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Karsyn's Kickass Jocoserious, Kooky, Jannock book blog

Monday, September 24, 2018

Tackle your TBR Read-a-Thon --- Wrap-up



I didn't do anything extra with this read-a-thon, other than actually read, but it was a good week with some great books read. :) I need to remember that during football season, I don't read on Sat and Sun! So, I barely got in my 7 books that I wanted to read, but I did get them all in. YAY! The week was spent reading, writing to penpals and watching sports. My kind of week, minus any video games, I just didn't have time! :)

I didn't keep track of my times read for this read-a-thon, I just read. Here's what I did!




Tackle your TBR Read-a-Thon Stats

  • I completed 7 books
  • I read approximately 2,300 pages (two books I started prior & had read some)
  • I read 5 books on my Kindle
  • I listened to 2 books as audiobooks


Completed Books:






Sunday, September 16, 2018

Tackle your TBR Read-a-Thon --- Sign-up




I need to get some reading in (when don't I this year, I'm slacking!) so I'm going to join in the Tackle your TBR Read-a-Thon. I think this one at least once before, I think it was twice, so when I saw it was time again, I thought I'd join in.

No plans for this one, I hope to read at least 7 books. That's on the low side for me, but I'm really really into my game, so if I ignore it long enough to read, then that will be a good thing. May try to chip away at my NetGalley pile as well. Looking forward to it, just hoping I actually get reading in!

Are you joining in? Let me know if you have a blog and I will follow you!



Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bunch of Mini Reviews 8/30/18





The Book:



The Blurb:

In Temperance City, the streets are ruled by spelled-up gangsters, whose magic turf wars serve as a constant backdrop to civilian life. With magic strictly regulated, Eli Coello—whip-smart jewelry salesman by day, sultry torch singer by night—has always found it advantageous to hide his magical affinity for ink.

All that goes up in smoke the day Eli is forced to use his magic to foil a jewelry heist, and in doing so unwittingly catches the eye Duke Haven, leader of the fire-flinging Pyre gang. Seeing a useful asset, Duke promptly blackmails Eli into providing unregistered spellwork.

Duke needs Eli’s ink-magic to help him pull a dangerous con against a rival gang. As the heist comes together, Eli finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the Temperance underworld—and, perhaps most dangerously, to Duke himself.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 7/8/18
96 page ebook

This book was very different and unique from the gender fluid character to the magic system used. The magic system was really intriguing to me, especially the MCs ability to control ink, which is controlled in ways you may think and ways you may not. It was really quite neat and I would definitely read more set in this world and with these characters.

My only disappointment was that this book was under 100 pages. Perhaps the author wrote it just to see if there'd be interest in this world and these ideas? If so, then there is definite interest and I'd love to read more. If that's all this author has, then it's disappointing because I'd love to see more of these powers.

I gave the book just 3 stars because of how short it was. If it had even been a novella, I would have given it 4 stars and perhaps even 5. It was really good for what it was, I just wanted more.

Setting = B
Plot = A
Conflict = B
Characters = A
Theme = A


The Rating:

3 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Kendra Michaels, formerly blind and now a hired gun for law enforcement agencies who relies on her razor-sharp powers of observation, is reluctant to help the FBI with the most recent case they’ve brought to her. But then she hears the details: the body was found just blocks away from Kendra’s condo. The young woman was carrying an envelope with Kendra’s name on it, and inside was an SD card with what appears to be an innocuous video of a wedding reception. The woman died trying to get the video to Kendra, but for what purpose? Before Kendra and the FBI can answer that question, the bride is abducted from her suburban home.

And so the hunt is on for a killer whose nightmarish plan is slowly becoming clear. A plan that involves a powerful law firm and a multi-billion dollar corporation. As the body count rises, Kendra joins forces with private investigator Jessie Mercado and agent-for-hire Adam Lynch to stop the plot as it grows ever closer to its terrifying conclusion.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 7/21/18
336 page ebook

Another really great Kendra Michaels book, and though I rated it a 5, I think that I'm getting a little bored with this series. I love Kendra as a character, and the others are good as well, but just like with the Eve Duncan series, it just gets old for me after a while. I'm not sure why. I read other long standing series (In Death comes to mind) and I'm always excited to read them and never disappointed. Though I was excited to read this, and while I did rate it well and wouldn't say I was disappointed, I'd say that I'm indifferent to the series as a whole now. It's just the same story wrapped up in a different package each time. Kendra is smart, smarter than all the FBI and the cops and everyone, so it's just the same old thing really.

