Monday, February 29, 2016

Audiobook Review: Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: September 26th, 2006
Format: Audiobook narrated by Ann Marie Lee
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart 
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg 
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle 
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
I read Gone Girl last year and although I didn't particularly care for the plot and I hated the characters, I knew that Gillian Flynn could write a story. So I wanted to try one of her other books. I remembered a coworker mentioning she liked Sharp Objects a lot, and I'm really glad I tried this one. 

This book made me feel really uncomfortable, but I get that is the point it. This one is really disturbing and deals with a lot of heavy themes like self-harm, child abuse and child murder. So if any of those things are something you can't read in a book I would shy away from this one. Everyone in this book has problems and although I liked Camille way better than Amy or Nick from Gone Girl she still was a flawed character. You have to feel for her for everything she goes through, but you also have to realize that certain things she says stems from her fucked up childhood. 

Camille suffers a lot over survivor's guilt as her little sister died when she was just a kid. She tries to mask that with cutting herself and when she realizes she can't do that she drinks to forget why she likes to cut words into her skin. Camille is basically a functioning alcoholic who has to return home to her dysfunction family and it really takes a lot out of her. 

I found at times when we learn more about her childhood that she became unlikeable. There is a particular scene in the book when she talks with a detective about an eighth grade girl who got drunk at a party  and was passed around by a bunch of high school boys. The detective's reaction is the natural one about how that is so horrible, but Camille says he is sexist and we find out that the girl was her. I think Camille never came to terms with the sexist community she grew up in, and I don't really think she ever came to terms with what happened to her. At first this made me want to shake her, but then I realized that this woman has issues that she has never addressed and she is still hurting from them.

I can't really say that much more about this book without giving away some massive spoilers, but I feel say that this one did not end up the way I thought. I was not expecting the killer to be who it actually was. This one definitely kept me in suspense.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Secret of Raven Point

The Secret of Raven Point By Jennifer Vanderbes
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Release Date: February 4th, 2014
Format: Audiobook narrated by Susie Berneis
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

1943: When seventeen-year-old Juliet Dufresne receives a cryptic letter from her enlisted older brother pleading for help, and then finds out he's been reported missing overseas, she lies about her age and volunteers as an army nurse to find him. Juliet is thrust into the bloody chaos of a field hospital, where she is increasingly consumed by the plight of her patients. One in particular, Christopher Barnaby, a deserter awaiting court martial, may hold the answer to her brother's fate - but the trauma of war has left him unable to speak. Juliet works with psychiatrist Henry Willard to heal Barnaby before the authorities take him away. Juliet and Willard are forced to plumb the moral nuances of a so-called just war, and to face the dangers of their own deepening connection.
It's rare when I give a book 5 stars, so you know that I liked it a lot and couldn't get enough of it. The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes was one of those books. This one was on a "if you like Agent Carter read this list", and I'm really glad I decided to pick it up. 

I think a lot of the reasons I liked it was due to the narrator just having the right voice for the time period and her ability to do male voices without them sounding way too ridiculous. Which isn't something I can usually say for Male narrators with female characters.

I will admit that although I enjoyed this book a lot, it's not without it's flaws and there were a few things that bothered me. One thing is that we never find out what happens to Tuck. I think we are led to believe that he died in battle, so I was slightly okay with this. But we never find out what his last letter meant and Juliet never gets closure from it. Another thing that really bothered me was that Juliet tries to start a relationship with Dr. Willard, and he keeps rejecting her because he's married. I have a real problem with infidelity so I didn't like that she was trying to get this guy to cheat on his wife. I am glad that the only thing happens between them in a kiss, and he stops it at that. 

This book doesn't pull punches and it really shows the gruesome brutality of war. It got pretty dark and heavy and there were a few scenes that I had to stop listening to the audio because I thought I was going to throw up. If you read this book you probably know what scene I'm talking about. It was hard to take at times, but I think I appreciated that because it was realistic. WWII wasn't a fun time for anyone, so I think by keeping all the gore and gruesome injuries in this book it made it feel more real to me.

