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So uh… I went to another library sale | Book Haul #17

As the title says, I went to another one. πŸ˜› Aaaaand there’s yet another one nearby this coming weekend. I’m going to try really hard to stay away, haha.

But I got a lot of books – some from that sale, some from Half Price Books, some bought out-right. πŸ˜› Heeeeere we go.


IMG_20170517_190456_404

So, each one of these I’m very excited for…. and each one of these (aside from the ones I’ve already read, will likely take me a while to get to. I’ve reached the ‘I realize I have a problem’ epiphany. So I’m going to uh… attempt a ban? I guess? I’m not sure how I wanna go about it yet. I’ve done the read-5-buy-1 and it didn’t stick, I’ve gone cold turkey and it didn’t stick… so I’m not sure how to go about it, hyuck. Do let me know if you have any ideas that will be easier on my very undisciplined self-discipline. πŸ˜›

But if you’ve been planning on reading any of these, do let me know. :”D I’d love to do a buddy read!

 
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Posted by on 05/17/2017 in Book Haul, Books, Uncategorized

 

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The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb | Blabber

The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
850 pages, mass market paperback
Read Feb 23 – May 7, 2016
Book two in the Liveship Traders trilogy
Spoilery Blabber

“Tomorrow owes you the sum of your yesterdays. No more than that. And no less.”

Every time I read a Robin Hobb book – this is the fifth one I’ve buzzed through now – I get an emotional hangover. This series in particular, I’d even call it an emotional flu.

Since this is a spoilery blabber, I’m going to assume if you’re here you’ve either read it already or don’t care about being spoiled. I’m also going to assume you already know the premise of the series. I’m also going to just write a bunch of thoughts out – this is not a ‘coherent review’. πŸ˜›

This book picks up where the last left off – the returning characters are just as despicable and wonderful as before. I grew to like characters I disliked before… and really really hate characters I already hated. Hah.

So the main theme of this book is obviously character development. Sorely, sorely needed character development. And it was wonderful.

Robin Hobb is really good at writing awful characters. I don’t mean awful as in badly written, I mean awful as in I hate them. They feel like real people but they are not people I would get along with. Kennit for instance. That bastard. Never have I despised a character so much that I actually would get angry while reading from their POV. If that isn’t a well-designed character then I don’t know what is.

I hope in book three, Kennit gets knocked down a few pegs. Seriously. So far he’s managed to manipulate Etta, Vivacia and now even Wintrow to his will. Gaaah I want someone to see through his bullshit so badly. He needs good, solid punch to the face.

Another character that went through a lot of character development, but in a positive direction instead of negative was Malta. It’s unfortunate that the loss of her father was what had to trigger it, but it really woke her up to the world around her. Towards the end of the book especially, I really loved her. Her snaps at the satrap were just fantastic. (I hate him too, so it was lovely). It was such a complete turn-around from her character in the first book, which seriously irritated me. I like Reyn too – he’s a decent fella.

This book I noticed spent about as much time away from the liveships as it did with them – about half the POVs weren’t anywhere near the water – it really lent to the largeness of the plot and all of the interesting subplots that I know are going to come together in book three. I seriously liked this book, especially towards the end. I reached an ‘AHHHHH’ moment and kinda buzzed through the ending (after…. taking a two day break to finish my coding project. You have NO IDEA how hard it is to reach the AHHHH part in a book and then put it down to do important schooly things, bleh)

All the subplots are starting to wind together at this point – we now know why it kept jumping to a bit of eel-y things in the water and why some of them seem sentient and others don’t. There’s a dragon flyin’ around and Paragon, darling Paragon, has developed a sense of multiple selves. Paragon I think is my favorite character in this series – he’s just so amusing, I wanna hug him. Granted, he’d likely either punch me in the face or cry hysterically or hug me back. It would really be up in the air. I think that’s why I like his character so much – he’s so out of character all the time that everything is in character. It’s neato. :”D

I will say though – and it’s a thing that I mentioned above – that this book is tiring. It’s so emotionally saturated that it becomes a chore to read it. Not because it’s bad, but because just so much heavy stuff happens to the Vestrit family, I kinda get worn out just reading about it, yeesh.

Rating: 4/5 stars


So yes, overall I dug this book. Made me feel droopy though. And my thoughts, as you can see, aren’t really coherent, hence a spoilery blabber instead of a non-spoilery review. :”D I’m thinking I”ll do a trilogy review on the whole thing once I finish the third book – that one will spoiler-free and more uh… readable instead of a bunch of tangent-thoughts, hawhaw.

