Reviews By EJ Divitt

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)Soulless by Gail Carriger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cute and clever. Paranormal steampunk.
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I have to say I truly enjoyed it. The book is set in an alternate reality Victorian England (about mid 1800s) where werewolves and vampires are a part of society. They exist and so does the etiquette on dealing with them.
And as they exist, so does their opposite; people whose touch cancel out their supernatural powers. These people are known as preternaturals or soulless. Our fearless heroine (and spinster having reach early twenties without marrying) Alexia is such a soulless. This doesn't stop a certain supernatural from being romantically interested in her and it doesn't stop her from getting in the middle of some supernatural troubles.
Alexia is a strong woman who isn't going to let a little thing like having no soul stop her from saving society or setting it on its ear.

Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels, #4.5)Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this short story. I am a fan of the Kate Daniels series so I was already familiar with Jim and Dali. It was wonderful to see them interact. There is another Jim and Dali story coming in November 2014 called Magic Steals and it will be part of the Night Shift anthology.

I would say this story would appeal more to fans of the series but it can be read as a stand alone as well. It is set in a world where magic has started to come back and overtake technology. Tech and magic fight it out constantly for the upper hand and people get dragged along behind.

  SpelledSpelled by Betsy Schow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me and I picked it up from the library without looking into it at all. So it is absolutely my fault that this book read young to me. I checked after I had started reading it and it is recommended for grades 6 to 9. I am long past school age.
It was a cute book. A lot of play on the old themes of the Wizard of Oz. I would think a younger child might not pick up on all of them unless they were first exposed to the Oz books. I say the books because one of the characters is Ozma. Ozma being a character in the L. Frank Baum book series that was not in the movie. I happen to have read the book series as a child so I recognized her.
This was basically a story about growing up; getting past being spoiled and learned to accept responsibility and duty. The author used a lot of phonetic style spelling in dialogue to represent a character that had regional dialects and I find reading that sort of thing awkward.
I was planning on giving it 4 stars until I got to the end.
The ending was Not a resolution. Yes, things had changed. Our heroine, Dorothea, definitely grew but the book leaves major plot threads hanging. I'm not a fan of cliffhangers especially for first books in a series. I like the major points to be resolved with only small threads left.
If you do get this for your child, expect to have to go find book 2.
P.S. I just paid a quick visit to the author's website and found no mention of book 2 at all. Nothing about when it will be out or even if she is working on it.

John Wick [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD]John Wick
Starring Keanu Reeves
Rated: R-violence and a lot of it
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful movie.

I truly enjoyed this movie. It's rare to find a movie where you want to root for the guy doing all of the killing but I absolutely did. John Wick is a serious badass mafia hitman who goes straight for the love of a good woman. She dies and an asshole with terrible timing comes after John.

This movie had a wonderfully realized world to it. You can tell the writer and director spent a lot of time on getting the details right. The gold coin system for example. They have their own exclusive currency that is just used by the criminal underworld; making them easily distinguishable from ordinary people who might wander into the hotel or club.

The action scenes are very well choreographed. I would especially point to the scene where John is fighting in a car and the one where he is fighting in a hotel room.

There were points in this movie that were truly sad--especially the beginning--and points where I laughed out loud. I would absolutely watch this movie again and I'm delighted to hear they are planning a sequel.

Fair warning: there is a lot of violence in this movie so it's not for the young or faint of heart.

