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Karsyn's Kickass Jocoserious, Kooky, Jannock book blog: July 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SOLARVERSIA by Toby Downton


Solarversia by Toby Downton
Completed 07/29/15
5 of 5 stars
441 page book
Expected Publication ~ 8/31/15

I received this book from the author for my honest review.

I just finished reading Solarversia, and it was FANTASTIC!! Solarversia is a MUST read for fans of books like Ready Player One, Erebos and The Eye of Minds or fans of any type of gaming and virtual reality books. If you aren't at all interested in video gaming then this book isn't going to be for you. So far the reviews of this book seem to love it, with a few people disliking it. I saw one review that trashed the book because they didn't like the game. HELLO the cover says YEAR LONG GAME ~ if you aren't into video games don't read it. Geeeesh, I don't understand people.

Deep Breath!! Anyways, if you ARE a fan of gaming, then you're going to want to check this book out. Not only is it a great book but the author plans to create the actual game itself. All I can say to that, is that by the time 2020 comes around, I really really hope that VR rigs are affordable and I really really hope I have one because I want IN, I want to play this game, so much!! I've even though about what Grid Number I would want. Curious as to what I mean by that? Then READ THE BOOK!! The book was so much fun and I bet the game would be even better.

Now, I rated this book 5 stars but I'm not going to say it was without flaws. There were definitely some parts that I didn't like, but the overall story and the amazing games in it was good enough to warrant a 5 star rating ~ higher if I could. This is, once again, a book that I wish I could rate the different parts.

Solarversia is a book about a year long virtual reality game, and while 70% (or so) of the book is the actual game play, there are 3 major plot lines going on. One is of Nova and her game play which is the driving force behind the book. Nova is a flawed character, she isn't perfect like you see some characters in books today. She's often bitchy and selfish and sometimes you flat out don't like her. But she always ends up seeing the errors of her ways, even if it takes a while and we watch her grow through the book. The game play and the working on the game play were my favorite aspects of the book, by far. I didn't care about seeing the rest of her life story, especially the romance which felt forced. I would have LOVED if it wasn't in it at all, as I didn't care for his character and it didn't feel right. It feels almost as added as an afterthought to get some more females interested in the book. It definitely wasn't needed. Any female gamers, like myself, is going to be all about the gaming aspect and not care at all about the personal parts of the book. It didn't distract from the book, but I would have enjoyed it a little more if it wasn't there. Besides, she was with the wrong guy. The best kind of love is the love of a best friend. :) But that's just my own personal opinion (and experience) shining in there.

The 2nd of the major plot lines was from the developers of the game. The character we saw most there was likable enough, flawed in his ways too. The story told through this storyline enhanced the story by giving the background of some of the games or insights on how they came up with the puzzles and challenges in the games. Though the flashes into this part of the story did take us out of the almost non-stop action of the game, it only helped with the enjoyment of the game.

The 3rd and final plot line was that of the terrorist organization determined to bring the games, and a lot of civilization, down. This story line was the ONLY thing about the book that I didn't like. If it had been just the attacks, without the look in at the organization, then it would have been fine, would have kept the action moving with this scary unknown group causing chaos. Unfortunately, that's not how it was done in the book. Instead, we get a view into the group from a newly joined member, and I extremely disliked every moment of that part of the book, to the point where I started skipping those parts in the middle of the book. They added nothing to the book whatsoever and they halted the action from the main storyline. I'd be going along with Nova, all excited for her and rooting her on and then it'd switch to the terrorist group and everything would just slow down for a bit. If I could change anything about the book it wouldn't be to take out the group completely, the attacks would still happen, but it would be to not see in though the eyes of a character. It'd be so much better if it was a mystery to us, like it was a mystery to everyone else. My only other thoughts on it were that I wish the book had ended with Nova, not as the book did end.


