Welcome

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!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: The Visitors

The Visitors The Visitors by Catherine Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Boy, did that book make me feel dirty, tainted, grimy... like Lady MacBeth trying to scrub off the imaginary blood that she just couldn't shake.

This book... I don't know what to say other than TWISTED. It's completely twisted. It's fantastically twisted. It'll wriggle its way into your brain and make you unable to put it down until the very end. And ironically enough, very little happens for most of the book -- but you don't realize that until you get to the real happenings. The characters are so fleshed out, and you'll start to get an idea of what's going on as the pages pass, and even knowing that, you won't be able to stop.

Highly recommended for those who like dark and twisted and character depth.

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


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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review: It

It It by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Let's get a few things straight.
1 - Nothing I can say here is new ground. This book has been out a long time and has received countless reviews, so I'm not going to go into super detail.
2 - IT, the creature, is terrifying. Seriously terrifying. And not just because I'm extremely clown-phobic. It can read your mind. It can show up anywhere. It can show up in different forms. It can control people. It can make you see things that no one else can see. It knows your fears, deep down.
3 - Seriously? Child orgy? How is that remotely necessary to the story? And did we really need to know which of the kids REALLY filled her up more than the others? They're 11 years old. I feel dirty just TYPING that one of them has a bigger piece of meat between their legs.
4 - I guess I need to read Dark Tower to understand why there is a turtle involved in all of this?
5 - Not too pleased with the forgetfulness thing LOL.
6- I think Stephen King must have won a ritual of Chüd against his editors, and that's why so many of his books could be 400 pages shorter and tell the same story. Granted, a lot of the extra in this one helped flesh out the evil that lurks in the town, the IT... but in the chapters at the end with the final battles of both young and old, the interruptions to talk about other people in the town just ruined pacing and the climax that had been building the whole book -- the inevitable clash with the villain... and constant readus interruptus.
7 - Damn, makes me wish I had friends like these guys growing up. Other than the whole having to fight an evil entity multiple times in the same life, groups of bullies chasing them constantly, etc.
8 - I still enjoyed the book and think King is a master of storytelling and storycrafting. If you like horror, this is still highly recommended.

*walks to Joey's fridge, opens the freezer, and puts this in beside Joey's copy of The Shining*

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review: The Quarterback

The Quarterback The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Matt Lancaster is a dream -- a fantasy. Trevor is so lucky to have one of my fantasies come true for him! :) Alas, it's not all rainbows and unicorns for these two -- they have an uphill battle in their path to love.

The writing was a little juvenile and the plotting was a little predictable and the characters were a little stereotypical... but I really enjoyed it. It was nice knowing that, even though it wasn't deep literature, the author made great efforts to show that life is hard for the LGBT community, especially in the deep south... that true families aren't always the ones we're born into... that the future is always a beacon for hope and a chance for change... and that sometimes, even through the hardest of circumstances, love can help get you through.

I'm not sure it's realistic that these two would end up together permanently... but the ending was sweet and provided happiness for now, and I think it was the way it needed to end.

I'd definitely read more from this author, because she did provide depth to the main characters and those main characters had to deal with some real life situations that happen to many LGBT young people -- myself included.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review: The Brightest Fell

The Brightest Fell The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Brightest Fell

First and foremost, thank you to Netgalley and Berkley/DAW for approving me for an ARC in one of my absolute favorite series. I was given a copy of this book to read in exchange for nothing more than an honest review.

Seanan McGuire is one of the best writers I've had the pleasure of reading. She knows how to set up the action, to build the plot to the explosive scenes you know are coming, but somehow seem to still usually subvert expectations and provide an even better result than you had predicted. She excels at character development -- making us feel and care and relate and share hopes and fears with these characters. She's set up a beautiful, dark, lovely, dangerous, amazing world and an extremely diverse and developed cast. Most importantly, she knows just where the next piece of the story needs to take us to push the overall series narrative forward, every single time.

This novel is no exception. In fact, it's one of the brightest (see what I did there?) examples of her talents as a writer.

She finds a believable way to force October onto another hero's quest, with limited access to her true allies, plenty of complications along the way, and massive amounts of development in Toby's emotional growth AND in some of the secondary characters as well. It left the book feeling reminiscent of some of the earlier books of the series where the cast hadn't grown as large, but with the more mature and confident and loved Toby that has come from the series as time passes and her "family" grows. And this one referenced the events of so many of the other books, and revealed that so many of the little things were bread crumbs to a bigger story... I'm beyond excited for the next few books. I have a feeling that the search for Oberon is a big part of endgame, and I'm ready for Toby to show the world of Faerie just how amazing her and her family is.

