Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Shadow Rising Read-Along, Week 5



Welcome to week 5 of The Shadow Rising Read-Along. This week we read chapters 24-30. Remember that all chapters in this section as well as anything that came before is game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. :D


Redstone Doorframe in Rhuidean
Source
1. What is it with Mat and doorway ter'angreals? These foxy people certainly seem very similar to the snake people, but with subtle differences. Any ideas about why they decided to hang Mat and what his new medallion does?

It's hard to say, yet, what he did wrong. The fox people talked less about answering questions and more about an agreement and price needing to be paid. When he didn't get the answers to his questions, he said that he wanted the holes in his memory filled and to be away from them and back to Rhuidean, and also to be away from Aes Sedai. It was right after he said these things that they said 'done.' Perhaps the snake people answered questions, but the fox people do something more along the lines of granting requests. But, obviously, the price is high and they take it whether you want them to or not. What happens to Mat hereafter (especially the medallion) will probably have something to do with these unwitting requests.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mermaid Challenge Review, Week 7 + Follow Friday

Welcome to Week 7 of the Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge! Below is my review for this week. If you have one of your own, feel free to link up with us and be sure to visit the others to see what they thought of their reads for this week! You may join the challenge anytime you like. See rules HERE. (Follow Friday below!)


Source
For the challenge this week, I read The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler.

I chose this one this week, at least in part, because I knew I was going to have a busy week and this was a quick, light read.

It's actually the kind of book I usually don't enjoy because it's very juvenile. The stakes aren't high, the problems aren't adult, etc. But, that said, for a middle-grade book, I actually did enjoy it. I found it to be funny and a very touching story.

Emily is twelve-years old and never knew her father. Her mother is deathly afraid of the water and they live on a houseboat that doesn't have a bathtub, so Emily has never been fully submerged in water. Finally she talks her mother into letting her take swimming lessons. To her horror, when she gets into the pool, her legs stick together and become a fin! Learning about her mer-heritage may be not only the key to who her father was, but who she may become.

As I said, the book was pretty good, even if it was in an after-school-special kind of way. I would recommend it to anyone who likes mermaids, middle-grade, family-centered mysteries, or just wants a light, fun beach read. 

Follow Friday

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

I don't think I have a preferred format. I've always loved books, but reading in e-book format is super convenient, and because e-readers have lighting behind them, it's more easily done in the dark than with regular books. So, I do a mixture of both print books and e-books. I definitely am not a fan of hard-covers, though. They are more difficult to keep open while reading and more difficult to cart around. So I guess my answer is that I read a mix of e-reads and paperbacks, unless it's a library book or something. :D (Sorry. Total spaz over here. :D)

So, which format do YOU prefer?









Thoughts for Thursday--Opposition

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is opposition.
For more historical opposition quotes, check out my other blog.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review Day: Under the Never Sky + Oz the Great and Powerful

Through the Ever Night

Source
So a couple of months ago, I read Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. It became one of my favorite books I've read this year. Such a great, well-written dystopian story. (My review HERE.) This past week I got the chance to read the sequel, Through the Ever Night.

***Spoilers ahead for book 1. Read at your own peril!***

We pick up not long after we left off, with Perry in his post as acting Blood Lord of the Tides and Aria running around, trying to find the Still Blue for Hess. (Actually for her and Perry but she pretends to do Hess's bidding, all the while looking for ways to undermine him.)

What I really like about Rossi's writing is that she doesn't beat around the bush; she gets right to it. The story starts with our two main characters reuniting, and then we get right into the meat of the conflict. It begins in the first chapter and then just keeps going.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Teaser Tuesday--Insurgent

  Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Source
Today's teasers come from Insurgent, by Veronica Roth. (P.S. the astrics ** are to cover a character name. It's my way of staying away from spoilers. :D)

"I lurch forward, pulling my hand out of my pocket. I close my eyes as I thrust the blade up and toward him. I don't want to see his blood. 
I feel the knife go in and then pull it out again. My entire body throbs to the rhythm of my heart. The back of my neck is sticky with sweat. I open my eyes as ***** slumps to the ground., and then--chaos."

Print Edition, Page 193

So, what are you reading this week?
 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hell and Dystopia--Interchangeable Concepts?

