Review: Hunting by Andrea Host

I’m still getting the hang of writing reviews, so this is less a proper review and more my ramblings on the book.

Also posted on Goodreads.

I would rate it 4.5 stars if I could, but I enjoyed myself so much reading this book that I’m rounding up instead of down.

I bought Hunting on sale ($0.99) and it was more than worth the money. The world is inventive and feels fresh, the characters are generally well written, and the dialogue is funny.

I have a few quibbles with the book, one being that the motivations of the antagonists feel a bit murky to me, even after finishing. I don’t quite follow the logic – and that’s even more frustrating because I feel like it could all make sense if there was just a little more book to explore it. The ultimate antagonist was never really defeated, and if that avenue was just explored a little more…

The romance between the two main characters felt a bit rushed, again, something that could easily have been fixed with just a couple more chapters of angst.

Because the world/political system/religion was complex and unique I wanted a little bit more explanation. I muddled through and mostly got it by the end, but I would have liked to be clearer from the beginning.

It also just felt too short to me.  I finished the book wanting more.

Having said all that, I thoroughly enjoyed Hunting and will certainly seek out more of Ms. Host’s work

Giveaway Roundup

Existence by David Brin 

Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an “alien artifact.”

Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.

Shifted Perspective by J. Bridger

 Caleb Byrne’s life seems to be going well after he’s accepted to his dream school for pre-med studies. Going great, sure, until he grows four paws, a tail, and fluffy curls… Now he has to deal with being the world’s lamest shape shifter, an estranged family with furry secrets of their own, a prying girlfriend, and a killer werewolf on the loose, and he thought life had been hard before!

Black City by Elizabeth Richards
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Nightingale by David Farland

Grand Prize Winner of the Hollywood Book Festival, placed first in all genres, all categories.

Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel of the Year

Finalist in the Global Ebook Awards.

Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness.  Others sing to summon it. . . .

Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was–what her people call a “nightingale.”

But Bron isn’t ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know.  Bron’s secret may be the most dangerous of all.

In his remarkable young adult fantasy debut, David Farland shows why critics have called his work “compelling,” “engrossing,” “powerful,” “profound,” and “ultimately life-changing.”

Skyship Acadmey: Crimson Rising by Nick James

Following their dramatic showdown in Seattle, Jesse Fisher and Cassius Stevenson find their world’s been turned inside out. The faculty at Skyship Academy is keeping Jesse a prisoner in his own home, fearful of his influence over Pearls. And Cassius, once a loyal Pearlhound for the Unified Party, has been pushed into hiding, fearful of his government’s retaliation.

When Jesse smuggles a mysterious red Pearl onboard the Academy, he sets loose a destructive chain of events, which lead him to a reunion with Cassius and a confrontation with Theo — a bloodthirsty Pearlhound with a dangerous secret.

But a larger threat looms in the stars. An enemy is gathering, with plans to exterminate the entire human race. And Jesse and Cassius might just be the lynch pins that trigger mankind’s destruction.

 Banned books giveaway at I am a Reader Not a Writer

Choice of ChiZine eBook at Preturnatura

Reader’s Choice at Preturnatura

In which I attempt to renew my library card and discover eBooks instead

At some point in my childhood, I accumulated about $4 in fines on my library card. The next time I went to the library, I used my dad’s card and didn’t pay the fines.

Fast forward a few years. I basically haven’t touched my library card in ages. But I’m off to college in a week (a week exactly – yikes!) and I really have to man up and use my library card again.

So I log in to the NYPL website using my account. Lo and behold, all fines gone! Ok, I say to myself, let’s request some books. But when I attempt it, the Library informs me that I am not allowed to place hold requests, and gives me a couple of reasons why that might be the case. Have I exceeded 15 holds on my card? No, I have not. Is my card expired? Well, according to the website, it expires next July. So no. At a loss, I figure maybe because I haven’t used it in a while I need to renew it anyway, and after worrying about the fact that I STILL have no state issued ID (long story) I grab my school ID (will it be a problem that I’ve graduated and don’t have my Columbia ID yet?) and a piece of mail to prove that I do actually live in this city and head to the library.

Of course it transpires that it’s a simple matter of my card being a juvenile card, and therefore not allowed to check anything out from the adult section. I suppose they also had the wrong birthdate or age in the records, because when I handed the guy my card and he swiped it he said in a very confused voice “This is your card? You’re definitely older than that.”

But he fixed it, and I’ve been happily requesting books since then.

About the eBooks. Well, it turns out, as I discovered while trying to place holds on about a million books, that the library has “electronic resources” for some of them. I’m a curious person, so I clicked. What that means is that they either have an audiobook version or an eBook version available for download.

Let me tell you about library eBooks. They’re brilliant. I’ve always maintained that I prefer to have a physical book, and I do, but the advantages to eBooks from the library is NO WAIT. You can check it out from your computer and download it immediately, whereas with a regular hold it could be weeks – or months – before you get the book. The disadvantage is that it operates like a physical copy: if the library has one eBook copy and someone else has downloaded it, you can’t. It’s very sad.

But all in all, a great addition to the library. Provided, of course, they don’t get rid of all the actual books. When I read too many books on a screen I get a headache.