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Posts Tagged: Espionage

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Narrator: Lucy Gaskell, Morven Christie
Series: Code Name Verity,
Published by Bolinda Publishing on 06 June 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Historical, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours 7 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Free Download
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Ormaie, France // England – Various (mid-1930s – early 1940s)

First Line(s): I am a coward.

When it comes to Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity there is a lot of suspension of disbelief that must occur on the reader end of things. For while its a beautifully written story the series of events that occur in the first half of the book just would never have happened. Not that a young girl wouldn’t have been captured and tortured by the Nazi’s but that her interrogators would have allowed her to weave her story of nonsense for as long as they did when they were trying to obtain valuable information.

There were also a lot of crazy inconsistencies throughout the narrative of Code Name Verity and I know some of it was because Verity was weaving her little deceptions but some of it just did not make sense with the time period or the history of the war. So I found myself sighing a lot. Especially when a slip of a girl, no matter how smart and talented, was able to fool so many soldiers in the German army. I get that Verity was good but again they wouldn’t have allowed her to tell her history and the history of Maddie for as long as she did as there was no value to that story. Yes it was a pretty story but it lacked substance.

Code Name Verity Quote

Despite all my issues with Code Name Verity I did like the beginning of the book. That portion of the story that was told by Verity. I liked the narrator for that section, Lucy Gaskell, and it was her narration that kept me listening even as the story annoyed me. A good narrator can make or break a book and the Gaskell certainly kept me invested. I didn’t like Morven Christie’s narration as much but I think that was do in part that I didn’t really like the POV of that section. For I’ve listened to clips of Christie of on other audios and I like that snippets so I definitely think that it was the text and not the narrator that caused my dislike.

There is a lot of bait and switch in Code Name Verity and even though I guess the bulk of the story early on I didn’t mind as much. What I did mind was how the second half was almost a whole different book with a whole different writing style. And the clever clues that were laid out in the first half were swept aside and the reader was bludgeoned with revelations and told over and over just how smart and clever Verity was. Events just took on that too good to be real aspect and so my interest in the story started to plummet.

Perhaps, Code Name Verity, just had too much hype surrounding it that I set my expectations high. But I don’t see the masterful novel that others who read it before me did. I was frustrated throughtout most of the story and often rolled my eyes at some of the revels. If I had read this in print I probably would have DNF’d after tossing the book across the room a few dozen times. But I liked the narrator so I persevered. I’m not sorry that I read it as Code Name Verity was well written I just wasn’t a total fangirl for the plot.

irishdarkblue IR - Code Name Verity

Add Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Wrath and the Dawn  by Renee Ahdieh to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

three-stars
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Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (+ Contest)

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, Review, Young Adult20 Comments

Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (+ Contest)

Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (+ Contest)The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen,
Also in this series: The Hidden Prince, The Glowing Knight, The Mirror King
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 10 March 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Demons, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Fantasy, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Hidden Prince, The Glowing Knight, The Mirror King

Place(s) Traveled To: Indigo Kingdom: Skyvale // Liadia

First Line(s): The mirrors were an expensive superstition.

Dear Internet,

First I want to tell you how excited I was to read The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows I really liked her New Soul series and this one sounded even better. I was sucked into The Orphan Queen from the very first page and was so glad that I started it on a weekend as I could devote all my time to its pages. THis is a world at war not just with other kingdoms, with the King of Skyvale looking to dominate those around him but its slowly being swallowed up by the dark. Demons and wraiths and darkness just eating up everything in its path and nothing seems to be able to stop it. Though one girl, Wilhemina is determined to try. She is on a mission to take back her kingdom and to also stop the dark once and for all. Not an easy task by any means but if anyone can do it, its Wil.

Wil is a total badass and is quite skilled with a knife and most other weapons. She’s smart and a gifted liar and a forger and does whatever it takes in order to survive for in this world she is a fugitive not just because she can do magic but because she’s one of few noble survivors from her kingdom. I loved everything about this girl. She’s scary and feisty and snarky all in one and she’s definitely someone you’d want to be on your side in a fight. My other favorite character was the Black Knife and I just loved all the scenes that he and Wil had together. Especially the Spider-man scene. Oh that scene!!!

