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review 2018-09-25 09:28
Marigolds for Malice (Enchanted Garden, #3)
Marigolds for Malice - Bailey Cattrell

The series name implies a cutesy factor in these stories, but thankfully, there isn't.  Even the brief mentions of fairy houses the MC has throughout the garden have a more mysterious, spooky edge to them.

 

While getting ready to open their town's historical museum, the Greenstockings (women's business organisation) finds a sealed up butter churn they believe is a time capsule.  During the opening ceremony, they find a number of items from the gold rush days, including a rather sizeable nugget.  Later the night, the local historian is murdered in the museum with all the items stolen - except for the nugget, which had been taken by the police to the bank.

 

While the mystery goes in unexpected and interesting directions, the murderer was telegraphed by the author from their first appearance, so the ending held no surprises for me.  It didn't keep the story from being interesting though; the plant lore sprinkled throughout, and the solid female friendships, as well as the low key romance, all held my attention and kept me reading.  There were some bits that didn't work so well here and there; parts that felt awkward, as if the editor added them to 'zest' the story up, but they were mercifully brief.

 

An enjoyable read by a reliable author; I always look forward to the new release notices for these books.

 

I read this one for the Murder Most Foul square in Halloween Bingo

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review 2018-06-12 10:36
Eine Portion Originalität, bitte!
Malice - John Gwynne

Greifbare, gelebte Geschichte ist für den Autor John Gwynne einer der stärksten Faktoren, die sein Schreiben beeinflussen. Das Nachstellen historischer Ereignisse gehört zu seinen Hobbies. Oh ja, Mr. Gwynne hüpft gern in ein Kostüm und spielt Schlachten, Turniere und das mittelalterliche Alltagsleben nach – begleitet von seiner gesamten Familie. Eine herrliche Schrulle. Er erklärt, dass die Erfahrungen, die er dort sammelte, den Entstehungsprozess des High Fantasy – Epos „The Faithful and the Fallen“ entscheidend inspirierten. „Malice“ ist der Auftakt der vierteiligen Reihe, mit dem ich mich vertrauensvoll in die Hände eines Schriftstellers übergab, der tatsächlich weiß, wie es sich anfühlt, einen Schwerthieb abzublocken.

 

Einst wurden Menschen und Riesen als unsterbliche Herren über die Erde geschaffen. Sie bevölkerten die Schöpfung des Gottes Elyon und lebten in Harmonie. Doch sie wurden beobachtet. Hasserfüllt und eifersüchtig blickte Elyons Gegenspieler Asroth auf die Welt. Bosheit erfasste ihn. Hinterlistig entzweite er Menschen und Riesen. Der Tod, vormals unbekannt, hob sein hässliches Haupt. Ströme aus Blut färbten die Erde und Elyons Zorn war schrecklich. Er entsandte seine Elitekrieger, die Ben-Elim, um seine geliebte Schöpfung auszulöschen. Sein Urteil war fast vollstreckt, als Elyon aus der Anderswelt Asroth‘ Lachen vernahm. Er erkannte, dass er hereingelegt worden war. Bestürzt und von tiefer Trauer überwältigt rettete er die Ruinen seiner ehemals prachtvollen Welt und verschwand. Er kehrte nicht zurück. Noch immer kämpfen die Ben-Elim gegen Asroth und seine Heerscharen, während die Völker der Erde in den Trümmern des Krieges zu überleben versuchen.
Jahrtausende später wächst Asroth‘ Einfluss erneut. Eine Prophezeiung weissagt, dass das Schicksal der Welt zwischen zwei Kämpfern entschieden wird: der Schwarzen Sonne und dem Leuchtenden Stern. Der junge Corban ahnt nicht, dass seine Zukunft eng mit der Prophezeiung verknüpft ist und dass sein Erwachen der Beginn des letzten Krieges sein wird…

 

