Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 2015 Recap

February is a short month to begin with, and man, did it fly by. I participated in my first ever 5K, doing a little bit of jogging but mostly walking. I'm happy to report that I 1) didn't finish last, 2) finished in under an hour, and 3) didn't require oxygen or defibrillation when I crossed the finish line. The event took place on Valentine's Day, so I felt that it was perfectly OK afterwards to eat more chocolate than I normally would have to, you know, replace lost calories, lol.

Reviews Posted:

Featured Posts:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (73): Best DADA Teacher

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Best DADA Teacher

Remus. Lupin! Like his predecessors and successors, he held the position for no longer than a year, but how invaluable was the education that he imparted to his students in that span of time? Teaching Harry to conjure a Patronus was HUGE. Plus, Remus was an all-around amazing character. Love him. Miss him.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Loot (13)

It's been about four years since I first read Maria V. Snyder's Study series, so OBVIOUSLY I was excited when I heard that she would be returning to that world again. And now I have a copy of the much anticipated Shadow Study in my hands! Ally, who introduced me to the series, got a copy as well, and we just couldn't be happier to be reading about Yelena and Valek again! (Especially Valek!!!)

I also picked up Gail Carriger's Finishing School books when they were a Kindle Daily Deal. I loooove her Parasol Protectorate series and couldn't resist when I saw her YA series on sale.


Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

eBooks Bought:

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger
Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Poison Study (Study #1)
By Maria V. Snyder
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Yelena has been sentenced to die for committing murder, but she gets an unexpected reprieve of sorts. She is offered the position of food taster for the Commander of Ixia, a job that is not without risks. Yelena could be fatally poisoned at any time, but it’s either this or face execution. Even after taking her chances by becoming the food taster, Yelena’s tiny hope of leading some semblance of a life is quickly dashed by someone’s determined efforts to kill her by any means necessary.

Review: Ah, Poison Study. I first read this about four years ago, after much exhorting from my cousin Ally. As usual, Ally was right: this was amazing! I had borrowed her copy of the book because I wasn’t sure how I would like it; let’s just say that it wasn’t long before I ordered my own copy plus copies of the rest of the books in the series.

With a brand new Study book releasing, I figured that a reread of the original trilogy was a good idea, especially since I’d read it pre-blog. Rereads of books that I loved make me a little nervous—will I still love them just as much, or will my opinion have changed?

Well, Poison Study has withstood the test of time. I admit that I carried a good deal of sentiment in my heart for it before the reread, so this review is even more subjective than usual. Four years ago, Ally and I talked and talked and talked about this book, plus we persuaded other family members and my best friend to read it, too. So, yes, there are some feelings!

Sometimes you start reading a book and it’s instantly addictive; Poison Study is that type of book. We’re immediately introduced to Yelena and her predicament: she’s to be executed for killing a general’s son unless she opts to take the job of food taster to the Commander of Ixia—a position that’s vacant due to the previous food taster’s untimely demise. So Yelena is essentially trading certain death for possible death. Of course her training, under the tutelage of Ixia’s ace spy/assassin Valek, involves learning to recognize different poisons, and I was totally absorbed by the details. Not that I was taking notes for future reference or anything.

Yelena’s character evolves so much over the course of the novel, and it’s such a well paced development. In the beginning, she’s both physically and mentally weak from years of torture at the hands of General Brazell and his psychopathic son, Reyad, the man whom Yelena has been sentenced to death for killing. Justice is all-or-nothing in Ixia and does not allow for extenuating circumstances. Slowly, though, Yelena gains strength and confidence, and you’ll find yourself cheering her on when she starts taking self-defense lessons. By the end of the book, she’s a complete badass.

Speaking of badasses—Valek. He epitomizes the word with his commanding presence and ridiculously awe-inspiring fighting and spying skills. Seriously—he is NOT a man to be trifled with. But then there’s the side of Valek that carves intricately detailed statues from rocks. What I’m telling you is, I love him love him love him. And oh man, the slow burn between him and Yelena is exquisite. It is absolutely my favorite thing about the book and the entire series.

