Thursday, August 30, 2018

Online Shop Spotlight: Literary Book Gifts

Now, for something completely different! Today, on the blog I want to talk about a little website that I think all you bookish lovers and bookish collectors will enjoy learning about --Literary Book Gifts!

LBG is perfect for a classic literary fan, and if you want to show off your awesome totes or Dracula t-shirt! Which is just one option you can choose from their store. What I liked a lot about this company is that a lot of the designs are pretty unique to their website. I also love that tank tops are also an option! For someone that has issues with sizes of t-shirts, a tank top is a great alternative. There are also some hoodies, which I love! It's really nice that there are also different color options for each clothing product. I find that is a nice touch, even though I prefer the black background for most of these.

A lot of the products are based on classic novels, but there are also some cool just standard bookish designs like ones with "The end" or headphones or typewriters on them. They are adorable, and I think a lot of my readers that love to collect or show off their bookish pride will like these designs too.

Here are just a sampling of the designs from the website (used with permission) that I think are awesome! I especially love the Edgar Allan Poe red tank.







The website has a really sleek, modern look to it that makes it easy to navigate. I like a solid clean background on a website, which is one of the reasons I switched up my blog look about a year ago. It definitely makes it easy to look at and want to come back to. It's really easy to search and browse as well, which I think it super important.

I featured mostly women's options in the samples above, but there are also men's/unisex shirt options available as well. I think my favorite thing are all the different tote bags. They are look so cool, and there are so many to chose from.

I highly recommend you check out Literary Book Gifts if you are looking for some new bookish apparel. Melissa of Literary Book Gift has been so kind to offer a code for 20% off anything in the store just for being one of my readers.  Make sure you use: DEANNAREADSBOOKS20 at checkout.

Hope you enjoy the bookish goodies! Visit Literary Book Gifts today!

Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Makeup Book Tag


Jess from Jessticulates tagged me to do this book tag. I haven't done a tag in soooo long, so I wanted to try doing one again. I think I never do them because they always take me so long to put together. This tag originated on Youtube, and youtubers usually do their makeup on camera.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

I'm not doing that! So instead I'm just going to write about my books here on the blog.


This one was a hard one to pinpoint, because so many books have left a lasting impression on me over the years. But I wanted to talk about something I've read more recently. The graphic memoir Belonging by Nora Krug was such a deep and powerful book. 


This is another tough one! I'm a huge series reader, so I have so many books to choose from. Honestly, and this won't be a shock to anyone but...The Princess Diaries. That book is what made me really get into books in the first place.


I don't know why this took me so long to think of, it's clearly Paul Slater from Meg Cabot's Mediator Series! He's the worst! Even the author was appalled when people started shipping him with Suze. We're not supposed to like him, because he's a Grade A Douche!



I'm going to go with Winter by Marissa Meyer. I think it wrapped up the Lunar Chronicles pretty well, and I was satisfied with how it ended.


The Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett. It is such a hidden gem of a series. It made me really start to seek out more adult urban fantasy. 


My favorite color is green, and I LOVE the green on the cover of the second book in the Magnus Chase series - The Hammer of Thor. Honestly, all of the covers of Rick Riordan books are all amazing. 


Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. You all know the author because of Gone Girl, but I think Dark Places is even better. I had NO idea how it was going to end until it was spelled out for me. It kept me guessing for a long time.


Literally all of the books in the Outlander series. I love those books but they are so long that they take me way too long to read. It's one of the reason I'm quitting ARCs for a little bit.


Kale & Aria from Titan's Wrath. First of all Kale sucked in this book, and second of all it is not explained AT ALL how they get together. I didn't care for it at all.


To All the Boys I Loved Before! I just finished this book, and immediately watched the adaption. Some of the characters were douchey, but I just love a fake relationship trope in a romance book. I read a lot of fan fiction as a teen, I adore this trope so much! 


Um...Nerd alert! But totally when Luke and Mara finally admit their feelings to each other in Vision of the Future. Ah! They are my ultimate OTP.

I tag...whoever feels like doing this! 


Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I loved as a Teen


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week's prompt is Back to School Freebie, but since i haven't stepped foot in a school since 2012, I decided to do this week's topic on Books I loved as Teen. These are probably going to be really dated, but also not surprising to anyone if you have been following my blog for awhile.


Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

There are so many other Sarah Dessen books I could have included on this list, but I chose Dreamland because it was my first introduction to her. It's such a dark and troubling book, but it definitely hooked me in. 


The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

Apparently there is a sequel to this now?!? I don't think I would necessarily say I was fat growing up, but my parents sure thought so and always made comments about my weight. Stuff like "suck your stomach in" etc. Because of that I felt like I really connected with the main character in this story. 


Avalon High By Meg Cabot

I bet you thought I was going to put the Princess Diaries on here, right?!? As much as I love TPD, I also read a TON of Meg Cabot in High School. One of my favorites of her standalone YA novels was Avalon High. There was a sequel, but it was done in a few graphic novels, and it just didn't have the same impact on me for some reason. 


Tithe by Holly Black

Tithe was the very first book by Holly Black that I picked up, and I'm sure it was a random school library pick for me. She's definitely one of my favorite authors now.


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

So, I actually had no intention of reading this initially, since it was assigned reading and all the other assigned reading I had to do in 8th grade was boring, boring, boring! The entire school had to read it because Anderson was coming in to do a presentation. One of my friends read it and forced me to actually do my homework. I'm really glad I did now!


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy By Douglas Adams

The movie came out when I was a teen, so I think that was the real reason I started this series. I don't think I ever finished it, but I definitely think I need to re-read it as an adult.


Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

I was kind of a pretentious teen (I mean, who isn't?) so I got really obsessed with Chuck Palahniuk's work. My cousin read a lot of his work too, so she was always giving me new recommendations. I lent this to a friend in high school and never got it back, I'm still mad about it! I even messaged her on Facebook about and got no response! GIVE ME MY BOOK BACK!!!


The Key to the Golden Firebird By Maureen Johnson

I believe this was Maureen Johnson's debut novel, the library at my school really talked it up, I think mostly because Johnson is from the Philly area. She's another author that has stuck with me through the years. 


Thrawn Trilogy By Timothy Zahn

I can't talk about the books I loved as a teen without talking about my love of star wars books. I think I shamefully read them in high school, but now I don't care who knows that I am a huge SW book nerd.


Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I feel like someone recommended this series to me, and I honestly don't know who it was. Maybe it was just the librarian?? Probably. Westerfeld is another favorite of mine.

Which books are on your list? Do you have a book you read as a teen that you still love today?


Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow

Monday, August 27, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King (The Dark Tower # 2)

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Release Date: October 10th, 2003
Format: Audiobook narrated by Frank Mueller
Source: Audible
My Rating: 
★1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD


While pursuing his quest for the Dark Tower through a world that is a nightmarishly distorted mirror image of our own, Roland, The Last Gunslinger, is drawn through a mysterious door that brings him into contemporary America. Here he links forces with the defiant young Eddie Dean, and with the beautiful, brilliant, and brave Odetta Holmes, in a savage struggle against underworld evil and otherworldly enemies.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book, and I have a lot of trepidation about talking about this book. On the one hand I think I liked it much better than the first book The Gunslinger. The first book is really just an introduction and it's just about a dude walking around in the desert, this book gets more into the meat of the story and it's chock full of action. On the other hand, I feel like there is a lot problematic content in this book. Look, I get it that anything you like is going to be problematic in some way, but I really dislike the use of racial slurs, and it really bothered me about the use of the n-word in this book. I liked the plot in this book a lot, but that is one aspect about it that I just didn't enjoy, and I feel like I have to point that out before I go any further with this review.

I feel like this book's plot was just way more interesting than the first book. It really gets into the real weird that comes into this book. The story picks up immediately when our Gunslinger Roland takes control of the "prisoner" as he calls him, which is a junkie named Eddie. Eddie was such an interesting character to me. He is so raw and real in the fact that he knows he's messed up in his life. He is so unapologetically himself, and presents himself as he is, faults and all. It was really interesting to listen to him and Roland interact, because they couldn't be more different. There were times when I really had to laugh at bumbling Eddie trying to keep Roland from dying. When Odetta joins them things get really interesting, but I can't talk much about her without giving away spoilers. It is with her character that I have some issues with.

This book is so action-packed! So much stuff happens right off the bat. King takes the reader for a spin by sticking them into the drug trafficking world of the l980s, to the Civil Rights Era in the '60s, and back to the weird in-between place of Roland's world that has been forgotten. I really want to know more about the setting they are all in now. This is series, so I think we are going to get that as we go further, but I think I figured out some things about the Tower. I think "The Tower" might be a metaphor for getting clean of addiction. I know that Stephen King struggled with addiction, and I think that fact that Roland is traveling with an addict to this mysterious Tower is a big tell. There's even a line in the book that Roland might not make it to the tower but he has to try to get there. I think it was that line that really made me think that's what the tower is supposed to represent.

Like the first book in the series, I listened to the second book on audio. There was a different narrator for the second book, so I was a little disappointed because I liked the first book; however, I think Frank Mueller was great! He does some really great New York accents, and I didn't even hate his voice for Odetta! It's very hard for me to like male narrators female voices, because sometimes they are just comically bad. I didn't mind his. All the different accents, voices and just his general performance in this audiobook made me really listen to this audiobook pretty quickly.

I definitely want to continue this series, but I'm not sure yet if I will do the third one on audiobook. What do you think about this book?

Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Graphic Novel Review: Hasib and the Queen of Serpents by David B.

Hasib and the Queen of Serpents
Publisher: NBM Publishing
Release Date: June 2nd, 2018
Format: Egalley,
Source: Netgalley*
My Rating: 


Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Heir to the wise Daniel, Hâsib is a young woodcutter promised to a great future. When his greedy companions abandon him in the middle of the forest, he meets the Queen of Serpents. She then tells her story, a fabulous adventure filled with gods and demons, princes and prophets. From Kabul to Cairo, journeys intertwine with intrigues and spiritual quests while the fabulous nights follow one another. An enchanting and intricately designed interpretation of the story of Hâsib Karîm ad-Dîm, through which David B. opens for us the gates of the Thousand and One Nights. For mature readers. 
I have some mixed feelings about this graphic novel. On the one hand, the colors and artwork in this one was amazing, but on the other hand I felt like the narrative flow gets a little lost.

The artwork in this one was awesome to look at. It had really saturated colors that made it really nice to look at. Artwork is a really important thing to me when it comes to reviewing graphic novels, and this one definitely hooked me in.  It was just beautiful to look at and that's really important in this medium.

I had a feeling this story was built off of some sort of folklore, just based on the names of the characters and the fact that they kept mentioning King Solomon. It looks like it's kind of a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. Where it loses me a little bit is that the narrative is a story within a story within a story, that I kind of forgot what was the actual point of the original narrator. It's an interesting way to tell a story for sure, but it did kind of lose me a bit. Also throughout the novel there would be someone that said, "and it was the 496 (or whatever number) night" and that started to get really irritating to me.

I think if you are looking for an quick read and want to read about a folklore re-telling, this one is for you. This was an interesting story, and i enjoyed it but it didn't give me a big "wow factor" that other books do.

Have you read this graphic novel? What did you think?

*I received a free egalley copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

ARC Review: Belonging: A German Reckons With History and Home by Nora Krug

Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home By Nora Krug
Publisher: Scribner
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Format: Egalley,
Source: Netgalley*
My Rating: 


Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

A revelatory, visually stunning graphic memoir by award-winning artist Nora Krug, telling the story of her attempt to confront the hidden truths of her family’s wartime past in Nazi Germany and to comprehend the forces that have shaped her life, her generation, and history.

Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a long shadow throughout her childhood and youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. For Nora, the simple fact of her German citizenship bound her to the Holocaust and its unspeakable atrocities and left her without a sense of cultural belonging. Yet Nora knew little about her own family’s involvement in the war: though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it.

In her late thirties, after twelve years in the US, Krug realizes that living abroad has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare to as a child and young adult. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier in Italy. Her extraordinary quest, spanning continents and generations, pieces together her family’s troubling story and reflects on what it means to be a German of her generation.

Belonging wrestles with the idea of Heimat, the German word for the place that first forms us, where the sensibilities and identity of one generation pass on to the next. In this highly inventive visual memoir—equal parts graphic novel, family scrapbook, and investigative narrative—Nora Krug draws on letters, archival material, flea market finds, and photographs to attempt to understand what it means to belong to one’s country and one’s family. A wholly original record of a German woman’s struggle with the weight of catastrophic history, Belonging is also a reflection on the responsibility that we all have as inheritors of our countries’ pasts.
This graphic memoir is a really deep and poignant look at one's self. It's a really heavy topic, but I found it awesome to experience Nora's journey of self-discovery cool to be done in the graphic medium. I also loved that it wasn't a typical graphic novel. The book was drawn as if written in a notebook, and there were even real photos put into it to make it feel more real. One page might have a real photo of her grandfather in a german uniform, and the next page was a little illustration of the people in the town. It kind of hit you with the truth suddenly. I do want to post a warning though, some of the images early on were a little too much to handle. We are dealing with WWII in Nazi Germany, so there are some horrific images there. So just be mindful of that if that could be a trigger, or just something you wouldn't want to see in a book.

Nora's memoir is really fascinating to me, because it really looks at war and how it shapes a country. Does the war ever really leave a country? What the Nazis did was really truly terrible, and Nora has known that her entire life. She feels like she has been shamed so much by her country's past that to be patriotic in any shape is bad, and she doesn't really know where she belongs. I really felt for her when she mentions people would do the Hitler Salute to her in jest when they found out she was German. That was just so cruel. Since she feels this way, she decides to find out just what exactly her family did during the war. War shapes everyone it touches, even after it's been long gone. It changes a country, it changes a landscape, and in Nora's experience it feel like Germany is still dealing with what their ancestors did.

It's hard to read about what happened in Germany to both the Jews and the Germany people. Nora sets out to really find the truth about what her family did in what seems like a way to absolve her of her guilt. I don't think in the end that isn't really the point of her doing this. She just wants to have the answers to all her questions. She just wants to know what really happened. It won't make her feel better, but it will make her understand her family and herself. I think the point of her story is really the journey, and not what she ends up finding.

I feel like I can't say much more about this book without giving more of it away. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but this one was a really in depth look at how history and culture can really affect a family for years. I'm really glad I read this one.

*I received a free egalley copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.



Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

RJB's latest, which actually comes out today, is amazing! He is amazing, and is fast becoming a favorite author of mine. You can read me gushing about the ARC for this one here.


Shadow of the Fox By Julie Kagawa

This was another book I could not put down. It doesn't release until October, but you read my ARC review, and read about me freaking out about how much I loved it. Fun fact, the author tweeted my bloglovin link to my post. I was so ecstatic! 


The Alchemists of Loom By Elise Kova

This was a book I went into with ZERO expectations, and I ended up loving this steampunk world. It was a unique fantasy, that had NO humans, which was super interesting to me.


Kill The Farm Boy By Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne

Okay, this book is just silly, but if you are in a reading slump I think it will shake off the bad books you've read recently. It's kind of dumb-funny, which is the best kind of funny. It will just put you in the right mood.