That's not to say it's bad, because it isn't. It's very good and Kendra is a very likable and compelling character. I think I'm just getting bored with the stories. Of course, by the time the next one comes around, I'll forget that and want to read it. And I will mostly enjoy it, until I remember it's all the same thing. Maybe with them actually going elsewhere in the next one, it will provide a bit of difference.

Recommended to people who love interesting characters but don't mind a fairly predictable plot.

Setting = B
Plot = B
Conflict = B
Characters = A
Theme = B


The Rating:

4 stars




The Book:



The Blurb:

For Mercy Kilpatrick, returning to rural Oregon has meant coming to terms with her roots. Raised as a prepper, Mercy is now relying on her survivalist instincts to defend her town from the people the law can’t reach. But this time, an investigation calling up a dark past for her and police chief Truman Daly may be hitting too close to home.

A rainstorm has uncovered the remains of five people—a reprise of the distinctive slaughter of two families twenty years ago. Except the convicted killer is in prison. Is this the case of a sick copycat, or is the wrong man behind bars? One person might have the answer. The lone survivor of the decades-old crimes has returned to town still claiming that she can’t remember a thing about the night she was left for dead. As the search for the truth becomes more dangerous, Mercy fears that the traumatized woman may not have buried her memories at all. She might be keeping them a secret. And there’s a price to be paid for revealing them.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 8/7/18
344 page ebook

Another solid book from Kendra Elliot. Though Mercy isn't my favorite character out of Kendra's, she is growing on me. These books are definitely engaging and a bit different than others in the genre because of the whole prepper mentality that Mercy has. She's not a completely stable person in the best times. Throw in the events of this book and she was pretty unhinged, but it made for a good story.

There were a couple of different aspects to this book with a few different storylines going on. Good to see some familiar characters, having read her other books. The story stayed fast moving for the most part. I enjoyed the Truman parts best. Definitely will read more.

Setting = B
Plot = A
Conflict = B
Characters = A
Theme = B


The Rating:

3 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Chris Sigurdsson has left the police force to start his own detective agency in London. He and his assistant, Priya, have built a strong reputation, and their casebook for the coming months is full. But Sigurdsson’s mind drifts back to his time as a Detective Inspector, and to the surreal week he spent investigating a case on Salvation Island.
When the estranged wife of David Lithgow, a writer who had been working on the island, approaches him to help locate her missing spouse, he cannot resist the allure of that sinister, mist-shrouded place…
The case leads him back to Salvation Island and into a treacherous labyrinth of deceit.
Is there a link between the mysterious proprietor of a travelling freak show and the malevolent spectre of a vicious serial murderer who butchered six young women on the island?
Has the killer continued his murderous spree from beyond the grave, or is there a copycat on the loose?
To solve this case, Sigurdsson will need to enter the mind of a sadistic serial killer and unravel the island’s darkest secrets. And if he wants to survive, he must confront his deepest fears.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 4/29/18
240 page ebook

My exact words (after reading this for a read-a-thon and being awake over 24 hours) was that it was poop. Don't know why I decided that was the phrase that best described it, but so it was. I probably should have rated a 1, but I don't really like rating a 1, so I gave it a 2, but I can't really say much good about the book. The thing is, I'm one of very few who thought so, so either the author has 60 friends who rated it, or they saw something I was missing.

I didn't care for the MC, I found him flat and boring. He was tenacious, that's about the best thing I can say about him. Didn't care for any of the characters, didn't connect to anyone at all. The best thing about the book was the setting, I did like the island and the house was creepy enough as were the tunnels, but it really didn't carry enough weight for me through the book to make me enjoy it. It just wasn't for me.

Not recommended.

