My Book Life

Here lies all my feels and opinions on the books I read. Including reviews, photos, and random book related news that has turned me into a fangirl. Oh, and probably photos of my cats will appear. I am, after all a crazy cat lady who wants all the books.

So I'm expanding.

May was a pretty slim reading month for me.  I picked up books this last month, started them, put them down, and just never finished them.  It was also a pretty busy month as well.  My sister was getting ready to be gone with work for three months.  So I was helping her get ready for that and enjoying our last few weekends together. Basically I sort of embraced the reading slump.  Went on a few adventures with my sister before she leaves for the summer and enjoyed the really nice weather we've been having.


I also finally decided I was going to activate my Blogger account.  I'm not leaving Booklikes completely!  I will still be posting my reviews here, but a majority of everything else will be on my Blogger account, Bookish Whispers.


I cannot thank everyone enough for welcoming me into this community and making feel nothing but welcome.  It's honestly because of the laid back nature that I finally decided to branch out and get a blog of my own.  One that gives me a bit more freedom with how everything looks and is set up.  It's all really new and I'm trying to figure out how the reviews themselves are going to look.


But, I have time for that since I'm still in the middle of a book I'm finally actually not in the mood to put down. So this isn't actually good-bye.  I'll still be around with reviews and what not.  I'll still be checking my Dashboard from time-to-time.  I'm just ready to expand to something a little more my own.


Some come check me out here -

Inspirational Quotes


It's trying to be a pretty gloomy day today in my neck of the woods, and I thought I'd share something fun and uplifting.  So I dug through my folder of random things I find and pulled some inspirational quotes from some favorite fictional characters!!  Meanwhile I've opened up our house so it'll smell like fresh run and my cat is outside chasing raindrops.  Happy Saturday everyone!


PS: I cannot for the life of me remember where I got this guy from.

The Apache Wars - DNF Review

The Apache Wars: the Hunt for Geronimo and the Apache Kid, and the Longest War in American History - Paul Andrew Hutton

They called him Mickey Free. His kidnapping started the longest war in American history, and both sides--the Apaches and the white invaders—blamed him for it. A mixed-blood warrior who moved uneasily between the worlds of the Apaches and the American soldiers, he was never trusted by either but desperately needed by both. He was the only man Geronimo ever feared. He played a pivotal role in this long war for the desert Southwest from its beginning in 1861 until its end in 1890 with his pursuit of the renegade scout, Apache Kid.


I was graciously given an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Crown Publishing through the Goodreads' Giveaways for an honest review.  This is it:


When I got the e-mail that I was going to be getting an early copy of this book I was pretty excited about it. I knew a bit about the life of Geronimo and the wars he fought in, but I honestly didn't know any details about the Apache Wars.  Nothing more than a blurb from High School History.  So I was eager to crack open this one, especially since I've realized lately that I honestly don't know a lot about the history of my own country.   This book was the first in many non-fictions gracing my "To Be Read" pile to fix that problem.


Unfortunately, I've been trying to read The Apache Wars since I got in mid-April. 


To be honest this is my least favorite kind of review to write.  I had a really hard time getting through the first few chapters of this book.  There was a lot of information thrown into those few pages I did manage to get through.  I understood it was background information for what the author was leading up to the main part of the book.  There was just a lot of it take in.


Another problem I was having was when I would set the book down to go to work, or what have you, I would have trouble remember details when I picked the book back up.  Not big details, but because all that information was sort of shoved in forty to fifty pages I'd forget which Tribe was in what region.  Who this person was, or maybe why the important.  I spent a lot of time flipping back and forth once I came back to it.


I really tried to push through book.  In fact, I kept telling myself it's a nonfiction and I don't generally read a lot of them so maybe it's me.  I would read one more chapter hoping I'd start to get into history of it, but sadly it never happened.  Which stinks because Apache Wars does have really good, Four Star, reviews.  So for a bit I figured it was me.


The problem started when I would sit down to read, I'd find myself reading a couple of pages and then picking up my phone. Or, just flipping on my laptop to watch one episode.  I just haven't read in the last week, because despite wanting to read Apache Wars, I just end up turning myself around as a read.


So is it a bad book?


No, it's not.  Hutton has down an amazing amount of research into the Apache culture, their history, the history of the region, the war, and everyone involved.  Which is the reason I have given it Two Stars.  I applaud the amount of time and effort Hutton put into this book.


Did having an ARC hurt me?


I think it did.  If I had map to keep the regions straight maybe that would of helped me.  Maybe the first few chapters have been revised in the released editions. 


