Booknook

Books read in 2014:

Bared to You (Crossfire, #1)Bared to You by Sylvia Day

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Entertaining read for the beach. Low brain power, but the characters are fleshed out well enough to be believable. Some of the sex scenes are a little repetitive, but the plot had enough suspense to keep me reading. The next book is already lined up.

Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2)Reflected in You by Sylvia Day

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Still entertaining, but a little thin on plot. It feels a bit as if we are strung along to as many sequels as possible. Beach reading. The first book was better. I will still get the next one, although the reviews are generally not very good. But I am curious how the story will develop after the relatively surprising and unexpected ending of this book.

Entwined with You (Crossfire, #3)Entwined with You by Sylvia Day

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


I slogged my way through half of the book, then set it aside for two months. I just picked it up again and skimmed through two more chapters. Nope, couldn't care less. The story was never very plotty or gripping and the sex was a bit repetetive from the start, but the first book was entertaining enough for a quick read on the beach. Second book, so-so, more of the same, with a nice little cliffhanger at the end, that carried me to the middle of this one. Bored. Boring. Not enough substance to maintain any kind of suspense. Sex scenes too few and formulaic. Characters with the depth and maturity of teenagers. Done, sorry.

That brings my tally up to 4 finished books and one unfinished one. Plus lots and lots and lost of fanfiction. Perhaps I should start counting words read instead of published books read....?

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Books read in 2014

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs,  and Sugar--Your Brain"s Silent KillersGrain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers by David Perlmutter

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


The first half of this book, Part 1, cites study after study and endless anecdotes, trying to convince you of the rightness of the book's subject matter. Preaching to the choir, I already bought the book, I did not need further convincing. Made the book extremely boring for me and after a while I just skimmed.
In contrast the practical part of the book, the how-to, was extremely short and almost felt like an afterthought.
Very populistic, very one-sided.

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Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6)Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


It took me forever to read this. I almost tossed it. The beginning did not interest me, I had problems remembering what had happened in the previous books, the plot didn't grab me. I put the book on the side for a few months and then finally struggled through. It gets spoilery after this, so read on at your own peril.

I did not mind that Mircea did not show up once in this book, but I did find it a bit odd that he was completely absent. Telephone? Skype? A quick shift over? Well, apparently this was a plot point, but not a convincing one.

The battles that I used to like so much in the previous books, were just over the top here and shallow and I kept shouting at the book to just get on with it and be done.

And Cassy kept thinking and thinking and thinking with the mental maturity of a teenager for page after page after page about all the what-ifs and hows and could-have-beens.... At one point I just started flipping pages until she was done and I spotted the next dialogue. Tedious, boring, too much!

Anyway, I stuck with it and the last 20% or so of the book were not bad, the ending was a bummer and I now had to preorder the next book of the series, because I can't just abandon the series in mid-suspense. It was a very close call though.

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The Book Nook

My last three reads of 2013:

Two Ravens and One Crow (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #4.5)Two Ravens and One Crow by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Another short set between Tricked and Trapped, I think... Atticus is in the middle of training Granuaile, when the past catches up to try and kill him. The usual.
The relationship issues Atticus has with Granuaile are utterly ridiculous. It boils down to my major problem with this series. How can a guy that has lived for two millenia be so juvenile? The fight scenes are good, so is the humour. ScoobyDoo goes on my nerves every now and then. He pops up at moments, when it tends to break the flow of the stoty and is just a silly distraction at times. But Atticus' teenage mentality is what actually has the power to make me drop this series. Saying that, I fully intend to get the next book in the series, because I want to see how it plays out with Loki. Who, btw, is another character that I find utterly stupid. Can't wait for him to be killed off.





Hunted (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #6)Hunted by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The hunt across Europe sounded like a great idea, but it didn't live up to its potential. It had its moments, but ultimately wasn't that exciting. The rest of the book just didn't feel very satisfying. There didn't seem to be a decent direction for the plot to move to. Herne the Hunter just felt like more wasted potential and Loki just seemd to be a bit of an afterthought, that got popped in just because. Oberon's ScoobyDoo act got a bis distracting at times a s well.
The latter part of the book actually felt a bit like an attempt to tie up some frazzled ends, before moving on to the next book. Like I said, a bit unsatisfying as a whole.





