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Inuyasha: The Final Act | Anime Blabber

https://i.imgur.com/k43iS8F.jpg

Today I’m doing a post of a different flavor: an anime blabber. I had stated a few months ago that I was going to start breaking out of the mold a bit concerning what I post about, and this is the first attempt at that.

Inuyasha: The Final Act

  • 26 episodes
  • Continuation of anime series Inuyasha (167 episodes)
  • Historical/Portal Fantasy
  • Rated T+
  • Originally aired in 2009
  • Watched April-May 2018, English dub

Spoil-free blabber
(Though spoilery if you’ve never seen the original Inuyasha)

MyAnimeList Synopsis: InuYasha: The Final Act is a continuation of the anime Inuyasha, which follows Kagome Higurashi, a fifteen-year-old girl whose normal life ends when a demon drags her into a cursed well on the grounds of her family’s Shinto shrine. Instead of hitting the bottom of the well, Kagome ends up 500 years in the past during Japan’s violent Sengoku period with the demon’s true target, a wish-granting jewel called the Shikon Jewel, reborn inside of her. After a battle with a revived demon accidentally causes the sacred jewel to shatter, Kagome enlists the help of a young hybrid dog-demon/human named Inuyasha to help her collect the shards and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Joining Kagome and Inuyasha on their quest are the orphan fox-demon Shippo, the intelligent monk Miroku, and the lethal demon slayer Sango. Together, they must set aside their differences and work together to find the power granting shards spread across feudal Japan and deal with the threats that arise.

Both The Final Act and the original Inuyasha series are based on the manga of the same name. The original series, which spans 167 episodes, ends prematurely, not finishing out the plot of the manga. The Final Act picks up where the original left off and continues the manga plot until the end.

Inuyasha was one of my gateway animes, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I first started watching it when I was 15 years old, back when it was first debuting on Adult Swim back in 2005. It had begun airing originally in 2002 in the US and finished in 2006, so I caught on a bit late but was able to see the finale as it was released. As stated above, it followed a fifteen year old girl and as I was fifteen at the time, I totally loved it.

After the series finished up and I realized it wasn’t going to actually finish out the plot, I hunted down the manga and read the ending of it that way. After that, I never actually went back to watch The Final Act when it aired. So when I watched it now at 27, obviously I needed to buzz through the original seven seasons and four movies of Inuyasha first in preparation. It was totally worth it. It slowed down my reading of books, but it was time very well spent in my opinion.

The Final Act in my opinion had a different feel to it than the original series did. It wasn’t a huge difference, but it was there. It didn’t feel as involved, if that makes sense, but very rushed instead. I know that the manga that it was covering per episode was a lot more than the original series had done, so it definitely skimmed over or skipped things in the name of plot progression. Personally, I think it could have done with another large series to finished out the manga – there was enough plot left for sure to do it.

It did cover all the major bases though from what I remember, so overall it was rather enjoyable. Watching it was being a teenager again, minus the whole one episode per week at midnight on Saturdays, thing. I was able to watch it at my own pace whenever convenient, which was nice. The discs themselves (I bought the DVD set) were pretty good quality and had nice art on the front of each. Every time I switched to the next disc though I got a bit sadder, since I knew the end of the series was coming closer.

One of the major things I noticed watching this time around was my opinion of the characters – I was definitely a Kagome fan when I first watched it but this time around, not so much. I didn’t dislike her by any means but a lot of the drama she had to endure was kind of her own doing. She had the romantic rival Kikyo (who I disliked originally but seriously liked this time around) and the whole time I’m shaking my head like ‘why are you doing this to yourself. You can totally just walk away’. So I was a lot less sympathetic towards her romantic endeavors and hang ups. Inuyasha as well irritated me, but at the same time, I could better understand his emotional ties to Kikyo and his difficulty in severing them.

But I have to say… watching this as an adult and having been through a series of relationships, seeing all the romantic relationship dynamics in this show just screamed unhealthy to me. There was obvious border-line cheating via flirtation (which is or isn’t, depending on a couples’ boundaries but obviously half the party involved wasn’t a huge fan in the show), there was a lot of yelling and name calling, and the ‘sit’ commands that Kagome gives Inuyasha, while funny to me as a teen I couldn’t help but see as abusive now, especially when Kagome would give a command out of anger. Occasionally she’d do it to pull Inuyasha out of the way of getting injured… but most of the time she was just pissed at him. Wasn’t a great message and I couldn’t really ignore how uncomfortable it made me. Sooo… can’t say I was really a fan of aaaany of the relationships in the series. I feel like all four of the characters involved in their respective situations needed to do a lot of maturing… except maybe Sango. She seemed pretty good most of the time.