So, maybe it was me and not The Apache Wars.  This is the second non-fiction book I've picked up and that hasn't really pulled me in.  I'm really bummed to have to put it aside, but I don't want to put myself into a slump and I was given this book for an honest review. No matter how sad I am that I cannot join in the good reviews.


So, would I recommend this book?


Yeah, I would.  There were moments in this book where I was starting to enjoy it, and then there would a be a chapter that just left me stumped.  Still, it's well researched and I honestly think other people would enjoy it.  Especially those a little more well versed in history around the Apache Wars.


I might even pick this one up again at a later date.  Maybe grab a finalized copy from the library and give it another proper go.  It really wasn't a bad books, Apache Wars, but maybe it just wasn't for me.

Most Anticipated - May Edition

Bah! It's only the first week of May and I'm falling behind on posts and reading.  Already this month I've had to make a hard call on not finishing a book. I hate doing that, especaily when I've been excited for the book.  Anyway, more on that in another post.  Only a week behind, but these are my Most Anticipated releases for this month!


Release: May 3

Author: Todd Lockwood

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Evertide #1

Shelf: Library


Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she anticipates a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon—one of the rare and mythical High Dragons—makes an appearance in her quiet valley. Political factions vie for control of the implied message, threatening her aspirations, her aerie, her entire way of life.


Release: May 3

Author: Sarah Jude

Genre: Young Adult

Series: Stand Alone

Shelf: Library


Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.


Release: May 10

Author: Taran Matharu

Genre: Fantasy & Young Adult

Series: Summoner #2

Shelf: Library


More demons, epic battles, and fights to the death: introducing the unmissable next installment in the Summoner Trilogy...


Release: May 17

Author: Joe Hill

Genre: Horror

Series: Stand Alone

Shelf: Library


The fireman is coming. Stay cool.


That's everything!  Four books this month have caught my eye, and already been added to my Holds list.  This month I've added something different.  Each book cover goes back to their Goodreads page so everyone can check out large synopses and any early reviews.   


What about everyone else?  Anything else coming out in May I should keep my eye on?


April Wrap Up

My books my have been skinny this month, but for the most part they were pretty good picks.  I'm finally getting use to my schedule at work and the warm weather has helped with my reading.  At least one day off has been spent out on my patio with all the books!  April was super good to me and I have a lot of good things lined up for May.  I'm also one square away from a BINGO!  


Book Read: 5

Pages Read: 932

Series Started: Sin Eater's Daughter #1

Favorite Book: The Graveyard Book Vol. 1 and 2

Least Favorite Book: The Sin Eater's Daughter

BINGO Books: 2





My biggest plans for May is finishing the ARC I received.  Already my review is late, but it's a non-fiction book and those take me a bit longer to read, and it's a topic I'm unfamiliar with.  So I don't want to rush myself with it.  Other than that I plan on spending a lot of time outside reading in the awesome weather we have.  I have a stack of great books I snagged from the library, plus all the ones lining my walls.  Also, I want to do an unhaul this month some time.  I have a lot of books that have been growing dust and should be gifted to a better home.  Which always makes room for more books!


How was everyone else month?  Read anything that blew your mind?  Anything I should add to my TBR?

The Devil You Know Review

The Devil You Know - K. J. Parker

The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years to complete his life’s work. After that, he really doesn’t care.


Okay, so this was my first KJ Parker book that I've actually picked up.  I have is other series on my TBR list, but until I finish a few of the series that I've started, I haven't wanted to start a new one.  Now, all that being said, technically, The Devil You Know is the second book about Saloninus.  The upside is the two books do not need to be read in order.  In fact I haven't read Blue and Gold, the first book about Saloinus, and I didn't have any trouble following along with the story line.  Mostly because this story isn't so much about Saloninus, but the demon he summons.


I read this book again before writing this review, mostly because I wanted to make sure I read it right the first time.  The Devil You Know is a novella, but I feel like so much sort of happens in just 128 pages.  It was in fact nothing I thought it was going to be when I first requested it from the library, but that was alright.  The book went a little deeper and made me think.  All while I was enjoying both of our characters.  Anyone who can make you root for a demon is doing something right in my book.


K.J. Parker created a wonderful world in just a little over 100 pages of story.  In just a few short pages I was able to see some of the world through our main characters narration, and Mysia is now one of the fictional places I'd love to go. 


