Monday, September 22, 2014

“All right you bloody Scottish bastard, lets see how stubborn you really are.”


Outlander
Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



After watching the trailer for the TV show, I was totally convinced I NEEDED this book in my life. I was lucky enough that Audible had it for its daily deal for cheap last month, as such, I was able to jump into the Scottish bandwagon quick enough.

My thoughts:

The Audiobook is brilliant. It consists of 33 hours of Davina Porter's magical tones. She is a tremendous narrator and her voice, accents and inflections are just beautiful. There were some passages I just had to share with my hubs because of the cheer loveliness of her voice... its truly mesmerizing. In more than one occasion I just closed my eyes and let her take me to these beautiful places she narrated. So, as you can imagine, I am completely satisfied with the experience of listening to it in audiobook.

The Book. I am torn. On one hand, it was majestically written. I cannot imagine the amount of research it took, not only to portray historical events, but to actually describe a setting, customs, flora-fauna, people and points of view. If I where to wonder about the use of cultural relativism (the view that all beliefs, customs, and ethics are relative to the individual within his own social context) in fiction, this would be the book I would use as an example. It was pretty clear to me from the beginning that this story was not going to sugarcoat lifestyles and beliefs and I didn't mind it a bit. However, the THING that I am torn about is the books' take upon time-travel.

I know. Really? I am going to be picky about it? ... well, yes.

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For starters, I was really expecting something more in the lines of Dr Who... I know! I am lame for I didn't read enough reviews to figure out this was just going to be more on the historical romantic side than on the sci-fi side, and this is my fault. But being this my review, I must say I am, if not disappointed, just not satisfied with the take on time-travel. I think that Clare's pragmatic take on her circumstances were too simplistic. She was raised by a scholar who traveled the world, more or less an archaeologist, so she must've had engrained, not only on her schooling, but on her surroundings the importance of historical events/artifacts and how ANYTHING may be an effect from the past, thus her ACTIONS when she travels to the past WILL for sure affect her present-time. This, she only wonders briefly at the end of the book... SERIOUSLY? It didn't make sense to me.

Secondly, Claire's attitude, descriptions and ultimately adventures might as well be part of a visit to an exotic place in her own time. What I am trying to say is that time-travel was more of an excuse to show an exotic place/culture rather than a strong storyline. I think that she might as well had just visited another continent/city during her present, and the story would have been exactly the same. The whole "I come from the future" wasn't at all important, necessary or explained. I am sure this has another take on the following books from this series, but quite frankly, I was not convinced.

I really enjoyed the story, as far as descriptions, adventures, characters, lifestyles and plot goes, I am glad I read it. I was just expecting more!! I don't think I'll read the following books since this one clearly reminded me that historical fiction is not my thing! Give me ghosts, Loch Ness monsters and witchcraft as main characters and plot devices, then I will be a happy woman who reads all the books.




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Monday, September 8, 2014

Blog tour: 'The Undead: playing for keeps' Giveaway & recipe!

https://curiosityquills.com/news/book-release-the-undead-playing-for-keeps-by-elsie-elmore/
This week, I'm participating in the Blog Tour of the book:


The Undead: Playing for Keeps, by Elsie Elmore


Genre: young-adult, paranormal-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: September 3rd, 2014

Cover Artist: Alexandria Thompson

Add to your Goodreads list





Description:

When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Especially once Lyla’s new talent of resurrecting the dead draws the attention of Eric, a Grim Reaper with a guitar and a chip on his shoulder.

While Lyla navigates the gossip-ridden halls, Eric works to gain her trust and discover why Death’s clients aren’t staying down. If she passes on her gift, his death-messenger destiny might be altered. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are way easier to deal with than the living.

Gossip explodes, the Grimm family implodes, and desperation sets in. Death wants the gift and a soul. Lyla and Eric face hard choices with hidden consequences. Sometimes life’s choices aren’t really choices at all.



About The Author:

Elsie Elmore lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids. With a science education degree from NCSU, she never imagined she would someday write stories that challenge the laws of nature. She loves the color red, has an appreciation for chocolate and coffee that borders on obsession, and wishes fall temperatures would linger year round.

Elsie is a member of several writing organizations: RWA, SCBWI, and WSW.  The Undead : Playing for Keeps is her debut novel.


