[I received a copy of this novel through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]
Not exactly a novel, as it's the first episode of a serials, containing chapters 1 to 3. Which makes it a bit frustrating, as in, obviously, at some point one wants to know how it goes next. Fortunately, a lot of episodes are already out at serialbox.com
It introduces the major, or at least some of the major players (there may always be new ones in later chapters, after all) of a Cold War fought behind the Iron Curtain, but also behind other front lines, ones that not necessarily follow the former... Which makes, and is hopefully going to make, interesting conundrums as far as the characters are concerned: two people may be on the USSR side as far as their mundane lives go, but one is fighting for the Ice while the other is fighting for the Fire when it comes to magic. This cannot go well, can it?
On the side of Ice, and incidentally of the KGB, Tanya and Nadia are seeking a Prague student whose affinity for magic makes her a target for the Fire. Meanwhile, Gabe, a CIA agent, is trying to do his job while struggling with a little magical problem of his own, that may or may not demand he joins Ice in the end (it'd be that or dying, I suppose). The Fire players are honing their weapons, and independent players are also introduced—not everyone wants to join one side, but can they really remain independent, or will they be terminated at some point?
This first installment was sometimes a bit rough on the edges (some parts veered on mixing points of view—though the Kindle formatting didn't help in that regard, and it was a bit less problematic in the PDF I got). However, as far as introducing characters and setting, this was definitely intriguing, and I'm of a mind to get all the episodes once they're out. Hopefully in a couple of weeks?
I really liked the worldbuilding for this one, and the overall setup of the characters and plot. I don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s doing some fun, interesting things.
Published by: Roaring Brook
Source: ARC via publisher
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Dreamstrider - Lindsay Smith | Goodreads
A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.
Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighborhing kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.
A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.
I'm surprised that Dreamstrider didn't catch more in the YA blogosphere-- it's got such a beautiful message, and should overlap with fans of Shadow and Bone as well as fans of Lindsay Smith's previous novels.
It's that time of the year again, and I've been looking around for some pretty things to make. Since my skills still do not extend to knitting, crochet it is, and The Nutcracker is my favorite ballet.
The patterns in this were cute and generally easy-ish. They were stylistically similar, so if you don't like the images you see on the front cover, the book is going to be more of the same, as a heads up. I thought they were cute and quirky looking and I loved that they match so well, which means if I revisit my desire to make some another year it will be easy to eventually have an entire set without having to track down individual patterns.
Like most (good) crochet pattern books, this includes not only step-by-step directions for the patterns, but also some instructions/reminders on some of the basic crochet stitches you'll need. I would not really recommend this as the only way to learn (this is not an absolute Crochet for Dummies or anything), but it is useful for people (cough, cough, like me) who often forget the more complicated stitches since they're not regularly used.
I'll be making a few of these to add to my general Christmas decorations, and if you like the pictures and have even basic crochet skills, this is a solid addition to your Christmas pattern collection.
This book was provided to me for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.