When You Give A Girl A Sword…

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When You Give a Girl a Sword…Secondborn Review

I as many other people on Goodreads it seems couldn’t resist Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol…I especially couldn’t resist it when it was offered as a Kindle First book and I could get it for only $1.99(I mean who can honestly not be tempted by that kind of deal?).
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It took me a while to get into this book. I found the different Fates slightly confusing to keep track of especially because they aren’t explained what each one represents until later in the book. When I finally got over my confusion and gave up trying to figure out the social structure of the world I could finally enjoy the story.  Because let’s be honest-we don’t read YA for much other than the fast paced structure and the yearning over eager life or death  romance right? 😉

The concept is good. A world where you are only allowed two children and only the first born can inherit anything. The second born is sent away as a child soldier to fight the wars and do the dirty work of the first borns while the family still gets to reap the financial benefits of a child they no longer have to support. This system of course creates a lot of abuse and neglect(which duh). A second child can inherit if a first born dies-talk about creating sibling rivalry.
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The story revolves around second born Roselle St Sismodes and her mother is the be all of be alls of the Fates. Roselle’s privileged upbringing causes her troubles right from the start. Beginning with the fact that her life has always been televised-an easily recognized face is the exact opposite of what you want when the goal is to blend in.

There is romance in this book(YA duh), action, rebellion and adventure. Roselle creates friendships that will last a life time-if only they can survive long enough to live that life. The book is filled with a lot of girls kicking ass(something I always appreciate), clever boys and wicked mothers. The concept is interesting, the world slightly complicated though rather stereotypical (I feel) to most YA romance adventure novels these days. That isn’t to say it isn’t worth a read because I do recommend it. I’m just saying that a lot of these books tend to have the same sort of feeling to it and this is no exception. It’s the first in a trilogy so we’ll see what’s to come of the second.

All in all, I’d say 4/5 stars

-Happy Reading!
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The Antispoiler Hero

A Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

**Spoilers Ahead**

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Alright people! In the last book Vin accidentally released Ruin. In the plot twist her attempt to follow the rules set for her turned out to be a trick all along. The villain who is an almighty God (possibly?) Ruin has been planning this for hundreds of years just waiting for the right moment to strike. Now Vin with Elend(who is emperor of all) are racing against the falling ash trying to find all the food cashes that the previous ruler had hid for this very time in history.

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What do you do if you can’t trust your words and you can’t trust the written word? What if all your thoughts are the only things safe from Ruin?

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I don’t want to have any spoilers so what I will say is thought this book gave a very real and honest depiction of depression and grief. Anderson’s depictions of the character Sazed emotions throughout the book were so spot on to how it really is in peoples lives. I feel that in a lot of fantasy novels the characters emotions get put aside quickly to move the book forward(which is completely understandable) but it dishonors the bonds created between the characters in the story.

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All your favorite characters are adventuring and working towards the ultimate goal of the book: saving the world(duh). You get to learn more about the side characters like the Kandra, Hammond, Breeze and especially Spook which I really enjoyed. Good guys become bad in this book and the creatures you thought bad you realize might have just been misunderstood.

I’m realizing this post is rather convoluted but I am trying so hard to do absolutely no spoilers because I really, really thought the book was so fabulous and the perfect way to wrap up the series. GO, GO, GO to the book store and pick up this series today!!!

-Happy Reading!!

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust…Will They All Fall Down?

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Mistborn trilogy book 2!!! A book dealing in consequences of actions, relationships and the notion of whether attraction is more important than similarities in personality.
Oh Brandon Sanderson…this book didn’t get as good of reviews on Goodreads  but I really have to disagree. I found it even better than the first. I like the way the author dealt with aspects of the human condition and how their can be consequences to abuse and violence.

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The book begins where the second left off. Keisler is dead but Vin has succeeded in achieving his dream of overthrowing the thousand year reign of the Lord Ruler. What do you do if you have achieved the plans of someone no longer alive and don’t know where to go from there? This is the main issue in the second Mistborn book. Vin has made Elend King but can a philosopher really be a good king? Can a relationship work if balance of power is unequal forcing one partner to essentially use the other as a weapon? Is it possible to consider that a form of love?
Battles are won and lost as ash rains down from the sky smothering farms and mists begin to fill the daylight hours causing deaths among those brave enough to wander into them.

