Thursday, December 18

Book Review: Baggage

Title: Baggage

Author: Jill Sooley

Pages: EBook 305

Summary: Baggage, examines the step family. Drawing on humour and heart¬break, as she did in Widows of Paradise Bay, this story unfolds from the perspectives of three women – Marie, mother and stepmother; Floss, Marie’s daughter who grew up in a broken home and must deal with her mother’s second marriage; and Lolly, the rebellious step-daughter and young single mother who has never felt comfortable in her place within the stepfamily. Baggage highlights the ties that bind the stepfamily in all its awkward, complex, and optimistic tension.

My Rating: 3.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I had a hard time connecting to the characters, which I thought I'd be able to especially with Marie, but she was hard to connect to and hard to like as a character. I found her selfish, and to be a very flat character, which is disappointing, because I would have thought I'd be able to connect to her more, than the others.

The only character I could say I liked, was Floss. I found her story line to be the one that was well told, her character was well written and had a lot of growth throughout the book and overall, I just enjoyed her as a character and her story more than anyone else in the book.

The writing was fine, and the story had potential, but as this was a very character driven book, and I didn't particularly like the characters, the book didn't work for me.

Would I recommend it to read: I didn't like this book, but I'm sure there are others who would find it up their ally.

What to read next: I'm not sure on this one, I didn't like the book, so not sure what to recommend

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, EBook Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge

Note: This is part of my August Reviews

Tuesday, December 16

Book Review: Matadora

Title: Matadora

Author: Elizabeth Ruth

Pages: EBook 273

Summary: Set in Spain and Mexico during the 1930s, Matadora tells the story of Luna Caballero Garcia, an impoverished and intrepid servant attempting to make her name in the bullring at a time when it was illegal for a girl to do so. Matadora carries readers from bohemian artistic circles in Mexico City and Andalusia to Norman Bethune's mobile blood transfusions on the Madrid front. Against a backdrop of rising fascism and the Spanish Civil War, Elizabeth Ruth has created a powerful and compelling exploration of love, art, and politics, and an intelligent mirror for our times. Boldly sensual, with a cast of unforgettable characters and a plot that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, Matadora is easily one of the most original books of the year.

My Rating: 9.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book has become one of my favourite books of the year. It was such a beautifully written story, it captured me from the beginning and held on to the end. The ending, oh I both love and hate it. I think it was fitting for the book, but it was also one of those wow moments. I want to say more, but I don't want to spoil it, but the ending was well done. The ending is shocking, emotional and it's a book you have to read, to find out just how spectacular it was.

The writing was also beautifully well done, this is an author that had gone under my radar, but now I am looking forward to reading more. The book pulled me in, both because of the story and the author's writing. She took such care with the characters and the plot, that it created a very engaging and lovely novel.

Overall, a fantastic read and one I'd highly recommend to reading.

Would I recommend it to read: Yes! This is a must read, and it's probably one of my favourites of the year!

What to read next: More books by the author, I am looking forward to my next read by her.

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, EBook Challenge,

Note: This is part of my August Reviews

Sunday, December 7

Book Review: Dead and Gone

Title: Dead and Gone

Author: Charlaine Harris

Pages: EBook 205

Summary: When the weres and shifters finally come out, the residents of Bon Temps, Louisiana, must deal with the violent aftermath. But a far greater danger threatens. A race of unhuman beings-older, more powerful, and more secretive than vampires or werewolves-is preparing for war. And Sookie will find herself an all-too human pawn in their battle...

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I've been waiting for more details and more focus on the weres and shape sifters, and I finally got what I wanted. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed in this one.

While there were some interesting plot developments and the ending was a very intense, the story as a whole bored me. It's almost like the author had run out of steam on this one. It just didn't seem to have the same magic as the others. I still enjoyed it, but not as much as the others.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, this one was a lot better than some of the others in the series.

