A Bit of An Update

This will be a quick post, but I just wanted you guys to know what is going to happen with the blog for the next month or so. With August nearly done, vacation is finished.  My personal life will be full for the next month or so as work begins and as a result, the amount of posts on this blog will decrease. I will definitely still be posting, but not as frequent (maybe once or twice a week). It also sucks as my reading time is cut a considerable amount and I won’t be able to read as much as I had hoped. But by end of September or October, I should settle in and things should go back to normal.  Just wanted to give you guys the heads up of what will happen going forward. Thank you for being such awesome people and being an awesome community! 🙂

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The Assault by Various Authors Review

This omnibus includes THE REVEALING by Bill Myers, INFESTATION by Frank Peretti, INFILTRATION by Angela Hunt, and THE FOG by Alton Gansky. ” (I could not find the official synopsis and it goes under Mosaic on Goodreads).

The Assault by Various Authors is a collection of stories that continue the Harbingers series. It is a sequel that improves on the first novel, Invitation, by further developing its characters and has a tighter, yet more supernatural narrative that keeps the books intriguing throughout.

The trio returns in this sequel and it was a delight to see each of them develop a bit more throughout the collection of stories. Although, I will admit Tank and Brenda seem to develop the least. While I found Tank’s story to be the most compelling, it seems to reaffirm and show characteristics that he has already displayed, not so much further his development. But he does seem to be more aware of how others think of him. Much of Brenda’s time is with Daniel, the special boy the group found in the previous novel. It shows her being more of a mother and really caring for the young boy. The Professor and Andi go through some tough times and I felt they progressed the most. It was nice to see the grumpy, old professor open up more to the other, specifically Tank. The villain varies from story to story and I found them to be pretty forgettable. They are the typical moustache twirling villain and they were predictable and generic.

This novel has a much tighter narrative as each story seems to flow from one to another. While it does seem each story almost requires the other stories to know what is happening, reading the stories back to back really helped fill in the gaps and further develop the plot. The Fog is the one that seems to stand by itself and I found it to be the most engaging. The fog presents a legitimate threat and forces one of the characters to make a difficult decision. I also liked that the stories seem to be more supernatural. It was much more exciting to read the book once it went a bit more out there in terms of plot. Although I found them to be fairly predictable, especially Infiltration with a twist that you can see miles ahead.

The Assault presents a tighter and more developed characters that improves on its predecessor that is sure to satisfy fans of the series.

Rating: Must Buy (for readers of the series, Wait for a sale for newcomers)

 

The Unique Blogger Award

Thanks to Noriko/Diary of a Bookfiend for nominating me for this! It is always fun to do tags and take part in the community. It also awesome to be nominated for awards such as this. Always grateful for it. 🙂

   

The Rules

  1. Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  4. Ask them 3 questions

Questions:

1. What book got you into reading?

I have always liked to read, but it was something that I would never do in my free time until I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline or more so, listened to an audiobook (which is fantastically narrated by Wil Wheaton). I just had so much fun listening to the book that after I finished it, I began looking for other books. After that I started to read more and more, genuinely enjoying my time reading.

2. If you’d ever write a short story, what would it be about?

Oooooh. I love to write and have written numerous short stories, but if I had to create a new one, it would definitely be a mystery. There’s nothing like truly tricking the reader and created a damn good mystery. It would probably be about a young, hot-shot detective who is way too sarcastic for his own good. Maybe even in high school or college. Hmm… I got to start writing this.

3. Can you read more than one book at a time?  If so, how many can you read at one time?

I can read more than one book at a time. I can read two books at a time, haha. I have definitely read more than one book, but more often that not the second book is an audiobook which I find easier to make time to finish.

My Questions:

1. What is one book that you would recommend everyone to read?

2. Has there ever been a book that just made you extremely angry and want to throw it against the wall?

3. Describe your perfect character.

Tags:

I’m not going to be tagging anyone specifically, but I encourage those who read this post to try this blog out. Every blogger is unique in their own way whether in writing style, personality, etc. Plus, I am a bit lazy.

 

I had fun answering the three questions and I just want to thank Noriko for the nomination once again!

 

The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Hello, I hope everyone is having a good day so far. I was tagged by Noriko for the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag. Let’s get started!

Questions

1.) A popular book or book series that you didn’t like

It has to be the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. It is possibly due to the overabundance of this genre at the time I read it, but I felt it was too generic for it to really stand out amongst others.

