Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014 - No comments

Stacking the Shelves (5)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share what we've recently added to our physical and/or virtual shelves!  I'm currently in a little reading hiatus until things settle down with school and all, but I couldn't resist getting these books :D!


How We Learn: I picked up a virtual copy of How We Learn from NetGalley a while back and so far it's been really interesting. Many of the brain operations and experiments discussed are throughly shocking. Also, it's never a bad idea to learn some tips of increasing memory retention, which this book is all about! 

Physical Books:

I was browsing one of my local bookstores and these two books just seemed to call out to me. Abarat didn't even have a dust jacket, it was just a blue cover, but I couldn't resist picking it up. also, Savvy put me into a very nostalgic mood. Perhaps it was the silver Newbery honor book symbol that reminded me of my childhood AR reading times, or the awesome looking cover art, but either way I just had to have it. 

Well that's all for this time, but be sure to let me know what you're reading! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014 - No comments

A Little Hiatus

Hey everyone! I just wanted to have a post explaining why I'm not reading, nor posting, as much as I usually try to. 

Firstly, school is starting the 20th of August, so I'm really anxious about finishing off my college career.

Secondly, I'm in the process of moving (very late at that) from my old apartment, to my newer one. This has been made even more stressful due to the fact that the staff hasn't answered my phone calls for FIVE DAYS IN A ROW! Needless to say, I'm not happy.

Lastly, I recently got a new kitten and I'm going to spend what little bit of time I have left (class, homework, meetings, reports, etc...) with him. Try to handle all this cuteness:

Anyways, those are the reasons why I'm slowing down with my posts and reading sessions. I still plan on reading during my free time, but that free time has become severely limited. Hopefully when things settle down and I get back into the flow of school, I can resume a normal reading schedule :). 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - No comments

Stacking The Shelves (4)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share what we've recently added to our physical and/or virtual shelves!  I don't have many books to share this week since things have been busy and I'm in a bit of a reading slump, but lets get started, shall we?


The two novels above are books two and three of Kim Harrison's "The Hollows", respectively. I've already finished reading and reviewed book two, The Good, The Bad, and the Undead, which you can find here. I'm currently in the process of reading book three, Every Witch Way But Dead and needless to say, I'm really enjoying where the series is heading! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Good, The Bad, and the Undead:

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Kim Harrison
Version: eBook

Rachel Morgan, sexy witch, independent bounty hunter, prowls the downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night. She can handle leather-clad vamps and a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is an ancient, implacable evil that threatens her very soul.

The second book in Kim Harrison's "The Hollows" series entitled The Good, The Bad, and the Undead did not disappoint! The book continues right where the first left off, except now Rachel and Ivy are both owners and full time runners for their business Vampiric Charms. If you haven't read book one, well firstly you should, and secondly, a runner is someone who tracks down/arrests wanted criminals - not unlike Dog the Bounty Hunter. Anyways, just like every new business, Rachel and Ivy are having a difficult time establishing their name. However, much of the struggle falls into Rachel's lap, since Ivy is a well known and talented runner.

Speaking of Ivy, something major happens to her and it was heart wrenching to read. Obviously I can't tell you what is was, but needless to say, I didn't expect such a powerful, independent, and strong-willed character to be victimized. Furthermore, the first book underscores Ivy's struggle with accepting who she really is, but that struggle is intensified to the extreme in book two.

On the other hand, Rachel spends the majority of the book working on an FIB run that's seemingly connected to Trent Kalamack - the man she's determined to take down. I seriously hate the FIB, mainly because they treat Rachel like crap. Yes, Rachel is impulsively intuitive and a bit rash, but without her the FIB would be next to useless with Inderlander cases. I really wanted Rachel to show them just how useless they truly were, but instead she kept seeking their involvement.  In addition to dealing with the FIB, Rachel has some seriously close calls with a few powerful/influential characters, such as master vampires, a demon, Trent, and let's not forget the precarious situation with Ivy.

A few other characters I want to touch on are Jinx and Trent. Jinx, the pixy, is still awesome. Enough said. However, Trent is a more complicated story. It's pretty obvious that he's dangerous and possibly evil. notice how I chose the word possibly? Well, that's the problem, because the ending had me questioning where Trent lies on the good vs. evil indicator. At the moment he's straddling the middle somewhere and it doesnt help that the author makes him such a likable character.

Overall, I throughly enjoyed reading The Good, The Bad, and the Undead and I plan to continue reading the series. Truly, it's been a while since I've been able to fully immerse myself in a book and and I'm looking forward to seeing wherever Harrison's writing takes me.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dead Witch Walking

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Kim Harrison
Version: eBook

All the creatures of the night gather in "the Hollows" of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party ... and to feed.
Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining -- and it's Rachel Morgan's job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she'll bring 'em back alive, dead ... or undead.

I was very skeptical about starting Dead Witch Walking after first viewing the cover - Yes, I do judge books by their covers. However, after seeing that over 71,000 people gave the book a combined rating of over 4 stars I decided to give it a shot.

Now I've said it before, but I love books with witches and magic. With this restated, I was a little disappointed in the type of magic Rachel practices. To give some background, there are three categories of witches in this book:

  1. White Earth - Witches who use plants to make potions and amulets. The theory is that the plants dilute and store ley line magic. Requires a small amount of blood (finger prick).
  2. Black Earth - Witches who use animals/people as sacrifices. 
  3. Ley Line - Witches who tap directly into the "ever after", which is where demons are believed to live. This type of magic doesn't use blood, but instead feeds off the user's/victim's soul. 
Rachel is a white earth witch, so she relies primarily on charms, potions, and amulets as source of magic. One thing that irked me was the difficulty level assigned to creating potions and spells, despite some only having a few simple instructions (referencing Rachel's mink transmutation spell). In fact, most witches in this book have to rely on purchasing their charms, which was a little lame. However, towards the end of the story, Rachel has to rely on making her own charms and the lameness started to fade away. 

In terms of action and suspense, this book is packed full of it!  A death threat was placed on Rachel by her former boss and he goes to the extreme in an attempt to kill her. So, much of the book involves fighting off/eluding hired Vampire, Were, and Fairy assassins. There were honestly times that I just couldn't put the book down. 

I also found Dead Witch Walking to contain quite a bit of humor. The banter between Jinx (an awesome pixy), Ivy (Rachel's partner and living vampire), and Rachel had me literally laughing out loud. One particular instance I can recall was when Rachel suffered major blood loss and became delusional. Some of the things said were not unlike the videos you see on YouTube of people after being released from Dental surgery (example)

This book seems to be fairly well known, but if you haven't given it a chance yet, I recommend doing so.