Wednesday, June 21, 2017

RunLoveKill Vol. 1 | Jon Tsuei, Eric Canete and Leonardo Olea | Mini-Review



Summary:

Rain has been on the run for a couple of years now from an organization called Origami. She has to run again because soon construction of the walls around her current city, Prygat, will be finished and she'll be trapped. 

Review:

For such a small book, RunLoveKill has a lot to offer. This was one of only a few graphic novels that where I found myself studying some of the tiniest details in the panels. This world is incredibly intriguing to me. Despite there being completely sentient and sassy robots, the technology of this world screams biotech to me and I would LOVE the opportunity to learn more about it. I totally agree with the Mature rating on this one. There is a lot of violence and blood. But if you're interested in a lot of action, a runaway from a military style organization and science fiction technology, I highly recommend this book. I really wish there was more to this series. There are so many places this world could have gone! 4.5 hoots!


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                    Hoo


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sungrazer | Jay Posey

*Book received from NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

Lincoln Suh leads one of the most secret special forces teams. They get called in to investigate the disappearance of an even more secret government weapon named Sungrazer. Their investigation takes them to Mars where every move they make could either get them killed, start a war between the two planets, or both.

Review:

I don't have the best of luck with "standalone sequels". I often feel like I really needed to read the previous book(s). Sungrazer, however, is one of those wonderful books where, had I not been told it was a sequel, I wouldn't have guessed until at least a third of the way into the book. Definite kudos to Posey for writing this book so that, not only could I easily get into this world, but would also make me want to read the first one. 

Let me tell you, this was a really good read! I loved the characters. I loved the dialogue. I loved the world it took place in. I want to know more about these people and their world. I want there to be a next book just as much as I want to go back and read the first one. This book was incredibly easily to get into and at no point did I feel a disconnect for not having read the first one.

The characters in Sungrazer are all so interesting and dynamic. There were one or two tropes, but overall their interactions felt so natural and real. Doesn't hurt that one of the characters reminded me so much of my husband. Seriously, look for the mischievous one. At the very least, he will make you chuckle. And Elliot's intelligence and ability to think on his feet, without resorting to using a gun, was a phenomenal breath of fresh air. I love it when characters can outsmart their opponents without resorting to force. 

And then there's the technology! The armor that Lincoln's team wears for most of the book fascinates me. Their "drones", their weaponry, their simulators, this is why I read sci-fi books. The technology is so amazing and I want to learn more about it and its applications. 

Overall, I really liked this book and happily give it 4.5 hoots! Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go see about buying the first book.

               Hoot!Hoot!

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Jam | Yahtzee Croshaw


Summary:

In Brisbane, Australia, Travis and one of his flatmates, Henry, start to head out of the apartment. As soon as they open the building door, however, Henry gets eaten by a flood of jam. Not covered in jam, literally dissolved into it. The week goes downhill from there. Travis, his other flatmate Tim, the and their neighbors Don and Angela, are faced with an apocalypse. Then they're faced with the other survivors, broken into two camps: the ironic Plastic People and the cubicle workers from Hibatsu. 

Review:

There were a lot of enjoyable elements to this book. An amiable main character. Realistic, and therefore hilarious, dialogue and character actions. A goliath birdeater spider. What's not to enjoy? 

Unfortunately, this book fell flat for me. I'm used to Croshaw giving a different but better ending than the one I think I want, but in this case, the ending was disappointing. I get that, in apocalyptic situations people are going to break in different ways, but I did not like Tim's break. I was genuinely disappointed by that development. I also wasn't a fan of the Plastic People and their constant need to be ironic without fully comprehending what that meant. Then again, that could be a testament to Croshaw's writing that he made them so easy to dislike. 

I did get a number of laughs throughout the book. I found it absolutely hilarious that a character who said he had no fear doing something immediately responded to the situation with "OH JESUS MONSTER TRUCK DRIVING CHRIST THIS WAS A TERRIBLE IDEAAAAAAAAAAA". I also appreciated the references to Mogworld, Croshaw's previous book. Even Travis not being the brightest bulb in the box was kinda funny (though that did get old after a while). 

