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Book Review Tuesday (12/8/20)–Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2)

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

After finally getting to Serpent & Dove back in July, I found out that the sequel was slated to come out in September. I put in on hold at the library soon after, and it finally arrived about a week ago. But sadly, although book 1 managed to stay afloat of its messy worldbuilding with a fast-paced plot and lovable characters, Blood & Honey lost momentum–and stretched it out over 500 pages. Disappointing, but still entertaining.

WARNING: This review will likely contain spoilers for book 1, Serpent & Dove.

For my review of book 1, click here!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove) (9780062878052): Mahurin,  Shelby: Books

Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2)–Shelby Mahurin

After a near-fatal encounter with Lou’s mother and the Dames Blanches, she, Reid, and the rest of their band of misfits are on the run. Under the radar and stranded in the woods, they know that making the wrong move could result in death, or discovery by Morgane, Lou’s sadistic mother. But their paths are forced to separate, and they find themselves going on strange journeys. And as both roads begin to lead to certain doom, they must find each other before time runs out.

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Judging from most of the reviews, Blood & Honey has become very divisive–the reviews are either gushing or utterly disappointed. Sadly, I’m leaning more towards the latter camp, even though this one wasn’t as anticipated of a read for me as it was for a bunch of readers I know. A bit of a letdown for me, but it was still entertaining nonetheless.

From what I’ve heard, Serpent & Dove was originally slated to be a duology, but got turned into a trilogy at the last minute. And it shows–Blood & Honey fell into the unfortunate trap of becoming the disappointing middle book. One of the things that I loved most about book 1 was the plot; it constantly kept me guessing, and I loved going along for the ride with Lou, Reid, and the rest of the gang. But in book 2, the plot felt tragically weak. We’re led up to an anticlimactic event with a series of loosely tied subplots that didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose save for a bit of tension in having the characters separated. And Blood & Honey is a pretty thick book–the hardcover edition that I read was a whopping 528 pages, and a good 80-90% of it felt like filler. I hate to say it, but it almost felt like a chore to read.

Another aspect that shone for me in book 1 was the characters. Luckily, Mahurin stayed true to them for the most part in Blood & Honey. I loved being back with Lou, Reid, Coco, Ansel and the rest of the gang again, and there’s certainly an interesting direction being taken with Lou. There’s…a hint of a corruption arc going on with her? Maybe that was just me? Either way, I liked the almost “descent into madness” plot Mahurin was alluding to with her. (Also, THE WHITE HAIR!) Lou and Reid’s romance was also a joy to see blossom, as always. But some of the characters from book 1–namely Beau and Madame Labelle–didn’t serve much of a purpose. They didn’t have much of a role, and I remembered next to nothing about them from the previous book. The side characters were similarly forgettable, and I didn’t see much point in them aside from fleshing out parts of the world. However, I will say that I LOVED the twist with Claud–but no spoilers, of course. I’m not that heartless. 😉

Even though the worldbuilding is still kind of a mess, I like all of the new aspects that were added to it in Blood & Honey. I mean…blood witches? Werewolves? The possibility of MERMAIDS? OTHER SIMILARLY SPOOKY WOODLAND CREATURES? Oh, and I loved all of the little ghost creatures that tagged along with the gang. (I forget the technical term they had for them.) Absalon has my heart.

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And even though Blood & Honey was certainly a letdown, I think I’ll stick around to see what happens to the gang next. Even though that ending was awful. Nope.

All in all, a sequel that failed to live up to its predecessor, but still provided for some fantasy fun. 3 stars.

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Blood & Honey is the second book in Mahurin’s Serpent & Dove trilogy, preceded by Serpent & Dove (book 1) and soon to be followed by Gods & Monsters (2021).

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Weekly Update: July 13-19, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you and your loved ones well.

You know what one of the strangest feelings (for me) is? Sometimes, I’ll watch a certain movie so many times that I’ll only be able to see a certain actor as the role in said movie, and then I’ll see them in something else, and it’s either impossible to make the connection or it just weirds you out for a bit. Sorry, that was kind of long winded and weirdly-worded, but I’m not sure how to put it into words. But anyway, I watched Alien (1979) on Friday night, and let me tell you, seeing John Hurt after having only seen him in the Hellboy movies (when he was far older than he was in Alien) was weirdly bizarre. I’d just permanently imagined him as Professor Bruttenholm, so…

Also, the John Hurt Professor Bruttenholm will always be the superior Professor. The reboot was way too out of character.

