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!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Review: Red Sister

Red Sister Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I don't usually enjoy much high/epic/dark/true fantasy, what with urban fantasy being my fantasy of choice, but occasionally I break outside my box and take a shot. I got an ARC of book two for this one, so I figured I might as well attempt book one... and it blew me away. Lawrence has created a relatively easy to understand world that still has depth and mystery. He's introduced us to a cast of characters both diverse and detailed and full of vitality and personality. He's brought forth a really neat magic system slightly reminiscent of a Sanderson magic system (maybe not quite as deep as a Sanderson one).

Nona is kickass. The characters aren't all who you think they are. Some have hidden wells of strength. Some have secret motives. Some have depths beyond their shallow exterior.

Wasn't sure if I'd enjoy this book, and now I'm glad I picked it up. Book two ARC on deck for March, and now I'm super excited about it. :)

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Review: The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three stars for the first half: very little action, lots of worldbuilding, and very intriguing and scary world

Five stars for the second half: finally stuff going on, more development of characters, and more scary world

Averaged to four stars.

I really can't say anything that hasn't been said about this book already. It's scary, and it's relevant, and it's possible. My husband and I would be hung as Gender Traitors... if we got found out before we died helping the ladies to freedom. I'm not sitting on my ass during that shit.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Review: Sparrow Hill Road

Sparrow Hill Road Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for providing me with a review copy, only asking for an honest review in exchange!

Seanan sure knows how to pack a punch. Many of these short stories leave you feeling sad for Rose Marshall, hitchhiking ghost. Many of them leave you hoping that if these ghost roads are real, that Rose Marshall is real too and out there helping ghosts move on and getting rid of old haunted roads.

But mostly, they leave you wishing Seanan would continue the story. :) Luckily for us, she IS continuing the story in The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, coming in July 2018!!! So excited!

I can't wait to see if any of our favorite Incryptid characters make a guest appearance, but mostly, I'm ready to see Rose finally defeat the obnoxious, evil, dastardly Bobby Cross!

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Review: The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You

The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I got a few things out of this, but the spirituality was a little distracting, and there was very little actual direction. "Make sure to avoid doing this or change this habit" but no "here's an effective way to break this habit."

I learned a few things about myself as an HSP and HSS, so there's that.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Review: The Storm King

The Storm King The Storm King by Brendan Duffy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House/Penguin/Ballantine for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Storm King was a strong sophomore run from Brendan Duffy, and was a mystery/thriller with bite. Some have been comparing his atmosphere to Stephen King, and I can totally pick up on that vibe. You've got the small town where bad stuff went down. You've got the adult coming home to said small town, years later, and meeting up with old friends and enemies. You've got flashbacks to when they were young and all the bad stuff was happening. You've got explosive climaxes and bitter but hopeful denouements in all the story threads, past and present. I can totally see King as an influence.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. Once I got past the first bit, it really picked up and I read the last 70% or so in one sitting. Seriously, couldn't put it down. The short chapters really made that "just one more chapter" problem I have even worse. I think it was well-plotted, the solutions and storylines made complete sense and worked with the story, and the characters were deep and developed and brought to life on the page.

When it comes down to it, I have two major issues with the book. To start, the first few paragraphs almost made me put the book down. From the perspective of a teenager, it felt off-kilter and forced, with all the "big words" that teenagers (and most non-reading adults) wouldn't use, and definitely wouldn't think about while playing baseball. It's a minor issue, but it was jarring and weird and turned me off. I'm glad I pushed past it and kept reading, because if you ask those around me while I was reading it, I was complaining about it... loudly.

Secondly, I felt like the reveal of the killer and the killer's identity was kinda meh. Where it went from there was super-effing-creepy, and there were hints leading up to the reveal dropped into the characters' shared histories, but I was kind of hoping for more when I read so many jaw-dropping reviews of the novel.

When it comes down to it, the book was great, and I can't praise the atmosphere and setting that Duffy has created enough. He did an amazing job making me feel like I was there... like the Lake was a part of me, like it was a part of the characters. He developed his characters and unraveled and rewove his plot with sophistication and ease.

I'll definitely be checking out his debut, which I missed (House of Echoes), in the future, and keep an eye out for future books by the guy. Four "Just June" stars.

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