Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Weekly Wednesday MFK: The Hobbit

Since the Hobbit just came out, I figured we'd give it a spin. And then I realized there are virtually no chicks in the Hobbit, so it looks like we're just spinning the MFK wheel with dwarves and hobbits today. Since we can't split it up by gender, we'll split it up by species.


Thorin, Balin, Kili

Assortment of Weird:

Bilbo, Gollum, Gandalf

My Take:


Thorin- Marry. He's taller for a dwarf and a pretty noble dude. Plus, as the son of a king and heir to Erebor, when he ascends, that means queen-itude for me! 
Balin- Kill. Sorry old dude. Not a big fan of dwarves in general, let alone ancient ones.
Kili- Fuck. In the books he's one of the youngest and has a lot of energy. In the movies, he's played by freakin' Aidan Turner, who's gorgeous. Easy one there.

Assortment of Weird:

Bilbo- Fuck. He's adventurous for a hobbit, so I suppose he'd be a better lay than your average Shire man. Plus, he's clever, which is always a good quality in a lay.
Gollum- Kill. Shriveled, insane and probably asexual, Gollum wouldn't be sane enough to leave alive. He'd try to kill you in your sleep or if he was in a favorable mood, might leave a raw and wriggling fish on your pillow.
Gandalf- Marry. He's got power, man. Even if he's super old and wrinkly, he spends all of the Hobbit saving the merry band's asses. He can pull a lot more than parlor tricks, so the marriage would have its perks.

Anuksuna's Take:
From Wolfie's


Thorin- Marry. Because he's amazing.
Balin- Kill. Sorry, Balin.
Kili- Fuck. He seems like he'd be fun in bed!

Assortment of Weird:

Bilbo- Marry. I will live in a hobbit hole and magically transform into a hobbit!
Gollum- Kill. He's suffered enough already.
Gandalf- Fuck. Gandalf probably hasn't gotten any in forever!

The City of Ashes (Join Valentine's Cruise: The Ride of Your Life!)

Awkwardness aside from the end of City of Bones, this book starts out on Jace being a sulky teenager. He bothers Luke's pack, lashes out at everyone and generally has a one man pity party. Granted, after the ew factor at the end of the last book, you partially can't blame him. And of course while everyone else is concerned with their own shit, Valentine's traipsing along bad guy trail and killing folks for stage two of his quest, the Mortal Sword. It's the seemingly-but-not-so-random kills that finally alert Clary and crew of Valentine's evil plots so they start paying attention and try to figure out what he's planning.

Downworlder Dilemmas #1: First trip they make to try and figure things out is a magical romp through Fae-land. The Fae Boss Lady ends up giving cryptic statements and pushes Clary and Jace to kiss, even though they're supposed to be sibs. However, this book was all about planting seeds of doubt that they're really siblings. So many plot threads through the book smack you in the face with it, probably to take off some of the ick towards their sibling-y lurve. However Clary kissing another dude, in front of Simon doesn't work so well since...they're dating. Oh, did I forget? I think Clary had too. She seemed so bored with the relationship that it's kind of an afterthought.

Downworlder Dilemmas #2: So disgusted by the sib on sib action, Simon rushes off to the embrace of Raphael. Well, realistically, Simon had been getting compulsions ever since he swallowed some of Raph's blood in the first book, so it was only a matter of time before he went Downworlder-side. Clary's understandably upset since even with all the shenanigans between them, Simon's still her best friend. And the crew helps Raphael bury him so he can turn. Simon, as the witty quipster gets a new level of angst post vampire-ness which begins him drawing in the ladies. But of course, not Clary, who's still smitten with Jace.

Downworlder Dilemmas #3: They figure out why Valentine's killing the Downworlders, as part of a sacrifice involving Valentine's planned assumption of power. However, shit gets real when Maia and Simon are kidnapped. Even though the adults (sans Luke of course) suck at helping them, the kids rally whomever they can. The Inquisitor causes problems of course, trying to lock Jace up, blinded by her hatred of Valentine. But eventually the obvious smacks all of them in the face and the adults join the kids on Valentine's loveboat of sacrificial destiny.

Clary manages to save the day by tapping into her special gift, the same one she used to find the Mortal Cup...her ability to create new runes. Simon's drained as hell so Jace feeds him, which ends up causing later complications. Magnus Bane makes appearances throughout, to everyone's delight. Aaaaand Clary blows a big hole into the gigantic ship they're all on, sinking it into the ocean while everyone scrambles to escape, including the big bad. Oh that pesky Valentine!

Rating: 3

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sleight of Hand (Taking "Army of One" to a New Level)

Like all good urban fantasy, the story starts rolling from the beginning and the problems only compound. That being said, Amber Farrell was a fantastic heroine. As someone who is always on the lookout for a strong female lead, I was not let down. With a background in military and police, she makes a tough ass private investigator who collects more bruises than anyone human should. Luckily, she's not human. She got infected by a vamp bite back in her army days. So quicker healing, for the win. But she's extremely resistant on the idea of bloodsucking and all that vampire goodness, even though one of her friends is undergoing the turning process. While Amber had a heaping pile of shenanigans to deal with, the real theme of this book is her struggling to deal with the fact that she's becoming more vamp by the day.


Embrace your inner Athanate #1: The first time the vamps reach out to Amber by crowding her, she fights back and thrashes them. So next time, they play by different rules and send a more skilled team. They drive her blindfolded to their super secret Vampquarters. Turns out they're not "vampires", they're the Athanate and pretty much the good guys in an ancient clan war against the creatures of the night that like to kill humans and pillage those walking chicken dinners. This is a major step for Amber since until then the only information about vampires was coming from her friend David who's going through the turning process.

Embrace your inner Athanate #2: The military's been involved somewhat since they keep tabs on Amber. Plus that jerkoff, Krantz keeps investigating why she's getting backpay even though in the records she never existed in the military. Back when she first got turned, they kept her in solitary because the scientists were looking at her as a murderous threat, not still her. The colonel she talks to ends up being a good guy, keeping the scientists from taking her back and telling her when her hero, Top, is passing away. Her moments with Top reveal a lot about her character and what shaped her into the strong, moral person she is. He sets her down the right path, reassuring her that even if she turns, no one can take away who she is.

Embrace your inner Athanate #3: In David's turning process, things have been getting dangerous throughout the book. She stops by several earlier times to check in on him but he's sickly and pale. His vamp mentor/master through the turn has been draining him, but this final time when she goes to check, he's not moving. Things went too far. This became her final turning point where she threw her restraint about vamps out the backdoor window and let him drink her blood even though she knew it would take her further along the process to becoming a vampire. For her, saving a friend is worth it which says volumes about her character.

 Amber Farrell ends the book tying up her loose ends herself, like any good investigator should. But there's a lot still brewing, the idea of war between the vampires looms overhead as a great impetus for the series. And her slight love triangle between Jen Kingslund and Alex the werewolf doctor adds some interesting spice to the novel. The part were/vamp twist? Love it. This novel left me wanting more immediately after and I'll be anxiously awaiting the next book.

Rating: 4

*I received this book for review purposes

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weekly Wednesday MFK: Codex of Alera

Butcher makes some of the most fantastic characters, so Codex definitely needs a round in MFK. Since my review of Cursor's Fury involved Couples' Corner, I thought it'd be fun to focus on the three pairs of couples. 


Isana, Amara, Kitai


Tavi, Araris, Bernard

My Take:


Isana- Kill. She definitely has her badass moments, but for the majority of the series, she's the reason why Tavi had such a hard time. Between her judgmental swings and her occasional prissiness, she's gotta go.
Amara-Fuck. It seems like every time Amara and Bernard are together, she's got sex on the brain. This nympho knows what she wants, which would make her an excellent lay.
Kitai- Marry.Out of all of them, the most unlikely marrying type, right? Wrong. Kitai is loyal to a fault and once she bonded with Tavi, she's fiercely protective and would follow him anywhere, insulting him the whole way.


Tavi- Fuck. Simple. As Kitai says, he's good with his fingers.
Bernard- Marry. This guy weathers through all of Amara's 'no we can't do this' woes and is faithfulness incarnate. He's been married before, but his wife passed, so you know he's already husband material. This is a no-brainer.
Araris- Kill. Sorry, Rari. You chose the short straw on that one.

BerzerkerTiki's Take:


Isana- Kill. I summon her to the juris macto!
Amara- Fuck. It'd be interesting to bang someone while flying through the air. Plus, with her Cursor duties, you know she won't stick around very long.
Kitai- Marry. Chala. Is there anything she can't do? She's just awesome.


Tavi- Marry. His sheer intelligence in any situation is unmatched. Come on it's Tavi, he's the crazy Aleran!
Bernard- Kill. I love this character and all but every time he's with Amara, babies are all he talks about. Never promise crazy a baby. 
Araris- Fuck. "The only man to ever beat me was Araris Valerian."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cold Days (In Which Harry Gets Blue Balls)

The return of Dresden. After reading Ghost Stories, I was really antsy for this one for the sheer question...would I still like Harry? Would he be able to be the Winter Knight and be the same old wise-cracking wizard we all know and love? Where the last book felt more like a transition, this one kicked in the masterful plotting I love reading in a Butcher book. You only get a couple pages without a geek reference smacking you in the face, just the way I like my Dresden Files and same as always, you get a veritable fuckton of action. Including Harry running in fear from tiny faeries. Yes, tiny faeries.