2.) A popular book or book series that everyone else seems to hate but you love

I honestly cannot think of one as of this moment. It is fairly hard to determine a book’s popularity.

3.) An otp that you don’t like

I don’t really read too many books with otp’s and when I do, I usually am fine with.

4.) A popular book genre that you hardly reach for

Non-fiction. I will read biographies from time to time, in fact one of my favorite books from last year was a autobiography (Born A Crime by Trevor Noah). But other than that, I stay away from this genre unless I need research or it’s on someone I admire.

5.) A popular/beloved character that you do not like

Probably someone from the Twilight series. Honestly, I have only read the first book and I just did not like any of the characters. I know it’s quite common to hate on this book now, but It’s the truth. The movies did not help at all.

6.) A popular author that you can’t seem to get into

Sarah J. Mass. While I do think her covers look cool, I just cannot get into her books. They do not seem to be that different from fantasy novels. Also, the massive hype around her books is not something I do not really like as I constantly see her and hear about her from friends. It might not even have to do the book, it’s the massive hype that surrounds her books that drive me a bit crazy. I find it weird that I did not feel this way about the Hunger Games series as it was insanely popular, but I feel it is due to the huge presence of social media now and the lack there of during the Hunger Games release.

7.) A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing

The classic “Boy hates girl, girl hates boy, then slowly fall in love with one another.” It’s just been one to death and while it is fine, there are many other and more creative ways to get two characters together

8.) A popular series that you have no interest in reading

The Mortal Instruments series. Like Sarah J. Mass books, there was a big amount of attention around these books. I have seen the movie and I felt it was pretty generic. Although movies are almost always worst than the books, I just have no motivation to read this series.

9.) The saying goes “the book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or tv show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

I really liked Me and Earl and The Dying Girl novel, but I felt the movie made Greg more likeable and did a great job to translating the book material to the big screen. The cast was phenomenal and it’s awesome to see them go onto bigger things. It just has a unique charm about it that I felt was more prominent in the movie.

Tags:

and whoever wants to do it!

Thanks to Noriko once again, I had a good time. 🙂

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli Review

 

“Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?“

I am a dude who likes video games, action movies, etc., but I will admit this is probably the cutest book I have read. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli is a cute, emotional, and great young adult novel without being depressing or bleak which was a bit refreshing.

Molly is the narrator for the novel and as such, you see the events unfold through her eyes and hear her thoughts. I do like when an author uses a first-person narrative as it allows the reader to know the character’s thoughts and feelings about events. It really allows the reader to get to know the character at a more personal level. I liked Molly as a character and reading her thoughts and reactions to events in her life was realistic, yet at times a bit annoying. I cannot fault Molly for being annoying at times as reacting and overreacting to events as is what many people do. Her development from a pessimistic and innocent girl to someone who is a bit more matured and a bit more optimistic felt earned. Reading the book from her perspective really helped make the novel feel more personal and as a result, the payoff is satisfying. Her relationship with her sister, Cassie, plays an important part in the novel and was well done. As Cassie gets closer to Mina, Molly finds herself on the outside, something she is not comfortable with considering they are twins. Seeing Molly make mistakes and at times, screw up their relationship was refreshing. People make mistakes and I feel that some books make their protagonist too perfect and this novel highlights Molly’s mistakes.

I felt there would be a love triangle when I began the book, but, fortunately, there really isn’t. It becomes who Molly prefers fairly early on with the love triangle only resulting from Molly’s hesitation and reluctance. The other supporting characters such as Nadine, Olivia, etc. were good, but they are not as developed as Molly, Cassie, and Reid. Speaking of Reid, I found him to be pretty cool and relatable being a fellow nerd like him. His dynamic with Molly was adorable and believable which can be hard to pull off. The plot is fairly predictable, but for a book like this that does not really matter. The characters take center stage with the plot serving as a way to develop the characters.

  The Upside of Unrequited is an adorable young adult novel that is sure to satisfy many readers with relatable and realistic characters, good character development, and pretty cute moments.

Rating: Must Buy

 

Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Caleb Nation Review

“Bran Hambric was found alone in a locked bank vault when he was six years old. He doesn’t have a clue how he got there, or any memory of his past. There’s only one explanation: Magic. But magic is outlawed in the Great and Glorious City of Dunce.

Eight years later, a twisted, hissing creature confronts Bran and his foster father, Sewey, on their rooftop. Sewey believes it’s a gnome, but not Bran. (Sewey isn’t the brightest Duncelander to begin with.) Bran soon discovers that whatever leapt onto his roof is connected to the he never knew…and that Bran himself is the missing link in a plot so secret and evil that those behind it will stop at nothing to hunt him down.