My strong dislike of this 3rd storyline thankfully didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. The gaming aspect of this book was fantastic. The author really went outside of the box on creating all the aspects of Solarversia, which extends beyond just the game. He went on to give incredible detailed background of the many creatures that Nova met along the way, as well as facts about the game, the planets and more. The gaming in Solarversia was a mix of mind and body, with ways to learn and practice along the way. The puzzles and challenges in the game were ever changing and interesting, with so many different things going on.

Overall, I definitely loved this book, and I look forward to following the progress of it. I hope that it is something that is created, because I'll try to be first in line, if I am able. While I absolutely LOVE gaming, I'm in no way great at it, so I know I wouldn't last half as long as Nova did, but I certainly would give it a try. I think it would be an absolutely FANTASTIC game and even if it is never to be, the book definitely has put a smile on my face and will keep one there for a while.

I highly recommend this book to gaming fans, you won't be disappointed!! I hope you'll check it out!

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


Press Kit

About Solarversia
Drawn into an epic year-long virtual reality game, eighteen-year- old Nova finds her life fractured and her strength tested as she fights to become the last player standing in this action-packed novel inspired by the revolutionary Oculus Rift – and written by a groundbreaking digital innovator who is already turning fiction into reality.

In the year 2020, London-based gaming company Spiralwerks will launch their ambitious year-long virtual reality game, Solaversia. Over 100 million players from around the world, each given a unique number in The Player’s Grid that corresponds to their individual profile, will compete against each other across the solar system to be the last person standing and win the £10 million grand prize. Nova Negrahnu and her friends Burner and Sushi cannot wait to start playing. But when an international terrorist organisation sets its sights on the game and it’s creator, Nova finds her life turned upside down, as the line between simulation and reality blurs. Can she navigate between playing the game, coping with all the issues an eighteen-year-old girl faces and avoid the very real and present danger mounting outside Solaversia?

The world of virtual reality is about to fundamentally reshape the way in which we live, work and play. The Oculus Rift — the much-lauded and potentially transformational VR headset, which broke crowdfunding records in 2012, and was recently acquired by Facebook for $2 billion — is scheduled to launch in early 2016. While its most obvious impact will hit the world’s 700 million plus gamers, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes the potential VR impact to be far more profound: “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home.”

The relatively new genre of virtual reality inspired science fiction, centred around the gaming industry is booming, with Ernest Cline’s bestseller Ready Player One already in production for a major movie adaptation with Spielberg directing. Downton is emerging as a driving force in the VR revolution. His novel Solaversia is just the first step in his thrillingly ambitious multi-platform story-telling experience that will explore the relationships between artificial intelligence, technology and the human spirit. Downton will be incorporating his tech-company – Spiralwerks – in the real world, developing Solarversia as a commercially available game, ready to storm the games market in 2020. Accompanying the publication of the Solarversia book, A Golden Ticket promotion will be launched this year, enabling games enthusiasts to win 100 specially reserved places within the Player’s Grid, through competitions, charity auctions and book sales.

About the author
: Toby Downton lives in North London and is head of business development at Matter, a digital innovation consultancy he co-founded. He has previously worked at the London Stock Exchange and has also lived in Australia. Solarversia by Toby Downton (published by CreateSpace, RRP £8.99 paperback, RRP £2.99 ebook) will be released 31st August 2015, and will be available to purchase at online retailers including amazon.co.uk.


******
If you have read this far, then I'm going to tell you about something else. YOU can get Solarversia right now!! Just head to Solarversia.com and sign up for the newsletter and an ebook will be emailed to you!! You can also do as I am, and take part in the Book Blogger Promotion to spread the word about Solarversia ~ both the book and the *crosses fingers* game.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Sampler Review ~ Keep Moving by Dick Van Dyke

Keep Moving And Other Tips and Truths about Aging by Dick Van Dyke
SAMPLE of book Completed 05/15/15
5 of 5 stars
256 page book
Expected Publication ~ 10/13/15

I received this SAMPLER from NetGalley for my honest review.


