Monday, May 25, 2015

Let's Discuss...(2)

Let's Discuss...
Let's Discuss...is a new feature here on Lunar Rainbows Reviews, inspired by many of my fellow bloggers and their discussion posts.  For my posts, I'll be discussing random bookish and fandom topics.


Hi everyone! Look at me, already back with my second discussion post *pats self on the back* As you guys are reading this, I'll be busy taking part in my annual roadtrip to NYC to attend BEA'15. Eeeep!  I'll be checking in when I can and updating as I go, so if you don't follow me already via Twitter and Instagram, you can do so now for news and general fangirling. Anyway, let's get to discussing! If anyone missed my first discussion post and would like to check it out, you can see it here. And if not, no worries :) let's move on to today's topic. I want to know:

Are you a fan of rereading and/or rewatching?  

In case any of you didn't already know, I am a HUGE fan of both rereading/rewatching and today I want to tell you why. To be honest, I've never really understood people who are totally against rereading and rewatching because there are SO.MANY.REASONS. why I love it! When you experience a beloved story a second time (or third, fourth, fifth...) you get to appreciate the details of a beloved story so much more. It allows you to:

You catch details, plot points and all the foreshadowing that you probably didn't notice the first time because you were too excited/nervous.


Funny story: When I first finished the last book in the Harry Potter series, I immediately closed Deathly Hallows, walked over to my shelf and picked up Philosopher's Stone and started the whole thing all over again. I NEEDED to know if all the twists and turns that went down in that last book had been hinted at beforehand.  I also WANTED to see how many hints I'd missed. It's like a had a glorious puzzle solved before me but I had to go back and investigate every single piece and make sure it all fit juuuust right. Of course it did, but it was so much fun seeing those hints a second time around and being like: A-HA!

You get to relive all the feels-y moments and shatter your soul all over again. You know, if you're into that...

There's something you all should know about me: I have a very hard time letting go of the things I love.  And after spending so long with Harry and the gang, or Celaena or those Raven Boys well, I really struggle with saying goodbye and moving on with my life. I miss the characters and the world terribly. A part of me always longs to torture myself all over again with the good, the bad and everything in between.

You could just be masochistic and enjoy making yourself suffer. I know I sure do!

It might be just me, but I find that a lot of the time, when you revisit a beloved story through books, television or film, the emotional impact is even stronger the second time around.  You'd think that because of part of you knows what's going to happen you'd be prepared and just go with it. Well, you'd be wrong.  I didn't cry the first time I read through the Harry Potter Series, or the first time I watched Doctor Who or Sherlock or Supernatural.  But let me tell you that the next time(s), I bawled like a baby.  For some reason, knowing what's going to happen makes it worse and I love that a story can have that kind of an effect one me. 


Revisiting favorite fictional worlds, because reality sucks.

I don't reread as much now that I have the blog, for lack of time BUT I have been craving a Harry Potter reread something fierce.  I haven't gone back in like 5 years, which is unheard of, since I used to reread the entire series every year.  I do know that when all the books in my current favorite series are out (namely Throne of Glass, The Stormlight Archive and The Raven Cycle) that I WILL sit back and reread them in their entirety. And if there are still too many feels, I'll just start up all over again. It's the next best thing to being able to cross over and live in their world.  If I can't up and head for Hogwarts orAdarlan or Roshar, well you can be sure I'll revisit their worlds the only way available to me.


You ALWAYS miss things the first time around....and I don't want to miss a thing!

As I mentioned above there, to me stories just pack a bigger emotional punch the second time around, when you know the characters better and care for them more. There's a bit more to it than that though.  And it's quite simple: No matter how diligent and attentive you are, you always miss stuff the first time around. In the case of a book, well you can be eager to see how a big twist is going to play out and miss some small detail or hint of something to come. If you're watching a show or movie, well you can start talking about what just went down and then you miss something else, or your phone goes off or what have you.  In those small moments you can miss A LOT. A clue, a joke, a stolen moment. Anything. I can't count the number of times I reread/rewatched and gone: OMG I totally missed that last time!  It's such a treat...if you're geeky and obsessive like me, anyway.


So for all of those reasons and more, I am a huge fan of rereading and rewatching.  Now I want to know: Do you reread/rewatch? If so, what are your reasons for doing so? Did I miss any good ones? And if you don't reread/rewatch, let me know why in the comments below :)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Fandom Mashups #3

Fandom Mashups
Fandom Mashups is a new original feature here at Lunar Rainbows Reviews and it's basically my way of creating dream teams of all my fandoms and having some fun with them.  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 and whip up a post - all I ask is that you link back to me somewhere in your post :)


Hi everyone! It's time for another edition of Fandom Mashups :)  This week's topic is:

It's the apocalypse! Eeep!  Who do you want with you as you face off with the end of days?


