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text 2018-08-14 15:55
Reading progress update: I've read 70%.
The Hazel Wood - Melissa Albert

It's a dark fairy tale that isn't really doing much for me. I think that the whole thing feels kind of rushed. I am more interested in the fairy tale stories we are told than the actual action that is going on with Alice and Finch. And now I am realizing that this is the first in either a duology or trilogy and I just don't see how which means that I am probably going to read a cliffhanger.

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review 2018-08-14 15:47
Nice Look at Wonder Woman and Greek Mythology
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons Series) - Leigh Bardugo

I did like this book though thought the flow wasn't great in a lot of places. Way too many things felt over explained too. And the action scenes were kind of blah. I did love how Bardugo brought in the Greek mythology in her story though (we revisit Helen of Troy) and I loved the whole idea behind it.

 

"Wonder Woman: Warbringer" is a nice little set up of showing Wonder Woman as a teenager who is doing what she can to prove herself to her fellow Amazons. Due to her mother Queen Hippolyta bringing Diana to life through clay, Diana is seen as outside the Amazons by many on Themyscira. While Diana prepares to run a race, she sees a young woman (Alia Keralis) in the ocean about to drown, deciding to save her, Diana sets things in motions that could see the end of Themyscira and the World of Men. When Diana goes to visit the Oracle and is told that Alia is a Warbringer (a direct descendant of Helen of Troy) and the best thing she can do is to let Alia die, she decides to do what it takes to keep Alia safe even if it means traveling to Alia's world.


I really liked Diana in this one. Bardugo shows that she (Diana) is smart and capable. Diana may not know what the World of Men is like, but she catches on quickly and promises to be there for Alia and Alia's friends and her brother no matter what. I do wish that we had time to delve into Diana bit more. We know that she feels separate from the other Amazons and that she wants to be battle-borne like them, but it definitely feels like she has no one she can really trust or talk to until she meets Alia.

 

I love that Alia and Jason (her brother) are portrayed as black. I initially thought due to the last names that Alia and Jason would just be seen as Greek. Alia and Jason's friends Nim and Theo are also POC as well which was great to see. Nim and Theo are loyal to the end and there are hints of romance between Alia and Theo that we really don't get into since most of the book is the five of them running from attackers. 

 

I wish that all had been developed a bit more too. Diana is the best developed, but Alia, Jason, Theo and Nim felt a bit thin to me after a while. Probably because they keep running and are trying to figure out to keep the world exploding into war. 

 

The writing was okay. We are able to get into Diana's head a bit more. Maybe this would have worked better as a first person via Diana instead of third person via everyone. I think the book just got too jumbled after a while. The flow was not that great though. It felt like the book kept just randomly ending after a while. Also reading about people running for their lives and occasionally fighting is boring. Bardugo tries to set up a romance between Diana and Jason and it didn't work at all. I hard shrugged that thing and wasn't feeling it.  Same issue with Alia and Theo. I feel like it's a YA requirement to have love triangles or whatever going on in YA books. 

 

I also didn't like the twist/reveal since it made zero sense and just felt like it got put in there to show even more conflict. 

 

The setting of the book moves from Themyscira, to New York, and to Greece. I didn't really get a good sense of locations beyond Themyscira though. I think that Bardugo could have made New York and Greece come alive a bit more. 

 

The ending sets things up to show that Diana is eventually going to be Wonder Woman. She's totally clueless though and I thought the whole thing made zero sense since she should know what she looks like. 

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review 2018-08-14 09:19
Munteres Geschichten-Stapeln
Girl of Nightmares - Kendare Blake

Im Frühling 2016 wurde bekannt, dass Kendare Blake die Filmrechte von „Anna Dressed in Blood“ an Stephenie Meyer verkaufte. Die Produktionsfirma der „Twilight“-Autorin legte sofort los, benannte Regisseurin, Drehbuchautorin und einen Teil des Casts. Seitdem wurde es still um das Projekt. Vielleicht wurde „Anna Dressed in Blood“ einfach nur hinter Meyers Serien-Realisierung ihres Romans „The Chemist“ zurückgestellt – vielleicht wurde die Verfilmung aber auch gecancelt. Wir haben ja schon oft erlebt, dass solche Projekte im Sande verlaufen. Für mich hat der Film allerdings ohnehin keine Priorität, obwohl ich mir vorstellen könnte, ihn mir anzusehen. Die Fortsetzung „Girl of Nightmares“ war definitiv wichtiger.

