Monday, November 24, 2014

Magic in the Making: A Book Review on Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Sterling Saucier lives in Sticks, Louisiana, next to the swamp that no one talks about and everyone steers clear of. There are legends and stories about the creatures in the swamp and the things that have come out from its depths, but they're only stories with warnings attached to them. Until the day Sterling's brother, Phineas, runs into the swamp and a girl named Lenora May is returned in his place. The town believes Lenora May is Sterling's sister and to make matters worse, Sterling is the only one who remembers anything about Phineas, the brother who disappeared. Her friends are worried about her, her family is watching her like a hawk and the only person who believes her claims has a questionable reputation. As the power of the swamp begins to seep into the town, it slowly becomes clear that no one is safe and that the warning were true.

Now Sterling needs to enter the swamp, to understand its mysteries and figure out a way to get Phin back before he's gone forever.

I kept waiting for my local bookstore to get this in stock. Finally, I caved and ordered a copy then tracked its movements until it was delivered to my front door.

It was worth every effort.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Clearing off the Cobwebs and Talking about Books

It's been nearly two years since I've felt the need to write anything here. I had picked up a good rhythm to posting on here. I was reading my books and gathering my notes and putting my thoughts here because I thought it was what I wanted to do. I really didn't care if people stopped by and read what I wrote. Then I posted a review and a month passed by, and then another, and lo and behold, it turned out to be the last one I'd seemed to have written.

But every now and then I would sign back in here, look at what I wrote and think that maybe I should go back to that. Just pick up where I left off. So I'm cleaning things up here and I'm going to attempt to post again.

Just so you know, I haven't stopped reading or writing. The evidence might not be here but trust me, it exists.

Let's clear the air a bit first, shall we?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Faerytale Magic Part III: A Book Review on Endlessly by Kiersten White

Evie is ready to settle down for good with her normal life filled with her not-so-normal boyfriend, vampire roommate and the horde of paranormals coming in and out of her life at the diner she works at. When a new head at the IPCA tries to blackmail Evie into working for them again full-time, Evie begins to understand exactly where her place in the world is and she's determined to set things right to keep her loved ones safe. But when the Faeries once again return with information regarding the purpose to her existence, Evie has to decide if she's willing to risk everything to help save the paranormals she's worked so hard to keep in line or turn her back on her destiny, once and for all.

Aww damn phooey; mumble grumble boo.

It feels like it took me ages to finish Endlessly. Really, I started it right after finishing Supernaturally, honest I did, but I only just finished it a couple of days ago.

White's writing is concise, the voice is strong. But this time around, there is absolutely no denying it; Evie is definitely whining a LOT in this book. Whenever she hears something she doesn't like, or she just doesn't want to listen to something, she just walks away, or stomps away usually. It got tiresome, to say the least.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Faerytale Magic Part II: A Book Review on Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Evie has a new job now, fulfilling her lifelong dream of living the normal life of your average high school student. But it's not everything Evie hoped it would be. She's stuck going to high school trying to earn good grades to get into the same college as her boyfriend and stressing over college applications. She's working at a diner for money and she lives in a small apartment with a vampire as a roommate. As much as she thought she wanted the "normal" life, Evie thinks back to her days at the IPCA and wishes for the chance to really matter, which is why she jumps at the opportunity to work for them again when they ask her back. But the missions go from bad to worse and the prophecy Evie thought was over has come back with a whole new force behind it. After learning that there's a war brewing in the Faerie world, Evie finds out that her life is inexplicably tied to the paranormals she truly hates, the Faeries. And unless she manages to figure out her part, Evie's whole world will slip through her fingers for good.

Blast. Blast, blast, BLAST!

Note to the reader: Don't read this review if you haven't finished the first book in the series, Paranormalcy, as this review will discuss plot points from the previous release as they pertain to this story, therefore making this filled with the occasional SPOILER!