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Sanderson really knows how to tell and epic tale with a fantastic feminist, female main character. Where her strength doesn’t make her unloveable but enables people to love her and appreciate her more. I think this is Sanderson’s greatest strength as a fantasy writer…his ability to write a fantastically created well rounded world.

I really don’t want to accidentally give away any spoilers so I will just say this… give this fantasy series a try the second book is even stronger then the first in my opinion and well worth the 600 plus pages to read it(if I’m remembering the page length correctly).
-Happy Reading and Crafting!

The Blood Tells All…

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This book is the definition of a can’t put it down urban fantasy series. I received this first book for free at Emerald City Comicon and didn’t have high hopes for it…don’t ask me why because now that seems so foolish. I wanted to read it as a break after the Brandon Sanderson Mistborn Series novels before starting a different book he has written. Instead I have now ordered all four of the other books available in The Others Series on amazon and am impatiently awaiting the 3rd one now.

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The book introduces you to a world of “the others” and humans. They may coexist now but it certainly isn’t a peaceful one without trials and tribulations. The humans and The Others are both creatures of Namid who created all creatures on earth. She gave The Others all the forest areas and the humans safe places where they could grow and develop as a people. The trouble with humans is we always want more don’t we though? Soon people overgrew their areas and tried to shove their way into The Others areas but how can humans win out over claws and mystical powers? And when it comes down to it should we really triumph over everything?

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The series tells the story of Meg, a lone girl who has the simple power to change everything for The Others and humans alike…though we’ll have to see if it’s for better or worse. Once Simon allows Meg into the Courtyard there is no turning back for either of them, will Megs abilities sink ships or keep them afloat allowing the tides of change to keep them current(could I add any more water themes to that sentence??).
I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’ll just say this… if you like books about vampires, werewolves, coyotes who turn into people and have ever wondered what the seasons would be like if they were represented in children this is the book for you. I couldn’t put it down and Anne manages to keep you on your toes wondering what will happen next till the very last page.

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When The Change Drops…

I’m going to be honest…when I first started this book I complained A LOT. It took about one hundred and fifty pages for me to start liking it and those pages took about five days to get through because since I wasn’t liking the book I kept falling asleep while reading it. Good for my brain probably but not good for reading progress. After I got past the point where I hated the book I actually started to really like it and then by the end I loved it. Causing me to race to the book store to get the second and third in the trilogy to have them not have the second book! So now I’m patiently waiting on Amazon to bring deliver them to my doorstep haha.

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What did I have to complain about you might ask? Well character development of course. The book is very environment focused. So you hear a lot about the buildings, the plant life(or lack there-of), a lot about walls and desolate wasteland. I was tired of the reader being expected to bond with the main character instantly because they’re “broken”. I don’t care that they’ve had bad things happen to them. It isn’t going to make me instantly connect with them as a character if they are poorly written. At first I thought this was the case with this book and was so disappointed because I’d heard such fantastic things about the author.

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In the end I grew to like the characters and even maybe get slightly attached …but still not to the point where I cared whether they lived or died. But maybe George R.R Martin has just got me used to not caring about the characters with his unpredictability.

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The book is focused on two tiers of people. There is the nobility, merchants etc…the higher ups and then there are the Skaa who are no if, ands, or buts about it slaves. The higher tiers of people believe they are superior to the skaa in every way even in their breeding. It is banned to have any half children and if a noble man has sex with a skaa female he must kill her immediately that night. Half children are hunted down because only nobility are allowed to be mistborn or have allomancy powers. Everything changes when Kel comes into the picture and wants to flip the switch on the way society is set up but to do that he has to kill the Lord Ruler who has essentially infinite power an has lived and ruled for a thousand years. To me he was the physical manifestation of peoples racism, fear and intolerance. Ken though he represented hope and goodness was not all that good though. He killed without remorse and did anything to achieve his goal as you’ll find when you read the book.
All in all…
Story writing: Great.
Story concept: Fabulous. I loved the way the magic existed in this world and how people controlled it through burning metals and throwing coins to Pull and Push.
Characters: totally grew on me even if it wasn’t love at first sight.
Moral of the story: don’t judge a book by its first hundred plus pages because now I’ll be starting the second book in the next few days.

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Does Eve-ry Good Story Need An Alien Bad Guy?

 

img_2229Do you like catty school girl drama but also like ass kicking aliens? If you do then Eve the Awakening is for you.

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Imagine this: it’s in the future(I don’t know what year but everything is almost the same) but there are some people who are born with enhanced abilities…kinda X-Men meets vampires(in modern vampire stories style powers). They’re super smart, fast, and can move things with their minds(and of course can go out in the sun 😉 ), of course because people are petty and society sucks we are going to persecute them instead of attempting to appreciate these people with really cool enhanced abilities. Now imagine there are weird aliens from outer space who try to hunt and dissect these people with abilities: this is pretty much the story of Eve.

 

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(This is from Tumblr and I thought it was just too funny not to share…)

Eve’s life is a tragic one and it frames the beginning of the whole story. When she is accepted into this great University on a scholarship it’s her dream come true and the fresh start she desperately wants. Of course the best laid plans often go awry starting with students starting to be attacked and dissected by the alien creatures. Will Eve chose to keep her head down and her powers secret or will her conscience get the better of her when push comes to shove and help others like her?

I didn’t go into the book with high hopes because it was slammed by Goodread reviews and when I started reading it I felt like 547 pages was WAY too long to tell a story of a teen girl with powers. But I was wrong…very, very wrong. The book was fantastic and I was disappointed when I finished it because I enjoyed it that much. Go to the store and buy this book, you won’t be disappointed.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!!

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Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For?

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I finally, finally read the book #static. I bought it almost a year ago at the Seattle Comicon and it has sat on my night stand ever since. I kept meaning to read it and instead getting distracted by another book. It’s a pity too because the book was absolutely a fantastic read and the author, Erik Laster, was really such a nice guy when I met him. We talked about Archie comics a bunch and how they’re  turning it into a t.v show and these people he knew were trying to make a documentary about the comics(or something…my memories a little vague almost a year later from the conversation). And because he is such a nice guy he signed my book I bought which I personally am always a sucker for a signed copy…it’s one the reasons I love being able to meet the authors of books/comic books at the cons.

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Anyways, to get back on topic…If you ever wonder what happens to you after you die, like shows similar to the Twilight Zone, and love a good mystery then this book is for you. The main character, Curtis Brooks, older brother dies unexpectedly and he is left with numerous unanswered  questions and a mother on the brink of an emotional meltdown. A short time after his brother Willis’s death her receive a phone call from him from the beyond or what Willis describes as a Walmart filled with anything that is past its time. There’s shelves and shelves of old televisions , radios, and phones….even things dating back to the ancient Roman era.

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Curtis becomes obsessed with what he believes are encoded messages his brother is saying in their conversations while Willis becomes obsessed with why this Walmart-esc limbo exists to begin with. The story plot stays interesting the whole book with trivial things teenage boys deal with in every day life thrown in for an extra comedic effect. Definitely a book I’d recommend and one I’ve already loaned out to be read because I loved it so much.

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This was me at the beach a week or so ago but just imagine that I’m jumping for joy because I liked the book that much 😉

Stories From the Monster Inside…

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A fun, short comic book review!
Monstress Vol 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Lu. It’s published by image comics which I personally think is coming out with the best comics these days. I picked this out because I honestly wanted to get free shipping from Amazon when I was buying a few gifts for people for birthdays and the holidays. I am so happy I did because the story line and art work is just amazing.

It’s an art deco, steam punk, horror comic which isn’t something I generally lean towards. If its described that way I stay away because me and horror just do not get along. Maika HalfWolf is this badass heroine though in a lot of ways she is an antihero like some of my other favorite comic book characters like the Punisher . She is trying to save her people and rescue the world from untold horrors while essentially battling her own body and mind. If you like Hayao Miyazaki movies this is for you especially Spirited Away.

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Maika is the survivor of a horrific war between humans and Arcanics which are magical beings of the children of the children of gods and humans interbreeding. Also there are witches that slowly eat the pieces of children. But to offset all this horror there are talking cats who guide help narrate and some time give much needed back history and context.
The story is set in the realm of magic but I believe the point it is trying to drive in is how when the world is driven to war it is the cultures that diminish and the children who pay the price. In this it is graphically clear what the price is…being consumed slowly by witches literally trying to consume your very being. But I think you get my point?

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I feel like I will definitely read this again before I read vol. 2 because there was just so much story involved and so many side characters that I don’t think my brain soaked everything in needed to understand the story.

