Paperback Review

Beyond the Western Sea by Avi

BeyondtheWesterSea

I haven’t ever really expected to like a Christian novel. Generally I’m not fond of every other page spouting off religion-and this certainly does that. But Avi is a wonderful writer, and the characters are so real and lifelike that they seem to be there before your very eyes, playing out their stories. There are bad guys who actually act like bad guys, and poor unfortunate souls who keep getting lost and turned around and generally just having bad luck.

I really love this book, and I’m glad I own a copy, because it’s a fantastic read, and I’m going to look and see if there are more books by this author at my local library.

Five Stars!

Hello, fellow book lovers!

I’ve got lots of books to talk about, as I’ve been reading a fair bit lately. Here’s a list of categories tentatively planned out to discuss:

Hardbacks
Paperbacks
Ebooks
Netgalley-a website where you can download ebooks for free (http://www.netgalley.com)
Email Requests-authors/publishers who ask me to read a PDF book version, sometimes a real book to review (happening a lot more frequently these days)
Books In the Mail-birthday books, publishing company books that are sent to me, borrowed books, etc.
Surprise Books-books that I happen to get unexpectedly when traveling/visiting book stores
Library Rentals-books that I snag from the library
Barnes and Nobles/Bookstores-books from B&B and random other bookstores/book fairs that I go to
Free Amazon Books-I generally pick up Amazon books that I wish to read

I believe that these will have their own pages, once I start getting things settled on this blog. For those of you who are new, please forgive me as I’m changing things around-this blog is almost one year old, and I’m only just now getting around to fixing things up so that it stands out, and looks a lot nicer. I’ve changed the heading, I have a YouTube, and I’m hoping to get its own Twitter account, as well as a Facebook account. It has an email account: riapotterwrites@gmail.com though I’m thinking of changing that as well so that its just for this website, though my email primarily does mainly bookish themes it has a few other things that I’ve signed onto as well.

Now, there will be times when I’m not on for days/weeks at a time, because I travel and I also don’t have wifi at home. However, the local library has a new thing where I can check out a wifi hotspot for a week at a time. Though signal where I live is very poor indeed (only one bar on my smart phone!), I’m hoping that week will be a lot more posts on books.

Also, I’m thinking of tentatively linking my Wattpad account linked, as well as a few other links on this website as well. Thoughts?

Read Books:
Polar Heat by Simone Beaudelaire (Free Kindle Book)
Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (Re Read Kindle Book)
My Name Is For My Friends-Joe Vasicek (Free Kindle Short Story)
Ocean’s Fire-Stacey L. Tucker (Netgalley Free Kindle Novel)

Once the categories of books that I have made are up and running on this blog, I intend on going back through my blog and linking each review into the appropriate category. I also intend on going to Goodreads and linking each review from Goodreads to my blog. That will take a LOT of time and effort, and frankly I hate the idea of doing it, but am doing it anyway because I want to be more organized with my books, and want my blog to show just how much I read.

Does anyone know how to do badges for WordPress? I’m trying to link that I’m an affiliate of various websites (Netgalley, Goodreads, random blogs) and I can’t figure it out. Some help would be much appreciated!

Well, I think that this is a long enough post for now. Thanks for checking in, and be sure to check back often to see what new changes I’ve made with this blog. Have a great weekend everybody!

Cheers!
-Pass Me That Book

Books In the Mail

Books I’ve Read Lately:

I’ve read a fair few books here lately, which is part of why I haven’t been on to post. I’ve gained a handful of books from Red Hook Books/Hatchett Book Group (thanks!), and am working on a few from them, as well as some from the library. My birthday was yesterday, but my Birthday Book Haul doesn’t happen until the end of this month, when I can go to Half Priced Books and go nuts. I’ve got about twenty dollars on my card, and am expecting more cash from family, which will be anywhere from $25 from one group, to another $20 from someone else, and so on. The end of this month is looking to be the best book haul in years! I’ve already got a book list planned!

