Ylesia – Walter Jon Williams

ylesia

starstarstar

Author: Walter Jon Williams
Series: Star Wars: The New Jedi Order #14.5
Pages: 121

scifispace_operanerdfrenzy

RIPE FOR THE PLUCKING

That’s Jedi Knight Kyp Durron’s opinion about the planet Ylesia, home base of the so-called Peace Brigade, a group of traitors dedicated to hindering the war efforts of the New Republic and hastening the ultimate victory of the merciless Yuuzhan Vong. Kyp’s plan calls for a lightning-fast strike, backed with overwhelming force, to destroy the Brigade’s offensive capabilities and teach prospective traitors that betrayal carries a heavy price. But young Jacen Solo, still bearing the scars of his imprisonment by the Yuuzhan Vong, has a better idea: a daring raid into the heart of Ylesia’s capital, with the objective of capturing the Brigade’s top leaders—including the newly sworn-in President, Thrackan Sal-Solo, cousin to Jacen and his twin, Jaina.

But unknown to the Jedi and the New Republic forces, Supreme Overlord Shimrra of the Yuuzhan Vong has dispatched reinforcements to the Ylesia system. Instead of a swift surgical strike, Jaina, Jacen, Kyp, and their comrades are about to find themselves locked in a desperate battle for survival, with the odds stacked against them and time running out…

There is not much to tell about this book. It’s a short story that takes place in the middle of the previous book, so the reader has to adapt their internal timetable to not get lost with this tale.

The book narrates the battle of Ylesia. The Yuuzhan Von obliterated the hutts living there and now the planet is controlled by the Peace Brigade (a.k.a. Vong Puppets). The new leader of that Brigade is not other than Thrackan Sal-Solo, cousin of Jacen and Jaina Solo. They are not friendly with each other… The New Republic has a plan to capture the Brigades’s leaders and make their trials public to rise the moral among the loyal followers of the New Republic. Obviously, nothing is simple when there are Vongs involved…

It’s an easy and well-paced read. Nothing remarkable, but a nice peek to that huge Universe that is Star Wars. Thankfully, the author doesn’t waste time trying to sell the plan to the readers with lots of political and military meetings (as in other books of this saga) and gets his hands dirty pretty fast. Not boring at all, but far from memorable. I guess I will remember that I have read this because it will forever saved on my Goodreads list…

In this okayish book there is a bright light that I have really enjoyed. Maybe it’s because I’m a huge fan of romance books, so the nods to Jaina’s relationship with Jagged Fel has made me smile from ear to ear. Han’s and Leia’s daughter is one of my favourite Star Wars characters. I was so pissed after the last book due to what Luke told her… I’m glad she is getting a bit of happines from the Imperial pilot. Let’s hope it last!! Romance and Star Wars are not usually best friends…

paragraph1

2018 – Book Gallery

Advertisements

Let’s Get Textual – Teagan Hunter

textual

starstarstarstarstar

Author: Teagan Hunter
Pages: 272

new_adultcontemporaryfirst_personfunnygold_star

A wrong number is supposed to be just that–a wrong number.

Delete. Done.

Do not continue to text. Do not flirt.

A wrong number shouldn’t be the first person on your mind in the morning, or the last at night…and you’re definitely not supposed to talk them into buying a baby goat.

Because that would be weird.

When Zach Hastings and I get into a wrong-number mix-up, we don’t follow the rules. We keep texting and flirting, because he’s wicked funny and perfectly nerdy and a wonderful distraction.

I’m not looking for love, and Zach definitely had the wrong number.

But maybe…

Maybe he’s the right guy.

Have you ever finished a book and wished there were some kind of big brother reality show about its characters just because you can have enough of them? In Delia’s words: how much pizza is too much pizza? There is not such thing as too much pizza!! That’s how I feel about this book. If there were an extended version about 200.000 billion pages long I would still crave more. Yes, I have loved every single word of this book.

The story of this book is told from the point of view of Delia, a college student that one day receives a call from un unknown number. The person calling was Zach, an app developer who wanted to contact a client but has a wrong number. After the first weird conversation, they start texting each other. Little by little (or not so slow) their friendship turns into a romance.

