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Mardel "book addict" (Ca)

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Nightshifted
Nightshifted
by Cassie Alexander
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 4.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good book, 11 Aug 2012
Sometimes I try a new book/author and I'm less than impressed, other times I feel like oh WOW and yet other times I'm left with a feeling of ...hmmm - good book. Maybe I'll try the next one. I liked Nightshifted - And there is going to be a next one, in just a few months.

Basic premise - Edie Spence is a registered nurse, one who has recently been working at a upper end hospital (i.e. private pay). Problem was, she had this brother who has a certain problem. A stranger offers help if she goes to work at a county hospital...so she does, and ends up on a restricted ward. It's so restricted that most people - even in the hospital - don't even know it exists.

There are supernaturals on this ward...And so the story begins. Edie is new at her job, and unfortunately, one of her patients dies on her watch. She feels pretty bad about this; but not only did this guy die, but as he was dying he tells her to protect someone and her oddysey begins, bringing her into all kinds of danger and to the special notice of these shadow entities... (real shadows, people!) ....

The narration is first person (my favorite), the dialogue is decent - believable, and I enjoyed all the different species of 'others', as well as Alexander's take on vampires, dragons, and ....er...zombies. Which brings me to... I enjoy the occasional zombie book, where people are killing zombies, etc. I even enjoy that hugely popular book about that 'white trash' zombie girl.....even though I do get a little squicked out when I think too deeply about the whole zombie thing. It's the diet, okay?

possible spoiler (if you haven't already read this book, or even if it hasn't yet been mentioned...) coming up...

*spoiler* So according to the Amazon blurb - 'falling for a zombie'....This zombie is different than your normal literature zombie - but it's very, very hard for me to get past the whole need for human flesh thing. And this zombie apparently even is kind of like the Igors in Terry Pratchetts discworld novels, in that he uses parts from ...other people...to replace parts of himself. no matter what kind of zombie is being used, it's a little difficult for me to get the whole zombie as a love interest thing. Hell, if I think about it too hard, I get a little spooked with the whole centuries old vampire as a love interest either. *spoiler end**

Okay, now that I've re-established my almost queasy belly - there are times when reading that I just have to not think too much, just read for the story. I have to say that Nightshifted was an interesting story. It had a little of everything, including a haunted cd player, a gamey quadriplegic, baby in danger, a dragon, shifters, shadows, and the main character comes close to being done in.

The sequel Moonshifted will be coming out in November, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy it.


Wolf Star: Tour of the Merrimack #2
Wolf Star: Tour of the Merrimack #2
by R M Meluch
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 4.71

5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Series, 11 Aug 2012
I enjoyed this book very, very much. I had started to read the first book, something held me back and I put it aside. Months later, I ended up reading this one and this one clicked with me. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I ended up reading the one I put aside, and enjoyed that one quite a bit.Many characters from The Myriad have interesting roles in WolfStar. This is the second novel in the series, yet the first novel I read - has the Merrimack not only fighting the Romans, but dealing with the Gorgons (those pesky eating machines). There is much more to both stories, but I've already let loose with enough spoilers. The action scenes keep you pumped, and in general this novel is a compelling read. I might have become re-addicted to space opera from reading WolfStar.

John Farragut and crew have been fighting the Roman Empire - which has risen again in the far future, now claiming their own planet and trying to claim many others. The new Roman Empire would like nothing more than to subjugate The U.S., or course. But John Farragut is one of those charismatic leaders who seem gleefully crazed and yet his whole crew follows him loyally.

There's a lot going on in Wolf Star - fights with Roman ships, quite a few close calls and those pesky insects that have killed many planets and ships. There is of course, some SciFi facts inserted, though inserted in a non-boring way. Not being a scientifically minded person, I'm not sure how accurate the scifi is, but it's presented in an interesting and easy to swallow way. Works for me. Because even though I don't consider myself a Scientist Genious, I love reading SciFi - especially SciFi with plenty of female characters who actually have important parts to play.

What I enjoy about the series so far - besides the crazed plot and events - is the narrative style and the dialogue. M.J. Meluch really can write great dialogue - the characters read like the people they're supposed to be. Sometimes when reading a book, you KNOW you are reading dialogue. Other times, it's such a seamless part of the story that you almost forget you're actually reading a novel. Know what I mean? It's hard for me to emphasize enough how important dialogue is to me while reading. But Meluch does a great job of writing dialogue. The narrative is damned good too - it just flows. Now that I've read both books, I'm not sure why exactly I put aside The Myriad the first time I read it. I think I just hadn't really become absorbed by the character of Farragut yet - who is one of those annoyingly charismatic leader who you can't help but become fond of - even though at first you might not like him. Ever meet anyone like that? They are so good at seemingly letting things roll off their backs, so easygoing that it's refreshing when they show their beserker side - and Farragut loves a good fight. He's also sly like a fox - only one is never sure if it's by accident or for real. Either way, once you get used to his sheer exuberance, he's one of the favorite characters.

