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Monday, April 24, 2017

Music Monday: Stephen Lynch

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to Music Monday! This weekly meme was created by Lauren @Always Me. 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

I first heard about this guy when I was in High School. I don't remember if it was an actual album, or if it was a mix someone made. They shared it with me because we have the same kind of twisted sense of humor. Many of his songs are horrible, as in really inappropriate, but I still find them very funny. I apologize in advance if these offend anybody, as I mentioned I have a twisted sense of humor and know that many won't think they are that funny.

This is one of his newer albums:

This is the album where most of the songs I first heard by him are on:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday 56 and Book Beginnings: Wicked Treasure (Treasure Chronicles #3) by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek // Friday 50/50 Favorite/Least Favorite Book Urban Fatasy

This is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice
These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

Please join us over at RoseCityReader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Synopsis:
     An asylum patient has a cryptic vision: Clark will overthrow the presidency. She's just insane...right? 
    When a clockwork lion kidnaps their daughter, Clark and Amethyst's calm new life shatters. Hunting down the beast leads the Grishams and Treasures to a conspiracy not just against Clark, but also against the country. 
     The conspirators attacked their little girl. An offense like that can’t go ignored. With his old gang at his back, Clark is ready to take on an abandoned circus, dethroned royalty, a corrupt orphanage, and the presidency itself. 


Book Beginning:
They washed her hair, so she knew it was coming: the next visit.

My Friday:
The driver had his head down as he counted bills Jas must have slipped him. Amethyst gripped the metal handle on the edge of the steamcoach to boost herself back in.






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50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they have 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.


Favorite:


Not So Much:


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
To take part, just pick your top ten, and add the link here.

1) Books based on mythology.
 I was really obsessed with mythology in middle school and high school. I will instantly be interested in a book with Mythology.

2) Well developed characters.
I know that it makes it hard to decide to read a book with well-developed characters, before reading it. But if I am reading a book with poorly written characters, it makes it less likely I will finish the book or read it's sequel.

3) An interesting premise.
I really like books that don't use recycled plot points. I know it's hard to be 100% unique when writing, but at the same time a, slightly, cliche plot can still be interesting if written well.

4) Fantasy
This goes along with Mythology. Most fantasy stories are based on a mythology in a region before Christianity came along. Egyptian, Greek, Roman, etc (Norse is possibly one of the more bizzare, but that's why I like it). Those were all religions before they converted to Christianity. (On a philosophical level it does make me wonder how many centuries it will take for that to happen to Christianity.)

5) Wizards. 
I love a good book about Witches or Wizards. I have parameters though. It has to have a magic system that makes sense on some level. If it's going to be explained it has to make sense, if it doesn't make sense, then I'd just prefer it not to be explained.

6) Alternate History
While I am not a big fan of some Historical Fiction. I love alternate history books. A "what-if" situation. For example, Vikings found what is now The Americas long before Columbus was dumb and "found" the content. It makes me wonder what kind of world we'd be living in had they decided to stay.

7) A nice looking cover.
While it's not good to judge a book solely by its cover, I don't want ugly books on my shelf. And if the cover is really tacky, then I get judgemental over the content and how good the editing might be. In my experience, if the cover is really cheesy or tacky, the content is equally as bad,

8) An engaging blurb.
The synopsis is one of the first things I look at, if the blurb isn't written well enough to engage me, then I doubt the book itself will.

9) A Re-Telling, or Re-Imagining of a fairytale.
I love a good retelling. Fairy Tales are so classic and most people know them, so I never hesitate to read one. Some are hit-or-miss, but when I read a good one, it makes me so happy.

10) When favorite authors team up to write a book.
I have yet to read one that I love. But it would be awesome to read a book written by any two of my favorite authors.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Title: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer, #1
Genre: YA/ Fantasy/Steampunk
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Edition: Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon US | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | BAM

Synopsis:
One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale
She's a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.
She's a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.
She's a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.
She's a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first.
Review:

So, this book was a surprise. There were moments when the book felt, strange, for lack of a better word. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it is. 

I was half expecting it to be kind of cut-and-paste YA Fantasy story. But it wasn't. There is a romance, but it is really understated and barely there. It only really shows up in the last maybe 3-4 chapters. You sense there is a mild attraction, but it never overshadows her mission. It takes a very big back seat.

I am really glad this was an eBook, because there are some Scottish Gaelic words, that I didn't know how to pronounce, or what they meant. So being able to tap on the word and find out was nice.

There are parts that dragged a little, and I found myself skimming those parts. I really liked the characters, though some felt strange in this book at times. I'm not sure what their bigger purpose will be, if they'll even have one. 

I really hope my Library has the sequels, I would like to finish this series. And I really hope the romance never overshadows the more important part of the plot.

Music Monday: Disney Broadway

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to Music Monday! This weekly meme was created by Lauren @Always Me. 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


I've been really getting into the soundtrack to the Broadway versions of Disney movies. Currently, I have really been loving the soundtrack to the broadway production of Aladdin.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Tour: True North by L.E. Sterling // Review and Giveaway

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True Born (True Born Trilogy #1) by L.E. Sterling
Published on May 3rd, 2016 
Published by Entangled Teen 
Genre: YA 
Fantasy/Science-Fiction

Welcome to Dominion City. After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair. The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared… And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are. When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters? As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.


True North by L.E. Sterling 
Published by: Entangled Teen 
Published on: April 4th, 2017 
Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction 

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.   While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.   As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.




I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance. For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since. My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words. My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend. But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.
Read the first 6 chapters HERE
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Review:
I had a hard time getting into this book, as I don't remember much that happened in the last book. 

Lucy in this book did seem to be much less proactive and more reactive with trying to find her sister. Sure, she was held back by her circumstances, but I felt that she was too focused on getting Jared to love her than she was about finding her sister. She'd lament that her sister was her everything, then a paragraph later seems more worried about not being with Jared any longer for some reason or another. 

I didn't really feel a connection to any characters. Again, this might have something to do with not remembering enough of the first book to draw a comparison to who was who. The only True Borns I remember from the first book are Jared and Nolan. Everyone else,  I don't remember what role they played in the first book. 

This sequel also felt a lot slower than the first book did. In the first book, everything was fairly fast paced, and while there was a still too heavy focus on a romance it didn't seem to take up page space as it did in this book.

I don't mind when or if a book has a romance in it, I just don't like when it takes precedence over what is supposed to be the actual threat or plot. Lucy and Jared's romance shouldn't take a bigger role in a book that is supposed to be about a girl trying to find her sister and possibly end a plague. The synopsis implies that she doesn't want to be attracted to him, but many of her actions and choices are in favor of staying with him and hoping that he loves her back. 

It was a fine book, I just prefer my characters to be less reactive when it comes to certain things.

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