Find Elsie Elmore Online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 



MY THOUGHTS

This book was fun! It has necromancy, an amazing rock band and a few kisses.
What else do you need?

It's told from two alternating points of view, Layla and Eric. Their encounter is triggered by the unexpected disappearance of a dead woman's body from Layla's family Funeral Home. Lost between their own explanations and roles, their confrontations become more and more uncomfortable, as the recently deceased appear to haunt Layla's sanity.

Issues about family obligations, friendship, trust, hope and bullying will certainly keep you glued to this story.

 It made me wonder a lot about those dark teen years, when you learn life is not as simple as it seems and high school is just dreadful. The book was short and satisfying. Although, I wished for more kisses, they were perfect when accomplished :)

What I really like (besides the paranormal necromancy stuff), was the commitment of Layla to her family. Her devotion and love to her parents and brother is something that shone through her ordeals. I also enjoyed imagining the music her brother, Ben plays. I love rock music and being able to infuse such enthusiasm for his band, made Ben a key star in this book. Obviously, Eric's song was swoony enough to make me kind of forgive him.

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I received a copy of this book from its publisher Curiosity Quills in exchange of an honest review, no songs where sang during this exchange. Thank you.

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For my Fictional Meals section, I decided to focus on the High School cafeteria food fare. My experience and popular culture has infused me with the notion of what to expect in a High School cafeteria. I was gingerly reading through this book when I came across Sloppy Joes. Since I'm not from the US, I have to admit that I was unfamiliar with this meal. So obviously I did a quick search and found out what I was missing! However, since I don't eat beef I wanted to know if a vegetarian solution was possible and voilá..... Jaime Oliver to the rescue! Yes, the same one who has made great efforts to change school's diets has a perfect recipe for this on his website. Enjoy:

Vegan lentil sloppy Joes (Serves 6) 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 red or yellow sweet pepper, diced
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 cup (200g) French lentils
1- 28oz (796ml) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
6 whole-wheat or sprouted grain buns, sliced in half

Toppings (optional): relish, pickles, avocado, coleslaw, sliced onions…anything goes! Heat the olive oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, pepper and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until they soften. Sprinkle in the cumin and chilli powder; cook for an additional minute. Add the lentils, 3 cups of water, tomato sauce, tomato paste and Sriracha. Increase heat to high and bring the lentils a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if the level falls below the lentils. Taste the lentils, and if they are sufficiently tender (stoves and pots may vary) add the salt and balsamic. Stir and serve over buttered buns you favourite toppings.

PURCHASE LINKS



GIVEAWAYS 
(US & CA only, sorry INT'L peeps)




Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Undead by Elsie Elmore

The Undead

by Elsie Elmore

Giveaway ends September 24, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Farewell August: Mini opinionated discussion of the books I read this month.

Apparently it is becoming a theme these past months. Life gets in my way and I lazily dismiss any entries on my blog. *tsk-tsk*  I must change this, I know, since this is a space I simply ADORE!

My excuse this month is simple. I got too busy with work! I barely had time to read, lest review. In my defence, I started a new job last month and it is really hard to balance my work/life. I had to stay until too late these past days working and I am not happy about it. The brighter side: I am doing something that relates completely with my career, anthropology, thus feeding my professional career with meaningful work (and is a government job too!) is a very positive move.

My commute time was extremely well spent listening to audiobooks. These are the times when I am ecstatic about my Audible membership. I am able to enjoy my readings and rest my tired eyes while listening!


https://www.goodreads.com/series/82863-apparatus-infernum1) I started the month by reading the second book in A.A. Aguirre's Apparatus Infernum series, Silver Mirrors.

This book started  immediately after Bronze Gods left.  Inspectors Celeste Ritsuko and Janus Mikani are cleaning up the mess left by the magical device that was pivotal to the previous book. They are sent overseas to try to discover the source of strange occurrences happening, such as a wailing, crying train, machines that decide to sprout a life of their own and the disruption of communications. It is apparent that they are way over their heads from the moment they set sails.
The worldbuilding, as usual, was amazing and the adventures, fights and characters blew my mind away.

This book's sexual tensions are the best if not frustrating! I looooonnngggggg for more Mikani + Ritsuko time (and kisses!)
I want MORE adventures please!!!



