Supernova (Amulet #8)…Review

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Title: Supernova (Amulet #8)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Scholastic/Graphix

Date of Publication: September 25, 2018

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Graphic Novel

Page Count: 224

For Goodreads Synopsis click here

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/C1swfOV_6zw

Last week my son bought Supernova at his school’s Scholastic book fair. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so excited to buy a new book. He’s read each book of the Amulet series at least ten times.

It’s been ten years since the first Amulet book, The Stonekeeper, was released and this newest release, Supernova, is an epic journey into space and a new planet called Typhon. This story has a fast-moving plot with reveals and surprises. There is a big focus on self-acceptance, personal growth, fear, courage, family, and changing tradition.

The artwork is breathtaking. I love the use of colour to portray emotion. The Amulet series is something you can read over, and over, and each time see something new.

The story is fantastic. I love the emotional development the main character Emily experiences.

If you haven’t read the Amulet series, it’s time to pick it up! It’s a very popular series, so it’s easy to find. There’s only one book left to be released! Eeeee! No release date listed on Goodreads yet. These books would make a great Christmas gift for any reader in your life.

About the author

Kazu Kibuishi (born 1978) is an American graphic novel author and illustrator. He is best known for being the creator and editor of the comic anthology Flight and for creating the webcomic Copper. He has also written (drawn) the Amulet series. The webcomic artist and noted critic Scott McCloud has said that some of Kazu Kibuishi’s work is so beautifully drawn that “it hurts my hands when I look at it”.

https://www.boltcityproductions.com/

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Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) #BookReview #SpoilerFree

Crooked Kingdom, the conclusion to the Six of Crows duology, is an epic Fantasy novel that has the magic of Harry Potter and Sword of Truth, mixed with the friendships of The Lord of the Rings, the adventure of The Wheel of Time, and the sneaky, twisty plot of Game of Thrones. 📚

Crooked Kingdom

 

Title: Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, LGBTQ

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date published: Sept 2016

Page Count: 546

 

 

synopsis

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.”

My Review

photography – READING UNDER THE RAIN

After hearing I didn’t need to read the Grisha Verse trilogy before reading Six of Crows, I decided to go ahead and give it a go. The first book of the duology, Six of Crows, was great, but Crooked Kingdom mashed together everything I love about all my favorite books.

Let’s start by talking about the beautiful cover, and unique red pages which clearly represent bloodshed and love. The maps at the beginning of the book help immerse the reader into this world. Crooked Kingdom is divided into six parts: Forsaken, A Killing Wind, Brick By Brick, The Unexpected Visitor, Kings & Queens, and Action & Echo.

Mohammed Arabey’s review of Crooked Kingdom

Angela Jones-Cuéllar on Twitter: "I'm so pumped for ...

Crooked Kingdom starts one month after Kaz Brekker and his crew left Djerholm. They have been back in Ketterdam, a city on Kerch island, for a week. Told with multiple perspectives, I enjoyed learning more about each character through another’s eyes.

The Six of Crows

Kaz Brekker, 17 year-old gang member of The Dregs, ruthless, resourceful, devious Leader of the Six of Crows, focused on getting revenge against Van Eck and Pekka Rollins. I love his witty sarcasm: “It was that or snap her neck and make it look like she fell down the stairs, Wylan. I think I showed remarkable restraint.”

 

 

 

 

 

Inej: 16-year-old tenacious, talented, and nicknamed the Wraith. She has a strong connection to her Suli heritage. To one of her captors, also a Suli, she said, “You are forsaken. As you have turned your back on me, so will they turn their backs on you.”

