A History of Glitter and Blood

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Goodreads Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies.

But when Beckan’s clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn’t have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected.

This stunning, lyrical fantasy is a powerful exploration of what makes a family, what justifies a war, and what it means to truly love.

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This will be a short review because I DNF this book.

I was honestly excited to read this book, it seemed like a really interesting and unique idea.  But pretty much from the beginning I found it to be so confusing that it was hard to stay interested or invested in the characters.

Nothing is explained well. You have Beckan and she’s a fairy. There’s some sort of a war going on, but I was super confused as to when it was or why it was.  Also considering the tension between the fairies and gnomes I’m not sure why Beckan is sleeping with a gnome? Then who are the tightropers? At first I had thought they were fairyies also, because it wasn’t explained till much later.

I found this book to be very frustrating to read. Beckan has no clear motive for anything, neither do her friends. And because of this I couldn’t invest myself in the story.  I stopped reading only 76 pages in.  I gave it 1 star on Goodreads.

Wither – By Lauren DeStefano

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Goodreads Synopsis: By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?

Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom? 

Find on Goodreads and Amazon. 

This was a reread, since I had read the book many years ago online, and I wanted to get an actual copy of it this time.

Wither is an interesting story, the writing for the book is absolutely beautiful. The descriptions make every very vivid, and you can see everything that’s happening clearly. I really liked that, I like it when the prose makes up a big part of the book.   Wither is set in a dystopian world, and the writing helps build that in an interesting way. DeStephano gives us enough information about this genetic plague for it to be plausible, but never gives us all the details on how it works.

The story builds slowly, but not too slowly. Which I appreciated. It gave me time to connect with the characters, and with the story in general.  Although at times the story became borderline angsty, I was never bothered by that too much.

The characters themselves were honestly my least favorite part. Rhine is set on leaving, but never has to struggle with leaving anyone or anything behind. Is it bad I wanted her to go through a little Stockholm syndrome?  Besides that I felt like she had a strong character, and I appreciated that. The other girls had their unique characters, I wanted to see Rhine getting to know them more, but she never did.  Gabriel, the romantic interest, was the most boring. His character was flat as a pancake, and I never could tell exactly why she loved him.  I think the romantic subplot was completely unnecessary.  Linden, Rhine’s ”husband” was creepy, but also pathetic. You have some of the same feelings for him, as you would for say Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.

I felt like the end of the story was a little too easy for Rhine. I started to get bored 3/4ths of the way through the story, and that’s the main reason my rating is low. I felt like I should have been more engaged at the climax of the story, but I just wasn’t.

In the end I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.

 

The Diviners – By Libbra Bray

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Goodreads Synopsis: Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

There is so much hype for this book, I honestly wasn’t sure what I was getting into.

The Diviners starts out really well, the setup for the main plot is spooky and forces you to keep reading the next page.  Then you get to the main story, and the world-building is amazing.  Every time I picked up this book I felt like I had been whisked away to the 1920’s and it was magical. This book really gave me a love for the time period.  The slang, the descriptions of clothes and drinks, everything was so well done. I also liked that this book didn’t brush over the racism and sexism of the time.

The characters are really great as well. When I was reading reviews for the book I saw that a lot of people didn’t really like Evie, but I loved her.  She can be selfish a lot, but I felt that flaw made her real.  I loved her zest for life, her love of partying and having a good time. I felt like a lot of people in the book wanted to change that part of her, but I wasn’t sure I wanted her to change. Though of course I did like that she came to terms with how selfish she was, and wanted to make a change for the better.

Mabel, was a pretty great character for the most part. I liked her backstory of coming from a family that cared more about rallies and ideals than her, it made me sympathize a lot with her.  There were sometimes however that I thought she was boring as hell. She really needed to relax more and have fun with Evie.  I loved Theta’s character, I wanted to hear more of her story. Maybe she’ll play a bigger part in the second book?  Jericho was super boring, it felt like he did nothing the entire time.  Sam also felt like he only came in and out of the story when he was needed. Memphis was the only male character that actually felt real, and I can’t wait to see what happens with him in the next book.

