June 2, 2017

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, book 1) by J.K. Rowling

harry potter and the sorcers stoneGenre: Independent Reader
(or my very first URBAN FANTASY)
Edition Reviewed: Paperback
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1)

  Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.


Review:

There are no words to describe how much this book means to me. No review that could ever do it justice. So I'll attempt something.

My story with Harry Potter begins in the 3rd grade. Our little school library (and basically any library in my home town) really never got anything new. Until Harry Potter. The only reason I read was because AR Reading (AKA Accelerated Reading, er, reading) I didn't like any of the books and they had me on super low. The teachers I had before deemed that I could not read hardly at all. Barely passing reading homework, but acing my reading tests. The reality was that before the teachers had started to "teach me how to read", I already could. Between my mom reading to me, teaching programs on the computer, Sesame Street, and Between the Lions I was pretty advance long passed the silly children's books I refused to read. Though I was a slow reader. I still am compared to some of the other power readers out there, but it's something I've always loved because I feel like I commit the book to memory better.

So I wasn't that into reading after school got done with me, but when Harry Potter hit the library students went insane. There was to be a school wide drawing that would determine who got to check out the book first and then from there who would follow. When I went to put my name in the drawing bowl my teacher actually scoffed at me and told me I wouldn't be able to read it. So of course I put my name in. To my surprise I was the first person drawn out of that bowl. It was the first time I had ever won anything. It was also one of the first times I ever enjoyed a book that was “for school”. Yes it took me a month to devour it. Mainly because it didn't occur to me until halfway through that I could take my AR books home and actually enjoy them.

Upon finishing that first Harry Potter book I knew that I was truly a reader. My mom so astonished that she even bought me the other available books at the time. I was a reader! Sadly the library still had limited books I wanted to read and R.L. Stine didn't test for a lot of points. It wasn't until my 5th Grade teacher saw me reading a huge paperback for “fun reading” that it was realized that I was a damn good reader. That's another story.

I've reread and reread this book many times. Before this latest reread I hadn't picked it up since 2007. Part of it is because I soon became a member of the “real world” and it broke my heart that I would never get my letter via owl ever. Another part is because the final book came out in 2007 and the epic journey that had shaped my youth ended.

What prompted me to pick up Harry Potter is that I find myself at a crossroads in life again. A huge struggle and I knew the one book that could help me would be it. The book was even easier to read then ever. I knew my old self would have binged it in a few hours, but with my current struggle that wasn't an option. That's okay. It allowed me to savor the amazing content of this book.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a simple setup book and an introduction to the world. Maybe nothing ground breaking happens, but the world of Harry is so unique it is that ground breaking. No one can deny Rowling's unique voice and power over words.

I've watched the movies since and I find it fun seeing which lines were jazzed up or down. Which ones were taken away from characters and given to others. I do truly wish Peeves could have been in the movie and I understand why not. Though really it's a shame because of a certain scene with Professor McGonagall many books later.

I did find myself quite surprised by how little Dumbledore actually is in this. Besides a few odd speeches and appearances he doesn't come in until the end of the book to make his very famous words that I still live by. So I can only assume my undying love for the crazy old coon comes in the later books.

It surprised me how insufferable Hermione was until the troll incident. “But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”

What truly surprised me was how much this time around I loved Neville Longbottom. I'd like to say it's not because I know how he turns out. Instead that I've experienced enough of the world to appreciate the klutz in this book who in many ways is truly as brave as Ron, Hermione, and Harry. He's relatable as a kid trying to find his way in life despite his many great fears. Not to mention that even though he lives with his wizarding family he clearly has just as horrible a home life as Harry.

I can also see how Harry's bond with Fred and George begins. For such a “simple” book and intro to the world there's a lot of foreshadowing and clues that I never picked up on before. Even during my great reread in 2007 for the final book.

So that's my story and review for my great love Harry Potter. I can understand why people may feel disenchanted by this first book. (Though I still think they be fools.) It seems so straightforward and basic. (Though I have a feeling they either heard about the world or watched the movies before appreciating this first book.) My love for Harry Potter has no bounds. It also says something that I used it as my first book reintroducing me back into the world of reading again. As one of my favorite actors (who I deeply miss) states of the books:

“When I'm 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I'll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, “After all this time?” And I will say, “Always.” – Alan Rickman (AKA Professor Snape)

Content Warning: Huh, I don't think this hits any buttons, my child abuse/cruelty from aunts and uncles. (Not just Harry's.)

 
5/5 - Forget obsession this book consumed me. 


Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (3)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (4)

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (6)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (7)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (3)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (4)

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (6)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (7)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (3)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (4)

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (6)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (7)

May 31, 2017

Cover Coveting (10)

 
Cover art is found from Goodreads, Wicked Scribes, ATUF, social networks, and other sources.
***All cover art may not be final.***

As promised my first official post back is all about the lovely covers!

