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review 2017-05-10 13:20
DOMINION BY: J. KOWALLIS
Dominion (The Enertia Trials Book 4) - J. Kowallis
"The future always changes. Like water ripples interrupted by a falling stick, the afterimage can be disrupted, and in the end, only the strongest claim dominion."
 
What just happened to me? I am convinced that Kowallis's goal was to have her readers feeling as completely ravaged as her characters felt. Well mam,
 
mission accomplished boom
 
You broke me.
 
ruined
 
Over and over again. You had me doubting EVERYTHING. I was stuck in this place of unyielding paranoia. I had to question pretty much everyone, even people I would have sworn were unwavering in their cause. Even my FAVORITE characters were not safe. Even if it was just for a brief moment, I doubted their intentions, I wondered if they could possibly be going darkside.
 
paranoid gif 2
 
And I can just picture you sitting there after finishing writing Dominion cackling with your evil author laugh like...
 
 
tears of my readersevil smirk
 
Dominion was an intense, high anxiety adrenaline rush that does not relent until the very end. And I would not give back a moment of it. Thankfully, Kowallis somehow manages to sneak in a few really sweet moments that end up feeling even more precious because they are happening amidst the sheer chaos going on around them. I also think this book especially highlights just how wonderfully complex the characters are in this series. Each one shows such a wide range in Dominion. No one is the same as they were when they started out in this journey, which is what you want to see by the last book. Even when you were seeing the worst of them they still had your heart, even if, as Roy so eloquently put it, they have that "damn stubbornness and piece-of-shit attitudes that make people want to hit you in the face with a hammer.". Just another reason I adore Roy. That man is a ROCK. I never ceased to be amazed by how stead-fast he was through everything, and he stayed true to that through all the insanity he had to endure in this one.
 
well done sir
 
It is really hard to fully gush about this book because there are just so many things that would spoil the full experience of it and I refuse to do that. If you've come this far with the series I promise that Dominion does not disappoint. You'll feel like a war torn mess after reading it, but you will also feel a sense of peace and hopefulness at the end. Which considering everything that went down in this series, is more than you can ask for.
 
do it again
 
Now, if you're one of the unfortunate souls that has not yet started this series...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
 
poor unfortunate souls
 
It is complete now, and if dystopian is something you like than this series is a DO NOT MISS! I truly can't recommend it enough.
 
I am sad to say goodbye to this series, but I am completely fulfilled and content with the way it ended. And I CAN'T WAIT to see what J. Kowallis comes up with next!
 
im ready gif
 
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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review 2017-03-25 22:23
Princeless Volume 2
Princeless Volume 2 #1 (Princeless Volume 2: 1) - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin
Princeless Volume 2 #2 - Jeremy Whitley,... Princeless Volume 2 #2 - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin
Princeless Volume 2 #3 - Jeremy Whitley,... Princeless Volume 2 #3 - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin
Princeless Volume 2 #4 - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin

I fell in love with this series back in December when I read Volume 1, Save Yourself, and had been looking forward to this volume ever since. It did not disappoint. I loved the title for this one and the way it plays into the plot.

First of all, I totally love the theme of the series in general. We have a WOC protagonist who has decided that she has had enough with the status quo and the waiting around and takes matters into her own hands. She even uses the dragon that guarded her castle in place of a mighty stead. I mean, how could I not love it?

So here we catch up with Adrienne and Bedelia, who is her personal blacksmith and sidekick. They are going to save Angelica! Or are they? Is Adrienne the only one to take matters into her own hands? Does Angelica even want saving? Adrienne has many sisters and while it should be easy to expect that they all be different from each other and nuanced and have different points of view, I also know that expectations like that usually end in disappointment.

Not this time. Whitley has created this amazing world for us and gives us sisters who neither think the same nor act the same. The outlooks that Angelica and Adrienne have on their like situations are not at all the same and serve to manifest very different outcomes for themselves and those who come to find them.

Personally, I loved Angelica. I loved getting another view on the subject of being so admired. I loved that the writers decided to just jump right into the alternative point of view and that none of it went in the direction that I expected. I also loved the rest of the family situation and the foreshadowing of the mysterious Black Knight that I have my suspicions about.

As before, the art is wonderful. The way that Angelica is obviously a little older and is more beautiful and even a little sexy without being overdone or exposing anything was impressive. The rest of the art is fun and colorful and keep it obvious that it's an all ages comic. If you haven't jumped in on this series, I suggest you do. I've already started the third volume and plan to post it soon!

 

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review 2017-03-08 00:32
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Kelly Barnhill

Never have I read a book that so succinctly turns every trope on it's head. I absolutely loved it!

