Saturday, May 18, 2019

Product Review: Literary Book Gifts

A while back, I did a post where I reviewed the website for Literary Book Gifts. They had offered up a coupon code for my readers in exchange for the review. The review, which can be found here, was strictly on the website. I've been eyeing Alice's Adventure in Wonderland tote since I did the review and I finally bought it. It arrived today and I thought I'd do a follow-up review of the actual product this time. You can check out all of what they offer on the website: Literary Book Gifts.

Ordering from the website is really easy. Every item seems to have a lot of color options and size options, even the totes. Shipping is a flat fee and arrives fast! From E-mail confirmation to delivery was about 9 days, which feels pretty reasonable to me. The website felt trustworthy and secure, so I wasn't concerned about using my card.

Now. On to the Tote bag. I AM IN LOVE. I got a large size, because eh why not. IT IS HUGE! Seriously, I can't wait to lose all of my junk in the bottom of this thing, Plus I'm pretty sure I can fit my laptop in it, so I'm pretty excited about that.

The canvas feels really sturdy and like there's a liner backing of some sort. The stitching looks secure, the printing is really nice. It's faded in places and gives it a really antiqued look to it. I absolutely love it.  I tried to get some pictures of this, but I don't know that they do it justice. It's sitting on my couch up against the cushion if you want a visual of size.



Like I said, this thing is huge. The pictures aren't the best. It's more of a navy blue than the gray in the pictures. I can't wait to use it. My old tote bag is about on its last leg, so this came just in time.  Overall, my experience with Literary Book Gifts has been super positive. The only negative I have is more of a disclaimer for my readers. In my original post, the coupon code LINZTHEBOOKWORM20 was offered so that anyone referred from my blog could get 20% off their order. Unfortunately, when I tried to use the code it did not work. The original post is from back in October, so it's possible it's just expired. It would have been about the price of shipping, so I'm not all that worried about it. I just wanted to make mention of it if anyone went and tried to use it. It didn't impact my perception of the service at all. I still like how quickly I received my item and think it's going to be a great tote to use.
If anyone would like me to review their product or website just reach out to me with the contact form. Authors, feel free to submit requests for your books as well. I just can't promise how quickly I will get to read it.

Edit: The coupon code is working again, so if you'd like to save 20% use Coupon code LINZTHEBOOKWORM20

Writing Prompt Challenge- Mabel and the Elephants

Ooh? What's this? A new feature!?! Yep! It's probably going to be a regular one, too. For those of you who don't know, I'm actually an aspiring author. I've got a handful of stories in various stages, but when I try to work on them, I just get horrendous writer's block. My good friend and fellow blogger got me into listening to a Podcast called Writing Excuses. It's fantastic, and I highly recommend it. While binge-listening to it earlier in the week to inspire Tress and I both to write more. The idea is that about once a month, we find each other writing prompts to expand on. It'd hopefully get us both writing more and give us more blog posts to keep up on. I'm not sure if Tress is going to post hers to her blog or not, but you can e-stalk her here.

So, she gave me my first prompt, and it's actually from Writing Excuses Season 2, episode 31. You can check out the podcast here. I make no guarantees this will be good. I didn't do much in the way of editing because it's 12:30am right now and, honestly I just don't care.

Prompt: An Author comes up with a wacky, crazy gimmick for a book... and then it happens to the author in real life.

Short Story: Mabel and the Elephants

Mabel Jones sat at her desk, trying desperately to put pen to paper. Her publisher was figuratively breathing down her neck, but Mabel feared if she missed her deadline, it’d become literal.

When she had decided to do writing full time, Mabel thought it’d be this fantastic thing where all the creative energies steadily flowed out of her fingertips, manifesting into ideas, stories, and novels. What it actually turned into, however, was all of her creativity hitting a wall, repeatedly. So when her four-year-old daughter, Vanessa, asked to go to the zoo, Mabel happily obliged.

It was a crisp fall afternoon when Mabel and Vanessa arrived at the zoo. It wasn’t crowded, which was nice. Mabel hoped that it’d allow Vaness, or Nessy as she was fondly called, to get a chance to be up close to see the elephants. The zoo had just introduced a juvenile elephant named Rupert to the herd.