Source
This week I came across an article (which I didn't save and now can't find using Google, so I'm sorry I don't have the URL to link) in which the author talked about how hell, as described in the Christian bible, is just an example of pre-historic dystopian literature.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Shadow Rising Read-Along, Week 4


Welcome to week 4 of The Shadow Rising read-along. This week we read chapters 18-23. Remember this post may contain spoilers for this section as well as anything that came before it, including earlier books. Read at your own risk!

Perrin
Source
1) Perrin and Co. are on their way. He thinks he's headed to his death. What kind of reception do you think he'll find in the Two Rivers? How long will he and Faile's stubborn, silent treatment of one another last? (Bonus question: Moiraine made a brief reference to secrets Faile is keeping from Perrin. What do you think they might be?)

I somehow doubt Perrin's gonna die the second his foot hits the ground in Emmond's Field, but I also think he should brace himself for a difficult time. Whitecloaks aren't exactly the cuddly type, and some of them are somewhat homicidal when it comes to Perrin. I think Perin and Faile's contest of wits will probably end when things get tough. If things get sticky, they'll get to the point where they need to lean on one another too much to keep up the games. As for the bonus question, I can't really answer it without giving spoilers. (I did ask it, after all.) I will, however, call your attention to the things Jordan has already revealed. Faile claims to be the daughter of--what is it?--a farmer or ice pepper merchant or something, but she knows an awful lot about different lands and customs, the economics of trade, etc. Are these things a working-class girl would know?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Follow Friday + Mermaid Challenge Reviews, Week 6

I've added Bloglovin' to those who prefer it. Also remember, there's a free copy of my short story, The Hatching, to anyone who follows via email!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Welcome to Week 5 of the Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge! Below is my review for this week. If you have one of your own, feel free to link up with us and be sure to visit the others to see what they thought of their reads for this week! You may join the challenge anytime you like. See rules HERE. (Follow Friday below!)


Source
This week's mermaid-themed book was Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs. It was fabulous!

It's kind of funny because, in terms of genre, this book is everything I generally say I don't like in a book. The characters are teenagers, it's based around high school and boyfriend drama, and the stakes are, well, love, which is big, but not exactly life and death. Especially not when it's of the teenaged variety. 

That said, the protagonist in this book, Lily, is great! She manages to be a teenager, but extremely likable. She's hysterical! Totally self-centered, whiny, doesn't see the hot, sweet guy that's right in front of her, but you totally want to root for her anyway. She says things like:

"I mean, he has a special gifft for pushing my buttons. Too bad it's not a marketable skill." (pg. 148) and "Lord love a lobster, he has a beautiful chest. He's not body builder muscular, but clearly he's built enough to life whatever comes along." (pg. 82)

She uses a lot of fish/ocean/mere lingo. It would be over-the-top, except that it's so completely, endearingly incorporated into the character, that it works. In fact, it's charming. 

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a story of great originality and depth. It's really not much of a spoiler to say that this is a girl-likes-boy-that's-wrong-for-her-while-the-right-guy-fights-to-get-noticed-by-her story. Just one of those. A fun read that kept me turning pages and smiling the whole time.

If I had one complaint it's that it takes her sooooo long to clue into reality over the whole situation. I was fifty pages from the end and she was still sure she'd end up with the shallow guy she'd been crushing on for three years. And as far as reality goes, any sane girl would have left guy#1 for guy#2 after like, chapter 3. (I guess that was kind of two complaints, wasn't. it? Oh well.)

Overall, I really loved this book and want to read the sequel. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a light, fun, delightfully romantic summer read. It's all kinds of fishy fun. 



Has anyone else read Forgive My Fins? What did you think?

Follow Friday

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Share your favorite literary quote! (There are too many great quotes from books to choose just one, so I went with one about literacy instead.I was lazy and used the same one on both my blogs, FYI)


Literacy is vital to democracy. For if the governed can neither understand their leaders nor distinguish truth from lies, then a democracy descends into oligarchy, a government by and for the elite few. --John Stauffer 

What's your favorite literary quote? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Man of Steel Movie Review

So this weekend I--along with thousands of others--went and saw Christopher Nolan's most recent superhero film, Man of Steel

It. Was. Awesome!