The blurb itself is nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that caught my attetion there (except the goat!!). Besides, according to Goodreads (and I will trust them) this is a New Adult book… genre that doesn’t make me very happy if I’m being honest. But the reviews about how funny it is convinced me to give it a chance. My initial scepticism became absolute love in a matter of pages. Is it weird if I say that more than a book I consider it a friend? Too creepy? Honestly, I have no word to express how happy this book has made me feel!!

Out of the question, the sense of humour is one of the best I have read in my life. The nerd jokes, the never ending banter, the witty retorts, the adorable cockiness of Zach… Everything put a smile on my face and, very often, made me laugh hard. It felt SOOOOOOOOO good. All the good guys characters (which are all except one) have earned a special place in my memories as a reader. They are a bunch that I would love to consider friends… even though they follow a really crappy diet. Someone must explain me how Zach keeps in shape eating SO bad!!

The story is sweet and the author takes her time with the best part of the Romance genre: the couple getting to know each other. It’s usually the funniest part of those books and most writers tend to rush through it. But not in this one. Small steps but sure ones. The relationship that is built between Delia and Zach is lovely and really well written. An absolute pleasure to follow them in their best and worst moments. I’m going to miss them so much!!

The book is perfect, but it would have been heavenly if some of the chapters were told from the point of view of Zach. Don’t get me wrong, Delia is awesome, but sometimes I was dying to know what was going on in Zach’s head. I would have loved some chapters from his point of view after the goatnap to really enjoy his reaction, but I guess I will have to use my own imagination :).

As I said before, the worst part of this book is that is finite. Even though this is a standalone, there is a similar book by Teagan Hunter to tell the story of Delia’s best friend, Zoe. A third one will be published later this year, but I still don’t know the main characters for that one. I guess Delia and Zach will make a cameo or two in those books, so it’s not the end. I wonder why the author doesn’t group those books in a saga. It would help many readers to read them in order.

paragraph1

2018 – Book Gallery

On Point – Annabeth Albert

onpoint

starstarstarstarstar

Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #3

Pages: 320

contemporary_rommmsoldierstearshotgold_star

Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

Since I read this was Ben’s and Maddox’s story I knew I was going to love it! The author teased the complicated friendship between them in the previous book and it made me drool. I haven’t been disappointed. Not at all.

Ben and Maddox are best friends and roommates, but nothing more (even though everyone teases them about that). Ben is kind of a sex addict and Mad is more the romantic kind of guy. They both prefer men and they like each other a lot. But it seems both of them are incapable of expressing their feelings… One day they stage a weird threesome, which makes their friendship crumble. What was meant as a way to relieve the sexual tension between them, became something worse. In order to save their friendship, Ben has the “greatest” idea ever: date Maddox!!

That is an emotional trainwreck if I have ever seen one! But even before that, I already had a lump in my throat. With this saga we have never got SEAL action, but in this book we get to follow them into a rescue mission in a dangerous jungle. Ben and Maddox have a little accident and both are injured. Ben’s journey to save his dear friend has been hard to read. They knew there were many emotions unpoken between them and both of them felt there wasn’t going to be a chance to tell them. And yet they remain silent… Bullheaded idiots!! I had such a mix of feelings during those first chapters in the jungle. That part broke me. And I love it for that!

Taking into account this is Romance, we already knew that no one was going to die. But the near-death experience didn’t resolve their issues, so Ben decided to take action and start dating Maddox. It was meant as an experiment to see how well they fit together. As readers, we already knew that wasn’t going to end well. They are awesome friends, but they had so much fear of failure… I knew the other shoe was going to drop sooner or later and it was going to be sad and messy. I wasn’t wrong. In the “friends to lover” books, when the main couple has a fight and they break up, the lose so much more than the romantic relationship. Once again, I could barely hold the tears…

I didn’t know which one to support. I was so mad at both of them. I just wanted Ben and Maddox to talk (really talk!!) and fix everything. They have been friends for 12 years!! They should be able to sit down and be honest by now!! The time they weren’t in speaking terms was torture for them, their friends and me!! I couldn’t wait to the make up part, which was weird (as it should be), but sweet. I have said several times that I do not like the endings with rings, just because many times they don’t feel natural. I must admit I didn’t mind it at all with this couple.

