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Stacking the Shelves (16) September 29, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted byTyngaReviews.com and is a book haul post to show off everything you purchased or received for review.

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I only got three books this week? Wow. This must be a record. I mentioned The Crown of Embers in my Monday post. It’s the second book in the Fire and Thorns series. I’ve already finished it. The review is scheduled to come out in October.

Dearly, Beloved is the second book in the Gone with the Respiration series. The first book is called Dearly, Departed. I just reviewed that this week. I’m really looking forward to reading the further adventures of Bram and Nora.

I pre-ordered The Raven Boys and I also got it in hardcover. I think the cover is really kickass. It’s about a girl who can talk to the spirits of the dead. She gets involved with these private school boys who are called the Raven Boys. I think it sounds good. What I really love is the cover. So much for never judge a book by its cover!

So that’s all I got this week! Maybe I’ll shop around more next week!

Review – Dearly, Departed September 28, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Paranormal Romance.
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Title: Dearly, Departed

Author: Lia Habel

Publisher: Del Rey

Published Date: August 14, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0345523327

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble 

From Goodreads:

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

Review:

I was really skeptical about a zombie love story. I didn’t believe it could work, but so many bloggers loved this book I had to give it a try. I’m glad I did. It’s a really good book!

Nora is a petite, doll-like girl. Yet she’s full of fire and she can take care of herself. She meets Bram after he rescues her from the Greys, the bad, evil zombies. Bram is actually not a shabby zombie, he’s well-preserved. That helped win me over.

What really got me convinced is that after her initial fright was over, Nora started seeing Bram and the other zombies as people. Especially Bram in particular. She began to see past the fact that they were the undead and started to see the person underneath. Bram was pretty special. He was a gentleman, he cared about what she thought and felt. I even got a little crush going on for him.

The plot supports the romance as well. It’s not particularly genius but it’s still exciting and enjoyable. There’s enough of an opening in the end for another book and I look forward to reading it.

Even if you have zombie prejudices like I did, this book might surprise you. It puts them in a new light and it’s a good one. Give it a try!

Throwback Thursday (13) September 27, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Title: The Woman in the Dunes

Author: Kobo Abe

Original Publication Date: April 16, 1991

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

One of the premier Japanese novels of the twentieth century, The Women in the Dunes combines the essence of myth, suspense, and the existential novel. In a remote seaside village, Niki Jumpei, a teacher and amateur entomologist, is held captive with a young woman at the bottom of a vast sand pit where, Sisyphus-like, they are pressed into shoveling off the ever-advancing sand dunes that threaten the village.

The Woman in the Dunes is an evocative novel about Niki Jumpei who gets trapped in a sand pit with a young woman. They have an endless job of shoveling sand to survive. Jumpei has several plans to escape the sand dunes but they never come to fruition. The sand wears down his soul and in the end it wears down his plans to escape.

This novel had a huge impact on how I thought about change and resolve in the face of adversity. Just how much could I stand in the face of an extreme challenge such as what Jumpei faced? We all face challenges in our way. How do we face them?

Kobo Abe did a masterful job of addressing these questions although he did so in a rather dark fashion. This will always be one of my favorite books and will also always be on my reread list.

Review – The Selection September 26, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Romance, Sci-Fi.
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Title: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication date: April 24, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0062059932

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble 

From Goodreads:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Review:

I instantly fell in love with America Singer. She was one of the sweetest characters I’ve read this year. Yet she also had a deceptively strong backbone that most people wouldn’t immediately see. I admired America’s ability to play so many different instruments as well.

What to say about Aspen. I loved him in the beginning of the book. I thought he was sweet and dreamy. He had a hard time being a Six. He sacrificed a lot for his family. He also struggled with the fact that America made more money and had more then he did. I tried to understand that and forgive him for that, but I thought it was silly male pride. It was Aspen’s idea to have America enter the Selection. I also still can’t decide if having America enter the Selection was the silliest thing or the most selfless thing to do. He also became a little presumptuous in my opinion. He started thinking he knew what was best for America and that grated on my nerves. Maybe if he returns in later books he’ll have more of a chance to redeem himself.

