Saturday, April 30, 2016

Brand New 52 - April Edition

April is over and so is winter, finally, even here in Canada. It's much easier to get out and walk and listen to my audio books and soon it will be warm enough to sit in the park and read! I can't wait for that!

Here's what I managed to read this month:

by Seanan McGuire

346 Pages

October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas... 
The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer

Back in February, I discovered this author and found I really enjoyed her writing. So when I came across the first book in another one of her series, I couldn't help myself. I'm glad that I picked it up, because I really enjoyed it. It was the first book in a while that I got completely lost in the pages of.
I really liked her mix of Urban Fantasy, from the streets of San Francisco to the random kelpies wandering the streets trying to lure in unexpected victims. It was a nice touch and well integrated. I'm looking forward to reading more of this series and more by this author (!)

by Jacklyn Brady

304 Pages

New Orleans pastry chef Rita Lucero is out to bake her way to the top. But when she finds her almost-ex-husband killed with a chef's knife in his back, she becomes suspect number one. Now it's up to her to find the real killer before she winds up as the next victim served.

I was devastated when I finished this book and found out that someone had ripped out the recipes!!!
Who would do such a dastardly thing? That's the main reason I pick up these baking mysteries! I mean, sure, the book was actually pretty good and I was happy that the characters actually seemed to mourn for the victim, but RECIPES!!! That was the real crime in this book.

by Brandon Sanderson 

421 Pages (11:51 Hours)

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.
David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners’ leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back…
But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

This book, like the others before it, blew my mind. I couldn't stop listening to it and finished it much quicker than I would have other audio books. Everything in the other books leads up to this point and it's a nail biter. David continues to be one of my favorite characters in any series and that's saying something. His enthusiasm and terribly amazing analogies keep me grinning long after I've stopped listening. I've already reccommended this series to lots of my friends and I think that you should read it to! (!)

by Naomi Novik

496 Pages

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

I've read other books by Naomi Novik before (see Empire of Ivory below) and haven't been overly taken with them, but I wanted to read this book even before I realized that it was by her. And I was happily surprised at how good it was. As you can tell by the blurb above, it's not Kasia, but Agnieszka that's chosen by the Dragon () for she posses a magical ability unlike any of the magicians of her age. And, of course, it will take something unconventional, something extraordinary to clear the tainted woods of their evil magic and save the surrounding villages. This is a great twist on a Beauty and the Beast theme and I hope that she decides to write more books along the same line

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater 

416 Pages (11:08 Hours)

Every year, Blue Sargent (stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. 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.

I picked up this audio book when Audible was having a sale on introductory books, trying to lure people into series. I had heard good things about this book, but I always feel a little leery about YA, despite the fact that I've enjoyed all of the books I've read so far. And although I wasn't sure that I liked it in the beginning, I quickly found myself pulled into the story and the characters.
Of course the question that prevails through the entire book is who will Blue fall in love with and maybe kill? Will it be Adam or Gansey? (I'm Team Adam, I think, but I do really like Gansey as well.) But for me, I'm glad that their friendship is more important in the book. I really enjoyed how the characters changed as they got to know each other, how they all seemed to soften a bit around the edges.  Also, I really love that Ronan named the raven Chainsaw (^..^)

Empire of Ivory (Temeraire #4)
by Naomi Novik

404 Pages

Tragedy has struck His Majesty’s Aerial Corps, whose magnificent fleet of fighting dragons (^..^and their human captains valiantly defend England’s shores against the encroaching armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. An epidemic of unknown origin and no known cure is decimating the noble dragons’ ranks–forcing the hopelessly stricken into quarantine. Now only Temeraire and a pack of newly recruited dragons remain uninfected–and stand as the only means of an airborne defense against France’s ever bolder sorties.
Bonaparte’s dragons are already harrowing Britain’s ships at sea. Only one recourse remains: Temeraire and his captain, Will Laurence, must take wing to Africa, whose shores may hold the cure to the mysterious and deadly contagion. On this mission there is no time to waste, and no telling what lies in store beyond the horizon or for those left behind to wait, hope, and hold the line.

I decided since I was already reading Naomi Novik this month (see above) that I would pull her other series off of my TBR for the month. I have a hard time reading this series due to the tactical breakdown of the Corps. I just can't get into books about armies. The fact that there are Dragons, that all act like giant children, keeping the Captains and their crew humble helps a lot. I felt bad that the Dragons were sick through most of the book, but the book didn't really get interesting until they headed deep into the African jungle to try and find mushrooms for a cure. They come across wild Dragons who have their own society and hate anyone that they associate with the slave trade.

