James Rollins Sigma Force novel at it's best is Map of Bones. This book is what made me fall in love with James Rollins' writing. It had history and action and even science embeded in the story. And there was a little romance (even if I didn't think the two people should be together, seemed a little cheesy to me).
Map of Bones starts off with a mass murder at a midnight mass at a Cathedral in Germany. The murder was performed in mysterious circumstances, so mysterious, DARPA's secret force, Sigma, was called in personally by the Vatican. This sets Grayson Pierce and his team, Kat Bryant and Monk last name I can't spell at the moment, to meet Vigor Verona and his neice, who is an Italian police investigator, to solve the puzzle of the Magis' bones.
This is actually a re reading of this book, but I read it a looooong time ago. We are talking about towards the beginning of my college years, and the time my reading selection started shifting from romance to more adventure and fantasy. I had actually forgot exactly what Gray and his team were searching for as in every book there is something historical and scientfic that is thrown together. I honestly thought they were searching for the lost Library of Alexandria but then that didn't make sense since it was never really "lost" but just destroyed. It wasn't until this reading that I remembered it had to do with Alexander the Great and the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The scientic element had to do with metals in m-state and how they can be used to create superconductors. It has always been hard for me to discribe what the scientific element is because I don't understand alot of the really complicated sciency stuff but I get it when I read how Rollins' characters describe/talk about it.
As always, this started my big crush on Grayson Pierce because who doesn't love a man who is human, intellegent, and a badass. Granted he has his own issues to deal with personally but he is awesome. And everyone else as well. I love how Rollins builds his characters.
Anyways, haven't decided if I wanted to start on his blood trilogy or if I will read the next in the Sigma series. I am almost done with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire audiobook so I will commenting on that soon too, so keep an eye out for it. See ya next book
Book 70 is Sandstorm by James Rollins. No, I haven’t stopped reading Harry Potter; I have just started re-reading another favorite author of mine as well. I actually switched to the audiobook for the Goblet of Fire which is making it really interesting. But that isn’t what this post is about. This book is about the prequel of the Sigma Force novels that I love so much. I have decided to go back and re-read the Sigma Force novels as well as Harry Potter because none of my other books are really that interesting for me at the moment but I am so close to finishing my reading challenge.
So Sandstorm is the prequel of the Sigma Force novels. I know that is probably not the official title, some places quote it as the first novel but I fell that it sets up the series more than anything. Anyways, this book is the about the race to find the lost city of Ubar, also known as the City of Brass. It is a “lost city” in the Arabian Peninsula and is supposed to hold many wonders. What sets off this race is an explosion in the British Museum by mysterious circumstances. A statue explodes because of a lightning ball. It is revealed that the explosion had to deal with degrading antimatter found in the statue and that the secret clues the statue left behind could lead to a bigger source that could potential wipe the Arabian Peninsula from the face of the earth or worse. So the US government send is Painter Crowe, one of the top agents in the Sigma Force, a secret organization under DARPA (DARPA is actually real so this could actually be a thing, just saying). Painter’s mission is to help the scientists and archeologists that are connected to the statue and it’s finding in finding the source and securing it so that it doesn’t explode and cause a catastrophe. But these plans are made difficult when Painter’s ex-partner and mole in Sigma turns up trying to get to the source of antimatter as well to sell to the highest bidder. She works for the Guild, the antagonist to Sigma. They deal with money, power, and influence.
Why I feel like this book is a prequel, it’s about the mission that Painter is apart of that helps him clean Sigma up from moles and puts him in command. The rest of the series is mostly centered on a different character, even though we see Painter and other characters help this one character often.
I do like that we get to see Painter in a more vulnerable situation, him not being in complete control. You don’t really see any of the other characters usually seen in the rest of the series.
