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review 2018-01-21 14:29
Audio Book Review: Air and Ash
Air and Ash (TIDES) (Volume 1) - Alex Li... Air and Ash (TIDES) (Volume 1) - Alex Lidell

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

The story starts fast with battle at sea with Nile Greysik part of the crew. There is mention of a decade war and that the ship carries a code book of the enemy which could help end the war. However, things fall apart and Nile's ship, Faithful, and crew takes the brunt of it.

Kaitlin is a new voice for me to listen to. She starts off strong with there being a battle at sea. She picks up on the quick thoughts and actions voicing it all so we are in that chaotic moment. She also voices different characters with adjusting her voice and tone so each sound to match the characters age and personality. Yes! She had my attention from the get go. Solid start! Kaitlin felt to be Nile in this book, which is a great feeling for the listener. The story comes to life and the narrator is part of it.

This book is Young Adult, but it reads stronger than that. I love how Nile speaks of many aspects and dynamics in honest and forward way, as she's dealt and talked about it openly her life so far. The relationship of men and woman on a ship and what happens to people that are Gifted. She doesn't shy from many topics, making them matter of fact feeling.

The Gifted. This is a special magic that comes out in some people in the world. It's based on elements and controlling them. But, there is great consequences that comes from having this ability. Heavy drawback on the body for being Gifted. I like the price for the ability, though no one has a choice to be gifted or not.

It felt that Nile's drive is true, and there are added reasons for that drive that affect her as well. Of course she runs for one reason, but her true desire was stated before that and is what becomes her main goal. I really like how these topics are written to overlap and the world and events drive her to do what she may not have done, or doing sooner than would have.

Alex has created an enticing story with Nile and her world. The way the story is told, there is much that can happen on the ship with the crew present. Nile's views of how things are handled in the world are firm, and there is much happening in the world to fight against. This is a huge story in it's own. It's also a stepping stone for Nile to get to where she wants to be, but has to do her time. Great blend of ultimate goal with immediate obstacles.

This is a storyline and characters I'd love to follow the story along when the books come out in audiobook in the future.

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text 2018-01-21 05:22
Reading progress update: I've read 89 out of 272 pages.
Nimona - Noelle Stevenson

loving this

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review 2018-01-20 20:45
Undercover Princess
Undercover Princess (Rosewood Chronicles) - Connie Glynn

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

There were good ideas in there, and I was fairly thrilled at first at the setting and prospects (a boarding school in England, hidden royals that looked like they’d be badass, etc.), but I must say that in the end, even though I read the novel in a rather short time and it didn’t fall from my hands, it was all sort of bland.

The writing itself was clunky, and while it did have good parts (the descriptions of the school, for instance, made the latter easy to picture), it was more telling, not showing most of the time. I’m usually not too regarding on that, I tend to judge first on plot and characters, and then only on style, but here I found it disruptive. For instance, the relationship between Ellie and Lottie has a few moments that border on the ‘what the hell’ quality: I could sense they were supposed to hint at possible romantic involvement (or at an evolution in that direction later), but the way they were described, it felt completely awkward (and not ‘teenage-girls-discovering-love’ cute/awkward).

The characters were mostly, well, bland. I feel it was partly tied to another problem I’ll mention later, namely that things occur too fast, so we had quite a few characters introduced, but not developed. Some of their actions didn’t make sense either, starting with Princess Eleanor Wolfson whose name undercover gets to be... Ellie Wolf? I’m surprised she wasn’t found out from day one, to be honest. Or the head of the house who catches the girls sneaking out at night and punishes them by offering them a cup of tea (there was no particular reason for her to be lenient towards them at the time, and if that was meant to hint at a further plot point, then we never reached that point in the novel).

(On that subject, I did however like the Ellie/Lottie friendship in general. It started in a rocky way, that at first made me wonder how come they went from antipathy to friendship in five minutes; however, considering the first-impression antipathy was mostly based on misunderstanding and a bit of a housework matter, it’s not like it made for great enmity reasons either, so friendship stemming from the misunderstanding didn’t seem so silly in hindsight. For some reason, too, the girls kind of made me think of ‘Utena’—probably because of the setting, and because Ellie is boyish and sometimes described as a prince rather than a princess.)

The story, in my opinion, suffers from both a case of ‘nothing happens’ and ‘too many things happen’. It played with several different plot directions: boarding school life; undercover princess trying to keep her secret while another girl tries to divert all attention on her as the official princess; prince (and potential romantic interest) showing up; mysterious boy (and potential romantic interest in a totally different way) showing up; the girls who may or may not be romantically involved in the future; trying to find out who’s leaving threatening messages; Binah’s little enigma, and the way it ties into the school’s history, and will that ever play a part or not; Anastacia and the others, and who among them leaked the rumour; going to Maradova; the summer ball; the villains and their motivations. *If* more time had been spent on these subplots, with more character development, I believe the whole result would’ve been more exciting. Yet at the same time all this gets crammed into the novel, there’s no real sense of urgency either, except in the last few chapters. That was a weird dichotomy to contend with.

Conclusion: 1.5 stars. I’m honestly not sure if I’ll be interested in reading the second book. I did like the vibes between Lottie and Ellie, though.

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review 2018-01-18 15:02
Book #1 of 2018; Jackaby by William Ritter
Jackaby - William Ritter

 

 

Abigail Rook is our main character.

R.F. Jackaby is her eccentric employer. 

Charlie Cane is a junior detective in the police force.

Marlowe is Charlie's boss and head of the police force.

Commissioner Swift is Marlowe's boss. PIC.(Person In Charge)

 

Abigail Rook is a naïve young woman that has left her parents to answer to a flier that said "EXCITING OPPORTUNITY". It shortly fell through, as anyone could guess, and she ended up buying a ticket on a giant ship. There is no way this girl would let her parents win. She has been denied adventure all of her life. Now, the reigns are in her hands.

 

When she ports, she goes to a bar and a man approaches her, asking her all about her travels, like he was on the ship riding next to her the entire time. Instead, she asks and he informs her that he is some type of investigator. When he leaves the bar, she asks around who the man was.  They all tell her that he's R.F Jackaby. And that he swears by mermaids.

 

She starts looking for a job and everyone tells her to go to the Post Office. There, she finds another flier…….

 

This one reads: INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES NEEDED.

 

So, she takes a ticket and goes to the address.

 

It's Jackaby.

 

From here on out it's crazy werewolves and cute detectives. Friendly ghosts and human ducks.  And a law system that is slowly falling apart……..from the top down

 

If you can appreciate an unexpected turn of events all of a sudden, you will be in for a treat. This book will deliver. 

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review 2018-01-17 22:05
Two Boys Kissing / David Levithan
Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan

New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

 

A very moving book, one that I would recommend that you buy for any young person in your life, regardless of their sexuality. But I doubly recommend that you buy it for any youth that you know who identifies as gay, lesbian or transgender. And I triply recommend it for any young person who is intolerant of sexual diversity. Remember to let them know that you love them and want the best life for them.

I would also say that if you know a parent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, sibling, etc. who is uncomfortable with the sexuality of a child, this would be an excellent way to open their hearts to the reality of the way that people are. We don’t all fit into neatly labelled boxes nor should we have to.

I’m of the generation that remembers when AIDS wasn’t spoken about. Back when governments and society tried to shove it under the rug. The many, many people who died before the disease was taken seriously. How it took the deaths of people like Rock Hudson to get the general population to care. As a result, I loved the “chorus” of those who have passed on, but remain to witness. Very much like a Greek chorus, commenting on what is happening in the book.

A quick but satisfying read.

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