Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Warcross - Book Review

Warcross (Warcross #1)
by Marie Lu

What is it about:
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

What did I think of it:
I will confess I was wary when I started on this book. I have tried two other books by Lu. The first I finished, but it didn't impress me, the second I DNFed. The blurb of this book did sound good though, and when it was picked as this month's read at an online book club I'm part of, I decided to give it a try.

And to my surprise I loved it!

Emika is of course a bit of a Wunderkind, good at everything she tries, but not in an annoying way. I was interested in her life from the start, and when she meets Hideko I was hooked.

The whole Warcross game was intriguing and it's clear Lu is a gamer herself, she makes Warcross and everything connected to it feel real and exciting. I actually chuckled when I encountered a reference to Leeroy Jenkins. I was as invested in Emika finding out what's going on as I was in seeing her team win the games. The scenes where they are in Warcross are creative and full of action.

I liked seeing Emika grow over the course of this book. She is closed off and stubborn at first, thinking she can handle everything on her own. It was nice to see how she warms up to others and starts trusting. Her investigation into the security problems of Warcross is dangerous and I rooted for her to stay on top of things and survive.

And then there's Hideko. If there's one thing I can say against this book it's that there's not enough Hideko. I loved him. He's a very complex character, and got more interesting and intriguing with every scene he's in.

And then there's the ending! I can tell you that the ending made me love this book even more! You bet I'll be getting my trotters on the next book, because I want more!

Why should you read it:

It's a cool futuristic YA read full of action.

Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - My Lady Jane

Tea, he was going to offer. Because he was English and that's what the English do under stress: they drink tea.

(page 55, My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 23 April 2018

The Plagued Spy - Book Review

The Plagued Spy (The Immortal Spy, Book 2)
by K.A. Krantz

What is it about:
It’s all fun and games until someone breaks out the needles.

It was supposed to be a simple retrieval mission. Go in, grab the bespelled package of evidence against some very corrupt superpowers, and get out. The mission turns sideways when a vengeful spy Bix blackballed during her time in Dark Ops crashes the job and injects Bix’s teammates with an unknown toxin. Succumbing to a horrific mutation, the dying spook whispers the Mayday protocol for a compromised covert operation involving a biological weapon.

With her friends infected and sequestered in quarantine, a mole inside the spy guild exposing its undercover agents, and the brightest minds in the Mid Worlds unable to identify the biologic, Bix picks up the mission to find the creators and the cure. She’ll square off against Fates, dragons, angels, and even the god of plagues to save her friends; yet the greatest threat might well be the darkness growing within Bix and the evil on which it feeds.

Beware the plagued spy, for wrath and ruin are sure to follow…

What did I think of it:
I loved the first book in this series and was stalking Amazon for the release of book 2 when I was offered an ARC. You bet I jumped on that chance.

And this is yet another great read!

Bix is in for a lot of trouble. Two of her friends get injected with a very nasty toxin, and she is on a race against the clock to find out what is going on and to find a cure. If that's not enough, she has to deal with her rediscovered powers, her past, and Gods who might be just a bit too interested in her.

I was totally invested and was just as eager as Bix to find out what was going on and what secrets lurk in her past. I couldn't put this book down until I finished it. There is lots of action, intrigue, and conspiracies. As Bix uncovers some secrets, more pop up and hint at things that happened and things to come.

Bix is a great heroine. She is powerful, but her amnesia makes her vulnerable. She has people she trusts and who she relies on, but at times it's unclear if her trust is justified. There are a lot of other characters in this book, still it's easy to keep track of them. I had a couple of favorites and hope to see more of them in future books.

All in all this book was everything I hoped for and you bet I'll get my trotters on a print copy of this book, and the next once it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome UF read.

Buy from Amazon

Friday, 20 April 2018

The Darkest Minds - Book Review

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)
by Alexandra Bracken

What is it about:
Ruby is sixteen. She is dangerous. And she is alive. For now.

A mysterious disease has killed most of America's children. Ruby might have survived, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse than a virus: frightening abilities they cannot control. Pressured by the government, Ruby's parents sent her to Thurmond, a brutal state 'rehabilitation camp', where she has learned to fear and suppress her new power. But what if mastering it is a whole generation's only chance for survival?

What did I think of it:
This is an entertaining read.