Harry has a shitty day #1: After Mab's psychotic version of physical therapy (trying to kill him daily), it was only a matter of time before she marked her first target. However, when it's her daughter Maeve, that makes things twice as tough. How do you kill a more annoying, even more amoral, psychotic Mab Jr.? Well, it's certainly not easy to do with a pissy Redcap, some random bulked up Winter Court jerks and a squad of tiny faeries waiting to turn his day upside down. For extra bonus points, Fix, the Summer Knight, also decides to get involved at the inopportune time and gives Harry yet more grief to add to his heaping plate.

Harry has a shitty day #2: After an amazing reunion with Grasshopper (Molly), and his brother Thomas (seriously, tear), they set off for Demonreach, the island Harry is partnered with in his geosexual relationship. Well, Demonreach is not very happy, because someone is going to make it go splodey. On top of taking out Chicago, if someone gets their hands on Demonreach, they also get a horde of demons and high level bad guys that the world won't survive. And Harry's the Warden of this supernatural  big beater jail. Because obviously, he needed to get MORE involved in the fate of the planet. After heading back to Chicago, Maeve and Aurora deliver him a different order, claiming Mab needs killin' because she's been infected by the big bad. And when I say big bad, I mean the motherfucker that's been behind the scenes since book one. Top of the line.

Harry has a shitty day #3: The Nemesis (big bad) has been pulling strings from the start, but the biggest problem is figuring out who to trust at this point...who is infected. But shit becomes real clear when Harry heads to his island and finds Maeve and Aurora messing around with the seals on the prison. Even though they were the ones that told him about the bad guy, turns out Maeve got infected and the only reason everyone's been believing her is because fae can't lie. But fae who've been head-tweaked by this mystery force? Yeah, they lie their asses off. Turn's out even for a super manipulative fae, Mab's not the bad guy, just varying shades of gray.

So hell's bells, Butcher, you pulled it off again. At the very end when Maeve dies, the next person in line to become the Winter Lady is Molly, to the dismay of everyone. Yeah, they saved the day, but there are bigger problems out there now, least of all being Harry and now Molly's potential struggles to stay human despite their winter mantles. The Harry and Murph kiss? Awesome. Harry taking control of the Hunt? So much badass crammed into one book. Rabidly scratching the floorboards in anticipation for my next Dresden fix.

Rating: 5

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gardens of the Moon (When the name Whiskeyjack is the only interesting point)

So, there's a first time for everything and here on the blog, this is the first time I absolutely couldn't get through a book. I really wanted to. Erikson has some really great reviews and a lot of people hail this as a fantastic fantasy series. But, I've never been a lot of people, only my opinionated Nick Cage hating self. It opens up and we start out with some sort of revolution going on. Empress Angrypants or Priestess Prissybottom is heavily involved in the lot of it. I kept confusing the two. Probably because they had the characterization of slugs. It flashes forward to current day in the sprawling lands of who-gives-a-fuck. There's some politics happening, some game being played. It kept switching characters, from Tattersail, to Whiskeyjack to Soldier dude from the beginning to some random magical sorts, but the biggest problem with all of it was...I didn't care.

None of the characters were likeable. None of them were remotely interesting and since I get hooked into books through the characters, the story fell flat. Even the panoramic landscape which is touted to be the biggest part of the book doesn't serve as much of a character. Because I cared so little about the characters, I had a really hard time getting into the plot, especially with the timeline jumps. When writing a story so complex, with such a complicated plot, it's ABSOLUTELY essential to give the reader something to ground them/latch onto in each section. This had none of it, hence the unnecessary complexity. If I want to look at or read about gorgeous landscapes, I'll just pick up a National Geographic.

I may pick it up at a later date and give it a second shot, but right now it's not hitting me.

Rating: 1

Weekly Wednesday MFK: Divergent

Veronica Roth's award winning series is heavy on the plot twists and has a fantastic new dystopian world to explore. The books are a little kill-happy, so we've got to rock the MFK before they knock off any more people!

Girls: Tris, Christina, Tori

Guys: Four, Will, Uriah

My Take:
Tris- Fuck. Tris gets too whiny in Insurgent to want her around long term, but she's pretty ballsy in the first book and would hopefully be a pretty fiery lay.
Christina- Marry. She's originally from Candor and I appreciate that type of honesty. Plus, she's loyal and talented. Definitely good for the longhaul.
Tori- Kill. She's revenge obsessed so she'd have little time for much else. I mean, the perks of having a tattoo artist could be cool for a little bit, but it'd get old fast when all she talks about is his brother.

Four- Marry. He's an excellent instructor, selfless and has just the right amount of aloof to keep me interested. We would need to work through the daddy issues, but we've got time.
Will- Kill. Not that I don't enjoy his glib remarks, but he's probably the weakest out of everyone. Very average in the rankings, so there's a low chance he'd even make it through being a Dauntless. 
Uriah-Fuck. Dauntless-born, he definitely knows how to have a good time, which is why I'd hit him up for a quickie.

AshRose's Take:
From Ramblings, Revelations and Other Things You Probably Missed

Tris-Marry. She's the second generation of the founders so there's power/prestige.
Christina-Fuck.Well, I don't want to kill her.
Tori- Kill. Her vengeance issues make her a liability and I wanted to do way worse things to Jeanine than kill her.

Four-Marry. He's multi-faceted and clearly cares about other people.
Will-Kill. He'll be dead anyway.
Uriah-Fuck. Even if he's not memorable, Dauntless are probably great in bed!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The City of Bones (Snark with an occasional helping of teenage attitude)

Something gripped me with these books from the start. Maybe it was opening up with an all ages, kind of alternative club which reminded me of youth. Or maybe the whole hidden world thing. Really, it was the snarky dialogue. I am a sucker for witty banter and this book, like all of the following ones, delivers. The plot's engaging and the characters are fun (Magnus Bane, anyone?) but the real reason you truck through these books are for the interchanges between the cast and all the ridiculous things they say. Plus, the Shadowhunter thing, angels, demons and all works really well within the setting of New York City and the read through is ridiculously fun.


Shadowhunter-trainee in session #1: Clary finds out at a very rapid pace that she's something different. Although, seeing people who no one else can at the club....usually a result of a wicked trip. But as she gets dragged down into Shadowhunter land, her mom goes missing because dear mother has been lying to her. And the lovely present left in her house is some evil demon bug hybrid that she manages to kill on her own. Points for Clary. But Jace finds her and drags her off to "The Institute" a place for bright, young assholes to learn how to kill shit!

Shadowhunter-trainee in session #2:  They hit a party looking for answers about Clary's past and Clary has her YA-staple, 'I wore a dress and it made me magically pretty' moment, extra Jace attention included. Isabelle and Simon have been flirting around and under her watchful care, Simon turns into a rat. The whole Magnus Bane party is nothing short of hilarious, but ends with Simon going missing. Which leads to some real field action for Clary, the next step in becoming the Shadowhunter she should've been. Clary and Jace go save Simon by busting into a vamp den, irresponsible-style.

Shadowhunter-trainee in session #3: Through all of this, they figure that Valentine (big bad/secret father) kidnapped Jocelyn because he wanted to know where the Mortal Cup was located. After Clary's makeout session with Jace turns sour and Simon's pissed at her, she finally focuses on the game. She discovers she has the ability to create runes on her own and realizes where her mother hid the Mortal Cup--inside the tarot deck she painted for their neighbor. From there on, Clary's pretty much considered a Shadowhunter at this point, not even considering herself a mundane any more. (Although, if I got to use a cool term like that, I probably would too)

Big confrontation with Valentine (worst villain name ever) and then the author decides to drop the narstiest bomb on you. I wanted to go take a shower after this. Jace and Clary, who have been making gooey eyes at each other from day one, are siblings. At first, I was completely turned off to the books after that, but I was glad I read on, because Cassandra Clare manages to turn things around and come up with a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Now I can reread it fine because I know what happens, but man...that initial readthrough made me feel slimy at the end when I found out.

Rating: 4

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Weekly Wednesday MFK: the Mortal Instruments

The Mortal Instruments

An excellent series of snarks and Shadowhunters, as one of my newer favorites, it definitely needed to take a spin in the MFK chair. 

Girls: Clary, Isabelle, Maia

Guys: Jace, Magnus Bane, Alec

My Take:

Clary- Marry.Well, if she could remain dedicated to Jace even when she thought they were siblings, that shows some commitment, right? Plus I have a soft side for redheads.
Isabelle- Fuck. Isabelle's a little firebrand and has the attention span of a fish, which would be fine for the bedroom, but no bueno for anything longer lasting.
Maia- Kill. Aside from her random backstory about hating pretty boys, she comes off as grumbly most of the time and just as biased as the rest of them.

Jace- Fuck. He knows how to flirt and play games which would definitely be an asset in the bedroom. Plus, if I had to deal with his impertinence all the time...he'd end up hung from the rafters.
Magnus Bane- Marry. Can you say free warlock services for life? Plus, he knows what he wants and isn't afraid to push a little. The glitter might get a little old after awhile, but you know he'd always change things up. 
Alec- Kill. On top of being whiny about Magnus for most of the books, his wishy washiness is a turn off. Sorry Alec, you're getting das boot.

