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text 2017-05-26 19:40
Updated BL-opoly: Rolls 18.1, 18.2 & 18.3 + extra rolls!
Faithful Place - Tana French
A Great Reckoning - Louise Penny
Pocket Apocalypse - Seanan McGuire
Wildfire at Midnight - Mary Stewart
By Gaslight: A Novel - Steven D. Price

Just in time for the long holiday weekend, I finished Partner in Crime for Roll 17, and then rolled doubles twice!

 

Roll 18.1: I rolled a doubles 3, which sent me to the Start square, which is a free square! I will be reading The Faithful Place by Tana French for this task!

 

Roll 18.2: I rolled a doubles 4, which sent me to square 8: read a book tagged mystery, or that begins with one of the letters in CLUE! I will be reading A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny for this square. It's tagged mystery on GR by 668 users!

 

Roll 18.3: I rolled a 5 for this one, which puts me on the BL square. I rolled a 1, which tells me to let my BL friends choose a book for me! My list of four books is:

 

1.  The Love Interest - Cale Dietrich

 

Plot summary: There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

 

2. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas:

 

Plot summary:

 

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

 

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

 

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

 

3. Pocket Apocalypse: InCryptid, Book Four - Seanan McGuire:

 

Plot Summary:

 

Endangered, adjective: Threatened with extinction or immediate harm.
Australia, noun: A good place to become endangered.

Alexander Price has survived gorgons, basilisks, and his own family—no small feat, considering that his family includes two telepaths, a reanimated corpse, and a colony of talking, pantheistic mice. Still, he’s starting to feel like he’s got the hang of things…at least until his girlfriend, Shelby Tanner, shows up asking pointed questions about werewolves and the state of his passport. From there, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to Australia, a continent filled with new challenges, new dangers, and yes, rival cryptozoologists who don’t like their “visiting expert” very much.

Australia is a cryptozoologist’s dream, filled with unique species and unique challenges. Unfortunately, it’s also filled with Shelby’s family, who aren’t delighted by the length of her stay in America. And then there are the werewolves to consider: infected killing machines who would like nothing more than to claim the continent as their own. The continent which currently includes Alex.

Survival is hard enough when you’re on familiar ground. Alex Price is very far from home, but there’s one thing he knows for sure: he’s not going down without a fight.

 

4. Field of Blood - Denise Mina:

 

Plot Summary:

 

A sensational murder provides the young journalist Paddy Meehan with her big professional break when she realizes that she has a personal connection to one of the suspects.Launching her own investigation, Paddy uncovers lines of deception that go deep into the past - and that could spell even more horrible crimes in the future if she doesn't get the story right.

 

What say you? Which one should I read? First to comment chooses!

 

I will be reading Pocket Apocalypse!

 

I decided to go ahead & add my extra Memorial Day rolls to this post as well:

 

 

This one puts me on Haunted Mansion #19: Read a book tagged gothic or horror, or that is a ghost story. For this one, I will be reading Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart.

 

And, the next roll is: 

 

 

Which sends me back to Paradise Pier, where I started today, on space #28: reach a book set during the Victorian era, or that is tagged steampunk. For this one, I've decided to read By Gaslight by Steven Price, which is set in 1885.

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review 2017-05-23 16:39
Every Heart a Doorway / Seanan McGuire
Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

 

What if you weren't reliant on authors to be transported to another reality? What if, like Alice, you really fell down a rabbit hole, or like Dorothy, you were carried off by a tornado to a magical world where you fit in perfectly? When the saying, "There's no place like home" sounds like a curse.

You've been forced back to "reality" and find that no one believes your story or even cares about it. All they from you is a return to "normal," a state which you've always hated.

There's grief, mourning your lost perfect world. Now surround yourself with others in the same predicament from very different worlds, doing group therapy to try to come to terms with this old, unsatisfactory existence.

This lovely little novella explores this dilemma beautifully. I think each of us probably has a "golden age" in our past that we remember with nostalgia and we can recognize that longing in this book.

