Demonkeepers by Jessica Andersen

Demonkeepers (The Final Prophecy, #4)

Published in: 2010
Pages: 457
Edition read: E-book
Series: Book 4 in the Nightkeeper series

Book description:
All his life Lucius has been an outsider. He yearns to be strong, to be a warrior like the Nightkeepers. And when the Prophet’s magic begins to change him, Lucius finds himself becoming the sort of man he’s always wanted to be.

Held back by her lack of a warrior’s magic and the strictures of her bloodline, Jade longs to break out of her supporting role. Determined to prove her worth among the Nightkeepers at any cost, she won’t let anything stand in her way—especially petty matters like love.

When Lucius and Jade are charged with rescuing the Mayan sun god from the underworld, they ignore their growing attraction. But unless they can confront their demons and accept that love isn’t a weakness, even destiny might not be able to save them.

My review:
This book spoke to me, as Jade was seen by all as this bookish quiet girl who didn’t get invited to the big shindigs because she wasn’t really part of the group- i.e. she didn’t get to attend the battles because she lacked the warrior mark and instead had the scribe’s mark, meaning she was basically a librarian. But she was more than a bookish quiet girl and she wanted nothing more than to prove it. Oh, I feel you Jade.

Lucius went from tall, skinny and nerdy (but strangely endearing) to buff and hot and still nerdy, and that is kinda the things that bookish girls like Jade and me dream of. Because of Jade and Lucius, this series took a serious turn and some key components fell into place, some serious game changers that made you go “Yeah!” thinking that finally, the good guys are getting a break here. It was bloody fun to read, and Jade finally got to prove that she is more than just the quiet bookish librarian, save the day, and get the hot guy- which is really all any bookish girl wants to do.

Final review:
Demonkeepers rating:
8.5/10
Would I re-read it? Yes! I am seriously addicted to this series right now and cannot get enough, meaning that I most definitely want to re-read it.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the author and the series, into mythology and the Mayans, paranormal romances and fantasy series.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6582640-demonkeepers
Author’s site: http://www.jessicaandersen.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Demonkeepers-Novel-Prophecy-Jessica-Andersen/dp/0451229576

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest

Published in: 1899
Pages: 76
Edition read: E-book

book description:
Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gewndolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend the “rivals” to fight for Ernest s undivided attention and the “Ernests” to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!

My review:
First thing. Could not stop giggling at Algernon’s name, and kept having Brooklyn 99 running through my head (early in season 1, Jake has a mouse that lives in his desk that he calls Algernon. Hence, giggles). Second, this book was actually funny. Thirdly, I don’t understand why having a fake brother/friend living in the country and going to visit them is called a “Bunbury”, but we have a Bunbury down south that I kept imagining every time it was brought up.

This short read only took me a day to get through, but it was entertaining enough to keep me reading, it made me laugh a few times, and it was a refreshing break from the normal literature of this time period, which is kinda dull and serious and not as fun to read.

Final review:
The importance of being Earnest rating:
6.5/10
Would I re-read it? Yeah, it’s short enough to re-read easily and it was funny, so I’d give it another read through
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of classical literature, plays, funny short stories

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/92303.The_Importance_of_Being_Earnest
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Importance_of_Being_Earnest

Skykeepers by Jessica Andersen

Skykeepers (Nightkeepers, #3)

Published in: 2009
Pages: 454
Edition read: E-book
Series: Nightkeepers book 3

Book description:
Michael Stone is a man with a dark secret that has skewed his magical abilities dangerously toward the underworld. Seeking redemption, he sets out on a perilous mission to save the daughter of Ambrose Ledbetter, a renowned Mayanist who died before he could reveal the location of a hidden library. The Nightkeepers must find the library before their enemies gain access to its valuable cache of spells and prophecies.

Sasha Ledbetter grew up hearing heroic tales of an ancient group of sword-brandishing magi who would save the world from destruction. She never expected that her bedtime stories would come to life in the form of Nightkeeper Michael Stone, or that she’d hold the key to the warriors’ survival. As Sasha and Michael join forces to prevent the imminent battle, sparks of attraction ignite between them, and they’re forced to confront the unexpected passion that brings them together…and also tears them apart.

