Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!!




To my proud and noble Canadian friends,

Happy Canada Day, Eh?


Monday, June 30, 2014

52 Review - June Edition



In the busy summer months, I never find that there is enough time for reading. June was a super busy month for me, but I still managed to read 4 books. This usually meant staying up way past my bedtime to be able to get any reading in.
I felt like I really mixed up my usual reading routine by reading all different kinds of books. They're all fiction, of course, but different genres within that.


The Bees
by 
Laline Paull

338 Pages
Born into the lowest class of an ancient hierarchical society, Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, an Untouchable, whose labour is at her ancient orchard hive's command. As part of the collective, she is taught to accept, obey and serve. Altruism is the highest virtue, and worship of her beloved Queen, the only religion. Her society is governed by the priestess class, questions are forbidden and all thoughts belong to the Hive Mind.
But Flora is not like other bees. Her curiosity is a dangerous flaw, especially once she is exposed to the mysteries of the Queen's Library. But her courage and strength are assets, and Flora finds herself promoted up the social echelons. From sanitation to feeding the newborns in the royal nursery to becoming an elite forager, Flora revels in service to her hive.
When Flora breaks the most sacred law of all-daring to challenge the Queen's fertility-enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses who are jealously wed to power. Her deepest instinct to serve and sacrifice is now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart and her society, and lead her to commit unthinkable deeds

This description, while very accurate, makes this book seem as if it's going to be full of intrigue and politics, but it's not really at all. The story itself isn't all that fulfilling, but the workings of the hive fascinates me. I love bees, so it was really neat to read about them. I found that I enjoyed that much more than anything else. In the beginning, it was hard for me to picture them as actual bees, since she writes about them as if they were human. As the book progressed, I started to picture them as bee/human hybrids. By the end they were bees and I was very happy with that.


Endgame (Sirantha Jax #6)
by Ann Aguirre
337 Pages
Sirantha Jax has the J-gene, which permits her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. She loves nothing more than that rush, but the star roads have to wait…
Her final mission takes her to La’heng, a planet subjugated during first contact. Since then, the La’hengrin homeworld has been occupied by foreign conquerors.
All that’s about to change.
Now, as part of a grassroots resistance, Jax means to liberate the La’hengrin. But political intrigue and guerrilla warfare are new to her, and this will be the most dangerous game she’s ever played—spies and conspiracies, a war of weapons and hearts, and not everyone is guaranteed to make it out alive...

I'm finally finished this series.  I was a bit worried at the beginning of the book, when a few of the relationships take a bit of a weird turn, but they work themselves out by the end and I'm happy with them. It's also not how I thought it would end, but I'm happy with that too. I'm so sad that it's over, but I understand why she ended it where she did.
It's kind of hard to say anything without giving it away.
I've already picked up the first book to another series by this author. I hope it's just as good.



by Naomi Novik


397 Pages

When Britain intercepted a French ship and its precious cargo–an unhatched dragon’s egg–Capt. Will Laurence of HMS Reliant unexpectedly became master and commander of the noble dragon he named Temeraire. As new recruits in Britain’s Aerial Corps, man and dragon soon proved their mettle in daring combat against Bonaparte’s invading forces. 
Now China has discovered that its rare gift, intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands–and an angry Chinese delegation vows to reclaim the remarkable beast. But Laurence refuses to cooperate. Facing the gallows for his defiance, Laurence has no choice but to accompany Temeraire back to the Far East–a long voyage fraught with peril, intrigue, and the untold terrors of the deep. Yet once the pair reaches the court of the Chinese emperor, even more shocking discoveries and darker dangers await.

 Soooo much traveling....
Now I understand that life is the journey, not the destination, but when a book that doesn't really get to any plot until at least 300 pages when they actually reach their destination, the journey is not very exciting to read about. One of the only interesting plot points during the journey was a section where there was worry about there being a ghost on the ship, which (plot spoiler) there wasn't.
Once they actually got to China, it was really quite interesting and I loved reading about it. It made the traveling worthwhile. I've been told that this was one of the slowest books in the series, so I'm optimistic about reading the rest of them.


