Tag Archives: Zombies

A Non-Review: Rebel (Reboot #2) – Amy Tintera

A Non-Review: Rebel (Reboot #2) – Amy TinteraTitle: Rebel (Reboot #2) by Amy Tintera
Publishing Info: May 13, 2014 by HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss, Purchased
Genres: Young Adult, Zombies, Dystopian
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 3, 2015
Related Posts: Reboot (Reboot #1)

Wren Connolly thought she'd left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. With her new abilities of strength, speed, and healing—along with a lack of emotions—Wren 178 became the perfect soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Then Callum 22 came along and changed everything.
Now that they've both escaped, they're ready to start a new life in peace on the Reboot reservation. But Micah 163, the Reboot running the reservation, has darker plans in mind: to wipe out the humans. All of them. Micah has been building a Reboot army for years and is now ready to launch his attack on the cities. Callum wants to stick around and protect the humans. Wren wants nothing more than to leave all the fighting behind them.
With Micah on one side, HARC on the other, and Wren and Callum at odds in the middle, there's only one option left...
It's time for Reboots to become rebels.

One of my blog policies is that I will write a review for every single book I finish, no matter what my final opinion was. I’ve been growing a bit more lax with holding myself to reviewing but I still feel the draw to review almost every book, simply because I enjoy sharing my feelings about what I read and how I felt when I read it… but when it came time to review REBEL by Amy Tintera, I was at a total loss for words.

REBEL became victim of several unfortunate reading decisions that ended up with a sadly unfortunate overall impression of the book. I read REBOOT back when it first came out — no, before it first came out because I read it as an eARC — back in the spring of 2013. And yes, if you do that math, you’ll see that means that I didn’t get to REBEL until two and a half years later. Sometimes that gap is okay if I’m reading a big, epic fantasy series that I’m already invested in and may not even have the book available to read until a few years later (*cough*A Song of Ice and Fire*cough*) but I really screwed myself and any hopes I may have had of enjoying REBEL as much as I did REBOOT by waiting so long to read it. That’s just too many years to put in between the first and last books of a duology and by the time I read REBEL, not only had I forgotten a ton but my reading tastes had even changed a bit. I knew that I enjoyed REBOOT so I didn’t want to kick REBEL to the curb but I think I lost that prime reading opportunity about a year and a half ago.

This is one of the many hardships of being an avid reader and/or book blogger. (First world problems, I know.) There are just so many good books and series out there that it’s just so hard to pick what book I want to read next and perfectly good books/series tend to sit on my shelves while I start new ones. Then I put it off because I’m not in the mood for that genre or I have a book I need to read for a deadline or I need to catch up on ARCs and shove my backlist books to the side. This isn’t the first time this has happened to a series and I’m sure that sadly, it won’t be the last.

I tried to get back into REBEL by reading the Recaptains recap of REBOOT and everything sounded familiar all right but that feeling and connection to the characters was close to gone by the time I got to book two. I wanted to enjoy the book as much as I had enjoyed the first and it was really easy to read but that connection just wasn’t there. It could be that I just wasn’t into the book but I think most of it was that I waited too long.

This poor, poor book also didn’t stand a chance because it was the last book I read before I picked up QUEEN OF SHADOWS. I had the choice to read one more book before starting the latest in this epic fantasy series from Sarah J. Maas or I could just wait patiently and you know, wait. But any time that I could be reading and am NOT feels wasted so I grabbed REBEL off the shelf to try and finally finish this series and put another check mark on the never-ending list of series that I need to complete. Bad, bad move. I started REBEL and then didn’t have enough time to read before QUEEN OF SHADOWS arrived and before you knew it, the precious was in my hands and I was still reading a book all the while staring at this new pretty. So, shame on me, I ended up rushing through REBEL to finish so I could start a different book and continue on in one of my favorite series. That made me feel even more detached and I felt the pressure and was anxiously trying to finish so I could start reading QUEEN OF SHADOWS before the spoilers started hitting Goodreads. Poor, poor REBEL.

I tried to come up with some thoughts once I finished and I felt… Ambivalent. The book was okay. The writing was okay. The plot, romance, action, and characters were all okay. And “okay” doesn’t really make for a great review. When it comes down to it, it could have just been a middle-of-the-road book but I also think I did it an injustice by waiting too long to read it and then on the flip side, rushing through it. I know there are cases where a book can be better or worse depending on your mood (*raises hand as a mood reader*) and that a book may be better for you at one time in your life versus another but this is something that I’ll never know! I may have rated it higher had circumstances been different but the fact is that this is how my read went and all I can do is reflect on what I did read and how it made me feel at the time. And there you have the non-review.

Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3) – Susan Dennard

Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3) – Susan DennardTitle: Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3) by Susan Dennard
Publishing Info: July 22, 2014 by HarperCollins
Source: Amazon
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Steampunk, Young Adult, Zombies
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 7, 2015
Related Posts: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1), A Dawn Most Wicked (Something Strange and Deadly #0.5), A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2), Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)

    In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.
He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.
With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.
Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

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I started this book because I just needed a series to fall back into when nothing else was grabbing me at the moment. After scanning my shelves, I thought it was finally time to finish the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy! The funny (or not-so-funny) thing is, after picking a book I was sure would grab me, I had nothing but struggles trying to get into STRANGE AND EVER AFTER.

I’ve been a fan of the trilogy from the start. SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY was just a lot of fun and Susan Dennard is an absolutely sweetheart! I actually even enjoyed the second book, A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY, even more so my plans to finally hop into book three and wrap up the series had me really excited and feeling all kinds of warm fuzzies. It started off well and I was definitely interested in where we had left off (plus Oliver <333) but for whatever reason, I just could not get into the book. My interest started REALLY waning after the first few chapters and I just found myself struggling to focus.

Falling out of love with a series is hard, and I think that’s what happened here. The book wasn’t “bad” by any means but my interest in the series overall just seemed to… drift. It also makes my review that much harder to write because how can I feel SO differently now than I did when I first started the series? It seems unfair to say “it’s me, not you” with a series that I’ve already invested time in and spent time sharing… but either way, that seems to be the case here.

I did still like the magic aspect of the book but I felt like in STRANGE AND EVER AFTER, I just wasn’t AS interested. Did I not get enough answers? Enough explanation? Was I so unfocused that I totally missed those fine details on how the magic system worked? Whatever the true answer is (maybe yes to all of the above), it just didn’t seem as concrete as I had hoped. Oliver (the demon!) was one of my favorite characters from book two and honestly, if he wasn’t in this book, I would have had a very hard time continuing at all. I did struggle with the characters a bit in each book, but I still had that love there for the plot. Struggling with the pacing and seemingly similar battles versus the undead several times over just really made me feel like I was reading what I already read in the previous books and I didn’t quite feel that growth from the characters in this book like I had hoped either. There was character growth, but maybe not as much or not in the way that I was hoping. The worst part of it all is that I honestly cannot place my finger on why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would except for the fact that… falling out of love with series happens.

There were still some things I enjoyed about STRANGE AND EVER AFTER but I just was not feeling it this time around. I wished we had gotten to see more of Egypt (and I was secretly hoping for more Egyptian mythology tie-ins). I wish I had seen even MORE from Eleanor. I wish someone hadn’t spoiled the ending for me on Twitter… But such is life and I can’t have all of the happy endings to series that I want! Sometimes these things just happen and really, I should have known this was a possibility. More than anything, I’m just really sad because Susan Dennard is SO amazing that by not liking this book, I almost feel like I’m letting her down. It’s a tricky thing when you start to interact with authors! I think I had many more personal feelings attached this time around so I really felt bad as I was reading.

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Eleanor // Character Obsessions: Magic, Daniel, defeating Marcus.
I was just so back and forth with Eleanor. I did feel like she had done a lot of growing and I actually REALLY liked that she struggled with her temptations to use her magic… But overall she has always just fallen a LITTLE flat for me and I don’t know why. Everyone else really seems to love her as a kickass heroine but for some reason I just kept TRYING to connect and couldn’t.
Oliver // Character Obsessions: Eleanor, freedom, justice, friendship.
I really loved Oliver the whole time. I think it was his snark that really drew me in! Plus, demon. He really felt like the most well-rounded character in terms of personality and he was the only character that really ever fully came to life for me. I loved his addition and what he brought to the series.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Zombies. I keep saying this but it’s true. I usually don’t have the desire to read zombie books but this was such a fun idea and I liked how everything really played out with WHY the undead were plaguing the nation.
Left Me Wanting More: Connection. I wished and I tried but ultimately I just didn’t really make that connection in this series. It was working for a while and I was caught up in the plot but I felt the same things happening in book three and the plot felt tired and similar to the second book. With that, my connection to the characters waned even more and I just had a really hard time.

Addiction Rating
Try it

Well you’ve made it this far into the series so if you haven’t read book three yet, it’s worth it to finish! If you haven’t read the series yet, well… I’m not sure! How do I recommend something that I didn’t fall in love with at the very end? I think it’s a fun series and maybe something I should have read much closer together. It’s possibly the time between book two and three killed me and maybe I should have read the more back-to-back.

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BOOKS LIKE STRANGE AND EVER AFTER

(Click the cover to see my review!)

THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB     BLOODLINES

A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) – Susan Dennard

A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) – Susan DennardTitle: A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) by Susan Dennard
Publishing Info: July 23, 2013 by HarperCollins
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Steampunk, Young Adult, Zombies
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 30, 2014
Related Posts: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1), A Dawn Most Wicked (Something Strange and Deadly #0.5), Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3), Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)

    With her brother dead and her mother on the verge of insanity, Eleanor Fitt is utterly alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters - Joseph, Jie and the handsome, enigmatic Daniel - have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor begins to hear the vicious barking of hounds and see images of haunting yellow eyes, she fears the worst - that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are coming for her.
To escape and search out the Spirit-Hunters, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. Though friendly, Oliver entices Eleanor with necromancy and black magic, yet as long as she can resist his powerful temptation, she'll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over the city...and there's a whole new evil lurking. With the body count rising, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will go against everything the Spirit-Hunters stand for.
In Paris, there's a price for this darkness strange and lovely...and it may have Eleanor paying with her life.

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A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY has been on my “can’t wait to read” list pretty much since it came out last summer and I FINALLY read it months later. Well, better late than never and hey, there’s a bright side because now the series will be more fresh in my mind for when the last book comes out this summer!

It had been a while since I read SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY and I forgot to refresh myself before I started A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY so something I really appreciated was a brief refresher from Susan Dennard about what happened in book one. It was done so well, including dialogue between two of the characters to really recap the events of book one in a way that didn’t feel repetitive and was still and important part of the story. The book surely didn’t start off slowly either — right off the bat, a LOT is set up to preface the rest of the book and set the tone of the whole novel and I was really excited to get going!

So as we know, the Spirit-Hunters are off in Paris and naturally, Eleanor ventures off to the only place in the world where she feels like she really belongs… Off to France we go! Since the series is already set in a historical time period, the difference between the United States and France didn’t have a largely different feel for me personally (I like France, but I’m not a Francophile so I can take or leave the setting) but I did enjoy the different atmosphere and different aspects of France that ended up playing important roles in the story itself! I was glad we caught up with the Spirit-Hunters fairly quickly because I really enjoy the team dynamic a lot and of course, I was anxious to see how things would turn out with Eleanor and Daniel!

There’s also a new character, Oliver. Given that I love all Olivers, I knew I would instantly gravitate towards his character and I really, really liked everything that he added to this layer of the story that is the Something Strange and Deadly series. Oliver is mysterious and a little bit dangerous (INSTANT like, right here) and he also encourages Eleanor to explore her abilities and really just think for herself… Although he also does it in a way that sort of makes me not trust him. DO I TRUST HIM??? I battled with it the whole book and I almost still don’t know. Eleanor’s friendship with him is in direct conflict with her partnership with the Spirit-Hunters so there is some major drama, concern back and forth, and a whole lot of “who can we really trust?” that had me reeling the whole book, never quite sure what to expect.

I really loved how the series grew and progressed in this book. Questions were answered, more popped up, and the series really reached a point where I’m ready for it to all be resolved in the final book and I can’t wait to see exactly how that happens! I really only have one minor issue with the series so far and that’s the language — I’m still not quite connecting with it and some of the dialogue and time-period jargon feels a bit forced at times, but still keeps the book moving and really puts you in a different place! I haven’t been totally “wowed” by it but I’m anticipating an epic conclusion and I’m excited to see how it all wraps up!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Eleanor // Character Obsessions: Spirit-Hunters, Elijah’s letters, magic.
I really enjoy Eleanor’s spunk but sometimes she’s a bit stubborn for my tastes! I do have to say that if I was in her place, I would probably do the same things about learning how to handle magic and I would be all over trying to use it just like she did. I do like that she takes action and honestly, I see a lot of similarities between the two of us, except she’s probably more bold than I am!
Daniel // Character Obsessions: Germany, learning, inventing, lookin’ sharp.
I’m kind of sad I didn’t get to see more of Daniel and more Daniel-Eleanor interaction. The missed opportunities and failure to communicate grew a bit frustrating and I’m sure they’ll work out their differences in the next book but one of my “second in a series syndrome” issues is when couples are essentially physically separated or sort of broken up in book two. I know they have issues, but I wanted the romance to progress and grow instead of fracturing.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Zombies. Who knew I would enjoy zombies so much? I just love the magical subplots, family involvement, and a sort of Ghost Busters team for the zombie age.
Left Me Wanting More: Romance. I really wanted to see Daniel and Eleanor together! That was one thing that I really longed for throughout the book and really could have just pulled it all together just a little bit more. Romantic glue, if you will.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

I really enjoyed this as the second book in the series! I had a couple small issues, but still really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to finish out the series with STRANGE AND EVER AFTER this summer!

