Wednesday, December 31, 2014

52 Review - December Edition

Wow! It's the end of the year and I've managed to read 58 books for the challenge!!!

Yes, I read 112% of my goal in books! That's 21808 pages! How cool is that?

Last year I only read 43 books (18396 Pages)
That means this year I beat myself by 15 books and read a whopping 3412 more pages!

So this last month of 2014, here are the books that I read

by Jacqueline Carey 

413 Pages

Fathered by an incubus, raised by a mortal mother, and liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, Daisy Johanssen pulled the community together after a summer tragedy befell the resort town she calls home. Things are back to normal — as normal as it gets for a town famous for its supernatural tourism and presided over by the reclusive Norse goddess Hel.

Not only has Daisy now gained respect as Hel’s enforcer; she’s dating Sinclair Palmer, a nice, seemingly normal human guy. Not too shabby for the daughter of a demon. Unfortunately, Sinclair has a secret. And it’s a big one.

He’s descended from obeah sorcerers, and they want him back. If he doesn’t return to Jamaica to take up his rightful role in the family, they’ll unleash spirit magic that could have dire consequences for the town. It’s Daisy’s job to stop it, and she’s going to need a lot of help. But time is running out, the dead are growing restless, and one mistake could cost Daisy everything...

This book was fun. I don't read a lot of urban fantasy, but when I do, I always hope that it will be like this. I love Daisy and her interactions with all her fellow characters. I'm less inclined to like the love triangle (square?) that's going on, but then I don't like when every main male character of a certain age (at least in appearance) has to be a love interest. I feel like I should be going out and buying t-shirts that say I'm Team Cody or Team Sinclair  or Team Stefan (I'm totally Team Cody btw)
The story-line that I wasn't expecting and really, really enjoyed, came in the back-story of her best friend Jen and her blood slave sister. Nice twist there. Much better than the twist with Sinclair and his family. It's those little back stories that get me every time. 
This book was not as good as the first, but still fun and will have me picking up the next one when it eventually comes out in paperback.

by Barb Hendee

325 Pages

Far to the north, the men of an isolated silver mining community are turning into vicious “beasts” that slaughter anyone in sight. The mines belong to the noble family of Prince Anton—ruler of Castle Sèone and Céline and Amelie’s patron—and Anton’s tyrannical father has ordered his son to solve the mystery as a test of his leadership. He has no choice but to send the witches into the perilous north, to use their abilities to discover the cause of the transformations. Given how much they owe the prince, the sisters have no choice but to accept.

Together with the over-protective Lieutenant Jaromir, Célene and Amelie enter the dark world of a far off mining camp tainted by fear, mistrust, and enslavement—and haunted by men turning into massive, mad wolves without warning. Now, the two must draw upon strength and cunning they never thought they possessed not only to solve the mystery, but to survive…

I love this series. It's super easy to read and I had a hard time putting it down. I was having trouble finishing one of my TBR books and ended up picking this one up instead. I finished it in a few days. I love the differences between Celene and Amelie. You can tell they are sisters, but they are still very much their own people, strong in their own ways. 
Although they tried to give Celene a love triangle, it was  never very much of one and it never defined her character, which was quite refreshing. 
The plot was a little silly, but they played the mystery of it very well. I had no idea. I'm also looking forward to reading the next book in the series when it comes out.

by George R.R. Martin

1128 Pages

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces maneuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords...

OMG! I'm finally done this book! After 2 years of trying to reread it it's finished!!! I tried to sit down and read it numerous times this year and never got farther than a few chapters before I got fed up and picked up something else instead. I was trying to figure out how I would ever finish this TBR book by the end of the year, when I had an epiphany; I could get the audio book and listen to it. I thought it would be just as hard to listen to. I hate almost all the characters, so it's been hard to invest so much time into each of them while reading, but listening to it, I actually found it quite enjoyable. I would have it on while cooking and cleaning, when I was out walking or Christmas shopping and I found it went rather quickly. It's not a bad book, but it's not the be-all-end-all that people seem to think it is either. This is for sure the way I'm finally going to be able to read the rest of them. I've already downloaded A Feast of Crows and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next. I also think I will continue the trend of audio books in the future. I always wanted a way to be able to read while doing other mundane things and I think this will be the way!

by Katharine Kerr

454 Pages

Return to the fantastical land of myth, magic and passion. Over a thousand years ago the People of Deverry were driven from their splendid kingdom by their enemy, the Hordes, and forced to find sanctuary in the remote forests in the east of their lands where they eventually settled. Succeeding generations remembered these terrible events as the Burning - and they never forgot the cities, towns and marvels of the far, far west. 