Typically, I wouldn't jump at a chance for any kind of Sampler, it's just a tease and I don't like that, BUT I didn't know that Dick Van Dyke was putting out another autobiography and I had to get it, even if it was just a sampler. Now granted, I don't think I'm "old" (though in my late 30s I'm sure some would consider me such) and really wouldn't ever read a typical "aging" type book, but this is Dick Van Dyke, the most active and youthful almost 90 year old probably on the planet. :)

I adore Van Dyke though unlike some of his older fans who may have followed him from his Dick Van Dyke show, or perhaps some Disney fans may like him from Mary Poppins, I became a fan during a later time, when I watched Diagnosis Murder. I loved that show and in turn, I became enamored with Van Dyke. He was 65 years old at the time and the show ran for 10 years. I listened to his first autobiography and it was fantastic, so I knew I had to get this one as well, despite me not really being ready for the aging bit.

But that's the thing. In Keep Moving, neither is he. There are two major points in the sampler that I completely and utterly agree with, and I don't understand why it is that more people don't feel the same way.

The first is ~ you don't have to act your age. This rings so true for me, because I've NEVER acted my age. I'm not sure why this is, since I had to grow up REALLY fast (taking care of an accident prone birth mother who spent my childhood mostly in a wheelchair will do that). I think that at some point, I just started going backwards in how I feel and act. That's not to say I'm not mature, I am, and I can be, but I also like to have FUN when I'm able. Before we moved to NC 3 years ago, I spent most of the 90s and the 00s running around WDW. I've been to the parks more than a thousand times and there was nothing better than experiencing the parks through the eyes of people going the first time, which I was fortunate to do quite a few times. Theme parks and amusement parks really bring out the kid in me, and I miss them, tons and tons. But on a daily basis now, I'm still a kid at heart. I color. I watch iCarly, Girl Meets World and Looney Tunes. I play video games. I laugh and sing (even though I can't do it well) and dance around (which I'm even worse at) because life SUCKS and if I don't laugh, then I cry. If I don't act crazy then I curl in a ball and mope. Too many people have sticks stuck up their asses and take things WAYYYYYY too seriously, especially themselves. I wish everyone could take a page from Van Dyke's book, literally, and not think they are getting "old". In his book he says :

"... you don't have to act your age. You don't have to even feel it. And if it does attempt to elbow its way into your life, you do not have to pay attention to it. If I am out shopping and hear music playing in a store, I start to dance. If I want to sing, I sing. I read books and get excited about new ideas. I enjoy myself. I don't think about the way I am supposed to act at my age - or at any age. As far as I know, there is no manual for old age. There is no test you have to pass. There is no way you have to behave."


The second is ~ people worry WAYYYYYY too much, especially about things they can not control. As Van Dyke says ~ "What's the point?" I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to get a few friends to stop worrying and fretting over every little thing. I've never been much for worrying and I never will. I don't get the point of it. Worrying changes NOTHING. Nothing at all, except for adding stress to your life. Again I agree with a passage in the book :

"I don't see the point of worrying. It is a waste of time. Things either work out or they don't and if they don't, you have to figure out something else, a plan B. There's nothing wrong with plan B. Most of life is a plan B. Or plan C. Or plans L, M, N, O, P.

No, here is the truth. Your teens and twenties are your plan A. At fifty, you're assessing whether plan B or plan C or any of the other plans you hatched worked. Your sixties and seventies are an improvisation; there is no blueprint, and quite honestly, you spend a lot of time feeling grateful that you have dodged the bullets that got others. If you make it past then, as I have, you discover a truth and joy you wish you had known earlier: there is no plan.

You relax. You exhale. You quit worrying."

I discovered long ago that there's no reason to worry about anything. Things are going to happen no matter what. I have friends who worry who have good lives. I have friends who worry who have gone through crap. Worrying didn't change anything but add more stress. On the other hand, I've not worried about anything and let's just say life is crap for me. Would worrying have changed things? Nope, and they can't change anything now. So, while life isn't rosy, it is at least stress and worry free, as it should be for everyone!