Overall it's an okay book. It had a lot of good moments, but it ended up leaving me feeling like there could've been more. Maybe it's just me. I still give 3 hoots for all the laughs.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Children of Lovecraft | Ellen Datlow


Summary:

A collection of short stories inspired by, and written in the style of, H.P. Lovecraft. 

Review:

Not surprisingly this is a book without any happy endings. That being said, this book still had a lot of beautiful tragedy. There was plenty of horror and Twilight Zone style unsettled feelings. There were monsters in human and unrecognizable forms. There was one story in the collection that was so inane and difficult to follow that I actually put the book down for a couple weeks. The rest of the stories, however, were very engaging and I've got another list of authors to look up. This is a good book for fans of the horror genre or Lovecraft fans looking for new authors to read. 




Saturday, June 3, 2017

An Oath of Dogs | Wendy N. Wagner

*Book received from NetGalley for an Honest Review

Summary:

Standish has been hired to help out the Communications at Canaan Lake on the moon (not planet, moon) Huginn. When she wakes up from the cryo sleep she was in to make the trip from Earth, she is told that Duncan, the man who hired her, has died. Went missing the forests of Huginn and hasn't been found since. So, she's now head of Communications. When she gets to Canaan Lake with her service dog, Hattie, she finds out the hard way that there are wild dogs in Canaan Lake that dig up corpses and kill those that try to stop them. When she starts asking questions about Duncan's disappearance, however, she finds there's another layer to this small town that she may not like.

Review:

I'm not generally one for mystery novels. All the ones I read just don't surprise me anymore. They're kinda predictable. The overall mystery of this book wasn't too mysterious after a bit, I'll admit. That being said, I didn't put the book down. I happily kept reading more because I found the characters and, more importantly, the world of Huginn to be incredibly interesting. I really think there's a lot more that Wagner can do with this world and I'll be happy to see it.

I greatly enjoyed reading and trying to picture the various flora of Huginn. Seriously, if you are at all interested in botany or ecology, this is a great Sci-Fi book for you. One of the main characters is a botanist who knows what he's talking about. But there are so many parts of the descriptions of the forests and the insects that made me really wish this book had come with illustrations. The naturally multi-colored wood of the coveted, but literally explosive, horsetail trees are something that I really want to see! And Bajowski's (the botanist) observations about the terran insects' adaptations to and with Huginn's insects were fascinating to me.

And I haven't even talked about the religious sect The Believers yet! Think Amish, but way in the future. They were the first colonists in Canaan Lake and we get to find out that their journey was far from easy when Songhauser, the company that practically rules all of space travel, misplaced their main food supply boxes. Yeah, Huginn is not friendly to outsiders and no one knows that better than the Believers. 

Overall, this was an entertaining book. The mysterious parts weren't too difficult to figure out after a while, but it was still a good read. There is certainly plenty room for more stories from Huginn and I do look forward to them! 3.5 hoots!

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How To Read Nature | Tristan Gooley Mini-Review

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Review:

I really appreciated reading this book. As someone who lives in an urban area, a lot of the lessons in it cannot be applied on a daily basis. However, I appreciated the reminder to slow down my daily walks and pay attention to the world around me. I also liked the exercises to practice. The author's experiences of even just looking at trees from different angles was a delightful reminder to not take what I see for granted. This is a nice, meditative read that can help your daily awareness of the world around you. 3.5 hoots!

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Deaths of Tao | Wesley Chu


Summary:

In the second book of the Lives of Tao series, Roen has been following Tao's instructions, getting essential information on Genjix projects. Unfortunately, these missions are completely off the books and he is seen as a deserter and conspiracy nut by the Prophus. Worst of all, his constant being away has caused his wife, Jill, to kick him out of the house and he is unable to spend time with his son, Cam. Meanwhile, Jill is working in Washington DC to push the Prophus agenda despite the overwhelming Genjix influence. Naturally, where Tao is involved, things turn violent and desperate.

