Sunday, September 30, 2012


Author: Dan Wells
Series:  Partials Sequence, Book 1
Year:  2012
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Pages:  468

Goodreads Synopsis:
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.
Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.
Dan Wells, acclaimed author of "I Am Not a Serial Killer," takes readers on a pulsepounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question--one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. You can tell by looking at my reading history that I'm a bit of a dystopian fan. I imagine it's hard for an author writing dystopian books to be completely original so I'm not going to tell you that it's an original storyline. But, it is  well told story. There are some good twists. Wells doesn't focus on any love story or triangle (although I do see the possibility of a triangle starting up in this one. And, it doesn't even involve my favorite guy in the story). I liked that Kira is a very strong female lead. She doesn't take anybody's crap, makes her own decisions, stands by them and faces the consequences of her decisions head on. She's determined to live a life where love and babies are not the center. I like that. Partials is a well told story with lots of action. I can't wait to read the second one.

On a side note, I discovered that the author, Dan Wells, has a podcast with his brother, Robinson Wells, called Do I Dare to Eat a Peach. I listened to the first two episodes last night and they're lots of fun. I suggest you check them out. 

If you're a fan of dystopians or strong female leads, I recommend Partials.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Froi of the Exiles: The Lumatere Chronicles, Book 2

Author:  Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year: 2012
Pages:  593

Goodreads Description:
Blood sings to blood, Froi . . . Those born last will make the first . . . For Charyn will be barren no more.
Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home... Or so he believes...
Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds. Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess.
And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

What Did I Think?
I am absolutely positively in love with this series. I think that Marchetta's writing is beautiful and nuanced and poetic. She writes characters that I can't help but feel for even if I'm hating them. She also tells a story better than most any writer out there. Her stories are complex and riviting and surprising. She puts in twists and surprises that you often don't see coming. And then she pulls at your heartstrings and makes you cry. She has all those things that make up a wonderful author.

This story moves the focus mainly onto Froi. We don't see  much of Finnikin and Isaboe but they are there. There story also expands some on Lucien's story and that of Lady Beatriss and Trevanian. It introduces a lot of new characters and, at the same time I'm pining for the lack of Finnikin and Isaboe, I'm falling in love with the new characters. I can't wait to see how it all comes together in the final book.

If you are even the slightest bit of a fantasy fan, you need to read these books. They're great.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Halfway to the Grave: Night Huntress, Book 1

Author:  Jeaniene Frost
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Year: 2010
Narrator:  Tavia Gilbert

Goodreads Summary:
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father--the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.
In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner--are there actually "good" vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

What Did I Think?
I enjoyed this audiobook a lot. The story was a lot of fun and I absolutely adored Bones. He was amazing! The way he was so understanding of all of Cat's hangups and so easily professed his love. I could have fallen in love with him. I had to work up a liking to Cat though. She kept herself apart from everybody and the way the book was written kind of kept her apart from the reader and slowly opened her up and made her likable. 

My biggest gripe in the book comes in the audiobook portion. The narrator was good but for some reason, the voice she gave Bones had a bit of a feminine hint to me and I just had a hard time reconciling the big bad tough vampire with that effeminate voice. Eventually, I just started imaging it was a deeper voice in my head.

Be forewarned, this book is more paranormal romance than urban fantasy and heavy on the romance. But if you like some cheesy romance, this is a great no thinking required read.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kill Shakespeare, Volume 1

Authors:  Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Year: 2010
Pages: 148 pages

Goodreads Summary:

What Fables does for fairy tales, Kill Shakespeare does with the greatest writer of all time. This dark take on the Bard pits his greatest heroes (Hamlet, Juliet, Othello Falstaff) against his most menacing villains (Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Iago) in an epic adventure to find and kill a reclusive wizard named William Shakespeare.