 

 

 

 

Jesper: 17-year-old carefree, comical, Grisha sharpshooter with a gambling addiction. Crooked Kingdom gives us Jesper’s heart-breaking story of losing his mother as a child. He moved to Kerch to study at University, but was drawn to the other part of town where he met Kaz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nina: 17-year-old confident, beautiful, Grisha Heartrender. In Six of Crows, Nina was able to make Wylan look like Kuwei by using jurda parem, an addictive drug that boosts a Grisha’s power. The withdrawal from the drug almost took her life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthias: 18-year-old big, tough, former Grisha hunter, in love with Nina. She helped open his mind so he could better understand the good of Grisha abilities. He helped her through the jurda withdrawal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wylan: Van Eck’s 16-year-old son, illiterate, with exceptional demolition skills. His father tried to have him killed, he ran away and joined the Six of Crows.

 

 

 

 

 

Other Characters
Van Eck: powerful, Ketterdam mercher (Wylan’s father).

Pekka Rollins: leader of the Dime Lions (another gang in Ketterdam) who swindled Kaz and his brother Jordie when they were new to the city.

Kuwei: Grisha Inferni. His father helped to create jurda parem, a powerful drug that enhances Grisha power, and now that his father is dead everyone wants to know where Kuwei is so they can gain access to the recipe.

Colm Fahey: Jesper’s father, jurda farmer.

Throughout Six of Crows I struggled to care about Wylan. Crooked Kingdom gave me everything I needed to add him to my long list of favorite characters. We get to see just how horrible his father treated him and it broke my heart.

“The letters from his father continued to arrive, once, sometimes twice a week. Wylan didn’t know what to make of them. Were they threats? Taunts? He stashed them in a stack beneath his mattress, and sometimes at night he thought he could feel the ink bleeding through the pages, up through the mattress and into his heart like dark poison.”

I will also admit that I wasn’t a fan of Kaz after reading the first book. Crooked Kingdom unveiled a new Kaz that I fell for.

“He was going to break my legs ,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “Would you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn’t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn’t the Wraith anymore?”
Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.
“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Jesper + Wylan ♥ I love how Bardugo wrote about the attraction between Jesper and Wylan. It’s always refreshing to see LGBTQ representation in popular Young Adult books.

My one and only complaint is that there was too much romance for me. Nina + Matthias, Wylan + Jesper, Inej + Kaz…did they really need to pair up romantically? However, they are a group of teenagers, so it is realistic for them to pair up I suppose.

Quotes

“Sometimes,” said Kaz, “a proper thief doesn’t just take. He leaves something behind.”

“When fear arrives, something is about to happen.” – Inej

Suspenseful, surprising, and filled with action, Crooked Kingdom weaves important topics such as race, freedom, and slavery within a story that will keep you thoroughly entertained and leave you heart-broken, but satisfied.

About the author.jpg

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the Six of Crows Duology and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Aug 2017) and The Language of Thorns (Sept 2017).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

http://www.leighbardugo.com/index1.html

https://twitter.com/Lbardugo

Book Review: Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith

All of my reviews are always SPOILER FREE 🙂

I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

Children of Daedala

 

Title: Children of Daedala (Children of Icarus #2)

Author: Caighlan Smith

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian

Publisher: Capstone http://www.capstonepub.com/library/

Date published: Expected Publication April 2018

Page Count: 336

 

 

synopsis

Sequel to Children of Icarus.

Six months alone in the labyrinth has made her strong. But the search for the exit means gambling on an old ‘friend’ and going against everything she’s been taught to survive. You know the labyrinth will have yet more horrors lurking in its depths. You’ve learned few people can be trusted. But freedom is tantalizingly close. Are you ready to take the risk?” (Goodreads) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36049722-children-of-daedala

My Review

I haven’t read the first book in this series. I searched for the e-book high and low, but couldn’t find it. I didn’t want to shell out $20 for the first book at Chapters without knowing if I would like it. My local library did not have a copy, there was no ebook available on Amazon.ca or KOBO. If the publisher or author somehow see this review – please consider making the first book more readily available. I ALMOST didn’t read Children of Daedala because I didn’t read Children of Icarus. Now that I have read the book, and know that I LOVED it, I will go purchase the first book.

