Kangaroo Too

Anschutz Command Center
10 minutes after I wished the book wasn’t over

I read Kangaroo Too in two days.

(Well, two and half, technically, but two sounds much more impressive and dramatic, so we’re just going with that.)

There were a lot of factors, I think, that played into why I read this book so quickly and enjoyed it as much as I did. It had all the elements I loved from the first book: the antics, the humor, the characters I’d grown so attached to, sci-fi elements and science that I still don’t fully understand (hello, the pocket) but still love to read about anyway. It also included so many new elements, from every single bloody plot twist that left me absolutely floored to learning more about certain characters’ personal lives (even if extracting that information made pulling teeth look easy), this book expanded everything I loved from Waypoint Kangaroo and took us on a new mission that I enjoyed as thoroughly as I did the last. It most certainly left me eager for the next book.

Because, seriously? How is Kangaroo meant to handle SPOILER?

Those reasons alone are enough to fall in love with this book and fly through it. Yet I have another, more personal reason, as well.

31450857

It was the only thing that, for a few days, kept me from being depressed.

It’s not even that life is that hard, right now. Life is pretty good. Yet sometimes, you just get in that frame of mind where depression slips in anyway, even though at that moment, your life is nothing to complain about and once it ensnares you, it becomes hard to shake. And that’s been my week, this week. I slept in too late. I didn’t work out or do any physical activity whatsoever. Video games just frustrated me. I’d waste hours scrolling through social media when I had so many things on my To-Do list still to complete. Hell, even writing wasn’t enough to pull me out of this sudden slump that I slipped into this week.

Yet, for some reason, reading Kangaroo Too, did.

I can’t pinpoint why or exactly how it did, but after an entire week of being down in the dumps, following Kangaroo as he ventured around the Moon helped me smile when I felt like doing nothing. Kangaroo’s cheesy jokes, Jessica’s glare, Clementine’s sass and every surprise we were offered in the last 100 pages; all of that and more made me feel something when all I continued to feel was either numb or sadness. For a few hours, I was able to escape.

When reading, can you really ask any more than that?

So thank you, Kangaroo. Until our next mission. I can’t wait to see what kind of situation you’re thrown into next.

Read on!

PS: I FIGURED OUT THE PUZZLE AND I HAVE NEVER FELT SO COOL IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. *attempts to calm down, fails and decides to ride a high horse for the rest of the night*

Advertisements

Ten Ten: Books I’ve Read in 2017

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where a different theme is posted each week and book bloggers respond. This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books I’ve Read in 2017.

And this week’s theme also comes with a confession: I might, ah, have not even read 10 books yet in 2017.

*cue dramatic and ridiculous music*

According to my Goodreads, I’ve only read 8. That’s…a tad bit embarrassing, to be honest. Though these books have become my top ten by default, I have been really lucky in that all of them were really, really good, so even if I had read more, they prolly would have been on this list, anyway.

So, let’s begin, then.

The Bloodbound Trilogy by Erin Lindsey
Reviews: HereHere and Here

20949421    24611461    28439795

Must read: if you want fantastic, strong characters, political turmoil and enough “Oh, shit,” moments to keep the pages turning well past your bedtime.

The Scorched Continent Series by Megan E. O’Keefe
Reviews: Here and Here

24727881      28185908

Must read: if you love a snarky duo who complement each other to perfection, attention to detail that puts you in the story and epic airships.

Warlock Holmes: The Hell-hound of the Baskervilles by G.S. Denning
Review: Here

33783424

Must read: if you’ve ever wanted to see Sherlock Holmes with a fantasy twist (and see it done well) and to laugh so hard your coworkers yell at you. Repeatedly.

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
Review:

6736971

Must read: if you want to know how to kill a Corling multiple different ways, you want to learn Jardir’s backstory and you want to have your mind challenged and expanded.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Review: Here

18196876

Must read: if you want your “best book I’ve ever read” spot to have a new contender. Because holy shit.

Bonus Books (which are totally not added to get me up to ten total) that I’m really stoked to read and both just so happen to be in my possession currently (thanks, public library).

Kangaroo Too by Curtis C. Chen

31450857

Excited to Read: the first book gave me a taste of hilarious science fiction I didn’t realize I’d desired and had been sorely missing out on. Plus, we get more Jessica in this book and she was prolly my favorite character in the last one (sorry, Kangaroo).

Dark Immolation by Christopher Husberg 

30780373

Excited to Read: sequel to Duskfall, which was hands down the BEST book I read in 2016, I’ve been impatiently waiting to read what happens next since I read the last page of book one. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I will love this one as much as I did the first and it deserves to be on this list.