Celaena Sardothien

Hell yeah. If I'm facing the end of the world, I want THE baddest chick in life at my side^^ Celaena would probably save the world all on her own, but for the sake of this post, I'm still going to make up my team. No offence to Adarlan's greatest Assassin *bows before her awesomeness*

Aragorn

This guy was able to basically stop the end of days in Middle Earth. Sure he had help, but at the end there he led everyone to where they needed to be and he got the job done.  He's a gifted fighter with a heart of gold and a true leader through and through.


Harry Potter

Can you imagine that I made it all the way to my 3rd Fandom post and this is the first time I've had my hero of heroes show up?! Shocking!  In any case, The Boy Who Lived basically faced the Apocalypse of the Wizarding World so if I have to face it too, I want him there with me.

Dean Winchester

I went with his brother^^ last week, and I figured that this week was Dean's turn.  He's been to hell, purgatory and has faced the end of the world more times that I can count and he always comes back swinging. I probably wouldn't want him around in the state he was in through most of season 10, but nonetheless, I know he'd kick some serious ass.

Linh Cinder

Again, she's basically facing the end of the world in The Lunar Chronicles, but more to the point, I have a feeling the her cyborgness (what? that's totally a word! screw you auto-correct) would really come in handy - even if technology took a hit for the worst.  She never gives up and she's there for her friends when they need her, which would be a must.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: The Archived

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Archived #1
Published January 22nd 2013 by Hyperion

The dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead, called 'Histories', rest in the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper is dangerous and a constant reminder of those she lost, Da and her little brother. Mac wonders about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. Yet someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.
The Archived is without a doubt one of the most original stories I have ever come across. Considering the fact that I read a lot of epic-fantasy, that^^ is saying something. Truth be told, I've had this book on my tbr shelf since it first came out, before I even had a clue who author Victoria (V.E.) Schwab was, but true to form, she delivered yet another memorable and creative story that is sure to linger in your head for days, even weeks after you've read the last page.

The Archived is, at it's core, a mystery. Sure it has sci-fi elements, given the fact that there's this other part of our world where the dead are kept in archive - and yet another part that's sort of in between our world and the Archive (called the Narrows) where the dead 'memories' can escape to if they awaken - but at it's basest level, this is a mystery, and a good one at that. I don't want to give anything away so I won't say more, other than it certainly did a good job of keeping me guessing right till the very end, which is no small feat, especially for a young adult book.  As a naturally curious person, I found myself literally driven to distraction trying to figure out all of it's secrets from the very first pages. Told in present tense, with shorter flashbacks scattered throughout, the construction of the plot itself felt like it was made to keep readers guessing; something that it accomplished beautifully.

Truth be told, I found the pacing to be quite slow moving fat the start there. I was intrigued, fascinated even by the world I was discovering as well as its characters, but most of what was going on was introductions. The story itself didn't feel like it was moving forward  much and I kept waiting for the actual plot to reveal itself. But then, when I got passed that first 40%, the plot really picked up and things started to fall into place. At that point, I could not put the book down to save my life. I plowed through the remaining 60% in no time flat and despite a few lingering questions, I was largely satisfied with the story.

The Archived features a relatively small cast, which I tend to enjoy.  It just feels like you get to know everyone so much easier and makes for a more personal read. Mackenzie, our protagonist was chosen to work for the Archive.  She can travel between the Outer (our reality) to the Narrows and the Archive. She basically hunts down any histories - basically ghosts or memories of people who have died - and returns them to the Archive, where they are kept.  Because of her job, she can also read objects, which I though was especially cool. All she has to do is touch an object, search within for a thread of memory and then she reels back time, like rewinding a film and she can see the past imprinted on any given object. It's a gift that can help her know more about any woken or escaped histories and track them down...but it can also get her into trouble. And it does.  I thought that Mackenzie as a character was wonderful. A bit lost and alone, but a fighter through it all. I understood her curiosity, especially with what was going on in her life, so I felt a lot for her. I finished the book wishing that we could be friends and to me, those are the best sorts of characters. Character-wise, there's also Wesley, a neighbor of Mackenzie's, which soon becomes a friend and confidante.  Wesley was a real treat, I loved his humor and how offbeat he was.  Another notable character was Roland, one of the people working in the actual Archive. He was a bit more mysterious but captivating all the same and I won't say more on him, because, spoilers!

I think what struck me the most about The Archived was the setting and atmosphere. Because we're dealing with 'Histories' which are basically sleeping ghosts, the Archive itself always had this sort of hushed tone that clung to everything in this story. Even the Narrows where the Histories go to when they wake was relatively quiet, despite the fact that there was a lot of action going on there when it came to actually recapturing the Histories. Considering that this was a pretty intense mystery, the inherent quiet sort of became it's own character here and it gave everything an eerie calm.

