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Andi RSS Feed (Huntersville, NC)

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Parabolis
Parabolis
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Promising new series!, September 15, 2014
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This review is from: Parabolis (Kindle Edition)
Parabolis follows Dale, a 20-year old adult who returns to his hometown after serving in the Republican Guard to run his father's business after his death. He's caught up in international intrigue when he is coerced by the local crime boss to allow a submarine with unknown cargo to dock in his "breaker" at port, setting off events that will change life in the Republic.

Parabolis is a complex, multi-layered book. Its characters are likable and well drawn, the plot is highly entertaining, and there are a few twists that made me sit up and take notice (like the one at the 39% mark!). And the ending was twisty as well, and made me want book 2, like NOW.

But I'll have to admit - I needed more background on the world-building in Parabolis. Maybe an Appendix or Wikipedia page would have been nice! And I was disappointed that, other than the maps, the Kindle version did not have the illustrations that others have talked about. But that didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story, or temper my desire to stay up late to finish this one.

Parabolis was funded through a Kickstarter campaign and self-published. But don't let that deter you - it was VERY well done. If you like steampunk, I highly recommend checking this one out!


Fresh Blood (Midnight Roads Series Book 1)
Fresh Blood (Midnight Roads Series Book 1)
Price: $2.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite, September 11, 2014
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I didn't enjoy this as much as the Storm Chronicles series. Honestly, 19-year old twins Jynx and Piper had too much attitude and immaturity to be likable as lead characters. I also didn't like their constant witty banter. It got old very fast. While I appreciated that they were out to catch the supernatural bad guys--and had some pretty incredible knowledge and capabilities for their age--these factors just didn't help their likability factor.

Somewhat improbably, they work for the government as supernatural bounty hunters. In this first book of the series, they are sent to a small town looking for a killer who is dismembering teenage girls. And they can never seem to catch a break. They constantly find themselves in bad situations that force them to fight for their lives.

I'll admit, Fresh Blood was fast-paced, generally well-written (with just a few punctuation and grammatical errors), and engaging. But I doubt I will continue with this series based on my dislike of the characters.


Havoc (The Dred Chronicles)
Havoc (The Dred Chronicles)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $5.83

3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as strong as Perdition, September 11, 2014
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3.5 stars. Havoc was good, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Perdition. There's constant fighting with both the other factions, as well as a new enemy in the form of a band of mercenaries sent to clean out the prison. But Havoc wasn't as fast-paced or engrossing as I expected.

Regardless, it was still a decent follow-up, with strong characters and an ending that should lead to a very interesting conclusion in book 3.


Waking Up Dead
Waking Up Dead
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A ghostly mystery, August 12, 2014
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This review is from: Waking Up Dead (Kindle Edition)
This was a quick, enjoyable mystery.

Callie Taylor wakes up in Alabama, after being murdered in Dallas. She quickly learns she is unable to leave the city, and so she drifts around getting to know the residents. When she happens upon a woman being murdered--and her husband unjustly accused of the crime--Callie takes it upon herself to find someone who can see her and help solve the crime.

Callie actually finds three residents whom she can communicate with - a young woman, Ashara, and her grandmother, Maw Maw, as well as a man named Stephen who worked for the husband. After much pleading, they reluctantly agree to help. And so the fun begins.

Sadly, I didn't really connect with any of the characters. And their constant talk of racism detracted somewhat from the story. I also just didn't get how Callie could be so dissociated from her own murder, which was discussed almost as an afterthought. However, this book left enough open for her for a future installment to be based in just that. While I liked the author's writing style, I'm just not sure I liked the characters enough to continue with this series.


Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels Book 7)
Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels Book 7)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $10.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This one felt like filler to me, August 8, 2014
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Honestly, I was both excited by the action in this book, but also frustrated with the feeling that this was just another "filler" installment.

I'm tired of plots where Kate and Curran are separated for the majority of the book, and then Kate gets an insanely difficult task to deal with (mostly) on her own. And the Pack politics were an annoyance. Although, I did enjoy Kate's interactions with Ghastek in the latter half, and I'm hoping we'll see more of the Master of the Undead in future installments. And the ending was unexpected but also a good direction for the series.

It looks like book 7 was a deliberate setup for a final confrontation in the next book (or two) between Kate and her father. Let's hope for our sake it comes sooner, rather than later.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2014 12:10 AM PDT


Me Before You: A Novel
Me Before You: A Novel
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying conclusion, August 8, 2014
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I both liked and was frustrated by this book. I initially couldn't stand Louisa ("Lou") for her idleness and lack of direction in her personal life. At least she had a good work ethic. But why on earth would a 26-year old still be living at home and staying with a boyfriend for seven years with no prospect of a future with him? And her supposedly smart sister, Katrina ("Treena"), was no better for getting pregnant at an early age and then mooching off her parents and sister to care for her young son. But Lou's parents were by far the worst, coddling Trena while expecting Lou to support the family when times were tough.

