Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme by The Broke and the Bookish where fellow book bloggers, and anyone who wants, can contribute to a themed top ten list. Today we are t pick the top ten books we’ve recently added to our tbr (to be read) piles. OMG, this list reminds me of all the books that are coming out this year!


Next book in series list:

New to me authors and series:

  • Witch and Wizard by James Patterson. My sister-in-law recommended this book to me and I still need to get my hands on a copy.
  • The Girl with All the Gifts by  M.R. Carey. Another sister-in-law recommendation
  • How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. I keep seeing this pop up in my reader by book bloggers reviewing and raving about it. I think I need to give this one a try.

Neil Gaiman, because he gets his own list.

Book Review: Unquiet Dreams

Connor Grey is a Druid, one who used to work for The Guild, but has suffered a trauma in his past that has blocked most of his ability to manipulate essence. Now he lives in The Weird, a Bostonian neighborhood where the poverty struck magical beings have congregated. Several decades early The Convergence, a big magical fluctuation merged two worlds together, and not everyone is just trying to get along, mostly by avoiding each other and shoving certain segments of the world into one place. No longer a Guild Director, Connor now works with the Boston PD, in particular with Detective Murdock solving cases that the Guild doesn’t deign to take notice of, but that the  police would be hard to handle, since it involves killers and victims of the magical variety. Connor receives help from some of his friends, is true friends, the ones that remained even after his fall from power including Meryl a funky haired archivist and Druidess who works for The Guild and a flit Joe who has the ability to teleport, something I really envy.

Franco’s second book in the series, Unquiet Dreams, delves into the world of gangs and drugs. Moke and C-Note are both trolls and rival gang leaders and a powerful Druid ends up dead at the center where he has created a safe heaven for the street kids in The Weird. During his investigation Connor stumbles across a new drug, that seems to have some unusual magical abilities. He must find the source of the drug, stop the gangs from fighting, all before a big political meeting takes place.

By CopyrightFreePhotos [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I thought the second book was stronger than the first. Connor really starts to develop as a character and the story line was cleaner and the over all story arc started to pick up and made more sense. Connor has some abilities he didn’t know he had, or is learning new ones because his old ones are inaccessible  or just something really strange is happening. Either way, his fight with Vizen which left him blocked, has repercussions down the rode that lead to some awesome fight scenes. I also enjoy Connor’s vulnerable moments, which read true to the character and kept me in emotional turmoil for some of the book. As there was resolution, of some of Connor’s emotional issues, I really enjoyed the turbulence of Connor learning who he is now that his life has been drastically altered.

While some aspects of the story still remind me of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, Franco has created his own little world in Boston and his books are an enjoyable read. I also like the pace of Connor and Meryl’s banter flirty relationship. I sense that it will actually go somewhere, and hopefully not lead to one sex scene that reads like a page out of 50 Shades. Connor is intelligent, but the questions remains whether he is smart enough to understand that we all evolve as beings. That very few people remain as they have always been. Embracing our changing natures, growing as people, and learning to empathize with those around us are valuable lessons. Hopefully Connor learns them soon enough to effect real change in his life and contribute to successful lasting friendships.

Read another review here, here, and here.

Book Review: Ill Wind

I follow Felicia Day on Google+ where I watch her show, Flog. It is her own personal vlog, and every week she posts her top fave five things of the week. She mentioned an interesting series she reads about Djinn called the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine. A story of Djinnis! Count me in. I hurriedly requested the first book, Ill Wind, from my local library and started reading it the minute I could (which was after several days of sitting on the to-be-picked-up-by-her-holding-highness-princess-jami and then only after I had finished the two other books I had recently started). I quite enjoyed Ill Wind and the new universe the Rachel Caine gifts readers with in her Weather Warden series.

Joanne Baldwin is on the run, once a Weather Warden, her own colleagues are out to get her and bring her to justice. Which means a lobotomy for Jo.  She insists that her death match with a fellow warden was a move in self defense, but nobody will listen. That is, not until she meets a hitchhiker and decides to give the average looking man, David, a ride. A storm, both literally and figuratively, is following Jo as she races across the country with a stranger as her passenger and she must not only diffuse the gathering hurricane with her powers but  must also decide who to trust along the way.

Apparently googling, “Woman controlling storm” is computer code for “Show me a pap smear test.”

Jo has been marked, and her time is running out. She is searching for the one other Warden she can trust, but it is doubtful she will get to him before the storm catches up to her.Then Jo discovers, that in spite of his normal looking face, attire, and aura, David is actually a powerful Djinn. Djinn are enslaved by the Wardens to use as a power source to up the Warden’s abilities. The Wardens justify the enslavement because the Djinn must be controlled and contained or chaos would ensue. And, as mankind’s protector from Mother Nature, the Wardens must use every available resource to save humanity. David provides a unique perspective on being  Djinn and Jo begins to question all of her long held beliefs.  However, even with David’s help, Joanne is on the loosing side, and betrayal from multiple sides strikes at the most inopportune time.

Jo is a powerful woman with some really cool powers, and I was so happy to have picked up this book. So, thanks Felicia Day! I enjoyed reading Rachel Caine’s elaborate mythology of Djinn’s and the Wardens who source the Djinn’s power. This is also one of the few books where I was drawn so far into the story that I even read all the descriptive paragraphs. Seriously. That is huge. What was most intriguing, was Rache Caine’s knowledge of how weather works, and how Jo could possibly affect the weather based on how her powers worked. I not only enjoyed the fun escapism the book provided, but learned a lot about weather patterns in the process.

A quick read, Ill Winds, delves into a new type of mythology as well as the intricacies of relationships among people of power. Plus, I didn’t see the ending of the book coming, and for me that is always a plus. It makes me doubly excited to continue reading the series. Which, you guessed it, is currently on hold at the library.  The book is very reminiscent of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, especially having the non-normal human council titled Wardens. He has an author blurb on the book, and it is fitting. I like to pretend that all my sci/fi universes exist as one universe, in my head (well all of the contemporary ones anyway). While Jo is racing across the country to save her butt, somewhere in Chicago, Harry is fighting vampires, ogres, and himself.

I love Joanne as a protagonist, I love her spunk, her can do attitude, and her ability to use the information she has to make tough decisions without breaking down and crying about it. Even if those decisions send a twister after her.

Read another review here and here.

Book Review: Ghost Story and the Dresden Files Series

I’m a huge Dresden Files fangirl, as evidenced by my earlier post. I love Jim Butcher’s series about a wizard living and magic fighting in Chicago, and not just because it is set in Chicago (though that was the initial draw). I love the series because it is an extremely well developed universe, with some of the best continuity between books that I have ever seen in series with as many books (so far 13 and supposedly more to come). Harry Dresden is bar far one of my favorite characters, a man who knows his strengths and refuses to understand he has limitations, yet he continues to grow as both a wizard and a person. He makes mistakes and he tries to learn from them, true he makes more mistakes, but he learns. That’s the important part people. The cast of characters in the Dresden Files are full, complex, and beautiful people who have problems but try to do the right thing.

The most recent book to hit the shelves in the series is Ghost Story (#13). I had this in my queue with the library for over a month before it finally came to me, and I read it in three days. (I plan to return to the library this week for the next person to receive it and read its awesomeness. Don’t worry, I wont be selfish.) And in order to remember where I was in the series I went back and reread Changes (#12), probably the best book decision I have made in a while (also I didn’t read the end of Ghost Story until it was time to read the end after I had a friend convince me that I wouldn’t understand what was happening, and boy was he right). While each book is it’s own separate story, the two of them together are a masterpiece of story telling. In Changes, Dresden is surprised by a very ex girlfriend with a very big surprise (an now semi makes sense one of the scenes I absolutely did not like and thought completely out of context that happened in Death Masks (#5), which goes to show how intricate the plot lines are across the series) and heads out to save the day. He ends up winning some battles and loosing others. The epic conclusion to the storyline in Changes is not finished until Ghost Story).

Any attempt to write a spoiler free Ghost Story review would fail because unless people have read Changes to its bitter end any sentence I write about Ghost Story reveals too much. So, I’m gonna vaguely talk about character changes that I did or didn’t like. I loved the a little more thoughtful Harry that develops in Ghost Story, he has learned to think and watch and wait before charging in (somewhat because he has to). And this is a change in Harry that has been needed. How old is he? Isn’t he a wizard? He needs to learn some subtitles and he begins to do so in this book. Murphy, Harry’s cop friend, is the one person I thought rather incongruous in her change of character. She seemed discombobulated in her formatting throughout the book. I didn’t like it, but I’m willing to give Butcher the benefit of the doubt. Molly I thought was amazing. I know some people are going to have problems with were Butcher took her character, but I’ve always thought she was a stronger person than she was given credit for and Ghost Story proves I was right. Of course I like a character who proves I am right.

I had an great Labor Day lounging on the couch and reading Ghost Story and watching old Psych episodes on Netflix. Spending time with some of my favorite characters in both television and book format was wonderful. I got so into Dresden after reading both books that I’m going back and re-watching the short lived television show, though it is not nearly as good as the books. But I needed a bit more Harry Dresden, not quite finished with that man. If you haven’t read these books, they are on my must read list. So go out and get the first book, Storm Front (#1), today.

Check out more Dresden Files fanart on this FB page.

Harry Dresden Day

I’m a big fan of character crushes, if that wasn’t already evident. I don’t have a whole lot of celebrity crushes, only because I make a distinction between liking a character and realizing that I can never really “know” a celebrity, because I don’t actually know them, enough to like them. So I crush the character quite happily. Today is Harry Dresden Day. Soon the latest book in the series will hit the shelves (in July) and I will get another dose of this fantastic series. If you haven’t checked out Jim Butcher’s great sci/fi series, DO IT NOW!!!

Cool fan art by The Gryph on DeviantArt.

Fan art of Harry and Murphy by Bohemian Art Labs.

And some Thomas and Molly fan art here.

T-Shirts and other products at Cafe Press:

The t.v. sit-com writers of my life like to use “Let’s create another weird character” scenario far too often.

Television Review: Fringe Friday: Stoway Stuck

By Fox Broadcasting Company from Wikimedia Commons

My Fringe Fridays will be a play by play for each Fringe episode from the previous week. Consider this my *Spoiler Alert.*

Click the link below to read the full review.

Click here