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review 2018-03-10 01:27
A bumpy ride to happiness, a bit challenging on the way
Fighting For You - January Valentine

This is a story that has one person unable to move on from the past while the other is fighting for her future. Jewelia and Indigo are good together, but when things get too intense, Indigo backs off because of his past. I liked Jewelia's determination to have the future she wants, but she waffled a little too much. The journey to the end was very bumpy but worth the time.

This audiobook was a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2018-03-01 21:40
Tigana / Guy Gavriel Kay
Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay

Tigana is the magical story of a beleaguered country struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the tyrant king Brandin that even the very name of their once beautiful home cannot be spoken or remembered. But years after their homeland’s devastation, a handful of men and women set in motion a dangerous crusade—to overthrow their conquerors and bring back to the world the lost brightness of an obliterated name: Tigana.

Against the magnificently realized background of a world both sensuous and brutal, this masterful epic of a passionate people pursuing their dream is breathtaking in its vision. A spellbinding novel in which myth comes alive and magic reaches out to touch you.


Those of you who read my reviews regularly know that Guy Gavriel Kay can do no wrong in my eyes. I adore his novels and this one is no exception. The bonus this time? I met Mr. Kay at a convention last August and I can now hear his voice in my head, reading the novel to me (he has a very nice voice).

Tigana is a kingdom under a curse: the people were conquered and the name of their country can no longer be heard or remembered (except by those who lived through the conquest). When a former citizen says “Tigana,” others hear only a garble or an empty spot. Can those who remember find a way to break the curse and restore Tigana to its former glory? Their lives get braided together in some convoluted and heartbreaking ways.

As with any sweeping tale like this one, there are casualties along the way, some expected, some surprising. The ending was a bit messy, something I appreciate in a book, as I find that real life endings are rarely neat. I read most of the novel on a long plane flight and it was the perfect distraction—I was able to submerge in this fantasy world and ignore the passage of time.

Book 271 of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project

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video 2018-02-04 21:37
The Chaos of Stars - Kiersten White
Arthur & Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes - Michael Sims
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text 2018-02-02 01:00
January Books

I had a ridiculously good month with 42 books read for January. I got to 5 of the 12 books from 2017 that I really wanted to read, but hadn't gotten to last year. For new 2018 books I was highly anticipating, I read 2 of the 7 that were out in January. I loved the majority of the books I read with an average score of 3.9 stars.


22 of my books were YA. 11 were graphic novels. My most-read genres were fantasy, romance, and contemporary.


My favorite books were The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black and Foolish Hearts - Emma Mills. My least favorite was Vanilla - Billy Merrell.


5 Stars

Kissing Max Holden - Katy Upperman Roomies - Christina Lauren We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Saga Volume 8 - Brian K. Vaughan  The Cruel Prince - Holly Black  Prince in Disguise - Stephanie Kate Strohm  Foolish Hearts - Emma Mills  


4.5 Stars

Jackass! - Scarlet Beriko  The Last Black Unicorn - Tiffany Haddish  Flame in the Mist - Renee Ahdieh  The Hearts We Sold - Emily Lloyd-Jones  


4 Stars

You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody) - Alec Baldwin,Kurt Andersen  The Darkest Corners - Kara Thomas  American Street - Ibi Zoboi  The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles) - Mary E. Pearson  Secret of the Princess - Milk Morinaga  The Arsonist - Stephanie Oakes  Giant Days Vol. 5 - John Allison,Max Sarin  Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake  Frostblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake  Empress of a Thousand Skies - Rhoda Belleza  Animosity Volume 2 - Marguerite Bennett,Mike Marts  City of Saints & Thieves - Natalie C. Anderson  Only Dead on the Inside: A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse - James Breakwell  Ms. Marvel Vol. 8: Mecca - G. Willow Wilson  Fireblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake  Girl of Nightmares - Kendare Blake  The Duchess Deal - Tessa Dare  The Wife Between Us - Greer Hendricks,Sarah Pekkanen  


