Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday *137*

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we spotlight an upcoming book release we're especially looking forward to!

Here's my pick this week: 
The Bear and the Nightingale
by Katherine Arden
Expected Publication: July 17th 2017 by Del Rey

A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift - a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.
Russia! Snow! A Magical necklace! Wilderness! Darkness!- Gimme. Gimme. Gimme!!

This book sounds great even without knowing that it's inspired by Russian Fairytales, but that bit certainly was the icing on the cake for me. I'm not terribly familiar with Russian Folklore so this should be a treat. More than that though, I have a soft spot for stories set in the Winter, which makes this setting very appealing to me.  Oh and there's some kind of magical necklace. Eeeep! :D

Have you heard of The Bear and the Nightingale?
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hybrid Hogwarts Houses

Today I want to chat about Hogwart Houses and how sometimes expectations vs reality can lead to a minor identity crisis - for some people. *ahem*  Brace yourselves though, because I have a lot of ground to cover!

Hybrid Hogwarts Houses

I've mentioned previously how before Pottermore came out, I always thought I'd be sorted into Ravenclaw.  I adore reading (obviously) and was always at the top of my class in school.  Online quizzes had almost always sorted me in Ravenclaw (though I did get Gryffindor and Hufflepuff often enough) But then, the very first time I took the Pottermore sorting quiz, I got...Hufflepuff. Even though I love the Puffs, I was honestly stunned back then that I didn't get Ravenclaw...so much so that I took the quiz again. And again. And again.  Finally, I ended up with Slytherin once, Hufflepuff twice and Gryffindor three times for the win. OCD much? Yeah.

 


And then, we started doing Harry Potter Month back when Pottermore still had virtual Hogwarts, I went to login to play but I had forgotten my login info... so I had to retake the quiz. Surprise, surprise I got... Gryffindor.  Finally, when they relaunched the Sorting Hat Quiz recently after the PotterMore redesign, I figured: what have I got to lose?  I took the quiz again. GRYFFINDOR!  So it looks like I really am a Gryffindor. I'm not complaining, hello I'm IN HARRY's House! My all-time favorite hero. Not to mention Hermione, The Weasleys, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Sirius, Lupin...Still, I never thought I'd be a Gryffindor and the fact that I got Hufflepuff and Slytherin before Gryffindor (and never once got Ravenclaw) led to something of an existential crisis.


I mean, before Pottermore, I never questioned that I belonged in Ravenclaw. I've been extremely bookish since I was 5 years old and I was always at the top of my class in school.  The bottom line is, I never once got sorted into Ravenclaw and my OCD tendencies led to different sortings, so I felt like I could never be sure where my home at Hogwarts really was. Sure, I got Gryffindor the most, but I also got Hufflepuff quite a bit...and even Slytherin.

Recently, I found out that JKR had spoken out on Hybrid Houses and it got me thinking how I'm clearly a Hybrid! Those who know me in real life wouldn't be surprised by THAT in the least. So I found a bunch of online quizzes to that effect and took them all. 

Basically all the combination of Houses exist. The way to combine them is that first you have your dominant (primary) House and then your secondary House, which gives you your Hybrid House.  Here are the possible options:

Gryfferin, Gryffinclaw, Gryffinpuff, Hufflerin, Huffleclaw, Huffledor, Ravendor, Ravenpuff, Raverin, Slytherclaw, Slytherdor, Slytherpuff.

In my case, I'd obviously be a GryffinPuff right?  Since Pottermore sorted me the most in Gryffindor with Hufflepuff coming in second.  Well, after taking (and let's face it retaking) the quizzes, I was sorted into GryffinPuff and Gryffinclaw equally.  The tie-breaker is that one time I got HuffleClaw...which might not seem like I tie-breaker but since Hufflepuff came up first, I counted it as such.

