Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Book Review

Book of the Week: The Murder Complex


Book of the Week

Every Saturday I will talk about my favorite book that I read during the week, whether it be a review or a spotlight, or maybe having the author over to talk about it. Who doesn’t want more happy bookish goodness? ^.^

This week I’m gushing about: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Summary from GoodreadsThe Murder Complex

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.


The Murder Complex does live up to its name. It is full of violence, of gore, dead bodies, and killings galore. The book is pretty action packed while keeping a steady, sometimes even methodical pace, as the main characters strive to learn more about themselves and the world they live in. It’s dystopian meets thriller in the best of ways.

Meadow is a young bad-ass that is all about survival and fighting through any obstacles she believes are in her way. She’s ruthless when she has to be, a protector of those few she holds dear, and a sweet big sister to Peri. I will say that I found Meadow to be a bit slow on the uptake in certain situations and also very quick to believe large shifts in her reality without a second thought. She doesn’t waver, but she doesn’t really question much either, choosing to attack first and worry about the rest later. She kind of reminds me of someone…


Zephyr is a very intriguing character because of how different his world view and perspective is from Meadow’s. He’s been in the slums all of his life, living under the boot of authority, and despite that he is quite the funny guy and usually has a positive and light outlook. He’s just as devoted to those he cares about as Meadow, but he’s better at expressing those feelings in a seemingly normal way. Watching him learn more about who and what he is really was fascinating, even if it was pretty obvious.

That obviousness carries through the entire book. The Murder Complex isn’t going to surprise you very much in terms of plot, it is straightforward and fine with that being the case. However, luckily it doesn’t need to be shocking or incredibly innovative because it takes those dystopian tropes and uses them extremely well. The book is good at what it wants to do, and shock and awe simply isn’t it, but there is enough substance for it not to be needed.


The romance in the book is rather insta-love for my taste and I’m not sure how much it adds, if anything. Perhaps in the future books for this series there will come a time when the way the romance is set up will work to its benefit, but for now there just wasn’t a lot of depth there, or reasoning behind them falling the way they did. It was a little disappointing, but romance isn’t why you’re getting The Murder Complex anyway.

The action scenes and the descriptions of bodies and weapons are excellent. The banter between characters is solid and the familial bonds are strong. I was left wanting for more information about what happened to the world and why things got to be so bad so quickly, because the brief bit that this book described wasn’t enough. I’m hopeful that the character development and the bonds they create will improve in the coming sequels. Thanks as always for reading.

Four Smiling Frodos w Background

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen: Frodo’s Review

Stolen Songbird

Summary From GoodreadsStolen Songbird by Danielle L Jensen

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.


Stolen Songbird was nearly a DNF for me a few times over, and had I not received an eBook copy in exchange for a review I likely would have done just that. However, I decided to give the book the full run through, but unfortunately it really doesn’t get any better.

To start off, the writing is poor in many parts of the book, most notably at the beginning. The word choice is simplistic when it should be complex, the characters are inconsistent and tend to change based on what the story needs at the time, and the “funny” parts feel forced at best. The romance makes no sense, feelings spike for no apparent reason and then drop off just as suddenly, and don’t get me started on the potential Stockholm syndrome vibes, blah.


The main character, Cécile, was one of the least likable and inconsistent characters I’ve had the misfortune of coming across. Toward the beginning of the book she is naive yet is prone to bullheadedness, is said to be well read but often comes off as a dimwit, and has seemingly no capability or desire to be courteous. At best she was play-acting, going off of fairy tales she had read in order to get by, resulting in her being arrogant, pompous, and irritating.

By the end of the book she has somehow convinced everyone that she’s their savior-to-be, a princess in not only name but in her actions, and a friend to all of the downtrodden. The problem is she didn’t do much at all to cause people to change their opinions of her. She is still a human in a troll world, has made remarks that are plain rude, and yet they come to love her. This isn’t a magical turnaround of character, it is simply weak storytelling. The effect is without cause.

Tristan is just as bad and inconsistent. Some of it is supposed to be written off by him “acting” a certain way because he had to keep a “persona” of sorts. I didn’t buy it and no one else around him should have either. He falls for Cécile even though there is little to see why he would besides his remarks of her looks (more lust than love) and voice (appreciation of a gift) which left a bad taste in my mouth.

Eww, gross

I’d tell you about the plot, but the summary for this book gives away any possible twist or turn that could have occurred. The magic “displays” are not descriptive enough, the “battles” (if you can call them that) get all of a sentence or two, and the drama feels forced and weak.

Overall there just simply wasn’t anything I found redeeming about Stolen Songbird. I know that this review was harsh and incredibly negative, but the writing was maybe MG level while trying to discuss YA topics, and it failed on both fronts. Avoid this one if you still can and thanks as always for reading.

One Smiling Frodo w Background

Fade to Black by Francis Knight: Frodo’s Review

Fade to Black

Summary From GoodreadsFade to Black

From the depths of a valley rises the city of Mahala.

It’s a city built upwards, not across—where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under.

Rojan Dizon doesn’t mind staying in the shadows, because he’s got things to hide. Things like being a pain-mage, with the forbidden power to draw magic from pain. But he can’t hide for ever.

Because when Rojan stumbles upon the secrets lurking in the depths of the Pit, the fate of Mahala will depend on him using his magic. And unlucky for Rojan—this is going to hurt.


When I decided to buy Fade to Black it was for a few reasons; I really liked the cover, the idea of the city built upward to a greater extent then even what we have today outside of perhaps some Asian countries, but most of all I thought this would be a really interesting and fast-paced action story with some magical elements. I certainly got what I bargained for with the first two areas, the cover is still a really nice design and looks great on my shelf, and the descriptions of the city were excellent and gave me a vivid depiction in my head as I went through the adventure.

However, the aspect I had been looking forward to most, the action story with magical powers, was not quite what I had in mind. I knew with a title like Fade to Black that the odds were this story would have a darker edge to it, and I was actually quite pleased to find that was the case, but it was the action parts that were somewhat lacking.

The beginning of the story is very slow and Knight is incredibly methodical in how he sets up the later stages, and while he does a good job in foreshadowing, there is almost too much build up and not enough substance to keep me going save for my desire to see where this went based on my feelings prior to reading. The characters are somewhat interesting and the world itself is certainly intriguing and I wanted to know more, but I didn’t feel a tie to anything that was going on. Simply put, I had very little emotional investment for the first third of the book or so.

Let Me Love You

Rather than having the reader organically develop feelings and connections with the characters as they go along, it seemed like Knight felt or understood that there was little there to create any empathy, and so instead they threw a very disturbing and gut-wrenching scene in and figured that would do the trick. I can’t say that it did, all it achieved was ensuring what I already had assumed, this book is dark at its core.

While it may seem like I didn’t like Fade to Black, and for quite a while that was the case, toward the latter half of the book I did finally connect with some of the characters and when the action picked up I was swept up and brought along for the ride. The displays of magic near the end of the story were great and the tension was very real and impactful. The romantic aspects as well as the fear and hope concerning the people of the Pit were excellent and their agony became my own.

