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