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review 2016-01-31 08:36
Overview of Tremontaine created by Ellen Kushner
Tremontaine: Arrivals: (Episode 1) - Ellen Kushner,Alaya Dawn Johnson,Malinda Lo,Joel Derfner,Racheline Maltese,Patty Bryant
Tremontaine: The North Side of the Sun: (Episode 2) - Alaya Dawn Johnson,Ellen Kushner,Malinda Lo,Joel Derfner,Racheline Maltese,Patty Bryan
Tremontaine: Heavenly Bodies: (Episode 3) - Joel Derfner,Ellen Kushner,Malinda Lo,Alaya Dawn Johnson,Racheline Maltese,Patty Bryant
Tremontaine: A Wake in Riverside: (Episode 4) - Malinda Lo,Ellen Kushner,Alaya Dawn Johnson,Joel Derfner,Racheline Maltese,Patty Bryant
Tremontaine: A Fair Hand (episode 6) - Ellen Kushner,Joel Derfner,Racheline Maltese,Malinda Lo,Alaya Dawn Johnson,Patty Bryant
Tremontaine: The Swan Ball: (Episode 7) - Joel Derfner,Ellen Kushner,Malinda Lo,Patty Bryant,Racheline Maltese,Alaya Dawn Johnson
Tremontaine: A City Without Chocolate: (Episode 8) - Malinda Lo,Ellen Kushner,Joel Derfner,Racheline Maltese,Patty Bryant,Alaya Dawn Johnson
Tremontaine: The Dagger and the Sword (episode 5) - Ellen Kushner,Joel Derfner,Racheline Maltese,Malinda Lo,Alaya Dawn Johnson,Patty Bryant

One day the steroids will definitely kick in, I have faith! Until then, you can check out my overview here on SoundCloud, or listen to it on the player at the bottom of the post!

 

Grab it at: Serial Box | Amazon

 

 

 

Welcome to Tremontaine, the prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside series that began with Swordspoint! A Duchess whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; her husband’s dangerous affair with a handsome scholar; a foreigner in a playground of swordplay and secrets; and a mathematical genius on the brink of revolution—when long-buried lies threaten to come to light, betrayal and treachery know no bounds with stakes this high. Mind your manners and enjoy the chocolate in a dance of sparkling wit and political intrigue.

 

WRITTEN BY: Ellen Kushner, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Malinda Lo, Joel Derfner, Racheline Maltese, Patty Bryant, Paul Witcover (guest author)
AUDIO NARRATED BY: Nick Sullivan, Sarah Mollo-Christensen, Katherine Kellgren
AUDIO PRODUCED BY: Amanda Rose Smith

 

 

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text 2015-10-14 15:11
That's what I'm telling myself.
Wool: The Graphic Novel (Kindle Serial) - Jimmy Palmiotti,Justin Gray,Hugh Howey,Jimmy Broxton
Spider-Gwen #1 Marvel Comics 2015 - Jason Latour
Star Wars Princess Leia #1 (First Printing; Marvel 2015) - Mark Waid,Kieron Gillen
Thor #1 - Russell Dauterman,Jason Aaron

While I didn't technically buy books today, I did pick up a few digital comics for my girls and I to peruse.  But since they're a) comics and b) digital, they don't really count towards my self imposed book buying ban, right? Right?  Ah well, at least I don't have to rearrange my physical book cases to fit these in.

 

Since I'd been reading the Graphic Novel version of the Hobbit the last few days, I'd been inspired to find some other adaptations to read... and by inspired, I mean I was procrastinating typing up a lab report that's due next week.  

So I did my usual, check out what free comics Comixology has, and after downloading those noticed a couple of sales they were having. I picked up Wool: The Graphic Novel, an adaptation of Hugh Howey's books of the same name.  Not that I've read the Wool yet, it's been recommended to me numerous times and I really enjoyed Sand last year, so I thought the graphic version might be a good choice for study breaks.


Since I'm always on the look out for ways to encourage my middle daughter to read, and comics are one of the few ways that seems to draw her in, I picked up some of the Marvel discounted comics too, especially since they all featured female leads.

 

I'm quite looking forward to reading the first issue of Thor 2014, which caused a stir by making the god of thunder a woman. I also picked up a couple of Spider variants: Gwen #1 (2015) and Woman #1 (2014), She Hulk #1 (2014) and the one I think will be the biggest hit, Princess Leia #1 (2015).

 

They also had the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 (2015), Ms Marvel #1 (2014), Black Widow #1 (2014) and Captain Marvel #1 (2014), all of which we had already. I've only read the first 2 so far, and I highly recommend them if you're looking for a good "girl power" read.

 

Now to stop myself from reading them before I get this report done.  It's going to be hard.

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review 2015-05-26 00:40
Review: Never Never: Part 2 by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Never Never: Part Two - Colleen Hoover,Tarryn Fisher

So quick review for a quick read. "Never Never Part Two" was much weaker, in my opinion, than the first part. Granted, we get a few more answers in terms of Charlie and Silas's experience as far as the ongoing conflict between their families and a few of the relationships and connections they have. However, I honestly feel like this narrative didn't make the most of its respective space, and the pacing was uneven for what the serial's space allotted. There were absolutely no answers as far as to why Charlie was locked in a facility, no insight in terms of the time-sensitive selective amnesia the two of them are going through, and no answers as to what or whom might be following Silas even as he tries to search for Charlie and figure out what happened to her in the course of the story. (And the two of them seem to be very avoidant of the police, but yet they're willing to go to a fortune teller? Figure that out.)

