Monday, September 8, 2014

The Syrena Legacy Series Book #1: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

First it was vampires, then it was werewolves, then it was zombies, and then it was witches. Now it’s mermaids – I’m sorry Syrena – turn in the paranormal book world. Of Poseidon was one of those books that I found randomly at the bookstore one day, read the summary and added it instantly to my reading list. None of the libraries around me had the book, the digital library didn’t have it, and I wasn’t really in the mood to shell out big bucks for a book that I wasn’t too sure about. However, the iBook store held a sale last year and I picked it up. I read it last December, but because I didn’t remember what happened – I’ve read a lot of books since then – I decided to reread it now that the whole series is out.

Emma McIntosh feels like her life is just one embarrassing moment after another and when the book begins she’s experiencing one of those moments when she literally runs into the most handsome guy on the planet. He kind of unnerves her because of his gorgeousness and because he has purple eyes just like hers. It doesn’t help either that her best friend Chloe keeps insinuating things that make her red all over. They go their separate ways and Emma and Chloe go into the water where Emma starts berating her friend for her comments.

Galen – the guy Emma runs into – watches her and starts to wonder if she is like him and his sister. He can’t wonder long as a shark attacks Chloe and Emma goes down with her. Barely five chapters in and you’ve got a mystery of what Galen is and the death of a character. As the book unfolds, Emma discovers that she isn’t one hundred percent human that Galen isn’t human either and that she might be falling for him too. Just like he’s falling for her even though he’s there to bring her back for his brother.

I liked this book, really I did. Emma’s temper and her exclamations of ‘ohmysweetgoodness’ were quite entertaining. Her relationship with her mother was definitely anger worthy – again what is it with YA books and parents being totally irritating? And the tension between Galen and Emma was just aggravating for 280 pages. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the Galen’s POV chapters. For some reason, the tensing in his chapters was very weird and threw me off.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Good story, good intrigue and good tension. Just wished that the tensing had been consistent.

Bookshelf worthy? Electronic or support your local library!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Night Huntress Series Book #2: One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

When we last left Cat Crawfield, she was running away from her vampire lover Bones so that she could work for a secret organization that takes out vampires within the FBI. When One Foot in the Grave starts, it’s been four years since that day and Cat has become the top agent within this organization. The case she is working on that night has some old ties to her former life. Ian, the vampire she’s sent to destroy, turns out to be Bones maker. She lets him go as an old debt to him and goes on her merry way.

The problem is she intrigues Ian and he doesn’t like things he can’t have so he is starting to hunt her down so that way he can add her to his collection. Not to mention the other vampires who have contracted hits on her life for her former profession as the Red Reaper and she’s gotten herself into a sticky situation. That’s why when Bones shows up at her friend Denise’s wedding, she has a full on panic attack. He’s been hunting her down for years. He’s angry with her for leaving him, but he still wants her. What’s a girl to do?

At the end of Halfway to the Grave I was angry with Frost. I think in my review for that book I stated that why did author feel the need to split up the main couple of a series at the end of the first book or during the second? So when I started this book I was a little skeptical as to how this was going to go. I wasn’t expecting Frost to jump four years, but I’m kind of glad she did. The time jump allowed for Cat to already be ingrained in her new life and when Bones finally showed up it also allowed for the much loved sexual tension that I adored in the last book. On top of the sexual tension there was also the intrigue that one of the vampires in Ian’s line is Cat’s father, who also turns out to be Don’s – the head of Cat’s team – brother. Family reunion much?

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love a second book more than the first in a series, but this book proved me wrong. The relationship between Bones and Cat still makes me swoon, add in characters like Tate and Annette and I’m just in adoration.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

So things have gotten strange since we last left Pembrook Hall. The two other estates that Austenland have occupied have either been sold or rented, Mr. Wattlesbrook has become an even worse drunkard, and it seems that Austenland is on its last legs. At least that what Charlotte, Austenland’s new resident, has come to observe in her first few days on the property.

Like the narrator in Austenland, Charlotte has been unlucky in love, but not as unlucky as Jane was. Charlotte was married to a man named James and had two kids with him. But Charlotte was more successful and made more money than he did, and he decided to cheat on her. Now divorced and sharing custody of the kids, Charlotte has decided to pick up a different hobby other than spying on her daughter’s boyfriend. She finds a list of goals that she made when she was a teenager, and one of them was to read Jane Austen. One weekend while the kids are with their father she picks them up and falls instantly in love. Finding the need to go on vacation, she talks to her travel agent and she recommends Austenland.

When she gets there it’s just like an Austen novel, but this time there’s a hint of mystery and romance when Mr. Mallery catches her eye.

The only redeeming qualities this book had were the fact that it was short, some parts were funny, and the air of romance was quite enchanting. Otherwise, this book kind of falls flat like its predecessor and even the added mystery of what’s going on with Pembrook Hall doesn’t really save it.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Charlotte needed to grow a backbone, and even when she does it’s because she’s fallen in love. I liked that Miss Charming made another appearance and the character of Eddie was fantastic.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

In The Constant Princess, we were introduced to the character of Princess Catalina of Spain who through many tribulations finally became Katherine Queen of England. In The Other Boleyn Girl, we are introduced to two girls – actually three – who ruin everything for not only Katherine, but for the way the world worked as well.

Mary Boleyn is thirteen and married when the book begins with the beheading of someone that the king was close to. Mary is befuddled that the king didn’t stop the beheading, thinking that he would have offered clemency. She asks her mother this, and her mother tells her that that is not how it works in the court and if she continues to think that way then she is a fool. A year later, and Mary’s sister – Anne - has come back to the English court from France. By this time Mary is fourteen and has caught the wandering eye of the king. He flirts openly with her and the family begins to plot. Mary is commanded to woo the king and become his mistress, by this point Katherine is becoming infertile and the king is losing his patience with her. He must have a son to take over his throne.

After getting a girl on her, Mary does produce a son, but by this point it is already too late. While Mary was in confinement, her family commanded Anne to detour the king’s affection, so that way his thoughts were always on Mary. But when she comes out of confinement, she can tell with just one look that the king is besotted with Anne and another plot by the family is formed. This time it goes for all the marbles.

This is the third time I’ve read this book and I’m always astounded by how for such a smart woman Anne surely acts stupid and reckless. Personally, I’m astounded by all of the women characters in this book. The king is not a faithful person, so why do you keep demanding it of him? And why do you act surprised when he strays? My only explanation that I can think of is that they wanted to believe that they could be the one to hold him. It didn’t really work out, did it?

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I really don’t understand how Henry and Anne couldn’t have worked out. They were perfect for each other! They were both vain and wanted the whole world to revolve around them. I felt bad for Mary who had to watch the death of her own sister, thinking – like at the beginning of the book – that the king would offer clemency at the last minute. Hadn’t she learned her lesson?

Bookshelf worthy? Considering how many times I’ve read this book, yes!