Marvel’s Jessica Jones

jessica jonesFor the last few weeks, the hype for Marvel’s next Netflix original series, Jessica Jones, has been strong. Like, really over the top. The early reviews that I saw were pretty much universally positive, and some were downright gushy. In fact, many said that it is better than Daredevil, which I thought was an awesome show. So, basically I went into Jessica Jones certain I would love it.

I didn’t.

To be fair, I don’t dislike it, either. Or to be more exact, I like parts of it quite a bit. From best friend Trish to G.I. Joe wannabe Will to smokin’ hot Luke Cage, the supporting cast is terrific. The setting might still be Hell’s Kitchen, but it is a prettier version than seen in Daredevil. I would kill for Trish’s apartment, and I loved the peek at the $50 million TriBeCa penthouse mansion I had drooled over online last year. What I didn’t like was, well, Jessica Jones. No slight meant to actress Krysten Ritter, but I found myself waiting to get her scenes over with to get back to the other characters. That isn’t really the best reaction to have for the main character, that’s for sure.

And on a bit more…delicate…note, the raunch got a bit old for me. I am no prude (hell, we all pretty much read the same books, so it isn’t like I am a shrinking violet), but by about the third romp between Jessica and Luke I was just getting bored. And a bit embarrassed, to be honest. I was watching it by myself, with headphones on, but I found myself looking around to make sure I was still alone. Awkward.

What was your take on this one? Did you check out Jessica Jones? To be fair, I am not finished yet, but I am not feeling the need to drop everything to dive back in. I will probably get there within the next couple of days, if all goes well. Here’s hoping things pick up on the back end.

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksTime again to check in and see what everyone has been reading for the last couple of weeks. On my end, I have been sort of chugging along at a slow pace. My quest to get caught up on the character guides meant that I did a re-read of Thea Harrison‘s Midnight Kiss. This one is a stand-out for me, and is probably one of my favorite books in the whole series. I am usually notoriously fickle when it comes to the female leads of my books, but I thought Melly wasn’t a superhero chick, but she was fun and ingenious and really relatable. And I also remembered to check out Pia Does Hollywood, which is the second in a trilogy of novellas focusing on Dragos, Pia, and Liam. While the first in the trilogy is pretty much a must-read (there are quite a few new developments), this one isn’t. Not saying it was bad, but it doesn’t add a ton to the overall storyline.

Oh, and I also did a re-read of Deceptions from Kelley Armstrong. I am loving the Cainsville books, and this is one of the rare (like bigfoot rare) quasi-love triangles that doesn’t make me want to punch myself in the face. The only other one I can think of is Will/Tessa/Jem from Cassandra Clare‘s The Infernal Devices. What they both have in common for me is that there is no clear cut winner or loser. Not like an Edward/Bella/Jacob situation where you know damn well who she is ending up with and the third character ends up as little more than a plot device. Ok, I got off track – love me some Cainsville. There.

I have been less successful in my finishing up series plans. I am half way through Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s final Lux book, Opposition (well, final if you don’t count the upcoming alternate POV addition, Oblivion). I think the problem is that I really should’ve done a refresher on the previous books, because honestly, I was lost for a while. I did get back into the swing of things, but it isn’t quite grabbing me like I thought it would.

What great books did you read (or re-read) this week? Anything deserving of a special shout-out?


Feel the Burn Review…

review iconSometimes, when you read pretty much exclusively in a genre like Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy, it can be hard to find something that has a different feel. One of those that definitely has a different vibe is the Dragon Kin series from G.A. Aiken. With its historical setting, huge extended cast of characters, and constant laughs, the Dragon Kin books really are quite unique. Doug Meeks sent over his early review for Feel the Burn, which has an official release date of November 24th.

feel the burnWhat Doug said…

I usually have second thoughts many times when I give a 5 Star rating, wondering if I am grading it too easy. I had no such problems with this book. I started laughing on about page 5 and did not stop until the end of the book pretty much.

The way the author manages to write stories about so much chaos, blood, gore and violence while making me laugh so much and in the middle of all of this still pull off a decent if light hearted romance is nothing short of amazing.

This time it is Gaius and Kachka is great, not a lot of warm moments but heart felt ones that fall into line with the chaotic plot of this book but this book is stolen so many times by Zoya who I will not even attempt to describe since you really HAVE to read it to appreciate her.

Bottom Line: I am not sure you can really appreciate this book unless you have read at least the first 3 novels in this series to get a feeling for the insanity that is this series. The humor is insane also so get ready for a wild ride. I cannot tell you how highly I recommend this book if you need something to lift your spirits . Well done indeed.

I know this will be a big one, since it is the book of the month, but let’s look ahead. Who’s story do you think will be up next? I figure it must be Brannie’s turn soon, unless new characters are introduced in this one.

