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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014


Welcome to August. I can't believe July is over the year is more than halfway gone. I have been looking at my Goodreads reading challenge and I need to pick up the pace if I am going to read as many books as last year. So how did I do this week?

Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014
Even though am still reading The Dark Defiles by Richard K. Morgan I was tempted by a book that Qwill sent me - Havoc by Ann Aguirre. This is the second installment of the Dred Chronicles and I couldn't resist to find out what happened to Dred and Jael on the prison ship. I will be writing a full review of this book so keep your eye out for it to find out more. I got halfway through and left it in my desk at work (I have desks in 2 different buildings miles apart) and had to make a special trip 3 days later to pick it up. I knew I shouldn't have been reading Havoc before I finished Morgan's book so I got in a big panic that I would have nothing to tell you about.  I was soon searching Amazon for a book I could read in a day or two and came across a short story from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar. I thought this tiny short story would be perfect to give me a feeling of accomplishment. When Carriger writes a short story she certainly makes it short. I feel like the story was finished before I even started it. I really enjoyed The Parasol Protectorate series but I think that Carriger could have left this series alone as The Curious Case... fell a bit flat for me. I am not a big fan of short stories as I always feel like that they stop too soon and this is definitely the case here.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014Back I went to Amazon as I still needed a another book. I came across Copperhead by Tina Connolly which is the second novel in the Ironskin series. I had been waiting for the price of this book to drop a bit before I bought it and discovered it had so I was quick to download it. Copperhead tells the story of Helen who is the sister of the heroine, Jane, from book 1 and is set a few months after the events of that book. Helen is leading a cloistered life as the wife of her controlling, aristocratic husband Alistair. A sinister group called Copperhead are trying to rid the world of the fey and all the women with fey enhanced faces are at risk. Helen and her sister Jane are in the midst of helping these women when Jane goes missing. Despite her fears and feelings of inadequacies Helen risks herself and her new friends to find Jane.

Copperhead is a solid second instalment of a engaging series. I wish I had gone back and re-read the ending of Ironskin as there were a few re-caps that I couldn't remember. I also couldn't figure out why Jane and her fiance, Rochart, weren't together and it wasn't really explained either. I think that Connolly does a good job of creating empathy for the near perfect Helen. She isn't a character I especially like or perhaps you aren't supposed to like so I think that Connolly was especially clever to make Helen as engaging as she is. I do wonder where Connolly will take these characters in Silverblind (Ironskin 3), which is out in October.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014
I finished my week by reading Unclean Spirits by Chuck Wendig. This is the first book of Gods and Monsters shared world series. It tells the story of Cason who has become embroiled with the gods and is on the run trying to rescue his wife and son. The story is told from a few different POVs including Cason, his wife Alison and the goddess Psyche. The gods are malevolent with a capital 'M' and Cason risks all to save his family.

This isn't an easy read as the gods aren't the only dis-likeable characters. Cason himself isn't the easiest character to empathize with. Cason reminded me a bit of a Mookie Pearl from Wendig's The Blue Blazes - a bit conflicted but trying to do the right thing for his family in the end. Nearly every religious and mythical god/goddess is mentioned in Unclean Spirits and it seems there was a competition who could be more horrid. I don't know who won but I think Aphrodite made a sterling effort! I am not planning to continue with this series as the first book is a relentlessly violent read without even a glimmer of something good happening. While the Miriam Black and Mookie Pearl books are equally violent there is more of a sense of good vs evil in those stories than there is in this first instalment of the Gods and Monsters series. If you like a story that is told at a frenetic pace, lots of violence and malevolent goddesses out for revenge then this is the book for you. Note that Wendig kicked off the series and that different authors will be writing books for this ongoing series. Next up is Mythbreakers by Stephen Blackmoore (December).

That's all for me this week. I am looking forward to some new releases I hope to buy so until next week Happy Reading.

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 13 - Chuck Wendig


What are the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Authors up to?  Perhaps you were wondering why Chuck Wendig had not yet been mentioned? So many books by Mr. Wendig have been published since the first of his Miriam Black novels, Blackbirds, that he needs his own update! This is appropriately the 13th in a series of posts.



See Part 1 here.
See Part 2 here.
See Part 3 here.
See Part 4 here.
See Part 5 here.
See Part 6 here.
See Part 7 here.
See Part 8 here.
See Part 9 here.
See Part 10 here.
See Part 11 here.
See Part 12 here.



