Monday, February 29, 2016

Cover Characteristics #17

Cover Characteristics is a meme by Sugar and Snark- every week a characteristic is selected and we post 5 books with that week's theme. 

This week's pick- Gargoyles  

Gargoyles- creatures of stone that perch on high, staring sightlessly down on mortal affairs...but what would happen if one stirred? The gargoyles are creatures of shadow and stone, as one of our titles this week suggests.  

 Of Shadow and Stone

This one is okay, not my favorite but I do like her looking forward and the suggestion of a storm. 

I assume that's a gargoyle. This is an old school cover and I do like the drinking horn? 

This one is amazing, with a nasty looking gargoyle perched up high- I think from the blazing eyes we can assume this is not a friendly gargoyle!  

I've used this cover before but here it is again- this time for the gargoyles. I like this one a lot, especially with the moon in the background. 

Of Shadow and Stone

This cover is awesome and easily my favorite. The moon, the girl leaning over with the wind in her hair, the gargoyle- I love this cover. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sunday Post #131

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This was a good week although it did snow and everything was white again. We're almost to March and I'm ready for it to warm up. The cat was gone for three days, then showed up again. I caught him looking at me through the window like "where's the food?" After I fed him he took off across the street and to a neighbors yard- I think he's making the rounds.   

I'm still watching The 100. I'm recapping the episodes every week and you should check out the recap/ reaction posts at It Starts At Midnight as well- lots of fun. 

The Immortals (Olympus Bound #1)Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

I'm listening to... 



Rebel Bully Geek PariahThe Incident on the Bridge 
The Lifeboat Clique


The Hardcover Lover has another installment of Soundtrack Saturday

Socrates Book Reviews has a reviews up for No Cats Allowed. Looks like fun. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bookcover Spotlight #37

Another updated Bond cover, I like the green tint although I'm not sure it has anything to do with the story? Each book seems to have its own color and I imagine these all look nice on the shelf together.

The Immortals

The Immortals (Olympus Bound #1)

The Immortals is a debut novel about Greek gods living in the modern day. Selene DaSilva is actually Artemis and now lives in New York City where she spends her time hunting down men who prey on women. When she finds a woman dead by the river, slain in a ritualistic fashion, she suspects that someone is emulating ancient Greek cult practices- but to what purpose? She meets a classics professor who has ties to the slain woman, and together the two of them investigate the murder- and uncover a plot that stretches back thousands of years.

I wanted to like this book, from the cover to the premise everything about it appealed to me- but initially I was a little underwhelmed. I had trouble relating to Selene, she came across as aloof and unknowable- and that may have been intentional, as she is indeed a Greek goddess who has been alive for millenia, her powers slowly fading as mankind no longer worships her. But I just had trouble with it, it wasn't clicking for me- it kept her remote and it just seemed incongruous with the modern world.

However, this book gets better as it goes, and I'm glad I stuck with it- the last quarter of the book is amazing and really hums. There were a couple of "yea, that's what I'm talking about" moments towards the end. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did it was worth it. The characters are well drawn for the most part- Theo the classics professor is a man who knows his Greek myth, but little does he know that the woman he's falling in love with is an actual Greek goddess.

The supporting cast are good too, especially the other gods and goddesses who show up. There's one in particular who steals the show. The concept of gods drawing power from their worshipers is taken in interesting directions, and Selene is faced with a dilemma- how far will she go to keep her immortality? I did make a connection as to the bad guy early in the story but that didn't really affect my enjoyment of the story.

Another thing I'd like to praise are the real life locations. The author knows NYC and there are lots of scenes set in abandoned subway or little known Central Park locations. This adds a lot of heft to the story and context. All in all this was a good story and I'm glad I stuck with it and I look forward to revisiting these characters again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The 100 S3E5

So we're in Episode 5 already! Time is flying... we start this week with Lexa and Clarke riding for Arkadia with a procession of Grounders, the two of them are looking pretty pleased with themselves- smiles even! When do you see smiles on this show? Of course the good times can't last- because then we cut to Bellamy returning with Pike's people, and they have blood on them. Pike gives a speech basically saying that the land is theirs now, and he'll kill any Grounders who resist. Yeah that will go well. I still can't believe Bellamy would go along with this- it's like a whole different character. Beyond disappointing. 

Clarke and Lexa come upon the party that Pike attacked, and it looks like they're all dead- 300 Grounders. Indra however is still alive- Indra was there?? I'm sorry to see that, I kinda liked her (not initially, she grew on me). And we get a shocker- Pike and his people, after shooting everyone up, executed the wounded. Only Bellamy saved her life. Lexa is furious and is ready to lay waste to Arkadia, but Clarke asks for time to talk to Kane. Indra signals Kane and he sends Octavia out to meet with her- to find out what happened. 

