Monthly Archives: January 2015

Samurai Summer by Ake Edwardson

Samurai Summer is a book that has big ideas yet somehow comes across as being a bit cold and too shortsighted to make the story stick. Characters that should have been believable somehow weren’t and the book left me somewhat … Continue reading

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The Better Part of Valor by Tanya Huff

I enjoyed the first book in the Confederation series, Valor’s Choice, but didn’t love it. The story was decent yet it was also somewhat cold and impersonal. But wow, Huff really kicked up the story and characters in this second … Continue reading

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I Become Shadow by Joe Shine

I can forgive logic flaws in a YA book when the author knows to write very tongue in cheek rather than drearily earnest. With Joe Shine’s I Become Shadow, we have a very snarky but also kick-butt heroine that who … Continue reading

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More Happy Than Not By Adam Silvera

Sometimes, a book really does live up to the hype. In this case, a story about a confused 17 year old and the heartache and heartbreak of his life. There is a slightly science fiction aspect that figures in the … Continue reading

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My Little Pony Friends Forever Volume 3

Review from my 11 year old daughter: In this volume, all the ponies are well drawn and have great stories that are true to their characters. Each also had a strong story arc and not just random vignette stories empty … Continue reading

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The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog https://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/</p></i>The subtitle is really the key to this book: this is about everything having to do with money and raising kids to be smart about it: from being honest about how much … Continue reading

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Discussion: Angelfall by Susan Ee

While I rated Angelfall from Susan Ee poorly poorly, others have enjoyed her dystopian angels run amock story.  Here is a discussion with book blogger Ian Wood of Ian Wood’s Novellum on why we reviewed the book so differently. I … Continue reading

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Careers by DK Publishing

DK Published has managed a nearly impossible feat here: they’ve created a book that is packed full of information but also inviting and friendly. A perfect synthesis of hard and soft presentation to create a very useful and incredible usable … Continue reading

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The Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier

The Apple Cookbook is everything I look for in this type of book: beautifully presented, with background information on the subject, plenty of photographs of the recipes, breadth of recipes from easy to difficult, and a layout that ensures the … Continue reading

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Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore

Skin Cleanse is an easy to read book utilizing the latest in health and nutrition findings; specifically, an holistic approach suggesting that issues with skin (as with health and weight) are most affected by diet. As such, the first half … Continue reading

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Pacific Fire by Greg Van Eekhout

About ten pages into Pacific Fire, I was reminded immediately of just how startlingly original, intriguing, and engrossing California Bones had been. Immediately I was transported back into this fascinating world of Greg Van Eekhout’s alternate Los Angeles (a city … Continue reading

Posted in alternate universe, ARC, urban fantasy | 2 Comments

The Tower and the Tears by Cecilia Tan

This Magic University series is what I consider a guilty pleasure; no it isn’t high literature and yes it is very erotic (read: lots of sex). Unlike so many erotic titles out there, it isn’t raunchy or rude; it’s consensual, … Continue reading

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog https://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/</p></i>I know there will be many who will like Red Queen a lot; it is not terrible, easy to follow, and main character Mare Barrow gets to show she’s feisty. But perhaps … Continue reading

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Point of View: a Discussion of Divergent and The Testing

I enjoy discussing books with other readers. In this post, a discussion with book blogger Ian Wood of Ian Wood’s Novellum on why we reviewed Divergent by Veronic Roth and The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau so differently: Ian Wood’s points: … Continue reading

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Rook by Sharon Cameron

The Rook was a very enjoyable dystopian romance using many themes from The Scarlett Pimpernel. This book succeeds in being far less saccharine than Orczy’s 1905 Edwardian adventure and there is very creative and well thought-out worldbuilding in this dystopian … Continue reading

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Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a pitch perfect book that gets tone, character, plot, and flow exquisitely perfect. It’s the type of book that leaves you with a big smile that lingers long after you’ve finished; an easy … Continue reading

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The Heart of Valor by Tanya Huff

What I really like about Huff’s military Sci Fi is that at heart, it is all about the characters. Heroine Torrin Kerr can be tough as nails and yet still be interesting, likeable, and not a cipher. I look forward … Continue reading

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The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones is an old fashioned YA horror story with a twist: adding in the perspective of a slightly rebellious teen Amish heroine. The author does a great job of ratcheting up the terror and unease but at the … Continue reading

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Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

As much as I loved the two previous books in this series, I was admittedly let down by Waistcoats and Weaponry. The plot was pretty much as follows: “Oh Soap!” “Oh Felix!” “Oh Soap!” “Oh, a train.” “Oh Soap!” “Oh … Continue reading

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The Forgotten Sister by Jennifer Paynter

The Forgotten Sister is a well-written view of Pride and Prejudice through the eyes of Mary – the middle of the Bennett sisters. Through most of the Jane Austen title, Mary was pretty much a tool of embarrassment for Elizabeth, … Continue reading

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