 2) I moved to a different kind of genre this month: realistic fiction. Being a fantasy lover, I am very picky on my realistic books. I had read amazing reviews about Kristy Eagar's Raw Blue and had bought it long long time ago. It was just sitting on my Kindle, begging to be read. I AM SO GLAD I DID.

It was just AMAZING. It is raw as its title and I couldn't stop looking at the cover every few pages.

This book made me cry like a baby and exposed my soul to its words. I was moved beyond reason with Carly's story. I am not very familiar with surfing, so I was kind of worried I was going to be lost. But I was oh so wrong. I learned a lot about the ocean from this book's pages.

Basically, this was one of those life altering kind of books... what is it with these talented Australian writers?


3) I was just on a roll about my realistic fiction books. I had read that Sarah Alderson decided to write Out of Control inspired by the need to empower teens into taking a stand into world issues, particularly about human trafficking (Here are her thoughts). I really applaud this attempt, thus I decided to give it a try and bought it.

I was immediately thrown to a fast-paced chase, where Olivia (Liva) has to run for to save her life with Jaime (Jay) throughout New York.

The story was fun, until a nightclub scene made me want to punch Liva, but in overall, I was satisfied.





4) I finished reading the AMAZING, unique and unforgettable The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima.
I listened to its glorious 4 books: The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Grey Wolf Throne and The Crimson Crown and I was just mesmerized. Han Alister, Fire Dancer, Raisa Anamarianna, Amon Byrn and Micah Bayar will forever inhabit my mind. Their story was spectacular.
I wish EVERYONE reads this fantasy books (I managed to convince the hubs as well). I am just sad it ended, since I think I need more Han + Raisa in my life.







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Saturday, August 2, 2014

"There's a pivotal moment just before death, when bargains can be made."

Mortal Danger (Immortal Game, #1)Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I chose to ignore this book’s synopsis, as I wanted that “jump blindly to the plot” experience. I’m so very glad I did. I am a long time fan of Ann Aguirre's books. Thus this was an immediate MUST read for me.

The book takes upon its shoulders a lot of complicated social issues and very craftily masters them. Allow me to pinpoint the precise moment this book hooked me: It begins with a suicide attempt. The main character Edie, a teenage girl, is in the brink of taking her own life. The reason behind her decision is simple: bullying in extremis. She is smart and methodical, as such, she plans the exact way/day/time for her death. However, things abruptly change once she is offered a crazy scary bargain by Kian, this random mysterious hot guy: become beautiful and extract revenge to those who pushed her to the limit. Simple, right? Not.

It touches themes of beauty, looks and the shallowness of school. Particularly how does it affect self esteem. Edie's bullying is painful and terrible. It was perfectly clear for me why she takes such extreme measures of death and revenge. I rooted for her!

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Fate and choice become an important theme in this book. Edie's actions have a lot of consequences, potentially fatal! So she must thread carefully around her newly found agency.

Aguirre shows us through Edie's experiences possible explanations for bullying, or glimpses of why humans might behave in such a horrible way, without excusing their actions. It was amazing to read. Fear, shame and acceptance are all closely connected. Personally, it really touched me in a lot of ways, as I've been re-visiting some experiences that needed nice closure. Just for this, this book deserves 1.000 stars.

Beyond these themes, this book has scary horror stuff that can easily come from a terrible nightmare. All the monsters ever imagined are REAL and Edie realizes she bargained more than she expected... starting with her sanity. I was creeped out with this atmosphere of horrors and vividly described gory scenes. Particularly, it reminded me of one of the final scenes of the 1995 movie Seven (starring Brad Pitt & Kevin Spacey): a box which we never see its contents but we ALL know what it has *shudders*.

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On a side note, I have to mention Kian, the main male interest, he is definitely not my cup of tea, however, in my experience with Aguirre's books, characters I dislike, get better as the plot thickens.

Another thing I noticed and liked, where the excellent gender roles to follow with Edie's parents. Edie's dad cooks their meals, her mom is oblivious to looks and fashion, rather focusing on her academic life. Yay! for breaking some stereotypes. And on this line of thought about debunking stereotypes: *APPLAUSE* as it questions the assumptions regarding rich Colombians and its immediate connection to cartels (1.000 stars more just for this titbit on the 27% mark).