Review:

Because I started reading this series with Rise of Io, the 4th or 5th book, I already kinda knew who was going to live and who was going to die. That being said, HOLY WAH! I still ended up completely emotionally engaged with this book to the point where I was upset with where it ended. You can't help but get sucked into the lives of these characters. Except, maybe, the bad guys. Every time the narrative switched to Enzo's perspective it just made me dislike him even more.

Chu has a wonderful ability to blend action and suspense with humor and sweetness. From Enzo's perspective, we read about the painful deaths of Prophus agents and Quasings at his hands. Meanwhile, from Jill's perspective we read about how all of Roen's passwords and codes are based on his relationship with her. Then, from Roen's perspective, we get to hear his and Tao's witticisms. Seriously, how can you not smile at some of their dialogue?

"There has to be something else we can save on other than transportation."
"Taco Wednesdays at the office were already cut."
"I miss tacos."

I enjoyed this book so much that I've already made significant progress in the next book of the series, just a day after finishing this one. Tao's world is full of interesting characters. Even those whose perspective we don't get to hear from are interesting to see in action. Stephen and his Quasling Camr had me almost crying. Master Lin had me laughing my butt off. Jacob scared me on a few occasions. Every character contributes something. Every character is engaging. 

This is, hands down, a great book to read. I highly recommend you read the first book, The Lives of Tao, first.This whole series has proven to be highly entertaining of 5 hoots!


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

#COYER Summer Reading Challenge


For the past couple of years I've complained about how many books I have on my Kindle App and on my shelves that I just never seem to get around to reading. This has been recently exacerbated by my discovery of the Story Bundle. I have so many books! I swear I had every intention of reading them when I bought them...

So, to help me out, I'm going to join the COYER Summer Reading Challenge. In another post I'll be writing up my list of 30 books (20 ebooks 10 hardcopy) that I am going to get to choose to read from for the summer. If I actually can finish all 30, I'll be pleasantly surprised. As it is, I'll be posting the occasional update here as well as a link to my book list when I get home and get it all written down.

The most challenging part about all of this is going to be avoiding NetGalley. Seriously, I did the math. About 35% of the 40+ books I've read so far this year have been NetGalley requests. I've still got 3 of them to finish before I can fully dedicate time to COYER. And if you see me on Twitter talking about getting another NetGalley book, feel free to shoot me a reminder (friendly or not is your choice).

If you're at all interested in joining, or want more information, you can check out #COYER@COYERChallenge or visit the COYER website.

*Update: I've created a page with my Challenge List.

The Little Red Fish | James Moffitt & Bizhan Khodabandeh

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

This series is an allegory for the Iranian Revolution for adults and an adventure story for kids. The books tell the story of the fish who are under the harsh rule of the egrets. Their only hope is the eagle who is the only one able to take down an egret, but will he be able to do all of it himself?

Review:

Every part of this mini-series was a treasure to read. It was such an enriching experience and gave me some much needed perspective on Iran. The use of an allegory is a smart move to help those of us separated from the events learn about it. This is the kind of series that can kick off an interest into the history of Iran. It also serves as a frightening reminder of the costs and effects of power. This is not a happy story. This is not a heartwarming story. This is a warning from history. And I have cherished every section.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Sea Is Ours | Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng


Summary:

A collection of steampunk stories based in Southeast Asia written by Southeast Asian authors. To quote the editors:

"In our iteration of steampunk, neo-Victorianism and all its attendant issues are optional, even sidelined..."

Review:

This book has so many elements that I enjoy. I love anthologies. I enjoy steampunk stories. I love finding new authors to read more of. And I love learning more about other cultures. This book takes me to several worlds where my American bias has no firm footing. Things that were mentioned by some authors as matter-of-fact comments caught me completely off guard because they weren't such a strong part of my life. I also ended up highlight a bunch of words or phrases throughout the book because I just had no frame of reference for them and wanted to know. (By the way, definitely looking up a recipe for tsokolate now!)

