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Stacking the Shelves (27) December 15, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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STSmall_thumb[2]_thumbStacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by TyngaReviews.com and is a book haul post to show off everything you purchased or received for review.

windigo-soul

what-alice-knew

wolf-girls

audie-the-angel

sophie-and-the-rising-sun

the-legacy-of-kilkenny

grand sophy

Windigo Soul by Robert Brumm

What Alice Knew:A Most Curious Take of Henry James and Jack the Ripper by Paula Marantz Cohen

Wolf Girls:Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny edited by Hannah Kate

Audie the Angel and the Angel Army by Erika Kathryn

Sophie and the Rising Sun by Augusta Trobaugh

The Legacy of Kilkenny by Devyn Dawson

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Another plentiful week in the book department! I feel like I should give Thanksgiving every week since most of my books are on sale or free. The first book, Windigo Soul, sounds like a Soylent Green but it appears it’s something a little different. It’s a dystopian and everyone at the age of 60 dies.  One family learns what really happens when you get “executed”.  The book has a warning that it’s not meant to be read by anyone under seventeen. That sounds too enticing to pass up!

The next book is obviously concerned with Henry James and Jack the Ripper. What the title, What Alice Knew, doesn’t tell is that it also is about a bedridden, invalid sister of Henry James who has a mind bent toward solving the mystery of who Jack the Ripper is. As Henry James is asked to consult on the case, the two of them discuss the details and try to puzzle out Jack the Ripper’s identity. The reviews say the book is more then the mystery. It’s about the relationship between brother and sister. I look forward to reading it.

Wolf Girls is a short story anthology I received for review. It contains stories about female werewolves. I’ve already read one story and it was really bloodthirsty. I’m really interested in seeing how women are portrayed in the other stories.

Audie the Angel and the Angel Army is another book I received for review. It’s definitely a young adult book, but the sample charmed me and the writing engaged me. I can’t wait to read the rest of the book to see what it’s like.

Sophie and the Rising Sun takes place during World War II. Sophie is a spinster when she strikes up a friendship with her Japanese gardener. A romantic relationship ensues. The book is about their struggles during a time when interracial relationships was frowned upon, especially with the Japanese.

The next book, The Legacy of Kilkenny,  is about werewolves. The reviews I’ve read have said that the relationship between the two central characters, the pack princess and the new werewolf, Abel is not a romantic one.  I thought that would be a nice change. Another thing that sounds like a nice change is the female is the mentor and the male is the protegee. It sounds like a refreshing book if done right.

The last book, The Grand Sophy, is by my favorite romance author. Georgette Heyer is the best Regency writer in my opinion. Her research was impeccable and her books have a certain class to them that no one can imitate. The Grand Sophy is my favorite of all her books. Sophy is a spontaneous and  free soul. Yet she manages everyone around her effortlessly. She tames her cousins tyrannical ways and straightens our her other cousins hopeless romantic life. I love this book and I love Georgette Heyer. I was lucky enough to find it on sale. Hopefully I’ll get to reread it soon.

That’s it! That’s my haul! I hope you find something you might want to pick up yourself.

There are changes coming on the blog. I’ll be moving to my own domain soon. I’m not sure what that’s going to do to subscriptions. I’ll have a feedburner option available for the new site and if you come to this one it’ll simply redirect you.

Have a great weekend!

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Review – The Duchess of the Shallows December 14, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Fantasy.
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Title: The Duchess of the Shallows

Author: Neil McGarry & Daniel Ravipinto

Publisher: Peccable Productions

Publication Date: March 2, 2012

ASIN: B007HTUXWC

Available at: Kindle   Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

A game is played in the fog-shrouded city of Rodaas, and every citizen, from the nameless of the Shallows to the noblest of the Garden, is a player or a pawn. And no one is as he appears.

Not Minette, brothel-keeper and obsessive collector of secrets. Not Uncle Cornelius, fearsome chief of the gang of brutes and murderers known as the Red. Not the cults of Death, Wisdom, and Illumination, eternally scheming and plotting along the Godswalk.

And certainly not the orphaned bread girl known as Duchess.

Yet armed with nothing more than her wits, her good friend Lysander and a brass mark of dubious origin Duchess will dare to play that game for the most coveted of prizes: initiation into a secret society of thieves, spies and rumormongers who stand supreme in a city where corruption and lies are common coin.

The Grey.

Review: *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Grey is a network of thieves and spies as well as secret traders. Duchess believes her entrance into their society will give her the answers she seeks about her family. Entrance into The Grey is hard to come by and her task is dangerous to say the least. She needs to rob a nobleman’s house while he’s having a party.  Not easy.

