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Day Shift by Charlaine Harris


The residents in Midnight, Texas have each moved here because this is a town where everyone knows not to ask questions; they don't want any questions asked about them so they don't ask in return. We are slowing learning the secrets of Manfred (a psychic), Fiji (a witch), Olivia, Bobo, Lemeul (a vampire), and the other residents, but Day Shift focuses on Manfred and the death of one of his loyal clients, Rachel Goldthorpe. The town, old residents and new, come together to protect one of their own against a police investigation.

Harris introduced a few new characters in Day Shift and we learn some really exciting things about a few of the long-term residents. I was also happy to see the mention of Sookie and the introduction of another character from the Southern Vampire Mysteries books. I am so impressed at the author's ability to write such an engaging slower-paced novel. Sometimes we see, "three months later..." or "one week later..." but it doesn't feel like we miss any vital information. I loved this book so much that I read it in 3 weekdays and I am already looking forward to the third one! It also kinda makes me want to move to Texas which isn't good so I hope that passes.

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris will be available on May 5 2015!

I was given a free copy of this book as part of the Ace/Roc Star program through Ace & Roc books.

5/5 Stars

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs


When I found out about this book and discovered it was available on NetGalley for review, I was so excited. I imagined it being a next-level guide for fangirls who like a bunch of nerdy stuff already but wanted some direction on getting to the next level. How it actually reads is like a book for preteens, most likely those who do not have nerdy parents and don't know where to start. The Fangirl's Guide includes a "field guide" to fandoms with everything from Harry Potter and LOTR to manga and comics. Maggs has a dictionary of sorts explaining words like "feels," "spoiler," and "squee;" basically words that anyone who has ever been on the internet would be familiar with. There are also words that I found very odd and have never heard a human being use, like "stan/stanning," "shipping," "GPOY," and other combinations/shortening of words that may appeal to the type of person who uses "perf" or "totes" in a non-joking way.

There are interviews from several geeky ladies, which are kinda neat, but unfortunately the same questions are asked to everyone and most of the answers tend to echo each other on some level. Chapter three, "Geronimo! How to Survive Conventions," is actually pretty awesome and I wish I would have read it before ECCC this year. Maggs lists popular conventions with various themes throughout North America, what to expect at a convention, and general info for someone who doesn't have a lot of con experience.

Don't get me wrong, this is a fun read (if undyingly peppy throughout) and chances are there's something in the book that would be new information to any given reader, but I think this book was seriously mis-marketed. With a little cleaning up, The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy would be so, so perfect for kids aged around 10-14, and with a few more changes it would be great for boys too. I think it would be great for boys as-is, but if taken to school it may provoke some teasing from less open-minded kids. But hey, there's a "how to handle trolls" section for that!

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs is out May 12, 2015.

2/5 Stars

I received a free electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Pride of Baghdad Graphic Novel


I waited an unnecessarily long time to read this after purchasing it. It came up in my search for more things written by Brian K. Vaughan after reading Saga. It is inspired by a true story:

"In April of 2003, four lions escaped the Baghdad Zoo during the bombing of Iraq. The starving animals were eventually shot and killed by U.S. soldiers."

I find it pretty amazing to base a whole comic on two sentences, imagining the situation these lions and other animals from the zoo were in. We follow Zill, Safa, Ali, and Noor from just before their zoo was bombed (leading to their escape) up until their end. This is a really beautiful story; Vaughan does a great job imagining how the animals would think and act and some impressive obstacles come up on their journey to being free. There are also some thought-provoking mentions of being wild vs. being free. Plus the illustrations are amazing!

4/5 Stars


Prudence with a crumpet and tea from the Crumpet Shop.

Rue, Prim, Percy, and Quesnel take The Spotted Custard to India!

Gail has done it again. I knew I would enjoy the story because I have loved everything she has ever written, but I didn't expect a story that rivaled so the Parasol Protectorate series.

The Parasol Protectorate world, the one in which all of Gail's series are set, is the most wonderful and complete world I have ever had the pleasure of traveling to. It is somehow simple enough (or explained well enough) to not need a novel of it's own to be familiar with but still has enough going on to be thoroughly enjoyable. The main players are humans, vampires (dictating fashion), werewolves (all involved in the military), a preternatural, and a metanatural. When touching a supernatural, preternaturals remove the super and leave them in human form. When a metanatural touches a supernatural, said metanatural takes on the qualities that make the supernat super and keep the touched human until sunrise or a certain distance has been met between the two.

Prudence (the infant inconvenience of the Parasol Protectorate's main couple) is sent to India by her father to look into opening a tea-growing business. On the way there they discover the trip has turned into much more than that; they have to solve a kidnapping and a tea napping, stumble their way around Bombay, and figure out how a lioness fits into it all.

For those familiar with the preceding series, I have no doubt that this story will enthrall and excite. We see the return of many of our most beloved characters and the way some of them have grown (up) and changed is just really lovely. If you have not read the Parasol Protectorate series, please do. Prudence will mean that much more to you.

100/5 Stars

Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks


Around page 40, I was so not into this book. I hate to quit reading a book without finishing it, so I told myself that I would read to page 100 and if I still didn't like it I could stop. A few pages after I made this resolution the book started to pick up. While it is not an extremely exciting read, I finished the book and enjoyed it. My main issue with this book is that it is difficult for me to follow with clarity and paint a clear picture of what is going on. Thankfully this didn't happen all of the time, only in certain parts.

Year of Wonder follows a woman named Anna Frith in the year 1666 while she and the other inhabitants in their village cope with an epidemic of the black plague. We read through sickness, love, witchcraft, and faith throughout Anna's journey. Whole families, and sometimes whole towns, are lost during this hard time in England.

