Reading Roundup…

Time again to bore everyone with what I have been reading, and what I thought of it. I have been a bit more eclectic than usual, even branching out into non paranormal (god, been a while since I can say that).

the beautiful ashesThe Beautiful Ashes – Might as well start with the hard one. I picked up the first book of Jeanine Frost‘s new Broken Destiny series as soon as it was released, but I didn’t really have any burning desire to dive right in. As I took a non-spoilery peek at some reviews, I found they veered wildly from “OMG Awesome!!!!” to “DNF”. I fall somewhere in the middle.  Well, it was…ok. I should say up front that I was not one of those looking for another Cat and Bones, either – it didn’t have to “live up” to the Night Huntress books, for me. I didn’t hate it, I made it through to the end, but I finished more out of duty than desire to see how it all ended. I guess the easiest way to say it is that I didn’t connect to it – characters, world-building, none of it drew me in. Will I pick up the next book? Probably, just because I already have the first one. If I had read it on my i-pad and didn’t have the physical copy of the first one? Probably not. Unless the reviews were stellar. All in all, a disappointment. On a ratings scale, I would say…2 out of 5.

the iron trialThe Iron Trial – This one is the first book of a new middle grade series from authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare called The Magisterium. The most common thing I have heard about this one is “Harry Potter rip-off”. In fact, some were quite up in arms about that. Well, since I am about the last person in the world who hasn’t read Harry Potter, I can’t comment on that. Personally, I liked it. It was a fast, fun read with quite a bit of action and a few twists and turns that should lead to some very interesting storylines in coming books. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rock Addiction coverRock AddictionNalini Singh is my favorite author, and I have never made a secret of that (along with Ilona Andrews, but that is a debate for another day). That said, however, I still really wasn’t driven to pick up Rock Addiction for one strange reason…I have never liked books where one of the characters is supposed to be famous. Models, actors, athletes, race car drivers…rock stars…they have never done it for me. And the strange reason is that I find them unrealistic. Yep, I said it. A chick who reads pretty much all PNR and UF finds a book about famous people more unrealistic than vampires and dragon shifters. If it was written by anyone other than Nalini I wouldn’t have given it a second look even if it was free. But because it is Nalini, I did take the plunge – and I liked it. I know that a lot of people didn’t like the insta-love or the abundance of sex scenes, but neither bothered me. I think, for me, there was enough story to balance that out. I didn’t even mind the rock star angle, which for me was a big hurdle. I do have to admit, though, that I thought Gabriel and Charlie completely stole the show, and I cannot wait to get my hands on their story. That one is going to be fun. So, I can say I am glad I overcame my bias against famous characters and tried this one, and I am first in line for Charlotte and Gabriel’s turn. Rating: 4 out of 5.

How has your reading been stacking up? Any standouts, good or bad? What was your take on any of these relatively new releases?

Will you be checking out The Magisterium?

question markAuthors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare are teaming up for a 5-book series called The Magisterium, which will focus on reluctant but magically gifted Callum Hunt. At first glance, one can’t help but draw comparisons to the other magical boy sent to a magic school. You know the one I mean. So, the question is, will you be giving The Magisterium series a try when the first book, The Iron Trial, is released on September 9th, or is this just too Young Adult?

the iron trial

From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will — is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It’s a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

Sometimes I struggle a bit with what actually to include here on the blog. The Adult fiction is easy enough to classify, but the whole Young Adult/New Adult thing can get a bit tricky, and now I wonder what YA is just too young to bother with. Personally, while I haven’t read Harry Potter, I did very much enjoy the Percy Jackson books which are aimed at this same demographic. Will the fact that is it by two very well known authors sway you to try it, or will you be giving it a pass?

Reading Roundup…

Hard to believe another week has gone by, and we are staring at the end of the first month of the new year already. My goal this year is to read 150 books, including novellas, which I have never been able to hit. I think last year I topped out at 130, or somewhere in that range, but I will give it another shot this year.

This past week, I didn’t get as much done as I had thought I would, but I enjoyed everything I did get to.

the coldest girl in coldtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown – This stand alone from Holly Black is actually a carry over from last week…and it will be carried on to next week, too, since I am only about half way through. I have heard raves for this one, but I have to admit that it was rough going for about the first 100 pages. I can’t say it was bad, but it was dry. There was a lot of world-building to do, and I found myself having to go back quite often to figure out the whole cold/infected/immune/vampire dynamic, and that took me out of the story (hell, not sure I am clear on it now, but I am just going with it). Things do pick up as soon as they hit the Coldtown, which is like a quarantine area for vampires, those who might be infected, and some rather sad humans. I should be able to fly through the last half of the book, since things are getting quite interesting.

city of ashesCity of Ashes – This one was a re-read for the Mortal Instruments character guide that I want to get done before the final book is released. As always, it always amazes me how many details I have forgotten, or just missed altogether, from the original reading. I bought this series for the pretty covers, but I ended up being a huge fan of Cassandra Clare‘s world. Can’t wait for the last one…but I can’t help wondering who will live. And who won’t.

the weird girlsThe Weird Girls and A Cursed Moon – I am trying to get caught up on the e-novellas I am behind on, and I somehow missed not one, but two, from Cecy Robson‘s Weird Girls series. This series is surprisingly good, and reading the prequel novella cleared up some questions about how and why the sisters were cursed in the first place. But the recent second novella…wow, you don’t really want to miss that one. The main character is Bren, but there are some developments that impact pretty much everyone else. They were both great, quick reads.

clean sweepClean Sweep – This one was the highlight of my week. I didn’t read Clean Sweep when it was offered as the free serial on Ilona Andrews‘ blog (not sure why), and I am not a huge fan of e-books, so I skipped that version, too. But when I finally got my hands on a print copy that I had to order through Create Space, I devoured it in one setting. It was fun, original, and over way too soon. I am actually on my second reading, and going to whip up a quick character guide so I will be reading for the next installment.

So, what did your reading week look like? Any great one, or any big fails so far?

Cover Lover – 5 New Titles

Another day, another raiding of the new covers over at Goodreads. Looks like just five caught my eye this time around, and I am seeing a blue theme. This first one is the cover for the second book in Gail Carriger‘s newly released Finishing School series, Curtsies and Conspiracies. It will be released on November 5th.

curtsies and conspiracies

Numero deux is from the upcoming 12th book in Carrie Vaughn‘s Kitty Norville series, Kitty in the Underworld. It will be out on July 30th.

kitty in the underworld

And still withe the blue. The third book in Darynda Jones‘ Darklight series is called Death and the Girl He Loves, and it will be available on October 8th.

death and the girl he loves

I haven’t actually heard much about this one, but I am working under the assumption that The Coldest Girl in Cold Town from Holly Black is YA, and that is about all I know. It will be hitting the shelves on September 17th.

the coldest girl in coldtown

The final one for this post is pretty, but then so are the rest of the covers in Keri Arthur‘s Dark Angels series. Darkness Unmasked will be released on June 4th.

darkness unmasked