Monday, October 31, 2016

Brand New 52 - October Edition

My Friend works at Scholastic and her and her boyfriend are giving out books for Halloween! I mean, how awesome is that? Candy is all well and good, but books? That would be my favorite house to got to for Halloween.

Speaking of reading, here's what I read this month:

by Robert Louis Stevenson

92 Pages

The gripping novel of a London lawyer who investigates strange occurrences surrounding his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the misanthropic Mr. Edward Hyde. The work is known for its vivid portrayal of a split personality, split in the sense that within the same person there is both an apparently good and an evil personality each being quite distinct from the other...

Keeping with my Serial Reader Monster Movie kick, I picked up this classic next. It was pretty good. I was a little sad with how the reveal that Jekyll and Hyde being the same person was portrayed. It's never actually witnessed by the protagonist but revealed through letters at the end. There isn't even a reaction to the letters, so it sort of came across very clinical and didn't really have a high climax, Still a fun read though.

by Washington Irving

73 Pages

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a short story by American author Washington Irving that has become a Halloween and horror classic. Set in 1790 in Tarrytown, New York, Ichabod Crane encounters a mysterious figure who carries his head not on his shoulders, but in his saddle.

Did you ever see the Disney version of this book? I used to watch it all the time when I was a kid, despite the fact that it terrified me.
When I picked this up, I was surprised how close Disney came to getting it right. It's almost spot on (except more hymns and less silly songs) I couldn't believe it. It was quite amazing. It was a fun little read and I'm glad I picked it up for this spooky month

by Cathy Marie Buchanan 

357 Pages

A gripping novel set in Belle Époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and the era's most notorious criminal trials,
Paris. 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventy francs a month, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work — and the love of a dangerous young man — as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir.
Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Antoinette, meanwhile, descends lower and lower in society, and must make the choice between a life of honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde—that is, unless her love affair derails her completely.
Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.”

I was really hoping that this book would be better. In all the reviews I read people either loved or hated this book, I didn't really have much feeling for it either way. I didn't really feel anything bus sad for the characters as you watch them work against themselves and begin their downward spirals. Yet everything somehow works out in the end as it jumps ahead to years later leaving a questioning in the reader as to how it came about so perfectly.

by Sarah J. Maas

416 Pages (16:07 Hours)

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever

When you get a retelling of a fairy tale, you really never know what to expect. It can be very hit or miss, but this time it was a complete hit! This retelling of Beauty and the Beast is quite captivating. I love what she did with the fey and the incorporation of the evil queen and the trials Feyre must face in order to save her true love and the oppressed faeries of the realm. Well played, can't wait to read the next one!

by Mercedes Lackey

320 Pages

From a High Tower is the newest adventure in Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series.
When a man is caught stealing from a walled garden owned by a strange woman, he bargains away his youngest daughter in return for food for his family. The woman, rumored to be a witch, takes the golden-haired child and locks her away in a high tower. Sixteen years later, Giselle has lived an isolated life, but her adoptive mother has trained her in Air magic, and Giselle must use her new skills to keep herself and her new friends safe...

Speaking of hit or miss fairy tales, these Elemental Masters books are not holding up to what they use to be. I've been disappointed in this series for sometime now and this one did not help with that. The tie-ins with fairy tales use to be very strong and make a lot of sense in the story. Now they just feel like they're tacked on to a story that could've stood fine on it's own. This really wasn't a Rapunzel story for me. The attack on her person at the beginning in her tower was unnecessary and left her afraid of men and what they might try on her. At least until half way through the book where she's totally fine with a total stranger grabbing her by the arm and dragging her away. If you're going to have that as a prominent part of your character you really have to have that there the whole time or at least make her react or have a reason not to react.

by T.A. Pratt

352 Pages (9:10 Hours)

Brain-eating fungi, wannabe sorcerers, long-lost relations–does even a hard-core witch stand a chance?
Mad sorcerers, psychic vampires, an army of vengeful demons, Marla Mason would rather face them all than a flesh-and-blood ghost from her dysfunctional family past: her con artist brother, Jason. As Felport’s chief sorcerer, Marla would ordinarily consider it her duty to protect her town from such an unscrupulous ne’er-do-well. As his sister, things are a lot…trickier. Now, as Marla attempts to train an apprentice oracle whose magical wires have gotten crossed, Jason is setting up an elaborate sting and drawing her ever-so-corruptible partner Rondeau into the ruse. 
Their patsy is a filthy-rich wannabe mage and their bait is something so valuable, so dangerous, so sought after, it probably doesn’t exist. But now word’s gotten out that the Borrichius spores do exist and instead of a sucker Jason and Rondeau have a much bigger–and much deadlier–fish on their line: a reclusive sorcerer whose devotion to the mushroom god and command of vegetal magic could bring a fungal apocalypse to Felport. It’ll be the mother of all bad trips unless Marla can pull off the ultimate magical switcheroo…and somehow live to tell about it.

