Book Review Tuesday (8/14/18)-Heart of Iron

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of August 2018!

It’s the last day of summer for me, so I might as well end the summer BRTs with a bang. And by a bang, I mean a really, really, good book. 

The book I’m reviewing today is exceptionally good. Astounding. Honestly, it might be my favorite book. (Yep…with all of the new series I’ve got into this summer, it seems The Search for WondLa series has been dethroned. Still pretty great, though.) I nearly bought it at Barnes and Noble a few months after it came out, but it was $22, so that was kind of ridiculous (despite the quality of the book). So I was delighted when I found out that it was only $7 on the Kindle store. I promptly bought it, started it on the plane ride to Chicago, and finished it in the hotel room. And I was hooked from page one.

Heart of Iron is a retelling of Anastasia, but set in, well, for lack of a better phrase, a galaxy far, far away. (*cue Star Wars opening crawl*) And it truly captured my heart.

Enjoy the review, everyone!

 

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Heart of Iron

Ana barely has a clue about her past life. She doesn’t remember parents, siblings, or anything else close to a human family. All she knows is that she was found out in the darkest reaches of space, drifting in a spaceship with her Metal companion, D09. She was later discovered by Captain Siege and her crew of pirates and outlaws aboard the Dossier, and soon found a family to call her own.

Years later, D09 is becoming battered by all of the adventures in the galaxy; his glitches are more frequent, and it is only a matter of time before he shorts out completely. But Ana is dead set on fixing her first friend, and will do anything to save him. For that, she needs a new memory core; and in her desperation, leads the crew of the Dossier to the wreck of a long-lost ship. But upon arriving, she and the crew begin to discover that Ana might not be the orphan that she think she is…

 

OH. MY. GOD.

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YOUR LIFE WILL BE BETTER IF YOU READ THIS BOOK.

 

I loved virtually everything about it. World building? Super fun to visualize, and not to mention amazingly crafted. Characters? I LOVE YOU ALL. I WILL PROTECT YOU ALL AT ANY COST. Plot twists? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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Basically my brain cells during/after reading this book. AAAAAAAAAAA

 

So please, sci-fi fan or not, READ. THIS. BOOK. I gurantee your life will improve after doing so. Thank you, Ashley Poston, for this true gem of a book.

AND, the sequel is scheduled for some time in 2019!

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YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Also, I have some fan arts underway; one is done, and I’ll probably do a few more.

Well, I hope you have a great rest of your day and week, and PLEASE READ HEART OF IRON. RIGHT THIS INSTANT.

 

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Chicago!

Hey, everyone, I’m back from Chicago! I had SUCH a wonderful time there, and I did so many fun things there that I doubt I’ll forget. So I’ll give you the run-down of the vacation. I hope you enjoy my pictures!

 

DAY 1: 

After arriving in Chicago and settling into our hotel room, we visited the Shedd Aquarium, which was definitely one of my favorites things we did. I’m a total geek for marine life, so…

 

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These were the electric eels. We got to see them being fed while we were there!

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A European Cuttlefish. I COULD NOT HANDLE THE CUTENESS. I LOVE CUTTLEFISH SO MUCH…

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A female wolffish (or wolf eel). After seeing clips of them on documentaries for years, I was pretty psyched to see a real one.

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Some snuggling seahorses. ❤

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GIANT PACIFIC OCTOPUS!!!

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A beautiful butterflyfish picture. I’m really surprised at how good the picture turned out.

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A ribbon eel that looks like it’s perpetually screaming. It kind of reminded me of the “that’s my opINION!!!” vine.

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BELUGAS! There were five of them in all, and it was such a treasure to see them.

 

DAY 2: 

We spent the second day at the Field Museum. Definitely one of the major highlights of the trip.

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Máximo, the world’s largest dinosaur.

 

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“Excuthe me, thir…but where are your fathilitieth located?”

 

 

 

 

 

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After watching Walking with Monsters for much of my childhood, it was pretty crazy to see a real Edaphosaurus skeleton.