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 05/09/2017 in Books, Review

 

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May Currently Reading | ’17

Hello it’s May! πŸ˜€ That means it’s not April! That means my project is over! I know I’ve been yapping about this damn thing for months, BUT I’M JUST SO HAPPY IT’S OVER OH MY GOODNESS.

And now on to what I’m currently reading! πŸ˜€


The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)I’m the closest to finishing this one out of any of them – less than 100 pages left! And it’s getting preeeetty intense, man. This one is a buddy read with Zezee :”D We’ve been slowly tackling all of Hobb’s books for a while now – it’s fun!

I have a weird love-hate relationship with Hobb’s books. I really like everything I’ve read from her, but reading her books just takes so much out of me emotionally, man. It’s draining.

 

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Gene: An Intimate HistoryThis one is being listened to on audio. I’ve been slipping with this one lately though – I find that if I’m under stress *cough*project*cough* I just wanna blast Scandanavian power metal on the way to work instead of listening to science. But now that stress is gone, science it is. :”D

 

 

Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting by Ed Greenwood

Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (Forgotten Realms)This one has been and likely will continue to be on my currently reading list for a while – it’s a ‘about’ book for a dungeons and dragons setting – not exactly something you binge, haha. I’m enjoying it though – it’s allowing me to flesh out the background of my character nicely. πŸ˜€

 

 

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)GUYS. I’VE BEEN WAITING TO READ THIS BOOK FOR FOREVER. I finished the second one last month and have been waiting to pick this up until after I had finished my coding project – I knew if I picked it up before that I would never finish the code, haha. So I made it my reward to myself for finishing. πŸ˜€

I’M LOVING IT SO FAR, BY THE WAY.

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)I’m totally on this train now, peeps. I wasn’t for the loooongest time. And then I read the first book and found it to be decent if not a bit unhealthy and then the second one was so much better (except the word ‘sheathing’ was used too much). And this third one – I’m rather digging it so far. It’s definitely highlighted some goods and bads about the book, but I’ll get to those in the blabber I write about the thing when I’m done with it. Because there will definitely be a blabber, yo.

So far I’ve figured out the wings bit, but still am clueless about the ruin bit.

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And that’s it! I hope to finish at least a few of these before picking up more. Five books at once is a looooot. Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 05/05/2017 in Books, Currently Reading

 

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Top 5 fantasy and sci-fi cover arts

Top 5 Wednesday

Image result for hump day wop wop

Hello it’s Wednesday Thursday!! And it’s the first Wednesday Thursday since January where I didn’t have the looming knowledge of YOU’RE BEHIND IN YOUR CODING PROJECT EMILY YOU SHOULDN’T BE WRITING A POST floating in the back of my mind. Guess who has two thumbs and has finished the project. ME. YEAH.

So back to books and my overly loud excitement about them.

This week’s topic is cover arts for science fiction and fantasy. Sounds lovely!! πŸ˜€ If you’d like to participate in T5W, here is the link to the group!


Okay so: I’ve come up with seven covers that are grabbing my attention. Instead of doing a tiered-top-five, I’m just going to list all seven in no particular order because all these covers are lovely. πŸ˜€

Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein

This book was a cover-buy for me. I had no idea what it was about, nor had I heard of it before I saw it sitting on the shelf. A purchase like this has happened exactly two times in my life, the other being listed below. I can’t get over how pretty this book is. I mean sure, the dust jacket is okay I guess, but the actual book underneath it? Gorgeous πŸ˜€

saturn run

Iron Angel and Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell

Campbell is one of this weird-steampunk-fantasy authors and I dig everything I’ve read by him. I totally recommend The Deepgate Codex, by the way, Iron Angel being the second book in that series.

Iron Angel (Deepgate Codex, #2)Sea of Ghosts (The Gravedigger Chronicles, #1)

The Fold by Peter Clines

This is that other cover-buy I mentioned. I feel like images of it online don’t do it justice. It’s just so PRETTY in real life. The cover is textured, it’s shiny, the fold going down the middle of the page pops out to the eye. It’s lovely! And the book itself is really good too :”D

The Fold

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The art in this entire book is lovely. The cover just showcases it. :”D

A Monster Calls

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

I picked this one because if I mentioned recently in my blabber that this cover, while rather lovely, is super poignant. It describes the tone of the book so well that I had just to throw it in here. It’s super suave.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Rook by Sharon Cameron

When I read Rook last year or two ago, I gave it a three star rating. Every time I’ve mentioned it since, it always confuses me why I gave it a 3, not a 4. I’m thinking pacing? But at this point, all I remember is loving the setting and the characters, haha. This cover is rather lovely, I think. :”D

Rook


And that’s it for this week! Happy reading. :”D

 
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Posted by on 05/04/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson | Blabber

The Traitor Baru CormorantThe Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
Read Feb 7 – Apr 19, 2017
Geopolitical Fantasy
399 pages
Spoiler-free blabber


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“This is the truth. You will know it because it hurts.”

