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katiefranke

Katie's Books

New to BookLikes and saving my place while I get my books in order...

What Price Paradise - Katherine Allred I just can't be bothered to read any further - I really don't like this.

I am surprised as I really liked The Sweet Gum Tree and Alien Encounters by Allred and this has a pretty high rating from a lot of people.

I liked the premise and picked it up thinking it would just be a sweet little read that I could finish in a day or two in between the heavier fantasy books I have been reading. However, I was pretty disappointed with the writing and the characters.

Everyone we meet is just so stereotypical and irritating - the whole plot concept is ruined right in the beginning with the way it is so false with the events that happen.

The writing also suffers drastically from a serious case of 'telling' the reader what the characters are thinking and feeling with overly obvious statements and thoughts, as if the author thought the reader might not get what was being implied!

I think if maybe you live in a world where women/wives do the cooking and cleaning and the men look after their little woman by working on the ranch, and where the people are sexist and you can't possibly have a baby *gasp* out of wedlock!!, then you might sympathise with the characters and enjoy this more...but needless to say, this is definitely not my kind of book. I generally like very strong female characters in books, however, even I like the occasional book like Lauren Dane's 'Chase' brothers series...but this was just too annoying for me.

I'm only a third of the way in and I wanted to roll my eyes at every other thought or statement that the characters made! Urgh, it makes me itch! I couldn't event find any plus points at all, which is pretty unusual for me...
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin 2.5 stars

I dont really know what I was expecting, but this wasnt it!

Its strange as the story is somewhat unsophisticated as fantasy stories go, and follows the story of a girl who is trying to piece together the reason for her mothers murder, only to find out her mother might not have been quite who she thought. The world is quite well done and we meet some characters who could be interesting but nobody gets particularly well developed. The whole story is told from the first person POV of Yeine, who is telling it as if recounting from it at some future date and sometimes talking to someone (or possibly herself) during this recounting. This sometimes makes for a confusing paragraph or two.

I also found some of the ideas odd...one minute our heroine was forsaking her heritage and showing compassion or talking about showing strength, but then there were a number of instances that just seemed out of character and oddly emotionless.

The gods were strange too, although i guess thats what was wanted. We only really see much of two in particular and its all bordering on the strangely incestuous...there are also hints at other strange perversions with previous amn people who can command them...

It kept me reding until the end, I think constantly expecting more, and the ending was an interesting twist, but I was left feeling unsatisfied.

The writing was relatively good, pacing was well done as it did keep my interest, however some parts were just a bit strange, the characters were not particularly well fleshed out thoughh, and I have to say I didnt feel particularly attached to any of them except Sieh. In fact apart from the horror at some of the gruesome acts, I didnt feel a lot of emotion was really expressed or portrayed throughout and this combined with the first person POV in this instance made it so that I could not feel very invested in the characters or bring myself to care much as to what happened at the end.
Furies of Calderon - Jim Butcher Excellent, loved it. Review to follow... major gripe is that the romance between for some Amana and Tavi's uncle Bernard just seemed...odd. Maybe because I was imagining her as a young teen like Tavi, and the uncle as a lot lot older...? It felt kind of a bit ick though, which is a shame as everything else felt right.
The Nearly-Weds - Jane Costello There were some great bits about this - the writing and the humour. And I liked the premise. But I was quite disappointed with how little we ever really know about the leading man of our story. He just seems quite 2 dimensional. And I never really felt there was any great depth of feeling between them.

I was also disappointed that we didnt hear anything more from the children towards the end of the book considering they had featured in a large portion of the story until that point. It kind of felt a bit like a rushed finish. So for that reason I can only really give it 3 stars. But I like Jane Costello's writing and read a lot of her books when I was a bit younger.
Dark Waters - Toni Anderson 4.5 stars - I haven't read a good romantic suspense for a while, so I didn't know if I was going to like this, but it was a great read. It seemed well-paced keeping my attention throughout, with a decent mystery, some nasty baddies and a believable romance. There was definitely a large focus on the relationship between the H/h, but the mystery was still pretty interesting. I liked the main characters and what we saw of the secondary characters too, especially as we received multiple POV in this story, although the main focus was always on the H/h, which I prefer. It would be good to learn more about Brent's brother Finn and the PI Jack, so I wonder if there are more books in this "world". I guess my main criticisms were that I felt it ended a bit flat and I would have preferred to see more fleshing out of the main secondary characters. Otherwise an enjoyable read and I'm going to check out other Toni Anderson books.

