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review 2018-05-22 18:24
Robots Vs. Fairies
Robots vs. Fairies - Sarah Gailey,Lila Bowen,Alyssa Wong,Jim C. Hines,Maria Dahvana Headley,Linda Howard,Seanan McGuire,Mary Robinette Kowal,Madeline Ashby,Ken Liu,Lavie Tidhar,Annalee Newitz,William Ewart Gladstone,Jeffrey Ford,Catherynne M. Valente,Jonathan Maberry,John Sca

Rampaging robots! Tricksy fairies! Facing off for the first time in an epic genre death match!

People love pitting two awesome things against each other. Robots vs. Fairies is an anthology that pitches genre against genre, science fiction against fantasy, through an epic battle of two icons.

On one side, robots continue to be the classic sci-fi phenomenon in literature and media, from Asimov to WALL-E, from Philip K. Dick to Terminator. On the other, fairies are the beloved icons and unquestionable rulers of fantastic fiction, from Tinkerbell to Tam Lin, from True Blood to Once Upon a Time. Both have proven to be infinitely fun, flexible, and challenging. But when you pit them against each other, which side will triumph as the greatest genre symbol of all time?

 

A perfect coffee break book for those who appreciate either robots or fairy tales. I could read 1, sometimes 2, short stories per break.

My particular favourites were Build Me a Wonderland by Seanan McGuire, Murmured Under the Moon by Tim Pratt, and A Fall Counts Anywhere by Catherynne M Valente.

I’m a McGuire fan girl, so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed her story. It reminded me of her last novel of the Incryptid series, featuring an amusement park as it does. Ms. McGuire seems to be a fan of these facilities and so writes about them enthusiastically. She also writes the October Daye series, so is firmly on Team Fairy, although the story also features some robotic elements.

I will definitely be looking for more work by Tim Pratt! He has combined two of my favourite things, libraries and the Fae. I really, really liked this story.

Catherynne Valente’s offering was great, in that it utilized both robots and fairies, involved in a WWE type competition, complete with a combat ring and loud commentators! Her names for the robot contestants were excellent and she had me smiling all the way through the story.

I enjoyed all the stories to one degree or another, but those 3 were my highlights. I like robots just fine, but count me on Team Fairy all the way! I love those treacherous, dangerous, beautiful beings.

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text 2018-05-10 17:54
Reading progress update: I've read 83 out of 373 pages.
Robots vs. Fairies - Sarah Gailey,Lila Bowen,Alyssa Wong,Jim C. Hines,Maria Dahvana Headley,Linda Howard,Seanan McGuire,Mary Robinette Kowal,Madeline Ashby,Ken Liu,Lavie Tidhar,Annalee Newitz,William Ewart Gladstone,Jeffrey Ford,Catherynne M. Valente,Jonathan Maberry,John Sca

 

"Murmured Under the Moon" by Tim Pratt was enchanting.  I do love a tale about a fairy library!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-07 07:42
Cinder: The Princess of the Future
Cinder - Marissa Meyer

First things first, the concept is pure genius. Turning the childhood classic tale of Cinderella into a modern-age, futuristic story that not just young teens might enjoy, but by everyone, too. Putting that big of a twist on such a simple story, Marissa Meyer definitely did a great job. Can’t wait to read the other retellings she did.

In a small attempt to sum this up, this book includes: cyborgs; robot BFFs; people from the moon with mind-controlling powers; a missing princess (who was believed to be dead); “the plague” causing quite a number of deaths; a doctor who you don’t think he is; an adoptive family which I dislike (except for Peony and Iko); a getaway car; a handsome prince (soon-to-be-emperor) that every girl seems to have crush on (even Cinder because why not?) and his advisor; “stars”; a secret that will probably twist the whole story (but you kinda saw it coming). And so much more. (You’ll know if you read the book.)

Pacing. The start, for me, was kind of slow so I was kind of was bored. But after a few chapters in, I was engaged and excited for what could happen next, especially with the budding romance. The romance actually started in the first or second chapter of the book which lured me in even more so I was kind of disappointed when it progressed after a number of chapters. It’s fine. I’m fine.

Just a lil’ insert. I liked how there was a world leaders meeting which talked about Earth’s alliance to Luna. I appreciated Kai’s attempt to make the mood lighter by inserting a tiny joke but the leaders seemed too serious and had no time for such things. “There are much more important matters to discuss.”

Writing-wise. I am not used to a lot of flowery words and the third person’s POV but I guess it’s time to turn in a new leaf. Every seed needs to bloom. Yet, here I am, growing little by little by reading such books.

Character-wise. The characters were close and similar with their fairy tale counterpart. I love the idea that there were also new characters introduced in the story, such as Dr. Erland and Iko to support the story. I both adored them. Dynamic and interesting characters, I must say. Another insert. Cinder is an awesome mechanic and character, no doubt, who has developed throughout the story.

I need Prince Kai to have a special mention here somewhere. Because, stars, he is the total package. He’s nice, attractive, awkward, funny, and willing to sacrifice a lot for his people (Cinder included). The way his hair falls on his face. I CAN’T EVEN. Anyway, I might add him to my list of fictional boyfriends this time. He sure does deserve a spot. His relationship with Cinder is just adorable. Too bad she can’t blush.

