Sunday, May 31, 2015

Fandom Mashups (4)

Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
The most evil dark lord/lady of all time has come into power with plots for world-domination. Who do you take with you into battle?

  1. Harry Potter: Harry was the first character who popped into my head when I saw this topic. He definitely has LOTS of experience in this area, lol.
  2. Percy Jackson: First, Percy is a demi-god. Second, he's gone up against mythological creatures and had to outwit gods and goddesses, so I think he has what it takes to be on this team. Plus, I'd just love to see an HP/PJ alliance!
  3. Yoda: Experience fighting against evil? Check. More wisdom than an entire galaxy? Check. Able to wield a lightsaber? Check, check, check!
  4. Elsa (Frozen): She can just freeze the bad guy/girl, while singing a song about it!
  5. Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass): OK, I know that I included Celaena on last week's list as well, but I needed the Heir of Fire to complement Elsa's ice powers. And I also wanted to make an Ice and Fire pun since I didn't mention any Game of Thrones characters this week. :P

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Discussing Game of Thrones: The Gift

* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “The Gift.”

Hey—I actually posted a recap before Friday, lol! It wasn't without some difficulty, however. I tap my episode notes in the Evernote app on my Kindle while watching (because if I had to rely on memory alone, there wouldn't be much of a recap). I try to watch each episode twice, just to make sure I haven't missed anything important. I was rewatching "The Gift" late Sunday night and somehow, in my state of tired, completely erased my notes as the episode was just about over. Poof. Gone. I have no idea how I accomplished this, but I can tell you that my idiocy greatly annoyed me because I usually copy and paste my notes from Evernote straight into Blogger and polish the post from there. So I scrambled to jot down as much as I could remember while it was still pretty fresh, and I think we're OK.

Off to Hardhome

Jon is preparing to leave Castle Black for Hardhome with Tormund Giantsbane. Tormund is led out, and Dolorous Edd removes his shackles. Once unbound, Tormund gives Alliser Thorne a pretty awesome "Come at me bro" look. Jon gives command of the Night's Watch to Thorne in his absence, and Thorne cheerily lets Jon know that this is a foolhardy mission he's about to embark on. Jon thanks him for his honesty. Then Jon and Sam have a nice bro moment as they say goodbye, and Sam sends him off with some dragonglass, to be used in case of White Walker emergency. The next scene also takes place at the Wall, where Sam and Gilly are watching over a dying Maester Aemon, who urges Gilly to take her baby south before it's too late.

Your Name Is Theon Greyjoy

Theon brings Sansa's meal to her in her locked room. She's covered in bruises and begs Theon to help her. He tells her to do as Ramsay wants, otherwise Ramsay will hurt her. Sansa insists that she still has friends and gives him a candle so he can light it in the broken tower. He goes to Ramsay instead. Cut to Brienne watching the broken tower for Sansa's signal.

And Now His Watch Is Ended

Maester Aemon dies, and Sam speaks at the service before the body is burned. Thorne tells Sam that he's losing all of his friends.

I Can't Unsee That

As snow falls steadily around them, Ramsay tells Sansa that she's made him very happy. He then mentions that Stannis and his army are on the move but hampered by the snow. Sansa asks him what will happen if his stepmother, Walda, has a son, a touchy subject with Ramsay. He insists that won't matter since he's been legitimized by the Iron Throne, plus, Jon Snow is a bastard and now he's Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. The news surprises Sansa. Ramsay then shows her the flayed body of the loyal Winterfell servant who was trying to help her.

We March Now or Else

The snow is wreaking all kinds of havoc for Stannis. Davos advises marching back to Castle Black to wait for the snow to clear, but Stannis says they have no idea how long the winter will last. They have to march now. After Davos leaves the tent, Stannis asks Melisandre if she's sure they're heading in the right direction. She says she's seen herself walking along the battlements at Winterfell. But, to ensure victory, she wants to sacrifice Shireen! Stannis orders her out.

Sam the Man

Two of the Night's Watch find Gilly alone and try to assault her. Sam tries to defend her but takes one hell of a beating from his "brothers." And then Ghost turns up! Gilly tends to Sam's injuries and then the moment we've been waiting for between these two happens.

Tyrion Negotiates a Package Deal

After exaggerating some of Jorah's achievements, the slaver sells him. Tyrion insists that he must go with Jorah because they're a team and attempts to prove he's a fighter, too, by knocking his captor to the ground and whaling on him with his chain. Thanks to his antics, which come across more amusing than fear-inspiring, Tyrion gets to stay with Jorah.

Daario's Proposals Get Shot Down

Daario tells Daenerys to marry him instead of Hizdahr, but she says she can't. He then advises her to gather all the masters on the day of the great games and slaughter them all, an idea that draws even less enthusiasm than his previous one.

Olenna vs. the High Sparrow

Lady Olenna goes to see the High Sparrow and offers him gold if he releases her grandchildren. The High Sparrow is not having it; he replies that he serves the gods and the gods demand justice. Outside the sept, she receives a message from Littlefinger.

I Love Her

Tommen is with his mother and vents his frustration over being King yet unable to do anything to help his wife, whom he loves. Cersei offers to speak to the High Sparrow on his behalf.

In Other Teen Angst. . .

