It probably helped that this had zero Buzzkillington the Third in it. (Michael.)
In Summer Knight, we see a complete unraveling of Harry in regards to the ending of the last book and what happened to his girlfriend, Susan. He doesn’t care much about anything other than trying to find something to help her resist her new semi-vampire status. In the mean time, vampires have declared war on Harry and the White Council and have put hits out on both. Harry is under intense scrutiny by the Council and may even get fed to the vampires to help put things back to right. At least that’s the opinion of Harry’s enemies among the Council. As if all that wasn’t enough, war is brewing between the two faerie courts and Harry’s been dragged in against his will to help absolve Queen Mab of murder. So needless to say, Harry can’t sit in his basement studying any more.
Here, we begin to see some of Harry’s more annoying traits begin to die down. He recognizes that keeping people in the dark, in order to protect them, is actually only doing harm. He still wants to save all the damsels but he acknowledges that sometimes, the damsels can handle themselves.
He also begins to accept help from his friends instead of trying to be the lone hero so that no one else but him gets hurt. He lets them know the level of danger and leaves the decision to attend the melee up to his possible allies.
The growth of Harry Dresden looks good on him.
I’m very upset about the death of Meryl. I think she would have been an absolutely great character addition to this series beyond one book. I could read a million more books about troll girl.
My favorite battle moment was when Harry looked at an enemy, yelled, “Meep! Meep!” and ran away.
I’m relieved this is picking up again. Maybe I won’t wait so long to continue onto the next book.
Alex Bentley is a ghost therapist. She helps spirits move onto whatever afterlife exists. People hire her to rid themselves of troublesome ghosts that are effecting business or driving the living person insane. Her latest case pulls her to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. What at first appears to be your average restless spirit turns into a missing persons case. The police have put in virtually zero effort in finding missing teenage boys, instead just labeling them drug addicts and runaways. The rumors in the small town even point to Native American folklore as the possible culprit.
This book is absolutely fine if you take it for what it is. A paranormal mystery with minimum world building and fairly two dimensional characters. There is a possible love triangle and some insta-love happening and isn’t that the formula for a million urban fantasies out there?
As someone who helped start a small business, I find her complete lack of business sense annoying. She’ll jet off to help someone with no guarantee of getting paid or getting paid much more than it’s costing her. She’s flying to other states, spending days at a time, coming home and having barely any money to show for it. She’s on the brink of losing everything, yet she does it again. You can point out that you can’t put a price on doing what you love, but when you’re the only known ghost therapist, you can literally put a price tag on it.
All the action parts were sparse, easily handled and over almost immediately. Even drawing out more detail of an eventual trial would have provided some well needed depth.
What this book needs is more fleshing out. More world building, more character building and progression, and more descriptions of virtually everything. At times you went from being inside the character’s mind frame to the character addressing you as if you were an audience or they were writing a letter. Anytime that Alex thought anything remotely deep that might resound with the reader, it was pointed out how serious and dark things were getting in her head and she tried to lighten the mood with some quip.
There is a lot of potential here for a great urban fantasy if the author worked out a few of these kinks. Otherwise, it’s fine but not something I’ll run around recommending to my friends.
The first new recipe of 2020! With it only being 13 days into the new year when I baked it, that’s not a bad start. You know the drill by now….the bananas were going bad. (OR, should we say they were going extra good??)
Not only do they smell delicious when baking, their flavor backs it up.
At this point, you’ve heard me mention Last Podcast on the Left, several times. What you haven’t heard me mention, is that they have a whole podcast network. While not every podcast is my jam, the two mentioned in the title are a couple of my other favorites. Their subject matter is completely different than their parent podcast.
Wizard and the Bruiser is hosted by Holden and Jake. They take deep dives into various subjects in nerd culture. For example some of their episodes have included; Invader Zim, Smash Brothers, Junji Ito and Zelda. It’s a different form of edu-tainment than the true crime series. Informational and fun.