When I reached the final page of the Children of Daedala e-book, I discovered the author was born and raised in the same province as me, and is attending the same University that I did! I had no idea Caighlan Smith was from Newfoundland, but now that I do, I will most certainly purchase and read everything she writes. Be assured, my opinion of this book was formed well before I knew the author was a fellow Newfoundlander. As I was reading, I kept raving to my husband about how much I was enjoying the story, characters, and monsters.

Children of Daedala, inspired by Greek mythology (Icarus and Daedalus), takes place in a labyrinth filled with deadly creatures. The story begins six months after our female main character was kicked out of Fates and entered the soul-crushing maze. She has not given us her birth name, but we know she has been called Clara, and Fey Bell, by other Icaari. Fey’s mentor, the Executioner, has died, and she’s been surviving on her own. Within this giant labyrinth there are other groups of Icaari: Kleos, a group of male Icaari led by Gammon; and Harmonia, a group of female Icaari, led by Polina.

While hunting, she comes across a group of Icaari from Fates. Members of this group have treated her badly in the past. She tackles Ryan and holds him hostage. She wants to trade him for another Fates member named Addie. They make an agreement to meet for the exchange. Fey arrives hours early, without Ryan, to spy on them when they arrive. Collin comes with a few others, but no Addie. She overhears them say they were never going to do the trade, and Collin made the deal so he could try to capture Fey.

Fey returns to her secret underground base where she left Ryan bound and drugged. As she opens the door he knocks her down. After a struggle, Fey manages to get his arms and legs bound. She confesses that she wanted Addie to decipher a journal she found. Ryan says he knows some Ancient Daedalic and thinks he can decipher it. They make a pact to help each other escape the labyrinth. The war between Harmonia, Kleos, and Fates complicates Ryan and Fey’s plan to decipher the map and escape the labyrinth.

Can we talk about the cover? WOW! Isn’t it fantastic? I absolutely love it. The story is told from Fey Bell’s first person perspective, which effectively leaves the reader out of the loop. Fey Bell is a badass female protagonist who has become hard, calculating, cunning, and extremely skilled thanks to her training from the Executioner and Fey’s time alone in the labyrinth. There are a lot of characters introduced early on in the story from both the Kleos and Harmonia groups. Ryan is one of my favorite characters, but my absolutely most favorite is the Mud Maid. The short chapters and suspenseful writing worked together to create a thrilling page-turning story. I will warn you – you may end up staying well past your bedtime wanting to read “just one more”. The ending is a cliffhanger that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

There are only a couple of small things that hindered me from giving Children of Daedala 5 Stars. I don’t like Elle at all. I found her terribly annoying, and I couldn’t care less if she was kidnapped or killed. Which is problematic because I think I was supposed to care about her. I would have loved a map at the beginning of the book to help visualize the labyrinth. Some of the dialogue was a little clunky and didn’t feel authentic.

Children of Daedala is a dark tale filled with conflict that reminds me of Lord of the FliesThe Maze Runner, and The Hunger Games, all rolled into one.

Children of Icarus (Book One) Amazon.ca

Children of Daedala (Book Two) Amazon.ca

About the author.jpg

As a child, Caighlan Smith loved to build and navigate pillow mazes. An adoration of Greek mythology soon followed. Canadian born and raised, Smith studied English Literature and Classics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her first novel was published when she was nineteen.

https://www.caighlansmith.com/

My favourite book and movie: The Last Unicorn ~ Spoiler-Free Book Review

The Last Unicorn (2008)

Title: The Last Unicorn

Author:  Peter S. Beagle

Genre: Fiction: Fantasy, Young Adult, Classic

Publisher: Penguin Roc

Date published: 40th Anniversary Edition published 2008. First published 1968.

Page Count: 294

 

 

synopsis

She was magical, beautiful beyond belief — and completely alone…

The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumours carried a message she could not ignore: “Unicorns are gone from the world.”