My review:
Michael is a character we haven’t heard much about in this series until now. He was described as secretive and a bit of a dick, but all is revealed in this story and it was bloody good. Michael is hot, damaged, and has some wicked assed magic. Sasha is a spitfire that I ended up really liking, and I quickly devoured their story.

The Mayan themes are really getting interesting and I’m finding myself completely fascinated by the story itself, the use of Mayan lore/mythology, glyphs, and their history. It’s all very well woven together and instead of overwhelming the reader with all this jargon, it’s well integrated, just slipping in where necessary and becoming part of the general language of the books.

I think I’ve become obsessed. I’ve spent hours googling Mayan mythology, history, and ruins- I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to it at the moment…. I regret nothing.

Final review:
Skykeepers rating:
8/10
Would I re-read it? Yes, I am loving this series so much!
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of paranormal romances, mythology, Mayan culture and history, romances etc.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5519449-skykeepers
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Skykeepers-Final-Prophecy-Book-3/dp/0451227700
Author’s website: http://www.jessicaandersen.com/

Dawnkeepers by Jessica Andersen

Dawnkeepers (The Nightkeepers, #2)

Published in: 2008
Pages: 455
Edition read: E-book
Series: Book 2 in the Nightkeepers series

Book description:
Though a Nightkeeper, Nate Blackhawk refuses to allow others to control his fate. The gods have even tried to influence his love life, sending him visions of Alexis Gray, a sleek blonde who is everything he’s ever wanted in a woman.

The two warriors can’t deny their attraction. But a frightening vision leads Nate to distance himself in spite of the intense passion he feels. Thrown together once more, they must reassemble seven Mayan artifacts that hold the key to preventing the end of the world…

My review:
So after book 1, Strike and Leah’s story, I was wary about this book and how I hadn’t really clicked with the characters. Thankfully, I liked Nate and Alexis as people, Alexis had part of her story start in book 1 and I remember thinking she was way more interesting than Strike and Leah and why can’t the book be about her? So book 2 being about her and Nate was excellent. My only issue with their relationship was that it seemed to go around in circles for a while and was a bit painful to read the same Nate not being able to get over his commitment issues and Alexis not being able to get over her self-esteem issues. Eventually they sort themselves out and it’s all hunky dory, but it seemed like the book could have been cut by at least 100 pages if they didn’t rehash the same old argument every three pages or so.

Also, I hated Anna’s chapters in the book. Anna is Strike’s sister, who is a seer, but she is adamant that she won’t be involved in helping prevent the world from ending because she wants to be normal. Nevermind she is literally one of only 11 people who can help to save the world. She just doesn’t want to be, so she won’t be- and her chapters are her whinging about this constantly. She is a weak and pathetic character who I want to punch repeatedly and every time she turns up. If we can cut her out, or if someone could punch some sense into her, her story would get really good because with her beneficial visions, she could help the damn Nightkeepers! Anyway.

I have also now developed an obsession with Mayan mythology and Mayan culture, which features heavily throughout this series. I’ve done a bit of googling as a result and have to say, I am totally hooked on this. Like I need another ancient culture to obsess over! I wonder how many other books out there focus on the Mayans? I should look into that…

Final review:
Dawnkeepers rating:
7/10
Would I re-read it? Yeah I probably would
Who would I recommend it to: Fans of paranormal romance and fantasy series, mythology and ancient cultures, or Mayan culture.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4498128-dawnkeepers
Author’s website: http://www.jessicaandersen.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dawnkeepers-Final-Prophecy-Book-2/dp/0451225759

 

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Les Misérables

Published in: 1862
Pages: 1804
Edition read: E-book

Book description:
A compelling and compassionate view of the victims of early nineteenth-century French society, “Les Miserables” is a novel on an epic scale, moving inexorably from the eve of the battle of Waterloo to the July Revolution of 1830.