The adult parts of this book are also very well handle. I really enjoyed them, because I was very invested in their realtionship. Their encounters are sweet, naughty and hot. The sex scenes are not just “word counts” as in other books.

This is the third book of the saga and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites in its genre. Nxet book is Dustin’s story, the brother of Dylan. I thought that character was straight, so no idea what I am going to find.

paragraph1

2018 – Book Gallery

Dragonbane – Sherrilyn Kenyon

dragon

starstarstarstar

Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark-Hunter #24

Pages: 320

paranormal_romshiftersmagicfunnyweak

Out of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it’s hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a fifty foot wingspan.

Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded.

But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames.

This is book 24 of the Dark-Hunter saga. 24!! And I’m not even up-to-date. This month, the 27th will be published. Some people may be tired of Kenyon’s crazy world, but I love it even more now that it has got so big. My intention was to catch up with this saga before the new release, but I have to be honest with myself and drop the dream. I like to mix my books to make the hobby more fun. I will catch up, of course, but I’m not in a hurry.

This book is the book of Maxis, the weredragon that has been living in Sanctuary for a long time. He was betrayed by his mate and left her. The dragon thought she was dead, but suddenly appears in Sanctuary looking for him. Unfortunately, she wasn’t alone. Her queen Nala is with her, a long time enemy of Maxis. Even though he thought Seraphine hated him, she doesn’t tell her queen that her mate is close. Everyone leaves except Sera and the make-up ride begins.

The story is rather simple. What is complex is the world that Kenyon has been building over the years, so there are a lot of pieces all over the table. Keeping track of everything could be daunting, but the author does her best to make the book easier for the reader. The cast is so big, that a big chunk of the book is just to introduce one character to another and build the relationship among them. If there is something I love about Kenyon’s style is her sense of humor and outstanding banter in the dialogs. That makes the reading such a wonderful experience. It’s like a Christmas dinner with a family (a rather huge one). It doesn’t matter how long you have been away… you are always welcome!!

That is why I can forigive Sherrilyn almost everything. I can even forgive that this book is a bit… lazy. Several times, she builds tension around a situation and then it ends abruptly: the rescue of Max’s children, the recovery of the Emerald Tablet, the escape of Sera and Max after the accidental stabbing… All those situations seemed pretty huge and dangerous, but they are resolved “behind the scenes”. As a reader, that left me a sour aftertaste. I wanted a big fight against the demons, but I guess that wasn’t in Kenyon’s plans. I was expecting more for those moments, so I’m a bit disappointed by them.

As always, the best part of the book are the characters. It’s obviously that she loves creating new pawns for her world and Im glad for it. In this case, Hadyn (Max’s son) is my favourite addition. I have no idea if she plans to make a book for him, but I hope there is one in the future!! Yeah, I have a weird crush even though we barely know him!!

My favourite moment of the book: the reunion between Nick and Acheron. It’s not a proper meeting, but they get to be in the same room and they behave!! They even exchange a few words!! As a huge fan of Ash and Nick, I am relieved to see that their friendship is not as dead as it seemed. Or maybe it was just that the situation called for adults and not kids throwing tantrums. Nah, I prefer the optimistic explanation. If there is something I have a huge respect for in the Dark-Hunter books is the optimism. It doesn’t matter if everything looks lost, there is always a light that the heroes can follow to triumph.

Obviously, they are going to need that light to face the Apollo and Kessar situation. Is there going to be a bloody conflict or will be resolved easily as the situations in this book? I’ll know the answer with the next one, which I plan to read this year if everything goes as planned.

paragraph1

2018 – Book Gallery

Beg Me – M. Malone

begme

starstarstarstar

Author: M. Malone
Pages: 280

contemporary_romfirst_personfunny

My c0ck a doodle doo is on strike.

Yeah I know, I can’t believe it either. Years of perfect performance and now this traitor decides to get picky. And the only woman who gets him going is my co-worker. Rival, she-devil and my competition for the biggest ad account this side of the Atlantic.

If we want to win over the hottest wedding designer in the world, we have to prove we understand his business. Love. Passion. Marriage. But it turns out Mya isn’t familiar with any of the above. When I find out she’s never taken a trip to O-town, we make a little wager. Not only will I win the client, but I’ll prove to her that multiple O’s are not a myth.

We work together all day and fight between the sheets all night. But somewhere along the way I discover that winning isn’t enough.

I don’t just want to win.
I don’t just want her body.
I want her to … beg me.

I must admit that I’m an easy catch for Romance Books: a cute/hot cover, a funny blurb or, in this case, a first sentence that makes me re-read it several times in order to make sure I read it properly. Yes, almost any bait works with me. I was pretty curious about this book after reading the blurb and M. Malone is a new writer for me, so I had no idea what I was going to find. Well, I had suspicions… but I was SO wrong.

This s the story of a couple of co-workers in the advertisement campaign industry: Milo and Mya. They were once friends, but now are rivals. Very competitive rivals that dislike each other. There is a new huge customer in the future and both need to work together to nail the campaign. Even though they kind of hate each other, both of them have a secret attraction to the other. Sadly, they are only intesrested in insults when addressing each other.

First the positive about this book: Milo and Mya are great characters. I loved both of them almost since the beginning. Milo is the perfect mix of funny, cocky and sweet guy and Mya’s akwardness is so much fun to read!! I was hooked with this couple very fast, which in romance is a very good sign. There is nothing worse than reading a sex scene with a couple you dislike. So, with Milo and Mya the author gets a really good mark.

On the other hand we have the storytelling itself. I appreciate the “let’s create a funny situation no matter what” style, but I don’t think it always works. The motive for the fake engagement is so weird. I don’t think is sensible that the client was looking for some person planning a wedding or recently married to make his campaign. It’s such a huge constraint!! Besides, the campaign would be polluted with the idea of that person’s perfect wedding. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but I felt that situation was unbelievable.

During the book, there are more examples of lazy storytelling: the absurd misunderstanding, the messages to Will (that take us nowhere), the easy resolution of the main conflict among the main characters… But the romance part is so sweet and funny that I can forgive almost everything. A hottie in briefs cooking me breakfast is also a #boyfriendgoal for me ;).

When I read the blurb I was expecting Milo to be more of a jerk and not very nice in bed… But I couldn’t be more wrong (thankfully!!). I have enjoyed a lot this couple. Perfect balance between sweet and naughty. Yes, the story is a bit lazy, but the book has other strengths that make up for it (in my opinion, of course). I have more books by this author on my TBR list, so I hope to read her again sooner rather than later.

paragraph1

2018 – Book Gallery

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World – Shannon Hale & Dean Hale

sqg

starstarstarstar

Authors: Shannon Hale & Dean Hale
Series: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl novels #1

Pages: 324

youngsuperheronerdfirst_personfunny

WHO RUNS THE WORLD? SQUIRRELS!

Fourteen-year-old Doreen Green moved from sunny California to the suburbs of New Jersey. She must start at a new school, make new friends, and continue to hide her tail. Yep, Doreen has the powers of . . . a squirrel!

After failing at several attempts to find her new BFF, Doreen feels lonely and trapped, liked a caged animal. Then one day Doreen uses her extraordinary powers to stop a group of troublemakers from causing mischief in the neighborhood, and her whole life changes. Everyone at school is talking about it! Doreen contemplates becoming a full-fledged Super Hero. And thus, Squirrel Girl is born!

She saves cats from trees, keeps the sidewalks clean, and dissuades vandalism. All is well until a real-life Super Villain steps out of the shadows and declares Squirrel Girl his archenemy. Can Doreen balance being a teenager and a Super Hero? Or will she go . . . NUTS?

It’s no secret that The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is one of my favourite current comics. There are not enough adjectives to express how awesome it is!! When I was told Marvel was going to publish a comic featuring Doreen Green I laugh thinking it was very absurd. Nothing against the character, but she was almost a nobody. Many comics later, I wish I could punch my past self!!! Ryan North has elevated the character to such a high level that I’m already dreading the fall… Fingers crossed that that will happen in a really far future. Due to my love for Squirrel Girl, I couldn’t miss the chance of reading this book.

The story doesn’t take place in the current Marvel timeline (which is cramped enough). Instead, we get to know a little bit more about Doreen before becoming a superhero. She has just moved to New Jersey with her parents and is already in a mission: making friends. It’s way harder than you could think if you take into account Doreen’s way of facing life. Her unrelenting optimism can esily overwhelm people that are not used to it. Thanks to her perseverance, she gets two new friends: her classmate Anna Sofía and a squirrel named Tippy-Toe (yes, that Tippy-Toe).

But not eveything is a walk through the park (literally). There is a new supervillain in town that wants to make a name for himself: Micro-Manager. Obviously, he wants to defeat Squirrel Girl to make all the big baddies offer him a job. He doesn’t have any kind of special power, but he doesn’t need any. His knowledge about robotics and computers is more than enough to be a tough contender. If you are a comic reader, you may know that Doreen is also very proficient in those fields. Well, not in this book. Actually, she is lacking in all the academic smarts. Maybe too much. I found hard to believe that the Squirrel Girl from this book becomes the Squirrel Girl of the comics in such a short time.

The book is mainly written in third person, but there are several chapters from Tippy-Toe’s point of view. I have to say it: those chapters are pure genius. I didn’t know that squirrels could have such a huge personality. Tippy has made me smile the whole book with her antics.

I know I shouldn’t do it, but I can’t help comparing the book with the comics. The author tries too hard to mimic Ryan North’s style, which is a daunting task. At first, it didn’t work. It didn’t feel natural. But later on the book, I think Shannon is more relaxed with her story and her style starts working. By that I mean her sense of humor starts being funny by its own, instead of being funny just because it’s similar to the one in the comics. Am I making any sense?

Another thing that separates both formats is the audience targeted. The comics can be very enjoyable for any reader no matter their age. But this book is clearly more focused on the younger spectrum of that audience. If you are an adult who doesn’t like reading books for kids, it doesn’t matter if you love the comics, I don’t think you will enjoy the book.

There is a second book that I will read sooner or later. Getting to know how Doreen became Squirrel Girl has been very enoyable, so I don’t want to miss the next step in her path to become one of the best superheroes there is!!

paragraph1

2018 – Book Gallery

Bound By The Demon’s Shade – Olivia Dark

25466389

starstarstar

Author: Olivia Dark
Pages: 82

paranormal_romdemonsfirst_personfreelostlove

When a demon causes a car crash, it is up to the demon hunter Paige to find it and destory it. But when she runs into Kalen, the mysterious man who saved her from a hostile demon encounter the day before, she agrees to work with him only if she can look past the fact that he’s a demon himself.

By working with Kalen, Paige gets a direct lead to the demon they’re hunting. However, Paige starts to develop feelings for her partner as they begin working alongside one another, and when their hunt is over she can’t help but invite him back to her place even though she knows she might regret it in the morning.

Confession time: I spend hours looking for free Kindle books in Amazon. I have thousands!! I don’t know why I do this, because I don’t usually read them. I will try to pick one of those now and then. I have picked this one randomly. My first surprise: it’s no longer in Amazon. No one knows who Olivia Dark is or anything about this book. Only a dozen ratings in Goodreads… I have the feeling I have read a phantom book!! I use the term book loosely. It’s a short story that can be read in under an hour.

The main character of this story is Paige, a demon hunter. One night she is biting more than she can chew (or something like that…) and has to be rescued by the gorgeous Kalen. Twist: the hottie is also a demon!! At first it seems that is going to be a problem, but five minutes later they are already kissing. Later, the damsel in distress is again in distress and the demon has another chance of looking superheroic.

It’s a fast pace story, as its length suggested. I have missed some sense of humor to make it special. The way it is is just plain normal. You have an OK feeling after reading it, but nothing else. I think there was potential in her story, so I’m suprised that the author hasn’t written anything else and this book is in some kind of limbo…

There are also a couple of thinks that I do not like. The point of views are a mess. Most of the book is first person from the point of view of Paige, but there are several parts that are told from a third person point of view. I have always thought that is a symptom of a bad planification for your story. The other detail I don’t like is Kalen’s love… He drops the L word when he barely knew her. So weird…

It’s such a short story that I would recommend it to kill some time, but it seems that the book can’t be purchased anywhere…

paragraph1

2018 – Book Gallery