N7_2501's Take:

Clary- Kill. Sorry dear. But it's okay. I feel there would too much vanilla sex followed by lots of holding and what are you thinkings.
Isabelle- Fuck. The Fuck is pretty obvious in this one, Isabella. Sure she's gorgeous but there's also something under the surface there, a little to much potential cray-cray for me. I'm sure she's a great time in bed, she carries a whip to go grocery shopping for gods' sake, so I can't pass up the chance but I'm not sure if I'm up for helping her to work through her 'issues', middle child syndrome and all that. I'd keep her in my phone but I'm not sure if I'd accept a friend request on Facebook... unless there were a lot of pictures.
Maia- Marry. hmmmm.... I'm gonna have to go with Maia. She just seems like she has her shit a bit more together and she's already been through a lot so you know she can handle herself. And she's a werewolf so hiking and camping are probably totally her thing. And she's just got more sauce.

Jace- Marry. Sure, he's full of himself but what half angelic gorgeous looking Olympic grade athletic seventeen year old demon slayer with superpowers isn't? And unlike Magnus Bane, he's not eight hundred years old, he'll grow out of it... eventually.
Magnus Bane- Fuck. Dude's way too out there to pass up a chance to see what kind of freaky shit he's into. I'm almost tempted to say Marry, but he's just a little too full of himself for my taste.
Alec- Kill. He's just too emo and mopey for me. I know some people like that kind of thing but me, not so much. I'd much rather spend the next fifty years dealing with Jace's assholery than tackle the cornucopia of neurosis that's gonna spill out of that guy in his mid teens.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Insurgent (Tris's Got a Gun--But Won't Use It)

First off, I'd like to say that Divergent was phenomenal. One thing Veronica Roth does very well as an author is her brilliant twists.The plot races around just as much in this one and the cliffhanger ending does a lot to make you want to read more. One thing that did change though from Divergent to Insurgent is the tone of the book as well as the tone of Tris' character.Tris's character in Divergent had seemed kind of callous, but when you place her in the setting of the Dauntless, its diminished because you have a lot of people who are like that and are shoving their emotions down to be brave. And then her actions prove her to go above and beyond the other people around her so she's admirable even though she can be really rough around the edges. However, in Insurgent, she goes between tears and coldness most of the time and it becomes tougher to empathize with her character. One second its snotty sniffles into a bucket of tissues and the next she's angry with other people for crying. The jumps get hard to keep track of, but the plot still moved at an interesting pace and she stepped up in the end.


Faction Hopping 101 #1: They start out in Amity and quickly we learn just how well Dauntless fit in when everyone's a hippie peacenik. Tris lasts a record short amount of time before she's injected with happy juice, which lead to a quite precious sequence of her being...NICE...gasp. But Amity only lasts so long before they get the boot again, next to Candor, where they're also not welcome. It seems everywhere they turn, Eric, Erudite, or someone they know is looping around the corner, shaking a gun at them and giving them hell.

Faction Hopping 101 #2: On a cool twist, we finally meet Tobias's mother who was supposed to have died. She was factionless instead though and we're introduced to this whole separate world outside of the factions. Unlike the horrible rumors and bus stop menagerie we see in Divergent, this book gives us a new glimpse into the Factionless. It's a thriving community, one that's only growing by the second. And one which we find out, is pissed from being ex-communicated from the rest.

Faction Hopping 101 #3: Although Tris had a brief stint in Erudite as Jeanine's prisoner, the end wraps up like the first one, back at Erudite's headquarters to knock down their fearless leader a couple pegs. But when everyone drops down on agendas, Four and the rest and following the factionless plan, which seems suspicious and a little too brutal for Tris's tastes. (Even though she had no problem with brutal in the first book -_-) However even when Tobias's mother pulls her sudden but inevitable betrayal at the end, the book ties up on one kicker of a twist.

While none of the characters appeal to me too greatly, the world's a fascinating one and the plot twists make for a fun read. Would I go wait in a line to buy this book? Nah. But I'd definitely check it out when the next one hits the shelves. 

Rating: 3

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chase Tinker and the House of Magic (Aryan Bad Guys? That's a Twist!)

This book was exactly what I think of when Middle Grade comes to mind. Two young boys discover they have powers while their dad's missing and their magical grandfather comes along and whisks them to this ridiculously awesome house full of magic rooms and adventure. They find out they have extra family they didn't know about and get to exercise their powers in the house of Tinker, a gigantic, constantly evolving place. The tone reminds me of early MG where the tone is very light and even though things upset them, it's a time of black and white and even on adventures they don't fully understand the repercussions of their actions. Chase is a likeable lead and his brother Andy, his cousin Janie and Persephone make for a motley crew.


Chase and Crew's Discovery #1: The magic. Chase and his brother are worried about their missing father, but amidst it all discover they have magical powers. Chase can make things move with his mind and Andy can freeze time. Like clockwork, their grandfather shows up to explain said magical powers and whisk them away to his castle of fun delights. Creepy, right? The grandfather's a great character and even though they haven't known him well, they quickly step into the role of troublesome grandsons.

Chase and Crew's Discovery #2: Once they find out that House Tinker has enemies, Aryan enemies in fact, (blonde hair, blue eyes) Chase and crew take it upon themselves to help grandpa out, even if he doesn't want it. Using the variety of rooms to their advantage, the kids manage to go back in time to stop Original Tinker from losing the shard from the Relic. All their trip through time does is make the kids fight more though and their group splinters apart, urged onward by the arrival of James, Janie's evil brother.

Chase and Crew's Discovery #3: The best discoveries came at the end, because they pulled the twists well. Most of the book was very straightforward, so I wasn't expecting any real twists, just kids playing around in a giant magical house and having fun. So the entire time, Doctor Dan's been creepy and all of the kids think he's the bad guy. Turns out, he's not and he ends up helping them towards the end. The biggest surprise happens when they reveal where their dad's been all along. He's been cross dressing as Aunt Clair, since his ability involves changing faces. Aunt Clair died trying to save Ben so he took it upon himself to spent some time examining his ladylike side.

Good, easy read and it fits the Middle Grade category perfectly. Aryan bad guys, Gender-bending fathers, who could ask for more?

Rating: 4 

*I received this book for review purposes

Weekly Wednesday MFK: A Game of Thrones

Since Game of Thrones has a veritable fuckton of characters, let's take this one book at a time, starting with the first.


 Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, Catelyn Stark


Eddard Stark, Khal Drogo, Jaime Lannister

My Take:

Daenerys-Marry. Rightful queen, plus mother of the dragons? She made a kickass wife to Khal Drogo, what's to say she wouldn't do the same for me?
Cersei-Fuck. She's insane. I'll go with the standby that it always makes for a good time. Even if she's into the brother-lovin'.
Catelyn-Kill. Even though she had some cool moments, she's the queen of bad decisions and keeps sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong. Goodbye Cat, I won't miss you. 

Eddard Stark- Marry. Aside from his minor wartime infidelity, this guy is like, loyalty personified. And let's be honest, who wouldn't cheat on Catelyn? Even though he doesn't play the game well, it'd be good while it lasted.
Khal Drogo- Fuck. He's an expert at taking the spoils of war, but even Dothraki can be trained. After all, it wasn't until Daenerys took charge in the bedroom that their relationship starting looking up.
Jaime Lannister- Kill. Even though he may have the looks and the swordsmanship to woo many women, he's a snake and I'd be too worried he'd slit my throat during anything to even consider. 

Anuksuna's Take:
From Wolfie's

Daenerys- Fuck. I'd get to have a threesome with Daenerys and Drogo!
Cersei- Kill. She's a crazy bitch, so we need to get her out of the picture so she's not monopolizing Jaime.
Catelyn- Marry. Secretly marry her to hopefully build influence in the north.

Eddard Stark- Kill.Sean Bean=Death. Plus, after his demise, it leaves Catelyn open for marriage.
Khal Drogo- Fuck. All a part of that Daenerys/Drogo threesome.
Jaime Lannister- Marry. With Cersei out of the picture, I can marry Jaime and earn the wealth of Casterly Rock.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weekly Wednesday MFK: Dresden Files

In honor of Jim Butcher's new Dresden coming out, I figured we'd focus our MFK on Dresden characters today. Again another series with about a bazillion characters, this will definitely have to be revisited.


Murphy, Molly, Susan


Harry, Kincaid, Thomas

My Take:


Murphy- Fuck.The chica can throw giants of men on their backs with her judo moves. She's gotta be some kind of firebrand in the bedroom.
Molly- Marry. First off, Molly started out adorable punky hottie and has recently morphed to badass, but she's got that commitment bone in her body since she's Michael and Charity's daughter, plus, you'd have the coolest in-laws.
Susan- Kill. Because I'm still bitter about the way she handled some things and some secrets that she kept. Also, because the fuck and marry routes don't really work when you've got a not-quite-turned red vampire in your bed.