Aided by a bumbling magician and an indomitable spinster, she set out to learn the truth. but she feared even her immortal wisdom meant nothing in a world where a mad king’s curse and terror incarnate lived only to stalk the last unicorn to her doom…” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29127.The_Last_Unicorn?ac=1&from_search=true

 

My Review

Two hunters who have failed to track down their prey are traveling through the unicorn’s forest. She overhears one hunter tell the other that this forest must be protected by the last unicorn. They decide to move on and the unicorn is left to wonder whether she truly is the last of her kind. She decides to leave her forest and find the other unicorns. On her journey she meets a talking butterfly who tells her about the Red Bull who chased all the other unicorns away.

“He was the color of blood, not the springing blood of the heart but the blood that stirs under an old wound that never really healed. A terrible light poured from him like sweat, and his roar started landslides flowing into one another. His horns were as pale as scars.” – Decribing the Red Bull

While sleeping the unicorn is captured by a witch named Mommy Fortuna who runs a traveling carnival of caged mythical creatures, including the evil Harpy, Celaeno. Mommy Fortuna tells the unicorn that the Red Bull belongs to King Haggard.

“…the Red Bull will know you when he sees you.” – Mommy Fortuna

Schmendrick, a magician who works for Mommy Fortuna, helps the unicorn escape. Molly Grue, a middle-aged woman, joins Schmendrick and the unicorn as they travel to the castle where King Haggard and his son Prince Lír live.

 

The Last Unicorn, a third person narrative, is a story about how we are often our own worst enemy, and when we find ourselves in the most dire situation surrounded by evil we must let love show us to believe in ourselves and each other.

“You must never run from anything immortal. It attracts their attention.” – The Unicorn

There is a ton of story with breath-taking language smashed into this small book. I cannot name one character as my favourite. Schmendrick, Molly, King Haggard, Prince Lir, the Red Bull, are all extremely well-written characters with distinct and authentic personalities. The unicorn and Lady Amalthea are the same being, and yet feel like two completely different characters.

“The hero has to make a prophecy come true, and the villain is the one who has to stop him – though in another kind of story, it’s more often the other way around. And a hero has to be in trouble from the moment of his birth, or he’s not a real hero. It’s a great relief to find out about Prince Lír. I’ve been waiting for this tale to turn up a leading man.” – Schmendrick the Magician

The Last Unicorn has been my favourite movie since I was a child. I cannot possibly count how many times I’ve watched it. For some reason, I’ve never read the book. I wonder that perhaps I was afraid the book would let me down, or I would realize my most treasured movie was a horrible adaptation. I’m happy to say the book took my breath away. I LOVE the movie, but the book is SO MUCH BETTER than the movie. I know I will be re-reading this book many, many times.

“‘Haggard, I would not be you for all the world,’ he declared. ‘You have let your doom in by the front door, though it will not depart that way.” – Mabruk (King Haggard’s magician)

READ THIS. Even if you don’t like fiction. Even if you don’t like fantasy. Even if you don’t like unicorns! 🙂

 

About the author.jpg

Peter Beagle.jpgPeter S. Beagle

“Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of his other books (A Fine and Private Place and I See By My Outfit) are considered modern classics.”

 

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower Book 3) By Stephen King #SpoilerFree #BookReview

The Waste Lands The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3)

By Stephen King, Illustrated By Ned Dameron

Published by Plume January 1992 (first published August 1991)

ISBN 0452267404

422 pages

 

The Waste Lands is an epic fantasy horror science fiction story with bad-ass gunslingers and sociopathic bad guys brought to you by Stephen King. King begins The Waste Lands novel with an “argument”, providing a quick summary of the first two books, along with some intriguing insights. The story then picks up “some months” after the ending of The Drawing of the Three, over 60 miles from the Western Sea in Mid-World. Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, has drawn two companions into his world, Eddie and Susannah Dean, who have agreed to help him find the Dark Tower. Eddie was once the Prisoner. Susannah, the Lady of the Shadows, was once Odetta Holmes and Detta Walker. While Roland is training Susannah how to shoot she confesses that she knows there has been something wrong with him since the conflict on the beach. He claims that there is nothing wrong. While they are talking, Eddie is leaning against a tree whittling away at a piece of wood when they all hear an enormous crash in the woods.

