Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “2013 TBR Pile

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier: Frodo’s Review

Sapphire Blue

Summary From Goodreadssapphire blue

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

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I received an ARC of Sapphire Blue from the awesome people over at ARCycling in exchange for an honest review.

Sapphire Blue was a lot of fun to read because the world Kerstin Gier has created is freaking wonderful. I love the crazy deep cast of characters, the time travel arcs, and the historical aspects are fantastic. I knew I was enthralled by this book pretty early on. Why you might ask? I was able to move past the only issue this book has, OMG-esque relationship issues.

The first part of this book is forgettable, and I was really worried that I was going to have to slog through a whiny MC/angsty romance/blah fest that left the world untouched. There is this confusing are they/aren’t they together thing going on, neither of them seem to know what they want, and it’s frustrating. Also, Gwen wasn’t my favorite MC in Ruby Red, just alright, so this wasn’t earning her any points. Too much whining and behaving like a child. Luckily, this period only lasted a few chapters.

Then…BOOM! The action picks up, Gwen doesn’t have time to deal with boy drama, and we get historical attire, a fantastic party, and MOAR TIME TRAVEL!!! The depictions of the dresses, the hair, and the overall ensemble are so much fun to read, plus we get more time with Madame Rossini, my favorite secondary character. Gwen makes a fool of herself (per usual) but she really grows as a character as the book progresses which I’m SO happy about. Also, 18th century party? I can haz? YAY!!! It was so much fun and weeeee, you just need to read it!

Ruby Red teased us with the Lucy & Paul arc, but Sapphire Blue ramps it up a bit and I loved every minute. Both characters are really engaging, the romance is sweet, and Lucy especially is a standout strong character, despite us getting more Paul in this one. I want more Lucy in Emerald Green, please let it be so! *stares at it on my shelf nervously*

Anyway…I know this review is really filled with me rambling, but that’s because, despite it’s minor faults and rough beginning, I had sooo much fun reading it! I’ve heard Emerald Green is the action-packed book of the trilogy, which makes that even more enticing, but Sapphire Blue was silly, and, I think, intentionally so. Come on, Gier even threw in a sarcastic gargoyle! Sapphire Blue is meant for the laughs, and I had a bunch of them. Overall it is just a great, light read that anyone who enjoyed Ruby Red will love. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #165/200; 2013 TBR Pile #75/50; Mount TBR Challenge #75/150

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Frodo’s Frisky Friday: Saturday Night by Leigh Wilder

Frodo's Frisky Friday

Saturday Night

Summary From GoodreadsSaturday Night Leigh Wilder

When small-town cop Charlie is run off the road he expects an arrest and a slightly more interesting than normal Saturday night. Instead he finds himself handcuffed–with his own cuffs–and bent over the seat of ex-con Jake Miller’s truck. Charlie doesn’t mind…as long as he gets his turn next Saturday.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! This is where I write a review in the time I have before I go to work or before I go to bed. Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

My first read of the Doin’ It Dirty readathon, Saturday Night was a great way to kick off the naughtyness fest. It’s M/M which is a change of pace for me even within the Erotica genre. Saturday Night is a really short piece, at around 2,500 words, but it definitely got me in the mood to read some more. The chemistry Wilder creates between Jake and Charlie is excellent and I would love to revisit that coupling again if she were to go back to the well.

Wilder has an incredible gift at eliciting a very strong reaction in such a short span. I’d recommend this to any fan of Erotica, steamy and with a well written naughty scene it’s the perfect kick start to the sexy part of your day. It can be good for a fantastic finish as well. 😉

You can get Saturday Night for FREE on Smashwords here https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/257036 Thank me later ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #116/200; Mount TBR Challenge #67/150; 2013 TBR Pile #67/150

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YA Wednesday: A Bad Day For Voodoo by Jeff Strand

YAWednesday

A Bad Day For Voodoo

Summary From Goodreads

When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, “Trust me. This is gonna be awesome.”

Of course, you probably wouldn’t believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone’s leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I’ve seen it. It can happen.

And when there’s suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)—well, you know that’s just gonna be a really bad day…

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A Bad Day For Voodoo was really, really weird. It is all about the humor as opposed to Strand’s usual 50/50 split of horror and the hilarious. Unfortunately I think that this worked against him. I understand that this is a YA which is also unusual for Strand, but I never felt any fear or trepidation at all and I missed that. The book constantly makes fun of itself, the content and characters within and even the reader on occasion. If there were some serious bits mixed in maybe this would have worked but it felt over the top and the slapstick humor got old after a while.