I would highly recommend this one to anyone that likes a good historical fiction novel. I found myself really enjoying it, and I was kind of sad when it was over. 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Audiobook Review: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell By Susanna Clarke
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: December 6th, 2004
Format: Audiobook narrated by Simon Prebble
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★ 1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England's history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England--until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.

Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.
There is definitely an audience for this book, but I don't think that includes me. A lot of reviews I've read have compared this book to a Jane Austen book, so I get that a lot of her fans would really enjoy this one. I have never really been a fan of her books, so I think that might be one of the reasons that I didn't enjoy this one as much as I thought I would.

I liked this idea of an alternate history where magic is practiced but there are only two magicians in England. I liked that idea but I felt like I wanted to read more about them actually doing magic and less about politics. We do get a few spells here and there but this novel seems to more historical fiction then fantasy. I think that's where the book kind of lost me because there was an absurd amount of footnotes to explain historical and political events that were going on. I felt like these were really unnecessary and they just made the book way too long. Honestly had a read this book I would have just skipped those, but since I listened to the audiobook the narrator read everything. 

This book did go off on little tangents and tell these Faerie stories. I actually didn't mind those, and I found them to be way more interesting than the plot of Mr.Norrell undermining Strange by buying all the magic books. I actually probably would have liked a short story collection of these instead of the story I read.

I think it's the ending that really made me want to only give this one 2-1/2 stars. I'm not spoiling this for anyone but I found the ending to be a huge bummer. This audiobook was 32 hours long and I endured it for it to end like that?!? It felt like a big disappointment to me. I did really enjoy the narrator Simon Prebble, I think he really made me want to continue the book to find out what was going to happen. This might have been a book that I DNF had I read the actual copy. 

I'm not going to flat out not recommend this book to people, because I know that book lovers that love classics like Jane Austen will probably really enjoy this one. This book just wasn't one for me.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Songs I Want to Be Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is books & music, so I decided to do it on songs I want to be books. I chose a lot of folk-style songs that already tell a story, because I think those would work really well as books.

Furr By Blitzen Trapper

I think that I actually first heard this song on a fanmix for Shiver By Maggie Stiefvater, but I actually want to read about the story from this song more. 

Dirty Paws By Of Monster and Men

I actually almost put two Of Monsters And Men songs on this list, because they have a lot of songs that are just them telling stories. I really want to read this one and find out about how they defeat the Queen Bee and her men. 
Roxanne By The Police

Okay, I really want to know who Roxanne is. How did this singer meet her? Did she stop walking the streets for money? I need to know these things!

Starman By David Bowie

I need to know who the Starman is!! Like I can't ask Bowie anymore because he returned to his home planet, but seriously I want a book based off of this song.

Wedding Song by Anais Mitchell

Okay this might be cheating a little, because this song is actually about the story of Orpheus & Eurydice, but every time I listen to it I am just reminded of Firefly. Like is this Mal & Inara's wedding song? 
To Be Alone With You by Sufjan Stevens

So I've read up on this song before and I know it's supposed to be pretty religious, but I always saw another story in it. I want someone to write that so I can read it.

Carry On My Wayward Song By Kansas

Okay, this is cheating a little again because this song is about a story that has already been told. (NO! Not Supernatural!) This song is basically the Icarus story, so I guess I just want a reimagining of that story. 
Bohemian Rhapsody By Queen

I really want to know who the speaker killed and why? I love this song so much, but there is definitely more to the story and I want to know what it is.

Radioactive By Imagine Dragons

This song has been the theme song to every YA dystopia novel, so I really want to know what this story is about according to the band. This video is bat-shit crazy, so please give me that in a novel. 
Miss Murder By AFI

AFI is my favorite band so I had to include them on here somewhere. Miss Murder is a relatively recent song of theirs, but it definitely tells a story. Who is Miss Murder? I want to know who she is and what exactly she does. Someone write this story for me!