If asked, I probably couldn't pick a favorite of our two main characters in The Devil You Know.  Personally I adore them both for different reasons.  Both the demon, whose name we never get, and Saloninus are both well thought out and rounded characters.  Our demon is flawed because he is sort of a hive mind set when it comes to how he is do things.  Which sort of hinders him while dealing with Saloninus.  The hive mind keeps him from seeing the whole picture as it were.  As for Saloninus, he's a crafty thing, but as you read you see how his lifestyle as sort of ruined him.  Which kind of make you bleed for him a bit, but I had to admire just how underhanded Saloninus was in all of this.  Clear up until the last page he had even me fooled.


The only real complaint I have about the book was in the beginning when the book would switch point of views it would take a minute to realize who our narrator was.  In fact there was a couple of times I had to go back and reread to see that the demon was no longer telling us the story, but Saloninus.  However, once I got use to the personalities it was easy to see who was leading the story. 


At the end of both reads I had come to the same conclusion, I really enjoyed this novella.  I was sad that it was so short, but I felt the length was perfect.  Any longer and it might not have been as good.  I like that the plot moved quickly and nothing pulled away from the demon trying to figure out the Father of Lies ploy.  In fact, I have already added Blue and Gold to my TBR.  I really do adore Saloninus.  


Personally, I reccomend this book to anyone, especially those who are a fan of the play Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlow.  The Devil You Know has a sort of similar theme to it. Really it's a fun and quick read that I'm glad I didn't wait too long to pick up.  Really glad this novella slid across my screen a few months ago.


Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Wrap-up

So I'm way late on getting this post up.  I honestly thought I was going to manage it on Sunday, but that didn't happen because it was the Game of Thrones premier.  Next thing I know it's now Wednesday and as I'm remembering I need to type a review, I realize that I hadn't actually sat down and written a wrap up for Saturday.  So, now three days late, my wrap up from Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon.


The Stats:

Book Finished: The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 2 - Neil Gaiman,P. Craig Russell,P. Craig Russell   and   The Devil You Know - K. J. Parker  

Books Started: A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls - Jessica Spotswood   and  A Criminal Magic - Lee Kelly  


Pages Read: 445 pages


It was honestly a really fun day, and we even got a big of sunshine so I could carry my reading nest outside with cats.  Sadly though neither me or my flatmate read all day long.  Someone was sneaking and while she was snacking signed us for HBO Go for Game of Thrones, and around hour 15 I heard a very familiar opening title song and was sucked in for a few hours.  I also re-read The Devil You Know yesterday before I wrote my review.  It was probably my favorite read all day.


The date has already been set for the next Read-a-Thon, October 22, 2016.  I'm already planning on trying to get my shifts changed around so I'll have all day to dedicate to reading.  Hopefully, baring any distractions.


End of Event Survey:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? - Hour 15, that's about when Game of Thrones was turned on.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? -The First Law Series - Joe Abercrombie &The Dagger and Coin Series - Daniel Abraham &The Riyria Revelations/Chronicles - Michael Sullivan
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? -Nope.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? -Honestly, I think the entire community involved with Dewey's is what always works well. It was a lot of connecting with other readers on Saturday.
  5. How many books did you read? - 2
  6. What were the names of the books you read? - The Devil You Know The Graveyard Book Vol 2
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? - The Devil You Know
  8. Which did you enjoy least? - As excited as I was to pick it up, Criminal Magic.

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? - Very likely, and as a reader/blogger.


Well, there it is a full day worth of reading.  I didn't do as much reading as I thought, but I had a good time with it.  My fingers are crossed I can wiggle my October schedule about to get a Saturday off.  Who knows.  By then our new store will be open.  Though we'll be getting more snacks next time.  That was one thing we were missing, snacks.

Hour 10 of Dewey's!


Holy crap it's 3pm! Where as the day gone! Somehow I fell back asleep around for a bit, but lucky the sun came out so I've moved myself outside! I got about 4 stories into A Tyranny of Petticoats and realized I was starving. So pizza has been ordered.  Now I'm thinking of grabbing K.J. Parker's book before diving back into my shirt stories! 

Hour 4 of Dewey!

A nap may, or may not, have happened already when a warm cat had me face planting in my Graphic Novel. Still, I have managed to finish my first book by 9am! I took a break to run up the road and snag us some donuts. Now that I'm refueled, I need to pick a new this is the problem.  


Reading progress update: I've read 0 out of 176 pages.

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 2 - Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, P. Craig Russell

Decided I need to start myself off easy with something fun. I've been excited to see how this story ends!