I also really appreciated that, out of 12 stories, only one didn't work for me (there's always one, it seems). The rest of the stories, though, were so engaging and I'm so glad they were included in this anthology. I have added a few new authors to look up. The only problem I'm having with that is they're so underrepresented in the book avenues that I use. If you have any suggestions for better access to books from Southeast Asia please let me know!

I happily give this book 4 hoots and encourage you to get a copy!

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Rebellion's Last Traitor | Nik Korpon


*Book provided via NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

It's been many years since the resources wars. It's also been many years since anyone has seen the sun. The Tathadann Party runs the show with an iron fist, even adjusting it's people's memories so they forget what life was like. As a result, memories have become their own form of currency but are also more addictive and destructive than heroin. The only attempt at a rebellion failed and this book goes back and forth between the two former leaders of that rebellion, Henraek and Walleus, and their lives as workers for the Tathadann.

Review:

I'll be honest, I've got some mixed feelings about this book. It had a lot of interesting story elements and characters. The world was a little difficult to process, but that could be because I'm not used to the egregious dichotomy between the rich and the poor in post-apocalyptic worlds (you'd think I would be by now). Overall this really felt like a thriller or mystery book way more than it was a post-apocalyptic sci-fi.

I appreciate that we're given the viewpoints of Walleus, the willing traitor to the cause, and Henraek, the man who had to be broken first. From this we get the viewpoint of the backstabbing and politics going on within the Tathadann Party and the struggle to hold onto anything worthwhile in the slums. We get to see one man continue on with what family he has while the other has nothing left of his family but memories he's harvested from others who used to know him. One person only has "friends" that will take any opportunity to throw him under the bus while the other has a single friend who is trying to get him to move on. It's quite an interesting way to give the reader different clues about what happened in the rebellion and what is happening now.

The ending was what really gave me pause. In a way it really felt like the main characters got what they deserved, but it wasn't very satisfying. And maybe that's the point. The notion that revenge, social upheaval and justice have repercussions and innocent people lose out. There is, certainly, a lot of that in this book. Parents losing their children. Husbands and wives losing each other. People even losing their sense of self because they either lose their memories or get addicted to the memories of others.

I did enjoy the book. I'm not usually one for mystery/thrillers but this was, overall, a good read. If you like thirllers or dystopian settings this is a good book for you. As for me, I give it 3.5 hoots.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Waffle Sandwiches | Recipe


Ingredients (for 6 sandwiches):

12 waffle squares
6 sausage patties 
6 slices of cheese
3 hash browns, deep fried
6 eggs, scrambled

Process:

I make all of my waffle from scratch. It's actually the first page of my own, handwritten recipe book. if you would like me cover the recipe, please let me know and I will post the recipe later. For now, the important thing is getting the waffle squares we need.


I actually only started making these sandwiches after getting a square shaped waffle iron. My previous, round shaped one, would've been okay for sandwiches, but not nearly as well.


While the waffles are cooking, I start warming up the deep fryer to around 350. It takes a while to heat up, but is always quicker than I'm expecting, so I try to start it up soon after I've started making the waffles. Be sure to fill the deep fryer enough to cover the bottom half of the bowl.


Next up is the sausage. I like to cook these before I cook the eggs because it's easier to keep it warm than it is other ingredients.

When the deep fryer is ready, I prep the pan for cooking the eggs. It only takes 3 minutes to deep fry the hash browns and that's about the same as it takes to cook up the eggs. So I prep the eggs by scrambling them together with a small amount of milk. Then, I put the hash browns into the basket. 
Then I "drop" the basket into the hot oil, cover it with the lid, and set the timer for 3 minutes. Then I start up the stove and constantly stir the eggs until they're cooked. Generally the two get done around the same time.

