Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Day 8 ~ Star~ The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle

Its hard to believe we've made it to day 8 of the Great New Reads Blog challenge. For today's Challenge we were tasked with finding a book with a star. I thought a little outside of the box and picked a novel with the Sun (our Star) on the cover. The Atlantis Gene.

The Atlantis Gene
by A.G.Riddle
5 Star

In Antarctica, researchers discover a mysterious structure, buried in ice.

In a lab in Jakarta, an autism researcher identifies a revolutionary treatment that could change everything.

But these two incredible discoveries aren’t what they seem. They will set off a race to unravel the deepest secrets of human existence—and an event that could change humanity forever.


My Take: 

This was a change of pace for me. I've been reading mostly serial killer series or Urban Fantasy but there was something about this one that seemed to draw me in. Set all over the world the characters uncover a plot that will change the human race. Fast paced and heart pounding the author manages to mix action with science and a little bit of mystery. It had the enjoyable feel of the DaVinci  Code. Keeping you reading way into the night.

I didn't feel like the science was as heavy as a Crichton novel but there was just enough to make every thing seem plausible. I will admit that this was the first time I had heard about The Great Leap. So I did a little googling and its actually a really interesting. It makes you sit back and think, maybe if history repeats itself the X-Men might be in our future?

I think the sign of a good Science fiction novel is when it leaves the reader really thinking, and this one fits the bill. I can't wait to get to the next book in the trilogy!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Day 7 ~ Timeline by Michael Crichton

Well here we are at day 7 of the Great New Reads Blog Challenge. For this Challenge I picked one of my favorite
time travel novels ;

Timeline by Michael Crichton
5 stars

Summary: In an Arizona desert, a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four 
hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world,
 archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters 
of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an astounding technology. Now this group is about to 
get a chance not to study the past but to enter it. And with history opened up to the present, the dead awakened 
to the living, these men and women will soon find themselves fighting for their very survival -- six hundred 
years ago.

My Take:
The best thing about a Michael Crichton novel is the way he uses cutting edge scientific theories to spur
on interesting and believable story lines in a world that is just over the horizon from where we are.
Timeline follows a group of archeological students who find themselves with the opportunity of a lifetime. To travel,
through the magic of modern science, to the very time in France they are set upon studying. Since I have always 
enjoyed the Medieval times and often fantasized what it would be like to live back then this novel was a real eye opener.
Crichton had an amazing nack to make scientific theories seem like reality. With this novel he takes it one step
further and really showcases how hard life was in the 1350's. Even things like the weight of the armor and swords
would be a huge shock for someone from modern day. This novel really made science and history come alive. 
There is a movie "based" off the book but as is often the case the Novel is so much better. I was glad for the chance to
reread it! Special thanks to Great New Reads for another great prompt.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Day 6 ~ 400+ Pages ~ Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy b y Cassandra Clare

Its time for day 6 of the Great New Reads Challenge, books that are 400 pages are more.
This one makes the grade with 655 pages! I had mixed feelings about this book. First off
it is more of a collection of stories that are tied together by the fact that Simon is at the
Shadowhunter Academy and hearing the stories for the first time. I've actually had
this one sitting in my TBR pile for a while but didn't pick it up until I finished Chains of Gold.
I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't just read the other novel.
Which was the best from the series I've read in a while.


Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter.
But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon
 isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that
he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but
he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting
him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

My Take:
This novel meets us up with Simon who has lost his memory of the
shadow world. Magnus has helped him out the best he could but
 Simon is still pretty clueless about everything, and everyone. In a
 quest to get his old memories back and prove himself he enrolls in
the Shadowhunter Academy. Each chapter starts with Simon and
 what is going on with him but then delves into some type of
flashback storyline. Each chapter could almost be read as
individual pieces. Some of the stories were interesting.
It was nice to get some back story on characters like the Inquisitor or

meet James for the first time. Other chapters were just ok and I
felt like the Simon plot line dragged a little bit. I still enjoyed
the book but as far as a collection of stories I enjoyed the
Magnus Bane Chronicles more. But I do love Magnus so I might be biased.

#bookblogchallenge #greatnewreads

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Day 5 Blog Challenge ~ Rebel~ The Demons Song by Kendra Leigh Castle

The Demon's Song (Hearts of the Fallen, #1)The Demon's Song by Kendra Leigh Castle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you enjoy a fallen angel with a bit of the wild side than this one is for you. I typically don't venture into angel fiction but I guess since these guys are fallen I can make an exception. A fallen Angel is the ultimate Rebel so the perfect choice for the day 5 challenge for the Great New Reads blog Challenge.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. At least, that's how it seems to Sofia Rivera when her attempt to help a friend ends in a blood-soaked confrontation with creatures that aren't even supposed to exist. With a group of rogue vampires determined not to leave a single witness to their violence hot on her heels, Sofia finds herself saddled with an immortal bodyguard—Phenex, the fallen Angel of Song.