"Dawnspell", the third compelling volume in Katharine Kerr's epic "Deverry" series, continues the bold saga of Nevyn, Rhodry and Jill as they battle with the evil forces threatening the world of Deverry in the decades that follow the Burning. Rooted in Celtic mythology, this dazzling novel offers a vision of an extraordinary universe of magicians, kings, elves and prophets, of a world where love is triumphant - even over death.

Ugh! This book was awful. It was the last book on my TBR pile for the year and one of the hardest ones I've had to get through. It's the 3rd book in a series that I started years ago when I bought a book that I thought was the 1st in a series and then found out that it was actually the 12th book....
I've had to search high and low for the other books and have found them here and there over the years. The other books so far haven't been that bad, but this one was awful! As if rape wasn't bad enough in a book, magical rape where she is magically coerced over and over again left me feeling violated.  It wasn't the worst rape scene I've read (I hate you so much The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), but that doesn't make it any better. Can we please stop this horrible trope of raping women to give men more character and leaving the women to figure out how to cope?
Will I read more of this series? Ugh... I'm not sure after that. Part of me hopes that it will redeem itself. I guess we'll see.

by S. Andrew Swann

325 Pages

Frank Blackthorne's most recent heist did not end optimally. The sacrificial virgin survived, but the whole incident left Frank, a respectable career thief, on the run from a kingdom full of evil cultists eager to replace their sacrifice.

So, when the Court Wizard of Lendowyn, Elhared the Unwise, comes to him intending to hire someone to save Lendowyn’s princess from an evil dragon in return for riches, glory, and help with the bloodthirsty cultists problem, Frank is rightfully suspicious. Frank is also not in a position to refuse.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Frank’s rescue fails—in an explosion of spectacularly misapplied magic. When the dust settles, all parties involved find themselves body-swapped. Frank is left stranded in the Princess Lucille’s body, halfway across the kingdom. The understandably angry Princess Lucille finds herself inhabiting the body of the dragon. In order to set things right, they will have to team up and face down thugs, slavers, elvish bookies, knights in shining armor, an evil Queen, and the hordes of the Dark Lord Nâtalc.

This was a nice, silly book to read after trudging through the last one. Body swaps everywhere! The thief ends up in the body of the princess and she ends up in the body of the dragon. There are so many fun twists and turns in this book, I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next! The writing behind the switching of bodies was well done. Frank dealt with being a woman very well. You never thought of him as a man after that. I always pictured him in his female form. Yes, there was a constant reminder that his body was female, but it was never sexualized by Frank. He always tried to be very polite to the body that he was in. Everyone else was another story. There were at least 6 times in the book that someone tried to rape him in her body, which he fought back with punches and stabbings in the groin. As awful as it was, he seemed to grasp the concept that this happens all the time and he had never realized it before. It was done almost in a comedic tone, which I didn't really like, but did drive home the message that it happens too much. That being said, I would have much preferred that it didn't happen at all.
This was a quick, fun read, that I managed to finish in 2 days over Christmas. I will definitely read more by this author.

by Maia Chance 

336 Pages

Miss Ophelia Flax is a Victorian actress who knows all about making quick changes and even quicker exits. But to solve a fairy-tale crime in the haunted Black Forest, she’ll need more than a bit of charm…

1867: After being fired from her latest variety hall engagement, Ophelia acts her way into a lady’s maid position for a crass American millionaire. But when her new job whisks her off to a foreboding castle straight out of a Grimm tale, she begins to wonder if her fast-talking ways might have been too hasty. The vast grounds contain the suspected remains of Snow White’s cottage, along with a disturbing dwarf skeleton. And when her millionaire boss turns up dead—poisoned by an apple—the fantastic setting turns into a once upon a crime scene.

To keep from rising to the top of the suspect list, Ophelia fights through a bramble of elegant lies, sinister folklore, and priceless treasure, with only a dashing but mysterious scholar as her ally. And as the clock ticks towards midnight, she’ll have to break a cunning killer’s spell before her own time runs out…

I'm not much of a mystery buff, but every once and a while I come across something that just sounds too good to pass up. This was the case with this book. Sadly, it did not live up to my hopes. It was pretty terrible. I was hoping that it would actually take on a fairy tale-like vibe, but it didn't at all. It was just a bad murder mystery with so many dead-end and stupid plots that at times it was hard to keep track of what was going on. Most of the characters were irrelevant, but stuck in just to have more people to maybe pin the murder on. By the end I had figured it out, but still had no idea where the story was going. The ending was lackluster and no one really got what they wanted. I see now that this is the first book in a new series. I will not be reading the next one.

So, how did you do this year with your reading? Did you beat me or your own goal? Will you be trying again next year? I certainly will!