The story is put together fantastically. Each character is amazing in their own right. No one does quite what I expect, even when I thought I had a handle on the way the story was breaking the rules. The family that Luna, Xan, Glerk, and Fyrian make is just adorable. All the people in the Protectorate are dealing with their own issues and making their way through life in ways that are not entirely opposite the norm that I would expectn or entirely the norm either. There's a part of me that feels like it's the way all the old stories should have been written, so that everyone has a little agenda and not all converge nor diverge. History isn't that neat and stories shouldn't be either. At the same time, it was loads of fun to watch the way these characters were like characters we were already a bit familiar with.

Basically, Barnhill did a fantastic job of "making familiar things new and new things familiar" as are the two great powers of a writer according to William Makepeace Thackery or Samuel Johnson. It's been attributed to both on different sites, not sure which is accurate. I listened to it on Audible, read by Christina Moore, who was great. I loved her voices for everyone, especially Fyrian.

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review 2017-01-04 14:09
The Darkest Part of the Forest
The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black

This was great fun! I loved the way Black plays with some of the more common tropes in YA.

To begin with, this is a standalone. That almost never happens in YA anymore and I appreciate that it's a whole story even though I do love the world building. Then it's also about faeries. I'm not one for faeries most of the time, but something had made me put this book on my wish list at the library and it was the first audiobook I had come to on the day I downloaded it to my app. I just figured past-me had decided it was going to be interesting and went with it. The audiobook is narrated by Lauren Fortgang.
 
The story predominantly surrounds Hazel and Ben and their decisions, but these characters don't exactly follow gender role while not residing completely on the opposing sides of the spectrum when it comes to their genders either. To be more specific, Hazel isn't girly, but she's still feminine and Ben is neither macho nor effeminate. Ben is also gay, which makes his standing in the middle of what is expected for a male character all the better for me. While I do understand that there are effeminate gay men, I feel like fiction would have you believe that it is the only way to be gay sometimes. Maybe it's just tv and movies, though since First Kisses and Other Misfortunes by Kimberly Karalius had the same dynamic with the gay characters being not strictly effeminate.
 
 Having Ben as a gay character, also allows Black to another fun thing. She combines some of the brother-sister struggles with some struggles that are typically reserved for sisters, like having a crush on or having romantic associations with the same boy. I don't know how true to life that is, but they tend to lean more on confused boys who aren't sure if they are also gay and those who aren't ready to be out right at the beginning. Ben is sure of himself, others are not, and this creates confusion and tension for our siblings as sometimes both have feelings for the boy. I hope that wasn't confusing but I don't want to give away any big reveals either.
 
I truly enjoyed reading a book about a brother and sister who actually like each other too. They aren't besties and definitely have their own separate personalities and preferences in life but they look out for each other. They care about each other. And they mess it up sometimes too but never getting so angsty and dramatic that it seems more like someone's ridiculous version of what teenagers are like. Families are complicated and this book does a great job with a brother-sister dynamic. There is some teenage drama but it's not all angst and ridiculousness like some books may want people to believe all teens are like. They're capable of assessing dangerous situations and making some adult decisions and dealing with consequences. They do have reason and accountability and are not completely ruled by hormones, just partially, sometimes.  They are gaining experience to deal with situations better but aren't complete idiots in the mean time.
 
There are other great things in the book, but I feel like those would spoil it. Suffice it to say that while many typically YA behaviors/tropes are present, I didn't feel like they were rooted in the same places that I've grown tired of them, like villain motivations. Everything is just similar enough to be familiar but then changed ever so slightly that I wasn't sure until it happened. The book's sole claim to diversity is the LGBT characters. I felt like it dealt well with the LGBT aspect of those characters, but I am completely aware that I could be wrong due to the fact that I am not LGBT nor do I know many people who are. If you disagree, share it and I can amend. I'd hate for misinformation to set people up for disappointment. Until then, great book! I loved what she did to all the characters and taking them outside my expectations!
 
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review 2016-12-12 19:26
Lumberjanes #25-28
Lumberjanes #25 - Leyh Kat,Shannon Watters,Laura Lewis,Chynna Clugston Flores,Brooke Allen
Lumberjanes #26 - Ayme Sotuyo,Leyh Kat,Shannon Watters
Lumberjanes #27 - Ayme Sotuyo,Leyh Kat,Shannon Watters
Lumberjanes #28 - Myra Hild,Leyh Kat,Shannon Waters

These issues bring the next storyline of Lumberjanes to us after their run in with the awesome mermaids. This time the girls must contend with a giant bird beast that has kidnapped the High Council. As always, they are amazing.

Things I Loved:

  • Did you ever wonder what happened to all the kittens that Ripley gave every person when she was a deity for five seconds back in #4? Well, be prepared to find out.
  • The girls' problem solving skills, with every member of the team on it in some way.
  • Meeting some other members of the camp
  • The empathy of the girls
  • The adorable backup story in #25

I'd make a list of things I didn't like, but there weren't any. There rarely are. I especially loved the way they pseudo-defined what makes a "hard-core lady-type".

As usual, these issues have some wonderful ladies:

Click on their names to get to their Wikipedia pages and learn more about them.

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