I'm thoroughly impressed with Seanan McGuire every time I pick up one of her novels. Even the worst of her novels is still near to masterpiece. If you haven't started the October Daye series, it's time to jump in (with Rosemary and Rue, book 1). Seriously, you should have started years ago. Go, get on that. NOW.

(PS- Chapter one of this book is absolutely one of my favorite opening scenes from any book ever. It features one of the best characters to ever grace the pages of a book... and I can't say more, because spoilers.)

Of Things Unknown

Also included in this book is a brand new shorty, staring the creepy but cool digital Dryad, April O'Leary, and provides some resolution to some stories from way back in the beginnings of the series.

It's well known that most of McGuire's shorties can be extremely heartwrenching. This one was an interesting surprise -- not only because it's got some happy moments in it, but because we got to see October from someone else's perspective, we got to see the inner workings of a very intriguing character, and we got more of Seanan's ability to put fresh spins on myths and the fae, etc. Five stars for the shorty as well.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: Wildfire

Wildfire Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dearest Ilona and Gordon,

As one of your devoted worshipers, I beg and pray of you to please continue this series. I love it. The world... the characters... the magic... the houses... the heat... the naughty bits...

I NEED MORE! *offers human sacrifices to the writing-gods*

What? You think I'd sacrifice animals? I like animals better than people. I also like books better than people. So, "Ilona Andrews"... GIMME!

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: Illegal Contact

Illegal Contact Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, Santino Hassell, I hadn't read you before, but I'll be reading your books in the future. I'm in lust/love with Gavin Brawley, and Noah was adorable as well. The characters were realistic, the development was great, and the sexy times were hot!!!

As much as I love some of my other favorite MM books/series (like Ty & Zane or Travis & Charlie), it was refreshing to read a book written by an actual gay male who, unlike the female authors who still do a great job, actually knows what it's like to be a gay male in 2017.

If you're into MM novels at all, pick this one up. You won't be disappointed. #yowza

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Review: Urban Enemies

Urban Enemies Urban Enemies by Joseph Nassise
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

This anthology included some really excellent stories... and added quite a few series to my TBR pile. Can't wait to pick some of them up!
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Even Hand by Jim Butcher
Villain & Series: Gentleman John Marcone, The Dresden Files
My Series Status: Devoted Follower/Obsessee
Stars: Five

Even Hand was a great little story, but way too short. I've always been intrigued by Gentleman John Marcone, and seeing inside his head for this one, getting a deeper glimpse into his psyche, just wasn't enough for me. He's in quite a few of the books in the main series, but I really wish he'd play a bigger role over all. With the "apocalyptic trilogy" ender coming up (in five books, so ok, not the near future), maybe he'll jump on the antihero train, and perhaps Dresden and Marcone won't have to have an epic final showdown where only one walks away.

Also, I really like Hendricks, and love Justine and Ms. Gard.
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Hounded by Kelley Armstrong
Villain & Series: The Rogue Huntsman, Cainsville series
My Series Status: New to Me (on my TBR prior)
Stars: Five

So, I've been working on reading Women of the Otherworld by this author, and really am enjoying the series, but Cainsville has been on my radar for a while. I'm trying to finish up Otherworld first, as I'm in the middle of so many series already, and Otherworld is completed, so might as well knock it out... but this twisted little story with a very dark villain and an even darker ending really makes me excited to check out Cainsville!!!
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Nigsu Ga Tesgu by Jeff Somers
Villain & Series: Mika Renar, Utsari Cycle
My Series Status: New to Me
Stars: Four

I've never heard of this series or author before, but I'm definitely putting book one on my TBR. This is one seriously creepy villain and an interesting take on magic.
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Sixty-Six Seconds by Craig Schaefer
Villain & Series: Fontaine (Harmony Black) and The Redemption Choir (Daniel Faust)
My Series Status: I've read book one of Daniel Faust with intentions to attempt to read the rest of the two series
Stars: Three

This wasn't bad, per se, but it just wasn't as polished as the first three stories felt -- and it wasn't really dark and villainous. Fontaine was actually VERY understandable and relatable, and the "twist" at the end wasn't shocking. I don't know what it is about him, but so far, I feel like Schaefer just tries too hard. (Sorry, Sarah)
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Kiss by Lilith Saintcrow
Villain & Series: Perry/Pericles, Jill Kismet series
My Series Status: New to Me (on my TBR prior)
Stars: Three and a half

