Monthly Archives: July 2012

Teaser Tuesday (7): Gunmetal Magic


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page


• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)


• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!




What I’m Currently Reading:

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

Chapter One:

Thud!
My head hit the sidewalk. Candy jerked me up by my hair and slammed my face into the asphalt.
Thud!


It’s Monday! What are you reading?! (7)

Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey


This week I’m reading:


Savage by Willow Rose (Daughters of the Jaguar #1)

The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school. A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers. An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.
I received this book by an independent author for review. It’s pretty good so far. Great cover art!

Review: Thirteen

Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong
Published by Dutton Book Released on July 24, 2012
Urban Fantasy

From Goodreads: War is coming to the Otherworld. A sinister cult known as The Supernatural Liberation Movement is hell-bent on exposing the truth about supernaturals to the rest of the world. Their violent, ruthless plan has put everyone at risk: from werewolves to vampires, from witches to half-demons.

Savannah Levine – fiery and unpredictable – stands at the heart of the maelstrom. There is a new, dark magic inside her, granting her the power to summon spells of terrifying strength. But whether this magic is a gift or a curse, no one knows.

On the eve of battle, all the major players must come together in a last, desperate fight for survival – Elena and Clay; Adam and Savannah; Paige and Lucas; Jeremy and Jaime; Hope, Eve and more…They are fighting for lives.

They are fighting for their loved ones.
They are fighting for the Otherworld.

With 13, Kelley Armstrong ends the Women of the Otherworld series with her version of a happily ever after. Most of the book from Savannah’s point of view. However, there are some chapters dedicated to Jaime, Paige, Elena, and Hope. Throughout, the Otherworld series, Ms. Armstrong has introduced a plethora of interesting and dynamic characters. 13 brings them all together for one last save-the-world adventure.

As mentioned before, Savannah is 13’s main narrator. We have watched Savannah grow up all through the series. This is her final coming of age story. She has had to reconcile her loss of powers with the ability to make good choices and take care of herself. Savannah discovers that her magic doesn’t identify her as a person. She is just as strong without her magical abilities. She is continually tested but she continues to refuse the tempting for stronger powers.

In the first half of the book, Eve plays a significant role. Ms. Armstrong tells a wonderful mother/daughter bond that even death can’t destroy. However, I love how a daughter can emerge from her Mother’s shadow and be her own person – strong, moral, and caring. Savannah knowing that Eve would do anything to protect her, finds strength and confidence to face her battles. Savannah, also, faces her guilt and grief over her father’s death. The scenes between Kristof and Savannah are beautifully written and very emotional.

Love never really plays a primary role in Kelley Armstrong’s books. However, Savannah and Adam was a nice reprieve from the overall plot. Their romance didn’t overwhelm the story, but did add some spice to the story. Savannah isn’t romantic person and I really enjoyed her honesty and forthrightness with Adam. She really grew up when her relationship with Adam changed to more than friends. She experiences some insecurities, but I found that refreshing coming from her.

In my opinion, the best part of 13 is all the Otherworld characters coming together for a final battle. Paige and Lucas; Elena and Clayton; Jaime and Jeremy; Savannah and Adam; Eve and Kristof; Hope and Karl; Cassandra and Aaron – all present and accounted for. Plus, one surprise character that I won’t reveal. It’s a shocker! I found it amazing how Ms. Armstrong could keep all the characters engaged without overwhelming the reader.

Ms. Armstrong gave us a wonderful farewell to the Otherworld series. However, The ending is open-ended which leaves plenty of opportunity to carry on with more Otherworld stories. I have a feeling we aren’t seeing the end for these wonderful characters.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Feature & Follow Friday (5)

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs! 




Question:  Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?



Answer: As I went to high school in the 80s, I really don’t remember my requried summer reads. However, I do remember some of my college required reading. I remember reading The Great Gatsby and falling in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald. Also I loved Walden by Henry David Thoreau.







Throwback Thursday (6): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.


My Throwback Thursday:


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Published in 1997


From Goodreads:


With the release of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,the first in a series of tales about a young wizard in training, an international craze was born. Not since C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia has a children’s tale of magic and mystery so enthralled the reading public. And it’s easy to see why. Eleven-year-old Harry Potter, the plucky yet nerdy hero of this series, is the embodiment of every uncool kid’s fantasy. Unpopular in school, picked on by bullies, and persecuted by his adoptive family, the disheveled and bespectacled Harry manages to not only survive but thrive by discovering friends, magical powers, and a great destiny he never knew he had.

Harry hates living with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and their spoiled-rotten son, Dudley. Harry’s room is a tiny closet beneath the stairs, and the entire family treats him with disdain. What’s more, Harry keeps getting into trouble for making strange things happen – things he seems to have no control over. But then Harry discovers the truth about himself when a determined messenger delivers an enlightening message. It turns out that Harry’s mother was a witch, his father a wizard. And not only is Harry also a wizard, he’s a famous one! His survival of the attack by the evil wizard who killed his parents has marked him as a legendary hero – as has the lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.

