Friday, August 16, 2019

The #FridayReads Review (8/16/19)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions, #1)
Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast (ARC)
Felt like a sci-fi read and this intrigued me with its mystery. Although it is an alien invasion it's at its core a survival story, which I tend to struggle with due to them being more quiet tension than action. The characters and content have been more crude than I prefer, but I'm just interested enough in the mystery of the aliens to probably finish. Currently about 40% in.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1)Poison or Protect (Delightfully Deadly, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (PBK)
3 Stars. Second read was sadly not as good as I remembered from my 2012 read. It began strong with eloquent writing, an exotic setting, and engaging magic, but the long trek was dull and Alina was too simple a character for such an epic story. I re-read this with plans to finally finish the trilogy, but now I'm debating if I want to continue the series at all. Review to come.

Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger (PBK)
3 Stars. I enjoyed getting to know Preshea better, and Gavin was the sweetest. I was disappointed that the mystery element I perceived wasn't one, though - I was so sure the assassin was one of their house party and got excited sussing them out, but it turned out there was no mystery element after all. Also, the sex was way too heavy and descriptive for asexual me. Still, a quick and interesting Parasolverse read with some revealing cameos.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Love in Focus Vol.1
Love in Focus vol. 1 by Yoko Nogiri (PBK)
Getting this first in a new series from the library today! Hope it proves engaging.

So what are you reading this week?

Friday, August 9, 2019

The #FridayReads Review (8/9/19)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1)By Your Side

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (PBK)
Felt like a fantasy early this week so I decided to re-read this beauty and then finally finish the trilogy this year. I was thoroughly enjoying Leigh's eloquent style and engaging story but my week took a bad health turn halfway through and suddenly complicated fantasy wasn't so alluring. So I decided to read...

By Your Side by Kasie West (PBK)
Discovered there are a few Kasie books I haven't reviewed yet and when I don't feel good I enjoy Kasie stories so grabbed this to re-devour. Always a sucker for a library setting.

Listen to Your Heart
Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West (ARC)
4.5 StarsA story of anonymous advice and broadening one's horizons that I thoroughly enjoyed and couldn't put down! Especially adored that the love interest was rather a mystery until well over half the book. Review to come!

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling (ARC)
Found this ARC at my library bookstore and it sounds intriguing. I'm usually not one for translations but I'm willing to give it a try. 

So what are you reading this week?

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Release Spotlight: Reticence (Gail Carriger)

Today I'm thrilled to spotlight the fourth and final book in Gail Carriger's Custard Protocol series, RETICENCE! Set in Gail's alternate historical paranormal parasolverse and featuring bookish and brainy Percy, one of my favorite characters, after Comptence's revelations it promises to be the most playful and witty of them all! If you haven't yet checked out this delightful series, do so below!

Reticence (Custard Protocol, #4)
Title: Reticence
Series: The Custard Protocol #4
Author: Gail Carriger
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release Date: 8/6/19

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to NYT bestselling author Gail Carriger's Custard Protocol series.

Percival Tunstell loves that his sister and her best friend are building themselves a family of misfits aboard their airship, the Spotted Custard. Of course, he'd never admit that he belongs among them. He's always been on the outside - dispassionate, aloof, and hatless. But accidental spies, a trip to Japan, and one smart and beautiful doctor may have him renegotiating his whole philosophy on life.

Except hats. He's done with hats. Thank you very much.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository

Check out the rest of the series!

Prudence (The Custard Protocol, #1)Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, #2)Competence (Custard Protocol, #3)

Book 1: Prudence
Book 2: Imprudence
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Book 3: Competence

Monday, August 5, 2019

Review: The Dire King (William Ritter)

The Dire King (Jackaby #4)
Title: The Dire King
Series: Jackaby, Book 4
Author: William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: August 22, 2017
GenreNew Adult Historical Supernatural Mystery
Told: First Person (Abigail), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (lots of bloody violence, monsters warring, death)
Format Read: Paperback (purchased)
Find OnGoodreads
PurchaseAzon | B&N | BookDepo | Indiebound

The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push the earth and the otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve daily mysteries in New Fiddleham, New England—like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why the undead are appearing around town.

At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, Jenny Cavanaugh, begins to give way. But before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.
The epic conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series features wry humor and a cast of unforgettable characters facing off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.

*          *          *

Series: This is the fourth and final book in the Jackaby series. Click on the titles to read my reviews of Book 1: Jackaby, Book 2: Beastly Bones, and Book 3: Ghostly Echoes. The books do follow each other and should be read in order.

Although I enjoyed the first three in the Jackaby series, this final book was a struggle. The simple writing style I'd previously praised here read stiff, distancing me to feel little despite world destruction and heavy deaths. The initially intriguing series arc here convoluted into a climatic jumble of magic and tech that left me indifferent to the entire Dire King plot. And while the ever quirky and clever characters were here a redeeming quality, even they were sadly diluted by too much war and too little classic mystery-solving.

The first half of the book was rather dull as the team talked to people, gathered information, and decided if they were going to take a more active part in a war they couldn't avoid. There were a bunch of magical creatures and a reanimated corpse, but they did very little to animate the pages. When yet another history lesson began halfway through, I had to set Dire King aside and read a few other books before returning to forcibly push through the rest. The last third finally saw some real action, but the stiff voice made for a disappointingly dry read despite epic battles and heart-wrenching demises. Like the other books the mystery villain was predictable upon acquaintance which took the rest of the wind out of the climax, but after the dust settled the quiet if colorful end - with its uplifting Supplemental - made for at least a hopeful finale that finally saw me a little teary and smiling.