While the world of Poison Study isn’t overly complex compared to other fantasies, it’s very well thought out. The magic element is nicely applied as well, with neither too light nor too heavy a hand. One more bit of last minute gushing: I grinned like a dork when two of my favorite secondary characters, Ari and Janco, made their first appearance. I love the friendship that develops between them and Yelena. To me, the best rereads are the ones where you feel like you’re catching up with old friends you haven’t seen in a while, and that exactly sums up my reread of Poison Study.

All in All: I’ll quote the line Ally used on me to convince me to pick up this book. “Poison Study: READ IT!”

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Snapshots

The Book Blogger Love-A-Thon is hosted by Alexa Loves Books.

I wanted to do something creative for this challenge but was feeling totally uninspired. I consulted my very creative cousin Melissa for advice, and she came up with the idea to build a book pyramid. We were a little pressed for time and didn't get to build it as big as we would have liked, but we were still pretty happy with our effort:

Be sure to leave a link to your bookish snapshots! :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: One Can Only Quote

The Book Blogger Love-A-Thon is hosted by Alexa Loves Books.

I'm so glad that the guidelines for this post said that we could include more than one of our favorite quotes about love or friendship, because picking just one would be impossible. So, without further ado, here are some of my all-time favorites:

"The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart. There's no getting over that." — Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

"'The you that you were then, who you are now, who you'll be,' he began quietly, as if sensing my thoughts, 'I love you. With my whole heart. My whole life, however long I'm lucky enough to get, nothing will change for me.'" — In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

"He looked at his friend, perhaps for the last time, and said what he had always known, from the moment they'd met, when he'd understood that the prince was his brother in soul. 'I love you.'" — Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

"I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realizing that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you. That you were the center of everything I did and felt and thought." — Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

"In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys." — The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

"'You can be just friends with people, you know,' Orla said. 'I think it's crazy how you're in love with all those raven boys.'
Orla wasn't wrong, of course. But what she didn't realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn't all-encompassing, that wasn't blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was jut that now that she'd had this kind, she didn't want the other." — Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Be sure to link me up to your quote posts! :)

2015 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Book Spine Poetry

The Book Blogger Love-A-Thon is hosted by Alexa Loves Books.

I really love composing book spine poetry—probably the only poetry I can decently write, lol. I was looking through my shelves and noticed I had quite a few books with "shadow" in the title, so that was my inspiration here:

The shadow of the wind,
Shadow of night,
Silver shadows.
Linger forever
In the afterlight.

Be sure to leave a link to your book spine poetry so I can check it out! :)

2015 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Questionnaire

The Book Blogger Love-A-Thon is hosted by Alexa Loves Books.

I'm so excited to be participating in the 2015 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon! I missed out on last year's event, so I'm really glad that I could take part this year! I'm looking forward to checking out everyone's posts today and tomorrow!

Here's a little bit more about the blog and me:

1. What’s your name?

2. Where in the world are you blogging from?
Florida, where I've lived since 2008, but I'll always be a New Yorker at heart. :D

3. How did you get into blogging in the first place?
My cousin Ally and I didn't have anyone else to talk about books with besides each other, so we decided to start a book blog where we could chat about books as much as we wanted!

4. How did you come up with your blog name?
Credit for that goes entirely to Ally. We both wrote down possible names and then picked the one we liked best, which was one from her list.

5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?
Mostly YA paranormal and fantasy.

6. What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?
The occasional discussion post, which I've been trying to make more of an effort to write more frequently this year. I also write Game of Thrones episode recaps.

7. Best blogging experience so far?
Being able to connect with others who love reading as much as I do. There are no words to describe the feeling when someone else TOTALLY understands your love for a certain book, character, etc.!

8. Favorite thing about the blogging community?
The camaraderie.

9. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2015!
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, A Court of Thorns and Roses and Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, Prudence by Gail Carriger, and Shaming the Devil by Melina Marchetta.

10. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?
Anything by Melina Marchetta, especially her Lumatere Chronicles series. I know a lot of you probably already know how amazing her books are, but I think even more readers should get to know how awesome they are!

11. Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?
I think I'd get along really well with Alexia from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. We're both really sarcastic, and I'm possibly also soulless like she is? XD

12. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?
Photography/goofing around with Photoshop, knitting, going for long walks.

13. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?
Craft supplies. Stores like Michael's pose a serious danger to my wallet.

14. At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song would be playing?
"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?" by Elvis Costello & The Attractions.

15. Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book.
I'd love to see the Parasol Protectorate series adapted for either the big or small screen!

Please be sure to leave me the links to your questionnaires because I'd love to take a look at them! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Mustache You Some Questions

I love the name of this tag and the adorable graphic! Many thanks to Charlene at Bookish Whimsy for tagging me! :D

Four Names People Call Me Other Than My Real Name

  1. Leelee
  2. Book Girl

Four Jobs I've Had

  1. Computer Lab Assistant - Ah, my good old college days!
  2. Research Analyst - A temp gig I once had
  3. Office Assistant - Filled this role in a couple of different places
  4. Listings Manager - My current job. I work in a real estate office and take the photos, input the listings into MLS, create virtual tours, etc.

Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once

  1. All of the Harry Potter films
  2. The original Star Wars films
  3. Dirty Dancing
  4. The Avengers

Four Books I'd Recommend

  1. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  3. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
  4. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Four Places I Have Lived

  1. Seoul, South Korea (Not even sure if this counts? I was born there but was adopted when I was about 4 months old and came to the US. So technically I did live there. For like 4 months, lol.)
  2. Brooklyn, New York
  3. Clermont, Florida

Four Places I Have Been

  1. Atlantic City, New Jersey
  2. Williamsburg, Virginia
  3. Boston, Massachusetts
  4. Nashville, Tennessee

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now

  1. New York
  2. London
  3. Ireland
  4. Hogwarts

Four Things I Don't Eat

  1. Peas
  2. Pears
  3. Shrimp
  4. Applesauce

Four of My Favorite Foods

  1. Reese's Peanut Butter __________ (Fill in the blank with any of the following: cups, eggs, hearts, trees, footballs, etc.)
  2. Pizza
  3. Meatloaf
  4. White Castle hamburgers

Four TV Shows That I Watch

  1. The Simpsons
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Outlander
  4. Glee

Four Things I Am Looking Forward To This Year

  1. Elvis Costello concert in March
  2. The last Raven Cycle book
  3. Season premieres of Game of Thrones and Outlander

Four Things I'm Always Saying

  1. I just work here.
  2. Is it Friday yet?
  3. I'm starving.
  4. D'oh!

Four People I Tag

Anybody who'd like to join in on the fun! If you decide to do this tag, please leave me your link so I can check out your questionnaire! :D

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1)
By Pierce Brown
Del Rey
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Darrow is a Helldiver, a miner who digs deep beneath Mars for the element that will make the rest of the planet habitable. As a Red, the lowest social caste in a system that’s structured according to color, Darrow doesn’t expect to ever benefit from his labor. When a tragedy strikes, he’s ready to give up on life completely, but a rebel organization has other plans for him. Darrow is to become their secret weapon, sent on a mission to pose as a member of the highest ranking class, Gold, and to crush the oppressive social system from within.

Review: I seriously considered DNF’ing Red Rising about 100 pages in because it just wasn’t clicking with me. I put the book down for two days, hoping that maybe a little break from it would give me a fresh perspective on it. That turned out to be a no-go, and in retrospect, I should have listed to my Jedi instincts and DNF’ed this one.

I picked up Red Rising because—sci-fi/dystopia set on Mars! That sounded incredibly awesome, but unfortunately, so many things about this book fell short of my expectations. There’s been quite a bit of comparison between this and The Hunger Games, and Red Rising does center around a fight-to-the-death style competition. There’s even a Haymitch-like mentor figure. I do not, however, think this equal to The Hunger Games. My experience reading Red Rising actually reminded me of the issues I had with another mega-popular dystopian novel: Divergent. Shaky world-building, choppy prose, and a protagonist who didn’t exactly inspire enthusiasm were my stumbling blocks once again, but to a greater degree here.

