November 2017

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Nov. 15th, 2017


[info]katara

| 133 |

Title: City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Format: Epub
Rating: .5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: November 14, 2017 to November 15, 2017
Book Summary: Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
Book Review: Real Rating: .5

I blame my nephew for forcing me to read these books with him. I honestly cannot stand this series whatsoever and there have been times I found myself wishing more than anything to reach into the book and bitchslap Clary. She is one of the worst characters (next to Anatasia Steel and Bella Swan) and has joined their club in the "Super Special Snowflake Mary Sue Club." This girl has led her best friend on believing that she had feelings for him when she had feelings for her own brother.

Please don't get me wrong I have nothing against incest because of tons of anime have it in there. So it doesn't squish me any.

However, there is something about this one that rubs me the wrong way.

Maybe it is because I have never been a fan of Ginny Weasley. I am not sure why but she was never my favorite Harry Potter character. However, I doubt she would be anything like Clary, whom does the most stupidest and annoying things that make me want to throttle her. I love how everything she does tends to backfire on her and how she still hates Isabelle, whom tried to help out with Jace. Of course, Isabelle is going to work with the rules (somewhat. I mean she is suppose to be Hermione in disguise!) but she does things because she has her heart in the right area.

I really wish I could enjoy these books but my biggest peeve is that the transition into one character from another character seemed to confuse me. I mean you start reading whatever Jace is doing and suddenly you find yourself with Clary without wondering how the fuck that happened! It was confusing and I had to go back briefly to see exactly where the transition happened and why one point of view ended and another began.

Seriously my nephew is going to owe me his soul when I am done with this series because I have come close to throwing these books into the nearest trashcan and reading something much better.

Nov. 14th, 2017


[info]katara

| 132 |

Title: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Format: Epub
Rating: .5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: November 12, 2017 to November 14, 2017
Book Summary: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Book Review: Real Rating: .5

Fifteen-year-old Ginny Weasley Clary Fray witnesses a murder but not just any other murder but one committed by three teenagers. Even worse, the guy Draco Malfoy she meets is much more than he seems. Caught up in their world, Ginny Clary's mother goes missing and she has the Sight. Now joining up with Dumbledore's Army Shadowhunters, she must find her mother and the wherebouts of the Mortal Cup before Voldemort Valentine does.

Honestly I had no desire to ever touch these books and have never bothered to crack open the cover of one but my nephew has these books listed in his AR and they were worth megapoints if he read them. So I decided that not only would I order him a copy of the book from the library but I would borrow the ebook edition from there.

Now I remember why I did not ever want to touch these books.

This entire story comes from her Harry Potter fanfiction called The Draco Trilogy. I may or may not have read the series a long, long time ago. There seemed to be some vague remembrance to some of the storyline but not all of it.

Or maybe I just simply pushed it out of my head like I do whenever I read horrible fiction such as Twilight and Fifty Shades series.

If Cassandra Clare was trying to make this book apart from the Harry Potter series, then she failed.

Miserably.

You could tell which character was which and whom each character was modeled after in the Harry Potter universe. Even the whole Mortal Cup screamed horcrux. The only big thing missing was quidditch and the four houses.

I wish I could say I was done with this series but my nephew has his eyes on the rest of the series sadly. I hope I can survive the rest of this before I go insane.


Nov. 12th, 2017


[info]katara

| 131 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #31
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: November 12, 2017
Book Summary: “VOTE HARLEY” finale! It’s all come down to this: Harley and her adversary, Mayor DePerto, have trotted out every dirty trick in the book...and now it’s up to the people to decide who will lead New York City into the next decade! No matter who wins, let’s be honest with each other: it might be time to consider moving to L.A.!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

Wow....just wow. I am not even sure what to really think of this issue at the moment. All I can say is that this may have changed everything for Harley. Here she has given up her candidacy for Mayor with the hopes of keeping Mason Macabre alive but this seems to change toward the end. Now whether or not it is as it seems, this may set the next issue's arc heading into a darker alley than what the series had been.

In some way, I am glad Harley has given up her politcal career. I know she wanted to make a change for not only those around her but also for those she loves. Unfortunately if she were to be mayor, all her love of violence would have to be watered down more than I am sure she would have wanted it to be. After all, there would be an expectation for her to behave and lead. I just didn't see Harley fitting this mold. She has never been the type of girl to sit back and allow others to do the work she could do on her own. It was a good run, I'm sure, but with the way things seem to be heading, I don't see it as a good idea.