Looking back, I could have used more information on the Histories and their reason for being. It was mentioned that the dead were kept this way to preserve memories, but what were they doing with these memories remains a mystery. Hopefully there will be more information on that front in The Unbound, or even the upcoming, as of yet untitled third book. There was also a couple of romances or potential romances here, which felt a bit out of place for some reason, and I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because there were two of them, and one very abrupt, but it didn't really bother me all that much. It just didn't quite fit in as nicely as the other aspects of the book.

All things considered, The Archived was a great read. I'm already looking forward to discovering more about this world and it's characters. Definitely recommended for fans of sci-fi mysteries, as well as fans of Victoria Schwab.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Harry Potter MotW #91

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a  meme hosted by Leah @ Uncorked Thoughts  and Me @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!  How to join up &  upcoming topics here.


If You Could Open a Shop on Diagon Alley, What Would It Be and Why?

Ollivander's



For a long time I've said that being a Wandmaker would be my dream job within the Wizarding World, so it stands to reason that if I could open up a store in Diagon Alley, it would be a wand shop. I would absolutely adore crafting and selling wands for bright young wizards and witches! And since Ollivander himself is pretty much retired by the end of the series, I might as well just reopen his shop and get going on that dream of mine. ;)

Don't forget to add your link below so we can all hop over!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #23

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which features a variety of bookish top ten lists!

This week is a free week which means we get to chose the topic. I've decided to revisit an older topic I previously missed, so this week I'm dishing on:

Top Ten Books/Series That Will Make You Swoon


ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas - This book is the perfect example of how ALL romances should develop. Slowly and tantalizingly. The chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin builds at the perfect pace and when things finally start happening, you're left breathless and begging for more.

The Raven Cycle - Here we have a series is all about forbidden romances, stolen moments, secret looks, and almost kisses... with all of the pent up romantic longing. Gah! With so little actual romance going on you'd think it didn't belong on this list. But you'd be wrong ;)

The Fever Series - This adult UF series takes steamy to a whole other level, with some of THE steamiest moments I've ever read about. Not to mention, the fine specimen that is Barrons. Sigh.

The Wrath and the Dawn - This debut had another dose of forbidden love, which it seems that I'm a big fan of LOL! If that alone doesn't get you the rich, sensual setting surely will.

The Charley Davidson Series - There is lots of hotness to be had here in another of my favorite adult UF series, not to mention one of the sexiest fictional men around. He's the son of Satan himself, which means he's the ultimate bad boy. Yum.




The Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy - These gems have one of the best takes on the star crossed lovers trope that I have ever heard of. Soulmates with a love that endures beyond lifetimes. By the way, I'm aware that the above statement could work for any of the three swoony couples that evolve within the series. *swoon*

The Covenant Series - Sure this series features the dreaded love-triangle, (dun, dun DUN!) but when both guys are impossible to resist (for a while, at least), it can be entertaining all the same. Triangulations aside, there is a pretty clear front runner here and he is a total dream come true, I kid you not.

Every Breath - If a younger Sherlock Holmes getting all hot and heavy with a female Watson is your thing (and how could it not be?), you're in for a treat here! And if it's not, then why are we even talking?!

Crown of Midnight - The entire Throne of Glass books has it's swoon-worthy moments - hell, even the novellas - but CoM was the one that nearly killed me. C+C for EVER!!! Please?! THIS SHIP MUST SAIL.

Fangirl - Teenaged me would have fawned over Levi, even though he almost messed it up for a second there. As it is, the adult me swooned for him all the same. His bringing Cath out of her shell was glorious to behold.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fandom Mashups #2

Fandom Mashups
Fandom Mashups is a new original feature here at Lunar Rainbows Reviews and it's basically my way of creating dream teams of all my fandoms and having some fun with them.  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 and whip up a post - all I ask is that you link back to me somewhere in your post :)


Hi everyone and welcome to my 2nd Fandom Mashup post (if you missed the intro, you can check it out here). I apologize that this post is one day late already but, in my defence, it's a long weekend here in Canada soooo yesterday tricked me into thinking it was Saturday O.O. In any case, here we are! Just like last week, I decided to go with a simpler topic to sort of get the ball rolling before we get into the trickier stuff ;) Oh and in case you missed it, I added a tab to my blog with upcoming topics, for those of you who wanted to know the topics in advance :) Alright, so this week's fictional topic is:

You have to study for a HUGE test. Who do you want on your study team?

The Doctor 

Specifically, the Tenth incarnation. Why? Because he's brilliant, clever as they come, and he gets things done, so I know he wouldn't let me give up until I'd be ready to ace that test. There is the unavoidable side effect that my MAJOR crush on him would distract from my studies, but seeing as this is my fantasy, he'd totally take me on as a companion after our study-session so I could moon over him as much as I want. ♥

Sherlock Holmes

Yet another brilliant (and swoon-inducing) british genius for my team. Not only would Sherlock's brilliance help me prepare for any eventuality the test could take, but he could probably deduce the hell out of my teacher and be able to predict exactly what questions would be on the test! 

