Sunday, September 30, 2012

Carrie Readalong | Part Three: The Wreckage

Throughout the month of September Midnight Book Girl and Midnyte Reader hosted a Carrie readalong. If you've read Carrie, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. If you haven't read it, please be aware these readalong posts may contains spoilers.

Part Three: The Wreckage

1. If you've seen the movie, how did the book compare?

It has been a long time since I've seen the movie so I can't compare the details, but I do know I really like both the book and the movie.

2. Carrie: Victim or Villain?

Victim. Poor baby. I feel so bad for her.

3. If you had TK powers what would you do with them?

I would clean my house while sitting on the couch. :)

4. The Wreckage talks about the demise of the town.  I've noticed the theme of SK's setting as a character in other works.  What are your thoughts on this?

I love when there is an evil presence over a town. It's far more frightening than an isolated incidence.

5. Does anybody think they know what line from Bob Dylan was written in Carrie's notebook? 

Nope. :)

6. Finally, what are your final thoughts/review of Carrie by Stephen King?
I love Carrie. I'm glad I had the chance to read it again. It's one of my favorite King books.

Sorry my answers are so short this week! Hubby has been sick, and now I'm feeling horrible so I'm just flat out hoping I can find myself in bed soon!

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Notable New Book Releases | Sept. 23 - Sept. 29

I hope everyone had an awesome week. Was the curiosity of J.K. Rowling's new book too much for you to pass by? These are the books that caught my eye this week:

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Release Date: September 27, 2012

[I'm reading this one right now, and so far it is annoying the heck out of me. I haven't given up yet, though.]

When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…. Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.



When We Join Jesus in Hell by Lee Thompson
Publication Date: September 25

[You can read my review of When We Join Jesus in Hell here.]

Home, he thinks, where the heart bleeds freely.

A hell of a boxer, he earned the nickname 'Fist' back in the day. But during the past eight years, he's transformed into somebody he no longer knows—a weak, pitiful, and passionless office drone.

Barely hanging onto the last thread of his self-respect, he returns home one night to discover Hell has truly crossed its threshold.

And Hell has lessons to teach him through what fragments remain.

Slivers of dark light.

Knowledge in blood.

Forgiveness, clarity and redemption in commitment.



Additional books that may be of interest to you:




Did any of these books make it on to your wishlist or bookshelf this week? Have you had a chance to read them yet? Be sure to let me know what books you were excited about this week especially if they didn't make it onto this list!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review | Incarnation by Emma Cornwall

Incarnation by Emma Cornwall is a vampire novel with tie ins to Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Book Description
In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula–to set the record straight . . . If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart—and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her—from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—what it means to be human.

I'm still a newbie when it comes to steampunk. Sometimes the genre is obvious to me, and sometimes - like with Incarnation - I have a hard time understanding where the genre classification stems from. Incarnation is definitely Victorian, but I wasn't able to pick up on the technology that would place this as a steampunk novel. That being said, I think this is the perfect time of year to read a Victorian novel. Last year I read Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense throughout the month of October. The gothic style of Victorian literature is very fitting to the change in the season.

If I were to classify Incarnation, I would just label it a Victorian vampire story. The main character, Lucy, is the same Lucy from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Except she's not. In Incarnation, Bram Stoker is an author for hire who penned Dracula with large deviations from the truth. Lucy tracks down Stoker on her way to tracking down the creature who turned her. The lack of true connection Incarnation had to the real story of Dracula was a disappointment for me. I'm a fan of Dracula, and the use of the Dracula characters felt like an angle at first. By the end, though, I did enjoy the references that came into play.

The beauty of Incarnation to me is the descriptions of the vampire culture in London. Lucy is not like other vampires. While my usual taste in books left me wanting to know more about the vicious and seductive vampires tucked away in London, I remained captivated by Lucy and the world Emma Cornwall created.

I recommend Incarnation to those who are fans of vampire lore and enjoy the beauty of Victorian literature.

6/10: Good read

Review copy provider by publisher

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wishlist | The Twelve by Justin Cronin

I am waiting on Justin Cronin's The Twelve pretty hard core.

The Twelve is the sequel to The Passage, and it's probably the one book I've been anticipating the most all year.
In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as “Last Stand in Denver,” has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned—and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.