by Thomas Harris


367 Pages
A young FBI trainee. An evil genius locked away for unspeakable crimes. A plunge into the darkest chambers of a psychopath's mind --- in the deadly search for a serial killer ...
I'll start this off by saying that I have never seen the movie of this. I've always wanted to, but I've always been leery about it, too. I don't know why, since I've seen Hannibal, Red Dragon and I'm now just starting season 2 of the TV series.
I picked this book up last year and it's been sitting on my shelf, tempting me all this time. Since my last TBR book got upchucked on, I have replaced it on my list with this.
  It was really good, although the story almost seemed like it could be split into 2 different ones. In my head, most of the characters look as they do in the TV series, except for Hannibal, how looks more like Anthoney Hopkins than Mads Mikkelsen.
It was a very good read and had me on the edge of my seat. for most of it. So much so, I might actually pick up the rest of the books and read them.
Books that I am currently reading

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
by H.P. Lovecraft
Page 16 of 360
(I'm sure one of these days I'll pick this back up)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)
by George R.R. Martin
Page 420 of 1128

Friday, June 27, 2014

World PRIDE!

 Toronto is the first ever to host WorldPride and it's happening this week!



Hey world! We’re waiting for you.
Join us in Toronto in 2014 for WorldPride!


WorldPride 2014 Toronto (WP14TO), presented by Pride Toronto, is shaping up to be one of the biggest international events of our times. These ten days of queer celebration will turn streets into parades, parks into parties and strangers into friends. Come out and meet the people from around the world expected to gather downtown and in neighbourhoods right across the city.

 This will be an international celebration incorporating activism, education, and the history and culture of global LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities. Highlighting Canada’s continued progress in human rights, WP14TO also celebrates the diversity and dynamism of Toronto, one of the world’s most progressive and liveable cities.

Toronto will be the first WorldPride celebration ever held in North America, and the 4th such festival in the world. WorldPride brings people together from around the world to honour our past, celebrate the present, and inspire a better future for LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities everywhere.

Deborah Cox, Martha Wash and DJ’s David Morales and Quentin Harris are the first in a list of premiere international artists to perform at the world’s largest global LGBTQ celebration taking place in Toronto this summer.

A wide variety of musical genres will be presented live on the 10 open-air stages of the festival from rock, pop, dance, hip hop, R&B, country, traditional, folk, retro, disco. We're looking forward to presenting a number of international performers for WorldPride as well. The application process is underway, the deadline for applications is January 31, 2014.
 
There are also a variety of artistic genres represented in programs like Alterna-Queer (Punk, homo-core, experimental, rock), and Blockorama (house, roots reggae, R&B, Hip Hop, Dancehall).

Official Events
Opening Ceremony – June 20
WorldPride Gala and Awards – June 25
WorldPride Human Rights Conference – June 25-27
IGM Human Rights Reception – June 26
Trans March – June 27
Dyke March – June 28
WorldPride Parade – June 29
Streetfair and Arts & Culture Festival – June 27-29
Closing Ceremony – June 29

Other WorldPride 2014 Programming highlights include:
Major events in partnership with world-class cultural institutions , including art galleries and museums. Films, photography, video art, ceramics, paintings
Drag artists, burlesque, and dance are featured at Village Stage in the heart of the Church-Wellesley Village.

Our youth programs Fruit Loopz and Black Queer Youth (in partnership with Sherbourne Health Centre's Supporting Our youth, SOY, program) are once again returning to the festival with fresh ideas for WorldPride.

You will find singer-songwriters, spoken word, youth showcases, traditional, folk, dance and plenty of activities programmed in Clean Sober & Proud place in Paul Kane Parkette. This substance-free (drug and alcohol free) zone also offers regular 12-Step meetings throughout the festival weekend.
Family Pride features children's performers, activities and more in a family-friendly zone at The Church Street Public School at Church and Alexander Streets.

 


Taking place June 25—27, 2014 in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada (University College, University of Toronto (15 King College Circle) the WorldPride Human Rights Conference 2014 (WPHRC14) is an exciting gathering of activists, artists, educators, journalists, policymakers, students, and others engaged in LGBTI human rights around the world. The conference provides a unique opportunity for a global dialogue about LGBTI human rights, ranging from performances to presentations, politics to policies, and activists to academics.
 
 
No matter where you are, enjoy PRIDE
Be who you want to be
Love who and how you want to love
Stay strong and be Proud!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kick Ass Geek Girl Clothes

It's finally summer! YAY! I finally put away all my winter gear and I feel like a change in wardrobe is needed.
 
