Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Audiobook Review: Talon

Talon By Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Release Date: October 28th, 2014
Format: Audiobook narrated by Caitlin Davies, Macleod Andrews & Chris Patton
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

In Julie Kagawa's groundbreaking modern fantasy series, dragons walk among us in human form.

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have becomestrong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey - and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence, and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the order has ingrained in him - and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.
Remember when I said I was breaking up with audiobooks? Yeah I'm a freaking liar. So after a tiny break from audiobooks I decided to give Talon by Julie Kagawa a shot, and I really enjoyed it. I think it helped that it wasn't just one narrator for the three different perspectives, although every time one of the male narrators did their impression of Ember I thought it was terrible. 

 I thought the concept of this novel was pretty cool, because when we think about Dragons they are usually the villain. So it was interesting to read about someone who was within this "organization" that was trying to take down humans from the inside. When we think of these mythical creatures we think of man-eating beasts that steal gold, but really they are just creatures that are trying to survive. 

I did really like that Kagawa uses a lot of references to the dragon myths. Saint George, who defeated the dragon in England, became an order that's main purpose was to kill all dragons. I thought that was a nice touch. I also liked that Ember was attracted to shiny things, much like how mythical dragons horde gold and jewels. That part in this novel really made me laugh.

What I didn't really care for in this novel was the love interest. There is kind of a love triangle in this novel, but I was okay with that because Ember is kind of two people in one. Her dragon was attracted to Cobalt/Riley, but her human form was attracted to Garrett, so it kind of made sense. I just didn't care about there being a love interest at all. I just felt like it was unnecessary in this novel. 

I also think I didn't get enough about Talon's organizational structure, and I would have liked to learn more about that. I know that there is a second book out already, so I hope whenever I tackle that one it goes more into detail. 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Zombies Vs. Unicorns

Zombies Vs. Unicorns
Publisher: Saga Press (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: September 21st, 2010
Format: Paperback, 415 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?
So...I have to admit I am Team Zombie! I mean of course I am! This shouldn't have been such a surprise to me. I just found the zombie stories in this collection way more interesting than the unicorn stories. I will admit, that I was never the little girl that liked unicorns and pink, so maybe this was just me. I just didn't really care that much about the unicorn stories. I did like Garth Nix's story, but I think he misunderstood the prompt because it seemed like he wrote a story about both zombies and unicorns. I kind of liked Meg Cabot's unicorn story but that might have just been because she is my favorite author. I'll be the first to admit I have some author blindlove sometimes.

One of the things this anthology did that I haven't really seen before was use editorial commentary. Before each story Editors Holly Black (Team Unicorn) and Justine Larbalestier (Team Zombie) would have commentary about the story you were about to read. Often it was Justine trying to tell the readers that Zombies were more superior. I thought this was interesting at first, but towards the end of it I found it really annoying. So just keep that in mind, and if it annoys you too you can skip these without it affecting your impression on the stories themselves.

So I definitely just found the Zombie stories more interesting, because they were about survival and the human condition, and they all went about them in different ways. So I thought that was clever. I didn't find any of them sounding too similar, they all had a unique way about them. I think that Carrie Ryan's Bougainvillea and Maureen Johnson's Children of the Revolution were my favorite stories in the collection. I did find all of the Zombie stories amazing, but I felt they just left more of an impression on me.

I think if you like the Walking Dead or zombies in general this will be an interesting book to read. Not so sure if this one is for Unicorn fans. I did enjoy reading this, but I think I just had really high expectations for it. Not that it was bad, I think I just wanted more out of it.
Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review: You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
Publisher: Touchstone
Release Date: August 11th, 2015
Format: Hardback, 262 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
From online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.

The Internet isn’t all cat videos. There’s also Felicia Day—violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer, hoagie specialist, and former lonely homeschooled girl who overcame her isolated childhood to become the ruler of a new world…or at least semi-influential in the world of Internet Geeks and Goodreads book clubs.

After growing up in the south where she was "homeschooled for hippie reasons", Felicia moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and was immediately typecast as a crazy cat-lady secretary. But Felicia’s misadventures in Hollywood led her to produce her own web series, own her own production company, and become an Internet star.

Felicia’s short-ish life and her rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Now, Felicia’s strange world is filled with thoughts on creativity, video games, and a dash of mild feminist activism—just like her memoir.

Hilarious and inspirational, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should embrace what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.

