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review 2019-02-02 17:34
An exploration of death
Exquisite Corpse - Poppy Z. Brite
This book is hardcore in terms of violence and lust. The only comparable books I have read, ones as graphic and disturbing with vivid descriptions of dismemberment, disembowelment and bodily waste would be 
Frisk, by Dennis Cooper and In the Miso Soup, by Ryu Murakami.
 
Exquisite Corpse is told in first and third person. The first person narrator is Andrew Compton, a British serial killer who escapes prison by faking death. How he manages this is somewhat vague, magical and shamanistic, but we expect some suspension of disbelief in fiction, and this isn't too much of a stretch.
 
In this way the narrative and plot reflect each other as Exquisite Corpse is an exploration of death both of the narrator's own self and of others. Not only the violent murders that follow prolonged torture, lovingly described, but also more subtle and normal deaths. Death by disease - the AIDS epidemic has badly hit the French Quarter of New Orleans, and the deaths of relationships - familial and lovers, represented by Tran, the exquisite corpse of the title.
 
A lot happens in the story. Yes, it is shocking and grotesque, but it is also poignant and sad. Exquisite Corpse is by far the best book by Poppy Z Brite that I have read so far.
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review 2019-01-26 02:32
Liked it but not as much as other readers.
The Poppy War - R. F Kuang

I thought the book was pretty good. I loved the world building and the History of the past wars. But I didn't really care about any of the characters. Rin drove me nuts, I felt like she rushed into a lot of things, without thinking things through first. I know people would say its because she's young. But I don't think that was the case, at least for things she does later in the book. 

I really didn't like Altan either, and I wonder why Rin acted the way she did around him. There are a lot of trigger Warnings in this book, rape, torture, self harm, to name a few. 

I did like it enough that I do want to read the next one, that comes out in August. Especially after how the book ended. 

I would recommend this book, but look into all the other trigger warnings, that I didn't mention above, because there's definitely a lot more than what I did list.

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review 2019-01-22 12:36
Complex
The Poppy War - R. F Kuang

Opium is an undercurrent of the Nikara empire.  The war with the Federation of Mugen brought it to these shores and only the powers of the Trifecta, the Vipress; The Dragon Emperor and the Gatekeeper who went to the gods and begged for power, have kept the Mugen Federation at bay.

 

The Dragon Emperor is dead, decades later, the Gatekeeper is missing and the Vipress sits on the throne and the Mugen Federation is still a threat.

 

In this world war orphan Fang Runin finds herself having to make a choice.  She can marry or she can fight for her right to be in the Military Academy in Sinegard.  There she finds a lot of obstacles and powers she didn't realise existed.  Powers that are officially forbidden.

 

There's a lot in here and a lot of things that you can see will have implications later in the series.  It led to another bad decision book club moment where I kept "just reading to the end of a chapter" until I finished the book.  There were a few moments where the bad decisions felt more plot driven than character driven but I'm sure this will be worked out in later books.  It's going to be an interesting ride.  There were interesting philosophical moments where the author was looking at belief and how magic and belief could be linked and how it could have implications when you didn't believe.

 

I hope there's a more human side of the Mugen Federation in later books because so far they're very single-minded and not very nice.

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review 2019-01-15 11:00
Release Day Reviews X 2! Poppy & Primrose (Hidden Realms of Silver Lake #1 &2) Vella Day!

 

 

Today, is the release day for the 1st two books in Vella Day's Hidden Realms of Silver Lake: Four Sisters of Fate series and I am going to share a spotlight & my reviews for both! Enjoy and don't forget to add to the books to your shelves!

 

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ABOUT THE BOOKS

 

 

Poppy has one goal--not to use her goddess magic for two weeks. How hard can it be?

 

Poppy Faiten, one of the four goddesses of Fate, was stoked to leave town and pretend to be a human for two weeks. The lack of responsibility thrilled her--until Slade LaMont walked into the diner where she was working. Holy moly. Waves of lust and yearning swamped her. But how could that be? A goddess of Fate was supposed to help other mates stay together, not have one herself. But here he was, so thank you, Fate. This dragon shifter was out of this world hot--and she was determined to land him.

 

Slade took one look at Poppy and fell into instant lust. It didn't matter his dragon was convinced she was the one for him. He didn't believe in mates. Besides, he didn't have time for one. He had a hotel to build--a hotel that might make Poppy walk away.

 

 

Author's book page - http://www.velladay.com/poppy.html

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42742408-poppy

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/poppy-hidden-realms-of-silver-lake-four-sisters-of-fate-1-by-vella-day

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1033511

 

Romance.io - https://www.romance.io/books/5c3c34bf01dbc864fb9808b1/poppy-hidden-realms-of-silver-lake-vella-day

 

 

One shy goddess. One very hot human ski instructor. What will it take to bring these two mates together?

 

Primrose Faiten couldn't believe it. Here she was one of the goddesses of Fate, convinced she'd spend eternity alone, and guess what? She meets her dream man. The problem is this gorgeous mortal is human, and he'll never accept her once he finds out her secret identity.

 

As luck would have it, a snowstorm strands these two skiers in a warm cozy cabin. Jackpot! Primrose might be the shy one in the family, but when presented with this once in a lifetime opportunity, no way will she squander it.

 

Rafe Tremont might be highly attracted to the sexy, yet naïve woman, but he can never let his heart rule--not until he deals with some unfinished business that might keep him from Primrose forever.

 


Author's book page - http://www.velladay.com/primrose.html

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42742410-primrose

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/primrose-hidden-realms-of-silver-lake-four-sisters-of-fate-2-by-vella-day

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1033512

 

 

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Goddesses of Fate are supposed to help other mates stay together, not have a mate of her own but waves of lust and yearning swamp Poppy Fiaten when Slade LaMont walked into the diner where she was working.

