Catching Up on Colors - Orange

Piper Kerman - Orange is the New Black
298 Pages - Spiegel & Grau
For the Color Coded Challenge - Other Color

I'm not sure what exactly made me read this one, since I haven't really been interested in the TV show at all. I had heard of it though, obviously, and got the book on sale, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I was pretty disappointed, overall.

I know it's a memoir and all, but it seemed phony. She seemed very smug about the whole thing, and I had a really hard time staying interested. There was no flow to the story, and she just seemed to go on and on about how everyone liked her in jail, despite her being white and blonde and blue eyed and so on and so forth, and how incredibly awesome her husband is. Incessantly.

I did end up watching an episode or two of the TV show and actually liked it better than I liked the book.

I gave the book three stars, but it's really more a two-and-a-half stars.


Catching Up on Colors - Implied Color

Brandon Sanderson - Steelheart
386 Pages - Delacorte
For the Color Coded Challenge - Implied Color

I love Brandon Sanderson, but I do totally think he's a robot. Who writes 4 Mistborn books, The Stormlight Archive, a couple of really awesome short stories and not only this, but one other YA novel while simultaneously finishing the Wheel of Time series? Brandon Sanderson does, and every single one of those things is awesome. None of those things feel rushed or incomplete. I'd honestly like to see inside his imagination, because it must be incredible to behold.

Steelheart is about a dystopian Chicago (sounds familiar, lol) where ten years previously, something called The Calamity came and gave certain people superpowers. They call those people Epics, and they've taken over pretty much everything.

Steelheart is the emperor of Chicago now, and he's invincible, ruthless, and brutal. David has seen Steelheart bleed, and he vows to see him bleed again.

I read this in one sitting, and the short story that came after it. The man just doesn't write bad things. The story was very engrossing and I couldn't put it down. Definite five stars. I'm super excited for book 2 in January, too.

Catching Up on Colors - Black

Been a busy few months, so I have to catch up on a few blog posts!

Jennifer Armentrout - Onyx/Obsidian
366 Pages - Entangled
For the Color Coded Reading Challenge - Black

So, I read a stand-alone book of Jennifer Armentrout's last year called Obsession, which is set in the same world as this series, and was definitely more of an adult para-romance and I fell in fricking love with it. Like, I consider it my favorite para-romance ever. That's how much I liked it.

I therefore decided to read the Lux series, not much caring that it's a YA series, since it would expand on the plot of Obsession slightly. Well, I fell in fricking love with it, too. So, this is more of a review on the entire series (because I've read the whole thing at this point). I figured either Obsidian or Onyx would be a good book to use as the entry for Black in the color coded challenge. I really just like the cover for Onyx better.

I like the banter between Katy and Daemon. I like that this series doesn't assume that teenagers don't drink or have sex. I liked the world building and the building of relationships between characters. I thought it had a good plot. It was engrossing- things happened that I -had- to know the outcome to and couldn't put it down.

Oh, and she totally included characters from Obsession in the last book. So that was awesome to read as well. All told, I really loved this one, as a whole.


Blood Song

Anthony Ryan - Blood Song
592 Pages - Ace
For the Big Book Challenge

I've been meaning to read this book for a while. /r/Fantasy had been touting it's awesomeness for some time and so I picked it up on my kindle way back around Christmas but it just never made it into the rounds until now. I'm really glad I read it, and I'm excited to read the second book in the series, since it just came out.

Vaelin Al Sorna is the son of the Battle Lord of King Janus. One day shortly after his mother's death, his father ships 10-year-old Vaelin off to a brotherhood of soldiers where he casts off all ties to his family and learns to to fight. He becomes pretty badass. Quite infamous too. Throughout the world.

This book held elements of other books that I love. The brotherhood sometimes felt like the Night's Watch to me, and Vaelin like Jon Snow, and at other times it felt like the Kingkiller Chronicles, in the way that the story was laid out like him telling his story to, well, a chronicler. It's a coming of age story and I am excited to see where the series goes from here.


Feels. Oh, the feels.

Jim Butcher - Skin Game
454 Pages - Roc
For the Big Book Summer Challenge

Remember yesterday, when I reviewed Cold Days and was all like 'I'm reading the next book in the series and it's already soooo good'?

