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text 2017-06-18 17:30
Reading progress update: I've read 61%.
A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin


Well, it doesn't involve cute little innocent kittens licking themselves and being adorable, let me tell you!







And I even had this whole

Bolton/Frey alliance figured out (though not for the entirely right reasons) way back in Book 2. I knew something like this was coming.

(spoiler show)


Still not prepared.



(spoiler show)


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review 2016-12-04 04:23
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2)
A Clash of Kings - George R.R. Martin

If the first book was all set up, this book was for kicking back in your comfy chair, putting your feet up and settling in for the long haul. There were a lot of repeating motifs and themes throughout this book and the various storylines, but Martin never uses them in quite the same way. It makes it a little predictable but then also allows for speculation, you know, just in case Martin is lulling the reader into a false sense of ... not security, because that'll never happen, but a false sense of knowing what's coming next. 


Some might find these books slow and too long, but I love well-written stories that I can sink my teeth into. The world-building is top notch, the characters are all complex and way too real. Yes, it can be dire and I just want things to go well for the good guys for once, but our good guys are even better for the struggles they are constantly overcoming. It took me a long time to understand or like Sansa, but she's one of my favorites now and she shines in every chapter she's in here. Jon and Sam also remain my favorites and I will stare daggers at anyone who tries to hurt them. Hell, I even like Tyrion now.


Theon though needs to die so many horrible deaths. Actually, there are several people I'd love to see die horribly. So like I did with the previous book, here are my top five Worst Ever characters for this book. And the spoilers are seriously spoilery - I'm talking ALL the plot twists and big reveals. I am not holding anything back. Do NOT click on the spoilers if you don't want to know things. This is your final warning.


Honorable Mention: Allar Deem

He willingly and happily kills a newborn baby and her mother on Cersei's orders, when Cersei starts to "clean up" all of Robert's baseborn children. 

(spoiler show)


Fifth Place: King Joffrey Baratheon - Hey look at that, he made the list again, but he's moved down from first place, because he's just not quite as horrible as the rest.

He tortures animals, he brags about killing his own citizens when they ask for food because they're starving, he shows zero interest or compassion in anyone, and uses Sansa as a punching bag - literally. He even tortures her in court by stripping her down to the waste and demeans her at every turn. It's only because he got preoccupied with the war that his "attentions" didn't continue. 

(spoiler show)


Fourth Place: Ser Gregor Clegane - Also making his second appearance on this list. Go figure.

He and the men in his command ride around, gathering up anyone they feel like "questioning" for information on Robb's movements and then torture them and kill them and string them up for predators. They even torment an innkeeper, raping his daughter, just because. There's no doubt tons of other torture and rape we're never told about. You can lump pretty much everyone in Tywin's guard into this one.

(spoiler show)


Third Place: Craster over the Wall

And I thought he'd get first place when we first met him. I mean, he's the king of incest, marrying his daughters, and he's possibly guilty of infanticide as well since he sacrifices his sons to the Others. It's unclear what Mance and the Others do to the baby boys, if they raise them and turn them, or eat them, or what, but I doubt it's anything good.

(spoiler show)


Second Place: Roose Bolton

He makes Weese look like a big cuddly puppy. Not that I'm upset he fed Ser Amory to a bear, but he also punished the women in Harrenhal who were being raped by Gregor and Amory's men by subjecting putting them in pillories to be raped whenever some guy decides they want to "use" them. He also conspires with the Freys to turncloak on Robb.

(spoiler show)


First Place: Theon Greyjoy and Reke - It's a tie!

Reke - as in Ramsay "Bolton" Snow, Roose's bastard son who is too crazy for even Roose, who is pretty darn crazy himself. Ramsay kills his own servant, disguising himself as said servant and then goes around reeking havoc everywhere he goes. And this is after he forces Lady Hornwood to marry him so he can claim ownership of her lands, and then imprisons her in her own home until she gets so hungry she chews off her own fingers and dies! Then he betrays Theon and sacks Winterfell, killing everyone within and burning it to the ground.


Theon - Ugh! and Double UGH!! He's a misogynist bastard who uses women like they're places to stick his dick, and that's just the least of his crimes. He is a spineless, entitled whine baby who doesn't think he needs to earn his place in his father's court. He wishy-washies his way through this book, trying and failing extremely ineffectively to do the "right" thing - so what if he needs to kill or sacrifice a few people along the way. Why can't everyone see what a great guy he is? He overtakes Winterfell and is surprised when everyone there hates him for it. When Bran and Rickon disappear and he can't find them, he kills two innocent children (and the prompting of Ramsay-in-disguise-as-Reke) and disguises their corpses so he can pretend they're Bran and Rickon rather than admit defeat. He then uses little Beth as a hostage when Rodrik and his men come to take Winterfell back. Yeah, he's scum and I hope he dies soon if he isn't dead already.