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Funny story…this is Daspletosaurus. But at first, I read the name on the plaque as “Despacitosaurus”. So that’s basically what I’m referring it to as now…

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TRICERATOPSSSSS

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A pregnant stringray. Pretty stunning, if you ask me.

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A short-faced bear that looks like it’s reciting Shakespeare. “To be, or not to be? That is the question…”

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Mammoth!!!

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We also visited the traveling Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibit. This is the Cryolophosaurus. (Fingers crossed that I spelled that right…)

DAY 3:

We spent the third day at the Art Institute of Chicago. And yes, I did zoom in on that one space in that one painting in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (I can’t remember the painting’s name) a la Cameron.

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The view from outside the institute.

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Roy Lichtenstein in the Contemporart Art exhibit.

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Miró. I believe this one is called “Circus Horse”.

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After visiting the Dalí museum in Florida, it was really exciting to see some Dalí that I’d never seen before.

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Van Gogh. Sweet ‘stache, bro.

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It was pretty amazing to see “The Old Guitarist” after studying Picasso in Spanish class so much last year.

DAY 4:

On the morning of day 4, we took a river architecture tour. It was all really intersting and beautiful, and I loved seeing all of the different buildings.

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This was probably the highlight of the morning. “Yankee…hotel…foxtrot…”

That afternoon, we saw the live recording of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me in Millenium Park. I don’t have any pictures of this, but it was HYSTERICAL. (I swear, every single word that came out of Bobcat Goldthwait’s mouth made me die laughing…)

DAY 5:

Our last full day in Chicago consisted of a visit to the campus of the University of Chicago. Or, in other words, we visited Hogwarts. Absolutely beautiful.

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Don’t tell me this isn’t Hogwarts. Don’t you dare.

 

We visited Powell’s books, and then spent the afternoon relaxing in the hotel room. The next morning, we flew out of Chicago and back into Denver.

 

So, all in all, a SPECTACULAR vacation! I hope you enjoyed all of the pictures. I’m excited to get to next week’s Book Review Tuesday, as I read a certain book in Chicago that might just be my favorite…

See you soon!

Yer a Fan Art, Harry…

I’m glad to say that I’ve had a lot of time to draw this summer, and I feel that I’ve been improving. Though I don’t have any HP related fan arts for today (sorry), I’ve got lots to show to you guys. Enjoy the fan arts!

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Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner) (X-Men-Apocalypse)

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Alright, sorry, this is out of order, but about a month after finishing Nightcrawler, I decided to touch him up a little bit. The marker dried out as I was coloring in the streaks in his hair, which was slowly starting to bother me (a lot), so I filled those in, and filled in a little more of his face and lips. Nightcrawler’s definitely my favorite of the X-Men.

 

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Loki, God of Mischief! (Marvel)

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K-2SO (Rogue One)

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The Darkling (the Grisha Trilogy)

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Alina Starkov, Sun Summoner (the Grisha Trilogy)

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This poor little porg, who is permanently traumatized because his brethren were roasted and eaten by Chewbacca. (Hello, darkness, my old friend…) (The Last Jedi)

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Annie Clark (St. Vincent). I recently re-listened to Marry Me and St. Vincent (Deluxe Edition), and rediscovered how much I liked her older music. Let’s not mention MASSEDUCTION. 

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Santigold!

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Viv, daughter of the Vision (Vision)

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed the *onslaught* of fan arts! I’ll try to get in some HP fan arts soon for this glorious occasion. Until next time, everyone!

Book Review Tuesday (7/31/18)-The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Hi, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

Alright, I have two important announcements before I get to this week’s review.

1-Happee Birthdae to Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, and the great Queen J.K. Rowling!  I had a chocolate frog today, and we’ve got some great HP decor all over the house (Moaning Myrtle in the toilet, Death Eater wanted posters, assorted chocolate frog cards, etc.).

 

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WOOO!

2-Now for the bad news. I won’t be able to do a Book Review Tuesday next week (August 7), as I will be on vacation in Chicago. I’ll definitely post about that once I get home. I’m pretty excited to go!

