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review 2016-04-11 23:06
Into The Dim
Into the Dim - Janet B. Taylor

*DNF 330 PAGES* (I had less than 100 pages left. That's right.)


Honestly, were it not for the ire I had for the maligning of a historical figure, I would have probably enjoyed this quite a bit. Not because it was that good, but the writing was engaging and it was pretty fun, with a kinda Timeline (movie) vibe going for it. However...

My biggest issue was what the author decided to do with Thomas a Beckett. She made him out to be the most vile slimy, greedy, Jew-hating, nun-slapping monster. That was really bad and made me quite upset, but the final straw that made me not only a little bit sick but wanting to throw the book out the window ala Pat in Silver Linings Playbook leading to a rage-quit is when he hands over a Jewish girl to some lecherous creep and condones him raping her.






*blaring horn covers loud swearing*


No. Like, what un-Godly version of history is this??? Maybe, maybe, if there was an author note saying "hey, I totally changed a bunch of historical figures and here's why I decided to go that direction in my alternate history" but THERE ISN'T THAT HERE.



To add insult to injury, Eleanor is practically worshiped as this bad-ass wonderful queen who went shirtless at a battle and wow, that's so amazing and she is the golden role model for girls and guys and everyone.




Beyond that, Hope is a super special snowflake, but while I didn't overly care for her, that actually didn't bother me a whole lot until she lost any likability once they went to back to the past and her inner Eleanor fan-girl came out. The two characters I actually liked the most were Phoebe and her techie boyfriend Doug. They were both cute as a couple and likable on their own. Didn't care much at all for "Crayola eyes" (I am not even kidding) Raisin Bran,

who I nearly immediately called as being not only A. from the rival time-traveling gang but also B. Celia's son. I mean, seriously, as soon as the rival gang was mentioned, I guessed it.

(spoiler show)


The time travel aspect was kinda fun to read about, and at least tried to be buy-able, what with ley lines and Tesla's inventions and whatnot. However, I had to disappointed with how our characters acted in the past. They try (though not really) to avoid using modern language, and while I understand why the author did not actually have their dialogue in Old English, what I found frustrating is how often they A. slipped up and B. (infinitely more frustrating) it was treated like it was still normal for the time period.

Exhibit A.

"No way," I whispered incredulously, forgetting my medieval speech for a moment."

Okay, fine. Except that she has been using contractions left, right, up, and down this WHOLE time.

Uggggggh. This could have been so much more, or the very least, a passably fun ride, but the issues were too big to ignore. Actually, it was decent until they went back to the past, and then everything pretty much went to heck.

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review 2016-02-09 18:13
Walk The Earth A Stranger
Walk on Earth a Stranger - Rae Carson

You know that game, The Oregon Trail? You would choose an occupation (I was usually a carpenter, so I could fix broken axles, wheels, etc), assign your skill points for foraging or keeping morale high, choose a city to start from(I always started from Independence or Jefferson City) and a city as your end destination(Honestly, I mostly shot for Salt Lake City, as it was the closest, and involved less desert), choose when to leave (I would leave in the middle of February, because spring would be coming soon, but if you made good time, you'd be able to cross the rivers when they were frozen and miss the spring floods), and then wander around town, buying food, guns and ammo for hunting, livestock, and assorted goods, being careful not to exceed the weight limit of whatever wagon you bought. (I always bought the biggest - I needed to be able to cart along those extra 100 pounds of celery, cheap and nutritious.) And then, finally, you would start off down the trail.

This book was the rest of the game.

You would travel and travel, finding wild fruits and veggies, riding out on hunting expeditions (a bison stampede, oh boy!)



fight outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, general illnesses,



and the death of members of the wagon train.



Somebody would get grumbly and you'd rest for a few days to bring up morale. Maybe you'd run out of water and frantically search for an trading post that might still have a barrel. If you were enterprising, you could trade with other wagon teams or Indians you met along the way. Sometimes the hills were so steep, you'd have to use chains on the wheels, or risk a tipped/broken wagon(Lee's wagon train should have considered chains...) And then of course, inevitably, no matter what you did, a wheel, axel, or yoke would break.



And while this book didn't have every minute element of the Oregon Trail and it certainly had some additions to the expedition, it was basically the same. (No surprise there.) Except I'd have been rather playing the game. Which is not to say that this was bad, but it was slow and it's basically just a long lead-up to the following books of this series. Very little happens that you couldn't start with Book Two and jump right into the story. Lee's gold finding abilities are utilized very little, and nothing much comes of it, except for it being the driving reason why she leaves town for California. And honestly, I see why she's going to California, because people are gonna be less suspicious of her tripping over gold every time they turn around, but it will also incite a lot of jealousy on their part, even if they don't discover her secret. So California also seems the absolute worst place someone of her abilities could go. Someone finds out about your ability, and you're up a creek without a paddle. In fact, she's already discovered that people are willing to murder to get to her and her abilities, and the murderer is following her to California. Like, come on, girl, GO TO TEXAS OR SOMETHING.


