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So many books, so little time.
Title: In Arcadia (Touchstone #5)
Author: Andrea K. Höst
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 252 pages
Date read: March, 2017

One does not simply walk onto another planet. At least not without the help of a daughter who has developed unlikely powers, fought an intra-dimensional war, and then arranged for a family relocation to a futuristic clone of Earth. Laura Devlin would gladly have paid any price to have her daughter back, so living in a techno-paradise with spaceship views is merely an added bonus. And a dream come true.

But Arcadian paradises do not come without complications. Laura's include a plethora of psychic grandchildren. Interplanetary diplomacy. Her daughter's immense fame. And KOTIS, the military watchdog that seems to consider Laura's entire family government property.

Forewarned by her daughter's experiences, Laura had anticipated as many problems as she could, and didn't doubt her ability to cope with the rest. But she had not planned on Gidds Selkie, a military officer 'chipped from flint' and not at all the sort of man lifelong geek Laura had ever imagined would find her interesting.


Very satisfying follow-up to "Gratuitous Epilogue" and perfect for people who want to know more about how Cass' family adapts to a new planet.

I knew from the set-out that Cass wasn't the main character of this book, but was slightly surprised by just how little a role she played in it. At times it almost seemed like she was left out deliberately, which was a bit jarring.

But apart from that minor nitpick, I really enjoyed it. I loved hearing more about Cass' Australian family, and how they all managed the huge change to their lives. Of course the epilogue only resulted in making me want to know more! I hope Andrea Höst will revisit the universe at a later stage.

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Title: De, der vogter
Author: Claus Holm
Genre: Short-stories
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 384
Date read: March, 2017

En gruppe turister spærres inde i en underjordisk bunker uden kontakt til omverden. De ved ikke, hvor længe de kan overleve dernede - eller hvad der er sket på jorden over dem.

Dreng møder pige i en historie om at forfølge sin egen drøm, frem for andres. Måske kan man også lære af de ting, man ikke ved.

En ung mor mister på én gang sin mand og sit arbejde - men måske kan en rød cykel bane vejen frem mod et nyt liv.

En nyfødt dreng får tildelt en agent fra Oven - og en fra Neden - men hvorfor er han så vigtig?

De, der vogter er fire forbundne historier om almindelige mennesker i ualmindelige situationer; om mennesker, som beskytter hinanden, og som indimellem selv har behov for at blive beskyttet. Frygt og sorg, afmagt og tragedie, alle har de en vigtig plads i fortællingerne - men i sidste ende indtager kærlighed, venskab og medmenneskelighed de altoverskyggende hovedroller.

Fra 1950'erne til nu; fra den faderløse femårige til den fortvivlede cirkusprinsesse. Når luften er ved at løbe ud - i metaforisk eller bogstavelig forstand - er spørgsmålet det samme for os alle: Skal jeg blive hvor jeg er, eller skal jeg bryde ud?


"De, der vogter" er en samling af 4 noveller, der ved første øjekast ser ud til at være uafhængige af hinanden... og så alligevel ikke. De er meget forskellige, og derfor nærmest umulige at anmelde under ét, så jeg har valgt at anmelde dem hver for sig i stedet.

Den første novelle, "Bunkeren", var også klart min yndlings. Jeg har altid haft en svaghed for dystopiske/post-apokalyptiske romaner, og fløj lige igennem den. Der var enkelte af personerne, jeg gerne ville have hørt mere om (f.eks. overlevelsesnødden som købte al vandet i starten af bogen), men det er ulempen ved (gode) noveller... man vil altid gerne vide mere! Og egentlig syntes jeg, det var et okay sted at stoppe - alt taget i betragtning. Jeg var helt vild med Sarah :-) 5 stjerner.