Books that I am currently reading

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
by H.P. Lovecraft
Page 16 of 360
(hoping to actually finish this next year)

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4)
by George R.R. Martin
Page 114 of 978

Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Wishes From Talk Star To Me

Wishing you and yours the best internet connection you can get :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

One Year From Now.....

Let the countdown begin!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Star Wars Movie Name Generator

Not happy with the new title for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens?

You can make your own title here with this name generator.

Me? I love the new name. I just wanted to make one for my blog!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Very Special Christmas Angel

Putting up the tree is one of my favorite holiday traditions.
I can spend hours fluffing the branches and making sure that the lights are just right.

I have a couple of Angel Barbies and usually one of them graces the top of my tree.
But this year I wanted to do something different. Something Geeky.

Behold, my favorite Angel

Doesn't she look amazing? I tried to arrange the lights under her skirts to match the lights in her gown. I'll probably tweak it a bit more until I'm satisfied, but for now, I think she looks awesome and totally deserves to be on the top of my tree

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Team Unicorn Is All About That Base And Other Geek Music

You know me; I can't resist geeky music, especially when it comes from my favorite team of Geek Girls: Team Unicorn!

Yes, they are all about that Base!

This is a cute parody of Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass, which is also pretty awesome. It's a song about being happy with what you look like, and how can we not love that?
 Here it is in case you haven't seen it

Now here are some more awesome videos by one of my other fave Geek Girls, Lindsay Sterling

Art by Elise Ferrari for the Design A Poster for Lindsay Sterling Contest (this was my fave)

Star Wars Medley featuring Peter Hollens

Amazing! Anyone else think that Peter Hollens makes a great Obi-Wan?
Not only are they super talented, but they always look like they;re having so much fun!

Dragon Age

This is such a beautiful song and the video is amazing!

Mission Impossible featuring the Piano Guys

Roundtable Rival

As much fun as the other videos looked, I think this one is the most fun!

And last but not least, an awesome song and video about geek equality

Nothing to Prove - Geek Girls & The Doubleclicks

Because in the end, we're all just awesome geeks and we love the same things!
Keep on rocking out and being geeks
Love you all! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

52 Review - November Edition

Hey! Guess what? I finished my challenge!!  Woo Hoo!!

Oh yeah! 5 books ahead of schedule! Which is probably a good thing since I didn't manage to get much reading done this month. I've been home ill for most of the month and I wasn't in the head space for reading. I did manage to get a few books read though.

The Courtship of Princess Leia
by Dave Wolverton

374 Pages

Seeking rich, powerful allies to bring into the Rebel Alliance and a new home planet for the refugees of her native Alderaan, Princess Leia considers a proposal that could tip the balance of power against the evil Empire. The Hapes Consortium of 63 worlds is ruled by the Queen Mother, who wants Leia to marry her son, the dashing and wealthy Prince Isolder. Han Solo has always dreamed of marrying Leia himself, and now he makes a desperate last gamble to win her back. Soon he, Isolder, Luke Skywalker and Artoo will be at the center of an adventure leading to an awesome treasure, a group of Force-trained "witches," and a showdown with an invincible foe.

This was my TBR book for the month. Well, not originally. I was going to read Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter when I realized that it was book 2 of a series. I tried to locate the first book, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. So I decided that I was going to read this one instead. It's been on my shelf for years, so it fits the criteria nicely. 
As far as Star Wars books go, this one was pretty good. I really enjoyed that the two cultures that are introduced in the book are both female centric. That being said, I didn't like how the men in the book boo-hoo'd over it the entire time or that in the end the women needed to be rescued by the men. I was really hoping that Princess Leia would be one of the main voices in the story, but she was mostly just a side character and often just treated as the prize, which was really too bad.
What the plot really boils down to is Luke's journey to be one with the force and Han trying to be charming and failing miserably.

by Bailey Cates

324 Pages

As a new witch—not to mention owner of Savannah’s most enchanting bakery—Katie Lightfoot is still getting used to casting spells, brewing potions, and mastering her magical powers. But that doesn’t mean she can’t find time to enjoy a picnic with firefighter Declan McCarthy…until she stumbles upon a corpse. 

The dead man’s tattoo reveals he was a member of a secret society—and it turns out he's missing an object that was very important to the group. When Katie learns the killer was after more than the man's life, she and her Aunt Lucy leave the baked goods on the rack to cool and set off in hot pursuit of a killer.