So what does the ending mean for Madison? I see things are going to heat up for her and I mean really heat up for her if the ending is what everyone thinks. After all, she has done something unfathomable and she now has a large target right on her back. I am not sure whether to feel sorry for her or imagine what sort of demise Harley will in store for her.

This issue was dark. Much darker than other issues. The normal bubbly Harley was replaced with a much more panicked and worried Harley but then I can understand why. One of her loved ones had been taken from her and now may be dead.

So now we must wait with baited breath as to the next issue.

Nov. 3rd, 2017


[info]katara

| 130 |

Title: Old School: Life in the Sane Lane
Author: Bill O'Reilly, Bruce Feirstein
Format: Epub
Rating: .5/5
Status: Did Not Finish
Reading Date: November 2, 2017 to November 3, 2017
Book Summary: Old School is in session....

You have probably heard the term Old School, but what you might not know is that there is a concentrated effort to tear that school down.

It’s a values thing. The anti–Old School forces believe the traditional way of looking at life is oppressive. Not inclusive. The Old School way may harbor microaggressions. Therefore, Old School philosophy must be diminished.

Those crusading against Old School now have a name: Snowflakes. You may have seen them on cable TV whining about social injustice and income inequality. You may have heard them cheering Bernie Sanders as he suggested the government pay for almost everything. The Snowflake movement is proud and loud, and they don’t like Old School grads.

So where are you in all this?

Did you get up this morning knowing there are mountains to climb—and deciding how you are going to climb them? Do you show up on time? Do you still bend over to pick up a penny? If so, you’re Old School.

Or did you wake up whining about safe spaces and trigger warnings? Do you feel marginalized by your college’s mascot? Do you look for something to get outraged about, every single day, so you can fire off a tweet defending your exquisitely precious sensibilities? Then you’re a Snowflake.

So again, are you drifting frozen precipitation? Or do you matriculate at the Old School fountain of wisdom?

This book will explain the looming confrontation so even the ladies on The View can understand it.

Time to take a stand. Old School or Snowflake. Which will it be?
Book Review: Real Rating: .5

I tried, I really tried to read this book even going as far to place it down to finish reading several comic books I had put off until now.

Was this book humorous? Not really. Was this book interesting? Not at all.

This book was more about how people of the "Old School" generation are far better than those of generation that followed are nothing short of entitled "Snowflakes." This is coming from the same guy who just recently blamed his God for failing to protect him from all those sexual harrassment lawsuits.

You know that definition of "Snowflake"? The part where they offended and whatnot? Yeah Bill O'Reilly really shouldn't be throwing stones at glass houses when his own glass house already has tons of holes in it.

My verdict of this book:

Don't bother with it. The humor just falls flat. The quizzes are ridiculous and the author of this book tries too hard to prove his own experiences should be the same for the generations that follow him.

Nov. 2nd, 2017


[info]katara

| 129 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #7 (Darth Vader (2017-) #7)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: November 2, 2017
Book Summary: LEGACY'S END BEGINS! Vader takes his place in command of the Emperor's secret Inquisitorius Program!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

This issue opens with Vader giving the Inquistors a lesson. Well one of them a lesson in hand loss. In doing so, this has caused a bit of friction between Vader and the Grand Inquistor. There doesn't seem to be any sort of respect between them and the Grand Inquistor has come to know that Vader would rather do things on his own, rather than send anyone out to do it for him. Vader even lets the Grand Inquistor know he finds his lot entirely pathetic.

With Vader obviously not happy with the Inquistors, his attentions are turned to his Master, Palpatine, who informs him of another Jedi still out there. This is where we see Jocasta, an old woman with not much time left in her life but a Jedi with the determination to keep the dying belief alive. She knows she doesn't have much time left in her and she heads out into the city on a mysterious quest. Unfortunately for her Palpatine knows she is still alive but knows the Archive Temple contains a great treasure within. He decides that since Vader is eager for the hunt he sends him after her.

This issue lacked a bit of movement and action but it set up the next issue quite nicely. Here we see Vader's interactions with the Inquistors as well as his loathing for them being there. He doesn't like the idea that his Master has brought them forth to do his bidding. Vader prefers to do things himself and not with any of the hired help. Unfortunately for him he will have no choice in the matter. For now, his focus will have to be on the capture and extermintion of the female Jedi. It won't matter to him that the woman is old and feeble, only that she will be destroyed by his own hand.

This issue will draw you in and keep you glued until the final page. I am quite looking forward to seeing how things will go for Vader from here.

