Tag Archives: ARCs

Review: Mirain

By Jacob Reifsteck
Pages: 592
Date Finished: April 15, 2017

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay

Synopsis:

Princess Sofia, just recently turned old enough to have her own personal guards. The guards, Hector, an unproven, yet ambitious young knight and his sarcastic squire, Mark, sees this as an opportunity of a lifetime to guard the noble lady from the safety of her castle…but the lady has other plans. Her home, the land of Mirain, has prospered under years of peace, but the princess becomes alarmed at the news of possibly superstitious events at the outskirts of the kingdom. Even more alarming is that few knights bother to acknowledge them, preferring to instead compete in tournaments for personal glory and recognition. The princess drags her unwilling guards to investigate the reports of monsters in the far off corners of the realm. Soon, they discovers a much bigger problem than anyone anticipated.

Review:

I keep putting off writing this review, because I want to like this book, I really do. It just has too many problems. It felt like an unfinished or unedited book. But the promise of the book was there, in many little glimpses especially toward the latter half of the book.

The story is basically a coming of age tale for 3 characters Sophia, the crown princess, Hector he personal guard and Mark his squire. From naive young teens ready to take on the world to war weary veterans just desperate to help their friends survive the next onslaught.

The first problem is that the characters are too modern, especially Princess Sofia. The way she talked just ground a nerve, it didn’t fit with the rest of the story or setting. Especially when the characters use the phrase, “Just saying.” That being said her voice matured though out the book and by the end (finally) the dialogue fit the story.

Secondly, the mistakes! Several times characters were called by the wrong name. Once even a sentence was in the wrong place, which completely took me out of the story. The word knew was used instead of new, and there were other mistakes that really should have been caught by an editor.

Soap-Box-Rant: Also you can’t just steal the Uruk-hai from Tolkien. I’m pretty sure that’s copy right infringement or plagiarism or something. It’s one thing to make allusion to another work, or homage to it, but to just straight up take a part of his world and use it as your own that’s not good. They are not commonly used fantasy characters like elves, dwarves and what not they are characters made up by Tolkien for use in his world.

Bottom Line:

Please someone edit this book and put out a second edition! There is a good epic fantasy story hiding in this book, and I hope it will get the rewrite it deserves.

More info about Mirain from Ravenswood Publishers.

June 2017 Book Pick Ups

The Deliberate ReaderOnce again I got WAAAY too many books this month. I’ve really got to stop opening up book deal emails and emails from authors. My Kindle is over flowing.

Plus a book by my friend Karen Barnett came out in June, and our local independent book store had a sale.

Also over summer break we are trying to read all of the Dr. Seuss books on this checklist (as many as we can get our hands on.)

For Kindle:

The Pearl of Wisdom Saga: Two Book Bundle
Why I got it: Author freebie. The description for this fantasy series starts, “Kings. Queens. Treachery.” That was enough to get me interested plus the title of the first book “Two Heads Two Spikes” sounds intriguing, and then the cover for book 3 sealed it. Yeah this is a series that I want to check out.

Whispers From Another World: Whitney Powers Paranormal Adventure #1
Why I got it: Won it from an Amazon giveaway. It’s by the same author as the Pearls of Wisdom saga. While I’m not a fan of “medium heat romance” or urban fantasy, winning is always nice ;).

The Man of Legends
Why I got it: My Kindle First Selection for June. To tell you the truth I didn’t really scrutinize the list this month, and just picked out the science fiction selection.

Cage of Deceit: Reign of Secrets, Book 1
Why I got it: Author freebie. A princess by day, vigilante by night is a pretty unique twist on the princess troupe. You know the one where she’s a political pawn, but feels in her heart she’s something more, and then boom! turns out only she has the special whatever to save her kingdom. I am hoping this one turns that on its head.

99 Days (Red Proxy Book 2)
Why I got it: Author freebie. “Kertram is a contented man with a simple life. He likes the dangerous, but rewarding work of shepherding baby dragons… His wife is murdered and his babies kidnapped. He knows his newborns will be ritually sacrificed on the 99th day of their lives to satisfy the monstrous appetites of others — unless he can get there first.” Wow! I totally want to know what happens.

The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow Book 1)
Why I got it: Author freebie. Ok the cover, I’ll admit it, one look at the cover and I was in. I’m not as into Fae stories as some, but it does sound interesting, and this books is a A 2014 Readers’ Favorite GOLD MEDAL WINNER in YA Fantasy.

Conan: Broadsword Legacy Collection
Why I got it: Instafreebie had this collection listed in a email I received from them. It’s EVERY Conan story in the preferred reading order. Now I can read Conan without having to wonder “what order do I tackle these in?”

Redemption: A Malvers War Story
Why I got it: Author freebie. This one didn’t actually sound too fascinating to me, but the others in the series did, Ancient Enemies and Ancient Allies. Monsters and humans in a never ending war, dark prophecy, and warrior women in an epic fantasy tale.  This story is still available on Instafreebie.