Conclusion: Am I glad I read it? Yes. Although I really had to push myself to finish I'm ultimately glad I did, even if only to say I read the entire series. Would I recommend it? If you've read the rest of the books, of course - how could you not see how it all ends?

Scribble Rating
3 of 5 Scribbles

Series Conclusion: Am I glad I read the entire series? Definitely. While the mystery villains were predictable and the plot convoluted over the four books into a mind-numbing mess of tangled threads, I really grew to adore the main cast and can't deny the strong imagination behind the story. I definitely recommend the Jackaby series for older teens and up (especially boys) who enjoy their mysteries fantastical and bloody.

Series Scribble Rating
3.5 of 5 Scribbles

Friday, August 2, 2019

The #FridayReads Review (8/2/19)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

Listen to Your Heart
Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West (ARC)
Discovered an unread Kasie book on my shelf and naturally had to read it next! As typical with Kasie I can't put it down, and the advice podcast plot is fun and interesting. But what's especially interesting: no official romantic interest! There are two candidates and the mystery of who it'll ultimately be is keeping me glued to the page. 

Reticence (Custard Protocol, #4)Romancing the Inventor (Supernatural Society, #1)

Reticence by Gail Carriger
4.5 Stars. As expected, a thoroughly delightful read. Percy was adorkable, Arsenic gave Sophronia a run for her money as my favorite Parasolverse female, and the surprise third POV was such fun! I also rather enjoyed the Japanese shifters. Wish there was more to come... The Further Adventures of the Custard Protocol, anyone? Full review to come.

Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger (PBK)
3 Stars. A quick if lusty read in which a favorite Parasolverse character finally finds lasting love. The sex was a little more descriptive than asexual me is comfortable with and the violent sexual harassment was an unpleasant surprise, but for the most part I enjoyed seeing many of the old gang again and will continue to read all Parasolverse books to see what becomes of everyone.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
W Juliet, Vol. 8
W Juliet vol. 8 by Emura (PBK)
Still making my way through the series. I continue to find this previous favorite now repetitive and struggle to maintain complete interest with 14 volumes to the series, but it has gotten a little better the last few volumes. Do look for a review when I eventually finish! 

So what are you reading this week?

Monday, July 29, 2019

Manga Review: Meteor Prince Series (Meca Tanaka)

Meteor Prince, Vol. 1Meteor Prince, Vol. 2

Title: Meteor Prince
Author: Meca Tanaka
Volumes Reviewed: 2 (complete)
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Release Date: January 6, 2015 - April 7, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Science Fiction Romantic Comedy
Content Rating: Older Teen (minor nudity, sensuality, mating talk)
Format Read: Paperback (own)
Find OnGoodreads
PurchaseAzon | B&N | BookDepo | Indiebound
Summary for Volume 1:

Strange accidents always seem to happen around Hako Natsuno—so much so that she’s been dubbed “The Queen of Bad Luck.” It’s hardly surprising then that a naked alien prince falls from the sky to tell her that out of all the girls in the universe, he’s come to Earth to mate with her. Does this mean Hako’s luck has changed, or…?

*          *          *

Meteor Prince is a two-volume contemporary sci-fi rom-com about an alien boy who comes to Earth to mate with his soul mate and finds an unsuspecting high school girl cursed with bad luck. Informed that humans must first fall in love before mating, alien Io enthusiastically accepts the challenge and throws himself into winning human Hako's heart. Hijinks as well as hardships ensue as Io's family, Hako's curse, and a surprise twist get in the way of their being together, but ultimately love prevails for a sweet, romantic end.

I adored the protagonists, Hako with her pleasant personality despite the constant mishaps and injuries brought on by her bad luck and sparkling Io with his bubbly attitude but dangerous warrior darkness behind the grin. Together with Hako's protective friends and Io's string of scheming alien visitors, the story offers a colorful cast of unique personalities. As one of Meca Tanaka's later series the artwork is strong and playful with expressive characters and impacting action, and despite being only two volumes the plot is full and well paced. If you love zany romances, alien shapeshifters, and short manga series, I highly recommend you give this duology a read.

Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles

Other Reviews That Might Interest: 

The Young Master's Revenge by Meca Tanaka
Pearl Pink by Meca Tanaka

Friday, July 26, 2019

The #FridayReads Review (7/26/19)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

Reticence (Custard Protocol, #4)
Reticence by Gail Carriger
Scored a slightly early copy and couldn't help but start it immediately. I was already expecting this to be my favorite Custard Protocol book, but I'm enjoying it EVEN MORE than expected which I didn't think possible. New character Arsenic is currently grappling with Sophronia for favorite Parasolverse female ever, and Percy is positively adorkable. And now they are heading to Japan for unknown adventures!! Needless to say I'm having a VERY hard time putting it down.

Rage (Stormheart, #2)
Rage by Cora Carmack (ARC)
3.5 Stars. Definitely a middle book with predictable twists, but overall an engrossing read with great action, interesting magic, and engaging characters. Looking forward to Book 3 next year! Review to come.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
W Juliet, Vol. 6
W Juliet vol. 6 by Emura (PBK)
After over half a decade I'm finally re-reading this series for review and possible purge. It was a previous favorite but now I'm finding it repetitive and struggling to maintain complete interest with 14 volumes to the series. Still I'm determined to finish and will try to pick it back up after diverting Reticence completes. 

So what are you reading this week?