I had to step over the fact that apparently almost all adults just went along with putting their children in camps. It seemed highly unlikely to me, but it wasn't the weirdest set up I've encountered in Dystopian fiction.

I had hoped to learn a little bit more about the camp and Ruby's life there. As it is she gets out before I got a clear picture how bad she had it there. My guess is that it was really bad, but Ruby's priorities after she escapes made me reconsider.

Because if there's one thing that annoyed me about this book it was Ruby. She escapes and has a backpack given to her by people who might be dodgy if not dangerous. Does Ruby immediately ditch it, or at least looks inside: of course not! What she does do the first chance she got: shave her legs! Because when you're on the run from multiple parties it is the perfect time for your first shave! o_0

That I kept reading was because I liked two of the kids Ruby teams up with: Chubs and Zu. I soon found myself rooting for these two characters instead for Ruby. They were both interesting and cool imo, unlike Ruby and her bland love interest. (Yes: this story would have been so much better if Chubs had been the love interest!)

There are some entertaining scenes while they're on the run, some further developments that made me want to kick Ruby for being extremely gullible, and finally a climax that gave me the feeling this whole story was a bit pointless.

Still I enjoyed the book for the most part, so I just might pick up the next book if I see it on sale. (Maybe Ruby perfects her shaving technique in book two.)

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining YA Dystopian read.

Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 19 April 2018

On McPig's Radar - Heroine's Journey

I loved the first two books, so you bet I pre-ordered this one.

Heroine's Journey (Heroine Complex #3)
by Sarah Kuhn

The final book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series completes the "Heroic Trio" as Bea Tanaka joins her sister, Evie, and diva Aveda Jupiter in their quest to free San Francisco from its demon portal problem

If there's one thing Beatrice Tanaka never wanted to be, it's normal. But somehow, her life has unfolded as a series of "should haves." Her powers of emotional projection should have made her one of the most formidable superheroes of all time. And she should have been allowed to join her older sister Evie as a full-fledged protector of San Francisco, pulverizing the city's plethora of demon threats.

But Evie and her superheroing partner, Aveda Jupiter, insist on seeing Bea as the impulsive, tempestuous teenager she used to be--even though she's now a responsible adult. And that means Bea is currently living a thoroughly normal life. She works as a bookstore lackey, hangs out with best friends Sam Fujikawa and Leah Kim, and calms her workplace's more difficult customers. Sure, she's not technically supposed to be playing with people's mental states. But given the mundanity of her existence, who can blame her?

When a mysterious being starts communicating with Bea, hinting at an evil that's about to overtake the city, she seizes the opportunity, hoping to turn her "should haves" into the fabulous heroic life she's always wanted. But gaining that life may mean sacrificing everything--and everyone--she holds dear...

Expected publication: July 3rd 2018
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Reign of the Fallen - Book Review

Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen #1)
by Sarah Glenn Marsh

What is it about:
Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

What did I think of it:
This is a very cool read.

I loved the idea of a world where the dead are resurrected and keep on interfering with the living, and keep ruling the country. I could easily picture this world where the dead cling to their unchanging ways, stifling the living.

Odessa is a great heroine. She is able to see the problems the dead cause, but is also painfully aware she would be nothing if she didn't have her necromancy skills. Her struggles, her grief when she loses someone she cares about, her doubts, they felt all too real and kept me reading. I loved both the emotions and the worldbuilding in this book.

Even though I sniffed out the one behind the conspiracy right away I very much enjoyed the story. There were some suspenseful scenes, and it was fun trying to see if there were clues that would confirm my suspicions.

What didn't work for me was the romance. I know this not the fault of how it was written, but because I just couldn't picture it.
Odessa's love interests are siblings.
I myself have been hopelessly in love with one half of identical twins, and never did I even feel attracted to the other half. So that the romance didn't work for me, is all on me. I will admit that one particular scene in hindsight felt really creepy/icky to me btw.

The book has a satisfying ending that makes it work as a standalone, but there will be a sequel, so you bet I'll get hold of it.

Why should you read it:
Two words: Necromancer heroine!

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - Warcross

Hideo gives me a skeptical look. "And would you admit it?"
"I would've appreciated your directness, instead of this roundabout game you're playing with me."

(page 95, Warcross by Marie Lu)

Buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!