Life is Pain

“What about the main characters?” you might ask. Rojan is kind of a sleaze-ball, and only the horrible things he sees first hand were able to bring any kind of good character out of him, but he sticks to character and there is something to be said for that even if he isn’t someone you really root for or like. Jake is a traumatized woman who turned to weapons and the classic icy exterior in order to cope. She also has the stereotypical softer core, but I guess there are stereotypes for a reason because it works for the most part.

that's nice i guess

Pasha is the last “main” character, but I don’t want to say too much about him because it would give a lot away. Unfortunately, Pasha does bring the religious undercurrent that permeates the book, and not in the best of ways either. I couldn’t tell if Knight was on a particular side when it came to that, and maybe there wasn’t a specific religious message given, but the way it was done felt slimy and not at all satisfying (Lion King anyone?).

Eww, gross

Overall the book was alright, but nowhere near meeting my expectations for it. The beginning was too slow, the characters too often were stereotypes and cliches and little else, and by the time the action and magical elements picked up most readers will probably have checked out from boredom or the seedier bits that weren’t expressed in the summary. It isn’t one that I would recommend, but not a “don’t read” either. Thanks as always for reading.

Two Smiling Frodos w Background

Mini Review Monday: Into the Icebound by Larry Kollar


Into the Icebound

Summary From GoodreadsInto the Icebound

In the fourth “Accidental Sorcerers” story, Sura, Mik, and Bailar set sail for the Northern Reach, with Lord Darin in pursuit. Their journey is anything but smooth, with storms, raiders, and the prince of Westmarch standing in the way.

Joining an expedition to the ruins of Isenbund, Bailar disappears in the night. Now, Mik and Sura must help rescue their mentor from a legendary foe thought long extinct.


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

Into the Icebound, the fourth book in the Accidental Sorcerers series, is a fun and easy YA read that could even appeal to MG audiences. This continuation of the exciting fantasy series that I have come to enjoy incorporates a few more classic elements, including goblins and northerners that might as well be cut-outs of vikings or Norse mythology.

Another enjoyable change from previous entries in the series is that it has far more action in it and doesn’t focus as much on the romance. While I like the pairing of Mik and Sura just fine, Into the Icebound is certainly the most entertaining read because of that change.

Displays of magic are plentiful, adventures are undertaken, and history is told in a grand fashion, but in such a way that even younger readers will enjoy. What makes Into the Icebound stand apart the most, however, is that the danger factor is cranked up a few notches. Where as in the first books in the series it felt like the characters were invincible, here this is not nearly the case as many of them encounter real threats to their lives. It isn’t that I want to see Mik or Sura hurt, but having godlike main characters isn’t desirable either, and Kollar manages to balance that aspect the best in this entry to the series.

If you enjoy sorcery, young love (in moderate doses and not graphic), great adventures, and/or great MG/YA style storytelling then this series, and this book especially, is one I’d recommend. You can pick it up on Amazon for a mere dollar here, it’s well worth your time and a fast read to boot. Thanks as always for reading.

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Nobody Special by Zoe E. Whitten: Frodo’s Review

Nobody Special

Summary From GoodreadsNobodySpecial

Scott Wagner is used to coasting through life as a nobody. His adoptive parents don’t expect anything from him, but they spend more time inebriated than they do being a family. He is invisible at school, and no one talks to him besides his pothead wingman Aaron Marshall. His only other friend Emily Barnes makes up the better half of his gaming club, and he’s not proud of the fact that a girl in junior high can beat him up digitally.

It’s a safe but dull life, a holding pattern of smoking joints and playing video games until a series of chance encounters strips Scott of his invisibility. Forming a band with Emily and some new friends, Scott gains much needed approval from his parents while at the same time coming under scrutiny from Emily’s father, a hard-nosed cop who thinks Scott is a bad influence on his daughter.

Scott’s stumbling path to adulthood is a journey of self-discovery, offering him new friendships, a closer connection to his family, and a taste of young love. But it also brings painful lessons about dealing with prejudices, making sacrifices, and dealing with tragic losses. Between the emotional highs and lows, Scott learns how even a nobody can be special to somebody.


Nobody Special is an interesting read, especially for those that have read Whitten’s work before. Normally there is some sort of taboo involved, regardless of the book is contemporary or supernatural, and that is what sets it apart and makes it unique. However, Nobody Special is far more of what I dare to call a “mainstream” book, but that does not mean it suffers because of it.

Issues are tackled, from homophobia to racism, age gaps in relationships to control and even suicide. The difference is that Nobody Special does it in such a natural way that you can hardly tell you are dealing with some of the issues until either the characters make it obvious, or you reach the end of the book and realize, “Hey, that sure covered a lot of interesting points.” All of these concerns that are so prevalent in society today are looked at and examined, but while often there isn’t an incredible amount of detail so as not to take the focus away from the story, the book as a whole gets you thinking. I imagine that was Whitten’s goal, and if so she succeeded with flying colors.

As far as the main story goes, there are a few minor issues I had, mostly to do with some info dumps in the beginning, and a few sections that felt repetitive. Despite those small problems, the music aspects were great, the romances sweet as can be, and the entire thing had a feel of innocence and wonder about it. The main character, Scott, learns what it takes to step out of his comfort zone and anxieties and how to find self-worth and confidence. He learns that even minor achievements can be fulfilling and hard work really can get you very far, no matter what you end up pursuing as your goal.

Emily, the best friend (or at least one of them) in this story, is a fabulous character. She’s funny, a bit of a goof at times, and brilliant without being in your face about it. Emily was one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve read about in some time, and incredibly easy to fall in love with. She’s a sweetheart with a backbone of steel, and what better combination is there than that?

Much of Nobody Special is introspective and serious, and certainly there are very grim moments in the story, but they are well balanced with witty dialogue and budding young friendships and romances. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a good contemporary read. I think it would be categorized as YA based on the character’s ages, but adults will enjoy this title as well, I know I did. Thanks as always for reading.

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Frodo’s Frisky Friday: Another Full Moon

Frodo's Frisky Friday

Another Full Moon: Deadly Liaisons SCD #1 (Werewolf Detective Story)

Summary From AmazonAnother Full Moon cover

This is a 7,000 word SHORT story.

Detective Julie Nova’s life was ruined three years ago when she was bitten by a werewolf. Now she’s the lead detective in New Franklin, Pennsylvania’s Supernatural Crimes Division.

A vamp tramp (someone who enjoys being bitten by vampires) is found ripped to pieces after a full moon. It’s up to an exhausted Julie Nova to fight her urges for a snack and a nap, and bring the wolfish killer to justice.

This is a companion story to the Deadly Liaisons paranormal romance series. It can be read as a stand alone story.


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

While Another Full Moon may be set in the same world as the Deadly Liaisons main series, this first entry into the Werewolf Detective Story arc is far from the same kind of content. I would definitely consider this a mature read still, but because of a violent and graphic nature to some of the story, not anything sexual. There are some sexual tones that might lead to something later on in this new short story series, but it isn’t really the case here.

Another Full Moon, unsurprisingly, brings the focus to the werewolves as opposed to the vampire one of the Deadly Liaisons main series, and that brings a refreshing change of pace. Wilder’s werewolves aren’t like others you might have encountered though, with a darker, harsher side being unveiled that I urge you to take a look at. These aren’t Jacob clones, nor are they the somewhat over-sexualized ones of series like Jessica McClain, but hardier folk that have to go through some hardships because of their way of life.

