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

Book Review: Reap the Wild Wind

Title: Reap the Wild Wind

Author: Julie Czerneda

Pages: 456

Summary: Reap the Wild Wind turns to an earlier period in the Clan's history, before they left Cersi. At this time they are known as the Om'ray, and are divided into widely scattered tribal Clans, each of which must remain in its own allotted portion of Cersi, constrained from advancing beyond a certain point by two powerful races-the Oud and the Tikitik-that have technological and scientific advantages over them. The three races coexist based on three inviolate principles: 1) the world has always been divided this way and must remain so; 2) Passage-a once in a lifetime event when individual Om'ray are permitted to cross all territorial boundaries in search of a mate-must be honoured by all; 3) nothing on Cersi can be allowed to change.

Reap the Wild Wind opens at a pivotal moment when beings from the Trade Pact have begun to explore Cersi, upsetting the balance between the three races. It is a time, too, when young Aryl Sarc of the Yena Clan is on the verge of mastering the forbidden secret of the M'hir-a secret that could prove the salvation or ruin of her entire species . . .

My Rating: 9/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was an excellent introduction to the series, it pulled me in from the start and kept me reading frantically until the end. In fact i enjoyed the story so much, that I started read the second book almost immediately after I finished this one.

The characters were solid, especially considering this was the first book in the series, they were well fleshed out and well written, and had a steady growth throughout the story. I found there was enough revealed about them to move the story along, but a there was still a lot left out to keep me reading on and wanting more. I can't say I have a favourite character yet, but pretty much all of them make me want to keep reading, to find out more about them.

The story was rather engrossing, especially coming to the end. I love the world the author has created, the parallels and differences between the races, and their homes. The setting is written so vividly, I was able to picture the bizarre world clearly in my mind. The author has done a fantastic job at creating a very realistic alien world and I'm looking forward to seeing how these stories, connect and wrap into another series, written by the author. I'm also looking forward to some answers to the history behind these races and how everything came to how it is now. I have ideas, there have been hints, but I want more, and it looks like the next two books should give me those answers.

Overall, it was an amazing read and I'm looking forward to finishing the series.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, a great book for science fiction fans, and a good choice for those who want to dip into Sci-Fi.

What to read next: Riders of the Storm, 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 July Reviews

Book Review: The River

Title: The River

Author: Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Pages: EBook 252

Summary: Stem cell research, cloning, and world domination--with a twist...

Seven years ago, Del Hawthorne’s father and three of his friends disappeared near the Nahanni River and were presumed dead. When one of the missing men stumbles onto the University grounds, alive but barely recognizable and aging before her eyes, Del is shocked. Especially when the man tells her that her father is alive.

My Rating: 3.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I liked the premise of the book and the idea behind the story. The author had some interesting plot ideas and there were a few spots I was interested in the book but overall, the book just didn't work for me. One of the biggest issues was the characters, they were underdeveloped, flat and had very predictable actions. I also found them to be somewhat stereotypical and the main character to be a Mary-Sue. I think if the characters had stronger development in the book, I may have enjoyed it more. The plot itself had interesting elements, but it too fell short, it was built up, then became a letdown. I couldn't get into it, and eventually the book became a struggle to finish.

In the end, it just wasn't the book for me.

Would I recommend it to read: I wouldn't, I found a lot of things didn't work in this book.

What to read next: I'm not sure, I picked this book out mainly because it took place in the Canadian North.

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

Note: This book is part of my July Reviews

Sunday, July 27

Book Review: From Dead to Worse

Title: From Dead to Worse

Author: Charlaine Harris

Pages: EBook 243

Summary: After the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the manmade explosion at the vampire summit, everyone—human and otherwise—is stressed, including Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who is trying to cope with the fact that her boyfriend, Quinn, has gone missing.

It’s clear that things are changing—whether the weres and vamps of her corner of Louisiana like it or not. And Sookie—Friend to the Pack and blood-bonded to Eric Northman, leader of the local vampire community—is caught up in the changes.

In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death, and once more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood finished flowing, her world will be forever altered.

My Rating: 7/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: While I enjoyed the book, it wasn't my favourite of the series, in fact compared to some of the others it was a little bland. Still an enjoyable book, not as good as the others.