Jaime gets to speak alone with Myrcella and says that her mother is worried about her safety and wants her to return with him to King's Landing immediately. A defiant Myrcella declares that she loves Trystane and is going to marry him, and they're not leaving Dorne. Meanwhile, Bronn is locked up in a neighboring cell alongside the Sand Snakes. Jerome Flynn has such a lovely singing voice; if there's a sequel to Game of Thrones: The Musical, this guy NEEDS to be in it! Tyene starts messing with Bronn and reveals that she coated her dagger with poison. He starts feeling the effects, and after Tyene has had her laughs, she tosses Bronn the antidote.

Littlefinger's Gift

In his sacked brothel, Littlefinger meets with Olenna. She warns him that if House Tyrell goes down, he will too because they plotted to kill Joffrey together. He says he has information that Cersei doesn't.


Daenerys and Hizdahr are attending a kind of preliminary round for the great games. Jorah spots Daenerys in the crowd and makes his way into the fighting pit. He puts on an impressive display and whips off his helm, face all expectant, to which Daenerys says, get him out of my sight. Tyrion then makes a fantastic entrance and introduces himself to Daenerys Targaryen, an event that readers of the books still await.


Cersei pays Margaery a visit in her cell, and obviously, Margaery is NOT pleased to see her. Cersei is unbearably smug in her triumph, but, not so hasty there, Cersei. The High Sparrow has a surprise for you: Lancel has spilled the beans about her sordid deeds and now she's under arrest, too. Serves that hateful bitch right.

In the Next Episode

Tyrion and Jorah go before Daenerys. It's Cersei's turn to not look queenly. Long time, no see, Rattleshirt!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Fandom Mashups (3)

Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
It's the apocalypse! Eeep! Who do you want with you as you face off with the end of days?

My brain has had a rather exhausting week and was having difficulty thinking of characters for this week's topic. So I turned to some expert help on the subject of apocalyptic/disaster/dystopian scenarios—Ally! She came up with the first three picks in a matter of seconds as we carpooled to work on Friday, lol.

  1. Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead): Ally says that Daryl is really the only person you need in this situation, especially if it's a zombie apocalypse.
  2. Deadpool (Marvel): Because he's got katanas and he knows how to use them!
  3. Ronan Lynch (The Raven Cycle): Ronan can pull objects out of his dreams, which might be very useful when facing the end of the world.
  4. Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass): A team of badasses staring down the apocalypse would not be complete without this lady. She also knows a thing or two about survival.
  5. The Tenth Doctor: If all else fails, we can all hop in the TARDIS. And if I'm going to be doing some time traveling, you'd better believe it's going to be with David Tennant's Tenth Doctor! ❤

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Game of Thrones: The Musical!

THIS. I've lost track of how many times I've watched it since I first saw it because it's so. Freaking. HILARIOUS!

The entire 12 minutes is ingenious, but here are a few of my favorite bits:

  • The enthusiasm of Coldplay's Chris Martin for the project. Because who wouldn't want to throw down some cold hard cash to see Game of Thrones in a musical format?
  • Mark Addy (Robert Baratheon) saying that he only showed up because Sean Bean was supposed to be there and owes him a fiver.
  • Chris Martin calling Kit Harington "Jon Snow," and after Kit corrects him, Chris calls him "Kit Snow." BAHAHAHAHAHA!
  • Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) and Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Snow/Bolton) locking tense gazes and then hugging, LOL.
  • Kit Harington serenading Rose Leslie (Ygritte) with "Wildling," sung to the tune of "Wild Thing" by The Troggs. Just too clever!
  • "Rastafarian Targaryen," now permanently stuck in my head because it's so damn catchy.
  • "Closer to Home," an over-the-top ballad about how Jaime Lannister has found love, er, closer to home.

I truly, truly hope there's a follow-up to this in the works because this was just insanely brilliant! :D

Friday, May 22, 2015

Discussing Game of Thrones: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.”

A Girl Is Never Done Cleaning

It's time to check in on the House of Black and White, and Arya is cleaning another dead body. After she's finished with her task, she spies an open door but the Waif slams it. The Waif demonstrates the level of lying aptitude that it apparently takes to succeed at the Game of Faces. Later, Jaqen wakes up Arya and peppers her with questions. Every time she answers, he accuses her of lying and strikes her with a stick. Don't sign me up for a round of the Game of Faces, thank you.

I'm Not Your Traveling Companion

It's time to check in on Tyrion and Jorah. Tyrion tells Mormont that he killed Tywin and reminisces about meeting Jorah's father, Jeor, when he visited the Wall. From the expression on Jorah's face, Tyrion realizes that Jorah didn't know that his father was dead—oops. Jorah asks how it happened, and Tyrion has to tell him that the Old Bear's own men turned on him.

Putting the "Face" in Faceless Men

Arya is scrubbing the floor again when a man comes in carrying his sick daughter. The man begs Arya to end his daughter's suffering, and Arya tells the girl a string of lies before urging her to drink the deadly water. Meanwhile, Jaqen is taking in the entire scene. Arya finally passes her test, and Jaqen takes her through the forbidden door and down into a huge chamber filled with . . . faces! Faces everywhere! I swear, I thought that the face Arya touched would open its eyes or do something creepy, and my heart and bladder were very grateful that it didn't. Jaqen says that Arya isn't ready to become no one, but she's ready to be someone.