Trapped (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #5)Trapped by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


12 years after the last book, Ganuaile is ready to be bound to the earth and be a full druid. That part of the book was interesting. I liked the explanation how the druidic magic is bound to those tatoos and how they work. The shape shifting was fun.
The rest of the plot I did not find all that interesting. It felt a bit rushed and the new characters stayed a bit flat. But still entertaining enough to keep reading.
Plenty of potential for additional novels set in those 12 years in between.




So far I spent the new year reading fanfiction, so nothing to update on goodreads yet.

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The Book Nook

Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #4)Tricked by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A fairly straight forward and simply plot compared to the previous book. Still entertaining and funny. Good monsters, good fights. I liked the glimpse into Navajo mythology. As far as the story goes though, I think I liked this one the least of the series so far.

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A Test of Mettle (The Iron Druid Chronicles #3.5)A Test of Mettle by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Short story told from the perspective of Ganuaile, Atticus' apprentice. Ties in with Hammered, book 3 of the Iron Druid series. It complements one of the book's subplots nicely, but is not necessary reading to understand the series. I recommend reading it after Hammered.

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Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #3)Hammered by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Good battle scenes, some entertaining new characters. I loved the motley crew of fighters, that assembled around Atticus. The Kirk and Spock dialogues cracked me up.
Hearne is a complete nerd, I wouldn't mind drinking a Big Boy with him myself.
This book wasn't exactly heavy on the plot, but I liked the mythology and the backstories of Atticus' fighting buddies.

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Hexed (Iron Druid Chronicles #2)Hexed by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Very shallow, but also very entertaining and funny. Perfect for my beach holiday. I like the characters, although our 2000-years old druid lays on the stupid act a bit heavily at times.
I read a review that complained about sexism and that women are all first and foremost defined by their looks. Welcome to the real world... Anyway, I am pretty sensitive to that usually and it did not bother me here. I did not get the impression that the female characters here were just defined by that and I actually think it was funny that our hero kept thinking about baseball to keep his little head from taking over, when he saw good looking women.
The action was good, I liked the plot, the next book is already lined up.

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Ritual Magic (World of the Lupi, #10)Ritual Magic by Eileen Wilks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I liked the plot, but somehow the story did not grip me. I think I am getting a little tired of the good guys in these kind of series fighting the big, bad overlords. For how many installments have we been teased yet with the big fight against that big bitch? Get on with it already! Feed up with Friars and the glacially slow build-up!

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Out of Time  (Out of Time, #1)Out of Time by Monique Martin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


*mild spoilers*

The romance part of the story does absolutely nothing for me. There is no spark. I skimmed over most of the romance bits and the inner thought processes of Lizzy and Simon, because they did not interest me. But I am not much of a romance reader anyway.

The rest of the story is mildly interesting. I could have done with a bit more suspense.

The time travel aspect is nicely done, I like the setting in 1920s New York very much. The arival in New York with their initial difficulties were the best parts of the novel for me.

I also like the characters. Especially Charlie is charming.

The vampire is creepy, but shows up much too late and I find that part of the storyline pretty superfluous.

Simon sounds more outdated than the people they meet after traveling back in time. He reminds me of Mr Spock, at least in the beginning. I do not know any Brits that are this stuffy.

I am not quite sure what the point of this story was supposed to be. It was allover the place. Romance, time travel, vampires, gangsters...

So, it was ok, but I won't get the next book in the series.


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The Book Nook

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, #12)Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last few Sookie novels did not rock my boat. I did not dislike them, but they left something to be desired. I even contemplated to not finish the series. I went into this book with very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. It's a pretty decent story. It has a good plot and the fairies makes for interessting characters. The vampires stay very one dimensional in this though. Bil has about as much charm and personality as a cardboard mannequin and Eric is removed and flat as well. I don't understand why the relationship between Sookie and Eric developed this way. Did I sleep through the last book? I have my thoughts who Sookie will end up with in the last book, but I'll keep them to myself. I wonder how Harris will wrap up a successful series like this?

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The Chimera Vector (The Fifth Column, #1)The Chimera Vector by Nathan M. Farrugia

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I used to really like Matthew Reilly and other faced paced military action flicks like that a lot, but I moved onto other things. I should therefore probably not have bothered. Anyway...

