“Night Shift” (Midnight, Texas #3) by Charlaine Harris

Four Stars – The best one and apparently the last one.

The ending left it open to continue, but as of now Midnight, Texas is a trilogy. Figures it would finally start getting good and then end.

The plot: An ancient evil is rising underneath the crossroads of the tiny mysterious town where only secretive, strange people seem to live. Lemuel the vampire has to translate an ancient text that will explain how to stop the evil before it rises to cause unstoppable destruction.

I felt like I had finally started to “get” the people of Midnight and understand them. Before, they seemed kind of grumpy and as if none of them liked each other, but now I understand, they are all just introverts.

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They DO like each other, they just don’t like to hang out – unless someone is getting killed or an unspeakable evil is rising…

What I liked is that we learned a LOT more about Manfred and Lemuel, Quinn was back, and Fiji’s character had a lot of development and was great in this. Lemuel had a bigger part and we get to see interaction with other vampires. We find out more about his and Olivia’s relationship. It was good!

What I didn’t like. There was a flimsy love triangle involving Fiji and Bobo and Quinn. Yes, Quinn. Again. SPOILER ALERT! And poor Quinn lost again! WTH. #foreveralone – I’ll take Quinn! Bobo wasn’t in it much until the end and it was totally predictable. Harris should really stay away from romance.

We meet Fiji’s sister, who is a total bitch. Mr. Snuggly is awesome, as usual. Overall, this was well-paced and quite enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised.

Apparently, NBC is making a TV show about it, which, hmmm, not sure about that. The first two were okay, but not that exciting. And with only three books, I am guessing they are going to have to expand a lot of the characters and it will have to be more complex?

My reviews are the books are also at Goodreads.

Midnight Crossroad

Day Shift

Night Shift

Pre-review:

Marking this as currently-reading for vampire month since Lemuel is supposedly a main character in this one. He’s one of my favorites in this world. Because vampires. Duh. I read the first two and they were solid three star reads. I’m glad Charlaine Harris has stayed away from romance, though, because, well, we know how horrible well she does that. #sookieflashbackhelpme

“The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy, #1)” by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review also found at: Goodreads

I have no idea how to classify this. It’s YA, but not fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, steampunk, paranormal, or any of that. If anything, it’s like an alternate history. The people ride horses and carriages and have to send “letters” by hand to relay messages. They have ships and cannons and archers and knives. So it takes place in some generic past, I think? The females wear dresses sort of like the Regency period, I guess? They have balls and fancy picnics and stuff.

The main character in this is a 17 year old girl born in privilege, the daughter of a famous general and warrior. The main male lead belongs to the “slave class.” One imperialistic people had invaded a more peaceful and artistic country and taken its citizens as slaves.

A lot of the book is about high society, politics, intrigue, and a rigid government based on war and the expansion of an empire. Kestral, the female, spends a lot of her time stressing out because she doesn’t want to join the military or fight. She’s not physically strong or able to learn to be. She’d rather be playing the piano.

She buys a slave on a whim, it seems, and he ends up becoming much more than a “slave.” She’s got a couple of rich friends, one to serve as the role of the superficial, yet loyal BFF, and one to serve as part of a love triangle. I actually liked Ronan a lot and he seemed to really like Kestral.

This was a “star-crossed” lovers kind of romance. The “society will never accept us” thing, which, I actually love. The romance (and even the love triangle) wasn’t annoying. What made this a 3-star book instead of a 4-star one is Kestral. I found her kind of annoying.

She was always fainting, it seemed like. I don’t require that every female heroine has to be a bad-ass, but she seemed overly weak to me. And not just weak, but devious and vindictive too. In one part, she was rude to a slave for no reason, just because she was frustrated. It also seemed like she had no backbone. She just goes along with a lot of things and acts brainwashed about her country. I guess I get it because her father has drilled the military into her since birth.

She freed a slave (her nurse who was like a second mom to her) and I guess that is supposed to make her sympathetic, but when the shit hit the fan, she didn’t follow through and did what a good citizen would do.

She also had two males of worth in love with her and acts like she likes them both at certain times, but rejects them both.

The ending was irritating too. Of course, it sets up the next book (including another love interest, sigh). I think fans of Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy would like this. It kind of reminds me of that. That was a trilogy that annoyed me. I was the one with the unpopular opinion on that one.

Overall, this was a very quick read, uncomplicated…there’s nothing really original about it, yet it was engaging enough. I think I liked all the other characters more than Kestral. Maybe she has growth as the books continue. I might read the next one, but I’m not in any hurry to at the moment.

Original post:

Wow, so many of my friends have read this. Eh, may as well add it to the pile.

Buddy read with the Saucy Wenches in January 2016.

View all my reviews

“Wayward (Wayward Pines #2) by Blake Crouch

Wayward (Wayward Pines, #2)Wayward by Blake Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A solid second book in the trilogy, although not as good as the first one, in my view. If you didn’t like Pines, this one isn’t going to change that. The story picks up right where we left off, Ethan is now sheriff and everything is still FUBAR. If I say anything else, it’s just going to be a spoiler. You really don’t want to know anything about this series before you start it.

