Mini-Reviews: Volume 19

Overall a good batch this time! I was definitely on a strong reading spell when I blazed through these, and I really did. I think I finished the four of these back to back over two or three days.
Good times.

 

monstress

Monstress, Volume One: Awakening
by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda

☆☆☆☆

This was a beautiful mash up of folk-lore, steampunk, and high fantasy. I loved every panel of this, the artwork was incredible and the mashup worked in every way for me. This ticked every box I had. This definitely swept me along on the ride, the reveal on the end was just… it hit hard! Because of how invested I was in the story, and in our characters the reveal in the end was incredibly well done. I was hooked in every way on this, I can’t wait to read Volume 2.

 

The Lives of Tao (Lives of Tao Book 1)LivesofTao
by Wesley Chu

☆☆☆.75*s

Have you ever read a movie to book adaptation and thought ‘This was better as a movie?’ This was the opposite of that. This was the best kind of ‘action book’. There were training montages, some diverse and very cool characters, and a plot that was just deep enough to invest you. It really would make a stellar movie/show.
I found the characters likable, and relatable. It did fall down just a bit in tropes and foreshadowing making a few things obvious. There was in particular a big event at the end that I desperately didn’t want to happen but knew would. Half way through I knew it would, but as I intend to read the second book we’ll see how it pans out. In addition there were some other slightly more tropey characters and ideas, but some of those were handled in a way I can accept.
If you like action books, and stories in the vein of Men in Black I’d recommend this one.

 

Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changling #5)Hostage
by Nalini Singh

☆☆☆.5*s

This installment had a bit of the overprotective and possessive notes that the previous one had, but not as strong. I’m hoping that that is finally easing up (though I realize the ‘Alpha’ thing can’t be avoided in these types of books, I’m just saying it can be handled certain ways).
This one was definitely fun, I had problems putting it down, the story moved a breakneck pace through out the whole thing. I do think I liked Dorian a bit more as a side character, but I enjoyed reading about Ashaya. She was very likable. There isn’t much I can say about this, but that it’s continuing the plot of the series overall very well but definitely making a habit of hiding off screen what I would think would be the climax.
Regardless it makes for fun, easy, and light reads to relax the brain.

 

MurderPeacocksMurder with Peacocks (Meg Laslow #1)
by Donna Andrews

☆☆☆☆

I cannot even begin to explain why I enjoyed this so much but there was just something about the half frantic narrative (because our main character was helping plan three weddings she was quite literally , all over the place) and the just ‘oh look at that a murder’ attitude that got to me. It was almost like British style mystery but set in America? I don’t know it’s very hard to explain. It’s cozy as hell though. Let’s say that, cozy but with a overworked and frantic main character.
The quips and dialogue had me giggling at times, and I actually did enjoy all the characters. They all seemed distinct enough to me that I could identify them at a single line. That’s impressive for someone like me who has a terrible time with names.
If they made this into a show or movie I’d watch it!

Mini-Reviews: Volume 17

In which I go on a tangent, making one review not-so-mini and I gush just a bit about a comic.

 

Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

☆☆☆☆

I think this was one of my favorite King novels I’ve read in a while. It wasn’t overly long, and though it didn’t have the usual supernatural touches he puts into his work it definitely had some good creep factor to it. Brady is one of the more deranged and weird characters I have read from him.
It also had plenty of the ‘hard-boiled’ detective tropes you find in both TV and fiction, which I don’t necessarily think he was trying to subvert. I think perhaps he was just writing it because he wanted to do so that way – which I was alright with. I read this only for a fun adventure and I don’t read a whole hell of a lot of detective fiction anyway.
This was a Book Club book for me and someone in the meeting mentioned **POSSIBLE SPOILERS HERE** the death of a female character as a ‘fridging’ trope. I’m not sure if I agree totally with that, as the death wasn’t used as fridging in the typical sense. The only person that took any drive from her death was a traumatized and already slightly messed up niece. Hodges didn’t have the usual reaction to the death that you’d expect. I’m still on the fence on this. She also had impact and development in the story, which most fridge victims don’t. It also could just be a well disguised fridge, I’m not sure right now. Still pondering this one.
With that said – and wow that turned out longer than normal on these-  I’m pretty excited to pick up the next volume, its definitely on my ‘to-buy’ list now.

 

Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret AtwoodStone Mattress
☆☆☆☆

This was so close to a 5*s, so close. I thought it was going to be three stories in but unfortunately the charm it had of linking those stories together slacked off as the stories stopped being connected from what I could see. I really enjoyed the rest of the them but I especially loved the ones that linked together.

 

 

 

Fairyland

I Hate Fairyland: Volume 1 by Skottie Young
☆☆☆☆

This was nothing but fluff, gore, and hilarity. The main character was a young tender girl who dreamed of Fairyland and wound up being transported there! She had one simple quest, retrieve a key and she could go home.
That was over 20 years ago and she’s still stuck in the body of a child.
Oh. My. God. I couldn’t stop the fits of giggles I had throughout this one. It’s heavy on gore and blood and just over the top but if you enjoy that go for this one. I also have a HUGE sweet spot for grouchy heroes. Gert is just that. Definitely recommend.
Also I learned, fun fact, that supposedly Skottie Young grew up here around where I live. That was neat!