Just had a look at other books by this author and looks like Finn & Holly had their own story in [b:Dangerous Waters|15722295|Dangerous Waters|Toni Anderson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1346354713s/15722295.jpg|21396277].
Matthew - Emma Lang Not bad - I don't really read historical romance or cowboy/western style stories. But this was quite a nice love story with a bit of suspense. Bit flowery language for my liking, but still a nice little read, not badly written. Brody Armstrong is an interesting character and I think the next story could be quite fun, but I won't read it immediately.
Come Alive - Karina Halle Damn, the unthinkable has happened - for some reason, even though I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dex & Perry, something has happened in the last couple of books and the awesomeness of those early books has been lost for me...I don't know if it's just me, but this is what I have been dreading and I kind of knew this was coming which is why I had a bit of break before carring on with the series after Lying Season...I just cannot bring myself to read this one, I feel detached from the characters - I'm about 50% in, so I did give it a good try!

I think I need a break and will come back again at a later date...I might wait for the remaining books in the series to come out and then re-read everything again from the beginning and have an EIT read-a-thon :)
The Dex-Files - Karina Halle I'm so pissed off right now - I just wrote a whole review for this and it just disappeared!!!? I will have to come back later to write another one as I'm too annoyed now.

But in short, I love Dex a little more for reading this and I loved being in his head - he is deliciously dirty, wonderfully sarcastic and lets face it, pretty fucked up - I had been worried his "voice" wouldn't be distinct from Perry as we have heard everything from her POV until now, but I didn't need to worry as Halle did a great job putting him across. Definitely a brilliant and enjoyable addition to the series.
Into the Hollow - Karina Halle This one wasn't such a cliffhanger as the last couple but it still left you needing to read the next one.

A lot of the first part is taken up with Perry getting out her parents house and going with Dex, plus deciding to give Experiment in Terror another go. As expected there's lots of angst between them and whilst Dex is now the one being pretty open about his feelings, Perry is alternating between not knowing how she feels and trying to bury her feelings - so frustrating!

Then when they finally go on their next shoot, the monsters were really pretty horrid and scary. The story went along at a fast pace and at no time was I bored, but looking back, not a lot really happened with the monsters - normally there is some reason or some conclusion or something that happens, but with this one there wasn't really any real closure on it.

The relationship between Dex & Perry was a bit weird and strained at times, as it is meant to be I guess, but because of that I couldn't get back into the feel of things like I did in the earlier books. I guess because of all they have been through they are meant to be different people now and that really does come across. Of course there are still a lot of elements there the same, but I think part of me loved those early books and the tension between them, plus Dex seemed much more mysterious back then when Perry was getting to know him... but something just feels a bit off in their dynamic now for me...

There also wasn't a lot of ghostly stuff happening in this one - although the couple of things that did happen were pretty big and I am guessing will be picked up on next time as not much time was spent on them in this one.

...this review is a bit of a ramble, so I will probably come back and edit this at some point, but overall I am finding that since the end of Lying Season, something has been a bit missing for me between Dex & Perry and the series and I can't quite work out what it is. But I hope we get to see it again in the next books...
Old Blood - Karina Halle 4.5 stars

Despite this being a short story, you really get a feel for Pippa and the heartache she has had to endure - hers is such a sad story in its own right but this book also gives you insight into Dex & Perrys lives & backgrounds. With this extra knowledge you feel like you know then a bit more and can see why they are the way they are to an extent.

I am glad I took the time to read this, a great addition to the series.
On Demon Wings - Karina Halle Well after trying to put off reading this due to needing a break after the intense emotional rollercoaster of Lying Season, I finally couldn't wait any longer and decided to read On Demon Wings, as I needed my Perry & Dex fix!

Whilst I couldn't help but like this, as after all it is part of what may be my favourite series EVER, this is the first book so far that I haven't felt thoroughly engaged in at parts. I think this is mainly due to the fact that we don't get to see Dex again until about 75% of the way through the book and it made me realise that what I love above all else in this series is the interaction between Dex & Perry. And when we do finally see him, I couldn't help but feel like Perry, almost like he was a stranger as we haven't seen him for so long. I am hoping once we get into the next book the connection between them will feel more real again. I don't know if this is because I have had a break from reading the books too...that probably didn't help.

However, that is not to say this wasn't good and it carried the story along to the next point, picking up a few months after Lying Season. In a way, whilst I was slightly disappointed that I didn't feel swept along in the same way I normally do with this series, I still felt the story shouldn't have been anything different. It needed the build up during the first part of the book to realise the despair Perry would be feeling, which added to her downward spiral.

I think I just felt tense and stressed the whole way through this one, knowing all this awful stuff was happening and still going to happen and not knowing how everything would work out. And we don't really get any relief at any point, as everything just keeps on getting worse. Even at the end, we don't get a feeling of relief for very long due to the major cliff-hanger! The immediate danger is concluded but then the ending is just "Noooooooooooo"!