Orphan Queen Quote

The Orphan Queen is a book that kept me on the edge of my seat and I group it in with some of my favorite fantasy reads. There is just so much to love about this book and this world and its characters and if the damn thing didn’t break off a piece of my soul then it would be darn near perfect. That’s right, Internet, this book will break you. It will wound you in ways that you wouldn’t think possible and leave you in a gooey mess on the floor. And then…just when you think things will be getting better Meadows draws out her sword and just slays you all over again even worse than before.

If I wasn’t such a broken wreck of a person then I probably would have sobbed uncontrollably at the end of The Orphan Queen. But instead I was shocked to the core and just sat for a bit in stunned silence staring at the last blank page in frustration as there were no more words. Then I may have hugged my book and contemplated tossing it across the room a few times only to stop at the last moment and hug it some more.

You know me internet. You know how hard I can be on fantasy so believe me when I tell you that Jodi Meadows hits all the right notes with The Orphan Queen. Its a solid piece of writing and world building and I just long for more. I am desperate for more and the wait until the The Mirror King is going to be a long and excruciating wait indeed. But even with the killer ending The Orphan Queen is so worth all the pain and heartache to read the words within its pages. I know this is a book that I’ll re-read often and its one that I can’t recommend enough to all lovers of fantasy.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Orphan Queen

 

Add The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetter to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

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Review/Fan Creations blog tour schedule

five-stars
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Audio Review: Going Rogue by Robin Benway

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Audio Review: Going Rogue by Robin BenwayGoing Rogue by Robin Benway
Narrator: Robin Benway
Series: Also Known As, Book 2
Also in this series: Also Known As
Published by Brilliance Audio on 14 January 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Espionage, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 7 hours 22 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Also Known As, Emmy & Oliver

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Paris, France

First Line(s): In September 2004, French police discovered a hidden chamber in the catacombs under Paris.

Going Rogue is the follow-up to Robin Benway’s girl spy story Also Known As and it picks up not long after the first book ends.  Maggie is living the life that she thought she always wanted that of a normal high school teenager. Only being normal isn’t all that its cracked up to be and Maggie finds herself missing her days as a spy. Then something happens and soon her parents are accused of crimes they didn’t commit and the whole agency, known as the Collective, that they work for seems to be crumbling around them. Its then up to Maggie and her good friend Roux to try and clear her parents names and to save the day.

As with the first book I found myself engrossed in the story and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. There were times when things seemed a little over the top and unbelievable but Benway makes it all work. Going Rogue has such a great cast that you are willing to suspend a little bit of belief because they all seem so real. I loved getting to know the characters from the old book better and meeting new ones along the way. I also liked how this book took us from New York to Paris and was just such a fast paced, unputdownable read.

Going Rogue Quote

Like the first book, Going Rogue, was narrated by the author and overall I think that she did a good job. Although I did find that her Australian and Irish accents weren’t the best. In fact, they made me cringe a little but I have heard worse and you have to admire an author who is able to carry the narration so well as you don’t typically see authors as narrators.

Going Rogue was a fast-paced story that will have you on the edge of your seat. Its a fun book filled with lots of snark and laugh out loud moments. Its a book that I was sad to see end and its one of those books that I’d like to see more installments of. I think that there is still more story to tell plus I am just not ready to let go of these characters and this quirky, spy-filled world that they live in.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Going Rogue

four-stars
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Audio Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Also Known As by Robin BenwayAlso Known As by Robin Benway
Narrator: Robin Benway
Series: Also Known As,
Also in this series: Going Rogue
Published by Brilliance Audio on 26 February 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Espionage, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Parents, Social Issues, Thrillers, Young Adult
Length: 6 hours 58 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Audible
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Going Rogue, Emmy & Oliver

Place(s) Traveled To: Reykjavik, Iceland // New York, New York

First Line(s): I cracked my first lock when I was three.

