Friday, 23 February 2018

Honor Among Thieves - Book Review


Honor Among Thieves (The Honors #1)
by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre


What is it about:
Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.


What did I think of it:
I've been eager to read this book ever since I heard Ann Aguirre read a part of it at the Love Letters Convention in Berlin last year.

And it doesn't disappoint. Have you heard me grumble about human looking aliens in the past? This book has proper aliens!

The Leviathan are a very intriguing species and I loved learning about them and the Honor program. It's clear they have their own agenda, and slowly Zara and the reader learn more about them.

Zara and her crew mate Bea were both great characters. I loved that they connect with each other from the start, and that there's no jealousy/competition between the two, as is often the case in YA. I also loved Nadim and the way he interacted with the girls.

The overall story was very cool, and the hints of the larger world out there had me eager to find out more and to keep reading. There's suspense, danger, secrets, and some really exciting action.

There was just one minor thing that bugged me, and that I myself would have left out, but it's too spoilery to go into it here, and it wasn't big enough to diminish my enjoyment.

The ending was not a cliffhanger, but there are lots of things Zara will have to deal with, and it did leave me hungry for the next book. You bet I'll get my trotters on it when it releases.

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


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Thursday, 22 February 2018

On McPig's Radar - As She Ascends

I loved the first book, so you bet I pre-ordered this pearl.


As She Ascends (Fallen Isles Trilogy #2)
by Jodi Meadows


MIRA, THE HOPEBEARER
Mira Minkoba is on the run with her friends after a fiery escape from the Pit, where she’d been imprisoned for defending the dragons she loves. And she wants answers. Where have all the dragons been taken? Why are powerful noorestones being shipped to the mainland? And did the treaty she’s been defending her whole life truly sell out the Fallen Isles to their enemies?

MIRA, THE DRAGONHEARTED
As her connection to the dragons—and their power—grows stronger, so does Mira’s fear that she might lose control and hurt someone she loves. But the only way to find the truth is to go home again, to Damina, to face the people who betrayed her and the parents she’s not sure she can trust.

Home, where she must rise above her fears. Or be consumed.

The second page-turning novel in Jodi Meadows’ Fallen Isles trilogy scorches with mysterious magic and riveting romance as one girl kindles a spark into a flame.



Expected publication: September 11th 2018
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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Aliens Abroad - Book Review


Aliens Abroad (Katherine "Kitty" Katt #16)
by Gini Koch


What is it about:
With the human population growing and alien refugees pouring in from around the galaxy, Earth is becoming too overcrowded to sustain itself--and the solar system is filling up with the alien overflow. Advanced technology from the Alpha Centauri and Vatusan systems offers one possible solution. It's time to explore new planets and see if any uninhabited ones can be claimed.

The President and First Lady, aka Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini, aren't supposed to be on this mission, but what looks like a snafu during a political photo op on the newly christened Distant Voyager spaceship turns out to be a call for help from a planet that might be Earth's salvation...or its destruction.

The discovery of a world at the opposite end of the galaxy that seems like it could be a twin to Earth creates the usual issues for Kitty & Company. It also raises questions of Z'porrah and Ancient influence--not to mention cloning, the multiverse, and, scariest of all, whether or not the Black Hole Universe Police are starting to take too much of an interest in this particular universe.


What did I think of it:
If you still haven't started on this series, you should go get the first book asap.

For those familiar with this series: this is yet another fun adventure in the roller-coaster ride that is Kitty's life.

Kitty and co get taken on a trip into space and things get wild. There are lots of new things they discover, Kitty has to save the day, and just when one crisis is averted the next comes knocking. There's a lot going on, and once again I had to keep paying attention to keep up with what's happening.

I loved exploring the galaxy together with Kitty and her crew. The ship they're on is very cool, and the things they encounter disturbing, cool, fun, and more. It's a good thing Kitty usually figures out what should happen to set things right, because there's a lot to fix in the galaxy.

All in all a fun and very enjoyable read. The ending makes me eager for the next book to find out what's thrown on Kitty's plate next.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining, SF roller-coaster ride.


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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - City of the Lost


"You're not getting in," he says.
"To your town, I presume. Because I don't take direction well?"

(page 53, City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong)


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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, 19 February 2018

Etched in Bone - Book Review


Etched in Bone (The Others #5)
by Anne Bishop


What is it about:
After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.


What did I think of it:
Things I've learned from reading this series:
Humans are evil and never learn
Women don't like bison meat
Meg is super special with special sauce on top

To be fair:
I very much enjoyed this series. Bishop is a master at world building and she creates really cool characters. It's just a shame that her heroines are lacking for me.

This book is a great read, but it felt as if Bishop had concluded her main storyline for this series in the previous book and then remembered she had forgotten to finish some minor storylines, so she came up with the plot in this book to tie everything up.

The story is almost entirely set in Lakeside and there's a lot of Meg. Luckily there were enough scenes with my favorite characters to make up for her specialness. I liked reading about Monty's mother, and I enjoyed the antics of the crows. The storyline isn't the best in this series, but it's entertaining.

All in all a nice wrap-up of the dangling storylines in Lakeside. I must say I'm looking forward to the paperback of the next book - Lake Silence - as it has new lead characters, one of them a Crowgard.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Urban Fantasy read.


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Friday, 16 February 2018

Siege and Storm - Book Review


Siege and Storm (The Grishaverse #2)
by Leigh Bardugo


What is it about:
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.


What did I think of it:
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, so when I won a book of my choice at a giveaway by I Smell Sheep I didn't have to think very long about what book to pick.

And this book is just as cool as the first.

I love Alina and I was invested in what's happening to her from the start. I didn't like Mal in the first book, and this book only made me dislike him more. He seems very selfish, and doesn't consider Alina's feelings. He's only focused on the future he wants, instead of trying to build a future that also includes Alina's dreams and desires. Still I very much fear he will be the one to end up with Alina in the last book of this trilogy.

Mal aside, this story is wonderful. There are a couple of really interesting new characters, some with dubious loyalties. I loved learning more about the world and about the plans of both Alina, the Darkling ,and others. I kept reading to find out where things would lead. Did Alina put her trust in the right people? Is the Darkling really as evil as he seems? Will Ravka survive its civil war?

All in all a very entertaining and enjoyable read. I'll get my trotters on the last book soon.

Why should you read it:

It's a wonderful YA Fantasy read.


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Thursday, 15 February 2018

On McPig's Wishlist - The Plagued Spy


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


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…



Expected publication: April 24th 2018