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
www.PatrickNess.com
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
www.AdamGidwitz.com
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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Book Review: Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, and Raven (Delirium Trilogy, Book 2.5), by Lauren Oliver

Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, and Raven (Delirium Trilogy, book 2.5)
By: Lauren Oliver
www.LaurenOliverBooks.com
ISBN-10: 0062267787
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Hana

Through Hana’s eyes, we see her growing jealousy as Lena and Alex grow closer, and Hana’s best friend begins slipping away from her.

Annabel

Lena’s mother has been locked away in a cell for years and is slowly rotting away—but that won’t stop her from dreaming of the day she might escape.

Raven

Raven has a secret that involves her boyfriend, Tack. But as the Invalids are planning to raid the city, is this the right time to tell him?

This collection of short stories is a companion novel to the Delirium Trilogy, and each of the novellas are interesting and add new depths to the books. As a whole, the stories contain:

• Kissing and making out
• Profanity (including a couple F-words)
• Brief reference to homosexuality (a girl walks in on two other girls kissing)
• Some violence
• Descriptions of a criminal being cold and hungry
• Teens drink and smoke at a party

The stories do contain some spoilers for Delirium and Pandemonium, so I would recommend reading this after finishing those two books or the whole Delirium Trilogy.


More Delirium reviews:
Book 1: Delirium

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book Review: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1), By Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1)
By: Kelley Armstrong
ISBN: 0061662690
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When a sudden resurgence of seeing things that aren't there lands Chloe in a home for troubled teens, she must choose between accepting her mental illness or exploring the possibility that what she believes about the world is wrong.


The Summoning, book one in the Darkest Powers Trilogy, is a young adult, urban fantasy that includes magic, necromancy, and themes of mental illness. The story is told in the first person, moderately paced and includes a number of tense and creepy moments. Readers should be aware that the ending is abrupt and inconclusive.

The Summoning Contains:
  • A word starting with a b is changed to witch mid pronunciation
  • Theft
  • Various rule breaking
  • Use of drugs/sedatives to try to control people
  • References to a young woman getting her period
  • Brief reference to using cleavage as a pocket
  • A joking remark (in a non sexual context) about it being the first time a teen boy had a teen girl in his bed.
  • Two references to a teen boy only wearing boxers and having a naked chest.   
  • Two teens are falsely accused of doing something unspecified but of a sexual nature.
  • A character with a speech impediment is teased
  • References to a cut bleeding a lot.
  • Physical Violence (Includes someone being hit over the head with a brick and someone being thrown across a room.)
  • Dead and decayed bodies (unpleasant but not super gruesome) and gross descriptions of ghosts appearing as they were in death (eyes hanging out of sockets, burn damage, hanging victim)
     
The Darkest Powers Trilogy:
  1. The Summoning
  2. The Awakening
  3. The Reckoning

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Review: Afterworlds, by Scott Westerfeld

Afterworlds
By: Scott Westerfeld
ScottWesterfeld.com
ISBN-10: 1481422340
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Darcy has written a book titled Afterworlds and is on the road to getting it published. Lizzie, the main character in Darcy’s book, is stuck in a paranormal universe parallel to the real world, and is still getting used to her new job as a psychopomp, a.k.a. a grim reaper.

Afterworlds is two separate books in one novel. One story follows Darcy, and the other Lizzie. Each of the girls’ tales are entwined, and they take turns narrating by alternating chapters.

Afterworlds is an informative, medium-paced young adult book, and includes:

• Profanity (many uses of the F-word)
• Violence (a terrorist attack, a serial killer murdered young girls, killing)
• Darcy is in a homosexual relationship throughout most of the book, and she and her girlfriend kiss and cuddle
• Reference to “hooking up”
• Underage drinking

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review: Wonder, by R. J. Palacio

Wonder
By: R. J. Palacio
RJPalacio.com
ISBN-10: 0375969020
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Auggie has been homeschooled all his life and is about to start going to public school. If the idea of being the “new kid” at school wasn’t terrifying enough, Auggie has another problem he’s worried about: his face has been deformed since birth, and he knows other kids won’t react well to his disfiguration.

Wonder is an emotional middle grade contemporary novel. It includes:

• Bullying
• Insults
• Kids fighting and physical, as well as verbal, assaults
• Auggie’s older sister has a boyfriend, and they kiss a few times
• Some seventh-graders smoke

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Book Review: Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick

Wonderstruck
By: Brian Selznick
www.WonderstrucktheBook.com
ISBN-10: 0545027896
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Ben and Rose are both deaf, and they both run away to New York one cold, stormy night—Rose to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, and Ben to find his father whom he has never met. But the children’s stories are set fifty years apart, so how will they come together, in the end?

It includes:

• Stealing
• Someone’s mother is divorced
• One character is the result of a brief romance
• Some drawings are spooky and suspenseful
• Smoking

Wonderstruck is indeed a wonder-filled middle grade novel. Rose’s tale is told through drawings, and Ben’s through words. The story is hopeful and uplifting, especially the way it ends.

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