Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Newfangled 52 - May Edition

Spring colds turn to viral pneumonia, always fun. I spent most of May sick, hanging out on my couch and binge watching Netflix. And when I couldn't stand to watch anymore crappy movies, I turned to the solace of audiobooks. How wonderful they are. 

Here's what I read and listened to this month:

by Kiera Cass 

342 Pages (8:48 Hours)

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

Audible had a sale and I managed to pick up a bunch of books to complete series that I was working on. When I started this, I didn't realize that it was going to be taking place 20 years in the future. Although I was glad that America's story was over, as I couldn't figure out where the story would go from there, I wasn't thrilled with their snotty daughter and redoing the selection all over again. Yet as the book went on, I found myself really getting into it and watching the characters grow in a way that they didn't in the first part of this series. By the end, I couldn't wait to start the next book so I could find out what would happen. 

by Jim C. Hines

389 Pages

When Isaac Vainio helped to reveal magic to the world, he dreamed of a utopian future, a new millennium of magical prosperity. One year later, things aren't going quite as he'd hoped. 
An organization known as Vanguard, made up of magical creatures and ex-Porters, wants open war with the mundane world. Isaac's own government is incarcerating "potential supernatural enemies" in prisons and internment camps. And Isaac finds himself targeted by all sides. 
It's a war that will soon envelop the world, and the key to victory may lie with Isaac himself, as he struggles to incorporate everything he's learned into a new, more powerful form of libriomancy. Surrounded by betrayal and political intrigue, Isaac and a ragtag group of allies must evade pursuit both magical and mundane, expose a conspiracy by some of the most powerful people in the world, and find a path to a better future. 
But what will that futures cost Isaac and the ones he loves?

This series just keeps getting better and better and it's getting harder not to justify buying it in hardcover just so I can find out what comes next. Now that magic is out in the open, the game has totally changed. People are up in arms about the uses of magic both good and bad and many are angry that they've been kept in the dark about it for so long. But while magic can heal the sick and save lives, it can also create new weapon and new destructive armies of magic wielders. It's a pretty neat look at magic that you don't usually get. I also really love libriomancy and the thought of magic coming out of books. So cool.

by Kiera Cass

278 Pages (7:12 Hours)

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.
Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Who do you think is going to win? It's amazing that with these Bachelor type books, you really do pick a favorite and hope that they win. For me, I was right and super happy about it. This book actually had moments where I found myself getting really emotional. Wasn't expecting that to happen at all. Maybe it was a side effect of being sick. :P
I'm glad this series is over, as I don't think they could've added anything else to complete it more that it already is. I'm looking forward to reading some of her other books.

by Maggie Stiefvater

391 Pages (10:03 Hours)

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

I was glad to pick this series up again, since It's been awhile since I read the last one.
I'm going to say, without a doubt, that this was my favorite out of all of them. 
I really loved that as everything finally started to come together that it all started to fall apart as well. It also had one of the best villains in the series in it.

by Seanan McGuire

354 Pages

October "Toby" Daye is finally doing all right—and that inevitably means it's time for things to take a turn for the worse. Someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She'll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.
Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws. As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away.

Oooooh..... so good! This month seemed to really be full of the best of the best of series and I'm very happy about that. This one was no exception. I love this series so much.
I always love the descriptions of faerie and the trip to the undersea kingdom knocked my socks off. I am a sucker for a good undersea kingdom. It's hard to imagine the stakes being even higher than usual for Toby and her friends, but somehow they always are. Having to stop a war takes the story telling to new heights and I love it (and hate it for pulling at my heart strings)
Must read more....

by Terry Pratchett

283 Pages

On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late. The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard's mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University--and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins! 

Adam has really gotten me into Discworld lately, so this became my RBA book for the month. You can tell that this book is early in the Discworld Universe because it doesn't quite have the same flow or level of sass that his later books have. That doesn't make it any less fun though. I love the fact that even early on he's challenging gender roles and "how it's always been"
This book truly great for someone like me.

by Maggie Stiefvater

448 Pages (11:51 Hours)

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

It's always hard to come to the end of a series, but at the same time, it's nice when it's over. That's how I felt about this book. There were some great revelations (and I'm totally shipping it!), but I wasn't overly thrilled about how it ended. I found it to be a little anti-climactic after all the hype surrounding it. Maybe it's just me. I loved everything else about it though.

by Glen Cook

319 Pages

Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Balck Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead.