Harry- Marry.This guy reinvented the white knight complex, so you can swear by your pretty floral bonnet, that Harry Dresden will protect your ass- even if he's the reason why hellfire and brimstone's raining your way in the first place.
Kincaid- Kill. Murph may dig jumping those bones, but emotionless giant is not my type of dude. Plus, he hops the good guy/bad guy fence based on the book.
Thomas- Fuck. Hot and horny White Court, Batman! Are you kidding me? With a sexual beast like Thomas, there's no other choice than to fuck, even though he's an energy sapping vampire that feeds on lustful frenzies.

BerzerkerTiki's Take:


Murphy-Marry. Wouldn't you, after watching her take out a chlorofiend with a chainsaw?
Molly- Fuck. The new definition of mindfuck.!!!
Susan-Kill. Something's a little freaky about her losing her shit and eating me mid-coitus.


Harry-Marry. He's the ultimate white knight. I mean, he "died doing the right thing."
Kincaid-Kill. Two reasons: Ruiner of all things Murph and Dresden, plus, end of Changes. Enough said.
Thomas- Fuck. Thomas pre- or post-crazy?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekly Wednesday MFK: Harry Potter

Gotta hit all the superstar books first! Don't worry, Harry Potter has so many characters we'll be doing several rounds on this series.


Hermione, Ginny, Luna


Harry, Ron, Neville

My Take:

Hermione-Kill. Someone needed to take her out. While she did have her good points, after only a day she'd be correcting or lecturing you. Which means I'd strangle her in a matter of minutes. 
Ginny- Marry. Ginny's strong, patient and part of the awesome Weasley family. How could you not want to marry her?
Luna-Fuck. Crazy is always an interesting time. 

Harry-Marry. He's Harry Potter, defeater of Voldemort. Who wouldn't want to stick with this Gryffindor champ? Plus, as someone who's focused his entire life to fighting the Dark Lord, you know he wouldn't run screaming at commitment.
Ron-Kill. One word: whiny. Sorry Ron, being a Weasley doesn't save everyone. Avada Kedavra to you too. 
Neville-Fuck. He grew from meek and kind of useless to the biggest badass in the last book. Major points.

Gingersplosion's Take:

Hermione-Kill. It was close, but Luna won out.
Ginny- Marry. Duty to ginger population and let's be honest, she's a freaking badass chick who gets shit done.
Luna- Fuck. I'm curious about what Luna's like in bed. That would be a once in a lifetime experience. And she's just too adorable!

Harry- Kill. I am definitely the most important person in my relationships. Couldn't have that if I was with the "Chosen One."
Ron- Fuck. It's my duty to try and keep the ginger population going.
Neville-Marry. Puberty did him well. Plus, he sticks up for what he believes in which would be me if we were married.

The Duchess of the Shallows (The Land of Many Boy Whores)

I'm very torn about this book, because there are things I definitively liked and things I didn't. The world in which Duchess lives is very well planned out and the different sections of the town seem like characters unto themselves. However, the explanations in the beginning bogged down the pacing, so it takes a good chunk of the beginning for the plot of the book to pick up pace. However like most slow burners do, it picks up the pace and gets into very well handled intrigue. Duchess is a fantastically competent character and the authors show how adept she is by the choices she makes and questions she asks--or doesn't. My biggest issue happened near the end and the scene destroyed her character for me.


Trial of the Gray #1: Duchess frolics through her hometown as a different person the moment she gets a certain coin. This apparently is her ticket to something bigger, the Gray, the spy network. So, she ditches the baker she worked for and decides to try her luck with the coin, leading her to Hector's lair. The job he sets out for her is a tricky one though, considering she's just been a baker all these years. Steal a knife from a noble before the big reveal at a party. Not just anyone can get into the Gray, but Duchess doesn't waver.

Trial of the Gray #2: In my opinion, this was the most fascinating part of the book. When she played tiles with Minette to get more information about how to get into the castle, Duchess's smarts are really on display. She proves herself to be quite resourceful and the events leading up to the castle were engaging and compelling. Duchess puts all of her pieces into play while she plots the thievery of the knife, aided by Minette. Once she gets into the castle too, the way she handles the cook in charge, making sure she appears to be competent, but not too competent adds to her character.

Trial of the Gray #3: Duchess ditches Lysander (which upset me greatly) but manages to steal the knife. She travels back to Lysander's place and waits until he comes back. Once he does, only a little roughed up, they try to hang like normal, but the spark of friendship doesn't quite flicker once you've abandoned your friends to the wolves. The scene between Duchess and Uncle Cornelius displays more of why they chose her to be a part of the Gray (that adeptness and ability for manipulation) and Duchess ends the book with the prospect of a new life ahead of her.

One scene soured me and that was when Lysander, her best friend, helps create the distraction. These guards come and threaten to hurt him--horribly--but even though Duchess hears, she makes the conscious choice to leave. This anti-heroic behavior can be worked around for sure, say if she ended up changing her mind and coming back for him, or nabbing the knife and then returning to save him. But instead, she just goes back to his place and waits. He conveniently only gets out of the situation with a couple bruises because some guards stumbled in on him. That being said, if you're someone who doesn't mind their main characters of the anti-hero sort, I'd check the book out. The writing was solid and the story had an abundance of intrigue.

Rating: 3

*I received this book for review purposes

Sunday, November 11, 2012

VampCon (Disappointingly, NOT about a Vampire Convention)

This pulpy vampire novel doesn't waste any time getting to the action. From the start, the humorously named Jonathan Stoker gets thrown into this vampire congregation--some fancy meet and greet with all the vampires, like a big, ugly family reunion. A different slant on vamps, this departs from all Anne Rice-ian and Twilight notions of pretty vamps and gets to some gritty and kind of nasty origins involving giant spider aliens with poisonous salivating bellies. Narsty. Throw in some ancient magic and the notion that vampires' abilities are affected by their past sins and you get a spin on the time old traditions that works well in this novel. While I kind of wanted a little more from the characters, the pacing and action beats kept me reading.


Summoner Time Machine #1: VampCon begins and is not a convention. Still a little disappointed about that, particularly with the influx of geek culture in our-- Okay. So Ariel, magic slinging vamp extraordinaire, manipulated her summoner juju to make sure that Jonathan Stoker attends this congregation. Good usage of the summoners to show us their power, because it becomes incredibly important later. So they arrive at VampCon, Peter of the Many Voices shows up and all hell breaks loose because of one McRory too many. Pretty much everyone's going to die at the hands...or feelers of giant nasty ass spiders.

Summoner Time Machine #2: Flash forward to the future---Peter melded with a spider and Ariel pulled out a summoner to save everyone's asses from VampCon. So it pretty much hit the reset button, giving Winston a chance to rouse the three that Peter's prophecy told would cause problems with world spider domination. (As an avid hater of spiders, I would like to add a resounding ew to this plan) So the three rally, Jonathan Stoker, a man handy with a wrench and good gut impulses, Aram, a pacifist priest who can see everyone's deaths and HJ, a vampire wrecking ball, aka the shifter.

Summoner Time Machine #3: All the action heads back to the site of the original VampCon, except in the other tower where Peter has the place ready to connect to alternate dimensions. Unleash spidery doom, rah, rah. All of the characters who survived the original battlefest at VampCon (badge, lanyard and all) meet up again at the North tower and commence their boss fight against Peter and the Spiders. A couple explosions, some kickass fight scenes and really tense moments later, the good guys have won, even though Jonathan Stoker needs a new wrench.

This felt like an action movie to me and hopped from one scene to the next fairly quickly. I liked the organization of the story into three parts with the time lapses since I thought that worked very well for the story structure. Character-wise I wanted to throw Donny McRory off a cliff from the start, more because his dialogue tried a little too hard to be annoying and I thought HJ's convictions on lesbian-ism got a little Banky-ish in regards to Espen, but Jonathan and Ariel held the story together quite well. All in all, a fun jaunt.

Rating: 3

*I received this book for review

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Serpent's Shadow (Pin the Shadow on the Giant Apocalyptic Snake)

Rick Riordan really knows his way around a fun middle grade adventure. Kane Chronicles as a whole, definitely delivers. Sadie and Carter are fantastic and the brother/sister dynamic never gets old. I enjoyed all their bickering throughout the entirety of the series and I think this final book does a nice job of showing how close they've gotten from the beginning. It takes the whole Apocalpse Doom + limited timeframe approach that all the other ones do, but this time they're confronting the biggest bad of them all. The ending fight had a great feeling of resolution to it since they included many of the gods and friends they'd made throughout the earlier books.


Kane Enemy Brigade #1: Sarah Jacobi and the other magicians in her evil posse aren't the biggest of bads, but they're certainly like a swarm of pesky locusts that waste the Kanes time while they're trying to stop an Apocalypse. Even better, the Sarah Jacobi Squad ties into the end because they ended up selling out the magician good guy robe in honor of an Apocalypse ready Apophis worshipping one. So at the end when they're jabbing needles into everyone's ankles, they can't turn all the magicians against the Kanes once its revealed that they're servants of Apophis.

Kane Enemy Brigade #2: Setne reminds me of how Set came off in the first book and he's a welcome addition to their crew as the traitorous wizard who holds the key to defeating Apophis. His greasy hair and slick dialogue make him memorable, but just as entertaining is watching him wobble back and forth from good guy to bad guy. To be honest, he's mostly just selfish and therefore his motivations are self centered. He's willing to help the Kanes because he wants to keep living, but at the same point, the second Carter slips up, Setne's there to sic Blood Stained Blade on him.

