The Reading List Archive – 2013

This is the archive of the books I read (or started) in 2013.  For the books I’ve read or am currently reading, check out The Reading List.
I’ll put an X behind those that I recommend and a XX behind those that I highly recommend. Books with one X will likely only be popular with those who are fans of the genre, while XXs are those I’d recommend regardless of genre preference.
106.  Dreamsongs: Volume I by George R. R. Martin (28 Dec 2013) – XX
—–A great collection of short stories.
105.  The Thief of Always by Clive Barker (21 Dec 2013) – XX
———-Read:  My review of The Thief of Always
104.  Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake (6 Dec 2013) – X
—–Interesting, but rather repetitive.  I guess that’s to be expected when the book is trying to convince us that it’s a mostly usable roadmap for a national U. S. cyber security policy.
103.  Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, book 11) by Robert Jordan (7 Nov 2013) [re-reading to review- still highly recommended as part of this series]
———-Read:  My review of Knife of Dreams
102.  Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega, book 2) by Patricia Briggs (30 Oct 2013) – X
———-Read:  My review of Hunting Ground
101.  Cry Wolf  (Alpha and Omega, book 1) by Patricia Briggs (21 Oct 2013) – X
———-Read:  My review of Cry Wolf
100.  On The Prowl by Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, & Sunny (7 Oct 2013)
—–Other than “Alpha and Omega”, which kicks off Briggs’ series, I found nothing worth reading in this book.
———-Read:  My review of On The Prowl
99.  Crossroads of Twilight (The Wheel of Time, book 10) by Robert Jordan (7 Sep 2013) [re-read to write a review – still highly recommended as part of this series]
———-Read:  My review of Crossroads of Twilight
98.  The Cleric Quintet by R. A. Salvatore (23 Jul 2013) – X
—–A great early book by Salvatore, but not likely for non-fantasy readers.
[read Head First HTML & CSS, 2nd Edition in between Winter’s Heart and The Cleric Quintet]
97.  Winter’s Heart (The Wheel of Time, book 9) by Robert Jordan (6 Jun 2013) [re-read to write a review – still highly recommended as part of this series]
———-Read:  My review of Winter’s Heart
96.  The Candy Shop War: Arcade Catastrophe by Brandon Mull (29 May 2013) – XX
———-Read:  My review of Arcade Catastrophe
95.  The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull (19 May 2013) – XX
———-Read:  My review of The Candy Shop War
94.  The Path of Daggers (The Wheel of Time, book 8) by Robert Jordan (19 Apr 2013) [re-read to write a review – still highly recommended as part of this series]
———-Read:  My review of The Path of Daggers
93. Tomb Seven by Gene Snyder (9 Apr 2013)
—–Tomb Seven was fairly predictable, with little worthwhile action.
———-Read:  My review of Tomb Seven
92. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (31 Mar 2013)
—–While this story had some interesting parallels to the non-fiction book “How the Irish Saved Civilization”, it was very slow going, and a bit difficult to follow at times.
91.  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (22 Feb 2013) – XX
———-Read:  My review of Beautiful Creatures
90.  A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time, book 7) (20 Feb 2013) [re-reading to write a review]
———-Read:  My review of A Crown of Swords
89.  Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (2 Feb 2013)
—–Slow going.  Couldn’t get into this one.  Was like work to get through it.
———-Read:  My review of Labyrinth
88.  The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (28 Jan 2013) – X
—–An interesting system of magic, a young protagonist, but not a young adult book
———-Read:  My review of The Lost Gate
87.  The Legend of Drizzt Anthology, The Collected Stories by R.A. Salvatore, Edited by Philip Athas (22 Jan 2013) – XX
—–A collection of short stories centered around Drizzt and the Companions of the Hall, as well as a few focused on Jarlaxle and Artemis Entreri.
86.  A Memory of Light (the Wheel of Time, book 14) by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (10 Jan 2013) – XX
———-Read:  My review of A Memory of Light
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Review: Hunting Ground

Hunting GroundTitle: Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega, book 2)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: August 2009
Author’s Website: http://www.patriciabriggs.com/
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Review: Bran, the Marrok, is planning to bring werewolves out of hiding and into the open.  As leader of the North American werewolves, he doesn’t need anyone’s permission, but invites the leaders of foreign werewolf regions to a conference to hear their misgivings about the plan and make assurances that he will do what he can to minimize the impact on their organizations.  Bran sends Charles, his son and “enforcer”, to the conference in his stead.  Charles, of course, brings Anna, his mate and the pack’s omega werewolf, which proves to have interesting effects on the conference.  Of course, when you have so many dominant alpha werewolves in one place, there’s bound to be trouble, so it also make perfect sense to hire a powerful fae as the mediator, to enforce the rules.

But, who invited the vampires?

Bottom Line:  Anna continues to be fleshed out as a character, while she continues to learn about being an omega.  Any number of events in this story are predictable, some unavoidable, but it flows along at a nice pace and doesn’t stretch believability too far.  I’m still not really getting any emotion from these characters, but it’s not for a lack of Ms. Briggs trying.  I’m just not feeling it.  That said, if you’re a fan of the genre or Briggs’ work, this is a decent book.  Not great, but not bad.