Weekly Wrap Up…


My last weekly wrap up was in September. So, maybe this should be called my bi-monthly wrap up, instead?

I have been cutting back on my random buying, so I have been being good and tackling my ever dwindling TBR mountain. One book that had been on the pile for much too long is Light My Fire, the seventh book in the Dragon Kin series from G.A. Aiken. This one was a lot of fun, and got me back in the mood for the next one. I surprised myself by remembering almost all of the characters, and that is a definite achievement for this series. Now, on to Gaius!

I also managed to read Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini. It was a decent read – sort of middle of the road for me, but I still picked up the second one to see how things go.

Also on the young adult side of things, I read Gena Showalter‘s third and fourth White Rabbit Chronicles books, The Queen of Zombie Hearts and A Mad Zombie Party. I was all proud that I wrapped up another series on my pile, but I was left with the feeling that there is still more to come. Maybe a spin-off featuring Kat and River?

And I finally broke down and bought Dragos Goes to Washington, a novella in the Elder Races series by Thea Harrison. I am not a huge novella fan, since I will never be an e-book lover, but there was enough going on in this one that I am really glad I didn’t skip it.

That is about all that I can remember, since it has been so long. My “master plan” to tackle my TBR pile plods along, and I can proudly say that I have gotten that sucker down to under 200. Not only have I been reading out of it, but I am trying really hard to not add any new books to the pile by reading them as they come in. I did have a few slip by me recently, but the fight continues. My goal for 2016 is to get it down to under 100, but that might be pushing things. How has your reading gone lately? Discover any new treasure, or find any new authors?

Sweep in Peace Review…

review iconSweep in Peace is nearly here. Or, at least the Kindle version is up for pre-order on Amazon, with a release date of November 13th. I read some of it when Ilona Andrews offered it up in its serialized format on their blog, but I stopped before I got to the end so that I would still enjoy the book. Thanks again to Doug Meeks for sending over his review.

sweep in peaceWhat Doug said…

OK, first thing, I did NOT read it in serial when it was on the website, I wanted to wait for the whole polished thing and WOW, was it worth the wait.

Where to start, they first have painted the picture in this series of Dina as some fragile heroine while at the same time letting you know that is totally a lie.

The plot is so intricate you would have to be able to predict the future to know where this plot is going and where it will end up.

Add some great humor intertwined into the whole book and you now have something that looks like a masterpiece of entertaining reading (which it was).

The basic plot is the inn is hosting a peace conference (hence the title) between 3 groups that pretty much hate the fact that the others are still breathing. Fun time ahead for all, it was great and I don’t know how these 2 people manage to keep cranking out exceptional stories like this but I hope they keep it up.

5 Stars only because I can’t give it more, I laughed, I was concerned, I was fooled (silly boy thought he knew where the plot was going) and above all I was entertained on almost every page, something almost nobody does and for sure nobody does it better.

Rock Redemption Review…

Anytime that Nalini Singh has a new book coming out, things get exciting. Her next release is from her Rock Kiss series, and it is the story of Noah and Kit, Rock Redemption. While we have to wait until October 6th for the official release, Monica kindly sent over her early review.

rock redemptionWhat Monica said…

This is the 4th installment in Nalini Singh’s Rock Kiss series. It’s Noah and Kit’s story. Although some readers have claimed that Charlotte and T-Rex’s story is their favorite, I have to say that I might have liked Rock Redemption even more than Rock Addiction (Molly and Fox’s story).

Throughout the previous books there have been hints of painful past between Noah St. John, the rock group’s guitarist and Kathleen „Kit“ Devigny (is it only me or does Kit make you think of Cara Delevingne?). Ever since she started out as a struggling actress in Hollywood Kit has been friends with the members of Rock Kiss, though she has been particularly close to Noah, with whom she has been secretly in love. In the prologue we learn what happened to cause the rift between the two of them and it is bad and all Noah’s fault. He behaved like a complete heel, but this wouldn’t be a novel by Nalini Singh if she did not manage to make us understand Noah’s actions and make us fall in love with him a iittle by revealing the secret of his childhood trauma (be warned: it is bad).

Kit is still deeply hurt by Noah’s betrayal, but when he needs her she doesn’t hesitate and rushes to help him. While they try to repair their relationship and become friends again the press makes them out to be the hot new it couple. In order not to jeopardize a potential movie-deal for Kit Thea advises them to keep up the charade. Noah will do everything to help Kit and to redeem himself in her eyes, even though being so close to her again is pure torture for him. Things are further complicated by a stalker that has been bothering Kit for some time by sending her psychotic messages and leaving creepy presents. Kit is still deeply in love with Noah, but she is also afraid that he will betray her again. Their love will only have chance when Noah is ready to trust her completely.

