Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sunday Post #229

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Date 
It's been cold and snowy here all week again, but we're supposed to warm up this weekend. The sun is out though as I write this (Thursday afternoon) so that's something. At least it melts the ice. I read a few books this week, including What Alice Knew and I'm in the middle of The Extinction Trials. I've also been watching Electric Dreams on Amazon Prime and taking a break from Longmire to watch Godless on Netflix. And Riverdale returned this week.   

Last week I reviewed The Birthday Girl and The Young Queens. Both were great. This week will be The River at Night and my review for The Woman in the Window will be along soon. Short version: they're both great!          

The Birthday GirlThe River at NightThe Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns, #0.5)The Woman in the WindowThe Extinction Trials (The Extinction Trials, #1)

Song of the week 

I think about the loveless fascination
Under the Milky Way tonight


Image result for 4:50 from paddington book cover


What Alice KnewThe Vault of Dreamers (The Vault of Dreamers, #1)


I've been wanting to rewatch Catching Fire ever since reading the books. This is the bomb. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl looked like a psychological thriller that would appeal to me, given the atmospheric cover and the premise, but I was initially a bit disappointed. I was a little underwhelmed with the set-up, it seemed a little obvious as to what was happening, and if you read the synopsis it seems clear, at least initially, who the antagonist will be. So I considered DNF'ing and ultimately went with skim reading sections of it, but then at about forty percent of the way through something happened and I was hooked. From that point on the story definitely had my attention! 

Carys is a woman with a secret, something from her past that she's ashamed of, and when she is invited to an adventure weekend type of birthday party, it looks like her secret (and maybe those of her friends as well) may get spilled. Her, Andrea and Zoe have been invited by their prickly friend Joanne to spend a weekend at a remote location, sans cell phones naturally, and while initially they feel like maybe Joanne is going to use the opportunity to clear up some lingering issues, it soon becomes apparent the opposite is in fact true. Old resentments lingering under the surface come out, and things start to get tense when Joanne does questionable things, but nothing can prepare them for what actually happens. 

Like I said I was initially underwhelmed, the set-up seemed way too obvious, and I was like would people really be this dumb, to give up their phones and go along with this? But beneath the rather implausible beginning is a smart tale of what happens when friendships go wrong- and don't we all have friendships that have problems? Misunderstandings and resentments are of course one thing, but here there is something that happened that the parties involved have very different takes on, and once the first twist happens I thought we were veering into unreliable narrator territory. Seriously everyone is suspect at some point in this story, and while a twist at the end seemed a little too obvious, the twist after that was a shocker. And the story ends on a pretty dark note. 

So I'm glad I stuck with this book. Yeah I skimmed a few passages but partly that was because I couldn't wait to get to the next twist, or to see what happened after this or that occurrence. There was even a surprise POV added into the mix that further muddied the waters. All in all this was a twisty thriller that overcame a slow start and provided a satisfying end.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Young Queens

The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns, #0.5)

The Young Queens is a prequel novella to Three Dark Crowns, showing the first few years of life for Mirabella, Arsinoe and Kat. As a big fan of the series I knew I needed to pick this one up, and I was not disappointed. We start out right after their birth, and learn a little about their mother Queen Camille. The novella gives background on Fennbirn and the whole queens thing without being an infodump, and the writing is as poised and smooth as ever. This prequel blends seamlessly into the previous two books and my only complaint was when it was over. 

I'm a little ambivalent about prequel novellas and 0.5 stories, but in this case it was a nice addition to the story. I thought Kendare Blake did a great job showing us the past, and giving us clues, without giving away the farm. And the story cemented my already formed opinions of the three protagonists- I still like Mirabella (maybe the most) but Arsinoe is awesome too, and I feel sorry for Katharine. I liked her in the first book, and she had a rough start being housed with the Arrons. Speaking of whom, the supporting players are here too- we get glimpses at Natalia and Genevieve at a much younger age, as well as Sara Westwood and High Priestess Luca. The scene with Mirabella and Luca meeting for the first time was particularly well executed, I thought. 

We get a few hints as to the island being separated from the mainland as well as the fact that the queens' gifts seem to be declining in general (although Mirabella seems to buck that trend). And Jules and Joseph are part of the story as well. In fact those who think Jules will play an important role going forward will probably enjoy this very much. We see the appearance of Madrigal, and Jules gets her cat! So all in all if you're a fan of the series I would recommend this one- it's good stuff. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday #5 / Midweek Stuff

 So here's a midweek round up of what I'm reading watching, etc. Plus Can't Wait Wednesday, hosted by Wishful endings. So sit back, raise a cuppa, and see what's new! And share what you're up to.  

This week my Can't Wait pick is Artificial Condition, the second book in the Murderbot Diaries.       

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2)

What I'm Reading

The Extinction Trials (The Extinction Trials, #1)

Bad Girls with Perfect Faces

What I'm Watching

Image result

Image result for riverdale


Misc Stuff

Okay- question of the day.

You find a portal that leads to any one place in the world. You have 24 hours to visit and return before the portal closes. Where do you go? 

Top Ten Bookish Goals


 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted. Everyone is welcome to join. Link back so everyone can check out other bloggers' lists. It's a fun way to get to know fellow bloggers.

This week is Top Ten bookish resolutions or goals. Interesting one! I don't normally set a lot of resolutions or goals- mood reader here!- but I have a few things I'd like to do more (or maybe less of) in the new year. So... here we go!     

1) Read more urban fantasy. I failed at this last year, big time, but this year I'll try again. I'm just picky I guess with UF.  

Three Days to Dead (Dreg City, #1)

2) Re- read more. I have a lot of books I'd like to revisit, and even reviews I'd like to re- do. So yeah maybe more re- reading. 

3) Read some older sci-fi. I used to read a fair amount, but SciFi Month and Vintage Science Fiction Month have inspired me to read more backlist stuff.  

Star man's son

4) Maybe request some ARC's. I have a Netgalley account but never use it, and as a mood reader I tend to avoid ARC's, but maybe I'll actually request a few this year??

5) Read more science fiction and fantasy. 2017 seemed like it was the year of the psychological thriller for me, I read a ton of those, and while I love 'em I want to get back to more SF/F. 

6) Reply better to comments. Sometimes I do okay and sometimes I don't- depends on the week- but I appreciate every comment and would love to answer every one. 

7) Do more bookstore spotlights. I used to do these but kinda got away from 'em, so maybe in 2018 I can spotlight some of the fun indie and other bookstores in the area. 

8) Buy more Funko's.  

Image result for funko orion slave girl

9) Do more discussion posts. I've done a fair amount but not as many lately? 

10) Read some mysteries. Even though I want to focus on SF/F this year, I have been meaning to read Agatha Christie, as well as some cozy authors I've been thinking of.