Wednesday, April 29, 2015

TV Review: Agent Carter (Season 1)

Watch| OnDemand until August
Starring| Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter); James D'Arcy (Edwin Jarvis); Chad Michael Murray (Jack Thompson; Enver Gjokaj (Daniel Sousa); Shea Whigham (Roger Dooley); Lyndsy Fonseca (Angie Martinelli); Bridget Regan (Dottie Underwood); Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark)
Rating| A

What a show.  I have no idea why it took me so long to watch, seeing as I was watching it live for the longest time.  Somehow, the last two episodes slipped me by and I couldn't finish it until recently.

I love, love, love this show.  It's not my favorite Marvel show (Daredevil has claim to that spot) but it's a close second.  The noir, mystery themes.  The stunning and alluring characters.  The way it hinted at the "future" of the marvel universe and founding of SHIELD.  And, most of all, the actors.

There is so much one could say about this cast.  Top notch casting.  Each character was uniquely portrayed and given the right amount of development.  I think, had I to pick one actor to give all the accolades, I would give them to James D'Arcy.  His turn as Jarvis was equal parts comic relief and superhero of the show.  Of course, Hayley Atwell is the most remarkable.  Peggy Carter may very well be the best female character on television right now (certainly my favorite marvel lady to grace the screen) and only because of the bombshell behind her.

The fact that there was only a limited number of episodes also helped.  The plot wasn't staunched in any way and was able to freely tell the story.  It took twists and turns I didn't see, played risky with some of the characters, but really made its way into my heart.

When does the box set come out because I need to buy that now!

Waiting on Wednesday: Forever Red (A Black Widow Novel)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.  Click here to be taken to their blog and participate in this week's WOW.

So, I'm a huge Marvel fan in case you didn't know.  The movies really got me into it, way back when, and I've started to read more and more comics.  Actually, with Age of Ultron coming out this weekend in America, I've already gotten three tickets- one for the premier, one for the Saturday after, and one for the Sunday after.  You could say I'm obsessed.

When it was announced that Marvel would be bridging the gap into YA, I was super excited.  But then the hype all died down and I pretty much forgot about it.  Until the other day, when I was wandering the internet and found both the title and the description for this lovely book.

So, yes, this is a real thing that's actually happening!  I'm dying inside and I would love to see the cover!

The description from goodreads reads as follows:
Enter the world of Black Widow in this thrilling Marvel young adult novel, penned by #1 New York Times bestselling author Margaret Stohl.
This novel features all the thrilling adventure readers will expect from the Marvel brand, backed up by the young-adult cred of #1 New York Times bestselling author Margaret Stohl. Uncover a new side of the Marvel Universe, accessible to old fans and new readers alike, as Stohl weaves an unforgettable story through the world of the Black Widow
Dying inside for this one.  What are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters (from books on my kindle) That I'll Always Remember

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week was a bit of a wild card choice.  When I do these I normally just peruse the hard copy books on my shelves, but this week I thought I would specifically choose from books on my Kindle.  So, in order, here they are:

10. Ananna from Assassin's Curse

9. Ana from Incarnate

8. Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns

7. Kate from Timebound

6. Royce and Hadrian from Theft of Swords

5. Gen from The Thief

4. Shadow from American Gods

3. The Narrator from The Enchanted

2. Mia Dearden from Quiver

1. ALL OF THEM (but particularly Sevro) from Golden Son

Monday, April 27, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: A New Sheriff in Town (Copperhead, Vol. 1)

Author| Jay Faerber
Artists| Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley
Edition| eGalley courtesy of Netgalley
Publisher| Image Comics
Genre| Science Fiction
Rating| 4 Stars
Release Date| March 11th

Thanks to Image Comics and Netgalley for allowing me to read an early copy of Copperhead.  I received this eGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Have you ever seen the movie Treasure Planet?  It's a pretty solid film, and if you haven't, I must recommend it.  The art and and setting of Copperhead reminded me of Treasure Planet.  Multiple races living together in a steampunky foreign planet not far from the Old West.  In this book, a single mother takes the job as sheriff (hence the title).  She's met with dislike, for multiple reasons.  Mostly because she's an outsider, and also because she's not easily bought.  When some of her citizens die under her watch, it launches a mystery.

I feel like there isn't much to say about this book.  It was good, if unoriginal.  Fun, if nothing special.  I really did enjoy it, but I don't know if I'd ever buy it.  So why the four stars and not less?  Because it's a quality work.  The story and characters have a lot of room to grow and mature, which under the good hands of these creators, I'm sure it will.

Copperhead has the feel of a good, almost classic, Science Fiction story.  It has a niche, for certain.  While I may never buy the books, I'll keep a look out and read them from my library.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up and Book Haul

What an... interesting week.  I had planned to have two books finished by now (Crown for Cold Silver and What's Left of Me) but because of some behind the scenes stuff, that didn't work out.  Hopefully I will finish them this week, but the reviews won't be coming for some time (sorry.  I love them both so far!).

