Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

First I’d like to apologize for how long it took me to post this review. I finished reading this book a few weeks ago, but I was out of the country with limited internet access. The Bone Season was one of the books I’d been meaning to read since it was first released in 2013. Samantha Shannon is a prodigy for sure. I couldn’t even start to imagine coming up with these many ideas for a book at the tender age of twenty-two, much less sign a fabulous book deal to write a seven-book series.

The Bone Season is book one of the series and it does not disappoint. Wow, was all that was coming out of my mouth when I finished this book. I truly loved it. I liked Paige, the heroine, and Warden. The characters were complex and well-developed. This is a four hundred and fifty-page book that reads like it’s two hundred pages. It’s a real page-turner. I thought the descriptions of the fights and the action scenes were really well described.

The one complaint I have about the book was the fact that Shannon created this entire new vocabulary, and to understand it you have to consult the glossary at the back of the book. That was something that got pretty tiresome after a while, and the sole reason I’m not rating this book five stars. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel.

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Book Details:

Title:The Bone Season /Author:Samantha Shannon/Genre:YA/Paranormal/ ISBN:9781620401392/Publisher:Bloomsbury USA/Rating: 4-Stars/Read:June, 2015.

Review: The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

the truth

In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her own opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. However, once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is completely drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is deeply entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues—ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business with which her charismatic father is always occupied and the reason her adored aunt Jottie never married. Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a different tale about the Romeyns, and the invisible threads linking them to the heart of Macedonia’s history. As Willa peels back the layers of her family’s past, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed—and their personal histories completely rewritten.

The Truth According to Us is Annie Barrows debut novel. Written in an epistolary format, and alternating between twelve-year-old Willa and her aunt Jottie Romeyn’s point of view and thoughts on Layla Beck. Layla moves in with the Romeyn family after her father sends her off to work at the Federal Writers’ Project.

This novel is one of those books that as you read you can almost listen to the southern accent in the dialogues. The descriptions of the fictitious town of Macedonia really transports you to this quaint little southern town. The characters in this story are extremely colorful and funny. The book, however, was a little bit of a slow read for my taste, but overall a great read.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

3 star

Book Details:

Title:The Truth According to Us /Author:Annie Barrows/Genre:Fiction/ ISBN:9780385342940/Publisher:The Dial Press/Rating: 3-Stars/Read:June, 2015.

Review: Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M. Boyce

lichgates

When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her…

Kara is a teenager who one day decides to go for a hike in the woods and encounters a secret door, or lichgate, in the middle of the forest. This lichgate is a portal that takes her to the land of Ourea, an underground world of unique races, monsters and magical creatures.

I want to start by pointing out what I liked about this book. Fantasy books are probably the genre that requires the greatest amount of creativity, and in that part Boyce did a fantastic job. She spent a significant amount of time creating an entire world full of mythical and magical creatures, dragons, shape-shifters, portals and demons.

What I did not like about this book was that it felt a little too long and redundant. I understand that being the first book in a saga there will be a lot of introduction to characters and descriptions. Unfortunately, at times, the transition was choppy. The character of Kara, the protagonist, the heroine, is rather dull and a bit too naive. I didn’t really empathize with her at all. The other character in the book is Braeden Drakonin, a dark prince with a dark secret and who doesn’t get along with his dad–the big evil king. I was hoping for more romance than just the platonic thing that went on between Kara and Braeden. Maybe that will be developed in other books. Overall, Ourea is a complicated world. It is full of details, and kingdoms and species, and although the author did an excellent job at creating this mythical land the rest of the story did not feel well developed.

Lichgates is book one of the Grimoire Saga, and I’m hoping that more of the actual story and characters will be developed in future books. I’m not giving up on this series, and I’m looking forward to book number two.

I’d like to thank Story Cartel for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

3 star

Book Details:

Title:Lichgates /Author:S.M.Boyce/Genre:Fantasy/YA / ISBN:9781939997067/Publisher:Acorn Valley Press/Rating: 3-Stars/Read:June, 2015.

