River Marked by Patricia Briggs

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6)

Published in: 2011
Pages: 323
Edition read: Hardcover
Series: Book 6 in the Mercy Thompson series

Book description:
Being a different breed of shapeshifter- a walker- Mercy Thompson can see ghosts, but the spirit of her long-gone father has never visited her. Until now, on her honeymoon with the Alpha werewolf Adam. An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-and innocent people are dying. As other walkers make their presence known to Mercy, she must reconnect with her heritage to exorcise the world of the legend known as the river devil…

My review:
This book was damn good. Mercy’s father has always been an enigma, so in this book, we get to meet him… kinda. Coyote is a mischievous spirit and I loved the interaction between him and Mercy, as he was just annoying as hell- and it was hilarious. The introduction of the Native American mythology really interested me in this book and I really want to learn more about it and about the people themselves.

The story itself started off with the wedding between Mercy and Adam, and it was very sweet, if not a little funny, and the honeymoon is pure Mercy in that it was chaotic and dangerous, what we would come to expect from her character. There were all sorts of new friends made, as well as a lot more of Mercy’s Native American background made clear, plus the introduction of new Fey creatures. It’s also mainly situated outside of Mercy’s normal stomping ground, so we don’t have the usual characters stopping in to help- which added a fresh new dynamic to the series, as Mercy and Adam have to rely on making new friends instead of turning to those they normally would.

Final review:
River Marked rating:
8/10
Would I re-read it? Yes
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the series, the author, paranormal romances, werewolves, Native American mythology

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10631790-river-marked
Author’s site: http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/riverMarkedChapter.shtml
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/River-Marked-Mercy-Thompson-Novel/dp/0441020003

 

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You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

Published in: 2015
Pages: 288
Edition read: E-book

Book description:
From online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.

The Internet isn’t all cat videos. There’s also Felicia Day—violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer, hoagie specialist, and former lonely homeschooled girl who overcame her isolated childhood to become the ruler of a new world…or at least semi-influential in the world of Internet Geeks and Goodreads book clubs.

After growing up in the south where she was “homeschooled for hippie reasons”, Felicia moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and was immediately typecast as a crazy cat-lady secretary. But Felicia’s misadventures in Hollywood led her to produce her own web series, own her own production company, and become an Internet star.

Felicia’s short-ish life and her rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Now, Felicia’s strange world is filled with thoughts on creativity, video games, and a dash of mild feminist activism—just like her memoir.

Hilarious and inspirational, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should embrace what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.

My review:
I’ve been a fan of Felicia since she was Charlie on Supernatural, and she is awesome. Reading this book, it made me realise not only is Felicia a smart, funny, amazing actress; she’s also a hard-working decent person who is as real as someone can be in that industry. Some memoirs you read these days are full of bragging – the person basically wants to rub in your face just how awesome their life is. They drank this much, smoked that much, slept with this-and-that, parties with name-drop here, and a big secret reveal that makes you go OMG!. Felicia doesn’t name drop much, but when she does, it’s geeky and endearing because these people, they are actually her friends. She doesn’t have a sordid partying past full of drinking, drugs, or sex. She has an addiction to video games, she has battled mental illness and come out swinging, she has an obsessive need to impress people which leads to her putting out great works that fans adore.

In short, her memoir was fantastic to read. She’s a real, down-to-earth person, and it shines through in the memoir. She’s funny as hell- the first few paragraphs are Felicia hovering outside a Build A Bear, going inside, building herself a Santa and donning him in a tutu and bunny slippers, and having an awkward star moment where teens ask for a picture with her, and others ask her who she is, and then still have no clue who she is. It’s awkward, funny, and includes a picture of the Santa creation that had me laughing out loud on the train at 7 in the morning, much to the annoyance to the other passengers.

The rest of the memoir continues in an awkward amusing fashion, and it was the perfect book to read in the stressful lead up to the end of the working year.

Final review:
You’re never weird rating:
10/10
Would I re-read it? Hells yes. I read the e-book version, but I need to get the paperback version because this is a book I will proudly display on my bookshelf and read repeatedly.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans, obviously. Geeks, obviously. It’s a memoir for anyone who is sick of the jaded, bragging, over-the-top memoirs we get from actors/singers/thefamous these days, anyone who wants to read about a real person who worked hard and was rewarded for her efforts, anyone who has an obsessive personality or struggles with anxiety and depression, to see how one person was able to deal with these and come out ontop. (Not saying this will cure you if you have any of these issues, but sometimes reading that someone else has a similar problem can make you go ‘I’m not alone!’ and that is always a good thing)

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24246189-you-re-never-weird-on-the-internet
Author’s site: http://feliciadaybook.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Youre-Never-Weird-Internet-Almost/dp/1476785651

The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies, #3)

Published in: 2012
Pages: 306
Edition read: Paperback
Series: Book 3 in the Lorien Legacies series

Book description:
The Mogadorians who destroyed the planet Lorien continue to hunt for the Garde, the small group of Loric survivors who have taken refuge on Earth. During a dangerous mission at a Mog base in West Virginia, John found and rescued the brutish Nine. But even with their combined powers, special abilities known as Legacies, the pair barely escaped with their lives. And in the process, John’s best friend, Sam Goode, was lost and taken captive by the enemy.