Soon Harry finds himself attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he receives training in some magic basics, masters riding a broomstick, and discovers his incredible talent for a game called Quidditch, which is played in the air on flying brooms. And for the first time in his life, Harry has friends who care about him: his fellow students Hermione and Ron and a giant named Hagrid. But all is not rosy when Harry discovers his true destiny and finds he must once again face the evil one who killed his parents. His survival will depend upon the help of his newfound friends, as well as his own wit and powers.

It’s easy to see why Harry Potter has caught the reading public’s fancy. Not only are his adventures an entertaining mix of fright, fantasy, and fun, his triumphs over everyday adversities offer a heartening lesson to kids everywhere.


I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book, maybe 4 or 5 times. The reason I picked it is because I’m reading it with my 7 year old daughter for the first time. Snuggling with her and reading Harry Potter is absolutely wonderful! I love all her questions. It is such a precious time that I will always cherish.






Stacking the Shelves (6)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

From an author for review:

Savage by Willow Rose (Daughters of the Jaguar #1)


From a contest:

The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber (Strangley Beautiful #2)

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber (Magic Most Foul #1)



From the library:The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood



Teaser Tuesday (6)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

What I’m Currently Reading:

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Page 40:

“And then a vast stony weight suddenly listed off Quentin’s chest. It felt like it had been there his entire life, an invisible albatross, a granite millstone holding him down, and all at once it just dropped away and disappeared without a splash.”

Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong


Page 1:


I led my half brother Bryce away from the rubble of the exploded lab, ignoring his protests, and ignoring Adam, who was sticking close and wincing every time Bryce coughed. I couldn’t blame Adam for worrying.



It’s Monday! What are your reading?! (6)

Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey




This week I’m reading:







Feature & Follow Friday (4)

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

Q: Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?


What would I buy? First editions of:

Persuasion by Jane Austen. It’s my favorite of her novels. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling



Review: Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Published by Penguin Group
Released on July 10, 2012
EBook, 584 pages
Paranormal Romance

 

From Goodreads: 

Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.
In Shadow of Night, Deborah Harkness weaves a magical tale of history, discovery and redemption. It is beautiful to behold. She continues with the story of Diana and Matthew which takes them on a tumultuous journey of pain and self-discovery. I felt this was Matthew’s book where A Discovery of Witches was Diana’s. Ms. Harkness gave us some great insight on who Matthew was, is and will be all while Diana tries to develop her magical powers. They are taking separate journeys but in the end they come together as one.
Matthew is an extremely secretive and dark character. His past life is filled with tremendous pain and suffering. By going back in time, he has to face his past demons and not let those demons destroy him. He must come to terms with the death of his father, wife and son and deal with his guilt over each. He receives forgiveness and acceptance from, to him, unexpected places. During his journey, Diana is ever present at his side. She can now fully understand him and accept him as he is. Their love story is written beautifully. You feel that they can defy whatever obstacles that they might face to be together forever.
Diana continues to struggle with being a witch. Throughout the book, she tries to learn the basic spells but, then, comes to discover that she is a truly special witch. She is the subject of prophecies and lore. Witches have been waiting long time for to arrive to save them. Diana thrives on structure and reason. Being a witch, she has to move beyond reason and rigidity and focus on faith and flow. Like Matthew, she must also face her past. She receives an unexpected visitor while a blessing, it brings great heartache. Again, Ms. Harkness writes beautifully about pain and strength that you feel deeply for Diana. What I liked the most was the Diana is finally able to control her fears and become a confident and powerful witch.
Matthew’s father, Philippe, is a tremendous character. He is larger than life. The relationship between father and son is heartbreaking and joyous. I’m so glad that his character was included. He gave a lot of depth and insight into Matthew and you can understand why Ysabeau was completely devastated by his death.

I loved meeting all the historical figures of Elizabeth England. As a historian, Diana was so overwhelmed with each introduction. For instance, when Diana first met Queen Elizabeth I, I thought she would literally pass out, as would I. I enjoyed the different view that Ms. Harkness gave to some of the characters. Christopher Marlowe was not what I expected but that character fit well in the overall story. All the characters really jump off the page.

 

I did miss all the wine references that were throughout A Discovery of Witches. The sight and smell of each wine gave the book so much texture. I really missed that in Shadow of Night. There were parts of the book that I found a little silly. I had a difficult time imagining Diana and Matthew performing in a Goddess of the Moon masque. I, also, found Rudolf II a little tedious with his outpouring of affections.
Overall, I loved this book. I can’t wait for the third and final installment. It is such a beautiful story and I can’t wait to see how it ends.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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Currently Reading

Kendal's bookshelf: currently-reading


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TBR

Kendal's to-read book montage

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
Where Are the Dinos?
Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Cold Blooded
Bristol House
My Notorious Life: A Novel
Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind
Long Live the King
To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Bad News for a Ghost
The Next Pendragon
Caroline Bingley
My Beloved World
Royal Mistress
My Dear Sophy
The Wild Girl
To Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got Started
Hades: Lord of the Dead
The Man Who Loved Jane Austen


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