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Now, let’s get back on topic. This book was recommended to me by EpicReads, and they gave it LOADS of hype, so I figured it would be worth a try. I later borrowed it at the library (I’m returning it today), and though it didn’t *quite* live up to every inch of the hype, it was definitely a noteworthy novel.

Enjoy the review!

 

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

The year is 2067, and humanity has sent ships to the far reaches of the galaxy in search of a habitable planet. Romy Silvers has spent her whole life on the starship Infinity with her astronaut parents. But after her parents die in a mysterious accident, Romy is completely alone, adrift in space. Now the commander of the Infinity, she now has to wait  for years to find a planet, without any human contact, save for messages from NASA and her therapist back on Earth. Just when she thought that her situation could get no better, she receives a message: another ship, the Eternity, is on the lookout for a planet as well, and they may cross paths. Romy is overjoyed by the promise of being with other people after such a long time in complete isolation. She begins communication with the Eternity’s commander, who will only refer to himself as J. But beneath the gentle, casual banter of their emails lie dark secrets best kept hidden…

 

On my rating scale, I think that The Loneliest Girl in the Universe would probably be about a 7 to a 7.5 (a 3.5 by most people’s 5-star standards). Very well thought-out and crafted. The writing was gripping, unpredictable, and suspenseful, and I’ll totally admit that at some points, I’d just finish reading a paragraph and stare at it like:

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MY GOD, SOME OF THOSE PLOT TWISTS, THOUGH…

So, in conclusion, not like, the best book in the universe, but still a really interesting and original novel. It makes me wonder what I would do in a situation akin to Romy’s-completely isolated, with hardly any human contact. I mean, I treasure my alone time, but years and years of almost total isolation…JESUS CHRIST. It’s hard to think about.

 

Have a great rest of your day, and keep on reading! I’ll be back with a review and more soonish! 😉

Book Review Tuesday (7/24/18)-Siege and Storm

Hey there, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

My review for today is the sequel to Shadow and Bone (See 7/3/18). As soon as I finished it, I just knew that I had to borrow it from the library. And I’m excited to say that it’s just as good as Shadow and Bone, if not better.

Enjoy the review, everyone!

 

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Siege and Storm (Grishaverse, #2)

Alina is now on the run from the Darkling and her own past. Now the Sun Summoner, she and her old friend Mal must lay low to keep her new powers a secret. Her mission now is to find the second Amplifier before the Darkling. But the Darkling’s dark magic is growing more wicked than ever before, and she’ll need more than herself and Mal to defeat him and destroy the Shadow Fold. With the help of unexpected allies at sea, Alina must decide between the friends and country she loves and the magic that’s tearing her apart.

 

OH MY GOD. YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY NEED TO READ THIS SERIES. PLEASE.

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I assure you that you won’t regret it.

 

Siege and Storm was everything that was good about Shadow and Bone, and then some. Alina, the Darkling, and all of the original characters were just as wonderful (okay, “wonderful” probably isn’t the best word to describe the Darkling, but I still love him). And now, we’ve got a bunch of new characters, who are lovable in almost every way. The writing, world building, and everything else in between had me speechless. YESSSSSSSS! YES YES YES YES YES!!!

 

I’ve finished the final book in the trilogy, Ruin and Rising, and all I’ll say for now is…

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ALL THE FEELS.

 

So I’ll get to reviewing that sometime in the near future.

 

Have a great rest of your day, keep on reading, and do not be ashamed if your book feels show!

 

 

 

Book Review Tuesday (7/17/18)-The Young Elites

Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

I’ve been getting into a lot of Marie Lu’s works at the moment. I recently re-read Legend, and I’d forgotten how good it was. I read Warcross some time ago, and I’m dying for Wildcard to come out! And so, I figured I needed to satiate myself while waiting for Wildcard (and for Prodigy to be available at the Kindle library…), I decided to start The Young Elites. And I think it might just be my favorite of Marie Lu’s series now!