And Sesshomaru was still…. Sesshomaru, haha. Though he was a lot more talkative in this series than he was in the last. It almost felt out of character for him, honestly. But it made a lot of the fanfiction I read as a teen more believable, I suppose. He was in the series a lot more, too – I think he was in 22 or 23 of the 26 total episodes. And as he was and still is my favorite character, I wasn’t complaining. He and Rin being he and Rin was adorable and I lived for any scenes with the two of them together. I feel like those two are one of my favorite non-romantic dynamics I’ve come across. They’re always so cute. Jaken too I took a shine to – though I noticed that literally nobody is nice to him except Rin, which is kinda sad. No wonder the poor little thing is irritable a lot of the time. I feel like Jaken and I could be bros.

The plot in this, while rushed, as pretty good. I feel like Naraku just needed a hug though, honestly. I feel like sooo much could have been avoided if someone had just been like ‘no it’s okay gimme hug come here’. Naraku is probably one of my favorite characters too, but he was almost comically villainous at times, it was amusing. And seeing the plot finalize in the anime like it did in the manga was just so satisfying to see after being a fan of the show for over a decade. I feel like I got closure.

So overall, I enjoyed watching this series, and the time I spent rewatching the original to watch this one too was quite enjoyable.

4/5 stars

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Posted by on 05/13/2018 in Review, Television

 

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The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson | Series Blabber

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception
The Heart of Betrayal
The Beauty of Darkness

Spoilery Blabber

I feel like this trilogy suffers from the opposite of second book syndrome. Instead of being the worst, the second book in my opinion is by far the best of the three.

The Kiss of Deception starts out with the main character, Lia, running away from an arranged marriage, and is soon pursued by the prince whom she was to marry, and an assassin sent by another land. The book is told in three perspectives – Lia’s, the Prince’s and the Assassin’s, and for the first book, you don’t know who is who. You can’t tell which of the two men is out to kill her and which is there to try to win her over.

It was a very interesting concept, even though I knew it would come with the caveat of a love triangle, and lo and behold, it did. I mean, of course both the prince and the assassin would be late-teens, both good looking and both caught off guard at how ‘different she is than they thought she would be’. I mean go figure, right.

So my gripes with the love triangle aside, the first book was a rather solid opening to the trilogy. It had a bit of world building and some minor character development to boot. Lia though, was flat for me after the first book, and she would remain that way for me through the second with minor improvements and then finally flesh out a bit more during the third.

So the first book I ended up giving a 3/5 stars because of my lack of investment in the characters. The world was cool, but the characters… eh.

The Heart of Betrayal was next and in my opinion is a good bit better. The characters flesh out a bit and the setting gets so much cooler. So Lia and whathisface are walking around right, and they come across this ruin with a guy’s head in it. And it’s obviously Abraham Lincoln’s head from the Lincoln Memorial. So utterly buried, Washington D. C. exists in this world. That means this is a regressed future Earth. HOW COOL IS THAT?! I love books like that! And as the book continued, more and more little hints of the setting are revealed an the map itself is a huge clue – imagine the USA after the polar ice caps melt. Same thing right?! Ahhhh it’s so cool. <33

And the Komizar is probably one of my favorite characters – he’s such a bastard. I think he’s what made me like the second book so much. He actually had personality. That and the revealed setting gave this book a 4/5 stars, which is the highest rating I gave the entire series.

And then came the third book, The Beauty of Darkness, which is many peoples’ favorite book and unfortunately not mine, not by a long shot. The best thing about this book, I will give it, is that the love triangle basically disappears. And I was very happy with who ended up with whom. That I did like. It’s not often a love triangle ends up the way I want it to. It’s nice to see my ship actually set sail and flourish. I was so happy (despite the fact that the characters still weren’t totally drawing me in). I mean the characters had definitely developed a bit but honestly I still didn’t really care much for them.

But what really killed this book for me, this 700 page book, was the last 50 pages. So like, they’re building up to this war, right. This huge war that they’re going on and on and on about, that they’re trying to prevent for the entire 700 pages… and like… it’s just so anti-climatic.