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Born Wicked       Cruel Beauty

Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Susan Dennard

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

I’ve been hosting the Book and a Beverage feature for a while now and I really wanted to expand the feature to extend to authors in 2014! I’m so excited to share these author Book and a Beverage posts with you and as always, many many thanks to the wonderful authors who participate!

Give a big welcome to author SUSAN DENNARD!

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Name:  Susan Dennard
You know her best as the author of… Something Strange and Deadly, A Darkness Strange and Lovely, and Strange and Ever After coming out this summer!

      

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READING:
What are you reading? I am rereading an old favorite fantasy series of mine by Kate Forsyth—the first book is The Witches of Eileanan.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? I definitely recommend it! The first book is a tad weaker in terms of prose (aren’t all debuts?), but the series is REALLY incredible. The characters are just so rich and the world so sweeping. I love it. (Especially the slow-burn romance!!)
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Oy, it really depends on what the person likes to read! I suppose the three most common recs I give are: Sabriel by Garth Nix (even though I like Lirael more, the first is amazing and you have to read it to get to book 2. :)), Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (I have read and reread this book more than any other on my shelf), and A Room With A View (this book’s heroine was a huge inspiration for Eleanor).

WRITING:
What can you tell us about your current work in progress? It’s an epic fantasy called TRUTHWITCH (see the Pinterest board here: http://www.pinterest.com/stdennard/truthwitch/) that’s set on a continent ruled by three empires, where everyone is born with magic and the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries long war is about to end.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both, really. You can actually read a super in-depth series on my process, here: http://susandennard.com/2013/10/11/how-i-plan-a-book-part-1/
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? I like to write (by hand in a notebook!) on my couch with my dogs beside me OR at my standing desk (with my teeny-tiny, internet-free laptop). As for reading, I’m a bed-reader. No place better than under the covers!!

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What are you drinking? Water. I actually probably pound too much water in a day. (I have to pee constantly. Yikes.)
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? I LOVE coffee when I work, but I’m trying to cut back. I’m down to 1 cup a day (and it is so sacred—I have a whole ritual around that one precious cup) and then herbal tea the rest of the day.

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If you were to co-author a book with someone (anyone!), who would it be? I already get to coauthor with my dream writer—Sarah J. Maas. You can read our free space opera here: http://thestarkillerscycle.tumblr.com/ 🙂
Which character from a book would you say you’re most like? Uh…..*blinks* I have no idea. But I can tell you who I wish I was: Childermass from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (yeah, I know he’s a dude. Don’t care. I want his skillz.).

Thank you SO much, Susan! Holy holy holy cow, I get more and more excited the more I hear about The Truthwitch! If you haven’t read Susan Dennard’s series yet, I highly recommend these books! They’re fun, smart, and action-packed!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about Susan Dennard on Book and a Beverage! Find her at the links below!

Website // Blog // Twitter // Goodreads // Facebook // Pinterest

Are you interested in being featured on BOOK AND A BEVERAGE? Head on over to this feature’s page for the sign-up form!

And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage and I’ll retweet or repost your photo!

#bookandabeverage

A Dawn Most Wicked (Something Strange and Deadly #0.5) – Susan Dennard

A Dawn Most Wicked (Something Strange and Deadly #0.5) – Susan DennardTitle: A Dawn Most Wicked (Something Strange and Deadly #0.5) by Susan Dennard
Publishing Info: June 4, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Steampunk, Young Adult, Zombies
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 8, 2013
Related Posts: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1), A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2), Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3), Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)

    Daniel Sheridan is an engineer’s apprentice on a haunted Mississippi steamer known as the Sadie Queen. His best friend–the apprentice pilot, Cassidy Cochran–also happens to be the girl he’s pining for … and the captain’s daughter. But when it looks like the Sadie Queen might get taken off the river, Daniel and Cassidy have to do whatever they can to stop the ghosts that plague the ship.
    Fortunately, there happens to be a Creole gentleman on board by the name of Joseph Boyer–and he just might be able to help them …

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I was actually really surprised with the content of A DAWN MOST WICKED. I feel like a lot of times these novellas/extras that accompany the full length novels don’t usually include so much plot and explanation, but A DAWN MOST WICKED takes us back to three years before SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY begins with Daniel Sheridan and the story of his first love as well as how the gang of Spirit-Hunters came into being.

I’m so, so glad that this novella was from Daniel’s POV and that we got to know so much more about him because if there was one thing I was missing in SSaD, it was that connection to Daniel and that “oomph” in the romance between him & Eleanor. I felt his passion in A DAWN MOST WICKED and this novella also helped me understand his hesitance and his hard shell towards Eleanor.