If you missed it on the blog, I did review Loot Crate which isn't a book, but is a pretty cool subscription service!  I really am sorry about lack of book reviews.  I'll have a review of Copperhead (a graphic novel) and Agent Carter (a tv show) out soon.  In other tv news, I talked about some pilots I'm excited for here and how you can help save Constantine here.  These are my top ten favorite authors, if you're wondering; and I'm waiting on A Gathering of Shadows.

Book buying wise, I went way overboard.  It's only because I'm still coming off of a ban.  I've got a tone of books to read now (not that I ever really lacked them) and for the most part, in the coming months my hauls will be smaller or from the library.  Here are the books I picked up:

For Review
From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey (I'll be reading this early next month)
Twisted Dark vol. 1 by Neil Gibson (which I've already DNF'd)
Shadowshift by Peter Giglio (another I'll get to very soon)

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch (so happy to finally have a copy!)
The Bane by Keary Taylor (I saw it was compared to Terminator)
Daredevil: Guardian Devil by Kevin Smith (still going through withdrawal)
Daredevil: The Ultimate Collection by Bendis and Maleev (withdrawal)
Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne
The Decaying Empire by Laura Thalassa (actually got an egalley, but then the preorder came in so now I have a finished copy, too; can't wait to read this one)
The Dust of 100 Dogs by AS King (I LOVE pirates)
The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason
The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley (robin hood retelling? yes!)
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
The Lost Gate and The Gate Thief by Orson Scott Card
The first six books in the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones, which are First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left, Third Grave Dead Ahead, Fourth Grave Beneath my Feet, Fifth Grave Past the Light, and Sixth Grave on the Edge

Hawkeye: Little Hits (this will be one of my very next reads; I can't believe I waited this long to pick it up)

What did you pick up this week?  I hope your wallet isn't hurting as bad as mine. :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Constantine PSA

Dear Reader,

Ever consider watching the NBC show Constantine?

I heartily recommend it for fans of Supernatural or Grimm.  It's a darker show, more along the lines of Daredevil than SHIELD and is based off of the Hellblazer comics.  It's pretty true to the source material, doing the characters and story justice.

Unfortunately, it's riding the line between a second season and cancellation.  There's a way to help current fans and also find yourself among the ranks!

Every single episode of Constantine will be On Demand starting today.  I don't know how long it will last, so make sure you catch up really quickly.  I think it will also be on the NBC website, so you can watch it anywhere with internet!  You won't be disappointed.

And please spread the word!  This will help the show find a second season.  If you had problems with the first season, getting a second will help it grow and improve.  Wouldn't you love to see an underdog story play out in real life?  And you can help.

So, yes, go give Constantine a try.  I know I'll be re watching my favorite episodes and live tweeting as I do.  And I'd love to talk to you about it!  We'd have a blast, I promise.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

The Constantine Fandom

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: Loot Crate (April)

What is Loot Crate?  In a word: cool.
Never heard of it?  That's okay, I'm new, too.  Loot Crate is a subscription service.  You can subscribe for one month, or three, of six, or a whole year!  Every month, they send you awesome stuff.  It's made for geeks, nerds, and gamers of every variety.  Each month is a different theme, and this month was fantasy.

Fantasy, being my bread and butter, made it the perfect choice for me to try it out.  I signed up for one month, and it was totally worth it.  Subscriptions don't cost much (about $20 a month in the US, slightly more for international subscribers) and the product inside exceeds the cost.

This month was seriously catering to the Game of Thrones fandom (I've read the first two books so far, and I love them), including a Stark flash drive (which may very well be the coolest thing I own) and a set of magnets.  It also came with a Harry Potter luggage tag (I want to take a trip just so I can use it, honestly).  For Princess Bride fans, there's a beautiful deck of playing cards to sate your appetite (double bonus for me, since I love Princess Bride and I collect playing cards!).  Wearable wise, there's a bow tie covered in dragons (bow ties are cool), an inflatable crown (which I put on my Baymax), and a Dungeons and Dragons t-shirt I've already worn around.

Click here to be taken to the Loot Crate website, and seriously consider subscribing.  I can't wait to see what next month's theme is!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: A Gathering of Shadows

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and offers up a chance to share what books we're most interested in reading when they come out.

I wonder if it's a little too early to be waiting for this one since it's about a year away from being released...
That's right, A Gathering of Shadows, book two in the Darker Shade of Magic series (duology? trilogy?).

Why I'm Waiting:
Book one was amazing and I have even higher expectations for this one.  Plus, the cover.  It's gorgeous, of course.  I must say I prefer the cover to the first one, but it's a pretty hard cover to top.

What are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish .  This week was so hard to figure out.  Not because I can't narrow down my favorite authors (I love a lot of writers, but there are some I'll always pick up before others) but because I couldn't figure out what order to put them in.  It took some soul searching, but in order from least favorite favorite to most favorite favorite, here they are!

10. Rick Riordan
I mean, who doesn't love Percy Jackson?  I think the draw of Riordan is that his writing is always fresh.  He makes it onto this list because, while I may not read his books as soon as they're released, I always get to them and always hold them dear.

9. Maggie Stiefvater
Similar to Riordan, I love Stiefvater, but I don't get to her books as soon as they come out.  I always find myself coming back to her, though.  I'm still behind two of her works, but I PROMISE I will catch up.  Her Shiver series is also one of the first YA books series I ever read, so they'll always have a special place on my shelf.

