The Book of the Unwinding – Book Review

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Publishing Date: June 26, 2018

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 300

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Witches of New Orleans #2

My review of the first book The King of Bones and Ashes.

I received this copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Suffers from second book syndrome. It just doesn’t live up to the first but it’s not a bad read either. In fact, I’m certain I’ll still read book #3 when it comes out.

Four months after the events of book one, we’re given a view of how life has changed for our witches. Some for the better, others not so much and yet others still trying to find themselves in the aftermath.

The focus of the first half of the book is trying to free Alice from the Dreaming Road before she disappears forever. This was an incredibly slow build up with some things that really needed to be explained further. There’s some talk about a certain kind of destiny that isn’t fully examined. Perhaps it’s supposed to be self explanatory, but for someone not into ‘destiny’ talk, it leaves a decent size gap in the world building.

The second half of the book was kind of a cluster fuck of events. How did our new villain become a major player? One minute they were sterile and unable to do anything, the next they’re clearly here to fuck everyone’s shit up. How did this come to be? I’m still not sure. In some instances, the characters go into detailed flashbacks of past events, but current happenings are skipped over completely and almost left to the reader’s imagination of how they transpired.

Despite these complaints, I still love the characters. I’m still interested in what is going to happen to them and where all this drama will lead. Just please J.D. Horn, fill in some gaps for us.

 

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Jackalope Brewing Co. – Brewery Review

Michigan may be the mecca of craft beer, but that doesn’t mean that other states don’t have skin in the game too. Whenever we travel out of state my husband (and my boss) have to find the local breweries and try as many beers as possible.

We began one of our beer adventure nights at Yazoo Brewing Company. All beer tried was mediocre and the service was bad. They must be doing something right though as they’re available at almost every restaurant in Nashville. Unimpressed, we took our little adventure a short walk down the road to Jackalope Brewing Company.

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Here’s one brewery you definitely do not want to miss when you hit Nashville. It had a great laid back atmosphere. The staff was incredibly friendly and made us feel welcome. The most important component being, they had great beer. Mastering good merch for people to take home is almost a different trade all in itself. Jackalope mastered that too. We took home several stickers for our own in-home bar.

Another great thing that we noticed Jackalope doing; promoting charities. At the time we went, a portion of the proceeds of their beer, Lovebird, went to charity.

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Lovebird. Strawberry/Raspberry Heifeweizen. 4.4% ABV. 12 IBUs.

You can find Jackalope canned at a few restaurants in the area as well. Also tried and approved of; Thunder Ann (American Pale Ale) and Bearwalker (Maple Brown).

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These 3 images are from Google as I did not think to take proper pictures while we were there.

 

If we could have found a way to bring beer home on the plane, something from this brewery would have made it’s way back to Michigan.

4 out of 5 stars

Cool Kids Club

Life is currently chaos and I can’t seem to get anything done. BUT there is always a silver lining right? Yesterday it was that author Mark Lawrence started his own Goodreads group. I fucking love Mark Lawrence. So of course, first chance I got, I ran off and joined. To be honest, I’ve kind of lost interest in my other GR groups. This one is bound to blow up (already almost 700 members) because a known author runs it, but that’s okay because I’m already adding books to my TBR list thanks to these people. (I want to complain about a never ending TBR list but the alternative is actually finishing it and having nothing good to read or having to switch favorite genres and who wants that?)

Lawrence also runs a self-published blog off once a year. It’s where the in demand novel, The Grey Bastards, originated and then was picked up by a publisher. Self-published isn’t a world that I’ve really dabbled in so onto new reading adventures! (You know, when life calms down. I can currently barely get any reading done.)

So if you’re interested in joining this author led Goodreads group, go here: The Cool Kids’ Fantasy Club.

Nashville + PioneerRx

I have returned my little beauties! Nashville was fun. We stayed at a resort that was like an indoor city all itself. We didn’t have to leave at all since the convention center and hotel was inside the resort, but of course we needed to explore Nashville a little as well.

It was the CMA Music Festival which was unfortunate for the likes of us, as we’re all metal fans. (Boss included.) So we avoided the downtown area and checked out The Gulch and Midtown. The Gulch was pretty awesome and Midtown was filled with college kids and quickly became annoying. However, it had an awesome pizza joint called Two Boots. If you don’t want to wait in the long line for Hattie B’s hot chicken, Two Boots is a couple blocks away and has a hot chicken pizza. You should always ask your Uber drivers about local venues to check out, otherwise, we would have never found this place. We checked out two local breweries as well. I’ll review those in another post.

The PioneerRx conference was fantastic. If your pharmacy isn’t already using this software system, you need to check it out. We’ve had it since we opened the pharmacy 6.5 years ago and I still learned a ton about features we hadn’t even touched yet. The speakers were inspiring and the whole thing pumped my boss and I full of ideas for the pharmacy. We’re basically going to revamp the entire place. Work is about to get even busier, but I’m excited about it.

I needed the time away to reinvigorate my motivation to focus on fitness and really getting some things done in my life. The food in Tennessee was wonderful and probably completely unhealthy, which I was planning on, kind of a last hoo-rah before I got down to business when I returned.

I’m so happy to be home though. I missed my tiny personal queendom and my fur critters.

A couple pics of the lovely resort, the Gaylord Opryland Resort:

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Pharmacy Lady C&M

I will be scarce this next week. If you’re just tuning into this blog, I work for an independent pharmacy. I helped open it 6.5 years ago. Every once in awhile, a conference comes up that will help continue to grow the business. I’ve been to Pittsburgh to learn how to set up a medication synchronization program. (That’s been a big success.) I’ve been to Atlanta to a vitamin/supplement conference. (We barely use the vitamins anymore but their probiotics are on point.) Now I trot off to yet another state to see what pharmacy wonders we can learn. This time, it will be pharmacy software related. We’ve used an advanced software program since the day we opened but now we’re going to learn about some of the features we haven’t even tried to touch yet.

