Monday, April 21, 2014

The One Where I'm Confused by Camelot Burning

Camelot Burning (Metal & Lace #1)
by Kathryn Rose
Source: Netgalley
Format: ebook
Pages: 408

Release Date: May 8th 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:

By day, Vivienne is Guinevere's lady-in-waiting. By night, she's Merlin's secret apprentice, indulging in the new mechanical arts and science of alchemy. It's a preferred distraction from Camelot’s gossipy nobility, roguish knights, and Lancelot’s athletic new squire, Marcus, who will follow in all knights’ footsteps by taking a rather inconvenient vow of chastity.

More than anything, Vivienne longs to escape Camelot for a future that wouldn't include needlework or marriage to a boorish lord or dandy. But when King Arthur's sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens Camelot, Vivienne must stay to help Merlin build a steam-powered weapon to defeat the dark magic machine Morgan will set upon the castle. Because if Camelot falls, Morgan would be that much closer to finding the elusive Holy Grail. Time is running out and Morgan draws near, and if Vivienne doesn't have Merlin's weapon ready soon, lives would pay the price, including that of Marcus, the only one fast enough to activate it on the battlefield.

                          

One word: Confused.

  Seriously. I get the gist of it, but I didn't understand half of it while reading. Nothing was described well and it wasn't cohesive. I ended up skimming from 40% on simply because I didn't want to DNF. But for the life of me, that was frustrating. And my confusion is making its way to my review.

Basically, I have no way of writing a cohesive and understandable review of this book. So, I wrote thoughts down while reading and basically copy and pasted them on here. With a few Monty Python and the Holy Grail GIFs added in, because, why not? That movie is Camelot done right (seriously, if you've never watched it, do so now. Its fantastic - if you like wry, witty, zany humor. So, in other words, you'll like it if you have any sense of humor. Yeah, I went there)

- Some spoilers towards the end - I'll warn you. 

Chronological Time-line of My Crazy Thoughts:

  •  Right at the beginning: I'm intrigued. The plot sounds fantastic. A mix of the fantasy kingdom of Camelot and steampunk? Heck yeah!




  • Okay, it's about 3 chapters in and I'm completely lost. It was very interesting to begin with - love the Camelot setting and "mechanical arts" - however, when things start happening, nothing is clearly set. One second you're here and the next you're over there and you're like "wait...what?! How? Did I miss something?"


  • I don't understand the weapons. It's like a gun and sword put together? Also, I'm getting the distinct feelings it's also a flamethrower. Sounds cool...just not sure how it's works.


They call him....Tim. And Tim does it better.

  • I don't get the magic either. You steal magic? How does that work? 


  • Okay, Arthur is a complete and utter idiot. Seriously, how did Excalibur think he was worthy. Maybe he used to be great or something, but at this point, all I know is that he is weak and lets his feelings get in the way. In short - a crappy king. I'm sorry, but I don't want a king that will put my ENTIRE COUNTRY at risk simply because he wants his sister to be a part of his family even though this chick be crazy. Also, that revelation came out of left field and EWWWWWW! 



Here's to looking at you Lady of the Lake.

  • Okay, so how is Viv so good at hearing all this information without getting caught? She just "conveniently" happens upon a rather interesting conversation every other page. So, either Viv is a secret thief/assassin in disguise who is exceptional at sneaking, or the people having these conversations really just suck at being quiet and making sure no one is listening. These Knights of the Round Table are supposed to be the best of the best - you think that'd included being able to have a SECRET CONVERSATION!


Oh, don't mind me. I'm not OBVIOUSLY
listening in on your conversation or anything...

  • Also, I guess it's not really "insta-love", more like infatuation (annoying all the same), but it's always the "eyes". He looked into her eyes and knew. He got lost in her eyes, His eyes told her everything his words couldn't. Bleh. Whatever. 


  • So apparently Lyoness was cursed for getting rid of magic and turning to the mechanical art. Want to know the other kingdom's responses? Do the same thing. Hey, A+ for defiance and all, but I think I'd take things into consideration a bit more if one sorceress could take down an entire. freaking. KINGDOM. Also, why is magic banned?


  • What the crap Marcus?! Excalibur is supposed to be the stuff of legend and everyone knows its exists, but only the Knights of the Round Table are really supposed to be the ones ever able to see it. And what does Marcus do? A pretty girl asks him to show her it and he just up and decides to do it. Seriously? Way to take you JOB seriously Marcus! She didn't even try to seduce you or get you drunk. She just asked. That's all it takes for you to spill Camelot's secrets? Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! Also, how did he even know to find it. He's just a squire. 