The Hard Road to Meereen

Tyrion is in the middle of asking Jorah why Daenerys, who's grown up an exile from Westeros, is fit to rule it when they suddenly find themselves surrounded by slavers. Tyrion is deemed worthless and is to be killed but manages to use his wits to garner a reprieve. He and Jorah learn from their captors that Daenerys has reopened the fighting pits in Meereen, and Tyrion volunteers Mormont to fight. The slavers are skeptical, but Mormont bolsters his own cause by declaring that he once killed a Dothraki bloodrider.

Littlefinger Lives to Serve (His Own Interests)

Littlefinger arrives back in King's Landing per Cersei's summons and is greeted by Lancel, who informs him of all the work that the Sparrows have done in his absence. Lancel also warns him about his, ahem, business dealings. Littlefinger sits down with Cersei, and they discuss Loras's imprisonment. Baelish questions the wisdom in pissing off House Tyrell (Remember who helped turn back Stannis and his army at the Battle of the Blackwater? Oh, that's right—House Tyrell.) Littlefinger reveals that Sansa has returned home to Winterfell and will marry Ramsay. Cersei is incensed at this news and vows to flay Roose Bolton & Ramsay. Littlefinger advises letting Roose and Stannis fight it out and then attacking the victor. He further offers the service of the Knights of the Vale to send North. If his plan succeeds, he wants to be named Warden of the North.

For F**k's Sake

It's off to the Water Gardens in Dorne, where Trystane Martell is telling Myrcella that he wants to push up their wedding as Trystane's father, Doran, and Areo Hotah, the captain of the guards, observe them. I thought Trystane and Myrcella were really sweet together. But, as this is GoT, no one must be happy! Riding for the Water Gardens are Jaime and Bronn, disguised in the clothes of the Dornishmen they killed. If the sellsword gig doesn't work out, Bronn could always sing professionally! Meanwhile, Ellaria is about to set the Sand Snakes loose to grab Myrcella. Jaime and Bronn find Myrcella with Trystane, who spots the blood on Bronn's clothes. The young prince draws his sword, and Bronn knocks him out. And then the Sand Snakes attack! There are a few minute of highly choreographed fighting before Areo Hotah breaks up the melee and Jaime, Bronn, and the Sand Snakes are all forced to drop their weapons. Ellaria gets arrested as well.

Put the Pen Down, Dear

Lady Olenna is back! She tells Margaery to let her handle Cersei, and the ensuing showdown between the Queen Mother and the Queen of Thorns is tense. Cersei pointedly continues writing as Lady Olenna speaks, thus prompting the latter to tell her to drop the pretense. Cersei says that she can't do anything about Loras's situation as Queen Mother. Olenna threatens to cut the ties between their houses, but Cersei resorts to the old, "But I didn't imprison Loras" excuse. Olenna gets dismissed without getting anywhere.

Cersei 2, House Tyrell 0

The High Sparrow questions Loras about the rumors surrounding him and Renly, which Loras vehemently denies. Margaery is questioned as well, and she swears that her brother is innocent. Then Olyvar is called in to give testimony, and it's all over for Loras. Olyvar also says that Margaery walked in on them and wasn't surprised. Cersei feigns indignation at Olyvar's accusations, and Loras lunges at him before being restrained. Both Loras and Margaery are to go on trial. The look Cersei gives Lady Olenna at the end of the scene is appallingly smug.

. . .

It's Sansa's wedding day, and Myranda shows up to draw her bath. Myranda washes out the hair dye and talks about what happened to some of the women who bored Ramsay. Sansa tells Myranda that she can't frighten her. Oh, Sansa. Myranda is a crazy, jealous bitch, but she's not lying about what a monster Ramsay is. Theon arrives to escort Sansa to the godswood. He begs her to take his arm or Ramsay will punish him, but she says she doesn't care. During the ceremony, Theon says his own name! And then it's all horror from that point on as Ramsay replaces Joffrey as the most despised character on GoT.

In the Next Episode

Jon rides off with Tormund for Hardhome. Stannis heads towards a showdown with the Boltons. Incarceration doesn't appear to be agreeing with Margaery.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (84)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows. 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:
If You Could Open a Shop on Diagon Alley, What Would It Be and Why?

I'd absolutely love to open up a bookstore, but I really don't think I could compete with Flourish & Blotts. So I'm going with a craft supplies shop. I enjoy doing crafty projects and could totally use things like scissors that could cut any shape you needed, and perfectly. I can't cut in a straight line to save myself, so some magical help would be awesome, lol. And how about glue that you can magically remove when you make a mistake while scrapbooking your moving photographs? Or yarn that you can change into whatever color you want with a wave of your wand? As you can see, I've given this quite a bit of thought. XD

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fandom Mashups (2)

Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
You have to study for a HUGE test. Who do you want on your study team?

