Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Feature Characters With Red Hair


Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is Books That Feature Characters X.  This gives me a little a little freedom, so I've decided to share great characters with red hair.  Since I myself have red hair, I have to admit that I feel a bit of a thrill when I read about characters with the same mutation as me!  Her we go, in no particular order:


Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - Scarlet herself has flaming red locks.


City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare - Clary Fray, the main character of The Mortal Instruments, is a natural redhead.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - The entire Weasley clan has red hair!


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - Eleanor herself has curly red hair.


These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - As you can see on the cover, Lilac has brilliant red hair.


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clark - Jonathan has red hair (but unfortunately he doesn't in the excellent adaptation - Bertie Carvel still does a marvelous job in the role, though).


Across the Universe by Beth Revis - Amy has red hair, different from everyone else on the ship.




A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin - Sansa, Catelyn, and Robb (less so in the show) Stark all have auburn hair.


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Jamie has ginger locks.


Archie by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples - This classic redhead is given a modern new look in this reboot.


Have you ever tried any of these books?  Thanks as always for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Nothing is Strange by Mike Russell - Review



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I received a free copy of this paperback book from Strange Books in exchange for an honest review.

Nothing is Strange is the first collection of short stories by Mike Russell. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to read this weird and wonderful collection after having enjoyed his work in Strange Medicine. In this collection, we get to see a wider variety of his style with twenty stories. I liked all of the stories featured here, but my favorites are "The Warehouse", "The Meeting", "Barry and the Triplets", "Extraordinary Elsie", "Mask Man", "Stan and Stan", and "The Living Crown".

These uniquely surreal stories aren't for everyone, but all of them are really well put together. As for all of the stories I mentioned above, I wouldn't say no to hearing a little more from those worlds or having each of them expanded to something a bit longer. If you like Karen Russell's style from Vampires in the Lemon Grove, you may want to give strange, in the best way, tales a look.

Thanks again to Strange Books for this wonderful opportunity!


I read this collection of short stories from September 23 - 24, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Music Monday: On The Radio


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

This week I'm sharing two songs that I first heard on the radio a few weeks ago that I still haven't gotten tired of.  Every time I hear "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man (2017) and "Song #3" by Stone Sour (2017) I turn them up!  I'm definitely going to have to listen to more from these two!





Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller (ARC) - Review


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I received this free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Violet is the sixteen year-old daughter of the founding father New Earth and she has lived a life of prosperity, peace, safety, and comfort. Life is easy thanks in part to the Intercept, a crime prevention device that monitors your thoughts and emotions and can potentially use them against you in order to keep the peace for all on New Earth. When Danny, her long time crush gets into a dangerous situation down on Old Earth, Violet decides to secretly begin investigating. Her findings lead her to question everything she knows about Danny, her father, and the Intercept.

I was really looking forward to to reading The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller. Unfortunately, it didn't really work for me. This is actually one of those stories where I preferred the concept to the final execution. Basically, it's a YA sci-fi dystopian that deals with the issue of the state controlling your emotions and thoughts. Think 1984, except instead of Big Brother you have the Intercept. The Intercept monitors everything - if you try to commit a crime, it makes you relive your worst memory and feel all of emotions that went along with it. It's pretty effective that way at stopping crimes - and it's a government approved program. Sounds pretty intriguing, doesn't it? I was totally expecting something along the lines of 1984, Minority Report, and a dash of the Dementors from the Harry Potter series. The first half seemed fairly promising as it begins to set up our characters and the world although at a slower pace. By the end, though, I realized I wasn't invested in the characters and there's not enough development in the individuals, or when it building their relationships. I was also disappointed with the world-building of New Earth, the background on it and Old Earth, and the Intercept itself. Unfortunately, all of these are lacking as well - I should have had less questions regarding each by the time I made it through that rushed ending.

Overall, The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller has a lot of potential to be a good YA sci-fi dystopian in the vein of a couple of classics. It didn't quite work out for me as I felt there wasn't enough world building or character development to really be invested in the long run. You may want to try this series opener if you are looking for a YA novel with the flavor of 1984 or Minority Report. By the way, I have to admit that I was totally waiting for a cat nun to show up!



I read this ARC from September 21 - 23, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.  This novel is due to be released on November 7th.

Moonlighter (PULSE #2) by R.A. Crawford - Review



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I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The best-of-the-best crew of Moonlighter, the most cutting-edge ship in the PULSE fleet, has been tasked with locating a missing woman, the most important woman in the entire universe. Captain Zara and her crew will risk it all to bring her home. Stella, the newest addition to the crew and the only Human on-board, is still recovering from her grueling Trial. She has a lot to learn or she may end up losing her posting because the Moonlighter only accepts the best PUSLE has to offer. She's also going to have to come to terms with just how alien her fellow crewmates really are. Even though the Moonlighter and it's crew are the best of the best, this mission just might turn out to be too much for even them.