So I won’t be posting until I return but you can follow my shenanigans on Instagram as it’s easily accessible.

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Stalking Jack the Ripper – Book Review

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Published Date: September 20, 2016

Publishing Co.: Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 343

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I wandered across this book while browsing the shelves at the store. Honestly, all my other choices were out of stock but, I decided I would pick it up on a whim and see how it went. There are a million things you can do with a Jack the Ripper story and we’d just see where this went.

Good lord did this girl try to beat me over the head with how intelligent her boy toy was. Show me, don’t tell me. I’ll decide for myself if he comes off as even remotely smart. (He eventually does when allowed to talk for himself.) While we’re at it, stop telling me how good you are at resisting his charms when you’re clearly smitten from the very beginning. Let’s just make a promise not to lie to each other, okay?

Other than that, I did enjoy the main character, Audrey Rose. I always like a rebellious woman who decides to say, “Fuck your social norms.” I liked Thomas Cresswell even more as a strong male character encouraging said girl’s fiery personality and curiosity. Of course sparks will ignite between the two while they are elbow deep in cadavers. Nothing is more attractive than someone who can handle a bone saw like an expert.

Unfortunately, I figured out the identity of the Ripper early in the book. I had hoped they were just a red herring and I’d have a complete surprise towards the end, but I didn’t. No matter though, I still enjoyed the story. I don’t know that I would go out of my way to pick up the second book but if I wandered across it, much like the first, I may decide to read it.

2018 in Review Thus Far

Whoa! How did that happen? It’s already half way through 2018. I thought it a good point to stop and assess how the year has gone thus far in the reading department.

My bookish resolutions for the year were to knock down two lists; continuing series I’ve already started and reading more stand alone novels.

Stand alones: 3%

Series to Continue: 20%

Clearly, there is work to be done there.

On my Goodreads yearly challenge I’m at 34/70. (48%)

For June, I have a few ARCs to finish before I attack those lists once again. I was approved by Tor/Forge for two ARCs and want to get in good with them since they’re one of my favorite publishers. Plus, I had another Goodreads friend as that I read their book and I picked it up a couple of months ago so I might as well try it while I’m in extreme review mode.

ARCs:

American Hippo – Book Review (complete)

City of Lies

The Book of Unwinding  (I received an ARC of the first book, my review here.)

Goodreads friend’s book: A Darker Shade of Sorcery

That’s a whole month of reading nothing but ebooks. I’ll probably go crazy on physical books once July rolls around.

Check these pretty covers though:

 

How Dare You Use Profanity!

It’s not often that I really tear a book that I didn’t like down, but two years ago I did just that to a book that I really hated. Every few months now I get someone pissed off at me for it and it’s the funniest thing. Mostly, they yell at me for my profanity or try to insult my intelligence for not seeing it’s apparently very fucking hidden splendor. Even better is when they tell me what I should or should not put in my book reviews.

[I’m imagining you all laughing maniacally along with me right here.]

The very best part is that when you check out this book’s Goodreads page, my review is the very first one to come up. Because, thanks to these fuck nuggets, every time they’ve commented, more people have liked it. By trying to knock me down, they’ve risen me to the top ranks and now everyone will see what I have to say about that book.

Teach those fuckers to try to tell me to do anything. MWAHAHA.

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American Hippo – Book Review

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Published Date: May 22, 2018

Publishing Co.: Tor

Pages: 256

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

River of Teeth

Imagine 1800s America, where instead of horses, cowboys and outlaws rode hippos. Oh yes, sweet gentle fiends, hippopotami. The most dangerous creature in Africa is intentionally brought to the United States as an alternative meat source during a meat shortage. But Americans always take things one step further, and now they’re also used as mounts. Of course, someone always has to fuck something up and there manages to be a massive hippo escape from a ranch. Now there are feral hippos that rule the rivers and marshes. Blood thirty, angry hippos.

In this novella we are introduced to a host of outlaws, hired for a high paid, high danger job. To rid a dam of the feral hippos. Doing so will release the dangerous feral hippos into the South, spreading their death and destruction even further. Jobs never go as planned, someone always wants the death dealing hippos to stay right where they are.

Taste of Marrow

The surviving characters from the first novella continue their adventures in this one. Adelia has given birth after kidnapping Hero. Houndstooth is obsessively searching for Hero, not quite convinced that they’re even alive. Archie is waiting for her handsome U.S. Marshal to show up after not hearing from him at their arranged rendezvous spot.

Adelia’s newborn is stolen during a surprise attack while her and Hero are traveling. She’s being forced to meet with a mysterious person who arranged her child’s kidnapping, to see what they intend for her and the child. Probably not the smartest idea for the mystery person, Adelia is an infamous assassin. Hero is helping her despite the fact that she stabbed them, and they’re a poison and explosives expert. Archie is a notorious pick pocket and scam artist, and Houndstooth is your general bad ass and they’re hot on Adelia and Hero’s trail.

There are a couple short stories at the end that cover Archie meeting her U.S. Marshal for the first time and how Houndstooth’s hippo Ruby got her gold-plated tusks.

I loved everything about these novellas. The characters, the world-building, the plot lines. You name it, it kicked all the ass. Most importantly, major kudos to the author for including a non-binary person. It was a perspective to get used to but only because we are a gender obsessed world. It was further proof that content of character is far more important that one’s gender.