Book Thoughts: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1:Out of the Deep Woods

Sweet Tooth

A plague is wiping out an entire generation to make way for a new animal-human hybrid race. Gus is one of them.

Born with a human body and antlers, Gus has left the woods where he and his father lived in an isolated cabin.

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After tragedy strikes, Gus is forced out of his homeland and follows Mr. Jeppers, a man who not only gives him his nick name “Sweet Tooth,” but he also promises to escort him to “the preserve,” a sanctuary for those like Gus. Our world has been wiped out, and now the roads are plagued by ruthless bandits who will take everything they want by any means necessary. Gus’ only hope is to stay close to Mr. Jeppers and pray for the best.

This is a really cool concept. The blurb says this is a cross between The Road and Bambi which I agree with. I got the same creepy vibes from the setting that I did with The Road. As far as I know this world is in complete anarchy. The only ones who have survived are the very ruthless, or the very innocent. Gus and Mr. Jeppers’ journey is filled with bruises, cuts, and wounds.

Overall, I enjoyed it. It’s very dark, but it’s a dystopian post apocalyptic read, so naturally it has to be. I do recommend this one, but beware of that heat breaking and cliffy ending.

Status update in Quotes

You know what I hate? When life gets in the way of my reading. I just started a new job, and  I’m ever thankful for it, but the new schedule is throwing everything else off, including my reading and blogging. So far the job has consisted of  online training which involves me staring at a computer screen for hours at a time, and my eyes are burning by the end of the day.   I’m hoping once I get accustomed to my schedule and my tasks, I’ll go back to being  a powerhouse reader. As of now, I’m barely managing to read…one book at a time. *gasp in horror*

Anyways, here is that status update for that one book.

Currently Reading:

tHE Shadowed Sun

The Shadowed Sun (Book 2 of the Dreamblood Duology) by N.K. Jemisin.

This is the sequel to The Killing Moon. (Click for review)

I’m finally getting around to reading it, and so far I have to say, I’m liking it better than the first. As it should be.

I’m on page 117 of 492. I have the Kindle e-book edition.

Update:

We’re going to meet some friends, Mni-inh. At least, I hope they’re friends.”

“You hope-

“We’ll know if they don’t kill us. That’s if they even show up in the first place.”

Seems  like legit plan. P.S. Loving the new Nijjiri.

How are you guys feeling about your current reads?

Book Thoughts: The Tent

The tent

 

Buddy Read with my ladies of gore: Kat and Julie.

I got goosebumps all over the place. Kealan Patrick Burke is quickly becoming one of my favorite horror authors. He is so good at creating a story that leaves you feeling icky, terrified, yet absolutely fascinated. And just like he did with Kin, I question the benefits of ever venturing in search of experiences. I really I have plenty of experiences in the books I read. Who needs to to come across an abandoned creepy tent in the middle of the forest? Not this girl.

After reading the gore fest that is Kin, I expected a banging opening which wasn’t the case. The beginning is slow paced filled with a lot of mopey internal dialogue that had me bored. The internal dialogue belongs to Mike, who in a last ditch effort to save his marriage, decides to take his wife Emma and their son Cody camping. In between the moping and Emma going off on Mike, Cody disappears. In their frantic search for him, they come across a tent. But, this isn’t just any tent.

I did enjoy The Tent, but the first 20% didn’t have me convinced I would. Once Emma and Mike stumble upon the tent, however, it really takes off, so if you find yourself in a similar situation, stick it out because it’s so worth it.

Since this is a novella, I didn’t expect to care much for the characters. It’s hard to when you only spend two pages, sometimes less with them, but I walked away wishing this was a full length story because I wanted to know what happens to them.

As for this ending,  it’s a tease. It gives me a glimpse of more creepiness to come, but doesn’t actually give me the creepy. No fair.

Overall, a very well written and horrific novella. I highly recommend to horror lovers.

Musing Mondays (8/18/2014

Musing Mondays is meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It asks you to muse about one bookish question a week. To participate, just go to their original post, pick you question, write your blog post, and link it to their original post.

My musing:

Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

Gunmetal

Gunmetal Magic( Kate Daniels book  5.5)  by Ilona Andrews

I’m currently back on the Kate Daniels books. After finishing Magic Slays last night, I immediately picked up book 5.5. I think I did pretty well in restraining myself from gobbling these in one bite. Whether I’m going to be able to continue the restraint for the rest of the series is another matter.

Gunmetal is an in between book. It takes place between books 5 and 6, and it’s narrated by Andrea Nash, Kate’s best friend. It’s not necessary to read it, but if you’re currently obsessed with everything Kate Daniels, then it’s highly recommend.  It includes some side stories,  some of our favorite new characters such as Ascanio, and some of our old favorites like Raphael. Plus there are some novellas involving Kate (I think) in the end.

There isn’t much I can say without giving spoilers, but I can say that I’m very much enjoying this one. I typically don’t care for spin offs or novellas told from other characters’ perspectives, but Ilona Andrews’ world and characters are all so amazing that it’s such a treat to spend any amount of time with them. Andrea is every bit as badass and hilarious as Kate.

Highly recommend starting these if you haven’t.

Book Thoughts: The Bird Eater

The Bird Eater

Buddy Read with these amazing ladies: Jenna and Shandra.

If you like horror, but you aren’t in the mood for something too intense, I’d recommend The Bird Eater. You could probably finish this in a day if you don’t have anything going on, and while it has its creepy moments, it really doesn’t mess with your mind all that much.

You’re totally safe to sleep with the lights off for this one.

It does have some horrific things going on think: guts, creepy kids, and crows. Which by the way, I lurve.

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I don’t run away from crows or ravens. I run to them.
Blame it on Poe.

However, these weren’t the things that had me setting the book aside to decompress.The darkness found here has more to do with tragedy as opposed to the big bad hiding under the bed.

“Son,” he murmured, shooting Aaron a distrusting glance. “Rumor has it you’re supposed to be dead.”

Aaron Holbrook comes back to his childhood home in rural Arkansas to deal with his demons figuratively and unbeknownst to him, literally. Aaron’s life has been one giant tragic event after the other. Whatever little peace he manages to obtain gets brutally snatched from him. On top of that, he moves into a haunted house. You think your problems are bad?

And here is where I had to take a step back from the book. It’s so…depressing. See, sometimes books have distinct colors in my mind, and this one was gray from start to finish. Every time I envisioned the setting it was one giant gray blob. With snow. Even though this town was smack dab in the middle of summer. Nope. Never saw the sun here. Perhaps it’s the gloominess surrounding the characters and the overall story. Nothing good ever happens to these characters, and in the end nothing is really resolved.

And that transitions nicely into my issues with the book. When a book revolves around a center, I like intensive back story. It’s the history nerd in me, but I love knowing the whys and hows of what made a place the way it is. Needless to say, this was lacking here. We get accounts, but never proper explanations.

So maybe you can chalk that irk up to personal preference. Nonetheless, it kept me from completely enjoying the book.

As for the ending, it felt unresolved which is another irk of mine. Unless a book is a part of a series, I rarely let open ended endings pass. I don’t mean that every single question needs to be answered, but at least the major ones. After finishing this one, there were at least two big questions that I wanted answers to.

For all of that, I would still recommend this to my horror lovers. There is a definite creep factor here. Subtle, but it’s there. Like I said before, it’s also easy to get through, and the characters are easy people to be around. Sure sucky stuff happens to them, but they’re aren’t the moping kind which I appreciated because I don’t think I could have handled the book if they were.

Overall, I would have wanted a more fleshed out story and some answers, but it’s not a bad book at all.

Book Thoughts: The Painted Veil

THe Painted

Successfully finished for the Dusting off the shelf Read-a-Thon. This completes the book written before 2010 challenge.
If you are looking for a book with a happy ending, walk away. Now.

If you are looking for a likable MC, walk away. Now.

If you for some reason like reading books that leave you empty and clutching tissues. Read this. Now.

“If it is necessary sometimes to lie to others, it is always despicable to lie to oneself.”