In order to save him—and our world—John and Nine must join forces with Six and Seven who have been battling the Mogs in Spain, and who are now trying to locate Number Eight in India. The Garde must come together before it is too late. They are Lorien and Earth’s only hope.

My review:
I knocked this book over pretty quickly once I started it – it was non-stop action, and it felt like finally things were starting to fall into place. The Loriens were all starting to meet up with each other, and we are starting to learn so much more about the mysterious Lorien race that we didn’t know before.

It seems that a lot of readers were pleasantly surprised by book 3, after book 2 was a bit dismal. It’s one of those ‘you have to stick with it’ series to be rewarded – and this book rewards you tenfold. If you were waiting for everyone to finally get together, your wait is over. We get the big battle at the end where all our Loriens (that we have found) are fighting together. We get the big bad guy, we get the triumphant reunions, we get it all.

This book here, this would have been box-office gold had it been made into a movie. It’s because of this book that I look forward to reading book 4, because now I HAVE TO KNOW what happens. Pus, I love Nine. He is the hero we didn’t realise we needed.

Final review:
The Rise of Nine rating:
7/10
Would I re-read it? Yes
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the series, of action and adventure stories, of science fiction, of young adult fiction.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12971616-the-rise-of-nine
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_of_Nine
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rise-Nine-Pittacus-Lore/dp/0062291025

The Last Queen of Sheba by Jill Francis Hudson

The Last Queen of Sheba

Published in: 2014
Pages: 319
Edition read: Paperback

Book description:
Against all odds Makeda, daughter of an obscure African chieftain, is chosen as Queen of all Sheba. Recognizing her own inexperience, yet desperately wanting to address Sheba’s appalling social injustice, she is persuaded by her cousin Tamrin, wealthy merchant and narrator of the novel, to visit Solomon, King of Israel, to find out about how he governs his kingdom. She is hugely impressed by Israel’s prosperity, by the wisdom and integrity with which Solomon rules, by the Hebrew religion, which she decides to adopt as her own, and by the justice for all that she determines to copy.

However Solomon, who is trapped in a childless and loveless dynastic marriage with Pharaoh’s daughter, allows himself to fall in love with the beautiful and intelligent African. He eventually tricks her into sleeping with him, and on the return journey to Sheba she discovers that she is pregnant.

The son to whom she gives birth grows up in the court of Sheba, and eventually travels to Israel with Tamrin, to meet his father. But Solomon is a broken man, having put his doomed love for Makeda and need for an heir before his relationship with God. He has taken hundreds of wives and concubines in a fruitless attempt to recapture the love which he and Makeda shared. And Israel is no longer the nation of his youth . . .

My review:
This book took me so long to get into. It wasn’t that it was boring to read, but more that it just didn’t engage me at all, for a good half of the book. I took a week to actually get through the book, even though it was barely 300 pages.

In saying that, it did eventually get easier to read, and there was some really great imagery in this book that I loved. The details of travel through the desert, the palace complex that Solomon lives in, the cramped quarters of the cities, it was all quite rich in detail that made it vivid to see as I read along. I also loved Makeda as a main character. She has an injury to her leg that would cripple those of lesser dispositions, but Makeda accepts it with a quiet grace, not allowing people to see how her leg hurts her or how it impedes her. She is strong willed, she is smart as hell, and she is kind, something that is shown through her innocence at the beginning and her rule at the end, how she treats others with the utmost of respect.

There are other great characters in this book, Solomon as a young man is charismatic and I really liked reading about him; but as an old man, he is almost repulsive. Tamrin is endearing as he cares for Makeda like she is his own daughter, and in turn, for Makeda’s son. There are so many diverse and interesting characters written into this story that they really carry it along, and you can see them as real people. I went into this book completely blind, not knowing anything about Solomon or Sheba; I struggled with the book for a few days as I just couldn’t get into the story; but once I finally did get into the book, I ended up being pleasantly surprised overall. These are the kinds of books that keep you reading through the difficult starts, because they become so rewarding when you do stick with it.