 

Cas, Carmel und Thomas verdanken ihre Leben einem Geist: Anna Korlov, besser bekannt als Anna Dressed in Blood. Sie opferte sich, um die drei zu schützen und zog den schrecklichen Obeahman hinab in die Hölle. Cas weiß, dass Carmel und Thomas die beängstigenden Ereignisse dieser Nacht hinter sich lassen möchten, doch er kann nicht vergessen, was Anna für sie getan hat. Er kann nicht aufhören, an sie zu denken. Er träumt oft von ihr – blutige, unheimliche Albträume. Als er beginnt, Anna auch tagsüber zu sehen, zweifelt er an seinem Verstand. Die Visionen sind verstörend; sie wirkt gequält, gehetzt und verzweifelt. Ist es möglich, dass es sich gar nicht um Halluzinationen handelt? Versucht Anna, um Hilfe zu rufen? Sofort ist Cas fest entschlossen, Anna zu retten. Die einzigen, die ihm einen Weg in die Hölle weisen können, sind die Mitglieder des mysteriösen Ordens, der sein Athame erschuf. Diese verfolgen allerdings ganz eigene Pläne, für die Cas nicht unbedingt überleben muss. Und in der Hölle wartet schon der Obeahman auf ihn…

 

Überflüssig. Hätte man auch sein lassen können. Ich hatte keine hohen Erwartungen an „Girl of Nightmares“, weil mich bereits der erste Band „Anna Dressed in Blood“ nicht vom Hocker riss. Aber ich habe schon angenommen, dass sich einige Fragen, die der Vorgänger offengelassen hatte, klären würden. Beispielsweise, welch merkwürdige Beziehung Cas‘ Familie zu dem Athame hat und ob sie die einzigen Jäger auf der Welt sind. Gibt es nur Geister und Hexen, oder auch Monster? Vampire, Werwölfe, Banshees? Und wie kann es eigentlich sein, dass Cas‘ Mutter einverstanden ist, ihren minderjährigen Sohn auf Geisterjagd zu schicken und ihn ihr Leben bestimmen zu lassen? „Girl of Nightmares“ beantwortet keine dieser Fragen zufriedenstellend. Es fügt der Geschichte nichts hinzu, was ich hätte wissen müssen, beleuchtet keine Hintergründe und fühlte sich irritierend losgelöst vom ersten Band an. Obwohl die Handlung an „Anna Dressed in Blood“ anknüpft, hatte ich den Eindruck, Kendare Blake hätte einfach nur eine weitere Geschichte auf die erste gestapelt, statt erläuternde Verbindungen zwischen den Bänden herzustellen, die das Verständnis erweitern. Vielleicht wollte sie das gar nicht, vielleicht wollte sie zwei weitgehend eigenständige Geschichten erzählen, doch ich hatte mit unter der Fortsetzung eben etwas anderes vorgestellt. Unsere Prioritäten liegen offenbar recht weit auseinander. Während ich Hintergrundwissen als deutlich wichtiger als Action einstufe, scheint Blake handfeste Szenen zu lieben und schreibt lieber übernatürliche Prügeleien, anstatt Details in einen Kontext zu setzen. Trotz dessen bemühte sie sich, die Horroraspekte der Fortsetzung eher aus der psychischen, als aus der physischen Perspektive anzugehen. Es gelang ihr, eine ansatzweise gruselige Atmosphäre heraufzubeschwören, die meine Vorstellungkraft allerdings nicht auf eine Achterbahnfahrt des Grauens schickte. Für meinen Geschmack ging sie definitiv zu zaghaft vor. Als Cas beginnt, Visionen von Anna zu haben, besucht sie ihn eines Nachts. Ein gequälter, gefolterter Geist steht plötzlich an seinem Bett. Doch statt das unheimliche Potential der Situation voll auszuspielen, lässt Kendare Blake die beiden reden. Sie reden! Schnarch. Ich fand „Girl of Nightmares“ aufgrund solcher Szenen ziemlich langweilig und war enttäuscht, dass sich meine Schwierigkeiten mit Cas, die ich im ersten Band kritisiert hatte, leider nicht legten. Ich halte ihn noch immer für einen arroganten Kotzbrocken. Es ist ja ganz toll, dass er mittlerweile erkannte, dass Freunde eine praktische Sache sind, aber sein Mangel an Demut stieß mir weiterhin sauer auf. Er interessiert sich nur für Anna, die Schicksale anderer Geister sind ihm so gut wie gleichgültig. Außerdem verstehe ich einfach nicht, was an ihm so besonders ist. Er hat keine speziellen Kräfte, sein einziges Ass im Ärmel ist das Athame, das jeder andere Mensch ebenfalls führen könnte. Was qualifiziert ausgerechnet ihn als Geisterjäger? Kendare Blake schaffte es nicht, mich von seinem Sonderstatus zu überzeugen, weshalb ich das gesamte Buch in Frage stellte. Nicht einmal der finale Showdown, für den die Autorin wieder den Obeahman als Endgegner hervorzerrte, vermochte die Lektüre für mich zu retten. Das offene Ende war schlicht unbefriedigend, weil es die Geschichte nicht wirklich abschließt. Wir erfahren nicht, was aus Cas und seinem Familienauftrag wird. Kendare Blake dreht sich einfach um und geht.

