Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Genre D&R: Horror: Monster Fiction

Genre Definition and Recommendation is a feature where we will define a genre or a sub-genre definition, have a discussion, and the make some recommendations.  

Horror: Monster Fiction

What is Monster Fiction? (Found here)

Monster Fiction Genre – What’s the best definition for the monster genre? Books in the monster fiction genre contain a monster creature in some way, shape, or form. Monster creatures include, but aren’t limited to: zombies, vampires, werewolves, mummies, aliens, and mutants. They can be anything and everything that’s not human, or no longer human, that may act in a instinctual and feral way towards humanity. The monsters can also be “created” as in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

I adore monster fiction of the horror variety. I find them harder to find than say serial killers, but when I find a good one, I love it. There are some that have kept me up, some that gave me horrifying nightmares, and some that just creep me out and I feel the heebie jeebies way deep down. I also find it difficult to discover new monster horror  beyond zombies most of the time. It seems that zombies kind of overrun it now. I do love zombie reads though but there are some other ones out there that are also pretty gross and horrifying.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone ByeThe Hatching (The Hatching #1)Bird BoxWatchers

So what kind of monster horror do you like? What are your favorites? Do you read them in the dark or with the lights on? Do they give you a real fright?

Image result for monster horror gif

Waiting on Wednesdays: Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd and Under My Skin by Lisa Unger

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Jenn's Pick: I Can't wait to have my hands on this!

Grim Lovelies
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
October  2nd, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.

Ash's Pick: I need to read this NOW! 

Under My Skin
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger 
October 2nd, 2018

What if the nightmares are actually memories?
It's been a year since Poppy's husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan's Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn't recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?
The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts--there are periods of time she can't remember, and she's unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she's imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband's death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Review: The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

The Wild Robot (The Wild Robot, #1)Title: The Wild Robot 
Author: Peter Brown
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: April 5th 2016
Pages: 279
Genre: MG Sci-Fi Fantasy
Series: The Wild Robot #1
Source: Hardcover

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz's only hope is to learn from the island's hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her....

The world she was designed for is not where she ended up. Rozzum Unit 7134, short name Roz, wakes up in a crate. The sun light charges her battery and she at once climbs out to explore her surroundings. Roz, the robot, crate is washed into the shore of a deserted island. She has been built with the ability to learn. But with no one around to tell her a task to do or her purpose she decides to seek out her purpose. She is not sure why or how she got on the island, but she seems determined to discover ways to be helpful.
She begins to watch and mimic the animal life on the island. But many of the creatures are fearful of the robot. She is chased by bears, and has to learn to camouflage herself so that she will not be attacked by the bears.
While camouflaged she learns that many animals don't want Roz on the island. They are fearful and think she is a threat to their survival. But after she saves a fox from porcupine quills, and starts raising a gosling because she accidentally fell and killed a flock of geese. The animals start to see Roz as an ally and not an enemy.
She makes friends with beavers, squirrels, geese, and many other animals on the islands. A story of technology and nature that captures the heart in a near futuristic story. It is a nice entry for Peter Brown in the middle grade genre.
A great read a loud book for late elementary kids, and a nice heart warming story for adults. A unique sci-fi book that explores animal behavior and the similarities with robotic programming. This book will have you cheering for Roz, the robot with a heart.

"Hi Brightbill my name is Chitchat and I'm twelve-and-a-half-week-old squirrel and I'm new around here and your home is really big and round and Sometimes I see you waddling behind your funny looking mother and you seem so nice that I thought I'd come down to introduce myself but now I'm nervous and I'm talking too much and my name is Chitchat I think I said that already."


A very fun engaging book filled with unique friendships and some informative ways on how animals survive in the wilderness. Highly recommended for students between 4th-6th grade and parents/teachers.

Peter  BrownPeter Brown is an American writer and illustrator who is best known for children's picture books. After graduating from Art Center Peter moved to New York City to be closer to the publishing industry. He was working on animated TV shows when he signed a book deal to write and illustrate his first picture book, Flight of the Dodo. Peter quickly signed up his second and third books, and his career as an author and illustrator of children’s books was under way.

Peter’s books have earned him numerous honors, including a Caldecott Honor (2013) for Creepy Carrots!, two E.B. White Awards and an E.B. White Honor, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, a Children’s Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, two Irma Black Honors, and five New York Times bestsellers.

Teaser Tuesday: Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland and To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Books and a Beat. Bloggers choose two 
sentences out of our current read to pique others' curiosity.

To Catch a Killer (Erin Blake #1)
TO Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough
Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father's identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother's best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.
Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother's killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she's secretly doing on her own.

Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she's close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it's too late.