Starten på den anden novelle, "Kvinden og løverne", mindede mig utrolig meget om starten på "The Night Circus" (selv her ved anden gennemlæsning, hvor jeg ved at inspirationen er en helt anden), men det er dog kun starten, og historien fik hurtigt sit eget liv. Det ville være en skam at røbe for meget af handlingen, så jeg vil nøjes med at sige at jeg absolut ikke havde forventet den drejning historien ville tage, men efter det første chock begyndte jeg at gennemskue de hints Claus havde lagt ud, og endte med at synes, at det var en fin slutning. I sidste ende er det nok den af novellerne jeg er midst tilbøjelig til at genlæse, men jeg vil alligevel give den 3 stjerner.

"Gaven" fik mig til at græde. "Big ugly tears". Mærkeligt nok ikke der hvor man måske ville have forventet det, men ved Jessicas reaktion senere. Meget vagt, det ved jeg godt, men jeg prøver at undgå spoilers. Heldigvis endte historien på en mere positiv note (ellers er jeg heller ikke sikker på, jeg ville have kunnet klare det), men jeg ville have ønsket den havde været bare lidt længere, så de øvrige siders tragedie var blevet opvejet mere. 4 stjerner.

Den sidste novelle, "Vogterne", var jeg meget splittet overfor. Som kristen havde jeg afgjort nogle problemer med den*, men handlingsmæssigt fandt jeg den meget fascinerende. Den er baseret på et interessant koncept, og jeg kunne godt lide den meget bogstavelige tilgang til skytsengle og dæmoner. 4 stjerner.

Generelt en meget velskreven bog, som jeg er glad for at have fået chancen for at læse. Og specielt "Bunkeren" bliver nok en novelle jeg kommer til at genlæse ofte. Ikke dårligt klaret af Claus Holm, når man tænker på, at jeg typisk ikke er så meget til noveller. De fleste af disse er dog også lange nok til at gå under den engelske term "novella" snarere end "short story".... hvilket jeg værdsatte!

*Ikke så meget engle og dæmoner generelt - det er der præcedens for blandt kristne forfattere også... bl.a. hos Frank E. Peretti og C.S. Lewis, bare for at nævne to af de mest kendte... men ind i mellem var der nogle fraser som skurede i ørerne. Det er dog på ingen måde sikkert, at det er ting der ville genere andre end mig.

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Title: Final Girls
Author: Mira Grant
Genre: horror
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 112
Date read: March, 2017

What if you could fix the worst parts of yourself by confronting your worst fears?

Dr. Jennifer Webb has invented proprietary virtual reality technology that purports to heal psychological wounds by running clients through scenarios straight out of horror movies and nightmares. In a carefully controlled environment, with a medical cocktail running through their veins, sisters might develop a bond they've been missing their whole lives - while running from the bogeyman through a simulated forest. But... can real change come so easily?

Esther Hoffman doubts it. Esther has spent her entire journalism career debunking pseudoscience, after phony regression therapy ruined her father's life. She's determined to unearth the truth about Dr. Webb's budding company. Dr. Webb's willing to let her, of course, for reasons of her own. What better advertisement could she get than that of a convinced skeptic? But Esther's not the only one curious about how this technology works. Enter real-world threats just as frightening as those created in the lab. Dr. Webb and Esther are at odds, but they may also be each other's only hope of survival.


The first stand-alone stort-story / novella I've read by Mira Grant (all the others have been in her Newsflesh universe), and it reminded me why I prefer longer novels in order to flesh out the universe more. I loved the premise of the story (revisiting problems via dreams and augmented reality), but thought the writing could have been better. The suspenseful part of the story wasn't nearly as powerful as it would have been, if you'd gotten to know the characters better, and I missed some sort of proper resolution / explanation at the end.

Still, Mira Grant always writes stories worth reading, and despite my small complaints I did enjoy the book and am as always eager to read more from her hand.

