Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review: Fire Walker by Josephine Angelini

Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2)

Goodreads Overview:

Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.

"You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified."

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.


Fire Walker picked up pretty much where Trial by Fire left off.  Lily is back in her version of Salem and now has to explain her lengthy disappearance.  Her family and friends assumed she had been kidnapped and was dead.  Nobody will believe what really happened, the fact that she is a witch and can travel to alternate universes, so they concoct a story. Her mom has a history of mental issues, so she must have "forgotten" where she went and reported her missing.  The authorities aren't buying the story, but they have no proof to the contrary once her mom backs up the story.

As much as Lily wants to stay in her own world with Rowan, he can't just abandon his friends and family back in his world.  He decides he needs to return and begins training some other mechanics to take care of Lily in her world. Lily doesn't like the plan, but eventually understands his point of view. Just when Rowan is about to return to his world, things take a turn for the worse in Lily's Salem. Lillian and her mechanics start inflicting damage that Lily can't ignore. In order to stop the violence, Lily and her mechanics return with Rowan to his world to stop Lillian once and for all.

Throughout the book Lily is hiding things from Rowan to "protect" him from what Lillian has shown her. Lily is beginning to understand why Lillian has done some of the terrible things she has done. She doesn't agree with her methods, but understands she is trying to do what is best for the greater good.

We learn more about the woven and the dangers in Rowan's world. Lily devises a plan to save Rowan's Salem, but it is risky and divides her coven.  Some of her claimed aren't willing to take the risk she is asking of them. She understands and sets out to save the world with anyone who is willing to join her.

It has been a long time since I read the first book in this series, but I didn't have too much trouble getting back up to speed. I felt like the first part of the book was pretty slow, but the last half flew by once the action picked up. I didn't really care for the secrets and tension between Lily and Rowan. It would have been more entertaining and productive, in my opinion, if they were honest with each other and worked together. Hopefully they will get to that point in the final book in this series. I enjoyed some of the new characters that were added from Lily's world and look forward to seeing how everything will unfold in the Witch's Pyre.

I don't think this series is nearly as good as Angelini's Starcrossed series, but it has been entertaining. I am curious about how it will conclude and really hope she will ratchet things up to the 4 or 5 star level I have come to expect from her. The first two books in this series have been 3 stars for me.  I have enjoyed them, but they haven't captivated my attention like Helen and Lucas did in her Starcrossed series. 

I am participating in the Year of Epic Reads challenge and selected this book to complete the week 11 challenge. Read a Book Featuring Time Travel.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Review: High Five by Janet Evanovich

High Five is the fifth book in the Stephanie Plum series. Stephanie works for her cousin Vinnie as a "bail enforcement officer"...AKA Bounty Hunter. 

In this installment, Stephanie's Uncle Fred goes missing.  He went out to run some errands and never returned. They know he was having some difficulty with his account at the garbage company, but a dispute over a couple of dollars is certainly not worth killing someone over.  Fred also has a history of fraternizing with married women, which could have lead to his disappearance. Since business is slow at the bail bond agency, she begins looking into the case.

Fred's case isn't going to pay the rent, so Stephanie begins taking some odd jobs from Ranger, a far more skilled bounty hunter.  He has some side businesses that are more in the gray area, but Stephanie really needs the money. Stephanie ends up in a number of hilarious situations, which could only seem to happen to her.

Joe Morelli has been Stephanie's on-and-off boyfriend going back as far as high school. He is now a vice cop and is somehow working on a case that seems to be connected with Uncle Fred's disappearance. Stephanie becomes frustrated when he will not discuss the case with her, so she takes matters into her own hands. They eventually begin sharing information, but it is amazing how the unskilled Plum always seems to be one step ahead.

This series is more of a comedy to me than an action packed thriller.  Yes, there is usually a mystery to solve or a fugitive to apprehend, but the tone is very light. The interactions between Stephanie and her mother and grandmother will literally make you laugh out loud at times. In addition, there is now a potential love triangle between Stephanie, Ranger, and Morelli that escalated in this installment.  Stephanie is well aware of Morelli's lack of commitment and has been burned by him multiple times in the past, but he is an honest working police officer. Ranger, on the other hand, has a number of fine qualities mixed with an element of danger. She knows she should stay away from him, but it seems to be getting harder for her to walk away. I can't wait to see how things will play out in the next book, Hot Six. 

I have been participating in the Year of Epic Reads Challenge.  This book qualified for week 19's Read A Book with a Mystery.

Week 19 - May 6 - High Five by Janet Evanovich.

Monday, May 13, 2019

COYER Summer Hunt Sign Up

I love the summer COYER challenge because all the rules are thrown out the window. I have tried the winter challenge, but not being able to read library books pretty much takes me out of the competition.  They are adding a treasure hunt this summer, which also sounds like a fun idea. You can find the official sign up post here.  

The following is a summary of the basic rules from Because Reading is Better than Real Life's post. Be sure to check out the link above for more details about the social media events that will be taking place all summer.

It’s time to sign up for another Summer COYER. Summer COYER will run Saturday, June 1 – Saturday, August 31! Sign-ups will be open until Saturday, July 6th.

The Rules

  1. You must create a sign-up post anytime between now and July 6th – on blog, goodreads, fb, google+, etc. Yes, that means you can sign up until July 6th! But don’t wait, you’ll miss most of the fun!
  2. You must link to the sign-up linky below (don’t link to your blog, link to the sign-up post).
  3. You must review books somewhere & link the reviews to the review linky to be eligible for one of the grand prize giveaways.
  4. Have Fun!
Normally you’re only allowed to read eBooks that were less than $5 for COYER, but since this is Summer Vacation you can read whatever you want! To be clear, here are some questions you may be asking…
  • Can I read a book that cost $10? Yes!
  • Are Tour books and Author Review books ok? Yes! Yes!
  • Can I read a paperback? An audio book? An eBook? Yes! Yes! Yes!

Getting the idea? There really are very few rules here. For those that just want to do your standard summer vacation, you can enter your reviews on the review linky and each entry on a linky will be worth 1 entry. So if you’ve added your link there, you’re in the first giveaway for your choice of a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N. But if you want have to have some REAL fun… we have Treasure Hunt!

Treasure Hunt

We’re going on a Treasure Hunt this summer! Use this old map that Cora Coyer found to navigate your way through the summer to the treasure at the X. There’s a variety of ways to move forward a space on the map on this treasure hunt list. You’ll get the list on the kick-off post June 1st.
This map has 65 spaces from the start at “COYER Summer Hunt” to the X with the treasure. As the list will reveal, you can move forward 1 – 5 spaces with every book you read. You’ll use the list to navigate the map towards the treasure. Participating in Read-a-thons will help catapult your forward towards the treasure at the magical x. Making progress, but not quite getting to the treasure will still earn you points!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Review: The Sixth Man by David Baldacci

The Sixth Man is the fifth book in the King and Maxwell series.  Sean and Michelle are former secret service agents who are now working as private investigators.  This time around they are contacted by one of Sean's former law professors, Ted Bergin, to help with a case he is working on.  When Bergin turns up dead, Sean begins to take the case personally.  Even when the stakes are more than they are willing to risk, he can't back away from uncovering the truth behind his friend's murder.

Edgar Roy is accused of killing six people and burying them in the barn on his family farm.  He is one of the smartest people in the world, if not the smartest, so nobody believes he would have been caught red handed if he truly were a killer.  He had to have been set up, but why?  And why is the FBI so involved in a case that is clearly outside their jurisdiction? 

As people associated with the case keep dropping like flies, Edgar is locked away in a maximum security facility in Maine.  He obviously isn't involved in the latest murders.  It is becoming increasingly clear that there are some very high powered players who are determined to keep Edgar's real story under wraps.  

This was a very fast read with a ton of action and some very unique plot twists.  Until the very end, I didn't really know who was on what side or how all of the pieces would come together.  As usual, Sean and Michelle find themselves in immense danger.  They are fortunate to have Edgar's half sister on their side for most of the investigation.  Her background is never revealed, but she was obviously part of the FBI, CIA, or something along those lines.  She is very resourceful and has a very large support network, which helps them out of numerous dire situations.

I accidentally read the last two books in this series out of order, but that didn't make too much of a difference.  There were a few references in King and Maxwell to events that took place in this novel, but I felt like these could be read as stand alone novels.  The characters and their personal relationships develop throughout the series, but each of the cases are completely independent.  

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series so far and sincerely hope Baldacci will continue Sean and Michelle's story.  I know he has a number of other series, which I plan on exploring now that I have read all of these, but this series seems far from complete.  

I used the paperback addition of the book above because I think it is a much better representation of this story.  Once you have read the book you will understand the significance of the lone man in front of all of the screens.  The hardcover edition has the red cover below, which I am using for my Year of Epic Reads week 1 challenge.  Read a book with your favorite color  on the cover.  That looks scarlet to me...Go Bucks!

The Sixth Man (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #5)Week 1 - The Sixth Man by David Baldacci Red Cover