Also Known As by Robin Benway is the sort of book that I always wished that Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls books were. Also Known As features Maggie a teenage girl who is the daughter of spies and as a result she was raised to be a spy as well. Unlike with Cammie we aren’t constantly told how amazing she is but instead we are shown all the little ways that make Maggie a great spy. But throughout it all we are faced with her doubts and her anxieties as she’s torn between being a good spy and trying to live a normal life. Something which has always been denied her because of the lives that her parents live.

The story is fast paced and entertaining and I loved meeting Maggie, Roux, Jesse, Angelo and Maggie’s parents. Though Maggie’s parents did bug me a lot because they refused to see the things that their daughter was missing out on so that they could live the life they wanted. They were selfish and would dismiss Maggie when she said that she wanted some stability and most of all, friends. Both of her parents lived a normal life prior to becoming spies and while there are great opportunities that Maggie had and she saw some amazing things she missed out on a lot as well. This is something she starts to realize as she attends school for the first time, makes her first friend, and begins to fall in love. Maggie’s struggles between what she knew and what she wants were real and heartfelt and really showed growth and change as the story progressed.

Also Known As is a fun read and I liked the humor and mystery of it all. I could have done without always being told that Maggie was an excellent safe cracker and that made her super special because to me I didn’t see how just that one skill made it so people wanted to kidnap her. Now if she was a talented hacker like her mom and had the language skills of her dad coupled with her safe cracking ability I could understand it more. But just safe cracking? I just didn’t see it.

The mystery in Also Known As wasn’t the most complex and the clues weren’t laid out the best but the mystery portion is almost secondary to Maggie’s journey. Its Maggie that made me fall in love with this story and the humor that she brought to every day situations. I loved her friendship with Roux and I loved seeing Roux blossom as she got to know Maggie. Prior to Maggie’s arrival Roux was once the school’s queen be but then she made a mistake and became the victim of bullying (and still is in the book) which affected her greatly. And then there was Jesse Oliver, Maggie’s love interest, who is really just too sweet for words and I loved listening to these two fall in love.

Also Known As is one of the first books that I’ve listened to that was narrated by the author and I have to say that Robin Benway did an excellent job bringing her story to life. Benway’s narration was better than some professional narrators I’ve listened to and I never had any issues knowing who was speaking when. All the characters had distinct voices that it was easy to picture them as I listened to this audio. For me, Benway became Maggie and Roux and Jesse and I found myself wanting to listen to this audio every chance I could. Because it was a fun story and it was told well.

If you are a fan of the Gallagher Girls series and looking for something to check out next then you’ll want to pick up this book. And if you are a fan of audiobooks than I highly recommend listening to this one. You’ll laugh and you’ll cringe and you might cry a little as you laugh some more as Maggie and her friends run around New York trying to save the day and survive high school all at the same time.

irishdarkblue

five-stars
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan

Posted by Irish in Review3 Comments

Source: Amazon Vine
Publication Date: 05 June 2012
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 054766852X
Format: ARC
Pages: 192
The Author on the Web:
Annabel Monaghan – Official Site
Annabel Monaghan – Blog
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
First Line: On the morning of my kidnapping, my mom’s makeup was perfect.

From the synopsis I thought that A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan was going to be a really cute and fun read. I was hoping that it would be a little like Anna and the French Kiss (my review) only set in California and featuring an FBI love interest. While I didn’t quite get an Anna and the French Kiss I did still get a cute little book. And I do mean little, this one barely hit the 200 page mark and I think that the story might have been better served if there had been more words included in it.

Farrah is an uber math genius but she’s been hiding that fact from her friends in order to have a “normal” high school experience until one day when she stumbles onto a terrorist plot. Which then leads to those same terrorists wanting to kill her, enter in cute FBI protector and you’ve got this book in a nut shell. As I mentioned about I think this book would have been better if more words were used to flesh out and build this story. I thought that events moved rather quickly and that made it harder to think of this story as real. Though for such a short read it did pack in a lot of action and information and I was impressed with that.