Mir, parasite-infested, largest and oldest creature in the Great West Woods charges toward Eddie, who manages to scramble up the highest tree nearby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Roland’s shoulders Susannah successfully shoots the spinning rusty radar-dish on Mir’s head, which “kills” him. Roland tells them this enormous bear is one of the twelve Guardians. It is 2,000-3,000 years old and its real name is Shardik. The Great Old Ones created the twelve cyborg Guardians to stand watch at the twelve portals. The Thirteenth Portal, which rules all the worlds, is found at the Dark Tower. Roland explains that if they can find the portal Shardik was protecting they would be able to follow a straight line to the Dark Tower. As they journey to the portal Roland is slowly going more insane. He finally tells them the tale of his journey through the desert, under the mountains, and how he sacrificed Jake in order to catch up with the Man in Black. Roland has two memories of what happened at the Waystation – one where he met Jake, and one where he didn’t. Time travel is a bitch ain’t it? Roland throws the Man in Black’s jaw bone into the fire and Eddie watches it change and become a key. Eddie is convinced that he has to remember the exact shape of the key. After finding Shardik’s portal Roland, Eddie, and Susannah begin their journey traveling along one of the magnetic-type Beams which help to bind and hold this world together. Eddie is overwhelmed by an urge to cut a piece of tree next to them. He has no idea why, but he believes he is meant to carve this piece of wood, replicating the key he saw in the fire.

We then flip to Jake’s perspective. It’s May 31st, 1977. We get to learn more about Jake’s childhood, family, and school. Jake thinks he’s going mad. He hears voices in his head who insist Jake was hit and killed by a car on May 9. During the last ten days Jake has become fascinated by doors. He’s going about his days, attempting to pretend that he’s okay.

While in class he glances at the title of the final paper he has no memory writing, “My Understanding of Truth”. He continues searching for the door that will take him back to Roland’s world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Understanding of Truth

The gunslinger is the truth.
Roland is the truth.
The Prisoner is the truth.
The Lady of Shadows is the truth.
The Prisoner and the Lady are married. That is the truth.
The way station is the truth.
The Speaking Demon is the truth.

Roland let me die. That is the truth.
I still love him.
That is the truth.

When is a door not a door? When it’s a jar, and that is the truth.
Blaine is the truth.
Blaine is the truth.

You have to watch Blaine all the time, Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth.
I’m pretty sure that Blaine is dangerous, and that is the truth.

I want to go back and that is the truth.
I have to go back and that is the truth.

Choo-choo, and that is the truth.


 

It took me a long time to read The Waste Lands, but that was not because I wasn’t enjoying it. It’s definitely the most exciting book in the Dark Tower series so far. My favorite character is Oy, a billy-bumbler that Roland and his crew meet during their journey. Oy has black and gray striped fur and gold-ringed eyes. He’s intelligent and can mimic what he hears. I mean, it’s the perfect pet! I really want a billy-bumbler for Christmas. Maybe I could dye my cat’s fur to make him look like one.

King has an amazing ability to create characters who are unbelievable and yet they feel completely real. I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll just say Roland’s crew meet some pretty interesting characters: a Demon, a group of old folks at the river crossing, Gasher, the Tick-Tock Man, and Blaine the Mono Rail. There are many beautiful illustrations throughout the book,  but they aren’t located in the right spots during the story. I don’t know why this bothered me so much, but it did. The pace was extremely slow in between extremely intense moments. I find the romance between Eddie and Susannah slightly annoying at times and feel like it could have been left out. Maybe there IS a reason for their relationship, I guess I’ll find out as I keep reading the series. There are a lot of unanswered plot points in the first three books, and I’m really needing answers for at least a few. FYI – The Waste Lands ends on a BIG cliff hanger. It took King six years to publish the next book and I’m extremely grateful that I don’t have to wait six years before reading Wizard and Glass.