It's after 2:00 a.m. and we're just now pulling up to the police station. They took me to the hospital first, even though I swore not a single drop of the blood all over me was mine.


Shakespeare Undead (Shakespeare Undead, #1)
Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland

Something wicked this way comes . . . and it keeps coming and coming and coming. . . .
William Shakespeare was one of history's greatest writers, a master of words with a body of work that is truly impressive . . . some may say a little too impressive for a single man to accomplish in one lifetime. Perhaps, as many have speculated, he had assistance. Or perhaps the explanation is more . . . unusual.

Who was William Shakespeare?
Who was the Dark Lady of the Sonnets?
Why are the undead stalking the alleyways of London?
And can they be stopped?
Something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.

So brace yourself for a wild ride through twisted streets and shadowed graveyards of Elizabethan London, where you'll discover how the Bard got his Bite.

What was left of the man shambled into the dark alley, and I followed. I had little choice. 
I am a chasseur, a hunter. What I hunt are those whose souls are controlled by another. I call them the tibonage. You’d call them zombies. 
Yes, they exist. All over the damn place.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Blog Tour: All These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch; Review

these rebel waves ffbc.png

These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders, #1)Title:  These Rebel Waves 
Author:  Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date:  August 07, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Series:  Stream Raiders #1
Source:  Audio

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

I was very excited about this book. Fantasy, Pirates, Magic, War, and all the other good stuff. This sounded like a book written for me. I was ready to dive in. I also loved the fact it was on audio. Even more, reasons to read it. The audio was good. The narrator is one of my favorites. The story was interesting. The characters were so easy to love. I did enjoy all the characters. The pacing was a little off for me and the beginning was a tad confusing in the world building. Overall I really enjoyed the book. 

There is a war going on between those who fear magic and those who embrace magic and it's about to get a whole lot worse. An important man of Asgrid is kidnapped off of Grace Loray, a daughter of the council Grace Loray decides to team up with a raider to rescue this said man. This is after she breaks him out of the Grace Loray prison. 

On the other sid of the world, well in Asgrid. The prince of Asgrid has been asked by his father, who prosecutes others for using magic, to find a way to make magic permanent. This includes finding help of those that are said to be the enemy of Asgrid. 

Of course, all the characters meet up and hell breaks looks and the fights break out and it is all exciting and stuff like that. 

It's really hard to put my thoughts into words with this read. As I was reading this I had multiple thoughts of if I liked this book. In the first third of the book, I was enjoying what I could but I felt it was a little slow and bit confusing with the world building. There were many parts to this story and many worlds. There are lots of politics and people involved. Now I did catch most of it to follow enough and I kept reading the book. I did like the main characters and where they were headed. I thought the characters were very well developed and I was interested in their story. 

The second third of the book I was invested. I could put things together more, even though there were still some confusing parts, for the most part, I got it. It was moving at a faster pace and I was into this book. I was really into the characters and their relationships and how everything was going to play out. Still wasn't in love but really enjoying the read. 

The last third of the book. I was on the edge of my seat. I mean it just exploded. Everything was happening and I was in full wow mode. So exciting... except for the fact the books ends on a cliffhanger. BUMMER! It wasn't a small cliffhanger either... it was life or death, the world is ending, I am standing on the edge and just felt a push kind of cliffhanger. Yup real Bummer. Now I need the next book like now! 

So let me break this down. The characters I give an A+. The characters were one of the best parts of this book. Such amazing, strong, loyal, independent characters. They were all from different backgrounds and started off with a different interest in the war and magic. In the end, they may just all be more intertwined than they thought imaginable. I loved them. Ben, Vex and Lou were so amazing and all the supporting characters had a strong voice too and made the story work. 

The story. I give this an A. I mean it was good, full of intrigue and betrayals and secrets. A war was involved. Magic was involved. The story was good. Held my interest. 

The world-building. I would give this a B. The world building was good and creative but I had a bit of an issue following along at first. It did come together. I got it and ended up thinking well done. It was just a tad confusing in the beginning. 

The pacing I would give a C. It was very slow in the beginning. There was enough to keep me going but it was slow. The pace did pick up and when it did, it raced. So just issues for the first half of the book. 

Overall. I would highly recommend this book to fantasy lovers. It was good. I can't wait for the next book. So yes I world recommend this book but with a few disclaimers. It's slow- push through it it's worth it. It's heaving on the world building but it takes a while to fall in to place. Stick with it, it's worth it. There is a massive cliffhanger at the end. Like I said the book is worth the read, just keep that massive cliffhanger in mind. 

A solid fantasy read. I really enjoyed it!

Sara Raasch

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

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