Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Brand New 52 - November Edition

Art by Clayton Nguyen

November is over and there is only one more month to finish all the books I want to read this year. Or at least finish the rest of my TBR books.

Speaking od TBR books, I did manage to get one read this month

by Dakota Cassidy

323 Pages

A hilarious new romance that really turns up the heat, from the national bestselling author of Kiss and Hell. 
After defying Lucifer to save her best friend Delaney, ex-demon Marcella Acosta has been banished to exist in the plane between heaven and hell-and there isn't a shopping mall in sight. After numerous failed attempts to contact Delaney through a bunch of hack mediums, Marcella's at her wit's end. But there's one medium she's hasn't tried yet, and he just happens to be Delaney's scorching hot brother Kellen- the one guy who never gave Marcella the time of day.

This book has been sitting on my shelf forever and I didn't realize that it was the second book in the series until I picked it up last year. So I had to order the first book in so that I could actually read it. And it was okay. It was fun and silly and exactly like you'd expect a Dakota Cassidy book to be. It even follows her very predictable formula

 - Get turned into whatever (from demon to ghost, check)
- Freak out (moping mostly)
- Try and find a way to fix it (check)
- Lean on friends for support (not really, pushes everyone away)
- Fall in love with guy who did the turning (or haunting, as it were, check)
- Come up against someone who wants to get them for some random reason (check)
- At least 3 long sex scenes (middle, 3/4, and end of book), live happily forever after (check)

Yup, pretty predictable, but always fun. I do always enjoy reading her stuff.

by Rachel Hauck

352 Pages (9:50 Hours)

Four brides. One Dress.
A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.
Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift . . . and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can't she find the perfect dress...or feel certain she should marry Tim?
Then Charlotte discovers a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new-shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been "redeemed."
Charlotte's search for the gown's history-and its new bride-begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte's heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the timeless beauty of finding true love

This was one of those books that I got on an Audible sale. It was only a few bucks and well worth it. Despite being a chick-lit book, it was also very God-y, which I was not anticipating. When the back says the power of courage and faith, they were talking about faith in God and not in themselves as much as I had hoped. That being said, it actually wasn't as obnoxious as I thought it was going to be in the beginning. It was still about women coming into their own and finding the right path for them even if it goes against everything they know. I really liked that and found myself moved by some of the stories.

by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis & Brooke A. Allen

24 Pages

When you’re a scout, nothing is more important than being prepared, but how do you prepare for legions of supernatural creatures threatening to beat down your scouting camp’s door? Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are about to find out! It’s just supposed to be a normal day at camp with games and a bit of canoeing, but when the girls find themselves separated from the rest of camp they realize there really is a lot more going on and it might be a unhelpful river monster that gives them the key to figuring everything out. Don’t miss out on the second issue of this hot new series from Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen!

The girls are back and this time they're on the ride of their lives. This time they are on a simple canoe trip that proves to be anything but simple when a sea-serpent attacks and they are fighting to help each other out. A sweet romance seems to be blooming between two of them and I can't wait to see where this story goes. Such a great comic. I totally recommend it. 

by N.K. Jemisin

384 Pages

In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. 
Oree's peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger -- but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the Lord of Night himself?

This is the second book in this series and we get to see what has happened in the aftermath of the previous book. I actually liked this book a lot more than the first one. I felt that the characters and the plots were a lot stronger. It was also really interesting because the main character is blind, but can see magic. I imagine that writing something like this would be incredibly difficult, but it is handled extremely well and there is never a lack of clarity as to what is happening around her unless she herself doesn't know. I'm looking forward to the last book in this series.

by Deanna Chase

320 Pages (10:26 Hours)

It’s tough being a faery in New Orleans, a city fraught with vampires… especially when their very existence drains your life-force.
Willow Rhoswen, owner of The Fated Cupcake and part-time vampire hunter for the Void is having a rough week. Four years after her twin brother’s mysterious death, Willow’s life is threatened and the director saddles her with a new partner—her ex-boyfriend, David. To her horror, he’s turned vamp, which causes her physical pain whenever she touches him… and any other specimen of the undead.

In order to save Willow’s life, David agrees to turn double agent against the most powerful vampire organization in New Orleans. Or so he says. And she’s convinced they know something about her brother’s death. Unsure where David’s loyalties lie, she turns to Talisen, her childhood crush, to help her solve the mystery.
Caught between two gorgeous men and a director who’ll stop at nothing to control Willow’s gifts, she’ll have to follow her instincts and learn who to trust. Otherwise, she risks losing more than just her life.

I got this series altogether as a deal and didn't really look to see what it was about. Had I read the back of the first book, I may not had picked them up. What can I say? I'm not a fan of love triangles, especially when both guys are assholes. The story it's self was pretty good. I didn't mind the vampire hunter storyline, but I totally could've done without the drama. 
This book made me sad (again) that I'm not a baking witch (or fae). She makes all sorts of incredible things in her shops that not only taste good (so important) but also have extra magic like making you happy or learning self control or being awake without the crash afterwards, 
I need baking magic....

by Brandon Sanderson

370 Pages

The Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson's New York Times bestselling epic teen adventure is now available in paperback.
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.
As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.

This was an unexpected story from Brandon Sanderson. It's very unlike anything else that I've read by him. I'm actually not sure what I think about it. I enjoyed it, but it had a learning curve to fully understand the use of Chalkling magic that I found to be a little hard to stomach at times. It often read as more of a manual for our understanding that a book you could get lost in the magic of. That being said, I love Sanderson's style of writing and I would like to see where he takes this series. 

by Deanna Chase

226 Pages (9:17 Hours)

Finding the perfect dress can be hell... especially when a stranger tries to gun you down in broad daylight.
Void agent and magical baker extraordinaire, Willow Rhoswen has been anticipating her first date with Talisen Kavanagh since she was sixteen. After eight years of waiting, there are only two things that can stand in her way—an assassination attempt and a new game-changing drug.

Talisen's invented a new elixir that creates superhumans, ones that can rival vampire strength, and everyone wants it. Including the vampires. With Willow's life on the line, he makes a deal with the devil, while she's forced to accept the always-strings-attached protection from the most notorious vampire organization in New Orleans.
But when Talisen and his drug go missing, Willow will stop at nothing to find him, even if it means working with her vampire-ex, David. With souped-up humans, dangerous vampires, and more questions than answers, Willow has less than twenty-four hours to find him before everything changes forever.

The second book in this series reads more of the same as the first. Did I mention love triangle above because it's getting even more triangular in here. I still dislike both of the guys who are vying for her attention. They take the whole "I will do anything to protect you" trope to an aggravatingly nauseating level, especially when she is capable of taking care of herself and hasn't asked for anyone to do something stupid in exchange for her safety. Besides that, I was able to enjoy the plot and her growing confidence and drive.

by Seanan McGuire

354 Pages

October "Toby" Daye is a changeling-half human and half fae-and the only one who has earned knighthood. Now she must take on a nightmarish new challenge. Someone is stealing the children of the fae as well as mortal children, and all signs point to Blind Michael. Toby has no choice but to track the villain down-even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael's realm, home of the Wild Hunt-and no road may be taken more than once. If Toby cannot escape with the children, she will fall prey to the Wild Hunt and Blind Michael's inescapable power.

I love this book series. It's everything that I want Urban Fantasy to be: reality mixed with lore and magic. Being a lover of fantasy, I've heard many different tellings of what the Wild-Hunt is, but no one ever really goes into it, let alone travels to the realm where the hunt exists to try and free it's forced participants. I loved the involvement of the candle to lead her there and back again and all the other paths that lead where only she can go.

by Deanna Chase

275 Pages (8:59 Hours)

Willow Rhoswen is finally coming to terms with the fact that Talisen—the man she thought was the love of her life—has left town, when his new superhuman drug becomes toxic and people's lives are on the line. Now she has to go after him before it's too late.
But when she gets to her home town of Eureka, California, Willow learns the truth of her brother's death and once again finds herself in a power struggle between her brother's murderer and the Cryrique vampires of New Orleans. With only her wolf, Link, and herself to count on, Willow's determined to end the political war once and for all, all while saving her friends and getting her happily ever after.