Did I really expect less from my buddies Chris and Zack (Zachary Snyder, the man who gave us 300 and Watchmen)? No, but I was still impressed! 

This was an ingenious re-imagining of a beloved legend. For this one, film makers had a much bigger challenge, in my opinion, than with other remakes like Batman or Star Trek. The original Star Trek series hasn't been re-made since the '60s, and most Batman re-makes were scorned as being lame or just having a very small budget. Creative geniuses like Nolan or J.J. Abrams with almost unlimited resources behind them would have no trouble blowing people out of the water with their adaptations.

Superman is different, though. It's gone to both the big and small screens successfully numerous times. While some versions have been better received than others, most adaptations have cult followings that are anything but shy about their opinions. (2006's Superman Returns was demonized by fans and critics alike for being too traditional and boring.)


But, no worries! This film definitely delivers! It was more epic than any other version I've seen--and I've seen most of them. During the first fifteen minutes of the film, we see something that--as far as I'm aware--has never been done before: the destruction of Krypton. It's epic and awe-inspiring, full of cool effects and tragic moments. I had chills during that entire sequence, and got teary-eyed when Jor-El and Laura kiss their newborn and send him across the stars.


Source
By the way, Russell Crowe? Awesome as Jor-El. He's one of the few actors who has the presence, wisdom, authority and--yup, I'm gonna say it--voice to do this part. I thought he was magnificent!

Then we see Clark as a grown man. His difficult childhood experiences growing up while trying to protect his secret are seen in flashback. They include plenty of genuinely tender moments with his father, played by Kevin Costner, who I've always been a fan of. Wish we saw more of him these days. Both he and Diane Lane were great as Clark's long-suffering guardians.


Source
There were only two major changes I saw in the mythology of the story. I won't give spoilers except to say that they had to do with 1) the manor of Jonathan Kent's death and 2) the Lois-and-Clark relationship. I know these changes--because they were pretty major--have bothered some fans, but I didn't mind. The film was good enough that I didn't think the changes detracted from the story; it was just a new direction to take things in. You can't fault the film makers for putting their own spin on things.


Source
That said, my one complaint was the change in the way Pa Kent died. Again, I won't spoil, but I found it to be unrealistic and somewhat not in keeping with Clark's character. I understood why they did it the way they did--in order to bring out a point about Clark in the film--but there's a reason that in the mythology Jonathan always succumbed to health problems: it was the one thing Clark couldn't protect against. He was unfailingly loyal to his parents and their own bodies were the only things (repeat only) he wouldn't have defended them against, and then only because he couldn't. I'll just leave it at that. Though I wasn't satisfied with this one angle, it didn't detract from the film's awesomeness in the slightest. Just a minor flaw in an otherwise great film.

There were plenty of nods to other versions of the legend, including a water silo that read "Smallville" and looked suspiciously like the title logo for the CW series, as well as Cal-El's flying form--with both hands in fists and held straight out in front of him--with was first immortalized in the 1952 TV series, The Adventures of Superman.

I also noticed that near the end, during a Cal-El vs. Zod fight, a semi truck gets chucked (remember these are Krytonians we're talking about) and on the side of the tanker is a logo which reads "LexCorp." Incidentally, Lex Luthor doesn't figure in this film, but seeing that logo made me smile. Film makers looking ahead to future installments perhaps? One can only hope.


Source
Overall, the film was stellar, exactly what we've all come to expect from Nolan. There was enough heart to pack an emotional punch without being over the top, and enough CGI to satisfy the action junkies and get the adrenaline pumping. While Amy Adams wouldn't have been my first choice for Lois, I thought she did a good job. And--sorry guys, but it's got to be said--Henry Cavill = eye candy, eye candy, and more eye candy. I went and saw the film with my older sister. Neither of us is married and when we got out of the movie, her date for that night cancelled on her. She sighed and said (and I paraphrase) "Oh well. No man will ever measure up now anyway."

I chuckled, but didn't disagree. 

If you haven't seen Man of Steel yet, go see it. It's just too much fun to miss!