This was my original RBA for the month, but with being sick and this book being heavy and awkward, it's one of those huge soft cover books that are hard to hold, and me being sick and weak, I put it aside for a lighter paperback. It's also 3 books in one, so it's extra big and clunky. It was a hard book to get into. The writing style is awkward and takes some getting use to, but once you do, the story is quite interesting. Being part of a mercenary guild is difficult, especially when you realize you might be on the wrong side. It also takes a neat look at magical warfare and puts a bit of a more modern spin on it. I will be reading the rest of the books later this year 

by Mitchell Hogan

80 Pages (2:15 Hours)

Ten years before A Crucible of Souls…
In the bustling capital city of the Mahruse Empire, Felicienne Shyrise spends her days as a talented investigator, taking on stolen goods and missing person cases, and the occasional murder the city guard are too incompetent, or too lazy, to resolve.
During nights, she hones her skills playing Dominion, a board game almost as complicated as life itself. She dreams of making a name for herself, and becoming the richest woman in the Empire.
But when she’s roped into a murky investigation by a First Adjudicator to the immortal Emperor himself, her life is thrown into disarray. Will this be the perfect opportunity to showcase her skills and make valuable connections, or will her future now be in the hands of political powers that can never be denied.
Working against her will, and afraid of the consequences of refusing the commission, she uncovers evidence that points to an attempt on the Emperor’s life. Felicienne rapidly finds herself a target, and must use her considerable wits to uncover the plot of an unseen enemy who always seems to be one step ahead of the game.
This is a standalone novella of 20,000 words. No prior knowledge of the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence is required to enjoy it, which means it's a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Sorcery Ascendant veterans to spend a little more time with Felicienne Shyrise.

So, on top of being sick, my phone went wonky for a few days when the new iPhone update came out and got stuck in an endless loop of updating. So not being able to get to my current audiobook, I booted up my old phone and listened to a short story that I had yet to get to. It was a prequel to an already established story, but I was able to to still follow along just fine. It was okay. I'm sure if you knew the characters and the universe, it would be more interesting, but on it's own it wasn't anything impressive. I might look into the others later on, but we'll see.

Books that I am currently reading

by Timothy Zahn
341 of 694 Pages (12:59 of 26:15 Hours)

by Anthony Ryan
425 of 602 Pages (24:39 Hours)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages #6)
by Jules Verne
228 of 394 Pages

by Rohinton Mistry
30 of 603 Pages

Seeing (Blindness #2)
by José Saramago
237 of 307 Pages

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tunage Tuesday - Fan.tasia

Every once and a while, something magical happens...
Okay, so maybe it's not magic, but just incredible editing skills. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. As is the case with this amazing video by Lindsay McCutcheon

I can't even begin to imagine how long that took to put together. It boggles my mind!
It's gotta be magic

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I Am One With The 4th The 4th Is With Me

art by Obvian
It's Star Wars Day!!!!
May the 4th Be With You!

I love Star Wars Day. I get to brake out all my Star Wars clothes and accessories (not that I need an excuse), pull out my DVD's (also don't need an excuse) and just totally submerse myself in all the glory of my favorite fandom.

It's exciting that this year also marks the 40th anniversary of A New Hope and the beginning of all this worldwide craziness. 

It's amazing that a small movie made 40 years ago has touched so many people and continues to inspire us and new generations with each new edition to the ever expanding Universe.

On a sad note, Carrie Fisher is not here this year to celebrate with us. It's been hard on the community but we continue to celebrate her life and the affect she's had on us all. And we know if she were here, she'd want us to be covered in glitter

  In Memoriam here is a beautiful rendition of Princess Leia's theme performed by Player Piano

I've got my glitter on, do you?

And this Star Wars Day, I think you deserve to treat yourself
How about with this awesome Box Lunch pendant?

That's right, this Death Star locket contains the hidden secret plans inside!! Thanks to Kessel Runway for this awesome find!

