Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The New 52 - September Edition

Yup, I've finished my 52 books for the year

So now what do I do?
I guess I continue to;

Yes, I will keep reading, as if finishing my quota would stop me. Plus, I still have a few more TBR's to finish before the end of the year. I'm also thinking of seeing if I can make it to 75 books by the end of the year. That's a pretty lofty goal though, so I guess we'll just see how it goes. Here is what I read this September:

by Ami McKay

480 Pages

The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of Rares. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken Acadian midwife with a gift for healing. Dora becomes Miss B.’s apprentice, and together they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labours, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling sex lives. Filled with details as compelling as they are surprising, The Birth House is an unforgettable tale of the struggles women have faced to have control of their own bodies and to keep the best parts of tradition alive in the world of modern medicine.

This book was my TBR book of the month. I saved it for September because I knew my sister was due to have my new nephew and it seemed fitting.  I've had this book for many years and when I was about to pick it up, I was talking to my Aunt, who had just finished it, and she commented on how horrible it was to give birth at that time. That put me off reading it until now, visualizing terrible things. And looking back, I understand what she meant. It was certainly a hard time to be a woman (%) with no rights of your own and also terrible what they did in the hospitals to birth the babies. This story isn't really about that though. It's about fighting for what is in the woman and child's best interest, but also about Dora's life and the hardships she goes through. It was a very good read and I highly recommend it. 

by Robert Jordan

964 Pages (36:27 Hours)

The fifth book in Robert Jordan's internationally bestselling epic fantasy series, 
The bonds and wards that hold the Great Lord of the Dark are slowly failing, but still his fragile prison holds. The Forsaken, immortal servants of the shadow, weave their snares and tighten their grip upon the realms of men, sure in the knowledge that their master will soon break free...
Rand al' Thor, the Dragon Reborn, knows that he must strike at the Enemy, but his forces are divided by treachery and by ambition. Even the Aes Sedai, ancient guardians of the Light, are riven by civil war. Betrayed by his allies, pursued by his enemies and beset by the madness that comes to the male wielders of the One Power, Rand rides out to meet the foe.

This is the first book that really starts to get into the politics of this World. Jordan has hinted about them before, but now they become full blown. Between the Game of Houses, ji'e'toh, the breaking of the Aiel, the splitting of the Tower and the Forsaken plotting, it's a lot to take it. They are all still out in the World, but Rand's Ta'veren pull on everyone is beginning to be felt ()
Rand is beginning to take on more and more responsibility as the Dragon and it's making him into a harder man, and perhaps a crazier one too.

by Ilona Andrews

260 Pages

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic… 
One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. 
In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. 
But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy… 

I was really excited to read this book. It's the first in a series and I've been really into Urban Fantasy lately. These stories need one thing to really carry them, an awesome kick-ass main character, who takes no shit and wise cracks her way through every situation. This book has that, but the main character has no charisma to carry that kind off that kind of attitude. She just comes off as a jerk and I found I really didn't like her at all. Then again, I wasn't really fond of any of the characters or their push for a weird romance (&) and love triangle that didn't make any sense ()
They have this whole section where they try and set her up with another guy that she has absolutely no chemistry with just to be able to use him as a lame plot device later on.
The villain is just gross (%) I won't go into it, but it's just gross and gets grosser.
Also, they spend all this time heavy-handedly hinting at her "magic blood" (¥) but never go into it. It's pretty obvious what's going on, but I guess they'll reveal that in one of the other books. In the mean time, I'm sure they'll continue to use it as a Deus ex Machina. Guess I'll never know, since I won't be picking up the next book.

by Ann Aguirre 

336 Pages

All hell is breaking loose in the edge-of-your-seat follow-up to Havoc and Perdition from New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre…
The prison ship Perdition has become a post-battle charnel house with only a handful of Dred’s soldiers still standing and now being hunted by Silence’s trained tongueless assassins. Forging an uneasy alliance with mercenary commander Vost—who is their only chance at escape—the Dread Queen will do whatever it takes to end her life sentence on Perdition and keep the survivors alive long enough to cobble together a transport capable of getting them off station.
If Dred and her crew can win the deadly game of cat and mouse, the payoff is not only life but freedom—a prize sweeter than their wildest dreams. Yet the sadistic Silence would rather destroy Perdition than let a single soul slip from her grasp…

This is the final book to this series and I am really sad to see it end. I love this series and this World and I hope that Ann Aguirre decides to write more about this Universe. Now that being said, I'm always really amazed how she manages to wrap up all of her story lines before the end. Despite horrible things being done by and to (%) these people, they all manage to redeem themselves in a real and believable way. Even if you don't like them, you learn to at least have respect for them.
There is one thing that I'm rather upset about and going to rant (whine) about, but I will cover it in case no one wants the spoiler, even if it's only me who cares about this {Oh God! Whhhhhhhhhhy??????? Why would you put Jax and Vel together as a couple? They were the perfect friendship! Perfect!!! They don't need to be in a sexual relationship! I love that she put that nod to them in the last few pages, but making it a sexual relationship was not necessary! Oh God I ship it! I don't ship it! It hurts my soul..... whhhhhhy.......*}
Rant over. my apologies. Anyhow, I will continue to follow her work eagerly and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next.

by Anne Bishop

123 of 384 Pages

Seven hundred years ago, a Black Widow witch saw an ancient prophecy come to life in her web of dreams and visions. Now the Dark Kingdom readies itself for the arrival of its Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But she is still young, still open to influence-and corruption.
Whoever controls the Queen controls the darkness. Three men-sworn enemies-know this. And they know the power that hides behind the blue eyes of an innocent young girl. And so begins a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, where the weapons are hate and love-and the prize could be terrible beyond imagining... 

