Recovery from my bionic upgrade (aka knee replacement) is taking longer than expected, so I'm still offline. Hoping to be back soon, so please send good vibes and happy thoughts my way! more details

Monday, November 24, 2014

Grave Mercy book review

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

*eBook received from the publisher via NetGalley*

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts--and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

This book and I started off on the wrong foot, as there is a map and cast of characters listed at the beginning. This happens to be one of my reading pet peeves, as I don't like having to plow through a cast of characters that I haven't even met yet! It also makes me suspicious that the author feels the need to list the characters, as if the reader will be confused otherwise. Thankfully, this was not the case!

Once I started reading, the story really drew me in! Ismae has been treated horribly her entire life because she is "marked" by the god of death, with scars from her mother's failed attempt to expel her from the womb. Unloved and unwanted, Ismae is rescued from her new brute of a husband and taken to an isolated convent. A convent full of assassin nuns! How cool is that?

Quickly taking to her new life, Ismae discovers that she is immune to poison and is assigned to the Poisons Mistress. She isn't as successful in all of her studies (history and womanly arts are kind of boring), but she does well enough to be sent on her first assignment. And it's a success! Her second assignment doesn't go as smoothly and the Abbess receives a complaint about Ismae. This complaint leads to her third and most challenging assignment, undercover at the royal court.

Most of the story deals with her undercover assignment in the court of the young Duchess Anne of Brittany.  Using Anne's half-brother Gavriel Duval as part of her cover, she tries to figure out who is plotting against the duchess. All while dealing with her growing feelings for Duval.

To be honest, most historical fiction isn't to my liking and I get bored with all the double-crosses and schemes. Thankfully there wasn't too much court intrigue in this one and it easily held my interest.

All in all a very satisfying read! The author has come up with a very interesting premise - assassin nuns! And I loved seeing Ismae explore her gifts and become more confident in her duties as Death's Handmaiden. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series, as I really like these characters!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Book Haul 11/15/2014

My Book Haul

In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

I don't remember requesting this title and it's not my usual type of read, but it sounds interesting.

Love, Lucy
Love, Lucy by April Lindner

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, 17-year-old Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too. (Goodreads)


Won:

Won this from a Birchbox contest for their monthly bookclub. I think Amy Poehler is one of the funniest people around and I'm looking forward to reading her story!

Yes Please
Yes Please by Amy Poehler

 In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by. (Goodreads)



What did you receive this week?


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vision of Fire book review

 photo visionoffire.jpgVision of Fire by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin

**Review copy received from the publisher**

The first novel from iconic X-Files star Gillian Anderson and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Rovin: a science fiction thriller of epic proportions.

Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations, starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. Caitlin is sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father - a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels - but when teenagers around the world start having similar outbursts, Caitlin begins to think that there’s a more sinister force at work. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

To be honest, I went into this book with low expectations. A debut novel, much less a debut novel by an actor (with the help of a secondary author), can be hit or miss. After an inauspicious beginning, the story soon drew me in and I enjoyed the journey!

While Caitlin is the main character, the story switches to different POVs throughout the book. These changes were disconcerting and annoying at times, as I wanted to find out what happened next with Caitlin! While the info might have been necessary to move the story forward, I wish the transitions had been smoother.

Overall it was the story itself that kept me going, as I found it fascinating! Why are teenagers in different parts of the world exhibiting the same weird symptoms? What's with the mysterious symbol they've drawn? And what is the secretive Global Explorers Club up to?

Hoping that the writing in the next book is more polished, but really hope that the story lives up to its potential and doesn't peter out. I really want to know what the authors have planned next!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Book Haul 11/8/14

My Book Haul

In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

 photo UncleJohns.jpg
Uncle John's Weird, Weird World

It’s finally here - the book that Uncle John’s fans have been asking for: a full-color, illustrated edition featuring the most entertaining articles from the world’s bestselling bathroom trivia series! 

NetGalley:

 photo When.jpg
When by Victoria Laurie 

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

***


 photo Captive.jpg
Captive by Aimee Carter

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

Contest win:

 photo pushedtoofar.jpg
Pushed Too Far by Ann Voss Peterson

An ex-con, who was in the pen for murder, is let out of prison and begins to "punish" all those who put him there.





What did you receive this week?

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