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
by Sam Maggs

208 Pages

Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.

If I could go back in time and give younger me one thing, it would be this book. This is everything I ever wanted anyone to ever tell me about being a geek girl. Through the years I've had to figure it out all by myself, so it's really amazing to see it written down in so many words. I love that there is such a prevalent geek girl culture out there now that deals with everything from anxiety (#), to feminism, to how to deal with trolls (!) and finding out that we are like other girls (), and how awesome that is! This book lets us know that we're included no matter what or who our OTP's are ()
Here's to celebrating geek girls!!

Unbound (Magic Ex Libris #3)
by Jim C. Hines

373 Pages

For five hundred years, the Porters have concealed the existence of magic from the world. Now, old enemies have revealed the Porters’ secrets, and an even greater threat lurks in the shadows. The would-be queen Meridiana, banished for a thousand years, has returned in the body of a girl named Jeneta Aboderin 
(). She seeks an artifact created by Pope Sylvester II, a bronze prison that would grant her the power to command an army of the dead.
Michigan librarian Isaac Vainio is powerless to stop her, having been stripped of his power and his place among the Porters by Johannes Gutenberg himself. But Isaac is determined to regain his magic and to rescue his former student Jeneta. With no magic of his own, Isaac’s must delve into the darker side of black-market magic, where he will confront beings better left undisturbed, including the sorcerer Juan Ponce de Leon.
With his loyal fire-spider Smudge 
(^..^), dryad warrior Lena Greenwood, and psychiatrist Nidhi Shah (), Isaac races to unravel a mystery more than a thousand years old as competing magical powers battle to shape the future of the world. He will be hunted by enemies and former allies alike, and it will take all his knowledge and resourcefulness to survive as magical war threatens to spread across the globe.
Isaac’s choices will determine the fate of his friends, the Porters, the students of Bi Sheng, and the world. Only one thing is certain: even if he finds a way to restore his magic, he can’t save them all…

I really like this series. Not only is it a really interesting form of magic, but the pop culture references that crop up are amazing! There was an entire scene where he gets turned into a newt, just so that they could make a Monty Python reference! Awesome! Not to mention the shout out to Wheel of Time! But all that aside, it was a really good book. Issac has to deal with his depression (#) over losing his magical ability and I think it was really important that they reference that as well as they did. Nidha, being a psychiatrist, plays a prevalent part in making sure that everyone's metal health is taken care of. It's really quite refreshing.

Books that I am currently reading

by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
425 of 783 Pages (18:10 of 33:02 Hours)

Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
by Diablo Cody
33 of 212 Pages

221 of 355 Pages

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursday Threads - Steven Universe

We are the Crystal Gems and we'll always save the day
And if you think we can't, we'll always find a way
That's why the people of this World believe in Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl...

I love Steven Universe. It's such a positive show with positive female role models. And to be honest, the opening song makes me cry, mostly because the World believes in them and you just don't see that with female heroes

But I'm not going to get into my love of the show and what it means to me right now, this is a post about fashion after all!

I'm obviously not the only one loving the Crystal Gems because their likeness is inspiring many different designers.

I'm in love with these cute little dresses. The styles and prints are simple enough that they can pass as non geeky clothes, but will excite the people who do recognize them

I've always been a fan of this Boutique since it opened and my Sailor Jupiter hoodie is still the warmest, most comfortable sweater that I own, so I trust their products to last. 

I think the Garnet or Amathyst sweater would look lovely in my collection

We really do Love Fine. They always have great collections and their Steven Universe one is great! 

I would much rather collect Crying Breakfast Friends than Shopkins any day

I like this shirt but I would much rather have one that says that I believe in the Crystal Gems, 
because I do


We can always count on HT for being as fangirl as we are about a new show and SU is no exception

I'm in love with this Pearl shirt! It;s just so sweet

You say it Garnet, sniff... I'm not crying...

How amazing are these Fight Like A Gem shirts?

I love these simple but descriptive designs. I want them all!

The Craft in Our Coffee

Every outfit needs a little extra pizzazz and these hair bows are perfect for that! 


Everyday cospley here I come! This line has everything, shirts, tank tops, dresses and legging in all your favorite gems! There is really a style for everyone

I love this Rose Quartz dress

So put on your favorite outfit, make some together breakfast and go hang out with your fellow Gems