Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spycatcher

This book was gifted me by HarperCollins. The release date is August 1, 2011.


I have the opportunity to receive loads of books for reviews, but only pick a few to actually get, as I can't read them all. I surprised myself when I decided to get this one as I have never actually read a spy novel, or any novel in this sort of genre. What caught my eye, initially, was the fact that the author, Matthew Dunn, was an actual MI6 field officer, which I thought was really cool. (I have watched every single episode of MI6 (or Spooks rather), as well as Alias, so, yeah). I felt that his books would then be kind of realistic, since he conducted like seventy missions he should know what he is writing about. Aside from that I had no idea what the book was about or what to expect.

I picked up the book and read it in one day. Which is quite a feat, because it is rather large, over four-hundred pages, and a lot of description. I don't generally care for description, but for this kind of writing it was most definitely important for the feel of things. It felt like I was reading an awesome spy movie, which I thoroughly enjoy. Each step of the mystery was explained, but in a most interesting way. I can honestly say I did not get bored while reading any of this book.

That was one of my biggest worries, whether or not I would find the story interesting, if it would be compelling, realistic, keep me sucked in...lucky for me it delivered!

Will Cochran is the man, actually the one and only Spartan. He's like the best of the best as far as covert ops and killing people and such. He basically answers to no one, as long as he gets the job done, like saving thousands of people from terrorist attacks and stuff. He does what he has to do along the way to complete his mission, he can not fail, he will not! He's the freakin' Spartan!

Anyway, the story is seriously intricate with twists and turns. I was not expecting so many, and was genuinely surprised how everything came together so very nicely, I mean no questions left unanswered in the end. That's a congrats to the author on a story well woven.

I developed tears in certain parts, I developed a pounding heart more than once, I developed shock at a very shock worthy moment, amazement throughout, and shock again.

I'm actually really surprised I even liked this books so much and totally up for reading another like it (hopefully more about Spartan?!), because I generally read things with romance, even if it's just a secondary part of the story. This really didn't have much of that. Although, that is the one sticking point I had with this book. Not the lack of romance, but the minor part where there actually was some. It wasn't all that great, and I didn't like the girl from the beginning....it all just felt kind of weak, although I understood the point...for development of character and other things which will not be stated. But these parts of the books were so few, that it didn't really effect my overall take.

Seriously, this book was awesome. I'm going to go play Call of Duty: Black Ops and pretend I'm a spy now...for serious.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mercy (Mercy #1)

I received this book from Hyperion as an ARC. It was first published in October of 2010, but has a new cover and all that with this release. The new release date is May 17, 2011. The author is Rebecca Lim.

Here's the blurb:
A fallen angel haunted by her past. Yearning for her immortal beloved. Forever searching for answers. Who will show her Mercy?

Mercy has lost herself. She can’t count how many times she’s “woken up” in a new body, and assumed a new life, only to move on again and again. During the day she survives in the human world on instinct and at night her dreams are haunted by him. Mercy’s heart would know him anywhere. But her memory refuses to cooperate.

But this time is different. When Mercy wakes up she meets Ryan, an eighteen year old reeling from the loss of his twin sister who was kidnapped two years ago. Everyone else has given up hope, but Ryan believes his sister is still alive. Using a power she doesn’t fully comprehend, Mercy realizes that Ryan is right. His sister is alive and together they can find her. For the first time since she can remember, Mercy has a purpose; she can help. So she doesn’t understand why the man in her dreams cautions her not to interfere. But as Ryan and Mercy come closer to solving the dark mystery of his sister’s disappearance, danger looms just one step behind.

Will Mercy be able to harness her true self and extraordinary power in time?

The first in a dazzling new series, Mercy masterfully weaves romance, mystery and the supernatural into a spell-binding tale.
 I feel like this blurb actually tells you a bit more than the book itself actually does. You can guess that she is a fallen angel, but do not actually know. I didn't read the burb until after I read the book, so I'm actually surprised that they shared a bit of this information, or even had the angel on the cover. Because I thought the not knowing completely what Mercy was was part of what kept me reading...to find out.

