Friday, 7 April 2017

Chuckles Mini Reviews Catch Up (Jan)


I review everything I read, on my blog and on Goodreads. Most reviews are of a decent length but sometimes you don't have much to say about the book because of its length or you DNFed it or various other reasons. In cases like that it makes sense to write a few mini reviews in one post and clear them out your way! So lets catch up with these reviews from January and February this year.

Jasmine Walt-Burned by Magic
Sunaya is hiding the half mage side to her nature while she investigates a series of silver poisoning murders, including that of her mentor, which the authorities don't want to look at. When she uses magic to defend herself from a rhino shifter, she finds herself locked up and having to appeal to the Chief Mage for her life.

The story itself was decent and I might have liked it were it not for the characters. Sunaya is difficult to like as she has a chip on her shoulder all the time about how unfair her life is. Yeah I get that her life isn't great but having her moan about it on every page is not entertaining or fun to read. She is rude to every person she meets including total strangers who have never done anything to her, we get constant rants and f bombs and then we are constantly told about her supervisor offering her better assignments for sexual favours. I was just tired of her constantly whining about everything over and over on every page. The fights she picks with people are dumb. I mean her last chance to live is getting the Chief Mage to help yet when his men come to escort her, she's trying to fight the. It's just dumb.

I also found the world of Solantha a bit confusing. It seemed like a mesh of steampunk technology, urban fantasy pubs and shifters, yet part dysopian part medieval. I couldn't get a clear idea in my head what I was supposed to be seeing with all these different elements.  It just didn't work out as a book for me personally. 
Read January 2017. 
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Tricia Owens-Descended from Dragons 
Anne Moody runs a cursed pawn shop for the desperate, the curious, and the magickally inclined. Though the job is boring, it keeps her under the radar. None of her customers have any inkling that she is a dragon sorceress with a power that's been feared throughout history. One day, a visitor to her shop pawns a stone statue that is more than it appears. The statue is a gargoyle named Vale, who is shrouded in mystery and secrets. When she learns that Vale is possessed, and that the person responsible for cursing him plans to take over Las Vegas with a horde of demons from Hell, Anne realizes it is up to her to defy the Oddsmakers and save the city, and possibly the world.

I had mixed feelings about this book. I kind of liked but I'm also a bit unsure how I really felt about it which makes reviewing it difficult. I liked Anne as a character, struggling to run the shop since her uncle went missing, harrassed by her haunted jewellery and a fridge with an ice demon that throws chips at her, and living in a haunted house. Things happening around her were interesting and I liked the neighbours that she came into contact with-Melanie the monkey shifter and the grumpy teenage sorcerer. I also thought having a dragon inner self called Lucky was quite intriguing. I also liked the cover and character diversity.

I just found that the plot wasn't holding my interests fully for some reason. It was all about freeing the gargoyle for most of the book and I just didn't find it to be exciting as the normal UF I read. It did liven up at the end but it was a little slow in the middle. Overall I thought it was well written and was a nice story with interesting concepts to read but it just lacked a little something to make me desperate to read the next book. Nothing wrong with it as a light read.
Read January 2017. 
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

George RR Martin-A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms 
Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness.

I really wanted to love this but I didn't. I did enjoy The Hedge Knight story especially the big battle that everyone was involved in but after that my interest waned. The Sworn Sword was a love story and a fight over water access which I didn't find greatly interesting. I can't really remember that much about the third now except I didn't like most of the characters in it, though the conclusion was quite interesting. It just took too long to get going for me. As much as I wanted to read more about Westeros history I just personally felt that I didn't really care about Dunk or Egg. I'd rather read about those during the reign of the Mad King if I'm honest.
Read January 2017. 
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Alan Spencer-T Rex 
An aspiring actor lies about being able to sail boats to get a part in Dino Buffet 3 but lands them on the wrong island where dinosaurs and other beasts roam and the plants have an appetite for human flesh, not to mention a serial killer. Will any of them get off the island alive?

This is very much an over the top b movie book that is cheerfully mocking the monster films with half naked women or soft porn in them. It's not to be taken seriously like some dinosaur books I've read but it wasn't a bad read if you don't set expectations too high. I did read it all and liked all the death scenes, of which there are many! Bruce is trying to film his scenes of hot young people playing on the beach to pad out the film when they are rudely interrupted by the arrival of hungry dinosaurs. Now the screaming begins for real!  Giant toads, spiders and snakes help to turn this into a gorefest while a deranged serial killer looks to grab a few girls to use in his macabre art project. Not a bad dino gore read.
Read January 2017.
2.5 stars.  

Z Rider-Insylum
A.J. changed in boot camp, coming out all straight-backed and short-haired. His best friend Nate hardly recognizes him anymore, especially when it comes to the way he acts. His priorities. Now he’s about to ship out to Afghanistan, and despite the rift growing between them, the two decide to have one last hurrah—at Insylum, the extreme traveling funhouse they’ve been waiting for a chance at for years. They're last in line on the last night of the show. They are the last two to go in. And they may never come back out.

This was a great concept and sounds like the kind of horror that I like to read but I had mixed feelings about it overall. It started off well with the two friends going to the funhouse that they have heard so much about where it is rumoured that people sometimes disappear if they are last in. The first part of the book works well enough where the two of them see the brutal exhibits but when they are split up it starts to get a little strange. You are never sure if what is happening is real or not or what is actually happening. I imagine that this is what the author wanted to do with the book to keep the readers guessing. The longer the book goes on, the weirder things get. By the end it is not made 100% clear what has happened. Did it all happen? Was it a delusion? Did visiting the attraction cause a breakdown in our MC or was he ever there at all? What was the significance of the card at the end? It just wasn't fully clear to me and that annoys me. I also found the whole pregnancy issue to be a distraction that wasn't needed. I don't think I'd read anything else by the author.
Read January 2017.  
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

6 comments:

  1. I wasn't a huge fan of the Dun & Egg stories either, which surprised me. I was just a little bored. I usually like the minutiae and the heraldry and all that, but I think because it's only tangentially related to Ice and Fire it just didn't grab me. I should read them again because I probably missed stuff...not super motivated tho. :)

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    1. When I read it I couldn't help thinking that George should've just focused on the novels instead! I was a bit disappointed by the content. I guess I want to read more about the people mentioned in GoT instead of going this far back. Dunk just doesn't have that hero vibe!

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  2. Sorry these books were better for you! Descended from the Dragons sounds like it had a lot of promise.

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    1. I think Descended from Dragons did have potential and a slightly more exciting plot might have enticed me more. It is by no means a bad book and I did finish it. If I saw the next one free I might still consider reading it to see how it develops.

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  3. I bought Burned by Magic for like a dollar or something and then never ended up reading it and just haven't been interested. "She is rude to every person she meets including total strangers who have never done anything to her." I've come across that in other books, and that's something that aggravates me. Especially when they act rude toward the people who haven't done anything and are also the ones whose help they need. I don't think I'll be in any rush to read this.

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    1. I'm seeing a lot of UF that has the so called kickass heroine who fights with everyone and is rude for no purpose. I find that frustrating to read when I want to really like the MC not hope she stays locked up! It certainly wasn't to my taste that's for sure.

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