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Title: The Darker Side (Smoky Barrett #3)
Author: Cody McFadyen
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 379
Date read: March 2017

A lie, a long-ago affair, a dark desire—everyone has secrets they take to the grave. No one knew that better than FBI special agent Smoky Barrett. But what secret was a very private young woman keeping that led to her very public murder? And what kind of killer was so driven and so brazenly daring that he’d take her life on a commercial airliner thirty thousand feet in midair, a killer so accomplished that he’d leave only a small souvenir behind?


I think I've been reading too many of these too close to each other. It was still really good, but a) it gets a bit repetitive. b) it becomes increasingly difficult to find something new to write about the books.

But I liked it. It was a quick read, even if a rather disturbing one. I liked the extra insight into Stormy's psyche, even if I did think there ought to have been hints in the earlier books. It seemed a bit too much like it was just invented for this one.

I still want to read more books in this series, but think I may just take a small break before the next one.

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Title: Love for the Cold-Blooded, or The Part-Time Evil Minion's Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero
Author: Alex Gabriel
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 300
Date read: February 2017

Superheroes. Evil minions. And one hell of a conflict of interest.

Being related to a supervillain isn't a big deal to Pat West. So what if his mom occasionally tries to take over the world? All Pat wants is to finish university and become an urban designer. That he moonlights as an evil minion sometimes - that's just family tradition.

Then Pat accidentally sleeps with superhero Silver Paladin, otherwise known as reclusive billionaire Nick Andersen. It's a simple misunderstanding. Pat never means to impersonate a prostitute, honest. But soon Pat is in way over his head, and threatening to fall for the worst possible guy.

When Pat's mother returns to bring the world to its knees, Silver Paladin races to stop her... and all of Pat's secrets threaten to blow up in his face. How can Pat reconcile being a minion with wanting a hero? Will Nick's feelings for Pat overcome what keeps them apart? Or will they both lose everything?


I'll be honest - I almost entirely picked up this book based on the delightfully absurdity of the sub-title. "The Part-Time Evil Minion's Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero"? What's not to like?! (as an aside - my DH asked me what I was reading, and I gave him the full title. He blinked a couple of times... "I'm not sure how to process that" ;-D )

Fortunately the story itself mostly lived up to my expectations. It toed the line a couple of times in becoming too much of a stereotypical "romance novel" for my taste, but thankfully never crossed the line completely... which meant that I'd occasionally put down the book for a bit in order to brace myself for the next part... and then pick it up again, only to discover the "next part" turned out to be much better handled than I'd feared and there was no cause for preemptive wincing ;)

And there was so much to like with this novel! I liked reading about Pat and Nick's growing relationship (and Pat's realization of why Nick called for him in the first place!), I liked Pat's family, and I loved the idea of super-villains (excuse me - Challengers!) having families and that any children would be required to do minion duty :-D

So all in all, a very enjoyable read with a plot suitably absurd to fit the title :-)

Besides, the ending was just CUTE! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the next West family dinner though!

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Title: Follow Me Back
Author: A.V. Geiger
Genre: YA
Rating: 2/5
# pages: 368 pages
Date read: February 2017

Tessa Hart's world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it's like his speaking directly to her...

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn't help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast - like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric's plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world's best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn...


Please note that this is a review of the book version only. There is also a version on Wattpad, which has some significant changes. Ironically, I believe I would have rated that one higher, but this is the version provided to me by NetGalley, so so be it.

It will be hard to review it properly without spoilers but I will do my best.

Most of the book was excellent. Well written and captivating - written in the style of a YA Liane Moriarty novel. Sure, it was kinda sweetly tacky in places, and unrealistic in a chick-lit kinda way, but it worked. I stayed up much too late to read it, and despite a few glaring plotholes (most notably the MET storyline which was never tied up... I also have questions about both Blair and the therapist) was ready to give it a solid 4 star rating.

But then came the last 5 pages. I realize they were added for shock value and to get people to read the sequel, but when I read them, I didn't know a sequel was in the works, and thought this was the end - and it basically ruined the book for me. Only the fact that I was reading it on my tablet saved it from being tossed across the room.

