Black cat

First Books of September

I have been really enjoying finding books for the LJ Book Bingo card as the categories are right up my alley. My card is here.  I hope you all have a really good upcoming week!  

Nanao, nicknamed Lady Bird—the self-proclaimed “unluckiest assassin in the world”—boards a bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka with one simple task: grab a suitcase and get off at the next stop. Unbeknownst to him, the deadly duo Tangerine and Lemon are also after the very same suitcase—and they are not the only dangerous passengers onboard. Satoshi, “the Prince,” with the looks of an innocent schoolboy and the mind of a viciously cunning psychopath, is also in the mix and has history with some of the others. Risk fuels him as does a good philosophical debate . . . like, is killing really wrong? Chasing the Prince is another assassin with a score to settle for the time the Prince casually pushed a young boy off of a roof, leaving him comatose.

When the five assassins discover they are all on the same train, they realize their missions are not as unrelated as they first appear.
~Goodreads Description

I can totally see why this book is being turned into an action movie. It is fast paced, a bit out there, and kinda dark. I liked that they were all essentially stuck on a train each with their own agenda but as the novel wears on you realize they are also have some very interesting connections. I also liked how the author switched povs between the various characters. There were a few cringy scenes that were not great. Although it is not my usual cup of tea it was a well written and interesting read. (Using this one for the Crime/Thriller Square)

This was an interesting book. I appreciated Robin McKinley's unique take on the vampire/urban fantasy plot. I liked the fact that her vampires are essentially a walking corpse. They no longer look human and they are not the stuff of romantic fantasies. She makes that clear several times in very gross terms. Sunshine was a strong character whose pov was interesting to read about. Also this book is a journey not a destination. What I mean by that is nothing happens quickly in this story. It meanders and backtracks and goes down a lot of informational spirals and eventually a plot happens. I don't mind that kind of story once I realize that is what is going on. My main problem with this book was the way Sunshine would have sooooooooo many asides. Basically the author would set up a tension filled scene and Sunshine would be in mortal peril and then she would all the sudden start thinking about some tangential point of information and it would take me out of the story every single time. It was hard to feel any sort of worry when the main character’s mind kept wondering. And it happened A LOT. Other then that it was a good book and I for the most part enjoyed it. (Using this one for the Free but Halloweeny Sqaure)
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Last Books of August

I am so tired tonight but I wanted to wrap up my August books before I started on the next round of ljbookbingo . It has been a busy couple of weeks but I hope everyone is doing good!

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.
~Goodreads Description

I really loved this book. The author does such a good job with the worldbuilding and the characters. I loved Elatsoe and was very intrigued by the journey she goes on to solve her cousin's murder. The way magic is integrated into their world was so brilliantly done. This is a standalone and I wish this was a series because I would love to follow Elatsoe as she becomes a private detective who helps people with the supernatural. It is a very unique read!

The Martian was one of my favorite books a couple of years ago when I read it but his sophomore book Artemis was more of miss for me. So I was a little leery when I picked this book up. But I have to say I really really enjoyed this story. I loved how much science was in this book even though I couldn't tell you how accurate it was I still enjoyed getting to read about it. Grace is a great pov character very relatable and I loved his partnership with Rocky. If you liked the Martian I think you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

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More Books For August

These last two weeks have been crazy busy. I haven't had a lot of free time and instead I have been running around trying to get everything done with not enough time to do it in. Thankfully audiobooks and my e-books have saved the day so I could read on the go. Here are some more books for August:

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.
~Goodreads Description

I greatly enjoyed this novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and I wish I had read it sooner. Casiopea is a well rounded and very understandable character. She is just basically a good person in a bad situation and you can totally relate to the decisions she makes, even if those decisions ultimately lead to trouble. I love the external adventure her and Hun-Kamé go on in order to restore him to the throne and I love the internal journey they go on as they start to influence and affect each other. The ending felt right as the conclusion of such a fantastic story. This was a delightful story and I can't wait to read more from this author.