I recommend this one to anyone 16 years and older (sex, violence, swearing) who likes to leave their troubles behind and enter fantastical worlds, perhaps via Blaine the talking train 😉

Six of Crows – Spoiler Free Book Review

Six of CrowsSix of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Young Adult, Fantasy
Published September 2015
Six of Crows, set in the same world as New York Time’s Bestselling series The Grisha Trilogy, is the first book of the “Six of Crows” duology. It’s a heist story written from a few different points of view, focusing on themes such as building relationships, self-discovery, identity, substance abuse, with a couple LGBT characters. It takes place in Ketterdam at the end of Winter.
Van Eck, a member of the Merchant Council, thinks someone is controlling Grisha with jurda parem. Grisha are humans who practice the art of manipulating matter. They are divided into three groups: Coporalki, Etherealki, and Materialki.
  • The Corporalki have three types: Healers, Heartrenders, and Tailors. Healers use their powers to mend bones and heal wounds. Heartrender can control and damage a person’s internal organs. Tailors can change a person’s appearance. This ability is now taught to all Corporalki Grisha.
  • The Etherealki have Inferni (can manipulate fire), Squallers (can manipulate wind), Tidemakers (can manipulate water), and Summoners (can manipulate light).
  • The Materialki have two types: Durasts (can manipulate anything solid) and Alkemi (specialize in chemistry). Durasts and Alkemi are usually lumped into one category called Fabrikators.
Van Eck is worried about the use of jurda parem and thinks if it’s released into the world it will lead to war. He wants to save Bo Yul-Bayur, a well-known chemist who helped to create jurda parem, currently imprisoned at the Ice Court. Van Eck doesn’t want their government connected to the situation in any way. He asks Kaz to break into the Ice Court and save Bo Yul-Bayur and in return Kaz’s crew will be paid 30 million Kruge. There’s one problem: The Ice Court has NEVER been breached. Kaz wants that money. It would change his life. So he goes about putting together the perfect crew – The Six of Crows.
crow-1582138_960_720.jpgKaz Brekker is known as “Dirty hands” and “the Bastard of the Barrel”. He may be young, but he’s a bad-ass with a grumpy attitude. He uses a cane with a crows head due to a leg injury that causes him to walk with a limp. He is the leader of a gang of thieves known as “the Dregs”.
crow-1582138_960_720Inej Ghafa is “a spy known as the Wraith.” She’s a serious girl, and one of the few people who Kaz trusts. Inej silently sneaks around in order to gain information for Kaz. “The only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too.”
crow-1582138_960_720Nina Zenik is “a Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.” Nina is super confident and hilarious. She agrees to help him on this quest so that Kaz will help her get Matthias Helvar out of prison.
crow-1582138_960_720Matthias is a Druskelle soldier (a Gisha hunter) from Fjerda who used to work for the Ice Court.
crow-1582138_960_720Jesper Fahey is a light-hearted, sarcastic “sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
crow-1582138_960_720Wylan Van Eck, Van Eck’s son, is “a runaway with a privileged past.” He knows how to take things apart, put them back together, and blow things up.
Switching the point of view enabled me to become better acquainted with the main characters past, thought-process, goals, and motivation. The first half of the book is a slower pace than the second half, and it was a little hard to “get into” the book. However, once I was “in” I couldn’t put it down. I liked a few characters quite a bit, but if I had to choose a favourite I think I’d have to pick Inej. She is a STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER. In fact – MANY of the female characters are strong and quite able to help themselves “thank-you-very-much”. There’s nothing I despise more than all of the female characters depending on men to help them. BIG POINTS for the slow-burn, very under-the-radar romance stories going on as well. There is NO INSTA-LOVE happening here, and the romantic bits never take over the story and do not drive the plot. There were a few funny parts, but for the most part it’s quite a dark, suspenseful story with characters who have dismal pieces to their past. Six of Crows reminded me of the Ocean’s Eleven movies.
I don’t like when I don’t know how to pronounce the name of a character. If I can’t pronounce their name I have a hard time connecting with their story and find it easier to forget them. The flashbacks used to tell us more about each character’s history were slightly jarring. The book is much longer than it needs to be, and FYI – the ending leaves us with a cliffhanger.
I recommend this book to 16+ (for some graphic violence) readers who enjoy long, multi-character stories with morally grey characters.

