What I’m Reading: Amber Fang, The Hunted by Arthur Slade

I’m going to start this off by saying that I got this book as part of a conference “goodie-bag”. I love vampires, and it’s the right time of year, so I decided to give it a go.

Amber Fang The Hunted by Arthur Slade is a nice, quick read. What I liked about it most was the small, unique differences about this vampire world (and yay, no one glitters!). Because there are so many vampire stories, it is so important for there to be something unique in a vampire book. At least in my opinion. What I liked the least about this book, was it’s length. It was good, and a quick read, but more time could have been spent adding a bit more detail and depth to some parts.

IMG_5989

Amber Fang is a 21 year-old future librarian hopeful, a born vampire who knows little about her own kind. This is listed on GoodReads as book #1, though there is not yet a book #2. If there was, I would likely read it, since the mystery was just beginning to out at the end of this book. If you’re a sucker for all things vampire, then you might want to check out this book.

3/5 stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Young Adult Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling is one of those books I heard a lot about for a long time before I finally decided to pick it up. Graceling is the story of Katsa, a fun, fearless, kick-butt female hero who reminded me a lot of Aelin from Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass Series. Published in 2008, Graceling came well before Throne of Glass, but came in the same year as The Hunger Games and the now very well known Katniss Everdeen.

FullSizeRender-33

Since I was a child, female hero’s have definitely become stronger, more independent, and just as deadly as any male counterpart. And I love this. Graceling is very much a classically written epic fantasy, with slow moving, but beautiful passages of description, and less dialogue. There are good guys and bad guys and of course a few love interests.

I really enjoyed Graceling, though I felt this book had a good ending, and though there are two more books in the Graceling Realm Series, I don’t feel pressed to pick them up, as the books are about other characters. Sometimes I like this, and other times I fine with one book being just one book.

A solid 4/5 Stars.

JEH

What I’m Reading: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Young Adult Book Review: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy #1)

I recently had the privilege of attending a writing conference, where Jennifer Estep was one of the Key Notes. I had never read anything from her before, and I wanted to be familiar with her work before the conference, so I picked up Touch of Frost, the first book in Estep’s Paranormal Young Adult series, Mythos Academy.

FullSizeRender-32

Now, the Mythos Academy name tells you almost everything you need to know to get started reading Touch of Frost. First, it relies heavily on world mythology; Second, the Gods are back (bad and good), and Third, you’re in for a whole lot of fun. The main character in Touch of Frost is Gwen, who’s a gypsy newly arrived to a school full of warriors, most of which are also blessed with some sort of bonus magical power. Of course, as always happens, things go wrong and Gwen ends up attempting to sort things out.

Touch of Frost was a quick, easy read, set in a world that I would love to live in. There were a few weak elements with the plot, but I could overlook them because the pace was quick, and there was never a slow moment. There are currently six books in the series (apparently #7 is currently only going to be release in Germany. But six books is plenty to keep me reading for a while.

4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Young/New Adult Book Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Either Young Adult books are becoming more and more edgy, or there really needs to be a new category of book. I vote for the later. There has always been edgy fiction, but these days there is a certain class of fiction that has young adult characters, is shelved as young adult, but has very adult themes. Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios is one of those books. Exquisite Captive is a paranormal fantasy that follows Nalia, a Jinn, on her quest for freedom from her captor.

IMG_5116

I listened to this book as an audiobook on a solo road trip last month. I really enjoyed it, but looking at the other reviews out there, at lot of people did not. Their main pet peeve seemed to be the somewhat abusive relationship in the book. Now, in my opinion, and abusive relationship is not a reason to put down at book (unless you’re a really sensitive reader, I’m not). How that relationship is treated may or may not be. As I don’t believe the relationship is glorified in any way, I didn’t find it a reason to stop listening. I liked the book, so I kept going.

For fans of darker young adult fiction (the stuff that is often called New Adult), such as Sarah J. Maas or Laini Taylor, Exquisite Captive may be for you. Of course, there were somethings I didn’t love about the book, like how it things just kept not working out. I mean sure, it’s fiction, that happens, but it was almost like that happened one time too many.

Still, it was a pretty decent book. Exquisite Captive is the first book in a trilogy, the third book of which was release in February this year. Which is great, since sometimes I just hate having to wait for all of the books to be released.

JEH

Book Box Subscriptions, The New Thing?

So, for a while now I’ve been hearing about book boxes. There are plenty out there, and the basic premise is the same: subscribe and once a month (or less, depending on the company), you will be sent a surprise book in the mail, often with themed merchandise. Some boxes come with tea, some with jewels, and some with bath stuff.

I finally gave in and decided to try one.

With OwlCrate, the company I’ve probably hear the most about, I had the option to choose from their back order list just to try out the service. A few months back the book of the month was Caraval by Stephanie Garber, and it came with a bunch of circus themed goodies, including the Night Circus tote pictured below. As I loved The Night Circus, I decided that this was the box for me.

Well, it arrived yesterday, which immediately perked me up after arriving home from work, because who doesn’t love getting stuff in the mail that isn’t a bill?

Here’s a video and some pictures of my swag:

I really did enjoy opening my box. The mini-donut lip balm by Geek Fire Labs smells soooo good. As does the candle. The book looks like a great read too, and I can’t wait to get to it once I get my TBR pile down to a reasonable level (Why is it always out of control?). But the real question is: are book box subscriptions as pleasurable as going to a book store?

Now, I love book stores. I love going there, getting coffee, browsing the shelves of not just books, but journals, bookmarks, candles, and treats. The difference, though, is that the OwlCrate was filled with book related items. I think that is where so many bookstores fall short. Fandom is a huge market these days, and it’s only getting bigger. When I read a book like Throne of Glass, or Rebel of the Sands, I don’t just want the book, I want the stuff in the book. I want a candle that brings the world to life, or a necklace like the one so-and-so’s character wears, and this where the themed book crates come in.

So yes, I did enjoy the experience. Would I do it again? Quite possibly. Because I love surprises. That said, there is always the chance that I won’t like what comes in the box. And that’s when I go back to the bookstore.

JEH

 

What I’m Reading: Star Wars Aftermath Life Debt by Chuck Wendig

Okay, first off I’m going to admit that it’s been a while, a long while, since I’ve blogged about anything. Somehow, I fell into a blogging summer vacation. I imagine it was all the sun and the hot weather that pulled me away. The good news is I have a lot of catching up to do, and I’ll start with a review of a book I finished reading just yesterday: Star Wars Aftermath Life Debt by Chuck Wendig.

Prior to the new Star Wars reboots, I had almost all of the old Star Wars fiction, which is now Legend. Between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, there is a large gap of time, and I’m the kind of Star Wars fan that needs to know what happened, and this new trilogy, written by Chuck Wendig is how to find out. Life Debt is the second book of the trilogy, and while the first book was fairly slow and a bit too meandering, the plot of the second book is much tighter, and has more of a purpose, so it seems. It also has much more Han, Leia, and Chewy.

The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, so I’m hoping to get the third book sooner rather than later, but I have a few books that I need to get through first for an upcoming writing conference.

Overall, this trilogy has been satisfactory. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

4/5 Stars

JEH