Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Top 5 Favorite Villains (Totally Cheating)

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

This week we talk villains and I'm about to do something I promised I never would. I am about to cheat. 

You see, not even a full two months ago, Top Ten Tuesday had a topic on ten favorite villains and - no matter how much I love villains - even I don't have five new favorites since then. (If you're interested, here's the post.) So, I'd have nothing to post today, which would be a total shame because I love talking about villains.

Unless I'd take all the villains from the same book!

Earlier this month I read and reviewed the awesome book Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward. (Check my review here.) And, guess what, there are five villains in this story that I absolutely love.

Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward
Villains: Sam, Valerie, Blackmail, Arcie and Kaylana

Everything about this book is great and pretty much perfect, but these villains really are the best thing about this book. It takes a bit of a look into what makes villains and heroes and I adore these five!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

(Holiday Gift Guide) Top Ten Books to Buy Your Fairy Tale Fan

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

This was so not an easy topic for me to decide on. You see, I don't feel like an authority on any genre or type of book - and I'll probably never consider myself well-read enough to be one. So, there was a lot of back and forth with a side of 'just decide already' before I settled on retellings. This includes pretty much all my favorite retellings, I didn't rate any of these books lower than a four, and you will not find the uber popular Lunar Chronicles on this list. (Though it would totally fit, all half-way fairy tale fans already know about it, so I shoved it over to make some time for lesser known retellings.) (Def. not in order!)

Monday, November 28, 2016

November Book Haul

I've been caught in an odd place this month, halfway between not wanting to buy any books and wanting to buy all the books. So I don't know if I should say I did really well because I didn't buy a lot - or that I didn't do well because I didn't buy enough.

Either way, here's the books I bought this month.

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson

A-Force: Hypertime by Wilson, Thompson & Molina
Double-Booked for Death by Ali Brandon
Earthrise by MCA Hogarth (this was a kindle freebie!)

Are you interested in any of these? Have you read any of them? Are you trying to save money too, because I think that's the only reason I bought so few books.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fandom Mashups - Prehistoric!

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!'

In your frequent time travels - you know, the usual - you've miscalculated and ended up in prehistoric times. Who do you think would be best suited to help you adapt and survive? 

After hearing what this week's topic was, I knew I had to do it because I love dinosaurs and prehistoric worlds.

Professor George Challenger - The Lost World
I'm talking about the one from The Lost World TV series from...the early 2000's? So, if you don't know, Challenger is one of the scientific minds behind the journey to a lost plateau where the team finds dinosaurs. While I think there's a good chance his natural curiosity will get us into trouble, he knows his science and is handy enough with a gun.

Zippo - Dinotopia
The dinosaur. Recommending the book. So, Zippo would be out of his comfort zone, which is mostly spending time in the library with the records, but he is a dinosaur and it would be super helpful to have a translator so I could talk to all the other dinosaurs. Right?

Dr. Alexander Hartdegen - The Time Machine
Is it cheating to say I want a guy that built a time machine? Because, seriously, I will eventually want to get back to my own time and...well. That being said, it has to be this version of the guy because I never saw any of the other movies and when I tried to read the book it nearly bored me to death.

Violet Song jat Shariff - Ultraviolet
Well, someone has to be the muscle of this group and protect the rest of us. The only slight problem is that she does eat blood soo...I hope she doesn't mind dinosaur blood?

Abby Maitland - Primeval
Okay, she actually did the whole 'surviving with the dinosaurs' thing already - so I figure shes got to know some secrets about, you know, not dying. Besides, she knows lizards/dinosaurs and her way around a gun.

I probably won't die right away. I hope. Who would you want on your team in the event of time travel failure and winding up in prehistoric times?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fall Activities Book Tag

I hope those of you in the U.S. had a great Thanksgiving day and that you're not totally in a turkey coma today. And I hope everyone enjoys this fall themed tag, that I unearthed at nyareads when I was in desperate need of a fun tag for this fine fall day.

A book on your TBR that looks so delicious you can’t wait to take a bite out of it.

Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson
I think this cover is just lovely. After the first book in the series, I am really looking forward to having some time to read this one.

A book that’s so much fun to get lost in.

The Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger
I'm totally cheating on this one - but it's one of my current favorite series. Though I do adore anything by Carriger.
A book that scared you silly.