The Traitor Baru Cormorant is a book that you’ll either love or you’ll hate. A geopolitical fantasy set in a land controlled by a distant empire, it follows Baru, a young woman whose home is made victim of the power that empire holds. As a child, she vows revenge for her country and her family, and sets herself to tear down the nation from within.

The cover of this book, while striking on its own, is one of the most poignant covers I’ve seen when it comes to conveying the tone of a book. As a reader, you follow Baru as she enters into the realm of the enemy, manipulates her way through by cold, calculating precision. The main character is a savant for accounting, numbers, tactics. She plants herself in the middle of a rivalry of dukes, all of whom are overshadowed by the looming Masquerade, the empire that controls them all.

This is my first experience reading fantasy where the only thing fantastical about it is the names of the countries. No magic, no creatures… just a world different from ours, under a type of control that is eerily resonant at times. The Empire of Masks rules over the duchies of Aurdwynn and has imposed upon them their own rules, including those of ‘racial hygeine’.

Under the Mask, marriages must be genetically beneficial and those lands who participate ‘unhygienic practices’ must be accounted for and corrected. Baru comes from such a place – the story begins with her at home, Taranoke, living with her mother and two fathers. The Mask sweeps into Taranoke, one of Baru’s fathers is taken away and Baru herself is placed in a learning facility to learn to stay away from anything The Mask deems as sinful: sodomy, tribadism, genetically inferior breeding… all of these, The Mask seeks to eliminate by whatever means necessary.

Throughout this process, she remembers what the Mask did to her home and family.

This is one of those books that lulls you into a false sense of security, allows you to believe that you understand what’s going on and then yanks the rug out from underneath you. You see Baru’s mind as she forms plots and plans to best manipulate those around her to achieve her goal of reclaiming Taranoke. You read, you see the awfulness the Mask has created and you root for Baru… but at the same time…

The author, Seth Dickinson, is a bit of a wordsmith, but his writing style alone for this book is a tad strange. Told from Baru’s point of view, it goes into battles and hidden politics that Baru herself doesn’t see, so you as the reader sometimes only get descriptions of occurrences instead of actually seeing those occurrences through scenes. It definitely took me a bit to get into – the writing at times adopts the ‘tell’ method instead of the ‘show’, but it does that because it’s what Baru herself experiences. The writing becomes a bit more showy later in the book when Baru starts witnessing events herself, but early on it is a bit mechanic. Don’t let that dissuade you though. The endgame is totally worth the wait.

But I mentioned Dickinson being a wordsmith, and then went into mechanical writing. Whoops. The reason I mention his way with words though is because despite the overall writing at times being bit difficult, there are so many beautiful phrases and memorable quotes littered throughout the book. About half way through, I started keeping track of them and had to go back and poke through the ealier pages to find more:

β€œFreedom granted by your rulers is just a chain with a little slack.”

β€œHer fury had nothing else to eat and so it began to eat her.”

β€œUnderstood what the books and the generals always repeated: that armies did not kill each other, they broke each other, that the day would be won when one army believed it could not survive. A matter of deception, of conviction, of lies made true through performance. Like everything else.”

And there are so, so many more. Reading this book at times is like reading poetry made into war and betrayal. I really loved this book, despite my small gripes with the writing. It’s thought-provoking, it’s complex, it’s poignant…

And that bolded phrase at the top of this review? It’s the opening line to the book. And really, it’s the most perfect line that could have been there. At the end of the book, you’ll flip back to the front and just stare at that opening line for a while, thinking about what you just read. I know I did.

Rating: 5/5 stars

 
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Posted by on 04/19/2017 in Books, Review

 

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Fantasy Bingo 2017 Possible Picks | Fifth Row

Happy Easter!! πŸ˜€ I hope everyone has a lovely day today. Today I’m posting the last of my ‘possible picks’ things for r/Fantasy’s 2017 Bingo Sheet. For the reddit announcement page, click here. And here are also my posts on: my original announcement post, first row, second row, third row and fourth row picks.