For the most part I really enjoyed the characters in this book, which was told from Farrah’s point of view. I felt that the relationship between her and John was well developed and believable. I liked how there wasn’t any insta-love between them and that he was all conflicted since he is older than Farrah. But again, I think that I would have liked watching their romance bloom more if it had been given more time to develop over a longer book. I also felt that at time this book turned into a bit of a motivational piece. I like the message that it sends to be proud of who you are and to not be ashamed of being smart but I think that it could have been woven in a bit better.

Overall, I thought this was a fun read and is a great addition to your summer read pile. Its quick and it isn’t overly complex. The story is fast paced and I think that fans of Anna and the French Kiss will enjoy it. While I didn’t fall head over heels in love with this book as I had hoped I will be putting Annabel Monaghan on my authors to watch list and look forward to her next book.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: Nightspell by Leah Cypess (Blog Tour)

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, Review, Young Adult11 Comments

Review: Nightspell by Leah Cypess (Blog Tour)Nightspell by Leah Cypess
Series: Mistwood, Book 2
Published by Greenwillow Books on 31 May 2011
Genres: Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Family, Fantasy, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 326
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gift
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Death Sworn

Place(s) Traveled to: Ghostland

First Line: Darri didn’t see the ghost until he was upon her, a solid weight that dropped from the branches above and threw her sideways off the saddle.

The first moment I saw the cover of Nightspell by Leah Cypess I fell in love. Its totally gorgeous and romantic and just utterly breath taking. But as I’d become more friendly with Leah Cypess on twitter I was a bit wary of reading and reviewing her book. What if I didn’t like it? Would I be able to be my usual honest self and say what I really think of the book? So I waited and when Leah asked people to be part of a blog tour I found that I couldn’t say no. I also couldn’t go without reading the book. So its with a happy heart that I found that I really enjoyed this one.

I admit the beginning was a little slow for me. I was thrust into this fantasy world where I knew none of the history. I knew that Nightspell was a companion to Mistwood but as I have yet to read that I had nothing to compare it to. So the start was a bit slow as I learned to navigate the twists and turns of Ghostland. Much as one of the narrators, Darri, had to do as she approached this new kingdom that is to be her future home. And what a strange place Ghostland is. A world where the dead don’t always die and move on. No, instead if one is murdered than their ghost comes back so they can get revenge on the one who did them wrong. Failing that they tend to live on attempting to regain all that they had in life – including being more solid than you would think a ghost should be.

As this was a story with multiple points of view I was instantly in love. I adore seeing the action of things through multiple eyes. Though at times this head jumping seemed like it was a bit contrived, an easy out in order to move the plot forward. But its ok, I was able to overlook that as I found the further I read the more engrossed in the story I became. I loved the political intrigue and the mystery. I loved all the little twists and turns that Leah tosses into the mix (most I figured out before, a few not so much.) I also found it so very refreshing to have a story where there was no real romantic storyline.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good romance. But there are times when I like to see a story stand for the story alone and not have all these grand plot points made a little less because the story hinges on if the boy and girl will make googly eyes at each other in the end. Romantic plot points can be an easy plot device to play and I am glad to see that Leah Cypess chose not to play that hand. Though I am sure that wasn’t an easy task either as there was potential for one throughout the story.

As for political intrigue, Game of Thrones this book was not (but really not many books are) but that isn’t a slight against Nightspell. I feel that those who may not be ready for the full heaviness that can be an epic tale like GoT could really like Nightspell…its kind of GoT Lite. And if you recall I loved beyond loved GoT so that is high praise indeed from me.

There is much to love about Nightspell but as I wasn’t completely surprised by the twists and there was a time or two when I rolled my eyes at some of the action going on. Its that and that alone that keep this from being a 5 star read. I do know that after reading this one I must move Mistwood up Mt TBR so that I can see how that story ties into this one.

