Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) Review

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In my recent frenzy of reading Urban Fantasy, I finally got around to reading Moon Called, the first novel in the series of Mercy Thompson books. This series came highly recommended by Cupcakes and Machetes, so I was excited to give it a whirl. πŸ™‚

Mercedes Thompson, better known to her friends as Mercy, is a mechanic by day and a shapeshifting “Walker” by night, able to take on the form of a coyote at will. Luckily for her, her transformation is nowhere near as painful and brutal as that of the werewolves who also inhabit her everyday world. There are supernatural creatures galore in this series, and some of them are even known about by humans thanks to their powers that be deciding to come public. (Mostly with the lighter fluffy sort of fae and not the monstrous I’m-gonna-eat-your-face kind of creatures, of course.) Baby steps, people. Better to ease the general public into things than cause a widespread panic, right?

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Mercy is just going about her business, living her everyday life when things suddenly get completely turned upside down. When she tries her best to help out a young werewolf in need, the universe quickly sends Mercy a reminder of the age old saying “no good deed ever goes unpunished.” Things escalate pretty quickly after that with attempted/successful murders, kidnapping, werewolf politics, etc. There’s also paranormal romance going on, but I didn’t feel especially drawn to any of Mercy’s suitors. Granted, this is a series so there are bound to be more characters introduced along with character growth from the established characters, so we’ll see how that works out. πŸ™‚

I really enjoyed Mercy’s character. She was kind, brave, clever, and determined. Some of the werewolves I liked, some *cough cough Samuel* annoyed the crap out of me. All I could think any time he was brought up in the book was something along the lines of “Somebody please neuter this guy or put a silver bullet in him.”

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I’m definitely planning on continuing to read the series, so I’m really looking forward to learning more about the other creatures, and seeing what happens with the characters. There seems to be some really interesting worldbuilding going on, but we just kind of see the tip of the iceberg in this novel, so I can’t wait to explore that further. πŸ™‚ I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars.

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Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles (Review)

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First things first, I really like the cover for this sort of mini-anthology. Secondly, I’m finding myself in the middle of a sudden Urban Fantasy kick at the moment. Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles, as the title would imply, features (you guessed it!) two short stories from Kevin Hearne’s series of UF novels, The Iron Druid Chronicles. Imagine that, huh? πŸ˜›

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The first of the two tales, Kaibab Unbound, takes place shortly before the events of the first novel in the series, Hounded. Phew, there’s gonna be links galore in this post, so consider ye self warned. πŸ˜‰ It’s been nearly five years (half a decade!) since I finished reading the first book in the series, but it was only after recently finishing the third, Hammered, that I decided to start reading Mr. Hearne’s short stories that are woven in a certain order between his various IDC novels.

Kaibab Unbound centers in on our protagonist druid, Atticus, enjoying a day off with his trusted Irish Wolfhound Oberon. Their plans for a relaxing, nature-filled day are sent astray when a befriended elemental is in dire need. Squirrels, shapeshifting druids, nature elementals and witches might sound like a lot to squeeze into a mere 17 page story, but Kevin Hearne manages to make it look easy, all while throwing in the humor and action his tales are known for.

The second short story, A Test of Mettle, takes place during the events of the third IDC novel, Hammered. While Atticus is off taking care of official druid business, Granuaile, a hopeful druid-in-training, is assisting an elemental of her own in a different way, trying to help level out the local ecosystem that is all out of balance thanks to an invasive species. Things do not go as planned though, and Granuaile is suddenly faced with an unnatural attack of sorts.

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I promise this gif makes sense if you read the story. πŸ˜›

I enjoyed these quick little stories and plan to continue on with both the novels and the shorter companion tales. Probably not one right after the other, but it is definitely a series I will be continuing to read. πŸ™‚

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I also started reading another UF story last night, Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1). Like I said, I’m definitely on an urban fantasy kick at the moment. Is it a genre you enjoy reading? Any suggestions of other books/series? Let’s talk books! πŸ˜€

The Happiest Reading Challenge: Updates

Just call me Scatter Brain McGee over here, because I’ve been meaning to (and forgetting to) talk about what I thought of Six of Crows after I read it! Oops! Shame on me, I know. As I’d mentioned before, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo was my May book selection for the Happiest Reading Challenge I’m taking part in, started by super-friendly blogger, The Happiest Pixel.

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Cover and Author of Six of Crows.

Despite what my lack of a timely review might indicate, I was absolutely head over heels infatuated with this book! It was seriously never a dull moment with criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker and his crew. From start to finish this book kept me intrigued and guessing as it surprised me time and time again with twist after delightful twist.

As is a very important thing for me when reading a book, I also loved the characters. They’re quite the mixed bag, and Bardugo manages to hop from POV to POV effortlessly throughout the tale in a way that never seems jarring or off-putting in the slightest. I myself have absolutely no problem with books with multiple POV shifts throughout the chapters, but I know some people who do, and I doubt even they would have minded in this book. It flows very nicely.

