Monday, October 31, 2016

Why I'm Not Into Horror (Discuss)

Welcome to my third and final post in my Halloween celebration. This time around, I decided to talk horror genre.

As you probably all know by now, I'm not much of a horror book reader. While I do admit that I kind of like that little jolt of adrenaline from being scared, I get most of my 'horror' from TV shows. (Not even movies because no. Just no.)

I don't really watch a lot of 'horror' but I have seen Sleepy Hollow which, let me tell you, is probably the scariest thing I've seen on TV. I've not gotten around to more than the first season, because I've heard the show goes steadily down hill. I also watched season one of Grimm before bailing because yawnsville. There is no way a show like that should be so boring! Watched and loved the first season of Supernatural. (Season two sucked and I never watched any more because that wasn't what I signed up for.) (I've also seen other shows that aren't horror, but have some of those aspects, like Falling Skies (a strange sci-fi/horror setup) and Teen Wolf.) (And Poltergeist: The Legacy which I remember not being scary at all, but I liked it.)

So, I'm no stranger to horror as a genre. But what's interesting is that I'm more likely to pick up a horror show than I am a book. I think a large part of that is my mind can come up with things that are horror all on its own. I used to be able to scare myself and - in truth - probably still could. Though I don't doubt it would take a lot more work.

Another reason though is because I get more attached to characters in books, usually, than ones in TV shows. There's something about that intimate, inside their head connection that makes it seriously suck when they die. Or get defenestrated. Or eviscerated. Somehow, character death sucks slightly less in shows than books.

The reason, though, that horror is not my go-to genre in anything, is because I don't like character death. (I mean, yeah, some people just need to die. Painfully. But it seems that those are never the people that die.) I like getting attached to characters. So much in the horror genre doesn't allow that, and even on the off chance I can find that, they get killed so quickly and messily that I start feeling like, why bother?

First and foremost, I'm a character reader. It seems that horror usually forgets the characters in favor of 'shock' tactics. Like how much blood can we spread around the set?

For the longest time I thought I wasn't into horror because I didn't like characters to die - but with a lot of the things I've been watching lately, and even some of the books I've read - the mortality rate is very high. So it has to be because those people I can actually get attached to. It seems like I can never even care about the people in horror stories enough to feel anything beyond boredom when they die.

What do you think of horror as a genre? Does the medium effect your feelings? (Say you can't watch horror movies but love horror novels?)

Friday, October 28, 2016

October Wrap Up

I can't believe it's almost the end of October. Where did my month go? Oh, wait, no, I know where it went. A month to a month and a half's worth of playing Dragon Age: Origins. Yeah. That's what happened. And, let me tell you, on my first playthrough, it was really difficult to balance spending so much time on that game and making time to read. (I think I kind of obsessed over the game a little at first. And, though I've already bought Dragon Age: Inquisition, I really, really don't want to install in because I know how it's going to eat another month right up.) For the last week or so, I've also been playing Worlds Dawn. It's a little farming/life sim that's okay - but it's a massive timesink.

Hopefully for the next few days, I'll get caught up on things like commenting on other's blogs, replying to comments on my own and getting a few more posts scheduled out for November.

That being said, I hope everyone has a great Halloween, eat lot's of candy and dress-up as something cool!

What I've read this month...

Cosmic Storm by Dom Testa - ****
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson - **** - Review to come 11/3

Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce - ***

Time's Divide by Rysa Walker - ***
Imprudence by Gail Carriger - *****
Red Hood's Revenge by Jim C. Hines - *****

I actually started several other books, but they were all DNF's because they were just that bad. Also, I'm kind of proud of myself this month because I've started/read/tried to read all except one book on my October TBR. I'm currently reading Villains by Necessity and not even a quarter of the way through - but it's a 500+ page book and I really think it's going to take me ages to read. Though it is really good so far.

What I've been watching...
Not a lot of any one thing but bunches of two episodes of this and movies. Shows I've finished are Space: Above and Beyond which...turned out a lot worse than I was expected judging by the first six to nine episodes. Also, I watched season one of The Sentinel and thought it was pretty fun. A nice change of pace from my usual shows.

I think I've seen somewhere around seven movies this month, but special mention needs to be made of two awesome ones I've seen. Tangled (if you like fairytales and haven't seen this one, watch it) and Green Lantern.