I'm off to watch some Star Wars, but remember, keep Star Wars with you all through the year and everyday can be Star Wars day @._.@ 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Newfangled 52 - April Edition

art by Risa Rodil

Hooray for spring colds. I've had this one for the last few weeks and am only now beginning to feel better. There's not much that you can do when your sick and everything , even standing up, is a challenge. Thank goodness for books and audiobooks. They've kept me company when there was little else to do but binge-watch Netflix.

Here's what I read this month:

by Leigh Bardugo

52 Pages (0:52 Hours)

There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls - or so the story goes. But it's just possible that the danger may be a little bit closer to home. This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo's debut novel, Shadow and Bone.

I've been reading and loving the Grisha novels and these little short stories are the icing on the cake. They are short folk tales from that World that give just a little background to some of their superstitions and beliefs. This one deals with a wicked step-mother, a wood witch and missing girls that seem to disappear into the forest. But who is responsible? 

by Kiera Cass

323 Pages (7:25 Hours)

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.
When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants

I've got to admit, I didn't think I'd like this series as much as I do, but I'm really enjoying it.
This book is much better than the last two. America has finally given up her silly love triangle and decided that she loves Maxon enough that she wants to spend her live with him, even if that means being Queen and having to deal with his awful father.
But things are escalating in the world around them and the rebellions are stepping up their games as well. More attacks are happening and people are beginning to choose sides.

by Scott Lynch

530 Pages

An orphan's life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.
A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.
Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld's most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined. 
Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi's most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr's underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying...

This book was a lot of fun. When I was reading Six of Crows, Adam thought I might enjoy this book for being similar. So this is my RBA book of the month (actually last month, but I didn't get it finished in time). It was a lot of fun to see how a group of confidence men work, but even more fun to watch the situation get totally out of control and watch them trying to make things right. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book and seeing what's in store for these lovable characters.

by John Green

229 Pages  (6:48 Hours)

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.
Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

I'm not a huge John Green fan, but having only read The Fault in Our Stars, I thought I'd give this $2 audiobook a go. It was hard at first to listen to. Colin is not a likable character at all. Lucky for him (and me), the other characters are and they were what kept me listening. As I was, I thought of all the terrible things I was going to say about this book when I was done, but then the unthinkable happened. Colin grew as a character and actually became kinda likable in the end. I know, I was surprised too, although I shouldn't be since John Green is known for his characters and building amazing relationships. I guess I shouldn't judge a book by one annoying teenager.

by Patricia Briggs

292 Pages

When Mercy Thompson, mechanic and shape-shifter, attempts to return a powerful fae book she previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.
It seems the book contains secrets -- and the fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side -- leaving Mercy to cover for him lest his own father declare Samuel's life forfeit.
All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she may not have many more...

When I stared this series, I wasn't thrilled with it, but I found the 5 books at BMV for next to nothing and kept them on my shelf as fillers for when I was between series that I really liked. But as the books went on, they became more of an escape when I just wanted to get lost into something simple and fun. I've actually grown to really like the series and this book was probably one of the best so far. Although the over arcing story line is about the fae searching for the book that she has hidden, the underling story is so much better. It really shows what being in the Pack is like and where everyone stands. It also deals with the person vs. the wolf inside, which I found fascinating. Now that my pile of these book is finished, I'm going to have to go back and see if I can find the rest.

by S. Andrew Swann

336 Pages

It has been a year since former thief Frank Blackthorne became Princess of Lendowyn and married a dragon. He's coming to terms with his new life, but during the royal anniversary banquet, an elven prince reads a scroll of evil magic and Frank's world is turned upside-down. Again.
The scroll's spell causes a murderous rampage in a palace full of noble dignitaries, so it's no surprise Frank's visitors are angry. The Elf-King Timoras threatens war but Frank can't do anything about it: because of the same bit of scroll magic, the ex-Dragon Lucille has taken over the princess's body, unaware that Frank is still there, locked in her skull. And worst of all, the fate of everyone may soon rest on the shoulders of the man responsible for the whole mess, someone who should be safely dead...