Kitty Fane is the product of an overbearing mother whose sole purpose for her daughter was to marry well. Kitty was born beautiful, so she assumed she would have her pick of the litter. Which she did, until she kept waiting for someone better to come along. Surprise Surprise no one ever did. After her younger sister’s marriage is announced, Kitty decides to marry Walter Fane, a bacteriologist working out of Hong Kong. She marries him despite thinking he’s “…not her type at all”. Because anything is better than watching your younger sister marry before you right?

Soon after their marriage, the couple moves to Hong Kong where Kitty begins an affair with a married man. She falls in love. He not so much. They’re discovered by Walter because these two don’t even have the brains to get a hotel room.

While all of this is occurring in Hong Kong, there is a cholera epidemic taking place in Mei-tan-fu. A Chinese fictional region created by Maugham.

Walter gives Kitty and ultimatum. He’ll divorce her as long as her lover agrees to marry her, or she goes with him to Mei-Tan-Fu. Of course her lover doesn’t agree to marry her, because what would his children think of him? So, to Mei- Tan Fu it is.

I’m afraid you’ve thought me a bigger fool than I am.

I had seen the film before I read the book, so of course Walter was Edward Norton to me. (By the way, Norton does a fantastic job in the film) Walter is an underdog character, so you can’t help but root for him when he starts showing his teeth. Even if you know that some of his decisions are unreasonable. Despite Kitty’s frivolousness and vanity he really loves her, and her betrayal is devastating.

What was it in the human heart that made you despise a man because he loved you?

I intensely dislike Kitty. She’s selfish and cruel. She likes to blame others for her mistakes. However, she goes through a transformation and although I never grew to like her, I enjoyed seeing her gradually change.

There are no heros here. They are all intensely flawed characters and Maugham doesn’t try to hide that.

“…the human race, like drops of water in that river and they flowed on, each so close to the other and yet so far apart, a nameless flood, to the sea. When all things lasted so short a time and nothing mattered very much, it seemed pitiful that men, attaching an absurd importance to trivial objects, should make themselves and one another so unhappy.”

W Somserset Maughan’s writing is incredibly insightful. He shows us what a person can become when they’re taken away from their life of privilege and comfort, and they’re forced to confront their mistakes.

The novel is told in third person through Kitty’s eyes and she notices everything. We really get to the heart of every character. The good, the bad, what makes them tick and what makes them who they are. Kitty is also a contemplative character. I love those kinds of narratives where the character sort of starts to look at life through new eyes, and they can make me see it as well.

They’re so many opposites in this book. We have completely selfish and vapid characters, and on the other side of the spectrum, we have selfless and giving characters.

Needless to say, the book has a different ending from the film, but I was still sad at the turn of the events. It’s one of those stories that you know how it is going to end, but you still have that tiny bit of hope that it’ll end differently.

Overall, despite it’s heaviness I highly recommend it. It’s a great study on relationships and people.

This is my first W Somerset Maughham novel, but it won’t be my last.

Dusting off the Shelf-Read-a-Thon Update

dusting-off-the-shelf-read-a-thon-graphic1

Yes, I am still participating in this. Failing, but I am still going. Who knew so many unexpected things can happen in the span of two weeks, such as,  birthday parties, going away parties, house renovations that temporarily leave you homeless,  job interviews, and impromptu vacations.  The latter of which I am extremely grateful to because I was able to finish three books this weekend, (two of my read-a-thon picks) and I also made sufficient dents on a few others. So, with a little bit of days I have left, I am determined to finish my last three! I know I can I know I can…

Updates:

I finished The Painted Veil by W Somerset Maugham

THe Painted

This completed the book written before 2010 challenge. This was first published in 1925.

Thoughts: When you hate the MC, but love everything else. This is a classic case of that. Review of this will be coming sometime this week, but for now all I have to say is it’s heavy and infuriating, but I enjoyed it immensely.

I also finished The Bronze Bow by  Elizabeth George Speare.

The Bonze Bow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This completes the books set in the past challenge. This is set in ancient Israel during the Roman conquest.

Thoughts: This has the opposite effect of The Painted Veil. Hating the MC and as result not liking the book. On the plus side, I loved the setting and some of the secondary characters, but that’s about it.  Review of this will also be coming.

Hope you all had great weekends. If you’re also participating in the read-a-thon, how is it going for you?