Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Review: The Warlock by Michael Scott

The Warlock by Michael Scott
(The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)
Book #5

Young Adult

Published May 24th 2011 by Delacorte Press

borrowed from library


My Rating:

In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophesy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning.
With Scatty, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare all in Danu Talis, Sophie is on her own with the ever-weakening Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. She must depend on Niten to help her find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic. The surprise is that she will find her teacher in the most ordinary of places.

Twin siblings, Sophie and Josh, lived pretty normal lives with archeologist parents and an aunt that lived in San Francisco where they were staying the summer when their lives turned upside down. While working in a book store, Josh meets the infamous Nicholas Flamel while he is attacked. After that, the twins end up on the run from monsters, gods, and immortals. And that was pretty much describing a premise of the first book. This entire series is a fast-paced rollercoaster of shadowrealms, ley gates, aura magic, and countless monsters and characters from history.

I read the first four books in this series over three years ago so it was no wonder that I was lost and confused when I started The Warlock. There was no subtle weaving of past events into the first few chapters to help anyone remember where the last book left off. Considering that there had to of been some considerable amount of time between the publishing of the fourth and fifth book, I don't think that it was wise to just leave off where the previous book ended and continue without a single clue of what went on in the last one.

This series is the close to being the king of fast-paced books, in my opinion. So much happens in each book and each book encompasses about a day's  amount of time. So far, it seems like this entire series takes place within a week. I can imagine that is a lot to take in for two normal teenagers. This series is so fast-paced that I practically imagine the characters running throughout the whole story. Anyway, from what I can remember of previous books from the tiniest of clues in this book, the story continues along with just as much adventure, chaos, and treachery.

One of my biggest pet peeves about these books is the overwhelming amount of characters. There are so many characters that each chapter covers groups of 3-5 (give or take) people and there are usually about 5 or more chapters of different sets of people before getting back to the original characters. I remember enjoying the introduction of multiple characters whose names are recognizable and had some bearing in historic events or mythology in the first few books but this time around I was just irritated by the huge cast of characters.

But don't take this little rant as a bad thing. I read the first four books sometime after reading The Percy Jackson series and thought it was the perfect series for anyone wanting to continue learning a wider array of mythology and lore. Plus, the thought of famous people in history (like Joan of Arc, Dr. John Dee, Virginia Dare, and Billy the Kid) as immortals was quite fun and sparked my interest to learn more about them all. These books are definitely a conglomeration of knowledge that any young adult would have fun learning about.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stacking The Shelves #9


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review. 

(All book links lead to Goodreads)
I was impatiently waiting for two books that I won through giveaways when a package containing these two books showed up on my doorstep addressed to me from Amazon but as far as I know, I haven't received word saying that I won them and I don't remember entering any giveaways for them or anything so I really have no clue where they came from. They are both fantasy novels, which is my favorite genre, so whoever sent me these books, thank you!
These next ones are the ones I was anticipating showing up in my mailbox.

Many thanks to Nash over at Ai-books!
I've been looking forward to reading this trilogy for years. :)

Many thanks to Ellen at Always YA at Heart!
 (click images to enlarge)
'The Planets'  drew my eye because of the beautiful dust jacket and when I peeked underneath and saw the stars, I immediately added it to my pile without a second thought. I think it might be a non-fiction book but no matter because I love space in general and it looks great on my shelf.




Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Finds/Friday Freebies #6

Friday Finds is a blog meme hosted over at Should Be Reading that highlights the books you found and added to your To Be Read list, whether you found them online or in a bookstore and etc. They are not necessarily books that you purchased!

[My to-read list on Goodreads is over 900 currently so I've probably already added everything and just might be able to keep these lists to a minimum.]
Here are the books I'm showcasing for this week!

Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings
Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London
Renegade by J.A. Souders
Katie's Hellion (Rhyn Trilogy #1) by Lizzy Ford {AMAZON}
Double Star by Cindy Saunders {AMAZON}
A Quest of Heroes (The Sorcerer's Ring #1) by Morgan Rice {AMAZON}
Sword from the Sky by R. Janvier Del Valle {AMAZON}
Knights: The Eye of Divinity  by Robert E. Keller {AMAZON}

Last Week's Freebies

What did you add to your TBR list this week?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Booking Through Thursday #7

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday.

