Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week in Review -- Including Mini Reviews (January 1st to 10th)

Hello fellow book bloggers! I hope 2015 has gotten off to a great start for all of you. Reading-wise, 2015 has already proven to be a great year for me -- let's hope this continues.  Other than my Reading Resolution post (click here if you haven't already checked it out), I've been silent on the blogging front so far, but I have managed to read three books, all of which have been sitting on my TBR pile for well over a year. I've not had time to write-up full reviews for these books, but have included my brief thoughts on each of them below:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (4.5 out of 5 Stars)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books - Hardcover Edition (2011)
Source: Purchased

This first book in Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy has been sitting on my shelf since it was first published in 2011. I have no idea why it took me so long to read it, especially since several other readers I know and trust loved it, but it was well worth the wait! Set mainly in Prague, this YA fantasy features a unique heroine, intriguing secondary characters, and a fabulously engaging plot.  I'm not generally a fan of urban-type fantasy, or fantasy that prominently features mythological creatures, but this one had me hooked from the opening chapter. I can't wait to read book two -- which I don't have to wait to be published since the whole trilogy is now available.  For me, this is a must read for YA fantasy fans (or fantasy fans in general).

Quiver by Holly Luhning (3.5 out of 5 Stars)
Publisher: Harper Perennial - Trade Paperback Edition (2012)
Source: Purchased

This modern-day tale follows a young clinical psychologist, Danica Winston, who is on a fellowship in the UK at an institution that houses a notorious killer, one who was inspired by Hungarian "Blood Countess" Elizabeth Bathory. I liked this book overall, finding the writing good and the plot engaging. Some of the information presented related to Elizabeth Bathory, however, was more than a little disturbing, and the main character made a lot of very bad decisions that made it difficult to like her at times.

The Witch of Babylon by DJ McIntosh (4 out of 5 Stars)
Publisher: Penguin Canada -- Trade Paperback (2011)
Source: Purchased

This quick moving modern-day thriller opens at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad during the recent Iraqi War, and involves the theft of a priceless Assyrian artifact. The protagonist of the novel, John Madison, must find the relic before his enemies do, but these enemies will stop at nothing to prevent Madison from locating it before they do. Madison is a compelling protagonist, mainly because there is mystery surrounding him throughout the book.  Though his character could have been better fleshed out, The Witch of Babylon is the first book in an expected trilogy, and Madison's back story, which is only hinted at in this novel, will likely be more fully articulated in one of the two remaining novels of the trilogy. I, for one, am very curious to know the truth of his origins.  For me, the best part of the novel rests in its incorporation of Mesopotamian history and myth, which I found fascinating. I look forward to reading the trilogy's second installment, The Book of Stolen Tales

Looking ahead to next week, I hope to finish up the following two books:
  • Suffer Little Children by Peter Tremayne -- the third novel in Tremayne's excellent Sister Fidelma historical mystery series, which is set in 7th century Ireland.
  • Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey -- the second novel in Corey's epic Space Opera Science Fiction series, The Expanse. 
I'm also continuing with my re-read of Anne of Green Gables as part the Green Gables Readalong hosted by Lindsay over at Reeder Reads

How did your week go?

post signature