Beyond the fact that a different color represents each class within the book’s social system, with Gold at the top and Red at the bottom, I couldn’t get a grasp on this world. There are further subdivisions among the Golds and titles, titles, titles (which of course belong to the ruling Golds). I couldn’t tell you the order of the leadership hierarchy other than that Octavia au Lune and Nero au Augustus are big cheeses in it. I felt like I was swimming in information throughout the book but without the development to make the world cohere. Instead, new info just kept getting thrown out there.

Slang usually doesn’t bother me, but here I found it distracting because it was used extensively. When it wasn’t “bloodydamn” this it was “gory” that, depending on whether it was a Red or a Gold who was speaking. I could not get a feel for the characters’ speech. At. All. Both the dialogue and the prose in general had an odd rhythm, which was a huge reason why it took me so long to finish this book.

And now on to the main character: Darrow. We didn’t get off to an auspicious start; I found him on the arrogant side from the beginning, a little too confident in his abilities as a Helldiver (basically, a miner). I did try—repeatedly—to move past my initial impression of him, but he made it tough for me to see him as hero material. Darrow is recruited by a rebel group called the Sons of Ares to literally be made over, most painfully might I add, into a Gold so he can enter the super elite, Golds-only Institute, rise up through the ranks, and then topple Gold rule from the inside. It’s all very “Chosen One,” and it doesn’t take Darrow long to very much start strutting around in that role. His narration becomes a string of “I, I , I” and “me, me, me” and “my, my, my.” Darrow’s ruminations on how much his followers adore him are occasionally broken up by the requisite reflection on how his wife, Eo, died so he could join a rebellion and bring down the Society. Even Eo knew Darrow was the Chosen One! Look, I’m all for rooting for the underdog, but I think our goodman (another overused slang term) Darrow here develops too fond a taste for the life of a Gold and is potentially on a path to learn the price of hubris.

Most of the other characters seemed flat to me, with the exception of Sevro and Pax, two of Darrow’s allies. Sevro’s brand of batshit crazy sort of amused me, and Pax had a “PAX SMASH” kind of thing going on that I found mildly entertaining. Otherwise, this book was one giant slog for me, and this series and I part ways here.

All in All: Sadly, nothing about Red Rising worked for me. The writing wasn’t my cup of tea, and Darrow wasn’t my type of hero. This novel has received a ton of glowing reviews elsewhere, though, so clearly I’m in the minority here.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (72): Favorite Arthur & Molly Weasley Moment

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

In the spirit of Valentine's Day this weekend, I decided to spotlight Arthur and Molly Weasley for this week's choose your own topic. I always thought they were a sweet couple, and I really love that scene in Half-Blood Prince when Arthur insists that they exchange their security questions before Molly lets him into their own home:

Mrs. Weasley nodded and turned the doorknob, but apparently Mr. Weasley was holding tight to it on the other side, because the door remained firmly shut.
"Molly! I've got to ask you your question first!"
"Arthur, really, this is just silly. . . ."
"What do you like me to call you when we're alone together?"
Even by the dim light of the lantern Harry could tell that Mrs. Weasley had turned bright red; he himself felt suddenly warm around the ears and neck, and hastily gulped soup, clattering his spoon as loudly as he could against the bowl.
"Mollywobbles," whispered a mortified Mrs. Weasley into the crack at the edge of the door.
"Correct," said Mr. Weasley. "Now you can let me in."

Monday, February 9, 2015

Review: Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan & John Rocco

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan & John Rocco
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods
By Rick Riordan & John Rocco
Disney Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Percy Jackson tells you everything you need to know about how the world came into existence and the origins of the twelve Olympians!

Review: First, I have to confess something: I’ve only read one Percy Jackson book, The Lightning Thief. Unthinkable, I know. I am striving to make 2015 the year of the sequels, and reading the rest of PJ’s books is one of my top goals, especially after loving every page of Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods.