Friday Reads! What are you reading this weekend? 😀 📚 🤠 🐦

I can’t wait to fit in some reading this weekend. This weekend I’m reading…

Six of Crows.jpgSix of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

YA, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, LGBT
Published September 2015
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.“

If I somehow manage to finish it this weekend then I’ll be reading another ARC…

The shoe on the roofThe Shoe on the Roof

Expected Publication October 17, 2017
Adult Fiction (Canadian, Mystery, Relationships, Psychology, Humour)
Imagine…meeting someone with the same name, the same history, the same family, the same identity as you. Now, imagine meeting another person making the same exact claim. What would that do to you?
From the Giller Prize–winning novelist of 419 comes the startling, funny, and heartbreaking story of a psychological experiment gone wrong.

Ever since his girlfriend ended their relationship, Thomas Rosanoff’s life has been on a downward spiral. A gifted med student, he has spent his entire adulthood struggling to escape the legacy of his father, an esteemed psychiatrist who used him as a test subject when he was a boy. Thomas lived his entire young life as the “Boy in the Box,” watched by researchers behind two-way glass.
But now the tables have turned. Thomas is the researcher, and his subjects are three homeless men, all of whom claim to be messiahs—but no three people can be the one and only saviour of the world. Thomas is determined to “cure” the three men of their delusions, and in so doing save his career—and maybe even his love life. But when Thomas’s father intervenes in the experiment, events spin out of control, and Thomas must confront the voices he hears in the labyrinth of his own mind.

The Shoe on the Roof is an explosively imaginative tour de force, a novel that questions our definitions of sanity and madness, while exploring the magical reality that lies just beyond the world of scientific fact.“

What are you reading this weekend?

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September 2017 Releases I want to Read

September 2017 new books! 🙂

Clash of Kings Graphic novel #4George R.R. Martin’s A Clash Of Kings #4

by George R.R. Martin, Landry Q. Walker (Adapter), Mel Rubi (Illustrator)
Expected Publication: September 20, 2017
Arya continues to travel north to the Wall, and makes the acquaintance of a most unusual character – Jaqen H’ghar– but when the recruits for the Night’s Watch are stopped by the Gold Cloaks, a confrontation seems inevitable… Meanwhile, Catelyn Stark must come to terms with her son, Robb, is now also the King in the North – and that sometimes family and politics conflict.”

Sleeping BeautiesSleeping Beauties

Expected Publication September 26, 2017
In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is wildly provocative and gloriously absorbing.“

Little Fires Everywhere.jpgLittle Fires Everywhere

Published September 12, 2017
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

There's someone inside your houseThere’s Someone Inside Your House

Expected Publication: September 26, 2017
Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.“

they both die at the endThey Both Die at the End

Published September 5, 2017
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.”

The Language of ThornsThe Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

by Leigh Bardugo and Sara Kipin(Illustrator)
Expected Publication: September 26, 2017
Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.“

What new books are you excited to read?

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The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower Book #2) By Stephen King #SpoilerFree #BookReview

Drawing of the ThreeWhile pursuing his quest for the Dark Tower through a world that is a nightmarishly distorted mirror image of our own, Roland is drawn through a mysterious door that brings him into contemporary America.