But actually, now that I'm considering this, this book is a cross between The Oregon Trail and the Yukon Trail, which was boring as heck as you traveled up to the Yukon and really only got exciting when you could stake a claim and start panning and mining for gold.



That being said, I will be checking the second book out, because maybe something exciting will happen now that Lee's in California? One can hope.

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review 2016-01-30 20:08
Hedgehugs - Steve Wilson,Lucy Tapper

This is so adorable!! I squealed in delight when I saw it in the bookstore, hastily grabbed it on the shelf, and gleefully marveled at every hedgehog-filled page.


Hattie and Horace are the best of hedgehog friends, and do everything together, but they desperately wish to hug each other. Their poky quills make hugs troublesome and really just plain impossible. They try covering their quills with anything they find, from strawberries and snow*, to leaves and hollow logs, but darn it all, nothing works. One day, Horace finds a sock and wiggles into it. He looks about as silly and adorable as a hedgehog in a sock would




but Hattie doesn't mind. Hattie sees the potential. Hugging potential. (She also probably see the potential for becoming rich by selling socks to other hedgehogs to fulfill their hugging needs, but that's neither here nor there.) Hattie knows she's got to find herself a sock. And when she does, the most wonderful thing occurs; a thing that gives birth to fairies and makes old grumpy miser men smile in delight...a hedgehug.


This book also perfectly explains why socks are constantly missing their matching pair. The age-old mystery solved!


*Hedgehogs hate the cold and hibernate in the winter. They also pretty much lose the will to live in temperatures below 60F if they don't get to hibernate so...(yes, I realize I'm nitpicking a children's book with sentient hedgehogs besties, but I can't help it. )

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review 2015-03-07 20:22
An Unlikely Match
An Unlikely Match - Sarah M. Eden

So when I heard about this book, I was skeptical but there was a part of me that really wanted to read it because any book that could, potentially, pull off a charming and fluffy romance between a ghost and a guy, oooh, I wanted to read that book. But, unfortunately for me, this book did not live up to its potential.

It was the one of the saddest cases of Insta!love I've read about in a while, considering that they barely even interacted with one another before, POOF!, they were "in love". He went from not believing in her existence to tolerating her presence in his house to loving her in the space of 100 pages, which may seem like a lot, but she doesn't show up for a while, so far as he knows, and also they spend almost zero page time actually in each other's presence. Now some of their romance was off-page, but I didn't get to read it, so I don't much see what the point of that was, especially since it killed what investment I had in their story.

And to top it all off, I was flabbergasted by how terribly written the end was. Plot bunnies abounded and were running off with my lettuce and all logic. I still have no idea how Gwen was dead and she was a sacrifice in a creepy ritual and the ritual needs to be keep being performed, so her spirit comes back (I got that bit), but her body really is truly dead and decayed, so how does it come back? It just didn't make any sense. Nor does the fact that it is mentioned that the ghosts cannot pick up anything corporal, and nor can the living pick up anything incorporeal. Okay, sounds legit. But ghost-priest picks up the book and then, later, when it is convenient, Nick's real live living friend picks up the same book and throws it into a ghostly fire that burns it up completely? How does this work?? Frankly, most of this book, but especially the last 50 pages or so, was strikingly unbelievable. And I do not say this because it was a romance between a ghost and a living guy. I was ready to roll along with that, but the rest of it, nope. I draw the line somewhere.

In a truly tragic turn of events, I lost my bookmark, which also had all my notes scribbled on it, which included a trulyamazingly laughable quote, but I shall do my best to remember it...

"The sight of him took her breath away, despite the fact that she had no breath that could be taken away."

I have no words for this, so I will leave you with:

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review 2015-03-07 20:02
Attack On Titan: No Regrets Vol. 1
Attack on Titan: No Regrets 1 - Hikaru Suruga,Gan Sunaaku,Hajime Isayama

I might have enjoyed this volume more than any of the original AOT manga series, despite a lack of my favorite character, Mikasa. Reading and watching AOT, I never really got Levi, or particularly cared for him. (Probably mostly because I never got far enough into the story to really grow attached to him?) He simply was the character with the dead eyes that my Goddaughter got me to impersonate, with photographic evidence that should be burnt. Regardless, this volume contained actual character development and backstory, which I am all about. There was a minimal of crazy action where no one can tell what's going on, and also far less disturbing Titans running amok, though that one Abnormal running around like a drunk bloodthirsty fashion diva perhaps fulfilled the quota? In any case, I find myself actually looking forward to reading Vol. 2.

As I understood it, Hikaru Suruga should be commended for getting the art to look nearly exactly like the art of the original AOT manga. However, he should also be berated for making it look nearly exactly like the truly awful original art. Any opportunity to change how that art looks should be taken immediately. Although I thought some of it was maybe ever so slightly better? Or maybe I was just getting used to it D:

Oh, and one more thing....

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