[ahem] Now, back to our scheduled program…

Overall, I’ve had quite a nice week. I’ve gotten a lot of reading done after said library haul, and though there were a few disappointments, I enjoyed everything that I read. Camp NaNoWriMo has been going smoothly as well; I surpassed my goal of 5,000 words for my short story, and updated it to 7,500 so I could get to the end of July. It’s one of those instances where I wish I could just give my past self a little reassurance–the first few days, I panicked a bit that my short story was too short for the word count limit. And now, here we are…

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Other than that, I’ve made lots of progress with my puzzle, watched Alien, listened to a bit too much Josh Cohen, and started watching Cursed. I enjoyed the book, and I’m about three episodes into the show. The trailer looked like it could go either way, and so far, I’d say it’s pretty good. Once I finish it, I’ll try and put together a review. We’ll see.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles, #2)–Laurie Forest (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25)

Amazon.com: The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles Book 2 ...

Surviving the City (Surviving the City, #1)–Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Surviving the City (Surviving the City (1)) (Volume 1 ... - Amazon.com

All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars, #2)–Heather Fawcett (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars Book 2 ...

When We Were Magic–Sarah Gailey (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: When We Were Magic (9781534432871): Gailey, Sarah: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Burning Page (The Invisible Library, #3)–Genevieve Cogman

Amazon.com: The Burning Page (The Invisible Library Novel Book 3 ...

Serpent and Dove–Shelby Mahurin

Amazon.com: Serpent & Dove eBook: Mahurin, Shelby: Kindle Store

FORESHADOW: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA (anthology)–Emily X.R. Pan et. al. (eARC)

Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing ...

Dustborn–Erin Bowman (eARC)

Dustborn by Erin Bowman

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” (A Brief Announcement)

This is going to be a super quick post, but I just wanted to briefly celebrate something.

Yours truly–The Bookish Mutant–now has 100 followers!

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Though I’m not going to do anything fancy here to celebrate, I do want to thank all of you. For sticking around, for liking, sharing, and supporting my posts, and bonding over a shared love of books, among other things. Lots of love to you all 💗💗💗

For consistency’s sake, here’s today’s song:

I recently downloaded Henry Jackman’s score to X-Men: First Class. So far, it’s not my favorite score of all time, but it’s certainly genius in its own way. Even just the addition of an electric guitar and bass to an ordinary orchestra made all the difference. Mutant and proud. ❌

 

Again, thank you all for supporting me/this blog through it all! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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A Brief Update

Hey there, bibliophiles!

I just wanted to let you know about something really quick. As of this week, I only have one week left until I have to take my dreaded finals.

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So, I’ll be going on a two week hiatus. I’ll try to be back by Friday the 20th, as that’s when I’ll be out of school for Winter Break. So, until then, so long! I promise I’ll make up for my lack of posts over break.

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Book Review Tuesday (5/15/18)-Defy the Stars

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

Before I begin, I apologize for posting nothing but BRTs for weeks. I’ve got some fan arts that I’ll probably post this weekend. I also saw Avengers: Infinity War over the weekend, and honestly? I have no tears left to cry. I thought of reviewing it, but I probably wouldn’t get through it without spoiling, like, everything. I know how horrible it feels to have things like that spoiled for me, so I’ll save you the pain. All I’ll say is that I emerged from the theater sobbing.

Now, for the weather.

I’m surprised that I didn’t post a review of this book earlier. I got it at the library a few months ago, and I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED IT. And the sequel (Defy the Worlds) is just as good, if not better, and I’ll probably review it some time after this. Enjoy your review!

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Defy the Stars

Since the human race has colonized other planets, tensions have been growing higher and higher. Years ago, Earth would have been the home planet of Noemi Vidal. But now, she is a soldier fighting against Earth, for the planet Genesis. When a mission goes terribly wrong, Noemi becomes trapped on an abandoned enemy ship, the Daedalus. There, she discovers Abel, the most advanced mech ever created, who has been on this ship alone for over thirty years. Despite their previous allegiances, Noemi and Abel know that in order to save their homes, they must join forces. As they venture through the known universe, they discover things that make them question what they previously believed, and uncover secrets that could be fatal in the wrong hands…

 

AAAAAH!