  • Viv is not a lady-in-waiting. Ladies-in-waiting, ya know, actually wait on their lady. I've never met a lady-in-waiting with so much free time. She's just always dismissed. How convenient for her.
- Spoilers ahead (thought not to bad).

  • "Around me, nobility fall into a state of restless panics. 'What's happening? What broke the peace?' They don't know about rumors of Morgan in the land."

(quote from uncorrected proof)

How the crap is it possible they DON'T know what's going on? There is no way the RAGING FIRES and EXPLOSIONS were hidden from the nobility in the castle. Believe me, they couldn't have been that secretive. 

  • "While a bunch of nitwits, the knight at least understand the meaning of confidentiality." (quote from uncorrected proof) - except they don't. Because every time I turn around, Viv is overhearing these supposed "confidential" plans and secrets. 


  • Also, does Camelot not have outposts? Are all their soldiers in the castle? This doesn't even make sense! How could they not have been warned and ARMY was coming?!?!


  • "Regardless, I fire the blasted thing straight into the unprotected neck of a Corbenic soldier who does not see a girl standing in front of him. The soldier falls dead, and I shudder still. It was only a copper knife and should not have damaged him in the slightest. An eager attempt to buy mere minutes." (quote from uncorrected proof) - So first off, unnatural aim. But ignoring that, she thinks a knife to the THROAT shouldn't have done damage. What? I guess it might be because they are supposedly protected by magic, but she doesn't even know that until after she kills him. 


Obviously. 

  • Okay, Merlin is literally the only saving grace. He may be a slightly crazy drug addict, but he's the only clearheaded and intelligent character in this book.


  • Shouldn't Morgan's secret weapon or whatever he was been oh...idk....a bit better at what he was supposed to do? I also don't really understand his point in the story at all. NOTHING IS EXPLAINED!


  • Alright, I've been skimming since 40%. But I'm really skimming this last 20%. Ughhhhhhhhhhhh. All that's missing is the killer rabbit. 




  • You'd think I'd be excited about the dragon. But honestly, at this point, I couldn't care less. 

After I've finished:

  Look, it had potential. It really did! That's what kept me reading instead of DNFing. But the descriptions were lackluster. Half the time I had no idea what was going on or how that worked or why someone did what they did. Ultimately, I was utterly confused. I skimmed the last 60% of it which may or may not have hindered me in some way, but overall, it fell short. My issues with this book far outweighed my interest. 

Extra half bubble because the plot was at least interesting. 



Sunday, April 20, 2014

The One Where Easter Happened 2014



Happy Easter

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day and always remember the  reason we celebrate. And even for those who don't celebrate, have an awesome and blessed weekend too :) 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The One Where I DNF The Queen's Choice

The Queen's Choice (Heirs of Chrior #1)
by Cayla Kluver
Source: Netgalley
Format: E-book
Pages: 512

Release Date: Available Now

Goodreads Summary:

Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again.

When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equalled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen's mantle herself.

Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined.




   Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

   I tried. It wasn't awful, but it certainly wasn't good. I got 25% of the way through but I just don't care. It's so boring and tedious and I'm just so not interested. I kept going back because I wanted to be interested. Sure, I had some major issues with her previous books (Aleria), but she also wrote some major strong points (LONDON!). This book? All kinds of bleh.

The Writing:

  •       Holy Guacamole....this book is long. Normally, length doesn't deter me. It can sometimes be a bit tedious if it's introducing a new world, but it is usually still interesting, even if a bit slow. This book however literally made time slow down. While reading I felt like the times you're in school and you keep looking at the clock thinking that surely at least half and hour had passed and instead it had been about 30 seconds. Yeah, books shouldn't make that happen. Books should make it feel as if time is flying and you don't have nearly as much time as you want to read it. This unendurable length leads me to my next complaint..

  •       TOO MANY FREAKING UNNECESSARY DETAILS! Seriously, in the 25% that I read, at least a quarter, if not half, could've been taken out. It was unnecessary and only succeeded in bogging down the book. Don't get me wrong, details can be amazing. But when they are the main part of the book? Nope. Just all kinds of nope. 

  •        Also, I was reading this on my Kindle and I started to notice a trend - lack of dialogue. I mean page after page after page was just paragraphs and paragraphs of details and unnecessary actions she did. It all just started blending together. I eventually found myself skimming. Not a good sign. 

  • I don't know what it was but it seemed to be lack of flow and transition. Paragraphs didn't seem to flow into each other and it was all kinds of jumpy. It wasn't smooth, but jarring. 