The characters were empty shells for me. I didn’t connect with any of them and they didn’t feel like they had any substance. I’m not sure what Tyler (the MC) was supposed to be. A hero? Not really. Courageous? Not intentionally. A “model friend” type? Ya, I guess that fits the most. Adam, the best friend, was just a moron. His role was the funny guy with the outrageous plans and ideas, he succeeded in the latter part but his humor felt forced and mostly I just wanted him to get whacked over the head. If I had a favorite character it would be Kelley (the girlfriend) who was the closest to meaningful as the book gets. She was tough, had a good head on her shoulders and didn’t panic in the face of (ridiculous) danger or adversity. I liked her but I have no clue why she associates with the other two.

Part of my problem with A Bad Day For Voodoo is its constant breaking from the story to say something from the “author” to the reader. You know that fourth wall in comedy or acting where the person on stage acknowledges the viewing audience (especially if it is being filmed for tv or a movie)? Well if there is one in the literary world this book shatters it. Throughout the story the audience is being addressed, questioned and even given suggestions. While some minor use of this tactic would probably be effective it felt like I was never able to connect to the story because Strand kept taking me out of it. Immersing myself in a book’s story is often the best part of reading it, forgetting reality and diving into an alternate universe, A Bad Day For Voodoo refuses to allow that and it was irritating.

The plot was all over the place and just plain disjointed. There was no flow and random events occurred that were seemingly only for comedic effect but that added no depth, substance or truly anything of value to the story. Maybe the underlying message if there is one (I doubt it) just went over my head but I’m guessing if there was one it was buried so deep under the crazy antics that it didn’t want to be found or recognized. Voodoo, craziness ensues, random gang, more insanity, hey look the undead! Oh and now a psychotic family of cannibals… right.

Until I started writing this review I didn’t realize how much I didn’t enjoy A Bad Day For Voodoo. There were a few moments where I actually laughed but for a book relying so heavily on comedy it fell way short. The plot was a mess, the characters were (with the possible exception of Kelley) unsubstantial and the author refused to let the reader stay inside the story even if they wanted to. I can’t say I recommend this one even for fans of Strand. Thanks as always for reading!

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #121/200; Mount TBR Challenge #69/150; 2013 TBR Pile #69/50

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Mini Review Monday: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

MiniReviewMonday

The Sea of Monsters

Summary From Goodreads

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

As most of you have already heard of and read the Percy Jackson series I figured this is the perfect book to have a short and succinct Hobbit-Sized review. Rick Riordan is a genius. The Sea of Monsters was a great continuation of the series and really allowed us to dive into the world even further and learn some more about the mythology as is portrayed by Riordan. We get a nice mix of the “real” mythology as well with the Golden Fleece story told in full. I didn’t really care much for the new character, Tyson, that much either way but he was alright. However, I love the chemistry between Percy and Annabeth which seems to get better with each book in the series. Yes I ship MG characters, don’t judge me!

To summarize: It’s Rick Riordan, this book was the one that made me decide to buy all of his other works (yes it was THAT good) and it’s the Percy Jackson series. What more do you need to hear? If you haven’t started the series and are late to the game like I was/am I definitely recommend it! I can’t wait to read The Titan’s Curse sometime soon. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #132/200; Mount TBR Challenge #73/150; 2013 TBR Pile #73/50

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Frodo’s Frisky Friday: Frankenslime by Rock Bronson

Frodo's Frisky Friday

Frankenslime: A Sordid Sexual Horror Story

Summary From Goodreads

Warning: not for the faint-hearted or easily-offended, contains some of the most extreme and outlandish acts imaginable plus copious amounts of cartoon gore! Proceed at your own peril…

Innocent and naive assistant-professor Maura Kindle pines for Doctor Chester Franklin, handsome Adonis and brilliant scientist at the shady genetics institute where they both work. But behind his charming exterior, Chester is avile narcissist, who permits himself to love only one entity on earth — the bloated and makeshift cadaver of thrown-together limbs and body-bits that he keeps in his basement mortuary and refers to as “the Bride”.

Maura wants Chester to love her, but the brooding doctor only cares about her for her brains — Literally! Because the only thing Chester’s sexy monster still needs before she can live is a good head on her shoulders — Maura’s to be precise. But just how well-adjusted could a stitched-up gal like that really be when she finally comes to?

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This review and book contains mature content

What the heck did I just read? I’m pretty sure that is the appropriate reaction to Frankenslime which is by far the most grotesque and bizarre erotica story, or truly any kind of story, that I’ve ever read. I read this piece at the suggestion of two of my favorite bloggers, Amanda aka On a Book Bender & Kelly aka Reading the Paranormal. It was both hilarious and confusing and the only way I can sum it up accurately is by doing what I am dubbing a Twitreview. I’m not going to attempt to explain it because it is both obvious and easier to show you, so here we go!

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So ya, that’s my Twitreview. I don’t know how to better summarize my feelings than those tweets. It was bizarre, nonsensical and oddly satisfying. Also hilarious, in case you didn’t get that. Oh and it was free so if you click the picture you can read it for yourself. I hope you enjoyed my goofy attempt at a different review style! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #123/200; Mount TBR #71/150; 2013 TBR Pile #71/50

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YA Wednesday: Croak by Gina Damico

YAWednesday

Croak

Summary From Goodreads

Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex’s parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape.

But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business.

She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can’t stop her desire for justice – or is it vengeance? – whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again.

Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?

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Croak is a hilarious, if sometimes dark, read that had me captivated from the very beginning. It was easy to fall in love with the snarky MC, Lex, and the rest of the cast of goofball characters. The writing was great, the powers awesome and the plot intriguing. So ya, I liked it.

Lex is a perfect main character for me. She’s sarcastic, she doesn’t put up with crap and she happens to be an all around badass. Sure she’s a hot head and doesn’t have the most tact in the world but she’s genuine and I loved her for it. She wants to fit in just like every other teenager but she refuses to change who she is to achieve that and that is commendable.

The romance in Croak was the only thing that felt a bit forced to me. First, it was made painfully obvious from the get go that they liked each other, at least a little. Second, the back and forth romantic “tension” between them didn’t seem all that realistic especially the awkward exchanges and moments they kept having. The end reveal was obvious and I just didn’t care much about it. It was kind of cute and all but definitely the notable weak point in the book.

The plot though? Genius. Twists and turns, one unexpected reveal after the next and plenty of subplots worked in for depth made this story a great one. The reaper skills were pretty incredible, the possibilities seemingly endless and the creepy deaths added some extra chill to the otherwise humorous piece. Damico worked in plenty of moral dilemmas and discussions on a variety of different topics from who deserves to die, who deserves worse than death and who should hold that power if anyone. Plus the ending? Brilliant!

The quaint, if a tad wacky, little town was as easy for me to fall in love with as it was for Lex. The names were funny, the descriptions thorough without being overly so and I really liked the map provided at the beginning. The complex world of the reapers, the craziness they travel through to do their duty, and all of the other strange and wonderful places that are hidden within the realm are captivating. It’s simply lovely.

I really enjoyed Croak. The writing was unique and Lex was a fantastic, and relatable, main character. The world Damico created was nothing short of remarkable and while the romance was a tad irritating at times that was not enough to knock the story down too much. I already ordered Scorch and pre-ordered Rogue and I’m sure I’ll love those too. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #133/200; Mount TBR Challenge #74/150; 2013 TBR Pile #74/50

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Frodo’s Frisky Friday: The Beauty and the Beast by Leigh Wilder

Frodo's Frisky Friday

The Beauty and the Beast

Summary From Goodreadsbeauty and the beast

The Beauty is a dominant in the local BDSM scene. So is the Beast. Nathan invites Kate to dinner with only one purpose: to ask her to marry him. Their like personalities struggle for control–will the beast be tamed, or will the beauty be devoured?

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Even though Leigh Wilder is an auto-buy author for me that doesn’t mean even she is infallible, though she’s pretty close. The Beauty and the Beast is the first piece by her that I didn’t LOVE. For this short piece I’ll do a PRO vs CON list, are you ready?

PRO

The sex scene is pretty good. Wilder definitely has a special touch for creating the right amount of sexy tension during the act and I love every second. It’s steamy, it’s naughty and the back and forth in this piece was really well done. That struggle for control worked wonders.

The detail in the Beauty and the Beast is exquisite. Describing things many authors would forget such as the rose’s thorns are touches that elevate a piece like this. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the house which just sounds amazing. Pictures please? I don’t care if it is fictional!

                                                                      CON

The characters and I just don’t mesh. “Beast” or Nathan, whatever you would like to refer to him as, felt like a cluster of cliches rolled into one hulk of a guy. He’s really good looking, big and muscular and has that outer dom/inner softie combo going on. Sound familiar? As for Beauty/Kate it wasn’t much better. She did have a more robotic edge to her that I actually found myself liking, but at times she felt too contrived. She had a similar outer dom/inner softie thing going and it’s just…been done.

I didn’t feel the same spark during the build up to the sex scene. While much of it was forced by design you could really feel that quality in the way the book flowed. It was as if Wilder’s creative side was being held back and then when the sex scene came it was unleashed with the power of a typhoon. Maybe it was due to having to pay some homage to the original fairy tale in the beginning? I don’t know.

                                                                   OVERALL

While the end result is a positive one there were notable flaws in the character originality and the story in the beginning just didn’t do it for me. The details and descriptions were great and the sex scene is, as always, Wilder’s shining moment. I liked it, but didn’t love it. Borderline three-Frodo piece but due to two major category flaws (which I describe in detail in my rating system explained page) it is a two. Still worth the read but my least favorite of her pieces thus far. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #117/200; Mount TBR Challenge #72/150; 2013 TBR Pile #68/50

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