In sum, I have a feeling that this series will stay in my mind for a while, as it deliciously enthralled me with its horrors and human responses to extreme behaviours. More please :)

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Fictional Meals

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There is a recurrent theme I see in Aguirre's books: the great food her characters eat!

We have stuffed artichokes, brussels sprouts, poached halibut and oatmeal, deliciously described like this: steel cut, hearty, topped with brown sugar, crushed walnuts, butter, and raisins. I'm hungry!

There was a very famous Chilen poet. Pablo Neruda, who was a skilful writer and cook. He mixed his two passions in some of his poems. Here is an excerpt of his Ode To The Artichoke, it reminded me of Edie's struggles:

"The artichoke
With a tender heart
Dressed up like a warrior,
Standing at attention, it built
A small helmet
Under its scales
It remained
Unshakeable"

- Find the whole version at: http://allpoetry.com/Ode-To-The-Artic...

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I received an ARC for this book from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for my new nightmares with closed boxes >_<


View all my reviews

Friday, August 1, 2014

Farewell July: Mini opinionated discussion of each of the 8 books I read this month (with nice pictures).

So, it's August already. Yikes! July was certainly a busy month for me. Between the World Cup, starting a new job and a 10 day sick leave, life was interesting....

So I've decided to make a sort of small recap of the books I read during this month:

1) I finished Lisa McMann's Vision series, by reading "Gasp"The series was very entertaining. I like how Lisa writes, specially her tendency to discuss issues about mental health. However, I feel that it needed a little more sustenance once approached, since we really are left completely in the dark regarding how a forced sort of happily ever after occurs. Beyond that, I loved its paranormal plot: visions of an impeding catastrophe that hasn't happened: an accident (Crash, the first book), a shooting (Bang book #2) and a shipwreck (Gasp, book #3). The end twist that explains everything is not exactly what I expected, but it did make sense :) Such cool stories make my reading life happy.


2) Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre. My extended review will be published tomorrow on the Blog, but in the meantime: it was hard to chew, but tasted beautifully in the end.  





3) Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryant. *Applause*. I had downloaded this book for free on Amazon, since I am a sucker for those Kindle freebies, but usually never end up reading... not enough time, what was I thinking, the usual blah blah blah. Anyways, I gave this one a chance and was just hooked from the moment I started. The cover is so very attractive and creepy. And the plot: a girl who spreads a deadly plague with her touch!!! Arrghhh. It was gory, scary and it sucker punched me.

I had just finished Mortal Danger, which focuses on bullying, thus this new take on this social phenomena was perfect for my mind. I was awed. When I was done, I purchased right away the whole series. Horror + paranormal + romance + great female characters = take my money. It's very very smart and detailed. I would classify it for maturer YA audiences. This book is NOT PRETTY! It is cruel, vicious and truly, really addictive.
  

I'm 38% done with the second book, Tommy Nightmare, since I had to stop because I was really having nightmares >_<

4) Storms of Lazarus by Karen Quincy. I am so happy that I got the chance to support the Kickstarter project for this and the previous book, Shadows of Asphodel. This book gave me the closure I was craving regarding our sexy Necromancer and kickass Mercenary. I was craving this Happily Ever After and I got it. Bonus point: it mentions a couple of vampires!



5) Half Bad by Sally Green. The moment I started reading I couldn't stop! The opening chapters somehow reminded me of Cassel, the main character from Holly Black's series the Curse Workers. Perhaps it was the intense descriptions, focus and determination... I don't know. What I do know is that the world in which Nathan, the main character of Half Bad lives is seriously messed up. Worst. It's in the real-present-world. This book is about people who have magic, but it is divided in black (evil) and white (good). Very deterministic world, however, Nathan, being a half back/white magic person, raised in the white magic world experiences first hand how this dualistic view is not as simple as it seems. He is bullied, subjected to both verbal and physical violence, at some point becomes homeless, and ultimately begins his story on a cage. So yeah. Not a sunshine-feel-good kind of story. 