Duchess is very ambitious and she’s driven by a need to know what exactly happened to her family when she was a small child. She’s also extremely resourceful and smart. I grew to admire her as the book went on.  Not only that, she was handy with a  knife. Duchess had a good network of people in the Shallows to rely on. There was Minette, the brothel-keeper and there was Lysander.

Lysander was disarming with his sweet charm. I really enjoyed reading about him. He is a ganymede or a male prostitute. He’s made his living on his looks and his wits for more years then Duchess can count. They’ve been friends since they were young children. Best of friends. Lysander taught Duchess much about the way of the Shallows.

This book was fast paced and I was easily absorbed by the well developed plot and characters. The world building was exceptional. There are layers of social classes and religious sects, including criminal elements. I was disappointed when the story ended purely because I wanted to keep on reading about Duchess and Lysander. I look forward to the next book in the series!

4.5 Stars_Star Rating System

Throwback Thursday (23) December 13, 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. While the spotlight is always on the new releases, Throwback Thursday features a book published five or more years ago.

Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Original Publication Date:  May 22, 2007

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

Summary:

A Thousand Splendid Suns spans two generations and details the lives of two women and their struggles in Pakistan. The first is Miriam, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman who eventually marries an older abusive man.  The second is Laila, a young girl who becomes the second wife of the same man. This is the story of their struggles.

Khaled Hosseini is better known for his book The Kite Runner but I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns more. I was more terrified for the characters in this book then I was in the other because they were female. It’s sexist I know, but I’m female so the correlation is there.

The atrocities the women suffered under Rasheed, their husband were unspeakable and I had a hard time reading it. I still feel it’s something to be read. It’s something that people need to know about. To gain sympathy for a people and to gain understanding for a people you need to gain knowledge first. In this way, reading is the gateway to that knowledge. This book is a significant piece of that gateway.

If I had to rate this book I’d rate it a five star book and I so rarely give five stars these days. It’s something to definitely pick up when you can stomach it. Just make sure you have something else to cheer you up afterwards.

Review – The Weird Girls December 12, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Urban Fantasy.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
3 comments

the-weird-girls

Title: The Weird Girls

Author: Cecy Robson

Publisher: Signet

Publication Date: December 4, 2012

ASIN: B008EXNZZM

Available at: Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they’re products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…

The Wird sisters are different from every race on earth—human and supernatural. When human society is no longer an option for them, they move in among the resident vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region. Could this be the true home they’ve longed for? Um, not quite. After the sisters accidentally strip a witch of her powers in a bar brawl, they soon realize the mistake will cost them. Because to take on a witch means to take on her coven. And losing the battle isn’t an option.

Review:

Celia and her sisters tangle with the local witch’s coven and it’s up to Celia to protect her sisters. She takes on the head of the coven in one on one match. Over the next few days she’ll have to face a series of challenges. Never knowing what will arise, Celia will have to stay on her toes to survive.

This novella starts off with a bang and keeps on going. It’s a thrill ride that has just enough energy in it to keep you going. The witch that Celia takes on is a royal you-know-what. Cecy portrays her so perfectly. I wanted to smack her myself.

I loved that this was about Latina heroines. It’s so rare that authors write about anyone other then those of Caucasian descent. I love what it adds to the story and I wish more authors would write about heroines like Celia and her sisters.

I really loved Celia. She was protective of her sisters without being motherly. She was fierce without being masculine. She was strong without losing her vulnerability. I loved her to pieces. I loved that she was a weretiger! Something other then a wolf! The difference was slight but it was just enough to make it noticeable.

If there were weaknesses in the story it was that I felt like the background on the curse could have been developed more. After all it made the Wird girls who they were. I felt like it was a vital piece of who they were and would have provided a lot of more to the sisters characters.

Other then that, this was a strong prequel to a series and I’m truly looking forward to the first book in the series. (Sealed with a Curse comes out on December 31st.)

4 Stars_Star Rating System

Review – The Portal December 11, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 5 stars, Sci-Fi.
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Title: The Portal

Author: Alan Zendell

Publisher: FeedBrewer, Inc.

Publication Date: March 21, 2011

ASIN: B004TBC4DW

Available at: Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Harry Middleton is born in an America staggered by a century of decline, a time of medical and technological marvels beyond the reach of most people in a shattered economy. Pessimism and despair are more common than optimism and hope, and a desperate government bets the future on space.  The lunar and Martian colonies have not provided the hoped-for salvation, so despite an angry, disillusioned public, the first star mission will soon be launched.

Harry is a special child, smart, precocious, his only confidante an embittered grandfather.  When the old man dies, Harry is lost, until he meets Lorrie.  At thirteen, they bond, certain they’ll spend their lives together, but a year later, she disappears, and Harry is desolate.