Ada was great in this one - I really love her character and see that Halle has a book for her in the making, as a spin-off I guess from EIT. She is a great sister and friend to Perry throughout this one.

Then there was Max - I knew he would resurface again - I just didn't trust him from the beginning, he seemed fake - I don't know if that's how he was supposed to come across but eventually the sisters don't really trust him either - really he was just a massive jerk - or should I say douchecanoe! - throughout most of his scenes!

The freaky stuff was pretty horrid, but I did feel it was all a bit disjointed, different things kept just randomly happening all over the place, but then I guess this chaotic pattern was what Halle was going for, to add to the confusion for Perry. It was all pretty horrible and as it went on you could really see how people were going to think Perry was just going mental!

Just before Dex comes back into the story, it was just so horrible and stressful! You get to that point where you know if someone doesn't help soon Perry is going to be well and truly screwed! Urgh and the wasps made a reappearance in this one - god I hate freaking wasps, I have a phobia of them and so the scenes with them in made me feel physically sick, especially the last one, urgh it was just so horrible.

Do I go straight on to EIT #6 [b:Into the Hollow|13617933|Into the Hollow (Experiment in Terror, #6)|Karina Halle|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1346388869s/13617933.jpg|19220748] after this, or do I read the stories in between? [b:Old Blood|13599714|Old Blood (Experiment in Terror, #5.5)|Karina Halle|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1335551656s/13599714.jpg|19191362] telling “Creepy Clown Lady”s story, or [b:The Dex-Files|15746858|The Dex-Files (Experiment in Terror, #5.7)|Karina Halle|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1344824329s/15746858.jpg|21437922] showing Dex's POV for the books so far?

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I have decided to read [b:Old Blood|13599714|Old Blood (Experiment in Terror, #5.5)|Karina Halle|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1335551656s/13599714.jpg|19191362] next, as it seems to contain info that is necessary at this point to help you understand more about Dex & Perrys background, rather than just being "Creepy Clown Lady's" story.
Tempting the Best Man - J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout Not sure what to say really - not quite what I expected. Too short, boring, nothing really happened. I really like "friends-to-lovers" type stories when done well but unfortunately this didn't do it for me at all.
Lumberjack In Love - Penny Watson Well I should have looked at the number of pages and at 114 no wonder there isn't much depth - this is pretty much insta-love. I don't really 'get' our heroine and nothing really happens except for girl meets boy, they hook up, they immediately fall for each other, she pretends she hasn't while he chases her and then they get together for real after a few weeks. The flirting early on was cringe-worthy too, some of the dialogue was strangely stilted! Very, very cheesy love story and ugghh, I really don't like bushy beards on my leading men, even if the heroine went on about how sexy it was, nothing she said led me to believe it was sexy :( ...unfortunately not a fan of this story...
The Way of Shadows - Brent Weeks Epic fantasy, master assassins, intrigue and politics, the underworld, magic, prophesies and in the background a love story. I loved it - way more than anything I have read for a while. But I don't read a huge amount of fantasy...so my viewpoint is coming from that of someone who mainly reads PNR and urban fantasy. This is the first 5* I have rated a book with in some time though. I can't pinpoint exactly what I loved so much, I think perhaps the overall cleverly woven plotlines and Weeks' skill at storytelling.

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Considering I went into this book not really knowing what to expect there are many, many things I love.

There are some great characters, very engaging writing, wonderful flowing plot with lots of action, intrigue, deception, murder, love and political machinations. There is also cunning and powerful magic (although we don't know a HUGE amount about it until later into the book - I think this might be purposely being delayed for later parts of the story-line, so I hope when we finally get to see some properly executed magic it will be awesome!); legends of magical artefacts; and lots of twists and turns to the plot.

I love Durzo and Azoth's characters and although Logan wasn't particularly well fleshed out, he is a fave of mine too. Durzo's character is the stereotypical gruff expert assassin with a heart, although he tries very well to hide it and he has a suitably tortured past, mainly through his own decisions, and we don't know a huge amount about his past until much later into the book, but I guess that adds to the intrigue. I also really like Momma K's character but unfortunately we haven't seen as much of her as I would have liked.

There are a load of interesting secondary characters as well, which all weave into the whole, such as Jarl and Vi and I hope we see more of them in the rest of the trilogy - perhaps because there are so many secondary characters, they suffer from the fact that none have that much depth. The world, whilst set in mainly one Kingdom is interesting and you get glimpses of other areas too, which I think we will hear more about later in the trilogy. Although you mainly hear from Azoth's POV in this book, you get to see from a great many characters' viewpoints too and it is never confusing as to who you are in the mind of...although I do sometimes wish the action would flash back to the main story during some of these secondary viewpoints, not because they are boring, but just because sometimes the main action is left on a cliffhanger (however, everything is in there for a reason and is needed for the whole plot to weave together).