Sorry for my ramblings. It's just so funny how so completely I agree with Van Dyke on some things, I always knew I would love him as a person. He's amazing and I hope that I have half of his energy when I reach HALF of his age! I highly recommend this book, when it's released, along with his first biography ~ "My Lucky Life in and out of Show Business". I'll return with more thoughts on this one, when I receive the full version from NetGalley.

I leave you with the last part of Van Dyke's sampler, words to think on :

"I suppose that answers the question I posted earlier: How do you know when you're old? You don't - and you don't have to. It's more important to keep on feeling what it feels like to be young." 




Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Review ~ Evil Never Dies by T.R. Ragan

Finished ~ Evil Never Dies (Lizzy Gardner 06) by T.R. Ragan
Completed 07/03/15
4 of 5 stars
354 page Kindle book
Expected Publication ~ 8/4/15


I received this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

Evil Never Dies is the 6th, and final, book in the Lizzy Gardner series. Though the book could technically be read on its own, I'd definitely recommend the series as a whole so you know all the little touches the book gives of how and why these character are the way they are.

Lizzy Gardner is a P.I. and until recently, has always been on the right side of the law but events have pushed her over the edge and she's ready to take matters into her own hands. She, along with the 2 girls who work for her ~ Hailey and Kitally ~ are ready to serve a little of their own justice to those who are above the law or who escape without punishment because of a technicality.

The story lines follow the Sacramento Strangler who is leaving bodies in his wake and begins to taunt Lizzy as well. They are also investigating a nursing home who they believe may be killing off their patients.

The whole book was really one of the better ones of the series. My only issue with the series as a whole was Lizzy's sister who was such a bitch. She finally grows a pair in this book, leaving her abusive husband finally behind and she isn't QUITE as awful and isn't in it much, thankfully. Hailey continues on her own quest to get lowlifes off the street and there's a new person at the house with them for a while after they find her living on the streets.

The only negatives of this book are some stuff to do with pregnancies, which I don't enjoy reading, and harm coming to a pregnant woman. I will say that all turns out fine. Sorry if that's a spoiler for any of you, but if anyone has the issues I do about reading stuff like that, I'd rather know ahead of time. If things hadn't turned out so well, my rating for this book would have been completely opposite just for that.

It was definitely a good conclusion to the series and I'm disappointed that it's over. It wasn't one of my favorite series ever, but I definitely enjoyed them all and enjoyed the characters a ton. They weren't typical and their need for justice was different than you usually see and I really liked that. Lizzy was REALLY real, everything she felt was palpable. I liked that about her. I agree with her a lot, such as in this passage (she's speaking every other line, starting with the 2nd) ~

"I think it might be helpful for you to talk to someone who has dealt with a traumatic and unexpected loss."

"I think it's a stupid idea."

"Why?"

"People all over the world are dealing with shit worse than mine or hers. She'll never be the same and neither will I. We all just have to keep on moving, get through another day and then another until it's all one big blur again. We all heal in our own way and in our own time. You know that."

"I'll tell her you're not ready to talk to anyone."

"Tell her whatever you want. Tell her I'm sorry for her loss. While you're at it, you might think about telling her the truth."

"And that is?"

"That it might not get any better. That the days get longer and the nights get darker. Her best days could well be over."


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





Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Reviews ~ A New Hope & Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr

Thunder Point is a seaside town in Oregon. We first read about the town when a character from Virgin River came to town. The town is full of life and each book isn't only about the 2 main characters of those books, but about the town and the people in it. We revisit characters from other books all the time, so we are always up to date with everyone, not having a ton of time go by and you not know what happened to your favorite characters of another story.