Read on!

The Bloodsworn

**Copy of The Bloodsworn by Erin Lindsey graciously given by Literary Agent Lisa Rodgers in exchange for an honest review**

“Not for you.” 

*commence endless screaming*

 harry potter panic dont panic potter puppet pals GIF

I realize you have no idea regarding the significance of that line, thrown in out of context like that. But oh is there significance and feels attached to it, as there are many, many feelings attached to this entire book, not to mention the whole series. So I’m just being cruel and teasing you. Trust me, you wanna find out why that line makes you want to fist-pump the air into oblivion (but you can’t because you work in a public library, so you satisfy yourself by whispering, Fuck yes” instead).

If you’ve read either of my reviews of the previous two books (The Bloodbound and The Bloodforged), you know I have some opinions (<– understatement of the year).

The first in the trilogy, The Bloodbound, gave me a feeling of nostalgia and home I haven’t felt in ages, as I returned to a story focused in a realm and time of knights; a time period that I adore and is so close to my heart, as it was these types of stories that fueled me during my youth. There, I met Alix Black, who inspired me and encouraged me in a time where I desperately needed both of those things. By the end, I wanted to be a little more like her.

Hell, I still do.

In The Bloodforged, I couldn’t even properly describe how many emotions I experienced, so I forced to try and express myself through a lot of nerdy GIFs. It has been a while since I read a book where I kept telling myself, “There is no way this can get any worse,” only to be proven wrong.

Over.
And over.
And over again.

It was, honestly, quite fantastic, even if the ending resulted in me abusing my paperback as I threw it harshly against the ground in protest. At such a plot twist, I was both wary and excited to read The Bloodsworn; excited because I had to know what happened next, yet wary because I had a sinking feeling that the events to come would make the events in The Bloodforged feel like child’s play.

And I was right.

28439795

You know the advice writers get about being ruthless to their characters? How the best stories are formed by creating the worst possible conflict for your character to conquer? Yeah, Lindsey is obviously a master at this, because holy shit. Similar to book two, every time I dared to hope that the situation couldn’t get any worse, I was proven sorely wrong. More impressively, it wasn’t just one character going through some shit. It was multiple characters dealing with multiple problems, all of which were the most extreme circumstances where the worst possible thing that could happen usually did. But not only that, all of these situations affected and depended on the outcomes of the others. Oh, and with multi-POV, these events were revealed with expert pacing, so the tension continued to build and build until you finally reached that point where you had to know what happened to Alix, only to be shifted to Rig. Or Erik. Or Liam.

Rinse and repeat for 300+ pages.

Friends, this shit is gold.

Complete with twists and turns, political plots of epic expectations (and endings) and threads that were woven since book one and sewn together neatly (even if a little scarred with all the shit they were forced to go through) here in book three, The Bloodsworn was exactly what I wanted–and honestly, have come to expect–to end this fantastic trilogy. This entire series was such a refreshing and needed read. The characters are some I am not eager to leave behind and I’m so glad Lisa pointed this series my way. I have a feeling Lindsey will be an author I’ll be stalking admiring for a long time to come.

Oh, and as an author whose goal has been to write the perfect summer vacation novel, I’m pretty sure Lindsey’s already achieved that. I can’t wait to see what she comes up next.

Read on!

PS: I might have a crush on Rig. Maybe a really big one.

PPS: Can we get a spin-off story just on the adventures of Rudi? Talk about most underrated character.

Top Ten Series on the Back-burner

(Seriously, if I don’t read these soon, I’m pretty sure they are going to catch on fire and potentially burn down the world.)

(And if not the world, at least my apartment.)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where a different theme is posted each week and book bloggers respond. This is the first time I’ve participated and I’m pretty jazzed about it. This week’s theme is: Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start But Haven’t.

Honestly, I struggled to narrow it down to just ten.

But, let’s take a peek at which series made the list, in no particular order.