 

Wenn ihr „Girl of Nightmares“ mit der Erwartungshaltung lest, lediglich ein weiteres Abenteuer mit dem Geisterjäger Cas zu erleben zu wollen, kann euch diese Fortsetzung sicher glücklich stimmen. Erwartet ihr hingegen Erklärungen, wie es bei mir der Fall war, wird euch das Buch enttäuschen. Die Handlung bietet zwar durchaus neue Informationen, aber ein Erkenntniszuwachs blieb aus. Es fühlte sich an, als hätte Kendare Blake Neues begonnen, bevor das Alte abgearbeitet war, was dadurch unter den Tisch fallen musste. Ich mochte diese Herangehensweise nicht. Daher verabschiede ich mich jetzt kurz, schmerzlos und unzeremoniell von der „Anna“-Dilogie und widme mich wieder dem Original. Supernatural, ich komme.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/kendare-blake-girl-of-nightmares
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review 2018-08-13 21:12
From where do all those 5* ratings come from I will never understand
A Scoundrel by Moonlight - Anna Campbell

"Dear God, wait until she saw his cock. If his chest made her nervous, she’d run screaming once she caught sight of it. He wasn’t a monster. He knew he was in proportion. But his proportions were notably generous. He’d managed previous encounters without injuring his partners, but Eleanor was a virgin. Perhaps he should ask her to close her eyes when he removed his breeches."

 

 

What a load of bollocks. 

 

Yeah, I've said it. This is hands down the worst book of this series and it just had to come at the very end so it left such a vile taste in my mouth. All those people leaving 5* reviews have clearly: 1. never read a good book, 2. have been hit in the head, 3. are taking some kind of drugs, 4. have amnesia of everything that is good and right about this world. 5. have never encountered the word love or romance in their lives, 6. are personally associated with the author and/or were given books in exchange for better reviews or for some reason 7. like everything that is wrong about historical romance genre.

 

Right, so I got that out of my system, wonderful. First of all, the title doesn't suit this book at all. Who exactly is this scoundrel in the title... the righteous honourable selfless Lord Leath or very prim and proper Miss Trim... they are both so very scoundrelish that I simply cannot decide. Secondly, dear author, if you had no idea what to do next, you didn't have to force this quick cash grab just to have something published. Because this is exactly what I have said, a quick cash grab, adding one more character to the Sons of Sin series (that only had bastards of the ton originally which is why it is called The Sons of Sin... explain to me how exactly is Lord Leath, a legitimate child of a famous honourable praised influential family a son of sin exactly??? ).

 

I won't dawdle on this too much, it's clear that my opinion is in the minority here but it just irks me so to have my time wasted intentionally. I read this book only because I have read the previous ones, I like the sons of sin idea, but how the hell does Leath fit into this at all??? I am so tired and exhausted after dragging this read throughout this week.

 

This book is so dry, there is not one original thought in it, there is nothing that would make me find it at least a bit redeemable, even the godforsaken sex scenes were so dry I am surprised they didn't turn into dust and got blown away with the wind. This just follows the same formula, get two people who are not society's ideal couple into a perilous situation and they will eventually get together, and I mean eventually, like after a thousand years it seemed, if I would have to read one more line of inner thoughts about how I love him so much but I would just be a burden to him and would tarnish his reputation I would stab my eyes with a fork. Hopefully a very dull fork. Pain would be such a relief at that point.