This book just reiterates that I really need baking magic... and that I need to open a bakery... and make magical scones....
I'm really in love with this series. Not only is it written well, it has great characters and the murders aren't as silly or coincidental as other baking mysteries I've read. It's not formulaic at all, which is really refreshing. Katie doesn't go looking for trouble in this book, it's forced on her and her coven and they are just trying to right the wrongs before things get out of hand.
I'm still not sold on the whole love triangle angle, but I'm glad that she's doing her best to stay out of it as much as she can.

by Jill Archer

330 Pages

Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.

Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, paired with a lack of control and reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider from her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task which will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined…

I still really like this series, although the second book was not as good as the first. I enjoyed that Noon seems to be gaining more control over herself and her powers. Even though she still has a long way to go, she doesn't want anyone else to fight her battles for her. But even in her wanting to fight it alone, she and her companions start building strong bonds of friendship as they learn to work together.
This book took quite a few turns that I wasn't expecting, which was surprising, since there was a lot of foreshadowing in the book of things that did come to pass. I like when a writer can throw me for a loop like that. I'm looking forward to reading the next one and to see what some of the unforeseen consequences of this book might bring about 

While I only finished 3 books, I have been making more progress on some of my TBR books, which I am still plugging away at and hope to finish by the new year. Only 2 more to go!

Books that I am currently reading

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
by H.P. Lovecraft
Page 16 of 360

by George R.R. Martin
Page 593 of 1128
(finally beginning to make progress in this)

Autumn Bones (Agent of Hel #2)
by Jacqueline Carey
Page 99 of 413

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cute Geeky Birdies

The internet is filled with cute puppies and kitties dressed as adorable things, but your rarely see cute geeky birds. Well, my friends, that is about to change.

I have a soft spot for birds. Growing up I didn't have any traditional pets like a dog or cat, I had a budgie. His name was Shammy and he was awesome. We let him fly around all the time and he lived to the ripe old age of 12. 
He didn't make R2 D2 sounds like this little fellow, but he was still super awesome

Next up we have the DuckTales opening done with actual ducks!

Here's the side by side version with the original if you're interested

Now weren't those cute?

Thanks to Nerd Approved, who I also blame for getting that ear-worm stuck in my head.... ducktales..woo oo

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sexy Geek Shoes! Hooray!

A few years ago it seemed like there was no where that you could find geeky shoes, at least for women. Thank goodness for the out-pour of support of geeky ladies on the internet and, of course, for Etsy!
Geek shoes are now in abundance and they are as sexy as ever! Check out these two awesome stores that I've recently come across and their commitment to geeky, sexy and sparkly!

Heels or flats, these Wonder Woman shoes are amazing and can be completely customized in colour

I feel like I'd need a sexy black cat suit to go with these Cat Woman shoes

Love the purple and green combo. I always expect to find it tacky, but I love it

Star Wars Shoes!!! YAY!!!

I'm more of a TNG fan when it comes to Star Trek, but I love the black, blue and gold combo sooo much!

These Disney shoes are fit for a Princess

I am totally in love with these Lord of the Rings shoes; the elvish script, the white tree of Gondon on the heels, JRR's Signature on the bottom! Gorgeous! 

Mermaid shoes with pearls! Perfect!

These shoes are much sparklier than the others, but in a good way! All the motifs are done really precisely, which is very impressive

Barbie Shoes!!! I love Barbie Shoes!

The Jolly Roger and Steampunk shoes are totally amazing!
I mean, look at the tiny rivets on the steampunk shoes!

The flames and zebra aren't geeky at all, but I love them all the same!

Thanks you so much for making geeky shoes! The only problem is, picking out which ones I want the most!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bad Ass Geek Girl Clothes For Your Christmas List

I have a computer again!!!! YAY!!

Sorry for the long stint without posting much, but it's very hard when your computer is in pieces.
Now that I have internets and can actually catch up on all the tings I've been missing, I figured I'd start off with some awesome geek girl clothes that you might want to immediately put on you Christmas list.

Check out these amazing finds!

I want this Captain America dress so bad! It's sooo cool!

Hooray! More Sailor Moon dresses!!

These sweater dresses are super cute! I wish they actually were knit.

Good guys, bad guys, you don't have to choose with this awesome cardigan! I would live in this sweater!

I love these long sleeved costume tees! I can't decide who I want to be more; Dark Phoenix, Captain Marvel or Miss Marvel! Such good choices!

Seams Nostalgic

I want all of these skirts! ALL OF THEM!

Oh Black Milk, you just keep getting geekier and geekier and I LOVE IT!

Chain-mail dress! Yes Please!

I love this new Star Wars line!

How cute are these dresses?

I winder if these HP & MP leggings actually help restore you? Worth finding out, I think.

So, what do you think? Are these awesome finds worth putting on your Christmas List?

Thanks to Fashionably Geek for all the awesome tips