I’ve talked before about how beautiful I think the actual book is with its black-edged pages and gorgeous cover, so I won’t get much into that, other than to say that the writing is just as lovely as the book itself.

I could just keep on going on about how enjoyable of a read this was, but I’m gonna keep it brief and say: If you like a good heist story and want to read a book that lives up to all the hype, this is a damn good one to go with. Can’t wait to read the next one.

So, that covers May’s part of the challenge, but what about June so far? I mentioned already that I would be reading The Lies of Locke Lamora for this portion of the challenge, but believe it or not, I cannot find where I put the book!! *GASP* Like, what the hell? Did it just sprout legs and bound off somewhere? There is a possibility that I may have taken it to my boyfriend’s and left it there, but as my brain has been busy forgetting to post about Six of Crows it also took on the task of forgetting to ask my bf about the M.I.A. book as well. Sigh . . . one day I’ll get it all together, but today is not that day.

In the mean time, I’ve begun reading Gail Carriger’s first book in The Parasol Protectorate series, Soulless.

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Cover and Author of Soulless.

I’ve already read andΒ reviewed the manga trilogy based off of this series of paranormal steampunk novels, so I knew what I was getting into already. And that is a witty historical fiction series set in Victorian England. I’m interested to see how the manga series (which was only three volumes) will compare and differ to the source material, which is five novels.

Those are my updates for the reading challenge so far. How’s your reading going at the moment? Into any interesting books right now?

2017 Reading Plans

As is the case with many readers, I have this habit of obtaining more books to read while others continue to sit on the shelf yet to be read. I know, I know. First world problems, right?

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The struggle is real.

Well, it’s time to focus on some of the books I already own andΒ  put a majorΒ  dent in those. (Disclaimer: I am going to indulge in other books too,Β  I am in a book club after all, and a girl can only resist new books so much.) πŸ˜‰

These are maybe a third of my poor, neglected books that I’m going to try to make my reading priority in 2017:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo- Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy, I just could not resist buying this book when it first came out. Not to mention, this novel with black-edged pages is pretty damn gorgeous-looking. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but I did. I judged it hard and took that baby home no questions asked. And yet for some reason, it remains unread (well, my bff happily read it, so at least there’s that.)

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland- This is the second novel of the White Trash Zombie series. (Another series with eye-catching covers. Especially the first one, My Life as a White Trash Zombie.)

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest- Another book I pined for and obtained only for it to wind up unread for far too long. Like, criminally long. Steampunk + Zombies = Why in the hell haven’t I gotten around to reading this yet??

Fevre Dream by George RR Martin- this book will be my first adventure with GRRM outside the world he wove for A Song of Ice and Fire. It will be pretty interesting reading something completely different by him.

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist- this is probably the book that has been on my shelf the longest among this list. Why? I can’t say. I really enjoyed the author’s other book, Let the Right One In. Hopefully I’ll like this one just as much.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs- Alas, a book I started and got sidetracked with. A crime all too common for me. Once I finish reading this one I’ll have to watch the movie to see how it holds up to the book.

Watership Down by Richard Adams- Another that I’ll have to watch the movie for after I read the book. I saw recently that both Pierce Brown and Joe Hill (2 authors that have both written books on this list) gave it 5/5 stars so that seems promising.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill- I’ve read Joe Hill’s graphic novels that make up the series Locke and Key, and I’ve seen the film adaptation of his book Horns, but this will be my first actual novel I’ve read by him and I’m excited for it.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown- this one is especially important to finish up soon as I am borrowing it from the lovely Cupcakes and Machetes and would like to get it back to her asap. ❀

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch- A book I started reading over a year ago and was impressed with right off the bat, but somehow never finished reading. The shame. >__<

What are some of your reading goals for the new year? How are you fairing against your own TBR shelves of books?

 

Manga Review: Soulless

Having just finished reading volume 3 of the manga series Soulless, I have to take some time to babble on about how much I adore it.

It’s always a treat to read the continuing adventures of the characters in this series. I adore them. Gail Carriger creates such a wonderfully crafted world by blowing the dust off Victorian England (and other exciting locations) and adding some paranormal and steampunk flair into it.
The social dynamics between the different types of beings in this series always proves to be interesting. Social protocols and conflicting, heated rivalries make for tense and often humorous interactions between werewolves and vampires and other supernaturals/preternaturals and humans.
If you enjoy historical fiction and paranormal romance you should rather enjoy this. One of my favorite things about the romance in this is that it is not all-consuming or perfect. People make mistakes and squabble like they would in real life. They still have lives and interests/goals and friendships outside of their romances.
It has adventure, humor, thrills, romance, well-written and likeable characters, and wonderful ar
t. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

My only regret is that there won’t be any more of the manga. Fortunately, there is also the Parasol Protectorate series of novels written by Gail Carriger that came before the manga, featuring the same characters and more adventures to be read.

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Vol. 1
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Vol. 2
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Vol. 3