Anya:


  • She was confusing. At first she seemed like she thought through things and wasn't going to act too rash and seemed to care about her cousin. But her actions are completely different! She supposedly goes on this mission to find her missing cousin (also the heir) to "help" her other cousin because of course her other cousin doesn't know what she's doing. Only Anya knows. But it's completely selfish. She just doesn't want responsibility for the throne. And I want to punch her in the face. Also, when she meets Shea and they are about to go off on adventures together, she's worried about her making stupid decisions because she's brash and angry at having been cooped up. Anya isn't exactly the wise leader or anything so it totally irks me that she pretends to be thus. I'd probably listen to Shea over Anya. 

  • Secondly, I feel like her losing her wings was too easy and was just to add drama. Which it actually didn't. It's happens in the first 10% of the novel. She's traveled this road multiple times and is supposed to have heightened senses yet couldn't sense the hunters? You can't go talking about your awesome spidey senses and that you could sense anyone before you saw them one second and the next get your wings chopped off. Also, I just didn't really feel connected to her yet so when she was getting her wings chopped off it was like "eh. sucks to suck". Call me heartless. Anyways, I feel like when that happened I should've been gasping and it should've been heart wrenching! Instead, it all happened in, like, 5 sentences. One sentence she had her wings, the next "POOF". Oh, that's unfortunate. I'm sure you'll get over it.

  • Also, this leads me to the magic ordeal. Are the wings the link to magic? I feel like that's weird. I don't quite understand. She seems to be human now. Um...a little explanation? Maybe we will get that later and that's supposed to be part of the mystery. Too bad I don't care enough to read it and find out.

  • Oh yeah. So apparently Anya doesn't believe in myths....WHAT DOES SHE THINK SHE IS THEN?!?! Sure, humans and fae know about each other's existence and all now but don't you think if there was one race of mythical creatures, oh, I don't know, perhaps there could be others? Seriously? She brushes them off like "I'm the only myth cool enough to exist". *Snorts* 
Random annoyances:
  • I'm sorry. I'm not sure I heard you correctly. Did you just say the queen's name was Umbiqua? UMBIQUA?!? I really hope that no one reading this has that name cause I'll feel really bad but seriously? How can you have names like Anya and Davic and Zabriel and then have UMBIQUA? Like, that doesn't even go! It's so random! 

  • The Bloody Road. It sounds so ominous and scary and scary awesome! THE BLOODY ROAD!!! There's got to be tons of gore and maybe it's painted red with the blood of their enemies. MWAHAHAHA.....but it's not. It's just called the Bloody Road. All I know is that apparently a battle or war happened here and humans can't cross it. Um...okay? No more details? Supposedly its the split between worlds, but where does the split happen? Every time it's described it seems that there really isn't a point necessarily where one world ends and one world begins. Maybe I missed something in my skimming? I don't know. It's all just very vague. The one thing I want explained more is hardly explained at all!


    I don't know guys. I tried. I really did. A for effort right? But, the more I write this review, the more I feel ranty. Looking back, I'm not even sure I accurately got my feelings across. Oh, well. I will say this - if you really loved her first series, I actually think you might enjoy it! Many people I found on GR who like her first books loved this one. So, if your team Kluver, I say go for it! Everyone else? Read at your own risk. Perhaps if you get farther than I did, you'll find redeeming qualities. It's just that at this point, I'd rather spend time reading a book I at least enjoy somewhat, not one I want to throw out the window.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The one where I review Lady Thief

Lady Thief (Scarlet #2)
by A. C. Gaughen
Source: Netgalley
Format: e-book
Pages: 304

Release Date: Available Now

Spoilers for book 1! Ye have been warned!
Review for 1st book here: Scarlet 

Goodreads summary:

Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

My Feelings:


Oh, sweet Lady Thief. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 

Heck no. Because summer days are all nice and pretty and evoke lots of happy feelings of puppies frolicking in the summer grass. I want the puppies. This book does not have the puppies. 



Loved it anyways.

Let's get this straight - this book isn't all cupcakes and roses. Things don't just conveniently appear to make the situation a little less sucky. No timely tunnel appears to give an easy way out for the characters. There is no prince charming that swoops in and saves the day. This book is real. Crappy things happen (lots of crappy things) to Scarlet and our boys and they take it in stride like the bosses they are. 

  Scarlet is just trying to make it in this dog-eat-dog world. She's got such a heart and is loyal to a "t". Her tenacity and fierce can-do attitude, even when she's afraid, is something to be admired. But what never ceases to amaze me is her underlying belief in hope and faith. She may not be perfect, something which she readily admits (and yet another inspiring trait), but she continues to strive to be the best she can be. She is selfless and even when incredible hardships come, she retains hope in the belief that one day, it will be better. 