Did anyone else see Man of Steel this weekend? What did you think of it?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Teaser Tuesday--Through the Ever Night

  Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Source
My teasers today come from Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.
"The clouds had broken apart at last. High above, he saw the Aether. It didn't run in lazy, glowing currents, as was normal for this time of year. Instead, thick rivers flowed above him, glaring and bright. In some places the Aether coiled like snakes, forming funnels, which would strike at the earth and unleash fire."That's a winter sky," Rowan said, his voice filled with confusion."Dad, what's going on?" asked one of Gray's sons.Perry knew exactly what was going on. He couldn't deny what he saw--or the burn in the back of his nose."Get home now!" he told them, then sprinted to the compound."
So, what are YOU reading this week? 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dystopia as a Glace Reflection

Dystopian Future?
Source
I came across an article this week called "Searching for Shadowman." The author of the article, Ned Vizzini, talks about a dystopian book he read as a teenager that was not widely circulated, but that had a huge impact on him. His favorite character was a very imperfect teenaged boy named Morrison. Then Vizzini says something interesting: "Morrison was the first male I encountered in literature who seemed to understand his own unattractiveness."

It occurs to me that this may be true of dystopias in general. Perhaps they help us see the unattractiveness of our own society, and how bad things might become if we let them.

After all, ours is a society where the intolerant preach absolute tolerance, where 90-pound movie stars preach loving one's body, no matter the size, and where headlines  like "Eating Boogers May be Good for Your Health" actually make it into newspapers. (How long do you think we have before the gorillas get the better of us?)

Perhaps we are drawn to flawed societies in the same way we are drawn to flawed characters: because we identify with them; because we can get behind them and root for their victory; because they feel so real that we can't ignore them.

No one would argue that our society doesn't have problems. We all know tragedy exists in the world, but it's hard for us to do anything that feels really meaningful to help. We get overwhelmed just thinking about it. Taken to extremes, these problems will lead to our society's destruction, and we're all aware of that fact. 

We humans are capable of great feats, but we are also prone to fall into idleness. Perhaps dystopias strike such a chord with us because they remind us of our society's own ugliness, which in turn spurs us on to try and live our lives to make things better. It's human psychology at its best. Or weirdest. 

What do you think of this theory? 
Persistence of Vision, Book 1 of Interchron available now from Amazon.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Shadow Rising Read Along, Week 3


Welcome to the Wheel of Time Read-Along. We're on book 4, The Shadow Rising, week 3. Remember this post contains *spoilers* for what we read this week. Anything that came before this is also game, so read at your own peril! :D

Aiel Wise Ones
Source
1) Egwene dives back into Tel'aran'rhiod to investigate Tanchico and comes out with an Aiel Wise Woman's contact info. Egwene kicks herself for not having the knowledge and skill to interpret her dreams. Have you ever given dream interpretation a shot? Do you think Egwene's plans to train and pass that on to Nynaeve and Elayne will work out as she plans?

I love the idea of WoT "contact info! :D My sisters and I try and interpret our dreams all the time, but we aren't very serious about it. We generally get a sentence or two of serious stuff but then go off on ridiculous interpretations and end up laughing hysterically. Chances are Egwene's plans won't work out as she thinks they will (when do they?) but I still think this is a wise choice on her part. If I were in her shoes, I would jump at the chance to learn from people who could teach me tons of stuff about T'A'R. And besides, the Aiel Waste is a place few have ever been. It would be fun to explore it. You'd definitely bring some stories back with you.

2) Robert Jordan loves setting up the battle of the sexes, doesn't he? In this section we see Perrin and Faile are having a contest of wills. Rand versus the Aes Sedai (Moiraine in particular). Thom versus Moiraine. Even Min! What do you think of Jordan's use of this? 
Source

I sort of think Jordan's brilliant at it. His characters are just spunky enough and intelligent enough to make this a lot of fun. I think it serves Jordan well, in that it furthers the story while also making his characters pop.

3) Mat, Perrin, and Rand finally hear about Whitecloaks in the Two Rivers. Perrin feels an obligation to return, tries to break some ties, and then finds out he won't be going alone. Were you surprised at Perrin's self-sacrificial take on this situation? Will the White Cloaks get more than they are looking for?

