Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the place to be when its doomy and gloomy out but the reading weather calls for fair skies.
Not doomy and gloomy in your neck of the woods? Lucky! Here I awoke to dark gray skies with about 100% chance of rain (some of which I’ve already seen/heard in a downpour this morning)…oh well, I do work ALL day so provided it’s not too bad during my “jetting” hours, I’ll be okay. (Now if it rains tomorrow after job one I may not be such a happy camper…) The focus on the sky today is what chose today’s featured title…and apparently those that pop up later this week as I review my schedule (hmm, how curious) and even the current state of my visitors to the site…. as I had actually intended upon reflecting a bit more on this one prior to reviewing it. Why? Well, it was a bit of a challenge for me and that’s just how my brain works through them sometimes. Anywho, curious what title was selected? Wonder no more! Today’s book of choice is….
From the publisher…
The superheroes of
fight a wonderful war and play a wonderful game, forever saving yet another day. However, after sacrificing both their powers and Ultimate, the greatest hero of them all, to defeat the latest apocalypse, these comic book characters are transformed from the marvelous into the mundane. Arcadia CityAfter too many battles won and too many friends lost, The Soldier of Freedom was fine letting all that glory go. But when a new threat blasts through his city, Soldier, as ever, accepts his duty and reenlists in this next war. Without his once amazing abilities, he's forced to seek the help of the one man who walked away, the sole hero who refused to make the sacrifice--PenUltimate, the sidekick of Ultimate, who through his own rejection of the game has become the most powerful man in the world, the only one left who might still, once again, save the day.
So, where to begin. Let me start out by saying that I do not normally read purely Science Fiction or Fantasy novels…aside from your Young Adult or Children’s picks. I’m a fiction fan through and through but this world….I’ve only sampled in passing, courtesy of The Hobbit and His Dark Materials; both of which I rather enjoyed. This would mark my first super hero book (though not my last as I’ve another on the horizon) and though curious in concept because the synopsis up there truly did draw my attention, it was more of a trial for me in the reading. Let’s get down to basics…the good and the not-my-cup-of-super-enhanced tea…
The actual star of the book isn’t really PenUltimate (though likable enough after you know more about him) like you might imagine…especially since he’s the one that can supposedly save the day now that all the super powers left in Arcadia…are his own. No, the real (and present) star of this story is The Soldier of Freedom. Sounds impressive right? Until you take a look at him. He’s trying to “do the right thing” I assume, aside from all the drinking and killing but in my mind, he never really measures up. I mean KUDOS for taking orders from Star-Knight and Ultimate once upon a time and WELL DONE for fighting battle after battle, war after war (even to some degree when you had lost everything) just so someone could win and someone could lose, but if that’s your whole existence, I’m not sure I really see a point. To me, he needed more of a goal as opposed to simply being the tool (not meant rudely) of destruction he was.
The back stories of each character, something we often get introduced to at the beginning of a story, are slowly revealed over time and the actual truth of those events shared, doesn’t really come out till the big showdown at book’s end. Apparently legends are not as squeaky clean as Johnny Q Public might be told and with all we learn about The Man with the Metal Face, I’m not so “Team Ultimate”. I mean, he might’ve saved a lot of innocent people over time but really, his start was beyond violent. Can’t blame him too much…he is a machine after all and we don’t truly know what his intended purpose was so his violent streak could have been intentional, but really…would you get yourself involved with a killer robot just because the events unfolding play right into your comic obsessed brain? I get it to a degree; he was a kid (but which one in the story? Another mystery for YOU to solve….) just trying to make sense of things, but I don’t think the alliance made was necessarily the smartest choice….again that could just be the non-sci-fi part of me talking though.
The twist at the end is unexpected, partially. I actually guessed Prophetier’s identity early on in the story…I’d tell you when, but then I’d have to kill you (no, really…it’d spoil the surprise). It’s a telling moment that says hey world; I’m born of pain but will show you what’s for….a tad hard to miss. The END end though, is a real game of cloak and dagger. There’s no way to see that one coming, heck even Prophetier didn’t and hello, his name screams “I-see-the-future”. It shines a new light on many characters exposed within the novel, it may even make you second guess just who is good and who was merely playing the game, but as for me…I’m still holding to my aforementioned conceptions.