Bellamy is having trouble with what they did and tells Pike they went too far, but he's still with Pike. Kane asks him what happened out there and he says they did what they had to do- with Lincoln standing right in front of him. Unbelievable. I thought for a minute there Bellamy would repudiate Pike, but no. We get a glimpse of Raven, she's mad at Abby for taking her off work, and they have it out- Abby tells her that her leg won't heal but she can still be useful. And Jaha shows up- aw man I was enjoying the show without him. 

Jaha tries to enter Arkadia and the new guards accost him- no Grounders allowed so they want to stop Otan. A struggle breaks out and Otan is shot, but Jaha keeps his hands on the ALIE backpack. Then we switch over to the woods to see Murphy and Emori thieving- they lure a tinker in and take his stuff. They're apparently a thing now. And Jaha and Pike meet. ALIE advises Jaha through the meet- so apparently she's in a state that only he can see. And predictably Pike thinks he's nuts when Jaha talks about saving the people. 

Octavia arrives at the massacre site and meets with Clarke and Lexa, and says she can get Clarke in to deal with Pike. Things get ugly at Arkadia when Pike decides to imprison the wounded Grounders and Lincoln takes exception. It was nice to see him beat the piss out of Gillmer, asshole that he is. But Pike has Denae (one of the wounded) at gunpoint, and they take Lincoln and imprison him with the rest. Jaha meanwhile is preaching to a few Arkadians and Raven tells him he's full of crap. ALIE tells Jaha that if he can turn her, the rest will follow. That ALIE is pretty creepy at this point. 

Octavia returns and has it out with Bellamy, and takes him (unknowing) to see Clarke. Woo hoo now the shit's gonna fly. Clarke tells Bell the Ice Queen gone everything could have been fine until Pike screwed it up. She tells him that they need to make it right over the massacre, and surely Bellamy doesn't want war? He says they've been at war since they landed, and Pike understands that. Who the $%%& is this and where did Bellamy go??? It gets touchy and Clarke says she needs the guy who wouldn't let her pull the lever alone in Mt. Weather- and he says she left him. Now we're getting to true feelings here! 

He hits her hard, telling her that people died when she was in charge. Ouch. She says she's sorry, and she knows they can fix it- and then Bellamy handcuffs her. Seriously? This show is out of hand. Jaha is creeping on Raven and leaves her the happy pill after she loses it. Bellamy is taking Clarke to Pike but Octavia intervenes, and Clarke stuns him with a taser prod or whatever those things are, and they escape. They speak to Kane and Abby briefly though and tell them that they were going to give Pike up but Kane says the people knew what they were voting for. 

Emori and Murphy are still trying to rob passersby and get a nasty surprise when warriors ride up and take Murphy. Are they stupid or what? But... they see one of the happy pills that Murphy had and they say it has the "sacred symbol." What does that mean? And Clarke returns to Lexa and somehow convinces her NOT to retaliate- that she will try for peace. That's a surprise- but I'm not sure I'm buying it. And we close with Raven taking the happy pill- and seeing ALIE. 

So... an episode that jumped around a lot, juggling a lot of plotlines. The Pike/ Bellamy snafu keeps getting worse and worse, we have Arkadians against each other now, and Clarke and Octavia are working together, which is kinda nice.  

A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

Welcome to my A Dance with Dragons re- read. This week we are reading Daenerys VII and Jon IX. With the lions share of the chapters in this book, you would expect that their story arcs would be quite expansive, and in some ways they are. However I'm still struck by how little their stories move forward given the the pace of the earlier books. Nevertheless a lot happens here so let's dive in and take a look, shall we? 

Dany wakes up next to Daario Naharis and she's thinking how he has no real conscience- and also that he wants the queen, not just her. It is two days before her wedding and Daario tells her to marry him instead. He urges her to hold court as some of the deserters from the Windblown are anxious to see her, as they are Westerosi and are anxious to see a Targaryen. A Dornish squire named The Frog has a gift for her (we know of course that is Quentyn). She agrees to see them the next day. 

She thinks that Hizdahr will bring peace as her enemies continue to mass against her. As she holds court Daario brings forth the Westerosi deserters- led by Pretty Meris. This is the group The Tattered Prince sent over to get close to Dany. Quentyn (Frog) is of course among them, and Dany's first impression of him is not favorable. She asks them their true names, and they introduce themselves for who they really are. Quentyn produces the pact that was signed long ago, by Willem Darry and witnessed by the Sealord of Braavos. It calls for her brother to marry Arianne of Dorne, uniting Dorne and the Targaryens against Robert. 

Quentyn then introduces himself as Prince Quentyn of Dorne, and Dany... laughs. Not exactly a good start. She realizes that Quentyn means to marry her and thereby uphold the pact, but she tells him she is already promised. She instructs that they be treated well, and afterwards Barristan tells her this changes everything. She demurs however and says it changes nothing. Missandei later tells her it is not too late to cancel the wedding, but Dany feels she must. 