  1. Professor Charles Xavier: You can't go wrong with a professor! And in this scenario, it would be James McAvoy as Professor X. :D
  2. Spock: He's got any logic questions covered.
  3. Luna Lovegood: I feel this situation definitely calls for a Ravenclaw, and who better than Luna? Plus I think she'd be so much fun to hang out with during study breaks.
  4. Tyrion Lannister: Tyrion is a genius, plain and simple.
  5. Richard Gansey III: With his exhaustive research on Glendower, Gansey has proven himself to be quite the scholar. Plus, I love him. ❤

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
By Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Feyre is the main provider for her impoverished family; without her and her hunting skills, they would all surely starve to death. But they’re forced to face that exact scenario when Feyre kills a faerie, and she must give up her life in the mortal world as punishment. She is to live out her days in the faerie realm of Prythian among creatures that once counted humans as their subjects. Gradually, however, Feyre realizes that Tamlin, the powerful Fae who has brought her to Prythian, isn’t cruel like so many of the other faeries. He’s actually working to save his world from a blight that threatens to destroy it and possibly the mortal world as well, and his determination gives Feyre pause to rethink the way she’s viewed the Fae her entire life.

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015, and for a very good reason—it’s Sarah J. Maas! Well, let me tell you, Maas delivers on every level with this novel: the Beauty and the Beast elements, the world-building, the characters, and, oh my God—the romance!

I really don’t consider myself much of a romantic, but this book did all sorts of crazy things to my heart. My favorite romances are of the slow-burning variety, and this one is exquisitely so and expertly developed. I will never, ever grow tired of relationships that take their time and build up bit by bit, the type that won’t let you quit reading because the next page might be the one where that four letter L word FINALLY gets spoken. If all romances were as beautifully written as this one is, I’d read them ALL THE TIME. Can you tell that I still haven’t gotten over this one yet? Yeah, it’s going to stay with me for a good, long while.

I can’t sing the praises of Sarah J. Maas’s gift for world-building nearly enough. A sizeable part of A Court of Thorns and Roses takes place on a sprawling estate that befits a fairytale retelling. I almost drooled over the description of the study/library. For all of the majesty of the estate, both interior and exterior, however, the faerie realm of Prythian is rife with danger in the form of all manner of terrifying creatures. The noble High Fae may be devastatingly beautiful to behold, but their cruelty and nonstop scheming against humans and each other are indicative of the monsters most of them truly are (with one notable exception we’ll discuss in a few). The Court politics are brutal—and often fatal. This is a world that constantly keeps you on the lookout for clues as to what’s really going on because these are faeries we’re dealing with; you know that nothing is ever simple or as it appears to be. I loved every story twist and marveled at the overall brilliant plotting of the book.

Our heroine Feyre’s journey from barely eking out a living in the human world to taking on everything that the Fae throw at her is nothing short of amazing. The opening of the novel finds Feyre struggling to feed her rather ungrateful family, but by the action-packed finale, she emerges one formidable, not-to-be-trifled-with woman. It’s not easy being a human surrounded by treacherous and extremely powerful Fae, but Feyre taps into that strength that’s enabled her to endure years of hardship, and she holds her own in Prythian through sheer force of will.

I had a severe case of the swoons for Tamlin, High Lord of the Spring Court and the faerie responsible for taking Feyre to Prythian as punishment for killing one of his sentinels. But Tamlin isn’t like the other Fae; his title and position are more of a burden to him than anything, and he takes no joy in playing Court games, although they’re unavoidable. Oh, Tamlin can be scary as hell when he shape shifts into his beast form, but there’s a genuinely kind soul underneath, and that duality just wins my heart every. Time.

I also grew very, very fond of Tamlin’s friend, Lucien. He crosses the firmly demarcated Court lines to remain loyal to Tamlin, and his snark is freaking hilarious. My feelings toward another High Fae, Rhysand, are much more conflicted. Rhys is very much the type of faerie you don’t want to bargain with unless desperation is your only option. He oozes danger, yet I can’t help finding him fascinating. I think it’s because he seems to have some shades of gray to his character, and I just love characters who walk the middle moral ground like that.

What is it about really, really good books that makes them so damn hard to review sometimes? Well, I tried. But my puny words are nowhere near sufficient to capture why you need to read A Court of Thorns and Roses. Right. Now!

All in All: A Court of Thorns and Roses is absolutely worthy of all of the buzz it’s received. If you love fantasy, faeries, and/or fairytale retellings, do not wait to read this!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Discussing Game of Thrones: Kill the Boy

* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Kill the Boy.”

Just when I thought that I'd recovered from the ending of the previous episode, "Sons of the Harpy," here I am, mind whirling away for the second week in a row. With the show diverging lots from the books this season, TV watching has become a roller coaster ride, indeed.

BBQ Time

Missandei is by an unconscious Grey Worm's bedside, and then the scene cuts to Daenerys looking upon Ser Barristan's body. Because he got killed in last week's episode! If I sound like I'm taking his death rather hard, well, you'd be correct. Daenerys wants the leaders of Meereen's great families rounded up and brought to her. Hizdahr is like, that's me! I'm the leader of my family! You're so smart, Hizdahr! Once the leaders are collected, they're herded to where the dragons are being kept. One unfortunate dude gets barbecued and eaten by Viserion and Rhaegal. Daenerys 1, nobles of Meereen 0.

