Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Review: The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke

The Thief Lord
By: Cornelia Funke
ISBN-10: 0439404371
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A band of thieving, orphaned children scavenge the streets of Venice under the order of their leader, a boy named Scipio, who calls himself the Thief Lord. When Prosper and Bo, who are running from their nasty aunt and uncle, join the ragtag group, they discover that Scipio is hiding a secret, and when it is revealed there will be a powerful, dangerous, and magical change in the course of events.

The Thief Lord is a compelling middle grade fantasy novel based loosely on the story of Peter Pan. It includes:

• Stealing
• Breaking and entering
• Minor profanity (d*mn, h*ll)
• One character holds a gun
• A young boy was abandoned to an orphanage because he misbehaved
• An adult smokes

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Book Review: Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell

By: Rainbow Rowell
ISBN-10: 0525951989
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Lincoln still lives with his mom, and though she is an amazing cook, he’s a grown adult, so he figures it’s high time he started taking care of himself by getting a job.

But the job offered to Lincoln is unlike anything he expected—as an “internet security officer” he’ll be expected to read everyone’s emails in an office building.

When Lincoln starts checking two co-workers’ emails to each other, Beth and Jennifer, he can’t stop reading. Their emails are silly, personal, and absolutely hilarious. Lincoln also thinks he might be falling a little bit in love with Beth, which is a big problem, because he’s never even met her. . . .

Attachments is told in alternating chapters: Lincoln’s point of view, and Beth and Jennifer’s emails he reads.

It contains:

• Profanity (including the F-word)
• References to homosexuality
• Making out
• References to sex
• Reference to porn
• Computer hacking
• Drinking and smoking
• Reference to drugs

Attachments is a very cutesy adult chick-lit novel, although the romance is not the most realistic. It can be read by young adult readers, too, though there is quite a bit of language in it.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Book Review: Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, Book 1), By Sherrilyn Kenyon

Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, book 1)
By: Sherrilyn Kenyon
ISBN: 0312599072
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Nick has simple goals in life: Survive highschool, make lots of money, move his mom and himself out of the dump they live in. He doesn't believe in Santa Clause  or the Tooth Fairy, but when the highschool's Football team starts eating people, Nick discovers that surviving a mob of zombies may require acknowledging the paranormal exists - and he's part of it.

Infinity is the first book in the Chronicles of Nick series - one of several series in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter Universe. Infinity deals strongly with fears of becoming just like a negative parental figure, feelings of worthlessness, desires for revenge, and the harsh aspects of poverty. The fast moving plot provides a satisfying ending while setting up ample players, twists, and mysteries for exploration through the rest of the series.

Infinity is a young adult paranormal/urban fantasy told from the perspective of a teen boy who is very interested in getting a girlfriend and being physically intimate. The text strongly represents these facts in his thoughts, the way he describes females he meets, and his comments throughout.

Infinity also Contains:
  • Use of magic/spells
  • References to ancient Greek deities
  • Zombies, Shapeshifters, Vampires, soul devouring creatures.
  • Law Breaking
  • Language (Sh*t, cr*p, Bullsh*t, bullcr*p)
  • Name calling: e.g. Goober, punk, butt, cross dressing freak, jerk weed
  • Extensive sarcasm
  • Couple kisses (cheek and mouth - mentioned, not detailed) 
  • References to being a virgin and not wanting to remain that way. 
  • Mental drooling over females and references to breasts.
  • Sexual assault mentioned playfully several times (teen embarrassed by parent's hugs etc)
  • Several characters are strippers/dancers, there are references to what they do, how they are viewed by others, and others commenting on their assets. Taunting of a loved one of a stripper about seeing said assets.
  • Bullying 
  • cannibalism
  • Injuries (includes: references to arm missing flesh to the bone, gun shot wound)
  • Tasering and use of various weapons.
  • Physically abusive parent mentioned briefly.

Chronicles of Nick:
  • #1 Infinity
  • #2 Invincible  
  • #3 Infamous
  • #4 Inferno
  • #5 Illusion
  • #6 Instinct
  • #7 Invision
  • #8 Intensity
  • #9 Untitled (exp pub 2018)
  • #10 Untitled (exp pub 2019)
  • #11 Untitled (exp pub 2020)
  • #12 Untitled (exp pub 2021)
  • #13 Untitled (exp pub 2022)
  • #14 Untitled (exp pub 2023)
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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Book Review: BZRK (BZRK, Book 1), by Michael Grant

BZRK (BZRK, book 1)
By: Michael Grant
ISBN-10: 1606844180
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Biots, or microscopic mind-controlling robots, are the new rage in a futuristic world based on today’s society, and two teams, one called the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation and the other BZRK, are head-to-head in the battle of trying to conquer the latest technology and defeat each other.