I have seen this series recced for a long time and it sounds right up my alley. It has a hard hitting detective in a futuristic setting with romance included, I love all those things so with the help of my local library I finally decided to check it out.

I loved Eve, enjoyed the mystery, and was on the fence about Eve's relationship with Roarke.
I loved Eve, she was such an awesome character (I found myself picturing Annabeth Gish during her run on the X-Files). I loved how tough she was but at the same time could be vulnerable. She is also a great detective and very dedicated to her job as a cop and making sure the victims of crimes get justice, which I loved. I really enjoyed the mystery, I thought it was well thought out and kept my attention easily. One of the things that made me less then happy with this book was Roarke. I get that he is richer then God and more handsome then any other man on earth but I had a real problem with some of his actions in the book. This book was written in 1995 but even back then it was not alright to break into a woman's apartment and wait for them to come home. That is a major red flag. Although Eve gets mad initially in the end it's treated as no big deal. I found that difficult to believe. I did appreciate how supportive he was when Eve needed him to be but the overbearing alpha male thing he had going on was wearing and not romantic. I am hoping that as the series continues maybe this aspect of his personality will calm down a bit. Overall I did like it enough to continue. Warnings: Graphic sexual abuse of a child.

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Black cat

Last Books of July...First Books of August

I have reading a bit of a mixed bag here lately but I've enjoyed most of it. This should finish off the LJ Summer Book Bingo my card is Here. I have greatly enjoyed the challenge!

This sequel was so amazing. It was everything the first book was and more. The words have so much weight to them and none of them are wasted as they go about showing, telling, explaining, feeling, the myriad of events within the pages of this story. This story is told from many pov's none of it feels excessive but truly necessary in order to understand the complex situation that the characters find themselves in. The author is very good at showing all sides of a situation so that even if you don't agree with them you understand why people are acting the way they are. My review seriously isn't doing this duology justice. I highly recommend it. (Also I would recommend reading the two books back to back or as close to each other as possible.)

Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.

When Briseis's aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined--it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri's unique family lineage.
~Goodreads Description

I have been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it. First of all the cover is gorgeous so kudos to the artist. Secondly the I loved Bri and her unique talent with plants and nature was so fascinating to read about. I enjoyed the inclusion of all of the botany (both real and magical) and Greek mythology. I also really loved Bri's moms they were delightful and you could tell they loved Bri so much. The plot was well thought out. It does end on a cliffhanger which are never my favorite but the next book in the series is supposed to come out next year so I will just have to be patient. My one quibble would probably be this book took a long time setting everything up, which I don't mind when an author wants to take their time but it kind of made the action at the end feel a bit rushed and all at once. Other then that it was a good book and I look forward to the next one. (Using this one for my free space)
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Ray Vecchio

The One that Knows Me

Title: The One that Knows Me
Fandom: Battle Creek
Pairing: Russ/Milt
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2,889
Warnings: N/A
Summary: Russ has a migraine and Milt offers to help.  
Notes: Thank you to my awesome beta [personal profile] jdl71 . Written for [community profile] smallfandomfest  prompt: Post-series, first time.  Also written for [community profile] hc_bingo prompt: headache/migraine, table here.  Title taken from the song Better than I Know Myself by Adam Lambert

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Ray Vecchio


A few more books for July. This month doesn't seem to be going as quickly but I have been using reading/audiobooks to escape from the daily grind. These three books all work for the LJ Book Bingo Summer edition mine can be found Here.

I was wondering what to use for the "Read a Book with Terrible Reviews" square when I came across this video:

Her least favorite Agatha Christie book is Passenger to Frankfurt and this isn't the first time I've heard this book ranked least liked Christie novel and since on Goodreads it doesn't even break three stars (it's at 2.97) and it has a ton of bad reviews I decided to read it. Especially as I am hoping to read all of her books...eventually.

Overall I thought the book was just ok. I have to agree with other reviewers this is an odd book and not in a good way. The first quarter of the book isn't bad it starts with an interesting premise but after that it gets disjointed and almost incoherent. It was all pretty underwhelming. I love Agatha Christie but this book was not for me.