It’s time for summer reading, so … today’s question? What’s the worst thing you ever did to your reading material? Sand in the bindings from the beach? Dropped into the pool? Covers smeared with sunscreen?
And, if you’ve never done actual summer-time damage … have you EVER damaged your book/magazine/paper? Dropped it in the bathtub? Used it to kill a bug? Spilled with coffee?

I've always been against damaging books so I'm pretty sure the worst thing I've ever done to a book is dog-ear a few pages when I was very young before my librarian asked me not to.

I've probably dropped crumbs in between the pages a few times.

Although, as a crafter, I've been wanting to find an old crappy hardcover book to convert into a piece of art. I'm just having a hard time with it. Inner battle.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

BOOK BLAST: John William and the Bandits of Basswood

John William and the Bandits of Basswood
Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows

We already know Alexander Drake’s story. His father, John William started it all years before when he entered Azra’s Pith. This is his story. John William was born an explorer; just like his dad before him. His adventure really began with the worst year of his life. He lived everyday in misery until his twelfth birthday. He set out to turn things around and find his smile again. A new friend gave him an invitation he could not turn down… follow me and change your destiny. He never imagined being captured by bandits and taken to a ship riddled with river rats was part of his fate. Not just any bandits – the Bandits of Basswood; known to be a ruthless and wild crew of thieves. Trying to escape would be a ridiculous idea. No one has ever escaped and lived to tell about it. Someone should have mentioned that to John William before he snuck off the ship. The chase out of Basswood was on. He took a chance to change his destiny and ended up on a wild ride to save his life.

Author Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows

Being the frizzy-haired tomboy with buck teeth gave me a slight case of shyness as a kid. A colorful imagination meant escape and adventure at the drop of a hat.
Over the years I learned that the insecurities I carried around were a waste of time. I still prefer a football game to a manicure any day of the week. That indispensable imagination has found its way into my writing providing a sense of joy and a true purpose.

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 7/10/2013

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

WWW Wednesday #5

 Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist #2) by Rick Yancey
(It's been a slow couple of weeks for me.)
What do you think you'll read next?
What are you reading?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #9

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013
(In no specific order)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This book was just so magical. I loved it.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
I didn't like this one as much as the others but it still makes the list.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
This book took me a month to read but I absolutely loved it.

Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
I loved the movie but I knew I needed to read the book.
I LOVE dark, creepy, macabre stuff like this.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
I wasn't expecting to love this one, but it couldn't be helped.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I loved the illustrations in this one and the story was very meaningful.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
I loved how fast-paced this was.
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
I really loved the Percy Jackson series and this was just as good.
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
I liked the style and the creepiness.
What are the top ten books you've read so far this year?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Once Upon A July Filled With Read-a-thons