Mini-Reviews: Volume 16

More mostly original reviews! Hoorah! And overall some great ones too!

sorcerer_front mech.inddSorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
☆☆☆☆

      Jane Austen meets Fairies and Magic. Who would have thought that’d work so well?
      I really enjoyed this more than I anticipated, in fact it took a about 50 pages before I got into it, and about 150 before I realized I was getting pissy at interruptions because I needed to know what was happening. I got really pulled into it in slow and very sneaky way. 
      I loved our characters, our diversity (the way this affected the story worked so good for me, gah, thank you), and the simple way it switched from politics and court intrigue to the absurd (giant mermaids destroying London? huge dragons swooping in and out? flying clouds?). The balance was really well done and the whole thing pulled itself off marvelously. I’m excited to see what the next installments will be!

Blue Blazes.jpgThe Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig

☆☆☆☆

There is something very unique about Chuck’s writing style. It’s very raw and unapologetic in its reality. There isn’t any mincing of words, and he doesn’t filter his characters at all. My husband and I read this one at the same time for our Book Club and he loved it. Our favorite line, to give you an idea about this one is:

He’s built like a brick shithouse made of a hundred smaller brick shithouses.’

Mookie is a mob enforcer in a twisted New York. It’s home to the normal humans and the others, the demons and creatures released from the down below. These creatures use a glamour to hide themselves but a drug known as The Blue Blazes gives you the ability to see them (along with some very obvious drug like side effects). The book is a rollicking ride through the under belly of this New York and over its streets as Mookie tries to save his own life and his daughter’s. I really recommend this one, I can’t say how much I really enjoyed this. The first person, present tense writing style really helped this a lot. Definitely pick this up.

honorgirl.jpgHonor Girl by Maggie Thrash
☆☆☆

This was a very honest and emotional read, but left me unsatisfied at the end. I wanted more information on what happened to Maggie at the end. Where she went and how she adapted and got over the events of those two years. But it cut off quite abruptly, almost as if it was in the middle of a scene. I had to look it up to be sure my library copy hadn’t been vandalized or something. It’s definitely worth reading, but it does not have a happy ending, or a very clear one.

Mini-Reviews: Volume 15

Mini Reviews Volume 14

   This are all either expanded up on reviews from Goodreads or I never did give a written one for it. So, new goodies! Hoorah!

HoDHeart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
☆☆

   I’m going to be honest here. I didn’t love this one, I almost didn’t finish this one honestly. I trudged through because of sheer force of will. It was just… not for me. There were times when the descriptions and the imagery struck me as simultaneously beautiful and horrifying but then I’d just be disgusted by the denseness of it or the very time appropriate racism. This one didn’t age well for me, not at all. I found the little bit that dealt with women or mentioned them to be the worst part, though again somewhat time period appropriate. Just… ugh. This is the sort of classic reading experience that I feel scares most people away. It was just too damn short not to finish.

TremereTremere (Vampire: The Masquerade Clan Novels #12) by Eric Griffin
☆☆☆☆

    On a happier note this one was a win for me in the Clan Novels series. Tremere fascinate and amuse the crap out of me (I’m a Nosferatu player as I’ve mentioned) so my Nossie likes to call them ‘twiddle fingers’. And in our long standing game that’s sometimes how our Tremere player refers to himself and clan mates. I find the idea behind their clan fascinating because they take their immortality in a direction that I wouldn’t expect. The permanent blood bond with each other, the ties that bind them all together. It’s just interesting, I guess because I associate better with the ‘hell no blood bounds for me please’ attitude. Anyway. This was a good look into their structure and societies. Besides that, the characters were all rich, I enjoyed them. This is one I would also say can be read out of order too. Very satisfying.

PrincessJellyfishPrincess Jellyfish 2-in-1 Omnibus, Vol. 01 by Akiko Higashimura
☆☆☆☆☆

    I don’t read a lot of manga anymore. In fact the last time I bought a manga was probably… 8 years ago? I watched Princess Jellyfish probably a year ago now after getting a wild hair in my ass that I wanted to watch more anime. This was it, I got so obsessed with finding more information on this show after devouring the first and only season that I didn’t watch or read anymore. I settled into pre-ordering this and waiting. This volume covers the first half of the season that’s available (on Netflix last I checked) but it was a delight to read regardless. I love this series about a house full of lady otaku (who refer to themselves as nuns) and a cross dressing politician’s illegitimate son. I can’t express how much fun this series is for me, I also just love jellyfish to begin with so the main character’s fixation for me is familiar (I want to get my thigh tattooed with one giant jellyfish guys, I’m talking I LOVE jellyfish). Definitely try this out, even if you don’t read or haven’t read manga in a while, this is a good starting point or return point. Not to mention it’s just beautiful!