One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight on for humankind’s salvation . . . unaware that the rules have changed. The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man’s extinction. If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price.

A heart-stopping thriller rendered with masterful literary skill, The Twelve is a grand and gripping tale of sacrifice and survival.

It comes out October 16. I have my copy preordered, but my UPS guy shows up late. I will likely be antsy at work all day long, come home to an empty porch, tackle the UPS guy as soon as I hear my dog bark, and then thoroughly abandon my family until the wee hours of the morning. That's the plan anyway!

Have you read The Passage? Are you dying for The Twelve? What are you waiting for this week?

This post is being shared as part of Breaking the Spine's "Waiting for" Wednesday.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review | When We Join Jesus in Hell by Lee Thompson

When We Join Jesus in Hell is a new novella from Lee Thompson.

Book Description
Home, he thinks, Where the heart bleeds freely.

A hell of a boxer, he earned the nickname 'Fist' back in the day. But during the past eight years, he's transformed into somebody he no longer knows—a weak, pitiful, and passionless office drone.

Barely hanging onto the last thread of his self-respect, he returns home one night to discover Hell has truly crossed its threshold.

And Hell has lessons to teach him through what fragments remain.

Slivers of dark light.

Knowledge in blood.

Forgiveness, clarity and redemption in commitment.

Most of you know by now I'm a big fan of Lee Thompson. I have quite a few reviews around here from his epic Division series. When We Join Jesus in Hell is a notable departure from his Division mythos, but it is a testament to Thompson's awesome, dark imagination.

When We Join Jesus in Hell is a great read, but it is also a tough read. It is brutal and heartbreaking. It won't be for everyone, but for those of you who appreciate dark, unapologetic, and emotional stories, it will leave its mark and make you a fan as well.

If you've been wanting to check out Thompson's work, When We Join Jesus in Hell is a great stand alone place to start.

7/10: Recommended Read

Review copy provided by publisher

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Currently Reading | The Raven Boys, Ashen Winter

I'm excited I managed to complete my reading goals last week. I finished reading Incarnation, and I finally read Seed which was such a great read. I'm giving away a copy of Incarnation, so be sure to fill out the rafflecopter before the giveaway ends tonight.

I just started reading The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. It got really great reviews last week so I'm checking out what all of the buzz is about!

I may break down and read Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin this week. It's not released for another month almost, but I can hardly stand to wait any longer.

Otherwise, I will go where my reading mood takes me! I hope you guys have a really great week filled with lots of great reads.

Be sure to let me know what you're reading this week!

This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Carrie Readalong | Part Two: The Prom

Throughout the month of September Midnight Book Girl and Midnyte Reader are hosting a Carrie readalong. If you've read Carrie, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. If you haven't read it, please be aware these readalong posts may contains spoilers.

Part Two: The Prom

1. There is a part quoted form "My Name is Susan Snell" when she stated that she is not really sorry that Tommy is dead anymore, because the idea of him was too perfect.  I was kind of shocked by this.  What do you think of this?

I don't know what to make of it. His memory may be perfect, but maybe he was perfect - for Sue. I hope you guys have some insight for me!

2. Miss Desjardin talked to Carrie about her own prom.  And for Carrie, the prom was magical up to a point.  Did you have any glamorized feelings about your own prom? 

I don't have any glamorized prom memories, but I do have some really great ones. A lot of my closest friends were together and I ate THE best lasagna I've ever eaten that night... ;)

3. When Sue was at home on prom night she said that she was still uncomfortable about her own motives and was afraid to examine them too closely in case she discovered selfishness.  Can you elaborate on this? 

Sue was certainly trying to make herself feel better. She may have been afraid to find out she wanted herself to feel less guilt more than what she wanted Carrie to experience.

4. Do you think that Tommy could have fallen for Carrie?

No. I think Tommy saw something in Carrie that he genuinely liked, but in the long run Carrie had too much of her looney momma in her.

5. Tell me what you think of the significance or symbolism of blood.  (Tommy pricked his finger, Mrs. White cut herself, Sue either got her period late or lost a pregnancy.)

It does seem that the blood had a greater significance. It started the shower scene TK episode and we circled back around to the prom TK and Carrie's end. I see it as a neat way to tie everything together, but there could be some solid symbolism there.