[info]katara

| 128 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #30
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: November 2, 2017
Book Summary: "VOTE HARLEY" part three! Harley's making some pretty unsavory alliances to keep her mayoral campaign humming...including drafting some of the worst villains from her Gotham City days! How will her New York friends react to that? Can they hold their noses and vote for someone who accepts campaign contributions from the Penguin?
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

Okay I am not certain how I feel about Harley's new boytoy. I don't know much about him and I pretty sure I never really caught his name. I think it's Mason Macabre but I could be wrong. Still I am not the fence with him. I don't really care for the idea that he's taking her attention away from Ivy. I prefer those two together more than she and Mason. I hope we don't see much of him in the future.

The Scarecrow has grown tired of playing games with the mayor. He's not the sort who likes these type of games either and the mayor seems bent on playing these games with him. Unfortunately for the mayor, the Scarecrow isn't in the mood and has decided to cut the leash off of him and move on. He does so by knocking out the mayor and taking his money to go. Is this the end of the Scarecrow? Who knows? We may see him later on. We know he isn't quite Harley's fan and I am certain that since she has bested him this time around, there is bound to some revenge or another in the future.

As for Harley, she has decided that there is too much concrete and massive buildings in the city. With the help of Ivy and the rest of the gang, she turns the city into something of a green space. Unfortunately for Harley, it backfires spontaneously on her. Her plan has caused power outages and other sort of problems for the city.

But Harley still has another problem in the form of the current and corrupted mayor. As she prepares for another round with candidate forums and such, she finds herself in a predicament when she is forced to give up her mayor candidacy. Apparently the mayor has gained the upper hand and has captured her friends and forced her hand.

Harley isn't going to let the mayor get away with this and we know there is bound to be a ton of revenge coming his way. If the mayor survives this, I will be surprised.

[info]katara

| 127 |

Title: Jean Grey (2017-) #8
Author: Dennis Hopeless, Victor Ibañez (Illustrator), Mike Mayhew (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.25/5
Status:Finished
Reading Date: November 2, 2017
Book Summary: The Phoenix is coming, and Jean is still not prepared for its arrival. And although she received advice from Namor, there's one other former Phoenix host that she hasn't gone to. A former host that could also prepare and train her telepathic powers. That person? Emma Frost. This won't be pretty.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.25

This issue picks up right where issue #7 has left off. Older Jean has taken over younger Jean's body and has infiltrated Emma Frost's mind but Emma is going to let Older Jean go through her head willingly. She throws whatever she can to deter the Jeans away. Unfortunately for her, Older Jean is not easily deterred and when they reach Emma, they find her "playing" Phoenix with Scott.

But Older Jean seems to feel something and finds it in exactly in Scott - the burning flame of the Phoenix. Emma tries to stop the Jeans but it is too late! The small piece of the Phoenix Flame becomes part of the Jeans.

This was an interesting storyline. It was nice to see the Cuckoos make their appearance within Emma's mind and Younger Jean's small interaction with them. You could feel the tension between Older Jean and Emma. You know it is there and it is bound to escalate in the next issue but exactly how now is the remaining question.

I am excited with this series. I have enjoyed it so far and I am looking forward to seeing how the next issue pans out with Emma.

Oct. 23rd, 2017


[info]katara

| 126 |

Title: Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic (Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition)
Author: British Library
Format: Epub
Rating: 5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: October 20, 2017 to October 23, 2017
Book Summary: An irresistible romp through the history of magic, from alchemy to unicorns, ancient witchcraft to Harry's Hogwarts – packed with unseen sketches and manuscript pages from J.K. Rowling, magical illustrations from Jim Kay and weird, wonderful and inspiring artefacts that have been magically released from the archives at the British Library.

This spellbinding book takes readers on a journey through the Hogwarts curriculum, including Herbology, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy, Divination and more. Discover the truth behind making the Philosopher's Stone, create your very own potion and uncover the secret of invisible ink. Learn all about the history of mandrake roots and dragons, discover what witches really used their brooms for, pore over incredible images of actual mermaids and read about real-life potions, astronomers and alchemists.

The perfect gift for aspiring witches and wizards and any Harry Potter fan. Celebrating twenty years of Harry Potter magic, and produced in association with the British Library to support their major exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic.

Contents:
The magical world of Harry Potter --
The journey --
Potions and alchemy --
Herbology --
Charms --
Astronomy --
Divination --
Defence against the dark arts --
Care of magical creatures --
Past, present, future --
The British Library --
J. K. Rowling.
Book Review: Me when I found out this book was coming out:



This book was fascinating and filled with artifacts that inspired the Harry Potter series. There were also wonderful illustrations of characters and hand written letters such as that of Alice Newton, who had been given the Harry Potter manuscript to read.

If you cannot go to the Harry Potter exhibit like many of us, than this book is definitely for you.