Ok so the Komizar gets there and just happens to have the remaining two kids from the second book that Lia couldn’t take with her and wow wow, they’re saved super quick. And then after fretting for 200 pages about how smart, tactical and manipulative the Komizar is, about how he’ll outsmart everyone… Lia totally guesses exactly where he’ll show up.

And then on top of that, for some reason, she has to climb this hill to speak to the people… the people that had been hearing her talk for months and months and had still decided to go to war against her. And she gets up there to give this life changing speech that will change their lives and we don’t even get to read the speech. Really. The book was like ‘And I told them about how things should be’. Like really. This speech, which apparently convinces One hundred twenty thousand people, we don’t even get to know the contents of aside from ‘I told them about this thing’. And then this eighth-of-a-million large group of people who all somehow heard her over the chaos of war simultaneously drop their weapons and effing give in.

War over.

BUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHY BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE SAID.

To me, it was like she was just talking more about what she had already yapped about when she was in Venda! What was so different about it now that it changed one hundred thousand people’s minds all at once?!

And then boom, two chapters of aftermath and the book is over.

Goodness gracious I hated that ending.

So this book got a 3.5/5 stars from me but after typing this all out I feel like that might have been a bit high.


So yeesh. The plot devices in this book were terrible, the characters were flat, but the setting was super, super cool and I loved it.

So this series was ok I guess. I mean, read it if you like YA Fantasy, you’ll probably enjoy it. But if you want something with a bit more uh… oomph, I don’t know, man.

 
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Posted by on 05/06/2018 in Books, Review

 

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Elantris by Brandon Sanderson | Graphic Audio Blabber

Elantris (Elantris, #1)Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Fantasy
622 pages
Graphic Audio format
Listened Jan 12 – Mar 17, 2018
Spoiler-free blabber

This blabber specifically pertains to the graphic audio format of the book.

Elantris is Brandon Sanderson’s first published work, and seeing as I had never read him before, I figured I’d start at the beginning. I had heard that if you didn’t start there, that when you eventually went back to it, you wouldn’t like it as much as if you had begun there. Apparently Sanderson’s ‘new writer-ness’ shows in this book that he later corrects in other books. Therefore I decided to follow that advice to give myself the biggest chance of liking this book.

Well, I can see why this advice exists. The writing isn’t bad – don’t get me wrong. It’s just a bit rough at times with vocabulary, dialogue and plot devices. It definitely shows a lot of potential but it’s obvious why people suggest starting Sanderson’s work with this novel if his other books are written better.

In addition to that, I listened to the graphic audio of this book. If you haven’t listened to a graphic audio of a book before, it’s a bit different than your typical audiobook. The slogan of the graphic audio company is ‘Like a Movie in Your Mind’ and honestly they pull that off pretty well. There’s your basic narrator, but there’s also a voice for each character, there are sound effects like battles and doors closing and laughing and all sorts of stuff. It really sounds like you’re just watching a movie with your eyes closed. Instead of the narrator saying, “Character said,” and then having the character take over, the character just takes over. The supplemental writing to get into character dialogue is removed so it sounds more movie-like. Also small actions like ‘The door closed’ are removed from the writing to be replaced by the sound of a door closing. It’s really cool and really captivating.

That said, there were a couple of drawbacks, but they were specific to my preferences in audio books:

  • The sound effects made it so listening at a higher speed was impossible. I usually listen between 1.2 and 1.5 times normal speed, but the sounds all mashed together and I couldn’t discern dialogue from narration from background noise. So 1x speed it was.
  • During action scenes, the sounds of swords clashing and people screaming drowned out the narrator. He faded into the background and I had to really concentrate to catch his words. This made listening in the car (where I do most of my listening) difficult, as I’d have the battle scene noises plus driving noises to contend with to hear the narrator. So that’s why it took me so long to listen to – I had to do all my listening outside of commuting to work.

So aside from the technical difficulties I had actually listening to the thing, I really liked this format. And I know they go for ‘movie’ but with this book in particular it sounded more like a video game. In the beginning with the main character Raoden gets put into Elantris, he finds a guide and goes around asking about things – it sounded like a tutorial level of a video game. It was rather neat and it made the experience amusing.