GryffinPuff
with the runner up being GryffinClaw

So I guess I do have Ravenclaw traits...I just have more Gryffindor and Hufflepuff in me. And you know what? I'm more than ok with that now!  I've always had a soft spot for Hufflepuffs and let's be honest, being sorted into Gryffindor is THE DREAM.  I just never knew I had it in me ♥



Here are the links to  Quiz 1Quiz 2Quiz 3 for you all because I'd LOVE for you all to take them and share your Hybrid Houses with me.  What House were YOU sorted in? Was it the House you were expecting?  What is your Hybrid House? 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Why McGonagall is a BAMF

I've been wanting to write a post about Minerva McGonagall for ages but to be honest, words fail me when it comes to her awesomeness.  She's underappreciated I think and truth be told, I wish she'd gotten more time in the spotlight.  I could definitely go for a book series dedicated to her!  So, since I can't find all the right words, gifs should help:

Why McGonagall is a BAMF

Tough.As.Nails

I will never forget when she took multiple stunning spells to the chest in OotP...LIKE.A.BOSS.  I hated every single person who stunned her though but I like that it showed how amazing she is.

Understanding

Despite the fact that she's severe and no-nonsense, when people put all their cards on the table, she can be very sympathetic and understanding.

CAT ANIMAGUS

Defending the reputation of felines after that monster Umbridge tried to taint them McGonagall shows what it means to be feline. *high five*...or...er...*front paws up*

Loves and cares for Harry without showing favouritism.

McGonagall always had a soft spot for Harry...but she never let it show.  She always disciplined him when he needed to be but it was always clear that she cared a great deal for him.

Sports fan.
I adore how enthusiastic she is about Quidditch - breaking the mould for middle-aged women often seen in literature and the media.  GO, GO GRYFFINDOR!

Stands up to Umbridge
Among her best moments are when she stands up to that cow Umbridge, fearlessly, with class and with lots of attitude. The sass is strong with this one...

Serious

Her no-nonsense attitude ensures that you always know where you stand with her.  I've always loved people like that in real life so it's no surprise that I admire the trait in her.

Powerful

Beyond being tough, McGonagall is an exceptionally gifted witch.  Her duel with Snape is proof of that! Ah! To have known her in her prime!

Compassionate

McGonagall may not wear her heart on her sleeve, but she truly has tons of compassion. Being tough on the outside and soft on the inside is a skill very few have mastered....especially as well as this lady.

Independent.

Pottermore revealed some previously unknown history on McGonagall and her romantic past.  Reading through it all shows how fiercely independent she was, even at an early age.  Not to mention a feminist ♥

FAIR.

Through it all, McGonagall is FAIR. She may want Gryffindor to win but she'd never penalized other students purposely...like other teachers did >.>  *ahem*

Share some of your favorite McGonagall Moments with me :)


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Harry Potter Month: House Cup

3rd Annual Harry Potter Month
Hosted by Faith @ Geeky Zoo Girl and Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews
As you may have heard, Faith & I are hosting Harry Potter Month 3.0 - throughout the month of July, we'll celebrate all things Harry Potter! Your content can be pretty much anything, as long as it relates to the Harry Potter fandom in some way. There's still time to join up so feel free to visit our announcement post and comment here to join.

If you're here, I take it that you want to participate in The House Cup! Both Faith and I have matching House Cup posts up today so you can sign up on her post or mine.  The House Cup is where anyone who wants to participate in Harry Potter Month chooses their House and then your participation in Harry Potter Month will earn your House points. The House with the most points at the end of July wins the House Cup! So here's how it works:

  1. Post a comment below with which House you'd like to be in (we'll list those already sorted into their Houses below).
  2. Have fun doing any of the tasks below.
  3. Come back to Faith OR my POST as often as you like and comment with the points you've earned and we'll add them to your Houses total weekly.
  4. Once a week we'll recap the points and who's in the lead and then on August 2nd, we'll announce the House Cup Winners.
  5. Have fun!
Enough with the rules, just tell us how to earn points!

- Read Harry Potter fanfiction: 1 point per chapter (let us know which in the comments!)
- Leave a comment on any Harry Potter month post: 2 points
- Watching a HP documentary: 3 points
- Write HP fanfiction: 5 points per chapter
- Watch one of the films: 5 points
- Reading one of the Hogwarts Library/Companion books: 6 points
- Post as part of Harry Potter month: 10 points
- Take part in HP Moment of the Week: 10 points
- Make a Harry Potter craft/recipe: 15 points
- Host a giveaway: 15 points
- Read one of the books: 20 points

** Tasks can be combined (within reason!) E.g.  If you write a fanfiction chapter (3 points) and then post about it (10 points), you can combine to get 13 points overall (but you can’t post four times about the same fanfiction chapter and claim the points four times!) **

How do I update my points?