And Rob. Oh, how I feel for you. Rob is suffering from PTSD (something close to my heart and a reason for me studying psychology), and it's taking it's toll. He's having a hard time being the hero everyone wants/needs him to be, and it doesn't help any that his lady love can't be there to help him. And yet, though he is suffering, he never waivers in his determination to help the people of Nottingham. It is this selfless attitude and utter loyalty that makes Scarlet (and me) swoon. 

John and Much are as awesome as ever. Though I wanted to punch John in the face, the choice he made was totally understandable and even incredibly admirable. Still wanted to punch him though. And Much! So adorable and wise well beyond his years and always there with a helping hand (HA! see what I did there? I'm funny.). 

And the stakes are as high as ever in this sequel. This book focuses more on Scarlet in a court setting. Gisbourne is holding bait in front of her: he'll annul the marriage if she acts as his wife while the (annoyingly childish) Prince is there. Sound all kinds of sketchy to me, and Scarlet too, but she's willing to try if it means she ends up with Robin (which, believe me, we all want). 

And the ending?! GAH! As soon as the "secret" was hinted at, I knew. But I didn't know for sure so I waited with baited breath. SERIOUSLY!? And then the ending? WHAT?! You can't do that!!!!! And, no offense, that was an idiotic move on Scarlet's part. What did she think would happen? Normally she's relatively smart and always has a plan, but I was definitely questioning her plan on that one.
But, I don't want to say too much more because I'll give things away but here's the rundown:

Scarlet: Knife-weilding, smart-talking girl determined to save the day.
Rob: A PTSD suffering fella who's determined to make it through anyways.
John: Big brother, big annoyance, big heart.
Much: Always there with a few wise words and a helping hand (ha! Seriously, I'm incredibly funny. Punny?). 
Gisbourne: Ahhhh, I see that you try to make us feel some empathy for him Gaughen. Failed! Well, maybe not completely.
Prince John: I'd like to kick him so hard where it hurts that he'll be singing soprano for a month.
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Awesomeness. She wields people like they're part of a chess game. 
Ending: SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!! CLIFFHANGER! THE FEELS! 

Overall: This book sucker punches you in the throat then gives you a big ol’ hug while saying everything is going to be okay. Hopefully. 




Monday, April 7, 2014

ARC April

While I was perusing the updates for Octavia's Series Challenge that I'm participating in, I saw that she is also hosting an ARC April challenge and thought "why not?". 

In all honesty, I'm awful at keeping up with ARCs. When I request them I'm all giddy and excited, but I'm also a feelings reader. I have to be in the mood. However, the publisher's gave me this opportunity to read their books and spread the word, an opportunity based on my request, so I know that I need to keep up with them. While I'm all for reading books you enjoy, not just ARCs because you feel guilty, sometimes I just need that good kick in the rear to remind me that I asked for these books for a reason. At the time I thought they were interesting and intriguing, so I need to give them a chance.

So, this April, I'm going to put some ARCs higher on my (towering) TBR list. Some that I'm excited about and interested in, but they just got pushed back because I'm always buying new books (I regret nothing). So, here is my list of books I hope to read this April:

Current read:


Lady Thief (Scarlet #2)
by A.C. Gaughen

   While having a somewhat rocky start, this book is shaping up to be awesome! I'm 76% done with it and eager to find more time to read and finish this book. I MUST KNOW THE SECRET (even though I'm pretty sure I already know)! 


The Queen's Choice (Heirs of Chrior)
by Cayla Kluver

    I admit, I'm a bit nervous. I don't believe I've ever has such a love/hate relationship with a series as I've had with Kluver's previous series (Legacy). I loved the phenomenal secondary characters and the plot, but boy did I want to throttle Alera for her utter stupidity. I still haven't finished the second book because I'm terrified of where I think it's heading and I don't really care to throw my Kindle into a wall, mostly because that means I'll have to pay for a new one with money I don't have. However, for all my ranting, I did still like the plot of her previous series (though I've yet to finish it so who actually knows), so I'm willing to read a book by her again. I just hope she's learned her lesson and keeps the details to a minimum.


by Katherine Longshore

    I actually rather enjoyed Longshore's previous novel Gilt. Historical fiction? Sign me up. So I requested this book with high hopes. I'm somewhat hesitant based on some not-so-rave reviews, but I'm willing to give it a try. 