Oct. 15th, 2017


[info]katara

| 125 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #29
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Tbd (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: October 15, 2017
Book Summary: “VOTE HARLEY” part three! Harley’s making some pretty unsavory alliances to keep her mayoral campaign humming...including drafting some of the worst villains from her Gotham City days! How will her New York friends react to that? Can they hold their noses and vote for someone who accepts campaign contributions from the Penguin?
Book Review: Harley has thrown her hat into the electoral mayoral ring and has been gaining traction in the polls with her ability to take out criminals and make the city safe. She even has the backing of the Police Chief.

This has caused a problem for the corrupted mayor. Madison has failed him in taking care of Harley so he has called in another - Harley's fellow madman-in-arms, Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow. The good doctor is always willing to help out but only if the price they offer is just right for him. His solution? Drug Harley during her debate.

And her hallucinations cause her to go crazy during the debate nearly hitting one of her opponents in trying to stop dream Joker. Thankfully Ivy comes to her rescue and takes the poison out of her, telling her that The Scarecrow is behind it.

Have I mentioned how much I adore Ivy and Harley together? I really do even when Harley sleeps with Red Tool, Ivy doesn't seem to be jealous. I do hope that Harley sleeping with Red Tool does not give Red Tool the notion that there may be something more or even she is playing with him. I don't think that would be really fair to either Ivy or Red Tool. Still I love Ivy because she could be jealous and angry and even vengeful toward Harley for sleeping with someone else, but she isn't. In fact, she literally sends them up breakfast.

This issue was really good and I cannot wait to see what retribution Harley dealts The Scarecrow.

Oct. 14th, 2017


[info]katara

Title: Imagining Diana
Author: Diane Clehane
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date:
October 13, 2017 to October 14, 2017
Book Summary: In Imagining Diana, the novel by New York Times bestselling author Diane Clehane, Princess Diana survives the 1997 car crash that led to her tragic death.

As the world awaits news of Princess Diana's fate following the paparazzi-fueled crash, Diana awakens from a coma to discover that she has survived the wreckage, but with her famous face—the most photographed in the world—forever changed. Based on actual events, what ensues is an elegant and riveting account of Diana's storied past and imagined future as an icon, lover and mother of a future king.

Book Review: Real Rating: 3.75

In the Summer of 1997, Princess Diana was killed in the Paris Tunnels during a paparazzi-fueled chase. Since then, millions have wondered what exactly life would have been life if Diana had simply put her seatbelt on and survived the crash. This book takes this "what if" scenario and plays it out. Diana is the only survivor of the crash. Her once most beautiful face has changed and now as she recovers from the crash and nagavates herself into the public eye once more, we see a different Diana as she watches her sons grow and her own romances take center stage once more.

This was a rather interesting "what if" storyline. I am pretty sure that many people always wondered the same thing - what if Diana had put on that seatbelt? Would she had survived? What would have been the consequences? Would her life be like now? With so many questions out there, the author managed to answer many of them and put them in a single story dedicated to the what if storyline. Diana was carefully portrayed her and her shattered life played out as she tries to re-establish herself in a world that rejected her upon her divorce from Charles.

If you are a fan of the late Princess Diana, then this book is definitely for you to check out.

Oct. 13th, 2017


[info]katara

| 123 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #6 (Darth Vader (2017-) #6)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: October 13, 2017
Book Summary: Darth Vader…meet THE INQUISITORIUS!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

This issue pretty much picks up where the last issue left off. Vader has gotten the kyber crystal and corrupted it to make his own Sith lightsaber. Currently he is recuperating in his healing tank while Palpatine stands outside admiring the new lightsaber that he has created. Of course, Vader is less than pleased by this and even more when Palpatine suggests that he send Vader's suit to be repaired.

The issue changes to an intruder in the Jedi Temple's library. Palpatine lets Vader know of this and sends him out to deal with it. At first, the intruder believes himself to be alone with all these books until he finds himself face-to-face with a lightsaber wielding Vader. Sabers clash against each other as the two begin a fight. Of course, the intruder believes himself to have the upperhand until Vader proves himself to be more powerful than the intruder. Just before the two decide to kill each other, Palpatine appears to halt the fighting and introduces Vader to the new Grand Inquistor.

This issue was pretty interesting as it sets up the storyline for the Rebel series. Here Vader meets Palpatine's group of Grand Inquistors. He has already had a taste of a fight with one of them and the rest will simply be waiting in the wings for their turns. If you have already seen the Rebel series, then you know what has happened to most of them but this is the story we haven't seen as the series focuses on a group of rebels but here, here we get to see the interaction between Vader and the Inquistors. Here we will see how he will be interacting with him and his very thoughts on Palpatine bringing them in. Plus we will also get to his part in all of this inbetween.

