Friday, January 29, 2016

Books: My Thoughts on Armada by Ernest Cline

Armada Armada by Ernest Cline

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardback, 349 pages (50%)
Audiobook, 10 CDs (50%)

Read from December 16, 2015 to January 29, 2016

I had heard several not too complimentary reviews of this book prior to reading it. The common thought was that it wasn't as good as the author's previous book. I purposefully didn't want to read Ready Player One before reading this book due to this. I believe this really helped me to realize if I enjoyed the book on it's own merit without being able to compare it to the author's prior work.

I usually like to read books and their audio version in conjunction with each other. I had heard from others what an amazing narrator Wil Wheaton was also, so I really wanted to give the audiobook a listen. In this case, I had been on my library's Overdrive waiting list for months and was still six people away from obtaining my loan by time I finally decided I could not put off reading this book any longer. I literally read 19 pages then put the book down for a while. I just wasn't interested.

Fortunately, I was at my library a while later and they happened to have a copy of the audiobook on CD, so I snatched it up. After listening to a few chapters, it then finally started to pull me in. I ended up devouring the last half of this book in two days. I honestly have to say that if it wasn't for Wil Wheaton's narration, I'm not sure how long it would've taken me to get to the place in the story where it finally started taking off for me.

I understood almost all of the pop culture references and the story really had a nostalgic feel to it, even though it takes place in the present. The family elements gave me the feels at times as well. The story is a bit reminiscent to me of the movie War Games with Matthew Broderick. Even the main character has the same last name in both. There is some instalove, and though it is understandable in the situation that was occurring, the story would've worked just as well if it was an instafriendship instead in my opinion.

I do wish the end was slightly different, but that being said, I still think the story overall was enjoyable and would recommend it especially if you are an Ernest Cline newbie like I was. After my experience with this story, I can only imagine that Ready Player One will be spectacular.

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I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Books: My Thoughts on A Ghoul's Guide to Love and Murder (Ghost Hunter Mystery 10) by Victoria Laurie

A Ghoul's Guide to Love and Murder A Ghoul's Guide to Love and Murder by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An amazing end to what has been one of my favorite series these last couple years. Although I am so sad to see it finished, it did make complete sense to me why this was the last installment. I can only hope that we are able to catch glimpses of our friends in the author's other series in the future. As one chapter closes, another one begins - the phrase definitely has more than one meaning here.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Books: My Thoughts on The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is hovering between 3.5 and 4 stars for me actually. I read this as a buddy read, switching back and forth between ebook and audiobook.

Since I had tried in the past to read the author's Raven Boys series and couldn't get very far into the first book before I put it down, I decided to try this one instead. First off, I have to say that this book was not what I expected it to be. I thought that this book would be focused solely on the race itself, but it was more about the prep leading up to the race. It also left me with a lot of questions, even in the end.

One of the bigger questions I had throughout the book was, where are they referring to when they refer to the mainland? My reading buddy found that the capaill uisce or water horse is found in Scottish/Celtic folklore, though I didn't find that the narrators had particularly Scottish accents, which confused me a bit. Also confusing to me, and the reason that I started utilizing the audiobook, was the alternating POVs between Sean and Puck. Reading the ebook, I constantly had to flip back to see who was talking during the particular chapter. Having the audiobook really helped me to know who's POV we were in as the audio version has both a male and female narrator.

Once I realized that the book wasn't going to focus on the race but the prep leading up to it, I think I was able to enjoy it more. I can't say that I wasn't a little disappointed that the race itself was such a small part of this story. That being said, I found the race scene exciting. I was also happy with how the relationship between Sean and Puck developed and thought that the ending was fitting.

I have never read a fantasy book without some kind of magic system or magic in general, which is probably why it was easy for me to forget that Thisby wasn't a real island. If in the future we are given the opportunity to visit there again, I would be happy to race among the capaill uisce again.

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Books: My Thoughts on Dust & Decay (Benny Imura #2) by Jonathan Maberry

Dust & Decay (Rot & Ruin #2)Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very happy to have come back to this cast of characters! I feel that this book really continued to grow the relationships between the characters, but we also see the characters grow as individuals. I also enjoyed meeting some new characters and seeing their cards at the end of the book.

There were instances within this story that I could really connect with personally. There were great action scenes and this installment carried a lot more suspense than its predecessor. Truthfully, I am a little ticked off with something that happened in the end, but I won't go into it so I can avoid spoilers.

I'm excited to see what adventure our group has in store for them in the next installment.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Books: #TBRTakedown 3.0 Wrap Up

I've finally uploaded my wrap up for #TBRTakedown 3.0! Linkys after the break:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Books: My Thoughts on Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Pirate LatitudesPirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! Only my second read from Michael Crichton, the first being Jurassic Park. This story moved so fluidly for me, I didn't realize how fast the pages were turning. If you're a fan of pirate adventures, I would definitely give this one a try.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Books: My Thoughts on Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, 1) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book but didn't love it. I have to say that I think it is because I was expecting more sleuthing. That being said I did enjoy the last few chapters quite a bit.

I'm hoping that momentum carries over to the next book, but I'm not going to jump right into that at the moment.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Books: My Thoughts on Runaways Volume 1: Pride & Joy by Brian K Vaughan

Runaways Volume 1: Pride & JoyRunaways Volume 1: Pride & Joy by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For the first time picking up a comic ever, I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this! Will definitely be continuing with the series.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

January TBR including #TBRTakedown 3.0

I'm participating in #TBRTakedown 3.0 as well as doing several buddy reads this month!

I'm still trying out editing software to include pics of books I don't have physical copies of. The one I used for this video allows me to keep the pics up the entire time I'm talking about the book, but the video doesn't fill the screen. My other software lets the video fill the screen, but only lets me keep the picture up for 6 seconds. Let me know if you have a preference on how you see the pictures, thanks! #TBRTakedown 3.0 Announcement video here

Linkys after the break!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Reflections/2016 Goals

How many books did I read in 2015? What are my goals for 2016 reading wise as well as in other things? If you're interested, it's all included in this video. Linkys below the break.