„Malice“ ist nicht sehr originell. Leser_innen, die in der High Fantasy bewandert sind, wird schnell auffallen, dass der Reihenauftakt einige Details enthält, die deutlich an andere Vertreter des Genres erinnern. Zwischen den Zeilen lächelten George R.R. Martins „A Song of Ice and Fire“, Peter V. Bretts „Demon Cycle“ und Brandon Sandersons „Mistborn“-Reihe hervor. Es wirkte, als hätte John Gwynne einen Streifzug durch ein High Fantasy Factory-Outlet unternommen und all jene Elemente in seinen Einkaufswagen gepackt, die er für sein eigenes Epos als passend erachtete. Ich scheue mich trotz dessen, von einem Plagiat zu sprechen, weil ich das Ergebnis seiner Shoppingtour durchaus als individuell empfand. Die grundlegenden Ideen sind nicht revolutionär, aber die Geschichte, die Gwynne daraus spinnt, erschien mir dennoch einzigartig. Ich war sogar versucht, „Malice“ mit vier Sternen zu honorieren, konnte jedoch nicht darüber hinwegsehen, dass ich etwa 200 Seiten brauchte, um in die Handlung zu finden. Durch häufige Perspektivwechsel nimmt diese eher langsam Fahrt auf. Den Leser_innen wird viel Zeit gewährt, um die Figuren kennenzulernen und sich im Universum der Verbannten Lande zurechtzufinden. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit erhält natürlich Corban, dessen Aufwachsen ich mit Freude beobachtete. Ich durfte erleben, wie aus einem tollpatschigen Feigling ein mutiger Krieger mit starkem Gerechtigkeitssinn wurde und entwickelte daher eine enge Bindung zu ihm. Der Aspekt des Coming of Age entspricht in der High Fantasy ebenfalls nicht der Neuerfindung des Rades, doch es funktionierte. Die anderen POV-Charaktere dienten meinem Empfinden nach hauptsächlich dazu, einen weitreichenden Eindruck der Verbannten Lande zu vermitteln, die Eigenheiten des Settings vorzustellen und die Rollen der Geschichte zuzuweisen. Für mich war neben Corban vor allem Kastell interessant, durch dessen Augen ich mit den Riesen in Kontakt und Konflikt trat. Meiner Meinung nach ist die prominente Implementierung der Riesen der eine Faktor, der „Malice“ trotz des hohen Wiedererkennungswertes aufgrund genretypischer Strukturen, Figuren und Motive die dringend benötigte Kreativität lieferte. Das Volk der Riesen ist häufig nur eine Randerscheinung – John Gwynne hingegen deutet an, dass sie den Menschen einst gleichgestellt waren und über unschätzbares Wissen und beeindruckende Fähigkeiten verfügten. Die Exemplare, gegen die Kastell kämpfen muss, wirkten bar jeglicher Kultiviertheit oder Weisheit, nichtsdestotrotz stammt die Prophezeiung, die den entscheidenden Krieg um das Schicksal der Erde voraussagt, von einem Riesen. Es bleibt abzuwarten, inwieweit Gwynne das vorurteilsbehaftete Bild dieses Volkes in den Folgebänden korrigieren wird. Ich hoffe sehr, dass er sich auf diesen Punkt konzentriert, denn dort versteckt sich das Potential, „The Faithful and the Fallen“ aus dem tiefen Schatten des Genres heraustreten zu lassen.

 

Nach der Lektüre von „Malice“ wäre es leicht, anzunehmen, dass „The Faithful and the Fallen“ nicht viel zu bieten hat. Die Geschichte wirkt vorgezeichnet. Episch, aber vorhersehbar und zu genrekonform, um zu überraschen. Trotz dessen behauptet mein Bauchgefühl steif und fest, dass es sich lohnen wird, nachsichtig zu sein und dran zu bleiben. Unbestritten, John Gwynne muss nachlegen. Will er ernstgenommen werden und einen rechtmäßigen Platz in der Riege der High Fantasy – Autor_innen erobern, muss er sich von risikoarm erscheinenden Basiselementen distanzieren und etwas Neues wagen. Er muss seinen eigenen Impulsen vertrauen. „Malice“ lässt erahnen, dass das Potential dazu sowohl in ihm als auch in seiner Geschichte schlummert, denn das Buch begann, mich genau dann zu fesseln, als die Handlung den sicheren Hafen des Bekannten verließ. Das kann kein Zufall sein. Nur Mut, Mr. Gwynne. Wachsen Sie über sich hinaus.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/john-gwynne-malice
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text 2018-05-31 14:55
May Re-Cap
LIFEL1K3 - Jay Kristoff
Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin - Mariana Zapata
Honor Among Thieves - Ann Aguirre,Rachel Caine
With Malice - Eileen Cook
To Kill a Kingdom - Alexandra Christo
Midnight at the Electric - Jodi Lynn Anderson
Atheists Who Kneel and Pray - Tarryn Fisher
White Trash Zombie Unchained - Diana Rowland
Just A Little Junk - Stylo Fantome
Red Rising - Pierce Brown

 

Another good reading month for me...13 books total.  I could have probably finished a couple more, except I've been doing some major cleaning because we're having another Open House this year for my youngest Daughter.  Thank goodness, I don't have worry about another Graduation until 2021, that sounds so futuristic, but it's only like 3 years away.  This one for my Step-Son.  

