Ivie Hill's Rant Rampage

TBH I am using Booklikes as a backup, I am almost never here. This is a safe haven if you are in fear of the Goodreads Inquisition. All your reviews, nice and safe :) If you need to get in touch, your best chance is Goodreads.

How to get a bestseller? Steal it, of course. :)

— feeling bad smell
Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard
LIAR LIAR – PEN ON FIRE!!! I can't say that I can hold any respect for Victoria Aveyard. That wasn't my call, it was completely hers. To take someone else's intellectual property, someone else's successful project, then steal it's construction frame, fill it with recycled second grade product and call it your own is just simply bullshit.

snap

Red Queen crawled out to surface one year after Pierce Brown's Red Rising, and from page one it's obvious it's a blatant copy. People seem to jump around this subject afraid to rock any boats. Well I'm not. A thieving asshole is a thieving asshole, no matter how hard you try to be polite about it.

Pierce Brown introduces us to a world where the people are sorted into colors that would dictate their lives, Reds being the slaves, Golds being godlike.

Aveyard introduces us to a world where the people are sorted into colors that would dictate their lives, Reds being the lowest born and Silvers being godlike.

On Mars the Reds celebrate and fight for the Laurel, where they are required to attend and be reminded of their servitude.

Aveyard makes her Reds attend First Friday or some such shit,where they are required to attend and be reminded of their servitude.

Pierce Brown's under castes have a dedicated role capped and expressed by their physical appearance.

Aveyard isn't as talented, or as smart so she limited herself to a few supernatural attributes like telekinesis, strength, speed and so on.

Brown created Augustus as the embodiment of evil, and chose him as the point of torment for our hero.

Aveyard has King Tiberias as the leader of the 'Silvers'.

Brown introduced the rebels in all their glory as a known terrorist organisation known as Sons of Ares.

Aveyard created 'her' rebels as – The Scarlet Guard – who, you guessed it, are presented to the public by the Silvers as a terrorist organisation.

Lol

People are tiptoeing around this, but imma call it as I see it. I am not sure if her name is Victoria Aveyard, or she stole that off someone too. Most probably the latter, although I guess we can't know for certain.

I have no idea just how much Cool Aid you gotta drown to wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror, then proceed to PUBLICLY congratulate yourself for ripping off someone else's work and basically making it into a template in witch you kinda shuffle some names a bit and say – Golly fucking gee, aren't I grand? Jesus, people. This is not alright!

I have seen some coincidences in my lifetime, but coincidences in the book world seem to kind of always line up after some author comes with a winning original idea. After Twilight, glowing vampires wherever the eye can see. After 50 SOG, kinky billionaires at every corner. Mimi Jean Pampiloff ripped off Fever, Armentrout stole off Richelle Mead. These are all well known cases – with well known documented points to prove the story. A small mountain of identical plot twists, and of course the timeline – as all of their 'original' work always gets published at least a good year after the other bestsellers.

Armentrout weakly defended herself by calling it the Twilight Phenomenon, saying that all of the similarities that the reader saw with her work and Vampire Academy was in their head. So, basically, she's not a thief, people that read her books are just stupid...Gee, thanks.

You see, people like Victoria Aveyard have already had their fill of reviews just like mine. They read them – they upset them greatly (because they are true, and you can lie your ass of to anybody just not yourself -truth hurts like a sonofabitch), then they call their mum, their lover, their best friend and confidante and complain about just how hard it is. Hard to be unappreciated, hard to succeed in this harsh and cruel world, and how people just simply don't have the INTELECT to comprehend just how hard they worked on their book. It's everybody else's fault. Just not theirs. Oh and, the family all gathers, whisper those platitudes – you are a success my dear, not them, you have climbed a mountain which has felled many. It's envy and jealousy and all that other generic empowerment crap we hear from our closest circle when life kicks us in the nuts.

This is one of my pet peeves, turning a blind eye to obvious theft. People who plagiarise only want to take your money at the end, witch I don't mind but the product isn't exactly Apple, it's more down the line of those Nike's, but with two k's in it. Nikke... hmmm, close but no cigar. Reading Red Queen leaves you with the insight into the whole creative writing process. You can actually visualise the author wanting to score. Looked kinda like this....

At least your ineptitude hasn’t been seen by thousands:

There is no gratification to be felt once you read a novel like this one. None. Well perhaps one. PLAGIARIZM FOLLOWS YOU LIKE A BAD STENCH. Now, ten years from now, no matter what these people do – someone is always going to bring it up. My hat goes down to all that true indie crowd, that write crap that grates on the brain and boils the eyeballs in their sockets, but hey at least it's honest and theirs. Keep up the good work! And people like this? Eventually live up to their boring mediocrity. Since nobody got time for that, here's some magic crack cake that will help you enjoy this novel in all it's originality...

