Wolf’s Mate (Wind Dragons MC No.5) by Chantal Fernando

Wolf’s Mate (Wind Dragons MC No.5) by Chantal Fernando

img_0907

I don’t feel like uploading a new photo so here’s the one from NYCC 2016. You can see the cover middle row, far left.

Vinnie – or Wolf, as he’s known now that he’s no longer a prospect but a full-fledged member of the Wind Dragons MC- has always been a man of his word. So when Talon, the leader of a rival MC, calls in a favor, Vinnie must respond, even if his fellow Wind Dragons aren’t too keen on it. Little does Wolf know that the “favor” is babysitting Talon’s cousin Shayla, who’s know to be a spoiled princess whose daddy embezzled his way into the slammer.

But when he meets this damsel in distress she’s far from spoiled- in fact, Shayla’s pretty amazing. But her security is crap, and Talon’s guys don’t know what they are doing. It’s up to Wolf to take matters into his own hands, and not even his brothers at the WDMC can help with this one. Shayla’s all his-if he can keep her alive.

For starters this is not a genre I typically read. I picked it up at NYCC 2016 not knowing it was part of a series and thinking it was about werewolves.

Spoiler alert – it’s not about werewolves.

Anyway, I am waiting on my order Radiate, the third book in the Lightless trilogy, to come in. As I do that I am reading some other books from my NYCC 2016 pile.

What I liked about Wolf’s Mate was that it was a really fast read. It took me three days. It’s like reading fan fiction. It’s amusing. Also, you don’t have to read the previous five books to be caught up. This can stand on its own.

Once I read the book jacket and realized it was not about werewolves, but a bad boy romance novel (think the tamest version of Sons of Anarchy meets erotic fan fiction), I knew what I was getting into. So it was exactly as I expected. The storyline follows a typical formula and is a bit silly and not very deep with lots of typical tropes.

But that’s fine. If I am going to eat fast food at least I know I am not eating a healthy meal.

Somethings really made me roll my eyes, but you have to look past it when this book is just meant to be fluff. For example, like not using condoms with someone you just met – so idiotic. And if you really never wanted kids – get a vasectomy.

Oh, and one more thing. He’s called Vinnie by his MC family. His name Wolf is mentioned once or twice! False advertising!

Anyway…this book served it’s purpose as a quick filler while I am waiting for another book.

3 out of 5 Motorcycles.

Advertisements

Supernova by C.A. Higgins (with some spoilers)

31190728

C. A. Higgins’s acclaimed novel Lightless fused suspenseful storytelling, high-caliber scientific speculation, and richly developed characters into a stunning science fiction epic. Now the dazzling Supernova heightens the thrills and deepens the haunting exploration of technology and humanity—and the consequences that await when the two intersect.

Once Ananke was an experimental military spacecraft. But a rogue computer virus transformed it—her—into something much more: a fully sentient artificial intelligence, with all the power of a god—and all the unstable emotions of a teenager.

Althea, the ship’s engineer and the last living human aboard, nearly gave her life to save Ananke from dangerous saboteurs, forging a bond as powerful as that between mother and daughter. Now she devotes herself completely to Ananke’s care. But teaching a thinking, feeling machine—perhaps the most dangerous force in the galaxy—to be human proves a monumental challenge. When Ananke decides to seek out Matthew Gale, the terrorist she regards as her father, Althea learns that some bonds are stronger than mortal minds can understand—or control.

Drawn back toward Earth by the quest, Althea and Ananke will find themselves in the thick of a violent revolution led by Matthew’s sister, the charismatic leader Constance, who will stop at nothing to bring down a tyrannical surveillance state. As the currents of past decisions and present desires come into stark collision, a new and fiery future is about to be born.

Supernova picks up right where Lightless left off. I’m glad I went right into it after reading Lightless because there are lots of details to remember. (My review for Lightless.)

