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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Melanie's Week in Review - July 6, 2014



Melanie's Week in Review - July 6, 2014


Welcome to July! Happy Canada Day and Happy Independence Day to our respective Canadian and American readers. I must hang my head in shame as I completely forgot it was Canada Day on Tuesday. It's almost a sackable offense! I was however, distracted as I was eating cake surrounded by cats in London's very first cat cafe on the day. I was a tiny bit disappointed as cats being cats they were too busy ignoring the guests who had made their reservation back in March. Ho hum. At least I did have a good week reading. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - July 6, 2014
If you read my WIR last week you would have discovered I had started The Digital Wolf by Jon Rosenberg which is the second in the Hidden Academy series. The book starts a few months after the harrowing events of book 1 where David Ash, Summoner and member of the Hidden Academy almost dies protecting his friends and colleagues. While he is out on a run David almost gets munched by an enormous wolf and not just any wolf but Fenris, son of Loki who has been entrapped for centuries. David just barely escapes and embarks on a mission to save all of humanity from a rogue digital wolf being controlled by one pissed off ice giant. David has a lot more on his plate with his boss in the hospital, Oberon  - Lord of Fairy is missing and a murderous computer program that needs David's help to find its missing part. David needs all the help he can get to save his friends and the rest of world.

I am enjoying this series so far but will have to admit that I didn't think The Digital Wolf wasn't as amusing as The Unicorn Crisis. There were a few one lines that had me tittering and all delivered by David's elf friend Llewellyn.  I thought I would share with you one of the especially funny lines when David asks the gadget and TV addicted elf for help to fight the ice giant.
So what?  you want me to go in there and call her names? What do you think will do the trick? Mother of Grief, Origin of Ruin? Frosty the fat-arsed Snowbitch?
Rosenberg has created a fantasy and mythology mash-up in this novel where Titania, the Queen of Fairy and the Norse Gods - Thor and Odin are deeply entwined together. He also ventures to give these characters a modern twist by having them manipulate technology for their nefarious plans. There is a lot going on in this novel and with the overlap the gods of both Fairy and Norse mythology it did get a bit too 'busy'. Even still it was an enjoyable read with lots happening to ensure you pay attention throughout.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 6, 2014I then tried to read Breath of Air by Katie Jennings. This is young adult fantasy but geared to a much younger reader. I quite like young adult and youth fiction but not so the case for book. It starts out with the poor little orphan Annie/Capri who doesn't know where her powers come from until one day a handsome prince rescues her and takes her a beautiful land where her handsome father greats her with open arms and dresses her in the most beautiful clothes. It had so many stereotypes that I couldn't justify spending any more time reading it so I am afraid I gave up.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 6, 2014I felt the need to finish something quickly and remembered that Thea Harrison had released a novella - Pia Saves the Day which is part of the Elder Races series. Well it was a quick read but I didn't really enjoy it. I think an author can like their characters a little too much and stop thinking rationally about them. I found this novella to be quite indulgent with not a lot of substance. I know this is a romance series but I found the 'romance' to be a bit denigrating to woman. The plot involves Dragos losing his memory and turns on Pia, almost using her unicorn horn to pick his teeth after munching her down. Fair enough that she tries to help him remember who he was and their love for each other but the gratuitous sex scenes when he still doesn't remember who Pia is/was to him makes her sound a bit too easy. At least in book 1 she had known him for a few days and he had saved her life a few times before the 'steamy' starts.

I am almost finished Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron and I will tell you what I thought next week. Until then Happy Reading!

Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014


Since my last post I have had the COOLEST experience EVER!!  It wasn't book related but I thought you might be interested anyway.  What did I do and what did I read afterwards?

Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014
Check me out! I flew in a Tiger Moth plane which was piloted by one of the Hubinator's friends. It was a lot of fun and we did loop de loops and barrel rolls. I didn't fly it but could have if I wanted to...or was crazy enough too. Unfortunately, we encountered some major train delays on our way to the air field so it gave me a chance to finish Parasite by Mira Grant. I enjoyed this first instalment of the Parasitology series maybe not as much as I loved the Newflesh series but I did like it. I thought the concept of having a big fat tape worm living inside you keeping you healthy was a good one. This series also features drug companies and health authorities as the ultimate bad guys with the ability to commit murder under the facade of improving society. I did guess what was going to happen but the journey that Grant took the characters on was engaging nonetheless. This is shaping up to be a great series and just needs a little more development of the lead character Sally and it will be close to being excellent.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014I needed a bit of light entertainment after Parasite so I turned to my TBR and found a book I bought months ago and had never read - The Case of the Pitcher's Pendant by Tee Morris. This is the second and I believe final book of the Billibub Baddings series. I donated to Morris's Kickstarter campaign for a third book but unfortunately, it didn't meet the right level of funding and was withdrawn. In case you don't know Billi is a dwarf detective and I don't mean just a small man....he is an actual dwarf who ended up in our world during a battle and uses his 'otherworldly' skills to start his own detective agency. I will admit I don't really remember what year The Case of the Singing Sword  (the first book) is set but book 2 starts after the stock market crash in 1929 and Billi's finances take a plummet along with stock market. He finds that his livelihood relies on his acting abilities rather than his detecting skills but he jumps at the chance when offered a case that involves one of his favourite past times - baseball. The new team in town look too good to be true and Billi sniffs out not just trouble but black magic. Billi needs to hit the detective's version of a home run before anyone else dies.