Sworn to Raise (Courtlight #1)
by Terah Edun

     I hate to say this, but I'm not quite sure why I requested this one. I'm kind of interested I suppose, but this is also a "she's the chosen one and the only person to save the world" type of book. Those are hit or miss. Unfortunately, the semi-low rating on Goodreads isn't really helping its case...


Camelot Burning (Metal and Lace #1)
by Kathryn Rose

   Guys, I'm pretty excited about this one! Look at the cover!! Camelot is literally burning! Which means action and war! Also, Arthurian legends? Awesome. Magic? Yes please. Roguish knights?!? SOLD! 



Saturday, April 5, 2014

The one where I review Cress

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
by Marissa Meyer
Source: Bought
Pages: 505

Goodreads Summary:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My Feelings:


Guys, this books is huge. At a whopping 505 pages, it gave my arms a workout trying to hold it up. And yet I wanted more. No. I needed more. This series is simply brilliantly done with all it's phenomenal characters and interwoven plot lines. I can't wait for the next book, and yet, the thought of it makes me sad because it's the final book. After Winter, this series ends. I can't handle that guys!

Okay, okay. I'm calming down. *deep breathing* Can't worry about the future now. I just have to revel in the awesomeness that is Cress!

First off, Cress is absolutely adorable and endearing and precious. Not to mention socially awkward. But is that really surprising considering the fact that she's been stuck on a satellite her whole life? She's such a breath of fresh air from the tough girls that are Cinder and Scarlet (I still love them!). But don't think that Cress isn't tough, just tough in a different way. See, all Cress knows about the world is through what she's found on the web. So, Soap operas, books, ect. Let's just say, very unrealistic. She's got all these fantasies about happily ever after's and love at first sight. She's definitely thrown for a loop when reality hits. Yet she deals with it like a champ. And, what I love, is that she doesn't give up on her fantasies. She wants her happily ever after and by golly she's going to get it. While being awkward in the process. Aced it.

It wouldn't be a review of a retelling of Repunzel 
without at least 1 Tangled GIF.

Which brings us to the reason for her dreaming.

Carswell Thorne.

Well "Hi" to you too *waggles eyebrows*

*Enter swooning here* Witty, brash, roguish swag topped with a devil-may-care attitude and you have Captain Thorne in a nutshell. His interactions with everyone never failed to bring a smile to my face. His back-and-forth with Cinder and playfulness with Iko always put a big grin on my face. But it was his interactions with Cress that made my heart go a-flutter. Who knew he could be so darn sweet! But their relationship was also humorous because he's so....worldly, and she's so....not. Him saying things and her being all innocent and not understanding was absolutely the sweetest thing. Totally adorable. 

And, as usual, all other characters we know and love are just as awesome as ever. We see a lot more of Kai and Cinder. Cinder trying to remain tough and do what's right and Kai, the poor kid, just trying to keep his country safe. That's a lot of weight on his shoulders. Love him. And Iko - the best friend ever. Who knew an android could be so awesome with her fangerling and love of all things gossip? And the the doctor comes back! And his story line? Ugh...the feelings. Just trying to make up for his mistakes. I can get behind that. Unfortunately, Wolf was a bit....mopey. For reasons you'll find out. Understandable, but I also wanted to punch him. And Scarlet! You do you girl. You're tough and we all know it. Spit in the face of danger! Continue to be as fiery as your red hair!

Ohhhhhhhhh and guess what? We get our first glimpse of Winter!!!! Andddddddd......not sure how I feel about her. However, I'm intrigued by her. And she's a part of this series, so she will be awesome.

And yet, what never ceases to amaze me and what is probably the thing that keeps me hooked is Meyer's ability to weave the plots together so well. While series have an overarching story arc, never has a series (that I've read) had multiple books with different "main" characters tie together so seamlessly well. While the main characters from other books are a part of the following books and even have POV's in the book (which I totally love!), the story focuses on the character it was named for while weaving in and connecting the plot of the other characters. Bravo Meyers. 

They approve.



And, obviously, so do I.
All the best ♥︎


Friday, April 4, 2014

NEW BLOG DESIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GUYS!!!! LOOOOOOK!!! Seriously, LOOK! SOOOOO PRETTYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

I am beyond thrilled to brag about my awesome blog design done by the brilliant and talented Debz over at Debz Bookshelf. The beautiful, fresh color scheme. The amazing header and buttons! So much awesomeness I can't handle it! WOO! Seriously, that girl is awesome. So, enjoy this beautiful new 'do. This is the first step to bringing some life back to this blog!