Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.”

Paperback: 320 pages
Recommended Age: Older Teen
Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (July 3, 2012)

RATING 4 STARS 

I almost walked away from this one a few times… But, I kept picking it up anyway and, eventually, it was worth it.

Anna Dressed in Blood has a great premise – and that’s what kept me from giving up on it. It’s not vampires, love triangles, and teenage angst (at least not entirely.) It’s a ghost story. A really creepy ghost story at times.

The problem, at least for me, was how slow it was to take full advantage of the premise. I was almost half-way through the book before the plot itself was gripping enough to keep me turning the pages. In and of itself, that wouldn’t be a deal-breaker. But, during that down time there wasn’t anything to balance out the lack of excitement. Every time it felt like it was about to kick into gear, it still managed to meander of pretty quickly.

I would really have liked to see more character depth from the beginning. More relationships. More conflict. More to keep me reading, and building the suspense, while waiting for the “ghosty” parts. Heck, I really wouldn’t have been upset to see any of the characters suffer a horrible death for the better part of half the book. That’s a problem.

As the story goes on, I never really fell for the protagonist, Cas, but there was still enough there to keep me hooked. Maybe that was the problem – the bulk of the beginning was supposed to be introducing Cas… and I just never really grew to like him during that time. At times I actually disliked him. If nothing else, how do you have a “ghost hunter” who seems so weak at times.

I normally would have rated this around three stars. But, my rule is that if I’ll pick up the next book in the series it’s worth 4. And, I just may grab the next one. Maybe. This book actually ended on a note that strongly reminded me of Demon Kissed – and that’s a great series.

***Although YA, my twelve year old will have to wait for this one… Otherwise I foresee a lot of nightmares in the near future. Just an FYI – maybe your kid is made of stronger stuff. But, I was creeped out at times, and I’m old enough to know the bogeyman isn’t under the bed.

4 star book review

Recommended for people who read YA Horror, Ghost Stories, and like a good creep-out.  Need a spooky read for Halloween?  This is it.  Anna Dressed in Blood is followed by Girl of Nightmares (release date Aug 7, 2012).

Grab Anna Dressed in Blood on Amazon now. It was only $2.99 when I grabbed it!

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Book Review: Valkyrie Rising by Eric C. Currie

Valkyrie Rising (Warriors Wings #2) by Eric C. Currie

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: Two years after the initial invasion of Hayden’s World, the newly reinforced Hayden Militia is in a state of stalemate with the remaining enemy forces but neither side is content to leave things at that.

The alien alliance has dispatched their varsity to clean up the resistance on Hayden while the USF has officially activated Task Force V, the latest and most advanced combat ships built by humans.

In the end there are some things you decide in the skies, but some can only be settled in the mud.

Print Length: 255 pages
Age: Adult Sci-Fiction
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services

RATING – 4 STARS

This is the sequel to “On Silver Wings,” and from the author of “Into the Black: Odyssey One.” If you’ve read my reviews of those, you’ll know that I’m already a big fan.

With “Valkyrie Rising” we get the return of our protagonist. Sergeant Aida is back. But, this time she’s in her element as part of a larger force. And as readers, we’re no longer just focused on the conflict evolving on a lone world, but we’re also exposed to a much larger epic. So while keeping tabs on Aida, we’re also able to see the greater story unfold where she plays but a small role. It’s a great way to keep the comforting intimacy of the characters we know, while expanding the scope of the story into something bigger – bigger conflict, bigger stakes, bigger cast, bigger!

Somehow, Currie has managed to keep each book intense, and full of conflict – but still end on a really satisfying, fulfilling note. Instead of following the “Star Wars” formula (introduce the conflict, dark episode, vindication of the good guys), he’s made each book a complete story arc. Personally, I find that a much funner and more satisfying way to read a series.

Looking forward to the next book…

4 star book review

Recommended to Sci-Fi readers.

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Book Review: On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION “In the future, mankind has colonized other worlds, mined asteroid belts, and sent ships so far into the blackness of space that light from their drives won’t reach Earth for centuries. Through it all, life has been found in almost every system we visited and yet we’ve never encountered another intelligent species.

Until now. When the Colony on the planet known as Hayden’s World stops transmitting on their CASIMIR FTL system, a Solari Fleet Task Force is sent to investigate. When they arrive there are enough oddities in the situation that they in turn send in a special operations unit to contact the colonists and determine what happened. Only one of those operators survives to make planet fall. Sergeant Sorilla Aida finds herself against an alien force of unknown power and capability. Her only assets?

A depleted suit of power armor, her rifle, basic kit, and a few hundred Hayden born civilians looking to take back their home. Just what she was trained for.”

RATING 4 STARS

I picked this up after reading Currie’s “Into the Black: Odyssey One.” That was a great read, and I was anxious to see what else he’d done. I wasn’t disappointed.

As opposed to a lot of science fiction, here we’re given a great female protagonist. And instead of a utopian future and amazing tech, you’ll find a universe that you can easily relate to. Humanity is still the same. And so, when the protagonist is dropped into truly alien experiences, you’re along for a great ride.

The pace is quick. But character development and relationships aren’t sacrificed for plot. I wish my daughter read more action/adventure and sci-fi, because there are so few great female characters out there. Here’s one where the fact that the story centers on a female marine is simply taken for granted. It’s a non-issue, there’s no pandering, and the story tears along dragging the reader with it.

Since this isn’t a space epic, the scale is much more local – and it works. That alone would be a nice change of pace, but the fullness of the story and the great characters make it a 5-star book.

4 star book review

Recommended for Sci-fi readers and anyone who likes a solid cheap kindle book.

Grab On Silver Wings now on Amazon!  It’s only $3.99!

Thanks for reading my blog!  Can’t wait to post more awesome book reviews!

Book Review: Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (September 20, 2011)

RATING – 3 STARS – I ENJOYED THIS BOOK

This book was a good one. It’s dystopian and I still liked it. I don’t usually like dystopian books….at all.  (If you are looking for dystopian reads, check out Marie’s reviews.  She <3s that kinda thing).

Matched takes place in a province that part of something bigger. The Society. Cassia, Ky, and Xander are all main characters in this book, but the main main one is Cassia, a 16-year-old girl.

The main conflict in this book is something like this: Should Cassia trust the Society? Was it really a glitch was happened when she saw Ky’s face flash across the screen for a moment?(Yes, I know that’s two questions, but they’re to give you an idea of what the book is driven by.)

This book is relationship driven and it’s not fully dystopian. It’s like a dystopian/romance. Never read one of those before. The book was good enough for me to keep reading it. The ending was something of a cliffhanger. Not a real one, but it made you want more.

The book itself was good. Good job Ally! I liked Ky, I think he’s my favorite character in this book. I thought that at some parts is slow, but Ally made up for that. At the end there was some action brewing and I love action (I mostly read plot/action driven books.). However, I’m not sure it’s good enough for me to buy the next book. I bought this book because of the cover, which is AMAZING btw, but it’s still not exactly my type of book.

The last book I read was also a romance, but not fully dystopian. It’s called The Selection. I think the two books are very similar, but The Selection is more exciting and fun because of it’s main character, America (Not the country. The main character is actually called America.). In Matched there wasn’t a lot of laughs….Barely any. That made me sad. 🙁 It had some action, which was okay with me! The Selection had similar action-not exactly the same, but similar-but more of it.

pirate princess book reviews 3 stars

Recommended for dystopian fans of books like HUNGER GAMES, MAZE RUNNER, and DIVERGENT.  MATCHED is the first book in the trilogy, followed by CROSSED, and then REACHED.

Get MATCHED #1 by Ally Condie via Amazon:

Related posts: DIVERGENT & THE SELECTION Reviews

Book Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi

Redshirtsby John Scalzi

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION:

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship “Intrepid,” flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy belowdecks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what thestarship “Intrepid” really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives

Print Length: 318 pages
Age: Adult Sci-Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
Sold by: Macmillan

RATING: 2 STARS – WISHED IT WAS BETTER

I love John Scalzi… Android’s Dream, Agent to the Stars, Old Man’s War, Ghost Brigade, and more are all awesome reads.

That said, I was incredibly disappointed by Redshirts. The idea was brilliant – and it starts out with great potential. But, it quickly drifts from being a great parody into murky meta territory.

Maybe I was the problem… I couldn’t quite follow when I was supposed to be taking the story seriously. Maybe there were some transitions in there that I missed. But, I think it’s more likely that I just can’t bring myself to appreciate what Scalzi was trying to do.

If you’re just discovering Scalzi, pick up any of his older works first. You won’t be disappointed. Once you’re a fan, maybe you’ll want to give Redshirts a chance. Go into it with an open mind, no preconceived notions, and see what you think. It’s original. It’s fresh. It just wasn’t for me.

Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans, general adult fiction, and Scalzi fans.

