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Lissylaine Reads

I've loved books and reading ever since I can remember and my great-grandmother read "Miss Suzy" to me over and over again. My tastes change over time, but tend toward paranormal romance, thrillers and mysteries, science fiction, some fantasy and urban fantasy, YA, and dystopia to name a few.

Currently reading

Queen of Shadows
Sarah J. Maas
Seams Unlikely: The Inspiring True Life Story of Nancy Zieman
Marjorie L Russell, Nancy Zieman
Progress: 50 %
Lover Reborn: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
J.R. Ward
Progress: 21 %

Had potential but took a wrong left turn

The Fold: A Novel - Peter Clines

I decided to read this book after seeing an email from Audible. It sounded intriguing, and I like a good science fiction book with wormholes, folds in space, etc. And I enjoyed the first half of it. And then 50% into the book! it took a hard left turn and just about lost me. I really only finished it because I kept hoping it would get back on track. Unfortunately it didn't work out. By the end I felt ripped off, like I'd watched a bad made for TV movie on SyFy. 2.5 stars because I liked the first half of the book a lot.

I'm just not that into you

The Darkest Night - Gena Showalter

I'm not sure where this book was recommended. Maybe it was because it was Gena Showalter and I liked one book from her Atlantis series. But I couldn't get past halfway through. "You Jane, me Tarzan" was about the writing level of the interactions of the two people who were supposed to be falling for each other. The rest of the story had potential, but I just couldn't make myself listen to any more.

So I skipped to the end

Dragonfly in Amber - Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly In Amber did not live up to its predecessor Outlander. It was a slog to get to 40% before I pretty much gave up. The first part of the book surprised me, and I was actually pretty glad when it got back to where we left off at the end of Outlander.


But then it got bogged down in minutiae. And not interesting minutiae. BORING minutiae. And I found myself practically not caring whether I finished the book or not. At 40% progress, I decided to read a few reviews to see if it might get better. At the rate I was going, it would take another 4-5 months to finish and I didn't want to waste that time unnecessarily.


I found some reviews that seemed to have the same opinion as me. I found out a few things about the plodding nature of the rest of the story, and knew I was making the right decision to skip ahead to the last three chapters. 


Outlander was wonderful. Dragonfly In Amber was a huge disappointment.

Ho hum

Plague (A Medical Thriller) - Victor Methos

What started out as an interesting premise and decently paced story ended up ho-hum. The story changed gears about three-quarters of the way through, and I lost interest in the new direction. I did go ahead and finish, and now I've come to find out it's the first in a trilogy. I don't care enough about the remaining characters to read the rest. Not every story needs to be a trilogy.


Ruins - Dan Wells

I'm not sure what happened between the author's writing the first book and this third book in the trilogy, but I could not even finish this one (I made it just over halfway before giving up). Fragments was excellent, and Ruins was excruciating. There were so many new characters and points of view that I just couldn't care about what happened to any of them, even the original protagonists.


Perhaps I should stop reading YA trilogies for a while. I've been very disappointed with several final books lately.

I love Diesel, but...

Out of Circulation - Miranda James

...sometimes one cat, as adorable as he is, is not enough to carry the book.


The mystery was okay. I figured out some of the little "gotchas" before they were revealed, but the more I read this series (this is the fourth book), the more it is apparent that it's a man writing under a woman's pen name.


This is a cozy mystery, not a romance novel, I totally get that. But a lot of the phrasing is awkward. And that just constantly pulled me out of the story.


For example, when Charlie is out on a date with his lady friend Helen Louise (at her house, where she made dinner), the book reads, "I pulled her into my arms, and we spent several satisfying minutes before I released her."


Who says that or even thinks that? We spent several satisfying minutes? Doing what? Just holding each other? Kissing? Gazing into each other's eyes? Chatting? It was just awkward, and little things like that just get in the way of the story. If you're going to make it that vague, maybe just don't include it at all. I'd be fine with that.


It took a long time to get back to reading this one. Too long. Not sure I'll continue with the series, even though I love the glimpses of Diesel, the Maine Coon who doesn't really have anything to do with the mysteries, he's just a cool cat fairly prominently featured.

Moving on

Along Came a Spider - James Patterson

No matter how many times I've tried, I just could not get into this book? I gave it 3 chances and 34%. I'm finally giving up.


Fast-paced again, but ultimately disappointing

The Rising - Kelley Armstrong

I managed to plow my way through the entire trilogy in a few days, and was enjoying it until about halfway through The Rising, where it just fell apart for me.


