Book List 2018, Reviews

Re-Read Review: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

bone crossed.jpgTitle: Bone Crossed

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson/Mercyverse

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary: 

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she’s out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won’t be Mercy’s blood Marsilia is after.

It’ll be her friends’.

Review: 

Oh and you thought the vampires were creepy as hell before? Well they just went and got creepier! They saw your thoughts as a challenge, my friends, and they came back badder than ever.

That being said, so did Mercy.

She is a total badass. The baddest around in fact,so far.

Her relationship with Adam is growing in this book, in a very natural and organic sort of way. Often you pick up the next book and the characters are all in but Patricia Briggs is allowing a slow progression that feels more real.

Her friendships are changing and evolving, and it feels more like family this time around with many of the secondary characters.

The villain in this is creepy as hell, and I found myself squirming in discomfort when he was on the page because damn, some people are just flat out maniacal and I don’t think I realized what that meant until now. Now I know. I partly wish I didn’t.

This is a solid installment in the Mercy-verse and I have no complaints to speak of.

Oh just one actually, more Warren please. It’s really more of a  request than a complaint. I love that good ol’ country boy.

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Book List 2018

Re-Read Review: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

iron kissed.jpgTitle: Iron Kissed

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary: 

I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator…

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape – but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her… 

My Thoughts:

Mercy, even in re-reads, remains one of my favourite urban fantasy main characters. She is fire, she is toughness and vulnerability all enrolled into one. And as she experiences true danger within this book she does not give up.

Adam is as loyal to her and his pack as ever, and there is some surprising character growth against his usual “type” in this genre. You’ll have to read it to find out what it is.

Warren, Kyle and Mercy’s friendship continues to be one of my favourite components of these novels. I can only hope we get to see more of them in the future.

This book allows the reader to learn more about the world of the fae. And just like the world of the vampires it is fucking terrifying.

This series continues to impress, as the world expands, and the characters remain fresh and new.

The plot is not stagnant, instead it is forever changing, and evolving to accommodate new characters, new dangers and a whole lot of fun.

 

Book List 2018

Re-Read Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

BLOOD BOUNDTitle: Blood Bound

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson aka The Mercy-Verse

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary: 

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen…

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him. 

My Thoughts: 

The fourth book in the Mercy-verse (full length) and the second in the Mercy Thompson series this book certainly amps things up quite a bit.

The vampires have come out to play in full force within this novel, and I was definitely happy to learn more about them. They are definitely creatures of the night, and their magic is distinct and even unique for the genre. But they are also not all what they seem.

Mercy is as courageous as ever, much to Samuel, Adam and even Bran’s chagrin. She’s definitely not one to sit back and take orders, which is one of the things I love about her. Her character really does progress within this book.

Stefan as a character, and a creature of the night gets fleshed out a bit more here, showing a surprising soft side that made me like him even more.

This book is a solid continuation to the series and definitely deserves some major kudos for continuing to progress the series in a strong way that made me want to pick up the next book immediately to keep reading.

 

Book List 2018

Re-Read Review: The Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Title: The Hunting Ground

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha and Omega aka The Mercy-verse

Summary:

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either…

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything…

Review:

This book, the second in the Alpha and Omega series, and third chronologically in the Mercy-verse and man do I freaking love it.

Anna is definitely coming into her strengths and her power, and her relationship with Charles within this novel.

Charles is learning how to be around Anna, and others without having adverse reactions or over-possessive reactions to either. But he still hates vehicles.

Bran trusts them more together and it shows, as he sends them to one of the most important werewolf conventions (TM) to date.

The question of revealing themselves to humans hangs in the balance, and vampires and fae are there to fuck it up even more. But in true Patricia Briggs style none of these characters are just going to sit back and let chaos happen.

The plot to this book is fast paced and super enjoyable for any urban fantasy fan. There are no cookie cutter characters, but definitely characters who are not what they seem. So prepare to be deceived my friends, because I most certainly was.

So go, buy it, buy all of them. I promise you a good time will be had by all.

Book List 2018

Re-Read: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Title: Cry Wolf

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha and Omegas aka The Mercyverse

Summary:

Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf—a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

It is recommended you read the prequel “Alpha & Omega” before reading Cry Wolf.

Review:

The second book chronologically in the Mercy-verse, which is the order I decided to re-read this series in this follows Moon Called, and the novella Alpha and Omega which you definitely need to check out before reading this one or it might not make much sense.

Anna is a character borne of a vulnerable situation with a whole lot of strength. So much strength that she isn’t even quite aware of it, but those around her definitely are.

This novel also shows us more into the world of the Marrok, and his sons which is something I was so interested to see even from the time I read Moon Called. Bran seems like a gentle soul but he’s got a spine of steel, and an even tougher soul, which is shown in this novel.

Charles has a tough outer shell but a bit of a marshmallow centre when it comes to his mate, which definitely shows as well. He is a character with layers, unlike a lot of male characters in this genre.

The plot of this book is an intriguing one as well, melding the world of werewolves with long histories with the world of magic, witches and rogues.

It is a great book, very easy to imagine what is happening in your head.

Book List 2018

Re-Read Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

moon calledTitle: Moon Called

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson aka The Mercyverse

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Summary: 

Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will.

Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire.

This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

Thoughts:

Have Mercy!

Now that I’ve gotten the John Stamos joke out of the way.

Expect to be spellound, says the little quote on front of this interestingly covered book.

I admit, when I read the quotes on books I kind of just shake my head. But that quote is right, my wonderful little, book obsessed friends.

Mercy Thompson is one kickass character. And she is far from perfect. That being said, she is oh so perfect in my eyes. Like seriously. I want to be her best friend. I want to learn how to fix cars, kick ass and forget the names from her.

She is well written, she is fierce, her story is not an overly familiar one from what I’ve read in the genre and at no point during this book was I gearing up to get to the action, nor was I bored in the moment that there was no action.

The characters in this novel are all different, and none of them are cookie cutter even when they might be on the verge of being so.

The plot is not formulaic, in fact it’s quite enjoyable to learn about this world in which vampires drive mystery machines, werewolves are Vietnam war veterans (or older) and fae are former Volkswagen mechanics.

So if you’re in the mood for something a bit heavier, but not super heavy and wanting to slip into a world that’s not your own you should definitely pick this one up.

Book List 2018

Review: Kasie West novels

A little while ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of By Your Side by Kasie West and I absolutely adored it, so last month I departed on a path through quite a few of her books. So here are my thoughts and feelings on her works, and my excitement for her upcoming book.

the distance between usTitle: The Distance Between Us

Genre: Romance, YA

Summary:  Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

My thoughts: 

I quite enjoyed this novel. It is an interesting take on the old school trope of the rich “saving” the poor, in that it turns it on its ass. I won’t go into details because I don’t believe in spoilers.

I will let you know that Caymen is a character with a lot of strength, that the romance in this book is not overly schmoopy and that I read it so quickly I immediately went back and read it again.

Xander is a character that is more insecure than he seems, but with a certain charm and wit about him.

This is a story about family, and how sometimes even when we know them we can’t always know them as much as we should, or as deeply as we should.

This is good for anyone wanting a quick read, who likes rags to riches stories, but wants something with a little bit of a different ending for that familiar trope.

Continue reading “Review: Kasie West novels”

Book List 2018

Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

leahTitle: Leah on the Offbeat

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: YA Fiction, Romance, LGBTQIA+

Summary:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Review:

Leah is such a smartass and I love her. She is also bitter sometimes, which causes me want to give my head a shake, reach into the book and tell her to buck up. To trust the people she is friends with to accept her for who she is, her whole identity.

This book is filled with strife, and palpable angst. It is a young adult book through and through but yet is so very identifiable.

We’ve all had feelings for people we maybe shouldn’t have feelings for, we’ve all loved people who maybe we shouldn’t love.

This book is not as light as Simon, which is amazing to say, because Simon is not light. But this is heavy, and emotional, and often at times because of how frustrated I would get with the characters, was very hard to read.

It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, and that it was not well written because it definitely was. Becky Albertalli is one of my favourite writers, and I’ve pretty much established that I will read anything she wants to write. Literally anything.

This book is good. It’s solid. Read it.

 

Book List 2018

Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

30653853Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: YA, Romance, LGBTQIA+

Summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Quotes I love:

“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. It’s almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.”

Review: 

It’s so sad in a way that I empathize and understand so much of the quote above now at 30 as I did when I was a teenager. Especially given that I’ve always been a few pounds or more over the average.

The characters in this book are not overly suave, they’re not perfect and sometimes they are awkward and yet they are always endearing.

Molly is so familiar to me, she is like a friend I grew up with, but in reality she is so much like I was that I can’t help but feel so amazingly attached to her. Becky Albertalli excels at writing extremely human characters who you can identify with.

They get angry with each other, they fight and they care so much and it made me, as a reader, care about them as if they were real, living people.

Reid is just adorable, actually they all are.

Read this book if you want to feel something real, and then feel something that makes you feel good.

Also, cannot help but love the appearance of Simon, Blue and Abby. This is a book I will keep on my shelf, and pick up again and again to read and try and make other people read.

Book List 2018

Review: Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee

Title: Bygone Badass Broads – 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World35888416

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Genre: Badass non-fiction

Summary:

Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world.

With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers.

Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time.

Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.

Review:

This book is everything.

I needed this book when I was growing up, unsure of myself and what being a girl meant, what becoming a woman would mean.

I need this book now when everything seems so confusing and women are still being degraded, and treated as something less, or disrespected for speaking out, for speaking their minds.

These women are badass. Not were. They are. Their legends should loom large and be researched and passed on from generation to generation, inspiring more women like them. Inspiring future generations to have fight in them, to have rebellion and be able to say what’s what and do what’s right.

Mackenzi Lee writes about these women in a way that makes them seem so relatable. It makes it seem like she’s talking about a friend of a friend instead of someone who has long passed through history.  At this point I am thinking that basically if Mackenzi Lee has written something, I am definitely going to be reading it.

I would recommend this book to everyone. I would also recommend having a notebook in hand because as you’re reading you’re going to want to find out as much about these people as you can, because they were definitely badass. 

They’ll also leave you thinking, “Hey, maybe I can be badass too.”

And you can. You absolutely can.