Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 2013 Update

I read more books in June than I expected to but most of them have been on the short side. So, the 17 books I have read only total 4094 pages.

List of Books:
  1. Athena the Brain by Joan Holub
  2. Zombacter: Center City Contagion by Sean Bingham 
  3. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch  
  4. Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly 
  5. Persephone the Phony by Joan Holub 
  6. Alone by Robert J. Crane
  7. Chocolate Shoes And Wedding Blues by Trisha Ashley
  8. Alice in Zombieland by Nickolas Cook
  9. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
  10. The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine
  11. The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen by Norah Wilson 
  12. Origins by Kristen Middleton
  13. Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  14. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  15. Her Own Devices by Shelley Adina 
  16. The Long Midnight Of Barney Thomson by Douglas Lindsay
  17. Amethyst by Heather Bowhay
All posts from June are HERE.

Amethyst by Heather Bowhay

College-bound Lexi Adams leads no ordinary life. Premonitions dictate her every move, compelling her to rescue strangers day and night. After years of self-sacrifice, she decides to ignore one, but innocent people die. So, when the next premonition depicts her own death, Lexi is faced with the decision of a lifetime. As if an ill-fated future isn’t enough to deal with, a series of strange illnesses and murders devastate her small town, and co-worker Jessica Nelson insists Lexi can help.
According to Jessica, everyone is born with an inner energy called Essence. Only a select few, Amethysts, can control Essence and heal people. Jessica claims to be an Amethyst and asks Lexi to join her and a group of her friends as they track the murderers. Despite her personal plight, Lexi considers joining them.
Then again, Lexi discovers secrets run deep among Jessica’s friends. Not only do they have a hidden agenda, but they also harbor extraordinary abilities. And they have connections with the Ray-pacs – the sadistic killers who are preying on human Essence. Ultimately, Lexi must decide if life, not death, equals salvation. And if so, is she willing to make certain sacrifices and join her friends in eradicating the Ray-pacs?
From Goodreads.

Another free 1st in a series book that I have enjoyed enough to immediately buy the next book. I am looking forward to see what the future holds for Lexi.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 1st In A Series Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (shapeshifter)
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 4th of June 2013)

The Long Midnight Of Barney Thomson by Douglas Lindsay

Barney Thomson — awkward, diffident, Glasgow barber — lives a life of desperate mediocrity. Shunned at work and at home, unable to break out of a twenty-year rut, each dull day blends seamlessly into the next.
However, there is no life so tedious that it cannot be spiced up by inadvertent murder, a deranged psychopath, and a freezer full of neatly packaged meat.
Barney Thomson's uninteresting life is about to go from 0 to 60 in five seconds, as he enters the grotesque and comically absurd world of the serial killer…
From Goodreads.






This was okay but not as good as I had hoped. There are a few surprises in it which are very good and made the book. As I have lived in Scotland I liked knowing about the places mentioned in the book. I might like to read more in this series but I will wait till they become available on Kindle.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 1st In A Series Challenge
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 9th of December 2012)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Her Own Devices by Shelley Adina

Escaped lunatics, lost children, vengeful lords, and love. Really, the situation is becoming quite impossible.
Seventeen-year-old Lady Claire Trevelyan, left alone after the Arabian Bubble financial disaster claims home and family, now leads the cleverest gang in the London underworld. Between outwitting a rival gang, inventing a device that will net her and her scientist employer worldwide fame, and keeping her mother from marrying her off, she can almost forget that a powerful lord wants to get closer ... and if he succeeds, can destroy it all with a single word ...
From Goodreads





I haven't read much steampunk but I am enjoying this series by Shelley Adina and have already bought the third book in the series to read in the near future. Claire is a likeable, resourceful and very responsible heroine and I am looking forward to read more about her and her charges.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Sequel Reading Challenge
Get Steampunk’d 2013
2013 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge 

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach ...
Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby - young, handsome, fabulously rich - always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for.
Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.
From Goodreads.