Finally, it's time to assemble the pieces.

 Naturally, you start with a square waffle. 

On top of that you place the scrambled eggs.

Then the slice of cheese to keep the eggs in place.

After that, add the sausage patty. 

Then you add half a hash brown and top it all off with the second waffle square.


Review:

This recipe has, at Fluxxdog's request, become a weekly staple at my home, especially now that I've got the order of the layers correct. We've tried making this with turkey bacon and it just wasn't as good. Canadian bacon, however, worked really well. Additionally, you can make this without the breakfast meat if you need to.

With all of the ingredients listed above, and my waffles being homemade, the calorie count on two sandwiches is a whopping 1000 calories (give or take). I'm not sure how that would change with frozen waffles or with bacon instead of sausage. 

Overall, we really like the recipe and it's one where you can play around with some of the ingredients. One of these days I'll trade out the scrambled eggs for omelet style eggs. Or maybe just fried eggs.If you need a sauce for it, you can always add ketchup or maple syrup. It's a lot more playful of a recipe than it may seem to be at first. Definitely keeping this one.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Clockwork Dynasty | Daniel H. Wilson

*Image and book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

June has been studying ancient mechanics ever since her Grandfather showed her a relic he'd picked up from an "Angel of Vengeance" who'd saved him on the Russian battlefront in the war. She's spent her entire career trying to figure out the mystery of this relic. When she finds, and "revives", an old mechanical doll given to the Pope from the Tsar of Russia, the doll writes the word avtomat and June gets thrown into the middle of a war that is ages old.

Review:

This was quite the enjoyable, engaging book. A little bit of an alternate history, but mostly a "they've been here the whole time" kind of thing. I greatly appreciated the cutting back and forth between June's present perspective and Peter's past perspective. This allowed me to build up on clues from both time periods to figure out what was going on. 

I do wish there had been a little more world building. I'm quite curious to know who The First Men are or were. Of course, given that each avtomat loses a big chunk of their memory every time their anima shifts or shuts down for a while, I can see why that information would be left to the reader's interpretation. The anima themselves have left me with several questions. If Wilson writes a sequel to this book, I will be looking for answers. 

Probably my favorite part of this book was the character development. As I read more and learned more about the characters, I grew to appreciate them. Though June is a human in an avtomat war, she is still very resourceful, clever and strong. Though Peter is torn about how to properly serve his anima of Truth and Justice, he is willing to learn from his mistakes and admit when he's wrong, especially to protect those he cares about. 

If/when Wilson writes a sequel, I will be expecting some more information about the technology used to create the avtomat and keep them held together. I appreciated what information I could get. That an avtomat can be forced to "hibernate" when they've endured too much damage and repair. That the remaining energy of one anima can be used to refuel another. It's a good start, but it's set my curiosity on edge. And that ending gave Wilson plenty of room to write a sequel. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, this was an interesting and engaging book and I need to know more about this world. 4 hoots!

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Readathon Mini-Challenge

 

I'll always be a bookworm first, but I've also really enjoyed getting into games and gaming over the past few years. Not just video games, but also small phone games, board games and just a touch of D&D. It got me thinking about my books from a gaming perspective.


Gamer Luna - By: John Joseco by *Bernd01 on deviantART

I came up with a basic outline for a Pride, Prejudice & Zombies RPG (not the Freeverse game) where you have to balance your social standing with your ability to kill zombies. For example, if you choose to train in China instead of Japan, you'd start out with greater killing skill, but a lower social standing. At the same time, if you choose to spend time gossiping or dancing, instead of reading or practicing, your social standing increases, but your killing skills decrease. Sounds rough,I know, but it's just a basic outline.



This makes me wonder, which book or series do you think would make a good game? It doesn't even have to be a video game or RPG. It can be a board game inspired by or straight out of a book. Even a card game. Just tell me the book/series, the name of the game, the type of game, and some of its rules. You don't have to flesh out the whole thing.