I...don't really do horror books. Honestly, the only time I really remember getting 'scared silly' was when I had to read The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe as part of a class in school. I hated it. Completely hated it. And it cured me of ever being interested in horror books ever again.

The latest book you picked up (purchased).

A-Force: Hypertime by Wilson, Thompson & Molina
I've been gradually meddling more and more in comics - especially trying to find comics that haven't been turned into movies yet - and this one sounded way too good to pass up.

A book that is lyrically beautiful.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
I...need to reread this book. I always talk about the lovely writing, but I'm not even sure (considering my luck with the author since) that I still like this book. So, yeah, reread.
A book you didn't like and wouldn't mind carving up.

Wearing the Cape: The Beginning by Marion G. Harmon
This book is utter rubbish. It's racist and objectifies women and is just creepy and horrible. Give me a pumpkin knife and I'll carve it up. (It's also just a free sample and I can only guess at the misogyny and racism that will fill the story from this point on.)
A sweet book to curl up under the covers with.

Radiance by Grace Draven
This is a delightful, slightly steamy, fantasy romance that made me love both characters.

A book that reminds you of your childhood.

Literally Murder by Ali Brandon

When I was young - think 8-14 - I read almost exclusively mysteries. Especially cozies, so it should come as no surprise that I best mystery I've read in literally years would remind me of my younger years.

Your favourite spooky read.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
If we can change 'spooky' to 'atmospheric' this would definitely be the book.

A book with an eclectic cast of characters.

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim. C. Hines
I really love this series, and the characters in in are all so different and awesome.

Happy Fall! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Black Friday! (Though I'm not touching the stores today!) If you love fall consider yourself tagged. If you don't love fall (seriously, what's wrong with you?) consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

T5W - Books I'd Like To Reread

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week - or less for some of us ;) - the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

As much as I love rereading, I kind of don't do it anymore. I think I've fallen into that pit of 'next new thing' even if it's already 10+ years old. At least it's new to me. In the past three years, I've reread two books. Maybe this should be one of my challenges next year, to reread more books...

V is for Villain by Peter Moore
Brad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake. Though Brad's basically a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn't measure up at his high school, either, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm. So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he's happy to join a new crew-especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. And with her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own.

But when they're pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he's on. And once he does, there's no turning back.

Perfect for fans of The Avengers, Ironman, and classic comic books, V is for Villain reveals that it's good to be bad.

Notes: It seems like I'm in a perpetual state of wanting to read more superhero books. Besides that, I remember I liked this book a lot, but I remember nothing about it and my Goodreads review (saying only, 'sequel?') is distinctly unhelpful.

Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

There's no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they're framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it's too late.

Notes: Okay, I already know I love this series - no question about it in my mind. But I want to reread it. I mean, I've finished it and I still want to read more. So, yeah, next year I should definitely reread this series.

The Legion of Space by Jack Williamson
Space Legionnaires
They were the greatest trio of swashbuckling adventurers ever to shop out to the stars! There was giant Hal Samdu, rocklike Jay Kalam and the incomparable shrewd and knavish Giles Habibula.

Here is there first thrilling adventure - the peril-packed attempt to rescue the most important person in the galaxy, keeper of the vital secret essential to humanity's survival in the deadly struggle against the incredibly evil Medusae...

Notes: I've actually been getting a bit of a hunger for campy, pulpy sci-fi and I remember really enjoying this book the first time around.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Notes: I loved this book at the time, thought it was beautiful and perfect and all that jazz. But, considering I've tried twice with Hodge since then, been disappointed both times and her new book sounds so far from what I want to read, I can't help but wonder if it was a fluke or if I missed something the first time around.

Soulless by Gail Carriger
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. 

First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire--and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Notes: I am a well confirmed fan of this author and, honestly, I think the only reason I haven't reread this book yet is because she keeps publishing stuff - actually, pretty quickly.

How about you? Do you manage to reread books? (If so, how do you convince yourself to read them instead of the ever growing TBR?) Or do you never reread?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Top Ten Bookish Related Things I'm Thankful For

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

I totally wanted to make this a list of books I was thankful for - but that might tend to run a little past ten, so you get me trying to be all sincere and stuff instead. (Which I kind of totally suck at.)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Three Kinds of Rereads (Discuss)

As I've said before, I like rereading books. It's not something I do a lot anymore, but there's something about sitting down with a book you know you're going to like.

