Saturday, February 28, 2015

The New 52 - February Edition

With February being the month of love, I decided to spend the month of my 52 reading books by an author that I love. I very rarely do theme months or stick to one author, but this one is special.

You may remember last year I read the entire Sirantha Jax series and fell head over heels in love with her characters (especially Jax and Vel).  I was looking into what else she had wrote and realized that she had many different styles of writing! Always intrigued by how the same writer can carry many genres, I set out to find as many of her different series as I could! Some of them were hard to get my hands on and had to be ordered in, but I am so excited to finally have them!

by Ann Aguirre

316 Pages

Corine Solomon is a handler. When she touches an object she instantly knows its history and its future. Using her ability, she can find the missing, which is why people never stop trying to find her. Like her ex-boyfriend Chance, who needs Corine's gift to find someone dear to them both. But the search proves dangerous as it leads them into a strange world of demons and sorcerers, ghosts and witchcraft, zombies, and black magic...

I'm always a little unsure how I feel when I pick up an urban fantasy. A few of them are so good, but most are not. This one was pretty good. I really enjoyed the mystery and the secondary characters. I wasn't overly keen at first about the romance options. I'm never really one to support going back to bad relationships, but as the story unfurled, their past becomes more clear even as it becomes more complicated ().  I do really love Corine. She's a pretty kick-ass woman who won't back down if it means helping someone, even if helping them means hurting herself with her power (%). I can't wait to read the rest of these, because I really want to find out what happened to her Mother (¥). Luckily I managed to find the entire series at the used book store! Score!!

by Ann Aguirre

343 Pages

Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B…. 
Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other. 
The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

Totally different from any of the other books that I have read by this author. When I say I'm leery about urban fantasy, that's nothing compared to how I feel about romance novels. I tend to avoid them like the plague, unless I know they are going to be super cheesy and have bad supernatural elements in them.
Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. It was wonderful!! The budding relationship between Nadia and Ty is so real that you can almost touch it. It's like listening to a friend spill her guts about everything that's going on in her life. The characters were so relatable, I actually forgot that they weren't my actual friends (@). It great that it has such a modern feel too. It's very current in pop culture and has very open views about the LGBTQ community, which is awesome. The sex scenes are really impressive. None of the old throbbing or pulsating words of the past; we're talking video chats, sexting and all sorts of other delicious things.
This book will set all of your emotions aflame and you will be laughing and crying and cheering on the characters as you read. I can't wait to read the rest of them (and to maybe find out why they are all named after Backstreet Boys songs)

by Ann Aguirre

3387 Pages

The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.
Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.
Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…

This book was much more along the lines of the Sirantha Jax series. Actually, it takes place in the same Universe! There is even a character from the other series in it, which is pretty cool.
This book was awesome, even though it could be extremely brutal %. Although I suppose that's not overly surprising considering that it takes place in a prison left to its own devices.
Out of all of Ann Aguirre's books that I read this month, this one was the hardest to put down. I'm trying to decide if it was my favorite, but I really can't say for sure. They're all so good....
What I can say and do tend to say about all of them, is that I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

by Ann Aguirre

352 Pages

Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.
To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.
Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.

I read the first book in this series last month. The first book is very dark and gritty (%). The second one eludes to the same darkness, but it doesn't really have any of it in it. They've found safety in a community that has gone back to the "old ways" where both men and women have their places in society. Deuce, of course, chafes against these rules and feels lost in this new world. But at the same time, she finds something that she's never had before; a family and people who love her. It's quite interesting to see her struggle to fit in while also not losing who she is. It was done extremely well, which is something I'm quite grateful for. It still has a few problems with girlfriend zoning (&)() which I'm not overly fond of, but I do understand why it can be there. I'm wondering if something massive will come of it in the third book.
The fact that the Freaks are gaining intelligence is rather an unpleasant thought, although a thought provoking one. I really want to see where this is headed. Guess it's time for me to go to the book store and buy more Ann Aguirre books.

by George R.R. Martin

978 Pages

After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce. But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.