What I was most surprised about was the story development involved in A DAWN MOST WICKED. So many novellas are just little bonuses, but there was an actual plot twist here by which I was surprised and then impressed because after it happened, I said, “Ohhhh that makes sense!” It was incredibly creative and intriguing and a major point that wasn’t revealed in SSaD. It’s also the biggest piece to the puzzle as to how Joseph, Jie, and Daniel all ended up working together.

I actually quite loved this novella and I think it’s a must-read for fans of SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY. There’s a lot of story here and if you’re still missing a little something from Daniel like I was, this will help you make that connection. If you already loved him, you’ll probably just love him more! I know that I can’t wait to get my hands on A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY now though…

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Daniel: Hurrah! I made a connection with Daniel!!! I mean, I had in SSaD but not quite as much as I wanted to. I loved his spirit in this book and it was nice to see his first love in action here.
Cassidy: Cassidy is the captain’s daughter and the object of Daniel’s affection. Cassidy seems very much like Eleanor (which explains why he falls for Eleanor in the first place) and I kind of loved her! I love that she wasn’t some prissy girl and was totally badass on the Mississippi.

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Read it!

This novella was so much fun. I loved getting to know more about Daniel and I think it’s an excellent read for anyone who’s a fan of the series!

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     Reboot         The Madman's Daughter

Reboot (Reboot #1) – Amy Tintera

Reboot (Reboot #1) – Amy TinteraTitle: Reboot (Reboot #1) by Amy Tintera
Publishing Info: May 7, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult, Zombies
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 14, 2013
Related Posts: Rebel (Reboot #2)

    Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.
The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

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Thank goodness for REBOOT! It was just what I needed at this point in my reading line-up. I feel like I’ve read so many dystopians that have just run into each other or felt like a rip-off of another book and while I did find myself reading REBOOT and making comparisons to other books, I always felt like it was a refreshing and original story. When I made comparisons, they were minor details of the book — Like, how I felt like it read similar to Divergent, the reboots reminded me of the cyborgs in Cinder, and certain situations in the end reminded me of aspects of The Maze Runner trilogy… So if you liked all those, I surely hope you see the similarities like I did in REBOOT!

REBOOT was definitely not short on action. I was immediately hooked from page one. Our main girl Wren (aka One Seventy-eight) is the baddest reboot there is. See, she rebooted after being dead for one hundred and seventy-eight minutes. Wren got a second shot at a life, but that also meant that coming back after that amount of time made her less human, less emotional, and more focused on the missions that HARC gives her. I was totally hooked into Wren’s story and I was definitely glad that we got to read the book from her first person POV. Since she’s not as emotional as humans or even reboots with lower numbers, it was a bit difficult to constantly feel connected with her, but if this story was in third person, I feel like that connection could have easily been lost forever! I really liked hearing things straight from her head and she despite her less emotionally volatile state, she was really an easy character to get along with and to like!

Guys, there’s a BOY in this book and his name is Callum. He’s one of my favorite types of boys. You know, those almost-but-not-really-cocky guys with the full on grin that will just melt your heart and make you fall in love with him? Yeah. THAT guy. I loved him. Callum was so easy to like and he was just a Twenty-two, meaning he was only dead for 22 minutes before rebooting. Callum has a much more emotional connection to everyone and everything still and it was so interesting to see sort of a role-reversal going on. I loved that Callum was the one who was more emotional and Wren was the one who was more badass.

The plot itself is pretty interesting and definitely kept me racing through the book! I love that reboots are almost like zombies if you think about it (a virus makes them undead in a way, bringing them back from the dead) but the book NEVER has a zombie feel — it didn’t to me anyway. It’s very dystopian, very sci-fi, and not at all hokey which is how I feel with some zombie books and even some dystopians too.

I really think people are going to like this debut from Amy Tintera! I can easily see a lot of people enjoying it and I know I’m definitely excited to read book two already!

character_breakdown1

Wren: Wren’s true nature as a reboot is to be a little cold, a little calculating, and very formulaic… But once she gets tangled with Callum, everything starts to change. I loved that Wren could be the same exact reboot for years and years and then BOOM, Callum comes along and totally changes everything. It was interesting to think of how static she had been for years and now all of a sudden, things are changing. I loved hearing her story and I can’t wait to see what kind of things change in book two as well!
Callum: Okay, Wren and I may have to fight over Callum. He was totally that confident guy with a grin that lights up his whole face and totally sweeps you off your feet. I absolutely loved his character and he made such a good opposite and balance for Wren’s character. Callum was definitely my favorite and was just the perfect romance for this book.

addiction_factor1Buy it!