Kane Enemy Brigade #3: Apophis has been the big bad in the background from the first book, so it ties the trilogy full circle when he's defeated in this one. He's such a big conceptual bad guy that it's a little odd for them to be battling Chaos itself (Unlike Set which was on the same playing field once Sadie and Carter God Suited up.) All of their friends come into action helping them take down Apophis and their plan works even after all of the setbacks along the way.

Once Chaos is defeated, as a result the Gods also have to distance themselves a bit from humanity, a repercussion I could appreciate for balance's sake. Sadie and Carter's story is nicely wrapped up in the ending and I especially loved them finishing up on the recording, like they did in every book. The Kane Chronicles overall were a fun jaunt through Riordan's contemporary Egyptian world.

Rating: 3

Weekly Wednesday MFK: Hunger Games

 So, I'm giving this a spin because book characters are awesome and definitely worth our MFK time. To kick things off, I figured I'd hit a book I've reviewed on this blog, but also one that most people out there know: The Hunger Games. Feel free to pipe in with opinions, outrage, etc in the comments.


Katniss, Prim and Johanna


Peeta, Gale and Finnick

My Take:

Katniss- Marry. Despite the trauma lapses, she knows how to hunt and provide for a family.
Prim- Kill. Sorry Prim, after three books, the Mockingjay has more personality than you.
Johanna- Fuck. Come on, the psycho's always wild in the bed!

Peeta- Kill. As much as I loved Peeta in the context of the story, all that cake baking and I'd end up a doughy baker's wife. Ew.
Gale- Fuck. All that passion and anger? What a great hate fuck.
Finnick- Marry. All I need to point out is Finnick and Annie. Perfect marriage material right there.

BerzerkerTiki's Take:

Katniss- Marry. She's not overly emotional and I know I'll have at least a couple weeks to myself while she's on tour.
Prim- Kill. Heh, oh wait, Suzanne Collins already beat me to it in the third book.
Johanna- Fuck. Because most likely the next time they do a Quell, I'll never have to see her again. 

Peeta- Marry. Aka, bitch get in the kitchen and bake me some fucking bread.
Gale- Kill. I thought that his character was just one bad haircut away from being Edward Cullen.
Finnick- Fuck. Before or after the end of book three?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Captain's Fury (Name dropping like a boss)

I would have to say right now it's a tie between Cursor's and Captain's Fury for the best book of the series thus far. So, yes, Jim Butcher did it again and blew the story out of the kickin' underwater theme park. All of the secrets he built up and revealed throughout the first three books come to fruition in this book as Tavi learns of his true heritage....the son of the deceased Princeps and the grandson of the First Lord of Calderon. Not only are the Canim still a problem externally, but the bigger issue throughout this book involves the Senator Arnos and the politicians. They refuse to see reason and Arnos has it out for Tavi from the start. He puts them into a ridiculously dangerous campaign and then heaps the expectations on him until he manages to oust him as Captain.


Hello, My Name is Octavius Gaius: Prepare to Die #1: Because of Arnos being King of the Douches, Tavi's sent to prison. But luckily, this boy is incredibly smart and if he doesn't already have a plan, he's in the middle of developing one. However, the stroke he pulls using the information of his heritage comes as pure genius. Once in prison, he petitions to Cyril to let him out. He's got more important things to do than stay in prison, like rescue Varg, the Canim and negotiate peace with the Canim. Cyril cares about Tavi and thinks Arnos is being an idiot, but he won't betray the crown. Lucky for him, he won't because Tavi's the damned Princeps. 

Hello, My Name is Octavius Gaius: Prepare to Die #2: Despite the dangers involved in getting Varg out of prison, they manage to make it to the Canim and deliver the merchandise so they can negotiate a withdraw on both sides and stop the senseless fighting. The Canim want to build ships and go home and the Alerans want them to go home. Win/win. Tavi returns to the Legions to deliver the news of all the adventures he was up to while he was "imprisoned." The soldiers in the First Aleran are overjoyed to see their Captain, but concerned about what Arnos would do. And then he drops the bomb of his true identity. An entire legion goes slackjawed in shock with his incredibly ballsy declaration.

Hello, My Name is Octavius Gaius: Prepare to Die #3: He declares juris macto, fight to the death, on Arnos, but unfortunately Arnos is a coward and calls his mercenary Navaris up to fight Tavi instead. She's been after his blood through the entire book and it was only a matter of time until they finally faced off. And the battle is tense and heated, with the entire force watching. When Tavi claims his victory however, he also solidifies his strength in the eyes of his troops. The call rising up afterwards where they shout "All Hail Octavius Gaius" is nothing short of bone chilling and gave me goosebumps.

Puppies sent packing, battles won and enemies brilliantly outmaneuvered? Butcher's skill at plotting really shines in this fast paced and fantastic book. The Canim are an excellent and worthy foe and the threat from within causes most of the tension throughout the book, matched only by the inventive fight scenes.

Rating: 4

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Hidden Fire (Battle for the books and the hot librarian)

I have to say, I was quite impressed with this book. I couldn't put it down. Started it on a lark, but then the mysteries in the beginning kept me reading and the deeper I read into the characters, I got incredibly attached. The strongest strength to this book is the intrigue. It keeps you guessing, keeps things not quite explained, at least not until the end.The cast is fantastically fleshed out and none of the characters are flat or cookie cutter. Giovanni is all dark and mysterious, but it turns out, he has good reason for being a loner and he really is quite alone. Beatrice is a smart, computer savvy and capable female lead which is...well, refreshing. And Carwyn the Irish priest vampire who wears Hawaiian shirts? I think that says it all on its own.


Giovanni's Mysteries #1: When I first started reading the book, it took until the third chapter to reveal he was a vampire. You could guess it, sure, but there was enough vagueness and enough uniqueness in his abilities that you didn't just go, d'oh, vampire. His interactions with Bea in the library are like an intricate dance as both observe the other, becoming more intrigued and more interested. And once he reveals himself to her in the elevator? She handles it like a champ, despite her qualms and concerns. Plus, the concept of elemental vampires is a fun variant and brings an entirely different perspective to his vampirism.

Giovanni's Mysteries #2: Now, this is a vampire with a fine appreciation for books. (An avid reader's wet dream) And early on in the novel, particularly when Carwyn comes around, it becomes evident that Giovanni's running some sort of game. Even though he finds Bea attractive, he's ancient and has more smarts than that. Her dad is the source of intrigue because he's been tracking down his books the whole time and has the feeling her father got involved. Well actually, he has the concern that her father got turned. So he hires Bea to work for him and leaves the reader wondering what his real end goal is with all of this.

Giovanni's Mysteries #3: The final bit of intrigue which ties the story together involves Giovanni's crazy "son" (aka the guy he turned) Lorenzo. Nothing like Giovanni. And more like an unstable clown that's taken too many uppers and decided to prance around in Renaissance garb. At least that was the mental image that popped to mind every time he spoke. And Lorenzo pretty much takes it on himself to toss Bea's life into the garbage chute. He attacks her grandmother, he turned her father and he kidnaps her, forcing her to live in his gigantic Grecian dollhouse and wear all of his dumb white outfits.

So the story wraps up with Lorenzo temporarily defeated and Bea saved, even though she bears some pretty hardcore trust issues as a result of her staycation in Lorenzo's funhouse. Even though her and Gio get together, she ends up still leaving for L.A. which I was very sad about. But, the book still ended on a good note with Gio walking up to her place in Cally and leaving a note for her, which desperately makes you want to read the next book.

Rating: 4

Monday, October 22, 2012

Divergent (Abnegation's the new Puritan)

This book was getting a lot of talk and piqued my curiosity. Young adult dystopian scifi? I could get behind this. I feel mildly conflicted on this book as a reader. It was a spectacularly fun read and I ripped through the book, but now that I've had time to mellow on it and think, I'm a little more subjective. The concept is phenomenal and the world is very fascinating with a clever new dystopian society. Beatrice as a character is who I feel conflicted about. She seems very detached for a lot of the book. Despite her romance with Four, she leans towards an emotionless response to things. While I can appreciate her struggles to stay strong, sometimes I felt a little lacking for internal reassurance that she's not so prickly. What I will say though is that her fights throughout everything make her a badass and that is something that kept me wanting to read along.


Dauntless be crazy #1: From the beginning of the book, we get the gist that these Dauntless folks are crazy mofos. But when they say they're daring, what they mean is they're pretty much Tyler Durden level nuts. Not that it doesn't make an entertaining read, it definitely does. If you aren't tough, you soon learn to be, or you die. Beatrice/Tris starts off strong, jumping off the roof first. Since she's from boring ol' Abnegation, she has to prove that she's tougher than the rest even though she's a slip of a thing. And these kids get brutal.

Dauntless be crazy #2: While Tris stayed in the middle ranks during the physical stuff, its the mental initiation where her Divergent juju really sticks out. During these simulations, its about addressing fears, but the Dauntless initiates are fully immersed. Except for the Divergents. They have the unique ability to realize they're in a simulation, a la The One style in the Matrix, and they can therefore manipulate their surroundings. The Divergent thing becomes more and more dangerous in this highly regulated government where things are supposed to work perfectly because people are supposed to perfectly fit their factions.

Dauntless be crazy #3: The problem with perfect dystopian societies is that they don't exist. Hence they all come crumbling down. The Erudite are crafty bastards (shocked, anyone?) and decide to take out the factions that they don't like. The Dauntless mental initiation? Zombie juice to take over all the Dauntless and use them as soldiers. Only issue with this plan are those pesky Divergents.This is where Tris and Four as well as all the other Divergents reveal themselves, because they won't mindlessly walk in to slaughter all of Abnegation. Tris turns into a badass and the remaining people in Abnegation rise up to fight against the Erudites.

Regardless of any qualms I had, the end of the book picks up in such a phenomenal way that its incredibly addictive and worth the read. The romance between Tris and Four is really engaging and I love the way they bond together. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book.

Rating: 4

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Out of Time: A Time Travel Mystery (Gangster Vampire, go the hell away)

This book opens up with a great romance setup. Stodgy professor and his friendly assistant. They're both interested in one another, but given their current situations, age and status, neither is willing to make a move. The perfect solution? A frolick through time courtesy of Simon's grandfather's watch. Hurrah! Now stuck in a different time period, all those pesky problems melt away and they can finally bone! Except for the gangster vampire. What is UP with the gangster vampire. Where a simple gangster would've worked just as effectively, he was a vampire as well which was a whole bushel of unnecessary. Oh I'm brooding and tormented and eternal, wah. And Simon happens to be a professor of the occult! How perfect! In all seriousness, because the vampire reveal was left for the second half of the book, it felt hokey and out of place. Had the paranormal been present from the start, it wouldn't have muddled my reader expectations, but man, midway through the book and he's just a pain in the ass.


Simon and Elizabeth's Self Made Hurdle #1: While they're adjusting to the times, Simon and Elizabeth both struggle with mutual attraction. Because it bubbled under the surface when they were in modern day times, this new environment that forces them to be together also forces up some of the pent up feelings they've both hidden. Things are progressing well in the romance department...*gasp* sharing a bed! Secret touches! Until Elizabeth gets a job working as a waitress in a bar. BUT during Prohibition which makes it more dangerous. Of course Simon's hidden all the prophetic dreams about her death, so he just seems like he's being a controlling ass and of course it pushes her straight into the job and further from him.

Simon and Elizabeth's Self Made Hurdle #2: As soon as it seems they've made up and the romance is heating up again, they kiss which ruins everything. Simon opens his mouth again and tells her it was all a lie. Her being upset is very understandable since all she's wanted from the beginning of the book is a relationship with Simon. And Simon continues creating his own problems by not telling her about the prophetic dreams until the breaking point when they finally air their grievances, realize they love one another (duh) and make sweet sweet love.

Simon and Elizabeth's Self Made Hurdle #3: So it seems like the only hurdle now is Simon's doom dreams, but a gangster, King, takes a liking to Elizabeth. Now, a head gangster taking a shine to a lady is trouble enough, but he's a vampire too. (Still don't know why) Elizabeth so far has been fairly independent and intelligent, but once King becomes involved in the picture it's like the vamp drained her brain and is going back for blood. The logical thing to do when a mob boss takes a liking to you is quit said job and move away. Especially since they're planning on heading home in a couple of weeks and it doesn't really matter where they are. No. She decides to stick around which gives King time to fall for her and kidnap her.

This all leads to the end of the book where Simon runs into Time Travel Grandpa and they fight King the Vamp together to get Elizabeth back. Big explosions, King has a magical change of heart and saves Elizabeth. Simon and Elizabeth return to the future, make googly eyes, the end.  Not bad, I mean the story kept my interest, but while the romantic tension fueled the beginning half of the book, the latter part with King the vampire just got silly. My vote is to cast the vampire off the island and just enjoy the time traveling romp through the 1920s.

Rating: 2

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hammered (Thor is a gigantic douchehat)

After the last book "Hexed" being everything I wanted from the series, my expectations had raised significantly for this one. While I enjoyed it, it fell flat for me kind of like the first one. One of the things I've noticed is that the voice fluctuates a lot during the series. The first book, you'd believe the character is 2100 years old for sure and he has an arrogant tone throughout. The second book I thought had the best balance to it. He was all knowing and wise, but kept up with the times as a matter of survival. When he slips into the twenty one year old geek persona, it was hilarious, but it was a persona, a facet. This book takes the persona and makes it his personality. While I loved the jokes, it was inconsistent with the first two books. Regardless, this book was about Atticus making do on his promises from the last book.


Atticus Kicks a God in the Jollies and Runs #1:
This first happens when he kills the Norns and the adorable giant squirrel, Ratatosk gets murdered in the process. Atticus repays his debts and in the previous book he owed Laksha a golden apple of Idunn. Since Bacchus was already pissy with him, he leaves a note to Idunn that Bacchus was involved, papering his name all over Valhalla. But the alarms sound fast and while the Norns want him dead, Atticus would really like to stay living. So he distracts Odin, beheads some Norns and hightails it back down Yggdrasil, the tree of life. 

Atticus Kicks a God in the Jollies and Runs #2:
So while he's on the way out of Tempe and gathering the boys for their big fight against the entire Norse pantheon (Well, supposedly just Thor) they run into one very pissed off god. Oh Bacchus, don't worry, you weren't forgotten. After murdering a ton of Bacchants the last book, the god wasn't pleased with Atticus. And then after dropping his name all around Valhalla...well, the gods were never known for being forgiving. So their journey gets a kick start as Bacchus literally chases them out of town on his chariot. 

Atticus Kicks a God in the Jollies and Runs #3
This fight had a lead in from the first book when Atticus mentioned what a giant douchebag Thor was. Somehow you had the feeling it was going to end in battle. And indeed it does. Atticus and his companions rally the Frost Giants and they take the Norse pantheon by surprise. They hadn't been prepared for gods, an ancient druid, an ancient vampire and a werewolf alpha. Everyone had their own reasons for killing Thor, but in the process they lay waste to Valhalla. The body count is huge. I'm talking Thor dead, Odin incapacitated, the Valkyries gets ridiculous. And with most of the people wanting revenge dead, Atticus can't even ask them if it was worth it. Even though they get out of Valhalla, they're still on the run and a ton of gods want them dead. 

One of the things that bugged me was the large chunk of the book that was storytime. Personally I thought it slowed down the pacing of the entire thing and would've been more interesting had the guys all just talked to one another. Instead a huge chunk was these dudes stories, but problem is, I didn't really care about any of them beforehand so I was just waiting to get the to end. Leik's was the only one of any importance. The other thing that bothered me was the goal switching. After he spent the last two books getting into all of this trouble to stay where he was, him leaving in this book seems rather wasteful. It makes all of his battles the last two books absolutely pointless if he was just going to leave anyway. Even with my qualms, the second book was so good I'm still going to give the next books a chance in the hope they'll be like that one.

Rating: 3

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hexed (Everybody needs a pocket Druid)

This was the book that determined I'd be sticking with this series. From start to finish it was everything I had hoped for by the original description of the series. Atticus is witty and hilarious, Oberon plays off him well and Granuaille is a great balance to the three, smart and eager to learn. The dialogue is nothing short of hilarious and the fights are fantastic, increasing in difficulty and ridiculousness the further you read. The mounting ridiculousness as well as danger makes for a phenomenally fun jaunt through Arizona with everyone's favorite druid.


Atticus Favor Swaps #1: So despite Atticus' claims that he's avoiding trouble (Atticus doth protest too much, methinks) when the god Coyote comes knocking at his door, he gladly offers his help. Considering the demons are partially cleanup for his big messy fight with Aengus Og the previous book, he gets guilt tripped into taking care of a demon who's killing kids at a school. Weeeeell, apparently it's not your run of the mill demon. It's a fallen angel. So luckily his friend the widow MacDonagh is a devout Catholic, so she prays to Mary for him. Which means that Mary pops up in the real world so Atticus has some holy blessed arrows to use in this fight. The battle is messy and apart from killing the big bad demon, Coyote pulls one over on Atticus and he doesn't accomplish a hell of a lot.

Atticus Favor Swaps #2: There are two big compromising factors to Atticus' happy life in Tempe. One of these are Bacchants. Apparently wherever they go, orgies rein and since they're leaving Las Vegas and trying to bring the party to Tempe, it's up to Atticus to stop them. Pesky sex crazed Bacchants and their pesky orgies! Problem is though, their juju works on Atticus. So he needs help. This is where he calls in a favor of Laksha which sets up future problems for him. Laksha agrees to kill the Bacchants, but in return, Atticus has to steal a golden apple from Idunn. Meaning he's got to get involved with the Norse gods. Laksha makes quick work of the Bacchants with her frightening witch powers, but Atticus is stuck dealing with the cops as well as the deal that leads into the next book.

Atticus Favor Swaps #3: Laksha isn't the only one who wants Atticus to mess with the Norse. Leik, his vamp pal, hates Thor and wants Atticus to help him kill the god. That's particularly messy and he doesn't want to, but unfortunately he needs Leik's help. The other big compromising factor to Atticus' happy Tempe life is the Hexenwitches, these German bitches that consort with demons. They mess with him big time, killing his loyal employee Perry. Plus, the other coven of witches that Atticus plays nice with doesn't like the Hexenbitches either. So Atticus swaps favors with Leik to get him to help take out this crazy coven with their demons. A big showdown with witches, a vamp and a druid end in lots of blood flying, lots of weapons flinging and a ton of fire.