My review:
Welcome to the LOOOOONNNGEST book I’ve ever read. This behemoth took me about 4 months to get through, which actually isn’t too bad, and it wasn’t too terrible to read. It was mildly interesting, I learnt about the 1830 July Revolution and the battle of Waterloo, so that was something. There was boring details about long-dead politics that I could care less about, and unfortunately some world-building chapters (Like the one detailing the French sewer system. I am now well versed on this topic, whether I wanted to be or not); but overall, the story wasn’t as dull as I expected it would be. There was even a happy ending, eventually. After lots of misery. I mean, don’t get attached to a character because they will die. Hugo is the George R R Martin of the 1800’s.

One of the things this book does well, is that it has a huge cast of characters, but it is easy to keep track of them all. A lot of books have people that sound exactly the same, have the same names, have multiple nicknames, are just too hard to keep track of- and then they turn up and you’re like “whodafuck are you again?”. This book though, the characters were easy to follow, their names didn’t change every paragraph, if they did change it was well spelled out, and most importantly, everyone was very individual. It was refreshing, as instead of figuring out who characters were again, I instead was able to concentrate on the storyline.

Overall, giant-assed book, took forever to get through, but not as bad as I had thought it would be.

Final review:
Les Mis rating:
6.5/10.
Would I re-read it?
Nah. Look, I’m glad I read it, but I won’t be eagerly reading this again.
Who would I recommend it to? Anyone who has seen the movie adaptation, fans of classic literature or history.

Link:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12065814-les-mis-rables
As it is over 100 years old, you can legally download it for free at Project Gutenberg: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/135

Pawn by Aimee Carter

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)

Published in: 2013
Pages: 343
Edition read: Paperback
Series: Book 1 in the Blackcoat Rebellion

Book description:
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.

My review:
This was a surprising read. I expected angsty teen drama, silly love triangles, and one-dimensional characters. Instead I got an addictive read about a post-apocalyptic America that was ‘brought out of the darkness by one enterprising president’ who turned out to be psychotic because hey, they are killing people they deem unproductive members of society. It was quite easy to picture the orange potato that currently runs the USA as being this president.

Anyways. The mystery of the rebellion, who Lila really was, what on earth is happening with Daxton, and the yummy Knox (although there is also the yummy Benji) was a page-turner that had me wanting more. The dystopian world is quite simple but clearly defined, the characters were interesting and well-developed, the story itself was really good and you couldn’t help but be outraged at the Hart’s, and at Daxton, and want him dead.

Final review:
Pawn rating:
8/10
Would I re-read it? Yes!
Who would I recommend it to? For fans of dystopian teen fiction like Divergent, the 5th Wave, the Hunger Games, etc.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18626914-pawn
Author’s website: http://www.aimeecarter.com/blackcoat-rebellion.html
Book depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Pawn-Aimee-Carter/9780373210558

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why

Published in: 2007
Pages: 336
Edition read: E-book

Book description:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

My review:
I read this book on Anzac day and have been putting off reviewing it for nearly a month now. I think it’s time. This was a hard review to do… this is such a hot topic right now.

I’ve been aware of this book since it was released and made a huge impression on the reading community back in 07/08, but never really got around to reading it. Tbh, I thought it sounded a bit too grim to read. Who on earth sends people a mixtape telling them that they were the reason they killed themselves? That’s just sick.

Then the TV show was created and released a few months back, and I knew I had to read the book. The book is better than the TV show, for anyone interested. For starters, the book occurs over one night, instead of the bloody months it takes TV Clay to get through the tapes. The book is more emotional, better, quicker to read (3 hours, as opposed to the 13 hours it takes to watch the show). Books are always better.

I also hate how people are now interpreting the show- we have had so many discussions at work about the show and everyone just gets angry because unless you have been a victim of bullying, have experienced depression or other mental illnesses, or been/known suicidal people, you just don’t understand.

But try telling people that and they get all opinionated and shit (If she’s depressed, why doesn’t she just smile? If she has no friends, why doesn’t she just go make some?) Seriously, people just don’t understand, and it infuriates me (I work with people who were never bullied at school. Seriously. They didn’t think it actually happened in real life.)