This book was so much fun! I really loved that it felt new and not the same dystopian played out over and over again. Looking forward to book two!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE REBOOT

     Cinder      Divergent

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) – Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) – Susan DennardTitle: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) by Susan Dennard
Publishing Info: July 24, 2012 by HarperCollins
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Steampunk, Young Adult, Zombies
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 7, 2012
Related Posts: A Dawn Most Wicked (Something Strange and Deadly #0.5), A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2), Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3), Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)

Philadelphia 1876. The Dead are rising. A zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor Fitt. Whoever controls the Dead Army has her brother. She avoids her mother's choice of husband for the lab of Spirit Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel. The situation threatens her reputation, and the lives of everyone in the city.

bookreview1

This was quite an interesting book, I must say! There actually wasn’t as much zombie action as I had expected so since I’m not a big zombie person, it was kind of nice. It actually dealt a little bit more with the paranormal/magic combined with steampunk and industrial. It was interesting the way the two combined. I haven’t read any steampunk before so I was a bit nervous to see that present in the book, but it really worked out quite perfectly. I loved how the machinery aspect intertwined with the paranormal.

Obviously I had my suspicions throughout the whole book (Susan Dennard leads us up to them), but really there were so many surprises in the end even though I suspected a lot. I had a few moments where I was like, “I can’t believe that really just happened!” I was glad that a lot of the twists, although there was a lot of foreshadowing, they were still quite surprising. The author did a great job figuring out how to put those pieces together.

I thought it finished strong and overall I really enjoyed it. I think I was expecting something a little different so I was slightly caught off guard, but this may have been better than what I was expecting. That being said, it still didn’t quite knock me off my feet. I felt like Eleanor could have been a much stronger character and I felt like some of her actions just “fit” the story instead of adding a little extra conflict and really develop a better and more realistic character.

character_breakdown1

Eleanor: In a lot of ways, Eleanor was a strong character. She was brave, she was fearless, but I felt like she could have been developed a whole lot more as a person.
Elijah: We have a lot of questions throughout the whole book what Elijah’s true intentions are. Clearly he’s a very interesting character and I think his story may be one of the most interesting in the book.
Clarence:  I really didn’t like Clarence at first — but towards the end, I think I really started to like him. It was hard to understand whether he was a good guy or a bad guy or just confused.

addiction_factor1

Try it!

It was interesting! An entertaining book. I wasn’t totally WOWED or anything but it was a lot of fun!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY

 

Something Strange and Deadly Read Along: Week 4

SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY READ ALONG
October 10 – October 31, 2012
WEEK 4: OCTOBER 31

Okay my blogger friends! It’s time for the Something Strange and Deadly Read Along! I know I’ve got Something Strange and Deadly in my queue of Halloween reads and I thought it would be great to get even more people involved! It was such short notice that I have no co-hosts so I will be coming at you with all of the posts! Here’s how I have it scheduled:

October 3rd: Intro post and sign-ups
October 10th: Week 1: Chapters 1-7 (through page 90)
October 17th: Week 2: Chapters 8-14 (through page 178)
October 24th: Week 3: Chapters 15-20 (through page 278)
October 31st: Week 4: Chapters 22-end 

UPDATE 10/11: Susan Dennard has graciously donated an “Aim For the Knees” T-shirt as a giveaway as well!! This will be for participants only, so don’t forget to add your links! One automatic entry for signing up (as long as I see your participation posts) and additional entries for each week you link up with the read along! This will be the official giveaway instead of the original book. I’d like to keep the giveaway SS&D related 🙂

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Week 4 Questions: October 31, 2012
1. On page 284, Eleanor gives the same advice to Clarence as Jie gave to her: “You always have a choice.” Eleanor has started to evolve in her thinking a little bit and become more independent. How did Clarence take these words of wisdom? How do you think it’s affecting the relationship between Eleanor and Clarence at this point in the novel?
I was really hoping this would be the tipping point for Clarence to become the hero of the novel! Okay, well maybe not the hero, but kind of like Eleanor’s helper/side-kick. They’ve been skirting around each other the whole book and we’ve been questioning whether Clarence is on the side of good or evil and I was just really disappointed that he didn’t step up and help Eleanor, especially after all the damage his family to did Eleanor’s.

