Thursday, March 5, 2015

Review (Part 2): The Dickens Mirror (Dark Passages #2) by Ilsa J. Bick

First I will thank Netgalley and Egmont USA for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  I'm very happy that this e-galley was much easier to read than the e-galley for the first book, White Spaces, was.  I ended up waiting several months, almost a year actually to finish reading the first one because of how difficult it was to read in the e-galley format.  I'm going to also say that it was probably good that I read them both so close together.  These books are very, dense you might say. The story is very intricate and it isn't one you can skim.  It was kind of hard to try to read while my dog was being a pain in the butt as well.  But once I was able to just zone out the rest of the world and read, I was sucked in.  I did a PART ONE of this review on Tuesday to be part of a Blog Hop tour to support the author now that Egmont USA has shut its doors.  So this will be a quicker review of how it ended up without spoilers for the most part, along with mostly my overall opinion of the book.

If you read my first part, you know that I said most of the story took place back in an alternate London, and that there wasn't as much of the physics as there had been in the last part of the first book.  However this changed.  We still spent most of this story in that alternate London, but now the science stuff really started back in.  As more of the characters from the first book got brought to this "Now" by the woman wearing the panops, Emma, who was now inside the Elizabeth, or her older self was in this Elizabeth, Emma starts seeing the physics theories and facts she was catching onto in the first book.  We learn who this strange woman is, and it is a bit of a surprise. There are characters in this book that are what you'd think of as bit players or extras in a movie.  But in the book/story they are formless/faceless at some points.  Placeholders basically as they aren't important to what the author is trying to say.  We learn more about Lizzie's family, her father, mother, and just what they each did for the stories and peculiars as they are in the real world.  But the book definitely makes you wonder which reality is real, who are the real people, which ones are just characters in the book, and what are you reading about?  It makes you even wonder if maybe your whole life is just a book that someone is reading.

I was a bit confused in some parts, but then I wonder if it is just that the way the author wrote it, I was confused because it wasn't supposed to either be clear to all the characters, or if she wrote it in a way to make it more suspenseful and I did really understand it.

Now, originally I know I saw somewhere that this was supposed to be a trilogy.  So what I'm wondering, because of how the ending was in a way wrapping some bits up, or at least kind of circling around to parts from the beginning, will there be a 3rd part?  Or was this completed in the way it was because there may not be one now that the publishing house is closing?  I can definitely be okay with where the story ended.  But I also feel there are things that could be finished being explained and further fleshed out. And I would be willing to read another book, even as long as these are!

Now, if you think you want to read these, you can enter the giveaway below for an ARC of the first book.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Persuasion (The Heirs of Watson Island #2) by Martina Boone

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  I was so excited earlier this month when they released the cover for this one. I immediately went and added this to the next open WOW spot on my calendar.  I got an ARC of the first book, Compulsion, at BEA last summer, and loved it.  Here is the blurb, and the pretty, pretty cover for the sequel from Goodreads:

Grieving the death of her godfather and haunted by her cousin Cassie’s betrayal, Barrie returns from a trip to San Francisco to find the Watson plantation besieged by reporters and ghost-hunters. Some are hoping to see the ancient spirit who sets the river on fire each night, while others are chasing rumors of a stolen shipment of Civil War gold that may be hidden at Colesworth Place. Chaos descends as Cassie hires a team of archeologists to excavate beneath the mansion ruins. But more is buried there than treasure.

A mysterious, magical man appears at Watson’s Landing, claiming the key to the Watson and Beaufort gifts and the Colesworth curse also lies beneath the mansion. With a mix of threats and promises, he engages Barrie and Cassie in a midnight visit, but the spell he conjurs has potentially deadly consequences.

While Barrie and dreamy Eight Beaufort struggle to make sense of the escalating danger and their growing feelings for each other, Barrie has to figure out not only whom to trust, but which gift is more reliable—Eight’s or her own. With millions of dollars and the fate of the founding families at stake, she must choose between what she feels deep in her heart and what will keep her loved ones safe.

I'm so excited to read on in this world.  I love Eight, he's such a good book boyfriend!!  So, what book are you eagerly awaiting this week? 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cover Characteristic/Top Ten Tuesday: Just Words

The Cover Characteristic meme is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.  Since I wasn't sure about the Top 10 Tuesday theme this week, I chose to do it this way instead.  Here are the guidelines for how it works if you want to join in:
Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).
You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

I try to pick books I've already read, and all but one will be ones that I've read for this week. And I'll be doing 10 instead of 5.