6) I finished the month reading Suzy Turner's the Raven Saga trilogy. I received these eBooks as a prize for the different events programmed by this year's Armchair BEA. I needed a bit of a feel good series that was easy to read for my sicky days. The books were not good, but not entirely bad; that's why I kept reading them. Also, I didn't want to invest any emotional attachments to a book during my recuperation. So they where the perfect consolation. But just dully written: info dumps, insta loves, no surprises, almost every character was oh so caring, wonderful, respectful and their voices were almost the same, predictable and super cheesy *yawn*! The only great thing about these books was the setting (and some vampires). The books are set mostly in British Columbia, yay! I lived in Vancouver for a while so it was nice to read about all those familiar places.

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7) I read the first 3 stories from the anthology: Find What You Love and Let it Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush. They were good, scary and sweet. I think I will savour them slowly. Love deserves this pace.



In sum, I think I had an overdose of bullying on my July readings, a few vampires and some good (sad and not so greatly written) Happily ever afters. I must say I am satisfied.    

Thursday, July 31, 2014

"The bus was old and smelled a bit like feet and desperation - and yes, desperation has a smell. It's not pleasant."

Firebug (Firebug, #1)Firebug by Lish McBride
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was really fun, I read it a few weeks ago, but the story still sparks inside me (see what I did there?)

Anyways, this was the first book I've read from Lish McBride and though I've read somewhere that it is somehow related or happens in the same world as her previous Necromancer series, you won't really get confused at all if you haven't read it (like me).

This book tells the story of Ava, a cool temperamental girl who happens to be a firebug, basically, she controls fire and makes flames spark at her will. She is forced to work for an evil sort of all mob-like organization for supernatural beings called Coterie, whose head is a power hungry vampire woman called Venus. The job is dirty, as she is the designated unwilling killer for the Coterie.

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However, she has the best two sidekicks: Ezra vain hot guy who shifts into a fox and Locke well centred and no longer wearing a hipster moustache half dryad -tree empath-. The chemistry between these three was just amazing. I savoured every single moment of their adventures.

I loved McBride's writing style! Particularly how she makes her character's intentions and dialogues funny and witty. I had lots and lots of laugh-out-loud moments (my husband worried there for a little while). Even though the book starts a little info-dumpy, it grew on me! It was smart, addictive and ohhhhh... what an ending!!!

Here are some of my favourite lines:

"He always had this sort of hand-in-the-cookie-jar look about him, just bad enough to be fun."

"The bus was old and smelled a bit like feet and desperation - and yes, desperation has a smell. It's not pleasant."

"How on earth did other people manage double lives? Batman must be tired all the time. Of course, Batman also had Alfred to keep his shit straight for him."

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...well, this is why you always need sidekicks when battling the underworld ;)

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For my Fictional Meals section, I want to talk about Maple Syrup. This book starts with this sweet-sticky-concoction, one of my favourite spreadable. Ava's firebug skills help out in the process of Maple Sugaring. She basically describes the process and uses her fire to keep it boiling.

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Yummmmm I was fortunate enough to try the real Canadian deal and let me tell you mhhhhh. Unforgettable! Also, I visited a Maple farm and it was a great experience to see the trees and check out the extraction process.

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I received an ARC of this book from its publishers, Henry Holt and Co. (BYB)/Macmillan through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No maple syrup or any other tasty bribe was offered during this exchange.





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Friday, July 11, 2014

Mortal Danger & the Infinity Symbol Scavenger Hunt

Ann Aguirre is one of my favourite writers. She writes fantasy for young adults, adults and has a new series in the new adult genre. Also, with her husband, they have written an amazing steampunk series I am madly in love with, The Apparatus Infernum series.  

She has the best sense of humour, superb writing skills and is never a dull moment to follow her on Twitter

For her upcoming YA book, Mortal Danger (available August 5, 2014), she has made the most awesome Scavenger Hunt.  The task: spread the word & find infinity symbols all around you! Fun, right?

You can read the first 5 chapters of this book HERE

Synopsis:
Revenge is a dish best served cold. 
Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly… bad things are happening. It’s a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what–she can trust. Not even her own mind…

Well, so far I've found one Infinity Symbol and I am crossing my fingers that my "growing" attempt works out ;)


Here is the first one, from one of my tarot decks:


And here is a sneak peek of my growing attempt:


Now is your turn!! Spread the word and find those INFINITY SYMBOLS that surround you!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

“Just a rat, she repeated to herself. After all, there were rats in the palace. Human and otherwise. Could be worse.”