This was my least favorite in the series the first time I read it, and probably still is. That being said, I still love it and reading it again was great. I've been taking in a lot more from the series the second time through. I hate Marla's brother soooo much! He just makes me so angry, but it was interesting to watch him again knowing what was going to happen in the end. It does leave the end as a cliff hanger, but this time I wasn't left hanging. This time I came prepared the the next book in the series which I started listening to right away. It was a much better way to read them.

by Erin Lindsey

352 Pages

The bonds of family, love, and loyalty are pushed to their limits in this thrilling conclusion to the epic saga started in The Bloodbound...
As the war between Alden and Oridia draws to its conclusion, the fates of both kingdoms rest on the actions of a select group of individuals—and, of course, the unbreakable bonds of blood...
Unbeknownst to most of Alden, King Erik, in thrall to a cruel bloodbinder, is locked away in his own palace, plotting revenge. To save her king, Lady Alix must journey behind enemy lines to destroy the bloodbinder. But her quest will demand sacrifices that may be more than she can bear.
Meanwhile, as the Warlord of Oridia tightens his grip on Alden, the men Alix loves face equally deadly tasks: her husband, Liam, must run a country at war while her brother, Rig, fights a losing battle on the front lines. If any one of them fails, Alden could be lost—and, even if they succeed, their efforts may be too late to save everyone Alix holds dear...

To be honest, I'm glad this series is over. I hate saying that but the whole series left me wanting.
There were too many cliches; the King's brother being a traitor, the Royal Bastard, the hidden away Royal twin! I mean, how many siblings can you hide and reveal as plot points? At least she finally stopped being wishy-washy over which brother she was in love with. 
One of the other things that really annoyed me was the fact that she is the rashest people in the whole book and never stops to think about what sh'e doing before charging head first into trouble, yet she's the "best scout" they've got. She's terrible at sneaking and she doesn't have the patience to pull of stealth. There was a time where she lets them be lead into the middle of an open field in enemy territory before she stops to think that maybe they might be too out in the open, which of course they are. Even I know better than that. The only thing I can possible think of is that the other scouts are just even worse than her.

by Robert Bevan

316 Pages (8:03 Hours)

Tim and his friends find out the hard way that you shouldn't question the game master, and you shouldn't make fun of his cape.

One minute, they're drinking away the dreariness of their lives, escaping into a fantasy game and laughing their asses off. The next minute, they're in a horse-drawn cart surrounded by soldiers pointing crossbows at them. 

Tim now has the voice and physique of a prepubescent girl. Dave finds that while he lost a foot or two in height, he somehow acquired a suit of armor and a badass beard. Julian's ears have grown ridiculously long and pointy. And Cooper... well Cooper has gotten himself a set of tusks, a pair of clawed hands, and a bad case of the shits. He also finds that he's carrying a bag with a human head in it - a head that he had chopped off when they were still just playing a game.

Shit just got real, and if they want to survive, these four friends are going to have to tap into some baser instincts they didn't even know existed in their fast-food and pizza delivery world.

It's fight, flight, or try to convince the people who are trying to kill them that they don't really exist.

Meanwhile, a sadistic game master sits back in the real world eating their fried chicken.

This was fun. I think anyone who has ever played D&D have wondered what it would be like to actually live their stories. Especially those silly ones where you've already made some bad choices or chosen characters that don't quite fit. These were the kind of people that I would've played D&D with and I think they'd be the fun ones to have on my team if this ever happened, even if they can't quite take it seriously. If you're looking for a fun read, this is a great book to start with

by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis & Brooke A. Allen

29 Pages

Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together... and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!

I've wanted to read this comic for awhile, so I was happy when I got a copy of it. These kick-ass girl scouts are sneaking out of their camp cabin at night and facing of with all sorts of supernatural things. Gotta love girls who are brave and curious and have awesome friends who support them.

by Marissa Meyer

452 Pages

Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison—even though she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive if she does—in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.