Here he links forces with the defiant young Eddie Dean, and with the beautiful, brilliant, and brave Odetta Holmes, in a savage struggle against underworld evil and otherworldly enemies.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5094.The_Drawing_of_the_Three

Fiction: Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi

First Published May 1987

A newer edition was published August 2003

Stephen King

 

If you haven’t heard of Stephen King yet then you must have been living under a rock.

http://www.stephenking.com

 

 

 

 

The Drawing of the Three begins with Roland, the Gunslinger, on a beach not long after the man in black had predicted Roland’s future with tarot cards. The cards showed a man called The Prisoner, a woman called The Lady of Shadows, and Death. A 4-foot-long lobster-like creature with eyes on stalks attacks Roland. Roland’s bullets were soaked by the tide as he was sleeping and he’s unable to defend himself against the attack. The lobster creature bit off Roland’s first and second fingers, then took a chunk out of his calf and his toe. Roland’s injuries are severe and infection is spreading. He decides to walk North, and after three hours comes across a door, made of ironwood, with two words written on it “The Prisoner”. He looks through the door and finds himself looking through the window of a plane. It takes Roland awhile to figure it out, but he finally realizes he’s looking through the eyes of The Prisoner, Eddie Dean. Eddie is an addict attempting to smuggle cocaine into America.

The flight attendant, Jane, brings Eddie a “tooter-fish” (tuna) sandwich and notices that his eye color has changed. Her training taught her to pay attention to strange things, no matter how small they may seem. She decides to keep a close eye on Eddie. Roland manages to bring the sandwich back through the door to his body lying on the beach.

Before landing Jane notices Eddie’s eyes had changed back to hazel. She fills a thermos with hot coffee, alerts her coworker Suzy that there may be a problem, then sits down to watch Eddie. If he whips out a gun or a bomb she’ll throw the hot coffee on him. Suzy catches a glimpse of Eddie’s cocaine packaged taped around his ribs when he bends over to pick up a paper. The Gunslinger sees Suzy’s face and knows what she’s discovered. Roland is hoping Eddie will be able to get medicine for Roland’s infection, but the only way to do that is if Eddie can get through customs without being caught with drugs. Roland needs to make this happen so he can continue his journey to The Dark Tower.

I admire how King writes characters in such a realistic way. The setting and descriptions make you feel like you are right there with them. Holding your breath when things get intense, laughing when something funny happens, crying when there is sadness. The Drawing of the Three is a roller-coaster ride of emotions. My favorite character is most definitely Odetta, The Lady of the Shadows. I don’t want to say too much about her because it will be better for you to learn about her through the story. At 463 pages it seems like a hefty read, but the short sections within chapter inspire you to keep reading – just one more, just one more. I honestly can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this story.

I recommend this book to anyone over the age of 16 (profanity, graphic descriptions, violence, sex) who are fans of stories about hope, fighting inner demons, unlikely friendships, trust, and justice.

 

 

The Drawing of the Three By Stephen King #FirstChapterFirstParagraph

Drawing of the ThreeWhen I pick up a book to decide if I’d like to read it I often read the first chapter, first paragraph. I thought perhaps other readers do the same. I also like to share the first chapter first, paragraph so I can highlight fantastic writing. That first paragraph is often the one that draws you in to the story. Without further ado, here is first chapter first paragraph of The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) by Stephen King.

“Three. This is the number of your fate.
Three?
Yes, three is mystic. Three stands at the heart of the mantra.
Which three?
The first is dark-haired. He stands on the brink of robbery and murder. A demon has infested him. The name of the demon is HEROIN.
Which demon is that? I know it not, even from nursery stories.
He tried to speak but his voice was gone, the voice of the oracle, Star-Slut, Whore of the Winds, both were gone; he saw a card fluttering down from nowhere to nowhere, turning and turning in the lazy dark. On it a baboon grinned from over the shoulder of a young man with dark hair; its disturbingly human fingers were buried so deeply in the young man’s neck that their tips had disappeared in flesh. Looking more closely, the gunslinger saw the baboon held a whip in one of those clutching, strangling hands. The face of the ridden man seemed to writhe in wordless terror.”