Saturday, November 17, 2018

Graphic Novel Review of Frostbite by Joshua Williamson & Illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander

Read for: Recent Purchase/ Graphic Novel Challenge

Synopsis: "In the arctic wilderness of post-apocalyptic America, death comes in many forms—but none is worse than the terrifying plague that freezes its victims from the inside out. They call it frostbite, and it is slowly, inexorably infecting the struggling remnants of humanity. Frostbite has no vaccine, no immunity, and no cure.
Until now. 
In snowbound Mexico City, Dr. Henry Bonham and his daughter, Victoria, have found the key to destroying the disease. In order to make their theoretical cure a reality, however, they have to travel 2,000 treacherous miles to a secret government installation on Alcatraz Island.
Enter Keaton, captain of the cross-country cargo hauler Icebreaker, and her hard-bitten mercenary crew. They’ve spent years learning how to survive on the ice, but they’ve never before gone on a run with such high stakes—or with such determined enemies.
Will these unlikely saviors make it across the frozen wasteland, defeat the relentless forces gunning for their lives, and bring warmth to the world? Or will frostbite continue to consume all life in its icy jaws?"

My Review: I loved the cover art on this one and picked it up on a whim. I was really pleasantly surprised. It had not only a great art style but also a really intriguing story line. It is an interesting mix of dystopian and science fiction and set in a nice atmospheric winter world. I really enjoyed the characters and their motivations. I would have liked to have more story on the Firemen and Ice Queens, as I think there is an interesting back story on their survival and adapted cultures. It does have an open ending, but there doesn't seem to be any new issues coming out in this series, though the ending does allow for it or it is satisfying on its own. All in all a great read for a cold winter night!

My Rating: I did really enjoy this one, but I just feel like there is so much more to develop, both with the current story line and with the side stories. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Thanks for Giving by Abby Klein

Read for: Early Reader Challenge & Thanksgiving

Synopsis: "Freddy's class is collecting cans for a Thanksgiving food drive. But what will Freddy do when class bully Max wants to steal his cans?"

My Review: This is a great book to read with those young readers leading up to Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general. It is a great level 2 book that emerging readers can read, most words are easy to sound out and the sentences are short, but does provide some new words to challenge them. It has a great story about giving and helping others even if they are not as generous towards you. It was a great way to set the mood and theme for the month.

My Rating: This was a great book to read with Munchkin at this time, not only does it reinforce a lot of the kind lessons he has been learning at school and I am trying to work on at home as well but he is also having a food drive at school. It gave him a great way to link the story with real life and the lessons from both.  We give it a rating of Four Paws.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Review of Aversion by Kenechi Udogu

Read for: Requested Review

Synopsis: "For Gemma Green’s first time, things should have been straightforward. Find your subject, hold their gaze and push a thought into their head to save them from future disaster – Aversion complete. A pretty simple process given that the subject was to have no recollection of the experience. But Russ Tanner doesn’t seem to want to forget. In fact the more she tries to avoid him, the more he pushes to get to know her. Gemma knows she has a problem but is she facing the side effects of a failed Aversion or has the school’s tennis champ really fallen for her?"

My Review:  It has been a while since I have read any paranormal books and the premise of this book and series was unique so I thought I would give it a go. This book is fairly short and the first book in the series, and we are given information about the magic system (if you can really call it that, more of abilities) in piece mail. We find out the details as the main character, Gemma, does and normally I am not a fan of characters and the reader both being left in the dark, but with the familiar modern day setting and relatively normal life the characters lead I was able to get over that quirk. I did enjoy the characters, and I loved the relationship that Gemma and her father had at the beginning of the book. This was also a quick read, the pages turn quickly as the story gains momentum and we discover new information. The end leaves a lot of questions open that will have you reaching for the next book in the series. I want to know more!

My Rating: This was a fun and quick read for me, it was interesting and intriguing. I really liked the unique paranormal element and am looking forward to learning more throughout the rest of the series.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

I received a copy of Aversion and the Mentalist series from the author.  The above is my honest opinion.

You can find out more about Kenechi Udogu and her books on her Goodreads Page and Facebook Page.

You can get your own copy of Aversion & the rest of the Mentalist series in print or digital formats from Amazon  or Barnes & Noble (hint: Aversion is currently free for kindle and nook download at the time of this post).  

So try it out and maybe get the whole series.  I know I will be continuing to read it so look of those reviews in the future!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Books to Read Before 2019

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube.

This topic couldn't have come at a better time for me, because it has become clear that I will not be getting all the books read that I wanted to this year.  This weeks topic of the books that I want to read before the new year will help me prioritize my TBR for the next month or so. I have a lot of books that have been sitting on my TBR for over a year and others that are brand new and I want to read them all!  So here are 5 books that I really want to make a priority to read (other than the mountain of requested reviews I still need to complete).

The Phoenix Empress was just released on October 9th and after reading the 1st book, The Tiger's Daughter in July, I immediately pre-ordered this book.  I will be picking this one up later this week as Tome Topple kicks off.

