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The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

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Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014


I have better reading news for you this time. I didn't like admitting last week that I had only finished one book.  This however, has benefited me this week as the two books I had started last week plus the new ones I started and finished this week makes me sound like a Reading Olympian. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014
I finished The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker. I LOVED this book. It was a beautiful book to read with the perfect balance of character and plot development. This was the story of love and friendship where a golem without a master and an enslaved djinni find their way in their respective communities of New York in the late 1800's. It was not just a story of their lives but it also discussed the societal and religious aspects of both the Jewish and Muslim communities where both characters found themselves. This was one of the few books I have read that didn't try to ram religion down my throat and I was really intrigued by what I learned about both cultures and religions. Wecker created a lovely story of both loneliness and longing. I loved everything from the first first word to the very last one. This is a definite must read so if you haven't bought it then make haste and buy it asap! Note: In the US the title is The Golem and the Jinni.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014
I also finished The Singer by Elizabeth Hunter. This was the second instalment of the Irin Chronicles. I have mixed feelings about this series. I don't normally like books about angels and they really have to have something special in order for me to want to read more than one of them. This series has been fairly predictable so far but for some reason I want to keep reading it. I guessed almost every plot twist well before it happened. The hero and heroine don't really shine in this second book but I do think that their love story has an interesting twist...twisted enough for me to want to continue to book three. I can't say too much without giving it all away.

Once I finished this I turned to an eArc that I had forgotten about -The Buried Life by Carrie Patel. This is a debut novel and I am planning to write a full review.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014I then switched genre to another book on my TBR - Bad Blood by Chuck Wendig. This is a novella in the Double Dead series.This was NOT a book for a mid week commute. It came across just a bit ...too much, almost too crass. I didn't enjoy it as much as Double Dead. This is definitely a series where you need a time and place to read it. It was gory with a capital 'G' and very unsettling. Wendig is one of the few authors that I like their irreverence and love of gore and swearing but it felt forced in this story.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014Onwards and upwards in the unsettling stakes and I turned to Mira Grant with Parasite (Parisitology 1). I am partway through this novel and I can see why Grant has been nominated for a Hugo. It's almost like she has a brain the size of an asteroid in order to think up such a well constructed plot. Whole sections make you feel like you are reading someone's PhD thesis instead of fiction (at least I hope it is fiction!). I don't want to say too much until I am finished so check in next week to see what I thought.

Well ladies and gentleman that is it for me. I am looking forward to telling you what I have been up to on the reading front next week. I feel quite chuffed with what I accomplished this past week even though that was at the expense of my WIR last week. I hope you find something you read that you love as I did with Wecker's tale of friendship.  Let me know what you read. Until next week Happy Reading!

Melanie's Week in Review - June 15, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - June 15, 2014


Well I would love to tell you all about all the great books I read this week but I can't lie...I only finished one book. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - June 15, 2014
I decided to finish off Emma Newman's Split Worlds trilogy with All Is FairI have enjoyed this series but almost in diminishing returns. I loved book 1, thought book 2 was good (see my WIR from 1st June) but was a bit indifferent about book 3. I thought William was a bit of a jerk and Cathy was the real hero of the story... although I think that was Newman's plan all along. The culmination of the Arbiter murders felt a bit forced and overall it felt like Newman was rushing towards an imaginary finish line. I liked Newman's world building and characterisation but think the series could have had a more balanced plot. That is just me nitpicking though!

I then decided to go for a book that Qwill read last year but that I haven't been able to find, reasonably priced in the UK. I came across The Golem and The Djinni by Helene Wecker quite reasonably price so jumped on it. I haven't finished it yet but so far I am loving it. I will have more to tell you next week.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 15, 2014
I was really trying to finish another book but didn't want to rush the story so decided to continue with the Irin Chronicles by Elizabeth Hunter. I started this series a few weeks ago with The Scribe and thought I could finish book The Singer (book 2) in a few hours but it wasn't to be so you will have to wait until next week to learn more about this book, as well.

I was wondering what you think of free serials. I am currently reading two. One by one of my long standing favourite authors and another by one of my newer faves. At first I thought free serials were the best thing since sliced bread.... free sliced bread that is, but I have changed my mind a bit. Free serials are only as good as the time the author has to spend writing them. Once other obligations like book tours, other writing.... or life come into play than the free book seems to drop off the radar. I have waited almost a month for a new chapter in some cases which really interferes with your reading flow. I do really appreciate that authors want to share something as amazing as a free book but wish they would think of us poor readers waiting anxiously for a new chapter!

It looks like with the World Cup on TV for the next 3 weeks I am going to have more reading time so hope to have more to share with you next week. Until then Happy Reading.


Melanie's Week in Review - June 8, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - June 8, 2014


Welcome to June. I can't believe that the year is almost half over already. How time flies. I have no excuses this week for not getting some books read. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - June 8, 2014
I found The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter last week and finished it on Sunday. It was the first instalment of the Irin Chronicles which I found in my Amazon recommendations. The story centers on Ava who hears voices in her head but doesn't know what is being said. She lives a fairly solitary life and has been searching for the cause of the voices that have plagued her life. She goes to Istanbul, where the story is set, to find answers to her condition but instead it opens the door to more questions about who she is and where she came from. On her journey she meets Malachi, the enigmatic stranger who has the knowledge of who she really is and what she is capable of. Needless to say, the tall, dark and handsome Malachi also introduces Ava to romance and to all things 'hot and steamy'. I was quite interested in Ava's story until it was revealed that her race, the Irin (or Irina in her case) were descendants of angels. I am not terribly fond of angel stories and the whole plot turned a bit bland once that was revealed. Ava was, of course being pursued by 'the fallen' and out came the traditional good versus evil plot line. I was quite surprised by the ending as it wasn't your typical ending to a romance novel and this was enough to capture my interest to investigate book 2  - The Singer. I am hoping to start that over the next few weeks.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 8, 2014I also started and finished The Severed Streets by Paul Cornell which is the second book of the Shadow Police series. I enjoyed London Falling, which I reviewed last year. I will be writing a full review of this book so I don't want to give too much away here.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 8, 2014I finished the week with book 5 in one of my favourite series - Monster Hunter International. I got the eArc of Monster Hunter Nemesis from NetGalley and was so excited to receive it that I turned my back on all the other juicy books on my TBR. I really like this series and Correia keeps it fresh by focusing this instalment on Franks, the agent from the U.S. Monster Control Bureau. Franks has been a regular in the series and often comes into conflict with almost everyone including Owen Pitt who is has been the hero of the series so far. Franks isn't just any agent - he is a monster fighting other monsters but the difference is that he is one of the good guys. I have weirdly had a soft spot for the real monster of Frankenstein and now its even bigger...like a big blob of strawberry jam. Franks lives by the code - he protects mankind from evil and mankind promises never to create any more of him. The code is violated by Director Stricken when he creates a a team of super agents who are more technologically advanced and potentially stronger than Franks. Stricken hates Franks and frames him for more murders than I have fingers and Franks is on the run but out for revenge. Monsters, Monster Hunters and Franks....Monster Hunter Nemesis has it all.

I really liked this book and liked the fact that Correia gave us a new perspective by telling the story from Franks' perspective. Correia also gave us snippets from Franks' past at the start of every chapter so we had the opportunity to learn how he was created and his journey to becoming one of the most effective agents in the agency. We also get to see a different side to Franks and find out more than 1 secret about the truculent agent. Overall, this is another great book in the series and I am already looking forward to book 6.

That is it for me for this week and I am looking forward to some new books I have received in the last few weeks. Until next week Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - June 15, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - June 8, 2014

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