(spoiler show)


So that's my list. Who's on yours?

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review 2016-06-24 04:21
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

There's nothing I can say about this book that hasn't already been said a million times over, so I'll keep this short and sweet.


This starts off incredibly slow. Some might say too slow. But I'm not one of them. This is my kind of book right here. It takes it's time, slowly revealing this world and the characters in it, slowly unraveling a few of its mysteries while keeping a billion others hidden. I had a blast reading this - when I wasn't so angry I wanted to reach into my Kindle and pop a few heads. I love the Starks (and I'm including Jon there) and adore Samwell Tarly, who is too precious for this world. I hate the Lannisters and started compiling a list of Ways Joffrey Should Die near the end. My favorite at the moment: Sansa castrates then decapitates him with Ice. Lysa and Robert Arryn need to stop existing pronto.


I have no idea what's going to happen next, but I'm looking forward to finding out. :)


Someone suggested I rate my Worst Ever characters in the book, so here's the top five. Beware the spoilers, as all plot twists and big reveals will be discussed in detail. Do NOT click the spoilers if you don't want to know things.


Honorable Mention: Lord Randyll Tarly

His son Samwell, who is too precious for this world, didn't live up to Randy's idea of what it is to be a man, which is basically being a buttface bully who terrorizes small children. He threatens to kill his own son because he's not good enough to be heir to his lands and titles. He's “generous” though and gives Samwell the option to join the Night Watch instead. Good parenting skills, you do not have them, sir.

(spoiler show)


Fifth Place: Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain

Randy would've liked him, which is reason enough to hate him. He brutalized his younger brother Sandor, burning off half his face because Sandor dared to play with one of Gregor's toys. I guess Gregor never learned that sharing is caring. Gregor is also rumored to have murdered his own father and various tenants and servants, and he cheats at jousting events, not caring if it results in the other competitor's death.

(spoiler show)


Fourth Place: Lady Lysa Arryn and her son Lord Robert Arryn

Oedipus ain't got nothing on this kid! CREEPY doesn't begin to describe him. He makes my skin crawl. Everything about him. It's not his fault his mama is not the most mentally balanced person ever, but that doesn't make him any less icky. Lysa is terrified of losing Robert, who was born sickly, and this causes her to go to extreme lengths to keep him close to her at all times - including still breastfeeding him at the age of SIX. Robert's favorite pastime is sending people to go flying - off a literal mountain cliff - for whatever reason suits his fancy, and Lysa's totally okay with this. Make them go away, please.

(spoiler show)


Third Place: Lord Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger

When he's not busy making lewd passes on 11-year old girls, or sending them off to work in his brothels, he's sending our heroes on a merry chase by feeding them false information and keeping close whatever secrets suit him best. He comes off as reasonable and sound, but he hides a trickster's spirit who only looks out for number one. He's still in love with Catelyn Stark and has no qualms bringing this up to her husband at every conceivable moment. Which is why Ned really shouldn't have trusted him to keep his word about siding with him over the future king.

(spoiler show)


Second Place: Jaime "the Kingslayer" Lannister and Cersei Baratheon

AKA Team Twincest - You would think the twincest would cover it all, but that's really the least of their sins. Jaime earned his title well, but his sister/baby-mama could lay claim to it as well, when she kills off King Robert to see her son ascend to the throne. When they're not planning global domination, they're offing - or attempting to off - anyone who even remotely threatens to reveal their big secret - and if this includes pushing a seven-year old to fall to his death, so be it.

(spoiler show)


And First Place goes to… Joffrey Baratheon

This douchebag is only thirteen-years old and already he's thrown out the status quo, tossing the entire infrastructure of the running of the kingdom to the curbside. He also ordered the execution of Ned, the only bargaining chip he had to ensure the oncoming war ends swiftly, and makes Sansa watch, after promising to be merciful. He's also ordered his servant to beat Sansa if she disobeys him or doesn't satisfy him 100% of the time. Congratulations Joffrey, you are The Worst of the Worst Evers! You win a kick in the nuts. Someone grab my steel-enforced pointy shoes!

(spoiler show)
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review 2016-01-31 00:05
#CBR8 Book 5: The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick and Rachel Kiley
The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet: A Novel - Rachel Kiley,Kate Rorick

Lydia Bennet became somewhat of an internet celebrity when her older sister Lizzie's vlogs, made as part of her graduate project, went viral in a major way. Always happy to be the centre of attention, Lydia made her own videos and loved the attention she got on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media sites. Unfortunately, when she fell in love with and trusted a man who took terrible advantage of her, she also had to face her private life being open for all to see, and her name became synonymous with "that girl whose boyfriend tried to sell their sex tape to make money". Then her sister Lizzie's powerful boyfriend paid to have the whole ugly situation go away, and Lydia was left traumatised, humiliated and heart-broken.


