Monday, October 30, 2017

My Weekly Pull #2

I am really excited to read Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur this week! I'm hoping Moon Girl and Daredevil team-up for a few issues! Also, the new DD cover looks amazing. πŸ’•


Despicable Deadpool #288
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #75
Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur #24
Daredevil #28
Punisher #17
X-Files JFK Disclosure #1
Amazing Spider-Man #189 (shh... it came out last week)
Amazing Spider-Man #790
Black Panther #166

Luckily, we stopped in a thrift store on our way home and found a few of the older Daredevil comics! I had gone in to sell a couple of my more recent Hulk issues (that I will never attempt to read again), and since they were giving me store credit, I decided to look around. I didn't have a lot of time because my son was with me, and a three-year old does not have the longest attention span. However, I always check DD first since it's one of my husband's favorites. DD and TMNT, of course. 


If you get comics every week (or even randomly), and would like to participate, just leave a link to your post in the comments. 😁

Friday, October 27, 2017

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans. Goodreads


“Perhaps we know each other in the future and you’re only remembering backward.”  
Well, that was unexpected. πŸ˜’

I liked Catherine well enough in the beginning, but I was extremely irritated with her behavior. She knows exactly what she wants, and yet she allows her parents and society to dictate who/what she is going to be. She was perfectly capable of making her own decisions, and did on occasion, but never when it seemed to really matter.

Cath makes it clear that she wants to open a bakery, not become the Queen of Hearts. However, she makes choices that bring her closer and closer to the outcome she doesn't want. All of her efforts to open a bakery seem to fall short, and it seems everything (and everyone) is pushing her to an ending she never would have chosen for herself. I just wish she had stood up to her parents, not caring about whether or not she would be disowned, and said fuck you. It's her life, she needed to worry about making herself happy, and not everyone else around her. Her mother forced her into too-tight corsets, and dresses she couldn't breathe in. Her father stood idly by while simultaneously crushing her dreams by not being supportive. They both thought they knew best, when really it was only what they wanted for themselves. No one ever asked Catherine what she wanted (until it no longer mattered).

The king, while obtuse and small-minded, had good intentions. He never knew how Cath felt, but that's only because she never told him. All of her actions, everything she said to him, only led him to believe she shared his feelings. I understand he's the king, so turning him down wouldn't have been easy, but leading him on only made things worse. Her parents were happy, the king was delighted, but she was miserable. No one should have to live their life in misery.

Then there is Jest. Jovial, mysterious, and adoring Jest. While he may not have had the best intentions at the start, he never wavered in his affections for Cath. He was so torn between loyalty and love, which only added to the complexities of this story. Everyone seemed to have ulterior motives, instead of just following their hearts. If people did more things out of love, I think a lot of problems would be resolved.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite the aggravating characters, because I assume they were meant to be written that way. The world-building was incredible, and Marissa Meyer was so descriptive of everything.

I always go into a book expecting a happy, resolved ending. This was not the case with Heartless. *highlight to view spoiler» Cath suffered enough throughout the book, she shouldn't have to suffer for the rest of her life. The ending was a cruel, horrible twist to her broken story. I hadn't read any reviews before starting this book, but I might have been better prepared if I did. I didn't realize this was an origin story (hah) for the Queen of Hearts. Everything she loved was ripped away from her, and she was forced into the life she never wanted. I would be very, "Off with his head!," too.

I also hate how abruptly Jest was killed. He was there, and then he wasn't. There were no last words or declarations of love. He just ceased to exist. The best character in the book was gone in the time it took a crazed man to swing his ax. I wish he'd been able to say something to Cath before he died. What was he thinking when it happened? My chest aches over the loss, so I can't imagine how Catherine must feel. Her reaction may seem extreme, but I wish she had just gone to Chess and left Mary Ann to her fate. Four lives were ruined instead of one.

They all knew what would happen if they went through a door. They were told and shown in great detail. 

Side note: Rebecca Soler narrates the audiobook and she's marvelous! Her various voices are remarkable. 😲

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hulk Vol 4 #1-11


I really, really wanted to like this. It only took a few issues for my initial misgivings to turn into complete loathing.