So Hexenbitches defeated, Bacchants temporarily staved and Coyote's off cackling to himself, success, right? Even though some threads are tied up this book leaves a LOT of loose ends leading to the next book where there is Valhalla, giant squirrels and the asshat, Thor. The satisfying note to leave on though is Oberon, as was done the book before. The dog's just adorable.

Rating: 4

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hounded (Literally, cos of the Irish Wolfhound)

Upon first look at the blurb of this book, my mind jumped to awesome. Druids? Check. Paranormal hijinks? Check. Witty banter? Check. All the makings for a fantastic story. This being said, the first novel is primarily set up. While the story is entertaining and it served the purpose of getting me to read the next book, most of the first novel is based around setting up the area, the cast and explaining Atticus' past. Which is large, mind you. 2100 years old large. But after awhile, some chunks of it felt like reading a guide to mythology rather than the story itself. Still, Celt mythology has plenty of fascinating stories, so it's still worth a good read. The tone was not as hilarious and pop culture filled as I had initially hoped, but the story was entertaining, the characters eccentric and damnit all, his wolfhound Oberon is adorable.


A Parade of Celtic Gods #1: The first of the big ol' Irish pantheon to show up is the Morrigan. This is the setup for the whole book pretty much. She divines Atticus' death when he's fated to clash with his rival Aengus Og, the god of love. Sounds like a pretty time old story of the gods manipulating mankind. Here's where the fun flavor comes in though: this world not only includes the Celt pantheon, but all pantheons connect to earth. Plus, vamps and werewolves frolic about, most of the time not together. Morrigan herself is exactly what you'd imagine. Either an evil crow or an evil seductress, but all in all a good time.

A Parade of Celtic Gods #2: The next god to visit Atticus is Flidas, goddess of the hunt. Here's where the streams cross with Aengus Og's plotting. When Flidais and her posse, Atticus in wolfy form and his wolfhound Oberon run around trying to hunt mountain goats, they run into a park ranger. A magically compelled park ranger. In turn for his insolence, Flidais has Oberon tear out the man's throat. And following the set up, the police arrive on the scene moments later. Atticus just wants to live in Tempe running his bookstore with his trusty pup at his side, but Aengus is determined to make him run, or fight back. 

A Parade of Celtic Gods #3: After the gods traipse through Atticus' house several more times (including Brigid), the final straw happens when Hal, his werewolf pal and Oberon are kidnapped. Now Atticus is forced to act. While Aengus Og rallied witches at his side, he wasn't prepared for an angry werewolf pack and a pissed off two millenia old druid. The final confrontation pits demons, witches and Aengus Og against him, but it all ends with the witches killed by the werewolves and Aengus Og dead.

Manipulation of the gods, blah blah, Atticus is angry, blah blah. Oh yeah, pissy witches and demons, blah. The important part? The puppy is saved. Which is pretty much the point of the entire book.

Rating: 3

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead (When Your House Tries to Kill You)

Hm. This one was a tricky book for me. On one hand, I thought the snappy tone was refreshing and fun. On the other hand, the plot wobbled from insanely interesting one moment to a three page diatribe about what she ate that day. On the plus side? Gus is hell of a lot of fun. He's a positive, lively character and without him the book would fall flat. The draw with the house, the possession and all of that lead up was immensely nail-biting and I loved the creepiness and struggle as she explored the house from messed up cellar to creepy attic with a side room. On the negative side...Mara causes a lot of her own problems. Yes, she didn't ask for any of it directly, but at the same point, she invited all of the problems in and served them tea with her best china. There are a lot of points that she's just as well informed as the reader and I'm wondering why she wouldn't just get the hell out.


Mara's Genius Move #1: The girl's got some issues. The book starts out in a really interesting way when the building manager decides she's evicted, pretty much just because she's Wicca. Great intro, good, gripping start with a plausible problem. But she's having these crazy dreams she just can't ignore and the ghost of her father tells her not to use her magic. What does she decide to do? Use her magic of course, because gee golly, listening is for idiots. She uses it to bring her money. WHICH begins most of her problems.
Mara's Genius Move #2: So, midway through the book after a fun roundabout of Gus involved escapades, Mara finds out her spell delivered. The impending housing situation? Solved since her Aunt Tillie passed away, leaving her the cottage. Perfect solution, happy ending. Except that the cottage had been cropping up in her dark, horrible dreams all along. The logical solution? Get a job, figure out the money situation and sell the place from a distance. Mara's solution? Let me go LIVE there. Absolute genius, I tell you.

Mara's Genius Move #3: After moving in and getting tormented by the ghost of her Aunt Tillie until she's hospitalized, she finds out Tillie's trying to keep her safe from something. Something her mom tried to protect her from. Something that wants her in the cottage. Since Mara's the munchkin in the patch, she decides to stay and play with the big bad energy. After all, it couldn't really want to harm her, right? Duh. Her ancestor Lisette had some powerful mojo and wanted to reunite with her lover, Lucien. So when Mara invites her crush over and they mess around in the haunted rooms, Lucien and Lisette possess their bodies...which has been the plan from day one.

Luckily, there are smart characters like Gus who come and save the day, performing some demon expelling magic along with a bag of tricks including zombie powder. Happy ending, demons destroyed, guy she likes pretty shaken and hey, she's pregnant from all the boinking Lisette did while borrowing her body! While the plot's a bit all over the place and Mara isn't a great heroine, the other characters are interesting and the fun tone is what really drives the story. However, if you're not picky, like witches and want a fun read? This would fit the bill.

Rating: 3

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Stolen Throne (Welcome to the Loghain Pity Party)

So, I went into this book pretty hopeful. After all, Dragon Age is one of my favorite video games and the writing for it is absolutely phenomenal. However, translating that to fiction didn't work as well. I felt like half the time I was skimming through trying to get past the dreadful pacing of the story with the action scenes that were kinda static. It felt like they were trying to describe the video game rather than reaching for something more.
On the plus side, it was a nice companion to the game. I learned a lot of backstory about Loghain and Maric that makes me want to play again, so did it achieve its goal? Probably.


Misery thy name is Loghain #1: While Maric is the main character, the one of real intrigue is Loghain. The entire book sets up a perfectly logical explanation for his behavior in the game. In fact, I think on replay, I'll probably be rooting for the poor bastard. So Maric starts off bumbling, like Alistair, but without the witty dialogue and any real charm. He's naive and innocent like a dumb puppy and his existence lends to a shitfest of problems to anyone around him. Starting when Loghain runs into him in the woods after Maric's mother was murdered. Poor Loghain tries to do a good deed by bringing him back to camp and gets punished for it by the outlaws who swarm his home looking for Maric, resulting in Gareth, Loghain's dad, biting it.

Misery thy name is Loghain #2: Spurned with a capital S. So, Maric has a betrothed named Rowan. They're BFFs of course, but dense Maric doesn't even see her infatuation and instead boinks some random elven assassin. Go Maric. Meanwhile, Loghain's been getting to know Rowan and comes to care for her deeply. He finally confesses his feelings for her, right when she finds out Maric found a new fuck buddy by way of exotic elven temptress. However, when Loghain tries to leave in the morning, fully mortified and embarrassed, Maric has a hissy fit until he agrees to stay.

Misery thy name is Loghain #3: This was the heart clencher and seals Loghain's future villainy. So, they're taking down the big bad usurper and Maric finds out his elven wench was a spy. Even though it was obvious to everyone else from the start, its all OH! BETRAYAL! WANGST! So to pull Maric out of his depression, Loghain gives up the one good thing he had, Rowan. Oh yeah, they hooked up. Fully in love. But Fereldan needs a queen and Maric's obviously not fit to rule. So Loghain convinces both of them to go for it, despite his own feelings for Rowan. And does Maric finally learn how to be a good friend and lets Loghain have her? Of course not. He marries Rowan and they sire Cailan.

I spent most of this story annoyed with Maric and sympathizing with Loghain. While it's not the best written thing out there, if you wanted an alternate perspective on the bad guy, it's worth it, just to feel for Loghain when you replay the game. Because knowing Cailan is the lovechild of his best friend and old flame, it really helps you understand why he's constantly annoyed with the kid from the start. Plus, Cailan has the same idiocy that plagued Maric throughout the story. Theirin family crest: But daddy, I want to ride the pony!

Rating: 3

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Throne of Fire (Kane Family Vacation, complete with doom, doom and more doom)

While the stakes come off kinda cartoonish at times (You have 5 days or else Chaos/End of the World/Boom) it works because of the fun, campy tone to the stories. Sadie and Carter's constant bickering and acting like the teens they are promotes the kind of story where even with high stakes, you're reading less for the drama and more for the fun. Snappy and sassy? Yes. Actually nail biting? Not really, but the tone is more reminiscent of Indiana Jones with kickass adventures and tomb raiding.