I do have one restriction in all of this: you cannot pick a book or series that already has a game. This means no Harry Potter, no Lord of the Rings, no Dragonriders of Pern, etc. Yes, this disqualifies my own idea, but so be it, I'm hosting. For what it's worth, I'm not going to research if the book/series you selected actually is a game.

Image result for dragonriders of pern sega dreamcast

My favorite idea will win a $15 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Nobles (your choice). To enter, all you need to do is tell me your idea in the comments below. You will need to leave some way (twitter handle, email address) to get a hold of you, should you win. I will leave this challenge open for the rest of the Read-A-Thon. Good luck and GAME ON!



Dewey 24 Hour Read-A-Thon: Mid-Event Survey

I gotta admit, I'm not socializing as much during this event as I would like. In my defense, The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu was pretty friggin' engaging. Especially with right music playing in my headphones. I mean, I even knew who was going to live and who wouldn't and I STILL let myself get totally emotionally engaged! So, forgive me for posting this an hour late. And for not socializing as much..I'll do better after I chug this energy drink.

Image result for Invader Zim gir gif

Anyways, Mid-Event Survey!

1) What are you reading right now? 
      I just finished a very emotional read. Gonna go to The Non-Adventures of Wonderella for a while.

2) How many books have you read so far?
     2. Both of which I, technically, started reading before the Read-A-Thon. But they still count, right?

3) What book are you most looking forward to for the 2nd half the Read-A-Thon?
     I have no clue what books I'm going to read after I calm down from that last one so I honestly can't say!

4) Have you had many interruptions? If so, how did you deal with them?
     Actually, I've really only had to take breaks for the sake of stretching, eating or bathroom breaks. Overall I've been pretty well able to focus on the reading.

5) What surprises you most about the Read-A-Thon so far?
     How little cheering I've been doing. Usually I'm better about that. I gotta fix that for the second half.


Dewey Read-A-Thon Update: 4 Hours Down!

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Okay, okay. I know I told myself I was going to post at noon, but I've had a lot of coffee so I was really focused on my book. I'm currently going back and forth between "The Deaths of Tao" by Wesley Chu and "How to Read Nature" by Tristan Gooley. I've made significant progress in both of them and am very happy about that.

I have reached a point with the coffee, however, where I'm going to need to drink water only for a few hours. Coffee helps my focus almost too much and I haven't given as much time to cheering as I'd like. Better get to it!


Dewey Read-A-Thon: Hour Zero Opening Survey


EEEEE!!! It's time! It's time! It's time for the Read-A-Thon!!!! I'm so excited!!! So many new people are joining us and I just know it's gonna be fun!!

My loving hubby, Fluxxdog, has already started making the bisausegg for breakfast and he made me coffee! Isn't that sweet?

Anyways, to get the party started, we have the opening survey!

1) Where are you reading from?

Image result for michigan

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

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3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Image result for taco bell frito burrito

4) Tell us a little something about yourself.

Image result for I am weird

5) What's something your doing different for this readathon than you have in the past?

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dewey Read-A-Thon Plan


It's that time again! Time for my favorite bi-annual holiday! Heck, my favorite of all the holidays! The Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!!!!!!! There will be so much reading, so many books, so much talking about books and so many fellow readers! I'm so looking forward to another 24 hours of hyperactive reading and Twitter conversations about reading! Fluxxdog can tell you, I get more excited about this than I do Christmas!

So, I'm going to have a general plan with no specifics because, let's face it, nothing EVER goes according to plan, especially my mornings. Every Read-A-Thon I wake up at 7 AM (it starts at 8 AM for me) and plan to do a, b and c to get ready. Every Read-A-Thon at 7 AM I end up doing a, d, f and 8 instead. So, yes, general plans, nothing specific. 