Get REDSHIRTS now on Amazon:

Book Review: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

jessica day George, children's books, kindle books for girls, 5 star books fantastyTuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION:  “Every Tuesday Castle Glower takes on a life of its own—magically inventing, moving, and even completely getting rid of some of its rooms. Good thing Princess Celie takes the time to map out these never-ending changes. Because when the castle is ambushed and Celie’s parents and oldest brother go missing, it’s up to Celie to protect their home and save their kingdom. A great new series that readers will devour!”

 

Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (November 13, 2012)

REVIEW: 5 STARS NOT TO BE MISSED!

A couple of words. Love this. And. Want more. 😛 Seriously.

This is written by Jessica Day George and is not currently a series. It is about a girl named Celie, a.k.a, Cecelia Glower. She’s a princess in a land called Selyene.

Celie has a sister and two brothers, Lilah, Rolf, and Bran. All of which are either prince or princess to Glower Castle. Glower Castle isn’t ordinary. It has a mind of it’s own. It’s makes rooms, changes where rooms are, and when tapestries are taken down, it puts them back up!

The main conflict in this book is this: a prince named Khelsh is trying to take over. Dun, dun, dun! Sorry, but that needed to be added 🙂 Celie’s parents, the King and Queen have gone missing, along with her brother Bran. Celie knows the Castle better than anyone, and it’s up to her to make a plan.

This book, compared to The Princess of Glass, is better. I say I enjoyed this one much more. Maybe it’s because the main characters are kids, I honestly don’t know, I just know this book is great. I liked the ending, but went into shock when I was almost done. Seriously.

The ending was fun and happy. I can’t say why because I’ll ruin the book. Sorry! (And to those of you who skip to the last page or read spoilers, guess what? Can’t do that on Ebook!)  The characters brought many laughs and high risks. The Glower children are amazing……are very good at pranks. Hahaha, I was laughing hard.  I recommend this book.  It has laughs and the language is funny and fun at times. 🙂

This review has now ended. *screen goes black*

5 stars, books are better, book reviews, best in YA books, best YA novels

Recommended for younger girls, little boys who like puppies, Jessica Day George fans, Shannon Hale fans.  You’ll like this book if you liked DRAGON SLIPPERS, PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL, THE GOOSE GIRL, ENNA BURNING.

Grab TUESDAYS AT THE CASTLE now on AMAZON or B&N or WalMart

Book Review: Kingdom Keepers #4 (Power Play) by Ridley Pearson

kingdom keepers #4, ridley pearson, disneyworld books, books for boysKingdom Keepers #4 (Power Play) by Ridley Pearson

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: “For the five teens who modeled as Disney Hologram Imaging hosts, life is beginning to settle down when an intriguing video arrives to Philby’s computer at school. It’s a call for action: the Overtakers, a group of Disney villains, seem to be plotting to attempt a rescue of two of their leaders, both of whom the Disney Imagineers have hidden away somewhere following a violent encounter in Epcot. A staged attack by new Overtakers at Downtown Disney, startles the group.

One of their own, Charlene, is acting strange of late. Has she tired of her role as a Kingdom Keeper or is there something more sinister at play? When caught sneaking into Epcot as her DHI, acting strictly against the group’s rules, Finn and Philby take action.

Has the “impossible” occurred? Have the Overtakers created their own holograms? Have they found a way to “jump” from the Virtual Maintenance Network onto the Internet, and if so, what does that mean for the safety of the parks, and the spread and reach of the Overtakers? Are they recruiting an army from outside the parks?

A dark cloud in the Kingdom Keeper era is unfolding, and with dissention in their own ranks, it’s unclear if there’s any chance of escape.”

Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (February 28, 2012)

REVIEW: 5 STARS–NOT TO BE MISSED! THIS IS MY FAV!

The Kingdom Keepers are kids who cross over into the parks when they are asleep.
The book has adventure, mystery, action, and laughs.

My favorite characters have to be Finn and Jess. Finn for his problem solving and how he acts in bad situations((Maybe being cute too. LoL!)). Jess for helping out after her being released from the spell of Maleficent in book one.

This book is about the Overtakers coming up with a plan to release their leaders from prison. Finn and the gang have to figure out the problem fat, or else the enemy wins.

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I recommend this book for younger readers, books for boys, reluctant readers, Disney lovers and action/adventure lovers.

Grab Kingdom Keepers #4 (aka this super awesome book) on Amazon now!  It’s sooooo good!