I first clapped eyes on this wonderful, wonderful tome while out and about shopping. It is a most handsomely packaged book that demands a highly visible place on one’s bookshelf. It’s printed on glossy paper, which enhances the brilliance of John Rocco’s illustrations. They are stunning, and some of them are full page. On glossy paper!

So yes, the mere appearance of this book practically had me drooling. Then I started flipping through the pages and soon proceeded to burst out laughing in public. Book. Sold!

I cannot convey in words how hilarious Percy’s narration is. I don’t even remember how many times I laughed out loud while reading (but this time in the privacy of my own home, where I could cackle as much and as loudly as I wanted). I mean, this guy really knows how to (re) tell a tale. At the same time, Percy makes sure to point out how crazy the Greek gods and goddesses could be, and how badly they could behave. And we all know that very often, they behaved very badly.

My fascination with Greek mythology began in elementary school, and if I’d had a copy of this book back then, I would have been ecstatic, as well as off to an excellent start learning who’s who among the gods and goddesses. Even as an adult, I found Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods extremely informative; it filled in a number of gaps in my Greek mythology education and refreshed my memory on some of the myths I was already familiar with. All of the glorious Percy snark was an added bonus and made this my new favorite Greek mythology book. Just the way he envisions how conversations between the Greek deities went—priceless.

One more thing before wrapping up this review: this book is coffee table-sized. It truly is an amazing piece of work, both in presentation and in content. The eBook version might be more portable, but I strongly recommend opting for the hardcover with this one. You will not regret it!

All in All: I think anyone who loves Greek mythology should read this. Percy is a fantastic storyteller, the artwork is gorgeous, and you get a solid overview of Greek mythology that never fails to be entertaining. Read it!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (71): Worst Harry Potter Death

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Worst Harry Potter Death

Where to start? I was a total wreck when Fred, Lupin, Tonks, Dobby, and Hedwig all died. But the death that absolutely hit me the hardest was Sirius's. I had to go back and reread that scene multiple times because I was in total denial. He'd just gotten out of Azkaban after all of those years of imprisonment! He'd just been reunited with Harry! They were going to be a family! Whywhywhywhywhywhy?! To this day, I often change the channel when the Order of the Phoenix movie is on TV because I just can't watch that scene.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

To TBR or Not to TBR

Something that I need to do in the near future is go through my Goodreads TBR list and delete the titles I'm no longer interested in reading. I remember when I first joined Goodreads and added everything to my TBR. Vampires? Add. Medieval-type fantasy? Add. Character has the same name as a character I loved in a different book? Add. Ah, those were the days, when almost every book Goodreads recommended went on the TBR.

Since I began blogging, though, I definitely think I've become more selective about what makes the TBR list. If I see a book that's consistently receiving meh reviews, I'm likely to skip it, even if the premise sounds like something I'd be interested in. You guys rock at helping me decided what to read in the future!

Past hit-or-miss experiences with dystopians and contemporaries make me give synopses for those genres a little extra scrutiny. On the flip side, if I see that a favorite author has a new book coming out, I'm clicking the add button faster than you can say, "Gimme!" No plot summary needed. In general, though, I've been trying to keep my TBR somewhat manageable and adding only when I'm almost certain I'm actually going to pick up a book and read it. I used to do a lot of adds just to keep them in mind, and I could create a separate shelf for that, but I feel like it would just turn into an extension of my TBR shelf. The latter just hit 700, which I know I'll never get through unless I get turned into a vampire or something, so I'm looking to focus on shaving down that number to a more semi-realistic figure.

Do you periodically go through your TBR list and weed out books you no longer wish to read? Do you ever feel intimidated by the number of books on your TBR? Are there any authors whose books are auto-adds for you?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: Timeless by Gail Carriger

* This review contains spoilers for the previous books in the Parasol Protectorate series.

Timeless by Gail Carriger
Timeless (The Parasol Protectorate #5)
By Gail Carriger
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Alexia can’t seem to just enjoy a normal, peaceful family life, not when she’s a soulless preternatural, her husband is a werewolf, and their daughter has unique, metanatural abilities of her own. The queen of the Alexandria Hive has taken an interest in Lady Maccon and her child and requests their presence in Egypt. Since one does not disregard such a call from Queen Matakara, the Maccon family is bound for Egypt, and, very likely, danger.