And, truly, the only time I reread books is when I like them. I am most certainly not a person that rereads books to see if they get better the second time around. If I didn't like the book the first time, you can bet I won't be rereading it.

I've been noticing though that rereads fall into one of three categories for me.

#1: The 'Exactly What I Remember' Reread
In a way, this is my favorite of the three. My opinion doesn't change on anything - at least nothing major - and I still like it just as much as I did the first time around. These, for me, are the ultimate comfort rereads.

#2: The 'Tell Me Again Why I Liked This So Much' Reread
Without a doubt, this is my least favorite type of reread. This can vary on the spectrum anywhere from 'why did I like this because now I hate it' to 'it's good, but I don't love it like I thought I did'. These are usually the books that I went a long time between reading the first time and my reread. Tastes change over time and I'm not the same person I was when I first read the book so my feelings for it change too. (Let's just ignore the horror of 'how could I like this garbage?' shall we.) I also think that there's a healthy dose of 'distracted by the shiny' too, because I am one of those people that, as long as I don't hate something, I tend to think more favorably towards it at first.

#3: The 'Now I Shall Squeal Like An Unrepentant Fangirl' Reread
These are the books that I'm never quite sure what to do with. The books that I loved the first time and, now, the second time around, I love even more. It's like, sometimes there's so much going on in a book, so much interconnected plot and such character nuances that just reading the book once does it no justice. These books are the reason I want to reread books, because sometimes it takes a second look before you discover how awesome the book really is. These also happen to be the rereads that leave me smiling for days and, quite possibly, reading way too fast. And definitely squealing.

Do you reread books? Do you reread books you know (think) you'll like, or do you give books that were less than stellar the first time another go?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Unfinished Series

While I was meandering through the internet looking for - actually, I'm not sure what I was looking for, diverse fantasy books, I think - I found a Goodreads group that had a folder for 'Incomplete Series Challenge'. And, after reading a couple of them, I thought that looked like a spectacular way to see what series I need to read next year.

In 2016, I spent a lot of time completing series' and I'd like to get even more finished in 2017. This will not include ANY series I haven't started yet - even if I know I'll read it.

Format of the list:
Book Title [how many books I've read/available in series] - Author

Falling Kingdoms [4/4] - Morgan Rhodes
Mechanica [1/1] - Betsy Cornwell
Omega City [1/1] - Diana Peterfreund
Prudence [2/2] - Gail Carriger
The Rythmatist [1/1] - Brandon Sanderson
Wrapped [1/1] - Jennifer Bradbury

Total Series I'm Up-To-Date On: 6

Air Awakens [2/5] - Elise Kova
The Cloud Roads [1/4] - Martha Wells
The Comet's Curse [5/6] - Dom Testa
The Emperor's Edge [8/9] - Lindsay Buroker
Ink and Bone [1/2] - Rachel Caine
Mercenary Instinct [4/6] - Ruby Lionsdrake
Rebel Mechanics [1/2] - Shanna Swendson
Spark [1/3] - Anthea Sharp
The Spirit Thief [3/5] - Rachel Aaron
The Stepsister Scheme [3/4] - Jim C. Hines
Unspoken [2/3] - Sarah Rees Brennan
Valor's Choice [3/6] - Tanya Huff
The Winner's Curse [1/3] by Marie Rutkoski

Total Series That Are A High-Priority: 13

Balanced on the Blade's Edge [1/7] - Lindsay Buroker
Daughter of Smoke & Bone [2/3] - Laini Taylor
Double-Booked For Death [1/5] - Ali Brandon
These Broken Stars [2/3] - Kaufman & Spooner
Radiance [1/2] - Grace Draven

Total Series That Are A Medium-Priority: 5

(I'm only including series I've abandoned since I started blogging - otherwise this list would be HUGE(er than it already is)! Also, if I didn't even finish the first book, it's not on this list. If it's a series of stand-alone romances, it's not on this list. I will list the book if the sequel is forthcoming and I won't read it.)

