Review: Suicide Squad, Vol 2: Basilisk Rising

Suicide Squad Basilisk Rising

Suicide Squad, Vol. 2: Basilisk Rising
Written By: Adam Glass
Illustrations By: Federico Dallocchio
Publish Date: 2012
Genre: Comic
Rating: D+

Suicide Squad: Basilisk Rising picks-up in the aftermath of Harley Quinn’s jaunt through Gotham to retrieve what was left of the Joker. Deadshot is dealing with the emotional trauma of what Harley did to him and the rest of the team is getting crushed under Amanda Waller’s thumb for various reasons. When new information on the Basilisk organization comes to light, Waller recommissions everyone to help bring its leader down.

The first volume (Kicked in the Teethfocused mainly on Deadshot with the government portrayed as an underlying antagonist, willing to use convicts as expendable resources. Where I had issues with the astounding amount of cliches in the first volume, it at least had direction. Here… I’m not sure what they were trying to do. Continue reading

Month in Review: April 2015

April was a slightly better reading month for me, but I’m still working to get back on track.

For April, I read a total of 7 books. I managed to write reviews for 1 of them. Below you will find short reviews for the 6 books I read, but didn’t review.

Total Books: 7
Total Reviews: 1

immortal life of Henrietta lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Genre: Non-Fiction
Series: N/A
Rating: B
In the 1940’s, an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer at John Hopkins Hospital. Without Henrietta’s or the family’s knowledge, cells were collected from her body that quickly became known as HeLa. In this bookRebecca Skloot dives into the convoluted history of Henrietta, her family and John Hopkins Hospital to tell the story of the woman behind HeLa cells. This was an extremely engaging non-fiction book, which raises some interesting questions about ethics.

chasing tail

Chasing Tail by Celia Kyle
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Quick and Furry #1
Rating: C –

Celia Kyle is great if you’re looking for a quick read without a whole lot of drama. However, Chasing Tail had an issue with nothing having consequences. A character would do something and the moment would be built-up as having an impact on another character, then in the next scene it would be completely forgotten. By the end, there were a lot of loose threads that never got tied-up. This made the end feel abrupt and pretty unsatisfying.

stevie smith

Collected Poems by Stevie Smith
Genre: Poetry
Series: N/A
Rating: C
This is a collection of Stevie Smith’s poetry. While I enjoyed a couple of Smith’s poems, her style isn’t my cup of tea.


Atoning by Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult/Novella
Series: Darkness Rising #3.1
Rating: B –
Atoning is set after Armstrong’s Darkness Rising trilogy. Chloe, Derek and gang go on a mini-camping adventure that gets interrupted when someone tries to kidnap them. This novella is more for fans of the series, but I read it to see if I could to get into Armstrong’s Young Adult books. After reading this one, I’m unsure if I can.

Armstrong has said that she started writing Young Adult because she wanted to create something that her daughter could read, and it shows. This story was laden with morals that Armstrong probably wanted to pass on to her kid. This is fine, except when all of your main teen characters are extremely responsible and understanding to the point of having no major flaws. It makes the characters boring and gets pretty heavy handed when the adults are all commenting on how crazy responsible they are.

However, I’m willing to give Armstrong the benefit of a doubt and will probably one day read a full length book in this series. I’m just not in any rush to do so.  Continue reading

Month(s) in Review: February and March 2015

February and March were reading slump months for me (and April is turning out the same way). This is because for the past couple of months I’ve been in the process of starting a new job and going through a major relocation. With so much going on, my reading time took a major hit, but I’m hoping to get back on track with posting regularly in May.

For February and March, I read a combined total of 9 books. I managed to write reviews for 5 of them. Below you will find short reviews for the 4 books I read but didn’t review and links to the full reviews I wrote in Feb and March.

