Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter

Scary Mary (Scary Mary, #1)Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Again, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with this book, but it appears to be a young adult version of Ghost Hunters. Mary lives with her fortune teller grandmother and is clairaudient. Which means she can hear and talk to ghosts. Which includes dead dogs.

So…what happens when I new boy turns up at high school? Well, a lot happens actually, except Mary actually likes the new boy, something that doesn’t happen very often because she’s the school freak because of the ghost thing.

Well, it sounds like an interesting series, but like a lot of ebooks this wasn’t very long for a novel, and while it was the first in the series (and therefore free) I’m not completely sure the author hooked me. This is part of the reason I’m not a huge fan of ebook series.

That’s not to say it’s a bad book! It’s not, it was fun to read and I really liked Grandma and Chowder! It’s free so read it to find out!

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The Horse Mistress: Book 1 by R.A. Steffan

The Horse Mistress: Book 1 (The Eburosi Chronicles, #1)The Horse Mistress: Book 1 by R.A. Steffan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really was not sure what to expect when I found this ebook on Amazon and started reading it, but it turned out way better than I ever thought it would. It actually follows an idea I’ve had, to a point.

This is a fantasy ebook, set in a different time and place, and as such the naming conventions are different and not my favorite it terms of trying to sound things out in my head as I’m reading along. This also reads more like a short story than a full novel. That’s all the bad things I have to say about it.

I enjoyed the idea of the plot, the camaraderie between the three main characters, and the differences in the societies that we were introduced to. I will admit that the relationship between the three characters changes drastically throughout the ebook, but I rather liked it.

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House Rules by Jodi Picoult

House RulesHouse Rules by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having never read Jodi Picoult, but having seen ‘Mys Sister’s Keeper’ in theater as my only basis, and then informed that I need to read that book… I read this book. It was going around my work place and offered to me to read.

My co-worker that started this book through the work place reads quite a bit of Jodi Picoult and the co-worker I got the book from afterwards does too, and told me that Picoult writes about controversial topics, and from watching the movie and reading this book I have to agree.

It’s not the center of the plot, but whether or not to vaccinate your child does come in discussion. I also like how the book is written from each person’s point of view and changes throughout the story. Jacob has Aperger’s and really loves criminal forensics, this of course gets him into trouble, leading to a court trial, and lots of information on how Jacob’s diagnosis is important to the case.

I was mad at the ending(?), because it ended, but it wasn’t really an ending. But, having said that, books that elicit strong emotions from me, are often the best kinds of books.

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Series Review: Oz Series by L. Frank Baum

wizardofoz

If you’ve been following me, you’ll know that I finally finished reading all 15 of L. Frank Baum’s Oz series. Yes, there are 14 books that continue the story of Dorothy and her friends in the land of Oz. You can read them all as ebooks separately for free (or get the Kindle collection for 99 cents).  Or (as above) you can scour Barnes & Nobles for the three collective books. Now, onto some reviews (this gets long so be warned!).

The First Five Novels:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Book One) is the story we all know and love, thanks to the classic movie made in 1939. Its still one of my favorites, and introduces all the major characters. The movie follows the book pretty closely, so if you’ve never read the book but have seen the movie, you’ll be able to follow along without any problems.

In The Marvelous Land of Oz (Book Two) we meet some new characters that reappear throughout the series, most notably the Sawhorse and Jack Pumpkinhead. It’s another adventure through Munchkinland against Mombi, but more notable is General Jinjur and her all female army. We also finally meet the dethrowned leader of Oz, but in a most peculiar manner (this is a reason this is my second favorite Oz book).

Ozma of Oz is the third book, where we come upon the Nome King for the first time. Unfortunately he makes trouble for many citizens in Oz and does so reoccurringly for quite a few more books.

Book four, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, is a bit of a filler book. The author wanted to write a book for his fans and so included many of their suggestions in this book. Its a new adventure for Dorothy and the Wizard, they meet many new characters, but none of them return in any of the next books.

In The Road to Oz (Book Five) we meet more new characters as Dorothy travels through more of Oz. The Shaggy Man, Button Bright, and Polychrome (another favorite) are introduced, and all of them return in future books. We also have a return to Baum’s original writing style.

Novels Six Through Ten:

In The Emerald City of Oz (Book Six) Dorothy brings both her Aunt and Uncle over into Oz, where they can live there happily ever after. Dorothy always finds trouble and ends up lost, while the Nome King returns to wreck some havoc on the citizen of Oz. I liked that Dorothy finally brought her relatives to live with her, and that is an important plot point in the series.

Book Seven: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Book Seven) obviously introduces us to a new character, but Ojo is the star character(?). However, the Patchwork Girl and another new character (the Glass Cat) are the ones who return for another adventure. By this point, Baum is introducing new characters in each book, forgetting some along the way, something I don’t care for.

More friends arrive in Book Eight, Tik-Tok of Oz, and the return of the Shaggy Man who wishes to rescue his brother from, you know who, the Nome King. At least Dorothy and Ozma have a new playmate from Oklahoma (Betsy Bobbin, who returns in further books).

The Scarecrow of Oz (Book Nine) helps newly arrived friends from another Baum series, which makes this book a crossover (though I’ve never read that series). I’ve never read that series, but it makes this book very similar to Book Seven, and Book Four, and maybe some others.

I have a blog post review of Book Ten: Rinkitink in Oz , so I won’t go over it too much here, but it’s almost a stand alone book in this series.

Novels Eleven Through Fifteen:

I have blog post reviews of the last five novels, so I’ll sum this all up quickly. In Book Eleven Ozma is kidnapped and everyone (nearly) comes to her rescue, in  Book Tweleve, the Tin Woodman finally remembers his Munchkin sweetheart, Book Thirteen is Ozma’s party and final end to the Nome King, and in Book Fourteen Dorothy is kidnapped and then rescued. Book Fifteen is a short story collection that fills in some holes from the series. Below are links to reviews I’ve already done:

Overall Thoughts:

Most of you will be quite happy just to read the first book and leave it as such. After all the first book is the most popular having been made into movies on several occasions (The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz, Tin Man, etc) and therefore the most well known.

Some will want to know what happened next, and boy, is there a next. Fourteen books of next even. If you are a serious Oz fan that you might not be disappointed, but do be aware that the books repeat storylines, have enough characters that you’ll need a chart to keep track of them all (hey, there’s a thought), and become a bit predictable and anticlimactic after awhile.

Having said all that, I’ll probably read through this series again (and make that chart!).

The Spook’s Bestiary by Joseph Delaney

The Spook's Bestiary: The Guide to Creatures of the Dark (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles)The Spook’s Bestiary: The Guide to Creatures of the Dark by Joseph Delaney

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just as an FYI this book is not technically part of The Last Apprentice series, but a supplementary book. If you’re familiar with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series, this would be like one of the “map” books or Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook.

Also important, I am a fan of the TV series, Supernatural.

With all that out of the way…this read a bit like John Winchester’s journal. It’s a compendium of all the creatures that are kept at bay by a Spook (Hunter/Sam and Dean?) in County. It includes examples of times John Gregory (the Spook who ‘authored’ this book) encountered said creature, and quotes from his various apprentices.

I found it an interesting take on the creatures originally from mythology, especially the Old Gods which come from many different regions (Greece, Romania, Ireland, etc.), and how they were dealt with. The last chapter included some instance and probable new creatures that had yet to be identified.

Supposedly this series has been turned into a movie called Seventh Son (which I’ve never heard of, and has poor reviews), so I’m wondering how I missed that. But I’m intrigued enough to see if I can find an actual book from the series to see what the fuss was about.

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Dark Prince by Christine Feehan

Dark PrinceDark Prince by Christine Feehan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whew! Well, if nothing else, this experience has taught me that I am not an audiobook person at all. It was the only copy of Dark Prince my library had so I thought I’d try it, I’m glad I did, and I do like the story, but not the format.

With that out of the way…

I like all of Christine Feehan’s Dark series, while this is the first in the series it is not the first one I’ve read (probably more like the 10th?), but I do like how it sets the stage for the rest of the series. How the Carpathian species is dying out, and humans go mad when converted, and then Raven survives the transition and becomes the hope of the Carpathian people. Gregori’s torment because he’s near his limit (that was interesting), and in general the beginning of the saga that is now 33 books as of this review. I also got a better view of Mikhail, the leader of the Carpathians.

Would I recommend reading them in order? Yes. Would I recommend reading them out of order? Yes.

Both methods are fine, because I recommend reading them in general and since it is a large series and probably difficult to find them all at once and in order, the second is probably easier anyway and doesn’t really mar the story in any way. However, I won’t be ‘reading’ any more audiobooks if I can avoid it!

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Dark Lycan by Christine Feehan

Dark Lycan (Dark, #21)Dark Lycan by Christine Feehan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m reading these out of order and I like it for myself. I read Dark Wolf (the next book) then this book. I also have the book after Dark Wolf, Dark Blood. I know it’s all a bit strange as series are made to be read in order, but for this plot line I like what I’ve done. It’s building the suspense and anticipation for what’s to come in the next book.

Dark Lycan is the story of Tatijiana Dragonseeker and Fenris Dalka, the first Guardian of All or Lycan/Carpathian mix. There is progress on Dimitri/Skyler and Zev/Branislava, but also there is plot of Lycan and Carpathian politics that continues in the next book.

The only thing I find a little unimaginative is the name Fenris. Fenris is a very traditional well known Norse mythical wolf name, not sure I care for that decision, but the characters all call him Fen anyway so maybe it’s just my delicate sensibilities crying out for something more creative.

Aside from that, the book flows very well, is an enjoyable read, and continues the Carpathian race.

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