Nikkiel101

The Night Is Alive

The Night Is Alive - Heather Graham An okay book. It loses a star because I figured out the "who dunnit" way before the big reveal. Also, not a big fan of insta-love. The narrator got on my nerves a bit. Disliked his southern accent.

Longbourn

Longbourn - Jo Baker, Emma Fielding This was a bit of a disappointment. I had read all the rave reviews, was super excited to read it, and then it didn't live up to my expectations.
This is definitely a case of "It's me, not you." The book itself is fine. I just realized, about half-way through, that if it didn't have the Pride & Prejudice tie-in, it is not a book I would have picked up. The story just kind of dragged while going into all the menial tasks that Sarah had to do. I understand that they had to hand make soap. I do not, however, need a detailed description of it. I don't feel like there was much of an actual story until Sarah and James got together.
Which leads to:
This is not Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. Some of the characters were unrecognizable. I did not like what Jo Baker did to Elizabeth Bennett. I do not buy that Lizzy became so insecure once she went to Pemberley. I refuse to accept that. I hated that she went to Darcy when Sarah quit. Hated that. Do not get me started on Mr. Bennett. The only thing that didn't shock me was Wickham. It is not such a stretch of my imagination that a man who would marry a 15 year old, will also try to "romance" a 12 year old.
I don't know. I wanted to love this. Truly, I did. But I did not. So 2 stars because I did at least finish it.

The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son

The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son - Pat Conroy This was more of the same from dear old Pat Conroy. Anyone familiar with his work and/or his life will not be surprised by anything in this biography. That's why it earned only 3 stars. It read like one of his novels but without the plot line. Also, the title is very misleading. There is actually very little about The Death of Santini. It was more focused on his mother, in my opinion.
Overall, though, interesting but not enough so to be re-readable.

The Heist: A Novel

The Heist - Scott Brick, Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg 2.5 stars

Fortune's Pawn (Paradox Series)

Fortune's Pawn - Rachel Bach I actually finished this a couple of days ago but I had to give myself time to mull it over. My initial reaction was, "Holy Moly, that was amazing! That ending? How could [a:Rachel Aaron|3504189|Rachel Aaron|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1323576507p2/3504189.jpg] do this to me?!" I wanted to let that feeling die down so that I could think about it objectively. However, after two and a half days, I still feel the same. In fact, I want to tie Rachel Aaron up at her desk, demand she tell me what happens in the second book, and then force her to write it. (I would feed her and wheel her outside for fresh air, honest. I'm not a complete monster.) Was the book perfect in every single way? No. Did it diminish my enjoyment of the book in anyway? Not at all.
This book grabbed me from the first moment I picked it up. It was fast paced, action packed, and full of interesting characters that I can't wait to learn more about.
Devi is such an interesting character. She's badass, sarcastic, and makes no apologies for her behavior. Yet she's also sweet in her interaction with Nova. She's smart and understands how to use things to her benefit. She pays attention to the small details and takes responsibility and loyalty seriously.
The "minor" characters were so well developed and engaging, I don't think of them as minor. They each have a story to tell and I cannot wait until it is told. Nova, Rupert, Hyrek (loved, loved, loved Hyrek), Ren, Caldswell... Oh, simply amazing.
My only real complaint about the book is how many times Devi had to be hauled out (literally) of sticky situations. I understand she's just one woman and can only do so much (but what she does, she does amazingly well) but the major scenes, she was almost a goner. I would have liked for to have defeated the xith'cal on her own, in the very beginning. That, at least, should have been given to her. Just saying.
I can't really think of anything else to say except: READ IT! It's a sci-fi that has the flow and feel of an urban fantasy. It was amazing and laugh out loud funny. It will also make you yell at it. (Bad things do happen.) So good.
Now... About the next one... When is it due?!?



This review is based on a copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hunted (The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Six)

Hunted - Luke Daniels, Kevin Hearne 3.5 stars

Over Her Dead Body (Bailey Weggins Series #4)

Over Her Dead Body (Bailey Weggins Series #4) - This was okay. I was surprised by the whodunnit, didn't really see it coming but the book just seemed a little slow paced.

