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Alicia Wright Brewster

Bear with me here. I haven't figured out this BookLikes thing yet.

Currently reading

Steelheart
Brandon Sanderson
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas
John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King
A Princess of Mars (Barsoom, #1)
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)
Brandon Sanderson
Olympus Confidential (Plato Jones #2)
Robert B. Warren
Dirty - Megan Hart I may review this one later.
Born of Illusion - Teri Brown Got the paperback ARC.
The Arrivals - Melissa Marr Paperback ARC!
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) - Rae Carson I picked up a copy of this at the RT Convention!
Antigoddess - Kendare Blake I have the paperback ARC. You may envy me if you like...
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #1) - Joanne Fluke I met this author at the RT Convention. We chatted over drinks, and she was just too cool. Thrillers and mysteries used to be my primary reading material, so I'll give it a shot!
Spies and Prejudice - Talia Vance I picked up a paperback ARC of this at the RT Convention. Looks like fun!

A lot of people have it marked as YA—which seems strange for a book about a private investigator (i.e., someone who has a very adult job). Is this YA?
Ruby Red (Ruby Red, #1) - Kerstin Gier,  Anthea Bell Recommended by a friend.
London Falling - Paul Cornell Got it on NetGalley. Thank you, Tor!
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression - Becca Puglisi, Angela Ackerman The Emotion Thesaurus contains some opening material about characterization, showing versus telling, and using this thesaurus as inspiration and applying it naturally to characters and their surroundings. This opening material is nothing particularly new or ground-breaking, but I see how it's necessary--sort of a why-you-need-this-book combined with a disclaimer.

The bulk of of the text is made up of sections dedicated to many different emotions, where each section includes a list of ways to display the emotion. This is a pretty awesome and unique reference manual. I've been looking for books about facial expressions and body language, and this fits the bill, while also being directed toward writers.

I expect I'll keep this handy during my editing process.
Destiny Gift - Juliana Haygert Rated and reviewed for a blog tour. Also posted on my blog: http://www.fantasyfloozies.com/2013/04/blog-tour-destiny-gift-tour-by-juliana.html

Rating: somewhere in the 2.5 to 3 stars range.

It took me a while to get into Destiny Gift. In fact, there were a few times in the first half of the book that I seriously considered putting it down for good. Eventually, though, it did begin to grab me, and I'm glad I finished it. I'll even admit that when my Kindle hit 100%, I was a tad disappointed that the story was over—and I mean that as a good thing. This wasn't a cliffhanger. It was more like a complete volume of a larger set of volumes. Some threads of the plot were concluded, but bigger issues remained. I may pick up the next book just to see how it all turns out.

Let's talk about things I disliked:

As I said above, the beginning was slow. Nadine is in college and has recurring dreams about a cute boy, who she suspects she might be in love with—even though he doesn't exist. She spends a good bit of time thinking about this imaginary boy. Then she meets another cute boy, a bad boy who's dark and intriguing and seems to like her. Nadine makes plans to go to a party; she goes to work; she goes to school events...You see where I'm going with this? I just wasn't interested in any of that.

The world-building was also a problem for me. Nadine's world is a mess of darkness, danger, and giant bats. Her school is enclosed with security guards around the border to keep the students safe. Only...I didn't see much of the danger. It was mostly talk and dreams and memories. I just wasn't convinced that the world had gone to crap. The one exception to this was that I experienced Nadine's being attacked by some bats—only the scene just left my wondering why the bats never followed her onto campus. Sure, there's a gate around the campus, but a gate can't keep out bats.

What I liked:

Nadine's visions aren't always about the boy she might be in love with. Sometimes, they're about gods and goddesses fighting. I guessed what this meant well before Nadine did, but I still enjoyed the journey as she figured it out. Toward the end of the book, the action really picks up with some chase scenes and torture. This was much more down my alley than going to school and work and dreaming about boys. I was intrigued.

There was solid sexual tension between Nadine and the bad boy. I liked him and wanted him and Nadine to get together.

Conclusion:

Overall, I ended up enjoying Destiny Gift. I recommend it for paranormal romance readers, especially those who are into young adult and new adult. There weren't any sexy times here, so even though it's labeled new adult, I wouldn't suggest going into it looking for all the hot sex usually associated with that genre.
The Photo Traveler - Arthur J. Gonzalez Review due May 16
Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels, #5.4) - Ilona Andrews This is the third novella I've read in the Kate Daniels world, and for me, by far, it was the best of them. The plot had just enough complexity to produce a fast-paced novella that didn't seem rushed.
Written in Red (The Others, #1) - Anne Bishop I had some likes and dislikes about this book, but overall I enjoyed it very much.

Likes:

In urban fantasy, I generally expect to see supernatural beings dropped into the world I know. In this case, what made it special was that the supernatural being were so wild. The Others weren't humans who happened to be supernatural. They didn't think like humans. They didn't follow human laws. I loved this about them.

For example, the Wolves had a difficult time maintaining their human forms at times, since the Wolf form was more natural to them. As a Wolf, when he let his guard down, Simon wanted to play games like chase and tug. This was a cute side of Simon and really emphasized his animalistic nature.

On the darker side of being a Wolf, Simon and his pack also had no trouble tearing human intruders apart and eating them. I loved that just when we were beginning to see Simon soften towards Meg, we see him asking one of his men to save him a human's heart to eat. This showed so clearly that Simon was not human, even if he could potentially have a relationship of some kind with Meg.

Dislikes:

Mary Sue alert! Meg is a cassandra sangue, also known as a blood prophet. As a result of her upbringing as a blood prophet, she's also an innocent who has gaps in her knowledge about the real world. As she learned to operate independently, she'd often make choices that were at odds with others' expectations. We repeatedly get the same reactions to these choices over and over again: other people are initially angry or confused—and then they see how right and perfect Meg is after she explains herself. It got old. And I would have liked to have seen Meg make a bad choice at some point, since that's expected when learning a whole new world.

Occasionally, entire scenes were dedicated to someone's internal monologue. For example, during a Simon-POV scene, Simon may be travelling in a vehicle. Nothing actually happens during this scene except that Simon's internal monologue tells us what he's thinking, where he's going, and why. At the end of a scene like this, I think to myself: What just happened here? Nothing.

These scenes were uninteresting and difficult to get through. They felt like cheating, and I would rather have had these scenes replaced with scenes where Simon's thoughts and the events on his his mind could have been shown or inferred.

This dislikes didn't turn me off too much, so overall this book was a win for me. I definitely intend to read the next book in this series.
Arclight (Arclight, #1) - Josin L. McQuein Got it on Edelweiss! Thank you, HarperCollins.
The Accursed - Joyce Carol Oates A horror novel set at my alma mater? Yes! Please!