So about the actual book: for the most part I liked it. I think this book lacks characterization, though. I didn’t really care about any of the characters. Sure they had personalities, but they were more told than shown, if that makes sense. Sarene was ‘smart and crafty’ but I knew that because they made a big deal about her faking dumb when ‘she was actually really smart and crafty’. Y’know? Like, it was weird. Raoden’s personality was a bit more fleshed out, but otherwise all the other characters to me were a bit one-dimensional.

The plot overall was pretty neat though – I liked the idea of this mysterious power that had destroyed a city some time ago and the remainder of its citizens reduced to nothing but a festering resemblance of what they used to be. The concept was fascinating and the execution was pretty good too. I tell ya what though, I wasn’t a fan of the action scenes, and I can’t tell you if it was because of the writing or the difficulty I had with listening. They seemed a bit clunky to me. There was a lot of ‘and then this happened and then this happened and then this happened’ coupled with ‘also this plot thing happened just at the right time’ – this last one wouldn’t have been so bad if the narrator wouldn’t have then said stuff like, ‘and it had perfect timing’ or ‘suddenly this happened and it was good because blah de blah’. See what I mean about the writing being clunky?

So, considering all the hype that Sanderson has, this book was okay. I feel like I will like his other works better and maybe I’ll come to appreciate this one more in the long run.

3.5/5 stars

 
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Posted by on 03/18/2018 in Books, Review

 

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The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks | Blabber

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks
The Lightbringer series, Book 3
846 pages
Hardcover/audio book
Read Feb 16, 2017 – Jan 12, 2018
Spoilery blabber

This series just keeps getting better and better.

I first read The Black Prism, book one in this series, a year ago – it made my top books of 2017 list, as did its sequel, The Blinding Knife. And while it took me nearly a year to read this one too, that didn’t mean I loved it any less. This series is one that I savor. I actually ended up restarting this book half way through, which is why it took me so long. I originally was reading a physical copy, but I missed the narrator’s interpretation: Simon Vance does a spectacular job narrating this audio book. He’s just fantastic. He hooked me onto following narrators, like, looking for books narrated by a person, and then listening to that book specifically for that voice. I looooove Simon Vance’s voice. So as I said, I savor this series while I read it. It’s just so delicious and wonderful and I wanna be in it forever.

My favorite thing about this series is the magic system and how it’s incorporated so very deeply into the economy, the government and the well-being of pretty much everyone. Being able to draft luxin is probably the most marketable and influential skill one could have – even if they were complete shit at everything else, being able to draft a bit of blue or a bit of red would feed them and likely their families as well. It’s just fascinating.

And my second favorite thing is the cast of characters. All of them, whether I love them or hate them, they’re good characters. Like Kip for instance – he went through a lot of character development in this book. He went from being somewhat unsure of himself but slowly getting there, to a leader of a group, smoochin’ girls and feeling sure of himself. Leading accidental revolutions! Killin’ people! Kip is a good egg.

john nobleAlso, Andross Guile is a right git, man. I love him. He’s such a bastard  I think what makes him so wonderfully awful is that in his mind, he thinks he’s doing what’s right. Like, his driving force behind his actions is the desire to see his country run in a way that would bring peace. And I mean, technically, it will, but like… that’s a lot of lives, man. He’s so intelligent, so manipulative, always one step ahead of basically everyone else. I love him, but I wanna through a brick at his head. Augh he’s just so great. I’ve totally fan-casted him too. John Noble, all the way. He’s definitely my Andross Guile. And I don’t know yet if his uh.. goals, become darker in book four, but from the events at the end of book three, I’m thinking they might. I think he’s the best kinda-noble-villain I’ve ever come across. Definitely Lawful Evil.

The other characters too, get a bit more screen time for us to get into their minds. Zymun even got a bit. I think, at the moment, he’s the only character who’s really underdeveloped. All I’m picking up from him so far is ‘chaotic evil just because’. I have yet to discern his motivations, so hopefully that’ll happen in book four, now with him as Prism Elect. He has to get more chapters from his POV right? Right? wah.

Liv as well, I kinda missed reading more from her POV. She didn’t get many chapters this time around but the ones she did get were rather satisfying. Obviously she’s been in rank with the color prince for the past what, two books? Finally, finally, she’s seen sense. Goodness. And now she has to go crawling back to the Chromeria in hopes that she can be forgiven. I know that if they don’t wanna forgive her, her dad would take her in in a heartbeat (her dad btw, is one of my favorite characters. He’s just such a hulking teddy bear cutie pie).