If you like your SciFi kind of crazed with lots of twists, turns, some gore (not too bad) and suspense with a teeny bit of romance, then this will be a great series to read. It's got it all, light on the romance (no heaving bosoms, but there are some lingering hot looks - though not a huge part of the stories), heavy on action, great dialogue with laughs and sarcasm; wonderful characters who are can be full of honor and yet can surprise you. This series is really feeding my SciFi cravings. :) I am looking forward to reading more from Meluch.


Unseen Academicals
Unseen Academicals
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars I honestly enjoyed reading this book, 11 Aug 2012
This review is from: Unseen Academicals (Hardcover)
For some odd reason, totally not my usual way of doing things, I bought this book the moment it came out (okay, that's normal with a favorite) and then put off reading it for quite a while....which can be normal for me with a lot of books, but NEVER with a Terry Pratchett book. In fact, I ended up reading the next book, Snuff, before I finally dug Unseen Academicals back out of the TBR pile. Of course, once I began reading I was soon pulled into the story....

Reading a Terry Pratchett novel is quite an experience. The man is clever, brilliant AND on top of that, can write a charming, interesting, humorous novel full of twists, turns, surprises, tidbits and social satire. He does not shy away from difficult or uncomfortable subjects and yet can write with humor, so while you're laughing, you're still thinking about the injustices of the world. Somehow, and rightly so, you're left know just how idiotic these injustices are yet even while the novel seethes with trouble makers, the poor, the desparate - by the end of the book you are enjoying the fact that while still imperfect - the characters have had small victories, huge victories, or temporary victories, and even if they don't necessarily get a fairytale happy ending - they get the right ending.

In this case, we're not only reading about sports and how it affects people, but all the other behavours and issues that a popular well attended sporting event can bring up - bigotry, politics, rights of the people, rioting, cheating, loyalties, competition, ....you know, all the craziness that can accompany sports and sporting events and even within sporting families.

There's this game that's been going on since forever, it gets bigger and bigger, truly mythical proportions, even the spectators seem to be part of the game (like in American football, when they call the crowd the 12th man). The game seems to be a cross between Rugby, Soccer and Football, and in this early, discworld version the game seems to move from place to place; not because of the day, but because of where the players are throwing the ball. The game and "12th man" becoming so epic has drawn the attention of Lord Vetinari. When he becomes interested in something - watch out.

There are some familiar faces in Unseen Academicals - The Unseen University, the wizards within; Ponder, Stibbons, Ridcully, The Librarian, etc. However, Pratchett introduces new characters to readers: the head of the night kitchen, Glenda, who is a no nonsense type of woman, one everyone depends on and who seems to be middle ages, though she's much younger; Juliet, the beautiful worshipped maid, who is the same age as Glenda, yet seems years younger; Trev, who works for the Unseen University - a young handsome roguish man, big sports enthusiast, and unfortunately a supporter of the wrong team. Unfortunate, because he's in love with Juliet and her family/neighborhood are for the other team. There's a bit of a Romeo/Juliet thing going here - just the beginnings.... There is also this whiz of a candle maker - Mr. Nutt. In fact, he seems to be an expert on just about everything, and yet there is something slightly sinister and mysterious about him People seem nervous around him...

There's such a wondrous mix of stories here. I see a sort of West Side/East Side, Romeo and Juliet, Necessary Roughness, all kinds of stories going on here - and it's all weaved into one master story by this brilliant writer, Terry Pratchett. As usual, Pratchett uses humor, satire, cleverness, multiple storylines and wonderful dialogue all together to bring his take on things - in this example, sports and love. If you haven't yet tried a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, this is a good one - though he has over 30 novels set in this Discworld, they all stand alone in their own right. And if you have read them, just haven't yet picked up this one, go get it, you won't be disappointed.


