Saturday, 30 May 2015

Stacking the Shelves #86

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress so you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
This has been a quieter week at the Book Cave. There was restraint in what I picked up-a few interesting sounding downloads, and the last of the mountain climbing books that I ordered arrived from Amazon which was good. I have a few urban fantasy books ordered which should arrive for next week's STS hopefully. I could not resist the sound of Sharcano...who doesn't want to read about sharks made of lava popping out of a volcano to kill people? Expect to see THAT on the Sci-Fy Channel very soon! I like the sound of the Alex Hughes series so I grabbed a pile of them.  It's a small haul but there are some interesting reads there!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Chuckles TV Catch Up

This is my new feature for the summer! I have sooo many great sounding TV shows that I want to watch but because of all my reading, I haven't had time to catch up with any of them! So this summer I'm doing a Chuckles TV catch up where I hope to get a look at some TV, decide what I like and don't like and tell you all my thoughts on everything. Now, my TV watching is very much mood related so I can't predict what I'll want to watch each week but here are some of the TV shows that I might be considering for summer viewing!

TV I have not seen a single episode of:

Game of Thrones, The Following, The 100, The Blacklist, Homeland, House of Cards (US), The Strain, Penny Dreadful, Strike Back, Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries, Sanctuary, Warehouse 13, The Last Ship, Arrow, The Flash, Marvel Agents of Shield, Vikings, Continuum, Defiance, Fortitude, Bitten, Bates Motel, Banshee, Dominion, From dusk till Dawn, Helix, Harper's Island, Once upon a time, Pretty Little Liars, Resurrection, Hannibal, Lost Girl, Grimm, izombie, Flashforward, and lots more...

TV I started but need to catch up with or finish:

The Walking Dead, Scandal, Haven, Lost, Doctor Who, Supernatural, House of Cards (UK), Robin Hood, Stargate Atlantis, Nikita, Falling Skies, and more!

I think you can see the size of my task, especially when these are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head! So each week or so, I'll be posting a series update as to what I watched, what I liked and hated, series I'll stick with, series that I'm not going to watch any longer.

Comments are welcome but all are moderated (by my dad!) so any attempt at spoilers will not be put on the blog to spoil my enjoyment. So you spoilers can get lost!!!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Book Review: The True Peruvian Route by Mark Horrell

Mountaineering is an activity where true elation and deep disappointment thrive in equal measure. Nothing exemplifies this more than the story of Mark Horrell's two attempts on Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside Asia, and one of the Seven Summits. This is the story of the second happier half.

In 2005 the author set off up the Normal Route on Aconcagua's western side, possibly one of the most boring routes on a big mountain anywhere in the world. He spent several weeks staring up a huge featureless scree slope, before giving up much too easily on a cold summit day at the instigation of an over-cautious guide who didn't seem particularly bothered about reaching the summit.

In 2010 he tried the other side of the mountain, a much more interesting climb, and was privileged to be guided by a man who had climbed the mountain more times than any other. It soon became clear to him that you don't get a record like that unless you really care about getting to the top every time you set foot on the mountain.

It was an altogether different experience, and one with many happy memories. The True Peruvian Route is the author's travel journal from his expedition, and will be a valuable reference to anyone who is thinking of climbing South America's highest mountain with a commercial tour operator, or anyone with an interest in mountaineering and the Seven Summits (highest mountains on each continent) in general. The book includes many photographs of the trek and climb.

My Review:
Mark is on a trek in South America to climb the tallest mountain on the continent-Aconcagua. It is the tallest mountain in the world that you can just walk up, making it very popular with trekkers. He is keen on doing the faster Polish Glacier Route but that plan is aborted because conditions are too dangerous and Mark has to go with the tourist route instead.

The biggest worry on this trip is the dreaded poo bag. You are not allowed to leave human waste on the mountain so all climbers have to wrap it up and take it away with them. Mark is all too awate that a crampon or ice axe accident could rupture that poo bag...There is the usual humour to this trek diary with the big discussion being about the base camp doctors on the trip who insisted on giving everyone a medical examination before allowing them to climb, the interference that climbers are not greatly keen on. Mark also discovers that their guide is responsible for the new route on the mountain and decides to name it accordingly.

Enjoyable read.  

star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Reading with Chuckles #39

Welcome to Reading with Chuckles! This is where I fill you in on what I'm reading each week-what it is, where I got it or heard about it, what I think of it, if I'm continuing with it or abandoning it and any special offers I'm aware of where you can try the book yourself. Comments are welcome but no spoilers please! It's not fair to other readers!

This week I continued with my mountain books which I'm really enjoying! I got12 books read this week-of course a few were shorter than a full length book but it is still 12 books so I'm very happy. My tbr would be greatly improved if I hadn't went out and bought a pile of new mountain expedition books in their place...*sigh* It's NOT my fault...


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Book Review: Anointed by Maggie Mae Gallagher

My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon's heart out though its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world.

How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending. Then there's Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven't had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, this world will burn.

My Review:
Alana doesn't seem to be capable of following orders which is not great for a Lieutenant in a demon war. You don't get to ignore orders just because your father is General. Actually she's not very good at her job overall. She skipped all her field training and she wanders about dumbly wondering where she can find books in London...

I hate this idiot! She was the one who wasn't careful enough about getting followed and led the demons to their fortified hideout which is about to fall thanks to her stupidity. Her father tells her that their only hope is for her to time travel and stop the demon war before it starts. Despite this being the only hope to save everyone, she stands and debates whether to do it as the demons get into that very room, delaying so long that she almost gets herself killed. Seriously, she is an annoying and frustrating character and I wanted to shoot her for being a moron. And that was just the opening chapter, which didn't bode well.

Instead of following Alana's arrival in the past, we suddenly get someone called Belinda giving us a history of who Alana is and what her people are, which confused me slightly and seemed like a strange place for an info dump. It might have been better for Alana to tell us this story herself as she moves through London.

Alana is such a whiny brat and seems to be forever moaning about not having her gun with her. You had it knocked out of your hand by the demon which was totally your own fault! Had you followed your dad's instructions instead of diddying around, you and your gun would be safely through the machine before the demon grabbed you. Stop whining and deal with it. I also found her way of communicating very annoying. She was talking about the future as if it was the present, which is fine because it's pretty easy to follow that plot in a time travel story. But it gets annoying that she then keeps correcting herself to remind us that she is in the past now. We get it, we're not stupid, so stop going on about it! Sheesh!

And the plot is scrambling my brain. Alana arrives at the wrong time, later than planned and has missed the chance for the standing stones to show a map to a sword to protect the flame and shut 22 eyes to defeat the demon. Huh???

No I don't think I'll bother going any further thanks. The MC is an annoying clown, the plot is confused and not greatly interesting. I'm not going to continue with this book and I doubt I would read anything else by the author.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Stacking the Shelves #85

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress so you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
I showed a bit more restraint in my book buying this week, picking up a few more bargain mountain trek ones, a few freebies and the rest of the pile I ordered from Amazon over the last two weeks. I have 3 more still to arrive but I can't see them being delivered in time to make this week's page unless the postman feels full of energy! I've done really well this week, reading my mountain climbing books and I should hit a good total for completed books this month. I hope I can keep the good work up over the summer. I haven't been out much due to stomach bugs so no photos yet I'm afraid! We're trying to concentrate on getting the house sorted. All my old bookcases are sagging so it will be off to IKEA to get them replaced. The thought of sorting through all of that and moving everything does not really appeal to me right now but it needs to be done and I want everything sorted before the winter. We'll get there!

I was looking at my old book blog which hasn't been active for two years and I realised that I had left my beloved pets there! Arrgghh! So I've brought them over to this blog on the right hand side. You can feed and play with my little friends! 



Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Book Review: Stray Souls by Kate Griffin

London’s soul has gone missing. Lost? Kidnapped? Murdered? Nobody knows – but when Sharon Li unexpectedly discovers she’s a shaman, she is immediately called upon to use her newfound powers of oneness with the City to rescue it from a slow but inevitable demise.

The problem is, while everyone expects Sharon to have all the answers – from the Midnight Mayor to Sharon’s magically-challenged self-help group – she doesn’t have a clue where to start.

But with London’s soul missing and the Gate open, there are creatures loose that won’t wait for her to catch up before they go hunting.

Stray Souls is the first novel in the Magicals Anonymous series, set in the same fantastical London as the Matthew Swift novels.

My Review:
I found this book to be extremely confusing and written in a very strange style. The first few chapters seem to jump around a lot, giving hints about plot but never really telling the readers what is going on.

Sharon I think is meant to be one of her heroes. It seems that something happened to her and she died. So how did she die? What happened to her? Why is she still alive? What exactly is she? She can't be a ghost because people can see and talk to her without alarm at the meeting. Mind you, that means nothing when everyone at the meeting has their own strange problems. But it does seem strange that we aren't told anything about Sharon to help us get to know her and get into her story.

What about this group that she has decided to start, to find other people with strange lives. I liked the idea of the group and some of the people there sounded quite interesting but the way the author writes just sucked the life and interest out of the good ideas on the paper. It takes her 50 words to describe something when ten words would get the point over. JK Rowling wrote with simplicity in her basic story and saved her descriptive work for world building something amazing-without waffle. This author uses long winded descriptions which meander along so many paths that you lose track of what she was actually talking about in the first place. For example, in discussing a bad mood of a character, we got a long explanation about this druid being in a bad mood and having a bad day because he couldn't get peppermint toothpaste. It was just boring!

And speaking of boring, a switch of POV is usually done to add to the story, or make things more interesting. Enter Rhys, the most boring character I've ever seen. He talked about useless crap and went on and on until my own brain went to sleep to spare me from the pain of the experience! What the hell was going on???

It was so difficult to concentrate through the waffle to try and find what the story was meant to be. There was an overdose of description every time a new person was introduced yet the information given seemed to add nothing to whatever the story was meant to be. I never really found out what the story was before I got uber bored and quit.

I certainly have no interest in trying anything else by this author. 
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

Wishlist Wednesday #9

Each week, I'm looking at what is on my current wishlist and choosing one to highlight. It's a good way to remind myself of all the good books that are out there waiting to be grabbed!

This week I'm waiting happily for a book that I hope to get this summer, subject to publication. It is book two in The Last Olympiad series by Ken Mooney. And here it is, The Hades Contract! Doesn't it look great?!!!

If you haven't already read book one 'Godhead' then here are the details of it to whet your appetite! Go on, grab yourself a copy!

Olympus has fallen; new gods must rise.

The gods have been betrayed by one of their own. Zeus is dead, and the city is under siege by the demonic forces of Kaos. Their only chance of survival is to abandon the city, buying time to regroup and rebuild.

Thousands of years later, the children of the gods walk among us, protecting humanity from the demons. But not all of them know the secrets of the powers they have.

The gods are no more, eliminated by their greatest enemy. And now, she wants to return home; no matter who stands in her way.