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, December 12, 2017

Review: The Raptor & the Wren

The Raptor & the Wren The Raptor & the Wren by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Saga Press and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!

I'm floored that a book that was mostly filler could be so much fun! I mean, fun isn't really the best word for it, because Miriam certainly isn't having fun. Losing people left and right, constantly surrounded by death and birds... it's not the best life, but she deals with what she's got. This book tied up a loose end or four (and some of those we weren't even aware were ends that somehow got loose!) and showed Miriam grasping more of her power.

I'm a little disappointed in how the book ended, and it felt like a copout. I guess I can kind of see how it could push part of the narrative of the next book, which is the last, but it just feels... copouty. Copoutlike. Copoutish. Whatever the made up word would be.

But still, I love how much Miriam has grown throughout the series, even though she's still got a filthy mouth (which I think is hilarious because she says what most of us are thinking, maybe in a cruder way, but she shares the feelings rather than internalizing them like most of us do).

So overall, I'd say 3.5 stars. One star lost for the copout ending, and half a star lost for being MOSTLY filler/positioning characters for the final book.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: Edgedancer

Edgedancer Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While Lift's style of speech and constant "food food food" talk is a little grating on my nerves, overall her character is a great one. I love the Edgedancer ideals, and the surge of Growth/Regrowth is really cool. The Slick thing is neat, but doesn't pique my interest as much. Wyndle is really adorable to me, a reluctant hero.

We see some growth (no pun intended) in both Lift and Wyndle in this one, along with her nemesis Darkness, and we get to meet another Surgebinder (who shares a little of Lift's gifts [hehe] but I feel like might be a Truthwatcher)... all in all, a nice little novella to keep us up to speed on Lift, since she's going to play a much bigger role in the back five Stormlight books, having one book as "hers."

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter

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

Five supernova, fiery, supernova, pick up this book (or book one) immediately stars!

Stop whatever you're doing and pick up Faith Hunter. Seriously, right now.  This woman's Jane Yellowrock series is AWESOME as it is, but she's at the top of her game when she writes about Nell Nicholson Ingram, PsyLED probie and all-around kickass protagonist.

This time around, a Senator's family survives (mostly) an assassination attempt, and a bunch of different law enforcement agencies are called in -- including the PsyLED unit composed of Nell and friends, thanks to some vampire presence at the location of the attempted killing.

Things burn out of control (fire pun intended!) from there, as the twisted maze of clues and suspects and paranormal creatures pile up into a giant plate of spaghetti, story threads twisted together into a top-notch entry into her already top-notch Soulwood series.  We get a ton of growth in a handful of the main characters, Nell included, and we even get a little more insight into her families -- her actual family in the church, and her "townie" PsyLED family.

Overall, Faith has created a very deep character that is easy to connect with, spun a fantastic yarn of a tale, and as always, left me begging for more... and thankfully, she's contracted for more now.  I'm so relieved to hear that this isn't going to end as a trilogy, because it (along with Jane) has a rightful spot in my top favorite series.

Seriously, you read all this, even though I told you at the beginning to stop and go read Faith Hunter?  I guess I'm flattered, but you're terrible at following directions! :)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do by Sarah Knight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So many fucks I've given that I can't get back. This book really opened my eyes to the kind of shit I put myself through by feeling obligation to people who don't feel it to me, and similar situations with worrying and spending time, energy, and funds towards stuff I don't want to do.

So I'm going to be better. The magic really is life-changing.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review: The Demon Crown

The Demon Crown The Demon Crown by James Rollins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First off, thank you to William Morrow imprint and the Harper Collins publishing company for sending me a physical ARC of the newest in one of my absolute favorite series of all time. They paid me nothing, and all I had to do was read it and review it honestly.

Sigma Force novels are always action-packed roller coaster rides of thrills and emotions. Rollins always seem to find a way to up the game to huge stakes, but not seem so utterly ridiculous that the situation becomes unbelievable. Not to say there aren't some unbelievable moments in some of these books, but that's a genre-thing. Rollins, who also is a trained veterinarian, has a love and respect for science and technology, which is evident in his books. Sure, the theories he posits might be out there or a stretch on the imagination, but he's always sparked by something real he's read about, and researched thoroughly. His blend of history, technology, science, and action really works for me.

The Demon Crown was definitely one of the stronger entries in the series. The villain was a little bit of a Bond villain, but it worked for the story, since The Guild and its agents have played a pivotal role in the course of the series, driving much of the action for the beginning of the series and helping facilitate some key character growth in many of the major players on both sides of the good-evil spectrum. Many fan favorites are in danger in this one, thanks to the threat -- which is absolutely terrifying. The Ezekiel Boone-esque menace of global-balance-upsetting proportions is both riveting to read (you won't want to look away!) and downright scary.

I can't say much more without spoiling stuff, but if you haven't picked up Sigma Force, you should. It's a fun ride, with lots of ups and downs and action along the way. I wouldn't recommend reading this without reading the rest of the series, unless you don't mind stuff being spoiled, because quite a few things in this one are based off the events of the other books -- and you won't appreciate the characters and their plotlines and growth stories here without that history.

But I can 100% recommend the series overall. Pick up book one (and push through if you have to, it's the slowest in the series, in my opinion) and binge them. DO IT.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: Wild Trail

Wild Trail Wild Trail by A.M. Arthur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

The story of two guys trying to overcome their painful pasts and find love is nothing new, but A.M. Arthur certainly put a fun spin on this tale. Cowboys are hot, you know. Yowza. This one has everything a cowboy fan would love -- ghost towns, horses, ranches, rugged manly cowboys, and fun fun fun.

Mack seriously pushed every single one of my naughty buttons. I think I'm in love. Wes is cute enough, but I'm jealous. I want Mack all for myself!

I'll definitely be on the lookout for Clean Slate Ranch #2 (Colt's story) and Clean Slate Ranch #3 (Reyes' story). :)

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Review: City of Endless Night

City of Endless Night City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me a copy of this to read in exchange for an honest review.

So as many of you know, the Pendergast series is one of my longest followed and most beloved series. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller with adventure and strangeness mixed right in. This wasn't the strongest entry into the series, what with a relatively predictable villain and a meandering plot with some side stories that felt unnecessary, but it was still a Pendergast book... and one thing that seriously redeemed it was that we got to see a side of Pendergast we haven't seen very deeply before -- and he was VULNERABLE. Pendergast has always been one of those "step ahead of everyone" kind of characters, and it's part of his charm. He's crazy smart, can read people, and knows how to play them to get what he wants... but the events of the last book really brought him into a new realm, and this book played on that new weakness and vulnerability to show this side of Pendergast, and to almost bring him down to a normal human. Of course, it was awesome to see him struggle and find his mastery again, but it was an absolute pleasure to get to see him accept that maybe he's not always the smartest person in the room or the best player in the game.

I think that brought a fresh new perspective to the character, who after 17 books could be at risk of getting stale, right? Who am I kidding? Pendergast is the bomb.

Read this one. It's fun. And if you haven't already, read the rest.

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