The Selection itself was an interesting book. It reminded me a lot of a reality show with sci-fi elements. I really enjoyed it a lot more then I expected to because of the sci-fi elements. They weren’t everywhere but there were enough of them to keep the story fresh.

Prince Maxon was like a breath of fresh air after Aspen. He didn’t pressure America. He was also a bit awkward at times in his own way. You could tell that he didn’t have much experience with women. Despite that he managed to win his way into my heart or maybe it was because of that. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him.

I should warn you there’s a huge love triangle in this book. It’s done fairly well but it’s not the best of the best. In other words I’m not a huge fan of it. I’m still going to read the next book because I’m curious to see who America ends up picking and how the selection goes. This is still a great book to read.

Review – Defiance September 25, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult.
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Title: Defiance

Author: C.J. Redwine

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publish Date: August 28, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0062117182

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan–the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

Review:

I have to admit, I’ve been looking forward to the release of this book for awhile. To my consternation I found that it was written in alternation points of view, Rachel’s and Logan’s.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out, but to my surprise it worked out well and I came to enjoy it.

Rachel is a sixteen-year-old girl who has suddenly come under the protection of Logan. I didn’t take to her immediately. She seemed a bit too petulant and sulky. The more I read the more I liked her though. What I took to be petulant and sulky was actually humiliation. She had professed her love to Logan when she was fifteen and he had rejected her. Who wouldn’t be humiliated? As the book went on, there were moments I became impatient with her but I think she was just acting like any sixteen-year-old would have done in such impossible situations.

What I loved about Rachel the most was how she was such a kick-ass warrior in such an oppressed misogynistic society. She was a fiercely independent woman in a culture that stressed that women were nothing more then chattel. I think it spoke volumes to have such a strong heroine. And she showed a lot of soft emotions as well showing you don’t have to be a one-dimensional person.

I loved Logan! He was absolutely gush and crush-worthy. He’s smart and kind. He takes his responsibilities seriously and he always tried his best with Rachel despite the animosity she felt and showed towards him in the beginning of the book.  I loved Logan’s inventions. The mix of inventor and warrior was too sexy to resist.

What I loved about Rachel and Logan the most was how their love evolved. It grew from mutual circumstances and time spent together. No insta-love here! There was a lot of give and take too. Although there was one point I felt Logan got a bit too needy. Maybe that’s just me. That was towards the end of the book. I don’t want to give too much away.

The Commander was one of the most evil tyrants I’ve come across. He made a great bad guy. He was just someone you love to hate. The Cursed One was a fantastic monster. It reminded me of a wyrm. Together they added some great tension to the book.

There’s enough resolution to leave you satisfied in the end. Yet there’s also an opening for more books in the future. It’s a well done ending to a very good book. I did have one pet peeve. Only I can’t mention it without giving away a spoiler. Needless to say something was repeated endlessly and I got tired of the repetition. That’s all I can say. It was something I was able to brush off though.

It's Monday! What are you reading? September 24, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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This Monday meme is held by the The Book Journey. Feel free to join in and tell us what you’re reading!

Title: Stormdancer

Author: Jay Kristoff

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.

But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it.

Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?

So far I’m really enjoying the adventures of Yukiko. I’m just at the point where she and Buruu have teamed up. It was hard to put it down! The world building is amazing. It’s easy to become immersed within the digital pages of this book. I plan on just reading today. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a big dent in it.

Title: The Crown of Embers

Author: Rae Carson

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trail of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

This will be the next book I read. I’m really excited about it. It’s the second book in the Fire and Thorns series. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is the first book and I loved it. This second book is supposed to be even better then the first as well so you can understand why I’m so anxious to read it. The cover is lovely too!