It really was a fairy tale month. I didn't even realize it until now. This is another example of doing fairy tales right. Instead of taking us into the fantasy realm, this series gives us a sci-fi twist to Little Red Riding Hood and takes us into a future with cyborgs and Moon people and genetically altered werewolves. Gotta love it. This was a lot more fun than the first one and I'm really excited to see what happens next.

by Wilkie Collins

228 Pages

Is there no explanation of the mystery of The Haunted Hotel? Is The Haunted Hotel the tale of a haunting -- or the tale of a crime? The ghost of Lord Montberry haunts the Palace Hotel in Venice --- or does it? Montberry's beautiful-yet-terrifying wife, the Countess Narona, and her erstwhile brother are the center of the terror that fills the Palace Hotel. Are their malefactions at the root of the haunting -- or is there something darker, something much more unknowable at work?

When I started reading this, I thought it was House on Haunted Hill, but I was sadly mistaken. It's one of those books that takes a long time to set the stage for the grand finale only to have it fall flat at the end. Again it used a play to divulge they mystery, but it was being read and summarized and not performed.  It was also one of those book where you can really tell that the author doesn't think very highly of women and I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes. I knew I shouldn't started with The Phantom of the Opera instead.

by T.A. Pratt

226 Pages (9:55 Hours)

Sorcerer Marla Mason has never been afraid of a fight, but she's about to face her greatest challenge: herself. Or, at least, an alternate-universe version of herself, a woman who succumbed to the evil power of a cursed artifact and become a monstrous villain. Now this dark doppelganger is loose in Marla's world... and she has an agenda even more terrible than Marla can imagine.

When I discovered that these new Marla Mason books were available on audiobook, I could hardly contain my excitement! I would finally find out what happened after book 4 (see above)
This book was great! Marla rips open a hole in the Universe to try and set events right, but just makes more of a mess when an evil version of her and her best friend Rondeau come tumbling into their World. The Mason (as she likes to be called) has already conquered most of her World and is delighted to try and take over Marla's. Fellport will never be the same after this
Sooooooooo goooooooooood!
I can't wait to read the next one and the one after that and the one after that!

Books that I am currently reading

My Way to Hell (Hell #2)
by Dakota Cassidy
290 of 323 Pages

Vision of the Future (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn #2)
by Timothy Zahn
30 of 694 Pages

The Wedding Dress
by Rachel Hauck
175 of 352 Pages (4:25 of 9:50 Hours)

The Phantom of the Opera
by Gaston Leroux
15 of 360 Pages

A Happy And Safe All Hallows Eve

It's Halloween again! Hooray! It's one of my favorite days of the year. Not only do we get to be what we want to be for the day, but there's candy and pumpkins and all sorts of other fun goodies.

Today I thought I'd share a wonderful Halloween comic called "Scaredy Cat" by Heather Franzen. It's one of my favs. So enjoy the tricks and treats of it

I'd like to think that if my wee black familiar were an outdoor cat, he would overcome his scaredy cat ways and help out other little scaredy kittens along the way

this is Lynx and he is my special baby
Happy Halloween Cat to everyone! And remember to be safe out there

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday Threads - Unique Vintage - The Happiest Collecton On Earth

Is your work a place where they let you dress up for Halloween in the office? If not, have you thought about DisneyBounding for the day? Well, Unique Vintage has got you covered.

I love that they have taken great vintage styles and mixed them up to create characters that are so easily recognizable but still chic.

Check out their awesome dressed up costume ideas and the links to more great character styles

The Beauty

I am absolutely enamored with the Sea Witch costume! That purple crinoline! Be Still My Heart!
I also love that Sleeping Beauty comes in both pink and blue! Ingenious! So what do you think? Has this inspired your geeky little heart? I hope so.

Happy Haunting everyone

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tunage Tuesday - Cowboy Pat

Celebrities come in all shapes and sizes, some we love, some we love to hate, and some go beyond our wildest expectations and give us great things.
I'm sure you all love Patrick Stewart. I mean, who doesn't? But this makes me love him even more.

Introducing Cowboy Pat!

Yes, that was just Patrick Stewart singing cowboy songs. And what's even better, is that you can buy the album for realsies at cdbaby. I know that seems weird, but it helps to know that all the proceeds from this silly album goes to the International Rescue Committee. As if we needed more of a reason to love this man.

Thanks to Nerd Approved who knows all the lyrics off by heart already.