Page 7 is your pop culture fun zone. Hosted by Jackie, Molly and Holden, they discuss the latest celebrity gossip and deep dives into pop culture subjects. While pop culture is not one of my favorite subjects, the hosts are so damn funny that I don’t care what subject they talk about, I’ll listen.
Which brings me to to their live show that we attended last night in Pontiac, MI. I’ve never laughed so hard. While LPOTL is great, I definitely laughed harder at this show. Their energy was great and they fed off of the crowd. It was a smaller venue so we easily had great seats.
After the show, my husband spoke with Jake and Holden briefly. Me? I lurked in the shadows. I never know what to say to people that they don’t hear a million times. My resort is just telling them that I love them and to thank them for coming to our area. My anxiety level sky rockets at even this amount of interaction.
Then, we waited to meet the queen herself, Jackie Zebrowski. There may not be a funnier, nicer person on the planet. By the time it was our turn to meet her, my anxiety dissipated and sank into Mr. C&M. So for once, he was the awkward one and I was fine. Lmao. She’s seriously such a warm person and has no problem striking up a conversation with anyone. We chatted for a few minutes,she graciously took a picture with us, hugged us super hard and thanked us for making it out to the show and showing our support.
If you haven’t checked out either of these podcasts and one or both appeal to you, I highly recommend that you give them a try. And if they tour anywhere near you, check out their live show. Your cheeks will hurt from laughing after.
Okay, sure. I haven’t read any other books yet, but I have a strong feeling this is going to be a top contender for the whole year.
I’m not going to recap anything about this book because you just need to experience it for yourself but I will summarize it as Sons of Anarchy with hog riding half-orcs.
At first I felt bad about the comparison because I loved it so much, but there were a couple things that were almost straight from SOA. Turns out however, that’s exactly what the author meant to do. Sons of Anarchy meets Tolkien.
If you’re one of those people who are easily offended, I recommend avoiding this one like an orc plague. If you’re like me, one of those people that cusses like a sailor and is hard pressed to get offended, you’ll do just fine here.
I think one of the things I was most impressed with was the myriad of character and plot twists. I rarely guessed correctly what was going to happen next and that kept every turn of the page exciting. Every day I just wanted to come home from work and sit down with a little savagery.
In case you were not aware, this was originally a self-published book that was picked up by a publisher after it won a self-publishing contest by author Mark Lawrence. Which is just pretty cool in itself.
I want to read it again and then run out and get my filthy little quim hands on the next one.
New Year’s Eve was spent with our best friends, Ignited Moth and Mr. Moth at a mutual friend’s (from book club!) wedding. We had a nice dinner out, attended the party, celebrated midnight together and then promptly opened presents because we couldn’t wait until the morning. (That was followed by a Mario Kart tournament and us not going to bed until 4 am.) It was a fantastic way to bring in a new year and the Moths truly spoiled us.
Here’s my book/comic haul from the both of them:
I am so pumped about all of these and don’t know where to begin. I did start the new year with a different book from any of these for my first read of the year because I had been planning that for about a month but I’m sure that I’ll hit up one of these beauties next.
Good morning one and all! It’s the time of year, quite literally the very day, that one chooses what changes they want to make in the new year. But before I get into that, let’s recap how I did with 2019’s resolutions.
Begin re-reading the Harry Potter series: I did read the first book, so that’s one bookish resolution down.
Read fat, epic fantasy novels: Semi-successful? I read four, what I consider fat, novels. I had hoped to get to a lot more but it just didn’t happen.
Like I said last year, some progress is better than no progress. 🙂
Spend the minimum amount on books as possible. I have over 100 books at home and it’s time I made my way through a large chunk of them. This means no buying books, with some few exceptions: If I must buy a book for book club because it is unavailable anywhere else or it’s such a good deal that it would be stupid to pass it up. (Less than $5 and I desperately want it.) Library and borrowing from Ms. Moth and my little bookworm cousin are 100% acceptable.