I’m predicting she’ll run into Kip’s group, they’ll do a bout of ‘can’t we trust her?’, she’ll do something to prove herself, and then all will be well. Watch, I predict it.

 

And then finally, we come to The Order of the Broken Eye, the group the whole book revolves around. This group is such a weird, mysterious thing. And Weeks definitely led me into a false sense of security concerning them. I thought, ‘Oh, they’re trying to infiltrate via Teia and doing assassinations via Murder Sharp (who is the weirdest guy by the way) but lol nope. Nope nope, the ending of the book absolutely blew me away man.

Best ending ever. We find out that Ironfist, one of my favorite characters, the one that everyone seems to trust implicitly, has been in on it the whole time. The whole time. And Grimwoody man. I was at work when I was listening to the end of the audiobook – I listen while I code.

And so I’m sitting there, working and listening, and this big plot twist drops. And I sit there and my fingers still on my keyboard and my eyes bug out. And in my otherwise silent room with my two coworkers, I basically yell, ‘OH NO WAY.’ And then I pause it, get up and take a lap around the building because I just couldn’t handle it, man. I needed to move! My brain was like WHAT IS GOING ON?!

I love those kinds of endings. They’re the best.

So yeah, I loved this book.

5/5 stars

 
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Posted by on 01/20/2018 in Books, Review

 

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We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby | Blabber

We Are Never Meeting In Real LifeWe Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
275 pages
Nonfiction/Memoir
Read Dec 27th 2017-Jan 4th, 2018
Spoiler free blabber

I bought this book because of the cat.

I was in Connecticut, visiting a friend who had moved away a couple years ago, and we were perusing the shelves in a local bookstore in New Haven, CT, when I decided I wanted to buy something different. I had been eyeing a few fantasy novels that have been on my radar, but who knows when I would get to them. So I wanted something that I knew nothing about, that would remind me of the trip due it being different to what I normally gravitate towards.

And then there was this book: bright yellow with a soggy cat on the front. And it spoke to me. I grabbed it, skimmed the back and saw that Roxanne Gay had blurbed it and that was enough for me. I bought it and began reading it that night.

This book was pretty much what I expected it to be, once I read more thoroughly what it was about. It’s one of those books that makes me want to write a book full of my blabberings, because that’s what it is. It had elements I found similar to Yes Please, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) and many other modern memoirs of women living in various states of life. I tend to like those kinds of books, so I ended up rather enjoying this one as well.

Samantha Irby strikes me as a person that I felt, what, partially similar to? I guess? Parts of her writing had me in hysterics from how close it hit to home. I was laughing way, way too hard at parts of this book, and the urge to meet this woman and shake her hand was really strong. Other parts I didn’t relate to, so I read those bits with interest, getting to see another perspective on things that I held a different opinion on, and expanding my world view at the same time.

Hey, it’s almost like we’re two people with our own thoughts and feelings, haha.

Overall though, I liked this book. Irby goes through various different stories of her life. A couple of them had me laughing so hard, a couple of them had me reading them out loud to my husband, trying not to crack up while I read, and seeing him shaking his head and smiling at me, waiting to see if I’d crumble under my giggles.

One of my favorite parts was the cat, Hellen Keller, whom the author brought home mostly against her will and then grew to grudgingly love. Helen was hysterical. The way she was narrated reminded me of every single female cat I’ve ever owned. She had such a ‘tude, I loved it.

Samantha Irby’s book will stick with me, I think. And that’s what I wanted when I bought it – a good experience reading that I could associate with hanging out with my friend in that one bookstore in Connecticut. So thank ya Ms Irby, you gave me a good few days as I read your writing, trying to keep my cat Nina from walking on the book like you had to finagle around Helen cat.

3.5/5 stars

 

 
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Posted by on 01/14/2018 in Books, Review

 

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2017 | A Year in Review

2017 Reading Review

Hello! Happy New Year’s Eve! Today’s post being put up a tad later in the day than normal, as I used this morning to finish my last book of the year! 😀 So here’s an overview of all the reading-related things that happened this year: My goodreads goal, my blog activity, my 2017 reading resolutions, etc etc etc. I hope you enjoy!