Alanna: The First Adventure [2/4] - Tamora Pierce (I find Alanna annoying.)
Also Known As [1/2] - Robin Benway (Zero interest in the sequels.)
Avalon [1/2] - Mindee Arnett (Hate the main guy.)
Bewitching Season [1/3] - Marissa Doyle (Girls being bitchy to each other.)
A Book of Spirits and Thieves [1/2] - Morgan Rhodes (Didn't care for the story+characters.)
Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula [1/4] - Elise Stokes (Overly emotional main girl.)
City of Bones [1/6] - Cassandra Clare (Ugh. Clary and Simon. Enough said.)
The Cloak Society [1/3] - Jeramey Kraatz (Not villainous like I was promised.)
The Clockwork Scarab [1/3] - Colleen Gleason (Girls being bitchy. to each other.)
The Conspiracy of Us [1/2] - Maggie Hall (TSTL main girl, creeptastic guys.)
Crossing the Ice [1/3] - Jennifer Comeaux (Hate the main girl.)
Crown Duel [1/2] - Sherwood Smith (Soo not for me.)
The Dark Unwinding [1/2] - Sharon Cameron (Too much gaslighting for  me.)
Death Sworn [1/2] - Leah Cypess (Never got attached to the main girl.)
Disenchanted & Co. [1/2] Lynn Viehl (Crappy asspull, dues ex machina time travel.)
The Eighth Day [1/3] - Dianne K. Salerni (Insufferable main guy.)
The False Prince [1/3] - Jennifer A. Nielsen (Insufferable main guy/predictable.)
The Final Empire [2/6] - Brandon Sanderson (Bastardization of characters.)
Finnikin of the Rock [1/3] - Melina Marchetta (Hate the main guy.)
Graceling [2/3] - Kristin Cashore (Disinterested. Indifferent. Bored.)
Green Rider [3/5] - Kristen Britain (Vilifying a woman that was raped. So I hear.)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns [1/3] - Rae Carson (Indifferent.)
Heist Society [2/3]  - Ally Carter (Unpleasant character development.)
The Hunchback Assignments [1&1/3 /4] - Arthur Slade (Hate main guy. Creepyass world.)
I'd Tell You I Love You [1/6] - Ally Carter (Meh.)
Illusive [1/2] - Emily Lloyd-Jones (Hate main girl. And every other YA character.)
Innocent Darkness [1/3] - Suzanne Lazear (Fairies just aren't my thing.)
Inside the Shadow City [1/3] - Kirsten Miller (Bitchy girls being bitchy.)
Into the Dark Lands [1/4] Michelle Sagara West (Creepy, possessive alphahole.)
Introductions [1/20] - C.L. Stone (Don't need to read that many books like this.)
The Lazarus Machine [1/2] - Paul Crilley (The world building hurts my heart.)
Libriomancer [1/4] - Jim C. Hines (UF isn't my thing, but I might continue this series.)
The Lies of Locke Lamora [1/4] - Scott Lynch (Didn't like it. At all.)
The Lightning Thief [1/5] - Rick Riordan (Can't stand the writing style.)
The Maze Runner [1/3] - James Dashner (Thomas. And pretty much everything else.)
A Natural History of Dragons [1/5] - Marie Brennan (Main girl. Boring story.)
One Realm Beyond [1&1/2 /2] - Donita K. Paul (Sexist and series halted.)
Pawn of Prophecy [1/5] - David Eddings (Chosen one is a jackass.)
The Potion Diaries [1/2] - Amy Alward (Meh.)
Prophecy [1/3] - Ellen Oh (Don't even remember.)
Sabriel [1/3] - Garth Nix (Boring. Super, super boring. Boring main character.)
The Secret Box [1/3] - Whitaker Ringwald (Didn't like anything.)
Seeds of Discovery [4/7] - Breeana Puttroff (16 year old marries boy known less than a year.)
Shadow and Bone [1/3] - Leigh Bardugo (Main girl eventually marries slug-guy.)
Shadow's Son [1/3] - Jon Sprunk (Rape of love interest is a hero plot device.)
Silver Phoenix [1/2] - Cindy Pon (Dammit, don't resurrect the dead!)
The Sin Eater's Daughter [1/2] - Melinda Salisbury (Hated main girl.)
Stolen Songbird [1/3] - Danielle L. Jensen (Super meh. Sequels sound terrible.)
Sora's Quest [2&1/4 /5] - T.L. Shreffler (Attempted rape as romance device.)
Terrier [2/3] - Tamora Pierce (Nothing about #3 sounds half-way good.)
The Thief [1/6] - Megan Whalen Turner (Unreliable, narrator. Jackass characters.)
Throne of Glass [2/5] - Sarah J. Maas (...Don't even get me started.)
Throne of the Crescent Moon [1/1] - Saladin Ahmed (Sexist pig of a book.)
Truthwitch [1/1] - Susan Dennard (Way too much crappy romance.)
Tuesday's At Castle Glower [1/5] - Jessica Day George (Bored.)
Unenchanted [1/5] - Chanda Hahn (Creepy, controlling love interest.)
Vampire Academy [2/6] - Richelle Mead (Character assassination.)
Vicious [1/1] - V.E. Schwab (Wasn't what I thought it was.)
Wings of Twilight [1/2] - Hans Cummings (Hero/villain switch that was too black/white.)
Wolves [1/6] - C. Gockel (Hook to make the reader buy the next book.)