For a book that I read and finished over the course of several hours, I honestly thought I'd reach the end and be floored by the sheer awesomeness of another adventure with Evie.

Except that it felt like nothing truly happened in this book until the last 60 pages finally rolled around. Then, wow, there went everything, so many revelations, all this new information is given only for the book to end and leave readers looking towards book three with just a bit of trepidation.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Faerytale Magic: A Book Review on Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

16-year-old Evie works at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, or the IPCA for short. She deals with faeries on a daily basis, she hunts down vampires and werewolves that are a menace to society and her best friend Lish is a mermaid. Evie is one of the best at her job, thanks to her natural and yet unexplainable talent to see through all paranormal glamours. But there's a new threat out there now threatening the lives of all paranormals. After a shape-shift infiltrates the IPCA looking for information about the new threat and ends up captured, Evie begins to realize that her particular brand of weirdness may be part of a prophecy that links her destiny to the fate of every paranormal creature in the world.

This book was fun. For me, anyways. I found the lead to be engaging, funny and charming in her own witty way. I thought her life was interesting, I enjoyed her care-free attitude and her longing for a high school existence. I've spent the last three days working through White's whole trilogy, which I've had on my shelves for ages and just never gotten around to reading (*cringes* I have a habit of doing that). So finally, I took the whole trilogy out of my library, left them on top of my computer to guilt me into picking them up and reading them and there you have it folks, I read them in record time. Hell, I even spent precious hours reading these books while I should have been talking to my family, who came to visit and ring in the New Year earlier this week (happy 2013!) Was it worth it? I'd say yes, for the first book in the series, yes it was.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Music, Magic and Intrigue: A Book Review on City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

Sarah Weston has decided to work a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging music manuscripts. After her mentor was reported to have committed suicide while working the same job, Sarah decides to work on determining whether the suicide was the truth or if something else happened to the professor. As the mystery starts to unravel, Sarah is left in the middle of the turmoil, working on who to trust and what her professor was working on before his death. Working with time-travel, music and centuries of secrets, Sarah has to figure out the truth behind the work at the museum and live to tell about it.

I've spent a few days working through my thoughts on this book. I was hoping for a lot of time-travel, magic and mystery. That's not necessarily what I encountered in this book. Instead, I got a book that seemed part mystery and part romance, with a little bit of magic thrown-in. The time-travel could have been an incredible aspect to this story but in the end I got the feeling that it was meant more for fun, like when the characters get to see Beethoven's interactions in the past at Prague Castle, which is enjoyed more for the fact that the characters can SEE Beethoven as opposed to the clues they are meant to find by encountering Beethoven. It's also determined to be caused by a drug, created from a formula that has disappeared over the centuries. Eventually the "time travel" is used as a means of finding the formula to make more of the drug that enables the time travel in the first place and if the main characters manage to find the clues that focus on the "mystery", its more of an afterthought than anything else.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Ties that Bind: A Book Review on The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Willa Jackson is determined to put her past behind her, including her connections to her family's former mansion, the Blue Ridge Madam, which they lost after encountering financial troubles in the 1930s. Paxton Osgood has taken on a new project: restoring the Blue Ridge Madam, a landmark southern family plantation home, and turning into a inn. Previously happy to keep their distance from each other, Willa and Paxton find their lives thrown together after the restoration unearths a skeleton buried beneath a peach tree on the property. Determined to discover the truth and understand this long buried secret, Willa and Paxton must work together to understand the circumstances surrounding the skeleton and how their new friendship is a powerful force ready to transform their lives for the better.

I've been keeping up with Sarah Addison Allen's books for the last few years, at least since the publication of The Sugar Queen back in 2008. I've honestly enjoyed each of them and The Peach Keeper is the latest release, making a total of four books available now by the author. Allen creates a special brand of magical realism in her novels with enough of the supernatural to appeal to the reader but is also grounded enough in reality to come across as not only endearing stories but also as believable circumstances for those more skeptical readers.