 And the number one book I'm picking, I haven't actually read all the way through, but I think it is the best one for this theme:

An ulterior motive I had for picking this book is that I can share the picture of me getting to meet the author last summer at BEA. I was one of the first in line, so I think he still was friendly and not bored or anything.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Review and Blog Tour: The Dickens Mirror (Dark Passages #2) by Ilsa J. Bick AND Giveway!

I'm very happy to be a part of the Last List Blog Hop to help out some authors who have recently had their publishing house close its doors.  One of those authors is one that I've been a fan of since the first book in her Ashes trilogy.  My spot on the tour is just supposed to be a review of the sequel to her book White Spaces.  However, I haven't quite finished it yet.  When I got my day to post, it just didn't quite fit in with the other books I had on schedule to review, and I even stopped reading one of those books.  Now, the reason for this, these books are big!  And they should be.  It's just that they are very detailed stories, with so much world building and character building, that you can't just zoom through them like you can with other stories at times.  So in order to keep on time with my post for the blog hop, I'm going to do a halfway through review as part one today, and then when I finish the book, I'll do a quick part two review, later this week, Thursday or Friday probably.  If you haven't read the first one, then you should probably read my review of it HERE.  Then skip over my short review below, and jump to the giveaway at the end!

Halfway-through review:

This time it's as if all our characters from the first book have kind of ended back up in one of their other "Nows".  Even Emma has gone back to a different time from where she had been.  She's back to where she was only 12 years old and had an accident on her bike.  Only when she gets home, and no one is there to help her out, all of a sudden a woman with the Panop glasses shows up.  Climbs through her window and comes after her.  And it's not just that which is weird, it's also that she's remembering things that Lizzie said to them. About how they are part of a story.  And so then things seem to not be real until she imagines them. And it's not just her, it is other characters. They are dreaming of times and places that only become more real as they think what should be there.  The "Now" that the characters are either already in, or that they may end up in, is back in what is a pretty alternate London.  One where a Peculiar fog has taken over, and a type of disease eats away at people.  The time where Elizabeth/Lizzie is in a mental hospital.  The time when there is a man named  Arthur Conan Doyle.  And while people here are looking for a Dickens Mirror, they don't know of anyone named Charles Dickens.  Many of the characters here remember dying in the other "Now".  But think it is just a dream. Even though their friends were there in some way.

So far the science has not been as intense as in the other book.  But there was some really good stuff at the beginning.  Like, this one fact that just really stood out to me.  Now, I only know about Schrodinger's Cat because of The Big Bang Theory.  But a true fact the author shared in the book is that Einstein didn't agree or believe in that theory!  I wonder what my favorite nerd Sheldon would have to say about that.  I love the nerdy science stuff!

If you enjoyed the first, you'll enjoy this one, although it is taking place in a much different time period. While the first book kind of jumped around to several different places, for the most part it stayed in more current times.  This one began at some present day parts, but for the most part we're in that alternate London.  I'm halfway through, but definitely wondering who the woman who climbed through Emma's window is, and in another now she climbed through a mirror, how?  I also want to know just who the Kramer/doctor is, and why Doyle is playing such a big part.  Is he really supposed to be the author?  Or what?

And, without further ado, here is the


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - March 1st, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  It's a rather large haul this week.  Most free, but a few purchased.  I want to show you just why I probably don't need to be buying anymore books, which a picture of my bookcase that is just for books I haven't read yet.

That brown bookcase is full of books I haven't read yet.  Every single shelf.  And they are packed into the shelves.  And that's not all.  On my entertainment center in the living room are my ARCs that I'm trying to get read before they are published.  So, you can see why I need to stop getting new books.  But, once again, I failed miserable at that this week.  

Physical ARCs:

The first I got as part of a blog tour I'm going to be participating in.  The 2nd was at the bookstore where I work part time and I got my hands on it last night! So excited to read both of them!

Books won:

I won an autographed copy of the first one from Jessi at Novel Heartbeat.  I've already read it, but loved it, and so glad to have a copy of it!   The other two are books I've heard great things about and I won them from Mary at Bookhounds/BookhoundsYA

Physical books purchased:

The first one is a really cool book that I think I saw featured in Entertainment Weekly magazine awhile back, and I thought as a librarian it would be a good book to have.  Bone Season is one that I've heard a lot about, and I was so excited when I saw it in the bargain section of the bookstore where I work. The hardcover of the book for only $5.98, plus my employee 30% discount, well, I couldn't pass it up.  Same for the last book.  I am a huge Twilight fan, and this was on the bargain table for $9.98, and it was originally $39.99.  I couldn't pass up getting it to add to my collection of all things Twilight, again especially when I factored my 30% off that low price.