What to read next: Dead in the Family, which is the next book in the series

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, EBook Challenge, Finish That Series Challenge

Book Review: Secrets of a Fire King

Title: Secrets of a Fire King

Author: Kim Edwards

Pages: 255

Summary: Showcasing the intensity and perception of a truly gifted writer, this collection of short stories by the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Memory Keeper’s Daughter transports us to exotic locations as it follows the lives of those on the fringes of society - a fire eater, an American and his Korean war bride, a juggler and a trapeze artist, a cleaning woman whose life is interwoven with Marie Curie’s. Each must confront, in dramatically different ways, the barriers of time, place, and circumstance in that most universal of human experiences: the quest to discover, and understand, the elusive the mysteries of love.

Contents:

The Great Chain of Being
Spring, Mountain, Sea
A Gleaming in the Darkness
Balance
The Way it Felt to be Falling
The Invitation
Aristotle's Lantern
The Secrets of a Fire King
Thirst
Sky Juice
Gold
In the Garden
Rat Stories
The Story of My Life

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was an excellent collection of short stories. The writing alone, was lovely, engaging and incredibly well done. At times, it reminded of the same style and flare of another short story author I enjoy. This was a case where I can't believe I had the book sitting on myself as long as it was, because I really missed out on something.

As with most short stories, I liked some more than others, but the writing alone made all of them well worth reading. I'm looking forward to reading the novel I have by the author, which has also been sitting on my book shelf for far too long.

This collection is well worth reading, and one I would highly recommend.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, the writing alone, makes it well worth reading.

What to read next: More by the Author

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge

Book Review: Going After Cacciato

Title: Going After Cacciato

Author: Tim O'Brien

Pages: EBook 289

Summary: In a blend of reality and fantasy, this novel tells the story of a young soldier who one day lays down his rifle and sets off on a quixotic journey from the jungles of Indochina to the streets of Paris. In its memorable evocation of men both fleeing from and meeting the demands of battle, Going After Cacciato stands as much more than just a great war novel. Ultimately it's about the forces of fear and heroism that do battle in the hearts of us all.

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book was very well written, detailed and did a wonderful job at exploring the characters mindset during their time in the war. The pace of the story was slow, but in a good way, as it allowed so the author could go into depth of the characters and I thought that the complexity and the deep look into the minds and emotions of the soldiers was incredibly well done.

The story was also very engaging but it doesn't exactly have its full effect until the end, which I thought was a very fitting and fantastic ending. I wish I could say more about the book, but I don't want to spoil it. It's well worth reading, the journey the soldiers go on, was well written and the characters were incredible. So, it's well worth reading and experiencing.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it's was such an engaging read, and the ending makes it a book I'd highly recommended - why the ending makes it worth, I can't say as it would spoil the book, but as war time fiction goes, this one, is a must read.

What to read next: The Things they Carried

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, EBook Challenge, War Through the Generations Challenge

Note: This is part of my August reviews


Book Review: Riders of the Storm

Title: Riders of the Storm

Author: Julie Czerneda

Pages: 450

Summary: Then Om'ray Aryl Sarc – gifted with a forbidden Talent – upsets the long maintained balance between the three species, and she and her supporters are exiled from Yena Clan, taking with them Enris Mendolar, a young man who has left Tuana Clan on the ritual journey to find a mate. When they finally find a new home in the mountains, it is the ruined, deserted village of Sona, a forgotten Clan. And the seeming haven soon becomes the focus of conflict.

First Aryl discovers that the Oud who destroyed Sona haven't left. Instead, they are hunting for relics of a long-vanished, legendary race with the aid of Trade Pact agents. Then the Tiktik deny the Oud claims that Aryl's people are the Sona Clan, insisting the territory now belongs to them. When blood is spilled, Aryl must become Clan Speaker to try negotiate for peace.

Other Om'ray arrive, including some determined to learn the secret of Aryl's Talent. And even as she struggles with the perilous situation in Sona, Enris must take desperate measures to try to save his own clan from the destructive power games of the Oud and the Tikkit. But will the price of Sona's survival prove too high. . . ?

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book was a great read, while I didn't love it as much as the first, it was still an incredible read and I can't wait to find out how the trilogy ends and how it impacts the next three stories in the Clan Chronicles.

The book picks up soon after the other left off, and there was some interesting developments and surprises along the way. The author takes a lot of care with her characters and I'm really becoming attached to some of them. I'm itching to find out what happens to them in the final book. They're also showing some great development along the way.