It started off okay-ish. We get a little background on Jennifer Walters and her life after *highlight to view spoiler» the death of Bruce Banner/Hulk (her cousin). I didn't expect everything to be explained in the first issue, but it still didn't make sense after the 11th. The stories are inconsistent and bounce around all over the place. They change artists nearly every issue, too. It was aggravating. I get that there are different twists and plots and whatever else, but I still want a big, overall story to follow. She also wasn't the same character from one issue to the next. Her entire personality would change. 😠

I hate that I hated this. The first 3-4 comics are decent. They follow the same story, you watch Jennifer Walters trying to readjust to life, and then -- nothing. There is a lot of story-building and craziness, but when Hulk finally figures out what is going on, a battle ensues and then -- nothing. It made absolutely no sense!! At first I thought it would be continued in the next issue, but it wasn't. It started off with something completely different, and it didn't even address what had happened previously. There was no conclusion, just more blah. The same thing happened with her second baddie.

The only good thing about this comic was her assistant, Bradley.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Talon (Talon, #1) by Julie Kagawa

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. Goodreads
“Rnesh karr slithis," I hissed back, which was Draconic for eat your own tail, the dragon version of go screw yourself. No extra translation needed.”
Love dragons!
Love Julie Kagawa!
Love this book!

I think I've read everything Julie Kagawa has ever written (with the exception of her manga books, but I'm sure I'll read those eventually). The Iron Fey series is something that I've read more than once, and one that will always have a place on my bookshelf. Kagawa has an amazing ability to create beautiful, imaginative worlds that I frequently want to go back to. When I saw she had written a series about dragons, I couldn't contain my excitement! I immediately checked to see if my library had it--they did!

Ember is fiery and determined. She loves to challenge herself and doesn't blindly follow instructions. Unlike her brother, Dante, Ember questions Talon and their rules. It causes her to seek answers elsewhere, which leads her to Riley. Riley is a rogue dragon that promises to give Ember what Talon will not--answers. He claims to know Talon's deep, dark secrets, but he needs to make sure Ember is trustworthy before he shares too much. His life isn't the only one he's concerned about.

Then there is Garrett. He's been fighting dragons longer than he hasn't. He has killed mercilessly, but still has a profound respect for his opponent. When he is sent to lure a sleeper dragon out of hiding, he finds Ember. She affects him in ways he didn't anticipate, and is caught off guard by how deeply he cares for her. They build a friendship based on lies, but something bigger develops between the two. They find themselves drawn to one another despite their misgivings.

I love the relationship between Ember and Garret. It doesn't feel forced, and it doesn't escalate too quickly. It just happens in a slow, lovely way. Her relationship with Riley doesn't make this feel like a love triangle, because her brain knows she cares about Garret, even if her dragon responds very strongly to Riley. Riley thinks their dragons are reacting on instinct, but Ember never seems conflicted about her feelings. She cares about Riley, sure, but she knows he heart is with Garret.

Ember, Garret, Riley--they are all part of a war that has lasted an eternity. Both sides have been training and grooming their soldiers since they were children/hatchlings. It doesn't seem right to force that life on someone before they've been able to make that choice for themselves. If they're even given a choice. I think they've realized it isn't something they want to be a part of, but that means dire consequences for them all.

I really enjoyed Kagawa's descriptions of dragons and how they've adapted over time. It felt natural and believable. The story is fantastic, the secondary characters didn't feel like fluff (yay), and I already want to read the next book, which is currently on my phone and waiting to be listened to. πŸ˜†

Thursday, October 19, 2017

My Weekly Pull #1

J and I get a lot of comics each week, and I thought this would be a great way to share! Comics are normally released every Wednesday, but we might not be able to pick them up until the weekend. The store closes at 8:30, which is crazy, so we usually go when we have more time to look around. Thankfully, the comic book store already knows what comics we want pulled for the week, so they'll be in our box when we get there. If there are special variant editions we would like, we just call ahead and have them pull those, too.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #15 
Venom #156
All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy #12

I'm really excited to read the All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy! Someone new is joining the team, which is why you see all of the random people on the cover. I'm not sure why someone new is being added... I'm a few issues behind on this one. πŸ˜”

Spider-Gwen #25 

Incredible Hulk #709

Invincible Iron Man #593

Mighty Thor #700

Spider-Gwen, Incredible Hulk, Invincible Iron Man and Mighty Thor are not currently on our pull list, but they are comics we've been wanting to read. We went ahead and got the issues for this week because they are doing the Lenticular Homage and the How-to-Draw variants. The lenticular variants are holographic and the images move on the cover. It shows both the cover for the current issue, as well as an older, random comic behind it. (I hope I'm explaining that correctly!) My son loves it. J really likes the Hot-to-Draw variants, which my son also loves, hah.

