Monday, October 03, 2016

#Reading Ramblings: September 2016 #Book #Reviews (LBE)

It occurred to me recently that those of you who enjoy books, but aren't on Goodreads, might like a book version of the "TV Talk and Movie Mutterings" posts I do. It also occurred to me that doing these posts would encourage me to actually put up a bit of a review for each book. I always review the ones I've been given copies of in exchange for reviews, and am pretty good about putting reviews on Smashwords for the books I have from there, but I mostly don't bother putting the Smashwords reviews anywhere else, and if I just grabbed a book randomly from Amazon, nine times out of ten I don't do more than rate it and move on. I want to change this and write at least a few words... Even if I only put the reviews on Goodreads and on here. I'm not going through all the books I didn't do more than just ratings for in the past, because there are just too many. But I'm determined to be better at putting some kind of review up from now on... At least on Goodreads... And I figure those book loving followers of my blog who aren't on Goodreads might be interested in knowing what I've been reading, as well as what I thought of the books. Mind you, people on Goodreads might also be glad of having everything in one post too, so... *Shrugs* Anyway, I'll post what I read one month at the start of the following month.

I warn you though, I read more than I watch, so these book posts will be longer than the TV and movie ones usually are; even on a month like last month, when I considered myself to be really busy and not reading as much, I generally read more than most people. I also warn you that I read across multiple genres, so these posts will contain everything from children's books to books aimed at a more adult audience; please check the book's reading level, as well as any content warnings, before reading, especially when children are involved.

I admit I cheated a little with the reviews for most of the first September books. I hadn't actually reviewed most of the books I read during the first week of September on Goodreads, but I'd put reviews on Smashwords for most of them, so I grabbed those reviews to put in this post, and added a short review just for this post for the one I didn't have either a Smashwords or Goodreads review to copy. I did start doing it properly after that though.

You can click on the book title, or author name, to learn more about one or the other. Yes, the links take you to Goodreads, but you don't have to be a member to view the book and author details.

As a point: the format that you're taken to if you click to see the book details may not actually be the format I read the book in. I often don't bother to check what format I'm marking as "want to read" or doing my review on.

OK... Here's what I read last month...

EndgameEndgame by Kate Wrath
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've loved all the other books in this series, and this one was no exception; this was an excellent ending to the series!

The Path of Water (Quests Book 1)The Path of Water by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have enjoyed the other books I've read in this series, but I enjoyed this one even more. All her previous books have given Barb the practice needed to
grow as a writer, and this is more obvious in this book than it has been in any other. Excellent worldbuilding, a colourful cast of characters, and great descriptions, all come together to make for a fantastic read.

The Path of Fire (Quests Book 2)The Path of Fire by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is another excellent example of how Barb has grown as a writer. Plus, it was interesting getting to see a few of the events from "The Path Of Water" from another point of view, followed by the chance to see what happened to a couple of the characters afterwards. An all round excellent read!

Beat The HackersBeat The Hackers by Stephanie Dagg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a great book, which makes for an exciting and enjoyable read.

My Vibrating Vertebrae: and other poemsMy Vibrating Vertebrae: and other poems by Agnes Mae Graham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A beautiful collection of poems.

More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms - volume 2More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms - volume 2 by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent and well-written collection of tales, which makes for an enjoyable read, and is a wonderful addition to the series.

Oh Auntie!Oh Auntie! by Stephanie Dagg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book! It's well-written and very entertaining. The story will amuse children and adults alike, whether they're familiar with the way things work on a farm or not.

The Jack Russell Adventures (Book 1): The Pet ShopThe Jack Russell Adventures (Book 1): The Pet Shop by Jackie Small
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a really cute and entertaining story. The only reason I don't give it the full five stars is because I felt the ending was too sudden. Having also read book two, I know it continues from where this one left off, but I think it would have been better had the two books been combined.

The Jack Russell Adventures (Book 2): A New LifeThe Jack Russell Adventures (Book 2): A New Life by Jackie Small
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An excellent - and really cute - continuation of Rocky and Rosie's story.

The Jack Russell Adventures (Book 3): Santa's Extra PresentsThe Jack Russell Adventures (Book 3): Santa's Extra Presents by Jackie Small
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a really cute Christmas story, which will bring a smile to any animal lover's face.

Oh Grandad!Oh Grandad! by Stephanie Dagg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is an amusing and fun read.

Into the VinesInto the Vines by Caroline Clemens
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I hate writing bad reviews. I know how much work an author puts in to writing a book, and I hesitate to take away their pride in what they’ve created. Unfortunately, there are times when I feel I have to; times when only my policy of always finishing a book I start keeps me reading until the end, and I’d be lying if I gave a glowing review. This is one of those times. It’s a shame, because I think the book has some potential. Unfortunately, for it to reach that potential the author needs to do a lot more research, not to mention some serious re-writes and edits to catch inconsistancies and contradictions in the plot, unnecessary repetition in the dialogue of things mentioned in the description, issues with character behaviour that’s either not realistic for the type of character in the situation they’re in or contradicts previous behaviour, etc.

Dylan's Yuletide JourneyDylan's Yuletide Journey by Jemima Pett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a creative and entertaining story. It wasn't as festive as I expected though, and I didn't feel we had the full details of why the strawberry juice supply had run out (though we did get most of the story; I just felt some details that could have been added were left out). Still, this was a great short read.