My Year in Books

reading challengeyear in books1year in books2

Total books DNF’d this year: 1


Blog Activity

stats1

Obviously most active month was December due to Blogmas, and there was a week in May there where you can see I was posting multiple times a day. Readathons do that. :”D

Total posts published: 142
Reviews:
11
Tags:
15
Top 5 Wednesdays: 26
Most popular post of 2017: Top 5 Angsty Romances

Wrap Ups:

Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov

December:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. RowlingAll My Friends Are Dead by Avery MonsenCaptive Prince by C.S. PacatSanta and Pete by Christopher Paul MooreFool's Errand by Robin Hobb

Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb – 5 stars
Santa and Pete
by Christopher Paul Moore – 3 stars
Captive Prince
by C. S. Pacat – 4 stars
All My Friends Are Dead
by Avery Monsen – 4 stars
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
(illustrated) by J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay – 4 stars

r/Fantasy Bingo 2017

I’m the template provided by Millenium_Dodo here, which you can as well if you’re participating. 😀 It runs from March 2017 to March 2018.

FantasyBingo2017Template.png


Reading Goals

Results of 17 in 2017:

  1. A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin – Complete!
  2. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson – Complete!
  3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – Complete!
  4. Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey
  5. The Traitor Comorant Baru by Seth Dickinson – Complete!
  6. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  7. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  8. Weaveworld by Clive Barker – Complete!
  9. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
  10. Dragon Wing by Margaret Weis
  11. 14 by Peter Clines – Complete!
  12. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki – Complete!
  13. The Edge of the World by Kevin J Anderson
  14. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  15. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – Complete!
  16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (illustrated) by J. K. Rowling – Complete!
  17. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (illustrated) by J. K. Rowling – Complete!

Results of 2017 Reading Goals:

Complete a Goodreads Reading Challenge of 50 Books: 50/50 – Complete!

Count how many books I own and determine how many are not yet read – Current TBR: 301 – Complete!

Discard books I don’t like or lose interest in reading – Got rid of ~40 books –  Complete!

Read all of the books on my 17 in 2017 list – 10/17 – Incomplete

So, three out of four goals completed. Overall, not bad!


End of Year Survey

Like last year, I’m going to do the End of Year Survey. If you’d like to do this as well, consider yourself tagged.

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 50
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

Best in Books

Best Book You Read In 2017?
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love But Didn’t
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Most Surprising (in a good way) book you read?
Descender vol 1 by Jeff Lemire
Book You “Pushed” the Most People to Read (And they Did)?
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Best series you started in 2017? Sequel? Ender?
Starter: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Sequel: The Blinding Knife  by Brent Weeks
Ender: Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?
Brent Weeks
Best books from a genre you don’t typically read/out of comfort zone
The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Book you read in 2017 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Most memorable character of 2017?
Kip from The Lightbringer series
Most beautifully written book read in 2017?
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2017?
The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?
Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb
Favorite Passage/Quote from a book read in 2017?
“This is the truth. You will know it because it hurts”
Longest and Shortest books read in 2017?
Longest: A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
Shortest: All My Friends Are Dead by Avery Monsen
Book that shocked you the most
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
OTP of the Year
Alina and The Darkling (please ;~;)
Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year
Lia and Pauline from The Remnant Chronicles
Favorite book you read in 2017 from an author you’ve read previously
Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
Favorite book of 2017 read based soley on a recommendation from another
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Newest fictional crush of 2017
The Darkling from the Grisha trilogy
Best 2017 debut
Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Anderson
Best Worldbuilding/vivid setting of the year
The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks
Book that put a smile on your face/most fun to read
Saga by Brian K Vaughan
Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2017
None, actually
Hidden Gem of the year
Descender by Jeff Lemire
Book that crushed your soul
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
Most Unique Book Read in 2017
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
Book that made you the most mad
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Looking Ahead

Book you didn’t get to in 2017 but will be a 2018 priority?
Dragon Wing by Margaret Weis
Most anticipated non-debut 2018 release?
The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
Most anticipated 2018 debut?
Haven’t looked into it yet!
Most anticipated 2018 series ender/sequel release?
See two answers previous
One thing you hope to accomplish in your 2018 reading/blogging life
Maintain the semi-consistent posting schedule I managed to start up
A 2018 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone
Guys, I’m a little blog and it’s still 2017. You silly.