Review: Binge reading the Parasol Protectorate series has been a most enjoyable experience, and I’m sad to now find myself at the conclusion of this reading journey. I’m not ready for the epic book hangover that’s about to commence.

A bit of time has passed since the ending of Heartless, when Alexia and Conall welcomed their daughter, Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama—she of the multiple appellations (and those don’t even include the additional endearments bestowed on her by her adoptive father, Lord Akeldama). Now a precocious toddler, she’s as sassy as her mother and as stubborn as both of her parents. Prudence is also adorable; she gets into a lot of hilarious mischief, again just like her mother. I’m thrilled that a grown-up Prudence is getting her own spin-off; if her early adventures are any indication, the new series is going to be fantastic!

Young Biffy steps forward into the spotlight in Timeless, and as someone who’s loved the dandy since Soulless, I couldn’t have been happier. He’s had a difficult time adjusting to a different type of immortality than he originally aspired to, so it was nice to see him finally finding his place within the pack. I loved the direction Biffy’s story line took, as well as the significant role a certain other character (name omitted to avoid spoilers) played in it.

Alexia has experienced her fair share of travel across five books, and a good deal of Timeless takes place in Egypt. Of course, a bounty of humor is mined from the ordeal of simply reaching her destination. Not only is she accompanied by her husband and daughter, but she also counts the entire Tunstell family and an acting troupe among the party. The rather eclectic assembly may seem a little odd, but it makes perfect sense in Alexia’s world as well as makes for some hearty laughs.

A number of the loose threads that were left floating around from the previous books are revisited in Timeless, and one in particular returns to sting Alexia sharply. While I was mostly satisfied with the resolution of the various plotlines, I couldn’t help wishing that a few things had been more thoroughly explained. I’m still not totally sure what the Order of the Brass Octopus is all about. All along, the series threw hints about the kind of man Alessandro Tarabotti, Alexia’s father, was, but even with what’s revealed about him in this book, he, too, remains rather a mystery to me. And I’m completely confused about Floote’s character now. What just happened?!

Here’s the thing, though: I’ve had too much fun reading this series and loving these characters (Lord and Lady Maccon forever own a spot on my list of favorite fictional couples) to be too bothered by some unfinished plot business here and there. And maybe further answers await in Prudence’s series, which I am most desperate to read. Thank you, Gail Carriger, for continuing to write about this world because I’m far from ready to leave it.

All in All: Timeless is an excellent finish to a stellar series. Now, where is the move adaptation of the Parasol Protectorate? Because that would be awesome!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Game of Thrones Season 5 Trailer!

WHEEEEEEEE!!! Can you tell I'm a little excited about this? And the season premiere is only 10 weeks away! (Damn, I need to move my ass on rewatching and recapping the first two seasons.) Seeing the trailer somewhat helps to buoy my spirits after the news that there will be no new A Song of Ice and Fire book in 2015. Womp womp.

With the books and the TV show nearly even with each other (Bran's story line actually caught up with the books at the end of last season), Season 5 should make for some very interesting viewing for fans who've read the books. One notable departure from the novels is Jaime going to Dorne, the seat of House Martell. As if anyone could forget what happened to Prince Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper of Dorne, last season. So Jaime probably shouldn't expect a warm welcome there, especially from the Red Viper's badass daughters, the Sand Snakes, whom it looks like you get a glimpse of in the trailer.

Poor Tyrion is on the run from the hit a vengeful Cersei has put out on him. In a conversation with Varys, the Spider seems to reveal where his loyalty lies. But this is still Varys, so you never know.

Littlefinger—EWWWWWWW. I sincerely hope Sansa is packing some kind of weapon.

Another wedding! Margaery Tyrell is on track to become the most oft-married woman in the Seven Kingdoms.

Epic shot of that statue crashing to the ground. Something tells me Daenerys might be involved . . . .

Lovely shot of Jon Snowwww in signature mopey pose.

Your thoughts on the GoT Season 5 trailer?