What I didn’t like: in my opinion the subplot with the stalker was kind of unnecessary. In the end it helped to bring about the conclusion but the story would have worked just fine without it. Although a red herring was thrown in, the true culprit was a bit predictable.

What I loved: once again Nalini Singh delivers a highly emotional love story with lovable characters, full of flaws and insecurties that make them believable. Their journey together is at times heartwrenching, but also sweet and sometimes even funny. I also liked that in this novel the two protagonists are on a more equal footing: Kit is an actress who has gained recognition in Hollywood, thus putting her famewise on the same level as Noah. My feminist sensibilities were a bit bothered by Molly, the librarian, who falls for the famour rock star and gives up her life to be with him and also by Charlotte, the administrative assistant falling for her new boss.

Rock Redemption is a wonderful addition to the Rock Kiss saga and an intense reading experience, so I give it 5 stars. As a bonus we also get glimpses of Abe and Sarah who still have feelings for each other after a messy divorce and whose story is going to come next.

Weekly Wrap Up

booksAfter a completely crap-tastic reading week last week, where I managed to read precisely zero books, anything is progress. I didn’t do as well as planned, but still I got a few under my belt.

I started out with something a little different. Everything, Everything is a contemporary young adult book from Nicola Yoon. Hype on this one has been pretty heavy on YouTube and such, and I thought it would be nice to read something outside of my usual PNR/UF box. It was a quick, fun little read that I finished in maybe 2 hours, and it was a nice change of pace. I did figure out the twist within the first few pages, but I still thought it was ok.

This next one is a book I have been putting off for quite a while. Kresley Cole‘s third Arcana Chronicles book, Dead of Winter, has a dreaded love triangle and that made me run far, far away. After snarling at it for months, I figured I might as well bite the bullet and get caught up. Minus the triangle, I liked this one. The story is progressing well, we are learning more about the whole backstory and other Arcana, and everyone seems to be coming into their powers. But the triangle. Ugh. Hate them so, so much. I am way too old for that angsty crap. When you like both of the potential love options, it makes it worse. I liked both Jack and Aric, and I think they both should dump Evie and take off together. Problem solved.

And I am working on the latest Carpathian novel from Christine Feehan, Dark Ghost. It isn’t bad, isn’t great, and actually a bit on the dull side so far (maybe a third of the way in). Lots and lots of cave. Andre has done the whole claim-her-now-and-explain-later thing, which never works out as planned. Teagan is handling things pretty well up to this point, so that is a bonus. If anyone has any question about Christine having a ghostwriter (no pun intended) for some of her more recent books, this one seems like Christine all the way (short, choppy sentences and lots of random info-dumping). Oh, and may I present to you my laugh of the week, maybe the month, and my new favorite expression…

Velvet helmet

Yep. Velvet helmet. And if you have ever even glanced at a Feehan book, you know exactly what she is referring to. Hard to believe two little words can completely take you out of a scene, but there you have it. I read it, blinked a few times, then laugh for a good 5 minutes right in the middle of a love scene, and I still snicker like a teenage boy whenever I think of them. Probably not the effect anyone was going for, but there you go.

What did you read this week? I figure most of you probably dove into Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Enigma by now, so what did you think? Did you love Naasir and Andromeda’s story, and where do you see things going from here? I am hoping for Aodhan’s story next, I think, but I would be happy with any of them.

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksGood Lord, this seemed like one long, long sucker of a week (my weekends begin on Sunday nights). I didn’t get a ton read, but I have been pretty good about my August goal of wrapping up a few one-book-left series.

It took quite a while, but I managed to get back into the swing of Rick Riordan‘s Heroes of Olympus series and finish off Blood of Olympus. I had totally lost track of the storyline heading into this one, and I have to admit that there were quite a few things mentioned from previous books that I didn’t remember at all. Even so, it was a fun read, and hopefully now I am ready for the start of the new Norse mythology series featuring Magnus Chase when it begins in October.

I also tackled a couple of books from favorite authors, with varying results. First up was Deceptions from Kelley Armstrong, which is the third book of her Cainsville series. This was one of my most anticipated books for the year, and I wasn’t disappointed. A lot questions are answered, which I wasn’t expecting this early on (there are two more books to come, after all). There are also some developments on the romantic front, and as much as I have come to dread the whole love triangle thing, for some reason I don’t mind it here. The only problem I have with it is that I just can’t tell which way it will go…Ricky or Gabriel? I preferred Gabriel going into this one, but Ricky has really grown on me. I guess I will just have to wait until next August to find out, since that is when Betrayals is scheduled for release.