Well, welcome to today. Where I DEVOURED this 450 page long book and loved every second of it. Seriously. It's like 1:30 AM and I have to wake up at 6. Nevertheless, I have to tell you about this book. Imperative and whatnot.

Books don't make me cry, guys. They just don't. I don't know if it's that I just don't have that sort of depth of emotional bond to books or what, but I read some pretty feely romance from time and time and nope, never happens.

This book made me cry. For realsies. Like two or three times. Right. In. The. Goddamn. Feels.

 Changes, I thought, was easily the best book in the series. And then I read Ghost Story. Well it couldn't get better than that. Then there was Cold Days. It could not possibly get better than Cold Days. BUT THEN IT DID.

Guys, I might swoon a bit here, in just a minute. I honestly don't know how I'm going to wait a year or so for the next one, but I'll cope. I might even read the entire series again, and I never do that shit.



Big Fantastic Book

Jim Butcher - Cold Days
515 Pages - Roc
For the Big Book Summer Challenge

Ermagherd, Dresden Files. What originally started for me as a sort of 'Eh, it's not bad' urban fantasy series has become a 'OMG MORE NOW PLS' urban fantasy series.

I thought that Changes was the magnum opus of the series but jeeeeez it just gets better! I'm gobbling it up at record speed now.

I can't really go into any of the plot line without spoiling some part of the series for someone, but suffice to say that it is amazing and that if you are a fan of the urban fantasy genre, you should read it.

This one made me laugh (the banter between Harry and Thomas is hi-larious) and contained a few scenes that made me put the book down and have a bit of a "Well, shit." moment.

I moved right on to the next book in the series immediately upon finishing this one (it was released last week and my kindle had it ready and waiting!) and it'll be my next big book for summer because it's over 400 pages too. They don't even seem very long, either.

A couple of colorful reviews

So, I've been spending a lot of my time in the wonderful world of Eorzea, but have found time enough to do some reading for the color coated challenge, so here's what I've got so far!

Scott Lynch - Red Seas Under Red Skies
558 Pages - Bantam
For the Color Coded Challenge

Ermagherd, I love Scott Lynch. I love Locke Lamora! Love love love. There are so many quotes highlighted in my copy of this book. It's a little ridiculous. I think Republic of Thieves, out of the three of them, got the most highlights though.

Locke Lamora, the Thorn of Camorr, and his faithful bestie and partner Jean Tannen decide to target the greatest prize in all of Tal Verrar, the Sinspire, a very rich casino where rule number one is: you cheat and you die. But someone has learned their secret plan, and is going to hand them over to the casino's owner, Requin unless they agree to do a little piracy on the side.

I had no idea that Scott Lynch knew so much about nautical terminology. That whole aspect of the book was very believable. The banter between Jean and Locke, as per usual was fantastic and I love quoting this book. So, here, to make my day, is a quote:
“That's a sweet piece," said Jean, briefly forgetting to be aggravated. "You didn't snatch that off a street."
"No," said Locke, before taking another deep draught of the warm water in the decanter. "I got it from the neck of the governor's mistress."
"You can't be serious."
"In the governor's manor."
"Of all the -"
"In the governor's bed."
"Damned lunatic!"
"With the governor sleeping next to her."
The night quiet was broken by the high, distant trill of a whistle, the traditional swarming noise of city watches everywhere. Several other whistles joined in a few moments later.
"It is possible," said Locke with a sheepish grin, "that I have been slightly too bold.” 
Five stars!

Diana Rowland - My Life as a White Trash Zombie
310 Pages - DAW Books
For the Color Coded Challenge

I've seen this one around, mainly because of its cover (the cover artist is the same who does a lot of the Mercy Thompson series covers and I love his work!), and so I decided that since I had a big ol' Amazon gift card from my in-laws that I would splurge.

Angel Crawford wakes up in a hospital one day after apparently overdosing on drugs and then being in a horrible car accident with  both no memory of the accident and  not a scratch on her. She receives a mysterious anonymous note saying that she has a job at the morgue, and it's not an offer that she can really refuse. She finds herself with an unbelievable craving for brains and falling apart at the seams without them, so she uses her fantastic new job to feed her new addiction, while simultaneously trying to find out who keeps decapitating a bunch of people in her town.

Pretty generic urban fantasy, and I'm truly not a huge zombie fan but I thought this one was pretty good. I gave it four stars for being a fun read. It was a bit predictable in parts, but it didn't turn me off of it at all.