They started their adventure by getting lunch. Nessy insisted that they get animal shaped juices. Vanessa picked out a green monkey, which she named Jade. Mabel opted for a red crocodile that she gave the ironic name of ‘Hook.’

After lunch, Mabel and Vaness walked around the zoo. They watched each of the animals for a bit before moving on to the next exhibit. Eventually, they made it to the elephants where Vanessa squealed with delight at the sight of Rupert.

“Mommy?” Vanessa asked as she watched Rupert play with the other elephants.
“Yes, Loch Ness Monster?” Mabel teased her daughter while placing a gentle hand on Vanessa’s head. She was so grateful for this moment.
“I’m not the Loch Ness Monster.” Vanessa giggled. “Mommy, wouldn’t it be funny if animals were people, and people were in zoos?”
“Yeah, Nessy. That would be pretty funny.”

The next morning, Mabel woke as usual and started going about her morning routine. She started her morning by starting a pot of coffee. Magic bean juice make the brain go fast. She thought idly to herself as she checked her watch. She needed to get Vanessa up soon and ready to go to daycare. Mabel dropped her off a couple of days a week so Nessa could socialize and she could have some time to work. Mabel was fortunate that her husband Stuart had come home from work after the zoo adventure. He entertained Vanessa most of the evening so she could get some work done. All she could think of, however, was zoo animals becoming people and vice versa. It wasn’t really what her publisher was requesting, but she went with it anyway.

In her prose, she wrote about a woman named Maxine who’s neighbors slowly became zoo animals. They didn’t seem to notice the change or that they were suddenly different than Maxine. They just went about their day like it was Richard Scarry’s Busytown.

Mabel didn’t even realize she had been lost in her own thoughts until she heard Vanessa. They were on the front porch about to walk out to the car, parked on the street when Vanessa started calling for her rather urgently.

“Mommy! Mommy!” Vanessa exclaimed. “Mommy! Mrs. Bucannan is a giraffe!”
“Vanessa Suzanne Jones! That is rude. You do not call people names.” Mabel lectured in a low voice, hoping that Mrs. Bucannan did not hear the child call her a giraffe. (Though she was a bit of a giraffe at six feet tall.)

Mabel looked up, trying to hide her face of sheer shock. Mrs. Bucannan was usually out tending to her yard. Today there was definitely something next door. Mabel eyed up the Giraffe’s long neck. She finally reached the head where the Giraffe starred at Mabel, expectantly. Mabel couldn’t help but notice that it was wearing Mrs. Bucannan’s sundress and purple straw hat.

“Rough morning, dearie?” The Giraffe... Mrs. Bucannan asked.
“Mhm... Yes... I was ugh... up late working and am still trying to wake up, I guess.” Mabel finally sputtered out. Make the words and form the sentences, Mabel Lynn, Mabel thought to herself.
“Ah, well... I can’t wait to read your next story, dear. I particularly enjoy reading them with my afternoon tea. You girls have a nice day.”
“Yes, ma’am. You too.” Mabel replied. She briefly wondered how Mrs. Bucannan was doing yard work with hooves but pushed the thought aside.

And that’s how her day went. Mabel dropped Vanessa off at daycare to find that the teachers were now sweet little otters. She went to the grocery store and discovered that the cashiers were a flamingo, aardvark (sitting on a stool to reach the register) and rhinoceros. The bagger was a large Orangutan that Mabel desperately hoped didn’t smell that way as a human. Yuck.

Mabel stayed in town a little longer than she had planned, but she was just so fascinated by what was happening. In the back of her mind, she knew she should be freaking out. Mabel had written about animals becoming humanistic, and it was happening. She knew she should be running back home or trying to wake up from what was definitely a dream, but how could she when there was something new to see, everywhere. Alligators were walking dogs on leashes, Koalas were working on power lines, and water buffalo were driving cars. It was so surreal, and Mabel couldn’t look away.

By the end of the day, Mabel was exhausted, and Vanessa kept going on about how cool the animals were. Mabel was too tired to wonder how she and Vanessa were the only humans she saw that day. She pondered if Stuart had changed as well. He had flown out on business earlier in the day, and they had only spoken briefly on the phone.