Chaotic Good By Whitney Gardner

I LOVED this book so much. Like I blew right through it. It made me really question the type of books I've been reading. I love a good YA contemporary. Also, I definitely think I would love D&D.


Geekerella By Ashley Poston

While some parts of this book were super cheesy and the drama was a bit much, I couldn't get enough of it. It's just a cute romance, which I think is a nice palette cleanser when you read really heavy high fantasy all the time.




The Fifth Season By N.K. Jemisin

N.K. Jemisin just won a third Hugo, and it really shows with this series. I can't wait to get to the next book in this series.


Meg Cabot

Okay, my answer for this one is cheating a little, because it's just LITERALLY ANYTHING BY MEG CABOT. Meg is my FAVORITE author, so I just love to re-read the Princess Diaries anything the world gets to me too much for me.


Saga

Saga is just the best! Like stop reading this and just go buy it, right meow! ugh, I love it so much.


Nimona

This web-comic turned graphic novel had me cry-laughing. It is so funny and good. 

What books got you out of your reading slumps? Have you read any of these?

Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow

Monday, August 20, 2018

Audiobook Review: Annihilation By Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: June, 2014
Format: Audiobook narrated by Carolyn McCormick
Source: Overdrive
My Rating: 
★1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.
This is the twelfth expedition.
Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything. 

So...I felt not that impressed by this book, like a lot. It wasn't that it was bad by any means, I just found myself, I don't know, bored? 

The book is basically about a botanist that is on this expedition with three other women, but none of them call each other by their names. All the other expedition teams disappeared or went crazy, so this is another mission to try to figure out what the heck is happening. To me it felt like nothing really happened. Like 75% of the book they walked around and looked at some moss on the wall, and our protagonist lamented about her dead husband. It wasn't until the very end that it got super interesting and chaotic. I'm not sure if pumping up the action in the last bit of the book is enough for me to want to read the next one, because this one just didn't cut it for me.

I think part of the problem I had with the book was that I just couldn't connect with the main character. She is very laser-focused on the work she is doing, but she also spends so much time just thinking about her husband. The more we learn about her, the more is seemed like she didn't really like her husband all that much, so I didn't get why she was so upset. I also feel like she is written as a stereotypical scientist--a little cold and unfeeling. It just didn't jive with me. I also felt like I got nothing out of the secondary characters. They felt really two-dimensional to me, like I didn't get much out of them. I think part of that is because The Botanist is an unreliable narrator, but I needed more from the other people around her to understand what was happening in this book.

I think I just wanted more out of this book, but since it's a first book I am willing to forgive it, but I don't think it's made me want to continue to read the rest of the series. I just found myself so uninterested in this one. Maybe it was just a fluke. I wonder really why this one didn't work for me, because it seems like so many other people adore it. Maybe it was just the narrator, maybe it was just my mood, but this one was just a miss in my book.

Have you read Annihilation? What did you think?

Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow

Sunday, August 19, 2018

ARC Review: Shadow of the Fox By Julie Kagawa

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Format: Egalley,
Source: Netgalley*
My Rating: 


Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
Okay full disclosure, I LOVE Julie Kagawa. I read all of her Iron Fey series during the summer in between my college years, and I adored them so much! I read Talon from her a few years ago, so I was so excited when Netgalley* gave me the opportunity to read an advanced reader copy of the first book in her newest series, Shadow of the Fox! 

This fantasy series was so cool, because it really dug deep into Japanese feudal society and folklore of the Yokai. Which I knew next to nothing about going into this book, but I feel like I have learned a lot about Japanese mythology, while also being really entertained! I saw a lot of reviews saying it gave them Inuyasha feels, and I would say that is pretty accurate. She paints a clear picture with her words of the setting of this novel, and I also felt like I got a really good sense of the culture. 