Do you have any songs that you want to be books? 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Audiobook Review: Odd Hours

Odd Hours
Publisher: Brillance Audio
Release Date: May 20th, 2008
Format: Audiobook narrated by David Aaron Baker
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Only a handful of fictional characters are recognized by first name alone. Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas is one such literary hero who has come alive in listeners' imaginations as he explores the greatest mysteries of this world and the next with his inimitable wit, heart, and quiet gallantry. Now Koontz follows Odd as he is irresistibly drawn onward, to a destiny he cannot imagine. The legend began in the obscure little town of Pico Mundo. A fry cook named Odd was rumored to have the extraordinary ability to communicate with the dead. Through tragedy and triumph, exhilaration and heartbreak, word of Odd Thomas' gifts filtered far beyond Pico Mundo, attracting unforgettable new friends - and enemies of implacable evil. With great gifts comes the responsibility to meet great challenges. But no mere human being was ever meant to face the darkness that now stalks the world - not even one as oddly special as Odd Thomas. After grappling with the very essence of reality itself, after finding the veil separating him from his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, tantalizingly thin yet impenetrable, Odd longed only to return to a life of quiet anonymity with his two otherworldly sidekicks - his dog Boo and a new companion, one of the few who might rival his old pal Elvis. But a true hero, however humble, must persevere. Haunted by dreams of an all-encompassing red tide, Odd is pulled inexorably to the sea, to a small California coastal town where nothing is as it seems. Now the forces arrayed against him have both official sanction and an infinitely more sinister authority...and in this dark night of the soul, dawn will come only after the most shattering revelations of all. 
So I am really enjoying Odd's journey, and I definitely want to continue this series and see when it finally takes him back to Pico Mundo. I know he is making his journey back there at some point. 

This one really showed that Odd is getting dark and he's doing things that he's not morally okay with, but he has to do it for the greater good. I really like that Koontz has Odd wrestling with these ideas. Odd doesn't think he is a hero, but every adventure he has we see that he really is the hero because he protects innocent lives at any cost. In this book Odd does a lot of killing and even though it's justifiable because these people have a plot to blow up the town and would kill a lot of people, Odd still struggles with it. Odd has never been comfortable with guns or killing, but in this story he's not given much of a choice. 

I really like that Koontz makes Odd and the reader struggle with these issues. He doesn't paint the hero vs. villain plot as a black or white issue. Just because Odd killed the villains in this novel, doesn't make him feel like a good person. Yes he did save many lives, but he still had to take lives to do it. Having him struggle with making these sort of choices make this series so interesting to read. You have to ask yourself, "Is the hero really good?" I believe that Odd does everything he can to not resort to murder and he always tries to find peaceful ways out of the situations he gets into, but he comes up against a lot of bad people who would kill him in a second without batting an eye. I do find Odd inherently good, but the choices he has to make do weigh heavy on him.

The one thing that I am still scratching my head about is the pregnant girl Annamaria. Who was she? We know that she doesn't have a partner, so where did the pregnancy come from? She also doesn't work, but she has a room that is given to her free of charge. I thought at first maybe she was just a spirit, and even though she talks to Odd, I thought this was the author's way of showing his paranormal powers getting stronger. That theory was nixed when he takes her to stay with his friend Blossom. So she's not a spirit, but who is she? The book ends with her pointing out the constellation Cassiopeia, the one that Odd and Stormy loved, but I'm not sure I understand what this means. There is still a lot of mystery to this woman, and I want to know more about her. 

The mystery and suspense is what keeps me wanting to continue this series. The ending of this one left me with a few questions, so I definitely want to pick up the next one to see if those things get answered.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol.2

Saga Vol.2 By Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: July 22nd, 2013
Format: Comic, 169 pages

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
From award-winning writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (Pride of Baghdad, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (Mystery Society, Done to Death), SAGA is sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and horrific monsters, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters her strangest adventure yet... grandparents. 
So I really toyed with how I was going to rate the second installment of Saga. I loved the first one so of course I gave it 5 stars, but did I love the second one just as much? I debated a lot between 4-stars, 4 1/2-stars, but then I finally just thought "Yes, this is deserving of a 5-star review, because I did love this one just as much as the first."

I don't think there is really anything out there quite like this story, and I just love it so much. I find all the characters so relatable, especially Alanna. I am very much a fan of the Star Crossed Lovers trope so I love that this is the center of the story. Alanna and Marko's story has always reminded me a little of John Crichton & Aeryn Sun from Farscape, which is probably why I find their love story so realistic.