Setting = B
Plot = D
Conflict = D
Characters = D
Theme = D


The Rating:

2 stars? Maybe 1





The Book:



The Blurb:

Our protagonist, Harriton Nikiforov is an everyman - a binge drinking, tabloid column reporter who has settled for the humdrum of the everyday, with a job that pays the wages, a neurotic girlfriend who gives him migraines and a boss that gives him constant grief. Tasked with a new assignment, Harriton suddenly finds himself ripped away from his normal routine of Moscow society life, to a journalistic quest of sorts that leads him deep into the realm of the Virtual Gaming World of Fayroll. Given explicit orders to write a series of fluff pieces on the game and its developers, Harriton grudgingly accepts the assignment, but soon finds himself enthralled by the virtual fantasy world and its amazing quests, unpredictable challenges, and nearly endless possibilities. Harriton is reincarnated as a warrior named Hagen and becomes a full participant in the fantasy world, plunging into the exciting world full of action, quests, humor, legendary weapons and ancient secrets. He meets faithful and courageous comrades and outwits those who are trying to hunt him.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 2/6/18
329 page ebook

Since discovering LitRPG, I've been trying out tidbits here and there. So far, with a couple exceptions, nothing tops Aleron Kong's Chaos Seeds series. There's all kinds of controversy about that, but I don't listen to / care about that, because The Land is the best LitRPG series out there for me, I don't care who says what about Aleron. But, that's not a time for that.

As for this one, it was ok. Forgettable. I'll compare it with The Land, because that's what I like best, and it's no where near the same level. The MC of Fayroll is bland, flat and even unlikable. You don't get behind him as you do in other series, such as Richter for the Land or even Alan in The Gam3 series by Cosimo Yap. So the MC really doesn't do anything for this book.

But on the other hand, the game itself is interesting. The quests are good, the locations are pretty well thought out / described and what the MC was doing was entertaining enough. Not the best mind you, but not the worst.

Would I recommend this? Eh. Perhaps if you've already worked your way through the big LitRPG series out there. If it's your first go at it then no, stop now and read something else. If you've read through all the good ones, and still have a LitRPG itch to scratch, then go ahead and pick this one up. Personally, I haven't read more, and probably won't until I get through some other series that I want to try.

Setting = B
Plot = C
Conflict = C
Characters = D
Theme = B


The Rating:






The Book:



The Blurb:

When Detective Seth Harding responds to shots being fired, he faces a familiar sight: a double homicide. However, he is shocked to find a young boy chained in the basement. The terrified child refuses to speak, but Seth knows he is the key to something sinister.

Reluctantly, Seth calls the only social worker he trusts with the traumatized boy—his wife. Carly is recovering from her own trauma suffered on the job, but she can’t turn away from this case, not from another child in trouble. With torrential rain bearing down, threatening to isolate their little town in a killer flood, Seth and Carly know the best way to keep the boy safe from danger is to take him back to their farm.

But danger is as relentless as the storm. And it’s following them all the way home.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 10/21/17
110 page ebook

Well, if you have ever read my mini reviews before, or my reviews for the Solitude, Oregon Series in particular, then you already know that I read this series for the books by Kendra Elliot, who I enjoy and I just have to suffer through the books by Melinda Leigh so I can get the full story. Each of them writes a novella that is basically two parts of the same book. So I can't just read Kendra's books or otherwise I wouldn't know what was going on. In this case, Melinda did the first book, so I read it to know what was happening for Kendra's book.

I don't like these characters, specifically I don't like Carly, at all. That's my own personal judgement, I make no excuses for that. Some people just don't like certain characters or certain types of characters, and for me, I don't like Carly and I don't like any of the storylines that have to do with her.

But, aside from that, all the books in the Solitude, Oregon Series are solid good novellas if you like romantic suspense. Most people likely won't have the problem that I do with Carly and many people will probably like this series in general. If you want to give it a try, make sure to go back to the beginning so you know know who the cast of characters are in this now 10 book overarching series, even though this one, and the followup are in their own two book niche.

Setting = B
Plot = B
Conflict = B
Characters = D
Theme = B


The Rating:

3 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Ever wanted to grow a five-story tall flower in central park? How about fight a deadly battle under the subway tunnels of Manhattan?