I'm still planning on spending time cheering on others on Twitter. Maybe some blogs, we'll see how it goes. If you'd like me to visit your blog, Twitter or YouTube channel during the Read-A-Thon, leave me a comment with a URL and I'll be sure to cheer you on! I'm also keeping the schedule tentative because the volunteer sign ups mentioned hosting Twitter Parties!!!! I'm one of the most socially withdrawn and awkward people, but I LOVE hosting Twitter chats and parties! I don't get it either. I'm really hoping I get picked for that. I'm also hoping that my idea for a mini-challenge gets accepted. It's always fun to read people's ideas. So, yeah, tentative schedule until I know more about what all I'm going to be doing.

I'm really hoping for a repeat of last Read-A-Thon where I ended up laughing so much at what I was reading that I was able to keep up my energy. Even the Hour 20 wall didn't hit as hard. With that in mind, I'm going to try to have a bunch of fun/funny books, comics and web comics on hand to help me through any reading slumps. I'm also going to have an audiobook on backup in case of emergency grocery shopping trip or something. You can never be too prepared!

Tentative Schedule:

7 AM - Wake up and prep.
8 AM - Post opening meme and begin reading.
10 AM - Stretches and cheering.
12 PM - Update post.
2 PM - Stretches and cheering.
4 PM - Update post.
6 PM - Stretches and cheering.
8 PM - Update post.
10 PM - Stretches and cheering.
12 AM - Update post.
3 AM - Break out the comics and web comics.
4 AM -Update post.
6 AM - Remind myself that age 31 is NOT too old for this sort of thing.
8 AM - Go to bed!

Tentative Reading Material:

The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones
The Sea is Ours by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng
The Deaths of Tao by Wes Chu
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella by Justin Pierce
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja by Christopher Hastings
Grrl Power by Dave Barrack
Mogworld (audio book) by Yahtzee Croshaw
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Chimichanga by Eric Powell

And, no, naturally I'm not expecting to read ALL of these. I just like to make sure I keep my options open. ^_^


So, that's my tentative Dewey Read-A-Thon plan! Are you partaking? Let me know!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

4th Rock From the Sun | Nicky Jenner

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

This book takes a look at Mars mostly from a cultural perspective. "The story of Mars" shows just how much influence this one, tiny, red dot in the sky has had on humanity from some of the earliest writings to contemporary media. Jenner also gives us the scientific perspective of what Mars actually is and how it and its moons seem to be anomalies in space, based on what we know of astrophysics. 

Review:

I'll be honest, I did a lot of skimming in this book. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting learn that so many cultures, completely separate from each other, had similar interpretations of Mars and that life on Mars was, and still is, believed to be a thing. It was also interesting to learn that Mars and its moons should, according to all we know, be bigger than they are. Honestly, I love the fact that a planet we've known about for thousands of years still provides us with mysteries to solve. There were a couple of times I felt that he flow of the book was rather disjointed, that Jenner seemed to pole vault from one topic to another, but I still found the book informative and entertaining. 3 hoots!

               Hoot!Hoot!

                   Hoot!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Open Season | Daren Worcester

*Image and book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

A collection of true short stories from Maine Warden Service from around the 1960's and 1970's.

Review:

My hometown was the kind of place where schools were closed for the first day of deer hunting season. I practically grew up on stories about hunters and fishers. So when I found a book that told those stories from the perspective of law enforcement I had to pick it up. A lot of these stories had me laughing as much as a Patrcik F. McManus collection. The sheer stupidity of some poachers. Other times it was the dumb luck of the wardens that had me chuckling. Fair warning, though, not all the stories have happy endings, there are a handful of sad stories. Fortunately Worcester does a wonderful job of balancing the sad with the happy and the silly, making this a very good book to pick up for anyone you know who considers themselves hunters, fishers or woodsmen. 

               Hoot!Hoot!