Have you read Mistwood or Nightspell? Which did you like better? Or what are your thoughts on either book. Leave a comment below and fill out the form for a chance to win a signed hardcover copy of Nightspell. Thanks Leah for letting me be a part of this tour and for giving me the book to give away. Contest will close at midnight EST on 03 January and a winner chosen randomly. This contest is open internationally….and as will all my contests books will be sent out some time after the winner is announced….it all depends on when I can find time to visit the post office. Good luck to all who enter and thanks for visiting!

ENTRY FORM

Have you visited the other stops on the tour? Leave comments at them all for a chance to win an annotated copy of Mistwood.

November 28: Guest post at Fiction State of Mind
November 29: Review at The Book Cellar
November 30:  Interview at Library Mosaic
December 1: Guest post at YA Bibliophile
December 2: Review at Scattered Pages
December 4: Guest post at Haunted Orchid
December 6: Interview at A Thousand Little Pages
December 7: Review at Ashley Suzanne
December 8: Review at Hobbitsies
December 9: Review at A Backwards Story
December 10: Nightspell Excerpt at Arianne Cruz
December 11: Review at Penguin Girl
December 12: Interview at WhatchYAReading
December 15: Review at Word Lust
December 16: Nightspell Excerpt at A Tale of Many Reviews
December 18: Guest Post at Bodacious Bookaholic
December 19: Deleted Scene from Mistwood at A Good Addiction

four-stars
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized2 Comments

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: 09 June 2009
ISBN: 1423116380
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Websites:
Ally Carter – Official Site
Ally Carter – Blog
Ally Carter – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to: Roseville, Virginia; Washington DC; Boston, Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Its the end of summer break and at the start of Don’t Judge a Girl by Her CoverCammie Morgan finds herself in Boston, Massachusetts where Macey McHenry’s father is accepting the nomination to run for the office of Vice President of the United States. Because this is the third book in a series this novel is able to start off with a bang. There is an kidnapping attempt on Macey and its thanks to the skills that she and Cammie have learned at Gallagher Academy that they manage to foil the plot.

As with the previous two books I’d Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy there are some annoyances that I had as a reader. Ally Carter can tell a fun story but she relies heavily on repetition. By the third book it should be well understood that the girls all speak several languages, are exceptionally smart and that CoveOps stands for Covert Operations. It should also be known that Cammie is supposed to be this amazing pavement artist (ie able to blend into any scene without detection). Although I think the reason why Carter keeps mentioning this one is because despite her amazing talents everyone seems to be able to see Cammie. Ok…well maybe not her friends and at times her teachers but there is always someone who is never fooled.

I still think that this is a fun series and I enjoy watching the girls try to figure out the various plots that are going on. Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover had a bit more plot than Cross My Heart and so that made it a more satisfying read. Although there are still many more questions raised then answers given. Its obvious that there will be at least one more book to close out the various story arcs that are going on….and if I remember correctly Ally Carter has mentioned on her website that there will be at least 6 books. So one can expect the questions to continue to come until the final book or two. I just hope that these future books leave off on the repetition that I mentioned about and focus more on the story being told.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized2 Comments

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: 23 Dec 2008
ISBN: 1423100069
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Websites:
Ally Carter – Official Site
Ally Carter – Blog
Ally Carter – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to: Roseville, Virginia; Washington DC

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter picks up shortly after the events in I‘d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You leave off. Cammie is on probation, of sorts, for sneaking out of school and using her skills to meet a local boy. Putting Gallagher Academy at risk of exposure for what it really is…a school for spies and not just another private school for the uber rich. This book sees the addition of a group of boys into the all girl school. The Blackmoor Academy – which is the male equivalent to Gallagher.

While I still thought that overall the series is a really cute fun read this book opened up some annoyances for me. Perhaps it just fell into second book syndrome in which more time is spent setting up questions and clues for future story lines that the plot for this book falls flat. I liked the new character of Zach and felt that he was a good fit for Cammie but he could also be such a pompous a$$. lol Every time she tried to question him on how he knew something his response would be to point to himself and say “spy”. And yet he’d not rest until he had Cammie reveal her reasons/techniques for things. That sort of one sided relationship didn’t sit well with my inner feminist. To get through I had to keep telling myself that Cammie is a teen girl with a crush and that her inner insecuries wouldn’t allow her to push harder for answers.