Don't worry. I never wanted to either. But if you're ever being chased by ladies made of mist and you have to save the girl with the sparkly eyes you've never had the guts to say actual words to, there's an app for that.

I found a magic cell phone, opened an app I shouldn't have, burned down the set shop for my high school's theatre, and it was all downhill from there. A drag queen seer who lives under a bridge is my only hope for keeping my mom alive, and I think the cops might be after me for destroying my dad's penthouse.

But it gets better! Now I'm stuck being the sidekick to the guy who got me into this mess in the first place. It'll be a miracle if I survive until Monday.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 5/10/18
214 page ebook

This book was FUN! Just fun! It was unique too, there's a lot of ways to gain magical abilities but I think this is the first, and only, time that the abilities came from finding a cell phone. Definitely unique and grabbed me from the start.

The characters weren't completely fleshed out, but that was to be expected from a shorter book, but the story was so engaging that it didn't matter to much. It kept my attention and made me want to keep knowing what was going on. The magic was pretty neat and what all happened with it was entertaining. Would definitely read more, if another book comes along.

Recommended for a younger audience, or (like me) adults who like a captivating story, even if it is geared for middle grade.

Setting = A
Plot = A
Conflict = B
Characters = B
Theme = A


The Rating:

4 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion — a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave. He wakes without a scratch. The building is in ruins. His team is gone. Outside, Chicago is dark. Cars lie abandoned. No planes cross the sky. He’s relieved to spot other people — until he sees they’re carrying machetes.

Welcome to the afterlife.

Claire McCoy stands over the body of Will Brody. As head of an FBI task force, she hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks. A terrorist has claimed eighteen lives and thrown the nation into panic. Against this horror, something reckless and beautiful happened. She fell in love… with Will Brody. But the line between life and death is narrower than any of us suspect — and all that matters to Will and Claire is getting back to each other.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 3/26/18
320 page ebook

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. At first, I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, as it starts in one direction (not part of the blurb) and I was like "huh?" but then it goes into the heart of the story and it gets good. Then, the beginning starts to come around and it all gets brought together and it was very good and interesting.

I definitely liked Brody, Claire and their connection. It was an interesting concept and done really well as well. The afterlife is a neat place, not what I was expecting for the most part. It was an intriguing setting, one that you think about for quite a while.

Definitely recommended for Fantasy fans, fans of Sakey and people who like things not so cookie cutter as a lot of books out there. This one stands out and is memorable.

Setting = A
Plot = A
Conflict = A
Characters = A
Theme = A


The Rating:

4 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Samus Mallory believes the right kind of fantasy can change someone's life. Which is why she started to teach fantasy literature at her university, and why Jackie Vasquez, a cute cosplayer who always cross-plays, catches her eye.

As the two connect over their favourite novels and a cyberpunk game called Hack The Planet, Samus thinks she's found the perfect person to be herself around—until their busy schedules and Jackie's upcoming graduation ceremony puts a strain on their relationship, and Samus fears she's to blame.

But as Jackie spends more and more hours on a new cosplay, she starts to realize that her fantasy life—and future—might not be what she and everyone else has always envisioned.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 5/13/18
116 page ebook

Typically for books around 100 pages, I don't like to rate higher than a 3, because I usually like to get a full long story, but this book was so good that I rated it a 5 despite being so short.

This book probably won't be for everyone, but I loved it. It was my first book with a Trans character, I think, or at least it was definitely my first in with a coming out Trans character and I love the way it was handled. I thought it was very well done and very believable. I liked both the MCs, who they were and who they became. It was just a fun, heartfelt story with a pretty big emotional punch for such a short book.

I initially wanted to read the book for the gamer aspect of it, and while there was some game components in it, it was definitely about the MCs, their personal journeys, and their budding relationship. It caught my attention right away and I was sucked in. Would have loved to have read more about these two but really enjoyed it a ton.

Recommended for LBGT+ Friendly people, those who like a simple but heartfelt story and those who like coming out stories.

Setting = A
Plot = A
Conflict = A
Characters = A+
Theme = A


The Rating:

5 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Seven days after being abducted, the body of a twenty-year-old woman is found on a green patch by the Los Angeles International Airport. She has been left with her limbs stretched out and spread apart, placing her in a five-point human star.

The autopsy reveals that she has been tortured and murdered in a most bizarre way. But the surprises don't end there. The killer likes to play, and he left something behind for the cops to find.

Detective Robert Hunter, who leads the LAPD's Special Section, Ultra Violent Unit, is assigned to the case. But almost immediately a second body turns up.

Surrounded by new challenges as every day passes, Detective Hunter finds himself chasing a monster. A predator whose past hides a terrible secrete, whose desire to hurt people and thirst for murder can never be quenched - for he is DEATH.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 8/5/15
400 page ebook

Let me preface this review by saying that I requested this book on accident. I was on NG and I was like "ooooh, new Chris Carter book, yes please" and clicked request. Right after, I realized, oooops, this was an old book, not the new one, and I had read it already. I love CC's books that much that I just didn't pay attention, just wanted it.

I LOOOOOOOVE this series and if you are a murder mystery / serial killer fan and you haven't read this series yet, you are seriously missing out! Carter writes creepy serial killers like no one I've read before, and I've read a lot of murder mystery.

This book is the 7th in the series (9 books out now), so definitely start at the beginning to get the full story. That said, this one wasn't my favorite one. It was still really great, but I did have issues with it. I can't say what those issues are, as they directly relate to the plot of the story, but I've said on Goodreads, if you care to look up my review there. Still it was a solid 4 star book, and the whole series is must read for murder mystery fans!

Setting = A
Plot = A
Conflict = B
Characters = A
Theme = A


The Rating:

4 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Thirteen-year-old Jack Buckles is great at finding things. Not just a missing glove or the other sock, but things normal people have long given up on ever seeing again. If only he could find his father, who has disappeared in London without a trace.

But Jack s father was not who he claimed to be. It turns out that he was a member of a secret society of detectives that has served the crown for centuries and membership into the Lost Property Office is Jack s inheritance.

Now the only way Jack will ever see his father again is if he finds what the nefarious Clockmaker is after: the Ember, which holds a secret that has been kept since the Great Fire of London. Will Jack be able to find the Ember and save his father, or will his talent for finding things fall short?

The Review:

Received from NetGalley for my honest review
Completed 11/30/16
400 page ebook

This book was pretty good. Not the best MG I've read, far from the worst. Enjoyable.

Some parts were better than other parts. Actually my least favorite thing about this book was Gwen. I didn't like her at all and when she opened her mouth (a lot) it almost always distracted me from the story. I almost gave it a 3 star for her, but other parts were really good, so she makes it not be a 5 star book.

Best part of the book was the parts of the office, especially the map. That was one of the neater parts of the book. Will read more, but not in a huge hurry. If it were just Jack I would jump right into more, but I really really didn't like Gwen.

Setting = A
Plot = B
Conflict = B
Characters = Jack - A / Gwen ~ D
Theme = A


The Rating:

4 stars





Monday, August 27, 2018

Bout of Books 23 ~ Wrap-Up




Another good Bout of Books!! I completed my loose goal of finishing 14 books, which though it barely made a dent in how behind I am on the Goodreads goal, is still pretty good. Not my best Bout of Books but not my worst either. More importantly, I loved almost all the books that I read.

How did you do? Leave me a link and I'll come visit your wrap-up!



Bout of Book 23 Stats

  • I completed 15 books and started 1 other
  • I read 3,350 pages
  • I read 8 books on my Kindle
  • I listened to 7 books as audiobooks
  • I read 9 Novels and 5 Novellas
  • I read for approximately 38 hours (13h 35m on Kindle, 24h 25m on Audio)


Sunday

Night Time Audio listening time/pages: 1 hour / 110 pages
Day Time Audio listening time/pages: 1 hour 30 minutes / 120 pages
Kindle reading time / pages: 2 hours 20 minutes / 361 pages
Number of books I've read today: 3
Total number of books I've read: 15
Current Book:
Pages Read Today: 591 pages
Total Pages Read: 3,350 pages
Time Read Today: 4 hours 40 minutes
Total Time Read: 38 hours



COMPLETED BOOKS:





Started, but did not complete: