Comixology Unlimited

cmx-cu-sash-lg.png_0,0,361,532 208,379,152,152_QL80_TTD_ Any of you who are regular readers of my blog know that I love Kindle Unlimited. Being you know, a speedy reader, I go through books pretty quickly when I’m in the mood, too quickly for me to be able to buy them or get them from the library. With my Kindle Unlimited membership, I can read all the books I want (from a limited number of titles, granted) and it only costs one flat monthly fee, which is less than I’d spend on one book.

Comics and graphic novels are kind of tricky though. I love them, but I never know where to start and my library only has a few. I don’t feel like spending lots of money on them either. Still, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to join Comixology or not.

This month, I decided to go for a trial 30 day membership and see if I liked it. Well, yeah! I’ve been doing nothing but reading comics for two solid days now. I got through all the issues of the Runaways that they have on Unlimited, lots of Wonder Woman, Luke Cage, She Hulk, and this graphic novel called The Sword, pictured above, about a woman’s quest for vengeance against the gods that killed her family.

I don’t know yet whether it’s really worth $6/month. That doesn’t sound like much, but when you add up the subscriptions and stuff plus the fact that the selection included in that price is MUCH more limited than the Kindle subscription, I’m not sure it would be worth the cash.

I am looking for more recommendations though. If there’s a comic or graphic novel that you loved, please tell me about it! I love the superhero stuff but I’m willing to explore beyond that. List your faves in the comments.

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Read-a-Thin November 2017

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I heard of this from Kathy@Books&Munches. I’ve been looking for a

An important part is that I can’t buy any new books to count for the challenge, and I’m assuming no new library books except for the one challenge.

THE CHALLENGES


1. Read a 2017 release

2. Read a diverse book – Paving a New Road, Jewish character and subplot

3. Read a book that is related to your favorite emoji

4. Read a book with a fall themed cover

5. Start and finish a series

6. Read a book in 24 hours

7. Read a new to you author – Dissolution by CJ Sansom

8. Buddy read a book

9. Read a horror/thriller

10. Read a book outside of your favorite genre

11. Read an eBook

12. Listen to an audiobook of a book you own

13. Read a book that counts toward another readathon

14. Read a book that is due back to the library the soonest – Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

15. Read a book you ended up putting down previously

16. Read a book you got from a subscription box

17. Read a book you got for free (gift, ARC, giveaway, etc) – Paving the New Road by Sulari Gentill (free from NetGalley)

18. Read 4 books (At least 8 challenges)

Fateful Impact: A Review

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed remain my own.35556066

Title: Fateful Impact (Crimson Nightmare #1)

Author: Samantha Hoffman

Setting: Future space around Earth

Genre: YA science fiction

Plot Summary:

Cressida has lived on the Olympus Station her entire life, having been born in space just like the last several generations before her. When her class is allowed to take a field trip to a neighboring military station, everyone is excited at the chance to see someplace new. Everyone except for Cress. While her classmates are eager to get a glimpse of life at the most prestigious military academy on this side of the universe, she’s more worried about what lies below. 

When several convicts organize a prison break from the maximum security prison lurking in the bowels of the station, Cress and several of her classmates are taken hostage during the escape. With the convicts in charge of their shuttle, they crash land on an uncharted planet far away from home and even further from any hope of rescue. 

The students band together in an attempt to survive as long as possible, but it won’t be easy. Aside from the convicts who are willing to do anything to survive, they will have to fight starvation, the elements, and the many surprises the planet has to offer. With their lives falling apart, Cress begins to understand that things were never truly as they seemed back home. While lost, she finds a sense of purpose, and it drives her to survive at all costs. 

My review:

It’s not often that we get YA in space. YA fantasy is extremely popular, as is dystopia or contemporary fiction. When I heard this one was set in space, I admit to being curious. Then add in a penal colony, starships, and a crash landing on an alien planet, and that checked all kinds of boxes for me.

As for the characters, I admit I didn’t love Cress at first. She seemed very stuck on herself, but by the time they got to the planet I began seeing another side of her. She begins to take charge from the time they’re kidnapped. I like seeing her strength. Her friendship with Pandora and the other girls was well written. I’m not sure I bought the love interest though. It seemed awfully sudden, just sort of thrown in there at random.

The story is gripping. I raced through it. I’m not sure it all made sense, but it was so much fun that I wasn’t feeling especially picky. It was a killer ending – quite the cliffhanger! So if you pick it up, be prepared. Recommended.

Two DNFs

Don’t you hate it when you pick up a dud book? I had two misfires in a row. Both were books I was asked to review, but for different reasons, I just couldn’t finish either one.

The first was The Muse by Arjay Lewis. It was described to me as a horror/mystery book. I love mystery, and sometimes I like horror, so I wanted to give it a chance. Here’s the book description:

Famed novelist Jack Court has a secret: the wealthy writer is a serial killer. He has another hidden treasure, a small antediluvian creature that dwells within his body and gives him youth, strength and a superhuman ability to avoid capture. On his trail is Sheriff Neil Trajan, who is certain Court murdered his wife three years earlier. 
When the author is hit by a careless driver, the creature leaves him and through a series of events, ends up with lowly writer, Harold Godwine. Godwine begins to write faster and better, but is troubled by dreams of blood. 
However, Jack is healing and devolving into something not quite human. As Court seeks the young author, he leaves a trail of destruction, pursued by Trajan and his FBI associate, Bill Morris.
Will Jack Court do anything to retrieve the companion that inspires his dark desires? 

It sounds pretty good, but I was put off by the amount of gore in the very first chapter. This book may be perfect for another reader, but it just wasn’t right for me.

The second book was also a mystery, but with a science fiction twist. Again, I like both of those genres, so my hopes were high. Here’s the synopsis on this one:

At a modern Institute for particle physics and cosmology, where deciphering secrets of the Universe adds tension to a cunningly subtle race for privileges, the scientific community is shocked to learn that a freak accident takes the life of their talented colleague, the author of a mysterious research project aimed at challenging laws of nature and making chance docile to bring good fortune on request. 

Curious to learn more about the enigmatic study, Professor William Brown, who is on sabbatical leave, and his chess mate Steve Andersson, a graduate in computer science, find themselves involved in a perilous search for clues to unravel the mystery of new shocking tragedies following the researcher’s death. 

Are they all a terrible misfortune, or something truly diabolical makes bad things happen? 

This time it wasn’t the death that threw me off. It was a little grisly, but not unduly so. It was the writing that I struggled with. The plot and the action were fine, but there were a lot of long wordy paragraphs and a bad font that I just couldn’t get through. I think a good editor would help a lot with this one.

So that’s my weekend. Kind of a downer Sunday, but Saturday was a good one for reading, and I’ll be back with more reviews later. Happy Monday!

Ugly Covers Day

I’ve seen so many beautiful covers lately. But as we all know, you can’t judge a book by its cover, no matter how pretty. So how about the ugly ones? The really, really ugly ones. Well, sometimes you CAN a judge a book. WARNING: These are ugly. You’ve been warned.

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WTH?

I’m sort of reading this one right now. A friend gave it to me, so I feel like I have to finish it. It’s weird. But I could have guessed that from the cover, amirite? What exactly is that? It’s got to be the ugliest cover I’ve seen this year.

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That goat.

This one is the ugliest cover from last year. I read a different edition, one much more boring. I think it was just black and white. But this – wow, I have to admit I would have thought twice if I saw this. This time, I did kind of like the story.

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Just guessing here

Did the artist even read the book? Or the description? Or anything? I mean, it is about a carnival, so I give them that. But this is just bad. Great book, though.


Here’s a real winner for you – TWO terrible covers FOR THE SAME BOOK! I’ve read the book. I think it’s amazing. (I know not everyone agrees with that.) But someone, please, give the cover a makeover!

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Really, Dad?

Finally, one that’s on my TBR list, mostly because it belonged to my dad and I’m reading his favorites because I miss him so much. This cover, though, wow. So bad.

What about you? What covers made you cringe? Did you hesitate before you picked up a book? Show and tell! I want to know.

Afterdeath: Review

I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

35274633Title: Afterdeath

Author: Benoit Chartier

Synopsis:

Death is a country we see through the tiny keyhole of an immovable door.
Raised by their grandmother after their parents’ death, Chloe and Olivia Borders are now in mourning for Rose. The Alzheimer’s that forced them to be split into separate foster homes has taken their last living family member. As a way to rekindle their friendship, the twins commit to a road trip— which spells their demise. Now the question is: What comes after, and how will they get back to life?

Review:

Twin sisters Chloe and Olivia have drifted apart since their parents’ deaths. Now that their grandma is dead, the two decide to become reacquainted with a sister road trip. They both die. That sounds like a spoiler, but it happens early in the book, and the real story is about what happens AFTER Death. Hence the title, get it? Right.

So what does happen next? Let’s just say it’s NOTHING like you might expect. Olivia is a serious Christian, Chloe an agnostic, and both of them are in for a shock when they get to the other side. First of all, there’s still plenty to do and no sign of the Pearly Gates. Instead they meet some dubious new folks who claim to be there to help, but it’s hard to know who you can trust and who wants to kill you. Again.

It all gets a little confusing and kind of depressing, TBH. I had to push myself to keep reading. It doesn’t help that Angelica, their new companion, flips back and forth between seeming like a good gal and then a bitch. I couldn’t decide if I was supposed to like her or hate her, but she just confused me instead.

In the end, this one was quite original, but I can’t say I really enjoyed it. I think it was a case of a bad fit. It sounded like something I would like, but I guess I was in the mood for something lighter.

2018 Category Challenge

I don’t know how many of you are over at LibraryThing, but it’s a great site. I’ve been on there for several years now. I love the forums and groups.

One of the groups is The 2018 Category Challenge. The idea is to organize your reading by themes and then share with everyone what you thonk. They have a lot of mini-challenges, group reads and so on.

I’ve decided to join in and I have my categories.

  • Cold cases – book that have been On the shelf too long 
  • First Timers – new books

     

  • Repeat offenders – rereads

     

  • Serials – books in a series

     

  • Isolated occurrence – stand alone titles

     

  • Minor infractions – YA and kids books

     

  • Eyewitness accounts – nonfiction books

     

  • Advance warning – ARCs

     

  • Most Wanted – best books of the year

     

  • Petty crime – boring and DNF

If you want to join in, my thread is here. I’ll still post most of my reviews here though.

Have you started thinking about next year yet? What are your plans?

Artemis: Book Review

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, however, remain my own. 

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Title: Artemis

Author: Andy Weir

Think Ocean’s 11 on the moon!

Themes: crime, loyalty, love, trust, SUPER COOL SPACE STUFF

Official synopsis:

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

My review:

In the future, humans have figured out that the moon is full of stuff we need, like aluminum and other minerals, and that people will pay good money for that and for tourism. So a little community of craftsman, engineers, sex workers, millionaires, and hospitality workers have set up shop there.

Jazz is an Artemisian. She’s lived there for 20 years, in the only city on the moon. It’s a small city, but still, it’s a permanent colony up there in space. Just don’t say “in space.” She’s also a porter. At least, that’s her official title. In reality, she’s a smuggler. She operates under the noses of the official law there because she doesn’t break the laws badly enough that they elect to take notice. One of her best clients comes to her with a truly big job, a job that will set Jazz up in a solid middle class lifestyle. Unfortunately for Jazz, things don’t go as smoothly as she’s hoped.

I like Jazz as a character. She’s stubborn as hell, and doesn’t always think things through, but she’s scrappy and smart and funny. I liked the other characters too, Svoboda the engineer, Dale her former friends, her conservative dad, the “town sheriff” – Weir does a great job building characters you honestly care about. Jazz has made some major mistakes and is trying to use this big job to fix things. I like the way the writer uses these mistakes to flesh out the characters, so you can really see how Jazz has changed from her youth. She becomes a smarter, more responsible adult. Of course, she’s still a hustler, though, and I like that too.

But it’s the worldbuilding that shines here. It’s a story ON THE MOON! Like, how cool is that? My son was asking me how it compares to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and I have to say that it holds up really well. That book was a five star read for me, just amazing and mindblowing and everything else. Well, this one is just as good. I couldn’t pick a favorite, but it’s definitely one that I’m going to be reading again.

There was some technical stuff in there that I didn’t follow, but I don’t know that it’s because it was badly written. I just have a hard time picturing things in my head sometimes. But that didn’t slow my enjoyment of the book.

Andy Weir is well on his way to being sci-fi writer of the generation.

10 Spooky Stories

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It’s dark and spooky out there. And only going to get darker and spookier.

Why not stay inside in a nice warm room and read? I’ve got some suggestions here for some perfect books to fit the season. Let’s start with the family friendly stuff before getting into the truly terrifying, shall we?

  1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Honestly, my kids found this much less scary when they were young. But when they got older – that sewing on buttons instead of eyes?! Pretty freaking horrifying.
  2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, also by Neil Gaiman. More atmospheric than truly scary, but a lovely ending. Perhaps more late summer than fall.
  3. The Thief of Always by Clive Barker. All four seasons in one day. Sounds charming, but maybe a little too possessive?
  4. 163919 Full Tilt by Neil Shusterman. An evil carnival. Still appropriate for this time of year, and as a bonus, let me include Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury if you’ve never read that one. Both get right inside your head.
  5. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. Odd sees ghosts. Mostly it’s guys like Elvis. But sometimes they’re not so friendly.
  6. The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier. This one makes you think more than scares you, but it’s so good that it’s worth reading.
  7. Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Timely and terrifying.
  8. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. Who are they and why do they come in winter?
  9. The Keep by Paul F. Wilson. When even the Nazis are afraid, you know there’s trouble.
  10. Dracula by Bram Stoker. If you haven’t read the original, you’ve got to do it. So. Creepy.

That’s my list for this time of month. None of them are very new, with the exception of Lovecraft Country, but there good scary reads all the same. What’s on your list?

Last Set of Clues!

Open book on wooden table.

October is going fast, which means only a couple of weeks left until I draw the winner for a FREE SIGNED BOOK by a mystery author. I don’t want to drag the mystery out too long, however, so this is the last set of clues I’m going to give you before revealing the book!

 

 

  1. This author grew up in California then moved to China.
  2. This is her first published book.
  3. It’s published by Simon & Schuster.
  4. This is a YA sci fi/dystopia.
  5. This book was just released THIS WEEK!
  6. It’s the first in a series.
  7. It has a little fairy tale twist going on.
  8. This author currently lives in Utah with her family.
  9. The fairy tale twist is from Sleeping Beauty.
  10. The main character is a girl accused of a crime.
  11. There’s a strong Chinese influence in the book.

I hope that’s enough to get you thinking, maybe doing some research online. This book is for sale on Amazon, but it hasn’t hit bestseller status yet. It should! I’m really enjoying it. So suspenseful! I’m dying to see what happens next!

Make your guesses down below and check back on Friday, when I will do the cover reveal!