The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One
The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One
by Lilith Saintcrow
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A successful new beginning, 11 Aug 2012
I absolutely love reading a brand new book in a brand new series. I rarely ask for books from The Library Thing, unless I really, really want one, but I saw this, put in for it, and then forgot I put in for it. Then it came in the mail - unfortunately it didn't come in time for me to post about it before the release date, but it's close. The Iron Wyrm Affair is one of Lilith Saintcrow's newest novels, and it is unlike anything she's ever done before. Although - I know she's written some paranormal romance that I haven't read (the Watcher series- I think they're romance, anyway). I have read her two urban fantasy series and they are dark urban fantasy, both of which I enjoyed very much. If you're looking for something like that, you're not going to find it here. However, this is a very well written steampunk novel. There's magic, clockwork horses, altered people, Victorian setting and dialogue...Saintcrow has done a wonderful job of writing something completely different.

The Iron Wyrm Affair is the first of the Bannon and Clare series. Bannon is a sorceress, a very powerful one. Clare is a mentath - a man who MUST use his brain to solve patterns, problems, etc. or his brain will go mad. They live in an alternate historical London - it's actually called Londinium. In this version of history - there are sorcerers, prime (the most powerful of sorcerers) witches, gryffons, etc. It's a very rich world. As the story unfolds, you learn a bit more about the world and it's history.

Mentaths and sorcerers have been found murdered and Bannon is in charge of not only keeping Clare alive, but finding out just what the threat is, and who the real threat is ultimately for.

Lilith Saintcrow has once again delivered a novel that is full of plot, believable and fitting dialogue, rich environments (not $$ rich, rich in atmosphere) and mysterious pasts of characters. There is plenty of action, and just the barest tease of relationships. There is danger and twisty plots. A very enjoyable book - and I am looking forward - very much - to the next novel in the series.


Chasing Magic
Chasing Magic
by Stacia Kane
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite hot mess, 2 Aug 2012
I have eagerly waited for each of the novels in the Downside series ever since I read the first book, Unholy Ghosts. Everytime I finish reading one of these books, I'm already feining for the next book. Can't get enough. Chasing Magic was no exception. What's weird, is that I am enjoying things in this series that I usually roll my eyes at in other novels - angst, the does he or doesn't he love bit, the odd decisions that Chess makes - and it's all due to the skill of Stacia Kane's characterization. What I get frustrated with in other books just works in this series.

In this book - Chess is continuing with her spiral of drug use, trying to keep things hidden and alternately riding the highs and lows of her relationship with Terrible. In keeping with her addicted personality and background, she has some serious insecurities - both as a partner and as a human being. But the one thing she's always been proud of is her work, and even that is threatened because of a past decision, and everyday because of her addiction.

There's a bad drug being passed around in the territory where she lives, people are having some really bad reactions. When Chess and Terrible start to dig a little, they find out that it's further reaching than they first thought. Even people in Lex's side of town are dropping. As things progress, her relationship to Terrible is threatened, Lex threatens Terrible, one of her relationships at the Church changes, and things get very dangerous very fast.

Kane does a wonderful job of producing a book with many layers - the plots and subplots, the relationships between Chess and Terrible, Chess and Lex, Lex and Terrible, etc. Usually I don't want to read too much of the relationship side of things, but because of the way Kane presents things, it all goes hand in hand seamlessly. It's brilliant the way she writes the relationship between Chess's personal life and her professional life, her insecurities and the decisions she makes. You can't help rooting for her, and she's easy to relate to because she make some poor choices and is far from perfect. I also enjoy the way her drug use is weaved in throughout the novel - it's a huge part of her life, and so it makes sense to me to read all the times she grabs a couple pills, bumps a line, craves a bump, worries about her stash - it's all a part of her and her daily life.

Those who enjoy the not so goody two shoes type of heroine will enjoy this - it's refreshing to read a character who is so flawed and yet functions, who goes through life sometimes in a fog sometimes just high, yet is still trying to do the best she can, with what she's capable of. It's a different world in the Downside, and all the characters reflect this, with their speech patterns, their behaviour and their acceptance of each other. Stacia Kane has done a great job at portraying each character, with all their quirks, flaws, good points and bad points.

I am now eagerly waiting for book #6.


Painless (A Theo Kane story)
Painless (A Theo Kane story)

4.0 out of 5 stars I hope more is coming..., 19 July 2012
I really enjoyed reading Painless - about a woman who happens to feel NO pain. You would think that feeling no pain at all would be a blessing, but it's one of those double edged sword type of blessings. A blessing around a curse. Because if you can't feel pain, then you're susceptible to over doing things, or not knowing when to stop. Stop mouthing off, stop moving, just stop.