Final review:
The Last Queen of Sheba rating:
5.5/10
Would I re-read it? Although I loved the characters and imagery, it was a book that I wouldn’t be in a hurry to read again as it was hard to engage.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of historical fiction, or possibly those interested in early religious practices for Judaism or Christianity.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18643063-the-last-queen-of-sheba
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com.au/Last-Queen-Sheba-Frances-Hudson-ebook/dp/B00IXNI9LS
Book depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Last-Queen-Sheba-Jill-Francis-Hudson/9781782640974

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2)

Published in: 2011
Pages: 406
Edition read: E-book
Series: Book 2 in the Lorien Legacies series

Book description:
I’ve seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he’s a mystery. But to me . . . he’s one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We’re hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we’ll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I’ve been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

My review:
Whereas the first book is completely from the POV of John Smith, this book is split up between John and Marina, as John flees his old town and travels the country, hunting down Mogs, trying to get his stolen chest back, and trying not to get caught by the police. Marina is in an orphanage somewhere in Europe and she’s trying to convince her guardian that they are in danger, trying to protect the new young orphan to the orphanage, and trying to grow her powers with no help from anyone.

It felt more like a positioning book than anything to me, as we get a slew of new characters introduced, relationships are built, and key players start to move into place for the next book and the real adventure. That’s not to say that this book wasn’t good to read, as it was – there was a lot happening, lots of action and mystery and it went at a good pace. There is also a lot more of the legacies coming into play in this book, so I’d be intrigued to see how this book would have been turned into a movie, had the move franchise actually worked out as planned. I’d be betting on a lot of CGI, but it would have been really great to see this book visually on a big screen, as there are some great chase scenes, some great fight scenes, and just some interesting legacies coming into play.

Final review:
The power of six rating:
6/10
Would I re-read it? Yes
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the series, of young adult fiction, action and adventure, or science fiction.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8659601-the-power-of-six
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_Six
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Power-Six-Lorien-Legacies-Book/dp/0141047852

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth

Published in: 1606
Pages: 249
Edition read: E-book

Book description:
Macbeth hears a prophecy that he will be king of Scotland, so in order to enact this prophecy, murder and mayhem abound, along with madness.

My review:
I normally really enjoy Shakespeare, but this play was hard for me to understand and I just didn’t really get into it. The thing I liked in the book was the three witches, who basically just turned up whenever and went ‘how can we best mess with literally everyone for maximum chaos?’. Those witches rocked. Plus their spell at the end was epic.

I think this is one of those plays that you have to read a few times to understand, or better yet, read it without distraction – I read it on the train to and from work, and during lunchbreaks while having conversations with other staff, so probably not the best environment to launch into a Shakespearean play. I plan on giving this another read through before I pass total judgement on the play itself.

Final review:
Macbeth rating:
4/10, but that was because I struggled with this play and it’s subject
Would I re-read it? I plan on re-reading it again in hopes it will make more sense the second time around
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of Shakespeare, fans of plays

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/286809.Macbeth
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macbeth
Read free online: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/macbeth/full.html

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5)

Published in: 2010
Pages: 324
Edition read: Paperback
Series: Book 5 in the Mercy Thompson series

Book description:
Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, never knows what the day – or night – may bring. But she is about to learn that while some secrets are dangerous whose who seek them are just plain deadly. Mercy is smart enough to realize that when it comes to the magical fae, the less you know, the better. But you can’t always get what you want. When she attempts to return a powerful fae book she previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secrets – and the fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn’t take enough of Mercy’s attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side – leaving Mercy to cover for him lest his own father declare Samuel’s life forfeit. All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn’t careful, she may not have many more…

My review:
Another great mystery, another crew of awesome characters, another great read. This series is just getting better and better as I read through it, and I’m glad I finally got around to read it.

So in this book, Samuel spends most of it in wolf form and following Mercy around, meaning that Mercy’s investigation into the missing Fey bookkeeper happens with a giant wolf in tow. Oh, and Mercy gets kidnapped again (should I start keeping count of this happening? We are up to at least three now).

The thing I’m finding is that the books aren’t predictable, there’s all these characters and things happening and each time you think you know what’s happening, plot twist and you’re floundering, and you just never know what will happen next. It’s what is keeping the series fresh and interesting, plus Mercy is just such a great main character that you can’t help but like.

Final review:
Silver Borne rating:
8/10
Would I re-read it? Yes
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the series, fans of the author, fans of paranormal romances

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6587387-silver-borne
Author’s website: http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/silverBorneChapter.shtml
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Borne-Mercy-Thompson-Book/dp/044101996X

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)

Published in: 2009
Pages: 300
Edition read: E-book
Series: Book 4 in the Mercy Thompson series

Book description:
By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she’s out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won’t be Mercy’s blood Marsilia is after. It’ll be her friends.