This story didn't grab be as fast as the first book did, but there were a lot of details throughout the story that I think will be important in the final book and helped push the story along to the final stage. The writing is, engaging and fun and the voice of the characters really shine.

Overall, it was a great read.

Would I recommend it to read: I would. Especially if you're a fan of science fiction. This is one of the must reads in the genre.

What to read next: Rift in the Sky

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, Chunkster Challenge, Finish That Series Challenge

Note: This book is part of my August Reviews

Sunday, October 19

Book Review: Two Roads

Title: Two Roads

Author: Geonn Cannon

Pages: EBook 235

Summary: The spoils of war The Goa’uld have been defeated, and the Jaffa are free. In the power vacuum left behind, the dark underbelly of the galaxy is fighting over the spoils.

Among these thieves and rogues is Vala Mal Doran, on the trail of the fabulous treasure left behind by the System Lord Kali. But Vala is not the only one seeking the hoard. Back at Stargate Command, Dr Daniel Jackson has made a horrifying discovery — a doomsday device designed to exterminate the Jaffa who have dared to defy their gods.

Kali’s treasure might provide SG-1 with the means to disarm the device, but only if they can steal it back from one of the galaxy’s most ruthless criminals. Of course, it’s entirely possible that Vala Mal Doran will get there first...

My Rating: 7.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Parts of this were enjoyable, while other parts I didn't like as much. I was happy to see a Vala story in the Stargate books, she and Mitchell have been absent from them, and I'm one of the few who really enjoy them as characters, so finally a book with at least one of them, and to top it off, her character was well written into the story.

Having her a story in her pre-SG-1 days was interesting and I think the author did get a good grip on the character, and definitely dug deeper into Vala's character and who she really is. Which was nice to see, in the few glimpses I've seen her in other books in the series, she's written the same way her character was portrayed in the TV series on day one. Most of the time, she has been written with no character development and very, not like who she became. So, all in all, it was nice to see someone else, notice and write about the character with her potential, who is hidden under all the other traits the character has.

The storyline for this book was interesting too, I think for the most part, it fits with the rest of the Stargate universe fairly well. Although I love the SG-1 team and for the most part, the stories these novels take them, I found the team aspects of the story just didn't have the same magic as they usually do, and found myself enjoying the aspects with Vala more. Perhaps, I'm just starved for more Vala story lines. But, the SG-1 aspects, still had the classic moments and character interactions I enjoy, it just felt something was missing.

In the end, it was an enjoyable read.

Would I recommend it to read: Hmm, probably only to Stargate Fans

What to read next: More Stargate novels

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, EBook Challenge, New Author Challenge

Note: This book is part of my July Reviews

Book Reviews: The Rosie Project

Title: The Rosie Project

Author: Graeme Simsion

Pages: 324

Summary: Narrator Don Tillman 39, Melbourne genetics prof and Gregory Peck lookalike, sets a 16-page questionnaire The Wife Project to find a non-smoker, non-drinker ideal match. But Rosie and her Father Project supersede. The spontaneous always-late smoker-drinker wants to find her biological father. She resets his clock, throws off his schedule, and turns his life topsy-turvy.

My Rating: 7.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed this book quite a lot, it definitely was well written and well told, but I found I didn't love it as much as others have and I found it didn't live up to all the hype the book has received. While it was a good read, it wasn't the fantastic read I had hoped for.

Don was a very likeable character, despite his less savoury eccentric characteristics, I still found him to be an enjoyable narrator and character in the book. I think he was well written for who he was, and overall fun to read about. I didn't like some of the other characters as much, Greg in particular was a character I didn't like. I think it was supposed to be who Greg was, and I think it was important to the book, but he as a character just rubbed me the wrong way.

I found the story to be fun and quirky, the end was a bit predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless. It's the perfect to book to read when you just want to sit and relax.

Overall, it just wasn't what I expected. Worth reading, but it didn't have that appeal to me, as it seemed to have with others.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, the book wasn't as great as I was led to believe, but still a fun read

What to read next: I'd say the sequel, or The Silver Linings Playbook

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge

Note: This book is part of my July Reviews