There’s not quite as much going on until halfway through the book, but it’s still an easy book to read, and the creepy mysteriousness is always thrumming below the surface. It does end on a cliffhanger. We find out a lot more about Pilcher. Pam is a crazy bitch. Like, seriously. As if we didn’t already know that from book one, but STILL. *shiver*

I can’t wait to see what happens next. What happens at the end changes everything.

Just read the damn book.

Unless you hated the first one and then you’d probably hate this one too.

Buddy read with the Saucy Wenches group in October. I couldn’t wait, so already started it.

View all my reviews

“Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox, #1)” by Rachel Bach

5 stars!

Review also found at Goodreads

Meet Devi.

She’s given 10 years of her life to hardcore training and mercenary life. She’s one of the best and she is determined to be better the rest. She wants to be a Devastator – one of the Paradox King’s personal guard. She’s highly motivated, confident, sassy, and ready to do whatever it takes to accomplish her goals.

At first, I hard a really tough time liking her or relating to her, and therefore, struggled to care about her story. She isn’t just confident and bad-ass, she’s obnoxiously cocky and arrogant and thinks she is God’s Gift to the opposite sex. That should be a huge turn off for me.

I wanted to run at first, but then, she grew on me.

So Devi finds out about a security job on a ship with really bad luck, but it’ll probably be a good enough gig to make her a Devastator, so she’s all about that shizz.

Who cares if all the security tends to die on this ship (named the Glorious Fool). However, Devi is so confident, she knows she won’t become just another statistic.

And so, after a slam-dunk interview with the crazy captain, Devi gets the job, meets the crew, and they journey to various moons and planets where CRAZY SHIT happens all the time. Why? Who the hell knows for most of the book because it’s mysterious. The mystery is built up bigtime in this book and we only get an answer here and there.

I won’t go into the plot anymore because I’d get into spoilers. So what worked for me:

* Loved the sci-fi
* Cool alien creatures
* Good story
* Great supporting characters
* Mystery and intrigue

Why I should have HATED this book:

* Tropes
* The romance
* A few cheap plot devices
* An unlikeable MC (at first at least)

*Note: I think if you go into this thinking of it as a soap opera, you’ll enjoy it more. In soap operas, characters lie and keep secrets, have angsty romances, personality changes, and cliffhangers are completely expected and normal. Let it be like a fluffy soap opera and your expectations will remain realistic for what you’re going to get with this.

Moving on…

Basil was cool and the best curmudgeonly alien navigator. All I kept picturing was something like this:

Hyrek. The huge reptilian…doctor? Who decided not be male or female and thus had to leave his own people (the xith’cal).

AND the weird, mute daughter of the captain… who reminded me a bit of this:

But she’s not as scary… just … weird. And more of that mysterious vein running through this book. We don’t really know who or what she is or what she’s capable of.

And then there is sweet Nova.

But there wasn’t enough of her. I am so into her ability to use plasmex, though. Telekinesis for the win!

I should have been more annoyed by this book. But it worked for me, strangely. I’m not going to question it too much. HOWEVER, I’ve heard such mixed things about the next books that I am not sure if I want to continue and might just leave it here. Undecided.

I liked Rupert as a mysterious character, but not as a romantic interest. I loved the idea of the symbionts and plasmex. Caldswell is an idiot. There was a cheap plot device used at the end, but it WORKED for me.

Buddy read with Buddies Books and Baubles group starting September 14, 2015.

I missed the BR with the Saucy Wenches group when they read it in March 2015.

This looks good!

“If you liked Star Wars, if you like the Kate Daniels series, and if you are waiting for Guardians of the Galaxy to hit the theaters, this is your book.”—Ilona Andrews

“Pines” (Wayward Pines #1) by Blake Crouch

5 stars!

Review also found at Goodreads

Fangirl activated in 5…4…3…2…

pines

pines2

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I can’t even go into the plot because that would be spoiling it. All you need to know is a guy named Ethan Burke wakes up in a town called Wayward Pines and that town is not what it seems. BOOM! Go read it. Now.

This book is amazing. It grabbed me in from the first page. I couldn’t put it down. It had suspense, mystery, sci-fi, I liked the characters.

Now I have to watch the TV show. It’s got Matt Dillon in it and he is fabulous. I can totally picture him as Ethan. I can’t WAIT to find out what happens next!!!

dillon

Buddy Read with the Saucy Wenches group in September 2015. YAY! I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time!

“Blightborn (The Heartland Trilogy #2)” by Chuck Wendig

2 stars

I originally DNF’d this at 53% and then decided to try and finish it because I got it from Netgalley and wanted to be able to provide feedback. I am going to keep my original rating. I just didn’t think was as good as the first one. I feel like the same story could have been told in less pages. This felt bloated and I didn’t care about any of the new characters. I did like Balastair. The female characters were annoying and I didn’t really like Cael either. I have the third one so will finish the trilogy. I hope the last one is better than this one.

Original review:

DNF 53%. I really enjoyed the first book, but this one is seriously annoying me. The two main characters, Cael and Gwennie are the most annoying, irritating characters and I wish they were killed off. I like every other character so much more. Why can’t Cael be killed off and Lane be the main male character from here on out?