This is a young adult book that includes the following:

• Profanity (many renditions of the F-word throughout)
• A couple of un-descriptive sex scenes
• Violence (a smashed brain, killing, shooting, chase scenes, and blood)
• Physical and mental rape (a man forces a woman to have sex with him by controlling her mind)
• Icky, microscopic descriptions of human bodies (slightly disturbing)
• Drinking and smoking

BZRK is full of extreme language, with the F-word on nearly every page, lots of gross, closeup descriptions, and plenty of violence. I would definitely not recommend it for younger readers.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, Book 1), By Ilona Andrews

Clean Sweep (Innkeeper, Book 1)
By: Ilona Andrews
ISBN: 1494388588
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When something unnatural starts killing dogs in her neighborhood, Dina decides to abandon her neutrality (as the innkeeper of a magical inn) and put a stop to it before the killings escalate. Unfortunately, that decision could come back to haunt her in some serious ways and even with her magical abilities this foe might be more than she can take on her own.

Clean Sweep is the first book in an adult Urban Fantasy/Science Fiction series, where Earth is a little fish to the Universe's big ocean and most people don't know there's magic right next door let alone galaxies full of other races they could never dream exist. At first glance the story and setting seem uninteresting, an innkeeper in an inn, but the unique universe, characters, and setting (as time reveals) make this story and plot much more than it appears. Readers can expect plenty of action, unexpected developments, and a small side of Romance. Clean Sweep is very clean (lighter on the gruesome, profanity, and sexuality) in comparison to other Ilona Andrews series.

Publication Note: The Innkeeper Chronicles is self published. Ilona Andrews has several other traditionally published series (Kate Daniels, The Edge, Legacy, etc), but chose to self publish this series. The books go through beta readers and an editor before publication resulting in a very high quality product.

The Edge Cameo: Fans of Ilona Andrew's The Edge series should enjoy a brief cameo of two characters - This cameo is clearly many years after Steel's Edge (The Edge, Book 4).

Clean Sweep Includes:
  • A kiss
  • Musings about a man's equipment, the potential size of said equipment
  • Full nudity mentioned without detail
  • Suggestive teasing
  • Grown man discreetly urinating on various individuals land/yards
  • Intoxication
  • Use of magic
  • Profanity: B*llsh*t, d*mn it, smart *ss, Jesus (could be seen as supplication or curse in context) 
  • Mutilated animal bodies alluded too
  • Injuries (references to blood)
  • Dead bodies (not particularly detailed)
  • Killing (unpleasant, but not super gruesome)
Innkeeper Chronicles
  1. Clean Sweep
  2. Sweep in Peace 
  3. One Fell Sweep

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, Book 3), by Patrick Ness

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, book 3)
By: Patrick Ness
ISBN-10: 1406310271
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Mayor Prentiss has raged war against the Spackle just as some of Viola’s people land a spaceship on the planet, and it’s up to Todd and Viola to come between the three colonies as peacemakers . . . But the peace and freedom the two teens long for will come at a hard price.

Monsters of Men is the third and final book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, a psychological sci-fi thriller series. Fans of the previous books should not be disappointed with this conclusion.

It contains:

• Profanity (godd*mn, Jesus, h*ll, and “effing,” used in place of the F-word)
• Mention of a man having inappropriate thoughts about a woman
• Violence (many deaths, descriptions of blood, killing, explosions, injuries, and suicide; all quite gory and emotional)
• A kiss

More Chaos Walking reviews:
Book 1: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Book 2: The Ask and the Answer

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, book 4), by Darynda Jones

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, book 4)
By: Darynda Jones
ISBN: 978-1250014467
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Traumatized by recent events, Charley (Grim Reaper and PI extraordinaire) spent the last couple months in a reclusive state of denial, but when she is hired to discover who is out to kill her client, Charley may have to venture outside of the safety of her apartment walls.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet has strong themes of fear, PTSD, and the after effects of past trauma. This installment shows us a much more vulnerable side of the thus far fearless grim reaper and the resulting character and relationship development add to the series as a whole. That being said, fans of the series can expect to find the typical Charley Davidson humor and fast pace fully intact.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is an adult urban fantasy / paranormal romance and contains:
  • References to past torture
  • Past child abuse  
  • Killing, attempted murder & murder
  • References to a child being stoned to death in the past
  • Electroshock therapy 
  • Demon possession, Satan, hell, demons
  • References to a curse
  • Language: F word, cr*p, etc
  • Drinking, drunkenness
  • Implied homosexual interest
  • References to Sexual desires, erections, kissing with tongue, etc 
  • Detailed sex scene (includes oral sex)

More Charley Davidson Books:
  • Book 1: First Grave on the Right (Review)
  • Novella 1.5: For I Have Sinned
  • Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
  • Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead (Review)
  • Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Review)
  • Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light
  • Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge
  • Book 7: Seventh Grave and No Body
  • Book 8: Eighth Grave After Dark (Review)
  • Book 8.5: Brighter Than the Sun (Review)
  • Book 9: The Dirt on Ninth Grave
  • Book 10: The Curse of Tenth Grave
  • Book 11: Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
  • Book 12: The Trouble with Twelfth Grave