Read more non-fiction. I’d really like to get back into true crime reads and other things to grow my knowledge base.
Build a bookshelf. I wanted to do this in 2019 but it never happened so I’m making it an actual goal in 2020.
That’s it for bookish resolutions.
I don’t usually do resolutions outside of books but Mr. C&M and I are making a point to change some things this year.
Get in shape. It might seem cliche but we could both really be healthier.
Pay off medical bills.
Pay down credit cards.
To sum it up, basically our goals are to get ahead in life in 2020. We’re not doing bad by any means but we both want to be sitting comfortably in the future.
2019 was not a year of baking for me with Mr. C&M being sick for almost half the year. Hopefully, 2020 will change that, especially since we received a bunch of fancy new kitchen gadgets for the holidays. Not all of these recipes involved baking, which was a fun change as well. In no particular order, here are my favorites of the past year:
Travel between planets is relatively easy. Therefore, aliens, werewolves, vampires, and all manner of creatures and humanoids can show up at anytime, anywhere, on any planet.
Dina Demille is an innkeeper on Earth. Inns are neutral territories. Innkeepers do their best to remain neutral so long as it doesn’t threaten their clientele. People come to them for sanctuary and protection.
Dina’s inn was once abandoned and almost decayed beyond repair. She’s been nurturing it back to health for awhile now but with only one resident, the process is slow going. With limited money coming in, she can’t provide it with all the materials it needs to rebuild itself. (The inns themselves are considered sentient by some. They have a symbiotic relationship with their keepers.) So, when trouble comes in the form of creatures killing neighborhood dogs, the local werewolf giving her attitude and warrior vampires showing up, demanding to be let in, Dina must decide whether to get involved. If she doesn’t, her inn may never earn a higher rating from the Council, which means more business, or she does and ruins the reputation herself. A bit of a catch 22. Piss off a faction of beings who can report her or have the secrecy of her inn exposed before she can make something substantial of the inn?
I enjoyed the hell out of this. It’s short, yet full of world building and action packed. I liked Dina and her little dog creature, Beast. I loved the concepts of the inns and the healthy helping of science fiction thrown in with magic. There is a possible love triangle beginning but even that cannot deter my enjoyment.
Well the end of the year is here kids, and with the holiday craziness, I don’t expect to sneak any more books in before 2020 is upon us. I think a little reading break will do me some good and I can maybe catch up on a show here and there. Not to mention, plan some of my reading for next year.
So without further ado, I bring to you, my favorite books that I read in 2019. 😀
“Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…
Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…
Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man sheloves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.
The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…”
“Live fast, die young.
Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.
When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.
It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.“
“In April of 1846, twenty-one-year-old Sarah Graves, intent on a better future, set out west from Illinois with her new husband, her parents, and eight siblings. Seven months later, after joining a party of emigrants led by George Donner, they reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains as the first heavy snows of the season closed the pass ahead of them. In early December, starving and desperate, Sarah and fourteen others set out for California on snowshoes and, over the next thirty-two days, endured almost unfathomable hardships and horrors.
In this gripping narrative, Daniel James Brown sheds new light on one of the most infamous events in American history. Following every painful footstep of Sarah’s journey with the Donner Party, Brown produces a tale both spellbinding and richly informative.”
“Knight’s Shadow continues the series with a thrilling and dark tale of heroism and betrayal in a country crushed under the weight of its rulers’ corruption.
A few days after the horrifying murder of a duke and his family, Falcio val Mond, swordsman and First Cantor of the Greatcoats, begins a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland.“
“Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right—the zombie mafia.
Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower—and maybe a brain smoothie as well—in order to get through it without falling apart.”
“Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.
First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire–-and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?”
Well it’s off to buy some more wrapping paper and get some more gifts under the tree, what were your favorite reads of 2019?