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review 2016-09-13 17:14
The Autumnlands Tooth and Claw Volume 1
The Autumnlands Volume 1: Tooth and Claw - Benjamin Dewey,Jordie Bellaire,Kurt Busiek

5 Stars, buy it.



I've read up to issue 6 previously but need a refresher before going back to where I left off.  I still love the story and characters (except for the bad guys of course) and I still love the art.  I remember this from when I initially read the first 6 issues that I don’t like the long paragraphs that they stick on with the book covers. I’m not really sure what the book covers are supposed to be, maybe magical texts of theirs? The Autumnlands is highly original and should be read by anyone who likes comics. In anycase, for anyone who loves animals, in particular talking animals, I highly recommend this series.

 

My general Notes: The first issue you meet Dusty, Gharta and Sandhorst. Gharta tries a spell which is forbidden and she destroys the city but produces a champion. In issue two, the survivors are attacked by a bison herd. At that moment he champion is freed and to everyone's horror he's not an animal.in issue 3 we meet Goodfoot and Affa. Goodfoot shows her true colors and so does councilor Sandhorst. Issue four- Dusty, who is also the narrator goes out scouting with the champion while Goodfoot and Councilor Sandorst are up to no good.  In Issue 5 Dusty and some others go on a secret mission for the Champion. Anxiety skyrockets for me when Councillor Sandhorsts arrests Gharta and Affa. Affa and Gartha seem to have a relationship of some sort going on. The plots continue to thicken. In Issue 6:  The parley happens and Gharta is finally freed.  However we loose someone and I won’t spoil it for you.  The asshole Councillor Sandhorst comes out looking the hero.





List of characters for my reference.

 

Bhord- Pug dog who is grey

 

Councillor Sandorst- is the owl

Dunstan/Dusty- White dog/terrier

Gharta- is the warthog

Goodfoot- fox/coyote

Gutruk- walrus I think

Leahroyd- the champion (and only human)

Affa- Giraffe

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text 2016-01-03 21:03
Most Memorable Reads of 2015
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives - Lola Shoneyin
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers
A Lover's Vow - Brenda Jackson
China Rich Girlfriend: A Novel - Kevin Kwan
In Good Company - Jen Turano
The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh
The Milliner's Secret: An epic and heart-wrenching love story set in wartime Paris - Natalie Meg Evans
Best Friends Forever - Kimberla Lawson Roby
Luxe - Ashley Antoinette Snell
The Lost Heiress (Ladies of the Manor) - Roseanna M. White

I read a little over 50 books in 2015. It was the worst reading year for me. I believe that's due to reading pretty much exclusively on my kindle, undue pressure placed on myself, choosing too many fluffy reads and watching too much You Tube.

 

This year I've started with a bang. I'm currently finishing An Untamed State by Roxane Gay. I will be participating in the hashtag #readmyowndamnbooks on Instagram started by Andi at EstellasRevenge on Twitter and YT. Physical books motivate me and push me in ways a kindle can't. I like marking the pages with page flags every 50 pages to keep me going and I like the feel of a book in my hands. I just need to remember to diversify my reading material and genres. 

 

I'm planning on a better 2016 with knowing what changes are needed to make it happen!

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review 2015-12-15 01:41
Inspector of the Dead - David Morrell

My favorite historical mystery series and it keeps getting better. Seriously, this series demonstrates how a historical mystery should be done. You drop down a rabbit hole and wander around in the damp dangerous world of Victorian England. The amount of research Mr. Morrell must have done is staggering, yet he weaves the historical elements and the lives of real people seamlessly into a breathtaking mystery thriller without sparing one ounce of tension.

 

Several times along the way I found myself stopping to delve into the historical story lines because Morrell made them so interesting.

 

Please, someone make this into a movie or, better yet, a series.

 

5 stars. 6 stars. However many—just read it.

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review 2015-12-02 00:00
The History of Us
The History of Us - Nyrae Dawn


5 so very unexpected Stars!


Let me explain something. I am not a fan of NA books. Most of them annoy or ittitate me, because the MCs either act as though they're 3 or 33. And if they do act according to their age, I still get irritated with a lot of them - because the Angst! Teenage angst is an emotion I have a hard time with in books. Not because I'm not sympathetic, or because I don't understand, but because I do. I really, really do. And most of the time I don't want to think about my teens too much. Let's just say it was NOT a good time for me. So I pass most of theYA/ NA stories I see, because I know in the end, I won't enjoy them. A blurb has to really draw me in to change my mind. Some books did that effortlessly, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Gives Light (Gives Light, #1)] or Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

This blurb drew me in from the start, but it was that kind of book, so I was somewhat hestitant to pick it up. But I liked the blurb so much, and came back again and again, reading it, so in the end I thought "What the hell." and bought it. Boy, am I glad I did!

Here we have Bradley, 18 years old and not-so-freshly out of the closet. But he has a very unique predicament. He came out, and then... he was out. Or was he? He didn't have dates, he didn't have queer friends, and never in a million years would he talk to his friends about his thoughts and feelings towards other guys. Not that there would be much to tell, or that his friends didn't accept his outing. His mother was very suppportive, too. And yet... Right from the start I could feel the loneliness coming off of him in waves. Everything he did, how he acted and how he suppressed himself with all his might, really broke my heart.