But that aside. I’m glad I read this book but it was hard. You need to understand how hard it is to get through a book like this, because it’s sad as hell and terrible but addictive to read. It’s not a book you read lightly, you have to go in realising that there is no happy ending.

Final review:
Thirteen Reasons Why rating: 8/10. It was a really hard book to get through, but I am glad I did
Would I re-read it? No. This is a ‘once and done’ kinda book- you read it, but it’s not something you read over and over again. Just like the TV show isn’t something you watch over and over again, because it’s hard to get through.
Who would I recommend it to? OK. This was one of those discussions/arguments I had with my coworkers.
I would NOT RECOMMEND this book to anyone who is bullied, depressed, or especially suicidal. No way in hell. Why? Because this book highlights a successful suicide. You do not give that to anyone who might be suicidal, because it’s like saying “see, she succeeded. This is what you can do”. So hell no, do not give this to your suicidal teen friend/daughter/son/whatever.

I would recommend this to anyone who has seen the show. Books are better. Otherwise, I honestly cannot recommend this to anyone because this is something you have to be ready to read…

Link:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29844228-thirteen-reasons-why

 

This was probably one of the hardest books to review because I have so many opinions about it and it’s so hard to not rant about how horrible people can be, or how annoyed I’ve gotten over the last month with my co-workers who say shit and just don’t understand because their highschool experience was nothing like this. I think the main takeaway is that your actions have consequences, and should you ever think someone is being bullied, or may be suicidal, you need to tell people. You need to seek help. Don’t ignore it.

Also, highschool does end. While Hanna was having the worst time of her life and thinking there was no end, there is. It’s hard, I know that the highschool years seem to stretch on forever and just getting through one hour is hard enough… but it does end. It gets better. Bullies fade away, people forget scandals and gossip, you come out the other side stronger. Suicide is never the answer.

Killing Floor by Lee Child

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)

Published in: 1997
Pages: 525
Edition read: Paperback
Series: Book 1 in the Jack Reacher series

Book description:
Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he’s arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Jack knows is that he didn’t kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn’t stand a chance of convincing anyone. not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.

My review:
I was perusing Dad’s bookshelf and saw he had a few of the Jack Reacher novels, which I had been meaning to read one day- and thought to myself, why not today? Lucky for me, Dad had the first book in the series, so I was able to jump in at the beginning- I used to be able to pick up a book mid-series and get into it, but these days it’s book 1 or nothing.

This book was… look, it wasn’t bad, it was definitely readable (but definitely not believable), and the mystery of the money, that was blatantly obvious. I didn’t really like the character of Jack, he annoyed me, he killed casually and unnecessarily, he was in love with Roscoe but not in love with her? It was all very… first novel.

That being said, it wasn’t the worst first novel I’ve read, it was enjoyable and had a lot going on. I think the thing that may have annoyed me most about this was that Jack is a 6ft5 guy in the book… and I kept seeing the movie version of him, played by Tom Cruise. Who is 5ft7. I’m a head taller than the guy, for crying out loud. Do you know how frustrating it is to read a book and see Tom Cruise playing the main character, and have that main character meant to be over 6ft?

Final review:
Killing Floor rating: 6/10
Would I re-read it? Maybe. It wouldn’t be at the top of my to-re-read list though.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of action mysteries.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/900486.Killing_Floor
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_Floor_(novel)
Author’s website: http://www.leechild.com/books/killing-floor.php
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com.au/Killing-Floor-Jack-Reacher-Book-ebook/dp/B0031RS2HC

Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead

Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge

Published in: 2007
Pages: 336
Edition read: Paperback

Book description:
Harry Gordon Selfridge was a charismatic American who, in twenty-five years working at Marshall Field’s in Chicago, rose from lowly stockboy to a partner in the business which his visionary skills had helped to create. At the turn of the twentieth century he brought his own American dream to London’s Oxford Street where, in 1909, with a massive burst of publicity, Harry opened Selfridge’s, England’s first truly modern built-for-purpose department store. Designed to promote shopping as a sensual and pleasurable experience, six acres of floor space offered what he called “everything that enters into the affairs of daily life,” as well as thrilling new luxuries—from ice-cream soda to signature perfumes. This magical emporium also featured Otis elevators, a bank, a rooftop garden with an ice-skating rink, and a restaurant complete with orchestra—all catering to customers from Anna Pavlova to Noel Coward. The store was “a theatre, with the curtain going up at nine o’clock.” Yet the real drama happened off the shop floor, where Mr. Selfridge navigated an extravagant world of mistresses, opulent mansions, racehorses, and an insatiable addiction to gambling. While his gloriously  iconic store still stands, the man himself would ultimately come crashing down.

My review:
I’d never even heard of this “Selfridge” place before the television show came out, and then I was hooked. When we travelled over to London a few years back, I forced the family to wander through Selfridge’s, just so I could compare it to the TV show. The store itself is hideously expensive- I’d have to take out a bank loan in order to buy a pen from that store, seriously. But I needed to buy something, anything, so I found the books in the basement and brought this bad-boy. Then proceeded to not read it for three years, because my TBR shelf is out of control.

Anyways, finally cracked this book open and it was really good. Selfridge changed the face of shopping and made it into what we take for granted today, he was a pioneer of the industry and a man of the people, and he was some sort of asshat who cheated on his wife regularly (that was disappointing to read about, I’d hoped it was just exaggerated in the show but no, this was how he actually was).

That aside, it was an interesting book and very informative. I kept having to go on wikipedia or youtube to check out things mentioned in the book- famous songs of the year, dance crazes, it-girls, fashion trends etc. I really enjoyed reading this and learning a bit about this legendary shop and the people who created it.

Final review:
Shopping, seduction & Mr Selfridge rating:
7/10
Would I re-read it? Yes, I’d definitely read this one again
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the TV show would enjoy this book, anyone interested in history, shopping, marketing- they would enjoy this book as well.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16169879-shopping-seduction-mr-selfridge
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shopping-Seduction-Selfridge-Lindy-Woodhead/dp/0812985044
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shopping-seduction-mr-selfridge-lindy-woodhead/1101061111

Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen

Nightkeepers (The Nightkeepers, #1)

Published in: 2008
Pages: 464
Edition read: E-book
Series: Book 1 in the Nightkeepers series

Book description:
The end of time looms, and Mayan demons have surfaced from the underworld to trigger an apocalypse. But as the final day approaches, the descendants of ancient warrior-priests prepare to fight back….
As a Miami narcotics detective, Leah Daniels never knows how her day will turn out. But she certainly doesn’t expect to be strapped to a stone altar as the human sacrifice in an ancient Mayan ritual meant to coax a demon from the underworld – or to be saved by a handsome warrior-priest king, who claims to recognize her from his visions.
Striking Jaguar thinks he is the last of the Nightkeeper warrior-priests, but as the end-time approaches, his mentor reveals there are twelve others. In reuniting them, Strike – king by birthright – gains the power to summon a Mayan god to combat the demons. But the woman of his visions is the gods’ chosen sacrifice. Now he must decide between love and duty…or find another way to invoke otherworldly magic in a death-defying race against the end of time.

My review:
This book was different to what I expected- I thought it’d really only be the story of two people, the main characters and their love story- normally these kinds of series focus on one couple per book and their ‘love story’, with guest appearances from other characters. However, this book included a wide range of characters and the beginnings of their own love stories, so that was…. different.

This story is long, and very involved. It was really interesting to read about and the Mayan mythology is fascinating, and the characters aren’t that bad to read about, although I didn’t really gel with any of them yet (however character development always improves in the second/third books).

Overall, it was a decent start to a series with an interesting premise and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the series plays out.

Final review:
Nightkeepers rating:
7/10
Would I re-read it? Maybe
Who would I recommend it to? For fans of paranormal romance, mythology, Mayan mythology, fantasy books, romance books.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2721947-nightkeepers
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nightkeepers-Final-Prophecy-Book-1/dp/045122437X
Author’s website: http://www.jessicaandersen.com/