This story, while it may be short, is well worth the read, and Wilder’s talent shines through as they often do with her vibrant characters and vivid, unique worlds. Click the link or cover above to get a copy on Amazon, it’s only a dollar, and if you like what you find check out the main series, it’s naughtier but just as exquisitely told. Thanks as always for reading.

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Unhinged by A.G. Howard: Frodo’s Review


Summary From GoodreadsUnhinged by A.G. Howard

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she’s always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she’ll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.


Unhinged…was not what I expected. Splintered, book one in the series, showcased this dark and edgy depiction of Wonderland that I fell in love with. The humor, characters, and style that were used fascinated me and had me hungry for more, instantly I pre-ordered Unhinged.

The characters are there. Morpheus is shown in all of his glory and mysteriousness. Jeb is still loyal, in love, and the kind of knight in shining armor that I expected him to be. Alyssa is conflicted, but slowly finding herself; magical, but wild and unsure.

Danger is lurking with the Red Queen once again causing all sorts of chaos, as well as the turmoil of the heart as Alyssa has to decide who she wants to be with and the life that they can offer her. Drama, magic, and incredible displays of artwork fill this story and make it wonderful with the same dark overtones that I enjoyed so much in the first book.

What’s the major difference? While many of the magical creatures of Wonderland make an appearance, my favorite being that of the White Rabbit (or Rabid White as he is known in this series), the shock to me was how much of this story took place in the “real world” rather than the magical Wonderland I had fallen so in love with. After giving it a fair bit of thought I can understand some of the reasoning for why Howard wanted to do this as there were many issues that needed to be taken care of there, but it caught me off guard.

What Howard did manage to do by keeping the majority of the focus on our world is make it seem magical in and of itself. She makes it so we question our surroundings, second guess preconceived notions of the way things “work” here, and I certainly don’t look at bugs or flowers the same anymore. She made reality wondrous and that is no easy feat.

So did I enjoy Unhinged? Yes. Was it the story I thought I was going to be getting? Nope. Does it really matter? Not really, I enjoyed the tale and I am just as excited, if not more so, to read book three in the series (even though I have to wait a year to do it) which I will likely pre-order as soon as possible. If you liked Splintered, especially the cast of characters, then you will enjoy Unhinged as well. Oh, and if you haven’t read Splintered yet, please do so, it is absolutely amazing and one of my favorite books that I read last year. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #12/365

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Review: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan


Summary From GoodreadsInvisibility

Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.


Invisibility is filled with just as much awkwardness as the teen romance it contains. Teen romance can be epic, it can be ugly and usually it has bits of everything in between, such is the case here. So let’s break it down just like that, it’s time for the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good 

– Levithan. The man can flat out WRITE. While his style does seem to carry over in everything he writes (the set of rules of the invisibility curse is reminiscent of his set of rules in Every Day for that MC) it doesn’t become stale. Stephen is a main character that is easy to get behind and the way Levithan breaks down his world creates complete believability despite him being invisible, no easy task.

– The pacing. While some might argue that the pacing takes a dramatic shift in the second half, I feel that it works well throughout the entire piece and adapts to what is happening in the plot very well. I never felt bored, not during the world building and setup (mostly due again to Levithan’s prowess as a writer) nor during the paranormal takeover of the book (more on that later). The book flows.

– The ending. The last 15-20% or so of the book flew by. It was a rush of paranormal awesome, displays of abilities and the bond that the characters had developed coming to its epic conclusion. It was wonderful and I didn’t want to leave this fascinating world that had been so carefully created. Fantastic.

The Bad

– Insta-love. Oh insta-love, why must you appear in all of the books I am trying to enjoy? We didn’t even make it into chapters with multiple digits before the characters felt like they were meant for each other. I understand teen love can feel VERY powerful and all consuming, but that doesn’t stop this sort of thing from being irritating. I could understand Stephen feeling this way quickly because of being invisible. You finally find someone who can see you, she’s a girl, and she’s your age? It wouldn’t take much more. Elizabeth has no such reasoning to fall back on, she just falls head over heels for the guy very, very quickly. Insta-love please go away.

– The plot. I don’t know that this deserves to be in “the bad”, but it can’t go in “the good” either so here it lies. For the most part it worked, but there were certain areas that didn’t make sense. It didn’t feel cohesive. Elizabeth’s motives felt contrived and while much of what she did was for Stephen’s sake it didn’t feel genuine. Which leads me to my next point.

– Elizabeth. She was just plain frustrating too many times in the book to like her character. Her humor didn’t work and felt forced. I’ve already touched on her relationship but again, she had no reason to fall so hard so quickly for Stephen, ugh. I don’t think her character had much life to it. She felt robotic even when the paranormal events occurred involving her it didn’t make her character more interesting, just the things that happened around her. Bleh.

The Ugly

– Laurie. I want to make one thing clear, I don’t mean that I didn’t like his character, I thoroughly enjoyed Laurie, especially his sense of humor. However we are quickly made aware that he is gay, which is the motivation for a lot that happens in sections of the book. What we didn’t need was constant reminders and bad attempts at humor (some involving references to a certain wizard in Harry Potter) about how he is gay. It isn’t discussing homosexuality, it isn’t enlightening readers on a variety of subjects that are related in order to either strengthen the storyline, give Laurie purpose or make this book pointed in some way. It’s just bland, and pointless repetition. I’m going to go to the next point before I fall victim to the same thing.

-Styles and Andrea Cremer. Notice how earlier I put Levithan as one of my good points but didn’t say “the writing” in general? This is why. I don’t think that Cremer’s style meshes well with Levithan’s and this is exacerbated by them alternating chapters (Levithan writing Stephen’s, Cremer writing Elizabeth’s). It wasn’t something that they hid, and while Levithan is more than capable of doing this back and forth style (his work with John Green in Will Grayson, Will Grayson is the perfect example of how this can be done beautifully) I don’t know that I can say the same for Cremer. Her writing just didn’t appeal to me nearly as much from a humor standpoint, in her development of Elizabeth’s character or in the paranormal world that comes into focus in the second half of the book. Which leads me to my final and most frustrating point.

– Transitions. Find the nearest wall. Does it look like it would be fun to ram your head into it? That would probably hurt right? Well that’s what it felt like was happening when we moved into the paranormal half of Invisibility. Oh sure, having an invisible boy as a main character means there is a touch of the magical or paranormal from the beginning, but the book reads like a contemporary for the first half of the book. Then BOOM magic, brand new terminology (often corny and, to me at least unoriginal) and a brand new world opened up. Oh and of course don’t forget how one of the main characters happens to be a super special type that is unique to practically the whole world. Perfect. So no, I didn’t enjoy ramming my head through the brick wall that was this transition, and while the world they created WAS interesting it wasn’t believable in certain parts and I felt that it could have been brought about a tad more smoothly. Oh well.