I immediately did not like the writing in the first chapter. The short sentences made for very choppy reading. I assumed it was written that way to give the impression of fast and exciting action, but it just prevented the story from flowing nicely for me. Some chapters later I came to the conclusion that the writing style was maybe a way to imply a strange mental state for the main character? Did not like it more because of that though.
Also there seems to be a lot of unnecessary explaining. Instead of letting the story do the talking, the characters point out the obvious things between the lines to the reader. That kills the momentum a little.
On top of that the subject does not interest me much -- a bit of a mix of the before mentioned Matthew Reilly action with the new storyline the Jason Bourne franchise is headed for.

So, I am putting this on the side for now and I doubt I will pick it up again. Sorry.

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The Book Nook

Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)Hounded by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I struggled a bit in the first third of the book. For an over 2000 years old druid this guy seems to be pretty silly and not very smart or wise. The talking dog is a tad annoying, too. It sometimes sounds very smart and at other times it's pretty much like I would expect a dog to be.
In the beginning you also get swamped with every supernatural being you can think of and you're pummeled with a ton of complicated, celtic names. The werewolves could do with being fleshed out a bit more. And a tad of world building would not go amiss. Thor? Really?
I was prepared to be royally disappointed and give up. But I stuck with it and the action picked up eventually. The fight scenes are well written. The bad guys are pretty stupid, though. And the author is not as funny as he thinks he is, Maybe he is trying too hard. Or I am too old to be that easily amused. Take your pick. But I ended up reading pretty much two thirds of the book in one sitting and I enjoyed myself. Go figure. I might even get the next book of the series.

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Clan Rathskeller (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #0.5)Clan Rathskeller by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Free short story from the Iron Druid series, set before the first book. Atticus meets some gnomes at the mall and things get messy.

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Kaibab Unbound  (The Iron Druid Chronicles , #0.6)Kaibab Unbound by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Another free short story, set before the first book of the Iron Druid series. Nicely written, pretty short, doesn't really add much to the overall picture. Not essential reading to the series.

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Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1)Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Bottom line, this book was boring and the main character was not interesting. Potential for great world building, but it was not happening. The narrative was flat, not funny and sloooooow and I have the sneaking suspicion that Rachel is really stupid, not just clumsy. Jenks was the only redeeming factor. The relationship with Ivy really ticked me off. It was a major struggle to finish this book and I doubt it very much that I will pick up another book of this series.

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An Ill-Advised Rescue Part 1 (Kate Daniels)An Ill-Advised Rescue Part 1 by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A little warm-up to Magic Rises, included at the end of the book. Set shortly before the events of the novel, I think.


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An Ill-Advised Rescue Part 2 (Kate Daniels)An Ill-Advised Rescue Part 2 by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A little warm-up to Magic Rises, included at the end of the book. Set shortly before the events of the novel.

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Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6)Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Good plot and characters. Some tongue-in-cheek, sarcasm, humour, some nookie, great fight scenes. Very, very enjoyable. The plot thickens, the wait for the next book is going to be really long.

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Questing BeastQuesting Beast by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A free short story, to be found on the website of Ilona Andrews or on their page on Smashwords. Fun little sci-fo story. I wouldn't have minded this being a longer novella. Reminded me a little bit of Alan Dean Foster.

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Kitty in the Underworld (Kitty Norville #12)Kitty in the Underworld by Carrie Vaughn

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Kitty is kidnapped and spends most of the book talking to herself. The rest of the time she talks to a bunch of totally unbelievable characters. Not much plot, suspense or action. I was mildly bored throughout most of it. I skimmed a lot in the middle. If story telling is your thing and a lot of of mythology lessons, this might be for you. If I wasn't dead set on reading the next book in the series, I would have thrown this against the wall. Hard.

I hope that Vaughn has not permanently lost the plot. If this is an experiment to do something differently in the series, it has failed.

She actually managed to kindle my curiosity again in the epilogue, so I will get the next book for sure. But, please, please, please, finish the story arc with The Long Game, it is boring me to tears! I really do not care what Roman does.

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The Book Nook

The Way Of Shadows (Night Angel, #1)The Way Of Shadows by Brent Weeks

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just lost my fairly lengthy review, because my connection timed out. So here is the abridged version:

I do not like coming-of-age stories and the early part with Azoth was entirely too long. Characterization and plot were not bad, but on top of that I did not like Durzo Blint and found Azoth's love interest boring. By the time Logan showed up and those other wizards, I had lost interest. It took too much convincing to pick up the book and continue. Several weeks of forcing myself through the first half of the book -- that's simply not enjoyable.