I purchased the Forgetting Moon last year, it sounded like a really intriguing fantasy but with a page count of 800 pages, it has been sitting on my shelf taunting me. I just found out though that the second book in this series is releasing in early December, so I think it is time to pick it up.

The Storyteller is the 3rd and final book in the Sea of Ink and Gold series (The Reader) which I have been obsessed with this past year. This one is being released today and my pre-orders should be coming in shortly!!

Mammoth was another pre-order that just came in, it sounds like a contemporary romance that will really be enjoyable for me. I really am looking forward to something a little on the lighter side.

I had the pleasure of meeting Nancy Naigle last year and am excited to not only read this one but also an adaptation is premiering on Hallmark Movies on November 20th!

So there are 5 of the books that I really want read before the end of the year.  How about you? Any books you want to squeeze in before the year runs out?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Review of Fierce Fairytales: Poems & Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

Read for: Recent Purchase (complete cover buy)

Synopsis: "Traditional fairytales are rife with cliches and gender stereotypes: beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take all the glory.

But in this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds. In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviors. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own."

My Review: I was really attracted to this book for the cover and title, definitely a cover buy. I was a little put off at the beginning of the book, I was expecting fairytale type short stories and verses but it started out differently, but it did eventually get to what I was expecting. I did find it to be extremely feminist, am all for us ladies standing up for ourselves, being our own power and not relying on men to save us, but this one really verged a little to far into angry feminist for my reading preferences. It definitely relates to current events in that aspect, but for me it was just too much on that statement. I did enjoy many of the poems and short stories, but not all of them (as to be expected with any collection like this). I did enjoy the unique twists Gill gives to these classic stories, sometimes it is backstory and sometimes it is after happily ever after. My favorites were the Peter Pan themed stories and poems.

My Rating: This book was not really what I was expecting, the feminist tone was almost too strong for my enjoyment and I almost put it down. I am glad that I did continue because some of the stories and poems were really fantastic, but as with any collection of poems and short stories, some you will enjoy and others not so much.  I give this one a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Only Human
File No. 002
Stupid Christmas
May B.
Misty Inn 1-4
Olaf Gives Thanks

Currently Reading:
Beneath the Same Stars by Phyllis Cole-Dai - Kindle - 15%
Beartown by Fredrik Backman - Audio - 65%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
551:19 Hours Listened (8:43 listened this week)
37,410 Pages Read (1,126 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Beyond the Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
True North by Marie Force
The Sorting Room by Angelina Singer
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims
The Belgaraid by David Eddings
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Fight for Everything by Laura Kaye
Light as Air by Mari Carr
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Half Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak
The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier
Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Words We Don't Say by K.J. Reilly
The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth
Misty Inn Collection Books 1-4 by Kristen Earhart
Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
The Christmas Light by Donna VanLiere
The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera
Royals by Rachel Hawkins
Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson
14,000 Things to be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer
Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber
Monster: The Story of a Young Mary Shelley by Mark Arnold
Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky


Last week wasn't quite as bad as I expected it to be, I was able to get quite a bit done at work and I did read more than I expected.  It was so nice to finally have a down weekend, our first in many months! And we get an extra day off today, thanks to all those Veterans out there who have sacrificed so much.   We will be spending our day off reading books and raking leaves in our yard and our SeaBee neighbor's.  

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Review of Letters From Wolfie by Patti Sherlock

Read for: Mount TBR & Veterans Day

Synopsis: "Mark’s dog Wolfie is part malamute, part German shepherd, and all heart. Mark can hardly imagine life without his big, loving canine companion. But in 1969, the Vietnam War is still raging, and when Mark learns that the army needs scout dogs, he decides to send Wolfie. As his dad says, a smart dog like Wolfie could save a lot of soldiers—soldiers like Mark’s brother, Danny. Besides, it seems like the patriotic thing to do. Inspired by real events, this is a heartbreaking story about sacrifice, loyalty, and the complex meanings of patriotism."

My Review: I have had my eye on this book for a while and finally went ahead and picked it up. It was a bit of a slow read and was rather depressing, in fact I had to put it down for a while. With that said, there were several very important points and subjects contained within this book. It is a great middle grade book in the fact that it doesn't pull any punches, while it doesn't get into the full graphic facts of war, particularly the Vietnam war, it does show the reader many of the harder aspects. I love the way that this book presented two very different opinions in a time where the lines were so drawn and it was difficult for each side to see the other. I also like the way that it gave a glimpse into the different ways people deal with difficult times, fear and grief, and the way that some were able to help and support one another. Definitely a great book and well worth the read but it can be a little slow and difficult to get through for young readers.

My Rating: I feel like this may have been a bit slow for young readers and reluctant readers in particular may struggle getting into the story.  But it is definitely worth the read and I really appreciate how it presents both points of view.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Thank you to all of you who have served our country, for all your sacrifices and those of your families as well.