I love Thunder Point. It's such a great town with great people in it. I always enjoy getting back and hearing about how the town is growing. The adventures are continued in the newest books by Robyn Carr




Finished ~ A New Hope (Thunder Point 08) by Robyn Carr
Completed 04/25/15
4 of 5 stars
400 page Kindle book

I received this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

A New Hope was one of the harder of stories to read for this series. If you have any kinds of issues reading about the loss of a child, I recommend skipping the book, or just be very aware of the issues in the book. It's a very emotional read. I myself don't like to read about young children, and especially the loss of a child, so parts were hard to read and some parts I completely skipped over.

Ginger came to town after her cousin Ray-Ann (who we know well from other books) brings her there to heal after her loss. Ginger is finally starting to show a bit of life and get out more. She's helping put out the flowers for a wedding and enjoying the festivities when the brother of the bride makes a drunken pass at her. He, Matt, shows up later at the flower shop to apologize and they form a fragile friendship, having both been hurt and still in pain.

Matt is definitely a good guy, after the initial encounter, and takes it easy with Ginger's mixed emotions. Their relationship is a good friendship turned more type thing. Very enjoyable, despite the harder issues in the book.


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





Finished ~ Wildest Dreams (Thunder Point 09) by Robyn Carr
Completed 05/20/15
4 of 5 stars for story
384 page Kindle book

I received this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

Back to Thunder Point and though I really enjoyed the base story of this book, I was really put off by the female main character.

This is my own personal hangups and no one should look badly at the book as a whole, unless you perhaps have the same hangups as me ~ which is not being able to stand controlling mother's.

Lin Su is a single mother who works as an in home nurse. She is VERY controlling of her son, Charlie, very overprotective and just an overall not a good mother. She's not a horrible person, but she does have a very big chip on her shoulder and just is toooo much.

On the other hand, her love interest is Blake and he's awesome. He's a athlete who has come to Thunder Point for a good place to lay low in between his races. He bonds with Charlie right away and agrees with Charlie that Lin Su is too protective and she's hindering her son, rather than helping him. He even says how she's behaving is crazy once, which was bold but true. He sticks with his interest in her though, and like all Thunder Point books, the book has it's happy ending as Lin Su changes (though I don't understand how or why after 30+ years) and everyone lives HEA.

Seeing back into Thunder Point was my favorite part as a lot was going on in town. As always, looking forward to the next one.

Setting = A+
Plot = B
Conflict = B
Characters
~ Lin Su = D
~ Blake = A+
~ Charlie = B
~ rest of Thunder Point = A
Theme = A



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Reading Log & Challenges Update




Hi!  Anyone remember me?

Yup, I'm still around.  Still not as social as normal, but I'm trying to get back to a more normal "me".  I'm definitely going to be doing more blog posts soon, as I have 7 NetGalley books I need to review, with another 5 that I need to read (reading one now).  I'll catch up, and hopefully I'll get to the point where I'll be around again, we'll see how it goes.

For my Swap-Bot swap, I decided since I had to finish up my quarterly log, I might as well join the June log.  I am still BURNED out on reading for 8 weeks in March, April & May, where I completed 84 books, so I haven't read as much and my June was the least amount of books I've read in 2 years I think.  Since that's the case, I decided to put May below, just to give a more "me" amount of books.  :)  

What have I been doing, since I obviously haven't been reading?  (I've mainly listened to audiobooks at night before sleep, with the occasional kindle book thrown in.)  I've still be playing Skyrim.  I am OBSESSED with that game, it's great!!  In fact, this is being written at this moment because Hubby is playing Witcher 3 and I get Skyrim later on.  :D

On to my books read ~ 



June ~ 


01 ~ The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly (re-read)

Completed 6/6

5 of 5 stars

        My first re-read of the year.  The Great Zoo of China is GREAT book.  Yes, it’s similar to Jurassic Park, only it’s dragons (since it’s on the cover, that’s not a spoiler) instead of dinosaurs.  People rate it down for that, which is stupid.  All books are like some other book, there are no new ideas.  Anyways, the book is great if you like action, which I do, with awesome main character including a kickass female.



