1. Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith.
This was a story based on the Three Wise Men and their encounters with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The book was written by the same author who wrote Pride, and Prejudice and Zombies, and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer, so I thought there was going to be quite a bit of irreverence. Surprisingly, this was not the case. All I know about the Three Wise Men is the stuff that is written in the New Testament, which isn't a lot, so I have no idea if the story is remotely accurate. I do know that it was a thoroughly enjoyable and, at least to me, believable read. The only part I didn't like was at the end when the only remaining "wise man," after all he had seen with his own two eyes, still didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Other than that, a great read.
2. Timeless by Gail Carriger
This book, not so much of a great read. I actually had to put this book down and walk away from it for a while, and I read Unholy Night as a break from the storyline. Timeless, is the 5th and final book in the Parasol Protectorate series. And to that I say good riddance to bad rubbish. With each book in the series, I liked the storyline less and less. I don't get it, Romance, vampires, werewolves, Victorian Steampunk England...what's there not to love. Apparently the writing and the storyline. They both just dragged on and on. Like wading through thick mud, the book was heavy and laborious and a total relief when I was finished. I really wanted to like this series, but now that it is over, I would definately NOT recommend it. If for some reason there was a book 6 I wouldn't waste my time. Somebody else please write a better supernatural Victorian Steampunk series!
3. Janitors by Tyler Whitesides
What a surprise this book was. The story is geared toward kids in about the 6th grade, but don't let that deter you from what is a pretty original storyline. Granted, there was a tiny bit of Spiderwick in the story, but not enough to be annoying. The main character discovers that there are monster like creatures in the school and the janitors know about it, but which side are the janitors on? Well, I thought it was pretty easy to figure that one out as it is a kids book, but the fun was seeing how the main characters found out the truth. I look forward to the sequel, Secrets of the New Forest Academy, slated to come out this Fall.
4.The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica and Julian Fellows
This was a quick read with wonderful photographs from the TV Show. The pictures almost made me wish I had High Def TV! The book had little snippets of background information on the characters and a few interesting quotes from the actors. A fun read for fans of the show.
5.Death Catchers by Jennifer Anne Kogler. This was an interesting twist on the Arthurian Legend. In this version, it's not Guinivere who has the affair with Lancelot, but Morgan le Fay. The offspring, and all subsequent female descendents, of that union was "gifted" with the ability to predict when a loved one is going to die. This story is set in modern California which was another interesting twist to the story. This book was written for a target audience of teenagers, and was set up for a sequel. The book was well written and the characters engaging enough for me to want to read a follow up book.
6. Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood. This was a quick little juvenile read about a family of magical bakers. The parents have to leave town and the children are left to run the bakery. They are duped by an estranged distant relative who steals the magical cookbook. This book is also set up for a sequel, which I would gladly read.