Vader has always been a fascinating and complex character. This will only prove to add to this complexity of what even more to what is Darth Vader. Since we never see him really in the series itself (only bits and pieces and only as a plot turning device). Here we will get to see more of Vader during this time and exactly what he does inbetween. I am hoping to see the issues where he was added to the series.

I am really excited to see how this series continues to pan out.

Oct. 8th, 2017


[info]katara

| 122 |

Title: Harley Quinn Batman Day Special Edition (2017) #1 (Harley Quinn (2016-))
Author: Amanda Conner (Writer), Jimmy Palmiotti (Writer), John Timms (Artist), Hi-Fi (Colors), Dave Sharpe (Letters), Chris Conroy (Editor)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: October 6, 2017 to October 8, 2017
Book Summary: The annual fan-favorite event, now in its fourth year, was first introduced to honor Batman’s 75th anniversary. This year, in honor of Harley Quinn’s 25th anniversary, BATMAN DAY will also feature the immensely popular Clown Princess of Crime who burst into our lives when she debuted on Batman: The Animated Series in 1992.

"JOKER LOVES HARLEY" part one! For months now, strange reminders of Harley's time with the Joker have been popping up in the most unexpected places...is this coincidence? Or a message? As our tale begins, Harley is introduced to a newer, kinder Joker...and Red Tool is not happy about it!
Book Review: This comic adds a missing scenes in the Harley Quinn issues #11 - 13.

The issue opens up with Harley finding the Joker in her apartment petting her beloved weiner dog, Nathan. Harley, of course, is not pleased at his appearance. In fact after she frees her little dog and sends him downstairs, she turns back to the Joker with a knife in her hands. Joker doesn't even twitch, only tells her he wishes to discuss some matters with her. Harley is thunder-struck that he wants to talk as adults.

As Joker exits, Red Tool comes blaring into her room. The two discuss the reason behind Joker's sudden appearance. Red Tool believes that there is motive for his appearance and so does Harley but she isn't in the mood to discuss it. Instead, she and Red Tool head off to do some damage.

The scene changes to the Mayor, whom has a Homeless problem he wants to get rid of. He also wants Madison as his assisstant. Madison, on the other hand, has reasons of becoming his second hand. She thinks that the Chief of Police employing Harley is headed to disaster and she also believes that if they make some big moves this may prove to get the Mayor re-elected when the time comes.

Harley and Red Tool have broken into a wax museum. There Harley takes down a ghostly tentacle monster. Afterward, Harley heads home to get ready for bed. There she sets her alarm to wake her for her meeting with Joker. As she falls asleep, she is unaware that Red Tool has turned off her alarm.

This was a nice added bonus. It helped to understand what exactly happened to cause Harley's alarm to be turned off. You cannot be too mad at Red Tool for trying to protect her. I know he is not everyone's cup of tea but I think he adds to her a bit. I don't see him as something as a romantic interest for her but more of a brother. I tend to like this relationship. Who knows maybe there might be something more to their relationship.

Oct. 6th, 2017


[info]katara

| 121 |

Title: Jean Grey - Marvel Legacy Primer Pages (Jean Grey (2017-))
Author: Robbie Thompson, Mark Bagley (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: October 6, 2017
Book Summary: Get caught up on all things Jean Grey with these Marvel Primer Pages and then check out the start of Jean in Marvel Legacy in Jean Grey #8.
Book Review: Real Rating: 2.5

This is just a simple brief run-down on why young Jean Grey is trying to fight off her fate of becoming consumed by the Phoenix. It is really nothing special. In fact, I recommend you skip this and pick up the Jean Grey comic.

[info]katara

| 120 |

Title: The White Lily (Vampire Blood #3)
Author: Juliette Cross
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 26, 2017 to October 6, 2017
Book Summary: To the north of the Varis empire, a mysterious faction spreads propaganda against the vampire monarchy. Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill, seeks to discover who they are before his uncle finds them first. King Dominik will punish the traitors with brutal force.

Local schoolteacher, the raven-haired Brennalyn, is on her own mission—to spy on the duke and discover what she can for the Black Lily. She longs to help the commonwealth and bring justice to the many orphans left behind from the ravages of the blood madness, like the children she lovingly keeps in her care. What she doesn’t plan for is the heart-pounding attraction she feels for the duke, enemy to the Black Lily.