While the vampire king roots out the corruption threatening to take down his underworld kingdom, Sofia will have to deal with a fallen angel whose dark beauty is often at odds with his ornery nature. Slowly, Sofia and Phenex give in to the strange attraction neither can deny. And as the darkness closes in around them, Phenex begins to wonder whether even the wickedest Fallen might find his own happy ending...and his heart.
My Take:
I enjoyed the world That the author has created and it is an excellent set up for a continuing series. I liked the club being the gateway to a supernatural underground community. I also enjoyed that Sofia is a strong character. We meet her as she sneaks into an exclusive club to help find her friend and then runs to her aid when she is truly in need of help. Maybe because shes a nurse she feels like shes seen everything and that why she handles everything in stride. Phenex makes for an intriguing leading man. He is the fallen angel of music who got himself kicked in, and out, of hell. He seems a little afraid of making a real connection but thats half the fun. Overall the characters had interesting back stories and some steamy connections. Truly a fun read.

Blog Challenge day 5

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Day 04- Blog Challenge ~ Family ~ An Alternative History of Britian

An Alternative History of Britain: The TudorsAn Alternative History of Britain: The Tudors by Timothy Venning
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For all of you following along today is day 4 of the Blog Challenge and todays theme was Family. A novel that makes you think of strong family ties. I know this may seem a little out of the box but nothing says family ties to me like the Royal family.

Continuing his exploration of the pathways of British history, Timothy Venning examines the turning points of the Tudor period, though he also strays over into the early Stuart period. As always, he discusses the crucial junctions at which History could easily have taken a different turn and analyses the possible and likely results. While necessarily speculative to a degree, the scenarios are all highly plausible and rooted in a firm understanding of actually events and their context. In so doing, Timothy Venning gives the reader a clearer understanding of the factors at play and why things happened the way they did, as well as a tantalizing view of what might so easily have been different. Key scenarios discussed in this volume include: Did the pretenders Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck ever have a realistic chance of a successful invsasion/coup? If Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII s illegitimate son, had not died young, might he have been a suitable King or at least Regent on the King s death? What if Edward VI had not died at 15 but reigned into the 1560s and 70s? How might the Spanish Armada have succeeded in landing an army in England, and with what likely outcome?

My Take:

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have a deep fascination with the Tudor Dynasty. This novel takes an interesting twist. Timothy Venning goes through and step by step explores what might have happened if fate had fallen a different way. Every possible time line is explored. From what would have happened if Arthur Tudor had lived to possible suitors for Henry's daughters. Essentially we get a glance at alternate time lines. For those readers who are not up on their Tudor history this was a great way to learn some history. To explore alternate possibilities you have to have a basic understanding of what really happened.
This was a nice break from all the crime serials and an enjoyably educational time travel experience. I'm really enjoying the Blog Challenge by Great New Reads. What a fun way to keep Quarantine interesting!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Day 03 ~ Blog Challenge Golden Classics ~ Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well its time for our Day 03 in the Great New Reads Blog Challenge Golden Classics. For today I chose Blood of Elves Published in 1994

For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf.

Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil.

As the threat of war hangs over the land and the child is hunted for her extraordinary powers, it will become Geralt's responsibility to protect them all - and the Witcher never accepts defeat.

The Witcher returns in this sequel to The Last Wish, as the inhabitants of his world become embroiled in a state of total war.

My Take:
Although this is book one in the series I started with the prequel novel The Last Wish. SInce I am not typically into high fantasy I'm glad I started with the other novel first. This story starts of with Geralt and Ciri together and training. But their world is changing. And they can't avoid it for ever. Big Pros to this novel is that we get to experience some of the training techniques of the Witchers and of course travel the land and meet some interesting characters. The Cons are that if you haven't read the Last Wish, I feel like you might be a little confused. I did prefer the shirt story style of the last wish in comparison to the continuing epic one.
Overall its a great story which I enjoyed it just had a slightly diffrent feel than I was expecting.

Special Thanks to Great New Reads for hosting this challenge.

Friday, April 24, 2020

There's a Book for That: A Bibliotherapy Event

Thursday night I had the pleasure to "participate" in the Boston Book Festivals online event There's a Book for That: A Bibliotherapy Event . This event was advertised on Facebook and booked through EventBrite.

From the Event Page : Join bibliotherapist Ella Berthoud and bartender Nick Petrulakis for an evening of cocktails and timely literary "prescriptions."

My Take:
I jumped at the chance to join in this event being someone who has always turned to reading in times of trouble as much as in times of joy. There is something wonderful about being able to escape from our world and imerse yourself into someone elses. Author Ella Berthoud helps people through different life issues by subscribing books that fit the situation. I personally love this idea. Ella, who is located in England, offers session with clients either in person or online. Perfect for everyone who is quarantining right now.
Ella answered a few questions including one about staying focused on reading which I thought was helpful. Both sugestions involve reading aloud. One was to read aloud to yourself. Another was to read to someone else. Either a relative, pet or even a friend via a Skype or Zoom.
Nick Petrulakis then came on to give us some helpful drink suggestions.
Overall this is a fun and interesting way to spend the afternoon. I will be keeping my eyes out for future Boston Book Festival Events.