I ❤ Maester Aemon

Sam is reading a letter about Daenerys to Maester Aemon. Jon arrives in the library to speak to Aemon alone and ask him for advice. Jon is about to do something that will divide the Night's Watch. Aemon advises him to "kill the boy and let the man be born." And so Jon goes to have a chat with Tormund Giantsbane and asks him who the Free Folk follow now. Jon says he's not Tormund's enemy. He wants Tormund to go north and gather the rest of the Wildlings. Jon will then open the gates and allow them to settle south. Tormund says they'll never kneel. Jon calls him a coward and unchains him. He urges Tormund to make peace to save his people. Tormund reveals that most of the Wildlings are at Hardhome, and they'll need ships to retrieve all of them. Jon says he'll talk to Stannis about lending his fleet. Tormund is adamant that he won't go to Hardhome without Jon.

Jon's Plan Is a Tough Sell

Jon puts his plan to help the Wildlings before his brothers, and, not surprisingly, the reaction is mostly negative. Even Dolorous Edd, still upset over the deaths of Grenn and Pyp (I miss them too, Edd) can't back Jon's proposal. As Stannis and Davos observe the contentious meeting, Jon argues that they can't just allow the Wildlings to become White Walkers. Later, young Olly brings Jon his meal, and Jon tells him he can speak freely if he has something to say. Olly wants to know if Jon is just tricking the Wildlings. Jon replies that it's not a trick and Olly reminds him that the Wildlings killed his parents (I believe they ate your parents, Olly). Jon tries to explain that winter is coming, but that just doesn't cut it.

The Most Awkward Dinner Ever

What is it with the Boltons and totally awkward meals together? This one was even worse than the time Jaime and Brienne were forced to dine with Roose, and Jaime wanted to stab Bolton with his dinner knife as Bolton nearly cracked a joke about Jaime overplaying his hand. See what I mean?! UGH!

First we see Brienne staring out the inn window at Winterfell. Pod says that maybe Sansa is better off at home, but Brienne is like, hellllll nooooo! Not with the Boltons! So she tries to get a message to Sansa that help is nearby if she should need it. And I think it's a no-brainer that Sansa is going to need it, possibly very, very soon.

Ramsay's girlfriend, Myranda, is super jealous of Sansa. Ramsay tells Myranda that now that now he's officially a Bolton and no longer a Snow, he has to marry out of duty. Myranda pouts that she'll just marry someone else, too, and he's like, oh no you won't!

The servant who reminded Sansa that the North remembers a few episodes ago delivers Brienne's message to Sansa, which includes instructions on how to signal for help. Myranda then catches Sansa alone outside and lures Sansa to the kennels, where she's shocked to find Theon. Theon later confesses to Ramsay that Sansa saw him in the kennels and begs Ramsay's forgiveness. What Ramsay does next is always a gamble, but this time, he forgives Theon.

And so it's on to the awkward dining scene; the party includes Sansa, Ramsay, Roose, and Walda. Ramsay toasts his upcoming nuptials. Theon brings wine and Ramsay asks Sansa if she's still angry at what Theon did, and Ramsay assures her that Theon has been punished. Ramsay then proceeds to utterly defile "The North remembers" by speaking the line. That is wrong on every level of wrong. He also tells Theon to apologize to Sansa and just continues to put on a spectacular display of crazy, culminating in Ramsay declaring that Theon, being as close to kin as Sansa has left, will give her away at the wedding. Roose, rather tried of Ramsay's shenanigans at this point, has Walda announce that she's pregnant. Roose smugly notes that there's a good chance it will be a boy.

Then it's on to some quality father-son time for Roose and Ramsay. Roose says that Ramsay disgraced himself at dinner then brings up Ramsay's mother, a very disturbing story made even more disturbing by Roose's matter-of-fact tone in telling it. In the end, Roose asks for Ramsay's help in holding the North against Stannis, and Ramsay agrees.

Stannis Finally Packs Up

Sam and Gilly are in the library when Stannis strolls in. You have to love how Gilly runs out of there. Stannis talks about Sam's father, Randyll Tarly, then questions Sam about dragonglass.

Stannis then tells Davos that they're about to march. Davos asks if they should wait until Jon returns from Hardhome, and Stannis says nope. Selyse and Shireen are to march south as well. When everyone is ready to move out, Jon thanks Stannis for the use of his ships. And the Baratheon army is off.

Daenerys Makes Some Big Decisions

Grey Worm wakes up after three days, and Missandei is still by his side. He asks about Barristan. *sniffles* Grey Worm says that he failed and when he thought he was about to die, he feared that he would never see Missandei again. Awww.

Daenerys asks Missandei for her opinion on what she should do then goes to see Hizdahr in his cell. He admits he's afraid to die and whines and grovels. She tells him that he was right, and she's going to reopen the fighting pits, but only to free men. Oh, and she's going to marry him!

The Mormont Way

Tyrion and Jorah are in their boat. Tyrion is trying to make conversation, but Jorah barely says a word. They're sailing through Valyria, once a totally awesome place that was destroyed by the ominous-sounding Doom. Even the dragons died. Ah—but what's that flying in the sky? It's Drogon! The wonder of the moment is completely shattered when they're attacked by Stone Men, covered in greyscale. Jorah has to fight them by himself since Tyrion's wrists are still bound, and Tyrion, cornered by one of the Stone Men, falls overboard, and the Stone Man continues to try to drag him deeper under the water. When Tyrion next wakes up, he's on land again, having been rescued by Jorah. Jorah asks if any of the Stone Men touched him, and Tyrion replies no. But, as Jon Connington Jorah walks away, we see greyscale on his skin! NOOOOOOO!!!!!

