Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Premonitions: By Jaime Schultz

PREMONITIONS

SUMMARY

Two Million Dollars...

It’s the kind of score Karyn Ames has always dreamed of—enough to set her crew up pretty well and, more important, enough to keep her safely stocked on a very rare, very expensive black market drug. Without it, Karyn hallucinates slices of the future until they totally overwhelm her, leaving her unable to distinguish the present from the mess of certainties and possibilities yet to come.

The client behind the heist is Enoch Sobell, a notorious crime lord with a reputation for being ruthless and exacting—and a purported practitioner of dark magic. Sobell is almost certainly condemned to Hell for a magically extended lifetime full of shady dealings. Once you’re in business with him, there’s no backing out.

Karyn and her associates are used to the supernatural and the occult, but their target is more than just the usual family heirloom or cursed necklace. It’s a piece of something larger. Something sinister.

Karyn’s crew and even Sobell himself are about to find out just how powerful it is… and how powerful it may yet become.
REVIEW

Premonitions really is a great book.

Part urban fantasy and part crime heist readers will instantly be drawn into Premonitions as readers are immediately thrown into a potentially deadly heist gone wrong. Between that and the introduction of Karyn powers of premonitions readers wont be able to put this book down.

Of course while the heists, interesting powers, and nonstop action are all great aspects of the book, in my opinion the most fascinating aspect of the book is the way the author Jaime Schultz jumps between the characters showing the reader each of their point of view. The fascinating thing about this is that he makes each of the characters so real. No one character is “the good guy” nor is anyone “the bad guy” in the traditional sense. In a much more convoluted yet realistic way everyone has their own goals, decisions, ambitions, and faults. No one is perfect and no one is fighting for the “right” side.

While everyone might not enjoy this very cloudy and convoluted view of the world I found it fascinating. Between the constantly changing POVs, the incredible action, and the fast moving plot I personally couldn’t put this books down.


All in all this Premonitions is a great book for fans of V.E. Schwab’s Vicious, Mark Lawrence’s The Broken Empire, or Seanan McGuire’s InCrptid series.

INFO

Publisher: Roc

Published: July 1, 2014

Price: $7.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Premonitions-Jamie-Schultz-ebook/dp/B00HDMM6KA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404279146&sr=8-1&keywords=premonitions

Monday, June 16, 2014

Night Broken: By Patricia Briggs

NIGHT BROKEN

SUMMARY

An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from a stalker. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right.

Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.

Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s stalker is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.
REVIEW

The problem with reading Patricia Briggs’s fantastic Mercy Thompson series is that once you finish the latest book you have to wait now close to two years until the next one.

(While that sounds bad, really Briggs is a prolific writer who alternates between series, her Alpha and Omega series is fantastic as well.)

As for the book itself I listened to it via audible and absolutely loved it. The narrator was fantastic and it was such an engaging plot that I often found myself finding excuses to drive so I could listen to more, and even getting to the point where I would just sit in the car for a time just to listen in as to what happens next.

If you haven’t read Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series before then I would recommend you start from the beginning. Like Jim Butcher’s incredible series many of the decisions and events have built on previous actions and events from the earlier books in the series. That said, Briggs does a great job reminding readers of those actions quickly so readers who have not read book one in a number of years will be reminded of the events without wasting much time, or causing to much lag in the story.

As for Night Broken itself, this book is fantastic, it’s got action galore, the cast of characters is filled out even further as we’re introduced to a volcano based god-like beings (similar to Coyote), his minions (impressive nigh indestructible fire-shape shifting-dogs), Mercy’s half brother Gary Laughing Dog, and even a new Grey Lord who wants to kill Z. Of course, besides these new characters readers will also be excited to see Tad finally strut is magical half fey stuff (let me just say I can’t wait to see more of that!) As usual, the walking stick and Coyote create more questions and problems with every appearance leaving readers to want to know more right now.

All in all, Night Broken is another fantastic addition to an already awesome series. Fans of Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, or Kevin Hearne will love this series. But most likely if you’ve read these other authors you’ll already be on the Briggs bandwagon. All in all a great book.

INFO

Publisher: Ace

Published: March 11, 2014

Price: $26.95

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Broken-Mercy-Thompson-Novel-ebook/dp/B00DMCV7WS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402952633&sr=1-1&keywords=patricia+briggs

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Skin Game: By Jim Butcher

SKIN GAME

SUMMARY

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day…

Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.

He doesn’t know the half of it…

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It's a smash and grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he's dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden's always been tricky, but he's going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance…

REVIEW


First off, don’t try to read this book without having read the other books in the series. Second, if you can re-read the last book before you read Skin Game, you don’t have to but I think it would be helpful since it’s been a year.

As for the review, Skin Game is fantastic. Butcher has done what I consider the impossible, created an engaging, intricate plot that has built upon each book, while at the same time using formulaic scenarios, all without letting the story or characters get stale.