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Book Review: In a Glass Grimmly (A Tale Dark & Grimm, Book 2), by Adam Gidwitz

In a Glass Grimmly (A Tale Dark & Grimm, book 2)
By: Adam Gidwitz
ISNN-10: 9780525425816
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Jack wants to be a normal boy, not a prince, so he can play with the other boys. His sister, Princess Jill, wishes she were beautiful, like their mother. After the pair of royal siblings each suffer an extreme embarrassment, they decide to leave their kingdom in search of the Glass Grimmly, which is said to grant wishes. On the way they will encounter clever mermaids, gruesome giants, deadly goblins, and even more horrible dangers.

This sequel to A Tale Dark & Grimm follows a different pair of main characters in another darkly-crafted, violent package of retellings based on the Grimm Brothers’ fairytales. It contains:

• Full nudity
• Violence (descriptions of wading through blood and vomit; nearly drowning; someone almost cutting off their own hand; a character’s lips are sewn together; references to murdering children)

This middle grade novel would be far too sickening to read if it weren’t for the author’s witty interventions in the midst of the gory scenes. In a Glass Grimmly is slightly more violent than the first book.

More A Tale Dark & Grimm reviews:
Book 1: A Tale Dark & Grimm

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Book Review: Into the Fire (Night Prince, book 4), by Jeaniene Frost

Into the Fire (Night Prince, book 4)
By: Jeaniene Frost
ISBN: 0062465864
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With magic tying Leila's life to the life of Vlad's worst enemy, Mircea, at least she knows that whatever torture Mircea may magically inflict on her, her life is safe unless he becomes suicidal. Of course that safeguard goes to pieces when Mircea is captured. Now Vlad and Leila must meet the kidnappers' demands or else.

Into the Fire is the final Night Prince novel. Readers can expect to see similar (or lighter) levels of sexuality, violence, and profanity as well as similar tone/pacing to the earlier three books. The emotional aspects of the story are mostly concluded in a satisfactory though brief manner, but one very large objective is left hanging without any explanation. There is also an obvious side story intentionally left open because the author delves into that story in her next series.

Into the Fire is an Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance and includes:
  • Killing without remorse (necessary and unnecessary, intentional and unintentional) 
  • Blatant disregard of the lives of others (if a main character doesn't care for you, you are expendable)
  • Manipulative and controlling behavior 
  • Profanity (F word, etc)
  • Injuries (Burns, cuts, severed limbs etc - most description is of burns, blood and depth of injuries)
  • Some self mutilation (with purpose) 
  • Death (Exploding bodies, death by fire, knife wounds, electrical related deaths, suicide)
  • Many references to male/female intimate places and sexuality
  • Guy/Guy kiss
  • Multiple sex scene (including oral sex, blood drinking and references to genitalia)
  • Brief reference to past rapes
  • Demon summoning & Soul Bartering

More Night Prince Novels
  1. Once Burned
  2. Twice Tempted
  3. Bound By Flames
  4. Into the Fire
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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1), By Rick Riordan

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1)
By: Rick Riordan
ISBN: 1484760387
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Magnus had a descent life as far as being a homeless orphan sleeping on the streets went. Then he died. Suddenly if he doesn't find his way back to Earth and stop a super powerful bad dude from setting free an even more powerful bad dude the world or rather worlds (yep, plural) will be over. Fried, toast, done and gone.  So much for resting in peace.

The Sword of Summer is the first book in Rick Riordan's young adult series centered around Norse Mythology. The story is told in first person with a similar tone and pacing to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The story leans heavily on places and characters from Norse mythology and there is a brief cameo from a Percy Jackson universe character with strong suggestion that further crossover is to come.

The Sword of Summer Includes:
  • Dysfunctional extended family 
  • Deaf & Mute character with a history of cruelty and unacceptance by family and society. 
  • Muslim character (Includes brief references to mosque, hijab, social perception of the character as a terrorist, family expectations)
  • Reference to a character's parents not being married when they were born. 
  • Arranged marriage referenced.
  • Character who justifies theft so long as it is from people who the character perceives as a jerk or a jerk and wealthy.
  • Death of a parent (historical event) 
  • Deaths (many in a variety of ways, there are references to limbs/heads being lost, persons being eviscerated, burned etc - but the actual events aren't really given much more detail. There are references to blood.) 
  • Wounds (chopped off nose, burns, etc)  
  • Implied flipping someone off. 
  • Profanity: gods, bastard (used by a character to describe themselves due to their parentage), many references to characters using profanity without the actual words given.
  • Several myths that involve cruel "punishment" of gods by gods are referenced as well as myths that involve messed up sexual bargains (such as bartering "marriage for a day" for goods)
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