In the Next Episode

Arya! Dorne! Lady Olenna! Littlefinger gets interrogated by Cersei! Another wedding for Sansa!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (83): Best Sirius Moment

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows. 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 Sirius Moment

Best Sirius moment? As in one singular moment? No! Every Sirius Black moment in the entire series is absolutely amazing! For those of you who don’t know, Sirius Orion Black is my absolute favorite character EVER. Out of all of the books I have ever read (including books outside of the HP series) I have never found a character whom I have loved more than Sirius Black. <3 I could go on and on and on about all of his wonderful moments, lol, but luckily for you guys I will not.

One of my favorite Sirius moments, although I believe it only happened in the movies, is perhaps the last moment he is in. Right before Sirius gets hit with the Avada Kedavra curse he turns around to smile at Harry and accidentally calls him “James.” That moment is so freaking sad.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book Loot (15)

There was NO WAY I was NOT going to get me a copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas! With all of the ARC reviews that I've seen around the blogosphere, I feel like I'm one of the last people on the face of the planet to read it, lol. The cover is simply gorgeous, and I couldn't help but photograph the book standing, along with the equally beautiful Shadow Scale.


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

eBooks Bought:

Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: Prudence by Gail Carriger

* This review may contain spoilers for The Parasol Protectorate series.

Prudence by Gail Carriger
Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1)
By Gail Carriger
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Lady Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama is all grown up and sent on a mission to India on behalf of her beloved adoptive father, Lord Akeldama. But what should have been a relatively straightforward task turns into a matter of all sorts of intrigue involving a kidnapping and some supernatural hostilities. Rue may need to call upon her metanatural talents to get to the bottom of things as only the captain of a floating ship painted to resemble a ladybug can.

Review: When we last saw young Prudence, daughter of preternatural Alexia and werewolf Conall Maccon as well as adopted daughter of vampire Lord Akeldama, in the final Parasol Protectorate novel, Timeless, she was but a toddler. So too were the Tunstell twins, Primrose and Percival, offspring of Alexia’s dearest friend, Ivy, now queen of the Wimbledon vampire hive. Prudence finds everyone grown up, and here marks the beginning of the adventures of Rue, as she prefers to be called.

It must have been quite the challenge for Gail Carriger to not have Rue resemble Alexia too much (or Prim be a carbon copy of Ivy), and Carriger succeeds at portraying both young ladies with distinct personalities of their own. Rue is a little softer around the edges than Alexia, with considerably less bluster and bluntness than her mother. Likewise, Prim is a little more sensible than Ivy. Alexia and Ivy always did make a great best friend duo, and their daughters do as well.

Rue and Prim are joined on their journey to India via Rue’s dirigible, The Spotted Custard, by Prim’s twin Percy and Quesnel Lefoux, son of inventor Genevieve Lefoux from both the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School books. Percy is a brilliant academic who barely takes notice of anything not related to academics. His pedantry is quite humorous. Quesnel shares his mother’s love for gadgetry, and his other pastimes include getting flirty with Rue. Definitely keep an eye out for what develops between these two as the series progresses.

Parasol Protectorate readers will not be disappointed by the various appearances of some very familiar faces from that series. They turn up just enough to remind you why you love them, yet they don’t overshadow Rue and her friends. Carriger also does an excellent job of expanding the supernatural aspect of this world, pushing it beyond vampires and werewolves. Rue’s rare metanatural talent, which was introduced in Parasol Protectorate and which allows her to temporarily steal a supernatural being’s abilities, of course features prominently in the novel and further gives the world of Prudence its own personality, distinct from that of its parent series.

As thrilled as I was to meet an older Rue and her companions as well as catch up with some beloved characters from Parasol Protectorate, I can’t overlook the rather large issue I had with the book’s pacing. Nothing much of significance happens for about the first third of Prudence, as Rue and her three friends make their way to India. I found myself asking, “Are we there yet?” often because I felt like I was getting nowhere. The lengthy clothing descriptions could have been trimmed in favor of more action to move the story along. It gets there eventually, but that’s the point—eventually. Plus there was just something missing here; the wit that I’ve come to love and expect from Carriger’s novels didn’t seem as sharp in comparison to both the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School books. Nevertheless, I’m heavily invested in this new generation of characters and what happens to them and will certainly be picking up the sequel.

All in All: Prudence was very slow to start for me, although the pacing did improve markedly by the end of the book. It also didn’t quite have the magic of Carriger’s other two series, but I’m very hopeful that the next book will live up to the potential that’s been formed here.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fandom Mashups (1): Desert Island Dream Team

My friend Micheline over at Lunar Rainbows Reviews has launched this awesome, fun new feature on her blog where we build a "dream team" of five members from different fandoms based on a given scenario. The first scenario is:

You're stranded on a deserted island. Who do you want there with you?