In the end, it’s a story of heroes both those deserving of the title and those that merely fall into it. It shows us that you don’t need super powers to do the right thing and there is any number of ways to save the day if we’re only willing to put the effort forth for the greater good. Things may not always end the way we intended but at least we can say that we didn’t go down without a fight…and according to these guys, that’s about as good as it gets.
As for this reader, I’m not sorry I tried this story of
…only that I didn’t ever reach the heights of flight in my reading I had hoped for. There were times where I’d be reading and thoroughly confused as to what was happening, but then taking a step back from the actual page, I could piece meal it together to ascertain what was going on….speaks well to the writing in my mind, that nudge of subliminal story telling. Overall though, between the dialogue, the large cast of characters and the unfamiliar terrain, this book and I simply was not a good match. Hey, it happens! You win some, you lose some but just like the heroes or wannabes in this story, “they always come back”….the good reads that is…and I’m already making progress in my next adventure. A recommended read for sci-fi and comic book fans as how often do you see a full length novel with panels included enhancing the story? Not very…and from the reception I’ve seen of this story from a few friends that do dally in this genre more often, it certainly has potential for the right audience. Arcadia
ARC for review courtesy of Simon and Schuster. (THANKS!) For more information about this title as well as their full catalog, feel free to visit them online. To discover more about the writer behind the work, you can follow or like author Tom King on several social media outlets. To further investigate the world of Arcadia and see just who is who and what is what, check out the official site…complete with book excerpt, select panels from the book and a basic character guide (well, they call them posters, but I think they work for a guide). This book was released this month and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you.
Until next time…happy reading!
Sunday, July 29, 2012
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
Wayne of Gotham by Tracy Hickman
(courtesy of HarperCollins)
The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Jeremy Holmes
(courtesy of Chronicle Books)
Miss Sally Ann and the Panther by Bobbi Miller
(courtesy of the author)
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann (ARC)
On a trip to my local library, I saw these little gems in the on site bookstore....
The Devil's Other Storybook by Natalie Babbitt
Harry, a History by Melissa Anelli
On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery #1) by Cleo Coyle
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place that wishes you sunny days and great reading every day of the week.
Yesterday, we roamed the emotional landscape of Young Adult literature with a moving work from author Jolene Perry (just click back or scroll down to check it out). Today, we're going back to the days of childhood to take a closer look at a tale you know in a whole new light...or rather spotlight. That's right! It's another redo with surprising results. Get your hipster hats and shades daddios because today's book of choice is...
THE THREE SWINGIN' PIGS
Yes its the three little pigs like you've never seen them before! Gone are the houses made of straw, sticks, and bricks and in its place we have the pigmobile (a car with ears and a snout to transport them to and fro), performance venues, and late night java runs. There's even a severe lack of actual huffing and puffing, though the wolf antagonist remains. Yesiree, these little guys, or rather boys and GIRLS (yep, two brothers and a sister!), have come a long way and while they don't indulge in the shinier side of life too much, they have learned that they love nothing more then a hyped up crowd and a good skat to play to (provided courtesy of Ella, their sister). So where's Mr. Big Bad you ask? Good question...
The story centers on his cross country trek to score him some delicious barbecue....though his efforts are about as successful as his original adventure. Instead of a three course porkapalooza, he ends up facing sold out concerts, over priced tickets for the last seat in the house, and souvenir vendors who just don't take no for an answer. By the time he's anywhere within range of his goal, his initial hunger is overwhelming. Poor piggies don't stand a chance....or do they? Satch, Mo, and Ella didn't get where they are today without a few smarts and unbeknownst to the wolf, the tables are about to be turned.