2. We finally find out what’s happened to Elijah – and it’s something that puts Eleanor in a very difficult position. Why do you think Elijah chose this path? And how do you think Eleanor handled the news? What would you have done in her situation?
I think it’s clear that Elijah kind of snapped after his father’s death. He had a lot to handle and it seems like he went more for the side of avenging the wrongs to his family instead of taking the high road and helping to pick up the pieces. The messed-up part is, he feels like he’s doing everything right.
As for Eleanor, I think I would have handled the news the same way. You see a family member or someone you love so confused and full of hate and it’s hard to see that they really are capable of anything so bad. I’m sure if I had seen anyone I knew in the same position, I would have tried to help them, tried to bring them back to the side of reason – Which is another reason I think this twist is so great. I kind of saw it coming, but really until I read about it, I never realized how tense that scene would be.

3. The last quarter of this book brings us a LOT of surprises and twists. What would you say was the biggest surprise to you?
Um, HER HAND. That’s all I have to say about that. I can’t believe that actually happened!

4. Now that we’ve finished with the book, what did you think? How did you feel about the book as a whole? Where do you think her story will take us in the next book?
I really, really enjoyed the book! I was surprised at how interesting and creative these twists were at the end and holy cow, there were a lot of good ones! I also like that we’re starting a bit of a romance here, but without insta-love. I actually think this may have been better as a stand-alone, mostly since I’m not sure how the series will continue… This whole story was wrapped up so I’m interested to see how Susan Dennard will tie it all in in the next book. Either way, I’m in!



And now my friends, it’s time for the giveaway! As I mentioned, Susan Dennard has offered us an “Aim For the Knees” T-shirt and one lucky winner will be the recipient of this awesome Something Strange and Deadly prize!! Here’s how it works: Every time you linked up with the read along, that goes for one entry in the pot and then with the help of Random.org, I’ll be picking a winner (at random of course). You’ll have until next week, November 7th, to link and post the last week’s post and then on the 8th, we’ll have a winner! 

Good luck to all and thanks SO much to everyone who participated! I had a really great time, I hope you enjoyed the read along, and more importantly, I hope you enjoyed the book!

A Fortnight of Fright: Halloween Reads!

Welcome to A Fortnight of Fright! Two weeks of Halloween any way you can possibly see it, hosted by me (The Book Addict’s Guide) and my wonderful co-host, Alyssa @ Books Take You Places!

In this edition of A Fortnight of Fright, we’re talking about all of our favorite Halloween reads! To keep it spooky in October, I read Ten by Gretchen McNeil, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood and Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. Here’s a great list of some more Halloween Reads from your fellow bloggers!

GHOST STORIES/SPIRITS
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Reviews: Lost in a Great BookReading is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Reviews: Tales of WhimsyAppraising Pages
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Reviews: YA CrushGone Pecan

WITCHES AND MAGIC
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Reviews: Book A WorldBittersweet Enchantment
The Harry Potter series
Reviews: The Cheap Reader reviews HP1, HP2, HP3

VAMPIRES
The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Reviews: Tripping Over Books
The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
Revies: Ink and Page
Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz
Reviews: The Dancing Nerd Writes Again
The Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampires series by Charlaine Harris

ZOMBIES
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Reviews: Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf
Feed by Mira Grant
Reviews: Book Goonie
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

If none of those do it for you, Quinn from Quinn’s Book Nook has some great suggestions to whet your whistle!

I don’t know about you, but I love a good ghost story.  And what better time to read a ghost story than Halloween?  One of my favorite writers of ghost stories is Mary Downing Hahn.  Hahn had written numerous children’s/middle-grade ghost stories, and each one is just as awesome as the next.  Well, I have only read four of her books, but I have loved them all.  There are all kinds of ghosts in Mary Downing Hahn’s novels, mischievous ghosts, confused ghost children, and, of course, evil ghosts.  Hahn’s books aren’t too scary, but there is a definite creep factor.  I’m going to talk about the four ghost stories I’ve read by Mary Downing Hahn.

My favorite is definitely All the Lovely Bad Ones: A Ghost Story.  In this story, siblings Travis and Corey visit their grandmother, staying at said grandmother’s Vermont Inn.  There Travis and Corey meet see ghost children who love to pay pranks on the Inns guests.  But there is a more frightening spirit living at the Inn, that even the ghost children are afraid of.  

Another fantastic novel is Deep and Dark and Dangerous: A Ghost Story.   Ali vacations in Maine with her Aunt Dulcie and her four-year-old cousin Emma.  Once they arrive, Ali and Emma soon meet another girl called Sissy. But Sissy is a bad influence on Emma, and keeps telling the girls a story about a girl (Teresa) who drowned in the lake years ago.  Teresa’s body was never found.  Ali makes many discoveries on the vacation, including secrets of her mother’s past.