Luckily there are all sorts of new, fantastic geek outfits for the season.
 
 
My favorite geek girl company, Her Universe, has just released a new Marvel line and it is super!

 
Must own Cap hoodie and cardigan....
 
and maybe this cutie Tardis skirt...
 
 
 
 
Gold Bubble is relatively new on the scene, but have been taking geeks by storm with some of there kick-ass collections. I am thrilled to bits that they decided to use one of my favorite movies/books/graphic novels as inspiration and make a The Last Unicorn line!









 
There are so many wonderful pieces, that it'll be hard to choose which ones I want. The last one, for sure.
Also, their Corellian Blood Stripe leggings are back in stock for a limited times, so if you want these bad boys favoured by notorious scoundrels, you better act fast.

 
 

I don't know much about The Novo Geek, but I do know that I love these Battelstar Galactica leggings!
 
 
 
With Sailor Moon getting redone, everyone is renewing their love for the series. Luckily for us, there is a lot of new merchandise coming out, both officially and unofficially, like these awesome leggings by Sweet N' Sour


And these fantastic skater dresses from Living Dead







I can't decide. I want them all!
 
and just in case you haven't seen the new Sailor Moon trailer, check it out here in all it's glory!


So what are you wearing this summer?

A big thanks to Set to Stunning for being fabulous and always keeping me in the know.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!


Happy Father's Day to all those Dad's (including mine) who are one in a million!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

52 Review - May Edition




May was a weird month. It had a lot of ups and downs and I didn't really feel like I got as much reading done as I wanted... Or maybe I should say that I didn't get as much quality reading done as I wanted. Despite that fact, I'm still doing really well with the 52 book challenge.
One of the things that I really love about reading is the escape into another world, something far from reality. This is why I tend to read fantasy and Sci-Fi more than anything else. I love a good book that makes me think about it and yearn to read it all the time. I can tell when a book isn't grabbing my attention when I find excuses not to read them. Sadly, most of May's books were like that. It's not that I didn't enjoy them, I just wanted more out of them.
 
You'll also notice that I didn't read anything off my TBR pile this month. There is a perfectly sound reason for this. I had The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - Steven King sitting out waiting to be read, and then my cat was sick all over it. It was completely unsalvageable. Therefore, this book will be taken from the list and a new one will be added. I just have to figure out what to add.



The Palace Job
by Patrick Weekes


423 Pages

The most powerful man in the republic framed her, threw her in prison, and stole a priceless elven manuscript from her family.
With the help of a crack team that includes an illusionist, a unicorn, a death priestess, a talking warhammer, and a lad with a prophetic birthmark, Loch must find a way into the floating fortress of Heaven's Spire–and get past the magic-hunting golems and infernal sorcerers standing between her and the vault that holds her family's treasure.
It'd be tricky enough without the military coup and unfolding of an ancient evil prophecy–but now the determined and honourable Justicar Pyvic has been assigned to take her in.
But hey, every plan has a few hitches.

 
Do you like elaborate heist movies? Then you will most likely enjoy this book. It's kind of fun. It's not great, but it kept me reading. The entire book is pretty much just one character trope after another, after another. The problem with that is that you never really get a sense of who any of the characters are as it keeps hopping between them all the time. The author assumes you understand the history and politics and characters of his made-up realm, so never really goes into them in very much detail. Which is too bad. It would've made for a much better read if there had been a bit more detail about everything.



by Drew Karpyshyn


315 Pages

Twenty years have passed since Darth Bane, reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, demolished the ancient order devoted to the dark side and reinvented it as a rule of two: one Master to wield the power and pass on the wisdom, and one apprentice to learn, challenge, and ultimately usurp the Dark Lord in a duel to the death. But Bane’s acolyte, Zannah, has yet to prove herself a worthy successor. Determined that the Sith dream of galactic domination will not die with him, Bane vows to learn the secret of a forgotten Dark Lord that will assure the Sith’s immortality–and his own.

Zannah knows that her ruthless master has begun to doubt her, and so she prepares for his downfall, plotting at last to wrest from Bane the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. Zannah pursues her Master from the grim depths of a ravaged world to the barren reaches of a desert outpost, where the future of the dark side will be decided by the final, fatal stroke of a lightsaber.