The Summer Lovin’ Read-a-thon is a week-long read-a-thon event hosted by seven independent bloggers (Oh, Chrys!, Tumbling Books, Effortlessly Reading, Love Life Read, Shelf Addiction, Read Sleep Repeat, and Reviewing Wonderland). The event will last from July 1st to July 7th.
You can spend the week reading as much as you want at whatever pace you'd like. There will be daily challenges for awesome prizes and opportunities to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs. The week will end with a 24-hr marathon read-a-thon! Twitter parties, mini-challenges, games, prizes given EVERY HOUR, and more chances to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs.
Sign-ups will be open through July 6th. I’m in, are you?!
 This Read-a-thon is hosted by Angela & Loretta at Reading Angels, Candace at Candace’s Book Blog and Lori from PureImagination. It runs from 12:01 am on July 8th to 11:59 on July 10th.
July 15 - 21
A read-a-thon specifically for booktubers, this read-a-thon was created by Raeleen from padfootandprongs07 and Ariel Bissett from youtube.
While I don't 'booktube' (mostly because I do better behind a camera than in front of it) I will still be participating in this read-a-thon because I love the booktube community, I enjoy watching their videos, and I would love to participate in a read-a-thon with people that I feel I have a long distance (and somewhat imagined) friendship with.
To make things a bit more fun, they have created some challenges for everyone to partake in (not required).
1) read an average of 300 pages a day
2) read a book with over 500 pages
3) re-read one book
4) finish a series/trilogy
5) read a book that's been on your shelf forever
6) listen to an audiobook
7) read a classic
There is no official sign-up page. If you are a booktuber and want to participate, you can make a video stating that you are and put it in the 'responses' section to Raeleen's video.
July is going to be SUPER busy for me.
Some of you are aware that the second Camp NaNoWriMo is in July and since I didn't participate in April or November of last year, I plan on writing in July. Instead of doing the whole 50,000 words, my goal is to write at least 25,000. I'm hoping that isn't too steep considering that I will be participating in 3 read-a-thons and partaking in the rest of 'life' that month. I've participated in two read-a-thons in the past this year and have deduced that I can read for about 3 hours a day. I have no idea what happens to the other 21 hours (besides sleeping, eating, driving, working, cooking, etc) but I feel as if that is going to be cut down to 1 1/2 hours a day for reading and 1 1/2 hours a day for writing. I'm really going to have to prioritize. Not to mention that running a blog is not quick and easy, no matter how much scheduling ahead you do.
We still have a week left before the Summer Lovin' read-a-thon starts so I don't know what book I'll be reading on the 1st.
Here is a list of books I hope to get around to reading for these 3 read-a-thons.
The Bridge of Dead Things by Michael Gallagher
(ebook that I need to read/review but set aside so I could finish my library books)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
(my book jar chose this one months ago but I still haven't gotten around to it)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan
(and I'll add to this later)
Read 300 pages a day: I'm okay with reading about 200 pages a day but 300 would be pushing it with how much else I need to get done.
Read a book with over 500 pages: Even though it doesn't have to be read in just one day, I just really don't think I'm up for this one.
Re-read one book: I did this for the Bout Of Books read-a-thon but I really want to re-read The Hobbit before the year is over so maybe I'll get to it this summer.
Finish a series/trilogy: This one depends on whether the 6th book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series by Michael Scott which I have on hold at the library comes in.
Read a book that's been on your shelf forever: Hmm. I'm going to have to go take a look at my shelves for this one
Listen to an audiobook: I recently downloaded The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater so that is perfect. It will be my first audiobook ever.
Read a classic: I've had A Room With A View by E.M. Forster on my shelves forever and it's a classic that I've been meaning to read lately. It's short, too, so that will be perfect to fit in.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Book Review: The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey
(The Monstrumologist #2)
Young Adult
October 12th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Literary Awards:
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011)
borrowed from library
My Rating:
While attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancé to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, and which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop also considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo.

Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied?

This second book in The Monstrumologist series explores the line between myth and reality, love and hate, genius and madness.
 In this sequel to 'The Monstrumologist' we continue with the story of Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop, whom he is ever loyal to. When Pellinore Warthrop's ex-fiancĂ© shows up and asks him to find her missing husband, his best friend, old thoughts and battles are stirred up and Will Henry finally gets a glance into the part of the doctor that he had not yet discovered. They set off into the Canadian wilderness in search of John Chanler but what they find is an emaciated man on the brink of death and a story of the 'Wendigo' that no matter how much Dr. Warthrop refuses to believe, keeps coming back to haunt them all.

While I didn't think 'The Curse of the Wendigo' quite lived up to 'The Monstrumologist', it was nice to continue with the lives of the doctor and Will Henry in their disturbingly unique career of monstrumology. It was interesting to have a small glance into the Society of Monstrumologists.

As always, Will Henry is indispensable to the doctor and suffers for it greatly at every turn for being the assistant to a scientist is no easy task when facing the unknown. Will Henry is my favorite character, of course, and I liked the character growth and the promise of more within this sequel.