Invisibility had a host of issues for me. I couldn’t ignore the insta-love, the bland second MC or the clashing of styles between the authors. The transition from a mostly contemporary world to one with a paranormal focus was painful. However, the pacing was good, Levithan’s writing and his MC Stephen were very enjoyable, and the world they built was very intriguing. It was a decent read, but the brick wall is too much to overcome in terms of it being a book I could re-read or recommend. Thanks as always for reading and make sure to enter my giveaway for a 10$ Amazon GC in the post below! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #98/200

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Day 33: Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin

Day 33

Summary From Goodreads:  

Sophie Blue started wearing a black skirt and Midnight Noir lipstick on her last birthday. It was also the day her father disappeared. Or spontaneously combusted. Which is sort of bad timing, since a Popsicle truck with tinted windows has started circling the house.

Kenny Fade is a basketball god. His sneakers cost more than his Jeep. He’s the guy all the ladies (and their mommas) want. Bad.

Sophie Blue and Kenny Fade don’t have a thing in common. Aside from being reasonably sure they’re losing their minds.

Acclaimed author Sean Beaudoin’s wildly innovative novel combines uproarious humor with enough plot twists to fill a tube sock. Part thriller, part darkly comic philosophical discussion, and accompanied by a comic book interstitial, Fade to Blue is a whip-smart romp that keeps readers guessing until the last paragraph.


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!

Fade to Blue is like trying to explain insanity from the eyes of the insane. Even at the end you’ll have a bunch of questions that will go unanswered, simply because there was never an answer there to begin with. I think that’s exactly how Beaudoin wants it to be.

The book is, as the summary says, full of a crazy amount of plot twists that serve to confuse you as well as keep you on your toes. It makes you use parts of your brain that you didn’t know you had and probably wish you could hide and never see again, too late. Fade to Blue is twisted, but in an ingenious way. It explores the mind and all of the ways that it can be fooled, tested and even broken. It mixes Beaudoin’s unique brand of humor and writing style with chilling insight into the human consciousness.

All in all I think I enjoyed Fade to Blue, but I might be in some alternate reality/dimension/unknown that just makes my mind construct a world where I have read the book when in reality I don’t even know what Fade to Blue is. Who knows? You’ll have to read it and figure that out for yourself. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for day 34!

Mount TBR Challenge #27/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #27/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #33/365

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Day 24: Attic Toys edited by Jeremy C. Shipp

Day 24

Summary From Goodreads

19 amazing tales by the masters and rising stars of speculative fiction.

Includes all new stories by Piers Anthony, Jeff Strand, Joe McKinney, Lisa Morton, Jeremy C. Shipp, Gary McMahon, Aric Sundquist, and many more!

You don’t want to miss this staggering collection of horror and dark fantasy!


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!

Singing purple raisins, teddy bears that come alive and robotic dogs that once could flip are just a few of the wonderful, yet quite creepy characters you will discover in the short stories of Attic Toys. Similar to the Attic Clowns stories that Jeremy C. Shipp writes, Attic Toys takes different objects, in this case obviously toys of some sort, and twists them into something that we might fear. It does something else quite interesting as well, Attic Toys takes mundane objects around the house, not just the toys themselves, and forces the reader to imagine them as if they were alive. An example of this is a lightbulb hanging in the attic in A Little Terror by Phil Hickes saying “In the attic, a solitary bulb flickers feebly, its life slowly ebbing away as it dangles from its black wire noose.” The thoughts you start having once you go down that line of thinking, well you might end up just as twisted as some of the characters in Attic Toys!

I would recommend this for any horror lover that, pardon the similarities to The Adams Family, are creepy, spooky and a little bit cooky. You will be forced to reexamine things you took for granted, things you might even have cherished in your childhood and see just how frightening they can become when they set their minds to it. I loved Attic Toys and I think you will too. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 25!

Mount TBR Challenge #21/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #21/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #24/365; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #10/44

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Day 20: Exiled by M.R. Merrick

Day 20

Summary From Goodreads:  

Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase’s birthday, the bloodline stopped.

Exiled without the Circle’s protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle’s agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can’t do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna — a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret.

In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle’s plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other’s life depending on it.


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!

I have mixed feelings about Exiled. Initially it frustrated me because the storyline was painfully obvious, I don’t know how the characters didn’t pick up on what was going on but seriously, quite annoyingly staring them in the face. So there was that. Then there is just the cliches such as water vs fire and vampires and their weaknesses (at least their skin wasn’t shiny) which get dull quickly. However, the characters, despite their seemingly overwhelming blindness to the obvious, are quite compelling. Rayna in particular is fantastic, though I do admittedly have a weak spot for the fiesty ones. ^.^ Some of the fight scenes at the end fell short for me as they were a bit predictable as well and I had to fight the urge to skim. Overall though there are enough elements (pardon the pun) that piqued my curiosity to want to read the next book, Shift, and possibly Release after that. The writing is solid and hopefully now that the groundwork has been set up the cliches/obvious plot-lines won’t be needed. I still have high hopes for the series. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 21!

Mount TBR Challenge #18/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #18/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #20/365; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #7/44

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Day 16: Snow White Blood Red by Cameron Jace

Day 16

Summary From Goodreads

What if all you knew about fairy tales was wrong?

Book description of Snow White Blood Red: A Grimm Diaries Prequel as told by the Snow White Queen:

I have always wondered why you never asked about my name. Was I so superficial to you? So stereotypical and mundane? Why did you treat me as if I were just the monster of the week? You know what I think? You never had the time to really hate me. You wanted to hate me, long before you even met me. You wanted to scrape my existence and avenge your childhood princess by laying all blame on me. What if they didn’t call me the Evil Queen, what if I told you the real story from my point of view instead of hers, would you ever think of me as an angel? Could I ever make you care? I know that deep inside of you, you adore me,but you’re just scared, afraid to admit how much you love the Snow White Queen.


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!

Snow White Blood Red is one of six prequels to The Grimm Diaries, the first of which, Snow White Sorrow, is set to release in February of this year. This particular one as the summary states is being told from the perspective of the Snow White Queen. The story definitely paints an interesting picture and one I look forward to seeing fleshed out in full. Snow White possibly being the evil one while the Queen, if not quite good, at least might be the one in the right? I’m all for these sort of retellings and this prequel does exactly what it was designed to, tease. I really enjoyed the way the Queen was portrayed, the pacing was good and the way they ended…well let’s just say I am intrigued. I look forward to reading the rest of these prequels soon while waiting for the full versions to be released and you can get them all for 0.99¢ total on Amazon which I highly recommend you do. As always thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 17!

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #16/365; Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge #1/12 – Key Words – Snow & White

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Day 10: Attic Clowns – Volume 3 by Jeremy C. Shipp

Day 10

Summary From Goodreads:  Attic Clowns Volume Three by Jeremy C Shipp

This creepy collection features three twisted tales by Bram Stoker Award nominee Jeremy C. Shipp.