Anyway, on to the books that I’ve read here lately. Most of the books that I’ve read, I quit midway through because they weren’t what I wanted. While there was nothing wrong with the writing-indeed, a lot of the writing was quite excellent!-it was the story itself that I had no interest in. These are the books that I’ve read:

READ BOOKS

The Assosiation of Small Bombs-we get stories in the news all the time about bombings, and while the title is what drew me, and the writing style was rather good, I just didn’t want to read about yet another bombing. Sorry.

The Strays-this was another book that, if I had been in a different mindset, I would’ve probably loved. It was a bit more adult than I cared for, and the subject matter wasn’t one I was interested in. Still, the author certainly has a way with words, and I will keep an eye out of her works in the future.

Southern Rapture-This one was actually one of my favorites that I’ve read this past week! While the author rambled a little in some parts, the overall story was full of adventure, passion, and intrigue. Jennifer Blake has always been a favorite of mine, and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint!

Moroda-a review for this one is soon to come, as I’m almost finished with it. The author kindly provided me with a PDF file of it, and I am pleased to say that it doesn’t disappoint. If those of you who’ve read Dragonlance and liked that series, this will be one to look out for!

Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate-another PDF file that I’m going to review here soon. This one was also good, though kind of an odd detour from what I normally read. While it’s YA, it’s certainly not my usual type of YA. It’s like an odd cross between Shakespeare, and I don’t know what. Weird, quirky, and fun, this was an unexpected delight!

The Universe Versus Alex Woods-this one was provided to me by Hatchett, and I deeply enjoyed it, full of excellent writing, the story was phenomenal, and the characters were unique and cool. Thanks Hatchett!

The Thief’s Gamble-The byline on the cover is what drew me: don’t bet against a wizard, you might win! With that kind of line, of course I had to read it. I picked it up from the library, and devoured it in three and a half hours. I tried to prolongue it, but it was just too good to keep at it! Juliet McKenna is an excellent fantasy author, one that will surely please all fantasy readers.

There’s more, of course. But here is the list so far of what I’ve read in the past month!:

Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate

Southern Rapture
The Thief’s Gamble by
Ninth City Burning (currently reading)
Queen of Swords by William Kotzwinkle (apparently an underrated book on Goodreads)
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
The Fifth Season N. K. Jemesin (sp?)
The Wanderers by Meg Howard

Moroda by L.L. McNeil

The Beast of Verona by Sheritta Bitikofer

(Sorry for the weird spacing, been having computer issues as well.)

And some NetGalley books coming up as well, along with the Birthday Book Haul, whatever books I happen to pick up in St. Louis, and the next batch of books that I’m expecting to receive at the library. With so much to read, I’m finding it hard to work on my own novel, but with the first draft printed and ready to edit, I’m definitely going to post more about that soon.

Hope you enjoyed this weeks post, and I will try to be more prompt in posting reviews; it’s just been hectic with the last days of summer, as I’m sure you’re all familiar with! Have a great week/weekend, and see ya’ll again next time!

 

ARC Review: Heart of the Empire

I read this book in the span of a week (sidetracked due to summer ARCs received in the mail, and outings, and whatnot), and will try to read it in one sitting in the future. The author is an excellent story-teller. I loved her way with words, how she made the story flow, and the overall story was good. Savra is an awesome character-much like a young Khalessi, in fact, only without dragons or any of the Game of Thrones characters. She also vaguely reminded me of Caelaena Sardothian from the Throne of Glass series. She’s that cool.

The story was brisk, fast paced though it did have a few interludes where it slowed down to explain things, which I liked. The setting was sharp and vivid, and everyone was fighting to stay alive in a realm where the empire rules with an iron fist. Everyone had their own goals, their own plans, and it was all very real and very lifelike.

I definitely am going to read the next book in the series, because I want to savor all of this series. It’s like a hidden gem; full of awesome goodness that you didn’t expect to find but you’re pleasantly surprised that you’ve done so.

Five stars to a job splendidly done!