His freak-out when cutie TJ tries to flirt with him - literally in front of God and everyone - didn't exactly come as a huge surprise. What did surprise me, was the fact that these two guys actually managed to go on this road trip together. I was almost sure one of them would mess it all up before it even started. Thank God, they didn't! I enjoyed their journey so much! One reason was the project these two were doing. Meeting different people, with different stories, relationship statuses and dreams, was fascinating to read about. Some of the stories broke my heart so much, it was painful in all the right places.

The other part was their inner journey - especially Bradley's. He struggled so much. Every "gay" thought, every "gay" action was analyzed to death, thought over a million times, and in the end, more often than not, he was still terrified of the possibilities. But he learned. He tried so hard, every day. He understood some important things over time, let go of preconceived notions and found himself along the way. At least as much as you can find and define yourself at 18.

TJ was a whole different ball game. At one point I had a serious problem with him, because while I suspected that there was more to his story, the actual twist took me completely by surprise. At the same time it made him look like a hypocrite with a mile wide chip on his shoulder. Not my favorite, to say the least. But it all worked out in the end, and in a way I came to love. A lot. I absolutely rooted for these two.


A little rant on sexual content.

There is none. Not really, and most definitely nothing explicit. And I saw a lot of readers complain about that. One main argument: "When I was 18 and would have been alone with my crush in hotel rooms for days - I would not just have kissed him a few times and be satisfied with it. Because 18 = raging hormones = a lot of first times in a short time." And you know what? That just pisses me the hell off! Because most of the people complaining like that are adult straight women.

Did it ever occur to you that despite us all being worth the same, there are some actual differences between young adults with different sexual orientations?! It's so great that you were confident and (hopefully) safe enough to have your first sexual expieriences with 15. Guess what, I had my first "First" with a boyfriends at 14. But sure as hell not with a woman! I didn't even begin to accept that side of myself, let alone act on it at that point in time! And no matter who I ask - my former roommate, my best friends, the undecided young boys and girls I had in classes - they all say the same: It is completely DIFFERENT if you're queer. Sure, some boys and girls do have their first experiences with the same sex at a very young age. And that's fine. But the ones struggling with it, fighting it, hating it and hating themselves? They most certainly do not fall into bed the minute they are alone with a crush! Coming out and accepting your sexuality is a very complex process, and it is about more than sex, or crushes, or telling your family.

And if you ask me, everyone who complains about the lack of sex happening here, didn't understand Bradley and his story. He was going through MASSIVE changes, finally starting to actually accept his sexuality, to stop being ashamed of being gay, and people are annoyed that he is not fucking another guy the minute they shared their first kiss?! WTF: Makes me super, super ragey! *Rant over

So, as I was saying, I loved the lack of explicit sexual content. Yes, you heard it right. I'm not saying that I don't like to read it. Or that there are books where I'm not disappointed when sex only happens off-page, or not at all. But with this story? It worked perfectly! Most of all, because it was less romance, but way more coming-of-age, and coming-out story.

I absolutely loved this one, from top to bottom. Definitely one of my favorite YA/NA reads in a long time.

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review 2015-11-29 00:00
The Morning Star
The Morning Star - M. Chandler

Yes! 4.5 "I-really-needed-that" Stars


Where to begin? First of all, this is not a romance. It's a suspense- and action-packed crime novel with thriller tendencies. There is, however, a romance sub-plot. And all of it is so goooood.


Simon Drake is a young FBI agent with a lot of ambition and drive. He and his team, a crazy bunch of brilliant individuals, are supposed to guard a the diamond that could - literally - destroy the world. And they fail epically, only because of one man: Jeremy Archer, hot young art thief extraordinaire. But things are never as they seem, and soon Simon and Jeremy find themselves fighting together against the bad guys.

I absolutely loved it! The crime/suspense plot was very well done, and I really enjoyed all the twists and the action scenes. The romance wasn't as prominent as in other gay mysteries, and the steamy side of the relationship was done way more discreetly than I'm used to. Which I didn't care about at all, because the story and scenes I did read were fun, sexy, exciting and very well thought out, right down to all the secondary characters.

Jeremy, though, was my favorite right from the start. Don't ask me why, it's not like I have a big faible for bad guys, but Jeremy was a very unique MC. Especially because he doesn't exactly fit the desciption of 'villain' to a T. He's complex, and I couldn't help but love him. Simon on the other hand, is a little bit on the brash and rough side, but not in a truly negative way. Some readers found him to be a bit of an homophobe. I have to say, I didn't get that vibe at all. But maybe I just liked the book so much, I completely forgot about it. All I can say is: I didn't notice it, and I can't recall being offended at any time.

All in all, you probably shouldn't pick this up if you're looking for a romance with a suspense sub-plot. You would not be satisfied with this one. But if you like a good thriller, a brash FBI hotshot bantering with an art thief, and don't need explicit sex scenes to be happy - read this one! It's really worth it!

And I'm absolutely looking forward to reading the other installments in the series next year.

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