The stories include:
Spider Clowns from Planet X
Dust Bunnies


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, short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

I always enjoy reading the insane brand of humor that is unique to the dark recesses, or perhaps in his case the lighter ones, of Jeremy C. Shipp’s mind. There is probably a deeper message behind each of his tales but the clowns never let me see them fully, and maybe it is better that way. If anyone reading the Attic Clowns stories does understand the hidden meanings then their minds are probably just as warped as the clowns inside of them, so it’s better off if you just enjoy the ride, as long as you aren’t strapped to a couch. I enjoyed Volume Three just as much as I did with the others and I have no doubt that if you read anything by Shipp you’ll enjoy it immensely. You may laugh, you might become confused, or perhaps you’ll find yourself checking your attic just in case, though I don’t recommend it, but regardless it is worth the read! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Genre Reading Challenge #9/30 – Category – Horror; Mount TBR Challenge #10/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #10/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #10/365; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #3/44

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Day 8: The First Dragoneer by M.R. Mathias

Day 8

Summary From Goodreads:  

Two young men, on the cusp of adulthood go on a hunt they want to remember forever. When they cross a ridge and leave the protected boundries of their kingdom, they find themselves a cavern to explore. Inside the cavern they find exactly what they were seeking…..
Lurking inside this hole in the earth is something they will never forget…. If they can live to remember!


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, short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

The First Dragoneer is a short prequel to add some depth to one of the main characters that will appear in the second book in the Dragoneer Saga, March. In Mathias’s usual detail-driven and slow-paced style March and his friend Bren take a hunting trip, the last the pair will take together as March prepares to leave their small village. They encounter a few things they didn’t expect, a beautiful creature, a dark and rather large cave, and even a familiar race of being to those who love these types of tales. The build up is worth the wait as the pair find something lurking inside the cave, will they be able to survive? If they do, will they ever be able to make the journey back across the ridge? You’ll have to read to find out.

I enjoyed the prequel though I felt the ending was quite rushed. It was as if Mathias just couldn’t hold back anymore and had to release a plethora of splendid things at the end in order to convey some of what awaits the reader should they proceed to read the Dragoneer Saga. While I don’t blame him for this approach, it did take away from the tale of the two friends which was interesting in its own right. If you want some extra backstory for March then by all means read this short piece, but otherwise I’d suggest you go straight to the full stories as they are more representative of Mathias’s true style. As always, thanks for reading.

Genre Reading Challenge #7 – Category – Epic Fantasy; Mount TBR Challenge #8/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #8/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #8/365; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #1/44

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Day 5: Desert Rice by Angela Scott

Day 5

Summary From Goodreads:  

Samantha Jean Haggert is a beautiful twelve-year-old girl—but no one knows it. All they see is an awkward boy in a baseball cap and baggy pants. Sam’s not thrilled with the idea of hiding her identity, but it’s all part of her older brother’s plan to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law. Fifteen-year-old Jacob will stop at nothing to protect his sister, including concealing the death of the one person who should have protected them in the first place—their mother.

Sam and Jacob try to outrun their past by stealing the family car and traveling from West Virginia to Arizona, but the adult world proves mighty difficult to navigate, especially for two kids on their own. Trusting adults has never been an option; no adult has ever given them a good reason. But when Sam meets “Jesus”—who smells an awful lot like a horse—in the park, life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and may be willing to save Sam and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia. The problem? Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking.


I received a lovely signed copy of Desert Rice in a giveaway from Angela Scott herself about a month ago and now I (finally!) got the chance to read it. Without further ado, my thoughts on Desert Rice!

I’ll be honest, I haven’t read a whole lot of books with a 12-year-old girl’s point of view, so I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of how the character would narrate her story. My first impression of Sam was that she was woefully, and a tad annoyingly, ignorant of a lot of things. I don’t remember much about being 12, but I don’t recall being so unaware of the world as a whole. However, as I read Desert Rice I discovered more and more that what Scott was likely doing in showing that ignorance was highlighting the pathetic excuse for an upbringing that both Sam and her brother Jacob received. Sam is a character that Scott clearly poured a little extra of her writer’s essence into, she’s someone you instantly want to befriend and protect, and the lengths that her brother goes to do so seem justified by more than just their family link. She’s as innocent as they come, molding herself only by what she sees in the few encounters that she is allowed to have with the world but she has the typical stubbornness of someone her age which makes her feel all the more real.

Which brings me to Jacob. He has both of their lives on his shoulders, plus the additional weight of keeping secret what happened to them both from everyone they encounter, and from Sam as well. He puts on a brave face most of the time but some frustration does leak through, mostly fueled by what Sam had went through (can’t be any more specific, spoilers!), and a bit of a typical teenage male’s difficulty with being around his kid sister all the time. However, Scott makes it readily apparent that Jacob cares deeply for Sam so his occasional outbursts don’t demean him as a character, they even prove to separate him from other books where this character is often a cardboard cutout.

The plot might be the one complaint I have for Desert Rice, and keeps it from being among my favorites. It’s a bit obvious based on the summary where the journey is going to end up, even if the details to get them there aren’t clear. There is a slight twist at the end, don’t worry I won’t spoil it, but not enough of one to really shock you. I would also say that Sam’s indecision at certain parts, even for someone her age, was a tad ridiculous, maybe she thought she was doing what was best for them, but it was irritating to say the least. The pacing was good, though, and there was enough action in Desert Rice to keep the reader engaged while developing the characters at the same time.

There isn’t much to say about the world building as far as just the setting goes. I don’t know much about Arizona outside of the obvious, but Scott seemed to have a pretty good feel for what it is like there, and I’ll take her word(s) on it. The cowboy-type of people that were described at times were a little over the top, and though there may still be some smaller towns where these descriptions would be accurate, it just felt a little off. The setting at least felt realistic enough, so I guess I’d give this area a check mark for completion if not an outstanding (channeling my inner teacher there, weird I know).

Overall I enjoyed Desert Rice. The characters were the highlight of the book without a doubt, and I loved Sam, she was just excellently done. It was a quick and pleasant read and a big thank you to Scott for doing a giveaway so that I could enjoy the book. Thanks as always for reading this and I will see you tomorrow for Day 6! ^.^

Genre Reading Challenge #4/30 – Category – Adventure; Mount TBR Challenge #5/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #5/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #5/365

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Day 4: The Lost Girls by Jason Halstead

Day 4

Summary From Goodreads:  The Lost Girls by Jason Halstead

The only thing hotter than the summers in Phoenix is the temper of a police detective who can’t figure out why young girls keep disappearing. Katalina Wimple is that detective. Her obsession with the missing girls makes her the best person for the job, but it also serves as a refuge from the problems in her own life.

Battling her own demons offers coincidences impossible to ignore. Rescuing the missing girls will require Kat figuring out how much coincidence is too much, as well as fighting her desire for what she can’t have.


 A shorter piece like this leads me to my own version of a mini-review, Frodo’s Hobbit-sized Reviews! This kind of review was inspired by the amazing Kimberly from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer who does short reviews called Coffee Pot Reviews where she does the review in the time it takes her coffee pot to finish brewing.

The Lost Girls, the first in a series (currently at 4 novels), was my first sci-fi read in quite some time and was a refreshing change of pace. Following Kat through her action-packed, and slightly insane, journey to find criminals responsible for kidnapping young girls while simultaneously figuring out more about herself was thrilling throughout. There is also some steamy scenes mixed in, though not nearly as graphic as what Halstead does with the action ones that seem almost constant. The combination keeps The Lost Girls fast-paced and the reader on edge.