At that time I was ready to give the book just 1 star, but a quick look on Goodreads informed me that a sequel is indeed in the works (and spoilers are aplenty on Wattpad) and that all is obviously not how it seems. That mellowed my opinion a fair bit, and made me raise my rating from "I didn't like it" to "it was okay". Still not fond of the cheap trick though.

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Title: We Are Okay
Author: Nina LaCour
Genre: YA
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 240
Date read: February, 2017

"You go through life thinking there's so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother."

Marin hasn't spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she's tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that's been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.


I can't quite figure out what I thought of this book. I read it in one sitting, so it certainly had that going for it (even if it is short), but it was awfully depressing at times. I kept reading, because I wanted to know what the trigger was, but when it was finally revealed, I felt that it was far too 'little' to warrant such a major (over-)reaction, which detracted somewhat from my enjoyment of the book, and meant it packed less of a punch than it could have.

There were definitely aspects of it that I enjoyed, and I loved Mabel's parents, but as a whole, I was fairly underwhelmed.

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Title: Dawn Study (Soulfinders #3)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 478
Date read: February, 2017

Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond and a family that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia.

Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person's resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal.

With might and magic, Valek peels back the layers of betrayal surrounding the Commander. At its rotten core lies a powerful magician and his latest discovery. The fate of all rests upon two unlikely weapons. One may turn the tide. The other could spell the end of everything.


A nice wrap-up to the Sitia-Ixia chronicles. It had a few weaknesses here and there, and it's obvious that Maria V. Snyder is done with the universe, but I still enjoyed it very much, and liked getting everything wrapped up.

As always with books told from multiple points of view, there will be some that are more interesting than others. That was also the case here, and I definitely preferred the chapters told from Valek or Yelena's POV to any of the others. But fortunately, they were also the ones with the most chapters, so it all worked out ;-)

All in all, I really liked it. It didn't blow me away like some of the others did, but I found it a very satisfying end to the series.

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Title: The Obsession
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 464
Date read: February 2017

Naomi Carson is a survivor. As a child, her family was torn apart by a shocking crime. It could have destroyed her, but Naomi has grown up strong, with a passion for photography that has taken her all around the world.

Now, at last, she has decided to put down roots. The beautiful old house on Point Bluff needs work, but Naomi has new friends in town who are willing to help, including Xander Keaton - gorgeous, infuriating and determined to win her heart.

But as Naomi plans for the future, her past is catching up with her. Someone in town knows her terrifying secret - and won't let her forget it. As her new home is rocked by violence, Naomi must discover her persecutor's identity, before it's too late.


Nora Roberts writes ridiculously readable books, and this one was no exception. In fact, I think it may be the best book I've read by her so far. I was immediately drawn into the story, and enjoyed following Naomi through childhood, teenagedom to early adulthood. Quite often in books I'll find that one of those is decidedly more interesting than the others, but not so here.

I liked that though Naomi went through some utterly horrible things, this wasn't the kind of book where everybody was an asshole and she had to learn to manage by herself. While they can still be good, such books tend to drain me, because it gets exhausting reading about how one person goes through one horrible thing after another. In this one, Naomi went through some horrible things, to be sure, but she also had people who loved her and looked out for her. That, combined with all the awesome descriptions of the house she bought and restored almost made "The Obsession" feel like a comfort book in parts - despite the awful subject matter.

I'd guessed the twist ahead of time, but that didn't matter as it was still well executed. I loved the uncles, Mason, Xander, Kevin, Jenny, Tag, and pretty much everybody else at Point Bluff. I love reading about communities where people are actually nice to each other. Not angels, but just generally kind human beings.

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Title: Fatal Shadows (Adrien English Mysteries, #1
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 198
Date read: February, 2017

One sunny morning Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening.

Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his answers, and when a few hours later someone breaks into Adrien's shop and ransacks it, the law is inclined to think Adrien is trying to divert suspicion from himself.

Adrien knows better. Adrien knows he is next on the killer's list.