Gambling for Tweens #1: Once the Kane siblings find out their all important mission, they head over to Russia with Bes, the dwarf god. However, part of the Book of Ra belongs with Menshikov, who's on board with operation evil. So of course, while they're sneaking around trying to steal the book, he's having a one on one with Set, long distance, Egyptian magician style. When Menshikov realizes they're there, the kids make the first big bet of the book--summoning Set, to save them. Since he's on his own track, neither theirs nor Apophis', the kids take a big risk, but it pays off and he buys them enough time to escape.

Gambling for Tweens #2: The real time gambling took place with Khonsu, over a game of senet where they bet their souls. Craziest part of all this? Parent approved. Actually, parent provided. Khonsu's a creepy, kinda jerk of a dude. He lives for gambling and is known for it and when they bet their souls, trying to play for a couple hours, it results in a really intense game. Worst part of it is when Bes sacrifices himself so the kids can win and Khonsu devours the dwarf god. Even though Khonsu isn't supposed to be the big bad, he comes off way more menacing than anything else in the book.

Gambling for Tweens #3: The biggest chance they took was that with Ra, the doddering old grandpa of a god. This made for a ridiculously hilarious final battle, complete with Ra blowing raspberries at the enemies and asking for weasel cookies. It's hard to maintain any sort of terror with those antics going on in the background.

But the Kane sibs defeat Apophis for the time being, with the help of...well, not Ra, that's for sure. Regardless, the book ends on a fun note again where the entire thing has been another message sent to try and rally more people together for an army against the all powerful Chaos.

Rating: 3

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lies of Locke Lamora (More costume changes than FFX-2)

Upon first introduction to the book, you need to look no further than the name of the series: The Gentlemen Bastard Sequence. That about encompasses the entire book and what a brilliant book it is. Scott Lynch juxtaposes levity with hard knocks seamlessly. While you spend half the story delighted at the sheer cleverness of Locke and his group of thieves, the other half is spent in horror at the dark depths the story takes. The landscape is alien and fantastical and you remember the characters long after the novel ends. The Gentlemen Bastards may not be paragons of honor and virtue, but they're one of the most entertaining groups I've seen in a long while.


A Villain Jamboree #1: First on the list is Don and Dona Salvara. They're not really the villains, just the nobles that Locke and his crew of Merry Men are stealing from. This beginning portion of the book where Locke becomes Lukas Fehrweight and ALSO a Midnighter showcases the brilliance of the Gentlemen Bastards as well as displays the camaraderie of the gang. This section is light, happy and frolick-y.

A Villain Jamboree #2: The Capa Barsavi's section introduces a seriousness to the story, perhaps because when they enter his chambers, he's brutally torturing a man. Now the fun little romp through Camorr suddenly seems to be more dangerous than they originally let on. Barsavi's a little off kilter, but genuinely not that bad by way of crime lords. Nazca's a great character and even though the Capa wants Locke to marry her, you still feel confident that they'll manage to get through all of this based on Locke's cleverness. 

A Villain Jamboree #3: Once we meet the Gray King, it's the figurative long beginning of the end. Where we lose all hope. Where we're desolate, horribly upset. Where the Gray King uses Locke, makes him turn against his Capa, has him beaten within an inch of his life and left for dead. Where the Gray King destroys the Gentlemen's Bastards by stealing their fortune, but worse, by killing the Sanzas, Bug and trying to kill Jean. His brothers. This was a hard bit to read and it keeps getting worse and worse until you're absolutely positive that everyone is going to die. The Gray King manages to knock off half the characters introduced in the book and reduce Locke to a soggy mess. But Locke stops him, and fights him one on one at the end, taking vengeance on his fallen brothers.

Some of the finest scenes involve the rituals of the Gentlemen Bastards, the prayers they say to the Crooked God, their repeated sayings. All of it makes them such a tight knit group which is why it all crumbles. The theme of this book is definitely revenge and it's threaded into the very marrow of the city they live in, Camorr. And when Locke takes his revenge? It's a triumph that nearly knocks you breathless.

Rating: 5

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Red Pyramid (Percy Jackson with Egyptian Flair)

One thing Rick Riordan is good at is telling a fun adventure tale. This one does not disappoint. Sadie's sassy and Carter's honorable and both of them squabble like the sister and brother they are as they share the stage and the POV shifts. Also, the hieroglyphics intermingled in the text are a cute touch. For a Middle Grade book, the story's really entertaining with a huge array of gods just like Percy Jackson. What I appreciate too (having read the Percy Jackson books) are the not-so-subtle references to the Greek gods hangin in Manhattan.


Isn't it fun to be Egyptian #1: The first big change that both Sadie and Carter deal with after the demise of dear old dad and the rise of big bad Set is all of the Egyptian studies crammed down their throat when they go to Brooklyn with Amos. They learn about the shabti, that they have magic, and that their parents were involved in something way over their heads. Oh yeah and that Sadie's cat Muffin is actually the goddess Bast. There's a lot of "I can't believe this is happening" going on, but luckily they're forced to get in the swing of things fast because the Brooklyn mansion is ambushed.

Isn't it fun to be Egyptian #2:  The next big dealie that Sadie and Carter get bomb dropped on them is the whole "hosting gods" thing. When they talk to Iskandar and all the magicians, everyone's pretty anti- the kids because of how powerful they are from hosting gods. Turns out Isis took up residence with Sadie and Horus with Carter. Both kids fight to keep the gods from overpowering them, but there are a lot of scratches and dents along the way. However, while the power of the gods gives them advantages against the enemies they're fighting, it also multiplies their enemies to include all of the magicians.

Isn't it fun to be Egyptian #3: The book is a big crash course on Egyptian gods, legends and culture in a big way, so the ending makes sense with a whole lot of family (god) drama going on. Sadie and Carter deal with Set, but the whole thing seems like a repeat of the millions of other encounters and fights the gods have had with each other. I mean, brand new to Sadie and Carter for sure, but it seems like fights to the death are pretty common over Thanksgiving dinner. What they do establish through defeating Set though is a groundwork for magicians and gods working together. When Sadie and Carter give up the powers of Isis and Horus, they make a huge step towards eventual unity, which is good, because big snakey monster Apophis wants to devour the world for dinner.

So Sadie and Carter leave off their recording requesting anyone else with weird Egyptian experiences to contact them so they can begin to rally for this fight against Chaos Monster of Doom. Cool style to do it and Sadie and Carter interrupting each others' passages make for a really unique style in the writing. Best part? The recording isn't a throwaway gimmick, as it's actually prevalent in the next book.

Rating: 3

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Clean: A Mindspace Investigations Novel (Replace Harry Dresden with an overly whiny nancy boy)

So, this novel was looking to be an urban fantasy a la Dresden. But I didn't realize HOW similar it was going to play it to Dresden. The entire first half of the novel has way too many similarities to Stormfront, but not enough unique world details and fun characters to make it stand on its own. But, the biggest problem was that the main character was incredibly whiny. INCREDIBLY. Since the plot of the story was rather irrelevant (murderer wants revenge on main character for some minor altercation) I'm going to focus on the multiple things Adam whines about.


Adam Whines #1: One of the smaller things he bitches about throughout the story is his issues with the temperature, the taste of certain coffees, pretty much everything under the sun. He's a textbook complainer and it shows. When he's outside, he talks about how uncomfortable the weather is, WHATEVER said weather is. The weather one's big. He's a constant sweatbox. When he's smoking he enjoys his drags of cigarettes, but later when he's running, he stresses on how horrible his smoker's lungs are.

Adam Whines #2: Cherabino is a huge focal point to his whining. First off, while he says they have this deep connection and that she's helped him through everything, the text itself doesn't actually show that. She's cranky to him 24/7 and I can't think of one sweet moment between the two of them that didn't involve some form of doubt or backlash. If that's what he's mistaking as a deep connection and love, he's had a craptastic run of it. Granted, he doesn't help his case with her most of the time. The several occasions when she isn't being a bitch, Adam takes advantage of his telepathic abilities, entering into her mind, invading her private thoughts. He uses the situations to his advantage, getting to sleep on the floor in her bedroom, while she's creeped out by him the entire time. For a heartbeat, I thought he was doing the right thing for the right reasons when he stops her advances because she's in a vulnerable situation. Yet, then he reprimands himself mentally for not taking the chance while he had it. When you add it on top of all the other creepy things he's done, this guy isn't coming off too admirably.

Adam Whines #3: Finally, his Satin fix. Oh god, his Satin Fix. First off, he tanked his whole life when he got hooked on Satin. I got it, not his fault, he was a lab rat in a corrupt experiment gone wrong. And I understand the authenticity of writing a junkie means you need to write about their issues which genuinely include wanting a fix. I wasn't annoyed when he messed up, it was the sheer repetition of the whole thing. He could be doing anything at any time of day and all of a sudden, it all came back to Satin. Even the ending was about Satin, not his abilities as a telepath. I like flawed heroes, I really do. But when you combine the whining about the Satin on top of his whining about everything else, we get a passive, weak willed character who'd rather complain about everything than do things himself. Most of the book was spent with him talking about how brilliant and spectacular he was while he didn't do a thing about his problems.

The writing was actually solid and the world seemed really fascinating. I'd totally be willing to revisit the world if they replaced the main characters, maybe focused on Adam's ex Kara. She was competent, interesting and seemed to be a much more compelling character. But as it stands, those characters are not ones I want to follow around for an entire book.

Rating: 2