Review: Yesterday’s Thief

Hi bookies (you raving book lovers),

I know that you’ve probably been waiting for the next book to check out, right? Or maybe you have been enjoying a good book yourself and want to read some more. Either way, I am happy to present this new review on Al Macy’s “Yesterday’s Thief”. Here are the basics:

Title: Yesterday’s Thief
Author: Al Macy
Genre: Sci-fi, Mystery

Now the blurb:

It’s the year 2020, and Eric Beckman is a mind-reading detective.
Although he reads only the conscious thoughts of the people he interviews, it usually gives him enough of an edge to overcome his inexperience as a PI. But mind reading is hell on relationships. Trusting comes hard when you know what people are really thinking.
The case of his life lands in his lap when a beautiful woman materializes during a televised baseball game. She floats in midair, then drops to the ground, comatose.
Beckman is at her bedside when she wakes up. From the moment she opens her eyes, she has him under her spell. He vows to figure out where—or when—she came from, even if it kills him.
The stakes increase when she disappears without a trace. Worse, she holds the key to a worldwide energy catastrophe. If Beckman can’t find her and unlock her secrets, economies will collapse, and the world will spiral down into chaos.

Let’s do things a little differently this time. First of all, my rating for this book is 3/5 stars. It is an good book to pass the time, but nothing I will be raving about or dying to read. It’s just kind of a “Meh” book.

shrug

Why? Well, let’s get into that.

The good: The author does a really good job for the introduction. He gets straight to telling the story. It just so happens that this beginning is very unique. A mysterious woman just appears out of thin air in the middle of a broadcasted baseball game… Yeah, definitely not your usual beginning. So you immediately want to know more, of course. You meet your main characters and get a brief description of the main characters and co. Our main character, the mind-reading private investigator, has all the right connections/friends to meet the mysterious woman as she is in a temporary coma.

I’ll be honest. At first I had big hopes for these interesting characters. I mean, mind-reading powers? Awesome! Mysterious woman materializes out of thin air? Great! You later find out she time traveled- yet another topic I am fascinated by. Everything seems to point towards a great story developing. Even the cover and blurb sound/ look professional and cool! Unfortunately, that’s where the bad starts to kick in.

Maybe one of the things I was most disappointed by was the lack of character development. I mean, you can do so much for this story just by giving a little bit of backstory. How did Eric get his powers? Since when has he had these powers? It is hinted at that he has had it for some time. How did he first feel when he discovered them? How did he discover it? As for Viviana, our second main character, what was her childhood like? How did it feel living with a genius? When did she develop her knack for burglary skills. How did she justify it?

As for the world building, it’s decent but things like the world situation and struggle with energy and economic problems can be explained more. The society is futuristic but we are not given too much in regards to the societal advancements. There is a romantic relationship, unfortunately, it’s my least favorite kind: the insta-love kind. There is a physical attraction between the two characters involved and that’s basically it. They throw all sense and reason to the wind and “trust” each other that easily. It kind of feels like they are just lonely and desperate for some type company.

Now, despite these shortcomings, the story is decent. It doesn’t go the way you expect. There are quite a few twists that throw you off and keep the story interesting, enough to keep you interested. Think mind-reading, learning languages, natural disasters, burglary adventures, manhunts, romance, an “evil genius”, and life-threatening wounds. Plenty to keep a fast-paced story running. Would I read this again? Probably not. Once is enough. And if I had known before hand what it would be like, I would probably just save it for a rainy day, when I have no other reading material, but feel like relaxing with a casual book.

What do you think about this book, readers? Do you think that you would read it? Does the blurb convince you? What would you want to know about our main characters? Hope you enjoyed this review!

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Review for Infinite Time by H J Lawson

Infinite Time

Book: Infinite Time

Author: H J Lawson

# of pages: 138
Start to finish, this book took me about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, including interruptions. I was also reading fast, so it isn’t an accurate time-frame for others to use. It isn’t a long book, so many people can enjoy this book without it taking up a lot of their time.