My second book didn’t work out quite as well for me. In trying to branch out, I decided to pick up the young adult contemporary thriller, Don’t Look Back, from Jennifer L. Armentrout. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it. It seemed like an interesting story, but it just didn’t grab me at all. It has actually become one of my very rare Did Not Finish books, and I will be adding it to the donation pile. To be perfectly fair, though, I usually have trouble when I stray away from the PNR/UF genre, especially in terms of young adult or new adult. I know better, but I still try something different every now and then with disappointing results. I guess I should learn that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

What did you read this week? Did you start up any new series worth sharing, or did you manage to whittle down the TBR pile at all?

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksIt is time once again to check out what we all have been reading this week. I was a week behind, but I got my hands on Magic Shifts from Ilona Andrews, and it was well worth the wait. I am pretty sure I have said in many, many other posts that I was really happy with this one. I liked the whole Guild direction, the changing dynamics of some of the main players, and the hints of what is to come. If I had one small complaint, it would be that I missed seeing more of the supporting characters – Derek, Ascanio, Andrea, Raphael – they were there, but not to the degree that they usually are, and I did miss them. It was a very Kate-and-Curran centric story, and that is ok, too.

My other biggie for this past week was the third and final book in the Sisters of the Craft series from Lori Handeland. Smoke on the Water saw the three sisters reunited, come into their powers, and take on the big bad. It was a really nice wrap-up for a series that I found to be a very pleasant surprise. And the very best part? The whole trilogy was released over the course of something like 8 weeks, so details stayed fresh and enthusiasm stayed high. It was great. This was my introduction to Lori Handeland’s work, and I am looking forward to trying more.

Aaaand, I have continued my “end it, already” quest to finish up some one-book-left series that I just couldn’t seem to bring myself to let go of. I am about half-way through Blood of Olympus, which is the final book in Rick Riordan‘s Heroes of Olympus series. I know, I know. I didn’t read Harry Potter, but I am a total Percy Jackson fan (and way, way too old for them, but moving on). The problem is that I am totally, completely lost. I couldn’t justify a re-read of the previous four monster-length books, so I thought that I should be able to handle a kiddie book without a week-long recap, right? Nope. I had totally forgotten the whole storyline up to this point, I keep having to google things mentioned in the book, and I barely remembered who half of the characters are. Being beaten by a kids book knocks you down a peg or two, to be sure.

Ok, your turn. What did you try out this week? Anything surprisingly good (or bad), or anything you would recommend?

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksAnother week has flown by, which means it is time to see what we all read this week. I kept to my goal of trying to finally be a big girl and finish off some of the series I have only had one book left on, but of course because I put things off so long I had to do a re-read of the first books, first. I started off with Sarah Rees Brennan‘s The Lynburn Legacy series, which was a surprise young adult favorite of mine. I will be finishing off the third and final book tonight, and I have to admit I will be sad to see this one wrap up. Between the very original premise, the non-standard characters, and the humor, it was definitely no hardship for the re-reads. Much enjoyment was had.

Those three books pretty much took up my week, but I did manage to grab the new Carpathian novella from Christine Feehan that just came out in Edge of Darkness (of course, I didn’t read the other two stories. Um, yet? Maybe? Probably not). This one was actually quite a surprise for a couple of reasons. First off, there was a total change of setting. Instead of the Carpathian mountains (not bad) or the jungle (ugh), this one was very much city based, and a really nice change of pace. It was a short story, yes, but I can say that it manages to open up a whole new direction for the Dark books, and that I liked where it was going.

As a bonus, the focus was turned towards some Carpathians we haven’t seen much from. The triplets play a decent supporting role, and Tariq Asenguard is pretty much front and center. I am not sure if Christine is sticking to the Lost Dark Book storyline for Tariq, but Dark Crime makes me sort of hope that there is a new direction planned for him. And as a total bonus? A side storyline that seemed to be completely dropped way-back-when actually becomes relevant here. I don’t want to say what because of potential spoilers, but it always bugged me that it was hinted at and never followed up on. Oh, there is also another “legendary ancient hunter” introduced by the name of Val Zhestokly. This is totally a Dancing With the Stars name, and every time I read it I snickered like a kid. So sad.

The only downside I can see is the timing for this one. If Tariq or one of the triplets’ stories was up next, it would be great. Instead, we have not one but two books before we get back to this new offshoot of the Dark World. Tariq’s story will be called Dark Carousel, but we will probably have to wait until late 2016/ early 2017 to get it. To me, it would’ve made more sense to hold off a bit before coming out with this one.

Ok, that was my week. How did yours shape up? I assume most of you probably dove into Magic Shifts, but I have to wait until this Tuesday for my turn. You can be sure next week will be an equally long-winded rave about it, though.