 

Poppy and Slade are two strong, vivid characters that easily draw readers into their story with a delightful and sizzling romance. The plot is fast paced and energetic which keeps readers turning the pages while the relationship between Poppy and Slade progress with a few hiccups along the way and a bit of thrills.

The story and the Sisters of Fate are fascinating and delightful, so while, the story is on the short side, it is a very charming read that I quite enjoyed.

 

 


 

Primrose has met her dream man but there is one problem…he’s human and he’ll never accept her if he finds out her secret identity.

 

The second story is fast paced and also, on the short side, but it is well worth the read and has a bit of suspense as Primrose discovers a way to help Rafe with his unfinished business and there is a thrills to be found as Primrose learns to ski and a snowstorm strands the two in a cozy cabin (oooh, la, la). Primrose and Rafe both are strong, captivating characters that readers can easily identify with and their romance is sweet and on the fun side with sizzling chemistry in this charming and fascinating paranormal world.

 

 

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Poppy & Primrose are books 1 & 2 in the Hidden Realms of Silver Lake: Four Sisters of Fate series

 

Author - http://www.velladay.com/four-sisters-of-fate.html

 

 

#3 Acacia - Jan 29, 2019

http://www.velladay.com/acacia.html

 

 

#4 Magnolia - Feb 5, 2019
http://www.velladay.com/magnolia.html

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

AVAILABLE in ebook

 

~POPPY~

 

#Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KB18947


#Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KB18947


#Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07KB18947


#Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07KB18947


#iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/poppy/id1441588425…


#Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poppy-vella-day/1129829775…


#Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/poppy-33

 

 

**********

 

~PRIMROSE~

 

#Amazon-US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KBCYWBC


#Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KBCYWBC


#Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07KBCYWBC


#Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07KBCYWBC


#iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/primrose/id1441588729?mt=111001l8bU


#Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/primrose-vella-day/1129829802?ean=2940161748978


#Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/primrose-3

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Not only do I love to read, write, and dream, I'm an extrovert. I enjoy being around people and am always trying to understand what makes them tick. My books must have a happily ever after, and I need characters I can relate to. My men are wonderful, dynamic, smart, strong, and the best lovers in the world (of course).

 

I love to sleep in late and write into the wee hours. I also love FB, so you'll find me on there, too!

 

I believe I am the luckiest woman. I do what I love and I have a wonderful, supportive husband, who happens to be hot!

 

Fun facts about me


(1) I'm a math nerd who loves spreadsheets. Give me numbers and I'll find a pattern.


(2) My husband and I recently moved to Costa Rica where we are trying to learn Spanish while we enjoy the beautiful beaches!!


(3) I love photos, so check me out on Instagram as @dayvella.

 

I love hearing from readers either on FB or via email (hint, hint).

[velladayauthor@gmail.com]

 

In case you didn't know, I also used to write as Melody Snow Monroe --erotic romance for Siren Publishing.


http://www.velladay.com/melody-snow-monroe.html

 

 

Website - http://www.velladay.com/

 

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/0r73be11q0n3ocw/

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Velladayauthor/

 

Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/velladay4

 

InstaGram - http://dayvella/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6925725.Vella_Day

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/vella-day

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-12-09 12:00
The Poppy War - R.F. Kuang
The Poppy War - R. F Kuang

As soon as I saw the blurb for The Poppy War, I was sure I was going to want to read it - it's a great time to be a fantasy reader, as there's so much out there now which is not just farmboy-is-secretly-a-prince set in a faux-medieval European setting. Read plenty of those in my time!

 

Anyway, The Poppy War starts off feeling quite familiar as we're introduced to the character of Rin and the situation she finds herself in at the start of the book - a war orphan taken in by opium traders, Rin is about to be sold off into marriage unless she can find a way out. In this case, her way out is to pass the country-wide examination and get herself a coveted place in one of the empire's military schools. If she manages this (which, of course, she does otherwise it'd be a very different book!) then Rin can decide her own fate in the longer term. 

 

So far, so good. The next third or so of the book follows a pretty well-worn track, especially where moving into a fantasy academic setting is concerned: the outsider maybe makes one or two friends, but also at least one enemy whose vindictiveness will come back to bite her later on. Where The Poppy War diverges from this pattern is with the introduction of a strong theme of shamanism alongside the military training, even if it's heavily frowned upon by the majority of the people Rin comes across. This ability allows someone to channel the power of a deity, at the risk of their own sanity, and if there's one thing Rin wants, it's power. 

 

The whole setting of The Poppy War is more faux-China than faux-medieval Europe and this is made clear when the neighbouring islands (Mugen) mount an invasion. Rin finds herself shipped off to join the other misfits and hone her abilities in defence of a port city, only to discover that their involvement there has not prevented a terrible slaughter taking place in the capital. It's around this time that my willingness to give The Poppy War 5 stars and my accompanying desire to re-read it in the future took a bit of a knock. Things get a bit grisly and, to my mind at least, unnecessarily so - it's too easy to go for graphic rather than thinking about how to use your writing to imply things that are even more horrific, since your reader's minds will make all sorts of connections. 

 

Since this is the first book of a trilogy, it will come as no surprise that Rin finishes the book by making a choice and taking a terrible revenge on the people of Mugen, who are responsible not just for the recent slaughter but apparently also for the genocide of Rin's people. She may be starting to realise just what she's let herself in for, but maybe not, so I guess the next volume will tell us which way she's going to go? The Dragon Republic is due out next year. 

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