On top of this, Butcher also has the uncanny ability to still shock seasoned readers even after 14 other books in the series. I can’t say what the surprises are but like the last few books many of Harry’s actions from previous books come back to haunt him, but I can be confident that most readers will not see these surprises coming.

Of course, in my opinion what separates Skin Game and Butcher in general from other urban fantasy authors is his humor. From Monty Python and the Holy Grail references, to Harry’s Id’s wisecracks and sarcasm, to EVERYTHING involving Butters, Butcher has created a enough humor and lightheartedness to keep the story from becoming melodramatic, and to maximize reader enjoyment.

All in all, chalk another great book up to Jim Butcher. I loved every minute of Skin Game and can’t wait for the next in the series. Butcher is a true master of his craft and I personally can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

INFO

Publisher: Ace

Published: May 27, 2014

Price: $27.95

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Skin-Game-Dresden-Files-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00HUVUSZ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401218835&sr=8-1&keywords=jim+butcher

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

V is for Villain: By Peter Moore

V IS FOR VILLAIN

SUMMARY

Brad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake.

Though Brad is a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn't measure up at his high school, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm.

So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he's happy to join a new crew—especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. With her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own.

But when they're pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he's on. And once he does, there's no turning back.

REVIEW

The first thing you have to know about V is for Villain is that I loved it.

This book is not just packed with action and the typical superhero/super villain hijinks (even though there is tons of action). Instead the meat of V is for Villain, is about something even more fascinating, the blurred lines between good and evil, and how easy it is to end up on the wrong side, even when trying to do good.

Moore does a fantastic job creating likable characters for readers to root for, and is particularly gifted in showing each of the characters motivations for moving towards the side of "evil". That’s one of the most fascinating aspects of the book, how Moore does such a superb job creating situations that will have the readers second guessing the decisions made and the world's view, until the very last pages.


All in all, this was a great book that I would easily recommend. There was plenty of action, it’s filled with well written and engaging characters, and it moves at a quick and engrossing pace sure to keep readers glued to the pages until the very end. Perfect for fans of a Andrew Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible, Michael Carroll’s Super Human series, and Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

INFO

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Published: May 20, 2014

Price: $17.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/V-Villain-Peter-Moore/dp/1423157494/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1400614980&sr=1-1

Caged Warrior: By Alan Lawrence Sitomer

CAGED WARRIOR

SUMMARY

McCutcheon Daniels' life is full of bone-cracking violence.

As a star fighter in the gritty underground Mixed Martial Arts circuit in the poorest section of Detroit, McCutcheon fights under the tutelage of his volatile and violent father, not so much for himself but to survive as protector of his beloved five-year old sister, Gemma.

But McCutcheon isn't just a fighter he also has potential for something greater. Mr. Freedman, his science teacher, spots this potential, befriending and encouraging him to enter the lottery for a scholarship to an elite charter school so he can obtain a first-class education.

While at first first dead-set against the idea, between the school's headmaster, Kaitlyn, a student assigned to be his guide, and Mr. Freedman McCutcheon's mind is slowly changed as he's shown that he can have more in his life than just endless violence.

But McCutcheon's father doesn't think in terms of what's good for his son, instead he thinks in terms of cash flow. So when he sees his future cash flow begin to run dry, he takes actions that can never be taken back, forcing events to be set in motion that no one, not even McCutcheon can stop.
REVIEW

Having just finished Caged Warrior, I’m sitting here absolutely stunned.

First off, I read Caged Warrior in one sitting, that’s not saying it was unnecessarily short, it was just that captivating. I was hooked from page one and couldn’t stop. Between the constant character development, the adrenaline pumping action in and out of the cage fights, and Sitomer’s quick pacing anyone who picks this book up will have a hard time putting it down.

Second, Sitomer’s protagonist is absolutely amazing. His every word is raw, powerful, and brilliant. Sitomer has done a fantastic job creating a strong yet caring protagonist in M.D. The dichotomy between the caring loving way M.D. takes care of his sister and his cage fighting accentuates every character detail, helping illuminate M.D. in a way that few characters are exposed. This dichotomy is also essential when it comes time for M.D.’s evolution in looking for a better life for him and Gemma.

What has me so stunned though is the ending. Sitomer has done a fantastic job of creating a captivating story, leading the reader through it, giving readers the ending they think is coming, and then yanking the rug out from beneath their feet. I won’t say anything else about the ending except it caught me completely off guard, and took this from a good book to one I would fervently recommend.

All in all Caged Warrior is a fantastic book. It is gruesome and filled with mature content, so it is not for everyone. But those willing to give this book a chance will not be disappointed.


INFO

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Published: May 13, 2014

Price: $16.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Caged-Warrior-Alan-Lawrence-Sitomer/dp/1423171241/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1400614963&sr=8-1