Now the confession I have to make. I didn’t finish the book the first time I read it many years ago. I read half way through and got upset because I wanted Painter to end up with Safia, the main archeologist in the race to Ubar. But I read the epilogue and she ends up with her ex fiancé, and Painter doesn’t end up with anyone. Mind you, I was really into romance novels at the time, so I liked seeing people end of together. As years have gone by, I have moved far away from romance for the most part and still with fantasy or really go thrillers. The point is, I finished the book this time around and it was amazing and the ending was perfect. I also say that because I know that Painter ends up with a great person later in the book series and he finds happiness himself.
Anyways, that was it on this book. I’ll check back with all on the next book.
Sorry for the week update, I was visiting family for the holidays. For those who aren't American, Thanksgiving was celebrated this past week and me and my husband were lucky enough to go home for the holidays. We are hoping the same for Christmas. Anyways, re-reading Prisoner of Azkaban (again!) I have realized something, Sirius Black isn't as dramatic in the book as in the movies. It is actually rediculious how dramatic they make him in the movies but they dim down Snape's drama. Seriously, Snape sounds borderline crazy at the end of the book. Even the Minister of Magic comments on it.
Also, the beginning of the romance between Hermione and Ron begins in the movie, but in the book, Ron and Hermione don't talk to each other for half the book. And I wish we got to see Gryffindor win the Quidditch Cup (finally!) in the movie. Also, the movie makes the who thing of Remus being a werewolf more complicated and dramtic than the book. It wasn't like Hermione and Harry were chased by Lupin when they had gone back in time. They had just hid in Hagrid's hut until it was time for Harry to go rescue himself.
Anyways, I will set on the next book later tonight or tomorrow (haven't made up my mind) but don't be surprised if I do start reading something other than Harry Potter in the near future. While home for the holidays, I went shopping for some new books, and they are interesting (though lots of historical fiction, don't know why that was what I was drawn to. Anyways, see you next book.
As stated in my previous post, I have decided to re read all of the Harry Potter books to finsih my Goodreads reading challenge of 75 books for the year. Here is the second book. Even though I have read this book just earlier this year (February) I still forget how this book is slightly different from the movies every time I read it. I am actually excited to read again and setting aside time to do so. I'm not trying to avoid it and I am enjoying myself. It is relaxing and I am happy. I have a feeling I will finish the whole series before the end of Thanksgiving break, giving me the desire to read other books and maybe read more for my other challenge at least. I have already starting setting aside books I own for next year's reading challenge. Anyways, see you with the Prisoner of Azkaban. This will be the true test as I read this book and the next just a couple of months ago.
Yes I know, I have already read this book this year but guess what? I re read it again. Why? Because I am in a reading slum and I know this book will keep me interested. Don't be surprised if you see all 7 books by the end of the year. I don't know why but no other book right now is really keeping my attention. It isn't the book's fault, I think, but more mine. I am just not focused enough to really give the book a try. So instead of trying to read book after book I have in my library and not liking them in the first few chapters and tossing them aside, I am going to re read one of my favorite series and be happy to continue reading. I despreately want to finish my reading challenges this year but I fear the only one I will be able to meet is my Goodreads challenge of 75 books for the year. I had to change it because I had failed to get close to 100 the two years previously. So instead of not reading and failing at both of my challenges, I am going to re read Harry Potter and end the year with a movie marathon of all the movie. Actually I am going to watch the movie as I go lol. I am hoping next year, when I turn 30, I will be able to go the Harry Potter World for my birthday. So far, things are looking in my favor, the only thing that is unsure is if my husband will be able to get off work for it. His job is demanding and time off is hard to get. We are lucky to get the holidays off as it is. So for the next couple of post, it will be Harry Potter. (Just FYI James Rollins, another favorite author of mine, is releasing a new book at the beginning of December but I think I am going to wait and read it at the beginning of the year and start 2018 off right)
Book 66 is a classic murder mystery by Agatha Christie, the Murder on the Orient Express. Yes, I know it’s been a long time since I have posted. I have reached a reading slum and had to push through this really good book. I just haven’t had to motivation to read as much as before. I went from being 4 books ahead of my reading challenge to be right on track.
