Written in Red//Rich New World

Written in Red//Rich New WorldWritten in Red by Anne Bishop
Published by Roc on March 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 487
Format: Mass Market
Source: Bought
Goodreads

Enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities - vampires and shape-shifters among them - who rule the earth and whose prey are humans.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg a job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide whether she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

I don’t know why it took me forever to start this series, but it did. I heard about it vaguely a couple of years ago, added it to my Chapters wishlist and promptly forgot about it. Around the end of last year I made a big mass market purchase (this happens, I binge on mass market books all the time), and Written in Red happened to be one of them.

I don’t really know why, but I loved this book. It was cheesy, but the kind of cheesy that was also really enjoyable.

Meg was a pretty believable character, and she seemed incredibly strong considering what she’d been through. But her strength and knowledge is exactly correct to what I would expect from someone who hasn’t seen the world but desperately does not want to go back to where she was.

I did not like Simon in the beginning, but he kind of grew on me. I guess he was TOO alpha male for my tastes. But when he started interacting with Meg, I found him to be more believable.

The rest of the cast of characters are hilarious, a bit creepy (I’m looking at you, vampires) but definitely create a unique sense of community. I loved the world that Anne Bishop weaved and I’m excited to see where she takes it.

I almost bought the second one yesterday (during another mass market binge) but I limited myself. It will come at some point, though!

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Well of Ascension

The Well of AscensionThe Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Tor Fantasy on June 3rd 2008
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 796
Format: Mass Market
Source: Bought
Goodreads

They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.

I feel SO bad saying this, but I did not like The Well of Ascension. It suffers heavily from second book syndrome. Heads up, spoilers will be happening below.

After all that happened in the first book, I was hoping the pace would be carried through the second, but it wasn’t. I don’t know if it’s because Keslier is gone, but it just lacked something for me. A big something that kept me flipping pages quick time in the first one.

It felt like, with Keslier gone, everyone is just standing around twiddling their thumbs, wondering what to do next. Which I guess is semi true since he was the leader of the group, but it doesn’t make for a very interesting read. Things did happen, but at about a third of the pace I wanted it to.

Too be honest, if I didn’t already own the third, I don’t know if I’d had kept reading all the way through.

And I’m still on the fence about Elend and Vin. Sometimes I like them together, sometimes I don’t understand it, sometimes I don’t care.

I had high hopes for this one, and it let me down. But, I’ll be reading the third, so let’s see if that evens out the series for me since I LOVED the first book so much.

-M

One StarOne StarHalf a Star

Lock In//Power Corrupts Absolutely

Lock In//Power Corrupts AbsolutelyLock In (Lock In, #1) by John Scalzi
Published by Tor Books on August 26th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Goodreads


Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what's now known as "Haden's syndrome," rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an "Integrator" - someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But "complicated" doesn't begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery - and the real crime - is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It's nothing you could have expected.

I hmmm’d and haw’d about picking up Lock In for a good couple of months. It seemed like a REALLY interesting concept, but science fiction isn’t normally a genre I’m drawn to.

I was in Chapters one day, in the bargain section, when my eyes came upon a solitary Lock In. Quickly picking it out of the pile, I realized it had a $2 sale sticker on it. Into my book bag it went.

Now I’ve read it and I’m…disappointed? I think I might have hyped this one up in my head a bit.

The concept itself was fascinating. People locked in their bodies, able to control machines through some sort of spiffy neural network, an Internet system that worked only for them. Seriously, fantastic concept.

But, weirdly, I think this would have worked better as a movie and not a book. Maybe I just didn’t have the right type of imagination for it. I felt that I wasn’t really invested enough to read it, but I would have loved to sit down for an hour and a half and watch the action unfold.

The characters, at best, were surface deep. We find out some background about Chris Shane, but did I care? Not really. We learn why Leslie Vann is as “rough” as she is. Did I care? Nope.

Why?

There was so much focus on the plot line instead of the characters that you could have swapped the characters out for other people and I feel like it wouldn’t have mattered that much.

Some people are okay with that, I prefer my characters to be a little more fleshy. Substantial. Human like.

And the plot line wasn’t as exciting as it could have been. I started to sort of figure out what was going on as it went. Still an interesting concept though.

All in all, not a bad book. But not exactly what I was hoping for.

-M

One StarOne StarOne Star

Why I Haven’t Been Reading (4)

Hey strangers. It’s been awhile!

Two weeks, to be exact. Because I suck.

But I suck for a good reason, I promise!

At the beginning of the year I started a new job, and it’s thrown my routine and schedule RIGHT out the window. I’m commuting again, I don’t get to wake up and have all day to myself, I have to DO things.

Now, I’m not complaining. I’m quite happy I’ve got a new job. But it also means that weeks have flown by without me remembering what day it is because I’m still getting used to my new schedule.

And, unfortunately, the thing that took the biggest hit is my reading. I haven’t been as motivated to come home and read (doesn’t help I’m reading a book I’m not terribly thrilled with).

In turn, this means my blog (and Instagram) have taken a hit.

BUT the good news is, I think I’ve sorted my shit out. Starting February (which is like, tomorrow), I’ll be back on my regular schedule. Time to kick myself back into gear!

I hope you guys didn’t miss me too much, and I hope you aren’t too disappointed 🙂

How is everyone’s 2017 so far?

Jackaby//A Young Sherlock

Jackaby//A Young SherlockJackaby by William Ritter
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on August 25th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--seem adamant to deny.

A lot of people describe Jackaby as a sort of Sherlock….and they have every right to.

If Sherlock hunted the Supernatural, his name would definitely be R.F Jackaby.

I love how we’re showed the world through Abigail Rook, who at the beginning of the book has no idea who Jackaby is. She simply needs a job and he has a posting for an assistant. It made the story more interesting for me, because there was never any info dumping about the world and its supernatural elements. You simply find out about things as she does, which made me connect with her confusion more, but 100% in a good way.

It also made Jackaby more mysterious, sometimes frustrating, but always enjoyable to have on the page and in the story. While some might think he’s cocky or obnoxious, I liked his personality. He sees things that no one else can, so he has very little time to explain things to people. It’s a very easy way to only keep the “important” people around, in my opinion. He doesn’t have to hide himself or spend hours explaining things to people who choose not to believe what he sees. Call me crazy, but I like it. He also has a wicked sense of humour without meaning to.

The case itself was okay. Nothing mindblowing, but it kept me guessing. I’m interested to see if book numero two gets any more thrilling.

Yes, I already bought it. Have you seen those covers?? They’re just too pretty not to have.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star