8. Marissa Meyer
I'm a little surprised she made it onto my list, to be honest.  It's not that I don't love her books, but until the other day I hadn't even considered her a candidate.  But then I was glancing through my shelves and thought "oh yah! of course she's a favorite!" It's because I'll read anything she puts out.  Her writing is addictive and she seems like such a kind person anyways.

7. Kelley Armstrong
I seem to collect her books without reading them.  That's not strictly true since I have read (and loved) several.  I own at least one book from each of her series.  The reason she made it onto this list is for her characters.  They are some of my all time favorite characters, without a doubt.  Few others rival her in this area.

6. Michael J Sullivan
In case you didn't know, he's amazing.  His Riyria books are my most favorite fantasy novels.  Okay, maybe that's a smudge?  I can't actually say for certain because they're that good.  Less rambling, though: he really knows how to rope you in and create a full circle story.  The way he writes allows him to leave no plot-holes and it's so very cool to come to an end of a series and see how every little thing connects.

5. Jim Butcher
Harry Dresden is my hero.  Butcher is far from a perfect writer, but he does do something particularly remarkable: he improves his writing.  It's a tangible thing that you can absolutely tell.  In all my reading, his own growth as a writer is more extreme than anything else.  Plus, he knows how to make a series addicting and all consuming.

4. Sarah J Maas
Well, the list wouldn't really be complete without her showing up on it.  She's one of those rare writers that I'd read anything written by.  ANYTHING.  A shopping list, even.  Her touch is gold and I can't wait for all the stories that she has yet to release.  That is all.

3. Neil Gaiman
When people ask me who my favorite author is, I say Gaiman.  When it comes to putting words on paper, he's got the most elegant touch.  I've never read a better writer than him.  The only reason he's not number one: I don't love everything he writes.  Some of his stuff gets a little to grotesque for my own taste.  It's beautiful, but hard to read.

2. Brandon Sanderson
A newcomer.  Before this year I wouldn't have even considered him.  Of course, before this year I hadn't read Mistborn.  I love those books and now own nearly all of his books (obsessed? no. what?) and have met him in person.  Did I mention I've bought a few things from his website store and am saving up for the Mistborn RPG?  He's just really really great.

But number one belongs to one person who has always had my heart...

1. Cassandra Clare
I love Shadowhunters.  Whereas some people have Harry Potter or Twilight as the series that introduced them to reading, I have Mortal Instruments.  She's another writer that has clearly grown over time.  Every book that comes out is a new favorite.  Without fail, I have gotten each new book the day it releases and started reading then and there.  She will always be on my favorite list, that I can promise.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pilot Season #1

Do you smell that?  That fresh scent, when everything is coming back to life after a long winter?  That's right, it's Pilot Season!

In case you didn't know, I spend a little too much time watching TV.  For my credit, I want to work in the field some day.  Every year the amount of shows I try to keep up on grows.  It's too early for channels to have picked what they'll be showing next season, but it's the ripe time for them to be looking at pilots!

A pilot is the episode used to sell a network on a show.  Normally, the people who want to make the show approach a network and if the network's interested enough, they buy the pilot.  If they like the pilot and they like the direction the show plans to take, they'll buy a couple more episodes.  If it does well with the fans, they'll buy the whole season and then some.

So I want to share with you guys some of the pilot's I'm hoping to see become television series.  There isn't much info on many of these, since pilots haven't really begun filming, yet.  There are also a ton of pilots I have my eye on- too many to talk about in one day.  So you'll see four or five of these posts in the coming month or so.  I hope you enjoy!

Untitled Judah Miller Project @ ABC
This one's about a Broadway star and her husband when they're pushed into the world of youth sports thanks to their gifted son.  It's a comedy and sounds like it could be entertaining- but also like it may be a little over the top.  Besides, we all know what happened to ABC's last Broadway show (rip Smash).  Really, I'm excited to see Megan Hilty on air again, alongside Efren Ramirez (Pedro, from Napoleon Dynamite).

Untitled NBA Project @ ABC
Another comedy, which is weird because I'm more of a drama person.  This one's about a new player who requires a translator to speak English, with one problem- the translator knows nothing about basketball.  It could be cute, and if they play their cards right, I think I see a 'ship' in the making.  Plus, Skylar Astin's in it (you know, Jesse from Pitch Perfect)...

Angel From Hell @ CBS
Anyone else watch Psych when it was on (and a decent show)?  If you did, you may recall the episode where Jane Lynch guest stars as Maggie Lawson's sister.  It was the perfect match and I could only dream of them pairing up again for something permanent.  Well, that dream may just become a reality with this comedy.  In it, the two return.  One, as a guardian angel, the other as the woman she's meant to be guarding.

Limitless @ CBS
I never saw the movie it's based off of, but if this works out, I probably will.  The concept always sounded cool, I just never got around to it.  Supposedly it picks up not long after the movie left off, and while Bradley Copper may not be in the show, he's an EP.

Rush Hour @ CBS
Another one based off another movie I never saw.  It looks like it could straddle the line between comedy and drama, seeing as there are people attached from 21 Jump Street, Dexter, and Backstrom.  It could go either way, but I'm willing to give it a chance.