Well, there's the month of October for me. I am hoping I can get a few more books read next month - but quality wise, I think I did rather well. (At least I'm learning that DNFing books makes me enjoy reading a lot more!) Love to know your plans for Halloween - even if they're going to make me jealous because you're going to a haunted house/corn maze or if you're just being like me and staying home to watch movies!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October Book Haul

After not buying many books these past three-four months (it's been since May since I actually bought a lot of books) I knew I was going to buy quite a few. After all, I did have the money - which was nice, now that I'm almost done buying shoes - and there were a lot of books I've been wanting.

Imprudence by Gail Carriger
Warrior by Zoe Archer
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine
Earth's End by Elise Kova
The Fire's Stone by Tanya Huff

Time's Divide by Rysa Walker
Royal by Anthea Sharp
Earth 2788 by Janet Edwards

Valor's Trial by Tanya Huff
The Stone Prince by Fiona Patton
The Galahad Legacy by Dom Testa

Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
Kaleidoscope by Assorted Authors

The good news is that I finally had my physical TBR down low enough that this almost doubled by stock of books (go, me!) The bad news is that I've already read a couple of these and am already planning out my next book order because, of course, I'm getting low. :)

Are you interested in any of these books? Suggestions for which I should read next?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Top Ten Favorite Scooby-Doo Movies

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

This is a Halloween freebie topic this week and I actually had all these wonderful ideas of what I was going to do. You know, something that actually tied into books or, you know, something. Then I decided 'screw it, I'm gonna show you how I celebrate Halloween'. And, yes, I usually watch at least one Scooby-Doo movie around Halloween. Thus, this list was birthed. Definitely not in order, except for the top four are my favorites.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Horror Books for the Chicken-Hearted (AKA: Non-Horror Halloween Reads)

While I have a post planned for next week where I talk about why, exactly, I don't like/read horror books, I wanted to do a post where I give some recommendations for Halloween reads that aren't the usual horror books. Some of these books might have monsters, others might just be atmospheric, but none are what I'd consider horror.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Halloween Read Because: Atmospheric (also, witches).
Scare Factor: Mildly creepy in a realistic, human way - mostly coming from the murders and animal deaths. There are plenty of laughs to balance it out, though.

Kami Glass loves someone she's never met . . . a boy she's talked to in her head ever since she was born. She didn't spend her childhood silent about her imaginary friend, and is thus a bit of an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, she has a best friend, runs the popular school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head. 

But all that changes when the Lynburns return...

The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary
Halloween Read Because: Yokai (basically, Japanese demons - sure, there's more to it than that, but that's the idea)
Scare Factor: Possible warning for frightening imagery. Some of the creatures are pleasant towards humans and others want to do them harm, but they are all rather strange looking.

The last thing Saki Yamamoto wants to do for her summer vacation is trade in exciting Tokyo for the antiquated rituals and bad cell reception of her grandmother's village. Preparing for the Obon ceremony is boring. Then the local kids take an interest in Saki and she sees an opportunity for some fun, even if it means disrespecting her family's ancestral shrine on a malicious dare.

But as Saki rings the sacred bell, the darkness shifts. A death curse has been invoked... and Saki has three nights to undo it. With the help of three spirit guides and some unexpected friends, Saki must prove her worth - or say good-bye to the world of the living forever.

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Halloween Read Because: Gargoyle shifters, hellhounds and, honestly, the absolute creepiest angels I've ever met.
Scare Factor: Not for the faint of heart. This is the closest to horror that I get here, but there are descriptions of creatures and what they do to humans that can get a little...much at times.

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
Halloween Read Because: This is, basically, a youth retelling of Frankenstein. Do you need more of a reason than that?
Scare Factor: Very low. More of a thoughtful book than one to make you jump.

The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.

Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre.

And what he knows will change Kym’s life.

A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey
Halloween Read Because: Witches - also a slight bit of creepy atmosphere.
Scare Factor: Some light spooky-ness with the witches and spells.

In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld. 

Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies. 

Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?

And there we have some 'Halloween' books for you if you are like me (*cluckcluck*) to read. Hope you can find something here that catches your attention and I'll take any suggestions you've got for like books!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Series: Standalone
Genre: Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the na├»ve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend... and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fairytale Heroines Aged as Their Movies (Art!)

Okay, I found this adorable art and just simply had to share.