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review 2017-05-17 22:18
Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Wayward Children #2
Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway was one of my surprise favorites of 2016, so when I heard there was going to be another book in the series I got really excited. Then, honestly, I got a little apprehensive. What if it wasn't as good, or revisiting the world cheapened it? Yeah, I'll admit it - sequels sometimes make me nervous. In this particular case I needn't have worried. McGuire didn't rehash the job she did in the first book, but rather added new layers on top of what she built. Or perhaps I should say she added new layers below, as this book plumbs into the murky world of the Moors, and the events that occurred prior to EHaD.

 

Before you even get into the alternate world of magic and horror you get to spend time with Jack and Jill in the "real" world. You meet their parents before the sisters are even conceived and follow them all the way through their childhood. McGuire did such a good job with this entire section I found myself marking pages to reread. She made this family so repellant yet realistic, like a less cartoonish version of the Dursleys. There is so much in here about family, and children, that was astute and worth the exploration. And without this grounding the story that follows wouldn't be nearly as rewarding.

 

I love the way this book is written - how it feels like a Grimm fairytale. The authorial voice and the illustrations both add style and depth to the book. The world-building was well done, as was the mood and tone. Character was another win, as I thought Jack and Jill both came to life on the page. I was sucked in from start to finish. As with EHaD my only true complaint was that I wanted more, especially toward the end. Perhaps I'm just greedy. Regardless, this book hit the mark for me again and again, and I heartily recommend it. You can read it as a stand-alone if you so desire, but then you'd be missing out on another great book. I'm looking forward to the third book in the series!

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review 2017-05-08 17:05
Magic for Nothing / Seanan McGuire
Magic for Nothing - Seanan McGuire

As the youngest of the three Price children, Antimony is used to people not expecting much from her. She’s been happy playing roller derby and hanging out with her cousins, leaving the globe-trotting to her older siblings while she stays at home and tries to decide what she wants to do with her life. She always knew that one day, things would have to change. She didn’t think they’d change so fast.

Annie’s expectations keep getting shattered. She didn’t expect Verity to declare war on the Covenant of St. George on live television. She didn’t expect the Covenant to take her sister’s threat seriously. And she definitely didn’t expect to be packed off to London to infiltrate the Covenant from the inside…but as the only Price in her generation without a strong resemblance to the rest of the family, she’s the perfect choice to play spy. They need to know what’s coming. Their lives may depend on it.

But Annie has some secrets of her own, like the fact that she’s started setting things on fire when she touches them, and has no idea how to control it. Now she’s headed halfway around the world, into the den of the enemy, where blowing her cover could get her killed. She’s pretty sure things can’t get much worse.

 

A fabulous Friday night read. A glass of wine and another volume of InCryptid.

In this installment, we get to know the youngest Price, Antimony (Annie), as she gets drafted into the family’s plans. Her carnival and roller derby past will serve her in good-stead as she attempts to infiltrate the Covenant of St. George.

We learn more about the Covenant and Price family dynamics, plus McGuire manages to neatly tie in her ghost characters, previously explored in Sparrow Hill Road. For me, the best part was Annie’s companion Aeslin mouse, Mindy, who makes contact with the Aeslin who remained in the U.K. I love her new companion, Mork, who joins Annie & Mindy to serve & protect cryptids. McGuire is obviously old enough to have seen & enjoyed Robin Williams’ first TV show, Mork & Mindy, which I hadn’t thought of in years.

As per usual, the mice make the book for me. I adore them and I’m not sure I would love the books the way I do without the magical mice.

How long until the next book?

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review 2017-05-05 08:00
Magic For Nothing
Magic for Nothing - Seanan McGuire

Finally a full book for Antimony. As she is the youngest of the Price siblings and Verity and Alex seemed to have made a pact against her, I was a little bit surprised at how much I liked her after all. It's one of the things I like best about the series. There are three different POVs (thank God only one per book though) from the different siblings and there is not one who annoys me. I'm quite surprised by this.

While I liked the story (probably one of the best of the series), there were some things that seemed to be formulaic at this point. For example, all three of the siblings have (against all odds they say) found a partner in the first half of their first POV book. Their biggest point of adjustment seems getting used to the constant cheering of the Aeslin (who are and will remain forever Awesome). Mork was a great new character.

Looking forward to the next one!

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