I also have to talk about my distaste for Pearl, Queen Levana, and Adri. Wait, maybe just Queen Levana. Wait. Nope, Adri and Pearl kind of made the cut. I understand where they’re coming from because they are still grieving for Peony but that doesn’t mean that they can bully and push Cinder around just because they can and want to. 

I also hate the fact that Adri constantly uses Garan’s death against Cinder, making it seem that she killed him by adopting her. Adri and Cinder fight about it and I always get annoyed because Adri dumps all of it on Cinder but it isn’t her fault. It’s no one’s fault. Why can't she understand that simple thing?! To me, it looks like Adri and Pearl are just miserable and they release it on Cinder. 

As for Queen Levana, she is a phony, tricking everyone around her into believing that she is beautiful inside and out. And I don’t like her for it. I find it annoying, really. But I want to figure them out more, perhaps in the following books.

Time for some light comments. IKO AND PEONY. OH MY STARS.Iko is probably the best sidekick / best friend I have ever read. I wish I had a good friend like Iko is just light and easy to be around, not pressuring me into anything, but still cares for me. Peony, on the other hand, is like the sister I never had. I don’t get why she had to die. Maybe she just had to… but why? WHY?! JUST WHY?! R.I.P. Linh Peony.

The ending. Is not an ending. It is a cliffhanger. A FREAKING CLIFFHANGER. I AM LITERALLY HANGING ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT, ANTICIPATING WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO PRINCESS SELENE! TO NEW BEIJING! TO IKO! TO DOCTOR ERLAND! TO PRINCE KAI! TO MY FREAKING SHIP! 

Marissa Meyer knows how to leave a good cliffhanger. It evidently means that I should read the next book. And I will. Soon.

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review 2018-05-06 17:56
Mind Blown- Loved It
LifeLik3 - Jay Kristoff

I just finished this moments ago and am in a whirl of Oh My's. Holy twisted crumpled tales of love, hate, and robotics.  I LOVED IT. Mr. Kristoff, what was that ending ?  Oh you are good, cruel but deliciously good. This is why I read all your books, you challange my expectations. 
The beginning of the book was a slow start, the slang slowed me down. It was different enough that I couldn't flow through it. It was a short struggle, to maybe 15 % and I got it. The story never slows, never goes where you expect, it's an unknown path ahead in this book.

The story follows Eve, who as a young girl loses her everything in a violent event. She is a being raised by her grandfather, surrounded by her best friend, and robots.  Everything is going as well as it can till a reviled being is found in a crash wreckage. This is a world or radiation, gangs, androids, love and hard core everything. It had moments that reminded me of many moves and TV series. It was Thunderdome, Mad Max,  and Westworld. Speaking of Westworld, wait till you met The Preacher, and hold on when you do he's a...well you'll see.

Romance, it's there, unexpected in such a story but fits so well and twists the heartstrings in all the bleeding places. Rocky, filled with pain and sweetness, it's a hard one to walk away from when the book ended.  I was so invested in these characters I was left feeling gutted at the ending. Mr. Kristoff, leaves us hanging off the side of a thousand foot cliff lined with broken bones and scrap metal.

I received this book from the publisher for a non biased review.

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review 2018-04-30 18:09
WaR: Wizards and Robots
WaR: Wizards And Robots - Brian David Johnson,will.i.am

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

That was a quick and fun read, even though I think it was too quick, and could’ve been developed into something a little longer without losing its focus or just filling pages: there was definietely a lot going on in this story, what’s with robots and wizards, of course, but also aliens and time travel!

I found the plot easy enough to follow, which isn’t always the case when time travel is concerned. I liked the two (three?) worlds depicted, too: Ada’s ‘present’ with its computers, drones and technological feats; the future world, full of despair but also of loyal robots holding the fort until the end; and, in a way, the world of the wizards, in a ‘powerful beings mired into their own past and refusing to acknowledge changes’ way.

The main characters, too, all had aspects that made them quite likeable in spite of their faults. Sara’s mum may not be available for her family, but she wants to further the cause of knowledge and build a good future for humanity. Ada has her sulky side, but on the other hand she’s loyal to her friends, whether humans or robots. Kaku is powerful, but uses his power and intelligence to learn and protect. Geller isn’t strong, but when offered a bigger power, he clearly uses it to help, and not for his own personal gain.

I’m not giving the book more than 2.5/3 stars, because even though I enjoyed it, it was too short to properly deal with everything, and the ending raised so many questions, and left so many doors open, for something that doesn’t look like a sequel’s in the plans (I had that feeling when I was some 50 pages from the end, and wondering how on Earth everything could be wrapped up). So, yes, the characters were enjoyable, but not very developed. There’s no clear explanation as to why the Spawn is here (well, there is one, but we never get to learn why exactly what they wre trying to destroy was so dangerous -for them-). There are too many unresolved threads when it comes to Ada’s present, such as the future role of the anti-robots people, or what she’s going to do after such an end to the story; and what awaits Geller is too vague, too.

Conclusion: Good for a quick and entertaining read, but don’t expect well-developed characters or a tight plot.

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