If you would like to see what other comics were released this week, we use Comic List. It will also show you the comics and covers being released next week so you can plan ahead! It helps to know what you want ahead of time, if you want specific variants. 

Once we pick up our comics for this week, I will post an actual picture of what we received. I'll edit this post and add it to the bottom. If you would like to participate in this, please leave a link in the comments so I can check it out! 

(Oh, if you're unfamiliar with comic books, don't be discouraged by the high issue numbers. Marvel comics just switched to Legacy numbering, which is why things are a little confusing. It's the number for the series as a whole, and maybe not the current ongoing story. The Legacy issues will continue the previous story, but supposedly will also serve as a starting point for new readers. Again, I might not be the best person to explain this, but Google is a good friend!)

Edit: An actual picture of my comics for the week!



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Giveaway: The Winter King & The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

The Winter King & The Sea King
I know I haven't had this blog for very long, but it already feels like I never left. If you've visited my blog, read a review, commented--thank you. I really mean it. It's hard to find like-minded people, and while we may not all read the same books, we still enjoy having conversations about them. 

About this Giveaway:

The Winter King by C.L. Wilson was the first book I reviewed on this blog, so I thought it would be perfect for my first giveaway. I also wanted to include the second book in the series, The Sea King, because it is being published at the end of the month. I know some people have been waiting years for a second book, so a few details might be fuzzy, which is another reason I want to give them both away. You can read the first one again, and then dive right into the second. If you haven't already read the first book, this is your chance to read them both! 

Important Information:

Please read my Giveaway Policy before entering.

The winner will be announced on November 1st (the day after The Sea King is released), on this post and in the Rafflecopter form. They will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response within that time, another winner will be selected.

International entries are accepted as long as The Book Depository ships to your county.

How do you enter?

Please fill out the Rafflecopter form, and then leave a comment explaining why you do or do not dog-ear your books. That's it!

Extra Entries: (all optional and not required)

+1 Follow me on Bloglovin'
+1 Follow this blog
+1 Tweet about the giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 16, 2017

Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties, #1) by Jenn Bennett


It’s the roaring twenties, and San Francisco is a hotbed of illegal boozing, raw lust, and black magic. The fog-covered Bay Area can be an intoxicating scene, particularly when you specialize in spirits…

Aida Palmer performs a spirit medium show onstage at Chinatown’s illustrious Gris-Gris speakeasy. However, her ability to summon (and expel) the dead is more than just an act.

Winter Magnusson is a notorious bootlegger who’s more comfortable with guns than ghosts—unfortunately for him, he’s the recent target of a malevolent hex that renders him a magnet for hauntings. After Aida’s supernatural assistance is enlisted to banish the ghosts, her spirit-chilled aura heats up as the charming bootlegger casts a different sort of spell on her.

On the hunt for the curseworker responsible for the hex, Aida and Winter become drunk on passion. And the closer they become, the more they realize they have ghosts of their own to exorcise… Goodreads

"Everyone wants to be reassured that there's life after death, but I always beg them not to forget that there's life before death--and that's the only thing we really have any sort of control over."
I thought this would be an excellent book to read during October--and I was right! It was wonderful!  It's like the green eggs and ham of books. I would read it in a house, with a mouse, in a box, with a fox-- I would read it anywhere! I honestly could not get enough of this book.

I really enjoyed Aida's character. She's confident, determined, and unafraid of sex and the more risquΓ© things in life. She is okay with who she is as a person, and she isn't looking to change something about herself. It was really refreshing. She may have gotten a little flustered at times, but she still maintained her flirty, daring attitude. I also liked that she knew what she wanted and went for it, even if that meant attacking making a move on a more than willing bootlegger in the back of a taxi.

When it comes to steamy sex scenes, Bitter Spirits doesn't disappoint. I read this at work when I wasn't busy, and there were a few times I couldn't keep the goofy grin off of my face. This book is infectious! It wasn't just about the romance either, the story is solid and intriguing. It's also unpredictable, which always makes things more enjoyable.

“I love you, damn it.”   

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Quick Question #1

What makes a superhero?

Kristen from Metaphors and Moonlight left a comment on my Gwenpool #0-5 post that prompted this question. She said, "I have to admit I'm not so much interested (in) the superhero ones..."