Mockingbird
Miriam Black 2
Angry Robot, August 28, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 13 - Chuck Wendig
Miriam is trying to keep her ability – her curse – in check.

But when Miriam touches a woman in line at the supermarket, she sees that the woman will be killed here, now.

She reacts, and begins a new chapter in her life – one which can never be expected to go well.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Touch of Death | Futures & Pasts | Unlucky Louis | Enduring ]




Unclean Spirits
Gods and Monsters 1
Abaddon, May 7, 2013
Trade Papeback and eBook, 320 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 13 - Chuck Wendig
The force of nature that is Chuck Wendig returns with an original urban fantasy novel, creating a brand new series for Abaddon Books.

Five years ago, it all went wrong for Cason Cole. He lost his wife and son, lost everything, and was bound into service to a man who chews up human lives and spits them out, a predator who holds nothing dear and respects no law. Now, as the man he both loves and hates lies dying at his feet, the sounds of the explosion still ringing in his ears, Cason is finally free. The gods and goddesses are real. A polytheistic pantheon—a tangle of divine hierarchies—once kept the world at an arm’s length, warring with one another for mankind’s belief and devotion. It was a grim and bloody balance, but a balance just the same. When one god triumphed, driving all other gods out of Heaven, it was back to the bad old days: cults and sycophants, and the terrible retribution the gods visit on those who spite them. None of which is going to stop Cason from getting back what’s his...




Dinocalypse Now
Dinocalypse Trilogy 1
Evil Hat Productions, May 7, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 13 - Chuck Wendig
AN INVASION... FROM PREHISTORY!

When the Century Club is called in to prevent the assassination of FDR, it’s just another day on the job—but what they discover puts not just the President, but the entire world in jeopardy.

With psychic dinosaurs taking over Manhattan and beyond, it’s up to Sally Slick, Jet Black, Mack Silver, and the other Centurions to save humanity—from extinction!




The Blue Blazes
Mookie Pearl 1
Angry Robot, May 28, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 13 - Chuck Wendig
Meet Mookie Pearl.

Criminal underworld? He runs in it.

Supernatural underworld? He hunts in it.

Nothing stops Mookie when he’s on the job.

But when his daughter takes up arms and opposes him, something’s gotta give…

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Family Matters | When Underworlds Collide | Thrill of the Hunt | Chips and Old Blocks ]




Beyond Dinocalypse
Dinocalypse Trilogy 2
Evil Hat Productions, July 16, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 13 - Chuck Wendig
BOOK TWO OF THE DINOCALYPSE TRILOGY!

Thrown through time and space, Jet Black and his friends find themselves in a future that has changed everything they’ve ever known. Hunted, exhausted, and desperate to return home, they must stay one step ahead of the conquering psychosaurs who have taken over the world and enslaved humanity!

But as the world changed, so did the people they left behind. Bitter enemies turn into vital allies and old friends sacrifice their ideals to seek victory by any means necessary in this fast-paced sequel to Dinocalypse Now!




Under the Empyrean Sky
The Heartland Trilogy 1
Skyscape, July 30, 2013
Hardback and Kindle eBook, 354 pages
(Grades 7-9)

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 13 - Chuck Wendig
Fear the Corn.

Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It's the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow—and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables. But Cael's tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He's sick of the mayor's son besting Cael's crew in the scavenging game. And he's worried about losing Gwennie—his first mate and the love of his life—forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry—angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn't seem upset about any of it. When Cael and his crew discover a secret, illegal garden, he knows it’s time to make his own luck...even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.




Cormorant (Miraim Black 3) will be out in December.

The Black Sun's Daughter Series by M.L.N. Hanover - Giveaway - November 20, 2011

Enter to win all four books in the Black Sun's Daughter series by M.L.N. Hanover, including the 4th book, Killing Rites, which will be released on November 29th. The winner will be announced on Black Friday, November 25, 2011!

Killing Rites
Book Four of The Black Sun's Daughter
Pocket Books, November 29, 2011
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages

The Black Sun's Daughter Series by M.L.N. Hanover - Giveaway - November 20, 2011
Jayné Heller has discovered the source of her uncanny powers: something else is living inside her body. She's possessed. Of all her companions, she can only bring herself to confide in Ex, the former priest. They seek help from his old teacher and the circle of friends he left behind, hoping to cleanse Jayné before the parasite in her becomes too powerful.