Review: Cry Wolf

Cry WolfTitle: Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, book 1)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: July 2008
Author’s Website:  http://www.patriciabriggs.com/
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Review:  After being rescued from her former pack, Anna is swept out of Chicago by her new mate, Charles, and his father, the Marrok, leader of all werewolves in North America.   While Charles is recovering from wounds he received during the rescue and Anna’s getting used to being desired and cared for by her alpha mate, they are sent out on a mission to discover who’s been attacking humans out in the forest near their pack lands.  Anna and Charles are also both still learning the extent of Anna’s omega abilities, which come in handy when they discover a recently turned werewolf and then have to confront the powerful witch who has come looking for one of their pack.

Bottom Line:  The characters of Anna and Charles aren’t as compelling or deep as Mercy Thompson and Adam, but this is an interesting story…and Anna is still developing.  A decent read, but not for folks who aren’t already fans of the genre.

Review: On The Prowl

On The ProwlTitle: On The Prowl
Author: Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen , Sunny
Published: August 2007
Author’s Websites:

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Review: This book consists of four stories by four authors.  The main themes uniting these stories are shapeshifting, fae, and romance…all to varying degrees.

“Alpha and Omega” by Patricia Briggs introduces us to Anna and Charles.  Anna is a relatively new werewolf who is being abused by her pack.  When she finally calls the Marrok, the leader of all werewolves in the United States, he sends his son, Charles, out to investigate.  Anna and Charles instantly bond when she picks him up at the airport where Charles also notices that Anna is a rare omega werewolf, one who can ease emotions while also disregarding commands by Alphas.  We see a bit of them bonding while Charles goes about the business of investigating and stopping the abuse and violation of the Marrok’s laws.
“Inhuman” by Eileen Wilks is about Kai, an empath who’s not just an empath, and Nathan, her not-quite-a-stranger, not-quite-a-friend neighbor, who’s not quite human.  These two find themselves evading police while baiting a killer before being ripped into a different realm to face down a Sidhe queen.
“Buying Trouble” by Karen Chance has a mage named Claire working guard duty for an auction house full of monstrous patrons.  When the part is crashed, an elf whisks Claire away to his realm where they have to dodge and fight through rival elf clans until Claire’s true nature manifests itself.
“Mona Lisa Betwining” by Sunny is just a horribly written, difficult to follow story that throws a few fantasy words about in order to qualify as fantasy romance.  An utter waste of time.
Bottom Line:  None of the stories really wowed me.  Not my favorite story by Briggs, but easily the best in this book,  On the Prowl was a decent intro to her Alpha and Omega series. The (second story) at least piqued my interest enough that I wondered what was going to happen to the protagonist.  The the other two stories were complete wastes of my time, the fourth being nearly unreadable.  Skip this book, unless you’re really needing the beginning to Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series, in which case you should probably hit a library for an hour or so and read it there.  Don’t waste money on it, though.

Teaser Tuesday: Hunting Ground

Teaser Tuesday post for 5 November 2013:

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

I suspect they didn’t even know he could talk–let alone make so much sense when he did.  It was as if a shark started speaking the King’s English.

from “Hunting Ground” by Patricia Briggs

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: Cry Wolf, again

Teaser Tuesday post for 29 October 2013:

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Anna looked sick.  “There are worse monsters to be than a werewolf, aren’t there?”

from “Cry Wolf” by Patricia Briggs

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: Cry Wolf

Teaser Tuesday post for 22 October 2013:

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

He didn’t really understand what had happened until the morning after the first full moon when he woke up with blood in his mouth, under his nails, and on his naked body:  the memory of what he’d done, what he’d become, clear as diamonds.  Only then did he know he had become the enemy, and he wept at the loss of the last of his humanity.

from “Cry Wolf” by Patricia Briggs

 

 

 

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

—————————————————————————————————————————

Teaser Tuesday: On The Prowl

While it’s really only supposed to be two sentences, I had to make it three this week.  I wanted the first and last sentence of this excerpt.  I suppose I could have used ellipses, but that still kind of fudges the rule.

Teaser Tuesday post for 8 October 2013:

“Why the rolling pin and not a knife?” he asked, his voice raspy with the need for action.

 She looked at him for the first time since she’d seen his face on the stairs.  “A knife wouldn’t even slow him down, but bones take time to heal.”

from “On The Prowl” by Patricia Briggs (the first novella in On The Prowl by Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, and Sunny)

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

 

