Welcome to the MOSL Book Challenge

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth (The New 52) by Adam Glass

Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth (The New 52) by Adam Glass is a fun, if not gruesome look at what would happen if supervillains were formed into a squad for the greater good. Taking place in the DC Universe, villains including Deadshot and Harley Quinn are assembled for dangerous missions with nanobombs in their necks that can be detonated at any time should they disobey orders. Harley Quinn features prominently in these issues as she goes rogue once her nanobomb is turned off by an ignorant guard who believes her to be harmless. There are five volumes in this series and I am looking forward to the other four. This series has been made into a film that stars Will Smith as Deadshot and it will be released in the upcoming months. I can't wait to see Harley Quinn in action, but be forewarned--this is a pretty graphic graphic novel. Enjoy! 160 pages. 

The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors and Readers, and Set Your Novel Up For Success by Jeff Gerke

The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors and Readers, and Set Your Novel Up for Success by Jeff Gerke is a very down to earth interpretation of what every writer needs to do in their first 50 pages to attract attention and engage the reader. Though this book is advertised as universal, I found some of the concepts a little difficult to adapt to my genre. I do, however, still recommend this book as there is a lot of good material in it. However, be sure to read craft books on your genre as well for a fully well-rounded look at what to do in the early parts of your novel. I found the last chapter to be the most helpful. It discusses the first line and the first page. There are some really great concepts put forth here for grabbing immediate attention. Most tomes just say it needs to be a catchy first line, but Gerke tells us HOW to accomplish that. Overall, I found a lot of good information in this book and it is free to read if you have Kindle Unlimited or it runs $10-12 for ebook/print copies. 242 pages.

She Sat He Stood: What Do Your Characters Do While They Talk? by Ginger Hanson

She Sat He Stood: What do your characters do while they talk by Ginger Hanson is a gem of a little book about the beats in dialogue. If you have a difficult time figuring out what your characters do while they speak, this is the book for you. In it, Hanson explains how to use things like setting and props to inform your character actions. I highly recommend this for anyone struggling with their beats. It gave me some great ideas for my novel and at $.99 on Amazon for the Kindle edition, you have nothing to lose! 66 pages.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Blood Kiss" by J.R. Ward

This is the first book in the Black Dagger Legacy, a spin off of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and centers on Paradise and Craeg, two of the newest vampires recruited by the BDB to fight the Lessening Society in their ongoing war.  Paradise is part of the glymera, the vampire aristocracy, and Craeg is a vampire commoner.  They, along with five other recruits, make it through a series of obstacles to begin their training with the Brothers Butch, Tohr, Z, Phury, and Rhage.  Although female members of the glymera are supposed to be protected instead of protectors, Paradise is determined to be a fighter.

Craeg has a different reason for wanting to fight; his entire family was killed in the raids made by the Lessoning Society.  He also hates the glymera because his father was working at an aristocrat's home when it was raided, and the commoners on the grounds were kept out of the safe rooms.  Craeg can't deny his growing attraction to Paradise, which he sees as a distraction to his training.  He also doesn't know that she's an aristocrat.

This book also focuses on the communication problems of mated pair Butch and Marissa and how the murder of a female vampire brings them closer.  It was good to read about the original Brothers and their shellans (mates) in addition to introducing new characters that will fight with them.  The scene where the ladies get together to watch Magic Mike was pretty funny.  This was a much smaller and tighter book than the last few BDB books, which I appreciated.  I am ready for the next installment! 399 pages.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Servants of Fate Trilogy by Sarah Fine

I picked up this adult trilogy after enjoying the YA fantasy/paranormal trilogy, Guards of the Shadowlands, by Sarah Fine. This series is also set in a fascinating, creative world, but it definitely leans hard to the romance side, whereas the YA novels focused more on the fantasy and action. That isn't bad, but it was just different from what I expected. Despite that, I still enjoyed the series, as Sarah Fine is an excellent writer who knows how to build a world and allow characters to change and grow in a way that feels both natural and satisfying.

Marked (Servants of Fate, #1)Marked by Sarah Fine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here's the concept, quoted directly from the Goodreads synopsis, "In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know—including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife."

I picked this novel up after enjoying Guards of the Shadowlands. This is also an interesting fantasy/paranormal trilogy, based on a unique world/life concept, but it leans hard towards the romance novel side. It's still action-packed, intense, and captivating, as all novels by Sarah Fine seem to be, so I'm kind of glad I didn't realize that before reading, as I might have hesitated or delayed. In the end, I still really enjoyed the story and world, despite the different focus.