Blurb:

Save the girl.
Save the day.
Save yourself.

The mission sounds easy enough, but it is anything but easy for Parker Jenkins. Yesterday, ordinary, poverty-stricken Parker was an ordinary high school kid, getting bullied relentlessly and trying to get by. Today, he’s a time traveler with gifted powers expected to carry out the extraordinary. Teaming up with another time traveler, Scarlet, they must save an innocent girl on the run before the villains kill them all. If they don’t, their present-day selves will die. But can the ordinary perform the extraordinary?

The Nitty-Gritty: As the name suggests, this is a book on time, more specifically, time traveling. It starts off introducing Parker, our protagonist, at age 11. We get one of the most common tools used to set up the present situation, the past dream. Parker dreams of a past moment of anguish to give some family background info without having a prologue that needs to mesh into the first chapter. After he wakes up from the dream, it moves on to the present-day Parker, age 15-17, at high school. He’s a nice kid, quite responsible for his age, with his moments of teen-lazy (aka, video-game playing). Parker is a normal boy, going through problems most of us have gone through or at least understand.

Okay, so far there isn’t anything really to hate about our main character. However, there is one this one trait that I hate in anyone, be it boy or girl, and unfortunately for Parker, he has it. So I’m just going to take this moment to bash the main character. Let me give you a little background: He and his friends, Douglas and Kimi, are the nerds that are constantly picked on by the “cool” kids. Parker has a crush on the head cheerleader Clara, making her football quarterback boyfriend bully Parker for staring at his girlfriend. No big problem for me, it happens now and then.

Here comes the reason why Parker just irks me nearly to death. I don’t begrudge him his crush on a pretty girl; it’s his stupidity toward the object of his desires that makes me want to slap some sense into him. He thinks that because Clara is beauty incarnate, she is an innocent and kind girl. Seriously?! Good-looking kids are typically selfish and mean during high school, especially the “it” crowd. And Parker is totally blind to it. Example: Clara looks at Parker and his friends, turns to her friends to say something, they all turn to look at our nerds, and then they laugh. Normal reasoning: they’re laughing at us. Douglas gets it. Parker’s thoughts: maybe they’re talking about something else. And it’s cool that she’s looking at them. That means Clara knows they (the nerds) exist! Hello? Denial much?! Afterwards, he gets bullied, and then goes home to his  normal unhappy home situation.

So basically, it has been a typical day for Parker. Then the unexpected happens. He goes to sleep and finds himself in Japan. Parker has no clue what’s going on and meets a fellow time-traveler named Scarlet, a kick-butt redhead who drags Parker along on their “mission,” which Parker hasn’t a single idea what it entails. Parker is confused and disoriented; he has no idea what’s going on, why all this is happening, and constantly believes it must be a dream. As you can assume, Chapter 12 and onward is a mass of confusion. The reader is in the same position as Parker, not knowing what’s going down and why. I can’t tell you more without giving away too much, but it is basically as if you were suddenly kidnapped and made to tag along and help James Bond/Jason Bourne in one of their dramatic chase-and showdowns.

Well, all sorts of stuff goes down, and then somehow their mission is done and they go back to their time, in other words, Parker “wakes up” in his bed. Scarlet pops in and assures Parker things are resolved. She promises to explain to him how things work things later and then leaves. Then Parker has an idea, a thought of personal history-rearranging. Oh my God, OH MY GOD, you mean he’s going to… flips page….

shock bigger shock reading

WHAT! THE! HAY! @%%&^%)((_)(^$^#^(&) !!??!!*

 angry i trusted you

I kid you not, the book suddenly ends. It was a cliffhanger of such epic proportions that I literally dropped my phone and started rolling around vigorously on my bed, spouting wordless gibberish for a whole minute. I was that mad. As slowly as it started off, the book had grown on me like ivy, and now that I had reached the end of the book, the ivy suddenly tightened the noose it had form around my neck and choked me with great amusement.  I mentally rate books as I read, and the rating fluctuates with how the plot goes. Throughout the whole book, I was giving it a solid 3***, but with that last page (and it’s not even a full page), the rating bumped up a full star, a solid 4****. That last page changed the whole flavor of the book for me, turning me into a raving loon. I must read the next book!!