That's it for today, but trust me, there are plenty more I'm looking forward to.  Any of these catch your eye?  I'd love to know what you think, and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up and Book Haul

So this was a pretty good week.  On the personal level, my brother was Confirmed yesterday so a bunch of my family came over and we had a pretty great time.  I didn't buy a ton of books this week, since last week I spent so much money on new books.

In case you missed it, I did a review of Birthright, Daredevil, Seraph of the End, and Wild Born.  I'm also waiting on Iron Warrior.  This week you should see reviews for A Crown for Cold Silver and What's Left of Me.

Here are the books I've picked up:

Hunted (Spirit Animals, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
I've already started this one.  I love this series, it's so cute, and I have the feeling it's going to slowly get darker and more intense.

The Clone Republic (Rogue Clone, #1) by Steven L. Kent
I'm really excited to get to this one!  It caught my eye in the bookstore one time and ever since I haven't gotten it out of my head.  I picked it up on kindle and not paperback because of the price difference.

Daredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller
I thought why not expand my collection, especially since it's on sale on the kindle store.  Now is the time to stock up of Daredevil graphic novels if you're interested.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Book Review: Wild Born (Spirit Animals, #1)

Author| Brandon Mull
Edition| Kindle eBook
Genre| MG Fantasy
Publisher| Scholastic
Rating| 4 Stars
I'm glad I finally got around to reading this one.  I've had my eye on the series for a while, since I love most of the writers that contribute.  I don't read a bunch of Middle Grade, so I'm very selective with my choices.  This was, in a few words, a very good choice.

It was pretty standard, but it left a mark and was enjoyable.  There weren't exactly tropes, but it also didn't feel like it stood out of the pack.  I liked it mostly due to the world building and concept which, while I didn't think they reached their full potential, were interesting.

The characters, too, were very likable.  I loved all the main characters and have a hard time picking a favorite.  Again, they didn't reach their full potential, and I'm hoping for more growth in following books.

While there is a plot, most of this story focuses on setting up the rest of the series.  I have no problem with that!  Often, books like this can become tedious, but it managed to be quick and right to the point with where it wanted to go.  The climax was a little lackluster, but I'm writing that off to my own inflated opinion.  Often I feel I've read so many fantasy novels that I'm not as easily wowed.

I recommend this to younger readers looking to get into fantasy.  I think it caters to a wide range and introduces a diverse cast and big ideas.  It's also a quick, fun read, with major A-list writers attached.  Really, a win-win situation.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Manga Review: Seraph of the End- Vampire Reign (Vol. 1-3)

Author| Takaya Kagami
Artist| Yamato Yamamoto
Storyboarding| Daisuke Furuya
Edition| American Paperbacks
Publisher| VIZ Media
Genre| Dark/Post-apocalyptic
Rating| Overall 4 Stars (Vol. 1- 2.5 Stars; 2- 4.5 Stars; 3- 4.5 Stars)

This was originally going to be a review for only volume two, but then I finished volume three and realized I hadn't done a review for volume one, either.

To avoid spoilers, I'll give a quick run down.  Basically, the world has been ravaged by a disease that caused adults to die, and vampires rose up to take control.  Humans have banded together to fight against this threat.  Yuichiro's dream is to kill all the bloodsuckers, so he works to join the Moon Demon Company- an elite group of vampire hunters.

The idea isn't super original (it reminds me of Attack on Titan) but it's still a very fun series.  It relies heavily on characters, though its leading man- Yu- is easily the most boring of them.  I can't really stand Yu, and I've heard that complaint before, as well.  The side characters are absolutely AMAZING, though.  The first volume does a poor job of introducing characters, but within the first page of volume two, I'm sold on the secondary players.  I like how it slowly integrates new characters and allows them to grow on you.

My favorite of these side characters (there are many and I love them all) is Guren.  He's just so very cool.  I'm hoping the Light Novel series about him will get an English translation so I can pick it up.  It tells the story of how the apocalypse comes to be, I believe.

I'll be picking up the next few volumes in a month or so.  I want to get through a few more of the comics I've collected before I start buying too many more.  I definitely recommend this series if you read Manga, and particularly if you like stories in the vein of AoT.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A+ TV Review: Daredevil (Season 1)

Watch| Netflix Streaming
Starring| Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil); Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page); Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson); Vincent D'Onofrio (Wilson Fisk); Toby Leonard Moore (James Wesley); Vondie Curtis-Hall (Ben Urich); Ayelet Zurer (Vanessa Marianna); Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple)
Rating| A+

This was my most anticipated show of the year.  I love Charlie Cox (from his role in Stardust) and I love Daredevil (from the few graphic novels I've read him in, particularly Marvel 1602) and I love Marvel, so nothing could go wrong.

And nothing did go wrong.  This, ladies and gentleman, is how you make a television series.  Being able to binge watch it didn't hurt, either.  I can't say anything bad about this show.  I think it hit all the marks it promised to, and I loved everything about those targets.  However, it is VIOLENT.  Graphically violent.  It's not a family show like Agent Carter or SHIELD or even the rest of the Marvel movies right now.  It's dark, and scary, and breathtaking, and bloody.  You've been warned.

Personally, I like a lot of violence in shows and movies.  I don't like it on network TV where any small child could view it, but the more heads rolling the better.  I don't like needless violence like in slasher pics, because it's just happening for the gross out.  Daredevil hit it in the middle.  There were some parts where you could see the blood or the guts or the exposed rib cage on a decaying corpse, but the violence wasn't just made up of moments like that.  It required reading between the lines and listening for bones cracking and people screaming.  And I enjoyed the rawness behind the fighting choreography.  The idea that Matt is just a street level hero was completely sound and well kept.  He takes as many punches as he gives and it's a nice change of pace.

The villains were a high light.  D'Onofrio shines like a star in this show.  His villain has made it into my all time favorites.  A good villain makes for a great hero and an even greater story.  And he's not the only good villain.  His "grunts" and "underlings" are just as good.  I felt threatened by them all like they were real people.  And they were each given a past and thoroughly three-dimensional.  Not just the villains, though, but all the characters.  Besides Matt (who was AWESOME in every sense of the word), Foggy, Karen, and Ben, were individuals with their own goals.  Not just good; but human.  One of my favorite things about the show is that everyone is humanized.  Even the bad guys were just people and not something more (perhaps we should talk about Madame Gao somewhere else...), which was a major theme of the show.

I loved the fact that this show didn't play around with love to much.  There were moments of tenderness between certain characters, but it wasn't a major story line.  And in a situation such as was happening on this series, it would make sense that romance takes a back seat.  It kept the show real and the characters interesting.  Another thing that I loved was that there were no plot holes.  There are moments left open (for later seasons) but they have little bearing on the plot.  Even when there were questions, or things that didn't make sense, they happened for a reason.  Everything came full circle in some really cool and unexpected ways.

The only disappointment... no Easter egg for Age of Ultron or Jessica Jones.  AoU comes out in less than a month so I suppose if I have to I can wait ;)

Basically, this show is worth getting Netflix for if you don't have it already.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Iron Warrior

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and gives bloggers the chance to showcase the books they can't wait for.

This week is the final installment in one of my all-time favorite series: Iron Warrior.
To avoid spoilers, click here to be taken to the goodreads page.

Why I'm Waiting: This is one of the first series I read when I started YA all those years ago (2011, I think...).  I'll admit, the quality doesn't seem to have remained as the series has progressed (Iron Knight will forever be my favorite), but I'll stick with it for all the feels.

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, April 13, 2015

5 Star Graphic Novel Review: Birthright- Homecoming (Vol. #1)

Author| Joshua Williamson
Artist| Andrei Bressan
Edition| eARC courtesy of Netgalley
Publisher| Image Comics
Genre| Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Rating| 5 Stars
Release Date| March 4th

I received this as an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the first five star review I've given to a graphic novel all year.  I could go on and on about this one because I absolutely loved it.  I'd describe it as Narnia meets Mistborn, for concept and character development.

Basically, when Mikey is a little boy he goes missing.  The police suspect the father of killing him and it drives the family apart.  About a year later the police think they've found a lead- a man carrying an ungodly amount of weapons and traipsing through the forest.  When the family convenes, they discover this man is their son, Mikey.  It turns out their son was sent to another world, one where he's the destined hero, and it was there that he grew up.  Now, he's returned to close the portals into the other world and see his family again.

Birthright has two stories going at once.  One where Mikey recounts his time in the other world (which could be a series on its own) and another that covers what is happening in real time.  Both are full of interesting and complex characters, surprising twists, and neither depends upon the other to be a good story.  I loved everything about the concept, too.  It twists old tropes on their head, asking what happens when a chosen hero comes from our world and doesn't return right away.

I absolutely cannot wait for more in this series.  It ends on one heck of a cliffhanger, for sure.  But beyond that, it was enticing.  It had me going back to it constantly, waiting to see what happened next.  It's also a story that I think would translate well onto the small screen, and if it never makes it there I'll be pretty upset.

I plan to buy myself a finished copy of this one, in addition to checking out some other work by the creators.  I definitely think you should pick this one up, because it grabs you and doesn't let go.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up and Book Haul

I spent most of my weekend marathoning Daredevil on Netflix, and let me say, it was amazing.  I didn't have much reading time because of this, but I don't really mind treating myself.  You'll see my review come soon.

In case you missed it last week, I did a review of Batman and Son and Tithe, talked about how I would love to return to these ten worlds, am waiting for Welcome to Nightvale, need your help deciding what to watch next, and also talked a little about some books I've DNF'd.

With the coming week you'll see reviews for Wild Born, Daredevil, Seraph at the End, and Birthright.  As long as I can keep up this reading pace you should see at least two reviews a week.  It's my goal.

This is my first week free of a book buying ban in over a month, so I splurged a little.  Here's what I picked up:

I don't think I'll get to this one until the summer, but it's on sale on the kindle store, so I thought why not.  I liked the first one enough and would like to finish the series.  I've heard great things about the series but wasn't blown away with book one, so hopefully it goes uphill from here.

I've been reading the hell out of my guilty pleasure lately, and this is another kindle deal.  The cover is just gorgeous, too.  I'm thinking it's a Cinderella retelling?