The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1)The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Inteeeeeennnsseeeeeee!!!

This book was fun. I had read so many positive things about this series, so I decided to give it a go through my favourite medium, audiobooks. And boy was I right.

The book starts slow. At some points it dragged a bit and I took big listening hiatuses in between. However, there is a part on it's last quarter when you just want to listen all the way without any interruptions. This book obviously reminded me of Tolkien and Robert Jordan's worlds. I had a great time listening and better yet, i had a lovely read-along discussion time with my friend Kerry, who read it with me. Lots of details, nicknames, laughs and wonderings during our readalong.

The Seven Realms are a convoluted place. A thousand years ago there was this thing called the Breaking, where a very powerful wizard, the Demon King broke the world and all the Clans had to help to save it. A charismatic queen Hanalea had a prominent role in saving the world and making an allegiance with the Clans, making bargains to ensure wizards won't gain as much powers as they did and that no queens would be able to marry wizards. We start by having a quick introduction into this world by an unruly young wizard (Micah Bayar) who tries to herd some deers by burning the forest. Witnesses to this event, Dancer and Han (the later, one of our main characters) confront the young wizard and a chain reaction of events occurs, triggered by the decisions of this encounter. This carefully unfolds throughout this story.

This book is told from two main points of view, Princess Raisa ana'Marianna (alias Rebecca Morley) and Han Alister, with his aliases: street rat name - Cuffs, Clan name: - Hunts Alone. It also has an in between character, Amon Byrne, friend and guard of Raisa who occasionally adds his view.

We've got an I-haven't-done-anything (sure) kind of character in Lord Bayar, Micah's father and High Wizard.

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A magical scary amulet

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We also have the best (saddest) description of a possible romantic interest, Amon by Raisa's view:
"comfortable, like a pair of broken-in moccasins." *sad face*

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Also, secret secret meetings and night escapes!

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And good old bad-desisions-with-bad-consequences

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*fist-bump* you guessed it right. There is a part, when it gets obvious, that yes, you'll find both of our characters being awesome and outsmarting evil or learning what they can do.

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It was fun, entertaining and very very rich.

I'm ready for more!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"People Know me, but I don't know them. I've been sent far from home to recuperate. Why?"

Unwept (The Nightbirds, #1)Unwept by Tracy Hickman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is strange. It took me a while to finish and more to sit down and write this review. It haunts me and I am not entirely sure if it is in a good way...

Let me start by the setting. It is eerie as hell. Our main character, Ellis Harkington wakes up from a very creepy dream, where she is a skeleton inside a grave.... yup. With rattling bones and all. However, once she wakes up, she has no clue of 1) who she is, 2) where she is, 3) who are her companions (a nurse and a crying baby) 4) where she is headed, 5) why her hair is short, 6) why she is wearing a green skirt, a colour she is not very fond of... lots and lots of unknowns in her life. But strangely enough EVERYONE around her seems to KNOW what is going on, and who she is. This is set around the time of the first World War, as there are allusions of combatants across the atlantic and the time-period is well depicted.

The town where Ellis ends up after her train ride is in Maine, and is called Gamin. The narration of this book transported me to that time/location very vividly.
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It is a HUGE mystery that will carry you throughout this book regarding the most strange people and things that occur around Ellis.

The pace of this book is slow but steady. It is told from various points of view, all adding up to the puzzle Ellis wants to assemble in order to regain a bit of herself and her sanity. Logic sort of flies away in this town.
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The cover is GORGEOUS. I kept going back to it while I was reading just to stare at it.

I have to say that although the buildup is steady, the actual revelations felt a bit all over immediately after I read the book. However, it's been a few days since I finished it, and I've had moments when this book unexpectedly came back and haunted me. Lots of details, and character's behaviours will definitely linger.

My BIG complaint is that this book felt too short. I wished it did't finished as abruptly as it did and that it could explain things more clearly about Gamin. I am still very confused about a lot of things... it felt incomplete. Lets hope for Book #2 soon.


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This book was kindly provided by its publisher, Macmillan-Tor/Forge, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No solved mysteries where offered during this exchange. Thank you.

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