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon


So I'm a little late getting started, but holy cow I managed to crawl out of bed with my alarm. Yesterday was hectic at work and I sort of crashed landed into my bed. Anyway, it's near 30 minutes past time to start now that I have toast and coffee .  Whish also means it is well past time to crack oped some books!  Happy reading to all those involved today.  I will be taking breaks for updates randomly throughout the day. Later there will be donuts!



Library Haul

About a month has passed since I've done one of these.  Before going on vacation to visit my family I took all of my books back to the library.  Some had been sitting there a while and I thought best to get a clean start.  When I got back I put a lot a few things on hold.  Originally I thought they would sort of stagger in since some had just been arrived and others I was pretty low on the waiting list.  I, apparently, thought wrong when eighteen of my holds came in between Saturday and Tuesday.   EIGHTEEN!




The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story - Megan Chance  The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 2 - P. Craig Russell,P. Craig Russell,Neil Gaiman  The Hourglass Factory: A Novel - Lucy Ribchester  The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists - Mur Lafferty,Holly Black,Cherie Priest,Jeff VanderMeer,Alex Grossman,S.J. Chambers,Jess Gulbranson,Gio Clairval,Eric Orchard,Ekaterina Sedia,Jayme Lynn Blaschke,Ann VanderMeer,Charles Yu,Will Hindmarch,Ted Chiang,Jeffrey Ford,Michael Moorcock,China Miévil  Dangerous Women - Jim Butcher,George R.R. Martin,Gardner R. Dozois,Diana Gabaldon  Anyone But Ivy Pocket - Caleb Krisp  The Devil You Know - K. J. Parker  Ravenous - MarcyKate Connolly  The Last Days of Magic: A Novel - Mark L. Tompkins  The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics - Stephen Coss  The Deavys - Alan Dean Foster  Mrs. Houdini: A Novel - Victoria Kelly  The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller  A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls - Jessica Spotswood  


Though, to be honest it, sort worked in my favor.  Tomorrow is Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-Thon.  So I guess I'll use these stacks as my TBR as sort, despite my never stacks of books in my office.  Not sure where I'll start, but I've got a lot of good things so I don't think I can bad a choice.


On a random side note.  I didn't realize how small Devil You Know was until I picked up.  I do love KJ Parker, which is what drew me toward the book first.  For some reason I thought it would be a little bigger.  I don't generally look at page counts when I add things to my TBR since I don't honestly care.  Still, it threw me for a second.


Is there something I should add to the top of the reading pile?  Any favorites you've read?

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon


Dewey's Home Page

Read-a-Thon Sign-Up


This will be my second year participating in Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon.  Only this year I will actually have the day off!  Last year I had to fit my reading around a work shift, because that is life of a server.  This year, as luck would have it, I traded my shifts around to help out a co-worker without realizing it fell on the same Saturday as the Read-a-Thon.  I'm hoping for another sunny and warm Saturday so I can nest on my patio while I read, but I'm sure my reading nook will do if it decided to be cold.  


I'm not setting a TBR pile for Dewey's this year, because I always tend to stray from what I plan on reading.  Instead I'm going to let my mood decide what I pick up.  My only goal is to make it the entire 24 hours, 5 am to 5 am, and still be able to function the next afternoon work.


Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon is super low stress, and that's what I love about it.  No one is required to set a goal, there's always someone to cheer you on, and I love seeing what everyone else has been reading.  Even better there are mini challenges that you can sign-up for and the Hosts of the Read-a-Thon give away prizes every hour.  It's super fun, easy going, and I'm excited to have the whole day.


Randomly throughout the day I'm going to toss up some updates, probably via my phone.  I've also roped my flatmate into a day full of reading, and by roped I mean I mentioned and she agreed it would be a good way to spend a Saturday. I've also included links above to both the sign-up page and the home page for Dewey for anyone interested in joining up.  Or, just curious.

Sin Eater's Daughter Review

The Sin Eater's Daughter - Melinda Salisbury

Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch. 

First, before I start to talk about the books itself and I felt about it, can we talk about this cover?  It is honestly what drew me toward The Sin Eater's Daughter in the first place, the synopsis is what had me adding it to my TBR.  Now that I've finally read the book, I love the cover even more.  Because now it's more than just a pretty cover.  It makes sense.  I just love it when the cover tells you the story, but you don't realize until after you've finished the book.


Now onto the book.  From the first few pages I fell in love with Melinda Salisbury's writing style.  Her world building was done wonderfully well, and I never once had a problem seeing where Twylla was in any part of the castle.  I never had a problem picturing the characters in my head as I was introduced to them and was easily able to remember them from chapter to chapter.  