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story tells the story of siblings Molly and Michael, and their whiny stepsister, Heather.  When their new, blended family moves into a new house, that was once a church, and comes with its very own graveyard does not leave Molly and Michael very happy.  But when Heather meets a ghost named, Helen, Molly starts worrying about Heather’s (and her own) safety.  Besides the evil spirit in All the Lovely Bad Ones, Helen is the ghost that freaked me out the most.

Lastly, The Old Willis Place: A Ghost Story tells the story of Diana and her brother Georgie, who cannot leave the old Willis place.  What is unique about this story is that Diana and Georgie (who tell the story) are the ghosts.  Diana befriends the new caretaker’s daughter, Lissa, and with her help, Diana hopes they can release themselves from what binds them to the old Willis Place.

Thanks so much, Quinn!! Those look like some scary but great reads, and perfect to put us in the Halloween mood!

So tell us, what are some of your favorite books to put you in the Halloween spirit? 

Something Strange and Deadly Read Along: Intro and Sign-Ups

SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY READ ALONG
October 10 – October 31, 2012

Okay my blogger friends! It’s time for the Something Strange and Deadly Read Along! I know I’ve got Something Strange and Deadly in my queue of Halloween reads and I thought it would be great to get even more people involved! It was such short notice that I have no co-hosts so I will be coming at you with all of the posts! Here’s how I have it scheduled:

October 3rd: Intro post and sign-ups
October 10th: Week 1: Chapters 1-7 (through page 90)
October 17th: Week 2: Chapters 8-14 (through page 178)
October 24th: Week 3: Chapters 15-20 (through page 278)
October 31st: Week 4: Chapters 22-end 

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Now since I’m actually participating in the read along that I’m hosting (yep, I haven’t read it either yet – I get to enjoy it with everyone at the same time!), that means this read along will be a little less formal. I’ll have some questions for us to answer along the way and some themed discussions for us to have about the book, but with each week’s post, we’ll all be sharing what we think of the characters, our favorite parts of the book, and any great quotes we happen to find! Whether you’ve read it before or this is the first time, anyone is welcome to join… but you do have to actually read the book! 🙂

At the very end on Halloween day, I’m doing a giveaway for all of the participants! It will be your choice of a book by a 2012 debut author (purchased and shipped from The Book Depository) and the runner up of the book giveaway will get a prize package including some Something Strange and Deadly swag!

UPDATE 10/11: Susan Dennard has graciously donated an “Aim For the Knees” T-shirt as a giveaway as well!! This will be for participants only, so don’t forget to add your links! One automatic entry for signing up (as long as I see your participation posts) and additional entries for each week you link up with the read along!

The first themes and round of questions will go up on Saturday, October 6th and you can start reading at any time! Then we’ll start posting things for week one next week on October 10th. If you’re running a little late, no worries! You can link up a few days later, but please remember to link each week’s post to the linky on the host page on my blog. Each link that you post will earn you a few extra entries for the final giveaway at the end of the read along!

UPDATE 10/4 7PM: The questions are ready!!! Here are the 1st round of questions to cover chapters 1-8 (through page 90) for the post for week one to go live on 10/10:

Week 1 Questions:

Character impressions: Clarence
What are your first impressions of Clarence? Does he seem like a trustworthy person, or is he hiding ulterior motives behind good looks?

Character impressions: Eleanor Fitt
What are your first impressions of Eleanor? It seems like her mother always wants to put her family’s reputation above all else. How do you think Eleanor feels about this?

Character impressions: Daniel
Daniel is quite brash with Eleanor when they first meet in the Spirit-Hunter’s lab. Do you see potential for a friendship? For a romance?

1. Mrs. Fitt decides to hold a seance as a last minute fill-in for the party’s entertainment. How would you feel about this if you were a guest at the party? Do you think that’s wise with the Dead running around?

2. Eleanor lives with only her mother and the live-in help since her father passed away and her brother is in New York and possibly taken by the Dead. I feel like the absent family member – especially a parent – is a theme I see a lot in YA novels. Why do you think that is? What aspect does this add to the story?

3. We first see the steampunk feel when Eleanor wanders into the Centennial Exhibition to find the Spirit-Hunters. What do you think of machines and science fighting the zombies and paranormal?

4. What do you think really happened to Elijah? Do you think he was captured by the Dead, or are there more secrets hidden behind his disappearance? 

EXTRAS: Also add any of your favorite quotes, scenes, or other thoughts about the book so far! 

Below is the link for the sign-ups (click the icon below). The sign-ups for the read along will be open until halfway through the read along (October 17th). Hop to it, and I look forward to discussing Something Strange and Deadly with you!!!
Please also spread the word to your blogger friends! Please tweet or post the link after signing up so we can have fun discussing with even more people 🙂