Just leave a comment below with your name, house and any points you’ve earned since you last commented.  Something like this would do perfectly:

Micheline, Gryffindor
6 comments = 12 points
1 post = 10 points
Both mine and Faith's House Cup posts will be the place to leave your points as you earn them, so bookmark one of them for easy reference.  We'll each take turns every week and tally the points as we go, so everyone stays up to date!  No cheating by posting the same points on both blogs though please, let's keep this fair and fun for everyone ;)

 Is there a prize?

One participant will win a book of their choice (up to £10) from The Book Depository (assuming you’re in one of the countries they deliver to) OR a £10 Amazon.co.uk gift card – their choice.  For every house point you earn, you’ll get one entry into the prize draw.  You can sign up for the cup until the 24th of July, and you’ve got until midnight BST on the 1st of August to comment with your points for them to count.  We'll announce the winner on August 3rd via Twitter and/or email.

Participants


Gryffindor
Micheline - 284
Amanda - 93
Nori - 8


Hufflepuff
Alex - 275


Ravenclaw
Jaclyn  - 210
Farida - 138
Lee - 143


Slytherin
Faith  - 97
Sarah  - 22
Christina - 231
Lola -  50


*Someone suggested we add a Linky to the master posts here, so that people can easily hop around from here as well as from the schedule, so that you’re in the same place to collect your points once you’ve commented. Both Faith and I have the same Linky up so no need to post on each blog! Please add your HP month posts below but make sure you’re linking directly to a post though, to make it easy for people to keep track of what they’ve commented on already etc*

Fandom Mashup #63

Fandom Mashups
Fandom Mashups is an original feature here at Lunar Rainbows Reviews.  The idea is that every week, I propose a unique fictional scenario and then build my personal dream team of five fictional characters from five different fandoms to complete the task!  Anyone is welcome to join in on the fandom fun - all I ask is that you link back to me somewhere in your post :)

Hello friends and happy Sunday! I hope everyone packed their bags because we're going on a fandom trip today:

You've been busy travelling into other realms in your adventuring - which characters are you hoping to run into?

Harry Potter

In the spirit of Harry Potter Month, I couldn't resist putting this guy first. (And let's be honest, I would have put him first regardless)

Sabriel (The Old Kingdom)


Sabriel is such a beloved new favorite of mine.  Sure her world is scary and she's a (good) Necromancer, but I still couldn't pass up meeting her!

Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo is fun, brave and who wouldn't want to go on an adventure with him? Or, you know, just stay in with good food and good books :)

The Doctor

LOOK.AT.THAT.FACE.  Tell me you don't want to hang out with this guy. I dare you! *glares* No worries if you don't though really (more for me LOL!)

Rhysand (ACOTAR)

Gimme, gimme, gimme!  I love Rhysand for obvious reasons but also because his homeland is GLORIOUS and I want to live there!

Bonus (because let's face it, I couldn't stop at 5):


Kaladin (Stormlight Archive)

I FREAKING LOVE THIS GUY.  Like serious hero-worship LOVE.  He's just coming into his own but man or man, this guy is EPIC.

Aelin

Couldn't leave my precious out now could I?  Sure her world is scary at the moment but when my fire-breathing bitch-queen is done with it, it'll be remade.  Oh and she's a BAMF.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Harry Potter House Cup Update

Our 3rd  week of Harry Potter Month is officially in the books so it's time for another House Cup Points update! All the points have been added to the main House Cup post and I've left a comment below so everyone can clearly see where I've added up to for the week.  Any points reported after my last comment will be tallied up next week :)

So for the third week (July 16th - 22nd), the points are as follows:

In first place: Gryffindor with 195 points (!!)
In second place: Hufflepuff with 188 points (!!)
In third place: Ravenclaw with 158 points
In fourth place: Slytherin with 99 points

Bringing our totals so far to:

In first place: Ravenclaw with 491 points(!!)
In second place: Gryffindor with 351 points
In third place: Slytherin with 350 points
In fourth place: Hufflepuff with 275 points



Where the points came from this week:
  • 18 posts
  • 137 comments (WOW!)
  • 4 books read + 1 novella = 5 total
  • 8 film watched
  • 3 years of Lego Harry Potter completed
  • 2 craft
The top point earners this week was Alex with 188 points proving that the Puffs don't need any help to get the job done! Way to go Alex - wow!  Second place was me (whaa?) with 145 points.  Congrats EVERYONE for such an fantastic third week :D

With 1 week left to go so there is still plenty of time to rack up some points for your House and change the game! By the end of previous Harry Potter Months, over 1000 points had been earned so anything is possible with the final standings. Keep on keeping track of your points over on the officially House Cup Post and good luck with the last week!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: Calling on Dragons

Calling on Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Enchanted Forest Chronicles #3
Published March 1st 2003 by HMH Books

"We need to see King Mendanbar and Queen Cimorene right away. . . ."

They're back! Except Princess Cimorene is now Queen Cimorene of the Enchanted Forest, and she is on a very important mission with Kazul the dragon king, Morwen the witch, Telemain the magician, two cats, and a blue, flying donkey-rabbit named Killer. It's not going to be easy.

The wizards have become very smart (sort of) and have found a way to capture the most powerful source of magic in the Enchanted Forest --- King Mendanbar's sword. If the sword is not returned to the forest in due time, the forest will begin to die. And you can bet your last dragon scale that Cimorene won't stand for that!
Calling on Dragons is the third book in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles and once again introduces us to a new POV. This time though, instead of a wholly new character like with King Mendenbar in book two, we get up close and personal with my favorite character in the series, Morwen the Witch. Needless to say, I was thrilled to get to know her better, especially since it meant that this time, we'd also get to ''hear'' her witchy felines when they speak (since she's the only one who can understand them). This book sees the return of troublesome wizards, dragons, magic and a host of new characters - some of which were ok, but others, not so much...

Things start off at Morwen's and her nine cats on full display, all with unique and frankly hilarious personalities.  I don't think you need to like cats to enjoy their banter and sass they have on display here. They're not usual cats, they're magical which means they can get up to all sorts of mischief.  You all know me and my love for cats though, so magical cats with sass was the highlight of Calling on Dragons for me, along with Morwen and the dragons of course ♥

As it was with the second book, it isn't long until Morwen joins up with Queen Cimorene, King Mendenbar, Telemain and Kazul the dragon, only this time they're joined by a talking rabbit named Killer, that ends up on the wrong end of a spell and is turned into a donkey (I don't consider this a spoiler since he's right there on the cover.) I don't know if it's because the narrator had an annoying voice - I know Killer was meant to be annoying but his part of the story drove me to distraction. I could not stand him.  When the characters set off on their quest, Morwen leaves most of her cats behind but brings the rabbit/donkey along and I wished more than anything that he'd have stayed behind instead.  All the different cat personalities were enchanting but Killer was the opposite. Maybe reading his whining wouldn't have been as bad as listening to it... but I doubt he would have been pleasant either way O.O

My other issue here was that in this instalment our Princess turned wedded-Queen Cimorene is pregnant. And this might make me sound like a monster, but I don't like reading about weddings and pregnancies...I just have no interest in that. Luckily author Patricia C. Wrede made sure that Cimorene lost none of her feistiness because of it and she wasn't playing the poor helpless card either. She still set off on the quest, insisted no one fuss on her or treat her differently. Her pregnancy wasn't a big deal in the end and luckily, it was portrayed positively. 

The bottom line with Calling on Dragons is that while it still maintains it's humor - the cats were ALL brilliant and I loved getting to know Morwen better -  it seems less fun than the previous instalments. It also seemed more repetitive this time around.  The addition of Killer was a definitely hindrance too - I suppose younger readers might find him funny, but I doubt I would have felt any different towards him in my youth personally.  All in all the fact that these are short reads high on fantasy still make them worth the time in my opinion, but this one is my least favorite in the series so far.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

My reviews for the rest of the series: