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Karsyn's Kickass Jocoserious, Kooky, Jannock book blog

Friday, January 18, 2019

Bunch of Mini Reviews - January





The Book:



The Blurb:

Sarah Brannigan's life has fallen to pieces at the age of forty-five. Her fairy tale marriage has ended, her job history has been a downward spiral since 2008, and she's paying way too much rent to live in a tiny room in an apartment that she shares with five roommates.

To escape it all, she walks the streets of New York City, seeking out the hidden wonders of the City. And like many before her, she falls in love with Coney Island. Then one day, she falls asleep on a boardwalk bench after a long walk in the hot sun, and she falls into a dream. A dream that seems to reach into Coney Island's past. A dream of everything she wished for when she was young. A dream whose effects linger even after she's woken up.

Soon the dream begins to take over as Sarah uses it again and again to seek escape from her failed life. She's getting everything she ever wanted: youth, love, and adventure. But as she goes deeper into the dream, she gets ever closer to nightmare.

The Review:




The Rating:

2 1/2 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Welcome to Gluttony Bay High Security Supernatural Prison. We value your patronage. For your entertainment this evening, we are delighted to welcome the world's most renowned paranormal culinary experts.

And on the menu: You.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 1/10/19
224 page ebook

The Sin du Jour series started out really strong and I don't know if they have gotten worse or if I've just gotten tired of them. I liked the first 3 and I haven't liked the last 3. I did like this more than the last book though.

In this one, two are their ranks are taken to Gluttony Bay, a prison that serves human for the cuisine. They get out of the scrap, as they always do, but this one felt really really rushed. It's short anyways, but it only took an hour for me to read, as it just flew along with no real details. The story followed too many different threads going on for such a short book. It was good for what it was, just wasn't the best.

Recommended if you like something with off the wall ideas and humor. Sin du Jour caters to demons and such, so there's nothing normal about this series and it can be enjoyable and fun if you like the bizarre.


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


The Rating:

3 stars




The Book:



The Blurb:

When someone starts killing London's homeless, Sherlock Holmes sets out to solve the series of grisly murders, taking her best friend and business partner Jane Watson along for the ride. The killer makes it clear he has a vendetta against Sherlock, and as she pursues him, she discovers there's more to the case than meets the eye.

While struggling to identify the murderer, Sherlock's close friendship with DI Lestrade reaches a crossroads, and she faces an unprecedented challenge: romance.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 1/8/19
61 page ebook

This is a short story about an asexual / lesbian Sherlock Holmes. I don't know why Sherlock Holmes was the character in which the author chose to tell this short story, but that's what it is. While there is a "mystery" the shortness of the book really makes it about the relationship between Sherlock and Lestrade.

I couldn't give more than 3 stars to this, mainly because it was so short. It wasn't awful and was good for what it was, but it wasn't great. It was enjoyable for a few minutes read, something quick and easy if you want to read about a LBQT character(s).


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


The Rating:

3 stars




The Book:



The Blurb:

Close to the Bone:
FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island.

Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on the case—and by nagging memories that draw her twenty years into the past. The remains suggest eerie similarities between this victim, and Cate and Tessa’s friend Samantha, who disappeared when she was fourteen.

Cate finds herself up against closemouthed locals, buried town secrets, and even her own heart. As the case unravels, will she be able to cut through the fog and find justice for the missing and the dead.


A Bone to Pick:
Deputy Tessa Black gave up her career as a detective with the Seattle PD and returned to the Pacific Northwest island she calls home to care for her ailing mother. Tessa thinks her mother’s illness is the worst thing she’ll face—until she responds to a routine call in the state park and discovers a local man harpooned to a sign.

As the murder investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that the victim harbored secrets. Together with her FBI agent best friend, Cate, and park ranger Logan Wilde, Tessa must connect the pieces before the murderer strikes again. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more she finds herself—and the ones she loves—in harm’s way.

Pressure mounts as Tessa attempts to juggle the current case with her search for the truth behind her childhood friend Samantha’s disappearance twenty years ago. Can Tessa find the murderer and uncover answers about Samantha without jeopardizing everything she holds dear?

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 1/7/19
83 page ebook & 101 page ebook

I enjoy all of Kendra Elliot's books so I was looking forward to this new series from her. I haven't been a fan of Melinda Leigh's books in the same series, but this book I liked much better. Their new series takes them to a new area in the Pacific Northwest and the first book follows an FBI agent (Kendra's books) and a police officer (Melinda's books) as they try to figure out whose bones are found. Not just one girl has gone missing from the area, so they are looking into who the bones are, and who killed them.

In the 2nd book, they are on the trail of a killer who left a body harpooned to a sign. They find out that the killed man may not be who everyone thinks that he is.

Both books were enjoyable and typical for these series. They move quickly but are so enjoyable and it doesn't feel like you are missing out when you are getting a novella rather than a full length book. I think I'll enjoy this series more than the Rogue River series as I enjoyed both the characters of these, while I dislike one of the characters of Rogue River.

Recommended to fans of romantic suspense. These books by Kendra Elliot are always enjoyable, and while I personally don't enjoy Melinda's books as much, they are worth it to get the full story from Kendra's books. And the covers are awesome!


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


The Rating:

4 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

What is life like on the International Space Station? Can we survive on Mars? Why is Pluto no longer a planet? Just how big is the universe anyway?

The ultimate guide to our galaxy, Space Atlas answers all these questions and more while exploring the far reaches of space, from our own planet to neutron stars, thousands of light years away. Showcasing significant locations in space which are explored in-depth with stunning illustrations, interesting fact files, diagrams and information on scientific achievements, this unique atlas tells you everything you could ever want to know about the universe, while taking you on a stunning visual journey through the stars. Featuring in-depth explorations of the Sun, the Earth, the solar system, black holes, quasars and the Milky Way, Space Atlas presents a mix of stunning, graphic illustrations and factual photographs that brings the subject of space to life in the most beautiful and informative way.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 11/29/18
64 page ebook

Not much can really be said about this book. It's an atlas, about space. It is what it is. But, it's super cute. It's perfect for the young, or the young at heart, that want to know more about space. It gives information about all the planets, some of the dwarf planets and things in space from asteroids to satellites. Even a amateur astronomer may learn something here if they aren't versed in every single thing in space.

Super cute illustrations and great information. This was an adorable book and I highly recommend it for anyone that knows a space lover.


The Rating:

5 stars




The Book:



The Blurb:

When twelve-year-old June Harper's parents discover what they deem an inappropriate library book, they take strict parenting to a whole new level. And everything June loves about Dogwood Middle School unravels: librarian Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, an author appearance is canceled, the library is gutted, and all books on the premises must have administrative approval.

But June can't give up books . . . and she realizes she doesn't have to when she spies a Little Free Library on her walk to school. As the rules become stricter at school and at home, June keeps turning the pages of the banned books that continue to appear in the little library. It's a delicious secret . . . and one she can't keep to herself. June starts a banned book library of her own in an abandoned locker at school. The risks grow alongside her library's popularity, and a movement begins at Dogwood Middle--a movement that, if exposed, could destroy her. But if it's powerful enough, maybe it can save Ms. Bradshaw and all that she represents: the freedom to read.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 9/21/18
288 page ebook

This book was hard to read at times for me. For anyone who was told what to do, how to do it, how to live, and so on, this book may be hard for you to read. I felt June's pain so much as I felt transported back to my own childhood, but I was unable to be brave and fearless like June, as I had the added "you'll go to hell" if I did anything wrong. Sigh.

This book was so well done on many levels. You really feel for June, even if you've never experienced such things before. Her parents and her school is being beyond unreasonable and she's sitting there wondering why everyone is turning to idiots around her. All she wants is freedom to read, she's not asking to take over the world or be evil or do bad things, she just wants to read. And oh, how infuriating the parents and school is, and even some classmates.

But June stands up for herself and her books and it's wonderful that she does. You cry when she cries and cheer when she takes control.

It's a really good story. Fun but meaningful!

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


The Rating:

5 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 8/31/18
384 page ebook

I love this book so much I have read it twice now. I'm glad I re-read it before I read the 2nd one. I remembered the broader strokes of the story but forgot all the little nuances like Fathom, how did I forget Fathom? I love this book. I only disliked one thing about this book (an insta-love that happened near the end), otherwise this book is pretty perfect.

The characters are real and flawed. They aren't perfect cookie cutters. They have their own personalities and are unique even for the ones you don't see that much of. Emmett is likable but isn't without a dark side. They all have been stomped on in life and are all fighting against each other for the opportunities given.