Not all of the books I read this month were by Ann Aguirre, but only because I couldn't find her other series. So instead I picked up a couple of other books that had been on my shelf, like this tbr book.
Okay, so this was actually my audio book, since I can't seem to actually pick up this series to read without promptly putting it back down. Maybe it's because such horrific things happen in it (%)?
When I originally was reading this series, I got up to this book before putting it down and reading something else. Most of my favorite characters were dead by then, so I didn't really care to keep reading. Now that I've finally read it, I'm a little sad that I didn't read it before. It's probably my favorite book so far. It was pretty much all the characters that I find interesting (Sam, Jamie, Brienne, Arya sometime) and I was very glad that there was some who were excluded (John, Bran, Daenerys)

by Erin Lindsey

359 Pages

Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…
A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.
Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.
But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…

This was a book that I saw the cover art for when it first came out and decided immediately that I wanted to read it. I finally did manage to get my hands on a copy and was quite happy with the results. As much as this is a story about war, it's also a story about love. I didn't want it to be at first. I didn't want it to be another book where the only depth of the man character was who she was going to be with in the end (#). This is not that kind of book. Alex has a lot of depth to her outside of her love triangle (). And despite fighting it, I did jump on one of the ships and rooted for it with all my heart.
The only thing that I thought was weird was the fact that they talk about her being the best scout, because she's so quiet and stealthy, but at the same time she is super impulsive and always makes rash judgments and rushes into things that she shouldn't. Despite supposedly being ninja-like, she is the most unobservant person in the whole book. It's rather quite confusing.

by Anne Bishop

487 Pages

No one creates realms like "New York Times "bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities--vampires and shape-shifters among them--who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans. 
As a "cassandra sangue," or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut--a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard--a business district operated by the Others. 
Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide if she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

I totally picked this book up on a whim and I'm so glad that I did. I wasn't overly impressed at first by any of the characters, but as the book progressed, the effect Meg has on the people (The Others) around her is quite astounding. The build-up of community and friendship and even tolerance is really impressive, to both the character in the book and to the reader.
The World is scared of the Others due to their supernatural abilities, and you can see why. Not only are they in charge, but they can be really scary. They aren't your typical para-romance type creatures to be sure, but the book makes a profound point that they're not necessarily the ones we should be afraid of. They aren't the ones who are cruel or who will hurt others for profit or pleasure (%).
It also goes to show you the difference one person can make. 

Books that I am currently reading

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
by H.P. Lovecraft
Page 24 of 360
(I know! I read a whole 6 pages! Progress!)

A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)
by George R.R. Martin
Page 350 of 1125

by Robert Jordan
Page 232 of 782

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tunage Tuesday - Doctor Who Edition

Knock, Knock! Who's There?
Doctor Who?
Yes, you're correct. 

It's Tuesday! This week I will be focusing on Doctor Who music (okay, mostly the theme song)
and I've found some great videos for you!

First we have The Time Warp by Hillywood

Is this not adorable? It's really well put together. Hilly Hindi amazing and super convincing as the Doctor. The guy that did the voice for the Doctor is pretty amazing as well.
I've included the Behind the Scenes video as well, although it is super long.

Next up we have a few different renditions of the Doctor Who theme

The Human Tim rocks us out with his electric guitar

And The Doubleclicks  rocking out on Cello 

I love the cello case spinning across the screen!

And just for fun...

Timey Wimey...
Anime Doctor Who!

Oh man! This is just sooo awesome! Thanks Nerdist!
I love the creepy Doctor, the sensible Rory and the nose bleeding Amy!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Awesome, Weird & Amazing Book Videos

There have been a few profound book series in my life that I would use to define myself as a reader. Books that I've picked up over and over again and reread.
Books that made me want to be a reader, a writer, an adventurer.
Books that have changed my life.

I'm talking about 3 series in particular; The Lord of the Rings, The Wheel of Time, and Harry Potter

I'm going to start with The Lord of the Rings, as it was the first series that I ever read and was the main reason that I got into the fantasy genre. 
I didn't think anything could ever be as good as it was. I read The Hobbit (or had it read to me) first, then The Rings, but I never picked up The Silmarillion, so I always felt that there were some things that I never quite understood. That is until I watched these videos by CGP Grey

Oh, okay. That cleared things up pretty well. 
Who knew? (probably Stephen Colbert)

Thinking nothing could top The Lord of the Rings, I got into a debate with a friend in high school about it and he disagreed with me, claiming The Wheel of Time was better. I didn't believe him.