Oh No! Talisen, who professed his love finally, has left and never wants to see Willow again! Could he be trying to protect her? Could her and David be more than just friends again? Gasp... I don't care.
I'm so tired of this love triangle. Really, truly tired of it. Maybe if I hadn't listened to them all back-to-back-to-back, it wouldn't have been so noticeable. Willow has to go back to her home town to find Talison and her brother's old friend Hunter and bring them back with her. She manages to find both of them, but they leave town without Hunter and never mention the fact at all and he just miraculously shows up at the end as if that was the plan all along. This really seemed to be the story of dropped plotlines that somehow try to resolve themselves, but don't really, at least not in any way that doesn't feel tagged on. Don't even get me started about the burlesque show at the beginning... ugh...
I know it doesn't really sound like I liked these books, but I thought they were okay. They just had a lot of things that made me roll my eyes.

by Terry Pratchett

316 Pages

Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job.
After being assured that being dead was not compulsory, Mort accepted. However, he soon found that romantic longings did not mix easily with the responsibilities of being Death's apprentice...

I'm finally getting the hang of Terry Pratchett. his writing drove me crazy at first, due to lack of chapters, but I've gotten by that and can now enjoy the silliness that his books contain. I really like Death as a character and it was great to get some background on him

by Gaston Leroux,

360 Pages

First published in French as a serial in 1909, "The Phantom of the Opera" is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well until Christine's childhood friend Raoul comes to visit his parents, who are patrons of the opera, and he sees Christine when she begins successfully singing on the stage. The voice, who is the deformed, murderous 'ghost' of the opera house named Erik, however, grows violent in his terrible jealousy, until Christine suddenly disappears. The phantom is in love, but it can only spell disaster. Leroux's work, with characters ranging from the spoiled prima donna Carlotta to the mysterious Persian from Erik's past, has been immortalized by memorable adaptations. Despite this, it remains a remarkable piece of Gothic horror literature in and of itself, deeper and darker than any version that follows. 

Continuing on with my Monster Movie books, I went to the monster of the stage with this one. I saw this musical when I was a kid and was terrified and intrigued with the story and the music. Reading it as a book, I can see how closely they kept to the original, well, for the most part. There are quite a few weird chapters about trying to find the Opera Ghost and Christine near the end that made it drag on quite a bit and a weird scene with a torture chamber that I certainly don't recall from the musical, but it did add some drama to it that I wasn't expecting. Needles to say, I've had the musical numbers in my head for most of it and I really want to get a copy of the movie so I can compare how it stands up to my memory.

Books that I am currently reading

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

Agave Kiss (Corine Solomon #5)
by Ann Aguirre
120 of 336 Pages

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
by Sarah J. Maas
259 of 604 Pages (10:38 of  23:16 Hours)

The Little Mermaid
by Hans Christian Andersen
16 of 64 Pages

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tunage Tuesday - Disney Dudez

Sometimes you need some Disney Magic in your life. Sometimes you need boys singing Disney tunes. It's just a fact of life.

Todrick Hall got the boys from IM5 together for these fun Disney Boy Band videos and I'm glad he did

I love the Ariel jump off. It really makes my day

So what do you think? Do you need to find your own Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet with song? Or are you just happy watching these Disney Dudez?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Make Everything Okay Button

Having a bad day? week? year? I hear you.

There's not a lot that one can do when you're feeling down or overwhelmed in life.
But for some reason I find this helps

It's called the magic button.

Try it.
it might just work

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thursday Threads - Punk Rock Sailor Moon and Friends

art by Shoomlah

Is Sailor Moon a little tame for you? Do you wish it had more edge? More punk rock? Well, my friends, do I have something for you!

Living Dead has released a new line of Punk Rock Sailor Moon designs and they are awesome!

Sailor Moon "I will punish you"

Sailor Mercury "Bubbilious"

Sailor Mars "Hell on Heels"

Sailor Jupiter "Rolling Thunder"

Sailor Venus "Tough Love"

I love and want all of these Punk Rock Dresses! Especially Jupiter! But that's not all I want from Living Dead, I also want every dress from their other (less punk rock) pop culture line

Who wouldn't want MLP dresses with Cutie Marks included?

Or Pokemon Sun & Moon Legendaries and Starters?

I know who I'm choosing, do you?

Or if you're not a Pokemon or MLP fan, maybe this Noctis dress is more your speed

Or is your power level over 9000?

Maybe you're more of a seeker with these Hogwart Quidditch dresses?

What ever you're into, enjoy it with these great dresses. Isn't it about time you started your Christmas wish list?