I loved Kat, she’s a fireball with attitude but with a softer side underneath. That sounds somewhat cliche, and at times it does feel a bit that way, but her sarcasm and don’t-give-a-crap attitude more than make up for it and make her a very endearing character. She has legitimate horrors in her past and overcomes them (to varied degrees of success) with humor, something Halstead does excellently.

The mystery element of The Lost Girls is what brought the piece home. There is a few twists at the end to constantly throw you off the trail and unless you are very shrewd the ending will definitely catch you off-guard. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes a good mixture of mystery/sci-fi/and a bit of romance, or just a good fast-paced read in general. Excellent.

Genre Reading Challenge #3/30 – Category – Mystery; Mount TBR Challenge #4/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #4/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #4/365

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Day 3: Amarok by Angela J. Townsend

Day 3

Summary From Goodreads:  

Emma’s life has been hell since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Abandoned by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother’s death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her planned escape leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining.
Dragged across the tundra by an evil mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she learns that love can be found in the most unexpected places. Amarok, as she’s nicknamed the wolf, is a young man from the gold-rush era enslaved by an ancient shaman. Emma’s gentle touch and kind heart win his love and devotion. When a vicious madman–trapped in bear form by the same Shaman–attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to face her fears and free the wolf she’s come to love. But that means she must face down the evil shaman, a Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her.


I won an ARC of Amarok a month or two ago and I finally got around to reading it, hooray for crazy reading goals helping me to read more! ^.^ I wasn’t really sure what to expect stylistically since I hadn’t heard anything about this book before I won it, but I thought it would be a nice easy read, but without further ado let’s get into my thoughts on Amarok!

My initial thoughts as I was reading through Amarok were essentially “Oh no, SO much repetition, please, please don’t let this be a DNF, pretty please, must keep reading…”, so needless to say I was struggling. As the summary states Angela does feel she has caused her mother’s death and she has some serious mental instability because of the combination of that and the abuse of her step-father which is shown throughout the book. The problem is it was stressed WAY too much. It felt like every other page she was stressing how depressed she was and how she wanted to cut herself to relieve some of it and just, ugh. However, I do like the animal spirit elements which form the crux of this story and so I chose to push forward in the hopes that she would get over herself.

The world building was easily the highlight of Amarok, as the author creates a beautiful vision of Alaska in your mind to ease the depressing feel of what the characters are going through. From the vivid descriptions of nature to the hearkening back to an older and simpler time that the area Emma and Amarok traverse through seems to be trapped in, Angela Townsend’s imagery is fantastic. As corny as it is, I did feel like I was there in the rustic and treacherous environment of an Alaskan winter in the wilderness and though I’m sure it would be terrifying to be trapped there, it was awesome as a reading experience.

The characters, I don’t even…words truly fail me. Emma, sadly, is not someone I feel empathy toward at all as a main character. While tragedy often does not leave you, Emma dwells SO much on her sadness and pain as to be incredibly annoying, and to top it off she keeps referring to herself as being tough, a fighter. If she is so tough why does she have to repeatedly point out how much she is suffering, and not even about her current situation, all about what she supposedly caused to happen to her mother, I quickly found myself not caring about her plight. As for Amarok…well he was slightly better I suppose. His suffering seemed a lot more justifiable giving how much time was involved, and so even though his feelings toward Emma were a little “insta-y” for my taste they felt more real. Both characters kept saying how willing they were to die, not just for each other which could be considered noble, but just to stop feeling any more pain. When they don’t want to live anymore, and they don’t seem to care to find a purpose to even attempt to fix that, especially with Emma who just seems whiny, caring about their difficult situation seems pointless. They don’t care, why should we? Anyway…

Writing style. The second half to Townsend’s credit was much better. I think I could feel her developing, not relying so much on the constant reminders of suffering/sadness/etc. and really moving the story along. The problem is how long that repetitiousness continued initially, I am worried that most readers wouldn’t even bother trying to continue, I know I almost didn’t.

I don’t know if there will be a sequel to Amarok, but if Townsend can channel whatever happened to change the way the 2nd half was written into her next work then I think she will have a very solid book on her hands, however this felt slightly short for me. There is definitely an intriguing story to be continued here, and I will read the next book if and when it comes out as I am intrigued to see how the dilemmas left at the end work themselves out. I can’t say that I recommend reading Amarok for the reasons mentioned above, but I look forward to seeing what Townsend comes out with and I think her next piece will be worth looking into. Thanks as always for reading and I will see you tomorrow for day 4!

Mount TBR Challenge #3/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #3/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #3/365

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Day 2: Always Remember to Tip Your Ninja: And Other Maxims for the Clinically Absurd by Jeremy C. Shipp

Day 2

Summary From Goodreads:  Always Remember to Tip Your Ninja by Jeremy C. Shipp

What is the secret of happiness?

Can the laws of attraction help you to cheat death?

What’s the best way to get rich during the zombie apocalypse?

How do you fix your life with nothing but a spork and a DVD box set of “Charles in Charge”?

Why do you see evil clowns every time you close your eyes?

These are just some of the questions this book won’t answer for you.

ALWAYS REMEMBER TO TIP YOUR NINJA contains 99 absurd maxims that will change your life forever, or at least make you chortle.


For this particular book I thought it would be fitting to pick out my top 10 favorite absurd maxims to give you a little taste of what is inside this hilarious piece by the always amazing (and bizarre) Jeremy C. Shipp. So without further ado, here’s my top 10 in reverse order:

10. If you wake up and smell the coffee, you need to find out who broke into your house.

9. Rubber chicken soup is beneficial for the clown’s soul.

8. Juggling babies is almost always wrong.

7. You can tell a lot about a person by what he screams in his sleep.

6. Evil twins are people too.

5. The best part about being in a pickle is eating your way out.

4. If you’re feeling stressed out, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and imagine a world without the Star Wars prequels.

3. Imitation is the sincerest form of copyright infringement.

2. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. But leave the mimes out in the cold where they belong.

1. Kill zombies for the rush, but eat their brains for the irony.

I hope you enjoyed them and make sure to check out the entire collection for yourself if you did! Jeremy C. Shipp quickly became one of my favorite writers last year and each time I read something he wrote I’m only more impressed. Thanks as always for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow for Day 3! ^.^

Genre Reading Challenge – #2/30 – Category – Parodies; Mount TBR Challenge #2/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #2/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #2/365

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Day 1: Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

Day 1

Necromancing the Stone

Summary from Goodreads: With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?

Well . . . not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.

But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it’s time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead?


When I finished reading Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, which is also by Lish McBride, I was incredibly thankful that I had Necromancing the Stone already so I didn’t have to wait to dive into the next part of this awesome journey. Necromancing the Stone, unlike its predecessor, delves into a more somber and serious part of Sam’s life. There are still plenty of jokes and fantastic lines (and freaking awesome chapter titles!) throughout, but the story itself doesn’t have nearly as light of a feel to it. Despite that fact I thoroughly enjoyed Necromancing the Stone. The writing was excellent, the characters excellently hashed out and developed, and the plot moved along at a comfortable pace while allowing for some side stories to emerge. New types of beings were brought into the story and served to enrich the already beautiful world that McBride created.

