Book Review Tuesday (4/9/19)-Last of Her Name

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

 

I’ve begun to notice that I’m a bit of a sucker for retellings. Most of my library “hauls” include at least one retelling them. Sometimes I read them consciously, sometimes I don’t know that they’re retellings until I read somebody’s review on Goodreads. Some I absolutely adore, some I loathe with a passion. Some are very well executed, and some fall embarassingly flat. You get the idea.

I’ve also begun to notice that I’m immediately attracted to sci-fi retellings of the story of Anastasia. (*coughcough*HEART OF IRON*coughcough*) As far as retellings go, these ones are few and far between, but when they’re good, they’re good. Heart of Iron might just be my favorite book of all time (coming close with Frankenstein, Carry On, A Monster Calls, Neverwhere, To Kill a Mockingbird, and a few others), and Last of Her Name was no exception. Beautifully crafted and action packed, this one left me on the edge of my seat, grinning from ear to ear.

Enjoy the review!

 

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Last of Her Name

 

Stacia has heard the stories many times over; sixteen years ago, the ruling family of the Belt of Jewels were all assassinated, and from the ashes rose the tyrannical government that still stands to this day. Stacia has led a quiet, peaceful life in her parent’s vineyard, with her two childhood friends, Pol and Clio. But that quiet life is soon disrupted when the director of the cruel Union government arrives on her planet, intending to snuff out the loyalists-those who still support the murdered empire. What’s more is that the director claims that the princess of the empire is still alive, and she has gone by Stacia ever since.

Now on the run from the Union, Stacia and Pol mount a daring mission across the galaxy to save Clio–and to discover Stacia’s true identity.

 

 

Oh, where do I begin?

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First off, I ADORED the world-building. The Belt of Jewels is such an intricately-crafted galaxy, with a rich history, and…alright, not quite aliens, but we’ve got a pretty fantastic myriad of “adapted humans”. Although I wish that we’d gotten a more in-depth look at the various species, I loved seeing their individual cultures, planets, and how they fit into the grand scheme of the Belt of Jewels.

Plus, there’s an aquatic species of adapted humans that…okay, yeah, I imagined them all looking like Abe Sapien.

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The characters were all so lovable, and I found myself nearly crying for them-on multiple occasions. I didn’t love some of them at first, but almost every one of them grew on me quickly. The plot was wonderfully fast-paced, intricate, and engaging, with a perfect ending that tied everything together quite nicely, I’ll say. All in all, a solid 4.25/5, which lands at about an 8.5 to a 9 on my book rating scale. Highly recommend it!

Last of Her Name is a standalone (*single tear slides down cheek*), but I think that the ending is satisfying enough. It’s a shame that the galaxy probably won’t be explained in more detail, but I’m happy with what we’ve got.

 

Thanks so much for reading this review, and have a great rest of your day! And for those of you in the path of winter storm Wesley…please stay warm and take care of yourselves.

 

And for those of you who want another retelling and haven’t read this book/review, check out my review for Heart of Iron (see 8/14/18)!

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“Go to madelinetodd.com…they’ve got a new thing called…uh… FR E SH F AN AR TS…*wheezy laughter*”

Yep, I’ve got some FRESH FAN ARTS for you guys!

I haven’t really posted any of my art since late June (oops), and I feel like I’ve improved a lot since then, what with the art class at my school and just a little more experience in general. I’m excited to share some of these with you guys, I hope you enjoy them!

 

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My interpretation of the Darkling from Shadow and Bone.

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A little porg, who is now quite traumatized after seeing his brethren being roasted on a spit by Chewbacca.

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Johann Krauss, in his newest suit. (B.P.R.D.)

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My interpretation of the wonderful Jax, from Heart of Iron. 

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Professor X, X-Men: First Class . (I watched it for the first time in about three or four years in September; I felt the judging eyes of my cats on me as I cried during the “I can’t feel my legs” scene.)

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Mystique, from the new Dark Phoenix trailer. (*LOUD SCREAMING*)

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Nightcrawler, X2: X-Men United. (Which celebrated its 15th anniversary this May! Yay!)

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Abe Sapien, Hellboy (2004). 

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Newt Scamander, The Crimes of Grindelwald. (I saw it a few weeks ago, and it was ASTOUNDING. Certainly didn’t deserve that low of a rating from Rotten Tomatoes.)

 

Well, thank you for sticking around long enough to see more of my art and endure the deluge of book reviews! Once I get some more done, I will definitely post some more. Have a nice day, and stay safe!

HARRY POTTER! Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fan Arts?!?!?

Yep, that’s right-I’ve got lots more fan arts!

Most of these are HP related, as I did them soon after my Pottermore sorting. I also got some new, more skin-tone color pens on Wednesday, so I’ve been testing those out a bit. Enjoy!

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Elisa Esposito (The Shape of Water)

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Lindsey Jordan, a.k.a. Snail Mail

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Hufflepuff, based off of a European badger (Harry Potter)

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Ravenclaw, based off of Golden eagle (Harry Potter)

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Gryffindor, based off of African lion (Harry Potter)

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Slytherin, based off of Black Rat snake (a bit too derpy and cute, perhaps?) (Harry Potter)

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Princess Nuala (Hellboy II)

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The Amphibian Man (The Shape of Water)

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Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)

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Rey (The Force Awakens)

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Abe Sapien (Hellboy)

 

I hope you liked my fan arts! I’ll be back tomorrow with the first Book Review Tuesday of May 2018! See you later, and have a great rest of your day!

 

“I’m not a baby, I’m a Fan Art!”

Ten hypothetical points for awesomeness if you got my (incredibly weird) reference. 😏

Yep, that’s right, I GOT MORE FAN ARTS! I’ve been fairly productive, since I’ve had to stay home for a while because of my cold. Don’t worry, I touched on some very important events when doing so..

Without further ado, FAN ARTS!

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A late night doodle of David Bowie in the “Life On Mars?” music video, 1973.

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Johann Krauss. This is the first time I’ve drawn him how he is in the B.P.R.D. comics, which I started reading fairly recently. I’d say I’m pretty close to falling in love.

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Dr. Kate Corrigan (B.P.R.D.)

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Fitz Vacker, a.k.a. the closest thing I have to a fictional crush in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. This was drawn for Keeper Day, on February 12.

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Prince Nuada. (Hellboy II)

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Abe Sapien and Princess Nuala 😍. Nuala is holding a copy of a collection of Alfred Lord Tennyson poems, from which she reads a passage of “In Memoriam” in Hellboy II. *single tear rolls down cheek*

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The wonderful Millie Bobby Brown, who turned 14 on February 19.

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Princess Shuri (Black Panther)

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Nakia (Black Panther)

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Will Toledo. I did this in honor of the fact that I’M GONNA SEE CAR SEAT HEADREST IN JULY!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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*SWOONS*

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed my fan arts! See you next Tuesday, or if not, very soonish!

Sir! We’re detecting a massive amount of Fan Arts emerging from hyperspace!

*Death Star noises*

Yeah, that’s right, I’ve got some more FAN ARTS! WOOT WOOT!

Be warned, most of it’s just Star Wars…because that’s how my brain works. Yep. Enjoy!

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The Angel of Death (Hellboy II-The Golden Army)

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A porg! (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

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Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (Star Wars)

(and no, I’m not drawing him shirtless.)

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Maz Kanata (Star Wars)

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Abe Sapien (Hellboy)

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Johann Krauss (Hellboy II)

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Rey and a couple o’ porgs (Star Wars)

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Will Toledo *swoons, and then faints like an old woman*

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Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)

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Kubo (Kubo and the Two Strings)

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Harry Potter, the Boy who Lived (Harry Potter)

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I would’ve put this on my sign for the Women’s March in Denver last Saturday (which, by the way, was SPECTACULAR), but I doubt anyone would’ve gotten it! So here’s Liz Sherman!

 

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed my geeky barrage of ink-pen! See you soon!

Fan arts, fan arts, everywhere

I’ve had quite a productive summer as far as fan arts go. In just about four months, I’ve filled up almost half of my sketchbook (OOPS). Maybe that’s just because I crank out drawings like a flippin’ machine, or maybe it’s because I had way too much time on my hands. But anyway, here are EVEN MORE fan arts for you to see! 😁

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Madman!

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Johann Krauss (Hellboy)

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Maleficent (Maleficent)

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Is there Life On Mars? (David Bowie)

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Abe Sapien (Hellboy)

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Frank Einstein (Madman)

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Hellboy (and some kittens, because why not)

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Will Toledo (main singer of Car Seat Headrest, whom I have an insane crush on 💘💘💘)

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(I mean, LOOK AT THIS GUY!!!!!)

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And finally, Sophie Foster (Keeper of the Lost Cities)

 

I hope you enjoyed my geeky drawings, and have a great night!

Mermaid (or something): Late night drawings and biological analysis (sort of)

(Well that  was one heck of a weird title…)

So last night, after watching the first two Hunger Games movies (which were awesome), I had a little time before I had to go to bed. So I decided to draw. Normally, I draw fictional characters about 75% of the time, but I couldn’t think of anyone to draw. But eventually, this squirmed its way out of my head and onto the page of my sketchbook:

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I still have no idea what prompted it, but I love it anyway.

As I said on my Instagram post, I knew that this wouldn’t end with just one drawing. I mean, HOW COULD IT? I mean, LOOK AT THAT MERMAID THING!

…Mermaid thing???

 

{CUT TO THIS MORNING}

And then this happened…

BEHOLD!

THE MERMAID (OR SOMETHING)!!!

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I had a lot of fun drawing and designing this mermaid. There were a few points I definitely wanted to discuss (here comes the “biological analysis” part), so here goes!

DISCLAIMER: Though I have been a total zoology nerd basically since I could read, I am not completely knowledgeable on this topic. Some of this information might not be completely true, just to let you know. 

In general, I wanted this mermaid to look more fishlike than human, so there are a lot of things that I took from various fish species to piece her together. For example:

-The ears. Most fish do have ears, but they are very small and different from ours. They use not only their ears but their lateral lines to sense sounds in the water.

 

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-The stripes. When I initially drew the mermaid the first time, she was very colorful, with horizontal stripes. I based her off this general image I had in my mind of a tropical fish of similar color and pattern, but when I googled such a fish, it didn’t exist. (**** you, imagination…) But, I did find a fish similar to my vision, albeit with horizontal stripes as opposed to vertical ones.

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-The mouth. Realistically, if I were to steer in the far fishier direction, the mouth would probably be bigger, and the lips wider. The teeth were a rather confusing point, because when I googled “fish teeth”…

…well…

Let’s just say that you should never google such things. *shivers*

So I just went with small teeth.

-As far as the nose goes, I just put little slits.

-The head fin and tail, I discovered, are not only similar to each other, but similar to leaves of kelp (which the mermaid’s leg band things and dress are made of). I suppose this could possibly be a form of camoflauge. Maybe this mermaid lives in a kelp forest.

-Lastly, I’ve been kind of in self-debate about this for a little while, but I can’t decide whether my version of mermaids would lay eggs (I imagined them like shark or dogfish eggs-HEY, PEOPLE SOMETIMES CALL THOSE MERMAID’S PURSES! MAYBE I’M ONTO SOMETHING!) or if they would give birth to live young, like mammals. Either way, this mermaid has no visible breasts, which would be a mammalian trait. I’m still unsure about that. I suppose either one would work, but…hmm… *strokes imaginary goatee in thought*

 

Well, that just about wraps it up. Thank you for reading!

EDIT: The mermaid now has a name (or nickname), thanks to my dad: Abigail Sapien (like Abe Sapien) 😉