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review 2019-01-09 02:33
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne - My Thoughts
A Plague of Giants - Kevin Hearne

The second read of my Christmas presents, this was a brick, but a fascinating one indeed. I'd read Kevin Hearne before, the first of his Iron Druid books, and quite enjoyed it. (I intend to continue on in that series when the budget allows it.)  This book is the first of an entirely new trilogy, set in a new world.  And I was fascinated.

The world-building is terrific.  Magic or kenning that actually takes a toll on the human body even to the point of death.  The majority of the peoples are shades of brown with the pale-skinned folk being the minority of civilizations and I think there's only one king among the bunch.  Hearne does a masterful job of getting across the atmosphere and the feel of the different 'countries' and while they mostly have a familiar feel, I never felt they were copies of other creations.

It's the characters that really sold the book for me.  The story is told almost in serial form by a bard by the name of Fintan, who takes on the appearances of different folk within the story as he tells the story, a little bit every day.  Usually two characters, maybe three.  In between these story-tellings, we get the POV of Dervan, the scribe who has been tasked with recording all the stories Fintan tells, as well as keeping an eye on him for his friend, the leader of the Brynt people.

We meet two handfuls of characters who tell the story of the initial invasions of the giants and through their telling of the story we're given the base of the bigger story to come, I'm guessing.  Lots and lots of set-up happening, but because the characters were so engaging - even the baddies - it was a pleasure to read. 

So, I really, really enjoyed it and am looking forward to Book 2 - especially the further adventures of Abhi and his bloodcat, Murr and his stalk hawk, Eep. 

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review 2018-12-10 02:20
The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick
The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick - Drew Daywalt,David Spencer
What a hilarious book! This is the best Drew Daywalt book I have read. I found myself laughing out loud as I read this book. The illustrations are just as entertaining as the text as this duo takes quite an adventure together.
 
I’m not sure who I like better in this book, Huggie or Stick. Huggie and Stick spend most of their day in the backpack of Reese, a little boy, as he goes about his day. One day, the pair find themselves falling out of Reese’s backpack and their story begins.
 
Just thinking about this book makes me laugh. Stick is having the time of his life as they try to find their way home. Stick is thrilled and amazed with their adventures. He’s delighted and excited about everything they encounter. He sees everything through rose-colored glasses. Huggie, on the other hand is just the opposite. Huggie’s sarcastic tones and his familiarity with these events, puts their travels into perspective. I found myself reading this book multiple times as it’s hilarious the way that each character describes the world they see. Ironically, they both are correct.
 
This is a large square book and the illustrations are wonderfully done. Using glossy paper, these bright illustrations pop-out and I could feel the energy of Stick as he enjoyed this journey and looking at Huggie, I knew exactly how he felt as he listened and watched Stick in each encounter.
 
What a gem! This book is worth more than 5 stars, I really love it! It comes with a glowing recommendation.
(I read some reviews after I wrote mine and see that some people didn't like some of the language in the book.  You need to know your audience and I wasn't offend by the language.  If you look at circumstances of that line, Stick "broke his fall" he was saving his friend, things happen.  Good parenting/teaching moment.)
 
“BEST trip ever!” “Today we were rescued by these nice guys in super awesome hats.” “Huggie kinda barfed on the one with the biggest hat and they had us try out their diving board.” (Stick) “WORST trip ever.” “Today we were captured by pirates.” “I got seasick on their captain, then they made us walk the plank.” (Huggie)

 

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text 2018-12-02 18:23
November Reading Round Up
Things Slip Through - Kevin Lucia
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
Hollow Shell: A Zombie Epic - Part One - Mark C. Scioneaux
Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland
V for Vendetta - David Lloyd,Alan Moore
The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jason Isaacs
After: First Light - Scott Nicholson
The Wind in the Willows (Kindle in Motion) - Kenneth Grahame
The Rose Master - Valentina Cano

 

 

I've missed a lot of round ups this year so thought I should post at least a couple before the end of the year.

 

Just the 10 reads for me this month, but only 1 comic was included so that's a plus.

 

Yearly Reading Challenge update - 122/140

 

Read in November - 10

 

Audio - 0

Novels/novella/short stories - 9

Comics/Graphic novels - 1

 

5*

 

Things Slip Through - Kevin Lucia  A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jason Isaacs  

 

4.5*

 

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland  The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman  

 

4*

 

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins  V for Vendetta - David Lloyd,Alan Moore  After: First Light - Scott Nicholson  

 

 

3.5*

 

The Wind in the Willows (Kindle in Motion) - Kenneth Grahame  

 

3*

 

Hollow Shell: A Zombie Epic - Part One - Mark C. Scioneaux  The Rose Master - Valentina Cano  

 

 

Just gearing up for the end of the year now, I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping and only have to post a couple of presents off to Oz for friends. 

 

I'm working this Christmas which is shit and I've noted in my recent pay that it has STILL not been sorted which now makes it 6 months of management pissing around. 