Title: Journey to Hart’s Halo

Author: Lou Hood

Available at: Kindle

From Goodreads:

The project of eccentric technology billionaire Dr. Oliver Hart, Hart’s Halo is about to be populated by Zero Colony. Space-crazy twelve year old Davey Randolph’s dream is to win two of the twelve spots, for him and his mom, in a global lottery to spend five years aboard the Halo.

Constructed as a puzzle-propelled mystery, Davey needs the help of an international cast of clever and quirky pre-teens, and to conquer his own feelings of being an outsider, to solve the puzzles that will lead to a shocking discovery about the true fate of his missing father.

With new quantum physics from The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, futuristic technology, and space travel and habitation, it is a modern myth of epic scale.

If I finish the other two books which I should, I’ll start in on this book. This was a book submission and it looks good. I read a sample and the writing was engaging. I’ll still reserve judgment until I actually read the book.

That’s what I’m reading this week. What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? September 24, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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This Monday meme is held by the The Book Journey. Feel free to join in and tell us what you’re reading!

Title: Stormdancer

Author: Jay Kristoff

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.

But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it.

Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?

So far I’m really enjoying the adventures of Yukiko. I’m just at the point where she and Buruu have teamed up. It was hard to put it down! The world building is amazing. It’s easy to become immersed within the digital pages of this book. I plan on just reading today. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a big dent in it.

Title: The Crown of Embers

Author: Rae Carson

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trail of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

This will be the next book I read. I’m really excited about it. It’s the second book in the Fire and Thorns series. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is the first book and I loved it. This second book is supposed to be even better then the first as well so you can understand why I’m so anxious to read it. The cover is lovely too!

Title: Journey to Hart’s Halo

Author: Lou Hood

Available at: Kindle

From Goodreads:

The project of eccentric technology billionaire Dr. Oliver Hart, Hart’s Halo is about to be populated by Zero Colony. Space-crazy twelve year old Davey Randolph’s dream is to win two of the twelve spots, for him and his mom, in a global lottery to spend five years aboard the Halo.

Constructed as a puzzle-propelled mystery, Davey needs the help of an international cast of clever and quirky pre-teens, and to conquer his own feelings of being an outsider, to solve the puzzles that will lead to a shocking discovery about the true fate of his missing father.

With new quantum physics from The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, futuristic technology, and space travel and habitation, it is a modern myth of epic scale.

If I finish the other two books which I should, I’ll start in on this book. This was a book submission and it looks good. I read a sample and the writing was engaging. I’ll still reserve judgment until I actually read the book.

That’s what I’m reading this week. What are you reading?

Stacking the Shelves (15) September 22, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted byTyngaReviews.com and is a book haul post to show off everything you purchased or received for review.

Vessel by Sarah Durst

Inhale by Kendall Grey

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Incarnation by Emma Cornwall

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Like I said on Monday, I saw Vessel on Amazon and I had to get it. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet like I thought I would. The Blinding Knife is over 600 pages! It’s taking me all week to read it.

I found Inhale on a blog that I can’t remember. I should have written down the blog, but I’m really bad about things like that. I really liked the review and I read a bit of the sample and I enjoyed it. I think it has whales. I thought that was pretty cool.

Stormdancer was just released this week and I’ve been waiting for it for months. It has an Asian tilt to it. Being from Hawaii with so many Asian influences, not to mention also being of Asian descent that has me really excited. The book also has griffins! I love griffins. I remember reading about them in Mercedes Lackey’s books.

Another book that was released this week is Incarnation. It’s a steampunk vampire book. The premise is very intriguing. If you follow the Amazon link I gave up above, you can read all about it. Basically it’s about a vampire who seeks out the author of Bram Stoke’s Dracula.

The last book that was released this week is What’s Left of Me. The premise is definitely fresh with two souls residing in one body. I can’t wait to read this one.

The last book I got is A Prayer for Owen Meany. It was on sale and I had to get it. It’s my favorite John Irving book and I’ve read it many times. I plan to read it many more in the future.

This was a great book haul week and I feel very blessed. I have many hours of great reading in store for me! Have a great week and I’ll see you next time for Stacking the Shelves!