Pages: 334

Claimed (Servants of Fate, #2)Claimed by Sarah Fine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book 2 in the adult series Servants of Fate, and it's another solid read by Sarah Fine.

Book two follows the story of Eli's sister (Eli is the love interest in book 1) and digs into another side of this dark, intriguing world.

 Pages: 341

Fated (Servants of Fate, #3)Fated by Sarah Fine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this trilogy, though I do like Guards of the Shadowlands by Sarah Fine even better. However, that's an unfair comparison, as the two novels are in different categories and genres, and I always tend to lean more favorably towards YA fantasy than Adult romance.

The final trilogy follows the story of Cacia's older sister (Cacia is the main character in book one), and it takes the story into yet another direction, digging even deeper into this complicated world.

Pages: 334

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2)The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved book one of this YA post-apocalyptic series in which aliens have taken over the world and are trying to destroy humanity. This book never drew me in. Maybe it was me, as I was seriously fretting while reading and probably distracted, but the story never gave me good reasons to want to stop fretting and invest.

For me, it suffered from second book syndrome.

Pages: 320

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Say What You WillSay What You Will by Cammie McGovern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This contemporary YA novel spotlights characters with disabilities and disorders, and I really enjoyed that. The main character has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound, and her new student helper has obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It's a good read that will put you through the full range of emotions. It makes some beautiful points and is a fantastic character study, though it lacks something in the area of plot, at least for me. It's more of a story that follows the characters through their day-to-day lives. Since their lives are different and fascinating, that kept me turning the pages, but I wouldn't have minded having just a bit more from the story. I really liked it, but I felt it lacked that little extra something that would have made it a 5 star book and had me shoving it on everyone I know.

Pages: 368

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's possible I've read too many fallen angel stories in the YA category, because I just don't love this. It isn't bad. The writing is good, but the story didn't wow me. I don't dislike it. I just think there are other, better, stronger stories in this genre that I would rather read instead, so I've decided not to continue on with this story.

There's something about the characters, and their behaviors throughout, that just either doesn't ring true for me or simply doesn't interest me. I feel rather indifferent towards the whole lot of them, but a ton of other people love this series, which might mean I was a poor reader and judged it too harshly.

Pages: 432

"The Story of Mrs. Lovewright and Purrless Her Cat" by Lore Segal, Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

My coworker knows that I'm a cat person, so she brought me this book from her collection to read.  Mrs. Lovewright wants a cats that purrs and sits on her lap, so she asks her grocery delivery boy to bring her one.  However, the kitten he brings her refuses to do either, so she names him Purrless.  I felt sorry for the cat since he was doing what made him happy, as all cats do.  Mrs. Lovewright was not a loving person to her feline, but they got along in the end.  32 pages.

Devoted in Death by J.D. Robb

(Posted for Paul Mathews)

They met in Oklahoma and killed over twenty people on their way to and in New York City, but crime never wins.

Audio:  12 hrs. 25 min.
Print:  352 pages

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between UsThe Distance Between Us by Kasie West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this novel after picking up and enjoying a different story by Kasie West. She's a great writer who really draws you into the characters and stories, particularly on an emotional front. I like that, so while I don't typically read a ton of YA romance (this one is wealthy boy meets poor girl with a sick mom), I think I might try everything else by this author. They say every good story has already been told before, but somehow, she makes them seem fresh again.

Pages: 320

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Werewolf of Bamberg by Oliver Pötzsch

This is  the fifth book in 'The Hangman's Daughter' series. This is a mystery series; the 'detectives' are Jakob Kuisl, his daughter Magdalena and her husband Simon. Jakob is the hangman of Schongau in the 1600s. Every town in Germany has a hangman, responsible for torturing those accused of a crime until they confess - or die.

In 1668 the entire family travels to Bamberg to attend the wedding of Jakob's brother Bartholomaus. the hangman of Bamberg. On the way, their caravan is stalled by the discovery of a human arm in the river they must cross to get there. Once they arrive, they find that the town has been besieged by multiple murders; the bodies have signs of torture on them.

The town is in a panic, and decide that the murderer is a werewolf. A Witch's Commission is set up to determine who the werewolf is. The mass panic has neighbors turning against each other, and reporting suspicious behavior to the Commission.

The Kuisl family in unconvinced of the existence of werewolves, and set out to find the murderer.

610 pages
Translated from German by Lea  Chadeayne