Monday, February 29, 2016

All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford

Title: All These Perfect Strangers

Author: Aoife Clifford

Published: Simon & Schuster AU, 1 March 2016

Pages: 400

Summary: You don’t have to believe in ghosts for the dead to haunt you.

You don’t have to be a murderer to be guilty.

Within six months of Pen Sheppard starting university, three of her new friends are dead. Only Pen knows the reason why.
College life had seemed like a wonderland of sex, drugs and maybe even love. The perfect place to run away from your past and reinvent yourself. But Pen never can run far enough and when friendships are betrayed, her secrets are revealed. The consequences are deadly.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I'm always looking for new thrillers to read and I feel like lately there have been quite a lot of choices.  All These Perfect Strangers sounded so good and I was really curious about it.

I started the book and after a few pages I was a little confused as I was unsure of where the book was going or how things would get to a point of being interesting.  I got this feeling throughout the book, almost like it's trying to be mysterious but it's being too mysterious to the point where it just gets a little annoying.

The book says that Pen is the only one who knows the reason why three of her new friends were dead and honestly, without trying to give it away too much, I have to say that there really wasn't that much to the story.

I did find the story took a really long time to get into as well and so there were a couple of times where I thought about giving up on the book but I decided to continue until I at least got to the part where the action started happening.  Interestingly, things only really got going towards the very end of the book and from there I felt like it was a pile of things happening and then it just ended.

Overall, I just didn't really enjoy All These Perfect Strangers.  It was alright, but not something that I personally found to be enjoyable.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Quicksilver by R. J. Anderson

Title: Quicksilver

Author: R. J. Anderson

Published: Orchard Books, 2013

Pages: 384

Series: Book 2, Ultraviolet

Summary: May contain spoilers! Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it.

Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual... talents.

Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab.
She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills—and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I read the first book, Ultraviolet around four or five years ago so I really wasn't sure how much of the events of the first book I would remember but once I got a few pages in things definitely came back to me.

I feel as though I don't have a whole lot to say about Quicksilver because it is the second book in the series and the first one itself is very mysterious so a lot of the things I could potentially say about this book may give things away.  However, I will say that this book changes perspectives and because of that I think it wasn't as fun or interesting as the first one.

While this book is over 300 pages I found that it only took me a couple of hours to read.  The writing flows really well and the story just carries quite fast so it doesn't take too long to read.  My interest was definitely kept from the beginning right up until the end.

I quite enjoyed reading Ultraviolet.  It was fast paced and it kept me entertained for the duration of the book.  It was a good book.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Did Not Finish: S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

Title: S

Author: J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

Published: Mulholland Books, 2013

Pages: 457

Summary: A young woman picks up a book left behind by a stranger. Inside it are his margin notes, which reveal a reader entranced by the story and by its mysterious author. She responds with notes of her own, leaving the book for the stranger, and so begins an unlikely conversation that plunges them both into the unknown.

THE BOOK: Ship of Theseus, the final novel by a prolific but enigmatic writer named V. M. Straka, in which a man with no past is shanghaied onto a strange ship with a monstrous crew and launched onto a disorienting and perilous journey.

THE WRITER: Straka, the incendiary and secretive subject of one of the world’s greatest mysteries, a revolutionary about whom the world knows nothing apart from the words he wrote and the rumours that swirl around him.
THE READERS: Jennifer and Eric, a college senior and a disgraced grad student, both facing crucial decisions about who they are, who they might become, and how much they’re willing to trust another person with their passions, hurts, and fears.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This book was awful.  I just couldn't bring myself to finish the book in the end and so I have put it away and now I want to talk a little about why I didn't like this book and what I thought of it over all.

So, The Ship of Theseus part was actually not too bad.  It was quite mysterious and there was a lot going on which I really enjoyed.  I didn't love the story of The Ship of Theseus, it did take me a couple of chapters to actually get interested in the plot.