6. If that prank had not been played on Carrie at the prom, what kind of life do you think she would have had?

I think the prom was a magical night, and it could have been a catalyst toward Carrie having much more self-confidence to give herself a different life. At the same time, it was one night and with that momma of her's, it might not have been enough.

7.  What did you think of Billy and Chris's relationship?

Yikes. That's what I think. That is not a good combination of toxic negativity.

Bonus question: Did you catch the mistake Stephen King made with regards to Carrie's dad?  Courtney from Abducted by Books did!  See below for the answer. 

Okay, not only did I not catch this, but this is the fourth or fifth time I've read Carrie.  Here's the mistake: The book clearly states in Part One that Carrie's dad, Ralph, dies BEFORE Carrie was even born.  But in Part Two, Mrs. White thinks of how she should have killed Carrie when she was a baby (about one?) and that Ralph stopped her.  I kind of love that the mistake is fairly large, but I'm really shocked I didn't catch it before.  I'm not always a super sleuth when I'm reading, but it's a pretty big mistake.  Good catch, Courtney!

Yes! I did notice that. I also noticed how many people were named Tommy. The boy Carrie pushed off his bike, Sue's Tommy, the cop named Tommy... A lot of Tommy's in one book. :D

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Notable New Book Releases | Sept. 16 - Sept. 22

Don't forget to enter the release date giveaway of Incarnation by Emma Cornwall.

The month of September has been awesome for new releases. These are the new releases that caught my eye this week:

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Publication Date: September 18, 2012

[Obviously I have to read this.]

Shhhh!
Don't spread the word! Three-day weekend. House party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do not want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, which involve their school's most eligible bachelor, T. J. Fletcher, and look forward to three glorious days of boys, bonding, and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly, people are dying, and with a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the rest of the world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn't scheduled to return for three days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?



Incarnation by Emma Cornwall
Publication Date: September 18, 2012

[I had the pleasure of reading Incarnation last week. Review to come! Don't forget to enter the Incarnation giveaway.]

In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula–to set the record straight . . . If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart—and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her—from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—what it means to be human.



The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
Publication Date: September 18, 2012

[I first saw this on Bending the Spine, and I about died. It sounds so cute.]

Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings—Peculiars—and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley—Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.

First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.



The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: September 18, 2012

[I have fallen pray to all of the great reviews on this one.]

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.



Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: September 18, 2012

[Oy, the reviews on this one. People either love it hard core or they hate it. I think I may read it just in case I'm one of the ones that love it hard core.]

The first in an epic new fantasy series, introducing an unforgettable new heroine and a stunningly original dystopian steampunk world with a flavor of feudal Japan.

A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium  verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A HIDDEN GIFT
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.



The Diviners by Libba Bray
Publication Date: September 18, 2012

[This is quickly going the way of The Raven Boys. Each new review is sucking me in.]

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.



What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Publication Date: September 18, 2012

[I'm on the fence about this one, but it did catch my eye this week.]

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else--two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren't they settling? Why isn't one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn't...

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she's still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet...for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.



Bad Things by Tamara Thorne
Publication Date: September 20, 2012

[OK, this is technically a reprint. Bad Things has been out of print for years BUT it has been rereleased on Kindle, it is one of my favorites, and it is the perfect read for Halloween.]

The Piper clan emigrated from Scotland and founded the town of Santo Verde, California. The Gothic Victorian estate built there has housed the family for generations, and has also become home to an ancient evil forever linked to the Piper name. . .

As a boy, Rick Piper discovered he had "the sight." It was supposed to be a family myth, but Rick could see the greenjacks--the tiny mischievous demons who taunted him throughout his childhood--and who stole the soul of his twin brother Robin one Halloween night.

Now a widower with two children of his own, Rick has returned home to build a new life. He wants to believe the greenjacks don't exist, that they were a figment of his own childish fears and the vicious torment he suffered at the hands of his brother. But he can still see and hear them, and they haven't forgotten that Rick escaped them so long ago. And this time, they don't just want Rick. This time they want his children. . .

Other Tamara Thorne books released on Kindle:





When We Join Jesus In Hell by Lee Thompson
Publication Date: September 25, 2012

The official release date isn't until next week, but you can snag an early copy of Lee Thompson's When We Join Jesus In Hell from Amazon if you don't want to wait!