So the reason I decided to read Murder on the Orient Express is because of the up coming movie. I like to read the books that movies are based on before I watch them. Since the movie looked good, I wanted to read the book first. Plus, I have never read an Agatha Christie book before and I have heard she is a great author. This book was really good. I loved how she wrote the book. She laid a perfect foundation and then was really clever on how she presented all the evidence for the reader. I didn’t figure out who it was until the very end, which isn’t normal. I usually am able to figure out who the bad guy is before the big reveal but on this one, didn’t get it until the protagonist did. That is different for me.
I also loved how the protagonist was able to think things through but you didn’t hear his thoughts, you knew only as much as everyone else who talked with the inspector. It was interesting reading a third person objective book. It’s hard to find. Usually they are limited or omniscient. So the reader is truly using evidence to figure out who the bad guy is.
Well, I know that I don’t have much to say for this book. It felt shorter than it actually was and I took almost a week to read through it so there are many thoughts and feelings that I have forgotten about. When I usually read, I read through the books so fast, my thoughts and feelings are still fresh, not so much with this one. Well here is to hoping this reading slum is gone. I got through a book after a little over 2 weeks of not finishing anything (I tried to read like 2 books, neither could keep my interest. I’m sorry but if I don’t have the motivation to finish the book after getting a third through, then I won’t want to finish it at all). Well see you next book. Hopefully it wont be in another 2 weeks.
Book 65 is a book called Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather. She wrote another book called How to Hang a Witch, which I read last year. Mather is connected to Salem, MA and the famous Witch Trials. This was her inspiration for her first book. From her author’s notes, Mather explains that she is also connected to the Titanic, which seems to be how she came up with this new story. And something that is interesting is that I am finding a similarity to this book series and a TV series that loved watching while I was in high school. Many of you probably have heard of it, it’s called Ghost Whisper. Mather’s books are starting to remind me a little Ghost Whisper because the main character, Sam, can see and talk to ghosts and the past two books have something to do with Sam solving something to do with ghosts.
But on to the book itself. The book starts 6 months after the whole thing of How to Hang a Witch. Sam’s father is back and doing well but Sam is suffering from guilt because she feels she had a part in her father’s suffering. She has distance herself from the Descendants and anything magic related. Elijah is still missing and Sam thinks he is gone for good. Suddenly Sam starts seeing a little girl spirit and then she starts having dreams about the Titanic and now everything at her school is Titanic related because of the new Spring Fling theme. This all seems so mysterious. So now Sam, with the help of the Descendants, must find out who is starting to cast spells on Sam, seemingly trying to trap her with the other spirits of the Titanic. Not only that, but Elijah is not gone like Sam thought, which also offers how that relationship is going to go. I like Elijah, he is super cool in my opinion but he is also supposed to be dead, so I don’t know how Sam and him will have a happy ending. Mather does leave with a hint that Sam may try to give him back his body with a spell that was attempted in the first book.
All in all, this was a quick read for me, same as the first book. Mostly because it has to deal with magic, ghosts, and a mystery. I did figure out who it was pretty early this time around, but didn’t know how it would connect and I wasn’t sure I was completely right in my thoughts so I had to know. I was right in the end and the only reason I figured it out was that Mather had placed two characters into scenes but Sam really mentions them in the mystery when they seemed to people I would be looking into if this had happened to me. I kept waiting for Sam and the others to notice these characters and look at them but they don’t so I was able to infer from that that these characters weren’t meant to be looked at because they were connected to the bad or were the bad guy. I love reading mysteries for that. I love mysteries that give information again and again before coming to a conclusion. Many mysteries I have read will have pages and pages of the main character going over the same information again and again without anything, which makes it boring and frustrating. Mather does a great job of keeping the reader interested and giving new pieces to the reader so they can try to figure out who and what is going on.
All in all, a great book in my opinion. Though it only took me a little under than 5 hours to read the whole book, doesn’t take away from the quality of the book. It was a great read, especially near Halloween and being a ghost story. Well see you next book.