As she makes her way to her wedding she talks with Barristan, and he tells her that her father Aerys once desired Tywin Lannister's wife, and said things that angered Tywin. 


A lot of this chapter is fluff, seems to me, but that may be because I find Dany's story so boring at this point. I feel like Martin dragged this Meereen storyline out through the whole book, at a much more glacial pace than previous volumes, and even though it is interesting in a way it's really just taking too long to get anywhere. I still disagree with her decision to marry Hizdahr, even though I think Martin is trying to show us she places duty before her own desires, but it just doesn't make sense how she is ever going to go to Westeros anytime soon if she marries and tries to quell Meereen. 


Queen Selyse arrives and Jon knows that all her men and attendants serve Melisandre more than her. Along with her is Tycho Nestoris, a representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos. He is looking to meet with Stannis. Hmm, interesting. Jon is escorting the queen to her quarters when they come upon Wun Wun the giant, who kneels before her. That's kinda cute. Shireen is entranced to see him but her mom is not. Turns out Nestoris is there to discuss the crown's debt to the Iron Bank, which the Lannisters have decided not to repay. Jon and Nestoris meet and bargain- Jon wants Nerstoris' three ships and gold to feed the Watch, in return for helping Nestoris get to Stannis in the field. 

Jon thinks he now has a total of eleven ships to go to Hardhome. Later he thinks that if Stannis can come to terms with the Iron Bank that he may just have won- because the Bank will lend him whatever he needs to get their debts. Then a girl shows up- the girl Melisandre saw in her visions? But if she's here, what happened to Mance and the spearwives who went to get her? The girl turns out to be Alys Karstark, and Jon had met her once before. She is fleeing her uncle Cregan who wants to marry her. 


Jon wonders if Melisandre had some other task for Mance since the girl arrives on her own I find the whole Alys Karstark thing fascinating, and that and the Nestoris part made this a good chapter for me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday

 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted. Everyone is welcome to join. Link back to The Broke and the Bookish so everyone can check out other bloggers' lists. It's a fun way to get to know fellow bloggers.

This week's topic is Top Ten Books Not In My Usual Genre    

I read mostly fantasy and some mysteries too- but this list has YA contemporary, historical fiction and even some adult contemp- stuff I don't normally read. In no particular order, here are my Top Ten books outside my usual zone. 

Letters from Skye 

Letters from Skye is not my typical read- a historical love story told entirely in letters.     

Tokyo Kill: A Thriller (Jim Brodie #2)

 I read this after seeing it recommended at Bea's Book Nook-  a good thriller set in Japan.  

Eight Hundred Grapes

I won this at Readerbuzz and it was one of my favorite reads of 2015.  

The Blue: A Novel

A good read about two girls from England who join a yacht crew- everything is fine until someone dies. 

All We Have Is Now

What would you do with your last hours on Earth? 

Big Little Lies

My favorite book of last year set in contemporary Australia.   

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

This one was different but I liked it- about a bookstore that is more than it appears. 

Perry's Killer Playlist (Perry & Gobi, #2)

The sequel to Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick (see below). Perry and Gobi go to Europe and more craziness happens. 


Tides is a YA with a paranormal slant (selkies) and was a good book. 

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick (Perry & Gobi, #1)

This is a YA about an exchange student who turns out to be an assassin and a crazy night in New York City. 


My first Lauren Oliver book, about a game played among high school students for money- a game that not everyone will survive. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cover Characteristics

Cover Characteristics is a meme by Sugar and Snark- every week a characteristic is selected and we post 5 books with that week's theme. 

This week's pick- pictures/ photo  

Picture frames or photos- a little harder than it sounds. This week is an interesting topic- I didn't find many in my usual kind of reads so had to go a little farther afield. Mysteries seemed to do the trick and as usual I found I few gems in the pulp/ vintage style. So here are my picks for this week. 

The Bungalow MysteryHeist Society (Heist Society, #1)Murder at the Book Group (Hazel Rose Mysteries)

The Bungalow Mystery  

What's behind the picture?   

There is a picture frame in this one- just barely. 

The Scarlet Slipper Mystery (Nancy Drew, #32)

This one doesn't do a lot for me- not my favorite Nancy Drew. 

I rather like this one. Obviously an old time cover- a guy actually climbed into their room to deliver a threatening note?  

Peril in Paperback  (A Bibliophile Mystery, #6)

This one's okay- a little cluttered.  

This one's nice and I like the bookstore/ coffee joint vibe. 

Murder at the Book Group (Hazel Rose Mysteries)

I love this cover. And the tagline is not bad either. 

Okay then. 

I like this one. 

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)

My favorite this week.