Theo Kane, the lead character, has just finished a "job". Only now, the people she worked against are strongly suggesting she steal this item back. Refusing would be very bad for her continued health. So what follows is Theo's adventure in getting back the item she stole in the first place. And it seems no one is being straight with her, she keeps finding out just a teeny bit more...

In short time Naomi Clark not only delivers some wonderfully snarky dialogue, but she creates a world without falling into the infodump black hole. She gives just enough background to allow the story to unfold. The story was short and sweet, adventerous with a couple of chuckles to round out the danger. And I was left wanting more. Which is what a short story should do - leave you feeling like you read a fun adventure, but also leave you wanting to know more about the world and character in this story.

Ms Clark is good at dialogue, narration and story. I'm hoping for more about Theo Kane and the mysterious Launen- a people who have been segregated, and have a certain power.

Naomi Clark has written many stories - She is the author of Silver Kiss - a story with GLBT main characters (not just the usual gay side character) as well as other urban fantasy/horror stories. Very interesting array of writing, everything that I've read, I've enjoyed.


You Can't Shatter Me
You Can't Shatter Me
Price: 2.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story - this should be on reading list at schools all over, 4 July 2012
You Can't Shatter Me is a story about bullying. A young girl witnesses a "misfit" being bullied, and suddenly not able to watch this one more time with no one intervening steps in. Which of course bring the focus onto her. At the same time, another student, who has been watching her from afar, steps in to protect her...Now they are both under fire from the bully.

Carly and Dylan are now targeted by this bully, a very angry young man named Justin. The story deals with the beginnings of a relationship and how the two finally end up dealing with this bully in unexpected ways along with empowering a few other people.

Newland used a lot of imagery - in the form of very fantastical imagination on the part of the characters. The things they imagined - reminded me of a film with .... Well, I could totally picture this as a short movie, with their imaginings shown in animation. While at first I was a bit confused (being a reader of mostly urban fantasy or fantasy I thought at first these imaginings were really going on - maybe they were) I soon came to believe that the kids were using their very strong imagery to cope and come to decisions.

But not only is the bully cast as a bully - his own demons are shown. The kid not only has a drunk dad, but deals with abuse as well, causing him to be angry and pass it on. But then, usually a bully is someone who is so angry at their circumstances that they "pass it on" to others.

The narration was interesting- uniquely done. The kids sounded like kids when they spoke to each other. The bullying situations are completely believable. And I enjoyed Carly's unique way of disarming Justin, though I wonder how well that would work with some of the most shut off predators. Anyway, it's hopeful that some young people will read more of these type of novels and take heart that there are solutions that don't rely on violence. Sometimes it IS as simple as showing a confidence even if you don't feel confident. Fake it until you make it.

It would be great if books like this were made required reading in schools.


Doc Vampire-Hunting Dog
Doc Vampire-Hunting Dog

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vampires and Vampire Hunters...and The Dog!, 30 Jan 2012
There are lots of books written about vampires, humans, dogs and vampire hunters. There are many books written about dogs. There are so many books written from a vampire's point of view, and many written from a vampire hunter's point of view. But as far as I know, there is only one book written from the point of a view of a vampire hunter dog. Yep! that's right. Doc is a border collie who has a special skill - to hunt vampires...

When I say written from the dog's pov - it's really from the dog's pov - first person narrative. Campbell did a great job making the dog sound like a dog. Doc spoke in terms of dogs. Smells, his human, the obsessions that dogs can have - in Doc's example, that would be sheepherding. His human is so cool about it that he puts on the t.v. so Doc can watch sheepherding games. Have you ever come across your dog or cat seemingly transfixed on a t.v. show? I have. There are times when I wonder what the dog or cat (of the moment) is thinking when they are staring intently at the t.v.

Doc is a novella - and stems from an online storyline that J.A. Campbell gifted her early fans with. After a while, she took some of the stories down and reworked them into this version. There are still a few shorts available online for free reads.
Doc has a human that has been a bit sad lately. Their lives have recently changed. Doc's human has been going out at night and coming home tired. Almost by accident, Doc gets involved in his human's night-time activties. This is when they find out that Doc has this special talent with vampires. Things are going along, when as things do,You-Know-What Hits the Fan.