Review: The Mine by John A. Heldt

The Mine

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. 

Who does not love the concept of time travel? The chance to go back in time and maybe meet famous historical figures, or see our parents when they were little. I’ve been a huge fan of time travel stories since I first read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, and I still have very fond memories of my childhood, and watching Back to The Future.

The Mine is a time-travel novel, but unlike many novels of the same genre this story is also a beautiful love story. Joel Smith is a cocky twenty-something guy who walks into a mine and comes out in 1941. Joel is flawed, but a well-written character. The historical descriptions of America in the age of swing dancing really transports you to that period in time. My favorite character in this book is Ginny–witty and funny she is such a delight, and as you start reading the story you’ll know why she is so special. I have to say that half-way through the book I thought I had the story figured out, and I was very happy with how surprised I was at the end of the book. This story does not disappoint. I had a great time reading it. This is book one of the Northwest Passage series. Looking forward to the next ones.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Details:

Title: The Mine/Author: John A. Heldt/Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance / ASIN:B0078S9B6G/Publisher: Self-Published/Rating: 4-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Alive (The Generations Trilogy #1) by Scott Sigler

Alive

A group of young adults awake in a mysterious enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how they got there…and an indomitable young woman must lead them not only to answers but to survival.

A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth.

Alive is one of those books which the premise alone made me drop everything else I was reading to start reading this book. I had read very few reviews on this book, and the author has requested that very little detail about the book be given. I don’t think I’m the sort of reviewer that reveals spoilers in books, but I have to admit that I struggled while writing this review in fear of giving too much away.

This is my first book by Scott Sigler and the first book of The Generations Trilogy. I love dystopian novels and that drew me to this story. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed as I started to read and recognize themes very similar to other famous dystopian novels. This is not a bad book, and although the story is interesting and fast paced the storyline is not very original. I’m looking forward to the next books in this series, and hopefully a departure from these familiar dystopian themes.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Alive/Author: Scott Sigler/Genre: Dystopian/YA / ISBN: 9780553393101/Publisher: Del Rey/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Indelible by Peter Helton

Indelible

Chris Honeysett agrees to do an exhibition at the prestigious Bath Arts Academy together with several other artists to celebrate the Academy’s thirtieth-year anniversary. Shortly after arriving at the Academy, and against his better judgement, he takes on a position as a tutor. Several peculiar incidents start to happen leading to the death of one of his fellows and Honeysett being framed for murder.

Indelible is a mystery novel by Peter Helton. It is the sixth book in the Chris Honeysett series. My local librarian recommended me this title after an afternoon chat about my love for Agatha Christie. The front cover of the book even describes the characters of this book as Agatha Christie-like. But were they really? I’m not so sure. They were extremely quirky and the general feeling of the book reminded me very much of Christie’s novels, but what I really liked about this book was the amount of humor it contained.

Chris Honeysett is a great character! He is both a painter and a private detective with a self-deprecating sense of humor. He is probably a better painter than a PI, but his dialogues are pretty funny. There is also a significant amount of information about art and painting. The author has a fine arts degree and he uses that knowledge very well in composing the story. The end did not disappoint, but I found the early chapters were a bit too slow for my taste, and it took me a while to get into this book.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Indelible/Author: Peter Helton/Genre: Mystery / ISBN:9780727884237/Publisher: Severn House Publishers/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Sight (The Delta Girls-Book 1) By Juliet Madison

Sight

When Savannah wakes up after two months in the hospital, she sees a whole lot more than expected, things that could put those close to her at risk.

Three months after being discharged from the hospital, Savannah Delcarta and her family start a new life in the town of Iris Harbor. The change is difficult at first, but Savanna and her four sisters share a lot more than sisterhood and friendship in common. All five sisters have paranormal abilities. Savannah has the gift of sight, Serena the gift of sound, Sasha the gift of scent, Tamara the gift of taste and Talia the gift of touch. When the sisters get together and hold hands, they are able to predict the future using one of those senses.