The subject matter of this book was also hard to swallow. Caring for a quadriplegic must be hard, and Lou's staid nature is the only thing that helps her to cope. Will is not likable, but who would be after suffering an injury that causes him to lose everything he loves about his life? Because pre-accident Will is just about as opposite from Lou as you can imagine.

But, I will have to admit, both Lou and Will grew on me over time, and the writing made for an easy read. That is, until the POV started shifting to random characters. That was very distracting and I didn't really see the point.

This story does share a message of self-awakening through caring for another, and I think the author made Lou intentionally aimless in the beginning so we could see how far she could go. But overall, this was a frustrating journey with an unsatisfying conclusion.


Orphan Train: A Novel
Orphan Train: A Novel
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite book club books, August 8, 2014
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4.5 stars. <i>Orphan Train</i> provides a fictionalized account of American history, but I'm sure much of what happened was true for many young boys and girls. I was completely ignorant of orphan trains, and immediately had to rent the PBS documentary on Netflix after finishing this book. And while some other reviewers disliked this book's writing style and grammar, I couldn't help but ignore any small issues because I was completely swept away by the story.

<i>Orphan Train</i> follows two very different individuals who were raised in foster care during different times. Vivian (previously Niamh) is a 91-year old widow who hires 17-year old Molly to help clean out her attic as part of her community service for attempting to steal a library book.

A majority of the story is Vivian's, and that's a good thing. Vivian is placed on one of the historic orphan trains when she is only nine years old, after her siblings and father were killed in a fire that left her mom unable to care for her. Vivian is a smart and obedient child who always tries to please her foster families. She has a string of bad foster homes until she finally finds a permanent home. But despite the inherent sadness of Vivian's past, her story is positive, uplifting, and one of courage and survival based on hard work and perseverance.

Molly's story is a little sadder, because she undergoes more emotional abuse. Unfortunately, I'm sure there are many foster parents like the wretched Dina. Molly isn't a juvenile delinquent as others think - she's just a misunderstood teenager who holds everyone else at bay for fear of letting someone in, and then having to let them go when she's forced to move onto another home.

But these two women find each other, and they slowly let each other in based on their similar pasts. And each becomes a better person because of their friendship.

I thought the premise of this story would make me very sad, but it was both wonderful and heartwarming. This is one of my favorite book club books yet!


Fairy, Texas
Fairy, Texas
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excited to read more from this author!, August 8, 2014
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This review is from: Fairy, Texas (Kindle Edition)
Well, this was a pleasant surprise!

Laney moves to her mom's hometown of Fairy, TX, when she marries her high school sweetheart. When she's not contending with her hateful stepsister or strange goings on in the town, Laney is having to deal with two suitors. But this isn't your typical triangle, and for that, I gratefully thank the author.

The town's mysteries slowly unfold, holding my attention for the entire ride. This was a fun, fast read, and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!


Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin Book 11)
Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin Book 11)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $5.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still going strong, August 8, 2014
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3.5 stars. This series is still going strong. And I never tire of Gin - she's brave beyond belief, incredibly loyal, and extremely talented in combat. And in Ashland, the fun (ahem, fighting) never ends.

In this 11th installment, Gin faces a vampire who is distributing a highly addictive drug. Of course, she gets in the middle of the fight protecting one of her "own." I enjoyed that part of the story very much, and the pacing was very fast. I am also excited about the addition of a new associate of Gin's to this series. And there were a few developments with MM Monroe that will likely drive the next book.

But I'll have to say I was a bit disappointed with Bria. She was uncharacteristically angry and hostile towards Gin in the early part of the book. And the explanation provided for her behavior was thin. Note to Jennifer Estep: Stop adding angst for the sake of filling the pages of a book, especially if it doesn't fit a character's personality! At least Owen was back to his old self.

I'm looking forward to the next one!


Tower Lord (A Raven's Shadow Novel Book 2)
Tower Lord (A Raven's Shadow Novel Book 2)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $11.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing follow-up to Blood Song, July 16, 2014
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I feel a bit let down after the brilliance of Anthony Ryan's debut novel, Blood Song. Tower Lord follows four POVs (Vaelin, Frentis, Lyrna, and a new character, Reva), and had so many supporting characters, I had trouble keeping them all straight (even with the appendix in the back). The pacing was incredibly slow in the first third, and it was difficult both remembering everyone and staying interested.

Once the pacing picked up, it became an easier read. Surprisingly, I think I liked Lyrna best of all. Vaelin was, of course, a consistently admirable character. But overall, Tower Lord was a a disappointing and disjointed follow-up to Blood Song.


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