This book was good, silly fun, which is exactly why I bought it. I wasn't sure if I was going to have a chance to finish it though, as it took an impromptu swim in my tub. Luckily, after some quick googling, I found a few methods that would help. After about a week of working to get it dry I managed to flatten it enough that it was in good enough condition to read again. It's not perfect, but it still worked and the story was good enough to be worth saving.  

by Sarah J. Maas

648 Pages (20:18 Hours)

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.
Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

This is another series that just keeps getting better and better. It's nice to see characters come into their own and take charge. It's one of the things I think Sarah J. Maas is really good at doing with her characters. I really feel like this story is coming together and it's nice to see the separate story lines begin to converge. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.  

by Joe Abercrombie

366 Pages

Thorn Bathu was born to fight. But when she kills a boy in the training square she finds herself named a murderer.
Fate places her life in the hands of the deep-cunning Father Yarvi as he sets out to cross half the world in search of allies against the ruthless High King. Beside her is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill. A failure in her eyes and his own, the voyage is his last chance at redemption.
But warriors can be weapons, and weapons are made for one purpose. Will Thorn always be a tool in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path? Is there a place outside of legend for a woman with a blade?

This was my other RBA for the month. I read the first one last year in March and wasn't really sure what I thought of it. I'm glad Adam pushed me to read the second book because it was much better. I liked the characters more and the story felt smoother. I'm looking forward to finishing the series.

Books that I am currently reading

by Timothy Zahn
93 of 694 Pages

by Anthony Ryan
425 of 602 Pages (24:39 Hours)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages #6)
by Jules Verne
102 of 394 Pages

by Rohinton Mistry
30 of 603 Pages

Revisionary (Magic Ex Libris #4)
by Jim C. Hines
125 of 389 Pages

The Heir (The Selection #4)
by Kiera Cass
225 of 318 Pages (8:48 Hours)

I know, I know, so many books that I'm currently reading have been on here forever. I promise I am trying to make some progress on them, slowly but surely.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Star Wars Forces of Destiny

There’s never been an all-star lineup like this in any galaxy.
Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Jyn Erso, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, and other icons of a galaxy far, far away will take center stage in Star Wars Forces of Destiny — a new animated micro-series and initiative celebrating some of Star Wars‘ most beloved and inspirational characters. Announced by Disney and Lucasfilm today, Star Wars Forces of Destiny launches in July with a series of animated shorts (2-3 minutes each) on Disney YouTube, exploring all-new adventures of the fan-favorites. A two-part TV special featuring eight additional shorts will follow on Disney Channel in fall 2017. Significantly, Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata, narrating the series) will all reprise their roles for the show. Developed by Lucasfilm Animation, Star Wars Forces of Destiny will remain true to the Star Wars canon, showing how choices both big and small ultimately shape the destinies of beloved characters. -

Like DC Superhero Girls, Disney has finally gotten the hint that girls like Star Wars too!

Not only will they be featuring shorts on these amazing Galactic Ladies, but the merchandising is going to be awesome!

Books! Books about Star Wars girls!! I'm so excited!

But I'm not going to lie, I'm mostly excited for the dolls!
Just look at this all-star lineup! 

I can't wait to add these to my collection of Star Wars dolls. They will look so good with my multi-Padmes and Leia

I'm so excited for this next generation of girls who are growing up with these. Now they can save the galaxy without having to make their own dolls have Leia buns. Let us bring up more strong woman who want to save the Galaxy

Friday, March 31, 2017

Newfangled 52 - March Edition

Art by Kate Or Die

March is finally over... thank goodness for that. It's my least favorite month of the year. It finally starts to warm up, the snow melts, we go from winter coat weather to sweater weather and the trees begin to bud.... then snow storm.... and my hopes for spring are crushed. Every year I tell myself that I won't get my hopes up, but I always do. This year I decided that my energy was better spent reading than getting worked up over the weather.

