteen-year-olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom that is on its knees – corrupt, debauched and dangerous.
Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known . . . or be dead within the week.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I was unsure on whether or not I would enjoy reading this book as I had heard that it has quite a lot of political elements which I'm not so keen on.  I had also heard that it's a fantasy novel and basically I picked this book up because I was given the second book in the series for review.

The first thing I have to say about The Queen of the Tearling is that not a lot happened.  Because, really this is a political type of fantasy and so it was a lot of arguing about things.  There were a few action scenes which I quite enjoyed.

There was a tiny fantasy element within the book and it made me a little curious about whether or not there was a whole magic system or if there were just one or two things that randomly happened out of place.  It will be interesting to see if this is developed further in the next book.

I am also curious about the world which wasn't really developed in this book but I kind of already knew that and I have been told that there is more explanation of the world and such in the second book in the series.

Overall, I thought The Queen of the Tearling was a pleasant enough read.  I enjoyed it as I didn't really have high expectations for it but I didn't think it was completely amazing.  I will be reading the second book in the series mostly because I am curious about the magic and the world.

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Wrap-Up

The first month of the year has already come to an end which is pretty crazy to think about.  That being said, the aim for this month was to reduce my tbr pile by 10 books.

So here are the books I read in January:
3. The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss
9. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

So I managed to read a total of 9 books but The Subtle Knife was a re-read so did not count that one towards reducing my tbr pile.  Which means that I managed to reduce my tbr pile down by 8 books so it is now sitting at 64 books.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Bleeds

Author: Ilona Andrews

Published: Ace, 2010

Pages: 349

Series: Book 4, Kate Daniels

Summary: May contain spoilers! Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle - especially if they involve Atlanta's shapeshifting community. When she's called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar on the border between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers that there's a new player in town. One who's been around for thousands of years - and who rode to war at the side of Kate's father. This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord, to handle. Because this time Kate will be taking on family.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I read the third book in this series about four and a half years ago and absolutely loved it.  I have no idea why it took me so long to start this book in the series. I started this book and was hooked from the first page.

I pretty much devoured this book.  The mystery aspect is so good and I absolutely love the fantasy elements too.  The shapeshifter dynamics always fascinate me and I feel like we learn new things about the world as a whole.

I feel like I don't have a lot to say about this book other than I absolutely loved it and there were so many really great things that I loved about it.  I just feel like I can't say too much without giving anything away.

Needless to say, I plan on reading the next book quite soon as I really loved this book and I do not want to wait too long before I get back into the series.