I thought Perrin's reaction was very in character for him. Ever since his first encounter with the Whitecloaks in book 1, he's thought a lot about it. It kind of haunts him. And because he's such a down-to-earth, loyal guy, of course he wants to make certain no one he cares about is hurt on his account. And of course the Whitecloaks will get more than they bargained for. This is the Two Rivers...and Perrin is awesome! :D

Zarine Bashere
Source
4) Ladies and their weapons: We saw some hand-to-hand altercations and some subtler weapons in use in this section. Who do you deem the more dangerous - Berelain or Faile?

I love that Robert Jordan arms most of his women and that, while they may think they are a little more invincible than is realistic, they use the weapons with spunk and confidence. When I was first reading this in high school, I totally wanted to get some belt knives. As to the question of Faile vs. Berelain, with actual weapons? Faile definitely has the upper hand. Berelain is dangerous in her own way, but if it ever comes to a Faile-Berelain smackdown, Berelain's gonna lose a lot of that pretty hair of hers.

5) Of course Mat goes through the doorway! But once he is done with his question and answer session and tossed out, he realizes he wasn't the only one seeking answers. What kind of beings do you think the folk in the doorway were? What do you think Rand and Moiraine asked and had answered?

Source
Snake People
I thought it was hysterical that Mat, Rand, and Moiraine had the same idea at the same time--and then were angry at one another for it! Or at least Moiraine was. The beings in that other dimension definitely weren't human, but it was like they were trying to do an imitation of one. It's important to note that Mat described them again and again as being snake-like. Keep that in mind, as it will be important later. We will eventually get some insight into what Moiraine asked, though I don't remember if we get that insight into Rand. It's also important to remember that they asked Mat if he had any iron, fire, or musical instruments, then Rand reported that they were afraid of his fire sword. An indication of their weaknesses, perhaps? I love this thread of the story. It's one of my favorite and, in my humble opinion, one of Jordan's most original and ingenious.

Source
Mat asking his questions
6) Finally, Loial is back in the story. While he seems to be content as a chronicler, I do you think The Wheel will let him sit in a corner with pen and ink the entire book? What do you think of Faile's twisting his arm to visit The Ways?

Poor Loial! He's so nice, he tends to get caught between people who are being...less than nice to one another. I didn't think it was particularly kind of Faile to do what she did, but she's desperate to keep Perrin from leaving her behind, and I have to admire her tenacity and determination. Note to both Perrin and Berelain: it's in your best interest not to underestimate this woman! As for Loial, he'll definitely get to do more than just chronicle, but don't worry. It's all awesome stuff! ;D


Extras:

Source
Thom Merrilin
Totally loved the scene between Moiraine and Thom. It was great to have Moiraine be caught snooping. We all know she does it, but it was kind of nice for her to be caught, even if she didn't have the grace to show embarrassment. This is one of those scenes you should try to remember. Once you get farther in the series, it becomes really interesting. (Not that it isn't now, but it becomes more so.) There's so much both these two are trying to find out from one another without actually saying much. Given how much they both meddle and scheme, and how embroiled in the Great Game they both are, you'd think they'd be awesome friends, you know?


Source
Also, we got to see more of Gawyn, who I'm always a fan of. This chapter is a perfect example of why Gawyn is better than Galad. Uh, you know, in my opinion. Not only is Galad letting himself be brainwashed by Whitecloak philosophy (shouldn't that be an oxymoron?) but he doesn't recognize Min. At all. Gawyn recognized her right away, even in her Elmindreda costume. He's just more down-to-earth and aware of what's going on. And, you know, not so focused on his own awesomeness that he doesn't know his friends when he sees them. Just sayin.

How did everyone else like this section?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Mermaid Lit Challenge, Week 5 + Follow Friday

Welcome to Week 5 of the Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge! Below is my review for this week. If you have one of your own, feel free to link up with us and be sure to visit the others to see what they thought of their reads for this week! You may join the challenge anytime you like. See rules HERE. (Follow Friday below!)


Source
The mermaid book I read this week is called Fathomless by Jackson PearceThis is the first book I've ever read by Pearce, though I have her other two fairy tale retellings on my TBR list. 

And I gotta say, I LOVED this book!

I've been so impressed with the mermaid books I've read lately. So far they've all been creative, well-written takes on the legend. I've also been impressed at how well the authors incorporate aspects of the true mermaid legend that those who are only familiar with the Disney version wouldn't know, like that mermaids are supposed to get a human man to fall in love with them in order to win themselves a soul.