The basis for the idea, the creator - who you can find here - said, came from each of the Disney ladies aged in relation to their movies. Like, if the movie came out seventy-five years ago, that's how old the heroine was drawn. I just thought it was so neat and wanted to share!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Ten of My Favorite Book Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Confession time: Names from books hardly ever last in my mind. Sure, if there's one that particularly unpronounceable, I'll remember it. But, the truth is, most of the time, names are just names. I don't think I've ever though 'I love that name' when I first meet a character.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Book Inspired Costume Ideas (Mostly For Girls/Women & Mostly Easy)

I always promise myself I'm going to do something spectacular for Halloween - which happens to be my favorite holiday - but I never have. So, while this might not be 'spectacular' I've got the first post of a three part series today. Parts two and three will be coming out the next two Mondays.

So, what better place to start than with costumes? I've always loved the idea of dressing up and being someone else for a day, and where could I find more inspiration for costumes than in a book?

Scarlet Benoit - Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet would be a pretty easy costume to throw together. I mean, if you've got red hair, you've got the hard stuff covered. (If not, you'll need hair dye or a wig!)

A simple red hoodie and a pair of jeans comprises the bulk of the costume. And a comfortable pair of Converse complete it.

You could add a few accessories, but remember to keep it simple. Scarlet is a farm girl and wouldn't be the sort to get too caught up in looks anyway.

Lilac LaRoux - These Broken Stars by Spooner & Kaufman

If you want a more traditionally feminine look for Halloween - and either already have a nice green dress or need one anyway - I can't imagine doing better than this. (If you're creative, you could even sew your own!)

I'd finish off the look with some glittery makeup, perhaps artistically smeared to look a few days old, and hair, if long, tied back into a messy ponytail.

The combined look of a fancy dress with obvious found military boots and jacket would be quite a contradiction. And make a great conversation starter with you being able to explain the book the outfit came from. (Or just smile mysteriously as I'm sure Lilac would do!)

Amelia Peabody Emerson from The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
I, of course, knew 'Peabody' would have to be here because, ever since my first foray into these books, I've love her style of dressing. And it's one of the few book outfits I'd actually give a go sometime.
Finish off the ensemble with a pair of trousers tucked into the boots, a sturdy parasol and a belt with dozens of historical things (flint, flask, pistol) hanging from it and you are all ready to be the preeminent lady archeologist of the 19th century.

Now I'm not going to actually pretend these next costumed were inspired by any certain book - but they were inspired by the steampunk genre as a whole. Really, if you want more ideas, you can start out by Googling either steampunk clothes or steampunk costumes. Some come as premade costumes, others can be put together with a couple of focal pieces.

I hope something here has sparked ideas - because it sure has mine. Now I just need to see what I can toss together last minute for a steampunk costume...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fandom Mashups - Revenge

So, in my quest to find different, fun things to do for my blog, I found Fandom Mashups at Lunar Rainbows. The brain behind this says 'The idea here is that every week, I propose a unique fictional scenario and then build a personal dream team of 5 fictional characters from 5 different fandoms to help tackle each scenario!'

  • You've been framed and sent to a notoriously harsh prison for a crime you didn't commit. You manage to escape! Who's going to help you plot your revenge on those who framed you? Oct 16th

"The rich and powerful take what they want. We steal it back for you. We provide leverage."

Nathan Ford from Leverage

I have to admit, this was a total no brainer on my part. See, it's kinda Nate's job to help people that've been taken advantage of by 'the rich and powerful' so, yeah, while I might not always like the guy, I'd totally want him on my side. (And, really, the rest of his team could have filled this out perfectly, but I was good.)

Londo Mollari from Babylon 5

Londo is...well, Londo. If you've seen B5, you get it, if not, I can't explain it. Let's just say that I want him on my side for his political savvy and, in truth, his access to all sorts of interesting poisons.

Darien Fawkes from The Invisible Man

So, even before he got the Quicksilver gland, Darien was a thief. I'm definitely thinking that if I need someone to sneak in, I could probably make a better choice - because, seriously, nothing he does ever turns out quite how it's supposed to. But, really, there's no way I wouldn't want him on my team. (Besides, Bobby, the Keeper and The Official never really let him go anywhere without them, so... Bonus?)
Regina Mills from Once Upon a Time

Probably pre-she became a good guy, but the fact is, she lied to everyone for 28 years (like, the ultimate long-con) and created a scenario that 80% the villains since have been trying (and failing, spectacularly,) to duplicate. And, besides, as my life falls apart, I need to be entertained - and I think her and Darien snarking at each other would be perfect.
Claudia Donovan from Warehouse 13

In this day and age of technology, I'd definitely need a hacker and...well, I'm not sure there's any I adore more than Claud. She's great and brilliant and she would help enliven this team. (And, omg, can you imagine her and Regina if they'd get along? Seriously, I think I can die happy now.)