Ahhhh, so many choices! Here would be mine:

  1. Tony Stark/Iron Man: Um, is this cheating because he could pretty much just fly everyone off of the island? Eh, whatever, because he's staying on the list, lol! Even if he's armor-less, he'd still figure out a way back to civilization or just build a new one on the island!
  2. Katniss Everdeen: Katniss is one of the first fictional characters who springs to mind when I think of the word "survival." She knows how to live off the land, whereas I am totally useless at that sort of thing. You have to know your strengths, and this is so NOT one of mine.
  3. Lisa Simpson: Not only is she brilliant, but there was that Simpsons episode, "Das Bus," that parodied Lord of the Flies, so she has prior experience with this type of situation as well!
  4. Bronn: I'm thinking of last week's episode of Game of Thrones, where Bronn and Jaime Lannister traveled to Dorne. Bronn had to row a boat and use his formidable skills with a sword and dagger—surely these are skills that would come in handy here. Plus he's hilarious, so look no further for the comic relief!
  5. Sirius Black: Sirius's animagus form could be pretty useful, plus . . . it's Sirius! :D

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (82): Most Anticipated Moment

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows. 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:
Most Anticipated Moment

There are quite a few suspenseful scenes in the Harry Potter series. The most anticipated moment for me was finding out about Snape’s history with Harry’s parents, specifically Lily, and just finding out about him in general. Throughout the whole series, you know that Snape has some kind of connection to Harry. Snape has an obvious interest in the kid but doesn’t necessarily show affection towards him. You are also led to believe that Snape is evil but are then shown situations where Snape in a way “saves the day.” I was so confused and despite my best efforts could not figure Snape out. Finally finding out Snape’s motives and reasons behind his actions was definitely well worth the wait.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Discussing Game of Thrones: Sons of the Harpy

* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Sons of the Harpy.”

Jorah and Tyrion's Boat Trip

Jorah uses his fists to secure a boat as Tyrion (unsuccessfully) attempts to free himself from the ropes that are binding him.

Another Boat Scene

Well, it's more of a ship, really. Jaime and Bronn are bound for Dorne, and they pass Tarth. You know, as in Brienne of Tarth? Bronn has visited Dorne before and isn't exactly enthused to find himself returning. Jaime says that they have to rescue his niece, and Bronn gives him a knowing look like, who do you think you're kidding, dude? We're going to rescue your daughter!

Watch Your Back, Mace Tyrell

At a Small Council meeting, Mace Tyrell announces that the Iron Bank has called in some of the debt that the crown owes to it. Cersei is sending him to Braavos to negotiate better terms, with Ser Meryn Trant accompanying him. Poor Mace.

The Faith Militant Go Bonkers

Cersei meets with the High Sparrow again and offers to arm him and his followers. She tells the High Sparrow that she knows a big sinner. Cut to the Sparrows rampaging around King's Landing, even in Littlefinger's brothel. Next, they arrest Loras Tyrell! Margaery confronts Tommen about her brother's arrest, and the King goes to his mother to demand that Loras be set free. Cersei replies that she's not the one holding him. Tommen then goes to see the High Sparrow, but his followers won't let Tommen through. The Kingsguard offer to cut through the Sparrows, but Tommen doesn't want to resort to violence. Margaery is clearly disappointed when Tommen returns without having secured Loras's release and says she needs to send word to her grandmother.

That Line Sounds So Familiar . . .

Stannis is watching Jon, and Selyse says that she should have given him a son. Melisandre asks Stannis if he'll march on Winterfell soon and if she'll be going with, which he says she will be. Jon and Sam are sending letters to different lords asking for more men for the Night's Watch. Jon doesn't want to appeal to Roose Bolton, but Sam points out that he's Warden of the North. Jon signs the letter. Melisandre then turns up and asks Jon to ride south with her, Stannis, and the Baratheon army. Then she pretty much throws herself at Jon. He admits that he still loves Ygritte. Rejected, Melisandre tells him that he knows nothing before exiting through the door.


Shireen goes to see her father and says that her mother didn't want to bring her to the Wall. Shireen point blank asks Stannis if he's ashamed of her. He recounts how Shireen caught greyscale as a baby from a doll that a Dornish trader had given to Stannis. Everyone advised sending Shireen away to prevent the spread of the disease, but instead Stannis called on every healer he could find to cure her. She hugs him, and, after a moment, he hugs her back! I think this is now one of my favorite scenes ever!

Sansa Learned from the Best

Or so Littlefinger believes. Sansa is in the Winterfell crypt in front of the statue of her aunt, Lyanna Stark, when Littlefinger finds her. He tells Sansa about the tourney at Harrenhal and how Rhaegar Targaryen gave a crown of winter roses to Lyanna instead of to his wife, Elia Martell. Littlefinger is returning to King's Landing per Cersei's summons, which alarms Sansa because that leaves her alone and surrounded by Boltons. Littlefinger assures her that she can handle herself because he's been such an awesome teacher. Is it just me, or did Littlefinger sound pretty #TeamStannis here?

I'd Help with the Rowing, But . . .

Bronn is stuck rowing the boat carrying him and Jaime because, you know, the hand thing. Jaime even holds up his hand to illustrate his point, which gave me a good laugh. They then have a very deep discussion about how they each want to die. Once ashore, they run into some Dornish troops, who order them to put their swords in the sand. Bronn obeys the putting down the sword part but then draws his dagger and gets to work. Jaime ends up fighting a Dornishman one-on-one and grabs the latter's sword with his golden hand, which gives the Dornishman enough pause for Jaime to strike with his own sword using his left hand. Bronn and Jaime survive the encounter and guess who has to bury the bodies because of the hand thing again? That's right—Bronn.

