The Maze Runner

by James Dashner

3/5

I actually feel bad about not being more excited about this book. I was really looking forward to reading it. I was sure it had to be way more exciting and complex than the movie.

It was not.
tMR
This is one of the reasons I dislike watching the movie before reading the book. It just kills all the excitement or surprise that a story could give me.

If you haven’t watched the movie nor read the book, you might want to stop reading now.

Spoiler Alert

Unexpected girl in a box? Yeah, that ‘s Teresa.

The doors won’t close? Well, of course, that’s how the grievers get in.

The make it to the other side of the maze in spite of the ugly things chasing them? Obviously.

Best friend dies? I was thinking about that since he was introduced.

How can I possibly be surprised or shocked? There wasn’t even any extra details or excluded characters to get to know. I was totally not thrilled. This was, however, the first audiobook I’ve gotten totally into in quite a while, though.

THAT I thoroughly enjoyed. The recording I got had even a couple of accents and a different tone for almost each of the characters. I really love the ones where the performer really gets into it and takes you into the story simply with his or her voice. I think that is the only reason I immediately jumped to the next book in this series: The Scorch Trials.

That movie, I didn’t watch. So maybe I can get more excited about the gladers and their new challenges.

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The Twenty-sided Sorceress (8)

Dungeon Crawl

By Annie Bellet

4/5For a whole minute there, after finishing Magic to the Bone, I feared that the story would end there and leave the loose ends to my imagination.

Then I remembered there was a book #8.

And while Samir is defeated, he’s not actually dead yet. He’s still wreaking havoc inside Jade’s mind, and something is bound to go wrong with carrying such a formidable foe on your neck.

Then, there’s also that whole owing-an-unknown-favor-to-a-vampire thing. Can he really be trusted? He helped her, true, but it wasn’t free.

Thankfully, Dungeon Crawl addresses all these little loose ends, although not all of them.

We get to see Jade’s recovery after the big confrontation with Samir, and how she hasn’t quite recovered. She’s still having nightmares and paranoid feelings, that you can see reflected in how she designed her house when rebuilding after the fire: Extra exits everywhere.

Of course, is it really paranoia when people ARE after you? She is living with what can be considered former law enforcement. There’s bound to be people trying to kill Alek after god-knows how many years of being a JUSTICE.

Thus, a sniper shooting him in the head.

Does he die? You will have to read the book. But do you honestly think I wouldn’t be raving and tearing things apart if my favorite character in this whole series would’ve died so nonsensically!?

I’m always up for getting more Alek. Extra chapters from his perspective are my absolute favorite. But I DO feel like I’m missing something. There’s this whole thing happening in New Orleans, that I don’t have my detail from and jeeps getting referenced. I need the deeds! Especially if they will answer all questions about the Council of Nine.

All in all, I really really liked this book. It was GREAT! Even with the zombies and other strange undead creatures.

And I’m not even bothered by the fact that this is NOT the end of the story yet. There are, at least, two more books coming out soon. I’m actually excited about it.

Definitely looking forward to reading more about Jade Crow and her band of friends.

PSI-Ops (2&3)

Act of Surrender

Mandy M. Roth

2/5I’m still waiting for the end of the month paycheck in order to get the last book from The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series, and I didn’t really want to get into another book series. Instead, I picked up the other short easy read I discovered the same fateful day I found Justice Calling and tried to follow that story.

Book #2, Act of Surrender, was less than impressive. It was basically the same story than the first one, with a bunch of stuff that repeats over an over again.

I don’t mind all the references to other adventures in previous books or even to the happening in other books from the same universe but in different series. It just makes me want to read all of those books when the author mentions shocking of mysterious adventures from other books.

But I have to roll my eyes when I get the exact same lines, obvious explanations, every two pages. It really annoyed me.

But I endured. I was even looking forward to following up on that cliffhanger at the end. 
And then… I got to the first pages f the next book, where the whole issue was resolved without any clues. Read this other book series message, instead.

That was not nice. Not nice, at all.

Book #3, Act of Submission, is not better at all. Again, all about the girl and how she’s the mate of one of the operatives. There was an interest new twist: Vampires. But then, there were no explanations, no background on the new bad guys. they are just there all the sudden.

And there’s even a new ally! That could have been a good moment for explanation and repeating introduction to this character, even if it was in another book. But no! He’s just there. And had all the answer. NOT SO GOOD.

I even took a peek at the first pages of Book #4, Act of Command. Not interested. At all. I’ll just get back to my new favorite sorceress.