Review – Conspiracy of Angels September 21, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Mystery/Thriller, Sci-Fi.
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Title: Conspiracy of Angels

Author: Laurence MacNaughton

Publisher: NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC

Publish Date: June 14, 2012

ASIN: B008BN8D9I

Available at: Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Just out of prison, ex-convict Mitch Turner is determined to put his life back on track and find out the truth about his daughter’s mysterious death. But when his daughter’s best friend, Geneva, discovers a cryptic piece of top-secret technology, the two of them are thrust into the cross-hairs of a deadly living weapon.

It’s known only by a code name: Archangel. It’s fast, invulnerable, inhuman. And its next target is Mitch.

But the Archangel is more than just a relentless killer. It’s a gatekeeper of the dangerous boundary that divides this world from the next. And it’s Mitch’s only chance of learning the dark truth about his daughter’s fate.

Outnumbered, outgunned and on the run, Mitch and Geneva race to outsmart an elite force determined to silence them. Can they uncover the conspiracy before the Archangel unleashes its deadly secret on all of humanity?

Review:

Mitch recently got out of prison and he’s still coping with his daughter’s death. All he’s trying to do is walk the straight and narrow when he runs across Geneva. She entangles him in a conspiracy of epic proportions.

Mitch was someone I immediately liked. He was down to earth with a rough exterior. He was street smart and savvy. Mitch had an air about him that indicated he was a man who took care of his business. His actions proved that to be true as well. When Geneva threw him in the thick of things he got things done. He took care of her and he earned her trust. Not an easy task.

Geneva lost her parents to the Archangel. She trusts no one. Her one mission in life is to kill the Archangel. I admired her determination and her spunk. She also showed a soft side that I appreciated and felt was natural and realistic to the situation. Her bond with Mitch was my favorite part of the book. It wasn’t romantic. It was something more.

Michael was a complex character. I was constantly trying to figure out his motivations. His actions confused me. It wasn’t until near the end of the book that the mystery of Michael was revealed. I didn’t mind that I was so confused by Michael. It was just another mystery to be solved in a book full of mysteries.

The book really was full of mysteries. Was the copy boy really a copy boy? What really was the Archangel? How did Mitch’s daughter die? Why did the Archangel kill Geneva’s parents? What was the mysterious black box?

The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the end of the book. I found it chaotic and rather overblown. I can see how it would fit the genre, but it just didn’t suit my tastes. I’m sure many people would disagree and seeing as how I don’t normally read this genre I’m probably judging too harshly. There was another issue I had with the end, but I can’t discuss it without giving away a spoiler so I’ll keep mum.

On the whole, this was a very good read. The action was high energy. The characters were well-developed. The plot, while not new, still seemed fresh. If you’re looking for a thrill-ride this wouldn’t be a bad choice.

*A free copy of this book was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Throwback Thursday (12) September 20, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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2 comments

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Title: Kushiel’s Dart

Author: Jacqueline Carey

Original Publication Date: March 15, 2002

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good…and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission…and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.

Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair…and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.

Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel’s Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age, and the birth of a new.

Kushiel’s Dart is a stunningly sensuous high fantasy book. Phedre no Delaunay is a deceptively strong heroine that I truly enjoyed reading about. The book is about courtesans but it isn’t as naughty as it sounds. It’s not out and out erotica. It’s all done with a bit of class. Although there is BDSM between the pages it’s not a shocking revelation. It’s not dirty or anything like that.

The book doesn’t solely revolve around sex either. There’s court intrigue that is fascinating and dangerous. I was left wondering what the motives were of several people all at once. Who had possible double dealings? What were their secret aspirations? It was something that had me thinking along with the plot throughout the book.

It’s been awhile since I read this book, but I still remember it with a great deal of fondness. I keep meaning to reread it and I know I keep saying this every Thursday, but I mean it every time. Maybe I’ll just set aside one month to reread my favorites. This would definitely be among them and since I have Carey’s newest trilogy awaiting me. It would be the perfect time to revisit this trilogy.