02 ~ Cannibal (Chess Team 07) by Jeremy Robinson

Completed 6/7

3 of 5 stars

        A slow start for me, but I ended up likeing it pretty well by the end.  Was hoping they would learn something about the end of the last book but they didn’t.  Still waiting for that.  This is the most up to date book, so I’m looking forward to any more that come out.  Only book I have left to read is the prequel.



03 ~ Fire Study (Study 03) by Maria Snyder

Completed 6/9

4 of 5 stars

        Still really enjoying this series.  I like Yelena, she’s strong and confidant (most of the time).  I liked that the romance doesn’t overpower the story.  Tempted to just jump to Shadow Study for more Yelena, but with stick with the order of the overall series and move onto Opal.  I didn’t really care for her as a character, and didn’t think she could warrant her own series, but I guess we’ll see. 



04 ~ Storm Glass (Glass 01) by Maria Snyder

Completed 6/12

1.5 of 5 stars

        While there were SOME interesting parts, overall I didn’t like this book at all.  Opal is awful.  I hate weak people, I really do.  She questions everything doubts everything.  It gets old REAL fast.  Then her “love” interest was a complete ass.  When I was half way through I looked at reviews for the next two books.  I decided with the crap that happens, I will NOT continue with this series and likely won’t even go back to Yelena.  This book ruined the series for me.  The first 3 books were so great, I wouldn’t recommend any others.



05 ~ Crash (Game 03) by Eve Silver

Completed 6/15

4 of 5 stars

        Good conclusion to the trilogy.  Overall a really enjoyable set of books with good characters.  Wouldn’t be surprised if there was a continuations series, but I think it ended well enough.  The series is about some teens fighting a war against aliens.



06 ~ Wildest Dreams (Thunder Point 09) by Robyn Carr

Completed 6/20

3.5 of 5 stars

        Another book I wish we could rate parts of.  Thunder Point is a great town with great people.  Thunder Point on it’s own would rate 5 stars.  The reason I didn’t like this one quite as much is I HATED the female MC.  She had a rough life ~ boo freaking hoo.  That doesn’t mean she needs to be a bitch, but she is.  She’s only the 2nd Robyn Carr character I disliked.



07 ~ HP & the Half Blood Prince by JKR (re-read)

Completed 6/24

5 of 5 stars

        This is my 3rd full read through of the books in order.  This time I’m listening to the audiobooks done by Stephen Fry.  While he does a great job, I still prefer the amazing Jim Dale’s version.  Can’t do wrong either way though.  This is one case where I think the movie is better, takes out a lot of Harry’s whiney parts.



08 ~ Truth or Die by James Patterson

Completed 6/26

3.5 of 5 stars

        Enjoyable enough.  Typical quick and easy read that Patterson does so well.  The story dragged a few times for me but I liked the characters.  A former DA investigates when his girlfriend is shot in what seems like, but isn’t, a random robbery. 



09 ~ Prime (Chess Team 00.5) by Jeremy Robinson

Completed 6/29

3.5 of 5 stars

                        This is the prequel to the Chess Team series, and it’s been enjoyable.  It was neat to see how they came together, though I would have liked to have seen it with King having more of choices of who he had to choose from instead of not almost everyone else dying.  Still, good to be back with the team and with Bishop.  :)



10 ~ Depth by Lev Rosen

Completed 6/30

story ~ 3.5 of 5 stars / narration ~ .5 of 5 stars

                        The narrator for this audiobook SUCKS.  If the story wasn’t so engaging from the start, I would have not kept with it.  One of the more horrible narrators I’ve ever listened to.  The story is neat, it’s set in a future NY where NY is completely flooded up to the 24th floors.  They’ve created lives for themselves in the tops of buildings with a series of docks and lots of boats.  There's a mystery and a detective is wrapped up in it.