Magic to the Bone

by Annie Bellet

4/5
Bombs, hostages, mercenaries, and magic! How can that not be GREAT!?

I really liked that ending.  I think it was totally appropriate until I realized there’s another book yet to come. What’s up with that?

I wish the had been more Alek, as always. Too much Harper, again. And there wasn’t even a big explosion, even when there were lots of explosives.

And, of course, I could’ve used more magic…

Spoiler Alert

… Isn’t she supposed to be a mythical creature made of pure magic? Or something like it? I was expecting her to wipe the floor with Samir, but I guess that would’ve been too much after their first fight ended up lopsided.

There was a lot of opened questions, though. Like, what happened to the shifters and what0’s gonna happen to the town after they were totally abandoned like that. And the Fae, what’s up with them? Will they try another way to break the seal?

Is that why there’s another book?

And now, Jade Crow is the savior of the whole town of supernaturals!!

Jade Crow for president!!

No. Make it…

Queen Jade Crow!!

The downside of binge reading, though, is that I almost capped my monthly book-budget. It means I’ll have to wait a week before I can get the last book in this series. In the meantime, there’s a couple of books waiting.

It’s just a matter of picking one.

The Twenty-Sided Sorceress (6)

Heartache

by Annie Bellet

5/5OMG.

Boss fight, it is right!

This is honestly the most exciting book in this series by far. This is going to be full of spoilers. Beware.

I have been waiting for Samir to finally show his face for five books now, and I don’t think he disappoints. What does disappoint is Jade’s fumbling response. She was supposed to be training for a while now, and had learned a lot of new things from the older witch who she just ate! Why is she acting like a newb?! It’s frustrating!

I understand she not being able to save her friend the first time she managed to use Tess’s magic to do something unique and unexpected, but she’s supposed to be smart! Why not stop to analyze what happened and how can it be used to her advantage? Ok. She got arrested, that could have occupied her mind for a while, but she spends a long while locked in a prison cell… couldn’t she have taken a moment to think about her options?!

And don’t get me started on the complete narrowmindedness of not contemplating for a moment that something besides herself could be at play.

Also, someone put a leash on those friends of hers! Especially Harper. She’s starting to rub me the wrong way. She never stops to think, just changing ahead and getting herself mauled. She, and the twins, totally dismissed Jade’s fears of Samir without stopping to consider there might be a reason to have a healthy level of fear and caution. 

Don’t take my ranting wrong, though. I absolutely loved this book. The bad guy is seriously bad, the love interest is perfectly lovely and not overpowering, the surrounding story is adequately complex and there is more than one character to be into there. It is a fantastic book. I completely LOVED IT!. Seriously looking forward to book #6.

There’s only three left, but this whole series has gone crazy fast. I think I might easily finish it before the month is over.

The Twenty-Sided Sorceress (5)

Hunting Season

by Annie Bellet

4/5
Two on one, how is that fair?!

Ok, this was book number four of The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series and it was action packed! Full of new and exciting magical and mythological creatures. There were even unicorns!

This story has way more exciting magical battles and creatures, and two of Samir‘s apprentices to contend with. There’s a druid, and a leprechaun, and even time-manipulating. It’s simply GREAT!

Jade is starting to show real leadership talent and the friendship and loyalty are heartwarming. And I really like this kind of love story: the one where not everything is perfect, but there’s trust and communication and they both can admit that they are faulty and work on it. It makes me think that this an actual real couple that can work through their problems in a mature way. I hope they can make it through all the evil coming their way.

I really liked this one. It is full of action and a lot of magic, and things seem to be gearing up for the great final battle. The big bad, Samir (aka evil exboyfriend), is down two apprentices, so we’re definitely expecting him to show up at any minute.

And that ending! Talk about exciting.

And of course, that’s why I hadn’t even stopped to consider what that ending meant, hen I was already getting started on book #5: Heartache.

Like Jade and Harper would say:

Boss Fight!

The Twenty-sided Sorceress (4)

 

What can I say? I could stop myself.

I might use up all of this month’s book budget on this series.

The fourth part of Jade Crow’s adventures is Hunting Season. And it even has unicorns in it! and maybe even some witches.

Things with the Council are not looking good, Alek is back to stay. Jade‘s power is growing and Samir has sent his apprentices to kill her and bring back her heart. thinks are looking quite exciting.

Let’s see where we go with this.

Justice Calling & A Murder of Crows

by Annie Bellet

4/5

First, I started by reading Justice Calling in a matter of hours. I really liked it. It remained me a lot of Grave Witch.