And her magically pristine pouring. | 21 Oddly Satisfying Disney Moments
 
 

 

Tooth and Claw

Tooth and Claw - Jo Walton This book was weird....good weird, but weird nonetheless.

It took me by surprise even with a head's up. I struggled trough all that anthropomorphism honestly, the novel was too well detailed and the human mind just wanted to bend the dragons into a human form. It was like reading a Regency novel but only with dragons, and with much less romance but much more cannibalism.

Smaug: Well...thief, where are you!? There's something about you...something made of gold, but far more preciousss. There you are, thief in the shadows. Bilbo: I did not come to steal from you, I only came to gaze upon your magnificence and see if the old tales were true...I did not believe them. Smaug: well do you now!? Bilbo: truely...the tales and songs fall utterly short of your enormusly oh Smaug the stupendous. Smaug: you have nice manners for a thief and a liar!

It was good, but so very very slow to start, I got bored a few times and thought I wouldn't be able to either finish, or wait for something to happen. With characters – it didn't help that Selendra is a derogatory term in my language that describes a shithole village – but it kind of matched the character in this novel so by the end of it, it was balanced out.

It was an enjoyable read, a really refreshing take on dragons, but not something I would put on my reread list any time soon.

Warchild

Warchild - Karin Lowachee This novel is my second favorite read in 2015, brilliant plot development, careful and detailed world building without info-dumps, meaningful and deeply emotionally charged characters set off an exciting SciFi.

This is a first novel I have read by Karin Lowachee and it won't be the last. I like her style. It's so easy it seems effortless. The words seemed to flow of the pages and wrapped themselves around me like magic, transporting me right at the side of a wounded young boy trying desperately to find a small place in the universe to call his own. This story emphasizes the true meaning of wealth. Some riches that only can be found in a family circle. A safe-heaven witch gives you the absolute right to be yourself no matter what. The only judgement that would come to you is in a form of criticism that is made to create, and not destroy. To help you transform into a happier, better self.

Jos proudly showed the few small gems that he had in his heart early on. The safety and the security of his parents' arms. A loving mother's smile, a devoted father's support. Then he lost it all. He lost far more than he was even aware at the time, and only had happy memories to light his way in dark cold space. He was an orphan, a beautiful orphan in the clutches of evil people. He was told he will be a tool to use for someone else's gain. He ran. He got cut down and fell bleeding into his enemy's hands...

This is where the storytelling gets to shine the best of all in my eyes. Who do we hate? Who do we fight against in our lives? Do we truly hate because that is what our heart tells us? Do we really fight because we want to? Or are we told from an early age what fear should look like, how hate should taste or what demons lurk under our beds?

We have all been there, we have all been guided by other's hand and directed to other's goals in our life. It's human nature in the end, and it is unavoidable. A tormented man turns into a wise one not because he fights, but because he sees both sides of the coin. He walked more than a mile in different shoes, had loved love and hate at the same time. You are not told any of this, you experienced it on your skin while your mind looked in trough a young boy's eyes.

Something other that I truly liked is the subtle approach to sexuality in the novel. On a few instances where there were moments that were sexually charged they had a homoerotic feeling but in a subtle, genuine way. These elements carried a disturbing undertone at the time, not because of a sexual focus on same sex but because of the age of the characters that were involved. Later throughout the novel you could pick up on some more similar situations where the approach to same sex partners was not even mentioned as something out of the ordinary. Old Roman and Greek civilizations accepted and celebrated human sexuality in all of it's glory and same sex partners were accepted, even expected in certain lives like those of professional soldiers. Greeks thought a man would fight with more passion, to protect that which he loves. They were right. In the novel the name of the deep spacer Macedon the author used can be taken a nod to the great Alexander and his life, both private and as a brilliant strategist and a military general.



By not applying current buzz or social standard to her characters the author gave more realism to her story. She didn't push sexuality on her reader, swinging it like a weapon or a target. It was a part of her story as it is a part of human psyche.

I really have give credit, where credit's due and say that I am impressed with the story and it's execution. It won an award, and in my opinion rightfully so. As a favour to all of us that love brilliant space stories, she shouldn't stay far away from her pen at any time. Looking forward to the rest.

Laura J. Mixon, RequiresHate and the most disturbing case of a trolling author.

— feeling angry

 

I will start by saying that I am not a consistent blogger, in fact I wouldn't call myself a blogger at all. I mostly keep my opinions to myself and discuss them with a selected few over a nice cup of coffee... I review books sometimes. I do it as a hobby, strictly for my own pleasure. That's about it.

