A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1) – Book Review

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Published Date: October 3, 2017

Publishing Co.: Del Rey Books

Pages: 624

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buddy read with my BFF Crumpets&Arsenic.

“Great kracken tits!” may be my new favorite exclamation.

A bard is telling the tales of war from the point of view of various characters across the land. The tale of their homeland invaded by an unknown race of giants in bone armor, therefore dubbed, the Bone Giants. Their surprise arrival and conquest of major cities, leaving nothing but death and destruction in their wake, for reasons unknown to their victims. Death comes swiftly in the night, leaving nothing but blackwings circling over silent cities for select unsuspecting souls to find days too late for help to arrive.

We learn the magic and history of the world through the tales told by the bard as he recounts the stories to the city every night. A city full of refuges with no homes, often no loved ones left and no jobs to rebuild their lives. Each day they return to the wall to hear stories that remind them that they are not alone in their loss and how each invasion happened and about those who were there and tried to thwart the Bone Giants’ success.

In between the tellings, we follow a historian in the refugee city as he writes down the bard’s stories as a first collection of a new history. We learn about the historian’s own life and loss and his friendship with the leader of the city, his attempts at spying on the bard for secret information. His generosity of letting a refugee family stay in his home.

The magic in this world is a tale of it’s own. There are five kennings, with a theorized sixth and seventh kenning that has yet to be discovered. There is one kenning to control water, one to control wind, one for plants, one for earth and one for fire. People have to be willing to end their own life in order to be blessed with a kenning. Each kenning has it’s own trial, but there are only ever two results; you die or you are blessed with a new power. You must be willing to sacrifice everything to gain something.

This is a great opening book to a series. The characters are endearing and yet no one is safe. Many times you don’t even know they’re dead until you get to the end of their tale. Just enough time to become fully invested in them. I look forward to following the surviving characters as the war continues.

Kevin Hearne also has one of the most poignant descriptions of losing a loved one that I’ve ever read:

The mourning of a loved one never ends at the funeral. It comes back every so often like a stage performer eager for a curtain call and expects you to be loud about it. I gave it all the lung capacity I had.”

That hit home.

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Road Crew – Beer Review

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Name: Road Crew

Brewing Company: Arcadia Brewing Company (For U.S. distribution)

Location of Company: Kalamazoo, MI.

Style: America IPA

ABV: 6.2%

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Description: Perfect amount of bitterness mixed with crisp, clean flavors. Refreshing. One of those beers that you’d drink a 6-pak before you know it. Get it while you can!

MUST LISTEN TO MOTORHEAD WHILST DRINKING.

Playing in the Forest

If you’ve never played in the forests of Northern Michigan, you should take the time one day and really give it a try. I went back to my old hometown of Gaylord, MI this past weekend to visit my dad for his birthday. It was a weekend to be all about him and what did he want to do? Go two-tracking in the forest. Something we used to do on a regular basis when we moved to the area and knew no one. And since I had been feeling a severe lack of nature in my life recently, I was all too happy to oblige.

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Flying Squirrels

Now not the actual flying squirrels with cute caped armpits, I’m talking about these chunky fucks:

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The Fox Squirrel.

Ozzy’s arch nemesis.

Yesterday, I got home from work and promptly took the dogs outside. One of these chunky fucks was apparently surprised by our arrival even though we were not quiet about it. The dogs tree’d him in the smallest tree in the yard. Mind you, this tree is still twice my height. There was no chance that the dogs could actually get to him. Despite this, I didn’t want the dogs harassing him. So ring around the tree I go, trying to grab Ozzy because once I wrangle him, Samus will follow. Dogs are fast though so this was not working. The whole time the squirrel is chattering his fool head off.

Finally, I stop, put my hands on my hips and kindly explain to the squirrel that he needs to shut the fuck up because it’s just keeping the dogs all riled up.

MOTHER FUCKER LAUNCHES HIMSELF AT ME LIKE I’M THE NEXT AVAILABLE GODDAMN TREE.

I scream the world’s most pathetic scream, which I think caused him to realize, “OH SHIT THIS IS NOT A TREE” and he lands on my foot and scampers off up a giant maple tree.

Now I am forever scarred by the image of a fat, brown fuck with tail helicoptering coming at me from above.

Fucking squirrels.

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Buddy Reads

How many of you participate in buddy reads? And, what has your experience been like?

I’ve taken part in one or two buddy reads on Goodreads with people but find that they’re not as exciting as I think they’ll be. One was definitely more fun than the other, probably because of the person it was with.

Now, the buddy reads I find MOST exciting are the ones that I do with my BFF, Ignited Moth. We don’t do them as often as you would think either. Maybe every couple of years?

Tomorrow we start A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne. I can’t wait. 🙂

Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1) – Book Review

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Published Date: April 26, 2011

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 402

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A proper steampunk caper.

Agent Eliza D. Braun is pushing her boss to the limits. She’s an extraordinarily good agent for Queen and country but her methods tend to involve a good deal of dynamite and a scattering of dead bodies. Despite several warnings, her missions continue to end in explosions and newspaper features that bring to forefront the secret agency of the crown that she works for, The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Luckily, few people even know of it’s existence, hence secret agency, but in order to keep it that way she might just get an assignment that does not let her blow things up or play with guns.

Like, getting shut away in the basement of the agency with the Archivist, who’s idea of a good time is organizing and cataloging case files.

Wellington Books is a gentleman of fine breeding, but he prefers the quiet and seclusion of his basement department filled with unique devices found on peculiar missions and overflowing paperwork. These things make sense to him. Guns, dynamite and death defying missions do not. His new partner is going to test his limits and then some. Her restless nature makes her a poor candidate for sitting in the darkness for hours on end.

But being tucked away, filtering through unsolved cases of the Ministry, leads to new information about Eliza’s last partner’s solo mission which ended with her partner locked away in the insane asylum. Agent Books can’t resist a good mystery and soon they are undercover inside another secret society investigating people intent on taking down the crown. One agent with extensive field experience, another with barely any experience but exceptional cunning. Will it be enough to get them out alive?

I had fun. Simple as that. Sure, in some parts my mind wandered a bit but it brought me back when the action picked up again. Books was a good anchor to Braun’s excessiveness, but I love a feisty lady.

Normally, I pay no attention to chapter names but these ones caught my eye every single saucy time;

InWhich Our Plucky Pepperpot Eliza D. Braun Must Pay The Piper for Her Feats of Derring-Do!”

Wherein Wellington Books Acts a Perfect Gentleman, but Is Not Above a Little Skullduggery Too”

AND, there is an Agent Bruce Campbell – mad props for that, intentional or not.

Army of Darkness (1993)
Directed by Sam Raimi
Shown: Bruce Campbell

Word Up

I woke up and logged into my little blog to find that I’ve hit 500 followers!

A big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my little corner of the blogosphere and provided entertaining conversations.

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I was recently made a moderator on one of my Goodreads groups. New adventure time! I haven’t done much on it yet other than chatting with people but I’m having fun nonetheless and it makes me feel cool. 😛

If you would be interested in joining a sweet SF/F group and building your TBR pile along with getting the chance to ask some published authors questions about their books, leave me a comment and I’ll let you know the name of the group.

Cheers!

 

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

There are almost always bananas in my house. Nine times out of ten, my husband won’t eat them because he knows if they start to brown, I’ll turn them into some sort of delectable treat. Problem is, I’ve made so many now that I’m scouring the internet for new banana treats to try. I’ve found some fun new things that I look forward attempting, but until then, here’s a banana bread with one ingredient I haven’t tried making it with yet.

This bread was incredibly moist. I’m cringing at that word but it’s the best I can think of to describe it. Easy to make recipe.

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Recipe here.

Beyond Redemption (Manifest Delusions #1) – Book Review

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Published Date: June 16, 2015

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 512

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

My dark little heart is filled with glee.

What if you believed something enough that it became reality? You could change your life and the lives of those around you by simply believing something to be real. You could control those around you, their fate steadily in your hands. You could elevate them to do important things or throw away their lives as needed for your own purpose. Ultimately, what if you could make all those people believe in a new god? A new god that you created and controlled. Delusional, yes?

Add to that aspect, the belief that when you die, the people you’ve slain will be there to do your bidding. Combine these two beliefs and you have our protagonist, Konig. He’s creating a man-made god to slay so that he may have a god obey him in the Afterdeath and to save him from his own delusions. The problem is, no matter how strong your delusions, they cannot rule everyone in the world and there are quite a few people who would love to have a god doing their bidding when their death comes.

Make no mistakes, there are no heroes in this tale. Only bad people using others to gain advantages in this life or the next.

I cannot decide which perspective I enjoyed more, Konig’s decline into insanity, Gehirn’s yearning for affection from literally anyone, Morgen’s confusion about the purpose of his Ascension to godhood or Bedeckt, Stehlin and Wichtig’s faulty attempt at getting rich. Each character brings their own darkness and delusions to the table and a story lacking any of them would have been a much poorer tale.

The imagination it took to create this is astounding. The forms of torture (both self inflicted and inflicted onto victims) were a masterpiece of grimdark. Make no mistake, let no one tell you any differently, this is grimdark at it’s finest.

I am so glad that I bought this book instead just borrowing it from the library, despite being by an author I’ve never read before, because it deserves it’s spot upon my bookshelves.

The Book Blogger Inside Tag

I stole this little beaut from the lovely The Shameful Narcissist. I really enjoy reviewing books so I thought a tag about how the writing happens would be fun. Plus, it’s been a very long time since I’ve done a tag of any sort. So I’m going to sit here, sipping my delicious coffee with strawberry cheesecake creamer and try not to give super grumpy answers since I’m not a real human until the coffee kicks in.

Where do you typically write your blog posts?

On my very comfortable sofa on the end with the chaise lounge. Usually covered in one or two dogs with the cat peeking over my shoulder from the back of the couch.

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How long does it generally take you to write a book review?

I’ve never timed it before but I would guess about a half hour. Depends on my feelings about the book though. If I absolutely loved or hated it, I might bang it out quicker. If it was just meh, I might stare intently at the computer screen for a few minutes between each paragraph, trying to figure out what to say next.

Continue reading The Book Blogger Inside Tag