My review:
Mercy gets kidnapped a lot lately, and this book is no different. We get introduced to some of Mercy’s past in the form of an old friend from college/uni and her mum turning up, and we get some different vampires and fey to deal with, as we meet a scary vampire who has worked out that ‘you are what you eat’ can have a literal meaning.

It was an interesting book, I saw a lot of people commenting that it felt like a filler book but I didn’t get that feeling at all. Mercy is dealing with the fallout from her abuse and rape in the previous book, she needs time to actually come to terms with it and her panic attacks, so helping out a friend and taking down a bad guy is pretty much the best way Mercy could do this.

Final review:
Bone crossed rating:
8/10
Would I re-read it? Yes
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the series, fans of paranormal romances featuring shapeshifters, werewolves, vampires, fey.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3128411-bone-crossed
Author’s website: http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/BoneCrossedChapter.shtml
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bone-Crossed-Mercy-Thompson-Book/dp/044101836X

Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead

Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid, #3)

Published in: 2008
Pages: 296
Edition read: Paperback
Series: Book 3 in the Georgina Kincaid series

Book description:
First, Georgina Kincaid, a shape-shifting succubus who gets her energy from seducing men, can’t have sex with her gorgeous bestselling author boyfriend Seth Mortensen–in case she inadvertently kills him. Second, Georgina’s under demonic orders to mentor the new (and surprisingly inept) succubus on the block. Third, someone’s manipulating her dreams, draining her energy and supplying eerie visions of her future. Georgina seeks answers from Dante, a dream interpreter with ties to the underworld, but his flirtatious charm only leaves her more confused–especially as the situation with Seth reaches a crisis point. Georgina needs to rein in her out-of-control love life and go toe-to-toe with an enemy capable of wreaking serious havoc among mankind. Otherwise, Georgina, and the entire mortal world, may never sleep easy again...

My review:
This book was surprisingly seasonally appropriate, as it’s set around Christmas and Georgina has multiple trees delivered to her house by her various co-workers, friends, and evil companions due to her lack of holiday spirit. Which made me giggle as she then had to set up multiple Christmas trees in her tiny apartment.

But then the book became awful, as Georgina’s heart is totally ripped out and stomped on by her boyfriend who I was totally in love with and now I don’t know what to do with the rest of the series. Continue on, obviously… but damn, did this book invoke some serious feelings and tears at the end. Georgina is a character that one can’t help but like and wish that she would find the happiness she deserves, but it seems that life is determined to just keep knocking her down, which makes great reading but if you connect emotionally with her character, like this poor sap did, then you will enjoy an emotional rollercoaster and then feel like throwing the book at a wall. Or at least, that was how I felt at the end of it.

Of course, I will be finishing this series because I love the series and the characters, I mean who wouldn’t love a feisty immortal bookworm who also happens to be a succubus? Plus, the series has made me laugh multiple times, which was totally unexpected and I need more weird unexpectedly funny moments in my paranormal romance series.

Final review:
Succubus Dreams rating:
8/10.
Would I re-read it? Yes, even with the serious emotions/betrayal at the end, I’d still read this book again
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the series, fans of the author, fans of paranormal romances

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2977487-succubus-dreams
Author’s website: http://www.richellemead.com/books/succubus-dreams
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Succubus-Dreams-Georgina-Kincaid-Richelle/dp/0821780794

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3)

Published in: 2008
Pages: 287
Edition read: Hardcover
Series: Book 3 in the Mercy Thompson series

Book description:
Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape – but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not. Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her…

My review:
I’m enjoying these books more and more, as I’m getting to brush up on my language skills while reading them- this book contains both Irish Gaelic, and German, two languages I’m studying. So reading through the story and coming across random strings of Gaelic or German, I’m totally able to read and understand the words, which is awesome.

The story is really interesting, but it should probably come with a trigger warning- at the end, something really bad happens to Mercy, something unexpected that could really set people off if they’ve been in the same situation. The aftermath of that had me in tears too, as Mercy is so messed up and ashamed of herself even though she’s the victim, so that was hard to get through. In saying that, it was well-written and totally triggers the emotions, but again it should come with a warning.

Final review:
Iron Kissed rating:
8/10
Would I re-read it? Yes
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the series and the author, fans of paranormal romances featuring werewolves, but anyone who is easily traumatised should read with caution, and anyone who has been abused should definitely read with caution or avoid.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1412138.Iron_Kissed
Author’s website: http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/ironKissed.shtml
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Kissed-Mercy-Thompson-Book/dp/0441015662