 

I have come across something recently that really disturbed me to that degree that I simply had to sit down and get some things off my chest. I have to highlight something that happens far too often in the 'intellectual' sphere of both authors and readers. Something that could be extremely dangerous if you allow it to gain momentum. This post relates to a short report made by Laura J. Mixon that managed to scoop up a Hugo and much attention with it. The post is non fiction and brings to light some horrifying abuse by the hands of an award nominated author, reader and reviewer by the name of Benjanun Sriduangkaew. See it here.->A Report on Damage Done by One Individual Under Several Names

 

I could say that bullying in the reader/reviewer circles isn't a constant thing and that it happens rarely; I could say that authors don't often attack and belittle people that leave a negative review of their work; I could say that individuals that live solely for confrontation don't lurk around on book sites; I could say that there were no instances of cyber bullying spilling out to real life where people have gotten physically hurt. I would be lying on all accounts.

 

All people using the internet have experienced some form of trolling at one point or another in their lives. They differ in small ways but the end result is pretty much the same – to harass the living shit out of the recipient, sometimes with a specific goal in mind, sometimes for shits and giggles. This is done by individuals comfortable in their anonymity, and with a shitload of personal inadequacies and issues that they simply have to resolve on someone else's hide. Often they will try and disguise their actions as a positive moral stand, or they will aim for that aloof intellectual superiority. Whichever helps their cause at the moment, and lets them sleep better at night.

 

In forums you can find some established and long active individuals that have managed to form a comfortable circle of like-minded souls around them that allows them a bloated feeling of safety so they forgo anonymity all together, and execute their attacks using pack mentality. Basically they are smart enough to now there will be consequences if they are openly too hostile, and that the mob can easily turn against them at any time, so instead of biting out huge chunks they yap at your heels like a pack of rabid chihuahuas taking little nips as they go along, hoping that either they will tire you out, or bleed you to death - whichever comes first. This happens to be the lowest form of trolling you can encounter as the people involved don't have enough guts to stand proudly as individuals behind their beliefs, statements and actions whatever they may be. Bottom-feeders. Most of these trolls are simple enough to chalk up an imagined victory over the poor bastard they had in their sights soon in the game, usually after scoring a few equally imagined points and that is enough for them to happily piss off to under whatever rock they crawled out of leaving their victim behind without as much as a second glance.

 

Then you have the special cases. The truly dedicated ones. People who find power and pleasure in torture. I am happy to say I have only dealt with a small number of these, but certain experiences stay with you. They make you a bit wiser, and much more cautious.

 

You hear about other people's experiences with extreme cases like Kathleen Hale who stalked her reviewer online and came to her house. A very unhinged Richard Brittain came to his reviewers work and cracked her head open with a bottle. Author Andrea Smith wrote an entire novel that mocks a particular person that didn't like her work. She even approached the reviewer under a pen name after an already negative review without disclosing who she was. - Both she denies, please feel free to make up your own mind. 

 

A very real question is this. At what point do you get concerned that you might get more than your feelings hurt?

 

I thought that I have seen some hate, backstabbing and vitriol in my days but Benjanun Sriduangkaew's actions have chilled me to the core. I have never, NEVER seen a person focus so much hate at another, for the simplest of reasons such as having their own personal taste that differs from her own. What has left me in a state of absolute shock and disgust was the way she described inflicting seriously horrific torture on people for the crimes of being of a certain race or colour, or having a certain sexual orientation or liking a novel by a particular author. I could literally feel the pleasurable haze that surrounded her in those brutal outbursts as she openly fantasizes on throwing acid in someone's face, genital mutilation, dissection and murder. It made me sick to my stomach. SHE makes me sick to my stomach. At certain points I could see that the response to her rants was completely irrelevant to her as her twisted mind gained momentum and the only thing that truly mattered was the verbal vomit of rage, sulfur and gore that spilled out of her mouth. She openly laments the fact that she cannot be there in person to use a scalpel to butcher someone. What in the everloving fuck?

 

THIS IS NOT FUCKING FUNNY!!! REQUIRES MUCH MUCH THERAPY!!!

 

Criminal psychology has a very interesting take on such behaviour if anybody wants to look it up. This is a woman that is clearly in a desperate need of some help. She is far beyond a troll, she left Troll Town a long fucking time ago and morphed into something only people with a few doctorates can name with absolute certainty. What is most alarming that this is a woman that was nominated for an award and was elevated in a community that has and promotes interaction with readers. People like me and my friends. This is a woman that has had, and still does many platforms as an author to establish herself and draw people in. And nobody has any fucking clue whom they are dealing with...

 

I am so tired of people like this, I am tired of abusers that crawl trough the dirt on their bellies to spit venom at anybody who has the misfortune to be around. I am tired of them striking at unsuspecting people aiming particularly for the most vulnerable. I am tired of watching them cry foul when they are discovered. Nothing gives you the right to belittle someone because they have a favourite author or they have enjoyed a story. Nothing gives you the right to throw your weight around because of your sexuality, race or religion. Nothing gives you the right to mock, ridicule and shame a person for being born where they were, having the parents that they do, or live a lifestyle that suits them. The fact that some people get published doesn't mean they own the language, have any intellectual superiority or moral high-ground to lord over people who have no aspirations in that field and are simply happy to be readers.

 

Benjanun Sriduangkaew supposedly apologized but as far as I have seen is unrepentant. She doesn't address any of her actual victims, rather generalizes the entire thing, placing the blame on someone else, her younger self, her poor poor life, and she is the massive victim of it all and everybody is cruel for not believing her. What Laura J. Mixon did took guts. What other people did to support her took a lot of guts also. This story could have been turned in a completely different way if in fact there wasn't documented evidence of incredible viciousness, cruelty and disturbing elements that came from Benjanun Sriduangkaew herself. There is a line that once crossed, is simply irreversible. I think that people are simply freaked out. The one that doesn't look quite right as children play comes to mind. There has been far too much twisted threats, far to much enjoyment in torture in her actions for people to feel relaxed around her, but that is entirely her fault. If her career is in the shitter, she only has to look into the mirror if she wants someone to blame. I will do my best to warn my friends, and signal boost Mixon and her report. There shouldn't be a place for people like RequiresHate in places where she can hurt other people. You shouldn't be a target because of your hobby. Fuck this.

 

The Last Hour of Gann

The Last Hour of Gann - R. Lee Smith Here's the thing, space-porn is awesome. It's a genre on it's own. A lot of people may laugh, and I imagine do that so many people are jumping all over books that depict humans humping aliens, but what do you expect me to say? We can be a bit pervy as a species.

humans

One thing I didn't expect – is for this book to be this long. And long it was. Over 1K of pages. Yup.... Think on that a minute. For a space porn – that's impressive.

Tell you what else was impressive, the actual novel itself. It was damned good. I liked the writing style, it was elaborate, extremely detailed and not rushed. From the beginning I knew I will abso-fucking-lutely love it and I did.

The story starts told trough the eyes of an older sister taking care of her younger sibling following the death of their mother, who happened to be a registered prostitute. The sisters are destitute, too young to truly help themselves and in desperate need choose the lesser of all evils that can befall them. They volunteer to be the first colonizing force on a far away planet. They would be the pioneers, and clear the way for other colonizers. It is extremely dangerous work, with no guarantees, but the only possible true choice remaining.

The sisters fall asleep in the crio tubes and Murphy takes his law in full effect and simply screws everyone over like the bastard he is. Shit goes terribly wrong and they overshoot their planet, by a couple hundred years. They crash on a planet and soon enough out of fifty thousand people and crew only forty eight remain.

While for the sisters a terrible drama unfolds, we go a bit further away to find that the planet isn't uninhabited as the settlers first thought but a home to a lizard like race. They have their civilization and a set of rules they follow really closely. We go on a journey with Meoraq, a spiritual warrior male to meet his destiny given to him by his god.

This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. It has elements that people could find disturbing, from graphic violence to graphic sexual content.

It seems to me that this was maybe meant to be a series but got published as an omnibus. Still for people like me, who live the not so classic Sci-Fi it's brilliant. I am amazed that it was so well written ( I honestly wasn't expecting that) so it was an amazing bonus. I have to say that because of the length of the novel, I have read it in segments rather than in one go, with a few fillers in between.

This book was friggin amazing and I would recommend it to all people who love Mars Needs Women trope.

Seducing Chaos (Shadow Realm, #1)

Seducing Chaos (Shadow Realm, #1) - Luna Quinn ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

This is a PNR with an extreme emphasis on the R. Romanceeeeee!



The plot carriers are Sasha a soul Reaper, and Razor – a Hellhound no less...
joe manganiello | Tumblr

When they get together there seems to be whole lot of this happening...
tumblr_mgo7v8wcab1rzk2gmo1

This novel was sexually charged in a good way. Unlike the majority of Alpha males put there, you got an insight into his way of thinking and his attraction was very down to earth. There wasn't the abundance of the annoying chest thumping or stupid one liners that assert his dominance, like you find in the most PNR's.

The good thing about this novel was the diversity in characters that opened the world in witch the plot was set. You had a multitude of different creatures with different interests connected to their species that ran parallel to the main story. The bad thing about this novel was the fact you didn't get to experience any of it, just skim on the surface as the majority of the story revolved around Razor and Sasha. And Razor and Sasha seemed to have only one thing on their minds- each other, preferably naked.

I am the type of a person that doesn't tend to go for the novels in witch romance is the main focus. Don't get me wrong I don't mind romance at all, or lots of sex for that matter, just that I like it balanced equally with whatever the main characters want to achieve. The lust was so incredibly strong between Razor and Sasha that every time they were together it overshadowed everything around them until I just wanted to shout at them to get it over with already. I know as well that in this regard, I am the odd one out as it doesn't bother most people as much as me.

The thing i wasn't too enthusiastic about was the names like Razor, Edge and Sin....until i remembered quite a few popular series that i liked with names similar to that. It may raise a few eyebrows at the start but it carries it's own charm at the end.

The supporting cast seems promising and you can see something else that is not as featured in PNR's as much as it should be, really. Cultural and sexual diversity. The story touches on a few hot topics that I was glad to see, such as gender identification, gay characters and an open dialogue on intimacy as a whole. It flows in a way that it doesn't seem forced and the characters aren't going trough unnecessary awkwardness when it comes to unconventional couples. That is something I really, really like. But again there is much more to be discovered.

This is a solid debut for romantic paranormal fiction and a first in series. I would love to say it was completely my cup of tea, but I can't because I am an awkward bastard and somehow manage to rain on people's love parade.



Yah... that pretty much sums me right up....

A Sorceress of His Own (The Gifted Ones Book 1)

A Sorceress of His Own (The Gifted Ones Book 1) - Dianne Duvall When it comes to old English, some writers have the ability to write it in such a way that transports you in time...

Then you have some authors that manage to sound like this...
Squad goals

Nuff said...

Fortune's Pawn

Fortune's Pawn - Rachel Bach I am the shit!

When novels start like that I usually get a book turnoff and run for the hills. I chalk it down to too much badassery delivered to me in forms of cliché riddled PNR heroines that I can't seem to stop reading, that sometimes leave you feeling they just stepped off an assembly line somewhere. They all sound the same. And nine times out of ten the sound sadly translates like this.

spread the word like

Yeah, so once I started reading this I wasn't impressed. I mean there were people out there comparing this to Ann Aguirre's Grimspace series. At the beginning I really couldn't see it. Still though, I continued reading. By the time I hit half of the novel, I was hooked in a weird way. Fortune's Pawn was gripping. The action was good. The plot wasn't as predictable or one dimensional as I originally thought. Still though I didn't know what to think of the leading lady. I found her to be abrupt at moments but as the plot went on I saw that all that bravado from the beginning of the novel is just talk from a passionate soldier, and that she can actually put her money where her mouth is. So basically I started the novel hating her, but at the end t turned out she wasn't that bad Love it when there is a happy ending like that. (I meant for me, not the book)

There were a few hiccups on the way, still nothing so major that it could be devastatingly dangerous for the plot – except for one single, minute thing. The weaponry...

Very believably – the mechanised egzoskeletal armour is all the rage when it comes to military personnel. Devi, being the dedicated, career focused merc that she was has her armour custom made. I mean that thing has it all, 350 degree camera feed, virtually indestructible, grav boots. It's a pretty sweet setup. So how and for the love of God she has about five minutes worth of ammo and weapons? I shit you not, she has a plazma gun that runs out of juice in a few shots, a gun with limited clips, and an uber awesome blade that lasts just under two minutes. So technically if she winds up in a serious fight she's screwed. When dealing with all the human crew, she was kind of banking on people not having as a sophisticated gear she did. For a professional soldier, to leave herself without a solid weapon that offers continuous and reliable fire - it's kind of a dumbass thing to do.

If anything this novel reminded me a little of the series Firefly.


You had the shady captain that's into no good deals, the quirky but loveable mechanic, the cute, weird superpower teen girl that freaks people out, yet everybody was protective of her. The elements weren't overpowering, but they were there none the same.

All in all, this book was very good, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it :).

Hounded

Hounded - Kevin Hearne Here's the thing. Most authors who write fantasy and novels with supernatural elements tend to tiptoe around characters that are supposed to be really old. Not many can pull it off. Human age can be divided into two categories: one – being older and having a severe allergy to stupid, and two – being young and severely stupid. This is not a knock on being young and naïve, it is a beautiful and a magical time where the world looks so endless and good because you don't know it. People would say at those times “The world is your oyster”. And it's true, but also as you get older that oyster begins to stink more and more. It's a natural process.

So when you give me a guy who has seen 21 centuries my brain instantly creates a supporting image.

old guys

But no.

This guy has tattoos and is fluent in the meaningless and shallow one liners that are usually attributed to the witless frat boys, and he behaves in the way of a petulant child.

In one sentence his mouth is full of descriptions of historical events and famous and not so famous mythical creatures and gods he has met. In the other however, he is skeptical in the magic other creatures have and use that is slightly different than his. So you expect me to believe that he has lived for 2100 years and all he has to show for it is a keg stand? Seems legit....



But wait!!!

It would appear that it has both more dragons and more shit! Hooray!

Imagine every folklore everywhere, and I mean worldwide. Imagine all the classic paranormal cliches and all the expected cheese that follows them...you did???

Good!

Welcome to the world of the Iron Druid! This was not a book, this here boys and girls was a tossed salad of Greek mythology, Roman mythology, Irish folklore, Scottish folklore, and everything and anything you can think of. Every big name that had any rumored connection with anything supernatural made an appearance. It left me with a feeling that the author couldn't stick to one thing and make it work for him.