Seventh Mark (part 1 & 2)
Why I got it: Author freebie. This is one of the reason I’ve got to learn that not every freebie is worth it. Shifters, love triangles and romance… well I probably won’t be getting to this any time soon.

Salted
Why I got it: Author freebie. The author was intrigued when his mother challenged him to write a “mermaid” book that would appeal to boys. So what we get is an under the sea tale about Selkie’s, action and adventure. I’m am definitely excited to dive in this one.

eARC:

The Thirteenth Gate: Dominion Mysteries #2
Why I got it: New Kat Ross novel!!! **Dances in the streets** I am so hooked on Kat Ross, some of the best new fantasy I’ve read in the past couple of years. And if my enthusiasm isn’t enough here is a bite sized description, “Winter 1888. At an asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night.”

ARC:

1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Muscle Cars In Detail No. 4
Why I got it: My husband and I enjoy classic muscle cars, so I took a chance with this book.

Kids Books:

Tangled: Kingdom of Color
Why I got it: My weakness for cheap thrift store books and Disney Princesses strikes again.

The Berenstain Bears and the Sitter
Why I got it: IT WAS FIFTY CENTS! Seriously, that’s all to add another Berenstain BEars book to our collection.

Great Buildings
Why I got it: My husband picked this out at the thrift store.

Serendipity
Why I got them: Two reasons 1. I love Serendipity and endeavor to own them all. 2. Our local book store Browser’s Book had a 25% off sale one weekend in June and I found they had recently received a whole huge collection of Serendipity books. Thank you Dottie (name plate inside the books), whoever you are for passing on your books, we will make sure to enjoy them all.

PS: I’m personal friends with the owner, and when I told him what I had bought during the sale (at really reasonable prices I might add,) he told me, “I know I could put them on Ebay and get more for them there, but I want them in the hands of children.” Bingo! The Little Bug loves them and yep they are certainly going to be read not just shelved in a collection.

Other:

The Road to Paradise: A Vintage National Parks Novel
Why I got it: This is the latest novel by my friend Karen Barnett. I had it on pre-order since day one. It’s a historical fiction novel set in the early days of Mount Rainier National Park.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)
Why I got it: The online book fair for Little Bug’s school had this as one of the weekly deals, so I got a copy for $1. I may finally get into this YA series that everyone raves about. And really since I’m a big fan of Greek Mythology and retelling you’d have thought I would have already read this.

From The Library:

Six of Crows
Why I got it: The June choice for the Date A Book Club on Goodreads. It’s been a while since I’ve been involved with a book club and another book blogger I know was going to be doing it, so I jumped in. And I devoured this book. I can’t believe that I have never read a Leigh Bardugo book before.

How to Train Your Dragon: How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (Audio)
Why I got it: June is Audiobook Month, so I thought I’d give audio books another shot, and besides this one was read by David Tennant. However the library sticker prevented me from seeing that this was book 12. Way to start at the end **head slap**.

Dr Seuss – Bartholomew and the Oobleck, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book, Gerald McBoing Boing, Hooper Humperdink … ? Not Him!, I Am Not Going to Get Up Today!
Why I got them: We are working through the Doctor Seuss library this summer. I will have to say that so far Gerald McBoing Boing has been the big hit.

March 2017 Book Pick Ups

The Deliberate ReaderI am so far behind in my book pick up posts that I couldn’t hope to catch up, so I just decided to start fresh by posting just last months books.

Since our move I kinda settled down on picking up anything but kindle titles and kids books. We just have less space, and I have less time for personal reading right now. Hopefully as we get more settled in and use to our new routine that will change.

For Kindle:

The Daemoniac (Dominion Mysteries Book 1)
Why I got it: Because Kat Ross is an awesome author and I want to read more of her books. Go follow her on twitter and then check out my reviews for her other books Blood of the Prophet and Queen of Chaos.

Ella Dethroned
Why I got it: You know I forgot I had picked this one up, I’m assuming it was from Instafreebie or Book Bub. It’s the prequel to a fantasy series, and has mostly 4 and 5 star reviews. It sounds exciting so I’ll give it a shot.

The Silver Skull Preview
Why I got it: This one is going up to the front of my TBR list because it sounds so intriguing. Add Steampunk, plus spies, plus a dash of fantasy and I’m am in. (I believe this copy is just a sample though, and I will probably end up buying the full book.)

ARC:

Who Counts?: 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons
Why I got it: I got this children’s book through the LibraryThing early readers program. I requested it because it looked like a good childrens book about some of the parables of Jesus. However I had mixed feeling about it. Read my review here.

eARC:

The Waterfall Traveler
Why I got it: I am going to review this book for Xpresso Book Tour in May. It sounds like a good fantasy story, with rouges, fugitives, conspiracies and someone the power to travel through water. Also, the cover is just amazing.