No, I won't be spoiling the ending for you but it'll definitely have you smiling, maybe even tapping your toes. This was a title I picked up at our local bookstore on one of my weekend shopping trips and it was the cover that got my attention. The bright, vibrant colors and whimsical expressions on the title characters were just too much to pass by. Inside the cover? The images don't lose any strength; in fact, they provide additional smiling points when closely investigated. From the pigmobile to pig balloons, barbecue dreams to strangely dressed predators, there's something to discover with every turn of the page. Story wise, I enjoyed the twist on the classic albeit I could have done without the actual skatting (not my cup of tea and reading those passages presents a unique challenge), though I can certainly see this being read aloud and causing quite the party.
Review copy purchased at my local bookstore and now calling my bookshelf, home. This book was published by Henry Holt and Company, Inc; for more information on it as well as their complete catalog, visit them online at http://www.henryholtchildrensbooks.com
Until next time...scooby doo wah scooby do wah...happy reading!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Welcome back to the place that aims to bring you a bookish delight every day of the week….Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we’re playing host to a blog tour courtesy of the fab folks over at Tribute Books (Hi Nicole!) as they celebrate another addition to their ever growing Young Adult ebook repertoire. When I first read about the book, I couldn’t help but wonder just how “intense” the story might be….I mean even the synopsis gives you a little peek at the emotional ride you’re embarking on. After having read the story, let me just say that “ride” is an understatement…it’s more of an emotional inferno. Without further ado, allow me to introduce today’s bloggy guest and book of choice…
From the publisher…
"...You’re a girl, he says, and are probably seeing things that aren’t there. .."Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen. He's her soul mate. He's more uptight every day, but it's not his fault. His family life is stressful, and she's adding to it. She just needs to be more understanding, and he'll start to be the boy she fell in love with. She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long.Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in her large blanketopias. He's the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she's playing opposite in Romeo and Juliet. Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close. This is new. Is Ronnie falling for him? Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does.Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both.
Yes, you read that right. Bruises. Now there’s a song on Train’s new album with the same title (which is different, but rocks just the same), but it simply means the bumps and bruises that we gather throughout our lives, as in experiences shared and lessons learned….they’re not talking about actual black-to-blue-to-purple-to-yellow splotches on our skin from those that “love” us. This book…is.
I’ll just say it. THIS…was a hard book to read. Now don’t get me wrong, I was glued to the pages and would certainly recommend it the world over (to older teens through adults due to obvious content) but the actual events at times had me wanting to dive into the pages. As a friend…for when a good ear and a shoulder to lean on are the best medicine. As a wake up call…when people weren’t cluing in to what was transpiring (more on that in a minute). As a protector…for when things got seriously too intense and knowing what’s best for yourself is hard to admit until you hear it from someone else.
As hard as it was to read at times, it was THAT much harder to break away. The emotions run HIGH in this story of young love as we look at all that it can be all that we hope it to be and sometimes the harsh reality of things. The connection the author establishes between Ronnie and Shawn is in a word….intense; in all the right AND wrong ways. He’s her first love and may be her first for everything else as well, but people change and enter dark times in their lives that sometimes, they just don’t know how to deal with regardless of their age. This young man is seeing something he doesn’t want to see in his home life and all the pent of frustration and aggravation is just bubbling over without an appropriate outlet to be released. Is that an excuse for any of his behavior that follows? Heck-to-the-no!
Before things turned sour, it was already apparent, to those outside of his love-filled gaze, that things weren’t all peaches and cream. He was intense, but in a very possessive way. He controlled almost all aspects of Ronnie’s life from what she wore to who she hung out with to where she went, even if her agreement to such conditions only began on a subconscious level to keep things easy going…it still doesn’t make it right. Even in times of closeness, he would set the pace…making her feel guilty for saying no. Can you see why he’s not my favorite guy here? *fumes* On the other hand, Ronnie has Luke…
Now Luke is no saint though he would be when compared next to A-number-1-jack-butt up there. He’s had a rough time of things too but he dealt with it. He didn’t harm others to feel better about him self. In truth, his methods were more self destructive but shorter lived and he sought out the helping hands of others to see him through…landing him in his current situation of best friend to Ronnie and somewhat of a player with the ladies. He’s easy on the eyes and gentle on the heart, despite the fact that yes, he’s had multiple girlfriends but they’ve never lasted nor were they given expectations that it would be forever…for him, there’s only one girl to fill the role opposite his “Romeo”. Guess who? Yep…our own Juliet aka Ronnie…
Ronnie, the girl of the hour with a heart of gold and a head…filled with well-intentioned dreams and feelings but fresh out of reality. She’s a smart girl, a strong girl (much more so than she realizes) with a fine future ahead and the ability to do anything she wants if she can just get over this HUGE hurdle she’s obviously blind to. The first time things were “off” should have been a wake up call…I understand he felt like her forever but as the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me.” Forgive and forget? Maybe…but when it happens again….and again…and…see where I’m going with this? The poor girl is in a tizzy trying to balance all aspects of her life….she’s just a teenager!
There shouldn’t BE all these balancing acts going on especially when it’s to keep someone pacified. Love is SUPPOSE to be intense. Love is SUPPOSE to filled with highs and sometimes lows (hey, live isn’t perfect?)….BUT….love is also SUPPOSE to be supportive, understanding, nurturing…HEALTHY. It is suppose to bring out the best in both parties to make a fulfilling “whole”, not bring you down to where you’re second guessing everything all the time. I’m sorry, I’ll climb down off my soap box now because as intense as all the hard times are in the book, that’s still not the entire story…
The heart that beats within this story is fierce for all the reasons already mentioned but also all the ones that have not. The exciting flutter of new love, the desire to be with them every chance you get and the hopes for a forever in which you both play a part, it all comes to life between the pages. The first glances, uncovering of new feelings, giggle sessions with friends over both, it adds the sweetness that many readers of this genre (including myself) have come to love. Whether it’s a walk down memory lane for you or a written version of a shared dream, the smile it brings to your face is hard to ignore…and a welcome respite to an otherwise grey day. Now, a few more tidbits of interest I felt needed mentioning….
Some stories simply leave you wondering where they came up with the title, but not so with this one. I love how it’s worked into the story both as an explanation for Ronnie’s approach to life courtesy of Dad’s wisdom and as the string to tie things together in the end. Speaking of parents, Dad is a superstar in this one while Mom is more clueless than Alicia Silverstone in the movie baring the same name as her mental state. It’s not often you see that…sort of a role reversal. Makes sense to some degree as Dad is a shrink but he’s not one of those over sharing types; he’s more open and let things come out as they will with gentle prodding. In light of the circumstances, you can’t help but wish he prodded just a smidge more but as far as adults were concerned, he was by far the most perceptive. Last but not least, the selection of “Romeo and Juliet” as the school play was a fantastic choice not only because well…it’s Shakespeare…but because their story is so fitting for the players within the production. Let’s just say that the some parties may be a bit more immersed in their roles than anticipated…
In summary, an intensely emotional story that while published as fiction, may hit home for some readers. It may be hard to digest at times but should be and needs to be shared for all the joy it brings and the awareness it spreads. No one should feel alone to the point that they rule out all options of a better life. A bad relationship is just that, a bad relationship. It may feel like it would be the end of the earth if it were to end, but it isn’t and there are people in your life as well as organizations that will understand and give you the help you need to break free and become the “you” you were meant to be. A read I’d recommend for older teens and beyond for all the reasons mentioned here and more. (Oh come on….you didn’t want me to KEEP going on, now did you?)
About the author...Jolene grew up in
. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers. Wasilla, AlaskaAfter living in Washington, Utahand Las Vegas, she now resides in with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible. AlaskaShe is also the author of Night Sky and The Next Door Boys.
[Psst! Take a look at the cover model and the author; are they not a spitting image of each other? If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were related (but I do know better, because I speculated as much and was told…nope, just a coincidence!).]
Ebook for review courtesy of Nicole at Tribute Books. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, feel free to visit them online, like them on Facebook or follow along on Twitter. To stay on top of all the stops on this tour, tune in to the official blog tour site or follow the official hashtag #KneeDeep on Twitter...and to discover what’s next on the horizon from Tribute Books Blog Tours, take a moment to throw a ‘like’ their way on Facebook! You won’t be sorry.
This ebook was published May 2012 via Tribute Books. Interested in picking up a copy of this story to call your own? Here are a few links to get you started on your quest….
Until next time…happy reading!
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the place to be as the days of summer begin to number themselves as they pass by in a blur!
QUICK REMINDER…don’t miss your chance to be immortalized with the MONSTER NINJAS competition! Author Ryan J Jacobson’s latest endeavor is a fun-tastic online comic (check it out for yourself…just click HERE!)…and your comment (on the contest post) will gain you entry to be drawn in as a ZOMBIE in one of the upcoming panes. Open INTERNATIONALLY; ends 07/26/12. Spread the word (please?)! Now, back to today’s fun…
It may not feel like it temperature wise out but the days of summer are slowly marching by as they make their way to the inevitable end…the beginning of the school year. Aaaahhhhhh! Just kidding, I actually LIKED school….weird, I know (and OWNING it!). ^_^ Ask any child and I’m certain they can tell you without fail the EXACT number of days left, just as the two kids featured in today’s story could. For them, it’s the last day of summer vacation and they were on a mission to make it a day to remember…oh, they’ll remember it alright, just not how they pictured it. *gulp* Ready to put a little scare into your summer reading? Here we go! Today’s book of choice is…
The “Old” Adventures of Hailey and Jared:
From the author’s site…
“…The copper smell was overwhelming, then it hit me, blood smelled like copper. Behind me I heard a crazy high-pitched laugh...”It was the last day of summer before school started. Hailey and her best friend Jared wanted it to be a day to be remembered but when they went on their new adventure to Old Jacob's mine it ended up being a day they would want to forget!Even though Hailey is a girl, you'd have to call her a tomboy as she loves adventures with her best friend Jared and has no problem getting in and out of spooky situations! She, Jared and her beloved bike Blue manage to keep their lives pretty exciting and sometimes they are not sure whether it's ghosts or just their imagination. You'll just have to decide which one it ends up being!From the Author Warning: My short stories are for children and the young at heart. If you're too old to remember your childhood, these aren't for you! (:
Gotta say it, first off….I LOVE the author’s “warning” there; it certainly kicks things off with a smile. Now as for the story, it is certainly a quick read (at about 8 printed pages) but an adventurous one nonetheless. Hailey and Jared are quite the duo; she with her tom boyish ways and he with a penchant for being a scaredy pants, but together they are unstoppable….well, sorta. I mean if you went to an abandoned mine only to lose your way in the pitch blackness and be chased by …SOMETHING…it’d be hard NOT to pause, you know? *deep breath…imagines open space* For anyone that has a tendency towards claustrophobia, you’ll still make it out of this tale intact although its doubtful you’ll be following in their footsteps any time soon. *-*
When you embark on a tale as short as this, it’s hard not to have a few reservations; especially if you’re like me and prefer a full length book…what can I say? I like to get to know my characters through and through. The big surprise here? The author manages to introduce us well enough to our leads as well as the legend they’re exploring without losing any face time for the present events. Don’t believe me? Look at all we know! Hailey prefers bike riding and hiking to tea time and dolls and calls her bike “Blue”. Jared has an older brother that loves to tease him, considers Hailey his best friend and isn’t afraid to take the lead, so long as he’s ushered into it (hehe). Old Jacob was a miner who…let’s just say met an unfavorable end. See? Pretty cool for less than 8 pages…
In summary, a tale perfect for middle grade readers and beyond that will inject a little spooky fun into your summer reading rotation. Set your sites on adventure as you join Hailey and Jared in the first of their recorded escapades….who knows? It might just inspire the explorer in you to uncover the truth behind an urban myth or haunted location in your area; as for me, I think I’ll stick to exploring the text…. *-*
Ebook for review courtesy of author Bon Rose (pen name!). (THANKS!) For more information about the author as well as her further works, feel free to visit her online, check out her blog, like her on Facebook or follow along on Twitter. To score a copy of this ebook to call your own, visit Smashwords or Amazon where it can be downloaded FREE for a limited time….and her other works are available for a song and a dance (okay, not really a song and dance, but they are priced pretty darn close to that!).
Until next time….happy reading!
Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...