Book 64 is a book called “Named of the Dragon” by Susanna Kearsley. Now I have read some of her books before and they are sweet to read. She adds a touch of history, to slice of life, and a dash of romance to make her books sweet and soothing to read. At least that is how I feel about them. There isn’t a rush to finish the book to find out what will happen but a small push to wonder as to where the characters will go. When reading this book, it felt like conversing with an old friend after a long time apart. When it ended, I was sad. And I hope that I don’t sound to crazy for saying that.
Anyways this book is something I really love because it has a sense of magic, history, and romance. The romance isn’t something that is to unbelievable and the characters aren’t made to appear as these sexy and hot people who find each other and fall instantly in love. It is a subtle romance, one that builds, and seems believable. The protagonist is Lyn, an agent for a publisher, who is asked by one of her authors to accompany her to Wales for Christmas break. The author is asked by her boyfriend, another author and someone Lyn wants to sign with her publisher, to come to his family house in a small village in Wales. So instead of going to the family vacation in Canada, Lyn goes to Wales. Now there is a sad part to this tale. Lyn had lost her only child in childbirth and has been suffering ever since. Her husband had died in a car crash before the birth, so Lyn was very much alone. Ever since, she had weird dreams of her failing to help her son. When she comes to Wales, the dreams change to someone else entrusting her with their son’s life. These dreams lead to myths and prophecies going back to King Arthur. The interesting thing is there is actually a child in danger in the village and Lyn is caught in the middle.
The book was a quick read. If I had sat down and actually set aside the time to read, it wouldn’t have taken me that long, maybe half a day, to read this book. It isn’t that it’s a bad book, but the plot and characters are simple to understand and there isn’t very small details and such to try to follow along. Plus there is not action, really, but I find that the most appealing part of this book. Compared to books to like Dan Brown and James Rollins, this book is quiet and comfortable while theirs are like an amusement park with you riding all the rides. Other authors make there books so detailed that it takes longer to read because you want to pay attention to all the details, while this book is smooth and sweet that you just take a leisurely walk through it. (Sorry, I am feeling very metaphorical today I guess, blame it on the book). In short, this is the kind of book you read when its snowy outside and you are wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of coffee (or tea or hot chocolate, just something hot), siting by a window just enjoying the ambiance. I really admire how this author crafts her stories, making them something to sooth her readers while taking them on an adventure to somewhere new. Now I want to go to Wales. Anyways, see you next book.
Book 63 is a weird one called Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. This is Cantero’s 2nd book in English and I am impressed but the high level vocabulary that is used throughout the book. Not only that, the book is written in a very unique way, in my opinion at least. So this book is like a grown up version of Scooby Doo. I mean that so much. It starts off that you find out that these 4 characters and their dog solved mysteries when they were kids by unmasking bad guys who were dressing up and trying to scare people for some purpose or another. Sounds like Scooby Doo to me. But there are some key differences. First, the characters types are slightly different. The dog and owner are not scared so easily and are always hungry. There isn’t a damsel in distress character like Daphne and one of the characters (the one most like Fred) is dead in this story. Oh, and they aren’t kids anymore but adults.
See the story has to deal with what really happened the last night they were detectives when they were younger. The world thinks they solved the mystery by unmasking a person but something else had happened and the reader is intrigued to know what it was. The only thing that is definite is that it wasn’t a person in a mask that scared these preteens so much that it affected their adult life.
So there were a couple of things that got me with this book. The author would switch to a script format when the characters were just talking back and forth with each other. This is different from regular books in which is written in a narrative format all the way through. Sometimes there are things that were happening that were a little weird for me but that is a personal issue and nothing against the author’s ability to craft a story.