There is magic, mystery, a handsome law-enforcer and a witch (of sorts). What’s there not to like?!

There are missing people and a race to find an unknown witch doing horrible stuff. It sounds just like an Alex Craft book, doesn’t it? Of course, I liked it!

It all starts with nerds and shape-shifters. And then, there’s a handsome moody man with a scary prediction. It is a fast-paced book with enough explanation so we all get to know this world Annie Bellet has created for us, without being repetitive. (Except for the “Jury, judge and Executioner” thing). And of course, it leaves you wanting more. And that’s why I binge-read the first two books in a day.

The second book, A Murder of Crows, has more magic, more shape-shifters, and more crime-mystery. While during the first book, our main character, Jade Crow barely starts to show her true powers, for the second book, we can see her experimenting with them and trying to gain more an more power in order to finally come face to face with nemesis that, so far, we only know by name.

The ending of the second book is way more exciting and unexpected than the first, and a bit sad. After the last chapter, my book has a teaser for the next book in this series, that just swallows you up and there’s no way for you not to be looking forward to the next book in this series.

I had to slap myself in the hand and make myself go back to Bonk, that while I am enjoying it, it is absolutely nothing like these books. I’m torn.

Act of Mercy

by Mandy M. Roth

3/5

 

ActOfMercy

This was a short and neat, easy reading. My new favorite: quick and really entertaining. There are supernatural shifters, mad doctors with insane human experiments, military special ops and even a small love story (steamy sex scene included).

It is the first in a series, PSI-Ops, but there seems like this author has several series that happen within the same universe and seems to be somewhat interconnected. I might end up reading the whole of this series (5 books), but I’m not sure I’ll read them all. There are a lot of them!

Who knows, though!

If all of them are as quick a read as this one, I might end up checking them all off the list during my next time stuck t an airport.

Quick & Easy

It is a curse!

Long, slow days at work and my book is comfortably sitting on my bedside table at home. Of course, like any good bookworm, I do have some e-books on my phone for this precise occasions.

I honestly didn’t spend much time choosing a book. I simply took the first on that showed and got to it.

By the time I got home after work, I had two chapters to go. How crazy is that?! So, of course, I had to finish the whole thing and figure out if they rescued the doctor and if they all lived through it.

It wasn’t even that I had nothing at all to do at work, it was simply a longer day than average, slower than expected. And that was time enough to finish a short book.

Maybe I should try reading more short and easy books.

That’s what was going on through my mind when, the next day, during another of those days, I simply started another short and easy book. By the time I got home, I had finished that one already and was halfway through the sequel.

Downside? Now I have two more book series to add to my TBR list.

The Left hand of God (2)

The Left Hand of God series

I just finished reading, World War Z, for what I think was the third or fourth time, and it left me feeling in the mood for something filled with a complex plot that can keep my brain more engaged than my emotions.

What do you think? Is The Beating of his Wings be a good choice?  If I remember correctly, everything was starting to go badly for my favorite psychotic murdering kid. He was sick, I think. Was it the lack of war opportunities? The monks were looking for him, right? He’s meant to end the world if I’m not mistaken.

I’ll finally get to the conclusion of this story.

The Savage Dawn

by Melissa Grey

4/5
I can certainly say that I am now a fan of Melissa Gre’s writing. I loved the references and the dialogs and even the characters, but I cannot say that I absolutely loved this book.

The individual parts were awesome. Bird people with feathers for hair? Loved it! Dragon people with scales on their faces? Loved it! The lonely human stuck in the middle of an ancient war only to have ended up uniting them all to fight a common stronger enemy? Absolutely amazing! But still… somehow, I feel there was something missing. Something that is not there and keeps me from loving it all as a whole.

 

First, let me tell you about all the things I adored. OK, it is mostly to things that I adored in this book, and why it is my favorite in the whole series… Jasper and Dorian.

That was just simply one of the cutest couples I’ve ever read about. I was hanging from every page waiting to know what was to be of them. From the whole “I cannot be happy without my prince” thing at the beginning, through the whole “you cannot have him” bit, and all the way to the new Dragon Prince and his Avicen consort. That was simply the wildest love story! Absolutely one of my all-time favorites. I would totally read this whole trilogy over and over, just to experience them, time and time again.