I hate Gwennie. I love Merelda McAvoy. I totally understand why she left the Heartland. She made a better life for herself and mega-bitch Gwennie had to ruin it for her. She’s so selfish and will take anyone out to find her family. I get that her family is important, but you don’t destroy other innocent people to accomplish your goals, you dumb bitch. I can’t stand her. Kill Cael and Gwennie off and I will continue reading this. If anyone has finished this trilogy and can tell me that things change with these idiotic characters, I will pick this back up and try again.

But I don’t have time for BS like this. I do not want a HEA for Cael and Gwennie. I am not rooting or cheering for them whatsoever. They should go back to the Heartland and eat rats and continue their existence that they thought was peachy keen. Only they wanted to bitch when they were in it, but not when they had opportunities to get out of it. Instead, they attack everyone and anything that offers them a chance because they are suspicious and selfish pigs. God, I hate them both. Ruined it for me. 😦

I’m sorry. But this pisses me off. I can’t even. Also, WAY too much switching between chapters and POVs. Just when a little bit of action happened, it switched, then a few pages later, just when some momentum was building, ANOTHER switch. Seriously. That is frustrating.

Original post:

Yay, I was approved by Netgalley for book 2 in this trilogy! Here is my review for the first book. I really liked it and can’t wait to keep going with this story.

🙂

Also posted at Goodreads

Under the Empyrean Sky (The Heartland Trilogy, #1) by Chuck Wendig

4 stars

So here we have a trilogy with evil, mutant corn!

corn

But really the story is about Cael and his family and friends, who are basically no more than slaves and animals to the Empyreans. The Empyreans are the elite controllers who live on flotillas in the sky. The dirty mangy humans live on the ground, where they are expected to farm the mutant corn, which gives them tumors and birth defects.

The corn isn’t even edible. It’s used to make fuel for the flotillas and as additives. The Empyreans control seeds and do not allow anyone to grow fruit trees or vegetables or even have animals that don’t eat the corn. If they see a farm animal without tumors on it, they kill it. Yes, they’ve evil. McDonald’s would be the equivalent of an organic nutritious feast to these people.

corn2

Once a year, there is an Obligation ceremony, where the 17 year olds are promised to one another for marriage, randomly of course. You don’t get to pick your mate in this world. Pffft.

There are similarities to other dystopians. You’ve got the male lead character who is repressed and seeks a way out to better himself and his people. His romantic interest is taken from him. I mean, if you read YA dystopian novels, you will draw comparisons. However, I think this was an enjoyable read and I want to see what happens next. The supporting characters were really good – Proctor Simone Agrasanto is the type of villain you just want to die a horrible death, same for the Mayor and his son.

corn3

Cael’s family and friends are likeable and I found myself rooting for them. Cale himself was a little meh, but we’ll see what happens.

I think it’s fairly safe to say this is sort of a cautionary tale about the potential dangers of GMOs (Monsanto) and a worst case scenario involving that subject. I personally find that a compelling argument, so that was another positive factor for me. I definitely want to find out what happens next. This ended up being a page-turner for me.

I received a copy of this from Netgalley and Skyscape for an honest review. Thanks!


Review also found at Goodreads.

Mind Games (The Disillusionists Trilogy #1) by Carolyn Crane

4 stars

I went into this not knowing what it was about. There’s a twenty-something woman named Justine who is a hypochondriac and is crippled by it, always having to go to the emergency room because she thinks she is dying. It affects her relationships and takes over her life, no matter how hard she tries to control and fight it.

hypochondriac

She meets a man named Packard, the leader of a secret group called disillusionists, who invites her to join his team. What they do is find really bad people (murderers, rapists, the scum of the scum) and break them down emotionally and psychologically by using “mutant” mental abilities. The team is made up of neurotics, gamblers, alcoholics, people with extreme anger, fear, angst, etc. They push those neuroses into those people’s energy fields and this inevitably causes the murderer or whoever to reach a point of emotional and psychological devastation, where they realize their wrongs and then turn over a new leaf and live a better life.

the end

Well, there was actually a bunch more stuff that happened, but I thought this was a refreshing premise for an urban fantasy book. There were a few flaws. Mainly, the romances. There were actually 3 romantic interests for the main character, Justine. I didn’t think any of them were developed very well. Things happened too fast and I didn’t really feel any spark. Packard and Otto were written pretty hot, but for me, it was really Justine that was the problem. I didn’t really care for her. I felt a bit meh where she was concerned. She did some stupid things, which I guess can be justified because she was a beginner. I’m just tired of having to use that excuse for heroines in urban fantasies.

The supporting characters were fantastic and made the book, in my view. I totally want Shelby as my BFF. Simon was complex and a lot deeper than he seemed. Packard was mysterious and sexy. You’re not sure if he’s a good guy or not. Same for Otto. I think the secondary characters and unique premise made me rate this higher than I would have.

I definitely liked it enough to want to continue the series.

thumbs up

Review can also be found at: Goodreads

Buddy read with Buddies Books and Baubles.