To summarize: it is a pretty good book, perfect for fans of time-travel and realistic protagonists. For the rest, it’s a good read, a little slow in the beginning but full of adrenaline towards the end, in addition to a great cliffhanger.
So, I must ask you: Has anyone here ever read a book that was almost boring but had a sudden twist that made you beg for more? Please leave a comment with the name and what you thought about it as a whole.

 

Read, Like, Comment.

Don’t bite your tongue, you know you want to.  😉

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Co-Author Introduction

Heya, you Nook-Kooks. You’ve never met me before, so for my first post, I would like to introduce myself. So here it goes.

“Greetings, my blogger name is Ink&Scales. I’m a true book dragon, a lover and hoarder of books. If that name is weird for you say out loud or in your head, just call me Aramia instead. As hardcoverlover has said, I am one of the blood, as is BookHarpy. I’m the between sister, younger than hardcover and older than Harpy.  And now, for an insight into my character: Young, crazy, snarky, and reclusive; basically me in a nutshell. Smart-aleck is a way of life for me; I will snap a comeback at the drop of a hat. That being said, I am not innately malicious. I’m just one of those asocial, hermit-on-a-mountaintop kind of person. But I LOVE books, so I will accept social exposure in order to spread the love of books. I enjoy books in their many forms, but prefer it in paper format, even though ebooks are very portable (you can take hundreds of books with you without any problem). I read sci-fi, fantasy, western, and many more. Favorite authors include Tamora Pierce, Anne McCaffrey, Jack London, Louis L’Amour, and more. Since I love reading, I urge others to do so as well. That is the reason I agreed to help my sister.  So now, we will move on to the set up of my reviews. I will give details on the story plot (but hopefully not too many), and my exact feelings/thoughts will appear in Bold so others can understand why I rated it as I did.”

Whoo! wipes forehead At least that’s done. I think introducing yourself is one of the hardest things to do on blogs and such. I mean, really, it took me about a whole hour to set up that “formal” intro, because I really didn’t know what to say and what not to mention. Oh well.

My next post will be less awkward, I think. It’s a book review, which is to be expected on a book blog. It will be over H J Lawson’s book Infinite Time. I hope you look forward to it.

And now to end this post, I’m putting a list of book series I really like. Feel free to comment on them or mention your own favorites and why.

Great Series: Dragonriders of Pern, Sackett, the Immortal series, the Dark Material trilogy, Acorna, Psy-Changeling, Kate Daniels, Elemental Assassin, Mercy Thompson series, Alpha & Omega, Dark-Hunters, the Arcana, Drake Sisters, Night Prince series, Sisters of the Heart, New Species, Midnight Breed, Elder Races, Leopard series, Carpathian Series, Goddess Summoning Series, His Fair Assassins, the Healer trilogy, Black Jewels series, Temeraire, and so many more.

Read, Like, Comment.

Don’t bite your tongue, you know you want to.   😉

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New Co-Author

Hi bookies (those dreaming of better books)!

I have news. I have a new co-author that will be helping me on this blog. No, I won’t be abandoning you or posting any less. My co-author will just be helping me. She is my sister, Aramia. Some of you might remember that I had mentioned the bookharpy before. (See her site here.) But this is another sister of mine. She will be assisting me, writing blog posts, reviews, and adding material to my different pages. Think “glorified book lackey”. Just kidding! Don’t kill me, lackey!

But seriously, expect great changes! Aramia has a great sense of humor and is witty enough to confuse even experts. She loves dragons and books about them, thus the picture you see. Best of all, like my whole family, Aramia is also a bookie. (Again, I am not talking about an illegal activity.) So stay tuned for more! Feel free to express your fears and concerns about this big update or welcome Aramia.

