Sunday, September 30, 2012

Reading Challenges Update: September 2012

Here is where I stand with the challenges I have joined after the month of August (only challenges that I read books for this month are featured here):

Audio Books (6/6) - COMPLETED!
6. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Debut Author (8/12)
7. The Red Serpent Trilogy by Rishabh Jain
8. Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Steampunk (4/6)
4. Cuttlefish by David Greer

YA Historical Fiction (5/5) - COMPLETED!
5. Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Horror & Urban Fantasy (26/48)
26. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Chunkster (4/4) - COMPLETED!
4. Of Time and Place by B. R. Freemont

Standalone (11/15)
11. Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Immortal (8/12)
8. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Multi-Cultural (5/12)
5. Cuttlefish by David Greer

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Author: Philip K. Dick
Publisher: Del Rey
Why Read?: Book Club
Challenges: n/a

Thoughts: Wow.  I can see why this is a classic sci-fi and it is so much better than the movie.  The depth is just amazing and some concepts really mess with your mind.

Rating: 5 stars

Elsewhere Online: September 2012

As you know from my In My Mailbox posts, I review for two other websites ( and As I cannot post my reviews there and here, but I would still like to count the books I read for the challenges, I am going to have a post like this at the end of the every month listing the books I reviewed and what challenges the went towards.

Title: Cuttlefish
Author: David Greer
Challenges: Steampunk, Multi-Cultural

Title: Kissing Shakespeare
Author: Pamela Mingle
Challenges: Debut Author, YA Historical Fiction, Standalone

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: 9/23-9/29

For Possible Review (here and on Bookloons):
The Fart That Saved Christmas by Jacob Morningside
All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin
Flutter by Gina Linko
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab
The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper
Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay
The Unfailing Light by Robin Ridges

Glimpse by Sara Daniell
What in God's Name by Simon Rich
Dragons Wild by Robert Asprin
Forbidden by Leanna Ellis

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Of Time and Place

Of Time and Place
by B. R. Freemont
published by Two Harbors
ISBN 978-1-937928-72-8
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Chunkster

B. R. Freemont takes a unique approach to storytelling in Of Time and Place, a novel firmly set in a scarily realistic future, but partly told through flashbacks - that are still in the future.

The mid-21st century has seen a global energy crisis like no one could have imagined.  Travel is severely limited with only the privileged and government able to afford electric cars.  After being in the thick of things at the Federal Energy Department, James Lendeman now finds himself living in Savannah but still working for the government - this time as a contractor.  Through flashbacks, James's life leading up to his installment in Savannah is told, but his life continues moving forward.

Freemont really takes his time telling James's story which allows the reader to truly become immersed in James's world - both his past and his present.  However, this slows the pace of the tale, making for a very long read.  Yet Freemont's writing warrants a leisurely pace as Of Time and Place is rich with intricate details not to be missed and warning of a future that is all too possible.  

Of Time and Place truly shows B. R. Freemont's strong storytelling abilities.  However, those looking for a fast-paced, action-packed sci-fi will probably prefer to pass.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Redemption of Lord Rawlings

Title: The Redemption of Lord Rawlings
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publisher: Astraea
Why Read?: Book Club
Challenges: n/a

Thoughts: A very fun story, but the real conflict did not seem to hit until very late.  The two main characters liked each other but would just take turns denying it for about two-thirds of the novel.  I personally enjoy a harder battle.

Rating: 3 stars

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: 9/16-9/22

For Review (on Bookloons):
The Secret of the Stone Frog by David Nytra
The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Gnome Lexicon by Marcia Lewandowski

Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan
Talented by Sophie Davis
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

Requested from Paperbackswap:
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

The Red Serpent Trilogy

The Red Serpent Trilogy
by Rishabh Jain and Delson Armstrong
published by AJ International
ISBN 978-0-9847522-0-1
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Debut Author

Rishabah Jain has about the most unique take on vampires that I have ever read.  The Red Serpent Trilogy introduces us to a race of vampires from another world, not ones created on Earth in any of the traditional methods.

Alex grew up on the space station Regnum, hearing stories about his people's home, Earth, the planet that was taken over by extraterrestrial vampires who landed in Antarctica.  Little does Alex know how instrumental he will prove to be in getting Earth back.  It turns out that Alex's father was a high-ranking vampire, and that Alex is the Falsifier foretold in the prophecies to bring about the vampire's apocalypse.

There is so much that happens in The Red Serpent Trilogy, but Jain does not really spend any time on any significant events, instead covering many in the span of a few pages.  The novel is rather short, so there was no need to rush.  This frantic pace made it hard to become immersed in the story that Jain was telling to the reader rather than showing Alex's journey.  I also had a hard time figuring out who Jain's target audience was.  Sci-fi fans will definitely enjoy many aspects of The Red Serpent Trilogy, but the vampires are so different from typical ones that vamp fans will probably not find something to like.  Also, while Alex is younger and the story and its presentation almost have the feel of an MG novel, the language is too strong for a YA read.

This vagueness made it really hard for me to connect with The Red Serpent Trilogy.  However, Rishabh Jain was young when he wrote this, so his writing is sure to solidify with age.

Rating: 1/5

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hush, Hush

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Audioworks
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Audio Book, Horror & Urban Fantasy, Immortal

Thoughts: There were some points where, if I thought too long,  a couple of plot points did not make sense, but listening to it, kept my mind from drifting.  Overall, though, a very unique and suspenseful YA paranormal.  I am very interested to see where the series goes.

Rating: 4 stars

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: 9/9-9/15

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
Uglies by  Scott Westerfeld
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Early Reviewers from LibraryThing:
Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
Jump Cut by Ted Staunton

Swaps from Swap-Bot:
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Requested from Paperbackswap:
Punk Rock Dad by Jim Lindberg

Bought on Kobo:
The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen
Killer's Island by Anna Jansson
The Dead of Summer by Mari Jungstedt

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: 8/26-9/8

For possible review (here and on Bookloons):
The Good, the Bad, and the Fuzzy by Kirk Scroggs
Owlet by Emma Michaels
The Case of the Invisible College by Andrew May
Kept in the Dark by Penny Hancock
Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye
Ghoulfriends Forever by Gitty Daneshvari
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky
Beyond by Graham McNamee
Foretold by Carrie Ryan, ed.
Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Yesterday by C. K. Kelly Martin
Island of Doom by Arthur Slade
The Banker Spy by William G. Byrnes
Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

A Hollow Cube Is a Lonely Space by S. D. Foster
Destined by Aprilynne Pike
Pushing the Limits by Kate McGarry
The Serpent's Bite by Warren Adler
Trickster's Point by William Kent Krueger
Daughter of the Goddess by Rita J. Webb
Measuring Up by Nyrae Dawn

Swaps on Swap-Bot:
And She Was by Alison Gaylin

Requested from Paperbackswap:
Going with the Grain by Susan Seligson

Downloaded from Discover a New Love:
Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Received for Astraea Press Book Club:
The Redemption of Lord Rawlings by Rachel Van Dyken

Bought at Barnes & Noble:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith