Book Review Tuesday (2/26/19)-Navigating the Stars

Hello, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to the last Book Review Tuesday of February 2019! (MAN…this year has already gone by so fast…but hey, it’s almost March, BRING ON THE WARM WEATHER!)

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Anyway.

I bought this book on my Kindle to tide me over during my trip to Florida recently (which I promise I’ll post about soon). I feel like it came to me from Goodreads in one of the recent boatloads of recommendations I’ve been getting (DOUBLE WHOA). As you’ve…probably figured out, I’m always hungry for exciting sci-fi, so it was a quick (and…well, rather lacking in forethought) buy.

Though my appetite for science fiction was not quite satiated, I will say that this was definitely and interesting and compelling novel. A tad bit of a slow read for me (then again, I read it in chunks while rather tired), but I doubt you guys will have the same experience as I did.

Whoops. Guess I’m not selling the book very much. Well, you can tell for yourselves if you’d like it or not right about now, because I come bearing a review!

Enjoy!

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Navigating the Stars

Lyra Daniels lives in a constant cycle of moving from planet to planet, dragged along by her archaeologist parents. For them, it’s a chance to delve into the mystery of the Terra Cotta Warriors, which are showing up on countless planets across the galaxy. For Lyra, it’s a tragic circle of making friends, growing close, and having to leave them behind, never to see them again, and, thanks to the complications of interstellar travel, leaping forward many years, leaving her friends to age while she stays seventeen. After another planet housing the Warriors is discovered, Lyra tags along on the latest mission, spending her days worming her way through the Quantum-Net, and trying to cozy up to Niall, the only other crew member who’s close to her age. But when Lyra and the rest of the crew realize that they aren’t the only ones searching for the Warriors, they must work together to unravel a conspiracy like no other.

 

Alright, let me get one stupid joke out of the way before I get to my relevant opinions. The premise of Navigating the Stars was definitely original and captivating (unknown lifeforms creating Terra Cotta Warriors identical to the ones here on Earth) but it immediately made me think of this…

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ALIENS. 

Alright, here we go.

Navigating the Stars, though a bit slow at certain points (mostly when Lyra was travelling through space), was certainly an inventive and creative novel. LOTS of attention to detail and science, with relatable characters, and an intriguing plot to match. And though it wasn’t necessarily “action-packed” (not a bad thing, in the case of this book), the last third to quarter (or thereabouts) of the book was definitely creepy and very high-stakes. And yes, we do eventually get…ALIENS. 

A must-read for anyone who loves a well-crafted sci-fi mystery.

 

Well, thanks so much for reading the review! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! 🙂

 

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Book Review Tuesday (2/19/19)-The Last Namsara

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

 

I recently checked this beauty out at the library (…yes, I did just say that…seriously, gorgeous cover, guys), and though I haven’t yet returned it, I gobbled it up in about two nights. These days, it’s tricky to come across a fantasy novel that isn’t chock-full of cliches and overdone tropes, so I was surprised at how much I loved The Last Namsara. A beautifully-crafted, action-packed tale of bravery and love. Absolutely stellar! Also…

DRAGONS.

DRAGONS!!!

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…okay, not quite like these dragons, I’m sorry to say, but dragons all the same. DRAGONS.

 

Enjoy the review!

 

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Asha, the infamous dragon-slayer princess of Firgaard, has grown up surrounded by tales of Namsara, the joyous lightbringer, and Iskari, the destroyer and harbinger of death and sadness. For most of her life, she has believed them to be children’s stories and nothing more. But as her fierce reputation builds, she is declared to be the newest incarnation of Iskari. After this realization, Asha lives a simultaneously dangerous and tedious life, her only purpose being to kill Firgaard’s dragons and present the king with their severed heads. To Asha, her grueling task seems meaningless-until the king offers to call off her arranged marriage in exchange for the death of Firgaard’s most notorious and deadly dragon. Will Asha win her freedom-from her marriage, the royal life, and from the burden that the legends of old have put on her shoulders?

 

*Thor yelling* “YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!”

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FINALLY! A FRESH, ORIGINAL FANTASY BOOK!!! YAHOO!

The Last Namsara has pretty much got it all-a heroine who not only kicks butt, but isn’t devoid of flaws, incredible, descriptive writing, beautiful world-building, great chemistry between the characters, and…yes, gotta love those dragons. Who doesn’t love a little fire-breathing insanity every once in a while?

All in all, I highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a little something new in YA fantasy. And dragons. Can’t stress that enough.

 

The Last Namsara has a sequel (The Caged Queen) which came out in late September. I definitely want to get to it soon, as…I think book #3 comes out sometime this year? Hopefully? *tightly crosses fingers* We’ll see, folks…

 

Thanks so much for reading this week’s review! Have a great rest of your day, and stay warm!

…And for my final trick, I will forget a Book Review Tuesday…*whips out magic wand*

Yup. Magic or not, I’ve forgotten about this week’s BRT. Sorry, guys; I had a lot on my mind and a few things that I wanted to get done (packing, studying for a quiz, etc., making a birthday present for a friend), and it just slipped my mind.

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So sorry, everyone. I’ll try and make one next week, and I’ll probably have the annual Florida post (I’m heading over there for President’s Day weekend) around the same time. Stay tuned for more stuff next week…hopefully…

Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! 🙂

Book Review Tuesday (2/5/19)-Amid Stars and Darkness

Hey, fellow bookworms, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of February 2019!

First of all, HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!

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*loud oinking ensues for the rest of the year*

Happy February as well (even though…let’s face it, February’s kind of the most boring month of the year…)!

Now, onto this week’s review.

For some reason, I’ve been getting a BOATLOAD of recommendations from Goodreads. Boatload with a capital B. Or maybe with the 🅱 emoji?

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Yeah, that’s better.

Anyway, I found Amid Stars and Darkness amongst the 🅱OATLOAD of book recs, and I figured it would be fairly interesting, at the very least. I’m always itching for original, creative sci-fi, so this was kind of a “shut up and take my library card” kind of moment. I just finished reading it a few days ago, and I’d say that I’m reasonably impressed!

 

Enjoy the review!

 

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Amid Stars and Darkness

Delaney’s life on Earth is turning out to be a normal, peaceful one, with nothing surprising, even with the newfound existence of life on other worlds. But after a night in a club, she is captured by a fleet of aliens who have mistaken her for their runaway princess, Lissa Olena. Swept away to a bizarre planet, Delaney must act undercover as the princess’ lookalike while the search for the true princess continues. If she keeps up the ruse for long enough, she may be forced to marry Olena’s psychotic fiancee, Trystan, but if she makes even a minor slip, she could set the entire kingdom into total chaos-and put her life and the lives of many others in danger. Will Delaney be able to play the dangerous royal game long enough to survive?

 

Alright, I’ve got a confession to make. One sci-fi trope I’m absolutely SICK of is making aliens look almost exactly like humans, but with a few minor tweaks (i.e., abnormal skin/eye color, conviniently super attractive). Like, come on, have a little imagination!

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And Amid Stars and Darkness was guilty of this, like many others. But the good thing about this novel was that the world building, and writing DEFINITELY made up for it. I was able to put aside my annoyance regarding the aliens, what with the intricately crafted planet, social structure of the aliens, and the vivid descriptions. Honestly, I even loved the descriptions of the BATHROOMS. THAT GOOD. The writing was very well done, and the characters were generally pretty likeable. Overall, about 85% the aspects of this book were spot-on, which made me able to see past the flaws.

There’s a sequel out (I think it came out last year? Somewhere around that time, I believe), and I’d be interested in reading it. With where the plot might be going, I’m intrigued to see what happens next. 😉

 

Well, have a happy Lunar New Year, and a great rest of your day! Take care of yourselves, and thank you for reading this review!

Book Review Tuesday (1/29/19)-Illuminae

Hey, everyone, and welcome to the last Book Review Tuesday of January 2019! Man, this month has already gone by so fast…it feels like yesterday I was sitting downstairs watching X2 with my cats over winter break…*sigh*

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*single tear slides down cheek*

Aaaaaaaaanyway, I actually didn’t get this book at the library this time (*GASP* PLOT TWIST); I bought it, along with Honor Among Thieves (for that review, see 6/12/18), which is now IN PAPERBACK! REJOICE!

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AT LAST

Illuminae was recommended to me by a friend, and for the most part, I trust her book judgement. That, other than some other rave reviews I’ve seen and the dazzling cover art ultimately buy this book. I could barely fit it in my backpack, but MAN, it was completely worth it. The cover’s a teeeeeensy bit dinged up at the edges now (oof), but it was worth it all the same. Trust me. 😉

 

Enjoy the review!

 

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Illuminae

Kady Grant and Ezra Mason thought that breaking up would be the worst of their problems. But after their colony is destroyed by a fleet of warships, fighting for dominance over their tiny planet, they are forced to flee on two seperate ships. Out in the midst of space, Kady and Ezra realize that the colony’s destruction was only the tip of the iceberg. A psychotic AI, a deadly virus, and the imminent arrival of one of the warships that destroyed the colony now face the crews of the two ships, and only those with adequate wits, strength, and bravery will live to see the next day.

 

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Illuminae is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

The format is insanely creative, as well as fascinating. Illuminae is told not in ordinary writing, but in a series of transcripts from security camera footage, text messages between crew members, letters from the captain(s), and even snippets of dialogue from AIDAN, the maniacal AI aboard the ship Alexander. It takes a little getting used to, but in the end, I’m sure that you’ll appreciate it, 100%. Both authors skillfully weave a bleak, edge-of-your-seat dystopian tale set in the farthest reaches of space. Illuminae is a true gem of YA science fiction, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the first of its kind. Perfect for all fans of sci-fi, or anyone who wants something frightening, a thrill ride, or just something fresh to wash away the taste of some of the existing YA cliches. Solid 9.5/10 on my scale. 🙂

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This series is a trilogy, but I haven’t gotten to the sequels just yet. The same friend who recommended this book said that book 2 (Gemina, I believe) was something of a let-down, but I was so pumped about this book that I’ve already tried to put it on hold at the library. (All copies are currently in use. Woe is me.)

 

Thanks so much for reading this review! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and PLEASE, especially for those of you in the winter storm in the U.S., take care of yourselves, stay safe, and stay warm. 

 

 

 

Book Review Tuesday (1/22/19)-The Rest of Us Just Live Here

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

 

This book was one of my first “interim” books of the year-the Kindle books I check out in the time when I’ve finished with my current batch of library books and the new batch isn’t ready yet. I initially started reading this because a) I loved A Monster Calls (see 5/16/17 if you want to read my review of that one), and b) EpicReads was, as usual, raving about it, and they even had a quiz or two based off of it. In short, it wasn’t nearly as spectacular as A Monster Calls, but The Rest of Us Just Live Here is still a fantastic book. And to be fair, the two are very different books. Maybe I shouldn’t be making that comparison.

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But anyway, regardless of whether my comparison was justified or not, here’s the review! Enjoy!

 

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here

In every story, there is the “Chosen One”. The one who is destined to rid the world of whatever supernatural threat has come to end it, the one who is destined to fall in love with a handsome prince and live happily ever after, until they are called upon to save the world again. Mikey, of all people, should know. His small town is full of them–they’ve faced down vampires, zombies, and even gods, and too many have sacrificed themselves in the process.

But Mikey? He’s just a normal kid. He doesn’t have powers, or the weight of the world on his shoulders; as long as he graduates high school in one piece and gets the girl of his dreams, he’s fine with it. But when supernatural forces cause his high school tp explode, Mikey realizes that the Chosen Ones shouldn’t have to be the ones with the burdens on their shoulders. Sometimes, it’s just too big for one group of kids to handle.

 

 

Anyone who’s read their share of fantasy knows all of the tropes like the back of their hand. This witty novel explores-and sometimes mocks-all of them, while simultaneously delving into the world beyond the Chosen Ones. Alternating between snippets of a classic fantasy story, starring the current Chosen Ones (or “indie kids”, as they are referred to in the book), and the not-so-adventurous story of Mikey’s life, Ness has created a well-crafted look at what happens to the normal ones, those who aren’t destined to save the world. Clever, laugh-out-loud, and sometimes very real, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a spectacular read not only for fantasy readers, but also for anyone who’s just looking for something new.

 

Well, thank you so much for reading this review, and have a great rest of your day!

Fan-Art-Man, Fan-Art-Man, does whatever a…fan art can? (If you couldn’t tell, I’m running out of title ideas.)

Hello, everybody!

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“Kanye’s my main man!” 

Sorry, I had to slip that in somewhere.

 

Alrightly. First of all, happy Martin Luther King Jr day to all! We have so much to thank this incredible man for, and I am eternally grateful for all that he has done to contribute to our society. Thank you.

 

Now…oh, hey! This is the first fan art post of 2019, isn’t it! Niiiiice! Most of these fan arts are technically from December 2018, but we’re just gonna ignore that. WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS LOTS OF MUTANTS.

Enjoy the fan arts!

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Storm, X-Men Apocalypse. Aside from Nightcrawler, she’s my favorite of the X-Men. 🙂

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Talky-Walky, Black Hammer (shown with a blending stump). You guys also really need to read Black Hammer-it’s OUTRAGEOUSLY weird, but you’ll be better for it.

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My first drawing of 2019! Johann (B.P.R.D.) is looking a little blue here. Poor guy.

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Vision in his human clothes. (Captain America: Civil War).

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Rogue, X2: X-Men United. I watched it again about two weeks ago, and I enjoyed myself waaaaay too much. 😉

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Storm, X2: X-Men United. (See above; I enjoyed myself.)

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“Kurt Wagner, but in the Munich Circus, I was known as the Incredible Nightcrawler!” (X2: X-Men United)

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This isn’t really a fan art, per se, but I still figured that I’d show it here. Behold my spidersona. I based her color scheme/costume largely off of the colors of the Peacock spider. 🙂

 

 

Well, thanks so much for reading, and have a wonderful rest of your day! I’ll be back with a book review tomorrow! 🙂