So normally when TV season ends and summer TV starts up we go movie mode. (And I try and catch up/get my hands on the cable shows I miss.) However, I'm actually looking forward to Still Star-Crossed. Shonda's shows can be hit or miss for me, but normally a hit. (Though they sometimes fizzle out the longer they run.)

I'm not post dating this post too far a head, so I'll actually get to watch it tonight (AKA Monday night). I'm looking forward to the dramatic after affects of the lovebirds' suicides, especially with this new lore.


A Dragon of a Different Color by Rachel Aaron

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


A Dragon of a Different Color  (Heartstrikers #4)

Series: Heartstrikers, book 4

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:
       
This has a YA cover feel to it, especially when it's tiny.

When you don't make it bigger you can't see the dragon made of fire on her shoulder! I thought it was just an odd placement of flames.

(Does that sword make anyone else think of Inuyasha?)

A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


A Poison Dark and Drowning Series: Kingdom on Fire, book 2

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:
       
Well it's another burning flower, but with a drip paint affect too. Cool idea. Though at first I thought the big river of paint was a tare.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


All the Crooked Saints Series: N/A 

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:
       
This wasn't the cover I was expecting, but it works. I love the title typography.

Apex by Mercedes Lackey

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Apex (Hunter #3) by Mercedes Lackey Series: Hunter, book 3

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:
       
I just love these monster covers!! Look how the type even has its own "claws".

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Before the Devil Breaks You  (The Diviners #3)

Series: The Diviners, book 3

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult

Shera’s thoughts:
       
Feels like every time the latest book has a cover it's a totally different style. It's super creepy, but very . . . unprofessional.

I like the idea, but the end result is a fail.

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Beneath the Sugar Sky  (Wayward Children #3) Series: Wayward Children, book 3 

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:
       
I really liked the other covers in the series a lot! I thought when the sky themed one came it would be . . . more. It's still very cool, but . . . I loved the other ones so much more.

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Black Bird of the Gallows Series: N/A 

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult

Shera’s thoughts:
       
Just when you think blackbirds can't get any creepier, but in an artsy way. Very cool job on the wings.

Ever After by Aya Ling

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Ever After  (Unfinished Fairy Tales #3) Series: Unfinished Fairytales, book 3

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:
       
This is a cover that makes me tired of dresses. It's pretty and all, so points for that.

Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Ever the Brave  (Clash of Kingdoms #2)

Series: Clash of the Kingdoms, book 2

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:
       
I love covers with gorgeous artwork and the ones that rely solely on beautiful typography.

It's hard to beat the stunning white and gold, but the red and gold is pretty rich.

Freed by Flame and Storm by Becky Allen

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Freed by Flame and Storm  (Bound by Blood and Sand #2)

Series: Bound by Blood and Sand, book 2

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:
       
I loved the first book and I'm thrilled to see the cover for this second book cover to drop. Because that means the next book is coming!

However, this is another wonderful series with a crappy cover. I don't care about the cover quality, give me the content! However, others do and I feel like many readers didn't give it a try because of the less then stellar cover art.

Look at that title font!

May 30, 2017

Back Again

I know, I know another long gap of no posting. This time for a good reason. Long story short I had an accident and developed a case of tinnitus (AKA ear ringing and noise) back in December. It's never really let up and with winter gone the noisy things in the house went away and I was left to silence. AKA no longer silence as the ringing in my head is loud and worse then before. Another long story that I'll skip.

I've had a hard time reading. So I've started up reading again and will be posting again. Gotta do the things that keep you sane.

Guess what I'll be posting about first? Covers!! (Of course.)

If you're an author I'm working through my emails and will be replying back. Sorry for any late responses.

If you're in the states hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Oh, and happy summer reading! Looks like a lot of great books are slated to come out!

March 7, 2017

Author Update Rachel Caine!

 

Heads up this week's posts will be a little slim. However, great news just popped into my mailbox from author Rachel Caine.  


Ink and Bone  (The Great Library #1)Rachel is very pleased to announce that the Great Library series, which was originally planned for three books, is now extending to five volumes ... because when you're telling a story this big, you need a bigger canvas. If you haven't started the Great Library series yet, you're Paper and Fire  (The Great Library #2)in for an epic read: a journey through a rich alternate world where the Great Library of Alexandria never burned, books are sacred, and knowledge is the ultimate power.

"I'm thrilled to get to expand and continue Jess's story," says Rachel. "It's such a huge world and concept, and as a writer, Ash and Quill  (The Great Library #3)getting to play with concepts like these, and characters I love, is a dream come true. Can't wait for you all to read ASH AND QUILL, and I'm hard at work on Book 4 this summer!"

I faithfully buy each book, but I haven't read them yet. Normally I get nervous when a trilogy expands. So I hope it fits well. Either way I'm excited for more lovely covers.

Congrats Rachel Caine.

March 3, 2017

Cover Coveting (5)

 
Cover art is found from Goodreads, Wicked Scribes, ATUF, social networks, and other sources.
***All cover art may not be final.***

Actually not sure what random thing to put here. So I'll cut to the chase: Let's look at the last batch of covers for the week!


Exiled by Amanda Carlson

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Exiled (Phoebe Meadows #3) by Amanda Carlson Series: Pheobe Meadows, book 3

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Urban Fantasy/PNR

Shera’s thoughts:

Ooooooooo, the cover art keeps becoming better with each new release!

Love this one. Not to mention the title!

Ringer by Lauren Oliver

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Ringer  (Replica #2) Series: Replica, book 2

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Shera’s thoughts:

Fits the first book well. I wish the body of the butter fly was there. It feels off that the antenna is there without it.

Spellbinder by Thea Harrison

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Spellbinder (Moonshadow #2) by Thea Harrison Series: Moonshadow, book 2

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Shera’s thoughts:

Meh. Except why he is he wearing a jacket at all? It just looks stupid. Made the shirtless man covers worse.

The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


The Hawkweed Legacy Series: N/A 

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: N/A

Shera’s thoughts:

I'm confused if this is a new cover for a makeover or not. The way it's listed in both amazon and goodreads is odd.

It is lovely, but I truly like the original cover. This one is a stunner though.

Wicked Kiss by Rebecca Zanetti

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Wicked Kiss  (Realm Enforcers #4) Series: Realm Enforcers, book 4

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Romance 

Shera’s thoughts:

Yikes. I liked the first 3 covers. This is bad. What is with all the overlays.

March 2, 2017

Review: Mechanic

Mechanic (Breeders, book 2) by Alexa Riley

Mechanic  (Breeding #2)

Genre: Contemporary Erotica (Breeder genre)
Edition Reviewed: Ebook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Mechanic (1)

Everything was fine until that innocent little rich girl walked into my garage. Since the second I laid my eyes on her, all I've wanted to do is get my dirty hands on her pure body.

There's one minor obstacle standing in my way, but I've got a plan. All I've got to do is claim her, and she’ll be mine forever.

Warning: This book is over-the-top, insta-love. There's nothing but steamy scenes, babies trying to be made, and an obsessed bearded alpha hero claiming a virgin who will be his forever. If you want it hot and dirty, this is it!
*whispers* There's a sweet smutty surprise at the end!


Review:

So I picked this one up to get the same giggles out of it as I did with Coach. I was also a bit curious. Sadly where I found the geek humor hilarious in Coach there wasn't too much I could laugh about here. In fact, I think the whole book took itself a little too seriously. This was a darker tale.

I did however find other things about the book funny. Such as her legs being called “stems”. Something about his penis smiling and other things. So . . . it was more because it was bad writing and horrible sexual descriptions.

There is a nice short story in the back for the other couple in this book, so that's nice. Though I have to wonder, yes the appeal is Breeders. BUT why do all the girls have to be virgins? -_- I get it, it's a genre onto itself. Yet, it always seems to be the way.

Anywho. Even for laughs I don't think I'll be reading the next book. It's going to be more awkward sex wording, breeder awkward stuff, and virgins. (Just watch the next one will have a girl who actually slept with one other guy.) Yeah, I think I'm out.

Content Warning: You guessed it sexual content.

  
1/5 - Couldn't finish it or wished I hadn't.


Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Coach (1)
Mechanic (2)
Thief (3)

Coach (1)
Mechanic (2)
Thief (3)

Coach (1)
Mechanic (2)
Thief (3)

March 1, 2017

Wednesday Wishes

Currently watching The 9th Life of Louis Drax, apparently it was a book. I figured out the twist, but it was still ambitious. If you want something different I suggest it.


Shattered Souls by Delilah Devlin

Shattered Souls  (Caitlyn O’Connell #1)Get it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Caitlyn O’Connell, book 1

When her mentor is brutally murdered by a supernatural force, an alcoholic former cop turns to her past lovers—her ex-partner and a powerful sorcerer—to help her hunt down a demon terrorizing Memphis.

Caitlyn O’Connell had it all: a career with the Memphis PD, a passionate marriage, and the satisfaction that her work made a difference in the world. But she also had a secret, a supernatural “gift” that cost her everything. Now she scrapes by as a private investigator, taking cases the cops won’t touch and counting down the minutes until happy hour. But when Sam Pierce, her former partner and estranged ex-husband, comes to her for help with a bizarre murder case, Cait can’t say no. And not just because Sam is still as irresistibly sexy as he was on the day they met. Something sinister—and demonic—is terrorizing Memphis, leaving a bloody trail of bodies and clues only Cait can read. Together she and Sam will venture into a dark world of magic and unholy terror, hunting a killer who will lead them to the brink of reality as they know it—and back into the thrall of their stormy past. Steamy and suspenseful, Shattered Souls is the pulse-quickening new offering from romance author Delilah Devlin.

Another title I completely forgot about it. Dug this one up out of my poor future purchases pile.