When I responded to her comment I said, "TMNT isn't really about superheroes, just turtles with ninja skills, lol." J was sitting next to me on the couch (reading Daredevil) and told me I was wrong. He was very adamant about the Ninja Turtles being superheroes.

What is the criteria for being a superhero? Do you have to save the world? Is there a difference between a hero and a superhero? Daredevil and Black Widow prove that you don't need special powers, so what is it? 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Gwenpool #0-5

J (my spouse) has always had a few comics around the house, but it wasn't until our son showed an interest in them that we decided to get a little more serious ourselves. I've loved reading my entire life, but it never occurred to me to read comics. It took a three-year old to push us in that direction, and I'm happy it happened. I LOVE COMICS. It's a book, but it's not. There are so many different stories, a lot of them overlapping, and the illustrations are always beautiful. I'll admit, it can be incredibly confusing at times, but that's what I have J for. He knows everything (or is capable of looking up an answer).

We each decided to choose a comic we would get monthly. J chose Spider-Men II, my son went with the All New Guardians of the Galaxy, and I wanted something feminine so I picked Gwenpool. We quickly realized that just one wasn't going to work for us. We now get 10-15 comics every month. A few of them are just going to be a limited series while others are ongoing. I have been reading Gwenpool and the new Hulk (which will soon be transitioning into She-Hulk), and the boys get things like Venom, Venomverse, Daredevil, Astonishing X-Men, TMNT--it's a long list now. 

Marvel has been introducing a lot of new characters to their universe, and I find most of them to be really interesting. Female versions of Hawkeye, Thor and Iron Man? Yes, please! I've read a few of the Generations comics (which have the traditional character confronted with a newer version), and I've enjoyed seeing how they interact with each other. 

I was trying to adequately describe all of this, and now I'm three paragraph's into this post without discussing the first few issues of Gwenpool. πŸ˜…

If you like Deadpool, his knack for the inappropriate, and love of violence, then Gwenpool is probably a comic you'd enjoy. Gwen Poole is from the "real" world, has read comic books her entire life, and then somehow manages to insert herself into the Marvel universe. She is fully aware of who she is and what she's doing, and she's determined to make herself a hero with her very own story. It helps that she knows everyone, their histories, secret identities, etc. She uses that information to survive in the beginning, but after a few comics she tries to learn basic fighting skills. Her only source of information has been the internet, so I'll let you come to your own conclusions. 

I love her snarky personality and the unexpected things that pop out of her mouth. If you're her friend, she will try to keep you safe, but Gwenpool has a borderline scary obsession with violence and killing. She sees people as extras in her story, which means to her they are expendable. Unfortunately, the supporting characters don't see things that way, and they want to fight for the lives they believe themselves to be living. Have I lost you yet? If this sounds even the least bit interesting, I highly recommend that you read it! It will make more sense when you do, but know that with Gwenpool there will always be a little bit of confusion.

Some information can be found on Goodreads, but Comic Vine is slightly more thorough. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bitten at BEA

Karen at For What It's Worth mentioned me in her most recent blog post. I wasn't expecting her to, but she's sweet, thoughtful, and always looking to help others. I've known Karen for many, many years. We've been to a lot of different book events together (ALA, BEA), and she knew my husband before he was my husband. She also sent fortune cookie baby shoes when I was pregnant! They were adorable! If you don't know Karen, or don't follow her blog, you definitely should.

In her blog post she mentioned that I am the girl that was bitten at BEA a few years ago. I had no idea this story would become what it is today. Most people don't even know that it was me, they just know it happened, which I am perfectly okay with. I thought it was a fun story to share, even if it was slightly alarming when it happened. Seriously, who would bite someone for a book?? It wasn't even the last book, or a signed book. It was just one of many in a stack at a booth.

People at BEA would arrive early to wait by the doors before they opened for the day. Once the doors opened, it was madness. There were those who had mapped out the entire area and knew exactly where they were going, and then there were those who just dashed around randomly and hoped to find something exciting. If you went with friends, or family, and were not tied together, chances are you were separated until things died down.

I would wait until things were less frantic before I went inside. Normally, I would find a coffee stand and buy breakfast before entering. It usually meant I wouldn't fall on my face trying to maneuver through the crowd. There was always a steady stream of people, but it was nothing compared to the initial onslaught.