It started when 

the author decided to introduce a love triangle where there previously had not been one. Seriously, what is wrong with a girl (Maya) having a guy as her best friend through the previous two books AND having a boyfriend too? I saw the path Ms. Armstrong was introducing, and just wanted to scream NO! Of course, she took it to its ultimate conclusion - Maya ends up with the best friend (Daniel) as her new boyfriend, having been "dumped" by the boyfriend (Rafe) who decides to step back and give her the room to decide between them.


I just thought the whole thing was preposterous, and it ruined what otherwise was a decent YA supernatural trilogy. 

(show spoiler)

I'm just really glad I had borrowed it from the public library instead of buying a copy.

Have the third book ready to go

The Calling (Darkness Rising) - Kelley Armstrong

As with The Gathering, if you read this trilogy, you'll want to have the third book (The Rising) ready to go, because The Calling ends, not really with a major cliffhanger (although there is very little resolution), and the story is far from over.


We spend the majority of this book learning more about the characters while they are on the run, but in my opinion, not quite enough about some of them. The book is about Maya and her friends, but it focuses mostly on Maya (and her friend Daniel), and I was hoping that it would flesh out just a little more about why the other kids (Nicole, Hayley, Corey) were so special. Here's hoping we find out a lot more in The Rising.

When in doubt, double-check the reading order

The Gathering  - Kelley Armstrong

I started reading this after I had gotten 27% into The Calling (the second book in the trilogy) and realized I was reading the wrong book. I thought at first that the author had just dropped me right into the action and would give backstory as we went along (or do one of those "48 hours earlier" like they often do on a tv show). I finally decided to check the reading order and description and was glad I did.


The Gathering was very fast-paced, and it follows the first trilogy (Darkest Powers) but doesn't have the same characters. I'm glad I already have the other books because The Gathering just sort of ends, not a major cliffhanger, but you know the author has not told the whole story yet.

Just in time

Home for the Holidays: A Night Huntress Novella - Jeaniene Frost

... for the final book in the series, which was released yesterday, and this was the most enjoyable of all of the novellas.  It starred Cat and Bones and most of the other characters I've come to love in the Night Huntress world.  Definitely worth reading!

Get the little things right

Sleep With the Lights On - Maggie Shayne

If you're going to write about something, please make sure you get it right.


I've been enjoying this book so far, but there was one very glaring error tonight that brought me completely out of it.  This might not even be noticed by most women, but it was there, and it took the book down a notch in my opinion.


They're talking about watching a movie and she wonders how they're going to do that without a DVD player. He says they'll stream it through the Xbox.  Then they start talking about games and decide to play a video game instead.  She says to pick an easy one, and the one they choose is Super Mario Brothers.  [Loud noxious buzzer goes off in my head] Wrong answer.  Super Mario Brothers is only available on Nintendo systems, not Xbox.  If you're going to go to the trouble of putting a real game title and a real game system in the narrative, please make sure they are compatible!!!  Sorry, but I play video games, and it bothers me that the author couldn't get a simple thing like this correct.


Okay, off my soapbox and trying to get back into the story now.

This Side of the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
"Much slower, I turned around to see Vlad examining his fingernails, as if his hands weren’t still ablaze in the flames that had blasted the ghoul’s head off moments before.

“What the hell was that?” I gasped.

“Premature inflamulation,” he replied. “Happens sometimes. Very embarrassing. I don’t like to talk about it.”


I thought I missed something

And I come to a screeching halt in the middle of the 5th book in Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. Early on, I wondered if I missed something (occasionally that happens when I listen to the audiobook), but now I've just come across something else, and I had to go look it up - yep, I should have stopped and read her two Night Huntress series books before starting this one!  No wonder I was confused that I'd missed a couple of stories somewhere.


So... backing up, I've just downloaded First Drop of Crimson and Eternal kiss of Darkness, and will read those before finishing This Side of the Grave.

Destined for an Early Grave - Jeaniene Frost

This, the fourth in the Night Huntress aka Cat and Bones series, was even better than the last book.  Yes, there was some bone-headedness from several characters, but I loved how we got some more information about Cat's past, and how Frost adds a whole 'nother level to the series as we near the end of the book.

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W is for Weary

W is for Wasted - Sue Grafton

Getting into this one was a little slow-going.  I borrowed the audiobook version from the public library.  It was told from two points of view - Kinsey's, first person voice, and then it dropped into third person when telling the other part of the story that would eventually tie in with Kinsey's latest "case".

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