My local HPB carries most of these books in the UK edition and when I stopped by I couldn't help picking the beauty up (I plan to collect the series in both formats).  I'm reading this one next month and I'm super excited.

Another purchase from stop at HPB.  After reading Tithe I couldn't stop myself.  Holly Black's writing is so good.  I was nervous about picking this up sooner because the premise sounds just like Blood of Eden but I've heard great things and want to read all of her works now!

This is one of the Kindle firsts for the month and I'd thought I'd give it a try.  It may be a while before I get to it, though.

Yes, yes, yes!  I finally got this one.  It was an Easter gift from my mom, so now I think I'll be starting Cress ASAP.

I've actually wanted this one for a while.  I picked it up on Kindle.  I know it's not technically canon, but it sounds really cool and I can't wait to get into it.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

3 DNF Reviews

I hate DNFing books.  It's so sad to think that someone put effort into a piece and I couldn't even be bothered to finish it.  Unfortunately, some books just don't work out, and I'd like to explain why these three made that list.

For the record: when I DNF a book, it just means I couldn't finish it.  That may be because I didn't like it.  That doesn't mean someone else won't.  I don't want to discourage you from reading these, necessarily, especially if they sound interesting to you.  That's one thing I love about reading- one man's trash is another man's treasure.

The Mechanics Song (Winterworld, #1)
Author| Chuck Dixon
Edition| eGalley through Netgalley
Publisher| Diamond Book Distributors
Fans of Winterworld only know Scully's story from after he met Wynn. 
But what was life like for the traveling trader before he rescued a young girl and found a new reason to survive in the endless wastes of a frozen planet? 
Presented in stark prose by creator Chuck Dixon (author of the acclaimed Bad Times series) we learn for the first time of Scully's past from childhood to manhood in the brutal and unforgiving world where every day presents another challenge from death.
Filled with the kind of breakneck pacing, savage action, and high stakes that have made the comic series a world renowned classic, Winterworld Book 1: The Mechanic's Song will thrill you, horrify you, and touch your soul. Find out how the saga begins!
 Maybe I should have been tipped off by the "fans of winterworld" bit at the beginning of the description.  But the cover looked so cool and I wanted to know what it was about.  I couldn't get very far before I realized it was not what I thought, nor something I could just jump into.  I didn't give it much of a chance before giving it up, so I can't say if it got better or whether I really enjoyed the writing, or much of anything really.  I'm sure it will find a home and love with the fans.

P.S. I'm still not sure what winterworld is... maybe I should google it.

The Scarlet Letter
Author| Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edition| eGalley courtesy of Netgalley
Publisher| Diamond Book Distributors

I originally read The Scarlet Letter in school and absolutely hated it.  I couldn't get past the driveling writing and thought it went on for too long.  The climax was boring and the characters two dimensional.  I wanted to give the manga/graphic novel edition a try, both to see whether the story was something I needed to reread to enjoy and to see if this would help clear the air.  It didn't.  I enjoyed bits and pieces, but overall, I felt it just as dreary as the first time.  I put it down as soon as I picked it up.  So sad to say that.  For fans of the classic, though, this may be right up your alley!

The Adventures of Basil and Moebius 
Author| Larry Hama
Edition| eGalley courtesy of Netgalley
Publisher| Diamond Book Distributors
Alaric Moebius and Basil Fox are two lovable scoundrels looking to make a quick fortune. 
Basil is a former SAS trooper turned Queen’s Guard by day and thief by night. Moebius is an Oxford-educated charmer with a knack for getting into trouble. Together they chase adventure under the patronage of “The Collector,” a mysterious billionaire with a taste for rare and valuable supernatural objects of the occult. 
This first volume contains the first three adventures in their career together, introducing the unlikely duo for the first time in a highstakes chain of pulpy high adventures! 
Written by the legendary Larry Hama (G.I.Joe, Wolverine) with creator Ryan Schifrin, these wild adventures have the thrills of Indiana Jones, the wit and banter of the best buddy-cop pairings, and the globe-hopping wonder of James Bond. 
An exciting thrill ride from cover to cover!
There was so much I wanted to like about this book.  The premise is everything I could want.  Actually, writing-wise, I had no problem with it.  But there was just something about the art!  I can't exactly put my finger on it, but I just couldn't get into the story.  I depend a lot on the art when I read a graphic novel/comic or when I watch an anime.  If it doesn't live up to what I want, I always end up putting it aside.  So sorry to do that to this one, but sometimes it just has to happen.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What's Next: Bob's Dead Friends

What's Next is hosted by IceyBooks and allows the audience to pick what will be read next.  Normally it's for books, but this week I have three shows for you to choose from.  I'm almost done with Parks and Recreations, and I'll be so sad to see it go.  Over this weekend I'll be marathoning Daredevil (so, so, so excited).  After I've caught up, though, I'll need a new show.  So leave a comment with your vote down below.

1. Bob's Burgers

2. Friends

3. The Walking Dead

I'm game for all three.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Welcome to Night Vale

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and offers readers a chance to show off the books that have them drooling.