Ex's history and a new enemy combine to leave JaynÉ alone and on the run. Her friends, thinking that the rider with her has taken the reins, try to hunt her down, unaware of the danger they're putting her in. Jayné must defeat the weight of the past and the murderous intent of another rider, and her only allies are a rogue vampire she once helped free and the nameless thing hiding inside her skin.

Vicious Grace
Book Three of the Black Sun's Daughter
Pocket Books, November 30, 2010
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages

The Black Sun's Daughter Series by M.L.N. Hanover - Giveaway - November 20, 2011
When you’re staring evil in the eye, don’t forget to watch your back . . .

For the first time in forever, Jayné Heller’s life is making sense. Even if she routinely risks her life to destroy demonic parasites that prey on mortals, she now has friends, colleagues, a trusted lover, and newfound confidence in the mission she inherited from her wealthy, mysterious uncle. Her next job might just rob her of all of them. At Grace Memorial Hospital in Chicago, something is stirring. Patients are going AWOL and research subjects share the same sinister dreams. Half a century ago, something was buried under Grace in a terrible ritual, and it’s straining to be free. Jayné is primed to take on whatever’s about to be let loose. Yet the greatest danger now may not be the huge, unseen force lurking below, but the evil that has been hiding in plain sight all along—taking her ever closer to losing her body, her mind, and her soul. . . . 

Darker Angels
Book Two of the Black Sun's Daughter
Pocket Books, September 29, 2009
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages

The Black Sun's Daughter Series by M.L.N. Hanover - Giveaway - November 20, 2011
In the battle between good and evil, there's no such thing as a fair fight.

When Jayné Heller's uncle Eric died, she inherited a fortune beyond all her expectations -- and a dangerous mission in a world she never knew existed. Reining in demons and supernatural foes is a formidable task, but thankfully Jayné has vast resources and loyal allies to rely on. She'll need both to tackle a bodyswitching serial killer who's taken up residence in New Orleans, a city rich in voodoo lore and dark magic.

Working alongside Karen Black, a highly confident and enigmatic ex-FBI agent, Jayné races to track down the demon's next intended host. But the closer she gets, the more convinced she becomes that nothing in this beautiful, wounded city is exactly as it seems. When shocking secrets come to light, and jealousy and betrayal turn trusted friends into adversaries, Jayné will soon come face-to-face with an enemy that knows her all too well, and won't rest until it has destroyed everything she loves most....

Unclean Spirits
Book One of the Black Sun's Daughter
Pocket Books, December 2, 2008
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages

The Black Sun's Daughter Series by M.L.N. Hanover - Giveaway - November 20, 2011
In a world where magic walks and demons ride, you can't always play by the rules.

Jayné Heller thinks of herself as a realist, until she discovers reality isn't quite what she thought it was. When her uncle Eric is murdered, Jayné travels to Denver to settle his estate, only to learn that it's all hers — and vaster than she ever imagined. And along with properties across the world and an inexhaustible fortune, Eric left her a legacy of a different kind: his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College.

Led by the ruthless Randolph Coin, the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for their own ends of power and domination. Jayné finds it difficult to believe magic and demons can even exist, let alone be responsible for the death of her uncle. But Coin sees Eric's heir as a threat to be eliminated by any means — magical or mundane — so Jayné had better start believing in something to save her own life.

Aided in her mission by a group of unlikely companions — Aubrey, Eric's devastatingly attractive assistant; Ex, a former Jesuit with a lethal agenda; Midian, a two-hundred-year-old man who claims to be under a curse from Randolph Coin himself; and Chogyi Jake, a self-styled Buddhist with mystical abilities — Jayné finds that her new reality is not only unexpected, but often unexplainable. And if she hopes to survive, she'll have to learn the new rules fast — or break them completely....


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win the Black Sun's Daughter series, Books 1 through 4, from Pocket Books. US MAILING ADDRESSES ONLY

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Do you go shopping on Black Friday? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and WhenThe contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a United States mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Thursday, November 24, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 20142012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 13 - Chuck WendigThe Black Sun's Daughter Series by M.L.N. Hanover - Giveaway - November 20, 2011

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