Welcome

Welcome to my train of thought. Just a warning, there might be turbulence. I'm a little eccentric, but hopefully you'll find something here that'll make the crazy worth it. Stay tuned for book reviews, ramblings on random things, and all sorts of stuff that tickles my fancy. But keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. My brain is a scary place!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Review: The Beautiful Ones

The Beautiful Ones The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin's, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I've heard great things about Silvia Moreno-Garcia, certain great things about her book Certain Dark Things (see what I did there???). I haven't had a chance yet to read it, though I did buy it earlier this year to read, but when I saw this on Netgalley, I had to give it a shot. Telekinesis talked about as if it's relatively normal in this world? Sounds fun to me.

Well, here's the deal... if you're going into this expecting more of an urban fantasy or paranormal romance, you're in for a surprise. The telekinesis aspect, while it plays an important role in the development and relationship between two of the three main characters, is really a tiny part of the story. This book is mostly historical romance, a genre that I typically don't pick up except on rare occasion. So the telekinesis almost felt like it was there to trick me into reading something I normally wouldn't.

...and I'm glad it did. I ended up loving the book! Three compelling main characters, all broken in their own ways. Two of them fight to find something more, and one of them is one of the most despicable and cold and heartless characters I've seen on the page -- but she made for a great villain. Nina, though, stole my heart. She reminded me a lot of myself, and that made for an excellent read as I saw her grow and develop.

There were a few times the pacing felt a little off, and I would have liked a little more of the powers, but those are minor complaints about a really compelling read. I'm glad I took a chance on this. I can't wait now for Certain Dark Things, because if she does for vampires what she did for historical romance with a tinge of the supernatural, then I'm in for a treat.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Review: Boneyard

Boneyard Boneyard by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Seanan, I doubted you, and I shouldn't have. #ashamed.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy for review (and additional thanks for adding the Kindle version so I didn't have to try to read this on a really tiny phone screen in an even tinier font that settings wouldn't seem to change in Adobe Digital Editions!).

I have never heard of Deadlands before this, not at all. But I think I'm going to attempt to get my hands on the first two books in this series of standalones set in the Deadlands world. Sure, they won't be Seanan, who is poetic and deep and knows both how to plot and how to develop characters like a pro (better than a pro, really, a savant)... but she made me like this world enough to try them.

The plot revolves around a circus, a setting that seems to be one Seanan loves. In this world, however, we aren't witnessing her beloved Price family make their way in the Incryptid world, no, we're witnessed Annie Pearl find her way in the world and live a life of love and protection for her daughter, Adeline. And in this world, there are strange creatures, but not the same kind as in Incryptid. In this world, pretty much everything is dangerous.

I'll stop there, because I don't want to spoil the characters, but I will say that the first section of this book almost led me to give up -- but if you follow in my footsteps, please continue on as I did. Once they hit The Clearing and the creepy begins to set in, it'll grip you like the cold, hungry hands of... oops, spoilers again. Perfect October/Halloween-ish read, and it's Seanan, so you're not risking a thing by picking this one up. With Seanan, you're pretty much guaranteed a winner.

Now, you go join the circus while I go find myself copies of the other Deadlands books. And be warned, Seanan will inspire a voracious reading hunger, just like in the... oops, spoilers again.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: The Visitors

The Visitors The Visitors by Catherine Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Boy, did that book make me feel dirty, tainted, grimy... like Lady MacBeth trying to scrub off the imaginary blood that she just couldn't shake.

This book... I don't know what to say other than TWISTED. It's completely twisted. It's fantastically twisted. It'll wriggle its way into your brain and make you unable to put it down until the very end. And ironically enough, very little happens for most of the book -- but you don't realize that until you get to the real happenings. The characters are so fleshed out, and you'll start to get an idea of what's going on as the pages pass, and even knowing that, you won't be able to stop.

Highly recommended for those who like dark and twisted and character depth.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review: It

It It by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Let's get a few things straight.
1 - Nothing I can say here is new ground. This book has been out a long time and has received countless reviews, so I'm not going to go into super detail.
2 - IT, the creature, is terrifying. Seriously terrifying. And not just because I'm extremely clown-phobic. It can read your mind. It can show up anywhere. It can show up in different forms. It can control people. It can make you see things that no one else can see. It knows your fears, deep down.
3 - Seriously? Child orgy? How is that remotely necessary to the story? And did we really need to know which of the kids REALLY filled her up more than the others? They're 11 years old. I feel dirty just TYPING that one of them has a bigger piece of meat between their legs.
4 - I guess I need to read Dark Tower to understand why there is a turtle involved in all of this?
5 - Not too pleased with the forgetfulness thing LOL.
6- I think Stephen King must have won a ritual of Chüd against his editors, and that's why so many of his books could be 400 pages shorter and tell the same story. Granted, a lot of the extra in this one helped flesh out the evil that lurks in the town, the IT... but in the chapters at the end with the final battles of both young and old, the interruptions to talk about other people in the town just ruined pacing and the climax that had been building the whole book -- the inevitable clash with the villain... and constant readus interruptus.
7 - Damn, makes me wish I had friends like these guys growing up. Other than the whole having to fight an evil entity multiple times in the same life, groups of bullies chasing them constantly, etc.
8 - I still enjoyed the book and think King is a master of storytelling and storycrafting. If you like horror, this is still highly recommended.

*walks to Joey's fridge, opens the freezer, and puts this in beside Joey's copy of The Shining*

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review: The Quarterback

The Quarterback The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Matt Lancaster is a dream -- a fantasy. Trevor is so lucky to have one of my fantasies come true for him! :) Alas, it's not all rainbows and unicorns for these two -- they have an uphill battle in their path to love.

The writing was a little juvenile and the plotting was a little predictable and the characters were a little stereotypical... but I really enjoyed it. It was nice knowing that, even though it wasn't deep literature, the author made great efforts to show that life is hard for the LGBT community, especially in the deep south... that true families aren't always the ones we're born into... that the future is always a beacon for hope and a chance for change... and that sometimes, even through the hardest of circumstances, love can help get you through.

I'm not sure it's realistic that these two would end up together permanently... but the ending was sweet and provided happiness for now, and I think it was the way it needed to end.

I'd definitely read more from this author, because she did provide depth to the main characters and those main characters had to deal with some real life situations that happen to many LGBT young people -- myself included.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review: The Brightest Fell

The Brightest Fell The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Brightest Fell

First and foremost, thank you to Netgalley and Berkley/DAW for approving me for an ARC in one of my absolute favorite series. I was given a copy of this book to read in exchange for nothing more than an honest review.

Seanan McGuire is one of the best writers I've had the pleasure of reading. She knows how to set up the action, to build the plot to the explosive scenes you know are coming, but somehow seem to still usually subvert expectations and provide an even better result than you had predicted. She excels at character development -- making us feel and care and relate and share hopes and fears with these characters. She's set up a beautiful, dark, lovely, dangerous, amazing world and an extremely diverse and developed cast. Most importantly, she knows just where the next piece of the story needs to take us to push the overall series narrative forward, every single time.

This novel is no exception. In fact, it's one of the brightest (see what I did there?) examples of her talents as a writer.

She finds a believable way to force October onto another hero's quest, with limited access to her true allies, plenty of complications along the way, and massive amounts of development in Toby's emotional growth AND in some of the secondary characters as well. It left the book feeling reminiscent of some of the earlier books of the series where the cast hadn't grown as large, but with the more mature and confident and loved Toby that has come from the series as time passes and her "family" grows. And this one referenced the events of so many of the other books, and revealed that so many of the little things were bread crumbs to a bigger story... I'm beyond excited for the next few books. I have a feeling that the search for Oberon is a big part of endgame, and I'm ready for Toby to show the world of Faerie just how amazing her and her family is.

I'm thoroughly impressed with Seanan McGuire every time I pick up one of her novels. Even the worst of her novels is still near to masterpiece. If you haven't started the October Daye series, it's time to jump in (with Rosemary and Rue, book 1). Seriously, you should have started years ago. Go, get on that. NOW.

(PS- Chapter one of this book is absolutely one of my favorite opening scenes from any book ever. It features one of the best characters to ever grace the pages of a book... and I can't say more, because spoilers.)

Of Things Unknown

Also included in this book is a brand new shorty, staring the creepy but cool digital Dryad, April O'Leary, and provides some resolution to some stories from way back in the beginnings of the series.

It's well known that most of McGuire's shorties can be extremely heartwrenching. This one was an interesting surprise -- not only because it's got some happy moments in it, but because we got to see October from someone else's perspective, we got to see the inner workings of a very intriguing character, and we got more of Seanan's ability to put fresh spins on myths and the fae, etc. Five stars for the shorty as well.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: Wildfire

Wildfire Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dearest Ilona and Gordon,

As one of your devoted worshipers, I beg and pray of you to please continue this series. I love it. The world... the characters... the magic... the houses... the heat... the naughty bits...

I NEED MORE! *offers human sacrifices to the writing-gods*

What? You think I'd sacrifice animals? I like animals better than people. I also like books better than people. So, "Ilona Andrews"... GIMME!

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