There were some things I did dislike.  The romance between Evie and Jericho felt like it came out of nowhere. Not only was it rude of Evie to start up things with him, considering she knew how much Mabel liked him. But also Evie and Jericho had zero chemistry, it felt so forced. I honestly didn’t think a love interest had to be included, and I was disappointed when it was. Though Evie and Theta could have made an adorable couple.

Towards the end I started to feel like the book was a little long, and I just wanted to get to the conclusion.  The Diviners definitely could have been a 100 pages shorter. Also once I got to the ending, I felt like it was a little too easy for them.  It’s one those ending where I’m really not sure how to feel about it.

That all said I gave The Diviners four stars on Goodreads and I already have the second book ready and waiting for me to read it.

Comic Book Reads: July 2017

I read quite a few comics in the last month, so I decided to put them all together in a review.

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First of course I read more Saga!  You can find it on Goodreads. I can’t help it, I always love these issues. This one is #45 and it follows Hazel and her family as they are looking to get help for Alana. It ended with a bang! And now I really need to read the next issue asap. I gave this issue 5 stars on Goodreads.

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I finally bought Rat Queens Vol. 1! So of course I had to re-read it. I think I loved it more the second time I read it. It’s fun filled, and all the women are so badass. I gave it five stars on Goodreads.

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Lazaraus is actually a comic that Grant picked out the last time we were at the comic store. I did enjoy parts of this story, but it felt a little to super-hero like for me. Plus the art wasn’t my favorite. I think I’ll read the next book in the series, but I only gave this comic three stars. You can find it on Goodreads.

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I was finally able to get a copy of this! I really like the art for Alex + Ada. The story isn’t the most unique, but it’s also a love story and that’s cute.  I gave this four stars on Goodreads.

Whiskey Words & a Shovel III – By r.h. Sin

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Goodreads Synopsis: r.h. Sin s final volume in the Whiskey, Words, and a Shovel series expands on the passion and vigor of his first two installments. His stanzas inspire strength through the raw, emotional energy and the vulnerability of his poems. Relationships, love, pain, and fortitude are powerfully rendered in his poetry, and his message of perseverance in the face of emotional turmoil cuts to the heart of modern-day life. At roughly 300 pages, this culminating volume will be his lengthiest yet.

“I hope something good finds you.”

So I thought I was getting the first book when I ordered this from my library, but apparently I was a goofball and got the third book.  Anyway…

Overall I found that I liked this book, but it wasn’t as good as I had been hoping.  I really liked the themes of the poems, the cover of the book, and the style of the poetry was good as well. I liked that it dealt a lot with relationships.

But I also felt like this book was super repetitive. After you get about halfway you start reading a lot of the same poems again. I felt like maybe it should have been shorter.

That said I do plan on going back and reading the first two Whiskey Words books, I think that r.h. Sin has a lot of talent and I’m excited to read more by him.

I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.

The Blue Castle – By L.M. Montgomery

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Goodreads Synopsis: Valancy Stirling is 29, unmarried, and has never been in love. Living with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, she finds her only consolation in the “forbidden” books of John Foster and her daydreams of the Blue Castle–a place where all her dreams come true and she can be who she truly wants to be. After getting shocking news from the doctor, she rebels against her family and discovers a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams. 

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

Since L.M. Montgomery was a Victorian era writer I was interested to see how her works have aged, and was pleasantly surprised by this story.

The Blue Castle is about a woman whose lived her whole life doing exactly what her family and society tells her to do. She takes care of her mother and aunt, who are both rude and at times emotionally abusive to her. But after being told by a doctor that she’s going to die within a year she realizes that she has to take control of her life and do the things that make her happy.

I loved this story. Valancy’s rebellion against her family was exactly what she needed to do, and I enjoyed watching her character grow throughout the story.  I have always loved Montgomery’s writing, the prose and the way she describes woods and land and places is just stunning.  I was also pleased by this strangely feminist (for it’s time) story.  Montgomery does not believe her family knows what’s best for Valancy, especially since they’ve never taken the time to actually get to know her.  There’s no moral at the end of this story either.  Valancy’s path takes her to happiness, even if she had to hurt some people along the way.  I also loved that Montgomery showed the blatant hypocrisy shown by Valancy’s family.

All in all I enjoyed this story and would read it again. I gave it four stars on Goodreads.