207 – Key of Light (Key Trilogy #1) by Nora Roberts

Key of LightThis was book #60 for the year for me and the book that had me hit my goal for the year!  Yay!!!  Yes, another Nora Roberts book.  This is a trilogy that has been recommended to me multiple times.  My mom had all of the books and gave them to me a few months ago.  Since I was finally getting back into reading, I figured I’d give it a shot.  I’m glad I did.  I’m already half way through the second!  Here’s the Goodreads summary:

The pleasure of your company is desired for cocktails and conversation. 8 pm, 4th September. Warrior’s Peak.

When Malory Price is issued with the above invitation she is naturally suspicious, especially as Warrior’s Peak is a local mansion straight out of a Hollywood movie. But with her overdraft at crisis limit and on the verge of losing her job at a local art gallery, she has little to lose by attending the event.

Only Malory is about to get more than she bargained for. At Warrior’s Peak she finds that she and two other women are the only guests of their mysterious hosts. They are told an amazing story of magic, gods and goddesses; and of three demi-goddesses who have been cast into an eternal sleep, their mortal souls placed under lock and key. And in every generation, three women are born who alone have the power to free them – if they are prepared to accept the challenge.

Three women. Three keys to find. If one fails, they all lose. If they succeed – money, power and a new destiny awaits. It will take more than intellect, more than determination. They will have to open their hearts, their minds, and believe that everything is possible.”

This is a different kind of Nora Roberts book than I’m used to reading. I definitely enjoyed it, but I also liked that it wasn’t a typical romance. I liked the mystery behind this story. I’m also looking forward to reading the other two books in this trilogy.

The premise behind the story pulled me in and I’m interested in seeing where Roberts goes with it with the other two lead females.

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Nora Roberts.
LIKE IT

206 – Born in Fire (Born In #1) by Nora Roberts

Born in FireI saw this book at Target a couple months ago and it sounded like one I’d like.  I couldn’t pass up the price since it was super on sale, too.  Here’s the Goodreads summary:

Born in Fire is the first novel in the Irish Born Trilogy, about three modern sisters bound by the timeless beauty of Ireland from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts.

The eldest Concannon sister, Maggie, is a reclusive, stubborn and free-spirited glassmaker—with a heart worth winning…

Margaret Mary, the eldest Concannon sister, is a glass artist with an independent streak as fierce as her volatile temper. Hand-blowing glass is a difficult and exacting art, and while she may produce the delicate and the fragile, Maggie is a strong and opinionated woman, a Clare woman, with all the turbulence of that fascinating west country.

One man, Dublin gallery owner Rogan Sweeney, has seen the soul in Maggie’s art, and vows to help her build a career. When he comes to Maggie’s studio, her heart is inflamed by their fierce attraction—and her scarred past is slowly healed by love.”

This was a cute story with a lead female that I really liked. I also enjoyed how Nora Roberts brought in such detail regarding glass-blowing. It was great getting to see the creative process as performed by Maggie, the lead.

The story was a typical Roberts romance, but I still liked it. I look forward to reading the next two books in this trilogy.
LIKE IT

205 – Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

AllegiantI have been anticipating this book for so long.  I didn’t buy it right away because Don and I are trying to be better about our finances and, being that it’s so close to Christmas, I figured I’d add it to my Christmas list.  In the mean time, I requested it from the library so I could at least read it.  I can tell you this…most of the ladies in my book club hated this book.  Hearing that kind of scared me and made me glad I didn’t run out and buy it.  Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.”

I finished. I’m still processing. Rating and review to come.

REVIEW:
I try to keep my reviews spoiler-free and will continue to do so with this one.

:::sigh:::

This was not the ending to this series that I was hoping for. I had visions of grandeur and didn’t get it.

While many of the people I know hated this book, I didn’t. I certainly wasn’t in love with it or where Roth took it, but I can kind of see why she ended the series this way.

I think a big part of the problem I had with this book was the pace. Divergent and Insurgent were such fast moving books that this one felt like a snail in comparison. I finished the other two in two days whereas this one took a week. And I was just speaking with a friend who said that had she not already been invested in the series and wanting to know the ending, she would have stopped reading by now. I also wasn’t expecting such a scientific book. There was a lot of focus on the serums and the science behind them. I didn’t expect that.

Other than that, it was interesting to hear about the world outside of the fences. I also liked learning more about Tris’ mom and her background/history.

There’s not much else I can write without heading into spoiler territory. So I’ll leave it at this…

If you’ve already spent time reading the first two books in this trilogy, take the time to read this conclusion. You’ll either hate the ending or feel like I did and understand why Roth did what she did. I can’t see anyone actually loving this book.
JUST OK

204 – Celebrity in Death (In Death #34) by J.D. Robb

Celebrity in DeathI finished this book almost two weeks ago and forgot to write up a post.  Oops!  Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“Lieutenant Eve Dallas is no party girl, but she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash celebrating The Icove Agenda, a film based on one of her famous cases. It’s a little spooky seeing the actress playing her, who looks almost like her long-lost twin. Not as unsettling, though, as seeing the actress who plays Peabody drowned in the lap pool on the roof of the director’s luxury building. Now she’s at the center of a crime scene-and Eve is more than ready to get out of her high heels and strap on her holster and step into the role she was born to play: cop.”

Another good installment to this series. I like seeing the connection of this story to a previous case. I wasn’t totally surprised by who the killer was like I have been before, but I still wouldn’t have been able to guess it from the beginning.

There’s some great banter in this one and I love seeing Peabody grow as a cop and grow in her interviewing skills. Her sarcasm is great.

On to the next!
LOVE IT

203 – Ender’s Game (The Ender Quintet #1) by Orson Scott Card

Ender's GameOK.  So this is a series that Don just absolutely loves.  With the movie adaptation having just come out, Don asked me to read this book before going to see the movie.  I figured it couldn’t hurt.  Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.”

While sci-fi isn’t exactly my favorite genre, I still very much enjoyed the book.

Ender is quite a complex character and it was fascinating to see his growth and change amidst the circumstances he was constantly put in. I also liked the world itself that the author created. The battle game itself was pretty cool and it read as if it would have been a pretty interesting and fun time.

I liked the ending and yet it kind of pissed me off, too. I keep going back and forth on it. I liked the book and the characters, but as sci-fi isn’t my go-to genre, I don’t think I’d read the rest of the series.

As for the movie? It wasn’t bad. The book is much better.
LIKE IT

202 – New York to Dallas (In Death #33) by J.D. Robb

New York to DallasNot many more left of these books until I’m caught up with how quickly they’re being written!  Here is the Goodreads summary for this book:

“The number-one New York Times-bestselling author J. D. Robb presents an intense and terrifying new case for New York homicide cop Eve Dallas, one that will take her all the way to the city that gave her her name-and plunge her into the nightmares of her childhood.

When a monster named Isaac McQueen-taken down by Eve back in her uniform days-escapes from Rikers, he has two things in mind. One is to pick up where he left off, abducting young victims and leaving them scarred in both mind and body. The other is to get revenge on the woman who stopped him all those years ago.”

This was a great installment in this series. So much of it broke my heart knowing what Eve went through and continues to fight through in this book. And watching Roarke feel so helpless is gut wrenching! It was great, though, to see Eve really come to terms with herself and her past.

The only thing I really missed in this book was that Peabody and the other regulars weren’t in this book as much as the others.

Other than that…Great book!
LOVE IT

201 – Treachery in Death (In Death #32) by J.D. Robb

Treachery in DeathOK…this one deserves a bit more WOW in the post.  This is my absolute favorite so far in this series.  Here is the Goodreads summary:

“Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a senseless crime—an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. This is Peabody’s first case as primary detective—good thing she learned from the master.

But Peabody soon stumbles upon a trickier situation. After a hard workout, she’s all alone in the locker room when the gym door clatters open; and-while hiding inside a shower stall trying not to make a sound—she overhears two fellow officers, Garnet and Oberman, arguing. It doesn’t take long to realize they’re both crooked—guilty not just of corruption but of murder. Now Peabody, Eve, and Eve’s husband, Roarke, are trying to get the hard evidence they need to bring the dirty cops down—knowing all the while that the two are willing to kill to keep their secret.”

Whoa! I think this one is my favorite in the entire series! This one was excellent. I loved the story and how Eve and Peabody brought the bad guys down. Everything about it was just so…I don’t even know. Amazing.

I love reading about the pride Eve takes in her job and how she stands for what she believes in. I love that she is a true cop, through and through and that that’s what she teaches her squad. And the ending?! Oh man. I cried.

Definitely my favorite in the series.
LOVE IT