I will say that I liked some of Charlie's chapters the most because it held the most suspense and peril. Silas's chapters got a little too melodramatic for me in terms of laying the romance between him and Charlie too thick. For this short of a story - the connection is really threadbare and doesn't stand alone very well in this installment. I understood it was meant to be heartfelt (particularly since Charlie was said to have had a significant personality change due to her father's imprisonment and that conflict), but I didn't feel it from the presentation of the narrative.

Colleen Hoover's heroes have a tendency of dictating to the heroine what actions they need to take in order to be happy and that was another pet peeve of mine as I read this (I knew it, because it's in every single story Hoover's written to this date). I mean...I don't get it - I don't think that's romantic, I think that's not allowing the heroine to think or feel for herself really, as if Silas has any right to tell her how to feel about anything she's grieving over.

And I'm not saying this to absolve irritation from Charlie's character, because she's said to have belittled and bullied people. She's still very judgmental even when she's held captive in parts of this book.

*sighs* This has a promising premise, but I'm wondering how this is going to wrap up in just one more installment (not sure how long it's going to be), because I have a feeling if it's going to wrap up in one final part, it's going to be very rushed to try to catch up with the development needed for the first two parts to hit home and tie the loose ends together. I'll read the next, but only because I really want to have some definitive answers as to how this mystery ends. I hope it's better than the quality of this part was.

Also: ending a serial part mid-sentence is NEVER a good idea. It's not even a cliffhanger, it's just a cheap form of an ending. =

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars.

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review 2015-05-25 21:00
Review: Never Never: Part One by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Never Never - Colleen Hoover,Tarryn Fisher

Initial reaction: I'm starting to think with every book I pick up by Colleen Hoover, whether it's solo or collaborated, she always has brilliant concepts to write about, but I usually have a problem with how the execution comes across. This first part of "Never Never" included, which is a shame because I really like some of the ideas and points of intrigue in here. It's enough to keep me reading, but...I'm not that enthused about it.

Full review:

"Never Never" is a collaboration serial novel between Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. I've read several of Hoover's works (with varying reactions), and this is my first read from Fisher. It's hard for me to have a handle in terms of how their styles differ as writers, so I can only react as to what this work gives me.

This is going to be a relatively short reflection because it only offered part of a story for the 150 digital pages it expounded upon. Basically, it trades between the perspectives of Silas and Charlie - teens in high school who suddenly realize they don't remember who they are or their lives in general. It's selective amnesia, and they're the only two who seem to have the condition. They spend a good deal of time trying to play off the fact that nothing's wrong while also trying to figure out who they were before the memory loss. There are certain things they remember as creatures of habit, but as far as some major events are concerned (Their families being a part of a corrupt money scheme, Charlie's father being in jail, Silas having an affair with the school guidance counselor, as per examples), nope - no memories.

I will say I liked the concept of the novel in terms of Silas and Charlie trying to find their identities - it felt similar to a FP Role-Playing game I played a while back with a similar concept (and I can't remember the name of it for the life of me - ironic, right?). Watching Charlie and Silas trying to reconnect with their lives and make sense of their relationships was probably the more genuine offering this narrative gave me, as well as tidbits of an emotional and legal rift that occurred between their families. There were some moments of humor I found myself chuckling at as well (Silas calling Charlie random superheroine names during one of the scenes was funny).

But I kept asking in the back of my mind "Where the heck is the focus on the plot?" during the entire time I read this. The pacing for such a short read was sluggish and meandered far more often than not. By the time the "twist" ending came about, I was like "You could've gotten to that point SOONER, you know!" A good point to end on, but it left me with more questions than answers and some of those questions could've been answered with the narrative time versus other points where it felt like it wasted on other things.

Plus, a lot of it was petty and shallow - if you want my honest opinion about it, especially for such a heavy concept. Losing your memory is a very scary thing, and I imagine it'd be its own measure of traumatic for the people who have that experience. I'd expect that if pressed to keep it secret, it'd have much more urgency than it seemed to have in parts of this serial. For Silas and Charlie, there were points where it hits them hard, particularly when it comes to dealing with their families individually. I got that, but there were other times (mostly during the instalove, which I mentally discarded because I wouldn't even call this a romance - it happens way too fast and I couldn't believe in it), but other times I was like "Uh...doesn't it even occur to them how much crap they did in their lives and they can't even remotely remember it?"

Silas and Charlie could be seen as typical NA leading characters. I didn't like Charlie's character because of how shallow and judgmental she was. From her comments regarding seeing her unrecognized face in a photo of her driver's license (she puts emphasis in noting that she's "pretty"), to comments about a black girl she's shocked about seeing (for what reason, I have no idea), to a pimple faced girl she notes as "ugly", to commenting about a homeless woman's smell.

Like, what the heck man? What is this girl's problem? How am I supposed to feel anything, let alone sympathy, for how horribly she puts other people down? And Silas, when he was gushing over Charlie, seemed to forget the rest of the world and responsibilities - even if it was over a girl he barely seemed to know, let alone not knowing himself.

As for the narrative space that was spent pushing their relationship - I'll admit it was too much, especially for the concept of discovering why both characters were in this predicament in the first place.

It was a quick read, and I thought the concept had potential, so I'll be reading part two to this, but I really didn't like that this story offered so few answers to the overarching questions of the work and how shallow the portrayal was. I'm hoping the next part will improve on these issues.

Overall score: 2/5 stars.

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review 2015-05-16 00:00
Past Forward-A Serial Novel: Episode 2
Past Forward-A Serial Novel: Episode 2 - Chautona Havig In the continuation of the series, I was impressed with how Willow's story was progressing as she moves from her isolated life into the modern world.
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