Friday, June 24, 2016

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin


This is book four of the amazing Song of Ice and Fire series. Though, Martin mentioned at the back of the book how this is actually just one part of book four and the next is the second part of book four. This one tells the story of Cersei, Jamie, Arya, Sansa, Sam, Asha, some folks from Dorne, and Brienne. I missed some of the other characters but can understand why Martin decided to split this up. That said, I felt like there were entire chapters where nothing really happened.

I still enjoyed it and got sucked in, but would have liked there to be less filler.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Leaving Blythe River by Catherine Ryan Hyde


Seventeen year old Ethan and his mom are planning a trip to South America but when they arrive at the airport, an error sends them back home. When they arrive at their New York apartment, they find Ethan's dad with his secretary. Ethan storms off and eventually gets mugged on the streets; his mom also leaves.

In a few months, it's a whole new living arrangement. Ethan's dad has moved in to a cabin in the woods and he and his mom stay in New York, only to find that his grandmother has suffered a serious medical condition and needs help. Ethan's mom sends him to stay with his dad. The two aren't talking to each other so it's going to be an uncomfortable situation. Add on top of that, Ethan is not an outdoors person.

Eventually, when Ethan's dad goes missing, Ethan needs to become what he doesn't think he is: brave. This is the story of a young man pushing himself to the limits to find his father, but also find himself.

This story pulls you in and makes for a very easy read. But I found all the scenarios that lead up to Ethan's being out in the wilderness too coincidental. His dad cheats, for some reason decides to move out to the middle of no where (why? how does this fit his character? what is he doing about work?), and then Ethan's grandmother gets sick and his mom must leave to take care of her, without Ethan. The entire purpose of the book is for Ethan to be out in the woods but the story leading up to that didn't feel entirely flushed out.

I enjoyed his journey out in the wilderness with his neighbours. The fights they had between them, the animals they travelled with, how they were sore and where they camped. This was the most enjoyable part of the book. The lessons that Ethan learned about himself were a little stereotypical but the book did end realistically.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour!

First Line: "Ethan remembers the shaking most clearly."


About the Author
Catherine Ryan Hyde is author of many books, taker of many pictures, and rider of one horse. She likes to hike and kayak and plans on trekking the lower Himalayas of Nepal.
Find her on Twitter, Facebook and at her website.

Win a copy of Leaving Blythe River by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Lost Kin by Steve Anderson

Historical Fiction

In Post-WWII Munich, the Americans and German police have control of the city. Anyone associated with Nazis or SS officers are being jailed. Those that have different nationality are being repatriated back to their country, whether they want to or not. Harry Kasper is an American officer who hasn't heard from his brother, Max, who was a German officer. Irina, a Cossack refugee asks specifically for Harry stating that she knows his brother and leads him directly to a dead German officer, dressed as an American. Harry finds himself involved with a bunch of Cossacks being hunted by the Russians, but not friendly with the Allies. If the Russians find them, they will be killed. If the Allies find them, they'll be sent back to Russia because of the repatriation agreements. Harry looks for his brother and a way to save these people.

I've read quite a few fiction books that focus around WWII. I've never read about post-WWII and the repatriation efforts. I had no idea this happened and I'm glad to have been educated on it. Anderson obviously did his research on this and the description of the politics behind it I'm sure will make anyone frustrated. There wasn't too much description of those caught in the middle since the story focused more on the characters trying to help these folks out. But the descriptions that were given made me believe it would be terrifying.

The book was a slow go. In my opinion, the main point of this book is for Harry to work with his brother to help save the Cossacks. Yet we aren't even introduced to that problem until half way through the book. The first half of the book felt like it was about almost nothing. It introduced a few characters, but didn't do a good job of keeping my attention.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour!


About the Author
Years ago, Steve Anderson planned to become a history professor. He landed a Fulbright Fellowship in Munich. Then he discovered fiction writing — he could make stuff up, he realized, using history and research to serve the story. Now Anderson writes novels that often introduce a little-known aspect of historical events, mixing in overlooked crimes, true accounts, and neglected underdogs.
Find him on Twitter, Facebook and at his website.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Lamb by Christopher Moore


We know a lot about Jesus's birth and his 30s when he starts to spread the word of God. But what about his time as a kid and teenager? What was he like? Enter Biff, Jesus' (or Joshua) childhood friend. Biff follows Josh around as he searches for what it means to be the Messiah. Biff invent sarcasm, the two make a tradition of eating Chinese food as Jews on Jesus' birthday, and they figure out that coffee tastes much better with milk.

This isn't an easy book to write a review for. I enjoyed how smart this book was. Moore did a good job of coming up with things that Biff and Josh discovered, created, or were part of starting traditions for. His descriptions of these events made complete sense in the context he wrote them and were entertaining.

I've read quite a few Moore books now and think this ranks up there in the top 3.

First Line: "The angel was cleaning out his closet when the call came."