Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: Riddles of Hillsgate

Title: The Riddles of Hillgate
Author: Zoey Kane and Claire Kane
Series: Z & C Mysteries #1
Publication Date: October 14, 2011
Source: Won.

Zoey Kane is known around Riverside for making risky purchases. When her daughter Claire learns a most recent investment is eighty acres on the haunted side of town, she is simply flabbergasted. Amazement takes over the whole community, however, when an old mansion is discovered deep within trees. After the estate is turned into a popular hotel, no one could have expected just how risky this purchase would be.

I read this book in the plane and in the airport while I was on holiday and found it was a perfect book for that situation. Something light and fluffy, that was easy to pick up and put down as needed.

That said, this book wasn't memorable or ground-breaking in any way. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it or pick up a sequel. 

Claire is a young woman whose life is falling apart, so she moves in with her mother for a while. Zoey is an unsuccessful real estate agent whose luck is usually terrible. However, Zoey recently bought some scrubby old land, only to find out that there was a forgotten mansion on the estate!

I found Zoey and Claire's relationship a bit odd. It just didn't seem like a realistic mother-daughter relationship and I found it super weird that they shared a bed in the huge mansion. I also found some of the dialogue to be a bit forced and awkward. 

However, this book as short, fast-paced and fun and I enjoyed reading it while waiting for my flight.

Find the Book:
Goodreads | Amazon 

Find the Authors:
Goodreads (Zoey) | Goodreads (Claire)Web | Twitter 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Review: The Voyage of the Basilisk

Title: The Voyage of the Basilisk
Author: Marie Brennan
Series: Memoir by Lady Trent #3
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Source:  I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Devoted readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed—until now. Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella’s in ways both professional and personal.

Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella’s life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.

Memoirs by Lady Trent has been a really interesting and enjoyable series for me so far. I love that it looks at the science and biology of dragons as if they truly did exist. And the variety of detail of the dragons really makes it a believable world.

I think this book has been my favourite so far. I found it had a bit more action in it for me. And I also think it's taken me a couple books to warm up to the Isabella and also to the writing style, which is reminiscent of classics (but with dragons and a bit of a scandalous narrator). I like that Jake has become a full character now and Isabella's involvement in his life is probably one of the reasons why I felt like I connected more with her in this book than the previous one.

I really do like Tom's character and his transcending of economic class through science. However, I felt like he took a bit of a back seat in this one, as they add Suhail to their expedition. I really like Suhail and it would be a lie if I said I didn't ship him and Isabella just a bit. In this book, I also loved the ship's captain Aekinitos.

Another character I found very interesting was Heali'i, who gave some interesting insight into gender norms and roles. I liked getting to see these concepts presented through a bit of an anthropological lens.

Overall, I have really enjoyed this series so far and can't wait to see what kind of trouble Isabella gets herself into in the next book.

Find the Book:
Goodread | Amazon  | The Book Depository | Chapters

Find the Author:
Goodreads Web | Twitter 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

July Wrapup

I'm a few days late with this wrap up, but it's all good!

Books Reviewed in July:

The Road to You by Alicia Whitaker - 4 stars
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swedson - 4 stars
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas - 5 stars

Average Rating = 4.3 stars

I'm a bit behind on my review (watch for a whole bunch coming up), but the ones I got to this month were all positive!

Books Received in July:

For Review:
The Girl's Guide to the Apocalypse by Daphne Lamb
If Then by Matthew De Abaitua

I didn't post a lot in July because I was in JAPAN! It was awesome! Looking forward to catching up on my reviews this month!