Here's what I read this month:

by E.K. Johnston

352 Pages

 Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.
And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.
Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.
Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

In my search for more fairy tale based stories, I came across this one. I've never really known One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, but I've always been intrigued by it. I really enjoyed this story, although she herself didn't really tell stories like I was expecting. This was more about her time in the palace trying to figure out a way to survive and uncovering the truth behind why so many women have come before her and what she can do to be the last.

by Kiera Cass

337 Pages (7:42 Hours)

The Selection gets fierce as rivals stake their claim on the Prince.
Six girls, one life-changing prize…
America Singer will leave her pre-destined life for a world of glamour and luxury, if she wins…
But surviving The Selection is tough. Rivals are battling to become Prince Maxon’s bride as the threat of rebel violence just beyond the palace walls escalates into war.
Only six girls are left and sworn friendships are tested to breaking point. America’s feelings for Maxon grow stronger, but she suspects darker mysteries in his royal past. With ex-lover Aspen waiting for her in the shadows, where do her loyalties truly lie?

Although on the outside, this book seems really shallow (and it can be) I'm really enjoying the subplots of this series. What are the rebels after? What is the King really involved with? Is her father all he seems? What else will she learn about the first King of Ilea and how bad was he actually?
I don't really care about the Selection or the other girls involved, other than Marlee (how could you!) and the love triangle left me wanting both guys to abandon her. I almost want Maxon to pick one of the other girls so I'd get to read about her instead.
Oh well, we can only hope that she will make up her mind before the next book is over and since the book series titles pretty much give away who she's going to choose, I can only hope that this triangle will be left behind soon.

by Brandon Sanderson

129 Pages (2:23 Hours)

Snapshot is a Science Fiction detective story following Anthony Davis, a cop assigned to Snapshot Duty. In this vivid world that author Brandon Sanderson has built, society can create a snapshot of a specific day in time. The experiences people have, the paths they follow—all of them are real again for a one day in the snapshot. All for the purposes of investigation by the court. 
Davis’s job as a cop on Snapshot Duty is straight forward. Sometimes he is tasked with finding where a criminal dumped a weapon. Sometimes he is tasked with documenting domestic disputes. Simple. Mundane. One day, in between two snapshot assignments, Davis decides to investigate the memory of a call that was mysteriously never logged at the precinct, and he makes a horrifying discovery.
As in all many stories, Snapshot follows a wonderfully flawed character as he attempts to solve a horrific crime. Sanderson proves that no matter the genre, he is one of the most skilled storytellers in the business.

Another great short story by Sanderson. I find it's sometimes hard to build a new world in a short story and make it both complex and believable without running out of time to tell the actual story, but Sanderson pulls it off masterfully. I can see the appeal of wanting snapshot technology to solve crimes that have already happened. But what would living in that reality over and over again do to you as a person, knowing that you are only seeing shadows of people's lives, but never being apart of their real life? What would it be like for one of those people they reveal themselves to, finding out that you're not real? How would you react?

by Seanan McGuire

183 Pages (4:37 Hours)

When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.
But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

This was a neat story about the afterlife. What happens when you die too soon? Ghosts are everywhere, trying to make a living or trying to catch up on their deaths. That time is constantly in exchange between those wanting less and those wanting more. It's a neat concept. I like the thought of Ghosts working at a suicide helpline, trying to help people who don't want to live anymore and knowing what the consequences might be for them.

by Kristen Britain

784 Pages

Karigan G’ladheon is a Green Rider—a seasoned member of the elite messenger corps of King Zachary of Sacoridia. King Zachary sends Karigan and a contingent of Sacoridians beyond the edges of his nation, into the mysterious Blackveil Forest, which has been tainted with dark magic by a twisted immortal spirit named Mornhavon the Black.
At the end of Blackveil, in a magical confrontation against Mornhavon, Karigan is jolted out of Blackveil Forest and wakes in darkness. She’s lying on smooth, cold stone, but as she reaches out, she realizes that the stone is not just beneath her, but above and around her as well. She’s landed in a sealed stone sarcophagus, some unknown tomb, and the air is becoming thin.
Is this to be her end? If she escapes, where will she find herself? Is she still in the world she remembers, or has the magical explosion transported her somewhere completely different? To find out, she must first win free of her prison— before it becomes her grave. And should she succeed, will she be walking straight into a trap created by Mornhavon himself?
Mirror Sight is the highly-anticipated fifth installment of the Green Rider series.