 

I had a quite a few books with three-ish to four-ish star ratings and one book that is definitely a favorite of 2018.  I loved Lifel1k3.  I'm obsessively stalking Jay Kristoff on Instagram, so I know when the second book is coming out.  Plus 1 dud...Rhythm, Chord and Malykhin, that one had me rolling my eyes way too much.  I also finished a much-loved Series (White Trash Zombie)...at least I think it's the last one.

 

 

 

(Netgalley e-ARC) Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Finish Date:  05/02

☆5+☆STARS - GRADE=A++

 

(Audiobook) Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata

Finish Date:  05/2/03

☆1.5☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Audiobook) Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Finish Date:  05/07

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) With Malice by Eileen Cook

Finish Date:  05/09

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Finish Date:  05/12

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Finish Date:  05/14

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(eBook) Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

Finish Date:  05/15

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) White Trash Zombie Unchained by Diana Rowland

Finish Date:  05/18

☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(eBook) Just A Little Junk by Stylo Fantome

Finish Date:  05/20

☆3.3☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook/eBook) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Finish Date:  05/22

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Finish Date:  05/23

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Zer0es by Chuck Wendig

Finish Date:  05/28

☆3.8☆STARS - GRADE=B

 

(eBook) The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

Finish Date:  05/29

☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

I also had one DNF, which unfortunately was a Netgalley eARC with

 

 

May's Reading consisted of 13 books. 

Broken down to 9 Audiobooks, 2 Netgalley eARC's, and 3 eBooks.

For a total of 4,747 pages (including Audio).

 

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review 2018-05-14 21:19
3 Out Of 5 STARS for With Malice by Eileen Cook
With Malice - Eileen Cook

 

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

~BOOK BLURB~

 

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

 

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron's senior trip to Italy was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. And then the accident happened. Waking up in a hospital room, her leg in a cast, stitches in her face, and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be, Jill comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident in her travels abroad. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident...wasn't an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

 

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

~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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

 

The Good: 

 

 

  • A quick, easy listen with no extra filler added to it.
  • A really good narrator.  When dealing with books that have whiney teens, its always good to have a narrator that doesn't come off as overly whiny.
  • This felt like it was really going somewhere…like it was full of potential.

 

The Not So Good: 

 

  • About halfway through I started questioning the plot…could this have all played out like this???
  • The MC comes off as unlikable…but this could have been due to fact that she seems to have no one who is in her corner. You're left wondering if this all because of her personality, or because she has such crappy people in her life.
  • A somewhat open-ended ending.  Overall, I was left unsatisfied with the ending.

 

Despite all these issues, I was still drawn to this story and its potential…I wanted it to wow me, but ultimately it was just meh.

 

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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

Plot~ 3/5

Main Characters~ 3.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 2.5/5

The Feels~ 3.5/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 3/5

Ending~ 2/5 

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

Book Cover~ It's good...

Narration~ 4.3 -Very well done by Whitney Dykhouse.

Setting~ Italy and United States

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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

 

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text 2018-03-04 23:03
Makeup Book Tag

Hey all! Today I decided to do something a bit different and do a booktag! I will be doing the Makeup Book Tag! I'm going to be mixing up the questions a bit in the order in which I use my products. 

 

 

First off my bare face without any makeup >.< 

 

QUESTION 1: PRIMER

For Primer I use Wet n Wild's Face Primer. I don't know a lot about primer so I just buy what's cheap. But this product has given me nothing to complain about so I'm sticking to it. I dab it onto my skin and rub it in with my fingers. 

Pick a book that's left a lasting impression 

For me this would have to be the entire Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. These books mean so much to me and I don't think I'd be the reader/writer I am today without these books (psst! check out my Shadowhunters fanfiction here!)

 

QUESTION 2: CONCEALER 

For Concealer I use CoverGirl's Smoothing Concealer in the color Fair. I love this concealer because I feel like it blends well with my foundation. I swipe it under my eyes and in areas of my skin that are especially broken out. I then dab it in with my fingers. 

Pick a character you wish you could get rid of 

For this question I'm going to have to go with the first character I think I've ever hated in any book: Jason Grace. Yeah, he's one of the main heroes of the Heores of Olympus but I really cannot stand the guy. To me he's annoying and tries to act better than Percy...which he's not. Not by a long shot. 

 

QUESTION 3: FOUNDATION

For Foundation I either use CoverGirl's Clean Matte Liquid Foundation or CoverGirl's Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation both in the color Classic Ivory. I'm out of the 3-in-1 so today I used the Clean Matte. I love CoverGirl's foundation because its relatively cheap and stays on for most of the day. I use a blending sponge to dab it onto my skin. 

