Friday, August 1, 2014

Of Poseidon - Review

Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, # 1)

By: Anna Banks

Published: May 22nd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

326 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mythology

Source: Free Audio Download from Sync Audiobooks

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | )

*Note: The above links to Amazon, Book Depository, and are affiliate links.

Goodreads description--Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

I got Of Poseidon as one of the free Sync Audiobook downloads from last year. I remember seeing mixed reviews about Of Poseidon, but I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to listen to it for myself. Surprisingly, I’ve only ever read one other mermaid book--Sea Change by Aimee Friedman. I don’t have anything against mermaids in general, but I guess as paranormal/mythological concepts go, mermaids have always been a bit of a stretch for me. And it’s not so much the idea of mermaids themselves as the mixing of mermaids and humans as well as the transition from ocean to land that bothers me. I pumped myself up for this read by telling myself that if I can buy shapeshifting of any kind then mermaids ought to fall into that category as well.

Initially, I was put off by the New Jersey accent the narrator, Rebecca Gibel, was doing for Emma’s best friend Chloe. Fortunately, this wasn’t an issue I had to deal with throughout the whole book. While I’m thinking about the narration, the book itself is narrated by both Emma and Galen—the leading male character—yet the audiobook version only had the Rebecca Gibel reading for both parts. I found this a little odd, especially when transitioning from Emma’s narration to Galen’s. It always caught me off guard and took me several sentences usually to figure out the point of view changed. Adding a male narrator for Galen’s parts would have solved this problem easily.

As the description says, there’s an episode involving a shark that leads Galen to believe that Emma might not be human. She just might be Syrena just like him—or well…maybe not just like him. In this instance, Emma displays an ability known as the “gift of Poseidon.” Only Syrena descended from Poseidon himself can possess the gift and Galen is descended from Triton, not Poseidon. But Emma lacks some other key Syrena traits that prevents Galen from thinking she is in fact Syrena. Galen, as the Syrena-Human Ambassador for his tribe, decides to spend some time with Emma in order to find out what she really is.

Obviously, the Syrena have a different culture than huamns. If Emma is “of Poseidon” then his brother and the now Triton king, Grom, will have first dibs at mating with Emma. Not Galen. But Galen can’t seem to keep himself from falling for Emma which leads him to keeping her a secret from the Syrena as a whole. Emma takes not liking to be told what to do to a whole new level. Anytime Galen tries to tell her something she needs to do, she digs in her heels and does the opposite just out of spite for being given instructions. Emma doesn’t know about her potential fate of mating with Grom so she doesn’t understand why Galen won’t can't attempt a relationship with her and therefore, jumps to the conclusion that he doesn’t in fact like her.

Rayna and Toraf were likable characters. I took me a while to warm up to Rayna. She was a bit rough around the edges, but Toraf was easily likeable from the first introduction. I liked their relationship with each other as well.

I found myself laughing out loud a couple of times during my listen of this audiobook. I cheesed. I giggled.

The biggest “surprises” weren’t that big of a shock to me. I felt like they were easily spotted. What Emma really is. The truth about her parents and Emma’s stalker. All of that wasn’t as big of a secret as it should have been. I felt like the characters were missing the obvious in both of these instances.

While Of Poseidon had some minor frustrations for me, I still really enjoyed the book overall. I think listening to the audiobook version was a wise choice as I might have had a few other frustrations from reading this one, but adding a male narrator for Galen’s parts would have made the audiobook version even better. Of Poseidon gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Of Poseidon? What did you think? Let me know!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 2014 EOM Wrap Up

I have read 17 books this month *These qualify for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
*Breakable (Contours of the Heart, # 2) by Tammara Webber
Left Drowning by Jessica Park
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
The Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie Omartian
Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, # 1) by Susan Dennard
*Shatter (True Believers, # 4) by Erin McCarthy
The Probability of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence, # 4) by Jessica Sorensen
V is for Virgin (V is for Virgin, # 1) by Kelly Oram
*A is for Abstinence (V is for Virgin, # 2) by Kelly Oram
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
*Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, # 3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater
Mind Games (Mindjack Origins, # 1) by Susan Kaye Quinn
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes
A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, # 2) by Susan Dennard
Sometimes It Lasts (Sea Breeze, # 5) by Abbi Glines
Misbehaving (Sea Breeze, # 6) by Abbi Glines
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, # 1) by Ally Carter

I’ve reviewed 11 books this month. *These qualify for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, # 1) by Mary E Pearson
Torn Away by Jennifer Brown
Shatter Me (Shatter Me, # 1) by Tahereh Mafi
Crossed (Matched, # 2) by Ally Condie
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Nash (Marked Men, # 4) by Jay Crownover
The Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie Omartian
Easy (Contours of the Heart, # 1) by Tammara Webber
*Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, # 3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Mind Games (Mindjack Origins, # 1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Other Posts
Top Ten Favorite Classics
Top Ten Blogging Confessions
Top Ten Favorite TV Shows
Top Ten Characters I’d Want With Me on a Deserted Island
Top Ten Authors I Own the Most
Waiting on Until We Fly (Beautifully Broken, # 4) by Courtney Cole
Waiting on This Shattered World (Starbound, # 2) by Aime Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Waiting on Unleashed (Uninvited, # 2) by Sophie Jordan
Waiting on Taking Control (Kerr Chronicles, # 2) by Jen Frederick
Waiting on Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, # 3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Sunday post – 104 & Stacking the Shelves – 70
Sunday Post – 105 & Stacking the Shelves – 71
Sunday Post – 106 & Stacking the Shelves – 72
Sunday Post – 107 & Stacking the Shelves – 73
2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge – July Wrap Up

Goals Update:
I'm up-to-date on my daily Bible reading.
I've read 89 out of 104 books. (29 ahead of schedule)
I've read 11 out of 10-15 Series Enders.

This was a pretty awesome reading month for me. How was your month? Let me know!

Mind Games - Review

Mind Games (Mindjack Origins, # 1)

By: Susan Kaye Quinn

Published: May 2nd 2012

20 pages

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Raf, a regular mindreader, is in love with Kira, the only girl in school who can't read minds. Raf struggles to keep his thoughts about her private, but secrets are something that only zeros like Kira can keep. As he works up the nerve to ask Kira to the mindware Games, his friends have other games in mind for him.

(Mind Games is a short story prequel to the novel Open Minds. It is the first in a planned series of shorts told from the point-of-view of characters in the Mindjack universe.)

So how do you review a prequel novella to a series you haven’t read yet? Hmm… Well first let me give you a little bit of backstory. I won Open Minds in an Armchair BEA giveaway back in 2012? I think. Maybe 2013. Either way, I’ve had it for a while and just haven’t gotten around to reading it. Browsing NetGalley one day, I zoned in on this novella by Susan Kaye Quinn thinking that it was the same book as the one I’d won. I really wasn’t paying attention at all. And since I already owned this book (or so I thought), I figured scoring it for review would be liking killing two birds with one stone. It would push me to read and review it sooner if it was a "review" book, but it would also improve my NetGalley ratio since this is a book I knew I was going to read one way or the other. Well when I finally started Mind Games I noticed that I was flying through the book even though Goodreads showed it was 300+ pages. That’s when things started to feel fishy. I went to Goodreads and searched “mindjack” and saw two different entries. One for Mind Games and one for Open Minds. This just goes to show you how little attention I was paying. I knew they had different covers, but I figured this was just a re-release. Publishers do that all the time, right? Oh silly me. And that’s the backstory for my relationship with this novella.

All of that being said, I feel like Mind Games was a good, but extremely brief introduction to this Mindjack world that Susan Kaye Quinn has created. Everyone can read everyone’s mind. CREEPY. And annoying. Can you imagine someone being inside your head all the time? All day long? And not just one someone. Every someone. A witness to every thought you ever have. The good and the bad. Except well…the one person you’d actually like to know what you’re thinking.

In Mind Games Raf is our narrator. He’s got this huge crush on his best friend Kira. And well Kira happens to be the only one in their school who can’t read minds. Not only is that extremely rare, but it singles Kira out as a target for ridicule. She’s different. And we all know that everyone else fears the different. Of course, everyone is going to fear the one girl who can keep her thoughts to herself. What kind of crazy thoughts is she thinking? This takes the idea of “what does so-and-so think about me” to a whole new level. Having a huge crush on Kira like Raf does, he wants to protect her. But his “protection” comes in a way that Kira just might not appreciate.

All in all, I’m intrigued by this world and these characters. And I’m ready for more. I predict that it won’t take me another two years before I dive into Open Minds (ha!). Without knowing much more, and with Mind Games only being 20 pages long, I just don’t feel like I have a lot to base my rate on, so I’m going with 3.5 Stars. I liked it. I want to know more, but it’d be pretty hard to blow me away in 20 pages I think. Have you read Mind Games? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting on Blue Lily, Lily Blue

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, # 3)

By: Maggie Stiefvater

Expected Publication: October 28th 2014 by Scholastic Press

416 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The third installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

Looking forward to continuing this series guys. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Authors I Own the Most

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Authors I Own the Most.

Dude did anyone else have problems trying to come up with a title that didn't end with a preposition? Sheesh!

  1. Richelle Mead– 15 Books: Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice; Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, The Indigo Spell, The Fiery Heart, Silver Shadows (preordered not read yet); Succubus Blues; Storm Born; Gameboard of the Gods, and The Immortal Crown.
  2. Jessica Sorensen–15 Books: The Secret of Ella and Micha, The Forever of Ella and Micha, The Temptation of Lila and Ethan, The Ever After of Ella and Micha, Lila and Ethan: Always and Forever; The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, The Redemption of Callie and Kayden, The Destiny of Violet and Luke, The Probability of Violet and Luke; Breaking Nova, Saving Quinton, Delilah: The Making of Red, Nova and Quinton: No Regrets, Tristan: Finding Hope; and The Fallen Star

  3. Cassandra Clare– 9 Books: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire; Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess

  4. PC & Kristin Cast– 9 Books: Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, Burned, Awakened, Destined

  5. Stormie Omartian– 9 Books: The Power of a Praying Wife, The Power of a Praying Woman, The Power of a Praying Church, The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage, The Power of a Praying Kid, The Power of a Praying Parent, The Power of a Praying Husband, and The Power of a Praying Teen; Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On

  6. Maggie Stiefvater – 9 Books: Shiver, Linger, Forever, Sinner; The Scorpio Races; Lament, Ballad; The Raven Boys, and The Dream Thieves
  7. Colleen Hoover– 8 Books: Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl; Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella; Maybe Someday; and Ugly Love (preordered but not read)
  8. JK Rowling– 7 Books: Harry Potter & The Socerer’s Stone, Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter & The Order of the Pheonix, Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
  9. Jane Austen– 7 Books: Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Emma, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, and Love and Friendship
  10. Stephenie Meyer– 6 Books: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Breaking Dawn; and The Host

This list isn't including duplicate copies. (I own the following series on audiobook also: Vampire Academy, The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Harry Potter, and Twilight.) This one was actually quite difficult just from hunting down all the books I own and such to see which authors I own the most. What about you? Which authors do you own the most? Let me know!