At it's heart Saga is about a family and how they overcome their differences. I really thought the scenes with Alanna and Barr were really touching. Barr seemed to really warm up to her and see her not just as the enemy but as a person. I thought that was really sweet, and I am hoping to see Marko's mother start to come around to her too. I think these scenes are so realistic because we see how terrified Alanna is of being a parent, and Barr is able to tell her that everyone feels that way and it's normal to not really know what you are doing. You have to raise a child first to figure out how to raise one.

*WARNING Slight spoiler below*

I also really enjoy that the overall theme of this book is that war accomplishes nothing. Every time I think I would side with Wreath, they do something equally as atrocious as Landfall. *There is one scene in this book that really landed that home for me. It was a flashback of Prince Robot IV, and we see a Landfall medic die because Landfall didn't give her a gas mask. That scene really jarred me and I couldn't stop thinking about how terrible it was. She wasn't of the planet but was helping them in their fight, but they didn't provide her with necessary supplies, but at the same time it was Wreath that really caused her death.* They both do terrible things, and I think the point here is that neither side is right and neither will win this unwinnable war.

Man this series is just amazing, and if you aren't reading this yet...what the hell is wrong with you??? I highly recommend this for fans of Rat Queens and Sci-Fi in general.

Happy Reads Everyone!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: Paper Towns

Paper Towns
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: September 22, 2009
Format: Paperback, 305 pages

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...
So let's discuss that a 3-star review doesn't necessarily mean that a book was bad. For me it just means that a book is just okay and that it didn't wow me. Paper Towns is just an okay book. There was nothing about it that made me go, "Oh my god, everyone must read this!!!!" I didn't want to force it on all my friends or bore my boyfriend while I gushes about it. It just didn't really do that for me. That being said, it was not a bad book, and I still found it to be mildly entertaining.

I get why a lot of people like this book, and why they like to read John Green, but I think I'm kind of over him. I just feel like I keep on reading the same story with the same pretentious characters. All his books sound too similar, and I'm just not really enjoying it as much. When I read Paper Towns, I just felt like I had read this book before, so I wasn't that invested in it.

The thing I did like about this book was the mystery and the suspense. When Q was trying to figure out where Margo went that was what I was interested in. I loved the mystery and the weird clues she left. I found it so interesting how Q was trying to put the pieces all together. I think I liked the process of it more than the actual finding of Margo, because when the book gets to the road trip climax, I didn't really care that much.

I actually found the climax of this novel to be pretty mundane. I didn't need a hour-by-hour breakdown of the road trip from Florida to upstate New York. Other than the almost collision that happens, it was pretty boring. I think part of this wasn't the writing, but more that I had grow weary of Q's devotion to Margo. Why did he like this girl so much? I thought she was kind of a brat, and I just didn't really get what was so great about her. I think he put her on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl pedestal way to much and it just bothered me a lot. I know I have read from other bloggers that they thought she was supposed to subvert that trope, but I just didn't see. I felt like everything she did enforced the trope, and I just didn't care for it.

Overall the book was easy to get through and an enjoyable read, but not something that I would revisit. I think if you like John Green and want to read more of his books I would recommend this one over any others, especially An Abundance of Katherines, but that's a review for another time.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten OTPs

Oh boy, it's seriously been a while since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday. I checked and the last time I did was in September. SEPTEMBER!!! My life has been a little hectic lately and I have been really bad about planing my posts. So I am hoping in 2016 that I can get back into the swing of things. 

So you guys should know the drill by now, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic related to Valentine's Day, so I decided to do my Top Ten OTPs. 

Luke Skywalker & Mara Jade

I have to put this at the top of my list, because Luke X Mara is my ultimate OTP. I was first introduced to Mara Jade in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy and later in the Duology Hand of Thrawn. The lady doth protest too much when they first meet, so I was so excited when they finally got together. But seriously why did it take then ten years!?!

Mia Thermopolis & Michael Moscovitz

Of course these two are on my list. I have been cheering these two on for all of my teenaged years. I love these two, and I was so glad to see they have a happy ending. They were perfect for each other, and being in a long-term relationship now I can say that I love that Michael didn't put up with a lot of her immaturity. Mia needed to grow and Michael knew that. I loved that about him.