 

NetGalley Review

Aside from Books in the Mail, I also get approved books on NetGalley. This book is “Girl in Snow” by Danya Kukafka. The book was provided for me kindly by Simon and Schuster, because I’d asked for previous books like All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger.

This was an impressive first book. I admit, that cover is a little underwhelming, but the story itself-wow. I haven’t read a mystery this good in AGES. I really want to thank the publisher who asked if I wanted a copy of this because I’d requested three other mysteries on NetGalley, took a chance and said “Yes, please.” And I’m glad I did.

This book stole my heart, and stomped on it. The main character is bullied a lot, which wow there are some hateful people in this book. The girls are strong, the boys are harsh, and there’s a lot of violence towards one another. Small towns being what they are, everyone knows everyones business and isn’t polite about keeping it quiet. After all, what would a small town be without gossip?

The main girl in the book gets murdered, but the way the ending turns out was startling and unexpected. I won’t say much, for fear of spoilers, but it was an impressively well done mystery, and it takes a lot to impress me.

The characters all were phenomenal, and very lifelike, very real. I felt as if I was walking amongst them, learning about them, and trying to solve the mystery with them of who killed the girl. It was an amazing experience, reading this, and I read it twice before posting this review because of it.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing me with this book, I really loved it!

Books in the Mail

Books in the Mail is a post that’s fairly new, where I talk about ARCs that I’ve received from various publishing groups/companies. Today’s is Soul of the World by David Mealing. It’s a massive book, over 600+ pages that I need to read again because I feel like I’ve missed a few things. Here is my review, also posted on Goodreads and Amazon:

Well, this book took a while. It being over 600+ pages, and very detailed, it slowed me down quite a bit. There was a lot to see within this book, which made for some confusing reading here and there, but overall, I really liked it.

The writing is awesome. I love this writing style, and the only disappointing factor was the way that some things dragged. It would drag a bit, but then it would pick up the pace, and then drag itself down again. It was frustrating.

That being said, I liked the characters. I liked the magic system that Mr. Mealing built. It was definitely something I’d not encountered before (at least, not that I recall right off), and his way with words is impressive.

I will definitely read this book again sometime soon, and add more to this review, because it deserves more than what I’m writing now. I just need to read it again, take notes, and see if I’ve missed anything.

Thank you to Orbitz/Hatchett Book Group for this book, I really do appreciate it, it was excellent!

Books in the Mail

Today’s Books in the Mail post is technically meant for yesterday, but sadly I wasn’t able to get any wifi. I got THREE books in the mail (yes, three-you heard right) and all three of them are fairly large, beautiful looking books. One of which I had no idea would be as large as it is, but that’s almost always better.

Books in the mail is a post where I talk about books that I’ve received from publishing companies to review. Granted, it doesn’t happen often, but it’s happening a lot more frequently, and so I feel like this is the proper post for such. Reviews of books to be provided as soon as the books are read. I will also send a thank you on twitter to the publishing company who provided the books for me.

These three books I received are from Orbitz Books, and I will provide a link to their website at the bottom of this post for those who wish to browse their wonderful products. Orbitz Books provided me with these titles:

(provide pictures-get book details off of either Amazon or Goodreads, and post those here with the books)

Charming by Elliot James


The Court of the Broken Knives (Book One) by Anna Smith Spark


Soul of the World (Book One) by David Mealing

All of these are books that I’ve been eager to read, and am pleased to get them in the mail (of course, I’m pleased to receive ANY book in the mail). I will provide reviews within the following week (provided life doesn’t get in the way, and I can get online to do so). I thank Orbitz and Hatchett for providing these wonderful books my way. As promised, here’s a link to the Orbitz website, as well as Hatchett for those who wish to view their goods:

http://www.orbitzbooks.com
http://www.hatchettbookgroup.com

Now, I’m off to get some serious reading done! I’ll let you all know how the books turn out within the week!

Books I Want

Today’s post is a new feature that I have, called “Books I Want” in which I post photos of the books on Amazon that have caught my eye. If you like this feature, please comment or like, and let me know if I should change or add anything.