3.5 Stars

Morrighan: A Remnant Chronicles Novella - Mary E. Pearson Batwoman Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death (Rebirth) - Marguerite Bennett,James IV Tynion,Steve Epting  Original Sin: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm - Marco Checchetto,Lee Garbett,Szymon Kudranski,Al Ewing,Jason Aaron,Simone Bianchi  Of Beast and Beauty - Stacey Jay Because I Was a Girl: True Stories for Girls of All Ages - Melissa de la Cruz 


3 Stars

Miles Morales: Spider-Man (A Marvel YA Novel) - Jason Reynolds,Kadir Nelson Snow Falling - Jane Gloriana Villanueva  Almost Midnight - Rainbow Rowell,Simini Blocker  Disney Manga: Descendants The Rotten to the Core Trilogy Volume 1 (Disney Descendants: The Rotten to the Core Trilogy) - Jason Muell  Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe - Melissa de la Cruz  Disney Manga: Descendants The Rotten to the Core Trilogy Volume 2 - Jason Muell  


2.5 Stars

Generations - Marvel Comics  


2 Stars

Vanilla - Billy Merrell 



Books by author gender:

  • Male: 9
  • Female: 30
  • Male/Female Mix: 3


Books by format:

  • Physical: 25
  • Audio: 17


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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-01 09:54
January 2018 — A Wrap Up


Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on February 1, 2018.




Blue Dragon by Kylie Chan


This is the third and last book in the series, Dark Heavens. It has problems, I admit. All the books are in severe need of editing. For instance, the author describes the characters as stiffening at least hundred times. If they do replace the word, they go for rigid. That is the extent of the expressions these characters show! The story doesn’t flow smoothly from event to event either. It is chunky, which puts off many people. The protag does something extraordinary on every page. I mean, she can’t even poop without gold nuggets coming out (not literally but you geddit). Then the books have a bad case of deus ex machina, as well.


But I find them enjoyable reads!


I don’t know why I like reading these books though. Well okay, the humor is good. I like the characters too. So, maybe those are the things that keep me reading. You’d have to find out for yourself, if this is your cup of tea or not!




Blood Rites by Jim Butcher


Harry Dresden is a sexist piece of shit. Besides that fact, the books in this series are a lot of fun to read! This is the 6th installment and while it wasn’t as enjoyable as the others, I still didn’t wanna put it down.


Two quotes:



“I’ll talk you through”, Kincaid said. “Dresden, better take her gun and cover us.”

“Hey,” I said. I’m in charge here. “Kincaid, talk her through it. Murphy, give me yoru gun so I can cover you.”




The Beast by J.R. Ward


The 14th book in the series, Black Dagger Brotherhood, is a replica of the thirteen that came before it. Since I voluntarily torture myself by continuing, when it comes to criticizing the books’ many faults, I don’t have a leg to stand on. Cheers!





The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan


The 4th book from the series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, was darker. The books have been going down that road for a while now. But, I like it! Unlike, Grisham in Theodore Boone, Riordan understands that kids deal with a lot of shit. Parents getting divorced, drugs, sex, peer pressure, and god knows what else. Most of the time, their innate resilience kicks in, and they even make it. So, why wouldn’t they be able to deal with the ending of the world? This series shows that if the bad guys win, there will be serious consequences.


Another thing I love is how the protag, Percy, is written. He makes mistakes but he does his best to learn from them. He acts like a kid and then makes up for it by dealing with it in a mature way. He manages to stand out like a sore thumb — even at a camp for demigod children who routinely fight monsters — yet he fights with and for them anyway. I’d say, he makes a good role model.


Also, he might have a thing with Annabeth, the daughter of Athena. I found some cool fanart to go with that theory:


Image result for annabeth


A fun quote:







Bad Yeti by Carrie Harris


This was a short story that I read so I could say I’d completed the series. A boy rescues magical creatures from a mad scientist…





The Abduction by John Grisham


The 2nd book in the Theodore Boone series is a letdown. Grisham puts another pair of kid gloves over the ones he was already wearing while writing for kids! There isn’t even a “bad guy” that we are supposed to be scared of. There was barely a mystery and the language has been oversimplified. It needs more oomph, if it is to attract kids to reading it is all I’s saying!