A quick shout out to my brother: happy birthday!  (he's turning fifteen and getting his permit soon... scary)

Anyways, this week I'm waiting on Welcome to Night Vale a book from the creators of the podcast.  Here's the cover:
I love the cover.  It goes so well with the artwork from the podcast and has a Route 66 vibe.  I stole the description below from goodreads, give it a look:

From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find matter where we live.
"Hypnotic and darkly funny. . . . Belongs to a particular strain of American gothic that encompasses The Twilight Zone, Stephen King and Twin Peaks, with a bit of Tremors thrown in."--The Guardian
Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.
Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked "KING CITY" by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels.
Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton's son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane's started to see her son's father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it.
Diane's search to reconnect with her son and Jackie's search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: "KING CITY". It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures...if they can ever find it.

 I'm curious to see it manages to hold the charm and wit of the podcast and how it connects to the story line.  Even if I didn't love the description I would pick it up.  I highly recommend the podcast (Welcome to Night Vale), so go check it out.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Check in on

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a weekly meme where we share books based on the theme.  My list is in order from least to most and I tried to pick books where I've finished the series/novel and know there won't be any spin-off companion soon.  Off we go!

10. The Dark Divine Series by Bree Despain
I felt like this series left on a cliffhanger.  I wish there were a novella or something to wrap everything up in a nice bow.

9. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Maybe not revisiting the characters so much as revisiting the world.  I loved the concept and would like to see it played out through another character's eyes, perhaps.

8. Daughter of Smoke & Bone Series by Laini Taylor
Another one that ended on a cliffhanger.  I loved this series and would eagerly pick up any companion story (and I think it needs one after the way Dreams of Gods & Monsters ended)

7. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
This series means so much to me.  I often think about it and would immediately buy any book related to it in any way.  Plus, the way it ended left so many new questions.

6. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
I know he's working on a sequel but I need it right now to satisfy my thirst for this book.

5. Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore
I think many fans will agree on this one.  Each story was unique and each character holds a special place in my heart.  Even if it's not another novel, I'd like a short description for where each character is now.

4. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I think this one needs more love.  It's such a great story (although it can be slow) and I return to it often when I'm in a bad mood.  Meyer has said she's writing sequels, but the more time passes, the more I believe it won't happen.

3. Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
I would buy anything related to this series in a heartbeat.  It's not that I'm not satisfied with where everything ended, it's that I'm so in love with it that I can't help but want more.  All the feels!  I could do with twenty more in this series and not be satisfied.

2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
I know Gaiman has said that he has plans for another and he has written several short stories following Shadow (I have read them!) but I really want more.  It's my absolute favorite story and I trust Gaiman to not steer me wrong.

1. Riyria Revelations by Michael J Sullivan
A spin-off following two specific girls (no spoilers!) would be everything I could dream of.  And Sullivan hasn't said no, in fact, he's for the idea once his writing calms down a bit.

Monday, April 6, 2015

5 Star Book Review: Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales, #1)

Author| Holly Black
Edition| UK Paperback
Genre| Paranormal Romance/Faeries
Publisher| Simon and Schuster
Rating| 5 Stars
If you follow me on twitter you may have seen me spreading the love for this book over there.  This was Holly Black's earliest foray into YA way back in the day and I think more people need to check it out nowadays.  I've seen gushing reviews over her more recent work Darkest Part of the Forest and Coldest Girl in Coldtown but this always seems absent from blogs, perhaps because it isn't such a new work.

Tithe is about Kaye, who, alongside her mother, goes to live with her grandmother.  While returning to her childhood home she finds herself reconnecting with old friends- human and faerie alike.  And then a chance encounter with a knight from the Unseelie Court sends her down a path to meet her destiny.

This book took me by complete surprise.  I can't find a bad thing to say about it.  It's dark and beautiful with fully fleshed out characters and a story that deviates from early expectations.  I was blown away by the writing (when I was younger I read Spiderwick Chronicles with my Dad and a few years ago gave White Cat a try) even though it wasn't anything new.

I was going through some books I was debating on getting rid of when I saw this one.  I actually have all three (and you will see me read them soon) and was a bit shocked I had forgotten about them.  For the longest time I've wanted to read them and when I did buy them I put them in one of my shelves I never look at.  Anyways, I sat down and read the prologue.  That's when I knew I couldn't put this one down.  And it was a feast of wonder.

There's little more to say about this book.  It's everything I needed and didn't know I needed.  I read it in less than a day, even though it was a busy day.  It had my full attention and it deserves yours, too.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Batman and Son

Sorry, I meant to post this earlier, but family started coming in for Easter and I jumped on the opportunity to go to the Easter Vigil Mass at my church.  It was beautiful, but by the time it ended I was so pooped I couldn't get my thoughts straight.  Anyway, I hope you're having a good Easter if you celebrate, of course.  And if you don't celebrate, I hope you're having a good weekend anyway!

Now, to the review!

Author| Grant Morrison
Edition| Paperback
Publisher| DC Comics
Genre| Superhero
Rating| 3.25

I hate to give things ratings like 3.25 because I feel like 3.5 is already getting a little "desperate" to rate something.  But in this case, I just couldn't give it more or less.  Maybe it has something to do with the character.  Like, Batman is better than a three-star hero!  But the story wasn't good enough to warrant four stars....

There are two reasons for such a poor rating on this book.  One, my expectations were too high.  And, two, I just wasn't in the mood.  I was when I first started reading it, but then by interest withered.

Batman and Son follows the aforementioned hero through some mind-bending adventures.  First, he finds out he has a son... with none other than an enemy (of sorts).  Then, he has to deal with his own demons, as well as other characters from his past.

This got much darker than I thought it would.  The first few bits, where they explored the relationship between Damien and Wayne, were pretty good.  I think, tonally, they were spot on.  The story lacked here, though, and the ending of this part of the story seemed lackluster.  I'm hoping in future volumes I read some of the questions will be answered more thoroughly.  Then there was an interesting short story thrown in.  Heavy on words and light on pictures, the whole thing was right out of something that would normally be published by Vertigo.  It wasn't bad, but I felt like it didn't add to the story in any way and was very unexpected.  It did lack the trademark Vertigo stamp, in my opinion- sticking with the reader.  I haven't thought about it since reading that section.

Then we go into the Black Glove story line.  Easily the most enjoyable part of book.  I loved the classic Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie feel to this story.  A mystery for the great detective.  It also sheds light on how people have been affected by 'the batman' throughout the world.  I'd recommend picking this book up for this bit especially.

And then the last part of the story.  It was... confusing.  I liked where it was going, but I feel like more could have been explained.  The important parts were, but there were still holes.  I don't know everything about Batman (though I do know quite a bit, growing up in a family that half the time idolizes the character) and I think I can say the same for many readers.  And the ending was abrupt.  i get the idea of a cliff-hanger, but this wasn't so much of a shocker as a turn off.  Had it ended one issue earlier in the bind-up I think it may have worked much better.

All in all, I will be picking up the volume that follows this (Batman RIP if I'm not mistaken) though I don't think for some time.

Friday, April 3, 2015

5 Star Review: Betrayed by Your Kiss

Author| Laura Landon
Edition| eGalley courtesy of Montlake Romance via Netgalley
Genre| Historical Romance
Publisher| Montlake Romance
Release| March 24th, 2015
Rating| 5 Stars
No one is more surprised than I am to find myself giving a guilty pleasure book five stars.  I recently started reading historical romance for the fluff and sweet, short stories.  But this one took it up a level.  I was surprised by how much I liked it, and looking at the author's other work, how much I think I'll like them all.

In Betrayed by Your Kiss Olivia sends her fiance, Damien, away when a price is put on his head.  Then, she learns he died in a fire and her whole life is changed.  She keeps his death a secret and takes on his estate, her own, and her father's company after his own death.  When his will is read she learns the truth- Damien is alive, and if she desires to keep everything that matters to her, she must marry him, even if he will never give her his heart.

This book is fast-paced.  There was little fluff in here.  Rather, it focused on the reaction of what Olivia had done and dealt with troubles with her shipping company.  There was a whole cast of characters, not super interesting, but only because they weren't particularly quirky.  I did feel like I got to know them all through the course of the book.  As for Damien and Olivia, our protagonists, I liked them.  I loved Olivia.  In the strong women category, she's pretty high up.  As for Damien, I did think he came off as a jerk several times.  He had redeeming qualities, but I feel like Olivia was too good for him to be honest.

The story surprised me.  It had a false climax and plenty of drama.  Both Damien and Olivia drive the plot in their own ways and it was a lot of fun to get into their heads.  It lacked a little steam in the romance, but it made sense for the story.  It does have some charged moments, though, so if you're uncomfortable with that, I wouldn't recommend.

Thanks again to Montlake Romance and Netgalley for letting me read this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan to read more of Landon's work.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April TBR

So last month was actually pretty good!  It may not have quite followed my TBR but I was happy with what I ended up with.  I read eight books, which brings up my total number of books this year up to 27.  And my total page count for the year so far is 9,962.  I consider this a good start to the year.  Now moving into a new season, I'm excited to see what comes up.

My TBR this month is very tentative.  These are the books I want to read right now, not necessarily the ones I will want to read throughout the month.  I'm also not sure what order I'm going to finish them in, so don' be surprised if they're tossed around a bit.

To Finish
Wild Born by Brandon Mull
Ember X by Jessica Sorensen
Breathe by Abbi Glines
The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

Coming Up Soon
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Alienated by Melissa Landers
The One by Kiera Cass

Stardust by Neil Gaiman
The Clone Republic by Steven L Kent
Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon
The Time Machine by HG Wells
Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

Paperback and Hardcover
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Brother Odd by Dean Koontz
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld ~ a reread
Innocent Mage by Karen Miller
Eragon by Christopher Paolini ~ a reread
Cress by Marissa Meyer
The Shadowhunters Codex by Cassandra Clare

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Forgive the hiatus

This isn't an April Fool's.... seriously.

I'm a big fan of the show Arrow and I live watch the show.  This night's episode has left me... broken? may be a good word.  Anyways, I have no energy left to blog today (besides this post).  I do plan on putting together a WoW and April TBR; they'll be up tomorrow before six.  My review I had scheduled for tomorrow will also be pushed a day.

Sorry, and thanks for stopping by.