If you're into nerdy shit you probably know who Felicia Day is. I was first introduced to the Queen of the Geeks from Dr. Horrible's Singalong blog, and I started finding out more about her. Hence my discovery of the awesomeness that is The Guild, which I'm actually re-watching now. Day talks a lot about the early days of The Guild in her memoir, and you get an inside look into how it happened. And how it almost didn't happen. That was definitely a highlight of the book that I really enjoyed. 

Day's memoir is written for the internet crowd, complete with memes intersected throughout her story. I really liked the style of it, and even though I was reading it, I felt like I could hear her voice in my head. It was like you were having coffee with an old friend.

Ready Player One really made me want to get back into gaming, but this book really made me want to play all the games!! Which, I don't know if it was the point, because she does talk at length about her unhealthy obsession with playing WOW 24/7. I may or may not be having that problem with Dragon Age Origins right now, so this chapter really spoke to me. 

Day also explains a lot about her mental health issues, and really goes into detail about how it has affected her career and personal relationships. So I don't think this book is just for gamers, because I think anyone struggling with social anxiety could definitely relate to the struggle she was going through. I really enjoyed this part of her memoir, because it broke down the stigma of mental illness. 

What I loved most about this memoir, and what I think was the main message is that Day never compromised who she was. I think she wants to send the message to be yourself and if someone doesn't like it, make them like it. When Hollywood didn't want her as she was, she DIYed that shit and was able to make a career out of it. Day never changed who she was to fit at fold that Hollywood wanted her to be, and I think that's a message that a lot of people need to hear.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Deanna Listens: Welcome To NightVale

Deanna Listens is a monthly feature on the first Monday of every month I created to showcase some of my favorite podcasts. This month I'm taking about Welcome to NightVale.

So how do I explain what Welcome to Night Vale is? Hmm...I really can't. No really one of the intros says something along the lines of "support us to help us keep this show hard to explain to your friends." That's it, that's the show. It is literally the weirdest podcast I have ever listened to, and that's what makes it so cool.

I think readers will really like this podcast, because it's not another one where I listen to people being interviewed or some dudes having an argument about nerdy crap, no this one is actually a story. This podcast harkens to the old timey radioshows that fell out of favor in America. It's this weird little show with evil librarians, a dog park that no one is allowed in, and a floating cat in the men's bathroom. I did mention it is the weirdest podcast I've listened to, right? So weird, but so addictive!

I don't really have a bunch of episodes that I would to pull out to highlight, because I've listened to at least the first 50 episodes. There's almost 80 episodes currently available, but I think you don't need to go back to the first one to get this show. I think you could understand it if you just jump in right away. I'm a crazy person and I like to go back and listen to old shows, so I've been slowly listening through the entire show. I don't think you have to do this, so don't make yourself crazy like I have made myself.

The show has gotten so popular that the creator even wrote a Night Vale novel. So that's pretty cool, and another reasons why I wanted to showcase this podcast on my blog. I think that book lovers will really enjoy this one because this one is a story, and not so much a podcast of a bunch of people talking. I think readers that like fantasy and paranormal or just plain weird things will really enjoy this one.

Got a podcast you think I would enjoy? Let me know and maybe it will be featured next month.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Happy Reads Everyone!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I think I'm breaking up with audiobooks

So I think I've hit a wall as a reader. I think I'm getting bored. Or I'm just still book hungover from finally finishing Dune. Or I just need to take a break from reading. I'm finding that the place where I need to take this break might be in my intake of audiobooks.

For a while I had been going hard at listening to audiobooks. I was all about them, but now I'm finding myself slowly losing interest. Not that the books are bad or the narrator is bad, I just end up half listening to it whilst doing chores or mindless reports at work. I think my brain just shuts off and I'm not really listening. I want to listen but I just can't pay attention.

I have to admit I've phoned in a couple of my audiobooks reviews, and there have been a few that I wrote reviews when I couldn't remember half of what happened in that particular book. I don't want to be a reviewer that half asses my reviews. I want my readers to see what I genuinely thought about a book. So I really think it's time for me to break up with audiobooks, or at least take a break from them for a long time.

Unfortunately I do think this will affect my blog a lot. I think I'm going through an existential crisis right now, so I haven't exactly wanted to read, so I'm so behind on my blog and commenting back to people. It's been real bad, but I've just been feeling really "meh" about life lately. I think my audiobook reviews allowed me to fill up my schedule so the blog might be a bit sparse for awhile. I'm still here everyone! ...I'm just not caught up in my reading yet.

I don't want this post to discourage anyone that is thinking of getting into audiobooks. I have really enjoyed listening to them, I just think I have burned myself out. I would still highly recommend audiobooks if you have the chance.

Happy Reads Everyone!