Author Interview Questions

So bookies (hardcore book fans),

Obviously, we have something in common. We all love books. But we wouldn’t have them if it weren’t for the awesome authors who create those stories complete with fictional worlds and people. Not to mention all the people involved in getting the story published and available for everyone to read.

So today, in a show of gratitude for these awesome people, I’d like to ask you: Who is your favorite author and why? If you could speak directly to this author, what would you ask them? You may have guessed where I am going with this. A published author has agreed to an interview. This is your chance to contribute your ideas- what would you would like to know? I’ll try to include your questions if they are not already on my list. Also, what would you like to ask the author’s assistant?

Hopefully, we will soon be getting more authors interviewed. In the meantime, brainstorm and feel free to comment! Excited? I know I am!

minions happy excited

Review: The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy

the pages of the mind

Hi bookies (all those who pour their hearts and souls into books by reading them),

I have set a goal for myself. That is, to try to post one book review per week. It’s a little ambitious for the schedule I have. But hopefully, if I am not able to post a book review at least I will try to publish one post of another sort.

This  week, I have met my goal (barely). I have read two books actually. I will post a review for one of those books this week. The next one will be done by next week.

These are the facts:

Title: The Pages of the Mind

Author: Jeffe Kennedy

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Release Date: May 31, 2016

*I received this ARC copy of The Pages of the Mind from Kensington Books in exchange for a honest review. It in no way affects, compromises, or guarantees a positive review.

Now here is the book’s self-description:

AN ORPHAN’S THRONE

Magic has broken free over the Twelve Kingdoms. The population is beset by shapeshifters and portents, landscapes that migrate, uncanny allies who are not quite human…and enemies eager to take advantage of the chaos.

Dafne Mailloux is no adventurer—she’s a librarian. But the High Queen trusts Dafne’s ability with languages, her way of winnowing the useful facts from a dusty scroll, and even more important, the subtlety and guile that three decades under the thumb of a tyrant taught her.

Dafne never thought to need those skills again. But she accepts her duty. Until her journey drops her into the arms of a barbarian king. He speaks no tongue she knows but that of power, yet he recognizes his captive as a valuable pawn. Dafne must submit to a wedding of alliance, becoming a prisoner-queen in a court she does not understand. If she is to save herself and her country, she will have to learn to read the heart of a wild stranger. And there are more secrets written there than even Dafne could suspect…

First of all, I’d like to say that this book is part of a series. I had no idea when I first picked it up, since I had never heard of these books nor of this author. However, it isn’t like you start off in the middle of a series if you start with this book. As far as I can tell, this author has written and is in the process of writing 3 series which are interconnected. This book is the first book of “The Uncharted Realms” series. It makes a great stand-alone book, but it definitely got me interested in the previous series. I thinking having read them before reading this one would have enriched the reading experience.

That being said… I really enjoyed this book! More than anything, I really liked the main character, Dafne (and the queen she is loyal to). She is a librarian-turned-scribe who is used to being a side character. She has low self-esteem, considering herself a plain looking old maid who has few redeeming qualities. As is revealed later in the book, she also feels some deep guilt towards others who suffered under tyrants, since she protected herself by keeping her head down, so to speak.

However, Dafne is definitely underestimating herself. She is a “demon on documents”, has an affinity for learning languages, and can read people very well. So well, in fact, that she can fade to the background or intimidate kings and queens at will. She is considered beautiful in the eyes of others and although it is true that she is no warrior, her knowledge, intellect, and willingness to learn new things get her out of the stickiest situations. Though, maybe, that’s also what got her into the main problem in this book.

Dafne is only an unofficial adviser, librarian, and scribe for the new queen of the 13 kingdoms. Dafne has a deep admiration, respect, and love for her queen, as well as an unparalleled loyalty for her. Fortunately, the queen feels similarly towards Dafne, to the point that anyone threatening Dafne will have to deal with the all of the queen’s wrath, resources, and willingness to go to war over her. Trusting in Dafne’s skills more than Dafne would ever believe in herself, the queen sends her on a diplomatic mission to meet with King Nakoa KauPo and discuss merging kingdoms after which, she will continue on to Dasnaria and spy on their enemies before returning to the queen’s side.