Found (Penny Black #1)

Found (Penny Black #1) - Stacey Wallace Benefiel This was really good. The story was really engaging and intriguing. I do have a few complaints, though.
The slang. "Chido" and "bueno" were overused. Whereas I can use context to get the meaning, I have never heard the word "chido."
I could definitely tell that this was a side series. There was something that made me realize that I picked up a book that had characters who were already established somewhere else. As this was my first time reading [a:Stacey Wallace Benefiel|3512625|Stacey Wallace Benefiel|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1298916548p2/3512625.jpg], I felt a little lost at first. As time went by, I realized I didn't care. This was Penny's story, whatever came first.
The ending seemed too abrupt. It didn't feel like an ending so much as it just dropped off. I know cliff hangers are popular, to keep you coming back for more, but this just seemed a little unfinished to me.
Overall, though, I really did like this book. And I keep thinking about it. I found the story to fun, fast paced, and action packed.
I know I said this was my first time reading Stacey Wallace Benefiel but it will not be my last. Her Zellie Wells series has made it onto my TBR list.

The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers series)

The Curse Keepers - Denise Grover Swank This is a review of an ARC received from NetGalley for an honest review.
I did not like this. It was too full of stereotypes, it was repetitive and had too many info-dumps.
My biggest issue with this book was all the history/info-dumps. I love history and I live in NC, so growing up, of course I heard about the Roanoke Colony. (That's why I wanted to read this so badly.) My problem was the timing of all the information. They were getting ready to have sex for the first time, tearing clothes off each other, barely making it back to their hotel room, but stop to draw symbols and explain what they all mean in great detail. It just took me out of the moment. That's not the only time I felt myself thinking, "Now is not the time" but it was the most memorable.
We've all read the stories of the bad boy and good girl. It's a good one and it works. This just felt overdone and it used too many clich├ęs. Seriously, for the first twenty percent, Collin's main description was "sexy" or "hot as hell." Ellie was, of course, a plain Jane. Her character just didn't seem fleshed out and was a bit of a contradiction. One minute she's all soft and stupid the next she's trying to be bad ass, capable of anything. One minute she's dry-humping Collin, the next playing devoted daughter. I didn't know who she was supposed to be and honestly, it's hard for me to care. I hated Ellie for not just admitting what she knew or, in this case, what she didn't know. It seemed that was the biggest push to the story was trying to find information but she repeatedly refused to tell Collin the whole story. I just didn't buy it. Making stupid decisions does not make you strong or independent. It makes you stupid. She should have swallowed her pride (it's a tough pill, I know, but for the sake of the entire world, a minor one) and confessed everything.
The repetition. Holy redundancies, Batman! Collin would explain something to Ellie, Ellie would go over it to herself, then explain it to Claire, then ask her Daddy. :Bangs head on table: Really, how many times do I have to read "Curse Keeper, daughter of the sea, witness to creation."
I just really didn't care for this book. I would not even have finished it if it hadn't been an ARC and even that almost wasn't enough. I'm sure there is an audience for it but I'm just not it.

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands Trilogy)

Blood Red Road - Moira Young, Heather Lind 3.5 stars

This was a really interesting read. I loved the world that Moira Young created and I want to know more about it, like what happened that set the world back?
I loved seeing the character of Saba evolve from a follower to a leader. It was nicely done. (Side note, I didn't really like the cage fighting stuff. It felt a little off to me. She's never left her home before, never really met other people, but she's an undefeated fighter? A little hard to swallow.)
I loved Jack. He is awesome.
Nero. A crow that is a pet and trained to do things even some dogs won't do? Awesome! (I love when animals are just as critical to a story as humans. Makes things so much fun!)

Charming (Pax Arcana)

Charming - Elliott James An ARC copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this. I thought it was a really fun (oh, do I dare?), charming book. (I just couldn't pass it up, I apologize.)
I was excited by the premise and I wasn't disappointed. Also, I was intrigued by [a:Kevin Hearne|4414255|Kevin Hearne|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1289238438p2/4414255.jpg]'s blurb on the cover.

Things I enjoyed:
- Elliott James went away from the stereotypical creatures and legends of Urban Fantasy. (I really enjoyed bringing back the vampires vs. rushing water. No one really seems to do that one any more.) Everything was recognizable but it wasn't strictly weres and vamps.
- Molly. I loved her! I need her to play a bigger role in the next book. She's quirky and cute and I adored her. (Christmas in April because vampires scare her and Christmas makes her happy? Who thinks of that?)
- The humor. This book was hilarious. Some how Elliott James found just the right note to play the obvious pun and still make me laugh. Puns aside, (I'll have more on those later) the titles of the chapters made me giggle, too.
- The info-dumps. While sometimes they seemed to happen in odd moments, pulling me a little out of the story, I appreciated the information more than not. There was some really interesting tid-bits and it wasn't always just about the myths/legends of the creatures.
- Last but not least, John himself. He is such a fun character. I think there is a complexity there that we just haven't been shown yet. I'm hoping it will be explored more in the next book, what with his new challenges and all.