The part that I had the biggest problem with was with the story taking place in the notes in the margins and the little bits of paper and additions in the book.  The characters were kind of boring and I found myself groaning every time I finished a chapter of The Ship of Theseus, because I had to then go back and read the conversations at the sides.  I think it was after about the second time this happened that I decided that really if I was dreading picking this book up so much, I needed to just stop reading it.

There are a couple of things about the conversations that I didn't like.  I found Jen's 'handwriting' to be quite hard to read at times so I felt like it took double the effort to try and read her stuff.  There are different coloured conversations representing different times when the characters are writing to each other, the first is blue and black, the second orange and green, the third red and purple and then the very last conversation was in black and black which I just thought was really bad because I kept reading some of the black and black conversation thinking it was the initial conversation.

I didn't really care about who Straka was, I think it's probably because I knew that Straka was a fictional author anyway, and therefore I would never be able to figure out who he was or form my opinion myself and I didn't like the way that Jen and Eric were trying to figure it out.  I also felt as though the drama of the Professor and the other student was so odd and really unbelievable.  I didn't even feel like it was something to be feared.  That was probably because I just didn't care.

Really, I feel like the idea of this book is a good one, I just feel like the execution isn't so great.  I really just felt like I was putting a lot of effort into this book and the payoff just wasn't worth it.  Maybe one day I'll try reading this one again but I honestly don't think I will.  This book just was not for me.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Slays

Author: Ilona Andrews

Published: Ace, 2011

Pages: 308

Series: Book 5, Kate Daniels

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job. 

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she's still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate's mate. 
So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Having loved the previous book in the series I was looking forward to picking this one up quite soon after.  Needless to say I really enjoyed this book.  I just didn't love it as much as the previous books in the series.

So, the book starts off a couple of months after the previous book so it's interesting catching up with the characters and seeing what they're doing.  The mystery that develops was really intriguing in the beginning and really they always are.  There's always trouble lurking in some corner and it's up to Kate to save the day.

It was good to see the return of some old characters and we're introduced to some new characters.  I have to say that I feel like Curran is starting to annoy me a little bit.  I'm hoping that he stops doing some of the things that he has been doing to bother me in the next book.

One thing that I really loved about this book was that we learned a bit more about Kate's history and some more about the world in which she resides.  I really love that aspect of the book as it's so amazing.

Overall, I really enjoyed Magic Slays, I just felt like it dragged on a little towards the end and because of that I felt like I was starting to lose interest.  That being said, I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Dexter by Design

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Published: Orion, 2008

Pages: 344

Series: Book 4, Dexter

Summary: May contain spoilers!  After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with him: he’s devoted to his bride, his stomach is full, and his homicidal hobbies are nicely under control. But old habits die hard — and Dexter’s work as a blood spatter analyst never fails to offer new temptations that appeal to his offbeat sense of justice... and his Dark Passenger still waits to hunt with him in the moonlight.

The discovery of a corpse (artfully displayed as a sunbather relaxing on a Miami beach chair) naturally piques Dexter’s curiosity and Miami’s finest realize they’ve got a terrifying new serial killer on the loose. And Dexter, of course, is back in business.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had read the first page of this book a couple of times before I actually managed to keep going.  I think my apprehension in reading this was because the third book was a little average and I wasn't sure which direction this one would go in.

The serial killer in this book had an interesting way of killing.  The descriptions were fairly gruesome.  And Jeff Lindsay definitely makes the serial killers quite unique in their actions.

I find there is a little bit of a disconnect between the way the book is written and the subject matter.  The writing is so easy and light whereas the subject itself is quite dark.  It's just interesting how that occurs.

I do feel that it took me almost no time at all to finish this book because it was really interesting.  At first I thought I knew the exact direction the book would go in but then things happened that changed the way the book was going and I was really intrigued about how things would end.  I would say that I felt like the ending did drag out a little bit.

Overall, I quite enjoyed reading Dexter by Design.  It was interesting and a big improvement on the previous book in the series.  I look forward to reading the next book sometime soon.

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

Yoga Books Master List

This is a list of all the Yoga related books reviewed on the blog.


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.