If you enjoy vampires and vampire hunters, and dogs - if you enjoy mix of all three then you're going to like this story. I enjoyed it a lot. As with all of her work, Campbell is able to instill a touch of horror, mystery and a bit of snark for a great mix. Her humor isn't overdone, either. You know how sometimes the snark seems to be trying a little too hard? you won't find that here. What you will find is a darn good story about dog who loves his human, and a human who loves his dog. The narrative is great - once you start reading it, you just want to go on reading. The dialog (which can be my pet peeve on any given book) is believable and fits the character. This means a lot to me - seriously a lot. There's some great action scenes - one part when I - and I'm a jaded 50-ish woman now, felt like tearing up for the DOG! I don't do that. Ever! well, hardly ever. :)

There's a satisfying end, and yet you know that it's really just the beginning....


The Drorgon Slayer's Choice
The Drorgon Slayer's Choice

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining fantasy romance, 23 Oct 2011
I don't read many short stories, though I do enjoy them occasionally. I recently (just now) read The Drorgon Slayer's Choice by Tahlia Newland and found myself enjoying the fantasy/light romance.

Julia is on her break from work, hoping to get some coffee when she bumps her head after a fall. After dusting herself off, she sits down and notices that everything is brighter, she can see and hear better....and oops! Suddenly she's seeing some disturbing things. Like a giant octopus and people fighting this thing. Only no one else seems to notice.

What follows is an entertaining beginning of a romance. Julia follows the fighters to a new location and gets noticed by one of them- a handsome one. The rest is kind of a sweet beginning to a romance. And even though I'm not really into the romance formulaic style of writing, I enjoyed this, because it wasn't too heavy handed with all the romance buzzwords about how hot people are. I found Ms Newland's style of writing easy to read, and the dialog (which can be a deal breaker for me) was fitting. Of course, this being a short story - things move a bit fast, and there's an interesting fantasy twist to the heaven and hell (differing planets).

For the price of a candy bar, you can read this short story yourself, and it's less calories than candy. LOL. Give it a try - Tahlia Newland has a fine writing style and can sure write an entertaining read.


Heart of Valor (Confederation Novels)
Heart of Valor (Confederation Novels)
by Tanya Huff
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Military SciFi series, 6 Aug 2011
I am still loving this series. Torin, newly promoted (though she really would rather stay away from being top brass) to gunny sargeant has agreed to accompany Major Svensson as an aide to Crucible. Crucible is the training planet for the Marines. That's where they put all their learning to practical applications. The planet sounds kind of cool - the marines have a few different training situations complete with terrain and weather variations;winter with below zero temperatures or tropical with all the accompanying bugs and heat. There are drones and other dangerous things that are programmed to run certain scenarios to put the marines through their paces - it's supposed to be dangerous, but non-deadly.

At the same time Torin's new man - Craig Ryder - is wondering where that escape pod is. The one he used to escape Big Yellow and bring help back to the others. Weirdly, it seems that only ones who remember this escape pod are him, Torin and Presit (the reporter). Strange. In fact, Torin was almost in trouble over asking questions, something that makes her think she's being used,making her angry.

Back on Crucible, Major Svensson (who has recently regrown almost his entire body and nervous system - I love futuristic sci-fi) seems just a bit odd to Torin. She's being his aide, managing him and protecting the civilian doctor who is monitoring him while the recruits they are accompanying are being put through the beginnings of a training program. The Staff Sargeant in charge of the recruits is the same staff sargeant that Torin trainined under years before, and she's surprised that he's still in the marines (something to do with Di'Taykan culture and his age). In fact, she finds something off about him also....

Things go from a bit off to that incredibly descriptive old anachronism - SNAFU. Yep - situation Normal-All F-d Up. Love that phrase. The training drones are suddenly deadly, the major is behaving strangely inconsistantly, the staff sargeant in charge suddenly is incapacitated and things go horribly wrong.

I enjoyed the return of a few characters from The Better Part of Valor - Craig Ryder (the man for Torin), Presit (the reporter who irritates Torin and who doesn't really like Torin), and General Morris in all his pompous glory. The man tries so hard to be a good general, but he's....well he's a bit pompous - he had a smaller part to play in this book, but important. I also really enjoyed a few new characters from the recruits and the Navy spaceship. There is a recruit that is so enthusiastic that she packs everything on the suggested list - something that the other recruits thought unnecessary. She's the first to volunteer answers and actions, and she has developoed a crush on Torin. There's the tech whiz, who's good at all things programming and hacking. The Di'Taykan cultured is almost a character in itself.

Ms Huff has written a great series and I've enjoyed this third novel very much. After finishing this novel, I grabbed the fourth novel off my shelf right away.


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