In all honesty I don't think I can stay there full time anymore, I've really hit my limit and the frustration of several elements is driving me insane. 

Next year will bring a few changes work wise but I'm not quite sure what that will be at the moment. 

 

I'm off on leave at the moment and tomorrow I'm taking Boo to the vet to have her neutered so I'm feeling a little anxious about her having an anaesthetic. I'm sure Suzy will love this as it will give her several hours of peace and quiet.

 

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text 2018-11-25 19:06
Ein Held und seine Geschichte - True Crime
The Black Hand: The Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History - Stephan Talty

1903 versinkt die aufstrebende Metropole New York City im Chaos des Verbrechens. Entführungen, Bombenanschläge und Erpressungen in großem Stil sind alltäglich geworden. Verantwortlich dafür ist die Organisation »Black Hand«, die erste Mafia New Yorks. Doch dann sagt ein Mann der organisierten Kriminalität den Kampf an: Joseph Petrosino, der als Kind mit seiner Familie aus Süditalien nach Amerika auswanderte, ist der erste italienische Detective im Big Apple – und seine Methoden sind knallhart.
In seinem spannenden Sachbuch erzählt Stephan Talty von den Anfängen der amerikanischen Mafia und dem Helden, der sich der »Black Hand« entgegenstellt.

Von meiner Seite gibt es eine Leseempfehlung für alle True-Crime Fans und Liebhaber von Krimis mit etwas geschichtlichem Hintergrund. Es ist definitiv einmal ein etwas anderer Krimi und daher eine schöne Abwechslung. Als Minuspunkt muss ich anmerken, dass das Buch teilweise in meinen Augen etwas unrealistisch oder unglaublich ist - aber wer weiß, vielleicht ist es ja tatsächlich so ... bei einigen Situationen kamen mir persönlich eben einige Zweifel.

 

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review 2018-11-25 01:13
A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)
A Dance with Dragons - George R.R. Martin

Look, Martin, we need to talk. This book came out in 2011. I bought the 5-book bundle in 2013 (on a super sweet Black Friday deal too) and then I waited over two years to start reading this monster of a series. I started A Game of Thrones in Jan 2016 and now here I am finishing A Dance With Dragons in Nov 2018 - AND YOU STILL HAVEN'T FINISHED WINDS OF WINTER! WHAT THE HELL, MAN?

 

Because let me tell you something about my boy Jon Snow. He is

Azor Ahai reborn, dammit, and so there is no way he can possibly be dead. If he does die, Melisandre's just going to have to resurrect him so he can behead all those assbutts who betrayed him in full-on Stark mode, and that's all there is to it. I will not accept any other outcome.

(spoiler show)

So there! Also, it'll really piss off Catelyn, so bonus points.

 

Also, what is your obsession with cannibalism? Please stop. Thanks!

Unless it's more Frey pies. Then I'm okay with it. ;) Because screw the Freys.

 

(spoiler show)

 

Okay, all that aside, here's a list of people you are allowed to kill off in the next book:

 

Ramsay Bolton

Victarion Greyjoy

Roose Bolton

Euron Greyjoy

Ser Robert Strong, aka FrankenGregor

Cersei Lannister

Qyburn

I know there are plenty of other candidates for this list, but these are my top choices.

(spoiler show)

 

Seriously, y'all. This book and A Feast For Crows were both a dragging headache and the most brutal thing I've read. Martin has this way of taking characters I despise and making me feel unending empathy for them to the point I'm actually rooting for them (Jaime and Theon) or at least feeling kinda sorry for them while still hoping that they die soon because they are the WORST EVER (Cersei). And while I want Dany to get the hell out of Meereen already, I'm still endlessly fascinated by the chapters set there and seeing how she navigates (sometimes well, but mostly unsuccessfully) leadership and politics. She and Jon have similar journeys here, and while they both have no idea what they're doing, they're both doing the best they can.

 

And the dragons! OMG, I was starting to worry that title was one big troll, but the dragons are amazing. Moqorro's the troll, if you ask me. At least I hope he is, because if anyone here needs to die worse than the rancid slime turd that is Ramsay, it's that decaying dick worm Victarion (and his brother but Euron wasn't in this book).

 

Arya's still kicking names and taking ass, Tyrion got a little dark here but it was interesting to see him trying to navigate the world without relying on his name, and Bran just broke my heart. Rickon, the forgotten Stark, is still MIA. Davos, my Onion Knight, 

is not dead. I KNEW IT!

(spoiler show)

and even though I despise nearly all the Ironborn, I do enjoy Asha's POV. She's most the decent of the bunch, after the Reader. Melisandre's still shady as hell. All these prophecies and conspiracies and subterfuges and whatnot - Martin's walls must be covered in post-it notes to keep this all straight. I don't know how the man does it.

 

I still think A Storm of Swords is the best of the bunch so far, but I'm going to try reading these last two books in chronological order when I do a reread and see if that helps with some of the pacing issues or makes them worse, lol.

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