Sunday, March 30, 2014

52 Review - March Addition

The months are moving by pretty quickly. I can hardly believe that March is over and I'm 2 books ahead of schedule for my 52 book challenge.
Here are the books that I read in March:


294 Pages

 Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off the malevolent haunting of the geists...

Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha, now thrust into partnership with the novice Deacon, Merrick Chambers. They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aide the Priory with a surge of violent geist activity. With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse.

But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting. And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows.

And if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in Hell is she returning to?

I really liked this book. For awhile I wasn't sure I was going to, but I really did. The reason I didn't think I was going to  like it was because right from the get go, there were quite a few tropes. The odd thing about the tropes though, was the fact that they were gender swapped. Almost immediately, Sorcha's husband, and work partner, is fridged (he's not dead, but he might as well be). She's then immediately reassigned a new partner who's fresh out of the academy and half her age. She's the older, more grizzled and jaded partner to his optimistic, powerhouse, youth. I'm so glad that it didn't turn into a romance. Really, really glad. Actually, I like the dynamic that the two of them had and that all three of the main characters have by the end. I'm looking forward to picking up the next book.... if I can find it.... not having much luck at the bookstores lately...


513 Pages

If you recall January's review, I read the first book to this series. The second book in the series is very different from the first. While in Study of Silks, it's all about the high society, fancy balls and finding a suitable husband while trying to unravel a mystery. Study in Darkness is about the lower class district, with Evelina getting her hands dirty while dealing with evil magicians, the steam barons, Jack The Ripper and the lovable street riffraff.
I realized while reading it, that Evelina is actually one of my least favorite characters in the book, unlike the first where she's one of my favourites. The characters that I do love weren't in it very much at all and I wasn't overly happy with their story-lines. I was surprised that I really liked the inclusion of Sherlock Holmes in this novel. I was also happy that some long awaited mysteries were finally solved. It's hard to say if the second one was better than the first one, since they are both so very different. Either way, I'm looking forward to reading the 3rd and final instalment to the series. Stay tunes for that.

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

Don't bother....
This is the first (and hopefully the only) book that I've put down this year. Despite it saying that it's a best seller and is about mysterious books, I could not get into this book at all.
A co-worker of mine lent this to me hoping that I would like it and I really wanted to, but almost a full week went by and I was only about 100 pages into it. I actually found myself coming up with excuses as to why I couldn't sit down and read, just to avoid it.
I hated all the characters. I hated everything they did (except for going into book stores) I hated what they were trying to do to build up the "mystery". I was actually more interested in reading the fictitious book within than I was the actual book. It, at least, sounded interesting.
I looked up some Goodread reviews on it to see what other people thought and it seems like it's very split. People either love or hate this book. Guess I'm one of the latter.
Too bad... I really hate putting down a book.

by T.A. Pratt

338 Pages

Sorcerer Marla Mason, small-time guardian of the city of Felport, has a big problem. A rival is preparing a powerful spell that could end Marla’s life–and, even worse, wreck her city. Marla’s only chance of survival is to boost her powers with the Cornerstone, a magical artifact hidden somewhere in San Francisco. But when she arrives there, Marla finds that the quest isn’t going to be quite as cut-and-dried as she expected…and that some of the people she needs to talk to are dead. It seems that San Francisco’s top sorcerers are having troubles of their own–a mysterious assailant has the city’s magical community in a panic, and the local talent is being (gruesomely) picked off one by one.

With her partner-in-crime, Rondeau, Marla is soon racing against time through San Francisco’s alien streets, dodging poisonous frogs, murderous hummingbirds, cannibals, and a nasty vibe from the local witchery, who suspect that Marla herself may be behind the recent murders. And if Marla doesn’t figure out who is killing the city’s finest in time, she’ll be in danger of becoming a magical statistic herself.…

After attempting to read The Shadow of the Wind, I really needed something that I knew I would enjoy, so I picked up a book that I had already read and knew that I really liked. I've actually already reviewed this book on here before, so you can check out my thoughts (and an actual comment from the author!!!) on it. It was actually really great to read it again. My taste in books has changed slightly since then, so it's really nice to know that one of my favorite authors still stands well above the pack and can still keep me captivated the second time around. I think I'm going to reread the other ones as well. I'm really looking forward to the second one again (it's my favorite)

by Ransom Riggs

348 Pages

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

This book was my TBR book for March. I don't really know what to say about this book. It's wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. The story was interesting, but I didn't really feel like I got to know any of the characters overly well. It's certainly not as intriguing as the blurb makes it sound.
The love story was not necessary and sort of made me feel weird.
I didn't realize that this was book 1 of a series until I came to the end and it left it open for much more. I'm not sure if I enjoyed the book enough to pick it up as a series. Guess I'll have to check out the second one and see if it sounds interesting.
One of the great things about the book was that it was a very easy read. It flowed really well and had relatively big print, so I felt like I was just flying through it. It was also fun to have pictures in my book. I haven't read a book with pictures in years!

Books that I am currently reading

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
by H.P. Lovecraft
Page 16 of 360
(Still haven't pick this back up)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)
by George R.R. Martin
Page 355 of 1128
(a couple chapters farther than last time)

by Ann Aguirre
Page 68 of 358

Also, to make my challenge more interesting, I'm going to add in this fun reading Bingo card.

Let's see how well I can do on this

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