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 @._.@