 

Everything in this book is wrong, it is so CONTRIVED it honestly leaves me lost for words at times. If this just so conveniently didn't happen in this convenient accidental place because of that totally convenient not at all contrived reason with the help of that convenience and simply pissing on reader's intelligence this oh so convenient love might not turn out to be so convenient after all.

 

First half of the book Eleanor Trim so wants to marry Lord Leath but he can just have her as his mistress. The second part of the book Lord Leath begs Eleanor Trim to marry him but she keeps on refusing saying it is for his own good. Honestly... *sigh. And their so well thought out reasons and feelings shift in less than a second. Without any explanation. Just ah, yes, for two hundred fucking pages I have been saying no to marrying you because I am a poor nobody and I would ruin your career and your mother would hate you and you would no longer have a place in society but now that I was in one stupid perilous situation I totally want to marry you and all the reasons against it just simply vanish. Why would we mention such silly things as me ending your political career or me hurting the health of your frail mother even more or me making you a laughingstock of the ton... what reasons? This is fiction, people, reasons have no place in historical romance genres you know. Yeah, I am being sarcastic and after everything this book has put me through I think I have a right to be.

 

Did I mention that the awkward dry scene of him taking her virginity lasts for 21 pages? I didn't? Oh, well, let me correct that. So yes, their first sex scene together, without the flirtation before that mind you, takes 21 pages of the book, and I will add to that that immediately after this sex scene finishes, another one starts as soon as they wake up and it lasts for another 6 pages. 27 pages of the awkward humping. Lord give me strength, and no, I do not mean Lord Leath in this instance.

 

The worst thing is that the one thing that keeps them together, this misunderstanding without which they would never have stayed together, is the most contrived thing in the history of contrived things. Lord Neville's henchman, Greengrass, fellow from one of the previous books, has kept the diary of Lord Neville's detailed deflowering and consequent sex encounters with many women across England. He goes through the list and keeps on having sex with those same women and he also blackmails them into giving him money. Eleanor initially thought Leath was the one who did all those deflowerings because apparently Neville used his nephew's name in his evil wrongdoings and it is never explained why really. He was his family, if anyone found out his name would be tainted too, it doesn't matter that he might have thought Leath was acting all too good and proper. Makes no freaking sense. And now this Greengrass wants Leath to pay up for not making the diary public. And they arrange to meet at some tavern or whatever and Leath has all of the 'bastards' with him when they thoroughly inspect the place one day in advance and make note of all the exists and surroundings. And what do you think happens? CONTRIVANCE, that's what. They missed to notice a third exit and a whole freaking back alley where it leads to, not to mention the escape and tunnels from the cellar... where were they looking? Alternate universe??? And they clearly say this:

 

"...sidling to bring the end of the alley into view. It was ominously empty. How the hell had they missed this exit? Last night, he and the others had thoroughly checked the inn. He’d have laid money that they’d counted every door and window." - p.244 look it up if you don't believe me. Most intelligent, cunning, brave, influential men of the Society and they missed an entire back ally of the establishment. I have to say that is an achievement in itself truly.

 

 

I will stop now. My head hurts so much from all this nonsense. My suggestion? Read the other books in the series (my favourite is about the Hillbrooks), pretend this one doesn't exist. If anyone happens to wonder why I still haven't left reviews of the other books in the series, the reason is that I wanted to read all of the books before leaving reviews and since I ended with this one and this one made me so angry I wanted to start with this one whereas reviews are concerned and put it out of mind as quickly as possible.

 

And if you wonder why after all that I ranted about I am still giving this book 2*? The answer to that is simple and will always remain the same. Because it is still better than Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.

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review 2018-08-13 20:26
4 Out Of 5 "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" STARS
Alex, Approximately - Jenn Bennett

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

~BOOK BLURB~

Alex, Approximately

Jenn Bennett

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The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

 

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

 

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

 

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I was worried, despite the multitude of glowing reviews that I would find this annoying and juvenile, but it was actually quite good.   It might have felt like it was even going in that direction, early on.  But it soon became a story of substance.  After reading the blurb above, it comes off as being a story about IM's between two people, but that’s really only a small portion of the story.  Overall, the story has a lot more to offer than that and it was a really sweet and worthwhile listening experience.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3.8/5

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Book Cover~ It's Okay…but it doesn't represent the story.

Narration~ Amy Melissa Bentley

Setting~ Coronado Cove, California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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