Mabel woke the next morning, much like she did every day, except for today she was utterly confused. She had fallen asleep on the couch after putting her daughter to bed, but that is not where she resided now. There was sunlight shining in her eyes, and Mabel found herself on a cold, somewhat dirty, floor. She looked around and saw there were other people in cages while animals walked around. The caged humans seemed to be utterly unphased like this was just their everyday routine. Mabel’s thoughts were interrupted by two elephants talking in front of her. One appeared to be a very young elephant.

“Mommy, what animal is this one?” the little elephant asked excitedly.

“Well, dear,” The older elephant briefly looked down at a plaque, “it says here that this is called a Mabel. She shares this space with her mate Stuart and their calf, Vanessa.”
“Oh, neat.” The young elephant replied.
“Come along, Rupert. It’s time for lunch.”
And so, the young elephant trotted off for lunch.

Monday, April 1, 2019

2019 Reading Challenge Update: January- March

Hi, ya readers! I've been planning on doing an update post for a little bit now, but I've just had so few books it didn't seem worth it. I finally feel that I've got a good amount to be able to list. I'm not going to recap them, but I will link to their posts to make it easier.

I've almost got Level 1 finished. I was skipping around in the beginning but ended up focusing on level 1 so that I could feel accomplished. My Goodreads goal is 50 books for the year. I'm two books behind right now, but I'm hoping after I graduate this month (finally, yay!!!!) I'll have more time to read. I'm also hoping to finish some of my writing projects. Here's looking at you almost finished children's novel that I've been working on for 12 years now.

Anyways, without further ado, here's the update. The full challenge can be found here.

Level 1: Book of the Month Club
1. A book with a red cover – The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
2. Read a YA fiction novel –Paperglass by A.R. Ivanovich
3. A book under 300 pages – The River Witch by Helena Rookwood
4. A book you got for free – The Hagstone by Helena Rookwood

6. Read a book that takes place during the summer – Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
7. A book whose title starts with the letter M – Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

9. A book that has been turned into a TV show or movie – Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Level 3: Dedicated Reader Club
35. A book with exactly three words in the title- Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Level 5: Overachiever Club
56. A book about a real or fictional politician- My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
58. A book with a tree or forest on the cover- Have by A.R. Ivanovich

Book Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

Goodreads Summary:  In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown and thinks he's put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.

That's when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
Goodreads Ratings: 3.52 stars with over 35,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Fiction
Goodreads Challenge: 10/50
2019 Reading Challenge: 1.) A book with a red cover (find the full challenge here.)

Book Review:

Woohoo! At long last, I got the red cover off my list. This should not have been as hard as it was! I picked up several different kindle books with red covers that were either already on my kindle or free. I couldn't even get through like 20 pages of them. I ended up killing time on my lunch hour Thursday and wandering into the Books A Million right down the road. Side note, having a book store that close by is DANGEROUS. Anyway, I started reading it that night since I didn't have much time once I got back to work. I was instantly hooked. Read a bunch on my break on Friday, and then when I stopped into a pizza place on the way home read it while I was waiting. I could not put it down. I'm pretty sure once I got home Friday I ate dinner and crawled up with it some more. I ended up finishing it sometime early Saturday morning. 

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor alternates between 1986 and 2016. I'm shocked that I enjoyed the timeline aspect of the book as generally, I prefer more linear timelines. However, in the Chalk Man the alternating works. It starts with a body being found from an unknown point of view and then progresses to getting to know Eddie and his friends as kids and then knowing Eddie (or Ed) as an adult.

When the story switched to 1986, I felt like it had a Goonies/Stand By Me gang of friends vibe. I think what I liked most about this, characterwise, is that each kid had their own personality. I felt like they were all well developed and Eddie's narration gave each of his friends their own backstory. I thought their development into adults was very well done. I thought what their adult lives had become made a lot of sense with what description was given of them as children.

I think that my favorite part of this story was the wit. It's not outright comical by any mean, but several pieces were just witty and clever. If I had been reading it on Kindle, I probably would have soo many highlighted quotes. If you enjoyed the quotes I used to post, be sure to follow me on Goodreads. I haven't really been putting them in the posts lately, but I always make them public on GR.