I have heard that this book was bad from a friend of mine a long time ago, I should have listened. I got pulled in by a high rating. This was not an epic fantasy, this was a yard cheese sale.

I can see this novel become a series on some B-rated syfy channel. It has all the elements – the overly fake cheerfulness, the witty banter scripted right of some webpage listing the 101 best one liners, the unresearched fighting scenes that make no sense, such as him stopping a sword that was going to decapitate him with his arm and the blade sank only to the bone. Yup – he blocked a blow that would go trough the incredibly resilient neck tissue and vertebrae with his arm, and his arm was fine. It goes on, and on, and on, and on, zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

The Martian

The Martian - Andy Weir Dayum!!!I know why they decided to make a film out of this. This book was friggin awesome! As you well know it's about a guy who accidentally on purpose gets left behind on Mars. Cause, that can totally happen one day, just wait and see.



I watch a lot of Mythbusters (translation: my husband watches a lot of Mythbusters and he hogs the remote) and have seen a part of the episode where a discussion was had about the new EVA suit that was built for the purpose of filming The Martian. I am sure it was all really interesting (I have no fucking clue what happened as I fell asleep) and that there were a lot of discussions had pertaining to the science that boosted the amount of people reading this book. Well, allow me to tell you that science alone was not the reason I picked up this book. The real reasons are – everyone I've talked to has already read it, and I need to have all the facts so I can annoyingly point them out to people when indeed I do watch the film.

I will tell you from the start, I had my doubts. Hollywood has this certain way of overselling garbage for gold, and I have been slapped in the face many times before with the rotting stench of bad acting and overrated plots to just say, “Oh, hey, lemme be the first to spend my pennies on that book.” So I waited.... and surprisingly, it didn't sink for a change. People seemed to like it. So I bought it.

And oh my God....


You know what, it was worth the wait and most certainly worth the money. Sure, it was extremely technical at times, but you kind of have to be. He's a stranded astronaut,he can't just hitch a ride home on Pegasus' back for fuck's sake. He has to work for it. I have to say that this book surprised me in many elements. It was funny, it was challenging and deeply gripping. I never thought I would be excited about potato farming in any degree, let alone to this extent, and no not in that way you pervs!



I will let you know that being an astronaut is a respectable profession, highly regarded and celebrated everywhere and they are all real smart and nerdy everybody knows nerds don't get laid...

Yeah, that....

That was the one lone problem I had with this book. The stereotyping. There was a reference about the 'nerds' not getting laid in high school when they made a comment about one part of the mission that had a name connected to the Lord of the Rings. I mean, really? What are they, five? Who is the more unattractive person here, the one that understands the literary value of a classic featured in motion picture that made over a billion dollars, or the one too stupid to grasp it? Apparently we can't even have a science based novel without it's airhead cheerleader somewhere...sigh. There were a few other corny stabs at 'nerds' and people who managed to make something else out of their existence except twerking videos, but they didn't translate very well as the scene was set in NASA and you know that even the janitor there has a masters degree to begin with. So basically by making fun of the smart guy, they succeeded in highlighting the fact that they are the dumbass in the room.

Long story even longer – I enjoyed this book, I've loved the plot. It wasn't as depressing as I expected it to be.

SMALL SPOILER ALERT
He dies at the end...

Captured

Captured - Willow Danes In consideration of space porn – I've read better. Much, much better...

The sexy alien guy..???



Check...

Unsuspecting human woman/abductee/lonely chick who hasn't have had sex in ages (why do they always do that?)/ chick who has no more family (and that?)/ chick who lives in a cabin in the middle of nowhere (especially that?)...???



Check....

Plot ???

tumbleweed animated GIF

Er.....

Who would have thought that the most difficult genre to write would be erotica? It's like the authors themselves don't give a shit about what they put in there. Sometimes it's as painful as if somebody is making you to read an actual porn narrative written in purple prose. Hint-hint if you want to make good money – write good scifi erotica – it's rarer than blue diamonds.

Touch of Frost

Touch of Frost - Jennifer Estep I've read this ages ago. I never really processed the book, and the only reason I remembered it is because I've donated my old paperbacks to charity recently.

This type of books were a dime a dozen riding into popularity on a trail of stars like Vampire Academy and the like. Touch of Frost was uninspired, filled with cliche's and tropes. It based it's school for superfreaks on Greek Mythology.

The romance was your classic bad boy meets the unpopular girl, while the mean cheerleader and her cronies conspire against her.

The rest of the plot was so random and unconnected, truth be told – I found the story not worth the paper it was printed on. But hey ho, the kiddies loved it.

Luck in the Shadows

Luck in the Shadows - Lynn Flewelling There is a lot to be said for a fantasy that has an m-m cast. There isn't many around (or more likely I haven't read many), and it was refreshingly lacking the typical hero cliché that usually accompanies such novels, and that would be a young girl at the cusp of adulthood with the classic first kiss complex.

Don't get me wrong I still enjoy my fantasies and their heroes regardless the sex or age, but it seems that the subtle nuances of male attraction did the trick for this one. Not overly intense or sexual. The relationship developed completely naturally witch made it believable and relaxed.



The plot as such was one of the classic fantasy ideas – a small group of people, in this case two on their way to save the world by navigating treacherous waters of scheming royalty.

The world building was sound, and there was enough action, but I found that the only thing standing in my way of completely enjoying the work was the writing. It was as if you could identify the parts in witch the author was struggling and she had to come back and revise. Sometimes I would read a paragraph and have the feeling that it started in one direction but ended in another. It was every time that I stumbled on those paragraphs that they have taken away from the entire reading experience.

Pet peeves I guess.

All in all it was a good read.

The Kiss of Deception

The Kiss of Deception - Mary E. Pearson WARNING! A RAVING RANT AHEAD! DNF on the grounds of the heroine being a BB. (basic bitch)

I am known in my time to DNF a book, but rarely I give up before the hundred mark, but sometimes you pick up a book and this happens:
lol

Definitions of a BB amongst others are:
*-a bum-ass woman who think she the shit but really ain't
*one who has no personality; dull and irrelevant
*Somebody who is boring and unoriginal.

Allow me to expand on that. We open the novel with a girl getting some pretty hot body art in preparation for her wedding. She happens to be a princess – and in a short space of time we are presented with a bucket load of mommy and daddy issues experienced by the heroine that usually seem to accompany children bread for high roles of state. The author is setting the scene. The wedding is imminent, and the princess excuses herself for a moment to freshen up, then grabs her maid and runs away in a most spectacular fashion you could ever possibly thing of. Just out the door and goodbye. Ok, I thought, now we're getting somewhere. Except we weren't...

The princess of her people leaves her wedding day and the fate of her nation in the air because she believes she will to marry a guy that is older than her, like her mother did. What she considers to be a toad. So she considers her daddy – you know the one whose approval was so desperate for a minute ago – a toad. Ok, next. Her Majestic Exellence then proceeds to run away, in her high profiled wedding dress, and her high profiled wedding cloak, witch happens to be encrusted with jewels to a dark forest with no preparations in place whatsoever. By that I mean NONE! Zip, zilch, zero, nada, nix, dust, NONE...


She spends her night in her wedding dress, by a fire basically signalling to the entire world her location with no protection, no skill in defence whatsoever. Anyone who was interested could have easily just came towards the friggin fire.. She spends a total of ten days in her ridiculously open wedding dress and encrusted cloak I think because she had nothing else to wear only to throw it into a thicket of brambles, and uses her dagger to pry the jewels off my wedding cloak and then send the mutilated remains downriver tied to a log. I mean her reasoning for need of money was sound, but then If the cloak was found by anyone who recognized it, I hoped the presumption would be that I had drowned...

Er...in case they conveniently miss that the jewels are missing, and the cloak is TIED to the log.

But then she rides to town...how???Buck ass naked? If she had less conspicuous clothes she wouldn't spend 10 days announcing to the entire world that she's rich, royal and on the run parading in her completely opened backed wedding dress. But now that she ditched it in the brambles, what is she wearing?


Moving on...

On the run she trades loose gemstones and overpays three sapphires to a trader to forget where they came from, and spend a good amount of coin for more silence when they downgraded thoroughbred horses for donkeys. They were going for the inconspicuous by being completely nuts. Sure as hell the random farmer and merchant will not forget the people who overpay for no reason whatsoever, and will value and keep silence on the matter.

Dear sweet lord, the stupid is strong in this one!

And don't forget that all of this happened because she thought that she has to marry an old guy that she doesn't love. Later when she meets the prince in disguise and falls for him it will all be ok. Because he is good looking. God what an absolute shallow moron of a woman. Are you telling me that she in her position couldn't have asked some of her courtiers what her intended looks like all this time? Is she simply that fucking incompetent? Her immature running away temper tantrum that is the unfortunate plot of this novel could have been avoided by asking one simple question...

Uprooted

Uprooted - Naomi Novik I did not expect this book to be this damn good.

hooray

Yay!

It was really detailed and completely engrossing. I loved it. The heroine was incredibly grounded, normal type of person, blundering trough life in a way most of us blunder trough ours, to be honest. I loved her because of that. All of her choices were lucky guesses and chances like we take every single day. There wasn't the surety of absolute badassery, and there wasn't avoidance of emotions either.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE AUTHORS WHO ARE NOT AFRAID OF EMOTIONS

lafayette

I don't know about you, but I am more than fed up of 'ice queen' bitches whose only 'attractive' characteristic is that they are rude and insult everything around them; and that somehow that is supposed to be more than enough for the hero to fall madly in love with her.

I am tired of cheating assholes who like to showcase their emotional inability to cope with the fact that someone stole their teddy when they were five, and now they use the repressed feelings of inadequacy to deal with the situation 'like a man', by inseminating everything that will stay still for seven point two seconds.

Whenever I pick up a book like that I see nothing but fake people who use the most basic of tactics to deflect from the fact that they are insecure as hell, and force everyone else to deal with their problems. That's why I don't like contemporary romance so much.

So when you get something like this, an insight in a young mind that is wholesome, that understands the concept of family, friends, love and devotion, and sees that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being normal, it flows like a fresh breeze. Honestly, normal somehow became abnormal with the current popular culture, and it seems that people aren't really doing much else, except competing to see who has more mental and emotional damage. So kudos to the author, she deserves praise at every chapter.

But I digress...

The novel itself is fast paced and absolutely filled with action, and there is plenty of it to be had. The world building was clever, not too much like some fantasy novels out there, not too little to seem unconnected, but just enough to keep you turning the pages.

I loved the Dragon. I loved the dynamic between him and Agnieszka. Yes sure, he treated her in a cold way, but not in a sexually charged cold way. He genuinely thought she was an idiot....and truth be told, she did very little to dissuade him.

This graceful exit: sheeeaite

Everything that developed between them, happened trough a long period of time, it grew slowly, but naturally and it was awesome to watch.

As the magical villains go, I think the Wood is in top ten faves of all times. There is something truly sinister I think, when you can't put a face on something that is hell bent on killing you. A true evil, that lies within every person, waiting to be let out, rather than a simple guy in spandex wearing a distractingly elaborate hairpiece.

This has been so far a good year for me, book wise. I haven't had many duds. It makes me happy to no end, to see that fantasy is picking up speed. I am aware that there are a handful of authors out there who made it big and inspired more and more people in the genre, and I am glad, as it turns out – there are many very talented authors out there, and in a world filled with magic, not even the sky is the limit.

Solitary

Solitary - Alexander Gordon Smith I have to be honest, I've been on a bit of a binge. I inhaled “Lockdown” and “Solitary” in one day.

It has left me on a downer, though. Smith writes such brilliantly gritty stuff, that I know that the chances of seeing Furnace in any other format except written are slim to none at best. I mean there is so much high quality entertainment in books that slowly trough past few years TV kind of lost it's meaning. Truth be told, it never offered much anyway, but I lost the taste for the watered down Hollywood/Disney version of puppetry they throw at us.

Every single book, every single novel I liked that Hollywood got it's greasy mitts on they've ruined. Why? Because suits that run diagnostics that include moral code, target viewers and god knows whatnot. Tits, ass, heroes and villains that are really good guys deep down are the only things that sell.

Yeah well, Smith writes about things that go bump in the night. He writes about kids doing crimes, parents that turned their backs on them. No absolution from sin, just a new day ahead. Truth be told, authors like this bring more to entertainment than thousands of reality shows and HEA's out there. Because life isn't about do-overs, people aren't good or evil, they are both all the time; the only difference is witch button you push, and are you at the right place at the wrong time. The first few chapters of “Lockdown” say it all. How easy a few wrong choices can impact a person's life, how quickly are we to simply judge. Do something evil, and automatically all your life is evil, everything you ever did was wrong, and your future holds nothing but wrongness ahead.

Ah, the super-inflated human morality and the rancid stench that it spreads over the society gets me every time. Although Alex made some crappy choices, he is not a bad guy. He was a kid, he was stupid and he paid his dues. Even with the monstrosities running around, even with such imaginable cruelty and child abuse depicted in his stories,Smith manages to create a better morally charged story than most of the series shown on TV. Go figure that.

It has acceptance of self, rather than seeking approval of self in the eyes of others. It has a focus on true bonds of friendship, not just fair-weather smiles and popularity. It focuses on rebuilding of broken things rather than simply finding a replacement. It has human contact in all it's imperfect glory, where people are people who make mistakes and grow; they are not just facades on imaginary platforms that cater to hordes of imaginary pilgrims.

At the very first glance, you would think that stuff like this isn't really what people expect to find in a dystopian horror story, but think about it – life sets us up in prisons of our own making, provides our own unique hells to test us and see could we overcome it, escape, survive. In the darkest hour you really know what you're made of, and who your true friends are. No matter where you live, if you are rich or poor, color of your skin, none of it matters. It's something that is universally true and everyone can relate to.

That's why, honestly, I am disappointed when I realize that books like this have a hard time landing an audience, even harder getting a fully supported platform.

Not all of my feelings are lovey dovey about this novel, either. It was action packed from beginning to the end, a style that Smith seems to have and I adore. I hate it when you pick up a book and find about a hundred pages of nothing before some real action starts. It's like watching a soap opera – a character sets the kettle to boil – a month later you have a cup of coffee. The world building offers more clues about Furnace, but you still don't know it all. Kids live, kids die, kids disappear...some of them even come back.