Friday, December 25, 2015

Book Review: The Watchers: Knight of Light

I was recently offered the opportunity to review an electronic copy of The Watchers: Knight of Light by Deidra Eden.  Generally, I'm not a fan of electronic copies of books but we must all adapt to the ways of the time.  I received the .mobi file so I could read on the Amazon Kindle app on my phone.  I'm sure it wasn't just my copy of the file but any time the line ended in a hyphenated word that was continued on the next line, I seemed to lose several lines by the time I flipped to the next page.  Technical difficulties aside, I'm sure I didn't miss much.

From the publisher:

All the training in Heaven couldn't prepare me for the war on earth, nor for the love, loss, or loneliness humans feel. There are things worse than death, and every last one of them is hunting people like us. Even though we all feel human at times, we must remember, we are not them, we are their watchers.

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

I really liked the author's take on medieval England.  Nobility was referenced and signs of the times were more than evident. The characters were generally likable.  Auriella had an interesting character development.  She had no issue accepting that she was not human or that her life was about to drastically change.  In that way, she was a very immature teenage girl.  Her dwarf and pixie traveling companions were also quite pleasant even if they weren't always easy to understand.

I didn't love the way the author jumped from modern English to olde English regularly as with illustrating a conversation between the dwarf and the girl or the pixie and a human.  One character would talk like the person next to you and the other came straight out of a fairy tale.  The lack of consistency was frustrating.  I also found that getting a clear idea of the timeline was hard.  While the story always ran forward, there wasn't clear indication of if we moved to several days later from one paragraph to the next or if it was only the next day.

Honestly, I wouldn't read this one again.  It wasn't my favorite.  Were someone to request of me a recommendation of a book featuring dragons, elves, etc, I'd probably point them to Eragon or Lord of the Rings.  It's not to say it's unlikable-- it just wasn't for me personally even though I do enjoy the genre.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed here are mine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Lit-Cube Review


A very good friend of mine subscribes to several book subscription boxes.  Subscription boxes in general are currently a hot item—they’ll send you a curated box of whatever flavor of crap is your favorite.  I vaguely followed her posts about these boxes and sat on the fence for a long time.  
However, Lit-Cube roped me in with their “Supernatural, Idgits!” theme which was a beautiful nod to one of my favorite characters.  Felipe and I recently watched all of the available seasons of Supernatural on Netflix and we’re not so patiently waiting for the current season to be added.  I’ve since done a lot a lot of reading on the actors and their various charities.  I couldn’t resist a box that was sharing the profits with charity and especially not one that included my favorite show.

Following that box, I received 4 more themed boxes: Zombies, Immortal Kiss, Grab Box and You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.  The stuff included in the box was ok.  I didn’t love it nearly as much as the boxes I saw before mine.  And, the books.  Oh the books!  They haven’t been great.  The Supernatural one was bad; the two zombie books weren’t great but better.  The Immortal Kiss book thus far has been my favorite—I even tweeted the author for an update on a sequel.  So far, no word.  So, I unsubscribed.  I couldn’t justify spending that much money ($35) each month for a book I didn’t love and stuff that I wouldn’t necessarily keep very long.  I’m anti-clutter. 

I did love what Lit-Cube was trying to do.  I think that the people that run it are great—there was an issue with the Supernatural box and Peggy did everything she could to make it right for other subscribers even when said subscribers got unnecessarily nasty on Facebook.  They’re making changes in 2016 with a wearable, readable and eatable in every box.  I like that but I think I’ll wait and see what happens before I resubscribe.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Book Review: Oasis

I received an advance copy of Oasis by Dima Zales in exchange for my honest review.

From the publisher:
A new dystopian/post-apocalyptic series from a New York Times bestselling author
My name is Theo, and I'm a resident of Oasis, the last habitable area on Earth. It's meant to be a paradise, a place where we are all content. Vulgarity, violence, insanity, and other ills are but a distant memory, and even death no longer plagues us.
I was once content too, but now I'm different. Now I hear a voice in my head, and she tells me things no imaginary friend should know. Her name is Phoe, and she is my delusion.
Or is she?

I don't read many dystopian or post-apocalyptic books even though they are quite popular right now.  I've noticed quite a few and not just zombies--everyone has their own spin.  However, when offered the opportunity to read a book, who am I to decline?  I also don't typically read ebooks but when in Rome....
I downloaded the Kindle app because Jack loves the Kindle entirely too much and it's never charged.  It was easy to set up my account and forward the file.  It was actually way simpler than I would ever have imagined.  I'm not very technologically savvy for my age.  I get by.  I did find reading it black with white text was easier on the eyes especially when I was reading at night while waiting for children to fall asleep.
Oasis was the story of a young man struggling to survive in his reality.  He lived after society after technology advanced so rapidly that the world couldn't keep up.  The Goo ate the world and the society was left with one safe bubble.  They built a very tech friendly society where screens could be pulled up with the wave of a hand and doors could be open the same way.  One must only wave their hands a specific way and Food would arrive in their hands.  They also referred to what we consider modern times as ancient.  That was a little harsh to read.
The biggest struggle I had with this book was understanding some of the harder tech stuff.  I just don't have a frame of reference for that.  I struggled with the need for hand motions and putting things into perspective.  This is in no way a criticism of the author, it's just a short-coming of mine.  I'm not tech savvy.
Overall, it was a good book and I'd read it again.