Claire Randall & Jamie Fraser

Frank who? Literally did not care about Frank all that much in this book and I didn't really feel like Claire cheated on him if she was sent to the past and he wasn't born yet. I was all about Claire and Jamie's romance, and I loved that it was a slow burn of them getting forced together. There was a lot of drama in their relationship. That reminds me I need to continue reading Dragonfly in Amber.

Hermione Granger & Ron Weasley

One of the things that I loved about Harry Potter was that the hero didn't "get the girl." I adored that Harry and Hermione's relationship was just as friends, because that is realistic! The choice to pair Ron and Hermione together always made perfect sense to me. 

Odd Thomas & Stormy Llewellyn

This one is a sad romance, but I do believe these two are destined to be together forever, just maybe not in the typical sense. In the first book these two totally got each other and I was all about it. 

Suze Simon & Jesse DeSilva

I don't have the new book yet, but I am really excited to read about Suze again. I loved that she could kickass, but Jesse was still so protective of her. I also liked that she never really listened to him and just did what she was going to do. Suze would have never ended up with Paul, you hear me, never!!! It wasn't even supposed to be a love triangle, so you knew she was always going to end up with Jesse somehow.

Kahlan Amnell & Richard Cipher

I have since stopped reading this series, and the reason why is what really frustrated me about this series. It felt like the author was never going to let these two be happy. It was super frustrating and as soon as they did get together there would be something, or some evil wizard that would tear them apart. The last book I read had a happy ending, so I decided that was where their story ended for me.

Deryn "Dylan" Sharp & Alek Of Habsburg

What I love about this romance is the, "When is Alek going to figure it out?" thought that constantly ran in my head. This one was a tricky romance since Deryn was posing as a boy, but I also really liked it because she was a really gender fluid character.

Percy Jackson & Annabeth Chase

I think I like this romance which it is similar to Ron & Hermione. The girl whose too smart for her own good and the brash boy that doesn't think before his actions. I really appreciated it more when Annabeth started calling him "seaweed brain" and when we got more of her perspective. Percy wasn't the most reliable narrator, but their relationship was built on friendship and I eat that shit up.

Sybella & Beast

The bitter asshole and the cinnamon roll pairing! (Try figuring out which one is which). The second book in this series was way darker, but I loved their relationship. Beast is probably my favorite character of this entire series, so I was so glad he won Sybella over. 

What are your top OTPs?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Audiobook Review: Brother Odd

Brother Odd
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: November 28th, 2006
Format: Audiobook narrated by David Aaron Baker
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
No one could have imagined Odd Thomas ever leaving the perfect, quirky comfort of Pico Mundo, least of all Odd himself. The little desert town that nurtured Odd all his life is the locus of everything he holds dear: his loyal friends, his ghostly confidants, and the place where he loved and lost his soul mate, the irreplaceable Stormy Llewellyn. Yet leave it he has, to embrace the solitude and peace of an isolated monastery high in the western mountains as he tries to find a way to live fully again.

But Odd has a knack for finding himself in the path of trouble no matter where he goes — even among the eccentric monks in their sanctuary and with his steady spirit companion, the King of Rock 'n' Roll, at his side. For a killer is stalking the ancient holy halls, and Odd is about to meet an enemy who eclipses any he has yet encountered.
Reading the third installment of this series, made me realize how much I actually didn't like the second book. The second book seemed like it was put together too quickly, as if Koontz never intended to make this a series but the publisher wanted more of this book. Brother Odd felt more fleshed out.

As strange as it seems I think I actually prefer the audiobook version of this series. I just really enjoy David Aaron Baker's narration. With the first book I wasn't so sure if he had the right voice for Odd, but now that I've listened to this book and I've started the 4th installment as an audiobook, I believe he does a really good job of getting me into the story. Odd's voice in my head should be Baker's so I am trying to see how many of the audiobooks I can get my hands on.

This book got way more weird the first two as we find out that Brother John (a former physicist) played with reality and created this weird creature that starts destroying everything. He's basically the reason that Odd is stuck in the predicament he gets himself into in this book. Dude was straight up crazy-town! He used science to play God and it gets innocent people hurt, as well as puts others at risk. I think this book definitely showed that Odd really is the hero and he does want to save everyone, even if he just feels like he's just some guy. He's really not though, he is really something else.