I LOVED The Young Elites! I found it to be a lot like X-Men, but set in a world like our own in the Middle Ages. And I’m pretty much a sucker for all things, mutant, so this book was an absolute blast for me. I’ve already bought and started the sequel, The Rose Society, and I’m enjoying it even more than book one.

Enjoy the review!

 

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The Young Elites

Ten years ago, the deadly blood fever swept the world, leaving a trail of death in its wake. But for those who survived, it marked them with gifts that seemed to be given by the gods. Some of the marked are hunted down and burned at the stake; others still are worshipped like gods. Adelina Amouteru is one of the marked, and is still figuring out her powers. But after a run-in with the Inquisitorial Axis, the royal guard whose task is to kill all the marked they find, she meets Enzo, another boy marked by the blood fever who can control fire. He introduces her to the Dagger Society, a league of fellow people marked by the fever who seek to reform the cruel tyranny of the royals. But as Adelina starts to control her powers, she realizes that the world may not be as black and white as she previously thought. Whose side is she really on? And what will the consequences be?

 

As I mentioned earlier, this book is very reminiscient of X-Men, which I absolutely adored. Some of the characters reminded me a lot of some of the characters.

Take Enzo, for example. I was getting some serious Magneto vibes from him. But kind of in a good way.

Kind of.

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I also found Adelina to be a lot like Jean Grey, in a way. Probably not so great for her, but they’re both incredibly awesome.

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There were a few more near-parallels in The Young Elites, but those were the two that I felt worked best. As I’m reading The Rose Society, I’ve found that one of the newer characters is starting to look a little like Nightcrawler. OH YEAH.

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MY FAVORITE OF THE X-MEN!!! Kinda freaking out here, guys…

 

That aside, The Young Elites is such a well-written, action packed, gem of a book.

Okay, that was sort of a pun, sorry. You’ll get it once you read it. But what I’m trying to say is that this is an exceptional series. Please read, it please…

 

Well, I hope you have a great rest of the day, and keep on reading awesome books!

 

*BAMF!*

 

Book Review Tuesday (7/10/18)-One Dark Throne

Hello, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s BRT!

Now, before I begin, I’m sorry that BRTs are pretty much all I’ve been posting lately. At some point, I’ll definitely post more fan arts once more have amassed, and a few other noteworthy-ish events should be coming up pretty soon. So, I apologize. I hope you like the book reviews.

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Anyway, as I hinted to a few posts ago (see 6/26/18), this week’s review is One Dark Throne, the extraordinary sequel to Three Dark Crowns! I didn’t expect to enjoy this series as much as I did, but it exceeded all expectations. One Dark Throne was even better than book one, and it got me itching for even more! Unfortunately, the sequel won’t come out until early September, I believe…so in the meantime, have some fun, psych yourself up, and enjoy this review!

 

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One Dark Throne

Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella are now locked in a fierce clash for the crown of Fennbirn. The bets have been placed, and everything the people once thought of the three princesses has been shattered. Katharine, who was once the weakling of the triplets, has proved herself to be a deadly, formidable poisoner. Arsinoe’s Naturalist prowess has been revealed to be a sham; she is a poisoner, and will soon need to master her hidden power before times runs out. Mirabella struggles with her powers and protecting the lives of those around her. Alliances between the sisters break and reform, and it is uncertain who will rise victorious. Who will wear the crown of Fennbirn?

 

OH MY GOD. OH. MY. GOD.

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*HEAVY BREATHING*

One Dark Throne was a truly mind blowing and wonderful sequel. Three Dark Crowns was action-packed and full of intrigue, but One Dark Throne took everything that was good about it and RAN with it. The entire book was filled with incredible twists and turns, and the ending had me absolutely speechless. SPEECHLESS.

Like, THE GOOD KIND OF MARVEL POST-CREDITS-SPEECHLESS. GAH.

Yes, Marvel Post-Credits-Scene. You heard me right. It really did feel like that.

 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s review! Have a great rest of your day, and don’t turn into a steaming puddle like I have! (THE HIGH IS ALMOST 90 DEGREES…*sweats profusely*)