Dead in the Water (Gemini #1)Dead in the Water by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'd have to say 3 1/2, maybe 3 1/4 stars?
I read this book through KU and I had planned to give this book four stars right up until the ending. I enjoyed the character of Cam. Being a gemini was an unusual choice in the world of paranormal fantasy and I enjoy variety. There were a lot of different types of fae presented which made it feel like a fully realized world--though a bit overloaded with creatures at times. Cam's grief over Lori gave the book a depth and gravity to it right from the beginning. (Not a light hearted read.)
There were a few editing mistakes in the book "so" instead of "no"; "me" instead of "be". They were minor.
I was not a big fan of this romance subplot (and I usually enjoy romance subplots) because I'm not a big fan of having the love interest behave the way this guy did. I don't think he crossed a line they can't come back from but I do think he went too far.
I was not happy with the resolution of the story because I don't really feel like it had one.
I wouldn't call it a cliffhanger because our heroine was not left with a gun to her head but major things were left unresolved. A character (one I liked) is missing under bloody circumstances. Cam believes the bad guy they caught was just a vessel and this is confirmed by two murders after it. I would have felt better about the ending without those last two murders. If she just suspected it wasn't the guy, it would be more of an ending. Being given proof it's not the guy and he's still killing and then ending the book anyway? That seemed like a bad way to do it. That left the major case open. An ending needs to feel like this chapter of their life is closing and that just didn't happen here. Cam is getting on a plane to go continue working the same case and find the missing character. How is that not cliffhangerish? How is that a resolution?
Overall, a good story. Understand that to resolve this, you must be prepared to read the next one which comes out 4/26/16

Orphan X (Evan Smoak, #1)Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting spy thriller. I'd read another one.
This is the first in a new series about a former black ops government assassin/spy. He breaks loose and spends his time trying to help the desperate and helpless. Some one comes after him though and he has to use all of his skills to fight someone just like him.
I liked the overall book. I was wrong about who the bad guy was and happy to be. I found it got bogged down with too much detail and overly describing parts but over all entertaining and worth a sequel read. There were some parts that were truly convoluted but I liked the main character and I like several of the supporting characters. A decent start to a new series.

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Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1)Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book. I found it fairly clever. The idea of a skinwalker vs a shape shifter is probably not a big difference but this author handled it well. The change of points of view between human Jane and the animal she shifts into was a little jarring at times because they were written in such different perspectives but that also made this story very original.
I had no idea who the bad guy was until the end so it definitely left me guessing.
The book starts out talking about Jane recovering from a near beheading so I actually went to google and searched to make sure this was in fact the first book--it is.
Over all, I would say it was a well written book with an interesting idea that was fairly well handled. I will definitely read the next one in the series.

Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter, #7)Archangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished Archangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh. I am a long time fan and reader of her Guild Hunter series so it will come as no surprise that I enjoyed this latest installment in the series. Ashwini and Janvier have long been secondary characters flirting in the background. It was nice to see them get their own book and it was nice to see them finally start to confront the pull that all of we readers have seen for years now.
The story also let us check in with characters we already know and love from prior books. We touched base with Elena and Raphael, Dmitri and Honor, Jason and Mahiya and got glimpses of Ilium, Aodhan, Keir, Jessamy and others.
I recommend it to any fan of the series.
If you are new to the series, this book very much hinges on the actions of the last book so I would recommend you go back and start with Angel's Blood.

The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)The Magicians by Lev Grossman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having finished the book, I really don't have any better idea of the book then when I started it. I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. I find it disjointed and I have no idea if I should recommend it or not.
The story borrows heavily from Narnia. The land of Fillory with the 4 kids who go to be kings and queens if they fight the villains is absolutely Narnia. It is the story with in the story.
It involves lengthy descriptions of innocuous things then a one sentence description of something huge.
Quentin is the main character. He is off to graduate school and ends up at Brakebills school for magic. He is depressed and over worked and drunk and then suddenly something awful will happen. Then it's back to drunk and unhappy again.
Sex, drugs, alcohol, forced sexual encounters, regular sexual encounters and a very unhappy annoying main character that just stumbled his way through life.
But it also had magic and friendship and fighting and incredible sacrifice.
What am I supposed to make of it all?

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from ViolenceThe Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I actually read this book many years ago but I am reminded of it now by a celebrity denying that sex with an unconscious woman is rape.

This book focuses on listening to the little voice inside your head that tries to tell you when you are not safe. The one that tries to warn you that something is off. We often fail to listen to this voice as we do not want to offend someone or be seen as acting stupid.

Gavin de Becker gives real life examples of women who were saved by listening to their fear as well as women who did not listen and in hindsight, wished they had. He talks about the difference between a rational fear and paranoia and how we often ignore one because we fear it is the other.

An excellent eye opening book. I recommend it for all women and the men who love them.

Weakest Lynx (Lynx #1)Weakest Lynx by Fiona Quinn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had to force myself to finish this book. I started reading it weeks ago and put it aside multiple times. I just could not get into a character who has mastered everything by the time she was 14. And I do mean pretty much everything. She flies planes at 12, is a master spy and analyst a couple of years later. She cooks like a dream, she does astounding magic. She is psychic as well as being an expert in hand to hand.
I also did not like the obvious romance subplot between Lexi (who is married but they make a big repeated point that she is still a virgin) and Stryker. Why make her married if you want to have a romance line?
I also found the thriller not very thrilling. Lexi gets threatening notes, then some more, then some more. I did not feel any ratcheting of tension or escalation for a good chunk of the book. The stalker does come after her at some point but it felt like he spent months essentially doing nothing other than writing yet another note.
And don't even get me started on her having round the clock protection from spies because of her stalker.

Sense of Deception (Psychic Eye Mystery, #13)Sense of Deception by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was a cute tea cozy type mystery with a psychic bent. This is part of a long time series so I was already familiar with the characters. I was pleased when Abby made a vow in this book to start treating her husband Dutch better and to see her actually try to do it. One of the problems I have had with the character of Abby in earlier books is that she came across as pretty self absorbed and a taker. She would lie and sneak around (to solve cases) and then get mad when Dutch didn't trust her. That was finally addressed in this book.
Basically Abby is using her incredible psychic abilities to solve crimes that the FBI can't. In this case, she is solving the ten year old murder of a nine year old boy.
The mystery was well done. If you like tea cozy style mysteries, give it a try.
There was nothing about this book that required you to have read earlier books in the series.

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas, #1)Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book started with a lengthy description of the town geography. I think the opening had a lot to say about the rest of the book. It was not an action pack murder mystery where bullets are flying and car chases happen but rather a slow meander of a read. It reminded me of a more Agatha Christie style of mystery; if AC wrote about vampires, witches and the occult.
For fans of her Harper Connolly series, you will recognize Manfred the psychic. Fans of her Sookie Stackhouse books will notice small references to that world as well.
All in all it was a decent read. I will go on to read the next in the series.

Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8)Archangel's Enigma by Nalini Singh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The history of Nassir is finally revealed. For long time fans of the series, that is a big draw right there and so I would say it is a must read for a Nalini Singh fan. (Of course, if you are a fan, you already know that.)
The book had the usual angelic politics, murder attempts and hot romance that Nalini always provides. I have been trying to pinpoint what keeps it from being a five for me but I am having trouble figuring it out. I was just left a little unsatisfied and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was the part with Ilium.
Either way, another good read from Nalini Singh. I highly recommend her psy-changeling series as well if you like paranormal romance.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without ThinkingBlink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is about the snap decisions we make everyday. These decisions could be good or bad depending on our own personal bias and the situations we find ourselves in.

I enjoyed the book. I found it got a little too in depth at times--such as when he listed the facial muscles used for several facial expressions--and was a little vague at others.

This is not a science book though. It lists many scientific and sociological experiments done as well as real world examples.

It was interesting, it was entertaining and it made me think about some things. A good read.

Afterlife with Archie, Vol. 1: Escape from RiverdaleAfterlife with Archie, Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is not your childhood Archie comics. Not only are zombies attacking the people of Riverdale but the over all themes are darker as well. Characters die. There is adultery. People watch loved ones become zombies. This is definitely not for younger children. I believe it is rated teen and above.
It was interesting to watch this twist on characters that I feel I know so well. The bickering over Archie became darker; the rivalries more pronounced.
If you like zombie comics and are familiar with Archie comics, you should definitely give this one a read.

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