I didn't think book 2 was quite as amusing at book 1 but it was still a good murder mystery. Billi is a great character who has learn to make the most of his new life and uses his diminutive size to his advantage. Al Capone, baseball and a dwarf with lots of moxy....The Case of the Pitchers Pendant has it all.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014
I am determined to tidy up by TBR and to looked for another book I have had for awhile. I came across He Said, Sidhe Said by Tanya Huff. Normally, I don't like short stories but when it comes to Tanya Huff I was willing to risk it. I really enjoyed this book especially the stories about the Brownies entitled Tuesday Evenings, Six Thirty to Seven - hilarious. Each story is prefaced with a paragraph or two from Huff explaining why she wrote the story and each one is very different. Even if you aren't a fan of short stories this book has a lot to offer.

I am ending my weekend by starting Digital Wolf by Jon Rosenberg and will tell you all about it next week. Until then Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014


I started the week on a reading roll but have rather limped in towards the end of the week. This is mainly due to the fact that I read such a great book at the start of the week and then nothing else could compare to it and I couldn't find anything to catch my interest afterwards. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014
I was  really lucky when my request for an ARC of Magic Breaks was granted by the publisher (Ace). I was really trying to avoid reading it until June as I want to respect the publisher's request not post a review until about a month before the release date which is July 29th. I always prefer to write my review as soon as possible after finishing a book and I don't usually have the luxury of writing them months before they can be posted. I couldn't resist this time as it was like the book cover was taunting me every time I opened my Kindle. I really like this series and Kate is one of my all time favourite heroines. Unfortunately, for you dear reader I can't give too much away about Magic Breaks as I will be writing a full review and you will have to wait until late June/early July to read it. All I can say is that if you haven't had a chance to read any of the other books in the series then you have almost 2 months to catch up because its a cracker!

Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014I bought The Digital Wolf by Jon Rosenberg a few months ago not realising it was the second book of The Academy series. I don't really like skipping books if I don't have to so went and bought book 1 - The Unicorn Crisis. This first book in the series starts with the Summoner David Ash chasing a mad unicorn around a field in Stratford-upon-Avon. Ash didn't think his day could get any worse until he learns that a fellow Summoner has been killed and with the King of Fairy enraged that someone effectively stole his favourite pet Ash is charged with finding the murderer and stopping anyone or anything else escaping from Fairy. Ash has not one but two side kicks to help him with this case including Llewellyn the Welsh elf with a fondness for bitter and soap operas and the fellow Summoner and American, Jenny who has come bearing a grudge. The unlikely trio uncover that there are plans afoot to bring down the Hidden Academy and its up to them to ensure that they don't succeed. Unicorns, flying monkeys and drunk university students, Ash has his work cut out for him!

I enjoyed this book and thought that Rosenberg has a gift for humour and a fantastic imagination. David Ash reminded me a tiny bit of Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series. Both authors have the ability to mix humour with murder and/or mayhem without making their heroes sound like wise cracking jerks. Not an easy feat! I thought it was quite effective how Rosenberg teased out Ash's background and then wove this into the plot. Not everything was spelled out at the start which made it really easy to engage with the story as you wanted to find out meaning or importance of certain events from David's past that are regularly referred to throughout the novel. My only one very tiny criticism was that I thought it as a little bit too long. By about 3/4 of the way through I wanted Ash to have solved the case already. All in all a great start to the series and I am looking forward to The Digital Wolf.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014After one super exciting book and one rather hefty book I needed something light and short to finish off my week. I was trawling through my Kindle recommendations and found Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost. I have mixed views of Frost's books. I wasn't fond of the Night Huntress series but sort of like the Night Prince series. This novella is part of the Night Huntress world and even for a novella it was pretty short. In retrospect I was glad that it was as it was pretty dull. For vampires and demons they were all  pretty much goody-two-shoes and not at all engaging. I should have read a few more reviews before I decided to buy a book from a series I quit reading after book 2.

That is all for me for this week. I am keeping my fingers crossed for getting through some good books this week. We have a 48 hour tube strike next week and I will need to work from home which means I have less concentrated reading time. Wish me luck!  Until next week Happy Reading.


Melanie's Week in Review - July 6, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014

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