Saturday, October 25, 2014

JC's Bulletin of the Week [5]


Welcome to my weekly Bulletin. This is a place where you will find what's going on at JC's Book Haven lately, what I've found around the blogger world, Book News, and any books that are releasing in the next week.


Well, Zane's science fair project has left him with one flower alive, and that's the one with sugar added in the vase. We have to do it a second time to make sure that he gets the same results.

We are also working on finishing touches for his Halloween costume.

The last two weeks on the blog:

Sunday Cover Scramble
Matt did a review and excerpt of Bad Blood by Nicky Peacock
Harry Potter Moment of the Week - Where would you live as a witch or wizard (with muggles, magical community, etc)?
Melody reviewed The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 6 edited by Ellen Datlow
Sunday Cover Scramble
Matt did an ARC review of The Accidental Apprentice (Accidental Magik #1) by Anika Arrington
Harry Potter Moment of the Week - If you could change anything about Harry Potter, what would it be?
Heena reviewed Girl Nevermore by R.A. Desilets



Crystal Collier does a cute post about 5 Snacks While Reading

Beth Ellyn Summer tells us the 5 Higher Pressured Things Than a 2nd MS. It's great and so true!

Dave's Corner of the Universe gives us 5 Modern Monsters



Kim Harrison has a short-story scheduled to be released on 10/28 called Sudden Backtrack. Al gets the final word. Only read after Witch With No Name.

The Morganville Series is debuting season 1 on October 27th - Join us for the entire first season of MORGANVILLE at the Geek & Sundry channel on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/geekandsundry

The Vampire Academy Series is making a return to screen, but it will be the small screen. It is being re-launched as a high end drama series.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Girl Nevermore by R.A. Desilets


Published: September 8, 2014, Createspace
Genre:  YA | Contemporary | Dark-Fiction
Format: ebook (e-pub)
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Last week, Cooper Mesa was a quiet, studious bookworm.

This week, she feels unworthy of love or forgiveness.

When Cooper's twin sister, Kayla, tries to end her own life, Cooper blames herself. If only she had paid more attention...

Desperate to understand her sister's decision, Cooper starts down a dark path, discovering her own inner turmoil. Losing herself is easy, but finding a reason to live is becoming impossible.


The Good

Girl Nevermore is really a very well-written book. Rachel A. Desilets has done a fabulous job in expressing the true emotions of the lead character, Cooper, who goes through a very difficult time, and in doing so evoking the deepest and darkest feelings and memories in the readers. The characters are developed enough to be dominated by the strong emotional content, which worked just fine for the book.

Another thing that I really liked about the book is its ending. Trust me when I say, 'It couldn't have been better!'


The Bad

Though brilliantly written, I felt that just once or twice the author went a bit over-board with the whole high-on-emotions thing, but as one can't really put a limit on feelings and emotions, I guess it can be ignored.

It took me a really long time to get over the strong negative vibes projected by Cooper Mesa, for me that was quite a bummer!


The Romance

The entire story revolves around the bond between Cooper and her sister Kayla. Though Cooper keeps on questioning the bond they once had, she loves Kayla a lot and feels guilty for not being there for her.

Another important relationship is that of Cooper and Logan. The relationship they had was that of total-understanding, trust and patience. It was a beautiful relationship, one that each and every girl wants.


Conclusion

Girl Nevermore is a beautifully written book that'll surely rouse your deep emotions! I'd recommend it to YA readers, though I'd like to warn those who get uncomfortable with strong emotional stuff.




Did you enjoy this review? Check out Heena's other reviews at The Reading Bud

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [37]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! She is picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free! All she asks is to link back to her blog :). There is now a full list of the topics to come here.

       If there was one thing you could change about Harry Potter, what would it be?




That's a double-edged sword. Harry has flaws. He can have a short fuse. He falls into depressions that he won't let others help him out of. He is arrogant at times, thinking he's indestructible at others. He can become obsessed with one particular problem, and overlook everything else around him. He can be a bit too trusting. He can completely ignore reason and logic. He is stubborn and impatient. He could also work a little harder in school.

