Tuesday, January 27, 2015

YA Review: The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

The Vanishing Girl (The Vanishing Girl, #1)The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Vanishing Girl is a story about Ember Pierce, a girl who teleports to other locations in the first ten minutes of sleep every night. After five years dealing with this ability and keeping it secret, the government shows up to collect on a debt Ember had no idea she owed.

I think my favorite thing about this story is the ten minute time limit. Whenever Ember and her peers transport, they have only ten minutes to do what they have to do. And, if things go wrong, they have ten long minutes to survive the consequences. This gives each traveling segment a degree of excitement.

I also enjoyed the romance between Ember and Caden, though Caden starts off as an annoying prick. I didn't care for how he kept pushing himself on Ember. But later on, he shapes up and seems much more likeable, probably because Ember ultimately gives in to his advances. Then again, I kept wondering about the guy Ember transports to, as well, wondering if Adrian might pose Caden some competition.

While I dig a good us vs. them story where the young hero or heroine is fighting back against a big brother type organization, I found it a bit hard to believe that the U.S. Government would sponsor the creation of teleporters and then make those kids their slaves for life. It makes for an interesting story, but such a thing is easier to believe when set in a distant future or another world. Still, I enjoyed it.

Overall, I liked this story and would recommend it to folks who enjoy a good YA paranormal dystopian set in the present day. There is a healthy dose of sexual content, making this one geared more towards the older end of the YA spectrum.

I received the review copy of this book from NetGalley.

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Intrigued? Grab your own copy here on Amazon.com.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sci-fi Short Story Review: Hangtime by Jack Thompson

HangtimeHangtime by Jack Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Imagine sparking the ability to speed through time and work miracles. Then imagine figuring out how to do that through the power of math.

Hangtime is a short story that tells the story of an ordinary man who figures out the secret of hangtime while watching sports one night.

There are so many things I like about this story. The sweet little romance that developes, despite Laslo's cluelessness in the face of an office crush. The ability to span time, the effect reminding me of Flash Gordon. How Laslo likes watching sports, not because of the game, but because he likes calculating angles and velocities of the players in his head.

I also love how solid a story is packed into this tiny bundle. This is a short story, but it doesn't feel rushed. It feels just right, and it's a complete tale, from start to finish. No cliffhangers, but really an excellent and satisfying conclusion that left me smiling.

I loved this little story and look forward to reading more from this author. I'd recommend this to folks who love a good sci-fi with a nerdy hero. There's a little clean romance and adventure, too. Short and sweet.

I picked this book up on Kindle during a free promotion. I don't always take authors up on their Tweets for freebees, but he was basically putting up a handful at a time, and I couldn't resist.

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fantasy Review: Oathtaker by Patricia Reding

OathtakerOathtaker by Patricia Reding

Oathtaker is a fantasy where a young and inexperienced heroine takes on the responsibility for two vitally important infants, whom a villainous woman is set to destroy. I liked it, but there were a few things that bugged me.

Friday, January 16, 2015

M9B Friday Reveal Blitz: 2014 MG Books you may have Missed with Giveaway


Hey all! Welcome to Tantrum Books and Month9Books Middle Grade Books You May Have Missed Blitz! Check out all of our 2014 titles below and enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 prize packs of eBooks! International.

Click on the cover for book information.

Tantrum Titles

(3) winners will receive eBook prize packs of 5 Month9Books MG titles of your choice!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

NetGalley and Other Bookish Things

So, this week's been a bit busy on the bookish side of things. I've read two books this week, three if you count yet another reading of Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer. Besides that, I prepped The Freeze for print publishing and waded through the submission forms on Copyright.gov.  Also, I signed up for NetGalley as a reviewer.

That's where the "professional reader" badge on my blog came from. Don't let that term confuse you though, that's simply the category of reader I best fit into on the site, because I have a book blog and write for another book blog, Pure Textuality. Basically, as someone who reads and recommends books, I can go there and do that for books that haven't hit the shelves yet.

Typically, reviewers, librarians, and others request the opportunity to review these books. As a newbie on the site, I probably won't be handed every book I request. The site says that a good approval rating, something like 80% or better, will encourage publishers to select you to provide reviews. It's likely that at first I'll only be approved to review books submitted to Pure Textuality by the publisher.

That's another interesting thing about the site. It is totally up to the publisher or author who receives a review copy. Sure, that's usually the case, but I like how that decision is formalized, and how the reviewers make the requests instead of the other way around.

When I filled out my profile, it was almost like filling out a profile on LinkedIn. I had to write who I was, but also how I would promote books I read. I posted links to my blog and Pure Textuality. I added my Facebook page and my Twitter profile. I think I even added my Goodreads page, since that's where I post most of my reviews in a place people who enjoy reading will likely read them.

Books I read this week
So, back to those books I read this week. I plan to submit both reviews to Pure Textuality, but I must say, both are great reads.

The first was Continuum, by Shana Lauffey.  This is another in her ten book series of time and space shifting drifters. Recommended for folks who like a more modern historical fiction. I love the pictures and the history the best.

The second was Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis, a modern thriller featuring a young girl wih an appetite. I was blown away by this one. Highly recommended for folks who love thrillers with paranormal and romantic undertones.

I'll share links to my full reviews once they are posted on Pure Textuality.

Reviews in Progress
Next on my reading queue is one I'm reading and reviewing for here. Keep an eye out for my review of Oathtaker by Patricia Reding.  I'm about 15% done with it. It's a fantasy adventure, quite long, but well-written from what I've seen so far. The author requested the review back in July. Yikes, I'm so late getting back, but she was great about it just the same.

The Freeze
Great news is also up for The Freeze. It's now available for pre-order on Amazon and I'm on track for having the paperback released at nearly the same time. Release day is set for February 14, 2015. I'm so excited about this one. I'll post a proper feature for this a bit closer to release date.

Friday, January 2, 2015

M9B Friday Reveal Blitz: 2014 M9B Books you may have Missed with Giveaway


Hello everyone! Welcome to Month9Books 2014 Books you may have Missed Blitz!

Check out all M9B 2014 titles below and enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 prize packs of eBooks! International

Click on the cover for book information.


Tantrum Titles

(3) winners will receive eBook prize packs of 5 Month9Books of your choice! International