Now Lydia is trying to rebuild her confidence and look to the future. Still living at home with her parents while her two older sisters have found love and moved to big cities, Lydia is completing summer courses at community college in preparation for transferring to San Francisco, where she'll study psychology and live with her taciturn Goth cousin Mary. Trying to re-build your life in a place where everyone is aware of who you are and what mistakes you've made isn't easy, though, and Lydia is so worried that everyone around her is just waiting for her to screw up again that she retreats back into the carefree party girl persona she used to be so comfortable with. All she needs to do to get accepted at the prestigious San Francisco university she wants to transfer into is write her application essay about a time when she experienced failure and what she learned from it. That shouldn't be too difficult, should it?


While Lydia's had to grow a lot since her first serious relationship crashed and burned extremely publicly, she's still has a lot of healing and maturing to do. Clearly feeling inadequate in comparison to both her sisters who are working in the fields they're most passionate about, Lydia is still not entirely sure what she wants to do with her life. While she likes the idea of studying psychology, she also has doubts and gets very insecure when she realises how many years the education is likely to take. She tries to cling to her old life while being impatient to move on to a new and better one, yet is uncertain and afraid of screwing up badly again. She's also struggling to rebuild the trust of one of her best friends, her cousin Mary, as well as her sisters and her parents. 


The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet is a sequel to both the highly successful YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which re-imagined Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for the 21st Century (which if you haven't watched - what are you doing with your life?) AND the book The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, which gave us a lot of extra insight into protagonist Lizzie and further re-imagining of a lot of the scenes from the original novel that didn't appear in the series. In the Austen novel, Lydia is the obnoxious and oblivious flighty youngest sister who elopes with Mr Darcy's childhood friend and later nemesis, Mr. Wickham and seems quite happy to have ended up married to him. 


In the modern re-imagining, Lydia may have started out similarly wild and irritating, but thanks in large part to the immense charm and skill with which actress Mary Kate Wiles portrayed her, Lydia grew to be a huge fan favourite and because the fate of Lydia Bennet of 200 years ago simply wouldn't work today, the show's writers took her story in a different direction. Running off with a man to whom you are not married wouldn't raise so much as an eyebrow in today's society, but being betrayed by your lover with the release of a sex tape would absolutely cause a stir similar to that of a Regency elopement. In both the book and the YouTube series, Mr. Darcy eventually comes through and sorts things out for the Bennet family in an attempt to make life easier for Lizzie, the woman he loves. In the YouTube series, however, Lizzie and Lydia tearfully begin to re-build their somewhat dysfunctional relationship in the aftermath of the tragedy and Lydia not trapped forever in a relationship with Wickham.


Kate Rorick and Rachel Kiley, two of the writers of the show, write in the acknowledgements that fans kept asking for Lydia's continued story and wanted to see that she had a chance at the same happy ending that her two sisters got. This book shows us what how Lydia's life progressed after the scandal that nearly ruined her life. There are appearances from Lizzie and Jane, but the most important supporting character is Mary, who in the YouTube re-imagining is the Bennet sisters' gloomy cousin, rather than their sister. Mary only appeared in a couple of episodes in the main YouTube series, but was quite prominent in Lydia's own videos (a spin-off of the main series). In this book she's working in a coffee shop off campus of the community college, waiting for Lydia to finish her courses so they can move to San Francisco together. She has a lovely sub-plot where she becomes the bassist of a local band, mainly through Lydia's machinations. 


Having listened to the audio book of Pride and Prejudice at the end of last year and then read Jo Baker's Longbourn, it's interesting to have three very different versions of Lydia Bennet and her story in my head. The modern version is the only one I'd really be interested in reading more about, though, and I'm really glad that Rorick and Kiley decided to pen the continuing story of the youngest Bennet sisters, to give fans of the show an idea of what the future brings for her. It was absolutely nice to catch up with the older sisters and seeing where their lives had taken them, but getting more Lydia and Mary was more fun than I was expecting. Like in the series, Lydia occasionally really annoyed me and I kept wanting to shake her for some of the choices she was making, but slowly but surely, she figures out what she wants and who she wants to be, and in many ways, that was even more satisfying than her sister's Lizzie's development. Lydia's views on Dracula were also hilarious. Absolutely a worth-while book to pick up if you liked The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2016/01/cbr8-book-5-epic-adventures-of-lydia.html
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text 2015-12-12 19:26
Knights: The Eye of Divinity: I've read 11%.
Knights: The Eye of Divinity (A Novel of Epic Fantasy) (The Knights Series) - Robert E. Keller

Middle grade that isn't very interesting. When I think of middle grade, I think of George McDonald's Curdie duology. That was good writing.


This, this is DNF'd @11%

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