But when Brennalyn’s secret puts her life and the life of her children in danger, Friedrich steps in as her protector, she finds out there’s more to the duke than she thought.
Book Review: Received an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first taste of anything by Juliette Cross and perhaps I should have picked up the first two books this before I ate this third book of the series.

This book did not disappoint me whatsoever. I absolutely loved the romance between Friedrich and Brennalyn. It wasn't rushed and certainly wasn't insta love. It was built from a friendship first and then came the romance. I really enjoyed that. So many romance novels have this and it is such a turn off. This one was so different.

I really enjoyed this book and enjoyed the story. It was refreshing and the male is so Alpha, the kind of male that would make any woman swoon.

If you want to read a book that has slow romance build, then this series is definitely for you.

Sep. 24th, 2017


[info]katara

| 119 |

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.15/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 23, 2017 to September 24, 2017
Book Summary: Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.15

I have been a Wonder Woman fan since I was a little girl. I used to watch Lynda Carter play her and I would dress in my Wonder Woman swimsuit to play her whenever I had a chance to do so.

So I was thrilled when I saw a Wonder Woman book coming out. I had never read anything by Leigh Bardugo so this was my first taste of her work and I must say I was completely enthralled by her version of Diana.

Here we find Diana struggling as she tries to fit into the world of the Amazons. Most of them don't seem to care much for her being that she is made from clay. So Diana decides to join in a race. She is hoping that with this win, she would finally be able to prove herself not only to her mother but also to the Amazonians.

As Diana makes her way through a shortcut, she catches sight of a ship sinking and without a second thought, she dives in and saves a young girl named Alia, a descendant of Helen of Troy, and brings her to the island. Diana has broken one of the cardinal rules: never allow a human to step foot on Themyscira. This event seems to trigger an earthquake and it forces Diana to seek out the Oracle, whom tells her what Alia is and that she must leave Themyscira.

As Diana and Alia embark on their adventure, Diana gets her first taste of the human world and her first taste of friendship.

This book was a great treat. This adventure will be a far different cry than Diana's comic book origins and her first taste with the human world with Steve Trevor. Here Diana is young and impulsive but behind all this she just wants to fit into her own world and be just as good as her sisters. They treat her different and call her names, which causes Diana many insecurities, mainly the notion that she may never be good enough for them if she becomes queen.

I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading about the other DC icons that will make their book appearances soon.

Sep. 23rd, 2017


[info]katara

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Title: The Eighth House: Hades & Persephone (Flames of Olympos #1)
Author: Eris Adderly
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 23, 2017
Book Summary: Catch me, Darkness. Again and again.
The life of a virgin goddess might suit Artemis or Athena, but Persephone, daughter of Zeus, wants no part of it. While the rest of the immortals cavort, she grows restless in the shadow of Olympos.

Rules, rules. Always the rules. Her mother's edict forbids her the company of any male god. She can't speak to them, can't look at them. Can't even attend the Olympian feasts. As far as Demeter knows, her daughter remains a maiden.

But Persephone leads a double life. She finds her affection elsewhere, and in plentiful supply. If only the sons of Man made her happy. If only she could put a name to this need she feels. It grows by the day, dark and unfulfilled. An eternity of enforced loneliness looms, and Persephone contemplates a drastic choice to escape it.

Only one thing stands in her way.

Hades.

Where earthquakes rend hill and vale asunder, and the abyss yawns to devour falling screams, the black halls of the Underworld await. The Lord of the Dead follows only one set of rules: his own.

And he expects Persephone to obey.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

This story is a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth but with a bit of a twist.

I must say I am a huge fan of the Hades and Persephone myth and I always love coming across books written about it. I even love it when there are more twists to it than the original myth itself. Here Persephone is tired of not only the Sons of Man but also the immortals who are pursuing her (namely Apollo and Hermes). None of them hold anything she wants. She wants something wicked and dark but she knows that with her Mother standing in her way, that won't ever happen.

So along comes Aphrodite. You see the Goddess of Love and Lust is a bit jealous of Persephone. She has Hermes' affection at the moment and Aphrodite isn't having it. She wants it back. It was hers and she believes that all affection should be returned to her. Thus she turns to the dark God of the Underworld with a reminder of a favor - she can get Zeus to give his permission for Hades to court Persephone if Hades will remove her from the equation. Hades is a bit reluctant about this. He has been without a Consort for quite sometime and although lonely as he is, he seems to enjoy it. But with the reminder of the favor, he agrees to do so and lures Persephone with a flower she wants to give to the human woman who she adores.

Once below, Hades and Persephone begin a game (a game that would could be seen as a cat and mouse) before it grows into something deeper. Aphrodite returns once more to offer Hades the pomegranate. This fruit would bind Hades and Persephone together.

Demeter learns that her daughter has been taken by Hades and she goes to Zeus demanding that Persephone be returned to her. Zeus refuses at first but Demeter holds the cards for the moment - without food below, there would be no people to worship in the temples. This forces Zeus' hand and he sends Hermes down below to return Persephone to the above.

When Persephone returns, she lies telling them that she has eaten the fruit belonging to the Underworld and she has returned only bring back the Harvest. This, of course, sets her and Demeter against each other and the two have a fight over her choice.

In the end, she returns to Hades with the other Gods for her wedding.

This was an awesome version of the myth. I could not put the book down and found myself immersed into the mythological world of Hades and Persephone. I equally enjoyed the fact that Cerebrus had a voice! I found that was interesting. It added something to the three-headed guardian than anything and I loved it!

This book is the first in a series and I am interested in seeing the next one that comes along. I am hoping we do get to see more of Hades and Persephone. I would love to know what happens afterward with them.

[info]katara

| 117 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #28
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator), Tom Derenick (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 22, 2017 to September 23, 2017
Book Summary: “VOTE HARLEY” part one! The corrupt mayor of New York City has been a thorn in Harley’s side since the day he stepped into office…and now he’s crossed the line one time too many! Harley’s usual methods of dealing with problems like this have failed her, so it’s time for a more unconventional solution…is New York City ready for Mayor Harley Quinn? It better be!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.75

Madison's group of thugs, the Unconquerable 25, have failed immensely after tangling with Harley, her crew, and the Gotham Sirens. Unfortunately for Madison, only the leader of this gang has survived the face-off and now is in the custody of the police. Of course, the corrupted mayor, whom seems to have to have Madison on his payroll, is not thrilled with this and let's her know that she needs to do something to ensure that the leader of the gang does not talk about his connection to them. He tells her that something needs to be done and she needs to take care of this quickly.

Madison heads down to the NYPD and takes care of the matter by killing the leader. She does this in front of a cop but the cop apparently seems to be on the payroll of the mayor as well. How he is going to cover up the murder of the gang leader is going to be interesting but at the same time it seems Madison may have started the countdown to her ultimate demise. This killing seemed to be a bit sloppy seeing as she was possibly seen going in and inquiring about the leader of the gang. The only thing saving her life at the moment is a phone number to the supervillain named Scarecrow.

As for Harley, she, Ivy, and her little gang have gone undercover to take out car thiefs. Things don't go always according to plan (anything with Harley never does) and she finds them in a bit of a situation. It is with the help of Ivy's plant skills and Red Tool that they are able to take down the thieves. It is afterwards that Harley announces her intention of throwing in the political towel for mayor.

It was nice to see Ivy still sticking around and getting them out of the sticky situation. I hope we will be seeing a lot more of her and even more of the relationship between she and Harley.

I am still enjoying this series. It has had it bumps every other issue but otherwise it is nice to see Harley continue to grow as a character and I am quite looking forward to seeing how she tackles her upcoming role in the political world.

Sep. 22nd, 2017


[info]katara

| 116 |

Title: Jean Grey (2017-) #7
Author: Dennis Hopeless, Alberto Alburquerque (Illustrator), David Yardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 22, 2017
Book Summary: Traveling the Marvel Universe preparing herself for her inevitable encounter with the Phoenix force, JEAN GREY has learned how to fight from the likes of Namor, Thor and Psylocke. But now she wants to know more about her opponent than the best way to punch it. She wants to know what makes it tick. She wants to know what it's made of. And to learn that, she'll go to one of the few women who've harnessed its power: Wanda Maximoff, THE SCARLET WITCH!
Book Review: In this issue, we find a young Jean Grey being "haunted" by the older Jean Grey. Haunted would not be the right word, I would think to describe the older Jean. I would think younger Jean would see her as perhaps a mentor of sort but younger Jean doesn't. She seemed to be more annoyed by the fact of older Jean's presence.

The two of them begin to butt heads and this makes a spectacle of herself since she is the only one who can see "ghostly" older Jean. It is at this moment that the Scarlett Witch appears. Once Wanda has placed all the innocent humans in another place, she tells Jean that she had heard from Doctor Strange and that young Jean was a bit wound up over the Phoenix force.

Older Jean is not quite happy with the idea of the Scarlett Witch butting in and she is even made more unhappy when she whisks Jean away to the Savage Lands to enjoy some relaxation (is that what they are doing?).

Then they head to Rio to take down a monster.

All this starts to make Older Jean rather unhappy that she hijacks young Jean's body and forces her to leave Wanda behind to meet an older acquaintance - Emma Frost aka The White Queen.

Okay this issue did not even impress me at all. They made older Jean the comedy sidekick. Please don't get me wrong I enjoy humor but I don't see it Older Jean's character to be anything like that especially when she is in the seat of mentor. I believe that older Jean is really trying to help out her younger counterpart prepare for what is to come but younger Jean doesn't seem to really appreciate it at all. Maybe if younger Jean was serious about being stronger when the Phoenix arrived, she would listen to any advice Older Jean had but that won't be the case at all.

Overall, I was happy to see the Scarlett Witch and even happy that she did not treat Jean like a kid in any way, but more like a younger sister. I just wish Wanda had offered something more than being just a filler character in young Jean's quest to halt herself from being taken by the Phoenix Force.

So let's see what Emma does in the next issue.

[info]katara

| 115 |

Title: Handbook for Mortals (Handbook for Mortals #1)
Author: Lani Sarem
Format: Epub
Rating: 1/5
Status: Did Not Finish
Reading Date: September 22, 2017 to September 20, 2017
Book Summary: Zade Holder has always been a free-spirited young woman, from a long dynasty of tarot-card readers, fortunetellers, and practitioners of magick. Growing up in a small town and never quite fitting in, Zade is determined to forge her own path. She leaves her home in Tennessee to break free from her overprotective mother Dela, the local resident spellcaster and fortuneteller.

Zade travels to Las Vegas and uses supernatural powers to become part of a premiere magic show led by the infamous magician Charles Spellman. Zade fits right in with his troupe of artists and misfits. After all, when everyone is slightly eccentric, appearing "normal" is much less important.

Behind the scenes of this multimillion-dollar production, Zade finds herself caught in a love triangle with Mac, the show's good-looking but rough-around-the-edges technical director and Jackson, the tall, dark, handsome and charming bandleader.
Book Review: I tried to read this. I really tried. I took it with me up to the hospital when I had to admit my Mom but the I could not connect with any of the characters whatsoever.

On top of that, this novel felt like it was written by a teenager on the cusp of writing her first fanfiction.

And this is where this story should have been - the fanfiction section.

The main character, Zade, is this beautiful young woman but she does not see herself in such a way. She sees herself as "plain" and "different". These are typically the red flags of the makings of a Mary Sue. The plain girl with these supernatural powers whom everyone either hates because of her beauty and power or falls in absolute love with.

From the chapters I have read, there really seemed to be no character built. We don't learn how she gets to the point where she has made the ultimate decision to leave behind what seems to be a normal home and strike out on her own. I understand that all teenagers go through this stage but all we are given at the beginning is Zade doesn't want to be part of what her mother's world - tarot reading. Instead, she wants to strike out and work on a magic show.

A magic show?

Is that like going from the pan to the oven? Because I thought she didn't want to be in a world filled with things she was trying to get away from? Or am I missing something?

Honestly this book should be removed and returned to the drawing board. The entire story needs an overhaul and lots of edits to it.

But I suppose when you buy your way into NYT Best Seller list, you really believe your story is the "bestest" out there.

Sep. 20th, 2017


[info]katara

| 114 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #27
Author: Frank Tieri, Jill Thompson (Illustrator), Hi-Fi (Illustrator), Eleonora Carlini (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 20, 2017
Book Summary: Harley and the Penguin struck an uneasy truce the first time he started extending his criminal empire into New York City... but now he's plotting a massive real estate deal right in Harley's Coney Island -- including coming after her own building!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

In this issue, we find Harley seemingly enjoying time off away from the normal round of chaos. Instead, here she is enjoying one of her favorite hobbies - roller stake fighting. Unfortunately one of the girls from the opposing team has been litterally knocked out. Harley is impatient about it and ends up being sent to the showers. With her game obviously over, she learns that the Penguin has put eminent domain on everyone's homes on Coney Island - including hers. How he has managed this is really not mentioned but we can only assume that since he is gangster, he has gained this by illegal means necessary.

However, he has messed with Harley's turf and she is not one to back down. She has every intention of making sure that Penguin negates on his desire to gain Coney Island for his casino and return the properties back to the rightful people. Unfortunately for Harley, Penguin isn't going to do what she wants so easily and sets his mutant-muscular-Penguins right after her (Sorry but what the hell are those!?)

Mix in the senior cyborg, Sy, using the holographic image of Joker to put fear in Penguin and you have a recipe for an interesting filler.

This was nice and fit in rather nicely inbetween the last issue of chaos and the next issue which, I am quite certain, will be a return to the normal broadcasting of Harley chaos.

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