The thing is, these character traits are what make him believable. They are what makes us fall in love with him and feel like we know him inside and out. It's what causes us to feel like we are in his thoughts more significantly, and for those reasons, I wouldn't want to change a thing. All of his thoughts, actions, decisions, and flaws brought him to the exact point in the story that he was supposed to be at the time.

What would you change about him if you could?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ARC Review: The Accidental Apprentice (Accidental Magik #1) by Anika Arrington


Published: October 4th 2014 by Xchyler Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Brilliant and ambitious, Rezdin the Wizard has one goal: impress the king, but he answers to Baron von Dappenshien who refuses him access to Court. Before Rezdin can maneuver himself into the limelight, the king charges von Dappenshien for treason, and Rezdin goes to ground. The wizard finds himself dependent upon the wits and good will of a starving street urchin. But what can he offer little Tommy in return? When old dangers and new alliances rear their menacing heads, Rezdin must decide where his true loyalties lie, and what to do with his new-found entourage of one.

The former street urchin in me wanted to spit at the baron's feet. The educated magician wanted to shrink him until he understood just how small he made others feel. But on the whole, I didn't fancy prison, so I let the temptations slip away.


The Good

So it has some fun spells as well as an interesting landscape. The history of the land and what was going on with the people, keeping some plotting and others loyal was great. While I liked a lot of the characters in the book, hero and villain, I wish there was more about Marco Calico. Rezdin's cat was my type of character; good, sarcastic, able to help but holding back because you asked him to (not realizing he could help). Its ok he believes you can do it lol.


The Bad

It took me a few chapters to get into the book. As there is a lot of ground work laid down, no real action and a lot of political plotting is going on at first. Oh and it has a bit of 'I'm rich so my magic toy needs to be better then so-n-so's magic toy or I'll throw a fit'.


The Romance

The romance was interesting as it was on the villain side. The villain takes advantage of her jellyfish of a husband to try and overthrow the government. Yet despite how she walks over him and treats him like dirt, ignoring him at times, he continues to love her.

Conclusion

Overall, a fun little fantasy book. The spells and few magic items are fantastic. The characters are different (No he-man/Conan heroes to be found that I can recall). If you enjoy government overthrows, plotting with the enemy with magic tossed in, I suggest you give this book a read.




Excerpts


I needed to protect myself. I needed to run. I needed a beer.

"The more folks disappear around you, the more people will look at you too close. Magik ain't everywhere in Havensgate. Lower folk can't afford it most times. You start doing spells anytime
someone looks at you twice, and you won't last long. I can help you."

"Your  Rezdin's cat?" I asked in disbelief.
"Technically, Rezdin is my wizard," he corrected. "And he knows me by the name I chose in this world. The pair of you can call me Marco Calico."


"If by fun you mean a never-ending obstacle to tranquility, then yes." I wandered back to my chair and conjured a cup of tea. "Aren't you supposed to be keeping an eye on my student?

"He's reading under the miniature maple in the courtyard. Apparently, he's actually got an interest in all this magikal hogwash."Calico leapt down from my shoulder and returned to his place in front of the fire. "Looks like I'll have to get my entertainment elsewhere."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Cover Scramble [89]


Let's have some fun! I am going to post covers on here every Sunday that are scrambled up graphically, making it hard to tell what cover it is. I would like your guesses on what cover you think I've posted. I won't answer you until I'm posting the next one to let you know if you are right, allowing others to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. Let me know in the comments if you'd like some more hints and I'll offer some more if no one guesses it correctly.


I'm changing up the format a little bit! I am going to be pulling covers off the Most Popular Page on Goodreads.









Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 6 edited by Ellen Datlow


Published: June 3, 2014 by Night Shade Books and Imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Anthology, Horror
Source: Provided for honest review
Amazon Overview

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

This statement was true when H. P. Lovecraft first wrote it at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it remains true at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The only thing that has changed is what is unknown.