I was also a fan of how the book it started.  There wasn't a chapter that was a large information dump of: this is where we are, this is how the people got here, etc.  Instead we are thrust straight into another day for our main character Twylla.  In fact we are thrown straight into our main character's purpose, being the executioner of Lormere.  After that I enjoyed our Salisbury introduced information about the history of the world inside The Sin Eater's Daughter.


Another thing I want to give Melinda Salisbury props for, is she can create a character that you will love to hate.  I don't think there was a single second where I liked the Queen.  From the first time we met her and all the way until the end, I hated her.  In fact one of the few decisions that Twylla made that I agreed was her opinion on the Queen at the end.  I honestly spent the whole book wanted to strangle the Queen, not because she was stupid character, but because of things she did.  The pure way she treated people around.  I love a good bad guy in a fantasy novel.


These being said, it didn't take long for The Sin Eater's Daughter to start getting a bit predictable for me.  Once all the introduction were out of the way, and I was settled into the story I started to figure it all out.  Well, almost all of it.  There was one thing I didn't catch. When the last bomb was dropped I was so mad about it, too.  I trusted this character, was rooting for this character, and then I found it was lies.  RUDE!  


Then there was main character, Twylla.  At first I didn't mind how naive she was.  After all she's been trapped inside a castle since she was young.  She honestly thought she was living her own twisted version of a fairy tale.  Only, after I while I wanted to shake her because the answers to some of the questions where right there.  All the truths she needed where staring at her.




However, it wasn't until the last chapters the I finally put all the pieces of Queen's plan together.  Salisbury did a great job of setting the foreshadowing up for that.  So much so that I almost missed it.  In fact if my cat wouldn't have pulled my bookmark out during the night, forcing me to reread to find out what my last page was, I might not have honestly caught it.


My only other complaint about The Sin Eater's Daughter is kind of selfish one because I honestly thought there would be more sword fighting.  I mean, Lief was suppose to be this badass swordsmen who bested all the other guards.  So I figured we were going to get a few epic sword fights out of him to show off his skills.  Instead I got one and a quarter.  I mean seriously.  Why build him to this epic thing and only have him best one person?  


On that note though, I did love the fact Salisbury wrote an entire book on court politics and the ways people ruin each other.  It was a lot of scheming and planning and poisons.  Which once you start to figure it out, it all makes sense and comes together, but I still would have liked someone to have been stabbed.  For Lief to show off just how dangerous he really was. 


..Just saying...


In the end I enjoyed the book, and I'm excited that the next book isn't so much a sequel as it is a continuation.  Because, I really feel that Salisbury did a wonderful job of tying up Twylla's story.  It will be nice to see the world from a Tregellian point of view, while continuing the story from where The Sin Eater's Daughter left off.  Maybe I'll get that epic sword fight.  


So yeah, I total recommend this book!  It was a quick and fun read.  It was before bed book, after work.  I know a lot of people complained about the angst between the main character fighting between which love interest to chose.  Honestly, that didn't bother me, because it was the choice between heart and duty.  Which is sort of timeless part of Young Adult Fantasy and I thought Salisbury did a good job with it.  There were moments I was rooting for Merek, and times I was totally Team Lief.  So if you want a fun and fast read, definitely give The Sin Eater's Daughter a grab. 

Gemina Cover Release

Apparently sometime during the craziness of March I missed the release of the cover for Gemina, the second book in the Illuminae Files series.  I devoured the first books, Illuminae back in January and have been ridiculously excited for the October release!  The writing styles of these two authors, Amie Kaugman and Jay Kristoff, meshes so well together and Illuminae is without a doubt one of my favorite read of this year.  So without further ado the cover for book number two, Gemina.



Release Date: October 18, 2016

Genre:  SciFi (kind of has that space opera feel to it)



Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed. Gemina takes place on the space station, Heimdall. 


I seriously recommend the first book to anyone who reads Science Fiction books.  Yeah, okay it's technically also a Young Adult book, but don't let the push you off.  This series isn't written like the usual book.  It's told through the eyes of surveillance cameras and desk reports.  For me the entire book was an experience, and I can't wait to be thrown back into the universe through an airlock.

Reading progress update: I've read 168 out of 311 pages.

The Sin Eater's Daughter - Melinda Salisbury

Well, this isn't going in the direction I thought it was going to go in. I'm still enjoying it, just hoping for a bit more action soon. Maybe even a show down between our main lady and the Queen...