Did any of these books make it on to your wishlist or bookshelf this week? Have you had a chance to read them yet? Be sure to let me know what books you were excited about this week especially if they didn't make it onto this list!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review | Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

Blackwood is the debut novel of Gwenda Bond.

You might recall the story of Roanoke Island and the Lost Colony from your history classes. Somewhere around 120 people (114 for the purposes of this story) vanished from the English settlement on Roanoke Island. The only clue as to what happened to the colonists was the word "Croatoan" carved into a tree.

In Blackwood, Miranda's family lives on Roanoke Island. When 114 people vanish again (as well as Miranda's father), a boy named Phillips returns to the island to help Miranda solve the mystery of what has happened to the new "Lost Colony".

Phillips and Miranda's relationship is a typical YA romance, but it develops throughout Blackwood without taking focus away from the mystery.

Overall, Blackwood was an enjoyable read for me. I enjoyed the take on the Roanoke disappearances and the paranormal elements behind the curse of Miranda's family. There were quite a few pop culture references in Blackwood. Some of them, unfortunately, were lost on me like The Vampire Diaries, but you can't beat a Sydney Bristow reference.

I was also pleased to discover Blackwood is a stand alone novel. I usually get blindsided with a big cliffhanger at the end of most YA books, but I was pleasantly surprised to get a complete, stand alone story.

If you enjoy YA paranormal mysteries, you will probably enjoy Blackwood and it's historical twist.

6/10: Good read

Speaking of The Vampire Diaries, my mom is trying to get me to start watching it. Should I? She has all of the DVDs, and she keeps trying to pass them on to me. I see a whole lot of #TVD on twitter. :)

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Release Date Giveaway | Incarnation by Emma Cornwall

Today marks the release of Emma Cornwall's steampunk vampire novel Incarnation. The awesome folks at Gallery Books have offered to give a copy of Incarnation to one lucky Book Den reader.

In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula–to set the record straight . . . If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart—and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her—from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—what it means to be human.
To enter the giveaway, just fill out the Rafflecopter below. I will leave the giveaway open through Monday, September 24. Open to US residents only.

By entering the giveaway, you agree to Book Den's contest policy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Currently Reading | Incarnation, Blackwood, Seed

Happy Monday! Things are getting hectic for me again, but I'm finally back into my reading groove. I finished reading Blackwood over the weekend so I should have a review up later this week.

In the mean time I'm reading Incarnation by Emma Cornwall. I'm a sucker for anything Dracula related. I'm planning to post a giveaway of Incarnation tomorrow so be on the look out for that.

Once I finish Incarnation I may finally start Ania Ahlborn's Seed. It's been on the pile forever, and I'm in the mood for a good horror story.

Pregnancy insomnia has been tormenting me so I've been listening to audio during the night when I can't sleep. Right now I'm listening to Alice in Wonderland mostly because Jim Dale is my favorite narrator but also because I was able to snag it free from Audible. (If you "buy" any of these free Kindle books, you can also get the audiobook free from Audible as part of Amazon's Whispersync for Voice promotion. Unfortunately it looks like Alice may no longer be available, but there are a lot of other great ones still available.)


I hope you guys have a great week. Be sure to let me know what you're reading!

This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Notable New Book Releases | Sept 9 - Sept 15

This past week proved to be another great week for new releases. Did you add anything new to your shelves? These are the books that caught my eye this past week:

Flesh & Bone (Benny Imura #3) by Jonathan Maberry
Publication Date: September 11, 2012

The stakes are higher and the zombies are deadlier in this third of an action-packed series that’s “an impressive mix of meaning and mayhem” (Booklist).

Reeling from the devastation of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living.

But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. Fierce animals hunt them. They come face to face with a death cult. And then there’s the zombies—swarms of them coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. And these zoms are different. Faster, smarter, and infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead?

One thing Benny and his companions can’t afford to forget: In the great Rot & Ruin, everything wants to kill you.

[If you haven't read any of the Benny Imura series, the entire collection was also published this week as Tales of the Rot & Ruin]



Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Publication Date: September 11, 2012

In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.



The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer #2) by Brent Weeks
Publication Date: September 11, 2012

Gavin Guile is dying. He'd thought he had five years left--now he has less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son, and an ex-fiancée who may have learned his darkest secret, Gavin has problems on every side. All magic in the world is running wild and threatens to destroy the Seven Satrapies. Worst of all, the old gods are being reborn, and their army of color wights is unstoppable. The only salvation may be the brother whose freedom and life Gavin stole sixteen years ago.



Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Publication Date: September 11, 2012

Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met—a boy she's talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous.



The White Forest by Adam McOmber
Publication Date: September 11, 2012

In this hauntingly original debut novel about a young woman whose peculiar abilities help her infiltrate a mysterious secret society, Adam McOmber uses fantastical twists and dark turns to create a fast-paced, unforgettable story.

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean.

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late.



Did any of these books make it on to your wishlist or bookshelf this week? Be sure to let me know what books you were excited about this week especially if they didn't make it onto this list!

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book Review | The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

The Lorien Legacies series from "Pittacus Lore" is one of my favorite book series. It's a lot of fun with a lot of action, and there is an awesome dog character in it to boot. The Rise of Nine is the third book in Lorien Legacies series.

I loved the first two books - I Am Number Four and The Power of Six - hard core. The Rise of Nine, however, I didn't like near as much. Don't get me wrong, if you read and loved the first two, I highly recommend you read The Rise of Nine as well.

My main complaint is I didn't feel like I got a complete story. The Rise of Nine reads very much like a middle of the series book. It is a middle of the series book, but I firmly believe you should be able to walk into a library, pluck any book off the shelf, and get a complete story whether it is part of a series or just a stand alone novel. A random reader wouldn't understand anything that is happening in The Rise of Nine without having read the first two and the ending was less than a satisfying ending (whether you've read the series or not).

I also had some issues with the characters. The characters in the previous books were all very likeable. In The Rise of Nine, the characters we already know are split up and are never given the same chance to shine as in the previous books. We are now getting to know new characters who just aren't as likeable as the original cast. I also require a much larger dose of Bernie Kosar, the aforementioned awesome dog.

I'm griping about this book a lot more than I would like to be because I'm still a huge fan of this series. The Rise of Nine gave me more of the super power coolness and good guy vs bad guy action I have grown to really love. Even though I didn't love it as much as the previous releases, I'm just as anxious for the next book as I was for this one. I'm also anxious for my boys to be old enough to read or be read this series. I know they are going to dig it just as much as I do.

Despite the flaws in The Rise of Nine, I highly recommend the Lorien Legacies series as a whole.

6/10: Good read

Have you read any of the Lorien Legacies series? I'm curious if anyone has read the Lorien Legacies Lost Files that have been released between books? I got the first one and still have not read it. I'd love to hear what you think of those.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Carrie Readalong | Blood Sport Discussion

Throughout the month of September Midnight Book Girl and Midnyte Reader are hosting a Carrie readalong. If you want to jump in, it's not too late! If you've read Carrie, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. If you haven't read it, please be aware these readalong posts may contains spoilers.

Part One: Blood Sport Discussion

1. Is this your first Stephen King book?

No, the first Stephen King book I read was The Shining which is probably why it will always be one of my all time favorites. This is my third read of Carrie.

2. What do you think of the style Carrie is written in?

I have always loved reading true accounts of the paranormal so I enjoy all of the publication inserts into the story.

3.  Do you think the bullying/attack on Carrie that occurs in the late 1970's in the book could happen today? 

I hate to admit how cynical I am toward society, but I think the bullying/attacking could easily be worse today.

4.  What are your thoughts on Carrie's mother?

I have a hard time wrapping my head around Carrie's mother. I keep thinking if this story were real, Carrie probably would have died at a young age. Midnight Book Girl has an excellent point that maybe Carrie's powers are what kept her alive.

5.  Young Carrie brings the rain of rocks down on her house at the tender age of three, but then there are no major events for years. Why do you think her powers remained fairly quiet until now?  What role does her mother play in Carrie's use of her power?

