Saturday, 27 September 2014

Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who's Lived It - Matthew Berry

Fantasy Life: The Outrageous  Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who's Lived It
By Matthew Berry
Reviewed by Jeff
Published: July 16th 2013
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Pages: 352
ISBN: 1594486255

Now a New York Times bestseller!

Fantasy football, fantasy baseball, fantasy basketball, even fantasy sumo wrestling: the world of fantasy sports is huge, and still growing. Today, more than 35 million people in the United States and Canada spend hours upon hours each week on their fantasy sports teams. And as the Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst for ESPN, Matthew Berry is on the front lines of what has grown from a niche subculture into a national pastime.

In Fantasy Life, Berry celebrates every aspect of the fantasy sports world. Brilliant trash talk. Unbelievable trophies. Insane draft day locations. Shake-your-head-in-disbelief punishments. Ingenious attempts at cheating. And surprisingly uplifting stories that remind us why we play these games in the first place.

Written with the same award-winning style that has made Berry one of the most popular columnists on, Fantasy Life is a book for both hard-core fantasy players and people who have never played before. Between tales of love and hate, birth and death, tattoos and furry animal costumes, the White House Situation Room and a 126-pound golden pelican, Matthew chronicles his journey from a fourteen-year-old fantasy player to the face of fantasy sports for the largest sports media company in the world.

Fantasy will save your life. Fantasy will set you free. And fantasy life is most definitely better than real life. You’ll see. (Goodreads)
 I want to briefly touch on the fantasy football aspect of this book. Mr. Berry will forever be appreciated by the masses for everything he has done, and continues to do for fantasy sports. As an avid fantasy player I trust in his insight and ranking systems and everything he does on a daily basis over at ESPN. However that wasn't why I enjoyed his book as much as I did. No Mr.Berry, even though I appreciate the hilarity the insight into leagues across the world and the wit you show, I thank you for allowing us all the opportunity to share in your life. The wins and losses, the family growth and personal growth, and ultimately your battle growing up. I sincerely thank you for being you, for allowing that to be prominent in this book and all the benefits it will undoubtedly provide to people down on their luck. This isn't just about fantasy football (even though it has some great stories in it) it is about a man and his struggle to find himself, to follow his dream in the face of adversity, and to become better with every waking breath. 

Thank you Matthew Berry for allowing us to be part of your struggle and successes. 

5/5 Carls

Dangerous Creatures - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Dangerous Creatures
By Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Reviewed by Jamie
Published: May 20th 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
Pages: 368

A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more. (Goodreads)

Well, I have to say that I'm really disappointed with this one. I wasn't expecting greatness, however, I've always enjoyed Ridley and Link's characters and I thought having the story follow them would make it better. But this just fell completely flat for me, Ridley and Link weren't as awesome as they once had been, Ridley spent the majority of the book complaining and not being Bad Ass... This story went no where, the plot was bland and not at all exciting. Unfortunately I just didn't enjoy this at all, my favourite part of the book was the very ending. Needless to say, I will not be continuing on with this series.

Really though..

This is how I felt about all of the characters in this book..
2/5 Albi Cats

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project
By Graeme Simsion
Reviewed by Jamie
Published: May 21st 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Pages: 329
ISBN: 1443422665

Narrator Don Tillman 39, Melbourne genetics prof and Gregory Peck lookalike, sets a 16-page questionnaire The Wife Project to find a non-smoker, non-drinker ideal match. But Rosie and her Father Project supersede. The spontaneous always-late smoker-drinker wants to find her biological father. She resets his clock, throws off his schedule, and turns his life topsy-turvy. (Goodreads)

I really really really enjoyed this book! 

I have to say I was immediately drawn into this story by the main character Don, which some people may find a bit odd. I loved how scientific his mind worked and how social normalities didn't come easily to him, it made him such an interesting and unique character, a breath of fresh air. I loved the character development in this story for all of the characters, Don realizing that there are people out there that will love him for him, even if they aren't a "perfect" match, Rosie learning to accept love and deal with her past, even Gene coming to terms with the fact that he was a total dick. Seriously.... Gene's character was a perfect example of the type of man I hate, but even he grew in this story!

The only issue I had with this book was that I found it to be a bit of a slower read, it took me forever to read because I wasn't hanging on to every word, it didn't really excite me as much as I had hoped it would. That being said, I loved the story and the characters and I would definitely recommend this book!

Don's thoughts about everyone else
4/5 Albi Cats

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Ark Storm - Linda Davies

Ark Storm
By Linda Davies
Reviewed by Jeff
Published: August 19th 2014
Publisher: Forge Books
Pages: 448
ISBN: 0765336731

The Ark Storm is coming—a catastrophic weather event that will unleash massive floods and wreak more damage on California than the feared “Big One.” One man wants to profit from it. Another wants to harness it to wage jihad on American soil. One woman stands in their way: Dr. Gwen Boudain, a brave and brilliant meteorologist.  

When Boudain notices that her climate readings are off the charts, she turns to Gabriel Messenger for research funding. Messenger’s company is working on a program that ionizes water molecules to bring rain on command. Meanwhile, Wall Street suits notice that someone is placing six-month bets on the prospect of an utter apocalypse and begin to investigate. Standing in the shadows is journalist Dan Jacobsen, a former Navy SEAL. War hardened, cynical, and handsome, Jacobsen is a man with his own hidden agenda.

Linda Davies's Ark Storm brings together the worlds of finance, scientific innovation, and terrorism in a fast-paced thrill ride that will leave readers gasping. (Goodreads)
 First off, thank you Tor for sending me a copy to review! Although this genre of novel is a bit out of my wheelhouse, change is always welcomed. While I was reading this I kept reminiscing about the film "day after tomorrow" which has somewhat similar weather related phenomena in it. I am a sucker for big event apocalyptic weather and this book did not disappoint. Weaponized weather devices and the like have seemingly come into more and more novels and films, and I thought Davies used the concept to full potential. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, romance aspects of novels always turn me a bit southward but I can move past that when a book is as good as this! I like an action packed, fast paced thriller any day of the week. Enjoyed the writing style and pace, and looking forward to diving into some more works from Davies! Worth checking out!