The first one is from Netgalley, and the other two are from Edelweiss.  I think I might have figured out a way to save myself on the Netgalley stats.  Not to download them till closer to when I'm going to actually read them. But I will still put them in my little book where I keep track of what egalleys I want to read when.  Maybe that will help?

Free ebooks:

The first one just sounds like a cute, fun read. The 2nd one I downloaded for free as part of an entry into a giveaway on the author's blog.

So, that is what I added to both real and virtual shelves this week. What books joined your collection this week?

And while you're here, you should stop by and enter my giveaway for Bones and All  HERE.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Bones and All by Camille DeAngelis

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for sending me an ARC of this title and letting me sign up for the Street Team!  This was a very unique read.  I actually went through several thoughts about this story as  I read it.  I started out very excited, followed by wondering if I was going to really get into it, then I figured out what was kind of going on, then I felt the love, then I was sad about the love, and at the end I was pleased with the story over all.

The main character is Maren.  Maren has a deep, dark secret.  Basically you'd call her a cannibal.  But not one that cooks and eats the meat of a human like you'd think.  No, once she starts, it is only mere  minutes before there is no trace of the person left, other than any blood that might get on her clothes or the person's clothes.  Bones and all are gone.  It happened first when her mother left her with a babysitter as an infant.  Of course she has no memory of that.  The next time was a boy at summer camp.  Every time it happens her mother has to move them. While there really isn't any evidence left to prove that Maren did what she did, it is just safer.  When the story really begins, Maren is 16, and she has woken up to find a note from her  mother, who has left her on her own.  The note also includes a copy of her birth certificate.  Maren knows her mother has gone to her parents, grandparents she's never met.  But she also wants to meet her dad.  Her mom  has left her money, and she used the money to buy a bus ticket to where she knows her grandparents are.  She finds her way to the house and looks in the window. She sees her mother crying, and knows that she is the reason.  At the grocery store a little old lady sees Maren and wants to help her out.  Asks Maren to help her home with her groceries and she'll fix her a nice lunch.  On the bus trip to the woman's house, Maren first sees the creepy old man she will come to know as Sully.

Sully will soon meet up with Maren, and she will find out she is not the only one of her kind.  Only Sully eats dead people.  He offers for her to come and stay with him.  But next she just wants to find her dad.  So she heads that way.  Only now she's kind of short on money.  So she tries hitchhiking, which only works so far.  She gets to a Walmart where she meets another of her kind, Lee.  Lee is a 19 year old boy.  And the people he eats are all "bad people".  And he helps Maren out even when she can't help herself and eats another boy that is trying to help her.  For some reason she attracts boys who just want to help her, and then she can't help herself.  She and Lee are able to get along and he promises to help her get to see her father.  They run into Sully along the way.  And while Maren still feels like he is trying to mentor her and be her friend, Lee doesn't trust Sully.

Maren will find her father, and of course her daydreams of getting to live with him are only that, dreams.  She and Lee will have a disagreement about what she should do, about Sully, about her dad, with her life.  She will fall in love, she will meet her father, and that will be a touching moment, even if it's not all she dreamed of.  There will be young love, and there will be heartbreak.  And in the end, it of course can't really be happily ever after, not for someone who eats people.

A very unique story as I said.  We don't really get much of a glimpse into the actual eating of people.  We don't know for sure just why they do it.  We only know that it isn't just Maren, that there are other people in the world, maybe more than ever would be imagined.  And in the end, we will root for Maren, knowing she can't help what she does, and that for the most part she is trying to stop herself.  You'll root for young love, and hate when the heartache comes.  At least I did.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Cover Characteristic - February 27th, 2015 - Science

Cover Characteristic is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.  Here are the guidelines for how it works if you want to join in:
Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).
You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

I do try to pick books I've read, and for some, I liked both of the covers in a series, so I will include them together for one number.  






And a bonus cover that I had to also use:

At first I wasn't sure if I'd come up with 5 that I liked, and then I had more than five, but I kept myself to just six.