Kids Books:

The Little Grumpy Cat that Wouldn’t (Little Golden Book)
Why I got it: I picked this up from my Goddaughter’s school book fair, partly because she loves Grumpy Cat and partly because this year is Little Golden Books 75th anniversary. And the thought of Grumpy cat in a Little golden Book is hilarious.

Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty
Why I got it: It was .99 cents at St. Vinny’s and I am a big sucker for collecting all the books in a series. Plus this gives me more to read than Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray: The Uproar at the front door, which is her favorite bad kitty book and therefore I have read it about 4,00 times.

Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet
Why I got it: Same reasons as above, but this one we got from the book fair.

Mary Poppins
Why I got it: .99 cent at St. Vinny’s and it a book I’ve always wanted to read. Now that my goddaughter is a little older I’ve started reading chapter books to her, like Winnie-the-Pooh and I think we’ll try Mary Poppins too.

The Shy Little Kitten (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: I remember reading this book as a Little Golden book when I was a kid. The step into reading version is just right for my goddaughter to practice her reading aloud.

Cinderella (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: A cheap thrift store pick up. And like I said before I like to collect books in a series, and we already have a bunch of Disney princess Step Into Reading titles.

The Sweetest Spring (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Ditto what I just said, but even more so because this one is part of a series-within-a-series of Disney princess seasonal books.

Tink’s Treasure Hunt (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Another Thrift store find, and who doesn’t love Tink?

Misc:

National Geographic Inside the Medieval World 2017
Why I got it: This is actually what I’m reading right now. I saw it on a supermarket newsstand and picked it up because I’m intrigued by the Medieval World and a century-by-century guide is a great tool for understand the pieces of history.

 

December 2016 Book Pick-Ups

December 2016 Pick-UpsThe Deliberate Reader

Christmas is always a great time for new books. Most of the year I get books through Kindle deals, and thrift stores. But December is a time where I can count on getting a few new physical books. The last couple of years this means coloring books too. Although, it’s a big fad now and every publisher is trying to get one out for all their IP’s, I never gave up on coloring and have enjoyed it as a hobby since I was a child.

For Kindle:

The Destroyer
Why I got it: I’m on the author’s email list and he said the book was being offered for free so I thought I would check it out. Sounds like it has a lot of graphic sex in it though, and I may decide to abandon it, because that’s not really something I like in books.

The Missing
Why I got it: My Kindle First selection for the month. Which I now regret because most of the reviews are bad, and a mystery without a likable lead is not my cup of tea.

Ocean’s Justice: The Little Mermaid Retold
Why I got it: The Little Mermaid retold sounds awesome, and it was free.

Ocean’s Trial
Why I got it: The follow-up to Ocean’s Justice, it was also free. I found out about both through the author’s newsletter.

eARCs:

Mirain
Why I got it: This sentence “The princess drags her unwilling guards to investigate the reports of monsters in the far off corners of the realm.” That and it’s from Ravenswood Publishing and I have really enjoyed the experience of being part of their reviewer team.

Queen of Chaos
Why I got it: The 3rd book in the Forth Element Series. I read books 1 and 2 earlier in the year (read my review), and was offered the third as an ARC. I can’t wait to finish this exciting series.

ARC:

A Morning with Grandpa
Why I got it: I won it in the November batch of Early Reviewers books from LibraryThing.com. It’s a children’s book from a publisher that specializes in multicultural books for children. I haven’t had a chance to look it over, but it sounds interesting.

Book Fair:

I bought several of these book as gifts.
I bought several of these book as gifts.

A Bad Kitty Christmas
Why I got it: We love Bad Kitty, maybe a little too much. But well the book fair was right before Christmas, so we had to get it. Right?

Avatar The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Part One
Why I got it: We also love Avatar, and I enjoy a graphic novel from time to time. But seriously if you haven’t watched Avatar the Last Airbender you are missing out.

 

Coloring Books:

Serenity Adult Coloring Book
Why I got it: A gift from my sister. 🙂 Was the only Firefly themed gift I got this year, despite having the card game and Yatzee on my wishlist.

Dot-to-Dot for Grown-Ups
Why I got it: A gift from my mother-in-law. While Dot-to-Dots aren’t really my thing this was it pretty interesting.

Misc:

Thou Spleeny Swag-Bellied Miscreant: Create Your Own Shakespearean Insults
Just a couple of the Shakespearean Insults.

Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection
Why I got it: I love Heart and Brain, and my husband knows what I love, so he got it for me as a Christmas Present.

Thou Spleeny Swag-Bellied Miscreant: Create Your Own Shakespearean Insults
Why I got it: Actually this was a present for my husband, but he’s doesn’t really enjoy Shakespeare the way I do.

The Wise Man’s Fear
Why I got it: Because I needed it… I have been waiting to read this book for an eternity, and finally just decided to buy it for myself.

2017 Inspire Daily Desktop Calendar
Why I got it: My MIL gave it to us for Christmas.