May ~ 


01 ~ A Mutiny in Time (Infinity Ring 01) by James Dashner
Completed 5/1
4 of 5 stars
        This series is similar to 39 Clues in that it’s written by different authors.  The series follows Dak, Sera and Riq who are 3 young brilliant kids who find themselves traveling through time to fix events that had been altered.  In the first book, they went back to when Columbus sailed to America.  In their history, Columbus had been thrown overboard, and they prevent that from happening, changing history back to the way it should be. 

02 ~ Divide and Conquer (Infinity Ring 02) by Carrie Ryan
Completed 5/3
3 of 5 stars     
        Not as enjoyable as the first one, this one they were in the time of the Vikings, trying to prevent the siege of Paris.  There was a dumb insta-crush in it that totally didn’t fit and became creepy.  It was just ok

03 ~ The Trap Door (Infinity Ring 03) by Lisa McMann
Completed 5/5
2 of 5 stars
        Definitely didn’t like this one was much.  This one had to do with the Underground Railroad and was very emotional on different levels.  It was hard for me to read at times, so I definitely didn’t enjoy it.

04 ~ Countdown (39 Clues: Unstoppable 03) by Natalie Standiford
Completed 5/7
3 of 5 stars
        Definitely a better book than the first two with some crazy stuff in it.  Amy isn’t as obnoxious and makes a hard choice.  Good all around, definitely was looking forward to seeing how it would finish up.

05 ~ Flashpoint (39 Clues: Unstoppable 04) by Gordon Korman
Completed 5/8
3 of 5 stars
        A good conclusion to the 4 book set.  I didn’t like them overall, Amy was too bitchy and the characters were off in 2, but this one ended up being pretty good.  Just one book to read and I’ll be caught up on all that has been published within the 39 Clues series so far.

06 ~ Savage (Chess Team 06) by Jeremy Robinson
Completed 5/10
4 of 5 stars
        In this one, the team was scattered through some of it.  They were trying to prevent a civil war in the Congo.  The ending of this one was especially emotional and I was glad that I was right about something that happened, but didn’t.  I don’t like that the team doesn’t know though.  Exciting ending, crazy stuff.

07 ~ Curse of the Ancients (Infinity Ring 04) by Matt de la Pena
Completed 5/10
3 of 5 stars
        Best one since the first, thought it would have been better without the insta crush/love.  These books don’t need that and I wish it would stop, though this one dealt with it pretty interestingly.  This ime tey were helping the Mayans in two different time periods.

08 ~ Cave of Wonders (Infinity Ring 05) by Matthew Kirby
Completed 5/11
3 of 5 stars
        Ok story, no insta-love so that’s always a plus.  Not as enjoyable as some others.  In this one, they are in Baghdad trying to save a library from being destroyed, something that connects to the whole starts of what it is that they do.

09 ~ Behind Enemy Lines (Infinity Ring 06) by Jennifer Nielsen
Completed 5/13
3 of 5 stars
        Another good enough story.  This one had them during WWII and they were working separately for the first time which was pretty interesting.  They were all in different places for most of the book. 

10 ~ The Iron Empire (Infinity Ring 07) by James Dashner
Completed 5/15
3 of 5 stars
        One of the top 3 of the series.  A good story and a good series conclusion…. Except there is another book?   I may just keep with this one as the ending because it seemed to end pretty well for me.  Wondering if this series is going to be like 39 Clues which has never ended.  Definitely taking a break from the series for now.

11 ~ Lady of Devices (Magnificent Devices 01) by Shelley Adina
Completed 5/15 (8 week challenge ended)
3 of 5 stars. 
        I don’t think I really read the description of this book before I tried it, it wasn’t what I was expecting.  It was OK but I HATED (with a passion) the MC’s mother.  The book got better when the mother was out of the picture for a while but it was still just an ok book for me. 

12 ~ Her Own Devices (Magnificent Devices 02) by Shelley Adina
Completed 5/17
3 of 5 stars
        This book got way worse than the first one before it got better.  Only one of the kids family, the kids and Andrew have any kind of redeeming qualities.  Still, despite a horrible mother, fake fiancĂ©e and a lying MC I found myself wanting to know how it turns out, but not headed to the next book right yet.

13 ~ The Heir (The Selection 04) by Kiera Cass
Completed 5/18
4 of 5 stars
        I had a hard time rating this one.  It’d be easier if I could rate individual things rather than the book as a whole.  Te problem with this book is the MC Eadlyn.  She is a complete self centered bitch.  The problem I had with the book on the whole is that I liked the story, I liked some of the boys and she did have a few redeeming parts but overall I disliked her.  I liked her strength, I didn’t mind her determination but I pretty much disliked everything else about her.

14 ~ Plugged (Rewind Agency 02) by Jill Cooper
Completed 5/21
4 of 5 stars
        I had a hard time rating this one too.  I wanted to give it a 5 but some of the stuff was REALLY REALLY difficult for me to read, specifically what happened in the VR world.  I didn’t like that at ALL and I wish the author hadn’t done that.  Other than that, such a great book. A great time travel / virtual reality series with mostly good characters.

15 ~ The Guardian (Chess Team 05.5) by Jeremy Robinson
Completed 5/21
3 of 5 stars
        Interesting start to a new mini series within the Chess Team series.  This series will be about King’s life when he went back in time and lived for those 2000+ years before joining back up in the present with the Chess Team (end of book 5).  The only bits I didn’t like was a bit of religious stuff going on which didn’t seem very King like.

16 ~ Veiled (Bone Secrets 03.5) by Kendra Elliot
Completed 5/22
3 of 5 stars
        It’s been a while since I’ve read any of the Bone Secrets books.  I didn’t have this one when I read the others.  It was an enjoyable enough short story within the series.  Lacey and Jack are checking out possible places to get married when they come across a dead body.  Jack knows the detective in charge, so they help out on the case.

17 ~ Poison Study (Study 01) by Maria Snyder
Completed 5/25
4 of 5 stars
        I liked it.  I was glad it wasn’t romance centric, there was almost none at all just some stuff near the end.  I liked that a lot since I’m sick of all romance in most books.  The story kept my interest and I liked the main characters pretty well.  It was my first book by my author and I’m looking forward to more.

18 ~ Magic Study (Study 02) by Maria Snyder
Completed 5/28
4 of 5 stars
        Another good story that still didn’t revolve around the romance, thought there was some.  I wasn’t a fan of Leif at all, but it seems like we weren’t supposed to be.  I didn’t really like her mother either, but I enjoyed the story overall.

19 ~ Nil Unlocked (Nil 02) by Lynne Matson
Completed 5/29
5 of 5 stars
        Was great to get back to Nil.  Love these books, great story, likable characters.  My only complaint is that the end is WAY too short.  We get a few page epilogue about what happened next, but I wanted more than that, definitely wanted more details!



Challenges Update


Bookish Bingo ~ 

Though I finished 21 books, I only had 4 Bingos for the last board, with where the books I didn't read were.  Still, pretty good overall I think, since there were some I didn't think I'd get to, and I really wasn't paying attention to it after a while, some I read just happened to fit.  My list can be found on my GoodReads Ready for Spring Bingo Shelf. Note that the Keep on Moving was just part of the book for an early sample ARC.













Audiobook Challenge ~ 


I signed up for Book Nympho's Audiobook Challenge and have been keeping up pretty well with audiobooks, despite getting burnt out on books, because I listen to audiobooks every night before I go to sleep.  I signed up to complete the "Marathoner ~ 50+" and I completed 50 books on April 12th.  For the 2nd Quarter, I listened to 51 books and now am at a total of 89 on the year.  With 164 books read this year, I have read more audiobooks then Kindle books! For a complete list, you can visit my GoodReads Audiobooks Read 2015 shelf.