Friday, December 31, 2021

High Voltage

Book: High Voltage

Series: Fever #9

Author: Karen Marie Moning

There is no action without consequence…

Dani O’Malley was nine years old when the delusional, sadistic Rowena transformed her into a ruthless killer. Years later, she’s tough, hardened, yet achingly vulnerable and fiercely compassionate, living alone by her own exacting code. Despite the scars on her body, driven by deeper ones carved into her soul, no one is more committed to protecting Dublin. By day, she ensures the safety of those she rescues, by night she hunts evil, dispensing justice swiftly and without mercy, determined to give those she cares for the peace she has never known.

There is no power without price…

When the Faerie Queen used the dangerously powerful Song of Making to heal the world from the damage done by the Hoar Frost King, catastrophic magic seeped deep into the earth, giving rise to horrifying, unforeseen consequences–and now deadly enemies plot in the darkness, preparing to enslave the human race and unleash an ancient reign of hell on Earth.

There is no future without sacrifice…

With the lethal, immortal Ryodan at her side, armed with the epic Sword of Light, Dani once again battles to save the world but her past comes back to haunt her with a vengeance, demanding an unspeakable price for the power she needs to save the human race and no one—not even Ryodan who’d move the very stars for her—can save her this time… -Goodreads

Review: Dani finally gets a book where she can be a badass. Super fun read! I loved her character development and the storyline was engaging. 4/5



A Court of Silver Flames

Book: A Court of Silver Flames

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #4

Author: Sarah J Maas

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she's struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can't seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre's Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta's orbit. But her temper isn't the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other's arms.-Goodreads

Review: Nesta, the eldest sister, is not a character who is easy to like. Her actions in previous books make her seem selfish and rude but her interactions with Cassian gave me hope. The good? Cassian! Love him and everything about him. This was also spicy! I loved that. The not so good? Nesta. I understand her after reading this but I still don’t like her. Being inside her head was difficult to read. She is a depressed alcoholic who sufferers from self-hatred and lashes out against everyone. I am in a FB group about this book and people are very divided about her. Many see themselves as a ‘Nesta’ and empathize with her. Others have a ‘Nesta’ in their life and don’t’ care for her. I’m in this camp. I understand her but past trauma does not give you a pass to treat others like garbage. Was she apologetic? Kind of. She did develop friendships in this book and these bonds were well written. I loved her relationship with the house. The actual plot of the book was lacking as the majority of the book is about Nesta healing. There is a blood rite at the end that was simply ridiculous. **Spoilers alert**We are to believe that the only warriors who have completed this dangerous, difficult journey are the Bat boys but Netsa and her friends do it after a few months of training? Beyond comprehension. Of course, I will continue with the series but this was my least favorite installment thus far. 2.5/5


After I Do

Book: After I Do

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?-Goodreads

Review: When Lauren and Ryan hit a rough patch in their marriage, they decide to take a year off. While this wasn’t my favorite Jenkins Reid book, it’s certainly well written and nuanced. 3/5


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Happens in the End

Book: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Happens in the End

Author: Atul Gawande

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. -Goodreads

Review: This should be required reading for everyone. And if you have an elderly/aging parent, don’t wait. Read this (or at least a synopsis) and have an honest conversation with your loved one about what they really want at the end. These are not easy conversations but necessary. 5/5


Ready Player Two

Book: Ready Player Two

Author: Ernest Cline

Days after winning Oasis founder James Halliday's contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything.

Hidden within Halliday's vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis a thousand times more wondrous—and addictive—than even Wade dreamed possible.

With it comes a new riddle, and a new quest—a last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize.

And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who'll kill millions to get what he wants.

Wade's life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.-Goodreads

Review: This was an unnecessary sequel that focused on the love story between two characters I would have cared less about. 2/5


American Dirt

Book: American Dirt

Author: Jeanine Cummins

Lydia Quixano PĂ©rez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?-Goodreads

Review: This is the story about a woman and her young son trying to escape the Mexican drug cartel and get to American. Fast paced and nerve wracking, I could not put this down. 5/5



Book: Circe

Author: Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.-Goodreads

Review: As a fan of mythology, I absolutely adored this story about Circe and her journey. Beautiful writing and fantastic story, I was immersed from page 1. Loved it! 5/5