Onto the fifth and final one now.


Quick reminder as to what the sheet looks like:

  • Fantasy novel featuring seafaring

The Edge of the World (Terra Incognita, #1)I’m thinking either continuing with Robin Hobb’s series and sticking Mad Ship or Ship of Destiny in here. Another possibility could be At the Edge of the World by Kevin J Anderson. Considering Hobb’s books could fit into other categories, I must just go with the Anderson one.

 

 

  • Subgenre: Steampunk

Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2)The only ‘steampunk’ books I think I own that I haven’t read yet are the first two books in the Parasol Protectorate series… I’ve listed Soulless for another category already, so maybe Changeless for this one? I don’t know. I might pick up a book or two in the meantime for this series – not even the rec thread is helping me out for this one, haha.

Also, if any of you need a book for this category, read Scar Night by Alan Campbell. I’ve already read it or I would’ve just picked that one, haha.

  • Five Fantasy Short Stories

I’m gonna have to scour the internet for this one. I’m sure I’ll find some. If anyone knows of any websites hosting short fiction, do tell me. I’m rather unaware of stuff like this.

  • Novel by an author from an r/fantasy Author Appreciation post

This is likely going to be a square that I’ll have to buy or borrow a book for. This list of qualifying authors is here and honestly I don’t have a single book by any of them, haha. So much for being prepared, Emily. If any of the authors are ones you recognize, shoot me a suggestion, would ya?

  • Getting to old for this crap: Fantasy novel featuring an older (50+) protagonist

The Buried GiantThere are two I could read for this one, though one of those is technically sci-fi and not fantasy… but whatevs. That would be Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. The other, most fantasy-ish choice is The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’m leaning towards picking up the latter over the former, just because it’s more fantasy than the first. But we’ll see.


OKAY THAT’S IT. I MADE A TBR FOR ALL TWENTY-FIVE SQUARES, DAMMIT. NOW I JUST GOTTA READ THE BLASTED THINGS.

 
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Posted by on 04/16/2017 in Books, TBR, Uncategorized

 

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Fantasy Bingo Possible Picks | Fourth Row

Almost done! Just one more row after this one.

If you’d like to learn more about r/Fantasy’s 2017 Bingo sheet, click my original post on the subject or the direct link to the announcement thread. And if you’re curious, here are my first, second and third row possible picks.

Here’s a reminder of what the card for this year looks like:

And here are my possible picks for the fourth row:

  • Sequel: Not the first book in the seriesQueen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

There are so many possibilities for this one. Just skimming through my ‘owned’ shelf on goodreads helped me form this tentative list:

And many of these have additional sequels to them, so if I end up using a particular one for another category instead, I can always just use the next book along for this square.

  • Novel by an r/Fantasy AMA Author of Writer of the Day

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)Here is a link to the past AMA Authors. Not sure where to find a list of Writers of the Day though. So if you find one, do tell me. The one that sticks out to me the most at the moment is Susan Dennard, author of Truthwitch, a book I purchased a couple months or so ago and have been meaning to read. So hey, there you go. :”D

 

  • Subgenre: Fantasy of Manners

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)I had to go into the recs thread for this one. I had no idea what a Fantasy of Manners was… πŸ˜›

I’m thinking I’ll pick up Soulless by Gail Carriger, The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan or I might even reread His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, since it’s been nearly a decade since I last read it. Not sure yet what I’ll do, but this list gives me a good start.

  • Fantasy novel featuring dragons

The HobbitHah. Two of the above could count for this one, too. His Majesty’s Dragon and The Memoirs of Lady Trent. I’m also super tempted to pick up The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien… I haven’t read it yet and I know that it’s ‘one of those books’. I’m thinking bout picking it up on audio though. I’ve heard having it read to you makes the experience more magical, haha.

 

  • Subgenre: New Weird

EmbassytownI see ‘New weird’ and my brain screams China Mieville. I’ve read a total of one of his books so far… though I own a good amount by now. I could either read The Scar, which is the companion sequel to Perdido Street Station, Kraken, Embassytown… I think I own one or two more but I can’t think of them at the moment. So yes, one of those.

 


And that’s it for row four. The next day or two will have row five done with, and then you won’t have to see me gooing about this thing ’til the end of the month during my April Wrap Up. :”D Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 04/15/2017 in Books, TBR

 

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