Things I maybe didn't enjoy as much:
- Sig. I know I should like her, if for no other reason than John does. But really? Couldn't she be just a tad more likable? She's stiff, cold and treats those around her badly unless in a professional capacity. She's also a bit of a blabber mouth. I didn't understand why John wasn't more angry with her for telling everyone his secret identity. He's been in hiding for how long and this chick just tells everyone.
I don't feel like she got the time to really grow on me. It was just about how hot and strong she was. Which leads to...
- Insta-love. I was really disappointed with this, actually. I was hoping for more. There was no real development of their feelings. John barely knew anything about Sig (aside from tall, thin, gorgeous blonde) before he was trying to put moves on her.
- The puns. (Told you I'd come back to it) Some of them were a little too obvious. Honestly, it was the puns that weren't meant to be puns but were that was the problem. Does that make sense? Example: A vampire would come to a "dead stop. No pun intended." Those were a little too cheesy for my tastes.

Overall, I loved this. It was fast paced, lots of action, lots of humor, twists and turns everywhere. It was a lot of fun. I cannot wait for the next. I'm very interested to see what happens to John Charming.

Throne of Glass 2

Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas Loved this! Loved it, loved it, loved it. So, why only four stars? The ending. I'll get to that in a second.
This book had it all, suspense, love, drama, darkness, humor, tears and even a dog! What's not to like?
I love the relationship development between Celaena and Chaol. (I'm really rooting for those two! Totally Team Chaol. Oh, God, really, I'm on a team??) I loved the development between all of the characters, actually.
The only thing that bothered me was there was so much going on and so little resolved until the very end. Like, the last 50 pages or so. It felt so rushed and having some things tied up before then wouldn't have damaged the story in any way for me personally. Now we're left with this HUGE cliff hanger.
So, amazing story and can't wait for the next one.

Zom-b

Zom-B (Audio) - Darren Shan, Emma Galvin I did not like this book. It was like this book couldn't decide if it wanted to preach about how bad racism is or if it wanted to be a standard zombie book.
The gory bits were repetitive and I could care less about the characters.
There seemed to be no character development for the secondary characters at all.
The racism angle was so heavy handed and over done. The internal struggle over if B was really a racist or just acting like one was so repetitive.
I just really didn't care for this.

The Republic of Thieves

The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch This was amazing!!
This book takes place immediatley after Red Seas Under Red Skies.
First thing I was excited about was the flashbacks. That's right, folks, we get more of the Sanza twins!
And FINALLY we meet Sabetha. Both in the flashbacks and in present time. Now, as excited as I was to meet her, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I know there must be more back story to her and Locke's relationship but she treated Locke pretty poorly, in my opinion. Until the whole story is played out, I don't think I like her. (Granted, that could just be because I love Locke so much.)
I liked that Locke and Jean's relationship is still so strong.
This is everything I loved about the first book and more. There was a large cast for Locke to charm, subterfuge, love interests, deceit, and twists everywhere. It was well worth the full 800 pages.



P.S. FINALLY! Locke Lamora's true name is revealed!




This is a review based on an advanced copy provided by NetGalley.

The Empty Glass

The Empty Glass (Audio) - J I Baker, Arielle DeLisle Let me start by saying I don't know much about the conspiracy surrounding Marilyn Monroe. I know the standard Kennedy tie-in, suicide versus murder tie-in, but everything else in this book I don't know if it's real conspiracy or if it's just made up. (The diary, the tapes, etc.)
I found this to be a really interesting read. I enjoyed the pace of the book and the action of the book. There were so many twists and turns I still don't know exactly what happened.
Was he really just stoned out of his head and attacked his ex-wife or was it really a set-up? I don't know.
I did like it and thought it was really engaging.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone))

Shadow and Bone  - Leigh Bardugo I really enjoyed this book.
I enjoyed the world that Leigh Bardugo created and found it extremely interesting. I liked the characters.
Mainly, I loved the ending. The last scene in the Shadow Fold was awesome!

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