To be honest, I was hoping for more from this book. I really wanted an entire book filled with cunning and deception and really wicked lightsaber battles.
It certainly had those things, especially the really wicked battles, but I didn't really feel invested in any of the characters or their story lines, other than Bane, and only then because he was the main protagonist. I didn't care about Zannah, I didn't care about Serra or Set. The Huntress was kind of cool though. I'd like to read more about her.

 
 
662 Pages
 
As part of her devil’s bargain with the industrial steam barons, Evelina Cooper is finally enrolled in the Ladies’ College of London. However, she’s attending as the Gold King’s pet magician, in handcuffs and forbidden contact with even her closest relation, the detective Sherlock Holmes.

Not even Niccolo, the dashing pirate captain, and his sentient airship can save her. But Evelina’s problems are only part of a larger war. The Baskerville Affair is finally coming to light, and the rebels are making their move to wrest power from the barons and restore it to Queen Victoria. Missing heirs and nightmare hounds are the order of the day—or at least that’s what Dr. Watson is telling the press.

But their plans are doomed unless Evelina escapes to unite her magic with the rebels’ machines—and even then her powers aren’t what they used to be. A sorcerer has awakened a dark hunger in Evelina’s soul, and only he can keep her from endangering them all. The only problem is…he’s dead.

 
This was the 3rd and hopefully final book in this series. I found I had a love/hate relationship with the entire thing. There were parts and characters that I really loved and wanted to read more about. Some of the intrigue was amazing and the way all the plots came together in the end was wonderful. That being said, there were a lot of parts and characters that I didn't like and wanted to just go away. These parts were really hard to get through. They wrapped up everything really nicely for the end of a trilogy and then at the very last moment, left it open enough that I wonder if she's planning on writing more in this series or branching off with it. I'm not sure how I feel about it. All and all as a series, it was pretty good.


Spectyr (Book of the Order #2)
by Philippa Ballantine

 
310 Pages

The second novel in Ballantine's series. In a realm of mystics and magic, the Order of Deacons stands between the here and now and the Otherside. Its mission is to protect the citizens of the Empire from malevolent geists--no matter where or when...

Though one of the most powerful Deacons, Sorcha Faris has a tarnished reputation to overcome, which is why she jumps at the chance to investigate a string of murders in the exotic city of Orithal. But it is there that her lover, the shapeshifting rival to the throne, is targeted by a cruel and vengeful goddess, unwittingly unleashed by the Emperor's sister.


This books was damned hard to get a hold of. Since the World's Biggest Bookstore closed, finding odd books in Toronto has been extremely difficult. A few stores in the city had a copy, only for me to get there and it to be gone. I finally just ordered it in.
I'm still really enjoying this series. It's kind of dark, always seems as if it's going to be predictable, and then throws you for a loop at every corner.
I still really love the connections between the characters and their bond. Sadly, they spent more of the book apart from each other than with each other.
It also left it on a bit of a cliff hanger, but luckily in my search for this book, I found the next one (also hard to find) and have it waiting for me. I'm looking forward to reading it. I'm beginning to see more of a wide spread story line that will span the other books and I'm excited and speculative about what that's going to be. I can't wait to read the end game of this series. Only 2 more books to go!



by Douglas Adams


200 Pages

Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability--and desperately in search of a place to eat.
Among Arthur's motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who's gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.
Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker's Guide deleted the term "Future Perfect" from its pages, since it was discovered not to be!

I've been reading a few pages of this book at a time over the last few months, but due to the huge 4 book volume I was reading it out of, I was picking it up less and less. I finally found a single copy of this book and bought it instead. I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one, probably since I no longer had the high expectations of what it would be. I really enjoy the writing style and that seems to be what makes these books into classics. The story itself is super weird, which was to be expected. I don't over like or feel any connection to any of the characters, but the story is kinda fun.
It's funny how you see the name of the book and wonder to yourself what a restaurant at the end of the Universe would be like. I always figured it would be some dingy floating trailer at the edge of the galaxy, serving up space-dogs. Man, was I wrong.
I'm curious to see where this series goes, despite my lack of interest in the characters.



Books that I am currently reading

by H.P. Lovecraft
Page 16 of 360
(Still the same)

by George R.R. Martin
Page 415 of 1128

by Laline Paull
Page 118 of 338