I tried to read this book. I really did try. I'm a big fan of Anne Bishop's other series and I was hoping that her earlier work would be just as good. It's not and it's horrifying. I can't believe that the entire culture is based on rape (%); all sorts of rape and weird sexual demeaning coming from being sold to sick, twisted fantasies, to weird incestuous cravings, to pedophilia. I just couldn't read it anymore. I almost threw the book across the room. I want to get rid of it, so I'm actually considering throwing it out so that no one else thinks about picking it up.

by J.A. Pitts

384 Pages

Sarah Beauhall has more on her plate than most twenty-somethings: day job as a blacksmith, night job as a props manager for low-budget movies, and her free time is spent fighting in a medieval re-enactment group.
The lead actor breaks Sarah’s favorite one-of-a-kind sword, and to avoid reshooting scenes, Sarah agrees to repair the blade. One of the extras, who claims to be a dwarf, offers to help. And that’s when things start to get weird. Could the sword really be magic, as the "dwarf" claims? Are dragons really living among us as shapeshifters? 
And as if things weren’t surreal enough, Sarah’s girlfriend Katie breaks out the dreaded phrase… “I love you.” As her life begins to fall apart, first her relationship with Katie, then her job at the movie studio, and finally her blacksmithing career, Sarah hits rock bottom. It is at this moment, when she has lost everything she has prized, that one of the dragons makes their move.
And suddenly what was unthinkable becomes all too real…and Sarah will have to decide if she can reject what is safe and become the heroine who is needed to save her world.

This has been on my to-read list pretty much since I signed up for Goodreads. I finally came across a copy of it in the bookstore and was very glad that I bought it. It was really good. Not only is this a great Urban Fantasy, but it also deals with real life issues, like coming to terms with your own sexuality and learning who you are for yourself and casting off the negative feelings of others. It's also about blacksmithing and fighting jerk ass dragons (%) who are fighting their own turf war.
I am super looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

by J.C. Nelson

304 Pages

As a partner at Grimm’s magical Agency, Marissa Locks is used to working odd jobs. But when an evil queen reappears in Kingdom, life becomes too strange to handle…
Even when she’s not starting it, trouble follows Marissa everywhere. First there was the incident with the homicidal Fairy Godmother. Then there was the time she accidentally started Armageddon. But the problems that always seem to arise on Marissa’s birthday take the cake.
This year, her annual bad-luck presents include an army of invading goblins, the resurrection of two vengeful enemies from hell, and the return of the Black Queen, the evil sorceress whose reign of terror still haunts Kingdom and who happens to have claimed Marissa as her servant.
As Marissa’s friends try to save her from the Black Queen’s clutches, Marissa fights to end a bitter war that started before her birth. But her quest for peace is about to bring up some inconvenient truths about her own past—ones that might cost her the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of…

Here is another fun installment to my new Urban Fantasy kick. This is the 3rd and final book in this series, well as least about these characters as far as I can tell. I'm really enjoying final books that manage to wrap everything up so well, especially when you are tying up loose ends from the first couple of books. Everything is important and everything comes to a head. I like that. There is even some answers about things that I didn't realize were loose ends (¥).
This was a really fun series. I hope that the new series will be just as fun.

Books that I am currently reading

by H.P. Lovecraft
Page 292 of 360

Lord of Chaos (The Wheel of Time #6)
by Robert Jordan
Page 710 of 1011
(29:90 of 41:32)

Poison Sleep (Marla Mason #2)
by T.A. Pratt
Page 57 of 321

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tunage Tuesday - Pure Imagination

Come with me... and you'll be...
in a World of pure imagination....

I always loved that song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but I love it even more with Lindsey Stirling, Josh Groban and the Muppets involved

Wasn't that wonderful? Are you going to have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day?

If that's a bad thing, trying having the Pokemon theme stuck in there instead, also preformed by Lindsay Sterling 

you know how much I love me some Lindsay Sterling

Still not what you want? How about we go back to the Muppets theme and chack out some Ben Folds Five featuring Fraggle Rock?

Yup, an awesome combination made of pure imagination!

Thanks to Never Too Old To Love Muppets and Muppet Mayhem for always loving some Muppets

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thursday Threads - Shoe Bakery

Sometimes objects are so sweet, that you just want to eat them! That's the case with me and these adorable shoes from the Shoe Bakery

Each shoe is perfectly made to reflect a sweet treat and I want to eat wear them all!

Just look at those layered cake wedges! So amazing!

These make me want to scream for ice cream!

I think these vanilla sundae ones are my favorite!

I want every single pair of these adorable flats! I would wear them everywhere!

Aren't they just delicious?  Which pair would you like to eat wear?