We also have the gruesome, with Weeks' depiction of life as a gutter rat at the beginning and what Azoth and his friends went through in the guild at the hands of 'rat' but it is all told for a purpose, to set the scene for everyones actions to come. On the other hand, there is also a love story, all be it somewhat of a sideline, but it does influence actions throughout. Unfortunately I have to say that I am not enamoured of Doll Girl though, which is disappointing...she isn't particularly well fleshed out, but really I feel slightly cheated that I don't know her better when she appears to be central to Azoth's choices through the story. From what I can tell Elene appears to be a very 'good' and frankly quite boring girl - although now that I am nearly at the end you do see some spirit in her.

I really am enjoying this a lot though and cannot put it down. At 60% into the book I got to a point where I felt like the story was about to go down a route I hadn't expected, or maybe hadn't wished it to, and I love the story so much that I almost cannot carry on as I am worried what they will do to all my favourite characters! But I daren't stop, or I know what I am like and I might not pick it up again...I think I need to trust in the author to tell the story how it needs to be told...lets hope I'm not disappointed.

PS: I hate the term 'wetboy' for super duper magic assassins! But in fairness it is probably my only major gripe with the book...every time I read the word it irritated me as it made Durzo Blint go from being this awesome assassin with all sorts of tricks and magic at his fingertips, who could break in anywhere, who could blend with shadows and feared nothing...to sounding a bit silly when called a 'wetboy'! I think Weeks should have used another term IMO...

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Update: I'm now about 90% of the way in, I had to put it down last night though as it was getting really late! So I am dying to finish it today. There is excitement, terror and heartache, a spectacular culmination to an underhand plot that has been building in the background, some great and tragic fight scenes and all the plotlines are being brought together...I get the feeling it is going to build to an awesome ending! I hope so!

Just to note that there are some definite tragic and awful moments towards the end, and whilst I desperately wished that some of the things hadn't happened, I feel the story is the better for them so I think they needed to be in there to make it as good as it is.

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Update: well I have just finished The Way of Shadows, the first in the Night Angel Trilogy, and I am really impressed. Whilst I wasn't thrilled with the dialogue in the very last part of the Epilogue, it was a pretty cool ending up until this point. Each of the main characters and plotlines comes to a form of conclusion that is satisfactory, whilst setting up the journeys for our main characters to develop into the next installment. We have some real badass magic finally being used and a final showdown fight scene...all finished up with a bit of a twist at the end. I really can't wait to read the next installment in the Trilogy, Shadow's Edge.
Easy - Tammara Webber This was a good read - heroine who grows throughout the story to be much stronger and quite likeable by the end, some strong subjects addressed in the story, a great best friend (Erin), a gorgeous and kind tortured hero and a sweet relationship which develops realistically throughout the book :)

I immediately got drawn into the story and was really enjoying it - but early on I was a bit worried that the assault at the beginning was just being used as a plot device to make the hero look good, as it isn't really addressed at all to begin with. However, as you carry on reading you realise that it hasn't been ignored and the issue is addressed relatively well, including how others react throughout all the variations from unfailing support to disbelief. Once I knew this was being addressed properly it allowed me to really enjoy the read - if it hadn't been tackled right, it would have really put me off.

I loved reading the email exchanges between Jacqueline and her tutor...they were nothing wonderful, but knowing the characters, you can read between the lines on what is said and they just made me smile.

I had a couple of niggles with things between Jacqueline and Lucas, but I could overlook these for the overall story.

Oh and although this is set around people aged around 18-20 I'm guessing and they are all at college so there are references to usual college antics, this wasn't a young adult story with lots of silly behaviour at all - so this is probably NA I guess as a category. I enjoy NA done well. I found it similar in level to [b:Wait for You|17314430|Wait for You (Wait for You, #1)|J. Lynn|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1363819713s/17314430.jpg|23981243] - the issues addressed are similar to an extent but "Easy" goes a different way with it.
Midnight Rescue - Elle Kennedy I enjoyed the first third I think - bunch of assassin women, bunch of ex-military/special ops men - all have had some sort of rough deal in life. Both teams working together for this mission. Everyone seems pretty fucked up emotionally! Its a bit too contrived for my liking so far, but its enjoyable still. The switches in POV are a bit disorienting - there are lots of them and its a little distracting keeping track of the changes.

I do like reading about all the different characters, but I get the feeling that because we keep shifting around between so many that we aren't really going to get to know our main hero/heroine really in-depth. I like to know the main characters really well so that I feel its real when they express feelings etc. Not to say that any of the characters are cardboard cutouts, as they aren't...but I want more time spent on the hero/heroine.

I got about 50-60% in and I kind of just trailed off so this one is something I will probably read again at some point in the future as it had potential.