I was wrong.
Tolkien may have been the father of fantasy, but Robert Jordan blew him out of the water. WOT to this day is still my favorite book series. In fact, I'm rereading them for the 3rd time. (Although I read all the chapter summaries over and over again every time a new book was released from 10 on, so really I've kind of read them more than that) 
It seems I'm not the only fan of WOT though. Billy Zane seems to be as well. He recently produced a pilot for a WOT TV show that aired on some channel called FXX

The first episode is called Winter Dragon and it is hilariously awful! If you've read Eye of the World, you will recognize this as the prologue, where Lews Therin Telamon and Ishamael (played by Zane) talk about the beginning of the Breaking of the World. Yes, this is the defining moment where Lew Therin goes crazy and creates Dragonmount.... or at least that's what's suppose to happen...
Where is Dragonmount, Billy Zane? How can the Dragon be reborn on it's slopes if you don't go crazy and start blowing things up?
Oh right... adaptation... an unauthorized one at that. 

“This morning brought startling news. A “pilot” for a Wheel of Time series, the “pilot” being called Winter Dragon, had appeared at 1:30 in the morning, East Coast time, on FXX TV, a channel somewhere in the 700s (founded to concentrate on comedy, according to the Washington Post).
It was made without my knowledge or cooperation. I never saw the script. No one associated with Bandersnatch Group, the successor-in-interest to James O. Rigney, was aware of this.
Bandersnatch has an existing contract with Universal Pictures that grants television rights to them until this Wednesday, February 11 – at which point these rights revert to Bandersnatch.
I see no mention of Universal in the “pilot”. Nor, I repeat, was Bandersnatch, or Robert Jordan’s estate, informed of this in any way.
I am dumbfounded by this occurrence, and am taking steps to prevent its reoccurrence.” - Harriet McDougal Rigney

In the back of my mind, I always hoped that they would make a WOT TV show and when Game of Thrones was actually done well, my hopes got a bit higher. But this is laughable. 

I know, not all adaptations are done well and even if they are, fans will always find fault in them. Just look at Harry Potter.

When Harry Potter first became popular I thought it was stupid. I know, I know. I jumped on the bandwagon with all the haters without knowing anything other than the fans seemed annoying. My mother borrowed the first couple of books from the neighbor's kid and read them. When I voiced my opinion on it, she handed me Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and told me only when I had read it was I allowed to have an opinion on it. I picked it up hoping to hate it just to prove her wrong and ended up falling in love with the series. It's sort of how I felt about Severus Snape through the books.

oh how my heart breaks....

I love you Alan Rickman... 

Books are wonderful things that take us on awesome, silly, strange and amazing adventures.
Thank goodness for books

(and thank goodness for Nerd Approved for all the awesome info)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tunage Tuesday - Star Wars Edition

Hey all! It's Tunage Tuesday! This week I've found some fun Star Wars tunes for you!

First off, we have Jason Munday with "Ready For Anything" 

I love this song so much I actually bought it on iTunes

Next up is Teddie Films parody "Bandolier" 

How phenomenal was that?
If you are super confused about the video, check out the original. It'll make more sense

Even better, check them out side by side to see how well done they are


Okay, so I spend a few hours looking for more Star Wars music videos, but I had either already posted them in the past or they were really, really bad. Guess we'll just have to stick with these 2 this week

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Family Day

To all my Canadian Friends out there


to celebrate, I thought I would post some adorable family cosplay

Thanks you to these parents who bring the love and joy of geekyness to the lives of their children, raising the next generation of geeks.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Love for You

Happy Valentines to all of you out there!
Remember to love who you love and what you love no matter what your OTP is

art by il-leone

art by cupcake logic

art by Justin Lawrence DeVine
art by Doodle Dojo

art by Nicole Martinez

art by The Bourgyman

art by ArtistAbe

art by Guavi

And remember the most important thing is to love yourself!

art by Auro-Cyanide