I’m naturally a sucker for fast-paced, sci-fi adventures in space, but this exceeded all expectations. Not only was the world building and plot spectacular, but I LOOOVED the characters. Abel, especially. In this series so far, he’s probably the closest thing I have to a fictional crush. Not quite hot or anything, but he’s just kind of overall lovable, and every scene with him is heartwarming.

Also, I won’t spoil who, but there’s a character that reminds me of Professor Bruttenholm from Hellboy. Just sayin’.

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed my review, and have a great rest of your day!

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Book Review Tuesday (5/7/18)-Exo

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

This book was another that I had obtained from the OH SO SACRED LIBRARY (I eternally bow down to thee). My expectations were average (about a six-ish out of ten on my scale). The first quarter or so met my expectations, but then it really picked up, and my rating shot up to about an 8. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who loves sci-fi dystopia…and ALIENS!

Enjoy the review!

 

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Exo

One hundred years ago, we discovered that we weren’t alone. The zhree, a peaceful alien race, chose Earth as an off-world colony, and have helped mankind make many technological advances since their arrival. Though most of the human race is tolerant of the aliens, a terrorist group called the Sapience is still intent of removing their mark from the face of the planet.

Donovan Reyes is the son of the Prime Liaison for the zhree, and he works for the government. But after a mission gets sorely out of hand, he lands in the hands of the Sapience, who see him as a vital pawn against the Prime Liaison. Donovan knows that there’s no chance that his father will ever listen to the terrorists, so he must try to escape…and gather as much information as possible about them before they resort to drastic measures…

 

As I mentioned before, I found Exo to be a joy to read! Clever and believable world-building, very realistic characters (to the point that I imagined one of them exactly like Laura Dern*), and a plot that successfully kept me on my toes for much of the book.

Also, on the subject of the zhree, I kind of imagined them a little bit like the Arsians in The Search for WondLa series. Albeit Arsians with more eyes (except for in Loroc’s case), and more advanced technology. *stifles a sob*

 

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and stay cool! (Or warm…depending on the weather. I happened to have made the mistake of wearing a dark blue shirt in 70 degree weather…oof.)

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#15: The last thing you want on your blog is a forgotten Book Review Tuesday. But as it turns out, that might be what you get.

Okay, I had to do that. I regret absolutely nothing…

…except forgetting a Book Review Tuesday. I’m really sorry, it just totally slipped my mind. Also, I won’t be able to do a book review next week either, as it will be Spring Break, and I will be in California.

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BUT! Not to worry, everyone!

I’ve got some new fan arts that I’ll compile soon (I’m almost finished with my sketchbook now…) and I will MOST DEFINITELY be doing something on my new favorite movie. Shh…it’s a surprise…

All I’ll tell you is that I’ll never look at hard-boiled eggs the same way.

 

See you soonish…I think? Hopefully? Okay.

 

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2017

Before I get on with this post, I’d like to mention a few things.

  1. Happy Holidays, guys! I hope you all are enjoying your Holiday season!
  2. Oops. Sorry about the absence of the BRT this Tuesday. I had just gotten off the high that was Christmas Day and the thought of doing the book review never crossed my mind. I won’t be able to do a BRT 2-year anniversary post (that would have been tomorrow) nor a first BRT of 2017 for I will be in Florida once again. Sorry, guys.

 

Alright, I take back what I said about 2016 being the best and worst year of my life. It’s now probably just the worst. 2017 was…well…like 2016, but a little less horrible. Like last year, lots of people died, humans did a bunch of terrible things, there’s been a bunch of horrible natural disasters, and one of the best singers of all time came out with an underwhelming fifth album. (Sorry, Annie…) What I’m saying is that it’s been one heck of a ride this year. I’m glad we’ve gotten through it…well, technically, we’ve got a couple more days, but you know what I mean.