I was actually surprised by how much I liked it, and kept finding excuses to read more. I can't even quite explain why, as the plot itself was fairly straight-forward, but the writing kept me interested, and I was satisfied by the ending, even if I had seen it coming ahead of time. I used to say that I don't like whodunnits, but I think it's probably safer to say that I'm very picky when it comes to that genre. I'm not a fan of Agatha Christie and that ilk, but love crime novels that read like an episode of CSI or similar. This was closer to the latter (despite the main character being a possible victim rather than a cop) and kept me nicely entertained for all 198 pages.

It's a very quick read, and nicely contained, even if it does pave the way for more books in the series.

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Title: The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett #2)
Author: Cody McFadyen
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 475 pages
Date read: February 2017

A sixteen-year old girl holds a gun to her head at the scene of a grisly triple homicide. She claims "The Stranger" killed her adoptive family, that he's been following her all her life, killing everyone she ever loved, and that no one believes her. But Special Agent Smoky Barrett does. Her team has been hand-picked from amont the nation's elite law enforcement specialists and they are as obsessed and relentless as the psychos they hunt; they'll have to be to deal with this case.

For another vicious double homicide reveals a killer embarked on a dark crusade of trauma and death: an "artist" who's molding Sarah into the perfect victim - and the ultimate weapon. To catch him, Smoky is going to have to put her own fragile, once-shattered life on the line. For The Stranger is all too real, all too close, and all too determined. And when he finally shows his face, Smoky had better be ready to face her worst fear.


Almost as good as the first book in the series! I had a few more problems with the ending than I did with the first book, but thought the plot as a whole every bit as tightly written and executed. No odd translation errors in this one either! ;)

What happened to Sarah broke my heart, which is probably why I didn't find the ending satisfying enough, but I hope to hear more about her in the next book - much like we did with Bonnie in this one.

It's a fast ride, and hard to put down. I've already gotten my hands on the next book in the series.

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Title: The Prince of the Moon
Author: Megan Derr
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 93
Date read: January, 2017

All Solae wants is to be accepted and loved by the family that has always rejected him. But given it was his late mother who cursed the kingdom to eternal winter, the chances of that happening are minimal. If he can find a way to break the curse, however, surely that would be enough to change their minds regarding him.

But Solae is forbidden to practice magic because of his mother, which limits his ability to pursue solutions. Desperate for advice and new ideas, he contacts a famous curse breaker—and has no idea what to do when the unexpectedly shows up, handsome and friendly and dangerously intriguing.


A fairly traditional fantasy that was made utterly charming by the very sweet two main characters. Granted, their 'insta-romance' was perhaps not entirely believable, but I found myself not minding, because of the very stereotypical "fairytale feel" of the entire novella - most of those have rather instant romances as well. That this was a M/M romance just changed the parameters around a bit.

Short and enjoyable. I liked both main characters, and appreciated how we got to hear the story from both sides. I would have liked a bit more resolution near the end, but accept that the comeuppance was never to come and that Solae's best revenge was to live well and be happy.

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Title: The Last to Die
Author: Kelly Garrett
Genre: YA
Rating: 2/5
# pages: 218
Date read: January, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Harper Jacobs and her bored friends make a pact to engage in a series of not-quite illegal break-ins. They steal from each other's homes, sharing their keys and alarm codes. But they don't take anything that can't be replaced by some retail therapy, so it's okay. It's thrilling. It's bad. And for Harper, it's payback for something she can't put into words-something to help her deal with her alcoholic mother, her delusional father, and to forget the lies she told that got her druggie brother arrested. It's not like Daniel wasn't rehab bound anyway.

So everything is okay-until the bold but aggravating Alex, looking to up the ante, suggests they break into the home of a classmate. It's crossing a line, but Harper no longer cares. She's proud of it. Until one of the group turns up dead, and Harper comes face-to-face with the moral dilemma that will make or break her-and, if she makes the wrong choice, will get her killed.