For me this book wasn’t as fresh as I‘d Tell You I Love You… but it still makes for some good brain candy and because of that I will keep on with the series and see if the questions that get raised in Cross My Heart… get answered.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized3 Comments

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: 20 Mar 2007
ISBN: 1423100042
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Websites:
Ally Carter – Official Site
Ally Carter – Blog
Ally Carter – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to: Roseville, Virginia

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You is the first book in Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series. This series introduces Cammie Morgan, your typical teen girl going to an exclusive private school in Virginia. Typical that is if all meals are conducted in a foreign language and your class schedule includes courses like Code Breaking, Advanced Martial Arts in PE and Covert Ops. Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is more then just a top private school. Its a school that recruits the smartest girls in the United States (with the exception of one British National) and trains them in all the skills they will need to be spies. Cammie is a good student and one who tends to be held to a slightly higher standard since her mother is the Headmistress she is also reported to be the best pavement artist at Gallagher, that is one that is skilled in making herself not be seen, and has even earned herself the nickname of Chameleon. Then one day while in town on a mission she is seen by an ordinary boy named Josh and she starts to break all the rules just so she can be an ordinary girl.

I found I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You to be a cute and often funny book about a group of friends trying to cope with the pressures of school and dealing with first crushes. Yes the girls aren’t your typical girls and they spy on Josh to make sure that he isn’t deep undercover to expose the truth about Gallagher Academy. There is also the added conflict of transfer student Macey McHenry who the girls don’t know what to make of. This is a book that is a quick read and one that doesn’t take much brain power in order to focus on. A book which I would call Brain Candy. And often these types of books make the best books because they simply allow you to escape the pressures of the real world and lose yourself into a fun story. As I’ve said this is a fun book. It will make you laugh and will probably also make your cringe a bit as Cammie and her friends get into an awkward situation. Because no amount of spy training can remove the innate insecurities of being a teen girl trying to find her way in the world.

I read this book in a day because once I started it I found that I couldn’t put it down. It was fun, fast-paced and the characters were realistic….well as realistic as possible considering the premise. This is a perfect escapist book if you need a break from the real world. I found it very enjoyable and I look forward to the rest of the books in the series.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized0 Comments

Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Year: 2008 (ARC)
ISBN: 0385524064
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars

Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich is one of those books that has a lot of promise based solely on the book description but then never really lives up to it. It starts in Switzerland with Jonathan Ransom and his wife climbing up a mountain. During this climb they hit a storm and Ransom’s wife ends up dying. A short time after the accident Ransom receives baggage claim tags that were meant for his wife. Curious he travels to the train station to pick up the bags and ends up getting attacked by two cops. What follows next is an impossible series of events that stretches believability and relies heavily on coincidence as Ransom soon finds himself deep in a plot to incite a major world crisis.

Most espionage type novels are like spiderwebs in that there are many strands that weave together in order to make a solid plot. Rules of Deception was more like the spokes of a wheel instead of a web. There were 3 main story arcs at the start of this book and it took longer than it should before any of these story lines started to cross. As a reader you knew that they were all eventually merge into the core but the author just drew it out. Then when the arcs did start to mesh it was done sloppily. Almost as if the author realized that he was beginning to run out of time and had to hurry things along.

Overall this was a tough book for me to read not because its subject matter but because I just never could get into the story. First there was the slow build and merge of the major stories and then mixed in with this were these asides in which the author would cut away from the ‘action’ to other more distant things going on. These distant events never really added much to the overall story and only served to distract me from the story. In the end I struggled to finish this book and figured out the big mystery long before the big reveal. This is the first time that I’ve read this author and I am not in a hurry to pick up another book by him. This also is not a book that I would recommend to others. Its a slow read and just fails to deliver on all of its promise.

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