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The Book Nook

The GauntletThe Gauntlet by Karen Chance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nice little short-story, set before "The Queen's Witch". Not essential for the plot lines of Cassie Palmer or the Dorina Basarab series. A look at Kit Marlowe's early days.

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The Queen"s WitchThe Queen's Witch by Karen Chance

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice companion piece to the Cassie Palmer series. Should be read after The Gauntlet. I got that wrong, but it doesn't really matter. I could see this setting as a fun spin-off of the main series. I like the Elizabethan age, supernatural shenanigans could work well. Kit Marlowe is a surprisingly nice guy in this.

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Kitty Rocks the House (Kitty Norville, #11)Kitty Rocks the House by Carrie Vaughn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was a bit surprised, when I reached the epilogue. I actually turned back the page to make sure that I hadn't done something wrong in some freak page-turning incident. It had just started to get interesting. Don't get me wrong, it was a good book, nice plot, entertaining story telling. Well developed characters and just the right amount of sarcasm, humour and quirkiness to make it fun. But it could have done with another few hundred pages. Or, hopefully, a very quick follow-up with another book.

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Fury"s Kiss (Dorina Basarab, #3)Fury's Kiss by Karen Chance

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice plot twist at the end. A little too much talking and reminiscing. I could have done with a little more plot development and I was struggling a bit to keep my interest going.

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Death"s Mistress (Dorina Basarab, #2)Death's Mistress by Karen Chance

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Haunted house, trolls, orcs, dark and light fey, vampires, car chases, magic, slapstick, lots of fighting, headless corpses, talking heads, explosions, portals, gorgeous vampires, scary vampires... What else do you need for a good time?

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Frost Burned (Mercedes Thompson, #7)Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked the POV switching to Adam, the ghosts added a nice little extra, too. The Mercedes (the car, not our heroine) had me cracking up.
I took some smaller breaks in between and had problems keeping some of the characters straight, but that might have been me. Took me a bit to get back into it, the gap between this and the last book feels huge.
After reading Eileen Wilks I have to say I like the dynamic of her werewolf packs much better. The female werewolves here are so bitchy. Perhaps because they are bitches, literally... ;-)

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The Book Nook

D Is For Deadbeat (Kinsey Millhone, #4)D Is For Deadbeat by Sue Grafton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A classic whodunnit. Lots of "who" to choose from. The large cast of characters had me slightly confused at times. I liked the story, although it did not grip me and I was speeding up towards the end just to get through it. And I skimmed through some of the more descriptive parts. I really do not need to know the clothing of every character that shows up for a few paragraphs down to the last button and the colour of their socks.

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Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2)Captive Prince: Volume Two by S.U. Pacat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, I did not see that ending coming. Well, some of it, but the major plot twist caught me by surprise. And now I am massively anoyed that the next book is not available yet and there is no publishing date in sight. Alas, I will have to wait. It actually took me three days to read the last 2 chapters, because I did not want to come to the end of the story.

The ebook has an extra chapter. Or rather half a chapter. It is not really needed for the progression of the book, but it's not so out of synch that it wouldn't have worked as a regular part of the book. I wonder why it was taken out? I have read a lot more explicit scenes in published books, so I don't think it would be that?

Anyway, a really nice plot, lots of surprises, good suspense. I think that Laurent lightened up too much and too quickly compared to the first volume and at times I thought he was a little too one-dimensional, but overall great fun, great story, I enjoyed myself a lot.

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Captive Prince: Volume One (Captive Prince, #1)Captive Prince: Volume One by S.U. Pacat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story started its life as an online serial on livejournal, sort of as fanfiction with original characters. The setting is vaguely ancient Greece / medieval France, based on the names used. M/m pairings, dom/sub undertones, slaves -- a lot of fanfiction tropes raise their heads. I'm picturing Damian as a young Gerard Butler with long hair and Laurent as a short-haired Legolas, if that makes sense. Entertaining, decent plot, enough suspense to keep me reading.

I just downloaded the second volume and from reviews I have read I already know that I will be frustrated at the looming cliffhanger and the unavailability -- so far -- of a final, third volume.

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