At first I was really unsure about this novel because we are introduced to a character whom I thought was the protagonist, and then we kind of forget about her and focus on our main characters Yumeko & Tatsumi. I was so very confused, but that character you first meet does play a part later on in the novel, I just didn't know it yet. I was really glad that Kagawa brought that around, because I was thinking, "okay, why have that intro??" I also got over it, because I really loved the characters Yumeko and Tatsumi that were brought to life later in the book.

Yumeko is a super interesting character to me, she's a half-Yokai -- a Kitsune (fox), but she has to hide her true form when she ends up traveling with humans. I found her delightful, even though she is super naive and trusts anyone she comes across. I think it makes sense since she grew up in a temple raised by Monks and knows pretty much nothing about the outside world. I also think she is so trusting because she likes to see the good in everyone and she really tries to do the right thing. Even though at the same time she is deceiving everyone around her. I think her personality really painted the conflict she feels inside of trying to balance her human and Yokai sides. 

Tatsumi is such a stoic, crotchety character, so of course I loved him! He has a lot on his plate, and is dealing with his own demons (literally) so it's really hard for him to trust anyone or even be around other people. My heart really broke for him and his situation. I'm not sure if it's clear about his background in the Shadow Clan. I was curious if he was born into it, or if he's like a slave and can never leave it. Can he chose to leave the life of Shinobi, or is he stuck in his predicament? I'm hoping to get more answers on this as this series progresses. I also feel there might be a slow burn romance between Tatsumi and Yumeko? He definitely learns to care for her, and I liked seeing that struggle in Tatsumi. 

This book was so action-packed! It also is a "quest" novel, which is my favorite type of fantasy novels to read. I loved all the trials and Yokai they come across in their journey to the Steel Feather Temple. They collect a group to travel there and come across some real binds to get out of. Like a cursed town, a demon bear and a blood mage! This book was so exciting! Although, fair warning if you have read Kagawa before, you know she likes to leave you itching for the next book in the series. This one was no different. The book doesn't end with Yumeko getting to the Temple. She has just started her journey, and it ends with some crazy things that will need to get resolved in the next books. I am very excited to continue reading this series and see where it goes. 

This book is written in different perspectives, sometimes it was in third person, and sometimes we would get the first person switching back between Tatsumi and Yumeko. I found this slightly distracting, and I think maybe this book would be slightly better written in third person altogether. I also had some issues distinguishing between the two first person voices. It wasn't a deal breaker for me, because the plot and action in this novel was amazing, but it did make me rate this a little lower than I normally would. I still think this is a really awesome start to a series, and I highly recommend it.

Are you excited for this new series? 

*I received a free egalley copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow

Friday, August 17, 2018

One With The Force: The Jedi Order Is Kind Of The Worst


Another new One With The Force post coming at you, and it didn't take me another 4 months to post this feature. 😂

Today, I want to talk about the Jedi Order, and how I think they are not all that cracked up to be. A lot of this stems from the current Star Wars lore from the prequel movies, the Clone Wars cartoons...and the Knights of the Old Republic video game. I'm also not 100% sure if the lore we learn about in the game are officially canon, but Dave Filoni did bring some of that lore in Star Wars Rebels with the Dark Saber and Mandalorian Wars. So take this all with a grain of salt. That being sad MASSIVE spoilers ahead for the KOTOR video game, so if you haven't played the game yet (I mean it came out in 2003, so I think it's been long enough now) I would maybe skip over that part. I will being putting SPOILER ahead of the paragraph I talk about that and END SPOILER so you can still experience this post.