As of right now I do not know if there will be a third book in this series, but there were enough loose ends where another entry could certainly be warranted (and in my case welcomed with open arms). However, the major conflict was definitely resolved and it was done so masterfully. I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but I was quite satisfied (and a bit relieved) by how McBride decided to move forward.

The world that is continued in Necromancing the Stone seems to go back and forth between showing how all of the differences these characters (and types of beings) accentuate the world as a whole, and simultaneously making fun of itself. There are mischief makers and beings of great power that hearken back to civilizations that are long gone (and often forgotten). It is a combination that is not easily done but that, in this case to me, seemed to be flawless. I loved the references to various cultures and deities, some of which are not very well known, giving the book a feel of realism and weight that Hold Me Closer, Necromancer didn’t have.

Overall, as this rambling session has clearly expressed, I loved Necromancing the Stone. I hope that McBride does indeed write a third book and that we are lucky enough to see even more depth drawn out of the plethora of characters that I have come to know and love. I encourage any book lover to pick this up as well as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, they are fantastic books and must reads in my (humble) opinion. Thank you as always for reading this and I’ll see you tomorrow for book #2 in 2013!

Genre Reading Challenge – #1/30 – Category – Paranormal; Mount TBR Challenge #1/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #1/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #1/365

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Review: The Infects by Sean Beaudoin

Review: The Infects

I won a print copy of The Infects in a giveaway by Ginger-read Reviews in the Zombpacolypse Trick or Treat Hop.

Summary From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of “infects” shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back.

Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a savvy tale that that’s a delight to read—whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten—and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us.


This was one of the few times where I hadn’t heard anything about a book before I read it which was refreshing because it meant I could go into it without any preconceived notions of whether I would enjoy it or not. With being a part of Fraterfest in early October and Haunted Week which led up to Halloween I’ve read a bunch of horror/bump-in-the-night books lately. The Infected was easily my favorite of all of the books I’ve read in that vein in the last month.

The way The Infected was written…so much love. Beaudoin uses a fantastic mix of sarcasm, repetition of funny examples to accentuate certain points and witty banter between the characters and sometimes within a character as well. I mean his style was just…I don’t even have adequate descriptors. Awesome.

The main character, Nero, was a bit weird, dysfunctional and obsessed with a girl…wait a minute, where have I seen that combination before? Oh ya! It was me in high school! Seriously though, one of the easiest books for me to identify with the main character…ever? Possibly ever. He even has a dad he isn’t overly fond of or close to and a little sister he adores, this is getting eerie…moving on! The other “delinquents” were funny, each in their own way and their personalities all shone through without casting any of the others in a shadow, though two of them were very similar for reasons that are obvious if you’ve read the book. I really enjoyed the love interest’s character as well, she came on strong near the end of the book and the only thing I wished were different is that I wanted more of her. The love/like connections were all well done in fact. Ooo and the little sister? Freaking awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I love my siblings but this little girl was such a great character, very well done.

So enough gushing about the characters, then again if you are reading one of my reviews you knew that was going to happen right? I would hope so. Anyway, the plot! The freaking beginning! That will throw you for a loop right away let me tell you! (I apologize for the excessive use of exclamation marks but I’m really excited!) To be honest I wasn’t planning on reading this right away when I got it since I’m so busy with NaNoWriMo but I randomly opened it and started reading, eight pages later I was hooked and knew my day was going to be spent reading rather than writing. Time well spent as the plot moved quickly and with all the right twists and obstacles for the characters to face. There was never a point in the book where I was even slightly tempted to skim or skip along to the next part, the pacing was excellent and pretty quick which makes sense for a zombie book and worked very nicely. As the summary will tell you the ending really is unexpected, I liked it though. ^.^

As for the world building/scenery it was fantastic. The main area that the book talks about, the area where the delinquents are doing their trek, was described with very nice detail but  not so much that it felt bogged down. With zombie books you are almost forced to zoom through but Beaudoin took the time to build the area they had to camp out at. Even though the characters whipped through large areas I didn’t get what I call “the green screen effect” which is where the book has used such a formulaic world  that it feels as if it is being told in front of a green screen, it may sound alright but it doesn’t seem real.

As you can no doubt tell I really enjoyed The Infects, it is easily one of my favorite reads for 2012, I’m so glad I won it and would recommend it to anyone. Zombie lovers rejoice! I hope you enjoyed my review and I would recommend you check out The Infects for yourself. If you have read it leave a comment telling me what you think and if not then please suggest a book that either just came out or is coming out soon that I should read, any genre. Have a great day! Oh, and if you are reading this and haven’t checked out my latest NaNoWriMo post if you wouldn’t mind checking it out I’d appreciate it, good stuff on there! ^.^

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Sunday Post #6

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I post my books that I receive in my Saturday Stacking The Shelves post so for my part I focus on the recap/preview parts of Sunday Post.

Last Week

Haunted Week: It Came From the Web – Five Amazing Book Blogs

Haunted Week: Tricked or Treated – Five Books That Surprised You

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han – Review (4/5)

Haunted Week: Written in the Tombstone – Last Line(s) of Five Books

Waiting On Wednesday #5 – Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

NaNoWriMo – Initial Post

NaNoWriMo Day 1 – Insane first day of writing!

Stacking The Shelves #8 – Book Haul for the Week

NaNoWriMo Day 2 – The journey continues!

This Week (Planned but DEFINITELY Subject to Change)

Today – NaNoWriMo Day 3 – The day “off”

Monday – Review of The Infects by Sean Beaudoin & NaNoWriMo Day 4

Tuesday – NaNoWriMo Day 5

Wednesday – Waiting On Wednesday #6 & NaNoWriMo Day 6

Thursday – NaNoWriMo Day 7

Friday – NaNoWriMo Day 8 & Feature and Follow? – maybe

Saturday – Stacking The Shelves #9 & NaNoWriMo Day 9

This last week has been crazy as usual! I do want to apologize for only doing the one review last week but I haven’t had the chance to read much lately which makes doing new reviews pretty difficult! I had a blast during Haunted Week which wrapped up, I can’t wait to do something like that again next year when Halloween rolls around. NaNoWriMo, or for those not familiar with it otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month, kicked off this week and my daily posts recapping my days writing began as well. It has been challenging to write as much as I want to and that will be made pretty obvious if you decide to read my Day 3 post which is already up here.

Due to how much time and energy NaNoWriMo takes my reviews will definitely be sporadic as I have mentioned a couple times in my daily NaNo posts. I hope you can forgive me for that! I do have one planned for tomorrow but after that they will be relatively random so I won’t be fixing reviews to dates like I usually do. I will continue to participate in the memes since those are relatively easy to do and hopefully those along with my daily NaNo updates will be enough to tide you over for now. ^.^

Thanks for stopping by, leave a comment on anything I’ve mentioned here and I will make sure to read and possibly reply as well, I do love to read them! Feel free to leave a link to your Sunday Post or whatever other bookish meme you partake in over the weekend and I will be sure to stop by! Enjoy your Sunday. 🙂

Haunted Week: Beware of Book Review

Haunted Week: Beware of Book Review

Haunted Week is hosted by This Girl Reads, all credit for these daily ideas goes to them. ^.^

Today’s post concerns the following: To finish off a week of spook-tastic fun, review a scary story of your choice!