What I Thought:

I thought this was a very interesting idea - taking Shakespeare's characters and putting them in a world where they're fighting a war. When I heard about it, my first thought was of The Unwritten graphic novels and if you've read  my prior reviews, you know I love those. Kill Shakespeare doesn't have quite the magic that The Unwritten stories do and doesn't seem to have as much thought put into the story but it is pretty entertaining. The panes got confusing a couple of times and that took away from the flow of the story. I am curious to see where it goes and if it lives up to the potential.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Anniversary Day: A Retrieval Artist Novel, Book 8

Author: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Narrator: Jay Snyder
Year: 2001

Goodreads Summary:
Four years ago, a bomb destroyed part of the dome protecting Armstrong, the largest city on the Moon. Now, as the city celebrates its survival with an event it calls Anniversary Day, a larger threat looms - one that begins with the murder of the mayor, and spreads across the moon itself.
Even with every new technological device at her disposal, Moon Security Chief Noelle DiRicci can't stay ahead of the unfolding disaster. As the situation gets worse, Retrieval Artist Miles Flint hurries to his daughter's school to protect her. And Detective Bartholomew Nyquist finds himself in the middle of everything, from that first bombing to the Anniversary Day crisis itself.

My Opinion: 

Truth be told, I'd forgotten this series was out there. I went on a binge a couple of years ago and listened to every audiobook there was in the series and then just forgot about it. As I listened to this book, it kept coming back to me just how much I loved listening to them before. The characters are terrific and there's not just one that I love. Yeah, sure, Miles Flint is wonderful but Noelle DiRicci and Nyquist and Talia are wonderful characers. Rusch does a terrific job of switching back and forth between viewpoints and it never feels wrong. Jay Snyder is a terrific narrator. I didn't feel like any of the voices were off and ingenuine. I just wish there was another Retrieval Artist book out there.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Yall Fest

While Wendy and I were in Decatur Labor Day Weekend, we learned about Yall Fest which is a young adult book festival arranged by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl of the Beautiful Creatures stories. It'll be in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, November 10, 2012. They have an amazing line up scheduled for that day with over 50 authors. I know we're both planning on attending and I suggest you go to. You can check out their website at to see the complete lineup of authors and some great interviews.

Decatur Book Festival

On Labor Day Weekend, my sister and I drove down to Decatur, Georgia to check out the Decatur Book Festival. We were only able to go down on Saturday due to a family reunion but we had a blast. We stood in lines for Meg Cabot, Michael Connelly, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl and Erin Morgenstern. Garcia and Stohl were absolutely hilarious and I'd gladly go listen to them again. Erin Morgenstern completely blew me away. She was funny, friendly, sweet and just had the best personality. Definitely moved up to the top of my list of favorite authors.  Below are just a couple of the pictures from the weekend. We've got more pictures on my sister's camera. Hopefully she'll get them posted on  her blog soon. Keep an eye out over at Wendy's Enchanted Escapes for her post.

Erin Morgenstern
Print made with a steamroller. I love the Dr. Suess!
My sister makes friends with every dog she sees.
We couldn't resist being Scarlett & Rhett.

The Kudzu Reading Lounge
Meg Cabot
Michael Connelly - my favorite mystery writer

Sunday, September 9, 2012

2012 Big Book Summer Challenge Wrap Up

I'm a little bit late in getting this post up but I just started a new job and I've been tired in the evenings. So, how many books over 400 pages did I get read this summer? Let's list them out:

Not too bad. There were a couple of the big books such as The Book Thief that I really wanted to get to this summer but the feeling wasn't right at that time when I picked them up. Oh well, guess they'll be winter reads. I really enjoyed participating in this challenge and hope to do it again next summer.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Revelations: Blue Bloods, Book 3

Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Year: 2008
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 264

Goodreads Summary:
Schuyler Van Alen's blood legacy has just been called into question: is the young vampire in fact a Blue Blood, or is it the sinister Silver Blood that runs through her veins? As controversy swirls, Schuyler is left stranded in the Force household, trapped under the same roof as her cunning nemesis, Mimi Force, and her forbidden crush, Jack Force.
When an ancient place of power is threatened in Rio de Janeiro, however, the Blue Bloods need Schuyler on their side. The stakes are high, the battle is bloody; and through it all Schuyler is torn between duty and passion, love and freedom.

My Opinion:

This series is getting progressively better. With each book the characters are getting deeper, more fleshed out and more developed. Plus, the story is getting more complex.