On this day, with coffee in hand, I entered a good thirty minutes after everyone else. Book sellers and publishers had become wise to the ways of crazy book bloggers (and other just crazy people), so they wouldn't start dropping books until the first wave had passed. I just happened to be walking by when After Obsession by Carrie Jones caught my eye. The stacks looked undisturbed, so I assumed it had been missed by the masses. It wasn't long before people started overwhelming the small area. There was a way in to grab a book, but getting back out was going to be tricky, or so I thought. I have never seen so many people pushing and shoving each other over a book. It was ridiculous idiotic. There were a few people that grabbed multiple copies before crawling on the floor to get out. I stood there in shocked silence as men shoved children, and women yelled at each other for no apparent reason.

I watched for a few minutes before deciding to reach my hand over two people arguing on the floor. My plan was to gently extricate myself, but as I am pulling my arm back, it stops. Not the madness around me, my arm. What was happening didn't register at first, and it wasn't until I made eye contact with the older woman attached to my arm, that I realized what had just happened. She bit me. She was still biting me. She was looking me in the eye while her teeth sunk deeper into my skin. I dropped the coffee I was holding in my other hand and went to do, I don't know, something, when she let go. She gave a satisfied shake of her head, like this was perfectly acceptable behavior, and then disappeared into the crowd beside me.

What do you do when something like that happens? How are you supposed to react? Was I supposed to angrily look for her and demand retribution? Did I find security and tell them what had just occurred? There were so many thoughts going through my head, but they all stopped as I saw the imprint she had left on my arm. "SOMEONE JUST BIT ME," was the only remaining thought I had. Others had witnessed what happened. There were those who looked as shocked as I was, a few asked me if I was okay, while others insisted I needed medical attention. I waved everyone away and went to find a familiar face. I needed to tell someone I knew what had just happened to me, but it didn't take long for the story to travel on it's own.

By the time I found friends, they had already heard about someone being bitten, they just didn't know it had been me. I did have to clarify a few details, like not having rabies, and never being rushed to the hospital. We laughed. The teeth marks faded. It was just another day at BEA.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other. Goodreads
“Things are not magical because they've been conjured for us by some outside force. They are magical because we create them.”
I finished this earlier today while I was at work, and I'm still not sure how to put my feelings into words. I don't want to somehow mangle the beauty of what I just listened to. It was raw, emotional, eye-opening, and so many other incredible things. 

I love that David Levithan narrated the audiobook. He knew exactly how it needed to be read, and his voice was so heartbreaking and lovely inside of my head. I'm really glad I stumbled across the audiobook before reading a physical copy. This is a story that needs to be heard with ears as well as with hearts.

“Make more than dust.”

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #1) by Amanda Bouchet


Catalia "Cat" Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her. (Goodreads)

"Never in a billion suns. Not even if Zeus showed up as a swan and tried to peck me in your direction. I wouldn't go with you even if my other option was Hades dragging me to the Underworld for an eternal threesome with Persephone."
Why am I having trouble writing this review? Did I like the book? Definitely. Would I read it again? Yes. Am I anxious to read the next book in the series? Mostly. I can't put my finger on what bothered me about this book. I feel like it ended too abruptly and in a way that didn't fit in with everything else. I was also starting to get a little frustrated with Cat, so I think the last few chapters left a sour taste in my mouth.

I'm all for angst and building romantic tension between characters, but they have to break at some point. I was annoyed with Cat's lack of commitment and self-loathing. She should have grown and gotten more comfortable in her own skin. She has trust issues, which are understandable, but Griffin and the others repeatedly prove their love and genuine concern for her. She would trust them with her life and her love, but not with her secrets? What kind of a relationship is that? Eventually, she should have broken down and confided in her new "family," but she didn't. We as readers know what is going on (for the most part), which only made it more maddening when Cat wouldn't confide in anyone else. I know she thought she was protecting them, but I wanted to pull my hair out.

The ending was abrupt and felt a little forced. I don't know how many times Cat nearly had to die while four men fluttered around her and tried to move mountains. I also don't feel like her male companions got enough attention in the book. I can easily describe what they looked like and how they smelled, but I want to know characters on a deeper and more personal level. Where did they come from? Why are they so loyal to Griffin?

Now, with all that being said, those are just my feelings about the last few chapters. I was thoroughly enjoying the book up until then. There's magic, Greek mythology, a She-Dragon--all things I love reading about. I frequently found myself grinning from ear to ear, and a few times I literally laughed out loud. The Beta Team banter was one of my favorite things, and I loved Cat's short, internal arguments with herself. I just wish the story had progressed a little differently, and that Cat would have confided in someone by now.