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

—————————————————————————————————————————

The Reading List Archive – 2011

This is the archive of the books I read (or started) in 2011.  For the books I’ve read or am currently reading, check out The Reading List.
I’ll put an X behind those that I recommend and a XX behind those that I highly recommend. Books with one X will likely only be popular with those who are fans of the genre, while XXs are those I’d recommend regardless of genre preference.
63.  What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz (27 Dec 2011) – X
———-> Read: My review of What the Night Knows
62.  Blockade Billy by Stephen King (26 Dec 2011) – X
—–This is a very small book with two short stories.  Blockade Billy, a baseball story that reads somewhat like an interview, and Morality, a very short story that delves a little into deciding what you can live with doing for money and then trying to live with it.
61.  Four Past Midnight by Stephen King (27 Nov 2011) – X
—–It’s a safe bet that anything King writes will get at least one X from me.
60.  Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (1 Nov 2011)
—–I didn’t like this book of “Short Fictions and Wonders.”  There were a couple that I found interesting, but I had to force myself to slug through most of it.
59.  Neverwinter:  The Neverwinter Saga, Book II by R. A. Salvatore (19 Oct 2011) – XX
———-> Read: My review of Neverwinter
58.  The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles, Book Two) by Rick Riordin (5 Oct 2011) – XX
———-> Read: My review of The Throne of Fire
—–I liked this one.  It lays out 38 things to avoid and some suggestions on how to accomplish them.  Very concise.  Only one X because if you aren’t a writer, there’s likely no interest.
56.  City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, Book 1) by Cassandra Clare (18 Sep 2011) – XX
—–Interesting story with good pacing and characters.
———-> Read: My review of City of Bones
55.  Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1) by Jeaniene Frost (11 Sep 2011) – X
———-> Read:  My review of Halfway to the Grave
54.  Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (4 September 2011) – XX
———-> Read: My review of Neverwhere
53.  A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (13 August 2011) – XX
———-> Read: My review of A Dance with Dragons
52.  Creating Characters Kids Will Love by Elaine Marie Alphin (22 July 2011)
—–I’m conflicted about this one.  I didn’t get much out of it.  There were a couple nuggets, but at times it also seemed like too much time was spent pumping her own books/stories.  Now, to be honest, I didn’t do the activities suggested in the chapters.  Maybe, I’d have gotten more out of it, if I had.
51.  The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) by Rick Riordan (10 Jul 2011) – XX
50.  The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design by Flint Dille & John Zuur Platten (25 Jun 2011) – X
—–Having not read any other books on “how to write” for video games, this book was quite informative with a lot of exercises to do and sample documents based on the authors’ real-world experience.
49.  Songs of Love & Death:  All Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (7 Jun 2011)
—–At first glance, you may wonder if I just missed putting an X down since most of the books I’ve read (on this list) I’ve given at least one X.  Nope, I didn’t miss a thing.  Out of all the stories in the book, two or three really had my interest.  I forced myself to complete the book, even though I skipped most of one of the stories and skimmed through another.  I am very glad I picked this up at a huge discount when my local Borders was closing.  I’d have been bummed if I’d have paid more than $5-6 for it.
48.  A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin (17 May 2011) – XX
—–New Point of View characters, more death, at least one character I used to dislike, I’ve come to like.
47.  A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin (25 Apr 2011) – XX
—–More characters die, more grow, and still ‘Winter is Coming’
46.  A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (10 Apr 2011) – XX
—–Continuing on where A Game of Thrones left off… don’t get too attached to all the characters, nor expect them to never change.
45b.  Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs (26 Mar 2011)
—–started reading this while still in Game of Thrones because I didn’t want to risk dropping GoT in the water while reading in the tub.  GoT is hardback. This is paperback…less costly to replace.
—–The best of the Mercy Thompson series so far.
45a.  A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (20 Mar 2011) – XX
—–I think it’s highly possible that people who don’t normally read fantasy could like this book.  It isn’t heavy on the magic or the supernatural.  It really is very heavily character driven…and those characters are very well-defined.
44.  Masques by Patricia Briggs (12 Mar 2011) – X
—–a nice little story–heavy on the relationship building of the protagonists, light on fighting
#33, revisited:  A Tale of two Cities (13 Feb 2011)
—–gave up again.  Made it about a third of the way through it before putting it down, though.  Then caught up on some backlogged issues of Writer’s Digest before moving on to #44 above.
43.  Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs (8 Feb 2011) – X
—–With the exception of the contrived ending, this one is again a decent outing.
42.  Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (4 Feb 2011) – X
—–The third book in the Mercedes Thompson series finally hits stride with a good combination of action, characters, and story.
41.  Gauntlgrym: Neverwinter Book I by R.A. Salvatore (30 Jan 2011) – XX
—–A fantastic start to a new series.  Closing some chapters in Drizzt’s life, opening new ones.
———-> Read: My review of Gauntlgrym
40.  Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (26 Jan 2011)
—–Better than the last one, but still can’t bring myself to recommend it
39.  Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (22 Jan 2011)
—–Light-weight, vamp, wolf, witch stuff.  Only one relatively complex character.
38.  Percy Jackson & The Olympians:  The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (17 Jan 2011) – X
—–Great wrap-up to a superb series.  Very good momentum and pacing.
37.  The Difference Maker by John C. Maxwell (11 Jan 2011) – X
—–While a positive attitude isn’t all that’s necessary to be successful, it is a huge factor in success.  A great book about what a positive attitude can and can’t do for you.
36.  The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by Philip Athans (6 Jan 2011) – X
—–Fantastic book.  I’d give it a ‘XX’, but if you aren’t interested in becoming a Fantasy and/or Science Fiction Writer, you won’t have much use for this one.
———->  Read: My review of The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction