Thoughts and Review : Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

geekGeek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

Highly Recommend!


Published by Tor Books
Publication Date : May 31st, 2016
Available as eBook & Paperback – 285 Pages
Source : Purchased

A powerful collection of essays on feminism, geek culture, and a writer’s journey, from one of the most important new voices in genre.

The Geek Feminist Revolution is a collection of essays by double Hugo Award-winning essayist and science fiction and fantasy novelist Kameron Hurley.

The book collects dozens of Hurley’s essays on feminism, geek culture, and her experiences and insights as a genre writer, including “We Have Always Fought,” which won the 2014 Hugo for Best Related Work. The Geek Feminist Revolution will also feature several entirely new essays written specifically for this volume.

Unapologetically outspoken, Hurley has contributed essays to The Atlantic, Locus, Tor.com, and elsewhere on the rise of women in genre, her passion for SF/F, and the diversification of publishing.

Thoughts:
I tend to avoid any books recommended with the words ‘very angry’. I hate to say I can be delicate in what I consume but there it is. I bad anxiety, struggle with depression, so I try very hard to stay positive but weeding out what might make me one of those two things. I don’t know what possessed me to pick this up with that in thought but damn it was good.
I talked earlier this year about how much I loved Amanda Palmer’s biography (without knowing anything about her) and honestly I think this might take it’s place. I know I put it on my super speacial shelf in my reading room with the Amanda Palmer book and Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art book. Where Amanda’s book was for creative types this I would recommend for any woman who exists on the internet and has even the vaguest ideas of

img_20161011_191559847

I tabbed and highlighted this so much

speculative fiction.
Kameron Hurley talks through her anger, her resentment, her struggles with the perceptions and the impact and actions of people on her. She talks about being fat, about being reliant on several shots (daily) to live her life, about writing, being queer, and why writing intelligently and aware is important. She admits to faults and to successes and at time challenges the SFF community. I gobbled it up like candy.
I have heard the writing can be a bit odd for people, she makes clever use of paragraph/page breaks for impact, but if you can handle this then DEFINITELY pick this up.  The one essay I had already read in this that’s available online, for free, We Have Always Fought is a great way to sample her writing and one of my favorite essays of all time. Read that to determine if she’ll work for you and if she will then this is one you want to order.

Mini-Reviews: Volume 18 (right?)

Sure! Volume 18. That’s what we’re on.
I’m sure.
sure, yeah

I’m really bad at this blogging thing. Don’t tell anybody.

Anyway! Onto the mini-reviews!

thefamiliarOne Rainy Day in May (The Familiar #1)
by Mark Z. Danielewski

☆☆☆☆.5

    Goodreads thoughts –  I’m still not sure what I just read but I enjoyed it a lot. I’ll definitely be picking up the second book from the library next week. Wow.
Additional (and later) thoughts – Alright, having stepped away from this it is still incredibly difficult to talk about. The book follows quite a few different viewpoints but all seem to follow around a little girl who finds a kitten. The book ends on that, but spent the whole time leading to it in its own way. In this book the views can get overwhelming – in fact I made a summary of each chapter and how they interlink for myself in a notebook to keep track of. The style of the stories is different, some in dense prose, others in almost just dialogue, and some just like stream of consciousness. It’s bizarre but I think if you can stick it out it’s totally, totally worth it. I have never been so freaked out by a kitten, ever in my life.

Black Magick, Volume One: Awakening, Part One
by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott

☆☆☆☆.5blackmagick

    This was a fantastic graphic novel. I enjoyed the artwork, the story, and even the touches of character development. Just like most graphic novels the first volume is just a taste of the characters. A lot of history is teased, a lot of character personality is teased and touched on. I really liked what I saw though, I’m extremely excited to read the next volume – this one is high on my list of comic series right now.
Another note on the art – it’s amazing. If you have the opportunity to flip through this do it. The color schemes are gray based but the magic brings life and color. Our main character is a practicing Wiccan (with fairly accurate representation of what I remember in Wicca) and it I think shows a fascinating aspect to her that everything but her magic, her religion, is drab in the world. Definitely look at this one

sourcerySourcery (Discworld #5)
by Terry Pratchett

☆☆☆☆

   This is probably one of the best ones I’ve read so far. The books have hit a stride with have a good stable plot and not too much meandering to them. This one did an excellent job showing just what would happen to wizards and the world if they were allowed A) to breed and B) rule the world. The madness that is seemingly kept at bay by wizards just being a bunch of old fussy men is pretty impressive. Let’s talk about how much I love The Librarian and  it also helps that Rincewind is probably one of my favorites – if not my favorite character so far. He and Death are pretty close for first right now. I’m definitely going to try and blaze through the next 4 to get to Eric, which is his next book.

The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria
by Carlos Hernandez

☆☆☆☆assimilated

  This was a great, consistent collection. Of the stories presented I think I only found one I didn’t enjoy as much as the rest. It was just a touch too clunky and didn’t flow as the others did. The rest were fantastic, and some were weird enough to send me into fits of ‘wtf did I just read’. These all had a culture theme to them as well, so definitely something to look at if you’re part of or interested in learning more and diversifying your reading. I enjoyed the story so much I went sniffing through the catalogue of other releases. If you like anthologies I would definitely pick this up and give it a try, it’s short and pretty consistently awesome.

Review & Thoughts : Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
☆☆☆

SleepingGiantsPublished by Del Rey
Publication Date : April 26th, 2016
Available as Hardback & eBook – 320 Pages
Source : Purchased!

A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton,World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Thoughts:
I enjoyed this one so, so much. I was hesitant going in, outstanding premise but I’ve seen mixed reviews. Some said it kept them at arms reach (it did) and that the format of the story limited what happened (which it also did). All of these are spot on to the story. Somehow in this case though it worked for me.
The only ‘character’ that I truly grew attached to was our narrator. Being the narrator that means that he/she is likely safe (for now) from harm. Because of these the events that unfold are almost like watching a crazy movie or family drama. My mentality and what I was looking for with this one made this exactly what I wanted. I also have a series problem not loving epistolary novels. I can’t think of one I haven’t enjoyed.
Speaking of a narrator I have to say, I felt like the this person, changed and developed. There are things that are done, things that happen, and things that are said that I saw as actual character to that narrator. I saw some personality, some reactions in the character. I felt almost like Agent Coulson. Sometimes things and reactions were played off but maybe our narrator is not as all seeing and planning as they’d like us to think?
The other characters were kind of what I expected, but managed to surprise me in the little things and actions they took. From Ryan to Kara and Rose (OMG that ending though?) I really wound up liking all of them a lot. Good solid cast, and I can’t wait to see more of them in the future.
Like all books, it’s up to the reader but I really loved this. I highly recommend giving it a try if giant robots are your thing (if they aren’t then clearly you are way more adult than I am). If nothing else you’ll have a quick and fun read.

May Wrap-up!

So in May I did pretty good! I read 19 books (including two DNFs), which isn’t too shaby. I’ll link any reviews I did of anything that was a new release into the book’s title.

So just general fun stuff.

  • With the 16 completed books I read 4985 words.
  • I DNF’d Endless Night by Catherine Addison and Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
  • I had 3 Five Star books7 Four or Four and half Star books7 Three or Three and Half Star books

The books!

  • Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen – 3 stars
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – 4 stars
  • Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear – 4 stars
  • Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland – 3 stars
  • Sourcery by Terry Pratchett – 5 stars
  • Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt – 4.5 stars
  • The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria by Carlos Hernandez – 4.5 stars
  • Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh – 3.5 stars
  • Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews – 4 stars
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe – 4 stars
  • Mothership by Martin Leicht & Isla Neal – 4 stars
  • Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. Lafevers – 5 stars
  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang – 4 stars
  • In The Stars I’ll Find You by Bradley P. Beauleu – 5 stars
  • Diary of the Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kiney – 3 stars
  • Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel – 5 stars
  • Monsters by Emerald Fennell – 3.5 stars
  • Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews – 3.5 stars

I have a review coming up of Sleeping Giants, stay tuned for that. Most of these will pop up in the next few weeks as Mini-Reviews. I am thinking of doing a review of Karen Memory, Mothership, and The Vegetarian. If I do get those up I’ll try to add them back in here.

So a good month! I hope everyone else’s month was fantastic!

Thoughts and Review : In the Stars I’ll Find You by Bradley P. Beaulieu

InstarsIn The Stars I’ll Find You & Other Tales of Futures Fantastic by Bradley P. Beaulieu

☆☆☆

Published by Quillings Literary (Kickstarted)
Publication Date : April 15th, 2016
Available as Paperback & eBook – 193 Pages
Source : Kickstarted!

Bradley P. Beaulieu’s latest story collection features his science fictional work, from exploring far-flung worlds to finding what it means to be human through artificial intelligence to the cost of dividing ourself through the use of technology. In the Stars I’ll Find You & Other Tales of Futures Fantastic contains 10 stories that explore our very human relationship with technology, some in print for the first time.

Thoughts:
This slim volume had for me, quite a few winners. I helped to Kickstart it a few months back and when it finally came in I couldn’t wait to get to it. I stared it for a month or so on my desk and gave up – I had it set aside for a special TBR next month but ah well… it was not meant to be. I’ve read only one of Mr. Beaulieu’s stories (the first in this collection) previously and it’d been enough to wet my appetite. I also just recently purchased Twelve Kings, though I haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet. Besides that first story the rest of these were a huge surprise, and like I said almost entirely winners.
I’m not sure what my favorite of the batch would be. The title story In the Stars I’ll Find You is surprisingly shocking and emotional, Compartmentalized is a sci-fi but one with heart (which honestly you could say about almost all these), and Cirque de Lumiere teased a world I’d love to get more of. I also found the premise and world (one in which the Greek remained the main power religion/culture?) of Foretold especially intriguing.
I know this is one I’ll revisit, and I’m most definitely picking up anything I’m missing from Mr. Beaulieu as soon as I can. I believe he has one other short story collection (with some overlapping stories), and I’m all over that.
This is a solid winner, first non-middle grade 5 star I’ve given in a bit! Highly recommend this one.

Thoughts and Review : The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

InvisibleLibrary☆☆☆☆☆

Published by Roc
Publication Date : June 14th, 2016
Will be Available Paperback & eBook – 352 Pages
Source : NetGalley (Thank you!)

Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.
 
One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction…
 
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.
 
London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
 
Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself…

Thoughts:
The Invisible Library jumped up and surprised the crap out of me. I almost hate to say this because I see it so often on reviews and never believe it but this one sneaks up on you. 10, 20% through and you’ll be lukewarm and then you’ll be 50-60% through and you can’t stop. It reaches up and grabs you by the suspenders and shoves your head into the pot of giant mechanical bugs, over the top characters, and the most ridiculously roundabout chase plot I’ve ever read.
Have I made myself clear in that? I loved this one. I heard about this one back when it released in the UK and a Booktuber hauled it. I added it almost immediately to my TBR but hadn’t been able to pick it up. Naturally when I spotted it on NetGalley I immediately requested it. I have had a few problems reading through Kindle books lately as they give me headaches (something about the lighting) but for this one I pushed through. The last day of reading it I’m a little ashamed to say I hid in the bathroom to try and finish it at work.
This is a book for book lovers. Our heroine is a woman working for The Library, an organization that collects and safeguards books from multiple dimensions and timelines. On return from a mission she is immediately assigned a new one and an apprentice to go with her. The dimension they’re headed into is in it’s Steampunk Victorian era, filled with all the tropes you’d expect. In fact the book points these outs and uses them. To keep with the narrative of the mission these stereotypes need to be followed, before heading in Irene and her new apprentice Kai set the rules and take their roles (for all the good it does them). While in the world they have to play by the rules, learn the lingo, and at the same time steal – ‘obtain’ the book the Library wants. Things naturally go wrong and in the most magnificent way.
The characters in this were engaging, fun, and quirky. I loved the interactions between Kai and Irene, I even came to love Brandemant (is that how you spell that name, I can’t remember) for all her bitter and flat out mean moments. I was concerned that the plot was slowing down but the doors bust open with the next bizarre attack and I ended up laughing my head off. If you can strive through that first little bit this is one to pick up.
I highly recommend this one for people who enjoy books, heist/chase stories, ‘The Great Detective’ trope, or the absolutely ridiculous. This has all of that in buckets. I am stoked to get my paws on my own copy and the next one as well.

Thoughts and Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

SerpentKing☆☆☆☆☆

Published by Crown Books \ Random House
Publication Date : March 8th, 2016
Available as Hardback & eBook – 384 Pages
Source : Received within the February OwlCrate

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

Thoughts:
This may be a short review but one I felt I really wanted to make. The Serpent King captured for me something I’ve never really gotten in a YA book. The closest I can think of would be Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z Martin. What both got was a sense of a place. Deadly Curiosities captured what Charleston means to me (as a place I frequented as a child and now again as an adult) and The Serpent King  captures perfectly to me what it was like growing up in East Tennessee. In the college town I went to school in is mentioned briefly. The book itself is set only a few hours from me, and I could feel that.
I was cautious going into this book, honestly. I had gotten the sampler at YALLFest – one of the few I actually read, and thought it sounded intriguing enough to add to the ‘Library’ list. When this popped out of my OwlCrate I was genuinely excited. So excited I tossed my TBR out the window and started this the next day. I was worried about the mention of religion and of the chance that the location would adversely affect the book. I’ve read plenty of books where the ‘Southerner’ trope is used and abused and let me tell you – I hate it.
These characters however had the quiet dignity and reserve I wanted. The stereotype of the shoe-less hillbilly is tired and done and I wear my shoes at least most of the time I should, thank you very much. Characters like Travis’s mom, with her quiet and meek support and love is something so familiar it makes my heart ache. On that note let me say that I adored our main characters in this and it genuinely broke me. At one point I turned to my husband at work and said ‘These are my babies and something bad is going to happen, I’m not ready for it’. About an hour later it happened and I wasn’t read then either.
The book is a touch predictable in what the ultimate climax is, the triggering event that changes everything, but that doesn’t take away from it’s impact and how it changes the story. If you at all care for contemporary YA or are at all interested in what I feel was a lovely and accurate representation of a lot of East Tennessee check this one out.

Review and Thoughts : The Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney

WolfinAtticThe Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney

☆☆☆☆.5

Published by Solaris
Expected Publication Date : May 10th, 2016
Available as Paperback & eBook – 320 Pages
Source : NetGalley, Thank you!

A novel that will enchant readers of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman. The fantastical appears in the middle of 1920’s Oxford as a young refugee looking to escape her grim reality rubs shoulders with two of the founding fathers of modern fantasy, Tolkien and Lewis.

1920s Oxford: home to C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien… and Anna Francis, a young Greek refugee looking to escape the grim reality of her new life. The night they cross paths, none suspect the fantastic world at work around them.

Anna Francis lives in a tall old house with her father and her doll Penelope. She is a refugee, a piece of flotsam washed up in England by the tides of the Great War and the chaos that trailed in its wake. Once upon a time, she had a mother and a brother, and they all lived together in the most beautiful city in the world, by the shores of Homer’s wine-dark sea.

But that is all gone now, and only to her doll does she ever speak of it, because her father cannot bear to hear. She sits in the shadows of the tall house and watches the rain on the windows, creating worlds for herself to fill out the loneliness. The house becomes her own little kingdom, an island full of dreams and half-forgotten memories. And then one winter day, she finds an interloper in the topmost, dustiest attic of the house. A boy named Luca with yellow eyes, who is as alone in the world as she is.

That day, she’ll lose everything in her life, and find the only real friend she may ever know.

Thoughts:
I used to play tennis, a lot. I’d have tennis lessons three to four times a week, my mom and sister would shuffle me down the courts and every time I fell trying to catch that damned yellow ball I’d pretend I meant to do it. I can’t say I remember those lessons or those bruises, but I can say I remember what came after. We’d go home, get cleaned up and while we had a snack we’d watch Dark Shadows. My mom loved that show, and so naturally I did as well. I’d sit and soak that show up like a sponge. What I remember so sharply was the atmosphere of it. Dark and moody, and as an adult I remember a lot of episodes featured water or rain.
Why am I telling you this drawn out story? To make the point that atmosphere is important, it’s what you remember or at least what I do. This book has that in spades. I adored this. It’s been a slow few months for me in reading so this came as such a pleasant surprise. I’d open my kindle case eager anticipating returning to dreary Oxford and Anna’s tangled life. Paul Kearney did such a clever job of using the weather and Oxford to reflect Anna back at us. We ride through her day inside her mind, and it’s not till the last page that you can think back and see what was hidden in there.
Anna is the daughter of a Greek refugee, who lives alone in her house. A governess will appear on scheduled days but Anna spends her time mostly alone with her doll Pie (Penelope). One dreary evening she ventures out and sees something she should not, as most children tend to do, and her life begins a slow but steady unraveling.
So that I’m not simply gushing over this let’s divide this up.
The Characters – Anna herself is complex and childlike enough that I totally bought into her. She grew, and developed. Though she does from time to time exhibit the trope of ‘the wise child’ she will turn right back around to do something equally as foolish. Anna’s father was at times frightening (as he should be to a child) and other times I felt an immense pity for him. The rest of the characters all seemed to have their own depth and drives. Just as a note – though the summary mentions J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis do not expect too much there. Rubs shoulders should be taken literally.
The Plot – At first it’s hard to see, this books takes a long time to get off but ultimately it was worth it for me. I feel like little pieces of the plot were hidden in the beginning that I missed, I’m planning on getting my own copy of this to mark up and reread. I don’t want to give much of this away, but for me I loved this.
The Writing –  This is where the book lost half a star for me, but I have a feeling on a reread I might bump this back up. The first bit of the story I had problems following because of our frequent paragraph breaks and jumps in locations and times. This did even out and I really enjoyed it when it did. Anna did also carry that ‘Wise Child’ trope occasionally as well. But as I noted above the atmosphere in this book was lovely, something that couldn’t have been done if it wasn’t for such a strong narrative voice.

This is a book and a story that I ate up like candy after just a small learning curve. I can’t wait to get my own physical copy to mark and note and I really recommend this one. If you love heavy atmosphere, child heroes, or just want to leave your quiet life for a few hundred pages – this is the way to go.

***I was provided a free copy of this book for review from NetGalley by the publishers, thank you! My review is my own thoughts and opinions and not swayed in anyway.***

Short Fiction Roundup!

I, in recovering from a reading slump inflicted by a week of the strep throat from hell, gorged myself a bit in the past week on short fiction. I thought I’d round up the best of those here for you guys today.

theterracottaThe Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho – ☆☆☆☆

The Terracotta Bride reads like a fairy tale to me. It tells the story of Siew Tsin, a young woman who is currently living in the 10th circle of hell in the Chinese afterlife. For me it was almost a tale of unexpected love and learning to take big steps, risky steps to perhaps one day gain that something that you need and want.
Zen Cho’s writing enchanted me and I love anything set in the Chinese afterlife so this one was an excellent diversion. If you’ve read and enjoyed The Ghost Bride, then I highly recommend this shorter work.

 

The Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal – ☆☆☆☆

ForestofMemory

This very unique science fiction kidnapping story was amazing. My only complaint is that I wanted just a tiny bit more. It was so close to perfect but I was left wondering at the end, a wondering that had me wishing for resolution. This tales the story of a woman’s unexplained and untrackable kidnapping in a time when everyone and everything is plugged in. It begs the questions of what are we forgetting, what could we forget with the need to be plugged in? The world that is constructed through this woman’s tale, and her honest speak of ‘remembering’ when things are always recorded just left me thinking for days after reading it. Definitely grab this one.

 

The Devil You Know by K.J. Parker –☆☆☆☆

TheDevil Of the short fiction I read this was the longest but I think it was one of the most unique experiences for me. I’ve never read Tom Holt\K.J. Parker, but I think I’m beginning to see why he has the following he does.
This is told in conflicting viewpoints of a famous philosopher and the Devil he sells his soul too. Though the one slight twist I saw happen the rest I did not fully pick up. It’s almost a mystery, the story of ‘What is he up too?’. The most infuriating part and really the most rewarding is in the end you’re left going ‘Of course!’, you read half the book from our philosopher friend’s view but you never figure it out.
This one took some mad skills to pull off and I enjoyed every bit of it.

 

A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong – ☆☆☆☆AFistofPermutations

What can I say about this one. This was the shortest of the fiction I read, coming in at 18 pages. Because of that this one read and felt like a windstorm. It blew in, wrecked me, and blew out. I can’t do a description on this justice so let’s just take the blurb on Goodreads:

“Hannah and Melanie: sisters, apart and together. Weather workers. Time benders. When two people so determined have opposing desires, it’s hard to say who will win–or even what victory might look like. This stunning, haunting short story from rising star Alyssa Wong explores the depth and fierceness of love and the trauma of family”

I’ve read one other Alyssa Wong story, which I didn’t realize at the time but totally makes sense having discovered it, The Fisher Queen. Both of these stories I loved. This one in particular will rip your heart out and stomp on it like an angry child. If you have siblings and enjoy weird fiction that messes with your emotions this is the way to go.

 

Mini-Reviews Volume 13

This was a good bunch. I hit a slumpy period but came out guns blazing or pages flying if you would.

Madness

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson
☆☆☆☆☆

  Oh My Glob. I still can’t react to the ending of this book. I simply cannot – I don’t… I don’t know. I was NOT ready for it. I didn’t see it. It was like a kick in the gut, holy shit. I freaked out and had to have my husband order me the third… and now that it’s here I’m terrified of it.
From Goodreads: I was entirely unprepared for this one. I enjoyed the first book, it was fun and had what I thought was a great idea behind it. This one started a little slow and went to a weird place that I didn’t expect. Then those last 30 pages or so. I was not prepared for that and for what it did. I’m not going to spoil it, but I will say have all the books there with you. You’ll want to jump straight into book three.

 

A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holes #1) by Sir Arthur Conan DoyleAStudy
☆☆☆☆☆

This was a great Sherlock story, if you haven’t read Sherlock I would say try this. It’s one of the few full(ish) stories of Sherlock. That being said it’s a bit different from the shorter stories, so something to keep in mind!
From Goodreads: ** spoiler alert ** I was a little worried going into this, just unsure of how a longer Holmes story would read. I really enjoyed The Hound of Baskerville when I read it but I loved the short stories I read between these two. I shouldn’t have been too worried however, this was excellent. I really enjoyed the second portion of the story, deviating from Sherlock and Watson to give us the back story of our murderer. It was different from the previous books in it’s delivery and made the victims seem more the villains and our murderer more the almost hero. A great way to turn it around.
   Overall, a great one. I really enjoyed it and will definitely recommend it for any new fans of the series.
Side note – this was the story that the first Sherlock episode is based on. That tickles me.

 

BeforeTheAwakeningStar Wars : Before the Awakening (Star Wars Canon) by Greg Rucka
☆☆☆

I don’t think my Goodread’s review changed – you can definitely check that out below!
From Goodreads: Maybe a 3.5*s.
This was good, but I think I waited to long after the movie to read it. Not because I have lost interest in the movie but I actually read a lot of what would have been new information for me online.
The stories were definitely also written in more of a YA tone and I was hoping for a more adult tone. That was also on me simply not checking the book thoroughly before hand.
If you haven’t been prowling the web for theories or new info this is definitely worth getting, I did enjoy it! Anything that gives me more of these three is an awesome, awesome thing