Some spoilers below:

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – July 17: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

July 17: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories

 

1) Zombies Vs. Unicorns, Edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths–for good and evil–of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

My favorite short stories in this collection are:

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – July 10: TTT Throwback

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

July 10: TTT Throwback (pick a topic we’ve done in the past that you missed out on, or loved so much you’d like to do again!)

I have been so busy that I didn’t have time to keep up with TTT and so this is perfect for me to do a couple of lists that I really wanted to do.

Throwback to May 22: Best Character Names


1)Victra au Julii, Red Rising trilogy.
I think Victra is a cool futuristic twist on the beautiful name Victoria. And the character is bad ass.

2)Rhiannon, Another Day by David Levithan.
Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” is an iconic and beautiful song. I only wish that the song had been mentioned in the story. Rhiannon is not a common name, so was she named after the song?

3)Padmé, Star Wars.
It’s so pretty to say over and over, and I love symbolism. It means lotus which is earthy and very fitting since she’s in a forbidden relationship with a sky-walker.

4)Mara Jade, Star Wars (Legends).
I think it’s a fun name to say because it rolls off the tongue well. And as a red head she looks good in green.  I could do a whole list of Star Wars names that I love. Ahsoka Tano, Asajj Venress, Thrawn, Sabine Wren…  Ok. Moving on.

5)Hermione, Harry Potter.
An unusual and strong name for an an unusual and strong girl. Thought I admit, if it weren’t for the films I would be saying it wrong.

6)Ysabeau, All Souls Trilogy.
This is another name that until I listened to the audiobook I was pronouncing it wrong. I was saying Yas-a-beau, but it’s a French variation of the name Isabelle. When pronounced correctly it’s very pretty and uncommon.
Ironically, Ysabeau says in the first book that names are very important, so of course I had to include her on this list.

6)Edmund Dantes, The Count of Monte Cristo.
I loved the way the narrator (B.J. Harrison) said this name on the audiobook.

7)Sherlock Holmes
That is a one of a kind name and I like saying the sarcastic phrase, “No shit, Sherlock.”
What kind of name is Sherlock anyway? So I googled it.
“Sherlock is actually an English surname, which was used by Doyle as his character’s first name. The name translates from Old English roots scir, meaning ‘bright’, and locc, meaning ‘lock of hair’.

Doyle had originally named his character Sherrinford Holmes, his last name a homage to the great Oliver Wendell Holmes. But in the three weeks of writing his first short story featuring the detective, A Study in Scarlet, Doyle changed his first name to Sherlock, after an unidentified player he played cricket against. ”

Well, there you go!

Throwback to June 25: Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish
1) Shopaholic. I read Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, and Shopaholic Ties the Knot. I once planned to read past book 3 but I am no longer that interested in what happens next (I guess it kind of jumped the shark for me) and I don’t really read that genre anymore.

2) Dorothy Must Die. I gave the first book 2 stars so … forget the rest. I thought it should have been a standalone anyway.

3) The Beautiful Creatures spin off series: Dangerous Creatures. I mildly enjoyed the Beautiful Creatures books but not enough to keep going. I got closure from the first set of books and don’t need to open that door again.

The same reasons apply to..

4) The Dark Artifices. I liked The Mortal Instruments, liked The Infernal Devices a whole lot more, but I am done with this universe. The only exception is The Bane Chronicles. I already have it on my TBR pile and Magnus is a favorite character.

Book Review with Spoilers! Lightless by C.A. Higgins

img_0904

(I know there are other books in that photo but I am too lazy to upload a new one.)

Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.

While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner—the enigmatic Ivan—may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities’ most relentless surveillance—and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.

As the ship’s systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner’s layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan’s mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever—if it doesn’t kill her first.

I picked this up at NYCC 2016 and my copy is signed by the author.

I very much enjoyed this sci-fi story. The characters really got to me and made me think. It was hard to side with anyone. There are no clear heroes. Everyone has a dark side so it was like picking the lesser of evils. I felt like a detective.