Well, this book went above and beyond. Pearce has a style of writing that is full of emotion. She hooks you right around the heart and makes you feel for the characters. More than any of the other mermaid books I've read, I was so invested in this story! Once I got to 2/3 of the way through it, I simply couldn't stop reading, and my heart really hurt for the characters.

This is written in a unique way as well. We get POVs from three characters, though its really only two people. I'm not gonna tell you why. It's a unique take on the mermaid legend that I couldn't even begin to explain, but whatever you're thinking from what I just said, I guarantee its more complicated than that.

And the climax of the story was so epic! Not only was plot and the action and the emotion at a high point, but there was a hurricane happening. The wind was blowing, people were shouting to be heard, there were monsters. It was fabulous! 

Anyway, can't wait to get my hands on Pearce's other novels now because if they're all as good as this one, she may just be my new favorite author of fairy tale retellings.

Has anyone else read Pearce? What do you think of her? (Remember to link up below if you have a mermaid review this week. :D)



***Hey Everyone, I have a new email form for those who would like to follow via email. Those who follow via email will get my short story, The Hatching, which usually sells on Amazon for $0.99 for FREE! If you are currently following via GFC, will you follow via Linky, Networked Blogs or email anyway? Thanks a ton! Happy Friday!*** 


Follow Friday

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 


How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Q: Activity: Spine Poetry. Create a line of poetry with your book spines (take a picture). Not feeling creative? Tell us about your favorite poem.



For this one, I just looked at a bunch that were on my kindle and clicked a picture. I also added a couple of small articles so it would (kind of) make more sense. (Disclaimer: I've never claimed to have poetry talent. :D) Here goes nothing:

Brood of bones, 
Carnival of Souls.
Divergent, Beautiful Chaos.
Driven to Kill.
Undeniable Insight the Eve of The Frey
The Golden Chord or Overkill?
Hush, Hush.

How did everyone else do on their title poems?


Thoughts for Thursday: Fathers

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

With this Sunday being Father's Day, I thought it appropriate that this week's theme be quotes about Fathers(I chose green in honor of my father. It's his favorite color. ;D)


My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.--Jim Valvano

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.--William Shakespeare

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.--Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.--Sigmund Freud

What was silent in the father speaks in the son, and often I found in the son the unveiled secret of the father.--Friedrich Nietzsche

What's your favorite quote about fathers? Do you have one to add?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

Fragments

Source
I totally loved Fragments by Dan Wells. I read Partials, book 1 in this series, a few months ago. (My review HERE.) In short, I loved it! I was very excited to read the second one. I put a request in to my library, and actually got my hands on the copy pretty quickly. Warning: there may be mild spoilers for book 1. Read this review at your own peril.

We start not long after book 1 left off. Kira is roaming the big, empty city of New York, looking for clues as to who she is, who her father was, how Nandita figured in her past, and who the Trust was. Meanwhile, back in East Meadow, the Partials are attacking. A war is imminent and Marcus is right in the middle of it, stressing his life away. Despite the fact that Kira *spoiler for book 1* found the cure for RM, the remaining humans can't seem to synthesize it, which means newborns are still in peril. *End of spoiler.* And Sam is off creating his own kind of resistance.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Game of Thrones Recap--Season Finale!!!

I can't believe the season is over already! :( Now we have to wait almost a year to get more. Of course, that's a relatively short period compared to how far away the release of book 6 is expected to be (not until 2015!) ***Remember, blatant spoilers in this post! Don't read until you've seen the episode, unless you want to be spoiled. ;) ***

Source
So we start out almost exactly where we left off--at the Red Wedding. Robb's men outside the castle are being slaughtered as the Hound makes off with Arya in the night. Before going, he sees the severed head of Robb's wolf being hoisted on a stick. We don't see Robb himself being beheaded, but I suppose that's a little much even for HBO.


Source
Next we see Sansa and Tyrion talking. It's actually a kind of sweet heart-to-heart where we see them getting along and also her naivete when it comes to swear words. But then Tyrion is called away to a Small Council meeting where he's given the news about the Red Wedding. At the meeting, we  see Joffery watering at the mouth with the intention to do still-more-disgusting things to torture Sansa. No one can control him, and he greatly insults Tywin (proof by itself of his insanity) before being bundled off to bed. Joff is becoming crazier by the week, and its clear that no one can truly control him.