Christie Anderson - Deep Blue Secret
358 Pages - Self Published
For the Color Coded Challenge

This is one that I actually got for free on the kindle store aaaaages ago and decided that I would give a try for my challenge this year. Also the cover looked faintly intriguing.

California teen Sadie James is a carefree girl with best friends and a loving mom and her life is just wonderful. One day she's rescued from drowning by a mysterious boy with crystal green eyes and she finds herself really attracted to him. He also seems to show up whenever she's in trouble. Sadie tries to get to the bottom of the mystery of the boy with crystal green eyes and finds out that the boy is actually a secret agent, assigned to protect her at all costs.

Not a bad book, but not great. It kept me reading anyway, and I did end up reading two of its sequels as well. The romance portion was very tame, even by young adult standards. They didn't kiss until most of the way through book two. That's pretty freaking tame compared to what I'm used to reading, but hey, it's a YA book so I couldn't complain. I gave it three stars. The sequels were better, if a little weirder.


Big Book Summer!

Well, it's been a while :)

I've been busy reading! Well, and some other stuff too, I'm sure. I'm plugging away at my color challenge, and it's going pretty well so far. I've read a few colorful books that I shall tell you all about someday.

But, today I'm here to tell you about the 2014 Big Book Summer Challenge! (and how it's awesome every year)

This year I plan to read a couple -very long- and apparently amazing books by Brandon Sanderson, and a sequel or two to one of the books I read for the challenge last year.

We'll see how all this goes :)


A wild 2014 challenge appears

Well, now that I've completed all my 2013 challenges, I guess I better sign up for some 2014 ones, right?! I think next year I'm going to challenge myself to a bit less, because I already know that I've got all kinds of stuff that's going to prevent me from reading 100+ books like this year.

I had so much fun with the color coded challenge this year that -of course- I am going for that one again!

Maybe more challenges will come, maybe not =)



Dan Simmons - Hyperion
482 Pages - Spectra
For the Mind Voyages Challenge - Won Hugo Award 1990

Omg why haven't I read this book before now?! Soooooooo good.

Here's the skinny: 7 people are sent by the 'Church of Final Atonement' on a pilgrimage to the planet Hyperion, to the Time Tombs, home of the Shrike, a creature of unknown origins and power whom they worship as a god. They all have different reasons for coming on the pilgrimage, so they decide that they'll tell their stories on the journey to the tombs to see if that gives a better idea of just what will be waiting for them there. It was a brilliant way to bring each character to life for me, while advancing the plot along.

When I first picked up the book I had a really hard time getting through the prologue because it seemed like really samey-sounding sci-fi. I felt it was kind of pulling a 'Let's throw some techno-jargon for stuff that doesn't exist in real life out there to make this sound spacey!' He really does just throw you right into his world with this one. Hold on tight though, because it gets gooooooooood. I was totally hooked about 5 minutes into Father Hoyt's story. I started out with 'well, I'm certain the next person's story can't top that!' and then it kept freaking happening!

Kassad's story made me WTF. Out loud. At 1am in my living room- just 'What the WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!' and then reading Silenus' story, I laughed out loud. Goddamn poopoo.

Then there was Sol's story, which started out telling us about how he taught at a university, which was in a small bit of civilization amongst cornfields and cornfields and cornfields and cornfields. I found out that Dan Simmons is from Peoria, Illinois, a city just down the road from the town I spent the last year living in, a college town, a bit of civilization among cornfields and cornfields and cornfields and cornfields, and it made me laugh. Then, as Sol's story went on, it made me sad.

I originally didn't really like Brawne Lamia's character (her name is really quite clever once you know her story, too) until we got to her story. I read it and I saw, not only a detective story, but a cyberpunk detective story. Oldschool William Gibson style sometimes. With a definite nod or two towards Gibson, in fact. Ended up loving it. Probably my favorite of all of them, really. What sci-fi author can seamlessly blend a romance, the sort that makes my romance novel reading brain do a little 'squee', into a cyberpunk detective story within a science fiction novel basically about a large pointy metal creature that likes to impale things. Uh, this one I guess!

This book is a freaking masterpiece not only of science fiction, but of several other genres as well. Read it. Really. Do read this book.


And with this book, I have (somehow, to my own surprise mostly) finished my reading challenges for 2013 =) Yaaay!