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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Melanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015


To those of you who celebrate - Happy Easter and for those who don't Happy 'Eat a lot of chocolate' Day or Happy Passover ... or if you are my sister Mary Happy Birthday. It's a celebration weekend all around. Well it should be but it has turned out to be a very the end to a rather tense week for me. Lots of work to do, my well planned birthday present to my sister has gone missing in the post, blocked drains, and a broken land line. So of all this a couple of good things have also happened. I have caught up with some good friends from high school, shared some really good memories and of course, read a couple of good books. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015
I was having one of my 'shouldn't be doing this' perusal of Amazon and I came across Jeffe Kennedy's Rogue's Paradise (Carina Press, September 8, 2014). I had completely forgotten about this series.  I should preface that with saving that I didn't forget about it because it was bad but that I simply forgot! This is the third (and I believe final) in the Covenant of Thorns series which finds Gwynn and Rogue together, at last although on the run from the evil Queen of Faerie - Titania. Despite their evident physical attraction Gwynn is not sure whether Rogue loves her of his own free will or whether Rogue is under Titania's compulsion. Gwynn knows that the only way her child will be safe, and her love of Rogue assured is if Titania is defeated. Defeating the Queen of Faerie isn't as straight forward as it seems.

I thought that Rogue's Paradise was OK. I always had a problem with this series and the pseudo abusive relationship Gwynn and Rogue had. This instalment is about 80% sex and 20% plot development. While it has an HEA at its heart it does take a long time for the H and the E to actually materialize. The only real drama occurred when the uber evil Titania showed up although Kennedy did have a couple of very good twists waiting for the reader at the end. Kennedy makes Faerie seem quite unappealing....well except for Rogue who is hotness incarnate! Overall, this series gives the reader an alternative view to Faerie although Titania is as evil as ever. Rogue with his extra long limbs and Gwynn with her 'humanity' make for an interesting couple. Not quite the love match that you expect from your typical HEA but worth a read all the same.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015
I only managed to read two books this week. I am blaming the fact that my commute was only 4 days instead of 5.Well that is my excuse and I am sticking to it. I finished my week with Touch by Claire North (Redhook, February 24, 2015). You may remember I read The First Fifteen Lives of Henry August last year. If you don't remember have a readTouch tells Kepler's story. Who is Kepler? You should be asking who he...or she isn't. Kepler is a ghost that can transfer to anyone's body merely by touch. When Kepler's favourite 'skin' is viciously murdered he decides to take things into his own hands and find out who or what wants him dead.

I really enjoyed this book. Not that reading about heinous murders is that enjoyable but North really knows how to write a good murder mystery. North creates interesting characters and is able to describe her environment so clearly that you feel like you are there with the characters. However, I did find Touch very similar to 'Henry August' as both books deal with entities that didn't die and evil organisations that want them to. While Henry was re-born Kepler merely transferred his consciousness to a new body time and time again. This works to his advantage as within a number of days he is able to solve the mystery as to why his favourite skin 'Josephine' is murdered whereas Henry has to live his life over and over again. As much as I enjoyed Touch I did think the plot and the style of writing was a 'samey'. If I was to recommend one over the other I think I would have to vote for The First Fifteen Lives of Henry August. 

Well that is all for me this week. I am hoping for better progress although with another four day week I am not sure I will get through that much. Fingers crossed! Until then Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013


Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013


Well it was a bumper crop for me this week. I got back in my reading 'groove' and got through 4 books this week. Please insert happy dance here.


Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013
I finished reading Rogue's Possession by Jeffe Kennedy (Carina Press, October 7, 2013). I really liked it. If you had read my 'WIR' last week you would know that I had forgotten some of the plot points from book 1. I wish I had gone back and re-read the ending of the previous book as there were some significant parts of the plot that I couldn't remember that were discussed in this one. I did appreciate how Kennedy didn't write big re-caps as some authors tend to do. Despite some 'fuzzy' bits I still thought it was a great story. I like how Kennedy doesn't pull any punches with her heroine. Some pretty nasty things happen to Gwyn who is trying hard not to be anyone's slave, especially Rogue's. In this installment Gwyn is looking for answers. She is searching for an answer to why fae firstborn children are going missing and trying not to end up having Rogue's. Kennedy has also created an interesting relationship between Gwyn and Rogue. Gwyn is strong and is trying to do the right thing whereas Rogue is manipulative and a little bit selfish. Together they make an interesting couple and you spend a large part of the novel wondering when or if they would ever get together. The book summary makes Rogue's Possession sounds like just another romantic fantasy but it is so much more. This is a great book but if you haven't read Rogue's Pawn then you need to start at the beginning of Gwyn's story. There is an added bonus that both books have gorgeous covers (apart from Rogue's rather dodgy mustache in book 2) but try not to do what I do by spending more time looking at the cover than reading the book!


Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013I then discovered that the final book of the Blood Destiny series, Bloodlust by Helen Harper had been released. I had discovered this series from my Kindle recommendations. This is one of the few series that the books actually get weaker and weaker as the series progresses. By the time I got to this final book I was almost at the point of being bored. I think I predicted all of the plot developments including the ending. I also couldn't figure out how the main antagonist, Endor the necromancer could be more powerful than the Fae, the mages, shapeshifters and girl who can transform into a dragon who have teamed up to fight against him. Everything is wrapped up with a bow at the end. It was a quick, easy read so not all bad plus I quite liked the cover.

I finished Bloodlust on my way home from a conference so needed a really short, very easy on the brain book to read on the train ride home. I found one from my Kindle recommendations.  All I can say is boy it was bad. It was so bad I am not even going to admit to the name of it. Lets just say it was SFR and involved cyborgs....which don't make convincing love interests by the way.


Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013I moved onto a book that Qwill sent me awhile ago called Immortal Trust (Curse of the Templars 3) by Claire Ashgrove. I started it a few weeks ago but kept forgetting to put in my bag so didn't make very much progress as I don't usually read that much at home. I am planning to review this one so don't want to say too much. One thing I can say is check out the cover. 'Hubba hubba' (very immature of me, I know!).

Finally, I started King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence which is the second book of The Broken Empire series. Lawrence excels at writing gritty, unlikeable but wildly engaging books. I am hoping to finish it this week.



I am feeling quite smug at what I managed to read this week so on that note I am going to wish you a good week in reading. Until next week Happy Reading. 

Melanie's Week in Review - October 13, 2013


Melanie's Week in Review - October 13, 2013


Hello! Welcome to autumn. It is officially fall now in the UK. After getting away with an absolutely gorgeous Sunday and a pretty decent week everything changed on Friday when Jack Frost came nipping at my nose. You will be glad to know the change in weather brought about a change in my reading patterns and I had a better week on the reading front. So no hissy fits from me this week.

Melanie's Week in Review - October 13, 2013
I found The Prince's Man by Deborah Jay on my Kindle recommendations. It is the first in the The Five Kingdoms series and even though I had told myself not to buy anymore books I succumbed and bought it anyway. It was less than £2 so I thought why not. It is described on Amazon as a cross between James Bond and Lord of the Rings. I am not totally convinced by that comparison. This was definitely more fantasy than James Bond and to be honest I didn't really see where the James Bond comparison came into it. I thought it was OK but it was a bit bland in parts and the hero, Rustum was a too much of the nice guy rather than the Lothario/spy he was supposed to be. I read quite a bit epic fantasy so in comparison to other fantasy novels such as Tigana and the Riyria Revelations series The Prince's Man pales in comparison mainly due to the weak characterization. This was, however, Jay's debut novel and a first novel in a series. So taking these two factors into consideration is was pretty good. I suggest a little less Lord of the Rings and The Mistborn and a little more character development and there will be the makings of an excellent series.

Melanie's Week in Review - October 13, 2013I then decided to read something off my TBR. I had completely forgotten that I had downloaded The Case of the Singing Sword by Tee Morris last year. I LOVE the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences that Morris writes with his wife, Philippa Ballantine and decided it was high time I read his solo novel. This book is a must read. It is HILARIOUS!!!! That is funny with a capital 'H'. The Case of the Singing Sword is a good, old fashioned murder mystery set in the late 1920s. The lead character is Billibub Baddings who is a little man filling some pretty big shoes. Billi is a dwarf....not just a little man but an actual dwarf. Billi fell through a portal and ended up in Chicago in the roaring 20s. Forced to pose a human Billi does the one thing guaranteed to make use of his 'otherworldly' talents so he becomes a private investigator. Billi gets offered the case of a life(time). It starts out as a simple case of finding out who dunnit and ends up to be a chase across Chicago for a mystical sword that could see the downfall of mankind. Lucky for all humanity Billi Baddings is just the dwarf for the job.

Morris has developed wonderful characters and paints a picture of Chicago in the 1920's so real that it almost feels like you are there. The dialogue was very authentic, so much in fact that I felt like was just another dame, with a little moxy, reading an incredible book. Some of the lines were so funny that I was 'lol'ing' it up on public transport. I am tempted to quote a few of my favourite lines for you but as I look through my notes there are too many and this post would end up being pages and pages long if I did. I can't believe this book was first published in 2004.  If you want a really good murder mystery, great characters, a lush and colourful environment and best of all, several laughs then you need to get downloading The Case of the Singing Sword asap!

Melanie's Week in Review - October 13, 2013
I am finishing my week with Rogue's Possession by Jeffe Kennedy which is the second in the Covenant of the Thorns series. I read book 1  - Rogue's Pawn back in July 2012 and I have unfortunately forgotten quite a bit of the detail. The same details that keep coming up in this second instalment. I am enjoying it and will hopefully have it finished to review next week. I will let you know what I think of it then.

That is all from me for this week but I wish you all a great week. Until next week Happy Reading.
Melanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015Melanie's Week in Review - October 20, 2013Melanie's Week in Review - October 13, 2013

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