Huh! I'm starting to wonder if I read a different book than the others did! So many 4 and 5 star reviews, and mine can only just sneak its way up to 2.

Because my honest opinion is that this book was absolutely ridiculous. None of the characters seemed believable or acted in an even half-way realistic manner.

A shame too, because the plot had potential, and could have been really interesting if the characters hadn't been so hopelessly exaggerated. And twist seemed completely unmotivated and was never properly resolved or explained.

Granted, it did keep me reading, and despite how overdone everything was, I did want to know how it ended. But when push came to shove, I couldn't really bring myself to care about any of the characters other than Maggie, and most of them seemed more like charicatures than anybody you'd meet in real life.

With all the awesome YA books out there, give this one a miss.

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Title: The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales from Verania #1)
Author: T.J. Klune
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5+/5
# pages: Audiobook ~17 hours
Date read: January, 2017

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King's Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can't control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan's boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.


Oh boy, where to start!

I have two simultaneous thoughts I want to get out through this review.
1) This book was HILARIOUS and I loved every minute of it. Can't remember when a book has last made me laugh this much and this often. Not to mention that it was just SWEET! ... at times... in places...
2) This book should come with a shit-load of warnings for language and content and is NOT for everybody!

(And for once I'm not going to apologize for my language, because I'd rather scare you off now, than after buying the book. Just trust me on that one. Consider it a VERY mild example).

Meet Sam of Wild - a 20-year-old wizard's apprentice, who has an incredible talent for getting captured by Dark wizards... but fortunately they just. can't. stop. monologueing!
Gary - a hornless gay unicorn who snorts coloured sparks and poops rainbows and cupcake-smells.
Tiggy - a half-giant who'll smash all of Gary and Sam's enemies if they let him.
Kevin - a sexually aggressive dragon.
'Mother' - Sam's fairy drag-mother.
Dmitri - the 6" tall gay fairy with a size-kink whom Sam almost got gay fairy married to that one time...
And of course - Knight Ryan Deliciousface... oops, sorry, I mean Ryan Foxface, who's the object of Sam's abject devotion, but unfortunately betrothed to Prince Justin.

Add all this together, and you get the FUNNIEST book it's been my pleasure to read in a very, very long time (I laughed out loud more times than I can count), while at the same time being incredibly rich in sexual jokes and very crude language. So if (explicit) M&M romance and (even more explicit) sexual banter is a dealbreaker for you - this is your warning.

The plot itself was well executed and pretty traditional for a fantasy novel - prince gets captured by dragon, knight and wizard must go free prince and return home in time for a royal wedding - yada-yada-yada. The novel's strength comes in the dialogue between the characters, and the obvious affection between Sam and his friends (including Ryan), his family, and even his wizard mentor and his King. Sam has the weirdest life ever, but it never seems forced, and much like Douglas Adams, T.J. Klune manages to make the jokes and mad escapades seem effortless and natural. The writing was excellent and appropriately witty all the way through.

The ending was perhaps a tiiiiiiny bit more explicit than I would have liked (although that may mostly have been because of the awkwardness of listening to it, rather than reading it myself), but for most of the book the sexual content is mostly talk, very little action. So download a sample off amazon, and if the language in the first few paragraphs doesn't scare you off - go for it. You won't regret it.

I "read" this as an audiobook, and absolutely adored the narrator, Michael Lesley. I've never listened to any of his performances before, but did an incredible job.

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Title: After You (Me Before You #2)
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 409
Date read: January, 2017

Lou Clark has lots of questions.
- Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.
- Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home.
- Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.
- And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.
Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions?
Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.
Open it and she risks everything.
But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in...


I loved "Me Before You" - rated it 4 stars and sobbed my way through much of the end of it. So I was simultaneously predisposed to like this one too... as well as ever so slightly worried whether or not it could live up to my expectations.