The book is written in a flowing fast pace, which enables you to read it fairly quickly, or at least feel like you are. It's told in first person from Mercy's point of view.

The book was pretty good, and fairly original. The author did a good job of not forgetting that Mercy was her own person and not Carmen, the person she was inhabiting, or the other way around. Lim was fairly good with her words weaving a web of what felt like mystery. The book is overall a mystery of what happened to the girl, Lauren, that was taken. I did feel sometimes that how does someone who can't remember much of anything come in and be able to accomplish so much. But I suppose all of that is easily over looked.

Something that was hard to overlook was the fact that Ryan, who is supposed to be god-like in looks, and very tall, would fall for Carmen, who isn't really attractive. But put the attractive aside, she is still said to look about thirteen. Something about it just didn't feel right with me.

Also, the personality of Mercy was complexing and sometimes, I felt, contradicted itself. The way she described herself and the way she acted or what she said, well it didn't always seem to fit.

The novel as a whole was very engrossing. I did read it very quickly, and actually wanted to. I wanted to learn as much as possible, and hopefully have my questions answered. Most of my questions had nothing to do with abduction, but rather Mercy, Uri, and Luc. Who they are and what happened to make things this way. I will be interested to see how the author comes about describing it all.

The mystery is solved and we are left with a good foundation for a follow up book or a possible series. I can see a love triangle in the future between two male leads and Mercy herself. And a decision in the future that she will have to make...human or angel.

Here's the book trailer: 

One book closer to completing these challenges:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Apologies

I have to say I'm sorry for not having read as much as of late (meaning not as many reviews). I recently started school. Not to mention I have two kids and a husband that require some amount of attention. :) But...I think that I've finally been able to organize my time to kick out at least one review a week. Fingers are crossed! I miss my reading time, so effort is being put in to regaining some of it!

Phoenix Rising

I got this book through Harper Collins as an ARC, although I started it before the release date, I didn't finish it till after. The release date was May 1, 2011.

I'm not going to lie, the reason it took me so long to finish this book was the beginning was just, well, awful...awfully slow or something. It was very hard for me to get into it. Which left me rather disappointed, because I have just started reading Steampunk, and was beginning to worry that all were written in a corny fashion.

Anyway, I finally made myself sit down and read it. I'm glad I did. You do eventually get into the action, it gets more serious, and the relationship between the two leads doesn't seem so strained, or annoying. There is humor throughout, and in a good way.  Yes, it's a funny book.

Here's the blurb:
Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian.

These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest . . . and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray.

For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun—he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices—must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot . . . or see England fall to the Phoenix!
 I will be reading the next book in the series.

Here's the book trailer:

One book closer to completing these challenges:
100+ Reading Challenge
Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge

Friday, May 6, 2011

April is NetGalley Month!! Wrap Up!

So, at the beginning of the month I decided to join in on Red House Books' NetGalley Month in April. I thought it would be a great way for me to feel more motivated to knock a bunch of books off my NetGalley shelf, because there are a bunch! Read my original post here.

Unfortunately, I went out of town twice, and I also fell into my reading slump. Why, oh why, did this have to occur in April!? A reading slump, for me, is when I read read read and then all of a sudden I just can't make myself read anything for a few weeks. They happen a couple of times a year. I guess my brain just needs a break, but it's a real pain in the butt. Not to mention I've been spending my spare time these days watching Supernatural. Love that show! Never watched it before, but am in the middle of the third season now.

Anyway, I had intended to read so many more books than this. Alas, next time. The following are the books that I did get around to reading from NetGalley. :) Click on the titles to be taken to my reviews.

Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy

A Marriage of Inconvenience by Susana Fraser

The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell

Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef

Bite Me by Parker Blue

Try Me by Parker Blue

So, I read six books of the like 25-30 on my NetGalley...not bad. But, I read them all at the beginning of the month and was really shooting for at least twice that many. Oh well. :)