Total Books: 9

Total Reviews: 5

Entreat Me

Entreat Me by Grace Draven
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Series: N/A — Standalone Novel
Rating: A –

When Louvaen Duenda’s sister runs off with a near stranger in a misguided effort to save the family, Louvaen pursues them. However, when Louvaen arrives at the castle where the man has whisked her sibling, she finds the cursed inhabitants believing that her sister is the last hope to breaking the curse. This is a wonderful Beauty and Beast retelling with some unique twists and wonderfully developed characters. Grace Draven is quickly becoming a favorite new author of mine.

lucky break

Lucky Break by Chloe Neill
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 10.5
Rating: C

I’ve been avoiding the Chicagoland Vampire series for years, but when I stumbled across this new novella I decided to see if I might be able to get into these books. Merit, an enforcer for master vampire Ethan, is attempting to have a romantic getaway. Unfortunately, the getaway is quickly ruined by a murder and the escalation of a centuries old feud. This was….boring. The writing was fine, but nothing about the world or characters really drew me in. I might have enjoyed this more had it been around 10 years ago, when I was inhaling the Anita Blake series. Back then I probably would’ve found the rules of Neill’s vampire and werewolf society interesting. Now vampire politics in stories tend to annoy me. So, I doubt I’ll be reading any of the full length books in this series. Continue reading

ARC Review: Unbearable Desire by Vivi Andrews

unbearable desire

Unbearable Desire
Author: Vivi Andrews
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Lone Pine Pride #4
Rating: B+

Unbearable Desire is the fourth book in Vivi Andrews Lone Pine Pride series. After reading and enjoying Andrews’ Serengeti Shifters series, I was pretty excited to dive into this one.

Over a decade ago, Moira had a brief fling with Hugo, a fellow bear shifter. When he invited her to join the Lone Pine Pride, she had believed that he was inviting her to share his life. Her hopes were dashed when she arrived on his doorstep a week later. Hugo hadn’t meant to give Moira the impression that they would be together, because his heart already belonged to another. Despite the rejection and humiliation, Moira decided to stay with the pride and to build a life for herself. Over ten years later, Hugo is starting to regret his decision but isn’t sure how to go about mending fences. Continue reading

ARC Review: Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King

dreaming spies

Dreaming Spies
Author: Laurie R. King
Release Date: Feb. 24th 2015
Genre: Mystery
Series: Mary Russell #13
Rating: B+

Dreaming Spies is the 13th Mary Russell book by Laurie R. King. It’s a frame narrative, where the beginning and end of the novel act as a bookends to a flashback story.

Mary Russell returns home one evening to find Sato, an old friend from Japan, bleeding in her kitchen. As Sato describes the circumstances that brought her to England, Mary discovers that the blackmail case she worked on with Holmes in Japan may not be entirely closed. Now, they must work to unravel what happened in Japan before a public figure is forced to comply with the extortioner’s demands. Continue reading

Month in Review: January 2015

January was an excellent reading month for me. Out of the 16 books I read this month, I managed to write reviews for 9 of them. (Yay for hitting over half of them!) Below you will find short reviews for the other 9 books I read, links to the full reviews I wrote this month, and my challenge updates.

Total Books Read: 16
Book Reviews: 9

 Blood Wolf Dawning

Blood Wolf Dawning by Rhyannon Byrd
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Bloodrunners #7
Rating: D –
I like stories where people who are “fated” to be together initially reject their partner, so this one had sounded right up my alley. Five years ago, Cian Hennessey turned his back on the mate connection he felt toward Sayre Murphy. Now he’s back in town to protect Sayre from the very reason he had left her all those years ago. I just did not feel a connection to the main couple here. Sayre forgave Cian way to fast for my taste and Cian threw himself too many pity parties.

Wild Wolf

Wild Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Shifters Unbound #6
Rating: C –
I really enjoyed the early books in this series and the premise of Graham’s book sounded interesting. Graham McNeil has always vowed to never take a human as his mate. Too bad he can’t seem to make himself end things with his human girlfriend and take a shifter mate like he promised his pack he would. I was a littlle disappointed with how everything played out in this addition to the series. Everything was a little too easy for Graham, which made reading this one a little boring. Continue reading

Review: Radiance


Author: Grace Draven
Published: 2015
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Series: Wraith Kings #1
Rating: A +

Radiance by Grace Draven is the first book in her new Wraith Kings series. The book had first been published in short installments on her blog before getting released as an ebook.

Ildiko and Brishen, are the royal spares in their respective families. Each only important enough for a marriage of convenience to strengthen the relationship between the Kai and humans. Issue is that humans tend to flee in terror at the sight of Kai, who are armed with sharp teeth and claws. The Kai are equally off-put by human features, believing the way their eyes roll around in their sockets creepy. Despite their misgivings, Ildiko and Brishen are determined to be allies against a brewing battle over trade routes and the poisonous atmosphere of court.

It’s hard not to gush about this book because there was just so much that I adored about it. The slow build-up of a relationship between Ildiko and Brishen was wonderful. I loved how honesty between them was often painted in a courageous light and was the foundation they built their relationship on. Watching them overcome their knee-jerk reactions to each other’s appearance was also a delight. It’s hard to find a romance where both parties think the sight of each other is disturbing and rather hideous. The funny thing is that Draven did a great job of making the things the Kai found creepy about humans believable. Quite a few times in the story I sat there going “huh, I guess that would be a little odd.”

Aside from the relationship, there was also an intriguing political plot occurring in the background. From the epilogue (which acts as more of a teaser for the second book) it seems this will be more of the focus for the next book. It’s the political machinations at work that often had me thinking that things will never be smooth sailing for Brishen or Ildiko. Too much is at play and working against them in ways neither expected. So, I’m on the edge of my seat to discover how they’ll manage to continue forward and remain happy.

I can tell that this is going to be a book that I continually try to force people to read. If you like high fantasy with a strong romance, then I suggest you check this out. I’m already stalking Draven’s website to see when the next novel will be released.

Dime Store Magic: A Re-Read

dime store magic

Dime Store Magic
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Published: 2004
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Women of the Otherworld #3
Rating: A –

I did a re-read of Dime Store Magic for one of my categories in the 105 in 2015 reading challenge. I can’t believe that it’s already been ten years since I first read this book.

After the events of Stolen, Paige Winterbourne has taken in thirteen year old Savannah Levine whose mother recently died. Savannah is a powerful witch for her age, but impulsive. It’s a dangerous combination that has the Nast Cabal (the supernatural equivalent of the mafia) tearing Paige’s life apart in a bid for custody. As her life continues to crumble around her, Paige is forced to accept assistance from Lucas Cortez, a young lawyer with his own motives for helping.

I decided to read Dime Store Magic again because I didn’t give Paige a fair shot the first time around. When I first read this, it was immediately after devouring the first two books in the series, which feature werewolf Elena Michaels. I had adored Elena and wasn’t excited to discover that the next book’s narrator was going to be the twenty-something witch from Stolen. (Especially, since I hadn’t cared for Paige in that story.) While I had ended-up enjoying Dime Store Magic on my first reading, I still thought Paige was a little lack luster. It wasn’t until later in the series that I got into her and Lucas, as characters. So, I’m glad I did a re-read as I was able to appreciate them more this time around.

The most interesting thing about going back to this book was seeing just how far Armstrong has come with her characters and the world. There were several moments in the story where I thought Paige, Lucas, and the ideas behind witches were rather shaky and clichéd. It felt like Armstrong wasn’t sure where she wanted to take the characters at this point in the series. Despite this, I still enjoyed the book enough that I might also re-read Industrial Magic.

Overall, my grade for this book didn’t change. I would recommend Dime Store Magic to fans of the series, but I don’t think I would suggest you start off with this book. If you’re looking to get into the Women of the Otherworld series, I would suggest starting out with Bitten.



Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult
Publish Date: 2012
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Rating: A –

Cinder is the first book in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. From what I gather, each book in the series primarily features a different female character. So, you can imagine my frustration when I discovered this ends on a cliff-hanger. I was just really getting into the action of what Cinder was gearing up to do when the books ends suddenly. Usually, I hate cliff-hangers but this was awesome. I only hope that we still get some story from Cinder’s point of view in the next books.

This is a sci-fi/steampunk fairytale retelling of Cinderella, but only a few elements of the story match-up with the traditional set-up. In this, Cinder is a young cyborg who labors as a mechanic for her adoptive family. After agreeing to do a repair job for Prince Kai, Cinder finds herself forcibly thrown into the political mess of her country. Suddenly, she has to face being a test subject for a plague outbreak, prejudices against her kind, a visiting dignitary with mind control abilities, and an emerging secret from her past.

In Cinder, we are introduced to the impressive world Meyer has created for her characters, which is filled with social tension and unrest. I loved the imbalances of power we see and how all the characters are struggling, no matter what their social standing is. The leaders of the country are shown to be having just as difficult a time as Cinder. They’re just dealing with different set of hard issues and decisions. I also really loved the weight these decisions and actions were given in the book. It added a lot of gravity to the story, which I wasn’t expecting to find when I decided to start the series. All in all, this was a great read and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.