The computer science and laws of physics goes way over my head but (SPOILERS!!) Continue reading

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson

A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.

In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.

Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children’s art projects). Digging into her late husband’s tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.

 

I was in Barnes & Noble last week and just browsing the tables when this immediately caught my eye. It’s morbid yet I also know it’s inevitable so I often think about the junk I’ll have to go through after my parents pass on.

I also think about what will happen to my stuff (mainly books and artwork) when I go, especially if I don’t have children. Even when someone who never had children passes on, someone has to clean their mess. And so Margareta Magnusson states to be thoughtful of those people who you leave behind, whoever they are.

I have often thought about leaving a set of instructions detailing what can be done with certain items and who gets what.

I just never knew that there was an actual Swedish term for it. So when this book caught my eye I had to get it. I read the whole thing the moment I got home.

I found it useful and smart. Magnusson gives some helpful pieces of advice of where to start decluttering and how to maintain a home without clutter. She also provides short, to the point, sentimental stories from her own life that was well balanced with the topic of the book.

I placed some bookmarks in my copy so that when I get started on döstädning I can quickly refresh my memory. (The older you get the hard it is to go through it all!)

The book is to the point and she doesn’t claim to have the knowledge of how to handle the psychological issues when trying to help a loved one who’s a hoarder. I will have to read another book for that.

4 out of 5 Organized homes.

Bonus!  Here is a  video of Margareta talking about döstädning.

The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy 2) by Katherine Arden

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

Finally got to read my ARC from NYCC 2017!!

At a Deleted Scenes panel I went to where Arden was one of the speakers she said that she ended up rewriting The Girl In the Tower twice! The version of The Bear and the Nightingale that was published was only half of her original story, but when she went back to the second half it just wasn’t working anymore. So she scrapped the whole thing and started over for the sequel.

I am still curious what the first draft was like.

I was a bit of a mess when reading this sequel. I started it, got nearly half way through when life got in the way and I was too exhausted to read. Then I went away on a vacation and I never read on a vacation because I am too busy touring. Then I picked up where I left off after I got settled into my regular routine. So I feel a bit disjointed as I try to write this review.

I liked it, though not as much as The Bear and the Nightingale. Maybe I’ll feel differently when I reread it. When the third book comes out I’ll listen to the first two on Audible. I already have TBatN in my library.

I really liked the early scenes with Vasya and Morozko I liked their dynamic and I was happy that my questions from the first book about Morozko and the necklace were answered.

I liked Vasya’s rebellion against a patriarchal society and her fight for freedom in medieval Russia. Though sometimes I shook my head at her when she was risking her disguise with silly wagers and races. Girl, you are playing with fire! Figuratively and literally!

Speaking of medieval Russia, Arden really makes the setting feel just right for this fairy tale. I don’t know much about historical accuracy, though she did as much research as she could for a “poorly documented era” (her words). It just really felt like you were there. I also enjoyed the political games and deceptions being played. That added a frustratingly suspenseful dynamic.

One downside of the story is that I did predict who the ghost really was, though I didn’t guess the twist. It does make me want a prequel novel though because what a tragic love story that is!

There isn’t much of a cliffhanger since the villain was disposed of but I do like Vasya’s niece and I want to see where her magic takes her. I also still just really like the way the relationships are written, especially between Vasya and  Sasha, and Vasya and her horse. And of course we can’t see the last of Morozko.

3.5 out of 5 Chyerti

Some of my favorite poetic quotes: I know they say to check the finished work but I am too lazy and I like the way it was written in the ARC:

Page 67: “The more one knows, the sooner one grows old.”
Page 87: “I carve things of wood because things made by effort are more real than things made by wishing.”
Page 189″ The first stars had kindled in a sky gone royally violet, and the moon heaved a faint silver curve over the ragged line of palaces.”
Page 235: “Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory the other: of a life left unchosen.”