Total Series I've Abandoned: 58

I wonder if I can get all those high-priority series (and hopefully the medium ones, too) finished next year. Or, at least, caught up with if they're not done yet.

I didn't have as many unfinished series as I thought I would - but I've gotten really good lately (or is that bad?) at pulling the plug if I don't think I'll like it. There's definitely two series in my medium priority that, if I don't get more interested in them, they'll be shuffled to the abandoned list.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

5 Reasons to Read: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
Series: The Books of the Raksura #1
Genre: Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

Moon has spent his life hiding what he is — a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself... someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn't tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power... that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony's survival... and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save and himself... and his newfound kin.

When I write reviews, I try to be fair and balanced and critical. Occasionally though. I find myself coming across books that I love too much to have a well thought out review for. This is one such book. So I decided to take a page out of various bloggers books and do a 'reasons to read' post when I don't have to be balanced and, instead, can just talk about why I love the book so much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

T5W - Favorite Publishers

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week - or less for some of us ;) - the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

I really, really like the topic this week, because it seems like we always talk about favorite authors and we never really look at publishers. For me, this was really interesting, because I don't pay much attention to publishers so I was quite surprised with some of the books that were from the same publishers.

Publisher of: The Riyria Revelations & Chronicles; Gail Carriger's adult work; The Legend of Eli Monpress.

Publisher of: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison; Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward

Publisher of: Tanya Huff's Confederation series; Jim C. Hines adult novels; The Mage Storms series by Mercedes Lackey

Publisher of: Poison by Bridget Zinn; Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis; Disney's Descendants series by Melissa de la Cruz; V is for Villain by Peter Moore

(D&D and Magic: the Gathering tie-in novels.)
Favorite authors include: Don Bassingthwaite; Elaine Cunningham; Jeff Gubb

I also have a lot of books by Berkley left over from when I read a ton of mysteries. And DelRay has a few books on my shelf, as well as Kodansha and Viz for my manga.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Movies

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

When I first saw the topic for today, I was so excited. I love my movies like I love my books. And then I realized that I really don't have a list of all time favorite movies. I used to but I either got sick of them or my taste changed a bit. Not drastically, or anything, but enough that if I saw them now, they wouldn't be my favorites.

Instead, I decided to make this a list of movies that I've seen for the first time in the last three or so years that are my 'new' favorites. Not really in order, but I'm more likely to gush like an obsessive fangirl over those at the top of the list than those at the bottom. Because I am more of an obsessive fangirl for those at the top than those at the bottom.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review: Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward

Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward
Series: N/A
Genre: Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

Can good triumph over Evil once too often?

The ultimate triumph of Good and Light has transformed the world into a place of sweetness and peace. This is bad news for the 'bad guys,' who include a depressed assassin who dresses in black, his short, feisty sidekick, a black knight, a female Druid, a man-eating sorceress and an innocent centaur who is a spy for Good.

Finding utopia boring, they set out on a quest to restore balance to the world.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

T5W - We Used to Be Friends

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week - or less for some of us ;) - the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

The topic this week is 'characters you used to love but don't any more' and I totally couldn't resist that title.

Gideon Oliver
from Gideon Oliver series
by Aaron Elkins

Years ago, I owned a handful of used, battered copies of some of the later books in this mystery series and they were some of my favorites and I thought Gideon was kind of awesome. Then I bought the first two books and read them and loathed the guy. He's a pompous sexist pig. I do wonder if his character changed that much, or if this was a case of seeing what I never did before.