With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this "light" creates its own shadows. The Best Horror of the Year, edited by Ellen Datlow, chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness, as articulated by today's most challenging and exciting writers.

The best horror writers of today do the same thing that horror writers of a hundred years ago did. They tell good stories--stories that scare us. And when these writers tell really good stories that really scare us, Ellen Datlow notices. She's been noticing for more than a quarter century. For twenty-one years, she coedited The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, and for the last six years, she's edited this series. In addition to this monumental cataloging of the best, she has edited hundreds of other horror anthologies and won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards.

More than any other editor or critic, Ellen Datlow has charted the shadowy abyss of horror fiction. Join her on this journey into the dark parts of the human heart . . . either for the first time . . . or once again.



This is a compilation of pretty amazing horror stories.  Since this is an anthology, my review will detour from my usual format.

Overall a great read with great stories.  Some I wish was a little longer and some were just right.  If you are a fan of horror, this is defiantly a good read.  It has a grab bag from all different kind of horror; from supernatural, creatures, killers, you name it there is a story for you!

All the short stories are well written with just the right amount of suspense and horror.  There are plenty of horrifying images this book will bring to your imagination and stay there.    I for one am TERRIFIED of birds.  Well, there is a very creepy story about a freakishly large killer bird.  It just reaffirms my beliefs birds are evil!  I enjoyed almost all the stories.  There were a few that stood out to me.  The Good Husband was probably my favorite.    Very chilling and graphic story A+ stuff!  I enjoyed the Soul in the Bell Jar because it was a ghost/mad scientist story from a new angle.   I also loved the Only Ending We Have a fictional story/character based in reality of Albert Hitchcock’s films.    I liked the fact it took something all horror fans know well and made an interesting and satisfying story.  The stories in this collection include:

"Apports" by Stephen Bacon
"Mr. Splitfoot" by Dale Bailey
"The Good Husband" by Nathan Ballingrud
"The Tiger" by Nina Allan
"The House on Cobb Street" by Lynda E. Rucker
"The Soul in the Bell Jar" by K.J. Kabza
"Call Out" by Stephen Toase
"That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love" by Robert Shearman
"Bones of Crow" by Ray Cluley
"Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales" by Jeannine Hall Gailey
"The Fox" by Conrad Williams
"The Tin House" by Simon Clark
"Stemming the Tide" by Simon Strantzas
"The Anatomist's Mnemonic" by Priya Sharma
"The Monster Makers" by Steve Rasnic Tem
"The Only Ending We Have" by Kim Newman
"The Dog's Paw" by Derek K√ľnsken
"Fine in the Fire" by Lee Thomas
"Majorlena" by Jane Jakeman
"The Withering" by Tim Casson
"Down to a Sunless Sea" by Neil Gaiman
"Jaws of Saturn" by Laird Barron
"Halfway Home" by Linda Nagata
"The Same Deep Waters as You" by Brian Hodge

I wouldn’t say there was anything I could point out as bad.  Of course some stories were better than others.  There were even a few I wasn’t really sure what I just read.   But in my opinion the point of short stories are to get your imagination flowing and you create your own conclusions.  And there was a time or two my conclusion was...I am confused.   All in all, this is a solid collection.  I love horror and these stories do the genre justice!




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the week [36]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! She is picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free! All she asks is to link back to her blog :). There is now a full list of the topics to come here.

       Where would you live as a witch/wizard? (With muggles, magical surrounding etc.)



Magic all day, every day. Who would want to live like the Dursleys when you can live like the Weasleys?

That part where Harry walks into the Burrow for the first time and sees the Weasley's clock that tracks where the members of the family are, and seeing household objects take care of chores for themselves really seals the deal. I would adore being surrounded by magic day in and day out. From the gnomes in the garden to the ghoul in the attic, I would take it all.

Would you choose living with Muggles or in a magical surrounding?