Elvis makes another appearance in this novel. If I remember correctly this might be the most we see of Odd's ghostly companion in this series. I think one of my favorite parts of this book is that Odd gets another ghostly companion, the ghost dog that he dubs Boo. Odd does question how Boo is a ghost, but in the end he just goes with it content to have another companion.

I have to admit that the first book is still my favorite, but if you had any doubts after reading the second book, I would give this series another chance by picking up the third installment.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Deanna Listens: The X-Files Files

Deanna Listens
 is a monthly feature on the first Monday of every month (a little late this month...again) I created to showcase some of my favorite podcasts. This month I am talking about The X-Files Files.

In honor of the X-Files returning to TV ( YAY!!! Mulder X Scully 4 EVER!!!) I wanted to showcase Kumail Nanjiani's x-files podcast. I really like this podcast, even though I've only listened to a few episodes. It's really made me want to go back and re-watch the series, because I don't remember some of these early episodes that he discusses in the podcast. I'm really trying to get my boyfriend to watch this with me, but so far no dice. 

The premise of the podcast is that Kumail and his guest of the week watch an episode and then discuss it. I have to admit that I've only listened to the first two episodes of this one, but I definitely have a lot in my listening queue right now. 

In the second episode he does break it down on how the podcast is going to work, because although he'll be reviewing a lot of episodes he's not going to do all of them. The podcast is supposed to be for two types of people: those who love the series and don't want to talk about the bad episodes, and those who are new to x-files and want to know which episodes are okay to skip. I think that was really smart to do considering that there are 9 seasons and two movies of this show! 

In addition to discussing the episodes, Kumail also has done a  few interviews with those involved in the show. Although I haven't listened to these yet, they are on my radar so I want to point them out:

-Interview with Mark Snow (Composer of theme)
-Interview with Glen Morgan (Producer)
-Interview with X-Files Writer Darin Morgan
-Kumail Talks to David Duchovny & Gillian Anderson on Set

Kumail is actually in the third episode of the new season, which is really funny so I highly recommend you check out this podcast.

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

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Audiobook Review: Darth Plagueis

Darth Plagueis
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: Janury 10th, 2012
Format: Audiobook narrated by Daniel Davis
Source: Library, Overdrive App
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
“Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It’s a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”
—Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, 
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master--but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power . . . over life and death.

Darth Sidious: Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor.

Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, target the galaxy for domination--and the Jedi Order for annihilation. But can they defy the merciless Sith tradition? Or will the desire of one to rule supreme, and the dream of the other to live forever, sow the seeds of their destruction?
This book was pretty interesting, especially if you want an inside look into how Palpatine rose to power in the senate and how he became a sith lord. That part of the book was really intriguing and even how he orchestrated Padme becoming the Queen of Naboo so young was enjoyable to read about.  I just wasn't really a fan of all the talk of Midichlorians when it came to Darth Plagueis wanting to create life with the force. I think it's pretty clear that this book is trying to say that Plagueis created Anakin Skywalker, which is a cool concept I guess, but I never really bought the whole immaculate conception thing with Anakin. 

The book is titled Darth Plagueis, and it does focus a lot on him and his research in Midichlorians, which I didn't really care about, but halfway in it really starts to shift the focus to Palpatine. It also gives you a behind the scenes look at what Palpatine was really doing during the events of The Phantom Menace. These little things really made me want to continue listening to find out where this book was going to take me. 

The biggest thing I took away from the novel was that Palpatine was just always evil. I don't think Plagueis did much to seduce him to the dark side, as he already had a dark past prior to their meeting. Dude just always wanted to take power and control the universe. 

I did actually really enjoy the audiobook performance on this one. Instead of just the narrator reading the book we also got familiar sounding music, sound effects and even voice modification to make the narrator sound like he was a droid. That was what really made me like this book, because you don't get that a lot from audiobooks. I love when I can find one that goes the extra step. Since I enjoyed the performance so much, I would recommend it for that alone even if the plot doesn't really pull you in.

Happy Reads Everyone!