First up is: The Hundredth Queen

TheHundredthQueenThis book looks amazing! I’ve been hearing so much about it, and it tells the story of a girl about to be killed, but she has one night to capture the King’s attention, and so she tells him stories. That exactly the type of thing that sounds awesome in reading!

#2:

EventheDarkestStarsThis is described on Amazon as: The first in a sweeping and action-packed debut fantasy duology loosely inspired by the early climbers of Mt. Everest—perfect for fans of Cindy Pon and Alison Goodman. And I am really excited for this one as well.

#3:

TheBoneQueenOn Amazon, it starts off with: In a highly anticipated prequel to the Books of Pellinor, Alison Croggon captivates fans old and new with her ancient, legendary world of Annar. Now, I’ve read the Pellinor books back as a really young teenager and was really swept away by that world. This makes me want the books even more, because I know the author is good and has talent when it comes to world-building. Of course, I have to do a re-read of the original series, because it’s been that long since I’ve read them, but I remember enjoying the universe of Pellinor immensely!

#4:

WishingCrossStationThis cover makes me think strongly of the Stephen King book series “The Dark Tower” with the train? And the blurb at the top on the Amazon Description doesn’t help dissuade that: Don’t stay a moment longer than you have to. Don’t say too much. Don’t pollute the timeline. Of course, the timeline bit is certainly different from Stephen King, but the book cover itself is beautiful, and enchanting. I definitely want this book, but on Amazon it says “currently unavailable, out of print”, so I hope that one day it will be in print for me to grab it!

#5:

As You WishAnd finally, we have As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti. The description of this book sounds like something that I really want to read (don’t they all?): If you could make one wish that was guaranteed to come true—what would you wish for? Eldon’s about to make the biggest decision of his life in this fresh, emotional, and captivating novel from the author of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett.

Those are by no means all the books that I want this year, but those are my immediate WANTS. Especially that Pellinor book. I hope out of these five books, there’s one in here that you’ll find new for you. I tried picking current books that most friends of mine haven’t even heard were released yet. Did I succeed? Let me know in the comments! Like the page for future Books I Want posts, and if you’ve a question about one of the books, I’ll certainly try my best to answer them!

Thanks for tuning in this week, and until next time!

The Chilbury Ladies Choir Review

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This was a decent book, though not what I expected. Filled with women who are determined to be strong while their husbands are off at war, this was an emotional and strong willed character filled novel that was brimming with action and plot.

I had actually forgotten that I had this on kindle, and that I’d received a copy via Blogging for Books. Trying to be more updated with reviews, I’d been reading through my books on my kindle, and was pleasantly surprised to realize that I had this.

For those of you who want to know if this book is worth reading: it really is. While it’s not going to be my top five of the year, it’s still at least top twenty. It’s cover is pretty, the story is realistic, and the characters are intense.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for the review copy!

 

I Am Princess X Book Review

IAmPrincessXBookCover

Wow.

This book was impressive.

I finished it in four hours last night, because I didn’t want to stop. May and Libby were both amazing characters, the Jackdaw was one cool dude, and the bad guys were normal scary bad guys. They all had reasons for doing the things that they did, which made you sympathize with them while at the same time shouting at them that what they were doing was wrong.

The entire book focused around May but at the same time, it was telling Libby’s story of how she lost her mother, of how she was imprisoned…

Without giving away too many spoilers: May meets an IT guy who lives in the same apartment building she does. She and the IT guy-Patrick, who prefers to be called Trick-work together to find Libby and bring her back from the dead and save her from the bad guys.

It’s a fascinating story, and the artwork is awesome. I’m really in love with this book, and highly recommend buying it, it’s that good.

Thanks to Cherie Priest for writing this, because I really enjoyed it, and definitely look forward to more from Libby and May because it felt like it cut off rather abruptly at the end. Even despite that, the book is phenomenal, and I really love it.

Five amazing stars!

{review also posted on Goodreads, and Amazon}