Renowned chef Elodie Winters’ dream job, private chef to a powerful family in New York, quickly becomes a nightmare when her employer turns out to be the head of a notorious mob family. Now on the run, she thinks she’s finally safe, having landed in the middle of the Arabian Sea, cook on the Asaka Express cargo ship. When the ship is taken by pirates, she can’t believe her bad luck…but it’s about to take a turn for the better.

Scott “Mustang” Webber is pulled from his current mission, along with the rest of his SEAL team, to prevent an act of piracy in the Middle East. They’re all surprised when the first person to radio for help is a woman. He soon senses “Rachel Walters” is hiding something, and offers his help. He’s both shocked and pleased when she actually comes looking for him in Hawaii months later. He’d felt a connection with her on that cargo ship…one he’s looking forward to exploring further.

Keeping Elodie safe in Hawaii turns out to be easy…until it isn’t. Long days in paradise have a way of making one complacent. Now Mustang is working against the clock and the elements themselves, as he faces his greatest mission ever—finding Elodie.
~Goodreads Description

I enjoyed this book. Elodie is a great character. I liked how normal she seemed in her likes and dislikes, her strengths and weaknesses, she felt like a real person. Scott was a sweetheart and enjoyed the camaraderie he had with his fellow teammates. I liked how the author switched viewpoints between the various characters and how she ramped up the tension as the book went on. I ended up skimming the sex scenes as they went on way to long and were a bit too descriptive for me but ymmv. Other then that it was a good book. (Using this for the Read a Book Set on an Island)

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Black cat

Of Hellhounds and Swim Lessons

Title: Of Hellhounds and Swim Lessons
Fandom: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Pairing: Hansel/Ben
Rating: PG
Word Count: 4,324
Warnings: N/A
Summary: Ben teaches Hansel how to swim. Things evolve from there.
Notes: Thank you to my amazing beta [personal profile] jdl71 . Written for [community profile] smallfandomfest  prompt: Ben teaches Hansel how to swim.  Also written for [community profile] hc_bingo prompt: asking for help, table here.  Twelfth fic for [community profile] 100fandoms prompt: fear, table here.

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The Librarians

Last Books of June...First Books of July

June kind of got away from me. I hope you have all had a good last couple of weeks! Here are the last books of June...first books of July.  My Summer Bingo card is Here.

I really liked this mystery. I loved the main character Hester she is tough and fragile at the same time. The story was very well written and the plot was so intriguing. The author does a really good job ramping up the tension as the book goes on, especially once Hester reaches the space station. Basically outer space is owned by a few corporations and Hester has to work for the corporation that saved her life after a terrorist attack at least until she pays off her medical debts. When an old friend contacts her with a message that makes no sense Hester is confused but when she learns that friend was murdered shortly afterwards she is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. My only quibble is I wish we had more information on what happens afterwards I would have loved a long epilogue, but that is only a minor hiccup in an otherwise very well done novel. This review isn't doing this book justice, I highly recommend it!

Seventeen-year-old Clara is ready to fight back. Fight back against her abusive father, fight back against the only life she’s ever known, and most of all, fight back against scrabs, the earth-dwelling monsters that are currently ravaging the world. So when an opportunity arises for Clara to join an international monster-fighting squad, she jumps at the chance.

When Clara starts training with her teammates, however, she realizes what fighting monsters really means: sore muscles, exhaustion, and worst of all, death. Scrabs are unpredictable, violent, and terrifying. But as Clara gains confidence in her battle skills, she starts to realize scrabs might not be the biggest evil. The true monsters are the ones you least expect. ~Goodreads Description

I quite enjoyed this book. I thought the premise was an interesting one and a very well written. I loved Clara and found her very relatable character. She was tenacious even though she was very scared and I admire that. Clara really grows up in this book as she fights both man and monster. I thought the twist was very well done. I can't wait to read the sequel! (I am using this one for the "Read a Book about a Period of Maturing" Square)

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