I'm so thrilled to be back in the world of PULSE. I read book one at the beginning of 2017 and I absolutely adored it. If you like, you can check out my review of book one, The Trial, here. Thanks again to R.A. Crawford to giving me this opportunity! Anyway, the second book in the PULSE series, Moonlighter, takes up immediately after the intense thrill ride that was The Trial. The sequel really changes the game and I loved every second of it. We're still following Stella every step of the way, but this time we're thrown into an entirely new setting with an all new alien cast of characters. We get to see a lot more of the interstellar PULSE universe than what we got to glimpse in book one.

Just like before I loved getting a good look at, through Stella's eyes, our broad cast. Each member of the crew really gets their moment to shine. How all of these different alien species have come together to work together on the ship and get things done is fascinating, although there may be a little friction here and there. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Rao sisters, one of whom is the most well-known PULSE soldiers and the other has been assigned to work with Stella. Finally, I also want to mention just how great the author is a writing action scenes in this series. It's all very visual and I was really on the edge of my seat quite a few time.

Overall, I highly recommend the PULSEseries. I'm so thrilled to have had the opportunity to try both of the novels in the series so far, The Trial and Moonlighter. It's definitely set the tone for my wonderful reading year. This novel ends well, but I would love to come back to this universe some day. I'm looking forward to R.A. Crawford's future projects. Thanks again!



I read this ebook from September 17 - 22, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum + 50/50 Friday

 



On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook.  Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.  As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.   Then, for  50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.


This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, a nonfiction book called The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum.  This is actually my seventh book for Fall 2017 Bookish Bingo - I'm really on the ball this time - and it fulfills the American History square.  Anyway, I'd seen this come through the library recently and it really caught my attention.  So far it's fascinating.

Beginning:

Until the early nineteenth century few tools existed to detect a toxic substance in a corpse.

56:

Alexander Gettler, tracking cyanide problems in New York, kept a list of accidental poisonings, such as those caused when someone with an open cut on a hand polished the family silver.  The exposure was low enough that most people, after becoming miserably sick, survived.

50/50 Friday: Author You'd Most/ Least Like To Meet


Least - E.L. James


Most - J.K. Rowling

Are you taking part in Fall Bookish Bingo this season?  What have you read for it so far?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog, and perhaps even commenting down below.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook (ARC) - Review



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I received this free eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Skye has given tarot card readings and has had psychic visions before, but they've always come easily enough seeing as they've all been faked. Now, though, her "visions" are helping the police find Paige, the missing daughter of a prominent local judge, but this time she has insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy - a harmless prank - that would earn her the money she desperately needs to move to NYC after graduation with her best friend. Things go south as Skye realizes that the people she's involved with are willing to kill to get what they want. She'll have to uncover their true identity before it's too late.

The Hanging Girl is the first novel that I've had the chance to read by Eileen Cook and I'm certainly glad that this novel was my jumping in point to her work. If you love a great YA mystery thriller with an unreliable narrator, I expect you'll really appreciate this story. Let me get this out of the way first: I didn't really like any of the characters presented here. That being said, I was absolutely hooked by by this intense and twisty thriller. I didn't want to look away in case I missed the next turn because just when you think you're starting to get things sorted out - bang - something comes along and totally changes the game.

Skye, our MC, isn't all that likable, but she is still a fascinating character to follow since she is pretty much a compulsive liar. If she thinks she can benefit from a lie, she's spinning stories to get what she needs. She also has a great memory for details and she's great at reading body language and facial expressions. Her mother, to put it lightly, is half out of it and very eccentric. She thoroughly believes in all sorts of spiritual types of things from reading auras to having psychic visions and she definitely doesn't set the best example for her daughter, or provide for her. To say the least, Skye has a crappy home life on top of everything else. The only bright spot in her life is Drew, her best friend, and really her only classmate who has been willing to put up with her. While I appreciated Drew's role, I wish it could have been a bit further beyond what end up getting. As much as I want to talk about some of the big twists, I won't spoil it for those of you that haven't had the opportunity to try this novel. Here's my forewarning: don't let your guard down because you've got some real doozies coming your way!

Overall, The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook is a new YA mystery thriller that is a roller coaster of twists and turns. If like me you have a soft spot for unreliable narrators and are looking for a YA Gone Girl-esque read, you need to try this novel and meet Skye. I will definitely be bumping Eileen Cook's 2016 release, With Malice, up my TBR list.



I read this eARC from September 18 - 21, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.  This novel will be released on October 3rd, 2017.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR


Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is Books On My Fall TBR.  All of the books on my list this week are books that I already own and hope to read this fall.  Here we go - I think I have some great reading coming my way:








These Ruthless Deeds by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker

Yesternight by Cat Winters

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker

Have you tried any of these books yet?  If so, which do you think I should tackle first?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones (ARC) - Review


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I received a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Annis Whitworth had always suspected that her father was a spy. When she learns of her father's sudden death and that all of his money has gone missing, she decides to follow in his footsteps as a spy and uncover the mystery of his murder. It makes perfect sense to her, but it doesn't make sense to England's top spymasters even though Annis has the rare ability to sew glamours - garments that can completely disguise the wearer. Annis has to create a double life for herself - Annis will live the quiet life with her respectable aunt and in disguise she'd become "Madame Martine", a London-based glamour artist with a magical dressmaking shop. That way she'll still be able to maintain her social standing, earn her own living, and follow the clues that her father left behind to solve his murder. It can't be much harder than successfully making it through the London social season, can it?

I've always enjoyed historical fantasy and Kelly Jones's Regency Era set mystery is no exception. I wasn't terribly blown away by the mystery element, but it has so much else going for it. I, for one, loved the getting to know our cast, the wonderful female friendship, the magical elements, and clever wit. I particularly liked that Annis, although clever and determined, still has a lot to learn about herself, her abilities, and the wider world. As much as I liked her, though, I really liked Millie, Annis's servant. Let's just say she's quite resourceful and has a lot of hidden depths. Plus, their friendship is empowering, supportive, and is totally goals worthy. I also have to admit, I liked the reveal about Annis's aunt - very cool. Finally, I was also hooked on what we got about Annis's magic. The glamour sewing scenes were some of my favorites. I really only wish we got to know more about the state of magic in the wider world of Regency England.

Overall, Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones is a fun fantasy spy caper through Regency Era London. If you're a fan of historical fantasy such as These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker, A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I have a feeling you'll also enjoy Kelly Jones's new release. I'm definitely looking forward to more from this author in the future.



I read this eARC from September 10 - 13, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Music Monday: Best Music Moments From Supernatural, Season 3 & 4


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

Like last week, I'm sharing my favorite my favorite music music moments from seasons 3 and 4 of Supernatural.  I had to choose "Heat of the Moment" by Asia (1982) which is featured in the eleventh episode of season three, "Mystery Spot" - I've actually been hearing this song at work lately and I can't help but think of this show!  Every time I hear this song, I can't help but think of this show!  For season four, I've picked "A Well-Respected Man" by The Kinks (1965) which appears in the seventeenth episode.  It's a bit different from their usual music choice, but it really works in the scene.



Bonus: I also had to include Jensen Ackles lip syncing "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor (1982) which is one of the bloopers from "Yellow Fever", the sixth episode of season four!  It's hilarious!  Why hasn't he been on Lip Sync Battle yet?!



Friday, September 15, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) by Charlaine Harris + 50/50 Friday

 



On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook.  Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.  As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.   Then, for  50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.


This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) by Charlaine Harris.  This is the first thing outside of The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris that I've ever read, so it'll be interesting to see how it compares.  I'm also excited to try it because I'm hooked on NBC's television adaptation (I've been following along with it on Twitter actually) - I can't wait to see the season finale this Monday and I really hope it gets renewed - and I really want to know what Manfred and company are like in the source material.  I'm not that far into it yet, but it's definitely promising - and, of course, I can't help but picture my favorite characters as their tv counterparts!  Let's get this show on the road!


Beginning: 

You might pass through the town of Midnight without noticing it, if there weren't a stoplight at the intersection of Witch Light Road and the Davy highway.  Most of the town residents are very proud of the stoplight, because they know that without it the town would dry up and blow away.

56:

Manfred saw that Mr. Snuggly had bypassed them somehow and was now sitting right on the boundary of Fiji's lush and lovely yard and the bare weedy ground in front of the chapel.  His tail was curled around his paws.  he could have been a stripped statue for sale in a home decor shop.  This was a cat who had mastered the art of stillness.



50/50 Friday: Favorite/ Least Favorite Series Cover Set










Favorite - The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater - Just beautiful!




Least Favorite - The Curse Workers by Holly Black - I loved these up until that redesign for book three (WHY?!)!  The first two feature the original covers, then the last shows what they did to it.  The stories, though, are some of my all time favorites!  You can see here what we could have had for the final book here - not as good as the originals, but it's something at least.


Have you been watching Midnight, Texas on NBC or have you read the original series?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps commenting down below!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Crowns of Croswald (The Croswald Series #1) by D.E. Night (ARC) - Review


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I received a free paperback ARC from JKS Communications - Literary Publicity regarding author D.E. Night's debut novel.

For her entire life, Ivy has lived behind a boundary that separates the mundane world from the magical. It's hidden her effectively up until she crosses that border and her magical powers awaken. She ends up becoming a student at the Halls of Ivy, a school for those who need to master their magic as well as to learn how to use Croswald's gems. After an attack, Ivy quickly has to uncover the mysteries of her past to save herself and Croswald before history is swept away.

The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night is the first in a brand new Middle Grade fantasy series that has been compared to some of my all time favorites like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, along with a dash of Disney's Cinderella. Our sixteen year-old MC, Ivy has lived a life of drudgery as a scaldrony maid at a castle. She only has one real friend who watches out for her, but despite everything she's still brave and curious about the world around her (or at least as much as she can afford to be). Alongside Ivy, I loved seeing the new-to-her magical world come to life as she is invited to attend a school where the students learn their innate magical abilities - and realize just how vital she is to the past and future of the kingdom. While I loved getting to know Ivy, I also found myself interested in the magic of the scrivenists that revolves around quills, ink, and storytelling.

As much as I enjoyed these elements of this story, I did have a few issues with the novel including characterization, world-building, and pacing. As for characterization, I have to mention Ivy's age - we're told over and over again that Ivy is sixteen years old, but on the page she doesn't really sound or feel like a sixteen year old at all. Maybe it's the middle grade classification of the story, but to me (if we weren't told her age so often) would have guessed that she was only eleven or twelve years old - like Harry or Percy are at the beginning of their stories. The world-building that we get is good, but overall it feels a little lackluster as I felt a touch out of the loop when it comes down to some details of the magic system and the background of the kingdom. Finally, I do want to mention the pacing as it does jump around a fair bit from slow with very little actually happening to rushing by. On a similar note, some of the transitions between chapters or sections are a bit jarring.

Overall, The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night is a decent debut that is quite addicting and adventurous. While it does have a few small issues, it's still a fun read with a magic system that will definitely appeal to book lovers. If you like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Cinderella, and perhaps even Tangled, you may enjoy jumping into the world of Croswald.

Thanks again to JKS Publications and D.E. Night!


I read this ARC from from September 3 - 8, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.  You can also check out my unboxing post here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#TheReadingQuest - Final Results & Mini Reviews


Aentee @ Read At Midnight's brilliant reading challenge called #TheReadingQuest just wrapped up on Sunday, September 10th.  I didn't do quite as well as I had hoped, but I managed to complete 7 squares - four from the Knight's Quest and three side quests - and nearly 8 to finish my last book from my character's quest.  You can see my original TBR here and if you'd like to see my mini reviews on each title I completed, please read on:


Books Completed For The Knight's Quest:


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The First Book Of A Series (Also applies to the Mage's Quest) The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon & Clare #1) by Lilith Saintcrow - I've had this steampunk alternate fantasy novel on my tbr for quite a while, plus I've had good luck with this author in the past.

That was a lot of fun! Think steampunk, alternate history, urban fantasy, and Sherlock Holmes, and you've got The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow. I have to continue this series!


I read this novel from August 19 - 24, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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A Book With A Verb in the TitleDead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1) by Kim Harrison - I've heard so many great things about this urban fantasy series and I have no idea why I haven't already read it.

I've been meaning to start this series for ages, so I jumped at the chance to give it a shot for #TheReadingQuest - plus, a friend of mine has really been pushing me toward it. Anyways, now I'm really wondering why I hadn't read this series opener sooner! I loved the world of The Hollows and our cast of characters - Jenks especially. I couldn't but root for our witchy redhead Ohioan! I will definitely be continuing this series!


I read this novel from September 1 - 7, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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A Book With A Weapon on It's CoverStalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco - Again, I've seen so many great reviews for this novel that I have no clue why I haven't already picked it up.

Since this novel was released last year, I've had a copy sitting on my shelf - and for some reason I kept putting off which could have had something to do with all of the hype and fantastic reviews. Anyways, I shouldn't have worried because this debut was stunning. I thoroughly enjoyed Kerri Maniscalco's style! I loved getting to know Aubrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell in their element of the budding field of forensic science. And, we get all the bloody details to boot, so this read isn't for the squeamish. Aubrey Rose is quite a refreshing character with an engaging mind and she certainly stands up for her own beliefs - definitely one of my favorites for a while. She's a difficult act to follow, but Cresswell manages to do it and steal many of his scenes - he totally gives off Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles vibes. Finally, I also really enjoyed the mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper and how a piece of classic literature was tied into the story to great effect. I can't wait to rejoin Audrey Rose and Thomas for Hunting Prince Dracula!


I read this novel from August 24 - September 1, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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A Book That Has A TV/ Movie Adaptation (Also applies to the Bard's Quest) My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier - I haven't seen the new movie yet starring Rachel Weisz, but I've been meaning to read this for ages since I loved Rebecca.

Loved this classic, but not quite as much as Rebecca. Why didn't I start it sooner! Now I'll have to try the new movie adaptation with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin.


I read this from August 13 - 17, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Side Quests:





Respawn (Read A Book You Previously DNF'd) Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes - I tried to listen to this novel last year on audiobook, but I ended up giving up on it around 15% through the novel.  I think this time I may try it again but with the print edition of the story instead.

UPDATE:

I decided to try to reread this novel in print for the Respawn side quest on #TheReadingQuest. Unfortunately, I feel the same way about it as I did the first time around. I only made it to page 65 before DNF'ing it, which is weirdly enough at 15%, right around where I gave up on the audiobook.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

As the three rulers of the kingdoms of Mytica grapple for power, the lives of their subjects will be changed. Four will find their lives and destinies intertwined in unexpected ways - Cleo, a princess; Jonas, a rebel; Lucia, a sorceress; and Magnus, the heir. Only one thing is for certain, and that is that kingdoms will fall. The real question: Who will be triumphant when everything comes crashing down?

I was fully prepared to love Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and have a new series to obsess over, but I found myself greatly disappointed. I actually ended up DNFing this audiobook at 15%. Normally, sprawling epic fantasy is one of my favorite genres, but that's not the case here. I simply couldn't make myself care about anyone or anything that was going on. Although there are so many characters introduced in this novel, not a single one of these cardboard cutouts interested me enough to keep going. As for Mytica, there is not nearly enough world-building to flesh out the three kingdoms that make it up. Falling Kingdoms tries very hard to be Game of Thrones lite, but honestly I would much rather prefer to read, or watch, that instead because this just doesn't work out. By the way, the names of some of the characters are quite similar to GoT characters - there's even a character named Theon.

Overall, I had high hopes for the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes, but unfortunately, it just didn't work out for me. The characters are a tad too generic, unrelatable, and uninteresting - plus, there are too many to easily keep track of (and that's just within the first 15%) - and the world-building is lacking the depth for the wide world of Mytica. If you're looking for a YA Game of Thrones read alike perhaps you should try Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas or The Young Elites by Marie Lu instead.



I retryed this novel on September 9, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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Mini-Game (Read A Graphic Novel, Novella, or Poem Collection) Batgirl, Volume 1: The Batgirl of Burnside by Cameron Stewart - This will also work for Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and fulfill task eighteen which require reading a superhero comic with a female lead.

This is my first ever Batgirl comic book! I'm only really familiar with the character from other media, though. While I felt out of the loop at times, the story is still more or less self-contained. I have to admit that I wish she was still a librarian or at least in training, but I'm still intrigued with this version of the character. I'm not all that familiar with DC characters, but I'd also like to get to know Dinah Lance better. I may be continuing this run in the future.


I read this graphic novel on September 3, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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Animal Companion (Book Referencing An Animal In The Title)Big Fish by Daniel Wallace - This will also work for my Summer 2017 Bookish Bingo challenge and will fulfill the Flowers On The Cover square - I love the movie adaptation of this with Ewan McGregor and I hope the book lives up to my expectations.

I had no idea that this story started off as a novel after having loved the Tim Burton film starring Ewan McGregor. As soon as I realized that fact, I had to try it for myself - and I tackled it as a part of #TheReadingQuest. While I ended up liking the book well enough I have to admit that I absolutely adore the movie. There are quite a few differences between the book and the movie, but I'd say the changes are to the film's advantage. Overall, though, I think the film has the tone and the spirit of the story, but it's presented in more of a linear fashion. Plus, the coda from the film gives the viewer a little peek at the truth behind the myth of Edward Bloom, whereas the book leaves us to make up your mind with multiple versions of the ending. Overall, I can't recommend the movie enough and I recommend the book to those that are very interested in magical realism or seeing how myths and legends look in a modern setting.



I read this novel on September 9, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Final Score: Level 2, 65 EXP, 198 HP


Did you take part in #TheReadingQuest and make your goals?  Have you read any of these books?  Thanks as always for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!