The first 70% of this book is 5 stars, easily. I'm NOT a fan of the direction that it took for the last 30. I'd be fine with it, if it weren't for the random romance part. But I didn't care for that. Other than that, love it all and can't wait for the 3rd book.

Recommend to science fiction fans and fans who like a competition type book. Quite enjoyable!


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


The Rating:

5 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Former FBI agent Kendra Donovan’s attempts to return to the twenty-first century have failed, leaving her stuck at Aldridge Castle in 1815. And her problems have just begun: in London, the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew Alec—Kendra’s confidante and lover—has come under suspicion for murdering his former mistress, Lady Dover, who was found viciously stabbed with a stiletto, her face carved up in a bizarre and brutal way.

Lady Dover had plenty of secrets, and her past wasn’t quite what she’d made it out to be. Nor is it entirely in the past—which becomes frighteningly clear when a crime lord emerges from London’s seamy underbelly to threaten Alec. Joining forces with Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must navigate the treacherous nineteenth century while she picks through the strands of Lady Dover’s life.

As the noose tightens around Alec’s neck, Kendra will do anything to save him, including following every twist and turn through London’s glittering ballrooms, where deception is the norm—and any attempt to uncover the truth will get someone killed.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 2/7/17
452 page ebook

This series is enjoyable as a historical murder mysteries, but I still have a huge issue with it being marked as "time travel". Other than her initial jump from her present to the past, there is no actual traveling through time, therefore, this series shouldn't be considered time travel. It drives me nuts because while I do like the series and characters and the stories, if I had to say that I liked it based on it being a "time travel", I couldn't, because it's not one. It's historical murder mystery.

But, as a historical murder mystery the series is a good one, the characters are good, and the stories are good. Kendra still thinks, and sometimes behaves, as a 21st century woman which gets her into trouble, but it provides for some comical moments as she hates how women are treated and she strives to figure out how she fits in. I've read the book and the next and I will continue to read the series, because I am invested in the characters, even though it's not time travel! :)


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

The Rating:

4 stars




The Book:



The Blurb:

If you’re looking for a collection of lesbian erotica that will leave you so hot and bothered that you need a cold shower after reading, look no further. HEAT has some "sin"-tillating reads for every erotica lover.

Award-winning lesbian erotica author Rachel Windsor delivers another book filled with sexy stories that flesh out your secret fantasies and beyond. Always wondered about exploring with stranger sex? HEAT will take you there. Got a thing for military women? HEAT has you covered. Ever fantasized about a doctor appointment that takes a naughty turn? HEAT takes care of you. Stir in first times, toys, college girls, and make-up sex and HEAT has something to excite every lover of lesbian erotica.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 5/14/18
57 page ebook

The best thing I can say about this book is that the cover sure is nice. The inside, not so much. Meh. It was ok. Certainly didn't leave me in need of a cold shower, so didn't deliver on that of the blurb. I'm just not a fan of short stories I guess. I did like a few of the stories more than others, but most just didn't grab me / interest me too much. Ok to good sex scenes, but no time to get into them or appreciate them before they were over.


The Rating:

2 stars



Monday, January 14, 2019

Bout of Books 24 - Wrap Up




Another good Bout of Books!! I completed my goal of finishing 20 books. It's a good start to the year, since in February, I know I won't be reading as much. I enjoyed most of the books I read, so that was even better. It was a good Bout of Books! See y'all next time!

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



Bout of Book 24 Stats

  • I completed 21 books and started 2 others
  • I read 4,240 pages
  • I read 11 books on my Kindle, plus started 2 not completed
  • I listened to 10 books as audiobooks
  • I read 12 Novels, 6 Novellas & 3 Short stories
  • I read for approximately 42 hours (19h30m on Kindle, 22h30m on Audio)


Sunday

Night Time Audio listening time/pages: 2 hours / 160 pages
Day Time Audio listening time/pages: 2 hours 30 minutes / 193 pages
Kindle reading time / pages: -----
Number of books I've read today: 3
Total number of books I've read: 21
Current Book: -----
Pages Read Today: 353
Total Pages Read: 4,240
Time Read Today: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time Read: 42 hours



COMPLETED BOOKS:







Started, but did not complete:
(at 43% & 46%)