Upon finishing this book, I found myself enjoying the story and being very happy with the ending. It was a faithfully slow read until the end, when most of the action and excitement happened. The epilogue was the type that wrapped the story up completely and left you with no wonder about how Anna will fare going forward.

3/5 Stars

Gemini Cell by Myke Cole


I have never read a book like this and it is not one that I would normally reach for at a bookstore. I heard about Myke Cole when Gail Carriger mentioned a few twitter accounts she enjoyed and I ended up following his. This was right around the time that this book came out so there was a lot of promotion for it and it kept popping up in my feed. I was seriously shocked over how much I loved the military aspect in the very beginning of the book, and it actually took me a while to pick it up again after the magic part started.

Gemini Cell is about Jim Schweitzer, a Navy SEAL, his wife, Sarah, and their son, Patrick. After a particularly risky mission, the targets of said mission somehow get Jim's identity and attack him and his family in their home. Everyone ends up getting shot and the gist of it is that Jim is really shot and killed but brought back to life through the Gemini Cell (a super secret military program), while Sarah and Patrick are taken to the hospital and make full recoveries. Jim is told that his wife and child had died and Sarah is told that Jim died. While their "lives" continue on, neither of them can shake the feeling that the other is still out there.

In the Gemini Cell program, Jim is brought back into a seriously modified, Frankenstein's-lab version of his body. He is a weapon, virtually indestructible, and shares his new weapon-body with another soul; one that has been dead for thousands of years and believes himself a god. Jim is taken on quite a ride to get back to his humanity and the person he fully was before, mostly due to lies from the government.

I haven't read any other type of military book so I don't know if there are any more out there like it (besides his other books), but I was totally blown away at how unique the concept for this story is. I wish I had finished it before I met Myke at ECCC to properly thank/gush in person for an awesome read.

4/5 Stars

Outcast Volume 1


Outcast follows a guy named Kyle who is battling/coming out of a deep depression. In this story, people are randomly possessed by demons that cause them to commit violent acts. A priest has been exorcising them with difficulty and when he meets up with Kyle (they knew each other several years prior) they discover that Kyle's touch irritates the demons. They discover that if he touches them long enough, the demons will leave the bodies they are possessing. This possession has happened to Kyle's mother and his ex-wife; he thinks whatever is happening to these people is following or seeking him out somehow. Most of the demons seem to recognize him and they call him out of the "outcast."

This volume is just issues 1-6 and it is written so well and so completely; it is a perfect story arc. I didn't discover until after I finished that it was written by the same guy who created The Walking Dead (Robert Kirkman). I have only read a little of The Walking Dead comic but I do watch the show and I definitely see some similarities in how the stories are presented. Kirkman seems to give you just enough information to keep the hunger for more story at bay but not enough that he just dumps all of the secrets in your lap. I will definitely be keeping up with this comic!

5/5 Stars

I received a copy of Outcast through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lumberjanes Vol.1


Last Fall when trying to find more comics to read after Saga and Rat Queens, Lumberjanes kept coming up. Just from seeing the cover I knew I would be interested and had to read it, but several issues were already out and a TP was in the works so I decided to wait for it. When Emerald City Comicon rolled around, I giddily made my way to buy it first thing Friday morning.

Lumberjanes is about five girls at summer camp. In the very beginning, they realize that this camp stay is not going to be normal. They encounter foxes with three eyes, a river monster, a magical cave, yetis, and possessed boy scouts. After the foxes in the beginning, they dedicate all of their time and energy to the epic quest of finding out what the junk is going on. We even get a little taste of a budding romance! Brooke Allen (illustrations) and Maarta Laiho (colors) do such a fantastic job with thick colors, detailed expressions, and deep, rich colors. The story and the visuals combined really blow this hilarious comic out of the woods.

Your local comic shop should already have this trade available and Amazon should have it this Tuesday, April 7th. I can't wait to see what adventure is in store for Mal, Molly, April, Ripley, and Jo (and Jen and Rosie!)!

5/5 Stars

the mustache!

Don't forget to enter my ECCC Giveaway!

It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell


This book had a difficult beginning for me. It shows an ugly side of life; an alcoholic father, a mother who is absent due to working three jobs, and a child being rewarded and comforted with unlimited food when trying to make her happy with little regard to her health. I actually wanted to stop reading the raw and embarrassing account of Andie's family life when she was little but I made myself keep going.

Andie has a poetic and real way of writing. She made me feel ashamed and embarrassed on behalf of her mother; it makes me wonder about the way she feels being portrayed as she is. This memoir walks the reader through Andie’s weight gain, struggles, life, loss, love, and then weight loss. We follow her through high school, to prom, college, Philadelphia, and Seattle. It is so beautifully written that her words and phrases seem out of place when writing of the dark things in the first half of the book and sometimes it ends up being kind of over the top and ironic in certain situations.

Overall (especially if you can get through/over the beginning) this is a seriously moving memoir. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a reader of her blog, Can You Stay for Dinner?

4/5 Stars

Check out more info on the book here and more about Andie here.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for review. 

An Emerald City Comicon Giveaway!

Today I have a very exciting giveaway for you! I picked up a few extra things at ECCC last weekend:

1. A reusable ECCC bag.
2. A SIGNED trade paperback of Shutter Vol 1.
3. Red Rising, a novel.
4. Two pins (Catleesi and 11 Doctor Cat) with illustrations by Jenny Parks.
5. Two signed Dark Horse prints.
6. Miscellaneous items (they came with the tote along with the book: Walking Dead issue #1, Tales from the Con comic, miscellaneous pamphlets and publications).

Shutter is such an amazing read. If you haven't read it yet, you must! Use Rafflecopter below to enter. Giveaway open until Thursday, April 9th. Good luck!