Pick your favorite first book in a series 

As much as I have problems with the later books in this series, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is still my favorite first book in a series. This book is such a great introduction to the series and I love Celeana, Chaol and Dorian so much. I even tabbed the hell out of my copy so I can quickly jump to the points I loved so much. 

 

QUESTION 4: EYESHADOW 

For Eyeshadow I have a lot of pallets but today I used CoverGirl's (are you really surprised anymore?) Eye Enhancers shadow in Tapestry Taupe. I really enjoy this eyeshadow because its a pretty brown/gray color. It goes on smooth and stays on all day. I wish my eyeshadow brush and brush it onto my eyes, especially into my crease. 

Pick a book that has your favorite colors on the cover 

I have to pick this gorgeous cover of Pride and Prejudice. Blue is my favorite cover and this is just so pretty. I own this copy and it has its own place of honor on my shelf. 

 

QUESTION 5: POWDER

For Power (when I use it) I use CoverGirl's Clean Matte Powder in the color Classic Ivory. I feel like this powder gives me that extra clean coverage over my foundation. 

Pick your favorite last book in a series 

I don't think I will never not pick City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare for this question. Other final books have came close but COHF has reigned supreme in this category for me. It was honestly just the perfect ending to the Mortal Instruments. 

 

QUESTION 6: EYELINER

For Eyeliner I have a few different sticks of varying colors but today I used Smashbox's Always On Gel Liner in the color Fishnet. I haven't used this liner much but I like how smoothly applies and how it doesn't smudge. 

Pick and dark and mysterious book

For this one I'd have to pick With Malice by Eileen Cook. This book is sure a mysterious read, I didn't know what was happening until the end of it (and do I even know now that I've finished?) 

 

QUESTION 7: HIGHLIGHTER 

For Highlighter I use essence's contour power. I don't actually contour, I only use the highlighter. I don't know much about highlighter but I feel like this one isn't too light or dark and gives me that shine that I like. I apply this with a brush to my cheekbones. 

Pick a book that brightened your day

For this one I have to choose the Prophecy of Shadows (Elementals #1) by Michelle Madow. This was the first book I read after a really long reading hiatus and really put me into a much better mood afterwards. It also got me back into reading. 

 

QUESTION 8: BLUSH 

For Blush I use a this coral-colored blush in a big combo pallet I got from Ulta Beauty. I like this blush because I feel like its not too pigmented and gives me that right level of blush. I apply this with a brush below my cheekbones. 

Pick a book with come cringe-worthy romance

I have to choose the romance in Betrayed (House of Night #2) because I cannot stand the love crap in that. I'm only continuing on in the series because I like the idea of the books but I cannot deal with the romance. 

 

QUESTION 9: MASCARA 

I have four different mascara I rotate between depending on the day but today I used essence's I <3 Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara. I really like this mascara because it makes my lashes look so long and thick. For the most part, its also not super clumpy and stays on all day. 

Choose a loooooong book 

I've been waiting to mention this book...A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I think this book is my favorite of all time. It just gave me all the feels and I literally loved how far the story went from the beginning of the novel to the end. Please, fangirl with me about it, please. 

 

 

QUESTION 10: EYEBROWS

For Eyebrows I use the lighter brown shade in the same pallet my blush in in. I don't normally do my eyebrows but when I do I use this shade. Since I've only used this a handful of times I'm not sure how much it compares to other shades. I use a brush to apply this and the brush out my eyebrows with an eyebrow brush. 

Pick a book you think everyone should read 

No Ordinary Star by M.C. Frank. This book is honestly so epic and amazing, I love it so much and I think anybody who picks it up will too. It's a futuristic science fiction novel that honestly such a fast-paced read. Everyone should pick up this book...now. 

 

QUESTION 11: LIPSTICK 

For Lipstick I have a lot of different ones but I've really been enjoying lately Maybelline's Color Sensational Lipstick in the color Pink Sand.  It isn't too pigmented and doesn't smudge which is really important. Also, I feel like it stays on for a while and reapply it is hassle-free. 

Pick your favorite book kiss

I've mentioned Shadowhunters so many times in this tag already but to this day my favorite kiss is the Midnight Flower kiss in City of Bones. That kiss...I just love it so much. I won't say who it is because of spoilers but that ship is just my otp and the kiss is perfect. 

 

Aaaaaaand finished! 

 

Thanks for checking out this tag today and feel free to do this tag if you want to! Have a wonderful day and happy reading! 

 

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