Armed with wands and weapons, Bran’s enemies are about to attack–with all the power of a horrible curse and a terrible crime. Magic won’t be the only law broken in the City of Dunce…”

   Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Caleb Nation is a bit of a hidden gem for magic/fantasy readers. I read this a while ago, but found myself wanting to write a review on it upon discovering it in my room and I wanted others to know more about it. It was released around the peak of Harry Potter with the movie series nearing its end. While there are similaritites to the Harry Potter series, it does enough to satisfy and thrill readers.

   Bran Hambric was a solid protagonist who has to come to terms with his newfound powers. His journey from beginning to end is a bit generic, but is fairly effective. There will be comparisons with him to Harry Potter (newfound powers, siblings who hate him, etc.), but he does enough to stand out as his own character. His struggle to accept himself and his past was well done and the main driving force of the character. The other supporting do well although I found Astara to be one of the better ones. She becomes Bran’s friend and helps him throughout his journey. The rest are fine and do what they are supposed to do, but they do not really stand out.

   The plot is fairly standard for a fantasy novel and does take some time to pick up.  Although, I attribute it to world building. It does get a bit heavy in the second half in terms of plot and characters which can lose you. The world Nation creates is pretty awesome. It does have the standard goblins and monsters with some gnomes mixed in, but the history behind it, as Bran continues to uncover secrets of Dunce, is fairly interesting and stands out from other magical novels. It is a fairly well written book considering the book was started by Nation at 14 and continued throughout his teen years which is pretty impressive. 

   Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse is a solid and well done magic novel. There will be comparisons to the Harry Potter series and I admit there are similarities to it, but Nation does enough to make this novel stand out in the crowded genre.

Rating: Must Buy for Magic/ Harry Potter lovers. 

For everyone else, Check It Out


Off To Be The Wizard by Scott Meyer Review

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“Martin Banks is just a normal guy who has made an abnormal discovery: he can manipulate reality, thanks to reality being nothing more than a computer program. With every use of this ability, though, Martin finds his little “tweaks” have not escaped notice. Rather than face prosecution, he decides instead to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and pose as a wizard.

What could possibly go wrong?

An American hacker in King Arthur’s court, Martin must now train to become a full-fledged master of his powers, discover the truth behind the ancient wizard Merlin… and not, y’know, die or anything.”

Sometimes you just need to read (or in my case listen) to something fun, something akin to a popcorn movie and Off To Be The Wizard by Scott Meyer is just that. It’s funny, entertaining, and above all, fun. It’s a book where you turn your brain off and just enjoy the ride.

Martin was a solid protagonist who discovers something wonderful. While he does discover a file that alters the world, he is by no means a genius and that does make him quite relatable. He is not some genius, he is a normal guy who just happens to have stumbled on quite a discovery. His journey from an average joe to a good wizard was fairly effective even if expected. Philip serves as the mentor to Martin and I found their interactions and conversations to be quite hilarious. The book really starts to pick up when they meet one another and seeing their relationship grow was quite nice. The other supporting characters such as Gary provided their own funny moments and lines. Merlin or Jimmy serves as Philip’s main rival and their rivalry provides some of the funniest moments in the book. While I did like the characters, they are not the most complex or layered characters and they should not be for a book like this. They have their own quirks and traits that make the likeable and entertaining, but they are not ground breaking. This is not a con, just a heads up for those looking for deep characters. I listened to the audiobook and found the narrator to be pretty good. His variety of accents and unique voices really helped elevate the book, so I do recommend the audiobook.

The plot is fairly predictable and some decisions make you scratch your head, but it does enough to keep you going. It does take some time to pick up, notably when Philip and Martin meet which is where the actual magic begins. Now I do appreciate the creativity of the world that Meyers creates. The magic itself was quite different from most fantasy books. It is a bit more sci-fi that fantasy in that regard. The magic requires manipulation of the file and the wizards can even create macros to help them cast more complex magic which is quite unique and a bit refreshing. The humor in this book clicked for me, yet it can be quite silly. What people find funny is different from one another and others may find it silly and at times, crass.

I have been reading some pretty heavy books recently and reading Who Let The Gods Out? and Off To Be The Wizard was a good change of pace. Off To Be The Wizard is not going to win any awards for literature excellence, but not every book should be. It’s fun, funny, and extremely entertaining.

Rating: Must Buy (I can’t believe I forgot the rating)