Happy Halloween everyone! We have reached the end of a fantastic and fun Haunted Week! I hope you enjoyed all of my extra posts throughout the last week and found some interesting Haunted things you liked along the way. My review is on a novella by Rebecca Hamilton called Her Sweetest Downfall.

Summary From Amazon: 

Ophelia’s been successful at hiding her true identity, until the mark of the serpent appears on her neck—a death sentence, should it be seen by anyone in her town. Hiding the mark might save her from falling victim to the witch hunts of her era, but the scorching sensation it carries can’t be ignored.

When the mysterious Ethan is sent to collect her for a life of something more, she learns concealing the mark is the least of her worries. She’s destined to don a new mask—to join a dark, supernatural world and protect the future of people she may never meet.

What she doesn’t know—what she learns too late—is that her initiation won’t be complete until she kills the man she loves.


This will be a short review due to the length of the novella. If you read my earlier posts for Haunted Week you would know that I despise insta-love, and though I do acknowledge the short length of this piece making it more difficult to develop love or relationships I will not exempt it. Ophelia and Ethan fall into insta-love so quickly it will make your head spin. Oh and he happens to be the one who kidnaps her from her regular, if unfortunate life. That doesn’t stop her from being instantly attracted to him and it is certainly not one-sided. With something this short I couldn’t get past that dreaded instant attraction and it left me cold while reading it.

Ophelia was also very quick to give in to her fate that she had only learned the previous day and would turn her into something she thought was grotesque and even fictitious only a short while before. It gave a sense of her having no depth or will and that made it difficult for me to care what happened to her, even so much as where I was tempted to skim over parts of the short story. I wasn’t engaged and Her Sweetest Downfall fell flat for me.

The writing level wasn’t poor but that couldn’t save the novella for me. Hopefully The Forever Girl (of which I have an eBook copy that I have yet to read) will be better. I apologize for the short length of the review but I am a bit busier lately, a lame excuse I know. I can’t recommend this novella though. I hope that if you participated in Halloween Week that you enjoyed yourself and if not I hope that you have at least read some of the posts concerning it and enjoyed them instead. I’ve had a blast being a part of it and a big thank you goes to This Girl Reads for hosting it! Thanks for reading and leave me a comment if you’d like, I would love to read them. Happy Halloween! ^.^

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Review: Burn For Burn by Jenny Han

Review: Burn For Burn

I won a print copy of Burn For Burn in a giveaway by Ruth Gonzalez.

Summary from Goodreads:


Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she’s ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. And she’s ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won’t stop until they each had a taste.


I had heard some pretty good things about Burn For Burn so when I won a copy and it arrived I was pretty excited to dive into it. I hadn’t read a book quite like it where there were three distinctive and separated points of view but it was quite refreshing and well done. Each girl had their own voice that was clearly only theirs, they didn’t get lost in one another and they all felt equally important although I will say that I might have liked a bit more Mary than was shown. I enjoyed her character and she just felt slightly disconnected from the main story line though understandably so.

Apparently I like the more feisty characters (see Sevy in the Sevy series) because I really enjoyed Kat. I think she had the most backbone even though she does definitely have a softer side to her even if she refuses to let anyone see it. I admire her for that, I think everyone has that softer side of them that they try hard to protect but not all of us are as successful. Though I give full credit to Lillia for defending her little sister like she did, hopefully all older siblings would do the same though I doubt it, but I didn’t quite have the same connection with her as I did with the other two. She seemed too wishy washy, like her conviction was constantly getting rattled despite what was happening around her. I’m not saying taking revenge is an easy thing but her constant feeling bad for herself and those she was taking revenge on was grating on the nerves.

The world building and scenery that was depicted was well done if simplistic. I got a pretty good feel of the Island and the various areas that the trio spent most of their time in especially their school which I could easily see in my mind’s eye. As I said, it was a simply done world due to so much of the focus being on character building so while I didn’t love it I didn’t feel it detracted from the story either.

Which brings me to the plot. I have no issue with the idea of revenge which is definitely something that I think is a pretty common thought in high school, and I think that the story was pretty well done for the most part. I had some issues with whether some scenes were realistic (one where a window was broken yet they somehow weren’t caught comes to mind). The pacing was pretty smooth for the majority of the book and the transitions between the three girls were clear and crisp. My major issue was with the ending. Without spoiling anything there was a major twist at the end of the book and I was not a fan of how the author chose to not only do the last couple scenes but specifically how rushed the ending seemed to be. If you read the ending of the book you are almost forced to think that this is the first in a series because of how abrupt it was finished and how many questions are left unanswered.

Overall I did enjoy Burn For Burn even though the ending was pretty frustrating and kept the book from being a five star book. I hope you enjoyed my review and I would recommend you check out Burn For Burn for yourself. If you have read it leave a comment telling me what you think and if not then please suggest a book that either just came out or is coming out soon that I should read, any genre. Have a great day! ^.^

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Review: Owlet by Emma Michaels

Review: Owlet

I’m a bad blogger on this one as I forgot where I won Owlet by Emma Michaels from though I believe it was on the blog tour.

Summary From Goodreads:

Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.

Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.


Owlet definitely gave me mixed feelings. This was a rather short book at only 138 pages and in this case that seemed to be a detriment. I found Owlet to be quite rushed, the plot always moving a bit too fast for both the reader and honestly the characters as well. There were certain parts toward the end of the book where there simply lacked a coherence that could keep everything running smoothly.

Due to how rushed Owlet was the characters were a bit underdeveloped. Now, the main character of Iris was fleshed out a good deal but many of the supporting characters that were brought in and done so in a way that expressed their significance did not get nearly enough detail for the reader to know or care about them at any meaningful level. I did find Iris’s character to be well done, if a bit more fragile than I expected, and I don’t mean because of her asthma though that certainly didn’t help. When you don’t delve into the characters enough and you rush through them to get to the exciting parts of the book it leaves them feeling hollow and not worth the reader’s emotional investment which detracts from the whole experience.

Then there are some scenes in Owlet where not only did it seem to be rushed but it was painfully hard to follow. I won’t go into details to spoil the book but suffice it to say an action-packed scene in the middle to late parts of the book was poorly written and even after I re-read it to ensure I didn’t miss anything I was still unsatisfied. In contrast to those sped up parts of the book there were certain scenes where stories were told and they were so tedious and uninteresting that I felt myself skimming and had to force myself not to.

One of the few somewhat bright spots was the scenery depicted of the island, that in particular was well done. I certainly would have enjoyed taking a nice vacation there and seeing it myself (were it real of course). A garden that was depicted was particularly lovely sounding.

As I was writing this review I realized how many problems I had with Owlet and though initially I was going to give it a more positive one it clearly was not a good read for me. The scenery was great and the story had potential, but it was far too rushed.

I believe the tour for Owlet is still going on so if you find it and enter (and win) a giveaway associated with it that would be the only way I can really recommend getting this book. I know this is the first in the series and I may read the second though I hope it is longer. As always thank you for reading and comment on the review, or if you have read it tell me what your thoughts on it are! ^.^

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