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review 2017-08-07 00:14
RISE OF THE SEA WITCH BY: STACEY ROURKE
Rise of the Sea Witch (Unfortunate Soul Chronicles) (Volume 1) - Stacey Rourke

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I was super excited to read Rise of the Sea Witch! I just love villain evolution stories! I find it incredibly interesting to see what makes a villain a villain, I feel like 90% of the time villains are made, not born. And who's story better to get than Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid?!

 

 

saint ursula

 

 

Ursula definitely falls into the 90%, she was not born Ursula the Sea Witch, she was born Princes Vanessa, daughter of Poseidon, big sister to Prince Triton. Vanessa definitely didn't have things as easy as you would anticipate a Princess having. At an early age, after the death of her mother, it was painfully obvious that Poseidon was not the hands-on, loving parent that the kids so desperately needed. And it was apparent that Vanessa drew his ire more than anyone (the real juicy bit is why though!!).

 

 

gossip ursula

 

 

I feel like Poseidon's indifference to Vanessa only pushed her more to impress him and do everything, and anything, to just once feel like she mattered. It drove her to work as hard as she could to be his successor as Ruler of Atlantica. More often than not in this endeavor I feel as if Vanessa's intentions were good(ish) but they ultimately lead to her downfall nevertheless.

 

 

Ursula tough choices

 

 

Vanessa wasn't the purest, or sweetest, or the most thoughtful person, at times she could be downright selfish, entitled, and vindictive, but to be honest I feel like this endeared me to her even more. It made her feel more real to me. And it also made it hurt that much more when things inevitably came back to burn her, tenfold. I didn't always agree with her choices but I did come to understand why she made them. To be honest, by the end I was furious for Vanessa, a little part of me thought her a little justified in her craving for vengeance.

 

 

ursula revenge

 

 

I also really liked how the story was told, with Ursula telling her victims, who had no choice but to listen, how she was wronged and what drove her to help the "poor unfortunate souls" like them. It was both sad and glorious to see the Ursula we know, dramatically telling this woe-is-me tale to none other than the mer-people that she had imprisoned.

 

 

Ursula body language

 

 

I was really pumped to read this story and I am so glad I did because it exceeded my expectations! If any of this sounds even a bit intriguing to you, I highly recommend giving this one a try!

 

 

 

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review 2017-08-02 19:58
Review: "The Lie Tree" by Frances Hardinge
The Lie Tree - Frances Hardinge

   A tree that feeds with lies and a mysterious death, just what a book needs to intrigue me. 'The Lie Tree' has a great plot, but not such a great beginning. What I didn’t enjoy about this book is the fact that the first few chapters are really slow-paced, so I was afraid that it won’t work for me and I will abandon the book, but brace yourself readers, be ready for a slow beginning and don’t give up because it gets interesting and in the second half of it the pace starts to accelerate, the lies and betrayal take root and a lot of plot twists and tense situations grow out of the pages and will be impossible to put the book down.

   What helped me to go through the first chapters was the setting, as a Victorian period lover I was thrilled, especially because Hardinge did a great job creating a perfect atmosphere so everything is so vivid and dark and mysterious. Furthermore, it is indisputable that the author did a great deal of research before writing this beautiful work. We are shown the oddities of the Victorian England, like mourning portraits and ratting pits and the thinking of the Victorian people.

   A great emphasize is put on the female role in the society of that time, the absurd discrimination and expectations. 'The Lie Tree' can be seen as a 'feminist triumph' because we have a strong heroine with big dreams. That’s what I like about Faith, that she is brave and strong, even though she’s only fourteen. She is not a damsel in distress, but manage to overcome hardship and fight the bad guys on her own. She is not perfect and has many flaws, but she dream big and wants to show that she can be sharp and have a clever mind, even though she is a girl in that patriarchal society and that not only men have the psychical traits to become great people.

   As for the rest of the characters…well, I didn’t get attached to them as I did with the characters of other books, I guess this book put the accent on the main character and her struggles, so the focus is mainly on Faith and the others are just there in the background. It would have been better if there were more interactions between the characters.

    Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I will surely read Hardinge’s other books.

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text 2017-07-14 18:28
Nonfiction Science Book Club Reading List
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - Mary Roach
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean
Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime - Val McDermid
Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution - Rebecca Stott

You may have seen MbD's posts on the new nonfiction book club and the suggestions for future reads floating down the dashboard in the last couple of days:

 

There's now a list containing all the books that have been suggested so far:

 

http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/799/nonfiction-science-book-club-reading-list

 

The discussion group is currently still named for the buddy read that inspired it, "The Invention of Nature" -- the group page is here:

http://booklikes.com/groups/show/980/buddy-read-for-the-invention-of-nature

 

-- and the corresponding book club page is here:

http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/90/buddy-read-for-the-invention-of-nature

 

Do take a look and see if you'd be interested in joining!

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text 2017-07-13 19:54
BT's Science Shortlist
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle - Donald C. Jackson
Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution - Rebecca Stott
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - Elizabeth Kolbert
How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction - Beth J. Shapiro
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story - Angela Saini
Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them - Jennifer Wright
Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime - Val McDermid
Human Universe by Professor Brian Cox (7-May-2015) Paperback - Professor Brian Cox
Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments Of The 20th Century - Lauren Slater

Inspired by the posts my fellow future potential Science Reading Buddies, I've browsed my shelves, my tbr, and library catalogues for Science-related books that looked interesting.

And when I say inspired, I mean I stole lots of books off those lists also. ;)

 

There are lots and lots of other books I would like to read, but I needed to narrow down a short list.

 

Also, I have created a shelf for the long-list and science books I have read.

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text 2017-07-12 20:25
Some Science Ideas from my Library
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski
American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World - David Baron
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness - Peter Godfrey-Smith
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - Mary Roach
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World - Michael Pollan
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe - Lisa Randall
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time - Jonathan Weiner
Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution - Rebecca Stott
The Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror of Science - Richard Holmes

I know that there's been a suggestion that we read more science together; these are just some books my own library has that I think look interesting.

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