Solaris Seethes But I sure Don’t…

Solaris Seethes by Janet McNulty

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Let’s start this review with a huge sigh…This was a book I REALLYwanted to like. This was not just because it was going to be my first review for onlinebookclub.org, but because I love the idea the author had.

This is a book about science fiction, myth and the power of belief. Rynah is a badass scientist/warrior on her home planet of Lanyr. In an attempt to defeat the demons that haunt her past Rynah partners with people across space and time to help save the planet and life she clings so desperately to. Rynah partners with some unlikely companions: the philosopher, the warrior, the lover, the inventor and Solaris (a talking ship) to go on adventure of a life time.

The book melds futuristic sci-fi with old lore mythology in a story what a heartbroken woman will do to try and divert fate and prove that family ties are stronger than societal perceptions. The first novel in a trilogy the book that will give you feelings reminiscent of Dr. Who, though this is mostly just because of the traveling through space on a ship that is more than just a ship.

Now let’s talk about the good of the book. The world building is really fun and differs per planet in a really colorful way. Also I really liked the idea of Rynah and what she could represent for women in the world of sci-fi.

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The bad…the whole book felt like it was trying so damn hard.“Rynah put the craft in forward and sped off. Wind ripped through her long locks-she had lost her hair clip during the firefight, as they never hold when one is darting about in an effort to avoid death-as she steered her way to the nearest shipyard.”The style of writing drove me crazy in the first quarter of the book before she finally stopped with whatever less than amusing technique the author was attempting to accomplish.

There was one super long sentence that was over 9 lines long and was pretty much just adjectives. Everything was dash this or parenthesis this to make the sentence LONGER and LONGER. As you can see-it drove me crazy. “She turned a corner, dodging into another person’s yard (decorated with a blue picnic table and patio umbrella with daisies painted on it, despite the shabbiness of his neighbors), before diving through a loose board in the wood fence (its edges rotted) and into another alley, and forced to squeeze past an abandoned, green Cadillac (with rusted fenders and a missing left, rear tire) that nearly blocked her path.” This style calmed down after about a quarter of the way through the novel and became a lot more manageable/tolerable. Also the characters are really one-note and lacked connectivity. The characters were all taken from different points in time on what was supposed have been earth yet they all just accept their new fates and lives left behind with pretty much instantaneous acceptance. And the worse negative of all: Rynah was totally the stereotypical cold-hearted bitch.

On goodreads I gave it a 3/5 stars but really it more of a 2.5/5, I just felt like the author tried so hard to do something really  cool and I really wanted to like it.

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A New Year-A New Day. A Reading-Sewing-Knitting Challenge

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Happy New Year! (I can still say this because it isn’t February yet right? 😉 )
This next year will be one of great changes for me but one thing will remain the same…I set a Goodreads book challenge!

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This last year I set my challenge of 110 books and surpassed it by one book!!! Goodreads tells me I read 36,541 pages and my shortest book was 104 pages(Betty and Veronica Vol. 1) and my longest was 870 pages(Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix).

There were many good books and only several bad ones out of the whole bunch! Looking back I read a lot of fabulous Urban Fantasy series. The Others by Anne Bishop definitely ranked high up there on the Good books scale, so much so that I have loaned them out to two other people since reading them! I haven’t finished the series but The Hollows by Kim Harrison is definitely winning in the contest of favorite book series. Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs is a close second. Werewolves, witches and vampires (oh my) was definitely the theme of the year.

Best Series: The Hollows by Kim Harrison

Best Comic: Bitch Planet with the Jughead comics coming in a close second

Best Nonfiction: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls or Talking As Fast As I Can by LaurenGraham

Best ReRead: Harry Potter(of course) by JK Rowling

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Best YA: Turtles All The Way Down by Johnn Green

I set my new goal for 100 books because I’m back in school full time for the first time in a few years(woohoo!!!). I figured I should pull myself back a little because of it.

I failed hard.
I failed hard at last years make nine challenge. So much so that I wasn’t going to reattempt it this year. BUT then I saw everyones wonderful make nine challenges options and decided I’d try it again…
It’ll be a combined make nine of knitting and sewing not separate like a lot of challenge choices I’ve seen cause I’m in school full time and planning a wedding this year on top of a ton of other things so I don’t have time for that nonsense 😉
Anyways…
Stay tuned for my #2018makenine

Can Misadventures Be Marvelous?

The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter lacks misadventures and pretty much anything marvelous. It should really be named the Boring, Lackluster Life of Ingrid Winters-almost divorcee, sad attempt of a teacher and a not-so-great mother.

This book was torture to read. Not at first because I kept hoping it would turn around. I had hope that the adventure would start or at least Ingrid would grow somewhat of a back bone and stop messing up her life. When I finally had to accept that this was just how the book was and it was NEVER going to turn around and become the fun book I thought it would be is when the torture started and continued until the VERY LAST PAGE. Why Ingrid why? Why do you let your husband treat you like crap? Why are you so neurotic? Why are you such a lackluster mother? Why do you allow yourself to be bullied at a job you so obviously hate?

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This story represents I feel like most women out there in the world minus the “adventure” to Russia to complete an agreement that no one really understands and doesn’t actually benefit any of the professors at the school. They think if they get this next great thing in the status quo their lives will become greater and more fulfilled. We feel we have to work harder so we can afford the bigger house that we just MUST have because it will make our lives that much happier.

This step will make us a better mother because don’t our children deserve the very best? And isn’t it much easier to spend money on a house that we can’t afford than to invest our time in another person or our children? This book shows how we let the “alpha” people walk over us even if they don’t really know best because we decide that it is easier to give in then fight or talk louder over them and allow ourselves to be heard…isn’t this really how Trump became president?

You don’t have to take my word on this book…I feel like when  I went on Goodreads people either absolutely LOVED it or really HATED it like me. I didn’t buy this book because it called to me but as a place holder between the Mistborn series because it was offered as a Kindle First to me from amazon.
Read it if you dare 😉

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As and end note…after my trip to Emerald City Comicon I may have bought too many books haha…

Can Glass Ceilings Shatter?

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If scifi dystopian future met Romeo and Juliet it would feel a lot like The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen. The book is set in an off word colony that was once used for mining for the Earth before breaking off contact about a hundred years ago and becoming a society ruled by the founding families. The founding families are those that financially supported the company in its first stages of moving off world and now they rule it by controlling the drug trade. That is the best way to control the masses isn’t it? Hold their life saving medications hostage with high costs and forcing them to work low wage jobs? But I’m getting a tad off topic to our actual world in the United States…

Anyways, the story introduces a society where contact with the sun is reserved for the elite and to have any sort of tan or even just not having a vitamin D deficiency is considered a luxury. I imagined the new planet as kind of an indoor mall or one of those sky scraper buildings you see in large cities. the top floors have large glass windows and so does the roof and the lower you go the less light is available. Especially since you aren’t supposed to spend too much time in the outside air. I don’t know if that is an accurate description of the worlds layers but it’s how I imagined it while reading. Now to tie in the main characters: Arden and Dade. Arden is a sassy, street smart, beautiful teenager who helps rule one of the major gangs in the lower levels. Dade is exceptionally handsome(aren’t they always in YA novels?), smart and wants to change the world…oh yeah and he is the son of one of the major founding families big players.

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This is a book about love, loyalty, gangs, drug trade, and class war. The book covers a lot of topics. What do you do if the choices you are forced to make you know are ethically wrong but right for the protection and health of your family? Is it better to have a dramatic whirl-wind kind of love or an arranged marriage with a mutually respected partner and best friend who you know you could accomplish great things with? How long do you allow love and a sense of loyalty to your family to control the decisions in your life?

I was able to read this as a Kindle First edition it isn’t officially released until April first. Even though it has that typical Young Adult romance novel feel I really liked it. I associated it with the same vibes as Ann Agguire and anyone who knows me(or reads this blog) knows I absolutely love her. It’s a fast paced read with I thought the beginnings of a voice on the current drug trade hidden in a Young Adult trilogy with of course a lot of instant-love romance pulled in. The second book isn’t going to be released until December 5th 2017-I liked it so much I checked last night because I wanted to buy the second.

I’ll leave you with this really cute photo of Echo running in the snow.

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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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Me, Myself and Why Are These Books So Amusing?

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A friend recently gave me the book Me, Myself and Why. Her and her mom are both avid readers and realized they had two copies of this book and decided to be completely awesome and give me a copy. Now this is book is by the same author as the Queen Betsy books, MaryJanice Davidson, so if you like her writing style from those you will instantly love this book too. Its humorous, completely ridiculous, and the character will totally have bad taste in men(it’s like a given).

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Me, Myself and Why is not really supernatural like her other books I’ve read so far. It more delves into what the human psyche will do to protect itself and how that can lead to powers that appear more of a tall tale almost up there with vampire and werewolves than real life. Unlike most books, I like the take this one has on what people would call mental health issues. I don’t want to say what each character has because it might give away part of the book, but in most stories this would be a murder mystery where Candence was the murderer instead of working to solve the murders.

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In this book there’s a psychopath going around killing people in threes and Candence Jones has to figure out who it is and how to stop them before it’s too late and the people she really cares about get hurt. Lucky for her she isn’t your average girl and works for the “unconventional” part of the FBI with people with unusual skills. If you feel like a cattily written, action, romance(ish) novels I recommend this book. Hopefully it will keep you guessing till the very end.

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I’ll leave you with a grainy snapchat photo of Echo’s newest obsession…sniffing my books very intensely, enjoy! 🙂

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 😉

Your Scars May Fade But Your Memories Won’t…

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I took a chance on another Kindle special sale books even though lately I feel like I’m always getting burned by them. But what can I say? I love a good deal and once I start a book I want to finish it whether it’s enjoyable or not. Lucky for me this one was just fantastic.
I am not one to normally read what I would call a “regular” romance. They’re normally super natural or science fiction based or historical(which this one was but I’m talking pre Elizabethan Age normally not less than a hundred years ago).

 

“You are my vocation. I was made to love you, protect you, through the good and bad, and through every vow that will be asked of me.”

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The Memory of Us is the love story of Julianne Westcott in the time of prewar where even though girls were given liberties they were still expected to marry a boy that matched their parent’s approval. Her life in Liverpool is one of party planning, silk dresses, and money until she finds out a secret that unlocks a hidden doorway into a life Julianne never imagined living.

“My own monsters were self-concocted fits of overthinking.”

This book gave an honest portrayal of romance and the flaws we try to keep hidden from the world. It also deals with the very real aspects of religion and money and how they come to play in a relationship. Can love overcome religious beliefs or are we ever going to marry a person of similar faith rather than always have that obstacle that can come between you and possibly the love of your life? Can a Catholic and a Protestant get along, especially in a time where anti-Irish and anti-Catholic was still very present in England? When you throw in a war it’s a recipe for disaster but also an epic romance spanning a whole life time.

Some Books Should Actually Be Movies

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I read Ocean of Storms recently by Christopher Mari and Jeremy K Brown as a Kindle First book before it was officially released. It should have been a fast read…it’s an action based science fiction book and I normally race through those. This book just dragged on and on. It was split into three different sections: the shock wave, the moon and dealing with consequences on earth.

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The concept of the book itself is interesting and I honestly don’t want to do any spoilers incase you do want to read it. To me it read more like a movie script then an actual book. There were a lot of facts spewed at you that I don’t know how accurate they are. I felt like the book could have used an editor to cut it by about a third and it would have been much more enjoyable.

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Fun fact also…there is a character named Moose in the book and his character description is pretty much identical to the character description of Moose in the Archie comics. I’d be interested to see it was a purposeful easter egg or an accidental one… Otherwise there wasn’t really a connection between the characters and the reader. I never felt attachment or distress if something bad happened to one of the characters(and believe me a lot of bad stuff did).

Overall there isn’t really much to say I didn’t enjoy the book but I feel like a lot of people will. And it will definitely make an excellent movie. I’d give in 2/5 stars because even though at times I wanted to bail I stuck with it till the end.

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It’s been freezing here so here is a picture from me walking to work in the snow….because cold weather is perfect reading weather don’t you think?