And unfortunately it couldn't... not completely anyway. I really enjoyed parts of it - laughed at some parts, got a tad choked up at others, but there were also aspects that just didn't work for me. Jojo Moyes just tried too hard to get the reader emotionally invested to the point that it almost - almost - felt like manipulation. Fortunately she never quite crossed that line (or I'd have thrown the book away in disgust), but it did sour things for me that she even came close.

But otherwise...
I liked Lou and thought the way she worked through her grief very believable.
I mostly liked Lily... at least later on in the book.
I liked the grief circle.
I liked Mrs. Traynor.
I can't quite make up my mind about Sam, but think I liked him - I definitely liked Donna!
I didn't much care for Lou's mother, father nor sister :-/
I liked the ending, even if I didn't much care for how Lou was pressured to get there.

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Title: The Chemist
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 518 pages
Date read: January, 2017

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.



I'd forgotten how utterly awesome it is to disappear into a brilliant book for a weekend, and not return for air until the very last page is turned. This is the best book I've read in a very long time - let me put it this way, if "The Chemist" isn't an automatic shoe-in for the "Top 10 of 2017" list, I will have had a very amazing reading year indeed!

I was a bit hesitant at first. It had been sold to me as a crime novel, and they have to be very good for me to like them - J.K. Rowling certainly didn't manage - but "The Host" is among my favourite books, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Well! Whoever sold it as crime fiction was dead-wrong. Suspense, yes. Crime - no. Instead we got a thrilling "escape from the government" story with lots of action and humour thrown in (and yes, a love-story. Not sure Meyer knows how to write books without them, but it was believable and it WASN'T a love-triangle, so I didn't mind).

I had a very, VERY hard time putting it down for the night (stayed up much too late Saturday for "just one more chapter"), and totally disagree with the reviews calling it boring - I was hooked from the very first page.

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Title: Shadow Man (Smoky Barrett #1)
Author: Cody McFadyen
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 396 pages
Date read: January 2017

Once, Special Agent Smoky Barrett hunted serial killers for the FBI. She was one of the best - until a madman terrorized her family, killed her husband and daughter, and left her face scarred and her soul brutalized. Turning the tables on the killer, Smoky shot him dead - but her life was shattered forever.

Now Smoky dreams about picking up her weapon again. She dreams about placing the cold steel between her lips and pulling the trigger one last time. Because for a woman who's lost everything, what is there left to lose?

She's about to find out.

In all her years at the Bureau, Smoky has never encountered anyone like him - a new and fascinating kind of monster, a twisted genius who defies profilers' attempts to understand him. And he's issued Smoky a direct challenge, coaxing her back from the brink with the only thing that could convince her to live.

The killer videotaped his latest crime - an act of horror that left a child motherless - then sent a message addressed to Agent Smoky Barrett. The message is enough to shock Smoky back to work, back to her FBI team. And that child awakens something in Smoky she thought was gone forever.

Suddenly the stakes are raised. The game has changed. For as this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder, Smoky is coming alive again - and she's about to face her greatest fears as a cop, a woman, a mother... and a merciless killer's next victim.


Brilliant page-turner that made short work of the long commutes I had between Denmark and Sweden last week.

I'm very taken with crime shows like CSI, Criminal minds etc. and apparently that translates to books as well. I was instantly taken with Smoky and the rest of her team, and enjoyed reading about all the work that has to be done in order to investigate crime scenes, follow up on leads, analyse evidence etc. The crimes themselves were horrid and gruesome, but while absolutely fascinating, the book itself wasn't as scary as I'd thought it might have been... still very difficult to put down, however.

Very well written, and most of the time well translated as well, so mentally correcting the translator didn't constantly pull me out of the story - I mostly completely forgot I was reading a book in translation. There were two very obvious exceptions though, with some glaring mistakes that really ought to have been caught by the editor or proof-reader:

First the translator obviously didn't know the two meanings of "to start", meaning that "Smoky started and..." was translated with "Smoky began and..." instead of "Smoky was startled and..." - making for a rather confusing sentence until I puzzled it out.

