Thursday, August 31, 2017

Newfangled 52 - August Edition

Art by Simini Blocker
August was a blur, wasn't it? I blinked and it was over. Somehow I managed to actually get a few books read while it all rushed by. Here are the books that I read this month:

by Sarah J. Maas

704 Pages (25:23 Hours)

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

I went into this book thinking that it was the last one in the series. Boy was I surprised when it left off on a bit of a cliff hanger. I then discovered that there will be at least 2 more books in this series with the next one coming out in a few more days! Woohoo! I really like this series and I want to know what's going to happen next.

by Brent Weeks

661 Pages

Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.
When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

This was my RBA book of the month and I really enjoyed it. It was really refreshing to have a cast made up almost entirely of POC characters. I wish more writers would do this. I also really enjoy the style of magic, which is based on colours. I think colour magic might be my favorite type of magic (other than baking magic, of course). I really enjoyed the characters and the plots of this book and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

by Margaret Atwood

331 Pages (11:00 Hours)

The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.
The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

Everyone is abuzz with  The Handmaid's Tale TV series, and I'll admit I was intrigued by all the talk. I don't have cable, so I can't watch the show, so I decided to listen to it instead. That and I like to have the book under my belt before seeing a recreation of it. 
The story, although simplistic on the surface, has a deep undercurrent as you delve into what happened through Ofglen's memories. Even though this was written in the '80s, it still feels very current, as if this could happen at any time. Sometimes the best dystopian novels are the simplest ones. I'll let you know if the book was better.

by Ann Aguirre

103 Pages (3:08 Hours)

After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses - self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside - in the Red Zone - is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they'll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside...for good.

Speaking of dystopian novels, this story falls more into the fantastical side of it. It wasn't chilling or thought provoking like The Handmaid's Tale was, but it was a hell of a lot of fun. Ann Aguirre never dissapoints and I always enjoy picking up her stories. In 3 hours, she can still give you in-depth characters to love and a underdog fight to cheer for.

by Jennie Melamed

341 Pages (10:09 Hours)

NEVER LET ME GO meets THE GIVER in this haunting debut about a cult on an isolated island, where nothing is as it seems.Years ago, just before the country was incinerated to wasteland, ten men and their families colonized an island off the coast. They built a radical society of ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history. Only the Wanderers--chosen male descendants of the original ten--are allowed to cross to the wastelands, where they scavenge for detritus among the still-smoldering fires.The daughters of these men are wives-in-training. At the first sign of puberty, they face their Summer of Fruition, a ritualistic season that drags them from adolescence to matrimony. They have children, who have children, and when they are no longer useful, they take their final draught and die. But in the summer, the younger children reign supreme. With the adults indoors and the pubescent in Fruition, the children live wildly--they fight over food and shelter, free of their fathers' hands and their mothers' despair. And it is at the end of one summer that little Caitlin Jacob sees something so horrifying, so contradictory to the laws of the island, that she must share it with the others.Born leader Janey Solomon steps up to seek the truth. At seventeen years old, Janey is so unwilling to become a woman, she is slowly starving herself to death. Trying urgently now to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, before her own demise, she attempts to lead an uprising of the girls that may be their undoing.GATHER THE DAUGHTERS is a smoldering debut; dark and energetic, compulsively readable, Melamed's novel announces her as an unforgettable new voice in fiction.

I guess I really wanted dystopian audiobooks this month. This book straddles the line between not real and too real. It was thoroughly disturbing while also being whimsical and innocent, which I think might make it more disturbing. The terrible things that happen are never spoken aloud or even put into words, so it took me a little while to understand what they were referring to. There were many parts that made me want to cry or to stop listening, but the story of these girls begs to be listened to and acknowledged. 

by Evie Manieri

435 Pages

Evie Manieri's Blood's Pride is the first book of The Shattered Kingdoms, an engaging, action-packed, and "highly imaginative" (Kirkus Reviews) series of fantasy novels with epic scope and "the perfect mix of romance, family ties, betrayals, and agonizing dilemmas" (RT Book Reviews).
Rising from their sea-torn ships like vengeful, pale phantoms, the Norlanders laid waste to the Shadar under cover of darkness. They forced the once-peaceful fisher folk into slavery and forged an alliance with their former trading partners, the desert-dwelling Nomas tribe, cutting off any hope of salvation.
Now, two decades after the invasion, a rebellion gathers strength in the dark corridors of the city. A small faction of Shadari have hired the Mongrel, an infamous mercenary, to aid their fledgling uprising—but with her own shadowy ties to the region, she is a frighteningly volatile ally. Has she really come to lead a revolution, or for a more sinister purpose all her own?

I really wanted this book to be good. I mean, just look at that cover! It's not often that you see a badassed chick covered in that many scars. I wanted to know her story....
I still want to know her story....
This book had so many plots that it was hard to get into any of them. I feel like this one book could've been stretched into at least 3 books and I would've read them all. There was major character development, but you knew so little about the characters that it didn't really make any difference to how I felt about them. In fact, I didn't care about any of them at all. Too bad. It makes me not want to read any more of the series. 

Books that I am currently reading

by Anthony Ryan
425 of 602 Pages (17:03 of 24:39 Hours)

by Rohinton Mistry
65 of 603 Pages

Ascent of Women
by Sally Armstrong
70 of 320 Pages

The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame
102 of 228 Pages

by Elizabeth Haydon
197 of 656 Pages (9:46 of 30:08 Hours)

by Jon Ronson
20 of 200 Pages (0:26 of 3:27 Hours)

by Seanan McGuire 
78 of 353 Pages

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday Threads - Star Wars Work Wear

With a tag line like Corporate doesn't have to be boring.... you have already won my heart.
That's right, Think Geek and Her Universe have teamed up and made a Star Wars Office collection! Be still my heart! Although I no longer work in a corporate office, I would love to get my hands on every piece of this new line

Although, I don't know any office that would let you get away with wearing leggings, even Darth Vader ones, and I feel like the R2-D2 print might be too obvious, they are still really cool.

What do you think? Would you be able to get away with these in the office?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday Threads - Her Universe at SDCC

Although I didn't make it to SDCC again this year (someday....) I am excited to see all the awesome stuff that came out of it.
As per usual, Her Universe debuted lots of fun new outfits and they are finally available online!

I'm loving this rain coat! It's so hard to find a good geek coat in adult sizes

Be still my heart! I've always loved the Naboo logo, so to have it on a cardigan makes me super excited

How cute are these Endor, Naboo and Jakku skirt designs. I want them all

I'm loving these retro Star Wars tees. too cute

What a cute jacket! Although I kinda wish the logo on the back was bejeweled 

I'm i love with this Cap shirt! Look at all the star decals

I seriously want everything in this amazing Wonder Woman collection

I've ever been much of a romper girl, but I would totally wear this

I'm loving these design back tank tops. I want all of them!

Especially this one

okay, and maybe this one.

So what do you think of the fashion this year? I'm loving them. 
And don't worry, I didn't forget about the best part of SDCC: the Her Universe Fashion Show
I'm working on finding as much info as I can for it. Hopefully it'll be up by this time next week.