Celaena Sardothien
from Throne of Glass series
by Sarah J. Maas

I don't even want to go into how much I loved this girl in the first book, because I seriously thought she was the coolest girl ever and I had such a crush on her. Then book two came and I spent so much of it wanting to kick her ass for her doing nothing but burying her head in the sand and pretending that if she can't see the crap that's going on that it's not happening. (Don't even try to convince me to read more of this series because I will not.)

Sirius Black
from Harry Potter series
by J.K. Rowling

When I first met Sirius (in the movies and the books) I thought he was awesome. I'll always remember his 'you can tell a lot about a man by how he treats those below him' quote. Sadly, while he talked a good talk, he never backed it up with actions - anyone else remember how he acted towards Kreacher? - and I certainly didn't like what I learnt about him because of it.

Jack Dandy
from Steampunk Chronicles series
by Kady Cross

Okay, so I was more than a little in love with him through most of the series, but when it came time from his story and his romance... He turned into a controlling, domineering, slightly skeevy, teen 'bad boy'. I hate those types of guys and it just totally sucks that this is the direction the author thought was appropriate.

Zayne Beckett
from Ladies of Distinction series
by Jen Turano

I loved this guy for his playful personality, his exuberance for life and general lighthearted outlook. And also for the fact that he was very good friends in the first three books with the woman he was to get paired with in the fourth. Well, between the end of the third book and the beginning of the fourth, his personality did a complete one-eighty and he turned into stoic and repressed and sort of angry at the world - just like the other three love interests. (And, seriously, this author can write nothing else.)

I've got quite an eclectic list here this week. I'm surprised at some of these characters because, until I started going through my books, I'd forgotten about some of them. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Top Ten Books I Recently Added To My TBR List

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

So, this post is pre-dated and the rate I've been adding books, these are probably no longer the most recent ones I added to my list, but here they are nonetheless. (And, interestingly enough, gives a pretty good treering slice of what I read. And has much fewer series continuations than I expected.)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Ranting Against Romance in Books (Note: Not Ranting Against Romance Books) (Discuss)

I am so sick of romance in books.

Blunt, I know, but I am just so tired of the way every book, even the ones that aren't billed as having romance, have to have it. Like a person's life is incomplete without romance.

What makes it even worse is the fact that - quite often - the romance isn't even good to begin with. I've read books that it's exactly like the romance was added just because someone decided that the book needed it, but it wasn't given any chance to do anything other than just ooze.

But, of course, then there are those books that seem to have a plot getting suddenly taken over by the huge, radioactive romance plot tumor. And I don't think I even need to go into that.

Also, so often the couple is like a carbon copy of what came before. It's like the characters almost always have the same type of interaction. It's difficult for me to describe, but it's like: two people meet and because of the immediate tension and sniping or bickering, you can tell they're going to be the couple. 

(Case in point, Truthwitch. Which is also the book that partially inspired this post.)

I'll admit, I've read romance novels. I've even liked some of them. But, as a whole, I don't want to read romance. And, when I do, I pick up a romance novel. Or read fanfic, but that's another subject entirely. What's good about romance novels though is that they don't always follow the same path. (Mostly always, but if you hunt enough, you can find some unique couples.)

I don't think books automatically should have romance - in fact, when I find a book that isn't middle grade that doesn't have romance in it, it makes me so happy.

There's no other 'non-vital' storytelling element that shows up in nearly every book. I mean, I've heard about books without characters, but I've never read any. So, why does romance have to be in every book?

What do you think about romance in books? Do you like finding books that don't have romance in them, or do you need romance in your books?

Friday, November 4, 2016

November TBR

How is it already November? I always feel this way at the beginning of a month, but 2016 is two months away from being over! This is just crazy.

Okay, so I did pretty well last month reading the books on my TBR - I'm still currently reading one (it's really good, but it's huge!) and missed only one. I'm hoping I do as well or better this month. (Last month I also managed to clear out several books I lost interest in or DNF'd them. Which means that most of the books I've got right now are ones I'm really interested in reading.)

Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Warrior by Zoe Archer

I would really love to add a few more books to this, but I am still not even halfway done with Villains by Necessity and - even for as good as it is - it's taking me forever on it. So, I decided to keep the list kind of short and if I get to them all and want to read more, awesome. Have you read any of these books ore do you want to?