With help from his friend Carlos, Harry begins a quest to find her, but he quickly learns how powerless he is.  Even the police lack the resources to help.  Harry and Carlos can only depend on themselves and each other.  An unlikely duo, Harry is an academic prodigy while Carlos is a stud athlete.  Realizing that school and baseball are their  tickets out of the morass they’re caught in, they inspire each other to greatness in both.

Trying to move on with his life, Harry has a college sweetheart, but as long as Lorrie haunts him, he knows the relationship is doomed.  He gains celebrity and wealth, but the thing Harry wants most, finding and saving Lorrie from whatever fate took her from him remains beyond his reach.  And always, in the background, are the deteriorating state of the country and the coming star missions.

And of course, there’s the Portal.

Review: *A free copy of this book was given in return for an honest review.

This book basically chronicles the life of Harry Middleton during the 22nd century. It centers around his high school sweetheart Lorrie Grissom who disappeared when he was just fifteen. He spends a lot of resources searching for her and she’s never really far from his mind.

I’m a huge baseball fan. Huge. Naturally when baseball came up in this book I was thrilled. Futuristic baseball! Harry’s baseball career starts young and is an integral part of his life. His boyhood friend Carlos is also a baseball player and together they become a team.

Carlos was a rough around the edges type of guy. He was incredibly street smart. Harry drove Carlos to do better at his studies while Carlos drove Harry to do better athletically. They complimented each other extremely well. After Lorrie went missing, Carlos and Harry became inseparable.

The decline of America that the book shows is staggering. It shows itself all through the book. It made me wonder if that’s where we’re really heading. At the same time, the book shows the resiliency of the American spirit. Despite the dismal conditions,  Americans still fought to keep their country great.

This book made me look at the future differently. I look at it with a bit of hope and with a bit of dread. Either way, I enjoyed this book tremendously and it’s something I hope to reread in the future.

5 Stars_Star Rating System

It's Monday! What are you reading? (29) December 10, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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2 comments

WAYR

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

cold days

Title: Cold Days

Author: Jim Butcher

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

HARRY DRESDEN LIVES!!!

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.

He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.

Guess which Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…

His soul.

I’m still reading this book because it’s over 500 pages long. I’ll probably be at it all week long because it’s over 500 pages long. Don’t get me wrong, this is probably the best Dresden book so far. It’s just hefty! I have other things to do  as well! Not to mention it’s a busy time of the year. It truly is the best book of the series yet though. Yes, this is book fourteen. It’s still worth investing your time and energy into this series. I’m already dreading the review I’m going to have to write. How am I going to do justice to this magnificent book?

Stacking the Shelves (26) December 8, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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STSmall_thumb[2]_thumb

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by TyngaReviews.com and is a book haul post to show off everything you purchased or received for review.

memoria

prison-nation

the-bloodletters-daughter

stained

the-weird-girls

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000030_00002]

three's-a-crowd

a-killing-in-kensington

Memoria: A Collection of Lies by Alex Bobl

Prison Nation by Jenni Merritt

The Bloodletter’s Daughter by Linda Lafferty

Stained by Ella James

The Weird Girls by Cecy Robson

Parallel by Claudia Lefeve

Three’s a Crowd by Mary Lydon Simonsen

A Killing in Kensington by Mary Lydon Simonsen

I got quite a few books this week. The first book I got, Memoria is an adult dystopia. You don’t see many of those so I was immediately intrigued. The society in the book Memoria is run by corporations.

Prison Nation is a young adult book. It’s about a young girl who is born in a prison. She believes in the rules of her prison nation but she begins to question her beliefs as she grows up.

The next book isn’t my usual cup of tea. The Bloodletter’s Daughter is a historical romance. I was interested in this book because of the time period and because of the location. It takes place during the 17th-century reign of the Hapsburg Empire in Old Bohemia. I know very little of that place or time so I look forward to learning more about it.

Stained sounds like it’s about angels. I’m pretty sure it’s about angels. It’s about Nephilim. That’s angels right?

The Weird Girls is by an author I met on Twitter. It’s a prequel novella to her book Sealed with a Curse which is due out on December 31st. I plan on reviewing it next week.

Parallel is an alternate reality story. I’ve always been intrigued by such stories. The “what if’s” have always crossed my mind. It should be an interesting read.

The next two books are books one and two of the Patrick Shea Mystery Series. This is also not in my usual range of reading materials. I was interested in this series because it said in the blurb that if you like Law and Order UK you’ll like this book. I love that series and I do love British mysteries. Three’s a Crowd is  a novella while A Killing in Kensington is a full length novel. I can’t wait to dive into these! It’s been too long since I read a good British mystery.

That’s it from me this week. See you next week and have a fantastic weekend!