               Hoot! Hoot!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mogworld | Yahtzee Croshaw



Summary:

The first time Jim died, he was a magic student at a low quality school that got invaded by the barbarian school next door. He went to a place where he felt happy and content. Then he and a horde of others get brought back to life as zombies by a Lord Dreadgrave who employs them to protect his tower from adventurers. While Jim finds the work easy enough, he still keeps attempting to find ways to die again, even converting to almost every religion he can find out about and then killing himself. This routine gets thrown out, however, when Deleters come in and completely delete Dreadgrave, his tower, and all but three zombies from his horde. Jim, Meryl and the priest zombie must now figure out why the world is so messed up: Adventurers are getting hit with the Syndrome, normal people are unable to die, and Barry is following the word of Si-Mon and destroying everything.


Review:

I picked this book up because I enjoy Yahtzee's YouTube channel with my husband. I will say that it was very easy to read the entire book in Yahtzee's voice and greatly added to my enjoyment. I'm sorely tempted to buy the audio book, especially after hearing the sample, and I don't like audio books! It also really helped me to prepare for Yathzee's sense of humor. There were so many things in this book that made laugh. I've highlighted more passages from this book than any other in the past year.

"This was the second time I'd been asked to justify being afraid of gnolls, and I still couldn't fathom why. It was like being asked to explain why old people should wear clothing."

This book is high fantasy. You've got sorcerers, undead, clerics, adventurers, etc. At the same time, it's as much about high fantasy adventure as Sean of the Dead is about zombie movies. It's a delightful combination of strong story and satire. As much as this book made me laugh, it was the characters and the story that kept me from putting the book down. Each of the main protagonists is endearing in their own way. Though I will admit I may have liked Slippery John more if he didn't keep referring to himself in the third person. That got very annoying very quickly, but it was quite consistent with the character.

At the same time, I appreciated Yahtzee's less obvious jokes. At one point a character gets called out on saying the word "little" a lot: "Did you know you use the world 'little' an awful lot?" Then he proceeds to use words like "small", "tiny", "diminuitive", "miscroscopic" etc. When I picked up on what was going on, I laughed even harder! And there are so many jokes like this, ones where you really need to pay attention. They payoff is totally worth the focus required.

Yes, some of the big reveals were kinda predictable, but the story and the characters are so worth reading. And the ending was so satisfying! It wasn't the ending I thought I wanted until I read it. I happily give 5 hoots and have already added more of Yahtzee's books to my TBR!


               Hoot!Hoot!

               Hoot! Hoot!
                     Hoot!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Myth of the Maker | Bruce R. Cordell

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

After their video game "Ardeyn: Land of the Curse" failed to even be launched, Carter and his team get tapped by a former professor of theirs to test a new computer chip that, theoretically, will have infinite processing power. Unfortunately, they accidentally access an almost infinite network that is fully occupied by creatures that are now looking to eat everything on Earth. In a last ditch effort, Carter creates a new dimension around Earth out of their video game so that the creatures are bound by the rules of Ardeyn. Unfortunately, not all of Carter's friends are okay with being locked in Ardeyn. 

Review:

I had a lot of fun reading this book. There were so many strange and interesting things going on that I kept turning the pages wanting to know more. And there were a couple of twists in the story line that had my toes bouncing because I was giddy with excitement. No surprises were completely out of left field and the story, world and characters are strong throughout the book.

The humor in this book was also greatly appreciated. I found myself really able to relate to Carter and Kate because their reactions felt so natural. A lot of times these would make me laugh as well. There are some very good one-liners in here.

Cordell goes back and forth between the first person perspective for Carter and third person perspective for everyone else. This may be a bit off putting for some readers but I found it incredibly helpful, especially during Carter's revelation scene towards the end. It really made his personal revelations flow a lot more naturally and it fits that he gets the first person perspective; he is the Creator.

This is a wonderful fantasy book that has elements of high fantasy as well as science fiction. You have aliens trying to destroy the world, but first they must get past Ardeyn, a world where magic runs everything. You have so many things going on but they're all so cohesive and well blended that it's easy to keep track. I happily give this book 4 hoots and look forward to more from Cordell.

               Hoot!Hoot!

               Hoot! Hoot!