Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Night is Found by Kat Kruger: Blog Tour

The Night is Found (The Magdeburg Trilogy #3)
by Kat Kruger
Fierce Ink Press
ISBN: 9781927746578
Buy from Indigo
Suggested Ages: 13+

Description: When they tried to kill a prince, they made a king.

In the aftermath of his pack leader’s assassination Connor Lewis is ready to take control. Rodolfus de Aquila’s plan before he died was to unite the European werewolf packs against their common enemies: the Hounds of God who make the laws and enforce them ruthlessly with questionable motives, and the Luparii, an intergovernmental group of werewolf hunters now bent on the extermination of his kind. The uneasy alliance between these two factions has fallen apart, and now a battle wages leaving the pack werewolves scrambling to escape bio-chemical warfare on one side, and total domination on the other.

After hearing rumors of a union between the American packs Connor returns with Amara to his home city of New York to learn how to bring the Old World packs together. Werewolf society in the New World has taken a very different course from that of Europe, but when Connor meets the American leaders he begins to question if their ways are, in fact, the path forward.

A world away from Madison, Arden, and all those that he is trying to protect, Connor must discover the secret to uniting and leading the packs under one final charge, or else risk extinction for their entire species in the epic conclusion to The Magdeburg Trilogy.

The Good Stuff
  • Fabulous conclusion to a truly unique and unusual series
  • Characters are full of flaws which make them so very very human (or wolf)
  • So much work was obviously put into world building and character development
  • Extremely fast paced - was on the edge of my seat on many occasions 
  • It makes you believe that scientifically this could totally happen 
  • Ben is a delightful addition to the tale
  • Ending is not wrapped up as all happily ever after - there is real life here in this fantastical tale
  • Highly recommend this book for those who want something very different and 
  • Fierce Ink Press is a brilliant publisher who produces top notch Canadian fiction 
  • Could lead to some interesting discussions about ethics
  • Fabulous uses of humour 
  •  Intriguing use of settings
 The Not So Good Stuff
  •  Should have gone back to the first two books as I was a tad confused at times (or lets face it I am old and overworked - brain is a wee bit fuzzy these days
  • Yeah, never really got the point of the character of Esrin

Favorite Quotes/Passages

 "The memory registers. "Your zombie mouse? Yeah, he bit me. You said it was nothing. Did I ge Peter Parkered?|

"With Great power comes great mistrust."
"That's not how that line goes."

"It would be a kind of farce if the Founders turned out to be some version of Law and Order: Special Werewolf Unit."

"Creature comforts. What a weird turn of phrase since in my other form all of this would be completely redundant."

4 Dewey's

I received an e copy of this from Fierce Ink Press in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dr Who Obsession

I know there hasn't been much action on this blog lately.  Between  Mommy stuff (It's the summer, I have no time to myself since I work part-time and I am with kids all day)  and my Dr Who obsession I haven't had much time to read and review books right now.  The only book reviews I have been posting are ones that I am obligated to or well just felt like sitting back with a glass of wine and doing something useful like talk about what I think about the book I just finished (run on sentence, much).  On Goodreads I have been doing extremely brief reviews to just keep track of everything I have read. If you are interested in any way, here is my page

It's funny this recent Dr Who obsession of mine.  I was born in 1970 and my first experience with Dr Who,  probably circa 1976 or so, was Tom Baker. That dude scared the crap out of me, and lets not get into the Daleks  You gotta remember it was the 70's and there was all that icky orange, and brown and bad lighting.  Plus the Dalek's were kinda scary to a big wuss like myself (though, lets face it, the Dalek's kinda looked like garbage cans with toilet plunger hands - not exactly the thing of normal peoples nightares)  It really was creepy looking, and obviously left me scarred for life LOL! . Every-time the commercials for it came on with that freaky music I would rush to the tv (yes no remotes back then you young whipper snappers) and change the channel as quickly as possible.

Tom Baker

Flash forward to my adulthood. Friends would constantly tell me that I would totally love Dr Who, but I would totally just ignore them.  I did catch a few minutes of a Dr Who episode with the Tristan Doctor (Peter Davison - Tristan refers to the show I knew him from - All Creatures Great and Small) when my hubby was flipping channels one night and watched for a few minutes.  Don't really remember much about it with the exception of that it was Tristan now playing him, he wasn't so scary and that it was odd that he had a piece of celery on him (Must remember to look up the significance of this after I finish writing this post)

Peter Davison

Skip forward a few more years (yes I am old and stubborn,  thank you very much) and my pals, Natasha and Jenn,  would regularly tell me how awesome the show was and how I NEEDED to watch it.  They even tried to get me watching by mentioning how hot this John Barrowman guy was.  As usual I totally ignored them.  Another year later I had moved to Calgary and got a job with Chapters.  As you probably won't be shocked, many of my co-workers were also Dr Who lovers (Refuse to use the term Whovian).  And once again, they all tried to get me to watch with no success.  Well 2012 came along and I was heading to the Calgary FanExpo .  When I mentioned to Jenn and Natasha that John Barrowman was coming to the Expo, they squeed and said you HAVE to go see him.  Decided that if I could, I would try to get a picture of Barrowman signed for Jenn,  who was coming to visit me later in the year  for her birthday.  Wasn't going to go out  of my way, but figured I would think about trying.

Was waiting in line for a photo op with Peter Dinklage when a bunch of girls behind me started screaming and making suggestive comments to this guy walking by -- yup John Barrowman.  Unlike most actors who would just smile and wave, Barrowman came up to the girls and let them grab his ass.  Thought it was really sweet and than thought, ok, I will make an effort to go see him (but just a maybe, still wasn't going to go out of my way)

John Barrowman (sorry crappy picture)

Later on in the day I was waiting in line for two hours for my then pretend boyfriend, Nathan Fillion.  As there wasn't much to do (and the people around me were not very chatty), I  people watched all of those in line for Barrowman, who was in the next booth from Fillion.   Every single person leaving his line was giddy and had the biggest smiles you had ever seen. I started watching Barrowman (line was starting to speed up) and he looked at each and every one of his fans and interacted with them. For someone who has been to tons of these types of events, that if a very rare thing to see from an actor.  After meeting Fillion (if bored, here is my recap of that) I rushed over to Barrowman's lineup to chat with him.  He was truly delightful to chat with and I promised him that since he was so lovely I was going to purchase a photo op with him.

Barrowman joking with fan about what to do with her shaking hands
 One of the best photo ops I have ever taken part in.  Once again each and every person in line he took the time to play around with and even suggested different poses.  He was so charming and handsome and unfortunately for all of us ladies,  gay.  Damn, all of the really good ones are gay aren't they.  I bet you he would be a true delight to hang out with -- call me John, ok?

Yup, I touched Captain Jack, before I knew how awesome the character was

Even after this, it was almost a full year till I finally watched my first episode of Dr Who.   Was feeling a little sick one night and couldn't read so I was flipping through Netflix (even-though when I moved to YYC almost 2 yrs ago, Natasha had gifted 5 seasons of Dr Who to me as a present) and figured what the hell, I will try an episode.  Fell in love with Christopher Eccelston and Dr Who right away.  The special effects were cheesy, but that was part of the charm.  And god I love British television, everyone is so real looking, not a plastic (tee hee first episode I saw) looking one in the bunch.

Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston

Fast forward  six weeks after that and I had gone through 7 seasons of the new incarnation of Dr Who and am now a huge fan. Totally kicking myself for never having listened to all those wise Dr Who fans over all the years.  See I can admit when I am wrong. I am not sure why I love it so much, but I do.  Each and every episode (have only been bored by one episode, and disliked another one) hooks me in and I am bereft when it is over. 

Also Nathan Fillion is now no longer number 1 on my Top 5 of hot celebrities. He's down to #2 after David Tennant (sorry feel rather unpatriotic not having a Canadian as #1, but hey Tennant IS Scottish and I have weakend Scottish blood in me -- Paternal Grandfather and Maternal Great Grandfather Scottish).

Have enjoyed watching some other Tennant's performances (he was brilliant as the lead in Richard II).  If you get a chance also check out his performances in Decoy Bride, Traffic Warden, Fright Night,  and Much Ado about Nothing.  Haven't seen any of his other performances, but don't worry, I will eventually.  Also check out some of the interviews on youtube with  him, and you will understand why he is my new pretend boyfriend.

Tennant in Fright Night looking so unDoctor like

Random Thoughts
  • My favorite Doctor is Tennant, followed by Eccleston and than Smith.
  • My favorite companions are Rose, Donna, Amy/Rory, River Song and obviously Captain Jack.  
  • Liking Clara so far, haven't really got to know her well, but think she will join my list of favs
  • Dalek's still freak me out but the Weeping Angels freak me out more - trust me you will never look at statutes in the same way again
  • The episode Blink and Vincent and the Doctor should be viewed by everyone, not just Dr Who fans. 
  • Had no idea when I started watching that I would cry during so many episodes
  • David Tennant is seriously hot and I am rethinking that tongue scene in Harry Potter in a new light
  • Never knew the term sonic screwdriver could be used in a sexual way
  • If I could look like anyone I would like to look and sound like Karen Gillan
  • The Doctor NEEDS to have a companion
  • Favorite Episodes: Journey's End, Vincent and the Doctor, Blink, The Family of Blood, The Girl Who Waited, Father's Day, The Girl in the Fireplace, Silence in the Library, The Angels Take Manhatten, The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor
  • The Water on Mars episode freaks me out
  • Tom Baker, who used to inspire fear in me, actually made me cry during an episode of the show.
  • Donna's Grandpa is a pure delight, one of my favorite secondary characters
  • Didn't hate Martha, but didn't like her much either - whiny and way too needy
  • One episode is set in a library and another episode plays my favorite piece of classical music , Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky
  • Dr who has brought new friendships into my life.   And no we don't just talk about Dr Who.
  • Another one of my pretend boyfriends is in an episode, Anthony Stewart Head 
  • As I don't have too much money and I am a practical girl at heart, I don't have too much Dr Who merchandise.  However, I have a pair of  TARDIS earings, Dalek and Tardis socks and have some Lip Balm on order from BlueBoxBalm  (Will tell you about it when it arrives)
  • Have on occasion slipped into a British accent or used the following sayings: Allons Z, Are You My Mummy, Run, Fantastic or Don't Blink
  • Peter Davison is Tennant's Father in Law and Tennant married the chick who played his daughter in an episode

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Clare North

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
by Clare North
Redhook Books (Hachette)
ISBN: 9780316399616
Buy from Indigo

Description: The extraordinary journey of one unforgettable character - a story of friendship and betrayal, loyalty and redemption, love and loneliness and the inevitable march of time.

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. 'I nearly missed you, Doctor August,' she says. 'I need to send a message.'

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow

The Good Stuff
  • Excellent introduction, grabbed my attention right  away
  • Universal truths and thought provoking ideas
  • Had a hard time reading this at first, but Jen L, said to read it like a man was telling you a story with a lot of off sides and bingo - the story became a breeze and thoroughly enjoyable to read
  • Interesting concept to  have technology developed before it is supposed to and how this could lead to the end of the world
  • Plenty of twists and turns, red herrings and big surprises to keep you invested in the story
  • Totally love the the added bonus of  leaving messages to your past self at #HARRYAUGUST or
  • Enjoyed the paragraph where he writes to his biological father about his war experiences - makes the characters more human and less caricatures
  • Truly unique twist -sort  of a intelligent Groundhogs Day

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Jumps around a lot so you have to be really paying attention
  • Paradox's and time travel hurt my wee little brain
  • Delightfully wicked dark humour

Favorite Quotes

"Either to change a world - many, many worlds, each touched by the choices I make in my life, for every deed a consequence, and in every love and every sorrow truth - or nothing at all."

"Is there innocence in ignorance? And if there is, do we tolerate others for their innocence's sake?"

"I had been surprised at how easy it is to corrupt men.  Even, good men, it seemed, could be swayed once you had them used to the notion that it was acceptable to give them a gift o a bottle of wine, then a gift of a new toy for their kid, then a gift of a day out for the family,then a weekend away, then membership of a golf club, then a new car .... by which point the great mass of gifts already accepted  made the rejection of this latest present hard even for the best of men and their status as morally compromised assets complete in both the eyes of criminals and the view of the law."

"The music was being produced by a would be torturer aged seven and a half and her violin of pain."

4 Dewey's

I purchased this at my Chapters Shawnessy as part of our staff "Non-Girly Book Club"