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review 2017-11-02 15:20
Review: Fireblood
Fireblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This is one of those delightful fantasy series that the plot twists are actually pretty ridiculous and kind of laughable, but it’s just SO GOOD you can overlook how silly it really is because it’s so exceptionally well written and the characters are excellent. Definitely one of my favourite fantasy series of this year.

 

Review contains spoilers for the first book.

 

Picking up shortly after where the first book ended, Arcus is now King of the Frostbloods and Ruby is now a Lady living in his court. She still has the hideous Minax monster hiding in her mind and is on a quest to figure out how to destroy it. Her friend from the first book, Lady Marella is helping her with court etiquette. Despite the fact that the Frostblood curse and throne is gone, and the evil king Rasmus along with it, not all the nobles are over joyed with the changes Arcus wants to implement, giving the regular people more fair trade terms for farmers and such. And treat the Firebloods better. Ruby is still met with scorn and suspicion. But she handles it a lot better.

(spoiler show)

 

She’s definitely got a spark and attitude and a delightful snarky manor about her, given everything Ruby went through in the first book, she’s an incredibly strong and well-adjusted character and is definitely (in this reader’s opinion) entitled to her moments of moaning and temper. She’s smart enough to know and understand that everything isn’t going to go smoothly.

 

During a fancy ball, after an assassination attempt Ruby makes the acquaintance of a strange but handsome boy Kai, who has an interesting offer for her. He’s a Fireblood like her and can take her to the Fireblood island to meet with the Fireblood Queen. One of the new ideas Arcus is after is a peace treaty between the Fireblood lands and the Frostblood lands. The Queen didn’t respond to his invitations to the ball and talks. Ruby figures if she takes Kai up on his offer then she can be the emissary for peace talks. And she’s also learned that the book she needs to destroy the Minax in the library at the Fireblood palace. So another reason to go.

(spoiler show)

 

Of course there is naturally some suspicion there. Wouldn’t be that simple. (And of course if everything went according to the plan there wouldn’t be much of a book.) There’s a lot of arguing between Ruby and Arcus on this point which makes a lot of sense if you think about it. There’s not a lot of information on who Kai is, or if he’s really who he SAYS he is. Or what he’s really doing there. Is she just going to blindly trust him and believe what he says? You can understand Arcus’s reasons against it.

 

 

 

At the same time Ruby has the chance to learn more about her own people and her own powers, she’ll be with others the same as herself – Firebloods. You can understand as well why Ruby wants to see the Fireblood lands. It’s a well reasoned argument with good points from both sides, made more frustrating by the deep attraction and the love that the two have for each other. And it’s almost painful to read about for the two of them clearly care deeply for each other but both are damned stubborn.

 

So Ruby heads off for the Firebloods lands across the sea. Where she’s met with some disturbing home truths about how the Fireblood Queen really is. Kai of course has kept his own secrets and reasons for bringing Ruby to the island. She’s pissed, naturally, but that doesn’t stop the fantastic bantery flirting between the two of them. Leading to internal conflict inside Ruby because she still has strong feelings for Arcus. <

(spoiler show)

 

Ruby has to take trails to become a Master before she can get access to the information she needs. And nothing goes according to plan. As the training increases and the tests she has to pass become more and more difficult, she’s hit bit a number of startling revelations about who she really is and who her own deceased mother was.

 

The twists are a bit silly to be perfectly honest, but like I said earlier, this is such a brilliantly written book, the daftness of the plot which can be eye rolling at times, doesn’t particularly matter because it’s so much fun to read. Left at a cliffhanger (of course) for the final instalment. Which I am really looking forward to.

 

This is a fantastic series I can’t recommend enough. I’ve already pre ordered the last book.

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review 2017-10-29 15:59
From the Platform 2: More NYC Subway Graffiti, 1983–1989
From the Platform 2: More NYC Subway Graffiti, 1983–1989 - Paul Cavalieri,Kenny Cavalieri,Henry Chalfant

BLURB:

 

This is a nostalgic, visual account of the best time and place to be a graffiti writer. In the 1980s, brothers Kenny, a.k.a. KEY, and Paul, a.k.a. CAVS, immersed themselves in the graffiti scene in the Boogie Down Bronx, dutifully photographing hundreds of pieces on now-discontinued MTA subway cars and capturing their proud comrades before, during, and after the act. “Bombing” “White Elephants” with their pilot markers and documenting them with their cameras, which they always carried, they were on the ride of their lives—until 1989, when the last painted train was removed from service. Tags by names like QUIK, IZTHEWIZ, and many others appear here in color exposures, and dozens of artists share stories and drop knowledge with no filter. A foreword by graffiti historian Henry Chalfant, coproducer of Style Wars—the seminal documentary on New York graffiti and hip-hop culture—kicks things off.

 

REVIEW:

 

I have always loved graffiti. I live near two cities that both sport a lot of graffiti. I never tire from seeing it. 