But as with 2016, there have been some truly great things that happened this year. We’ve gotten a truckload of fantastic books (Nightfall, Darkness of Dragons, Warcross, Whichwood etc.), movies (The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman, Justice League, and even though I haven’t seen it, I know this one’s going to be awesome, The Shape of Water), albums (Everything Now, Heartworms) and TV shows (Stranger Things 2). Of course, we’ve gotten meh material from all of those categories (Thor Ragnarok, MASSEDUCTION, etc.), but man, as far as some of those things go, we’ve gotten pretty lucky. Pretty lucky to have all of these amazing things, and lucky to be alive in the first place.

And this year has been a big year for me personally as well. I’ve conquered some fears, visited some astounding and eye-opening new places (the Grand Canyon and New York City), honed my drawing skills, and realized my writing potential. Also, meeting Millie Bobby Brown at Denver Comic Con was most definitely a highlight. She was such a nice person. It was such an honor to meet her. If you’re reading this, Millie, thank you so much. 

Now, 2018 is just around the bend. I’ve got hopes that we’ll further rise from the ashes of years previously, strive to be brave, strong, and kind. We can try and make the world a bit of a better place. Also, we can try and hold in our excitement for Avengers: Infinity War until May. OH MY GOD, THAT TRAILER LOOKED AWESOME!

 

Let’s make 2018 a great year, everyone. Together. *holds out lightsaber for no apparent reason*

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Book Review Tuesday (10/31/17)-Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!!!!

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(I have no idea what the heck that last one is, I just looked up “Halloween gifs” and it came up…

…uh…)

 

Weird pumpkin dude gifs aside, I’ve got a great book to review today, recommended by many friends to me and that (mostly) lived up to the hype! Enjoy!

 

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Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

Max (14), Fang (14), Iggy (14), Nudge (11), The Gasman (aka “Gazzy”, 8) and his little sister  Angel (6) are all hybrid experiment, consisting of 98% human genes, and 2% bird genes. Ever since they escaped The School, the place where they were created, they’ve been running for their lives, trying to survive while evading the Erasers, dangerous, wolflike hybrids determined to bring them back. But when a pack of Erasers kidnaps Angel, they must search much of the U.S., rescue her, and above all, avoid being seen by normal humans. Can they survive the dangerous trek, and get Angel back?

 

Like I said earlier, at least four or five of my friends read this previously, and they all LOVED (and I mean LOOOOVED) it. I would have read it sooner as well, if it hadn’t been on hold at the library for such an egregious amount of time. *fumes* Anyway, I thought it was a very creative, fun, and adventurous Book. I’ve already read book 2 (School’s Out-Forever) and I currently have book 3 (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports) on hold. Pretty psyched! I recommend it to all of you! Yes, ALL OF YOU!

 

I hope you guys have a WONDERFUL Halloween, eat lots of candy, dress up in awesome costumes!

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Book Review Tuesday (5/30/17)-The Girl who Drank the Moon

I’m so sorry that I didn’t get a review in last week-I was on a school trip and I forgot to let you guys know! So sorry.

But anyway, SUMMER’S HERE! For me, at least…

I hope you guys have had a great May/beginning of summer, and here is the last book review of May 2017. Hope you like it!

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The Girl Who Drank the Moon

In a strict, well-guarded town called the Protectorate, the citizens must make a yearly sacrifice. That sacrifice  is to leave a baby out in the woods to satiate the needs of a witch.  What the citizens don’t know is that this witch, who goes by Xan, has no intentions of harming them. Instead, she saves the babies from starvation, gives them to a family in the neighboring town, and feeds them a bit of starlight. This year’s baby seems to be no different-no different, that is, until Xan accidentally feeds the baby moonlight, and thus bestowing upon her great power and magic. So, Xan has no choice but to raise her by herself, along with Glerk, a gentle swamp monster, and Fyrian, a tiny dragon who thinks he is far larger than he actually is. The girl, now Luna, is nearing her thirteenth birthday, when all of her pent-up magic will slowly reemerge. But Xan is now nowhere to be seen, and a man from the Protectorate is off to hunt down the witch. Luna is now on her own-can she save her loved ones before they are gone forever?

 

I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. Last year, I read another of Kelly Barnhill’s books, Iron-Hearted Violet, and was disappointed in it (though the illustrations were halfway decent). But The Girl Who Drank the Moon was quite the opposite-I liked it a lot, and I devoured it in the course of a day…much like I do with most books these days.

Anyway, I hope you liked my book review, and see you guys in June!