Oh Santa!Oh Santa! by Stephanie Dagg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an amusing little story, which could make for a fun holiday read for the whole family.

BookElves Anthology, Volume 1BookElves Anthology, Volume 1 by Jemima Pett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Like with most anthologies, I found that I enjoyed some stories more than others. Also, in the case of this particular anthology, some of the stories didn't feel very festive, some felt like they could do with a few more details added to them, and some had both issues. Still, this was an entertaining collection of stories, which made for a great read.

Pig's Big SecretPig's Big Secret by Jackie Small
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a very creative story, which is an amusing and entertaining read.

SaltSalt by Helen Laycock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The first half was a bit slow, but it picked up after that and became quite an exciting read.

Rhyming Rabbit's MischiefRhyming Rabbit's Mischief by Jackie Small
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is another creative and entertaining story from this author, and I loved it!

Viridian System Sampler: 8 Short StoriesViridian System Sampler: 8 Short Stories by Jemima Pett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a great little collection of flash fiction stories, which are perfect to give you a taste of the world, while making you want to know more. The little explanations of how the stories came about were a nice touch too.

The Parting Glass (Mrs. Meade Mystery, #2)The Parting Glass by Elisabeth Grace Foley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a well-written and enjoyable story. It says in the description that it's perfect for fans of Miss Marple style mysteries, and I completely agree.

The Oldest Flame (Mrs. Meade Mystery, #3)The Oldest Flame by Elisabeth Grace Foley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is another enjoyable and well-written cosy mystery from this author; the perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of tea.

The Silent Hour (Mrs. Meade Mysteries #4)The Silent Hour by Elisabeth Grace Foley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another well-written and enjoyable addition to the series, which is perfect for those who enjoy a cosy mystery with their cup of tea.

The Jack Russell Adventures (Book 4): The ChallengeThe Jack Russell Adventures (Book 4): The Challenge by Jackie Small
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is my favourite of the stories in this series so far. It's cute, it's funny, and it's well-written. Plus, it teaches a great lesson about how not everyone is good at the same things, and that's just fine.

The Jack Russell Adventures (Book 5): The PlayThe Jack Russell Adventures (Book 5): The Play by Jackie Small
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another cute and entertaining addition to the adventures of Rocky and Rosie.

The Princelings of the East (Princelings of the East, #1)The Princelings of the East by Jemima Pett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a great read, with a plot that moves at a nice pace, and a great cast of characters. I personally think it would have been great if the author had gotten more in to the animal character thing and done things like using "paw" instead of "foot" for example, but that's just a personal opinion thing, so I'm not going to count the fact she didn't against her. Anyway, this was a fun read, with lovable and sometimes entertaining characters, and an interesting plot.

The Princelings and the Pirates (Princelings of the East, #2)The Princelings and the Pirates by Jemima Pett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an excellent second book for the series. I love the characters, and the plot is exciting and interesting. Like with the first book in this series, I think it could have been even more amazing if the author had used more guinea pig terms rather than people words, such as "cavie" instead of "person" for example. However, since I know this is just something I personally think would have been a nice touch, and not doing so doesn't spoil the story in any way, I'm not going to count her not doing so against her.

The Princelings and the Lost City (Princelings of the East, #3)The Princelings and the Lost City by Jemima Pett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent addition to the series, which contains both a fun and interesting plot, and an entertaining and lovable cast of characters.

CranfordCranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As others have pointed out before me in their own reviews, there is no traditional character arc to this story, and it is more like a linear series of anecdotes protagonised by the same bunch of mainly female characters. Anyway, I found it to be an enjoyable read, which was often amusing, and thought the cast of characters were interesting.

A New Beginning (Shade Break Farm Series, #1)A New Beginning by Nicole Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For the most part I thought this was a really good read. However, I think the author was in too much of a hurry to have things move ahead when it came to training the horse and having horse and girl bond, since everything happened too quickly with that; a new animal needs time to adjust, especially if it's been mistreated in the past, and a horse that's basically skin and bone (as I was led to believe this one was when it arrived) shouldn't be ridden until it's built up its strength, especially not by a teenage girl almost immediately after it arrives. Other than that though, as I said, I thought the book was really good.

Kick On! (Shade Break Farm Series Book 2)Kick On! by Nicole Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was better than the first. It's a shame several editing issues let it down, or it might have been a five star read.

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Click here to view all my reviews on Goodreads. The link takes you to where you can view everything on my bookshelves on Goodreads, be it books I've read, the book I'm currently reading, or the books I've marked as to-read, and should be able to be viewed by non-Goodreads members as well as those who are on Goodreads.

4 comments:

Jeanie said...

I honestly don't see how you have time to do it all. I'm tired just looking at this list!

Victoria Zigler said...

Jeanie:
It helps that since I have to either listen to an audiobook or have my Kindle read out loud to me, I'm actually able to read while doing other things (as long as the other things aren't things that make a lot of noise and prevent me from hearing the book).

IntenseGuy said...

I'll have to read some of Stephanie Dagg's work.

I've thoroughly enjoyed Kevin's Refraction poems!

Victoria Zigler said...

Iggy:
I'm glad you enjoyed Kevin's poems.

If you do check out any of Stephanie Dagg's work, I hope you enjoy it. Many of her stories are permanently free on Smashwords (and may be free on other retailers too, assuming she opted in for distribution).