 

I really enjoyed this coffee table book. It is amazing what someone can create with some spray paint. I can only imagine the amount of time and dedication it took for the brothers to photograph all these subway car masterpieces. The text boxes tell the story of their jouney.

 

 

Highly recommended.

 

REVIEW copy provided by Edelwiess.

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review 2017-01-04 11:40
Review: Fear the Drowning Deep
Fear the Drowning Deep - Sarah Marsh

I received a copy from Edelweiss

 

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this one, it was a bit of coverlust more than anything about it that caught my attention and I snagged it as soon as I saw it on Edelweiss as a read it now. I’d forgotten what it was about by the time I finally got around to read it. Pleasantly surprised to find how unique this novel was and how much I enjoyed and how unexpected the plot was. It’s a turn of the century historical set in the Isle of Man.

 

The main character lives in small island village steeped mythology regarding the sea and the creatures within and the strange fairy folk (think more traditional type fairies, Little Folk, mysterious and hardly ever seen but a somewhat worrying presence).

 

Bridey, the main character, just wants to escape from the island and go experience London and the mainland. She has a close tightknit family of a number of siblings, a couple of best friends, though her male friend Lugh’s attention seem to be changing slightly towards her. The town even has a creepy old lady who lives, Morag, alone with a mysterious past known as the local witch.

 

Bridey is haunted by the mysterious death of her grandfather. She was there when it happened, the official cause is drowning, but she knows there’s more to it. Problem is no one believes her. Not helped when Bridey is looking for work and her mother sends her to go apprentice to Morag. Then girls start disappearing and turning up dead.

 

Along with the arrival of a strange boy washed up on the beach. The boy has horrible wounds and no memory of who he is. Bridey takes him home to help nurse him back to health, as he has no name, she names him Fynn.

 

Beautifully written, almost lyrical, and completely captivating, the mythology of the sea beasts and magic of the isle is woven in and it’s absolutely fascinating. The cast of characters is pretty incredible, from the stubborn townsfolk who can be at once giving and incredibly small minded, and of course there’s much more to local witch Morag than anyone thought to look at.

 

And the slow build of trust and friendship between Bridey and Fynn is very well done and believable. It’s not insta-love, it takes time and work. Coupled with the mystery of the disappearing girls it all mixes together and works incredibly well. It’s not just focused on Bridey and Fynn, I really liked the inclusion of Bridey’s family and her friends and how they all cope differently with the events in the novel as they unfold.

 

The plot has a few surprising twists and turns and it’s impossible to guess, and the end really threw me and was completely unexpected. Some of the ending was a little hard to follow, I had to go back and read some of the scenes twice to make sure I was following the plot correctly, but the initial twist at the end was still a big surprise.

 

All in all a fantastic read and definitely an author I look forward to reading more of.

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text 2016-04-17 10:11
Gris Grimly's Tales From the Brothers Grimm
Gris Grimly's Tales from the Brothers Grimm - Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm,Margaret Hunt,Gris Grimly

We all know, or are at least familiar with Grimm's Fairy Tales. What makes this particular edition special is that it is illustrated. I like the way this is done. The graphics are mostly black and white (a few color too), and slightly dark in nature to match the story.

 !

 

Recommendation:

 

I don't recommend this for really young readers. As I said above, these graphics have a dark quality to them. I could see a child easily being frightened by them. 

 

I recieved a copy of this through Edelwiess in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

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review 2016-02-20 15:11
The Fireman - Joe Hill

This is good, but it's not what I expect from Joe Hill. I expect horror, good pacing, and a story that really sucks me in right from the beginning. I got a dystopian, dark fantasy that flows really well in some spots, but seems too long and drawn out for my tastes. I did eventually get sucked into the story though. The plot was good, but I really feel this should have been tapered down quite a bit. While it's not what I would consider a "too long" book, it's 384 could have slimmed down by about 80 or so of those.

 

In this people are being wiped out by Dragonscale. It's very contagious. The people infected with this all burst out in flames, or so everyone thought. We meet a nurse who volunteers at a hospital where she meets the fireman who promises tells her to call on him if ever she is in need of help with a fire. Lots of flames and combustion people later, the hospital burns. She becomes infected. She also finds out she is pregnant. Her jerk of a boyfriend thinks he too is infected, goes all wacky crazy, and becomes hell bent on ending both their lives. The "Fireman" is amazing, and hard to describe, probably because I still don't fully understand what he is, but he is all badass superman, and i have to admit i developed a bit of a crush. He protects her and takes her to a place where infected people have learned how to not burst into flames and live a productive life.

 

Up until this book I considered Joe Hill a younger Stephen King and found so many similarities in their writing, they share DNA after all. He proved me wrong. I really didn't like this at first, but I grew on me. I think in years to come the younger will surpass the older in talent, I never thought I would say that. To be honest, when I first found out that Hill was Kings son, I had a hard time not thinking he would be a one hit wonder, or a couple hit wonder. 

 

I recieved a copy of this through Edelwiess in exchange for an honest review. (I got lucky!)

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