I haven't read anything by Lilith Saintcrow before, and this one was a little confusing -- I probably would have understood more had I read some of the series before, and if work hadn't kept interrupting my reading of this one. Enjoyable, but missing something.
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The Naughtiest Cherub by Kevin Hearne
Villain & Series: Loki, The Iron Druid Chronicles
My Series Status: Read through book 7 (currently one book behind)
Stars: One

I liked the first few books in this series, but the last few haven't been as fun or as exciting. Maybe it's just me, but I grew kinda bored of the whole series, which is a shame, because I love Oberon and Granuaile. Loki's little jaunt through the Christian Hell to have a chat with Lucifer was blasé and meh and contrived.
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The Resurrectionist by Caitlin Kittredge
Villain & Series: Lee Grey, The Hellhound Chronicles
My Series Status: New to Me (on my TBR prior)
Stars: Three

I enjoyed this shorty, and will definitely pick up the Hellhound Chronicles... but it didn't really feel like this one was in keeping with the theme of the anthology being stories from the villain's perspective. Lee felt like one of the good guys. *shrugs*
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Down Where the Darkness Dwells by Joseph Nassise
Villain & Series: Simon Logan and Ashereal, The Templar Chronicles
My Series Status: New to Me
Stars: Five

This little gem was tremendous fun. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (one of my favorite movies of all time) meets The Mummy (Brendan Fraser version, another of my favorite movies) and magic. I added this one to my TBR for sure. Is it bad I was rooting for this villain?
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Bellum Romanum by Carrie Vaughn
Villain & Series: Roman/Gaius Albinus, Kitty Norville series
My Series Status:New to Me (on my TBR prior)
Stars: Four

I will definitely be picking up this series soon -- Roman seems like a really cool villain! I loved the vampire mythology in this one, and the origins of Roman as not only a vampire, but also some form of a magic user.
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Altar Boy by Jonathan Mayberry
Villain & Series: Toys, Joe Ledger series
My Series Status:New to Me (on my TBR prior)
Stars: Four

I'm intrigued by the character of Toys... I am not a huge "zombie" fan, but I think I'll check this series out, if not just to meet and get to know Toys better, but to see what led to the events of this shorty.
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Make it Snappy by Faith Hunter
Villain & Series: Leo, Jane Yellowrock series
My Series Status: Devoted Follower/Obsessee
Stars: Five

Absolutely LOVED this one. I adore the Jane Yellowrock world, and it was really cool to see some pre-Jane-coming-to-New-Orleans Leo, Bruiser, Katie, and Bethany... and the precursor first warning signs that the Eurovamps were going to be making their way to come after the US/Leo's territory. Good thing Jane showed up when she did. Her and Beast might just be the "tipping point" needed to tilt things in Leo's favor.
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Chase the Fire by Jon F. Merz
Villain & Series: Shiraz Aziz, Lawson Vampires
My Series Status: New to Me
Stars: Four

Interesting... It looks like this series is a mishmash and hodgepodge of spy novels and vampires. This story was entertaining enough to check out the first book in the series and see if it's for me. I'm a little worried that Goodreads and the author's site don't really have an accurate reading order for these, but if book one is good, I'll just try to figure it out.
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Unexpected Choices by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Villain & Series: Shoftiel, Horngate Witches
My Series Status: New to Me (on my TBR prior)
Stars: Four

Really liked Shoftiel's character -- he was showing clear potential for character growth while also exhibiting some of his defining characteristics that I would guess led him to be granted "villain" status within the series -- this one is definitely moving up my list to read sooner rather than later.
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Reel Life by Steven Savile
Villain & Series: Seth Lockwood, Glass Town (if this is a series, only one book has been published)
My Series Status: New to Me
Stars: Two and a half

This was inexplicably both intriguing and boring to me. I needed to read the Glass Town before I picked this one up, I guess.
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The Difference between Deceit and Delusion by Domino Finn
Villain & Series: Tunji Malu, Black Magic Outlaw series
My Series Status: New to Me
Stars: Four and a half

Cool villains! Definitely starting this series in the near future!!
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Balance by Seanan McGuire
Villain & Series: a Cuckoo, Incryptid series
My Series Status: Devoted Follower/Obsessee
Stars: Five

Just FYI, anything Seanan McGuire writes is golden... and this is no different. Cuckoos are insanely disturbing and make for awesome villains (and, if you've read Incryptid, great characters in general).
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Everywhere by Sam Witt
Villain & Series: The Long Man, Pitchfork County series
My Series Status: New to Me
Stars: Three

This one didn't do much for me, but the Long Man was sufficiently creepy, so I didn't dislike it either.

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