The Sand Snakes

Ellaria meets with the Sand Snakes, and unlike in the books, Tyene Sand is her daughter. Ellaria asks Obara and Nymeria if they will help her avenge Oberyn as well, and they agree to be her allies. They already know that Jaime is in Dorne.

You Can't Keep Tyrion Quiet

In their little boat, Tyrion is trying to talk to Jorah through his gag. Unable to take Tyrion trying to sing while gagged, Jorah removes it. Tyrion points out that they're heading in the wrong direction. Jorah says he isn't taking him to Cersei but to Daenerys. Tyrion correctly guesses that Jorah has been banished because Daenerys found out about the spying, and Jorah socks him.

A Very, Very, Very Sad Moment

Ser Barristan is telling Daenerys about how Rhaegar loved to sing to the people. It's a very lovely moment between the two, so you know that bad sh*t is about to go down. In the throne room, Hizdahr pleads with Daenerys again to reopen the fighting pits. The Sons of the Harpy go on a killing spree in the streets of Meereen and trap a group of Unsullied that includes Grey Worm. Barristan finds an injured Grey Worm alone and surrounded and fights like you'd expect from Barristan the Bold until he's slain in battle. NOOOOOOOOO!!!! After that happened, there was total silence in my house for a few minutes because we were so stunned by this turn of events. Ser Barristan, you were a most noble knight and you will be missed. *sniffles*

In the Next Episode

It looks like trouble for Sansa at Winterfell. Tyrion spots a dragon in the sky!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger
Waistcoats and Weaponry (Finishing School #3)
By Gail Carriger
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: When one of her closest friends receives disturbing news from home, Sophronia is set to do whatever she can to help. And so Sophronia and friends journey to Scotland, a trip that finds them on board a mysterious train carrying even more mysterious cargo. As an intelligencer in training, Sophronia is determined to discover the train’s secrets, as well as who is behind its existence in the first place.

Review: Another Finishing School novel, another fun, delightful read! Thanks to Gail Carriger’s distinctive writing style, these books are just so addictive. They never fail to make me laugh most heartily, and occasionally out loud. With Waistcoats and Weaponry, I found one line so hilarious that I actually pounded my fist on the table while cackling with laughter. Every time I start one of Carriger’s books, I know one thing for certain: I shall be amused!

This time, Sophronia, Dimity, and Sidheag go on an adventure outside the airship that is Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Sidheag receives some bad news from Scotland and wants to return home to the Kingair werewolf pack at once. The three girls, along with Soap and Lord Felix Mersey, wind up on a mysterious train that demands further investigation. This turns into one of the most, if not the most, dangerous missions that Mademoiselle Geraldine’s recruits have encountered thus far. It’s thrilling but also sobering, as one character’s path is altered irrevocably.

Fans of Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series will be interested to see some of the Kingair pack’s backstory filled in here. I love any and all connections between that series and this one, especially the references to a certain werewolf lord and a certain vampire lord. I also love how strong the friendship between Sophronia, Dimity, Sidheag, and Agatha has become. Sidheag’s troubles are her friends’ troubles, and it’s touching to see the other three girls rally around her.

The love triangle between Sophronia, Soap, and Lord Mersey makes a move toward the forefront, and I have to say, I didn’t really care for its effect on Sophronia and Soap. Lord Mersey has always come across a little too suave for my liking, so this book didn’t change my feelings toward his character all that much. Soap, on the other hand, broods quite a bit in the novel, and jealousy over any interaction between Sophronia and Lord Mersey does not suit Soap at all. As for Sophronia, learning to perfect the fine arts of eyelash fluttering and longing looks may be part of her intelligencer training, but she’s rather heedless in her usage of them on the two boys. It takes a good while for her to realize that they’re not playing a game here; there are genuine feelings involved all-around. It’ll be interesting to see how the romance aspect resolves in the last book.

Love triangle aside, Waistcoats and Weaponry was rollicking good fun to read. Having binge read the first three Finishing School books now, I’m pretty bummed about having to wait for Manners and Mutiny. I’m really going to miss these characters in the meantime because I’ve grown so accustomed to spending time in their wonderful world of espionage, mechanicals, supernatural beings, Victorian manners, and, of course, tea. One can never forget the tea!

All in All: Waistcoats and Weaponry is every bit as enjoyable as its predecessors and has left me eagerly awaiting the conclusion to the series.

Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015 Recap

So I was looking back at the April recap from a year ago, and something in it immediately caught my eye: I was in a reading slump then, and I sort of hit one this April, too. I've been taking a job-related course that's mostly online but required 16 hours of real classroom time last month, and though that doesn't sound like a lot, when you haven't been in school in a looooong time, it sends you in a bit of a spin, lol. I've had less time than usual for reading and blogging lately, but I'm working on getting back on track. Having to do without both reading and blogging for a brief stint made me think of this Simpsons Treehouse of Horror segment, which parodies The Shining and in which Homer goes bonkers because he's without TV and beer:

At least I've been able to keep up with two very important shows on the TV front: Outlander and Game of Thrones! I was actually waffling on shelling out the extra $$$ for Starz for 3 months because Outlander is the only thing I watch on the channel, until, in a moment of clarity, I was like, WTF am I thinking? It's Jamie!

It was also our third blogoversary on April 11! If you ask me where 3 years have gone, I have no clue, lol.

Reviews Posted:

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