  1. Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin
    1. It’s a classic. I’m not 100% sure how I’ve managed to not read it yet, but that’s a shame.
      13642
  2. Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
    1. It is almost asinine to me that I haven’t read Robin Hobb yet. Like, beyond-comprehension levels.
      77197
  3. Raven’s Shadow by Anthony Ryan
    1. Like many on this list, I honestly got intrigued by the cover on Goodreads, so now it continues to haunt me until I read it.
      13569581
  4. Bring Down Heaven by Sam Sykes
    1. I discovered Sykes on Twitter and have wanted to read his books ever since (and Myke Cole’s, obviously). If you follow him on Twitter, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t…well, go take a peek and you’ll know what I mean.
      23464181
  5. The Chronicles of the Exile by Marc Turner
    1. I keep seeing the name Marc Turner pop up randomly. I feel like it’s one I should become familiar with.
      25399383
  6. The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán
    1. This series just sounds fantastic.
      19000898
  7. The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
    1. Every time I go to Barnes and Noble (RIP Borders), it feels like I see a new book in this series pop up, reminding me that I should really get on this bandwagon.
      12974372
  8. The Powder Mage by Brian McClellan
    1. Definitely on the top of this list, even though it’s here towards the bottom.
      15790883
  9. Chroncile of the Unhewn Thrown by Brian Staveley
    1. Shares the same level of need as the Brian above him, as well as the same level of questioning as to why these haven’t been devoured yet.
      17910124
  10. Duelists Trilogy by Julia Knight
    1. I don’t know too much about this series, but I’m hopeful it’s going to become a hidden gem I’m so glad I discovered…even if I have no idea how this series got on my radar.

24819531

Honestly, writing out this list just made me feel overwhelmed with all the series I’m currently reading and haven’t finished, the ones I still need to read and the ones I haven’t (or will never) discover. It’s never-ending.

And that’s the best problem for a bookworm to have (aside from hordes of money being thrust at you with the sole purpose of purchasing more books. That’s a problem I also wouldn’t mind having).

Read on!

The Bloodforged

**Copy of The Bloodforged by Erin Lindsey graciously given by Literary Agent Lisa Rodgers in exchange for an honest review**

Last night, I was sitting in the living room while my friend was building a project for work. I had a little more than 100 pages of The Bloodforged left to devour and boy, did I devour them, to the amused concern of my friend. More than once, I made a frustrated grunt or whispered, “What the shit?” as page by page, my mind was blown, repaired and then blown again.

Here are some GIFs to properly showcase exactly what I went through finishing this book:

 holy shit GIF

This one.

 mel brooks holy shit spaceballs barf john candy GIF

Or this one.

#Impastor tv funny television comedy GIF

Or this one.

 sherlock shocked sherlock holmes bbc sherlock sherlock bbc GIF

Yeah, this book puts you through some shit.

I won’t exactly describe what that shit is, because you need to read this book–and this series–for yourself. It seriously is fantastic. This series draws you in with the wonderful, inspiring and realistic characters in the first book, The Bloodbound, and then leaves you utterly speechless by the time you finish the second, leaving you desperate for the third (which, luckily for me, I already have and will be reading as soon as I get off work. Oh Lisa, do I owe you some chocolate).

Actually, the events in The Bloodbound were so gut-punchingly wowing that I literally threw the book to the ground, I was so pissed and awed. My friend, bless him, just snorted, not understanding the turmoil I just went through at the hands of a paperback (if you’re confused, please see GIFs above as reference). Oh boy, was I pissed.

Pissed, but also super impressed.

24611461

This book made me feel a lot of things. Frustration and anger at some of the choices characters made, which in turn made me question how I felt about some of those characters (Alix, in particular, had me questioning, which was difficult, considering how much I admired her in the first book; difficult, but also great, because it just made her that much more real to me, that much more human and made me connect with her that much more). I experienced suppressed giggling (thanks, Liam). Empathy. Sorrow. And most of all, after taking a day to reflect on what just bloody happened, being completely, totally and utterly impressed.

With The Bloodforged, I think we got a wider view into the world Alix navigates. We got a few more perspectives we didn’t get previously, which made my liking for Rig turn into a fierce, protective love. We were introduced to new cultures and government structures that reflected just how complicated the war they are fighting truly is. I found myself having conflicting emotions about the characters involved, which adds a layer of depth I love to find in books.

But what impressed me the most was how this entire book continued to baffle me on how difficult every decision was; how felt the consequences were of every action, choice or hell, even inaction. Just when I was lured into a false comfort that aid for the war was coming or that Eric, Alix or Liam had made the right call, I’m thrown back into the fray of despair and questioning as something else gets thrown at them, making their already dark and hopeless situation even worse.

And then you introduce the twists in the last 100 pages…

 sherlock angry crying no benedict cumberbatch GIF

I wasn’t kidding. This book makes you feel some shit.

Now, I’m left as a really weird middle ground. I need to know what happens next. You can’t just drop Bombs A, B and f-ing C and not be aching for closure. Yet at the same time, if I thought shit was going down in this book, I feel like I’m not even remotely prepared for what I’ll have to go through in The Bloodsworn. And there is only one way to find out…

*stares at the clock on the wall waiting for the weekend to start and the epic conclusion to begin*

Read on!