Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corset

Author: Kady Cross
Year: 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Finley Jane isn't like the other girls. She has a duel, dark side that lives inside her. One that she can't control. When the "gentleman" that she works for comes after her one night, Finley fights back and runs away. And right into the path of Griffin King. Griffin King isn't like other lords. Like Finley, Griffin has a gift - as do most of the others that live with him. There's Emily - a petite, but extremely intelligent woman that works with the automatons and talks to them (oh and Emily 100% reminds me of Kaylee from Firefly). And Sam - the man whose half-machine himself and possesses superpowers that rival Finley's. And now the group must work together to find The Machinist - a killer that's using automatons in his plan to take over England.

I loved the world of this book. I am fascinated with the steampunk genre and I think that Kady Cross did a very good job of bringing it out and fluidly working it into her world. It felt very natural. I liked the characters a lot, too, and look forward to seeing more of them.

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes

Author: Brandon Mull
Year: 2011
Publisher: Aladdin

Jason Walker is a normal teenage boy who spends his time working hard to get good grades in school, practicing baseball and working up the courage to talk to the cute girl in school that he has a crush on. Then, one day at the zoo, he takes a strange and unusual trip from the hippo tank and ends up in the magical world of Lyrian. In Lyrian, all the people live in fear of their evil wizard emperor, Maldor. Jason ends up with the quest of finding the magical word of power that will defeat Maldor. In this quest, he meet Rachel, another girl from America who was also magically transported into Lyrian. Together, they work on finding the word of power which they hope will lead to a way home. 
I came to this series extremely excited because I'm a fan of Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series. I was not disappointed. This was a fun creative book. Mull did a very good job of developing the world of Lyrian. He  came up with some amazing characters that I don't want to spoil any of the surprises for any readers out there. It's a completely different premise than the Fablehaven books. I'd say it's more related to Lord of the Rings

You can find more about the book here:

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Author: Kristen Cashore
Year: 2008
Publisher: Graphia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Katsa lives in a world where some people are born with Graces - special abilities that make the person stand out from others. These people are marked with two different colored eyes. Katsa is the niece of the king of one of the Seven Kingdoms and should, by all rights, be able to live the "high life." However, her Grace is extra special - she is graced with the art of killing. Her uncle uses her as an assassin and enforcer for his kingdom. Then, one night, Katsa meets Prince Po of the Leinid kingdom and everything changes. Prince Po is graced with combat fighting skills. Together they set off on a mission that brings them closer together and teaches them both new things about their Graces. 

First off, this book has been sitting in my TBR stack for over a year! I bought it because the cover is absolutely beautiful, brought it home, sat it down and never picked it back up. Now, I'm wondering why I waited so long to read it. I totally enjoyed this book. I can see where there is room for improvement; however, once I got into the book, I could not put it down. Katsa is a very strong, female character. Prince Po is completely loveable. I hated to see the book end - mainly because I wanted just a little bit more from the main characters. Maybe I'll see that in a future book.

The Sixth Gun, Book 1, Cold Dead Fingers

Author: Cullen Bunn
Illustrator: Brian Hurtt
Year: 2011
Publisher: Oni Press

During the time of the Civil War, a group of heartless men come into possession of six pistols with strange and evil powers. Then one day, the Sixth Gun (the one with the most dangerous power) vanished. Years later, Becky, a young, innocent girl gains possession of the Sixth Gun and the cutthroat men, long thought dead, come after her to regain the gun and it's magnificent powers. The only person who can help Becky is Drake Sinclair - a gunslinger with a shady past of his own.

 This is the first comic that I read on my nook and it looked beautiful. I was impressed with the colors and the drawings. I also liked the setup for this comic series. It's a western which is considered a mostly dead genre but it's got a bit of science fiction mixed in. The characters were developed well enough to get me invested in them but not quite enough that their mystery was gone. I'm looking forward to seeing more in this series.

Darke: Septimus Heap: Book 6

Author: Angie Sage
Year: 2011
Publisher: HarperAudio
Narrator:  Gerard Doyle

A Darke Domaine has settled over the castle and is quickly heading over the castle grounds, destroying everything in it's path. The last thing standing in it's way is the Wizard Tower. In the sixth Septimus Heap book, Septimus must figure out a way to destroy the Darke Domaine and rescue Alther Miller from the Darke after Marcia accidentally banishes him.

I look forward to every single Septimus Heap book. I love listening to them. I think that Angie Sage is a master wordsmith and I get giggles over her use of language. I highly recommend these books. Every time I listen to them, I find myself driving very slow on the way home wanting to get more of the book listened to before I have to turn it off. In addition, Gerard Doyle is an excellent narrator. (Of course, I'm sure it helps with my narration that I am seeing Gerard Butler in my head when I listen to these books).  

I'm just really glad that Angie Sage hasn't decided to stop these books at seven - I know that I'll have Septimus around for a while.  

The Fifth Witness

Author:  Michael Connelly
Year: 2011
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Narrator:  Peter Giles

This latest story finds Mickey Haller in a different spot than we're used to seeing him. Business has been down for Mickey; so, he's expanded into the foreclosure field. Then, one of Mickey's clients is arrested for murdering the banker that was foreclosing on her home. Now, Mickey's in the middle of a high profile murder case that puts his life in danger.

I really love Michael Connelly's books and I did enjoy this one a lot; HOWEVER, I have to admit that I prefer the Harry Bosch books. I like Harry better as a character and find his character much more interesting. In addition, I felt a couple of times during the book that it was written with twists and turns for the movie adaptation in  mind. Still, it was a good read that kept me very occupied on  my daily trip back and forth to work.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Author:  Veronica Roth
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Katherine Tegan Books/Harper Collins

This book takes place in a dystopian Chicago where all citizens are divided into five factions that value or prize a certain virtue in their members - Candor (honest), Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (brave), Amity (peaceful) and Erudite (intelligent). Each year all sixteen years must pass a take a test that shows their natural inclination towards one faction. Then, the next day, they must choose to which faction they will belong. If the person chooses a faction that their family is not from, they effectively shun their families and will not see them or take part in their prior lives. The main character Beatrice must choose whether she will stay with her family or be the person that she really is. 

This book as been hailed as the book for anybody who is suffering from Hunger Games withdrawal to read. I must say that it did keep me reading much as The Hunger Games did. It also features a strong, brave, female character. That's about where the comparisons to The Hunger Games ends. The situations that Beatrice and Katniss are in are highly different. The Hunger Games is much more intense. But don't take me wrong, Divergent is an excellent book and it's a very good start to the series. When the book ended, I was left wanting more. I saw more of The Giver and The Uglies series in this book than The Hunger Games.

I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anybody that likes dystopian novels.