Lisa Simpson

Lisa Simpson is my spirit animal. I love her to pieces, but in this case, I want her in my team because she's super smart, a whiz at studying and lethally organized. Plus she's cute as a button so she'd make me happy to be around. And a happy camper is a productive camper ;)

Hermione Granger

This one's another no brainer, right? Despite showing up in last week's post, I couldn't help but pick little miss brainiac for me team again this week.  Hermione knows the answer to EVERYTHING.  And if she doesn't, she won't quit until she finds it out. Sure she might annoy me with her bossiness after a while, but I totally ace the test with her help^^

Sam Winchester

Sammy's a pro at research to be sure, which would be a total time saver. Don't let his good looks fool you either, this guy's as big a nerd as any of my other choices. Again he might be just as distracting (to look at) as he is helpful, but I'm willing to take that chance...just to have him, Ten and Sherlock in the same room XD

What do you think of my study buddy team?
Let me know & don't forget to link up your own posts!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #4)
Published August 1st 2012 by St. Martin's Press

Welcome to the world of grim reaper extraordinaire Charley Davidson. Try as she might, there’s no avoiding her destiny.

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above...or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. But the more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.

Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans in this hilarious fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling series.
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is my fourth encounter with the always awesome Charley Davidson, and just like every other time before, her escapades and snark manages to entertain me to no end. These books are sort of my guilty-pleasure series, except that I don't really feel guilty about them if that makes sense?  I'm much too busy having fun, laughing my ass off and enjoying the *ahem* steamier moments ;)

The thing I love the most about this series is that it's such an eclectic mixture of genres. Sure, it's an adult urban fantasy, but it also other stuff expertly blended into the mix there. These books are part mystery, part detective fiction, part supernatural and part romance all blended into one exciting adventure. In Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, we get all of those aspects, and then some. It's like the author took your everyday mystery and weaved the less 'standard' plot points into it.  For example: Charley could go to question a suspect in a stalker case and then she'd casually drops in for a visit with a ghost she's friends with. Said ghost might just live next to a biker gang headquarters, which are also friends of Charley's. After that, there might be a chat with her best friend and assistant regarding her next lead, or just some snarky back and forth about caffeine binges and/or attractive men. And then, Charley might just run into her crush - who just happens to be the son of Lucifer himself. See? It's so perfectly random and insane but yet, all of those elements just fit together. Somehow, it all works incredibly well!

Things kick off with poor Charley dealing with the traumatic events that took place at the end of Third Grave Dead Ahead. Or rather, not dealing. Charley has a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder which was beautifully and heartbreakingly portrayed by author Darynda Jones. Miss Jones clearly did her research on PTSD because there were no quick fixes or easy answers for Charley.  She struggled with ordinary activities like leaving her house, going to work, and taking care of herself. And to be honest, as sad as it all was, after what transpired in the previous book, I was glad to see that Charley dealt as any human being would have, if they had been in her shoes.

To balance out the heavier emotional charge, I was delighted to see that Charley kept her humor and her snarkiness in check.  Charley's attitude and outlook on life is, bottom line, what drew me into this series and what keeps me coming back for more. Despite being a grim reaper, and, dealing with some seriously messed up stuff, Charley maintains a wonderful sense of humor and a sunny disposition that always makes me smile. She's sarcastic as hell too though, which gives her just the right edge. Case in point: Charley had previously named her jeep and her boobs (ha!) which is sort of a running gag in the series, but this time around she attempted to name her couch, and we find out that she calls her brain Barbara, her skull, Fred and her heart? Betty White - which led to some hilarious moments throughout Fourth Grave.  I so want to be friends with this girl!

However, it did feel like Charley seemed a bit more oblivious to what I felt was staring at her in the face this time around. Whether it was regarding Reyes, her father or her fears and latest supernatural enemies. It was understandable with her PTSD though, considering how she'd become a pro at avoiding anything uncomfortable, but still, I found myself wishing she'd clue in a bit quicker at times. And speaking of Reyes. Sigh. Well, Reyes is still beyond dreamy. Sure he's a total alpha and there are times when he says or does some things that irk me... but overall he's pretty damn dreamy and his character develops quite a bit here, which really fit in nicely with Charley and her own progression.

All things considered, I had a blast with Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet. It was a bit darker than it's predecessors, but I'm all for that. Things never run the risk of getting too dark, thanks to the wonderfully humorous way Miss Darynda Jones writes our beloved Charley.  If you're a fan of mysteries + adult paranormals and have yet to get into this series, what are you waiting for?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
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