Showing posts from June, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday 58: Top Ten 2015 Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's theme: Top Ten Books of 2015

I read a lot of fantastic books this year, so this list was a piece of cake to put together :D I'm not counting rereads in this list, because obviously if I'm rereading a book, it's one I love. In the order that I read them this year...


GB Readalong: Week 5

Red Seas Under Red Skies begins today! And while we're starting a new book, it seems like it would be a good idea to remind you about the Thorn of Emberlain giveaway. It's never too late to enter! Check it out at the bottom of this post.

If you're just joining in, check out the intro post for the schedule and other details!
What we're reading this weekRed Seas Under Red Skies | Prologue, Ch1-4

Recap from last weekFlashbacks:
“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
“Oh please,” said Locke. “It’ll never happen.” 

Present Day: The falconer is tortured but not killed, Capa Raza smuggles Wraithstone into the Elderglass tower, Locke saves the day with the help of Dona Vorchenza, Locke beats the crap out of the Gray King, and Jean carries a stubborn, half…

Review: Redshirts

Title: Redshirts
Author: John Scalzi
Genre: Science fiction, humor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.
Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that:
(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces
(2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations
(3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, h…

GB Readalong: Killing off main characters

Last week, we faced the deaths of not one but three of the Gentleman Bastards. The Gray King is nothing if not thorough, as we can see from his meticulous tearing down of Capa Barsavi and everything he owns and controls. But Locke, the Thorn of Emberlain, wasn't actually that much a threat to him, so why take out almost everyone he cares about? Maybe because of that big tongue of his...

Whatever the reasoning, we lost three endearing characters and the series won't be the same without them. How do you feel about killing off major characters? Do you think it's a cheap way to get more shock value or a gutsy narrative device?

 For me, it depends on whether the deaths seem justified in the context of the story. If the death comes out of nowhere and didn't seem necessary or realistic, I get pretty furious.

Hopefully this reference is veiled enough to avoid spoiling things, but this death made me the angriest out of anything I've read/watched. IT WAS SO FREAKING POINTLE…

GB Readalong: Week 4

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read-along continues...We're just 100 pages away from finishing The Lies of Locke Lamora!   
If you're just joining in, check out the intro post for the schedule and other details!
What we're reading this weekLies of Locke Lamora | Book 3 and Ch14-16, Epilogue

Recap from last weekFlashbacks: This week the Interludes aren't so much flashbacks as they are tidbits about Camorri culture. An interlude of note is one about waiting over 20 years for revenge. We also learn about Jean's stint as Tavrin Callas serving the Lady Most Kind.

Present Day: Jean and Bug take on giant spiders and save Locke, the Gray King's men kill Calo, Galdo, and Bug, Barsavi and everyone loyal to him are killed by the Berangia sisters, Locke and Jean swear revenge, and Locke takes on the Meraggio to keep the Lukas Fehrwight con going
Observations/Theories/Questions Excuse me while I bawl my eyes out into a pile of kleenex:

Last week I told you, "you absolutely cannot …

Review: Night Watch (Discworld)

Title: Night Watch
Author:Terry Pratchett
Genre: Fantasy, humor, adult

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads summary:
One moment, Sir Sam Vimes is in his old patrolman form, chasing a sweet-talking psychopath across the rooftops of Ankh-Morpork. The next, he's lying naked in the street, having been sent back thirty years courtesy of a group of time-manipulating monks who won't leave well enough alone. This Discworld is a darker place that Vimes remembers too well, three decades before his title, fortune, beloved wife, and impending first child. Worse still, the murderer he's pursuing has been transported back also. Worst of all, it's the eve of a fabled street rebellion that needlessly destroyed more than a few good (and not so good) men. Sam Vimes knows his duty, and by changing history he might just save some worthwhile necks—though it could cost him his own personal future. Plus there's a chance to steer a novice watchman straight and teach him a valuable thing or thr…

Review: Child of A Hidden Sea

Title: Child of a Hidden Sea
Author:A.M. Dellamonica
Genre: Fantasy, adult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles.
The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard.
Sophie doesn't know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered… her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay.
But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don't know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister sh…

GB Readalong: Worldbuilding versus the real world

I have lent my copy of Lies of Locke Lamora to more friends than I can count, and all of them have had great things to say about the book. But one of them came back to me saying, "It was really entertaining, but the world building was so insanely detailed! The author kept describing things couldn't picture in terms of other things I couldn't picture. Like what the heck is Austershalin wine?"

Yes, Scott Lynch takes world-building to a whole new level in this series, but that's part of why I love it so much. I'll admit it was hard to keep the different customs and cultures of Camorr, Tal Verrar, and Karthain straight in my head, but I loved that the world was filled in with little details that seem insignificant but can have such a big impact on how you perceive land of the Gentleman Bastards.

Finding Yourself in a Fantasy World
It's one thing to create a world that is full of things familiar to you, and quite another to make a world that has something that…

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: Science fiction, young adult

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intric…

GB Readalong: Week 3

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read-along continues...We're over halfway through Lies of Locke Lamora!   
If you're just joining in, check out the intro post for the schedule and other details!
What we're reading this weekLies of Locke Lamora | Book III, Chapters 9-13

Recap from last weekFlashbacks: We learn more about Chains' trials for the boys, including how Jean Tannen learned to fight and a certain scheme that involves keeping someone down until Jean Tannen comes back...

Present Day: We finally meet the Falconer, Nazca is killed, Locke plays the Gray King is practically destroyed by a livid Capa Barsavi.
Observations/Theories/QuestionsPhew, things got really intense, really fast!

This Book was called "Complications", and that certainly describes this part of the book really well. Although the complication is initially a benign, "let's find a way to not marry Nazca without offending dear old Capa Barsavi," it ends up being the enormously harrowing &quo…

GB Readalong: Lies of Locke Lamora fan art 1

I've been wanting to do more than 2 posts a week for the readalong, but it's hitting me that

1) This readalong is going for 3 months and I need to have things to talk about for that long

2) Life is CRAZY so I probably shouldn't commit to that much considering how sporadically I usually post on my blog.

3) I can't talk about a lot of things I want to because we haven't gotten far enough in the book(s) yet! So look out for more detailed discussion posts later on :)

My hardest final is tomorrow, and then I'm officially done with another year of undergrad! So here's a little bit of Lies of Locke Lamora fan art to tide you over until next time. Rest assured that I'm bookmarking things like a fiend so that I can share more cool stuff with you all later on :)

Since we're still in the middle of the Salvara con, here is a fan's vision of our friend Lukas Fehrwight:
By TolmanCotton on DeviantArt Just look at those stuffy spectacles and the high-necked co…