Seeing the logic in the queen’s plans and wanting (for once) to be part of the story rather than documenting someone else’s, Dafne accepts the mission with trepidation. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned and Dafne is unable to continue with her mission after meeting King Nakoa KauPo. Why? Because she inadvertently ends up married to the king, who isn’t willing to let his new wife leave.

zooey deschanel it's possible i'm still in shock

Accepting the current helplessness of her situation, Dafne makes contingency plans so that others can continue to accomplish her queen’s objectives while she waits for help and gets to know the natives’ language. Alone, Dafne must avoid consummating her marriage to a man she is strangely attracted to while establishing diplomatic relations to the king and his people. Along the way, she saves the king’s life, learns a new language, figures out the answers to questions plaguing her queen, and communicates with a mythical creature. In doing doing so she proves her personal motto true: “This is why it’s perilous to ignore a librarian.” I’ll leave you to read the book and see how it all plays out.

Frankly, the only things I didn’t like about this book is the partially insta-love attraction between Dafne and the “leading man” as well as the rather explicit romantic details of that particular relationship. However, I still greatly enjoyed the book and will definitely be checking out the previous series. I give this book a 4/5. It was a great read, it just felt a little rushed in some small parts. I would have liked a longer, more detailed, book.

I received this ARC copy of The Pages of the Mind from Kensington Books in exchange for a honest review. It in no way affects, compromises, or guarantees a positive review.What about you, bookies. How do you feel about this author’s previous books? Have you been introduced to Dafne before?

Thank you to Kensington Books & Goodreads for this ARC of The Pages of the Mind.

Review: Super Quick Mysteries by Andrew Stanek

super quick mysteries

Hi bookies (my fellow avid book readers),

What have you been reading? Well, I just finished reading Super Quick Mysteries by Andrew Stanek. No, it isn’t a super short book. I think it is a decent-sized book. It is a collection of short stories with different mysteries reminiscent of Encyclopedia Brown. Before I launch into the full review, let me share the facts:

The Facts:

Title: Super Quick Mysteries

Author: Andrew Stanek

Genre: Mystery, Short Stories

 

So now that you know the facts, you’re probably thinking “Ok, already. Bring on the rest!”. To which I respond “Ok”.  If you have read the Encyclopedia Brown stories, you are already familiar with the layout this book will use. (In fact, that is where the author got his inspiration for this book.) You are introduced to the characters, a mystery arises, you are presented with the clues, and all of a sudden the main character knows the answer to the mystery. How did he get the answer? You can verify that on the following page, which contains the clues the main character used to solve the mystery and, of course, the answer to the mystery.

As with the Encyclopedia Brown books, the main story is actually the cases. So while you do get to know a little about your characters, there is not much in the way of character development and the little that there is will be wrapped up neatly at the end of the book.

The cases are pretty simple. At first I felt like the style was too boring. The first few cases presented all the clues in a list sort of format. Think detective notes. Or the straightforward facts I always present before the actual review. Rather boring, right? However, the author changes up the style for the rest of the cases and tells them in a story versus a list.

The cases weren’t hard. After the first few cases, I got a sense of which were the important clues and could accurately guess the answer to the mysteries about 75% of the time.

Basically, I think this book is the story equivalent of doing a crossword puzzle (or sudoku) for relaxation. On the plus side, you can get an electronic copy of this book for less than a dollar! If I were to recommend it to someone, I would recommend it to kids around 4th-6th grade. It would encourage them to develop their logic and reasoning skills. I don’t think it will be a huge hit for adults, though, which is the intended audience. I give it a 2/5. Fair, but I would like more plot and/or character development.

So bookies, what do you think about mysteries? Do you have a favorite “Mystery” author? Or do you prefer a different genre? Let me know in the comments!