This book was definitely suspenseful. I think that C.J. Tudor did a great job of giving several possible characters being the murder. I was actually surprised because I didn't really expect who it ended up being. I especially didn't predict the motive. I'm trying to not give too much away, but there are so many potential suspects, and no one's really ruled out until the very end. I think part of this is that just about everyone in the story has their own secrets. I absolutely loved the things that the characters were hiding from one another. I mentioned to a Twitter friend (Follow me for blog updates: @LinzBassett) that The Chalk Man is super twisted. A lot of the twistedness comes from the secrets. I'm going to be a bit spoilery here, Eddie has the most F***ed up secret, which is probably why he's the main character. It made my True Crime loving self thoroughly creeped out. Yes, I'm aware that the fact that I enjoy this kind of stuff is just not right. I have never once in my life claimed to be normal, and at nearly 32 years old I don't plan to claim it now.

If you want a thriller that you can't put down, I highly recommend The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor. It's a relatively short read, but there's so much character depth, twists and turns, and wit that make it a fantastic read. I'm already thinking about rereading this just to see if there's anything crazy I missed.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Book Review: The River Witch by Helena Rookwood

Goodreads Summary: The Kingdom of Faerie has been sleeping for centuries, through the ages of iron and metal and glass. But now technology has failed, the digital world is over and, finally, something has disturbed the fae from slumber…
Or should I say, someone?

Tabitha didn’t mean to start it all. She didn’t know what it was that she interrupted when she stumbled across the ritual in the woods. But that night everyone felt something shift when she unleashed a force so powerful that it echoed across worlds…

Now the little folk have begun wreaking havoc, something old and terrible has woken up in the river, and a mysterious thief has come looking for Tabitha.

Forced to leave her village in search of the fabled Iron City, home to the only humans who still have any memory of the fae, Tabitha’s only guide to this strange new world is A Compendium of Faerie, a book of fairytales left to her by her mother.

Will a simple book of stories be enough to defend Tabitha against this new world of magic?

The River Witch is the first in a new fairytale-inspired fantasy series set in post-technology Britain.

Goodreads Ratings: 3.69 stars with about 200 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Paranormal, Fae, Fairies, Young Adult
Goodreads Challenge: 8/50
2019 Reading Challenge: #3 - A book under 300 pages (Find the full challenge here.)

Book Review:

Hello, readers! I hope everyone who is participating in the 2019 challenge with Tress and I are having fun. I'll be doing a recap of what I've read eventually. Right now, I don't feel like I've read enough to do one. I'm happy that I got the under 300-page book off my list. For some reason, I'm on the struggle bus with this first tier. I usually jump around quite a bit, but I'm trying to actually go level by level this time.
I'll be honest, I had a tough time getting into the River Witch by Helena Rookwood. Even though it was only around 250 pages, I feel like it took me a while to read. Really until I got about 50% of the way through I could just read a couple of pages in one sitting before needing to put it down. I liked the premise, but I couldn't really get interested in the characters or the setting.
There was so much at the beginning that I wanted to know more about, but the book just sort of glazed over. How did the digital age end, was the world as populated in Tabitha's present as it was in the digital age? What (if any) technologies still were used? What was the purpose of the dance in the woods? Was it to protect the town and hold back the fae? How did one find out about it? What was the scope of Odine's powers, if she had them? These are things that I think more detail would have kept me interested in the story.

Beyond all of the questions that I had regarding the details, I think the biggest factor for it taking me so long is that Tabitha just comes across as whiny. I don't know that she ever really grew on me as a character. Aside from fishing, she just came across as being really dependent on Odine, the Sprites, and Lysander.

I think I liked Lysander a bit more than Tabitha, or at least I liked his story more. I didn't necessarily feel like either of them had much of a personality, but his background was the more interesting of the two. I was mainly interested to know more about the Iron City, the fae, and the magic. I think the sprites probably had the most personality of any of the characters. I liked reading about them, the brook horse, and the kelpie. What kept me reading was wanting to know how the quest ended. I also really liked the hidden library in the abandoned University tower. Seriously. I want my own secret library. Doesn't every bookworm?

The book itself ended sort of abruptly, I felt. There wasn't any real ending. It's obviously a series, but I didn't really feel like it really led into the next book. By the end of the book, I think it was starting to feel like a chore to read it. If I stopped my review here, I'd be giving it two moons. This is not where the review ends though. At the end of the book, there's a link from the author to get the prequel book, The Hagstone for free. So, I downloaded it.

I didn't expect to finish the Hagstone right after downloading it. I certainly didn't expect to like it, given everything I just said about the River Witch. Imagine my surprise when I ended up loving the Hagstone. The prequel book follows Tabitha's mother, Maude, and gives a brief overview of her life. I think if The River Witch had been written like the Hagstone, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It shed a lot of light on some of the background things that seemed to be missing from The River Witch, with a huge spoiler. I stayed up way too late reading it. I thought Maude was interesting and very clearly living a double life.  I enjoyed it so much that it's actually bumped the River Witch up to 3 moons for me.

The Hagstone is also going on my reading challenge list. It makes book 9 for Goodreads, and I'm putting it under a book you got for free on the challenge. So that leaves me with only 6 more for level one to complete. Yay! Oh, and if you're wondering if you should read The Hagstone before you read the River Witch, don't. Read the River Witch. Get familiar with Tabitha and what she's going through and then read The Hagstone. There are spoilery bits in The Hagstone.
So, 3 moons for The River Witch, 4 moons for The Hagstone. Side note, the cover for The River Witch is gorgeous!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Book Review: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

Goodreads Summary: Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.
Goodreads Rating: 3.4 stars with just over 6,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult, Fiction
Goodreads Challenge: 7/50
2019 Reading Challenge: #7 A book that starts with the letter 'M' (Find the full challenge here.)


So, Charlie N. Holmberg's creativity is blowing my mind. I had a love-hate relationship with the Paper Magician series (Paper MagicianGlass Magician, Master Magician). I absolutely adored the spinoff book Paper Magician. So when I saw Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet I knew I had to read it. Lucky for me it worked out perfect for a Book that starts with M.  I'm trying to be a good challenge co-host and fill out level one instead of jumping around everywhere.

My review of Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet is probably going to have spoilers. I generally try to not have them if I can, but I don't feel like I can talk about the book without the spoilers. So, I was instantly drawn into this story. I loved the idea of being able to infuse emotions into food. It was one of the things I loved about the Spellbound series by Anabel Chase ( You can find my series overview here). Anyways, I loved that she put positive influence into her baked goods.

I thought Marie having amnesia was really interesting. I usually really like to read a character's background story, but Marie's background is at the end when she gets all of her memories back. Once she's kidnapped by the Marauders and sold to Allemas, I feel like it was sort of a quest for Marie to find her memories. Her time with Allemas was interesting. Even though he's the apparent antagonist in the story, I found myself feeling sorry for him. Every scene with him just solidified that he's a very broken being and not complete. Of course, at the end of the story, we find out why he's so broken. I thought it tied up the story really well. It made sense and didn't come out of left field. A fun little thing about Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet is that most of the chapters have something above the chapter number. I thought it was just random things at first, but it appears to be Allemas's broken thoughts.

So, here's where I'm going to get a little spoilery. In Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet Marie ends up being responsible for making the concoctions in Alice in Wonderland for shrinking and growing. This inclusion alone would make me ecstatic because ❤ Alice in Wonderland. The literary references do not stop there though. Marie also ends up being responsible for the Gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. There's also a nod to the Gingerbread Man as well. These little references were probably my favorite bits of the story. I felt the way it was done was flawless and like Marie really would have been the one to make these concoctions.

I adored Arrice and Franc. I thought they were adorable and sweet. Cleric tuck was a pager filler for me. I didn't really feel like he brought anything to the story. Fyel is an interesting character, but also just kind of there. It wasn't until more towards the end of the book that he became interesting to me. His appearances do help Marie try to regain her memories though, which was basically the whole point of the story. I don't know that he necessarily helped her find her memories, as much as encouraged her and made it possible for her to remember on her own. It gives the story a sort of she saved her self vibe. I wills ay that the epilogue with Fyel and Marie is absolutely adorable.

I love the world that Charlie N. Holmberg created for this story. The concept of Fyel and Marie building worlds as crafters made me think of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Movie version. I haven't read the book yet. I know bad nerd, bad.) when  Arthur is being shown the Earth as it's being rebuilt. It was just fun little details that made the story enjoyable. I'd love to see more stories from different crafter's points of views, but I don't know that it would have the same effect. Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet is a very well done stand-alone book. 

As you can see, I absolutely adored this book. It's weird, it's quirky, it's right about 300 pages, and there are nods to other literature. There was even a bit of subtle psychology in Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg. I'm not sure if it was intentional or if I'm just reading into it too much, but I felt like there was something to be said about Marie having to force her hate for Allemas down and still be kind to him. I guess I just respected that Marie had to work to stay positive, even in the toughest situations. There's also a slight nod to different aspects of parenting. Arrice and Franc have the loss of a child and still have two children, plus they sort of adopt Marie in a way. Then there's the fact that most of the story is because Marie couldn't have a child, even though she so desperately wanted one and ended up doing the only thing she could do to make it happen. ( Sorry spoiler.)  I'm going to blame my philosophical state on the fact that I am exhausted. Read the book. It's delightful.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Book Review: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Goodreads Summary:  HARRY DRESDEN -- WIZARD
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment

Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can't pay his rent. He's alienating his friends. He can't even recall the last time he took a shower.

The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.

And just when it seems things can't get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can't refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him--and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen's right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen's name.

It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case. No pressure or anything...
Goodreads Rating: 4.30 stars with over 110,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Fiction, Paranormal, Magic
Goodreads Challenge:  6/50
2019 Reading Challenge: #6 a book that takes place in Summer. (Find the full challenge here.)
My other reviews on the series: Storm FrontFool MoonGrave Peril


It always amazes me how I will have so many thoughts and opinions when I'm reading the book, but when it comes time to do the blog post I forget it all. Starting these posts are always the hardest for me.  I've wanted to read more Dresden Files for a while, so I was thrilled to see that Summer Knight by Jim Butcher was available from my Library's e-book section. I jumped right into it, and it felt like I had just finished Grave Peril. Butcher does such a fantastic job of reminding the reader of what happened in the previous book without bogging the newer book down. I was delighted this also takes place in June, so I could get #6 out of the way on the challenge. I'll try and do an update post on that soonish. I know that the partner in reading crime, Tress, is kicking ass and taking names on it. I, however, am 3 books behind. If you'd like to catch up with Tress, you can do so on her blog here.

I think the thing I love the most about the Dresden Files is the sense of humor. Harry Dresden is a super snarky main character. There were definitely some points in Summer Knight where I snickered or laughed out loud. One quote that really made me laugh was about 21% in. "I wanted to kick myself. Somewhere out there was a village I’d deprived of its idiot." I don't know that I would say that Summer Knight is a hysterical read, but it definitely has its moments where Harry Dresden is snarky and comical.

Plotwise, I think that it was a little predictable in terms of who was behind sort of framing Mab and actually stealing the mantle. I don't know that this really matters much, because even though it was predictable, I still enjoyed it immensely. Summer Knight is an action-packed story, and there's never a dull moment.

I loved the take on Faerie and all the characters involved in it. I thought it was interesting to see him interact more with Lea and get a little bit more of his crazy backstory. I felt like it had been rushed in some of the earlier books in the series. It was nice to see him interact with Elaine, the other members of the council, and have him and Karin back to relatively normal. I thought Ebaneazor and The Gate Keeper were fantastic character additions, and I hope that they get brought into the series somehow. I am anxiously waiting for Harry to get over Susan and try to develop something with Karin. I think the chemistry is there, and could slowly build there. I wasn't much of a Susan fan when she got introduced. She grew on me a bit, but I'd rather see something develop between Harry and Murphy.

I can't wait to read the next book in the series, but I think that's going to have to wait for a bit. I'm trying to get through Tier 1 in the challenge instead of jumping around like I usually do.  I still have my free spaces left, but I'm trying to save those for the once I'm running low on spaces.