I did find the characters are becoming very fleshed out. Sookie is becoming a more likeable character as time goes on and there are a few supporting characters I've come to enjoy, I just wish they would have more time in the books, like Sam. I want to learn more about him and find out more about who he is. Although, perhaps that's why I like him so much, the unknown.

There were some parts of the book I found to drag a bit and as I said above, I didn't enjoy this one as much as the others. I think it's setting up for future plots, but this one just didn't have the same thrill as others.

In the end, a good read but not my favourite of the series.

Would I recommend it to read: If you plan on reading the rest of the series, then yes. This one wasn't my favourite of the series, although it does set up a lot of future plot lines, that look like some interesting events are coming.

What to read next: Books 9 - 13 of the series, Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong

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

Book Review: The Enchanted

Title: The Enchanted

Author: Rene Denfeld

Pages: EBook 144

Summary: The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries magical visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs, with the devastating violence of prison life. Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest, and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honor and corruption-ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a quick, but very engrossing read, which I enjoyed a lot. 

There are so many elements to this book, that drew me in, it's hard to find a place to start. First of all, having almost all of the characters nameless also added something to the book, which ended up being a great thing, because despite only knowing pieces of information about a character, I still felt connected to them, and it had a lot of character driven parts.

The story itself is harsh, focusing on the horrible crimes of the prisoners, and some focus on their lives, which in some cases, was just as horrific as the crimes the prisoners committed, but the author balances that out, with some extraordinary and beautiful writing - the writing alone made me want to race through the book, but having the characters created they way they were and an incredible story, it made for an excellent reading experience.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it was an incredible story and I think a lot of readers would enjoy the book, no matter their reading tastes.

What to read next: I've been thinking about this for some time, and I'm still clueless on what to read next.

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

Book Review: Cold Hearts

Title: Cold Hearts

Author: Gunner Staalesen

Pages: 300

Summary: On a frosty January day in Bergen, Private Detective Varg Veum is visited by a prostitute. Her friend Margrethe has disappeared and hasn't been seen for days. Before her disappearance, something had unsettled her: she'd turned away a customer and returned to the neighbourhood in terror. Shortly after taking the case, Veum is confronted with a brutal, uneasy reality. He soon finds the first body - and it won't be the last either. His investigation leads him into a dark subculture where corrupted idealism has had deadly consequences.

My Rating: 7.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would, and the book had a lot more substance to it than I thought it would be.

The author did a good job at creating the characters in the book, this was another book where I didn't have a favourite character, but I did find they were characters that were developed. The story itself was also well told and had a lot more depth to it than I thought it would. It's not at all what I'd expected from a crime thriller, and at times it was rather gripping. Although I did find the book to drag in some parts and I think that this being part of a series, it's yet another cases where I'm missing pieces of information on characters backgrounds along with pieces from the plot. It's likely I'd have enjoyed the book more if I've read some of the earlier books.

Although I liked this book, I'm not sure I'd go back from to the start of the series. While it was a good summer read, the characters didn't snag me enough to want to read more about them.

Would I recommend it to read: If you enjoy crime fiction, than this would be an excellent choice. Although, I suggest starting at the beginning of the series.

What to read next: Ian Rankin would be a good place to start.

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

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Review: Fifth Business

Title: Fifth Business

Author: Robertson Davies

Pages: 257

Summary: Ramsay is a man who has returned from the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I.As he tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous.

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book grabbed my interest from the start, mainly due to the writing, and while the story didn't always engage me, the book has me wanting more from the author, and it's very likely I will read the rest of this series in the near future.

What I liked best about the book was the writing, it hooked me in from the start and kept me reading to the end. I will definitely read the rest of the books in the trilogy and probably everything else by the author, as the writing and storytelling was just that good.

The only snag was this particular book lost me part of the way through. While I enjoyed the story, I did feel that there were parts that dragged on and I was hoping the story would move faster. I also found there wasn't a character I really enjoyed, I didn't dislike any of them, but there wasn't a character that stuck with me. With that being said, the characters were very complex and full of depth, they just didn't jump out at me, which usually happens when the author has similar style to Davies. Overall, it was a good book, and one that is well worth reading, I will definitely be adding the author to the top of my CanLit reading list.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, the writing alone makes me want to shove the books into every canlit fans hands.

What to read next: The rest of Deptford Trilogy

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 7th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge