Bang Bang Book Blog is No Longer

I will no longer update this site but I will keep it live for people to find spoilers. I will also add spoiler editions for books that I read so that I can remember what happens in the last book.

If you are interested in my opinions, you can read my reviews on Goodreads-Bang Bang Books is also my Goodreads name.

You can also listen to my monthly podcast with Roulette Reader called Novel Universe. We discuss YA fiction.

Thank you to everyone who has read my book rants.

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Top of 2018

We’re midway thru 2018 and if you are looking for one good book before the September books come out, here’s what I suggest.  Some of these books aren’t published yet because I can to include ARCs due to the fact that I couldn’t find five already pubs that I gave a high rating.

Please click the book cover for the full review.

#5

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18

Dance of Thieves takes place a couple of years after the war between Lia and the Komizar.  We follow a new character Kazi who is part of Queen Lia’s special army. Kazi and her three member home girl crew are tasked to infiltrate, locate, and bring back a traitor.

Initial Rating: bombbombbombbomb

Publication Date: August 7th

You can download it on Edelweiss

You do not need to read Kiss of Deception first although you should because it’s amazing. I will warn those of you who do not like a character driven plot. If you didn’t like Kiss of Deception and are thinking, “Everyone else like KOD so maybe I’ll give Pearson’s next book a try,” you probably aren’t going to like DOT either. It’s character driven which means the plot is slow.

Kazi is a good character; she has an interesting backstory and she extremely driven. Jase is similar in his drive to be a great leader and I liked the pair a lot. It did get a little sluggish in the middle and that’s the reason why I didn’t rate it higher.


#4

children of blood and bone

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of this book but just in case you haven’t…Zelie (Zel) lives in Orisha where the non magical king has made it his mission to eradicate the Maji or magical people and he does so by murder. Zel’s mother was one of the fallen and Zel was born a diviner-magical child of fallen maji. Amari, the king’s daughter, is indifferent until an event forces her to take action against the king. She meets Zel and her brother Tzain, and they set off on a journey to restore magic back to the maji before it is gone forever.

Initial Rating: bang

Zel was a pretty well rounded character. Inan realistically struggled with his demons. I enjoyed the world building and the pacing. One thing I liked was that I didn’t immediately root for the good side. I could understand the revenge driven king.  Is it the most original story? No but this version was well done.


#3

sadie

Sadie is told in two perspectives, West McCray a Serial-type- podcast and Sadie. When Sadie’s grandmother contacts West to investigate Sadie’s sudden disappearance, he tracks her through interviews of people Sadie encountered.

Initial Rating: bang

Sadie can currently be downloaded on Edelweiss.

This was a tough book to get thru because of the subject matter but it was very well written.  Some readers might be put off or get confused by Summers quick transitions but I believe it was done on purpose and it was effective. Get out your tissues.

Because the book is about a podcast, the trailers are podcasts which are very good.


#2

thunderhead

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames

Initial Ratingbang

Thunderhead is non-stop all the way to the end. Shusterman went there and that’s all I’ll say. You’ll have to read Scythe first then this book to see what I’m talking about.


#1

furyborn

Furyborn is told in duo POVs. Rielle, the daughter of the king’s commander and Eliana a hired killer living 1000 years after Rielle.  (OMG, there’s so much story I don’t know where to begin).  Okay, let’s go back. The book begins with Rielle giving birth and in the room is her new husband Garver and his seven year old son Simon.  At one point, an angel named Corien comes and that’s all I’ll say.  Rielle’s story is then told two years prior to the birth of her child.  Legrand slowly reveals how Rielle came to be pregnant and married to this Garver guy, what Simon is, and the significance of Corien.

Initial Rating: bang

This is a very polarizing book. The Goodreaders who rated it low was because of the bi representation.  I’m not bi so I didn’t catch that issue.

I did however really like Furyborn and it will end up in the top three of the year because I don’t see me reading much better. I thought the POV’s had different voices and were developed well. Eliana was a conflicted and flawed character who made horrible choices and I enjoyed her character arc. The prologue is basically the middle of the story/series which is different and was intriguing. The world building wasn’t contrived and the story went against trope. There were twists and turns and great secondary characters.

So if you are on the fence because of all the one stars on Goodreads, keep in mind that there are a lot of four and five stars on Goodreads and maybe give it a go.


What have been your faves of 2018 so far.  What did I miss and need to read ASAP?

Grace and Fury

grace and fury

Grace and Fury (Book 1)

By Tracy Banghart

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: July 31, 2018

Bang Bang Review

In this fantasy world, women cannot be literate and the most beautiful girl of every village or whatever must compete to be one of the king’s ladies for reasons I don’t know. Serina is the most beautiful and her sister Nomi goes with her to compete as her handmaiden but things happen-The End.

If you love all the tropes, this book is gonna be your jam!

This book has everything- instalove, a love triangle, an unqualified protagonist who prevails among more qualified characters, a gullible martyr, a girl who thinks she’s unattractive but isn’t, a callous king and all of this in a mere 320 pages.  Please note, if a book one fantasy is under 400 pages-RUN, GIRL, IT’S INFO-DUMPED OR UNDERDEVELOPED!

This book started off okay but I soon realized that the pacing was WAY TOO FAST and that’s problem number all of numbers.

I can’t say too much because it’s a spoiler so scroll down but if my intro turned you off and you aren’t going to read it, highlight the following. The Serina is chosen to compete, she gets to the castle where her sister is chosen over her, the Serina  gets accused of reading and is sent to a prison all within the first 30 pages-WHAT THE HELL?  Serina, has no skills and she really believes in subserviency but within three week of fight training, she’s an adequate fighter.  She plotting to escape with the boy she’s fallen in love with in 3 WEEKS and she planned to unite the women against the male guards cause she’s the smartest one in the whole prison-OKAY. Meanwhile her sister Nomi is a dumbass and believes the heir’s brother who tells her the heir is a monster after two weeks or so. She gets duped into a plan to kill the heir and the reader can see it coming a mile away.

Because the pacing is so fast, there’s no world building which would have been appreciated because this is a world where it’s illegal for women to learn to read for cripes sake. Because the pacing is so fast, there’s no character development. Nomi is supposed to be a rebel and she makes attempts but she’s so wimpy and needs help to do everything at no time did I believe her to be strong or independent or clever. The other sister, Serina, has no skills but man did she manage some amazing feats.

I hate to say it but this will probably be at the top of my most disappointing books of 2018. I don’t see myself reading anything worse than this. If I could give it a zero on Goodreads, I would.

Bang Bang Rating-ZERO

May Wrap Up

Any bangs in May? Sadly, no.

May was a rough month for reading because there were too many good shows on Netflix so I only read three books.  YIKES!

Please click on the covers for full reviews.

pride

Great setting but the pacing was too quick to get to know the characters.

Bang Bang Rating:  bombbombbomb 1/2


strange fascinations

Too much going on; get to the point, man!

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb


life like

Started off great but the B story weighed down the main story.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb


June TBR

I’ll be at ALA so I won’t be reading much.

April Wrap up

Sadly, there were no bangs in April.

Please click on the book covers for full reviews.

34726469

Interesting setting but the story was too familiar

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb


34697399

Elementary writing; poor character development; awful pacing

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb


31180248

High school problems-No bueno

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb 1/4


grim lovelies

Plot moves too quickly and there’s not enough world building to connect to any of the characters.

Bang Bang Rating: DNF


15704307

My co-worker and I have a challenge to recommend one book to each other.  Her recommendation was the first three volumes of Saga. I’ve read the first two and I like it so far.  Simple yet complex plot, great characters, and humorous.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb


77197

The plot was a bit obscure and meandering but I really liked it a lot and I plan to finish but these books are so LONG and I really want to finish Game of Thrones this year.  I might do this first because I don’t want to forget what happens.  I watch GOT so there’s no threat of forgetting.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

Did you read any of these books? What were your thoughts?



May TBR

March Wrap Up-Any Bangs?

Hell NO!

March was a slow month for new pubs and my reading reflects it also. I didn’t feel like reading much so there’s that. As always, please click the cover or title for a full review (not all titles have reviews).

Because of my podcast with Roulette Reader, I try to only read books published in the month we are currently in.

Here’s our March best and worst podcast 

35297394

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Basic writing and weak character development.  This got picked up by Netflix-SERIOUSLY?

Bang Bang Rating bombbomb


Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

A little sluggish in the middle but great character development and story.

Bang Bang Rating bombbombbombbomb


33810737

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Cavallaro is a good writer I just wish she would focus.

Bang Bang Rating: DNF


34

The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

Unpopular Opinion Time-Lots of info-dumping. I’ll watch the movies but I won’t finish the books.

Bang Bang Rating: I’m not rating it-LOL


34726469

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Nothing new to see here folks but I liked the characters.

Bang Bang Rating bombbombbomb 3/4


April TBR

I’ve decided to start some adult fantasy and Robin Hobb came highly recommended. If I like it, I’ll read book two this month.  Roulette Reader and I have a challenge where I’m making her read a book and vice versa.  She recommended Saga, the first three volumes.

The Wicked Deep

35297394

The Wicked Deep

By Shea Ernshaw

Genre: Paranormal/Witches

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Bang Bang Review

So there’s these three young ladies who happen along a small seaside town that absolutely HATES outsiders and I know this because the author reminds us ad nauseam. These ladies are not special besides their beauty and all the men, including the married ones, fall in love with them so the town agrees that they are witches and decide to drown them in the lake or sea or some body of water. This has become the 200 year old legend of this SMALL town and every year since those ladies were drowned, three boys are drowned. During the summer, people come from all over the country because of this legend and to see boys drown-the perfect vacation for the family.

Penny, our MC, is a plain gal who never wants to leave her town and is left to take care of her mother who is depressed over the sudden vanishing of her husband. Penny’s mother is also a tea leaf reader and has foretold that Penny will meet a mysterious guy-enter mysterious guy named Bo. Bo of course is dark and brooding. He has a nice body and great hair and he’s O so handy. Bo is a skeptic and doesn’t believe in the bullshit of these three witches but Penny does and she has a secret that I won’t share but I’ll remind you of her secret throughout my review so you can experience the agony I felt while reading this book. For 100/380 pages, Penny, her secret, and her best friend, attend an end of the year party with tropey classmates where Bo comes to her rescue. Penny and her secret spend time with Bo trimming hedges and discussing the town’s legend. The POV shifts from Penny and her secret to introduce the witches 200 years prior.

Finally after 100 pages, someone dies. Then the teens in the town loose their fucking minds and choose some random classmate to lock and tie in a boat house because they believe her to be a witch.  They have no proof and the teen captors then proceed to argue that she’s a witch and no you can’t just be judge and jury.  Hmmm, is this a modern day version of what happened to the witches 200 years ago? YES, WE’RE NOT DUMB. Penny, her secret, her best friend, and Bo just leave that girl locked up for days with no toilet.

Some stuff we all see coming happens, Penny reveals her big secret, Penny and Bo fall in love after a couple of weeks, more boys die, the mystery behind Penny’s father’s disappearance is told, and blah blah blah.

Wicked Deep had an interesting idea but the execution-YIKES!  Ernshaw tried to do something by adding the disappearance of the father and jumping back 200 years to tell the witches story but her writing just isn’t strong enough to make this book stand out. The storytelling is basic. The witches arrive and since they are independent ladies, they go to bars and drink and talk loudly-oooh scandalous.  They jokingly say they are witches and then the townspeople drown them. That’s literally how their story is told; no nuance or character development.  There’s nothing new or special about Penny or Bo and they fall in love too quickly.  And finally, this town has a population of 2000 people so if you do the math, three boys die every year for 200 years-that’s 600 people. That’s 1/3 of their town. If three teen boys were drowned every year in my smallish town, it wouldn’t be a vacation destination, people would be moving in droves.  And that ending-SERIOUISLY?!

I didn’t like this book.

Bang Bang Rating  bombbomb