I think one of my key problems with the Jedi Council is how they treat Anakin Skywalker, and I think a lot of how they deal with him being "too old" and being so strict might have played a hand in his turn to the dark side. The Jedi would get mad if Anakin didn't do something the way they wanted it to be done, and throughout The Clone Wars he was getting continually frustrated with how they handled things. This drove a wedge between him and his master Obi-Wan, which allowed for Palpatine to really seduce him to the dark side. BUT, I still think the Jedi are a little hypocritical. They believe in not killing prisoners, so when they finally figure out Palpatine is the Sith Lord, Anakin is surprised that Mace Windu wants to just kill him out right, because that's "not the Jedi Way." Anakin tries to do right, and tries to adhere to the code, but it ends up back firing and he is further seduced by the dark side. Isn't it a little hypocritical for the Jedi to just want to kill a villain out right? From what we know of the old order, they only killed when they had to and there was no other option. They didn't get joy out of killing a enemy, but in the case with Palpatine and Mace, it seems like Mace is not living by the Jedi Code. That part in Revenge of the Sith has always bothered me. Anakin was trying so hard to do what he was supposed to, but the Council just beat him down at every chance they could.

KOTOR SPOILER
So, there is a big reveal in the Knights of the Old Republic, which was spoiled for me anytime I got stuck on something and had to look something up on a forum. It's okay though this game came out in 2003! So the character you play kinda doesn't know what they are doing in the battle, but it's discovered that they are strong in the Force so the Jedi Council agrees to train them. Even though they complain again about them being too old, another rule that annoys me about their order. So you go around trying to stop the evil Darth Malak, who was once a Jedi but fell to the dark side alongside his master Darth Revan, who he later killed. Guess who the playable character is??? Darth F---ing Revan!

The Jedi decided that because they don't kill prisoners, they saved Revan and essentially brainwashed them to fight on their side. WHAT.THE.ACTUAL.F!! It made me so mad when I found that out! I still played the game on the light side, because that's how I role, but it's also what sparked me to write this post in the first place. The Jedi basically try to excuse it because they were doing something for "the greater good", and I think that is just such BS! I think it makes them out to be such massive hypocrites. Like, how does that make the Jedi better than The Sith? Just because they are doing it for the "right" reasons? UGH, I'm still mad about it. It's exactly what the Sith do to one of the party members in the game once this is revealed, so I think it just really shows that The Jedi really aren't that much different from The Sith.
END KOTOR SPOILER

Let's also talk about the whole "Only a Sith Deals In Absolutes." Um...dude, that in itself is an absolute. I think that problem with the Sith and the Jedi is that they both think their way is the right way. The Jedi believe that being on the path of the light is how to be just and good, but the Sith think that the Jedi imprison them by not allowing them to use some of the dark energy of the force. I think they are both wrong. I think they are actually just a different side of the same coin. They are just one extreme over the other, and I think what "balance in the force" really means to be able to pull from both the dark and light side of the force, but not let it take over you. Yes, you guessed it, I am a fan of Grey Jedis! I really think Grey Jedis are the whole point of being in balance with the force. It might also be why I love Star Wars characters that don't hold strictly to the teachings, but kind of do their own thing. Or like Ahsoka just walked away from the order because they were basically untrustworthy to her.

The whole "no attachments" rule has also always irritated me, a lot. I mean that's how you got Darth Vader! You done goofed, Jedi Council! Like, I get why this order has this rule, but I think their structure about love turning people to the dark side is a little far-fetched. The Jedi aren't unfeeling, and they definitely have attachments to either each, so the you can't love rule just always seemed really dumb to me. I will say that I do like in the Clone Wars that Obi-Wan would have left the order, his whole life, for the woman he loved, but they both think their duty is more important than their love. So in theory, some Jedi might have left because of this, but the rule has always seemed dumb to me.

After playing KOTOR, I started to really think about the Jedi Order and all the things they do. I think they do a lot of things wrong. So, this is probably the most controversial thing I will say on this blog, but...I kinda get why in The Last Jedi Luke doesn't want the order to continue. Like, they F--ed up A LOT!

What do you think? I want to hear what you think about this. Are the Jedi as bad as the Sith? Do you think despite all this, the Jedi Order should be returned?

Happy Reads Everyone!
Follow