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Welcome to my train of thought. Just a warning, there might be turbulence. I'm a little eccentric, but hopefully you'll find something here that'll make the crazy worth it. Stay tuned for book reviews, ramblings on random things, and all sorts of stuff that tickles my fancy. But keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. My brain is a scary place!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Review: Sword and Pen

Sword and Pen Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I'm so sad that this series is over. What a fun and fantastic world that Rachel Caine has created! She's got a handful of deep characters that I've grown to care for, and now, they'll have to live on through rereads I guess.

Sword and Pen is the final book in the Great Library series, and it goes out with a bang! Character growth, plot twists, major events, Indiana Jones-esque tombs, and evil villains all abound in this one, and the war for the sanctity of the Great Library escalates into an all out war with the dethroned Archivist and the nations that see an opportunity to take control. Embattled on all sides, our crew must fight with everything they have to not only see the Great Library remain to live another day, but for it to be reformed into the shining beacon of hope and knowledge that it once was.

If you haven't read this series, you should definitely pick it up. I highly recommend it. It's fun, exciting, and extremely entertaining. Five stars!

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Review: The Unkindest Tide

The Unkindest Tide The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

LUIDAEG! LUIDAEG! LUIDAEG! Everyone shout it with me!!!

(Now, ask yourself... were you pronouncing it correctly as "loo-shack"... or incorrectly as "loo-ee-day-g"... or struggling to pronounce it at all?)

Yeah, Antigone of Albany, the sea witch, Cousin Annie, the Luidaeg is my favorite character in the October Daye series, and this one has SO MUCH LOOSHACK that I can't function! We get to see deep into her soul!!!

Okay, enough fanboying. I absolutely loved this installment in the Toby series. Multiple firstborns, good old fashioned murder (yikes, poor victim), political posturing involving arrests and undersea rescues), and most importantly LOTS OF FAMILY. Lots and lots and lots. And mostly, that's Toby's adopted family - the family of choice, the family of people who come together and create a bond of family that isn't there because of blood or birth, but because of as conscious choice to love. The best kind of family.

Also, did I mention, this one is set out on the seas? Like a pirate adventure? YASSSSSSSSSSSSS!

Apparently, I love Toby and the Luidaeg so much that I have to ramble and fanboy and squee.

There's also a short story/novella at the end from Raj's POV, totally worth reading. 4 stars for that.

5 stars! READ TOBY!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Review: Old Bones

Old Bones Old Bones by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Preston & Child have done it again! I've been super excited about this spinoff to the Pendergast series since I read the news a few months ago. For those who don't know, I've been following Pendergast on his adventures for a good 15 years, and absolutely love the world and cast that Preston & Child have created. Of course, I was elated to find out that two of my favorite secondary cast members were not only making an appearance again, but were STARRING in a new spinoff that will be a SERIES of its own!

This one takes place out near the west coast in the infamous Donner Pass. Well, mostly. There are some scenes elsewhere, of course, but most of the action takes place in the creepy setting of a locale where some crazy events went down. You know, group of travelers headed west for a new life, get lost in the mountains, snowstorm cuts them off, starvation leads to cannibalism, the usual story, am I right? *shudders* Anywho, Nora Kelly, archaeologist extraordinaire, works for the Institute that gets sent to do a dig and help find out what happened at what is dubbed the "Lost Camp" - a separated group of the Donner party that the whole camp was lost to history. Shenanigans ensue, obviously. Meanwhile, Corrie Swanson - all grown up and employed by the FBI - finds herself working a case with some strange connections to the Donner Party, leading her in Nora's direction. The story comes to an explosive ending with some fun moments and some setup for future adventures.

Wherever the authors take these two, I'm there. I've got skin in the game!

Please note that you CAN read this without reading the Pendergast series, but not only will you have missed out on seriously character development for the two main characters, but you'll also spoil quite a few big details from the main series. I highly recommend you binge read the Pendergast series first - and don't forget to read Thunderhead in between Reliquary and Cabinet of Curiosities. You don't want to miss out on Nora's introductory novel!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Review: Becoming

Becoming Becoming by Michelle Obama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Obama were a class act, and this book not only served as an interesting glimpse into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama, but also as a reminder of what a presidency and country can be when hope, optimism, empathy, love, generosity, tolerance, togetherness, and respect reign over bigotry, cronyism, greed, corruption, and petulance.

Here's to hoping we can one day find our way back to that.

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Review: The Escape Room

The Escape Room The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!

This book was insanely hard to put down. Once you get past the beginning where everything gets introduced, you get pulled into this web of deceit and lies and bad behavior. It's like watching that train wreck -- you can't tear your eyes away even though what you're seeing is awful and shameful and terrible.

I really liked this book. It was a great story, chock full of the things that make thrillers what they are. Overall, it wasn't even super thrilling - you can totally predict the end if you're paying attention, and much of the stuff that happens isn't "edge of your seat" material... but it's so compelling that it's still fantastic.

I think the only negative for me in regards to The Escape Room is that, well, there isn't all that much "escape room" stuff in it, and since that's what it is being marketed as containing, I was a little disappointed in that one aspect. But mainly, WOW. Great book.

4.5 stars!

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Review: The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion! It was much appreciated!

This book tore at my heartstrings. The atmosphere was astoundingly perfect. Old house in the middle of pretty much nowhere, updated with some modern touches, but for the most part, still carrying around the haunting history of its past. The loneliness of being one of a handful of people, isolated on the grounds of an estate far from the city. Creepy noises at all hours of the night, items going missing, a hidden dangerous garden, scared children... this could have been a perfect horror novel. But what drives the narrative is that you know someone is going to die, and you want to know who causes this to happen... all that other stuff just helps create the atmosphere of tension and building anticipation that most writers try to set up and fail at spectacularly.

The twists will throw you for a loop, and some of them seem to come out of nowhere. It's not your typical mystery in that you can't guess a lot of the things that will happen... but it's worth the read.

Probably my favorite of Ruth Ware's novels so far. I can't wait to see what comes next.

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