It Was the Best of Books, It Was the Worst of Books…

Bad books, bad books whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?( I’m sorry I just could resist all the cliches…at least I got them out of the way in the beginning right?)
I mostly write about books I really loved or ones that  I thought were well written even if I didn’t enjoy them but there are plenty that don’t make the cut and I thought I’d do a few funny blips on each one without focusing on them too much. I want to be honest without influencing you too much away from them because what’s not for me could totally be your cup of tea…
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Let’s start with the comic Catwoman Vol 1: The Game. I had such high hopes going into this I love female super heroes but knew absolutely nothing about Catwoman except from a few glimpses of the movie. I was so disappointed. The writing is really choppy and unfocused. It isn’t female driven at all unless you want to see a character ceaselessly driven by bad impulses never learning from her mistakes. Oh and if you want to see her have a ton of sex with Batman and then tell him maybe she doesn’t want/deserve to be saved by him at the end of the comic. If you go on Goodreads a lot of people agreed with my opinion but a lot of people also loved it. Maybe if you lean towards more classic super hero comics this is for you?

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Wuthering Heights. Omg I hated this book. I powered through it on vacation in Mexico at the beginning of summer. My goal this year was to read more classics. I used to all the time, in fact two of my favorite books are Jane Erye and Little Women, but man I hated this book. The characters are so whiny and I didn’t feel like there was any kind of redemption in the end. The only question  I have is how did this become considered a classic romance novel?

Lolita was another classic I really wanted to like… It took me what felt like forever to finish it. I kept wanting to quit but I hardly ever don’t finish reading a book after I’ve made it through the first 50 pages. It was such egotistical and obnoxious writing and the whole story just made me so sad for Lolita and there isn’t really a redemptive ending either. Another classical let down.

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Wreck and Order. Now this last one a feel a bit bad giving it a bad review because I got it for free. It was one of those random competitions where you just enter your name/address on either bookriot or Goodreads…I don’t quite remember which one now. I do remember it was exciting to win it, and get to read it before its release date. It was just so damn disappointing, predictable and the best word I can use is hipster-y pretentious. I will leave you with the description and let you decide from that:  “A boldly candid, raw portrait of a young woman’s search for meaning and purpose in an indifferent world.” I will tell you it was none of these things… Save yourself the time and if you’re feeling like a book along those lines read Eat Pray Love or something(the cover art is pretty though isn’t it?).

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I think I’ll be doing a post like this every month or so to get some of the bad books out of the way. Hope you enjoy!

Does Locke Lamora Lie?

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The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Gentleman Bastard Series Book 1, 2 & 3
*this review contains BIG spoilers *

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“They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.”

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I almost chose not to write a review for this book because I have such mixed feelings about the first book. People RAVE about it on Goodreads. I for one just thought it was adequate…maybe that’s because the boyfriend is reading the Names of the Wind right now which I absolutely fell in love with even with disliking the first sixty pages or so(I’m sorry the first 60 are just such slow writing, sorry Patrick!!!)

I kept hoping it would be the same with Locke Lamora but if anything it became slower if even with it being completely action filled. Every 50 pages or so contained a new plot…a very, OVERLY detailed plot filled with twists, turns and every tragedy in between. Every time I would start to enjoy the book again I would have to read a 10 page rendition of him trying to trick several money lending clerks out of their fine clothing before he finally reveals the scheme he was trying for the whole time.
AND THEN the author kills of the twins and Bug!!!!!! I literally said what the fuck out loud when I read it I was so surprised. There was no where in the book that lead me to believe the author would pull a George R.R Martin and kill off 3/5 main characters!!! Really just to fuel the very main character Locke’s vengeance at the end of the book and his sorrow in the beginning of the second…because yes I read the second and the third book after starting writing this review.

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This review is actually very old in the making and I’m struggling to remember the 2nd and third book enough to review. I remember liking the second book much better and the third book even more. At least by Goodreads standards…I gave the first 2 books 3/5 stars and the last one 4/5 stars. Mostly I felt this way because of the main characters obsession that is being labeled as a romance even though it takes forever for us to finally get to know the gal Locke loves ever so much. Though once they do she is an interesting character and I like their battle of wills later on. She definitely gives him a run for his money and who doesn’t love a woman like that? 😉

Overall, I’d say it equals out to an interesting read after I got over the death of three main characters that the author makes you love and care for. There is nothing quite as traumatizing as that, but I guess you could say that’s the make of

good writing right?