When a serial arsonist terrorizes Iris Harbor, the Delcarta sisters rely on their senses to find out who is behind the mysterious fires.

This is book one of the Delta Girls series and I absolutely LOVED it! The story is awesome! Savannah is sassy and kind and the plot is well-developed. I really had a great time reading it. It was a nice, enjoyable afternoon read. I liked that there was the right amount of adventure, romance and suspense weaved in the story. Because this is book one, not all the characters were as developed as Savannah, but we get an introduction to her sisters and mother as well. I’m definitely looking forward to the other books in the series, and to learn more about the Delcarta sisters.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on July 14, 2015.

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Book Details:

Title: Sight (The Delta Girls-Book 1) /Author: Juliet Madison/Genre:Paranormal/YA / ISBN: 978162681550-6/Publisher: Diversion Books/Rating: 4-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Summer Reading Programs

Summer is just around the corner and parents start wondering how to keep their little ones occupied during the summer months. My kids are no stranger to reading programs. Every summer our library system in Nevada runs some sort of reading challenge or activity for children.

This year we found Barnes & Noble’s version of a reading challenge called Imagination’s Destination.

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For every eight books your child reads and records in the Reading Journal, they’ll get one free book from B&N’s collection.

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This has been a great incentive for my kids who were less than enthusiastic about getting another plastic medal from the library. They are hoping to turn in as many journals as possibles in exchange for more free books. 😉

Review: Constant Fear By Daniel Palmer

Constant Fear

In Daniel Palmer’s electrifying, brilliantly plotted new thriller, a private school campus becomes a battleground as a desperate father takes on a terrifying enemy….

Jake Dent lives with his diabetic teenage son Andy in the town of Winston, MA. Andy is a computer geek and part of the Shire–a group of hacker kids who steal money from rich people’s bank accounts to give to charity. It’s all nice and fun until the kids hack a drug cartel’s bank account and steal millions of dollars. When the drug dealers stage a chemical spill at the school and take the children hostage; Jake an ex-baseball player turned Rambo, goes on a race against time to save his son and the rest of the kids.

I really enjoyed Daniel Palmer’s new thriller Constant Fear. I wouldn’t call it a page-turner, but it certainly kept me interested. The story is really well-written and the book has a great premise. The characters were well developed, but I found some of the chapters with descriptions of the guns and ammo to be a little too long and boring. Overall, I definitely recommend this thriller.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on May 26, 2015.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Constant Fear/Author: Daniel Palmer/Pages: 416/Genre: Thriller/ ISBN: 9780758293466/Publisher: Kensington/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

Broken+Promise

Title: Broken Promise: A Thriller

Author: Linwood Barclay

Pages: 488

Genre: Crime/Thriller

ISBN: 9780451472670

Publisher: NAL

Rating: 4-Stars

Read: May 2015

After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent…

David Harwood is a widowed father who moves back to his hometown of Promise Falls, NY with his young son Ethan. Life is at its low for David, he loses his job at a local newspaper shortly after moving back and has to move in back with his parents. When David’s mother asks him to take some food to a nearby cousin, he finds out that his cousin Marla is raising a baby. The problem is that Marla does not have a child. David starts to snoop around to try to get to the bottom of the story, and hopefully find the actual mother of the baby. When he learns that the mother of the baby has been murdered, he starts his own investigations, leaning on his experience as a reporter, to find out what happened and what role–if any, his cousin played in the crime.

Linwood Barclay is indeed a master of suspense. Broken Promise was a delight to read. A real page turner. I love the way Barclay developed his characters! The plot was very well written, full of twists and unexpected events. A fantastic thriller! My only complaint was the fact that although the ending was really good, there were a few loose ends that were not explained. I’m hoping there will be a sequel. Overall, it is a great read for fans of this genre.

I received an early copy of this book for free from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on July 28, 2015.

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