At another point, Smoky and her best friend were described as having been each others' "ladies in waiting"... I'm pretty sure the original text said "maids [of honour]" instead.

Fairly minor issues though, and in the end didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book at all. And for once I wasn't too disappointed by the way the unsub was finally caught... in this case, it seemed like the only way it really could end.

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Title: Dare to Do
Author: Sarah Outen
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 288 pages
Date read: January, 2017

On 1 April 2011, rower and adventurer Sarah Outen set off in her kayak from Tower Bridge for France. her aim was simple: to circle the globe entirely under her own steam - cycling, kayaking and rowing across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and eventually home. A year later, Sarah was plucked from the Pacific ocean after tropical storm Mawar, her boat broken, her spirit even more so.

But that wasn't the end. Despite ill health and depression, giving up was not an option. So Sarah set off once more to finish what she had started, becoming the first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska, as well as the first woman to row the mid-Pacific from West to East. She kayaked the treacherous Aleutian chain and cycled North America, before setting out on the Atlantic, despite the risk of another row-ending storm...


I've been wanting to read this book pretty much ever since I first heard of it... which was while Sarah was still on her London2London expedition, so it's been awhile :)

Sarah Outen's first book, "A Dip in the Ocean" was a clear 5-star book, and this came very close to being the same, but unfortunately it suffered somewhat from the expedition being so much longer, and the book (by necessity) therefore couldn't go into as much detail.

I still loved reading it though. Granted, I knew much of it in advance from following Sarah Outen's blog and youtube channel, but it was still great to have it all wrapped up here, and I enjoyed living vicariously through her experiences... well knowing that there's no WAY I could follow in her footsteps in reality. Didn't make it any less fascinating to read about - probably quite the contrary.

My one complaint is that there wasn't nearly enough photos for my liking - only 8 pages worth - but fortunately the rest are easily found online.

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Title: Thirteen Hours
Author: Francis Gideon
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 1.5/5
# pages: 73 pages
Date read: January 2017

Hans longs to be accepted by his academic peers. When he discovers a cure for the ongoing zombie crisis, he thinks he's finally achieved that goal - only to be stripped of his rank and unceremoniously tossed out on the streets.

With nowhere else to turn, Hans, his wife, and her lover Joan look for solutions in other areas, cobbling together a lab and supplies by scrounging the back alleys of London. The only thing they lack is a body to experiment on.

When the body of a young man shows up, it's almost too good to be true. Hans has only thirteen hours to work, but he's determined to prove himself. The clock is ticking, and nothing is ever as easy as it seems...


If goodreads hadn't told me otherwise, I'd have assumed this was Francis Gideon's first book. The plot showed definite potential, but was very poorly executed and the characters were two-dimensional and caricatures. The writing was choppy and needed editing, and at a mere 73 pages, the author wanted to do far too much, and had to rush through the various stages of the plot (which actually turned out to be a good thing... I doubt I would have finished it, had it been much longer). For a book containing zombies, it was awfully tame, with not even the fear of an attack to add tension to the story, and unfortunately the main love-story seemed tacked on and completely unbelievable.

A shame.

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Title: A List of Cages
Author: Robin Roe
Genre: YA
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 320 pages
Date read: January, 2017

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.



The writing-style took some getting used to - to the point that the first 25% took me 2 months to read, and I then finished the last 75% in one sitting!

I wasn't as blown away by this book as other reviews had let me to hope I would be. As already mentioned it took some getting into, and while I loved the growing friendship between Julian and Adam and his friends (definite shades of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" there!) and found the middle part of the book captivating, the lack of communication and trust in adults was still frustrating (Adam's mother especially). Worst of all, the ending was deeply unsatisfying. The other issues I could have ignored or forgiven, but a poor ending means a poor lasting effect of a book.

It still deserves 3 stars though, as it was a very powerful book up until then. With a better ending, it could easily have been a 5-star read.

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