I like the point they made in the publication about Carrie's lack of siblings. It's possible that more could have been reported if more people were in her life other than her mother. Even though Carrie didn't remember any more events on the walk home from school that day, her mother's fear makes me wonder if Carrie simply wasn't aware of her own power until that day she hit puberty. Most adolescents experiencing telekinetic activity are never aware that they are the source of the activity. I think Carrie's mother gave Carrie a reason to start trying to focus her power and make things happen on purpose.

6. Do you believe that telekinesis exists?

Yes.

7. What is your favorite moment so far?

I like Carrie's "mental puberty" although it bothers me that that phrase was used while we were in Carrie's point of view. If she didn't have any concept of puberty at all, her mental awakening shouldn't have been referred to as a mental puberty. Regardless, I like Carrie making all the connections regarding her telekinesis as well as recognizing her mother's fear and standing up to her mother "you should have told me".

8. What do you think of Sue's plan to have Tommy take Carrie to the prom?

I think she had good intentions. She wanted to make up for what she had done, but she should have given more thought to what could happen by putting Carrie in that position.

9. Any predictions (um, only if you haven't read this before or seen the movie! ;)

No predictions for me. :D

10.  Just how crazy is Mrs. White?!

She's freakin' crazy, dude.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Notable New Book Releases | Sept 2 - Sept 8

I have really missed doing these posts over the summer. I love tracking and sharing the new books I find each week. These are the new releases that caught my eye this week:

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
Publication Date: September 4, 2012

[Gwenda Bond's debut novel from Strange Chemistry.]

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back. Miranda, a misfit girl from the island's most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can't dodge is each other. Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America's oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance.



Island of Silence (Unwanteds #2) by Lisa McMann
Publication Date: September 4, 2012

[I have a bad habit of reading too many books at once. Sometimes a perfectly great book goes unfinished. This happened with the first book in this series, The Unwanteds. I need to get back to that one!]

The second book in the middle-grade dystopian fantasy series that Kirkus Reviews calls “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter,” by New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann.Following the life-altering events at the conclusion of The Unwanteds, the stark world of Quill and the magical haven of ArtimÉ are now home to whoever wants to live there, whether they are Wanteds, Unwanteds, or Necessaries.

In ArtimÉ, Alex Stowe and his friends continue to hone their artistic magical spells while welcoming newcomers, wondering how long this peace between Quill and ArtimÉ will last. Alex is stunned when Mr. Today comes to him with a very special request—one Alex questions his readiness for, until circumstances offer a dramatic answer.

And back in Quill, Aaron Stowe, Alex’s twin, faces a very different path. Devastated by his loss of status after Justine’s defeat and seething with rage toward Alex, Aaron is stealthily planning his revenge and return to power.

Alex and Aaron’s separate stories proceed with suspenseful pacing, colliding in a stunning climax that elevates sibling rivalry to epic proportions and leaves the fate of both worlds hanging in the balance.



Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Publication Date: September 4, 2012

[Evil mermaids plus ghosts. I'm there.]

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.



Rage Within (Dark Inside #2) by Jeyn Roberts
Publication Date: September 4, 2012

[I did not read Dark Inside, but I plan to now.]

In this apocalyptic sequel to Dark Inside’s “well-balanced, realistic suspense” (Kirkus Reviews), four teens continue the struggle for survival as they face a world gone mad.

Aries, Clementine, Michael, and Mason have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world’s population and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now they’re hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of fellow teen survivors, trying to figure out their next move.

Aries is trying to lead, but it’s hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it’s impossible to know where he’d be, assuming he’s alive. Michael is haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends.

As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, these four teens will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive.



Ghosts: Recent Hauntings edited by Paula Guran
Publication Date: September 5, 2012

[I really can't get enough ghost stories.]

The spirits of the dead have walked among our legends, myths, and stories since before recorded history. Ghostly visitations, hauntings, unquiet souls seeking the living, vengeful wraiths, the possibility of life beyond the grave that can somehow reach out and touch us are some of literature's most enduring icons. Now, in the twenty-first century, we are no less fascinated with phantoms than our cave-dwelling ancestors or our Victorian-age forebears. Thirty modern masters of fright and fantasy fill this anthology with shivers, chills, and spooky explorations of both sides of the veil. Be prepared to keep a light on all night!



Additional new releases that caught my eye this week:




I hope you guys had an awesome week. Be sure to let me know what books you were excited about this week.

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