I liked the connection to the mythical that the author put in the story and that many old believes had found themselves in pop culture. Author’s get their inspiration from everywhere so it’s interesting for an author to acknowledge that pop culture in the sci-fi and fantasy genre could be based on really believes and legends. I also liked that one of the female characters is in love with the other. The author doesn’t make it seem like it fulfilling an agenda or trying so hard to add a character in so people of minority have some connection to the story. It felt right and real, not forced. And, later, the two girls acknowledge the relationship doesn’t need to have a definition, just that they love each other. There is no expectations or anything like that. They just want to support each other and be around each other. It was refreshing against many authors, I feel, that create characters to merely make the story appeal to a certain group people and thus it is forced or not really authentic. There are also authors now that are writing books with characters that have no gender as to appeal to people who don’t identify to a specific gender. I know that this is not necessarily relevant to this book, I just wanted to point out or show that Cantero created a character that doesn’t fit in traditional roles but the character doesn’t feel forced and is natural.
Anyways, I really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of nostalgia for me because I grew up watching Scooby Doo and this was just one big allusion to the show. Though it got weird, I like that it wasn’t someone in a mask in the end and that it was something supernatural. I always liked the thought of Scooby Doo and the gang meeting a real supernatural problem and trying to solve it. Anyways, see you next book.
Book 62 is a book I have heard about and so I picked it up when I saw it at the library. It’s “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han. Han was at a book festival I went to a couple years back, so that I how I first heard about the book and then I kept seeing the book and its sequels being advertised by book companies that I follow on Facebook. Because of this, I decided to give the book a try knowing that it would be a typical teenage love story. Didn’t know it was a series at first, because the book covers look all the same, but I figured it out real fast.
So this book is a Korean drama. If you don’t know or haven’t seen a Korean drama before, I will give you the basics of every Korean drama love story. Girl meets boy who is an ass and another boy who is sweet. For whatever reason, she starts to like the asshole boy and friend zones the sweet boy. Drama ensues. Now you know how these dramas work. Lara Jean has loved only 5 boys her whole life and she is now a junior in high school. For every boy she has loved, there is a letter she wrote to them to give them the figurative break up. These letters are addressed and everything but she never means to mail them. That’s her first mistake. Somehow (and it’s easy to figure out how it happened, I guessed at it in the very beginning) these letters get mailed. No big deal, you would think, but Lara Jean is too embarrassed to admit that she liked her big sister’s boyfriend. So instead of owning up to her letter and facing Josh, the sweet boy next door, she pretends to date another boy she wrote a letter to, Peter the asshole.
While reading this book, I literally thought I was reading a Korean drama. The reason I make that parallel is because Lara Jean and her sisters are half Korean. So of course I made the connection. There are a lot of stories out there that are similar to Korean dramas but I don’t usually draw the connection. I guess because this had the duality of the good boy versus the misunderstood bad boy that it was easier to do.
Now because I make this connection doesn’t mean that I don’t like this book. I found it cheesy and a little easy to guess but entertaining. There is a reason I made the comparison to Korean dramas; I like them. The ending, however, doesn’t have a resolution because there are two more books in the series. Don’t know if it will be the end of the Song sisters but it will be the last Lara Jean book. Personally I don’t like Peter and wish that Lara Jean would pick Josh but I know why she can’t.
Also, I really didn’t like Lara Jean’s sister, she kind of mad me a little mad. She chose to move to Scotland to go to college, that’s awesome, and she breaks up with her boyfriend of 2 years, that’s Josh, so she wouldn’t have to do long distance and everything. She comes home at the end of the book for winter break and she is all but hurt that everyone is doing fine without her and she has missed out on things and that Josh has feelings for her little sister. Not only that but she thinks she knows everything because she then precedes to tell Lara Jean that Lara Jean and their youngest sister Kitty are not responsible enough to have a dog. Excuse me, they were doing just fine while you were gone, sweetheart, I think they are more than capable to handle a dog. That one really got me mad. Don’t think because you were the head of the household before you left that your place was saved, someone has to step in and take over when there is a leadership change. Sorry, didn’t mean to rant so much, I just really don’t like no-it-alls.
Anyways, that’s it with this book. Honestly have no idea what I am going to read next because I haven’t found what I am interested in right now. Happens when I get in a reading slum. I want to read but I don’t know what to read so I just try to read and I am not interested. Joy! Not really. Well, you lovely people, see you next book.
Let's enjoy the many worlds there are to enjoy, in just our own heads.