Source
Then we see Bran and his gang, sleeping in the abandoned Dreadfort along the wall. Bran tells a story illustrating the tradition of guest right in the Seven Kingdoms. I think they should have done this earlier. Perhaps it would have been too obvious a foreshadowing, but last week I had to explain the guest right custom to my sisters and why it was such a deep betrayal. Then, this week, Bran explains it. I think that could have been timed better.

We see Bolton (who betrayed Robb) talking to Frey. He finally reveals the truth--which readers of the books knew all along--that Theon is holed up in Winterfell, which is being occupied by Ramsey Snow, Lord Bolton's bastard. Theon, still alive and broken, being tortured by Ramsey, who claims he's ingesting Theon's severed parts. We also get the origin of his later name: Reek.

Source
Sam and Gilly show up in the Dreadfort and figure out that Bran is Jon's brother. They direct the youngsters on how to get north of the wall, after begging them to come to Castle Black, warning them about Wildlings and White Walkers, and giving them dragon glass to defend themselves.

Theon's father and sister receive news of his whereabouts, as well as a box containing certain parts of him that weren't ingested after all. While Theon's father couldn't care less about his son's welfare, his sister Asha sets sail to find him, setting us up nicely for next season.

Source
One of my favorite threads in this episode was that of Davos. He visits Gendry and obviously regards him as a kindred spirit, and a little like his lost son. I thought this was very well done. Eventually, after receiving news of the Red Wedding, Stannis declares that Gendry must die. Davos sets the boy free and sends him toward King's Landing, giving him instructions on how to go unseen. Again, this aspect of Gendry's story line is quite a departure from the books. While I'm disappointed that we've lost a lot of Arya/Gendry time, I am interested to see where they go with this. (Aside: Don't you just love how it's the middle ages and no one bathes, and Gendry's a POW, but somehow still has a perfectly manicured goatee?)

Source
Varys approaches Shay and offers her a fortune in diamonds to leave and start a new life elsewhere. She rejects it. Not sure if I like this. I almost think they may be setting her up as someone with good intentions for the end of next season. I won't say what happens, but in the book her intentions weren't good and I think they're trying to make her somewhat heroic. Especially because Varys makes a point of saying that Tyrion may need protection. Not sure I like that.

Later, after some funny one-liners--"It's not easy being drunk all the time," and "Everyone would do it, if it was easy."--Tyrion talks with Cersei about marriages, babies, and when the war will end. The answer: not for a very long time.

Source
Arya and the Hound happen upon a group of Frey soldiers boasting about their exploits at the Red Wedding. Arya jumps down and kills one of them. This was one of the most explosive scenes in the episode. I totally saw it coming, especially when she dropped Jacqen's coin, but my brother about had a meltdown. (I laughed heartily at him.)

Jon, after being shot with arrows by Ygritte--tough break!--finally returns to the wall. His reunion with Pip and Sam was sweet, but I confess I was a bit disappointed that they didn't end this in more of a cliff-hanger way. I know there was a time crunch, but I think we could have skipped over a lot of Theon-torture and made an extra 15 or 20 minutes to make the end of the season better. As it was, it was a bit anti-climatic.

Jaime and Brienne return to the capital, reuniting our incestuous twins. Luckily, they didn't go with any sexy times, which was okay with me. I wasn't looking forward to an incest scene.

Meanwhile, Stannis finds out that Davos has let Gendry go and orders his death. Davos shows him the letter from the wall, and the Red Woman declares that only Stannis can stop the battle about to take place in the north (naturally). Davos's life is spared and Stannis will answer the Wall's plea for help. (Total set up for next season.)

Source
Finally, all the slaves Dany set free in the city that surrendered come out and call her mother, demonstrating their loyalty. She now has an army and a dedicated people.

So, that was it for this season! Like I said, I'm sad they cut all our Arya/Gendry time and I think the finale could have been better (that there had been a cliff hanger) but overall I was okay with it. I thought they handled the story lines very well and am excited for season 4. (Again, almost a year away!)

So, what did everyone else think of the Game of Thrones finale?