Throwback Thursday (22) December 6, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
Tags: , , , , , ,
4 comments

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books. While the spotlight is always on the new releases, Throwback Thursday features a book published five or more years ago.

Title: Something from the Nightside

Author: Simon R. Green

Original Publication Date: January 1st, 2003

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

John Taylor is not a private detective per se, but he has a knack for finding lost things. That’s why he’s been hired to descend into the Nightside, an otherworldly realm in the center of London where fantasy and reality share renting space and the sun never shines.

This series is something along the vein of the Dresden Files. It’s gritty and full of magic just like Harry Dresden’s world. Except it has its own magic, its own characters. Its distinctive in that way too. The Nightside is a landscape that is hard to forget. It’s full of sorcery and demons. Witches and bounty hunters. It’s also full of violence. It’s definitely not light-hearted.

Although this series is dark, it’s still fun. It’s another series I keep meaning to pick up again. One of the many on my list.

Review – Anumal Empire: Lazarball December 4, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Fantasy.
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Title: Anumal Empire: Lazarball

Author: David Ayres and Darren Jacobs

Publisher: Lazarball LTD

Publication Date: April 12, 2012

ASIN: B007VIGNW8

Available at: Kindle

From Goodreads:

The race of man is extinct…
A new breed has risen…
Anumalkind shall inherit the Earth…

After merging human and animal DNA together, the Anumal race turned against their creators…and wiped them out.

Now, millennia later, an ancient pact between warring clans has been broken. Dark powers are surfacing, threatening the survival of this hybrid race…and the fate of the Anumal species lies in the paws of a single lion…Clinton Narfell.

Hailing from the desert village of Wooburn, Clinton’s meager life is catapulted out of control the day he steals food to feed his younger brother. As an extraordinary chain of events begins to unfold, Clinton is forced to use skill and cunning to keep himself alive…and is hurtled towards a destiny he did not realize he was born to fulfil…

Facing savage scavengers, vicious anumal clans, and worse, Clinton soon realizes that power does not come from books or spells, but from something far deeper within us all…

Review: *A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review

Clinton and his brother have been orphaned and turned out of their homes. The Narfell name is dirt. Clinton is doing all he can to feed the two of them. Yet still he dreams of not only restoring the family name by winning the Lazaraball tournament but winning the prize money.

I was surprised by this book. I thought it would be quite juvenile with animal figures in it and it was a little, but it was much better then I thought it would be. The writing is engaging and smooth. Clinton is easy to like and he’s very appealing. In fact all the “good guys” were very likable. This was a feel good book.

Dallas was a relatively complex antagonist giving the book more depth. The more I found out about him, the more I thought that he could have been saved there or there or there. But that’s not how the story goes. I got shivers reading about the Seeress. She was a very spooky entity.

The dynamics of Wooburn were intriguing. The different anumals all had their place. I especially liked the giraffe court. It was easy to immerse yourself into this world and go along with Clinton on his adventures.

The one flaw this book has was how it ended. There’s a terrible cliffhanger. On one hand, you know it had to end that way. On the other hand, you really wish it had more resolution, you really wish it left you feeling more satisfied. It’s still very much worth the read. I look forward to the next book in the series.

4 Stars_Star Rating System

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? December 3, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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WAYR

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

cat-bearing-gifts

Title: Cat Bearing Gifts

Author: Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

A car crash, a missing treasure, a dead thief, and a suspicious blond divorcee have feline P.I. Joe Grey and his four-legged cohorts clawing for justice in this lively entry in the beloved, award-winning mystery series by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. “Joe Grey and Dulcie aren’t your ordinary feline detectives. Murphy’s raised the stakes of the feline sleuth genre.” (“Kirkus Reviews”) “Cat Bearing Gifts A Joe Grey Mystery” by Shirley Rousseau Murphy brings back the beloved furry team just in time for the holidays.

I’m REALLY enjoying this book, except I haven’t had time to read! I’ve been so busy! It’s killing me! I think this is the best book of the series. Can you believe it’s the eighteenth of the series? You’d think the series would get stale or repetitive. Maybe it’s because I love the characters so much, but I never get tired of reading about them.

cold days

Title: Cold Days

Author: Jim Butcher

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

HARRY DRESDEN LIVES!!!

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.

He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.

Guess which Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…

His soul.

This was just released the other week. I can’t wait to get to it. My friend Kate got this for me as an early Christmas present. This book will be number fourteen in the Harry Dresden series. I adore this series. The gritty adventure. The magic. The action! It’s always a treat to read a Jim Butcher book.

It’ll probably take me awhile to read this one since I’ll be busy this week as well. I’m still hoping I can squeeze in some reading time!

What recent releases are you excited about?