Mini-Review: The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Tea-Time

  • Author: Douglas Adams
  • ISBN: 9781476783000
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Mystery
  • Pages: 256

 

I love anything by Douglas Adams, but I was particularly interested in reading The Long Dark Tea-Time of the of the Soul because of the title.  I thought there’s no way this book could be bad with a title like that.  In order to read it, however, I had to read Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency first.  That was amazing, so I was looking forward to this one even more.

The story was very different from the first book.  It was more of a Fantasy than a Sci-Fi story and involved Norse mythology.  However, think of a comical version of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and you’ve got The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.  After I finished it, I even wondered if this book is where Gaiman got his idea for American Gods.  Regardless, I enjoyed The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul much more because, as with everything Adams wrote, it doesn’t take itself, or anything, too seriously.  If you’re looking for a book that shows just how absurd life really is, you can’t go wrong with this one.

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Mini-Review: Insurgent

Insurgent

  • Author: Veronica Roth
  • ISBN: 9780007442911
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian
  • Pages: 525

 

 

Not long after I finished Divergent, I bought a copy of Insurgent.  I just had to get it.  I needed to know what would happen next.  I forced myself to wait and read something else so that I wouldn’t get burnt out on the story and end up having my opinion of the book suffer as a result.

I’m glad I didn’t wait too long, though.  I had already forgotten who was who amongst some of the smaller characters, but I was able to jog my memory and figure things out fairly quickly.  One thing that stood out to me while reading is that Roth’s writing improved.  No longer did I come across awkward turns of phrase and clunky dialogue.  However, some of the interactions between Triss and Four didn’t make much sense to me, even though I can’t put my finger on exactly why.  Despite that, I couldn’t wait to continue reading anytime I had to put the book down.  I look forward to picking up the final book, Allegiant.

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Mini-Review: Succubus Dreams

Succubus Dreams

  • Author: Richelle Mead
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
  • Pages: 318

The Georgina Kincaid series is one I willingly buy when I need some brain candy.  I was first introduced to the series through a book club I occasionally participate in, and I was hooked within a few pages of Succubus Blues.

Georgina has agency.  Even though she gets assistance from others, she makes her own decisions and doesn’t wait around to be rescued.  She also doesn’t deliberately choose to do anything she knows will get her into trouble.  Perhaps all of that is because she’s hundreds of years old and has learned a lesson or two over the years of her life as a succubus, but it is a refreshing change from the stereotypical Romance that has turned me off of the genre over the years.  The other thing I like about the series is that each book doesn’t necessarily end with everything fixed and everyone happy.  While there aren’t any cliffhanger endings, so far, and these aren’t heavy books at all, she deals with heartbreak and other relationship issues that the majority of readers can relate to, and she handles them realistically.  In other words, her life is a bit messy, and things aren’t all tied up with a pretty bow by the last page.

If you’re looking for a Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy series as some occasional brain candy to dip into when you need a break, I highly recommend this one.

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Mini-Review: A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Breath

  • Author: Diana Gabaldon

As with the majority of the Outlander books, I bought my copy of A Breath of Snow and Ashes from a used bookstore.  I would have bought them brand new, but after buying both the second and third books in the series as ebooks, I *had* to get the rest as quickly as possible to avoid any more middle of the night ebook purchases I couldn’t really afford.  I wish I had looked more carefully at the hardcover edition of this book, though, because, as I was reading, I discovered the former owner enjoyed snacking while they read and didn’t care about using food covered fingers to turn the pages.  Perhaps that’s an indication of how engrossing book #6 is?

With the exception of the first book, I flew through A Breath of Snow and Ashes much faster than any of the others, despite it being the longest of the series so far.  So much happens, though!  I couldn’t stop reading, regardless of the fact that I was in the middle of at least three other books.  I carried it around with me everywhere, even though it’s a hefty hardcover, just in case I ever had a few minutes to spare.  I despised anyone who dared to interrupt me while I was reading, and I talked the Boyfriend’s ear off every time something major would happen.  I believe my gushing over this, and past, books is one of the reasons I had a bit of an Outlander Christmas, and while it doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, but with a lot of questions unanswered, as soon as I finished it, I started An Echo in the Bone.

Mini-Review: Onyx Webb Book 1 (Episodes 1-3)

Onyx Webb

  • Authors: Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz
  • ISBN: 9780990751816
  • Genre: Paranormal Suspense

I received this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

I decided to make this a mini-review due to already having written a review for the first episode, “The Story Begins”.  Also, even though this new edition includes the first three episodes, I don’t have much more to say than what I said in that review.  There’s more story, but it still didn’t get anywhere, and it took me less than a day to read it.  I’m left with lots of questions, and looking at the release schedule in the copy I received, I’m not sure if I want to invest that much time or money in getting those questions answered.  Perhaps if the episodes were condensed down into fewer books, I would be more interested.

I guess I was expecting the story to be like a tv show; perhaps slow at first, but intriguing, and each successive episode drawing me further into the story.  However, the setup for what happened to Onyx and how all the other characters tie into her story is taking too long.  All the way through to the end of episode 3, new characters are introduced with no way of telling if they’re important or not.  Most of my reading notes consist of a long list of names, just in case I would meet them again and need to remind myself who they are.  Despite giving the first episode four stars on Goodreads, I don’t feel there’s enough story in the remainder of this book to give it any more than three.

Mini-Review: The Scottish Prisoner

Scottish

  • Author: Diana Gabaldon
  • ISBN: 9780385337526

I purchased this book from a used bookstore after I had read the first three books of the “Outlander” series and knew that I wanted all of the related books.

The Scottish Prisoner combines Lord John’s and Jamie Fraser’s timelines more so than any of the other books from either series.  It also tells part of Jamie’s life that isn’t in the “Outlander” books.  Chronologically, the story’s events fall between Voyager and Drums of Autumn.

I’ve been told countless times that I need or should read the “Lord John” books, but I’ve never had any interest in them.  If the series always featured Jamie, then I would read them with the same love I have for all things “Outlander”, but otherwise, I’ll pass, thank you.  However, since The Scottish Prisoner does have Jamie in it, I was glad to pay money to buy the book.  The story is exactly what you can expect from Diana Gabaldon.  I loved it and got through it quickly.  There were several nights when I stayed up later than I should have just to keep reading, and if there is any test to determine the quality of a book, that would be it.  So, if you’ve read the “Outlander” series, at least up to Drums of Autumn, this book is well worth your time.

#COYER Scavenger Hunt #39: Read a book with no living thing on the cover.

 

Mini-Review: The Glass Magician

Glass

  • Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
  • ISBN: 9781477825945
  • Genre: Fantasy

I purchased this book not long after I finished The Paper Magician.

You know how sequels don’t often live up to the first book?  The Paper Magician was so great that I was afraid the sequel would be disappointing in comparison.  However, that wasn’t the case with The Glass Magician.  If anything, it was better since Charlie N. Holmberg didn’t just rewrite the same story with a different scenario.  She also didn’t make the mistake of rehashing all of the details of the first book before continuing the story.  There were short and to the point reminders of past events, which were helpful and always in relation to the current story, and that was it.

There is so much more that I want to say about The Glass Magician, but I have to keep my mouth shut to avoid spoiling anything.  What I can say is that I’m very much looking forward to the final book, The Master Magician.  I need to know what happens, and I’ve been saving up my Amazon credits for choosing the slowest shipping option just so I can buy it.

#COYER Scavenger Hunt #46: Celebrate 2015 – read a book that’s number in the series can be made from only the number in 2015 (This is book 2 of the Paper Magician series).

Mini-Review: The Fiery Cross

Fiery

  • Author: Diana Gabaldon

I bought The Fiery Cross a couple years ago. I was introduced to Outlander through my book club, and when I finished it, I bought Dragonfly in Amber.  When I finished it, very late on a school night, I immediately bought and began reading the ebook version of Voyager.  To save money and avoid anymore 1 am ebook purchases, I went on a quest to find the rest of the books in the series in used bookstores.  While I did manage to find them, life and other books got in the way of reading them.  I read The Drums of Autumn about a year and a half ago but didn’t start The Fiery Cross until this February.

While I spent more time getting through this book than any other in the series, that’s not because of the book itself or the fact that it could be a doorstop.  I’ve been reading brick-sized books since I was 12 and I love this series.  I’m attached to the characters to a degree I haven’t experienced since I read Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles”.  This is the book I wanted to read instead of so many other books this year, but I signed up for several reading challenges, and it only qualifies for one of them.  When I found myself in the kind of stubborn mood that made me refuse to read anything I “should” read, I finished the remaining 400 pages within a couple days.  There were several tension-filled on the edge of the couch moments in those pages, and a couple of them made me shed tears of relief after everything worked out.  I can’t wait until I have the time to start A Breath of Snow and Ashes!

Mini-Review: The Prince of Hazel and Oak

Prince

  • Author: John Lenahan
  • ISBN: 9780007425594
  • Publisher: The Friday Project
  • Genre: Fantasy

The information above is for the paperback and ebook edition.  I listened to the free “podiobook” version from podiobooks.com.  Since this is the 2nd book in the Shadowmagic series by John Lenahan, I’m keeping this review short, as I will do for any books after the 1st in a series.

There isn’t anything different to say about The Prince of Hazel and Oak that I’ve already said about Shadowmagic.  I’m still a huge fan of John Lenahan and his books, and the “podiobook” format.  The third book in the Shadowmagic series, The Sons of Macha, isn’t available as a “podiobook”, and I haven’t seen it offered as an audiobook anywhere, either, so I was a little sad when The Prince of Hazel and Oak came to an end.  My next audiobook has some fierce competition.

If you’ve already taken my recommendation to listen to Shadowmagic, then listen to the “podiobook” version of this book as well.  You won’t be disappointed.  I’ve already got The Sons of Macha as an ebook, and I can’t wait to find the time to read it.