And that’s it! I will see you all in 2018! 😀 I hope your reading year went as well as mine did!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 12/31/2017 in Books, Wrap-up

 

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Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat| Blabber

Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat
270 pages
Fantasy, M/M Romance
Read Dec 15-17, 2017
(Mildly) Spoilery Blabber

I think I went into this book expecting something other than what it was.

This book, when lent to me by a friend, gave me the impression that it was a PWP book. (Plot? What Plot?) Basically I thought it was going to be a book written with the veil of ‘sure there’s a setting, but we know why we’re all here’. A lot of romances fall into this category, and considering that’s what I was in the mood to read, I was good with it. I didn’t go into this book expecting to be blown away by beautiful writing or fascinating plot development, let’s put it that way.

And so I started reading… and was pleasantly surprised. There is plot in this book. Like, actual plot. And a bit of world building. And some character development was well. In fact, the whole ‘gosh Emily, read it, it’s gooooood *eyebrow swaggle*’ I got from my friend when she lent it to me element took a back seat. This book is a fantasy with a romantic (would you really call that ‘romantic’?) subplot, not a thinly veiled excuse to write a bunch of sex scenes. It was interesting.

Now granted, this book can be graphic at times. The culture that is set up is very… intense. Citizens from different nations are slaves (this happens across the different countries with each other’s people), and many of those slaves and the nobility as well are uh… basically all over each other at all times. There are public shows of sex, there are depictions of same sex rape. This book is not for children, and not for the weak of heart.

It all creates a gritty read. Everything is written in a way that makes you vaguely uncomfortable, and it’s written that way on purpose. The tone of the book says ‘this is happening, this is the world, and it’s not good’. So what I’m saying is, while the culture that this book is written about celebrates these things, the tone of the book does not. It’s hard to explain. But at no point did I get the feeling that the author was trying to say ‘yeah sexual assault!’ She wrote it in a way that it wasn’t romanticized, but was written as ‘this is part of the culture’, I guess. So if that’s something you’re not okay with reading, I would avoid this book like the plague.

So if you’re still reading at this point and haven’t backed out from losing all interest (I wouldn’t blame you if you had), here is a bit of a plot overview:

This book follows a prince, Damen, whose illegitimate brother overthrows him, fakes his death to the citizens of his country, and ships him off to the country of Vere to be a pleasure slave to its prince, Laurent, under a fake identity. Damen’s motivation to reveal his true identity is minimal, as he slaughtered Laurent’s older brother in war between the two nations a handful of years beforehand.

So the book follows Damen as he tries to navigate being a slave for the first time in his life to a man who is frigid and cruel in a culture that says whatever goes.

And honestly, I rather liked this book.

I wasn’t expecting to, but I did. It’s one of those books that you buzz through really fast because the writing is addicting. You know what you’re reading isn’t five star material, but you get sucked in and you just can’t stop and you need to know what happens next.

I think that’s why my friend lent it to me, telling me it was good while swaggling her face. It is good, just not in the way that she had suggested. The ‘romance’ between the two main characters I wouldn’t even call a romance. If it is, it’s a slow burn that must developed in later books, because I didn’t get a sense of it at all in this first one. The two hate each other and the don’t do so much as hold hands, let alone jump each other’s bones the whole book.

It was an interesting dynamic between the two – hate fulled their interactions and weirdly led them to cooperating towards the end of the book. Hatefully, haha. I could definitely see the ‘hate to love’ trope appearing for these two eventually, but I would not by any means call this first book a romance, even though it is categorized as such. It was a fantasy, based in geopolitical intrigue for sure.

The prince of Vere is the prince, but his uncle, the Reagent, currently holds the thrown. The man, while initially appearing to be almost decent, later shows himself to be a disgusting, manipulative individual, and you find yourself almost rooting for Laurent, who has a few major personality flaws of his own. It was weird how the author got me to like a character I would normally strongly dislike.

So even though there were so many reasons why I should find this book appalling, listed above, I found myself buzzing through it and, for the most part, liking it. The writing is addictive, the characters, at least the main two, are weirdly fun to read about, and the setting, while hard to read sometimes, drives the plot forward. Overall, I dug it. It was good.

I want to read the other two in the trilogy – hopefully will borrow them as well. I hope, I hope I hope I hope that the culture the book is written about is turned on its head, that the tone that author creates of ‘this is gross’ is a predictor for it being overthrown. That would be super neat.

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 12/18/2017 in Blogmas, Books, Review

 

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