This is an American classic. Unfortunately it only just made it up to 3 Polar Bears. I didn't find the story that interesting and I was pleased it was a quite short book.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.
With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that’s rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day.
From Goodreads

This was a real page turner. It is a mystery book not about murders but about books and I was pleasantly surprised when I read it. I was afraid it might be a "dry" book but it was far from it and I can recommend this book to anyone.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Origins by Kristen Middleton

Seventeen year old Cassandra Wild thought living in the chaos of her mother’s home daycare and dealing with her developing feelings for Bryce, her new Martial Arts’ instructor, was a struggle, until the night her world turned upside down.
When an untested vaccine kills more than just a rampant flu virus, Cassie learns how to survive in a world where the dead walk, and the living…run!
From Goodreads






This was a free book. It was good and I might at a later date buy the next in the series. I have, over the last 6 months, read over 30 books that were 1st in a series so I don't know when I will get back to this series.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 1st In A Series Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (zombie)
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 22nd of June 2013)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen by Norah Wilson

Tired of getting no respect at the big P.I. firm where she's worked for years, Dix Dodd has hung out her own shingle at the ripe age of 40. There are plenty of cheating husbands to go around, and Dix has a knack for busting them. Problem is, it doesn't always pay so well. Conscious that the guys back at the old firm are laying bets about how soon she'll come crawling back, she figures she's got six months to make a go of it. The going gets even tougher when she hires Dylan Foreman. But when he told her about getting fired from his law firm and disbarred for putting common decency before the firm's interests, she hired him on the spot. In addition to being smart, he's gorgeous enough to remind her she's a woman. And at 28, young enough to make her feel like a total cougar. Things start looking up when Dix gets hired by millionaire businessman Ned Weatherby's wife Jennifer Weatherby, to tail Ned 24/7 for a week, for a cool ten grand. Easy-peasy, right? Wrong! The job lands Dix in the middle of a murder investigation - with her as the prime suspect and her arch-enemy Detective Richard Head (a.k.a., Dickhead, one of the cheating husbands she'd nailed) gunning for her. Dix will need all her ingenuity, as well as the help of Dylan and her oddball cast of supporters to extricate herself from this one. From Goodreads.

I enjoyed this book, more than I expected. It was cosy, humorous and I like when the side characters are interesting. In this case Mrs. P was quite the character. I am interested in reading more from this series. Okay I admit it, I have just bought the second book.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 1st In A Series Challenge
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 4th of June 2013)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine

Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead.
On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose.
From Goodreads.






I liked it but it was still just average. There are questions I would like the answers to but I am not going to hurry out and get the next many books in this series just for that.
This is the first time I have finished an audiobook. I don't think I will ever love audiobooks but listening to them is a good way to "read" when I don't have time to sit down.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Audio Book Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (Vampire)
2013 Sequel Reading Challenge

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. "World War Z" is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
 
Part of blurb from Goodreads.

I read this book for a couple of reasons, one of them being that my husband wants me to come to the cinema next month to see the film.
I liked it but I found it dragged on a bit at the end. I think that the book could have been at least 50 pages shorter. I am looking forward to see the film.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (zombie)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Alice in Zombieland by Nickolas Cook

When little Alice follows the Black Rat down into the open grave, she falls and falls, and soon finds herself in an undead nightmare. Following the Rat, she ventures further into this land of monsters, encountering characters both creepy and madcap along the way. But there's something else troubling poor Alice: her skin is rotting and her hair is falling out. Can Alice escape Zombieland before the Dead Red Queen catches up to her? 
Have a seat at the table for the wildest tea party of your life and explore the unforgettable adventure that is Alice in Zombieland. From Goodreads.





I really didn't like this. Zombie books should be at least a bit scary and exciting. This was just boring and a struggle to get through. I am glad it was free.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (zombie)
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 27th of October 2012)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Chocolate Shoes And Wedding Blues by Trisha Ashley

When Tansy Poole inherits a run-down shoe shop tucked away in the village of Sticklepond, ‘Cinderella’s Slippers’ is born – providing the footwear to make any fairytale wedding come true…
Carrying everything a bride would want to walk down the aisle in, Tansy’s shop soon expands to carry shoe-themed wedding favours, bridesmaid gifts and even delicious chocolate shoes. It’s the dream destination for any shoe-lover!
If only everything in her personal life could be as heavenly – but with a fiancĂ© trying to make her fit into a size 8 wedding dress, not to mention the recent discovery of disturbing family revelations, Tansy takes refuge in the shop’s success.
But one man isn’t thrilled by the stream of customers hot-footing it to Cinderella’s Slippers… Actor Ivo Hawksley, resident of the cottage next to the shop, is troubled by a dark secret in his past and has come to Sticklepond to nurse his own broken heart.
However, Ivo realises that he and Tansy have a link in their past and soon, they both find out how secrets shared can make a very strong bond indeed…
From Goodreads.