I guess they couldn't all be good books. I've really been enjoying this series, but this book made me sad and hurt my eyes, since I couldn't stop rolling them. The back of the book doesn't tell you anything about it other than the first few pages when she wake up.... in the future!
Yes, she's in the future, 200 years to be exact and not only that, but she's in a Steampunk dystopian!
But why? you ask. And that's the same question I asked myself through the whole book.
Why? Why did she have to go to the future? Did it do anything for the overarching plot? Not anything that couldn't have been covered by a short chapter arch of her being swept forward like Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Future like they've done with past events.
But what about all the side characters that you love so much? Don't worry, you get brief glimpses of them and then a 6 month time gap, but everyone's cool about it.

by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

266 Pages

When the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally - the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

I really liked this movie. For a Groundhog Day-esqe film, it did reliving the same day rather well. When I found the book, I thought it might have been a novelization of the movie, but quickly discovered that the movie was based on the book All You Need Is Kill and then later renamed.
It was a lot better than the movie in a lot of ways. The repeat day is handled better and you get a lot more information about what is happening in the world and to him. It also has a totally different ending that is much less happy and Hollywood than the movie is. I think I might like the Hollywood ending better, but it's certainly not as interesting.

by Sarah J. Maas

592 Pages (20:18 Hours)

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak - but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth - a truth about her heritage that could change her life - and her future - forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?
The best-selling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.

This must have been the month with let-down sequels. It's not that this book wasn't good, it was, but it wasn't great and that's what I wanted. Celaena spends a lot of this book trying to run away from who she is and her feelings. I understand the hardship of figuring all of that out, but it made the book feel rather stagnant. I appreciated when she finally faced her demons and started to develop as a character once more. The book got much more interesting after that.
It was more of the side characters that made this book for me. I enjoyed Aedon and Chaol's tentative alliance as they search for answers and Dorian's search to end his magic. I'm guessing that the "swoon-worthy romance" they talk about is between Dorian and Sorscha, but I didn't find myself swooning. If any relationship is worth mentioning, it's Celaena and Rowan's friendship. What started as them almost hating one another turned into a rather beautiful friendship that I hope does NOT evolve into a relationship.

244 Pages

Bone Shop explores the origins of ass-kicking sorcerer Marla Mason. Long before she became the Witch Queen of Felport, or the Bride of Death, Marla was a teenage runaway with no inkling of the dark magic that underpins the world. Bone Shop chronicles her rough beginnings, her apprenticeship, her years as a mercenary magician, and her eventual rise to power — navigating dangers including supernatural serial killers, cursed artifacts, and doomed young love.

This novella was originally written as a serial on T.A. Pratt's website, as well as some of his other books. I've been meaning to read it for years but didn't realize that it was a prequel and wanted to catch up on the rest of the books.
This book tells the story of Marla's early days that we hear about in bits and pieces in the other books. We finally get to know Artie Mann and how he changed Marla's life, we see how she got the cursed cloak that later causes so much trouble and we see how she rose to become Chief Sorcerer of Felport, but also, we get let in on a few heart breaking pieces of the puzzle that we never knew shaped Marla as much as it did. This story is different from his other works because it spans so much time, years in fact, when we are used to reading about short chunks of Marla's life.

by Leigh Bardugo

465 Pages (11:52 Hours)

Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Again, not as good as the first book, this book was still pretty good.
This book starts with Alina and Mal on the run from the Darkling and almost immediately they get caught... again.
Rescued by a pirate who turns out to be the second son to the King, Alina decides it's time to go back to Ravka and build an army to fight the Darkling. But in the dark of night she begins to see him in the shadows, yet know one else can. 
He search for more power starts to become all consuming and I'm beginning to wonder if she will end up being a bit of a villain, but I guess I won't find out until the next book.

by Leigh Bardugo

32 Pages (0:36 Hours)

In Ravka, just because you avoid one trap, it doesn't mean you'll escape the next. This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo's upcoming book, Siege and Storm, the second book in the Grisha Trilogy

This story is referenced a few times during Siege and Storm and it's neat to be able to actually read the folk tale. It's a nice extra touch of Bardugo's world building. Now I just need to get my hands on the other ones.

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