Autumn Duchess by Lucinda Brant


The previous book might have been similar to Ms. Heyer’s work but this one was on a level all by itself! Check this out:


It featured a heroine who had had her HEA in a previous book.



Who married an older reformed rake who died because well…he was OLD!




Who falls in love again.



And that too, with a man younger than she was.



The man she likes understands that she will never stop loving her first husband and acts like a mature adult about it!




Need I say more?




Warriors by Various Authors


You can find my review here.





By Blood We Live by Glen Duncan


All the negative things from the first two books came together to make this one! Each character sounded exactly the same. Werewolf, human, or vampire — they all ranted. They all wanted the same thing i.e. to describe sex as graphically as possible. And the ending was so bad that it made me want to hit Talulla!


On the plus side, here are some things that stayed with me:













I love the covers in this series! This book was much better than the first one. After reading Etiquette & Espionage, I had begun to think the razor sharp wit and the amazing sense of humor was just a one-time thing. I’d loved the Parasol Protectorate series so much but the first book ruined it all. This one brought back the stifled giggles and the snorting of liquids at inappropriate times. I loved it!! Here are some parts from the book:

Since the protag was a spy-in-training, she would be using all the weapons at her disposal:




Asked by a bewildered suitor:



Sophronia’s wit:



Sidheag’s vast knowledge of the male sexual apparatus:


The sarcasm, oh the sarcasm!



The unflappable yet crippled by anxiety Dimity:





A simple murder mystery of a book that I enjoyed reading. It described the heartbreaking poverty and widening the chasm of class distinction in Accra beautifully. Here are some things that stayed with me:


The mention of Ananse or Anansi took me back to American God’s Anansi. What an entrance, eh? I also found this cool sketch of the deity:




A surprisingly unsurprising omission from the western history books:





A unique way of reporting murder:


The country’s reputed emergency numbers 1-91- and 1-9-2 could be so unreliable that it was sometimes more effective to call a radio station, which would then broadcast the emergency in the hope that the appropriate personnel were listening.




Brief review of the first book here.




Less funnier and original than the first one but since this month was all about catching up on the many series that I’ve started, I finished it.




Read my review of the first book here. It’s clear that the first book made an impression. The second one was okay. One of the things that I liked about the main character was how he behaved towards the inevitable ending of the world. Since he had no control over that, he focused on a task that was manageable…mostly. He continued solving his case. The repercussions of there being no law were described well too. People losing their shit and going “bucket list” was another thing that made the story more real to me.


What I didn’t much like that every time the protag needed saving or something, it appeared magically. Like sisters arriving in helicopters to take him to the hospital, former cop rescuing him in the nick of time, and an internet connection when he needed to search for a guy.


I’ll let you know how I fare with the last book.




Again, while I remember liking the first book in this series, the second one was meh. Some of it is just me because I really don’t know how to deal with teen angst. Another thing that turned me off was talk about protected sex in the story while the rest of the book read like a YA. The main character can get really annoying in places even when you know that she is just learning how to be a monarch. Even so, there are so many things that are obvious to the reader yet she remains oblivious of them.


For instance, the identity of the secretive adviser to one of her opponents at court. Anybody with half a brain could figure out the guy was an assassin at the very least. But not the queen, not her. She is basically TSTL because she keeps taking walks in the garden or the catacombs when half the world is trying to kill or kidnap her. She also gets healing powers when she needs to save someone and then promptly loses them.


Lastly, at first we are told that the magic power stems from a special gate that can only be found by someone in possession of a stone. The queen risks everybody’s life to get there and then destroys the gate. Suddenly, she realizes that the power is everywhere and the destruction of the gate doesn’t matter. I was like dude, would that be the gate that people have tried to find for millennia so they could take over the world? How could it not matter!?


So yeah, not too crazy about this one!


As you can see, all my January reads were about continuing the many series that I’ve already started. It is safe to say, the trend continues into February. See you then!



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