I really enjoy Trisha Ashley's books. They are cosy, happy ending, chick-lit books and they always have interesting side characters in them.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge

Alone by Robert J. Crane

Sienna Nealon was a 17 year-old girl who had been held prisoner in her own house by her mother for twelve years. Then one day her mother vanished, and Sienna woke up to find two strange men in her home. On the run, unsure of who to turn to and discovering she possesses mysterious powers, Sienna finds herself pursued by a shadowy agency known as the Directorate and hunted by a vicious, bloodthirsty psychopath named Wolfe, each of which is determined to capture her for their own purposes... From Goodreads





This was okay, but it didn't suck me in. This was free but not good enough for me to want to buy the next books, but good enough to make me keep an eye out for them in case they get reduced in price.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 1st In A Series Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (several)
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 18th of January 2013)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Persephone the Phony by Joan Holub

As Persephone's mum encourages her to do, she often "goes along to get along" instead of doing what she really wants. But when she meets Mount Olympus Academy bad-boy Hades, she finally feels she has found someone with whom she can be herself. He's the first person who actually listens to her, and she finds herself liking him, despite the fact that the other goddess girls think he's bad news. But if he makes her feel so special – and she's so comfortable hanging around him – can he really be all that bad? From Goodreads.





I didn't think this was as good as the first book in the series but it was still sweet and cute. I will keep the next ones in the series in mind for my next Dewey's Read-a-Thon as they will be good fillers between the longer books.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Mythology Challenge
2013 Sequel Reading Challenge

Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly

Her first thought: "Who are you?"
It's the morning after her cousin's bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she's in a stranger's penthouse having woken up with something else as well - a funny, arrogant, sexy...husband!
Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible - been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter...no, Connor Reed and she's gone from first meet to marriage in one night!
Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor's shocking bombshell?
"I don't want a divorce." From Goodreads.





It was okay but no more than that.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 13th of December 2012)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic. From Goodreads.





Finding out you can speak to ghosts is not an easy thing but that is how the book starts. I really enjoyed it, although some of it is bordering on the weird, but it fits. I am already looking into getting the continuation of this series.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 A-Z Reading Challenge
2013 1st In A Series Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (wizard)
2013 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Zombacter: Center City Contagion by Sean Bingham

The first book in a horrifying new series
This terrifying spin on zombies is a thrill ride of gruesome twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat and forever afraid of the dark.
Professor Jake Northrop was on track to build the world’s first biocomputer using genetically engineered bacteria when something went terribly wrong. Now that something has just become top of the food chain. He’s horrified to learn that his experimental bacterium, Zombacter, turns people into flesh-eating monsters. While most of Professor Northrop’s accidental creations are lumbering idiots, some are very different. They can out run you. They can out think you, and they’re hungry! With the help of Bill Santini, a homeless, one-armed veteran, and a small group of survivors, the professor must run a gauntlet of ghouls to escape Center City and find a cure for the zombie plague.
From Goodreads



This was okay for a free book. It doesn't quite end on a cliffhanger and we get some answers but it definitely sets the scene for a continuing series. Being about zombies, the book is of course full of gore.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 1st In A Series Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (zombie)
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 28th of October 2012)

Athena the Brain by Joan Holub

Athena has always been above average. She has never quite fit in at Triton Junior High, but who would've guessed that Athena is actually a goddess? Principal Zeus's daughter, to be exact.
When she's summoned to Mount Olympus Academy, Athena thinks she might actually fit in for the first time in her life. But in some ways, school on Mount Olympus is not that different from down on Earth, and Athena is going to have to deal with the baddest mean girl in history: Medusa!
From Goodreads





This is a sweet, cute easy read for young middle grade children. The Gods and Goddesses of Greek mythology are around the age of 12.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Mythology Challenge
2013 1st In A Series Challenge