And maybe that’s one of the reasons I was left a tad unsatisfied. For a moment there I was biting my nails out of my fingers thinking that my favorite couple will be split apart irrevocably and how totally depressing that would be.. and then, no! They both survived the war and can live happily ever after. Except… that they come from two very different societies that have been at war with each other for centuries and they are both needed at their respective homes for the reparation and rebuilding… but we wouldn’t know anything about it, because the book ends without letting us hear from them. At all.

I understand that the main story there was about the Firebird and all this magic that she supposedly had (that she ended up not knowing how to use and not needing to save the world), and her ill-fated romance with this prince whose throne was stolen, whose sister went homicidal, who has been tortured and still jumps into battle with her…

But I needed more Jasper & Dorian!

And even a little bit more Ivy or Rowan… or even some more of The Ala. I feel like a lot was going on behind scenes that we missed and would’ve been awesome to read about.

On the other hand… I think Echo and Cauis’s ending was great. That huge sacrifice and pain, and that tiny and slim ray of hope barely out of reach. Genious! I really like that.

What did you think?

Who id you prefer, Caius and Echo or Jasper and Dorian?

Blink, and you miss it!

The first week of the year is over, and I barely noticed.

That’s exactly how the whole of 2017 felt to me. And terribly exhausting, at the same time. Between extra work hours that have only multiplied since winter arrived, getting a little library up and going, and multiple visits to the doctor… the end of the year snuck up on me, and my goal is nowhere near achieved.

The goal for 2017 was to clear my TBR list from all sequels and series that have been nagging at me and being able to focus on all the new stories and authors that I also want to be reading. But I only manage to read a grand total of 8 books. That’s just sad.

And not just because it makes me feel like I failed spectacularly (and after actually surpassing my goal the year before!) but because it illustrates quite clearly the reading withdrawal that I have been in for quite a while.

I usually use my reading time to decompress, to let my mind travel to wonderful and magical new places. It helps me manage the crazy hours and keeps me always calm and stress-free. But with as little reading, as I was able to do last year, I feel like my reservoir of goodwill and patience is about dried up.

drought10

I don’t like this not-reading persona I have been wearing lately. I can almost feel my brain drying up. Like a long drought, where the soil cracks and splits. I’m sure that’s what my brain looks like now.

But I refuse to accept defeat! Mostly because these challenges I impose on myself are for my own motivation, so, I will still continue with the one I have left unfinished and hopefully I will be able to get on with a second one later on the year.

DNDThe goal remains the same, to complete all series I’ve already have started and those that have been waiting for far too long on the list. Hopefully, things will start to look better if I mark off time in my day dedicated to reading. I’m confident no one will dare ignore the “DO NOT DISTURB” sign and risk my ire.

I did manage to sneak in some reading time during the family-packed holidays and I have made some progress with Savage Dawn, I expect I will be trough with it soon.

Fairest, on the other hand, has become too depressive. I might have to put it down an away. I haven’t decided yet. In the meantime, let’s get some sleep.

(yes, that was code for moving my reading to the bed…)

The Girl at Midnight (2)

It has been over six months since I read the Shadow Hour, but if I remember right Echo now has rad powers. Something to do with black fire she can’t actually control and her new love interest’s sister is trying to harness the power of complete darkness that came as a balance point to Echo‘s in an attempt at mad power-grabbing.

And, didn’t the crazy power-hungry sister actually kidnap her own brother to drain him of all his magic so she can get more powerful? All for the sake of winning a war whose outcome she’s not even interested in anymore…

Did I miss anything?

Oh, yes! Echo‘s only mentor and mother-figure, the Ala, barely just survived an attack by this aforementioned dark force and has not been able to provide any meaningful advice or guidance. She has barely even made an appearance during the first two books and even so continues to be my favorite character.

The good thing I’m looking forward to is some closure. It drives me crazy when I’m looking forward to the ending of a story and then it turns out there’s another one. At least this one will have no surprises of that kind (it better not). I mean, it says so in the cover: “The Final Book“!

Hunger Game (2)

Hunger Games series

Ok. Time to get to the end of the story.

I’m actually kind of looking forward to knowing what’s gonna happen next. With Katniss’ relationship with Haymitch in ruins, and leaving her feeling totally betrayed (n rightly so), I’m very curious about how, the leaders of the revolution, are going to go about manipulating her into doing their bidding.

Even when I saw the movie, to me this story has always felt to be about how there are not good guys and bad guys, in life, but especially in war. Everything is varying shades of grey. And everyone is trying to use Katniss and her pain/grief/ love for their own ends no matter what they call them… Being national unity, or revolution.

But, no more dillydallying… let’s get to it.