Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday *117*

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 what I'm waiting on this week:

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Passenger #1
Expected Publication: January 5th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.
Full disclosure: I actually nabbed a copy of this one at BEA this year, but I have a rule about not reading an ARC until closer to the release date, so technically, I am still waiting on this one! I have yet to read Miss Bracken's Darkest Minds Trilogy, but I own do the first book and I hope to get to it very, very soon.  Regardless, I have nothing but excitement for Passenger. Why? Two words: Time. Travel. YAASS!! Plus the descriptions of ''A journey across centuries'', a mystery and a ship?! I'm so there.

Thoughts on Passenger?
Oh and what are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fandom Mashup #21

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 all! I hope that everyone is having a fabulous weekend :) Fall is officially here and I have to say that I'm pretty psyched about it. As much as I do enjoy the sun, the sand and the surf, our recent Summer trend over here has been LOTS of humidity and for someone who has migraines like me, humid temperatures aren't my friend.  I'm looking forward to colourful leaves, cooler climates and snuggling up with a good book without feeling guilty for not taking advantage of the sunshine XD Alright, let's get to this week's topic:

An evil King has taken up the mantle and declared that he is the supreme ruler of all. Who's going to help you overthrow him?

Aelin Galathynius

For those who've read Queen of Shadows, you'll understand my need to give a shout-out to Aelin here.  I can think of no one else better suited to overthrow a foul, tyrannical king. Plus I have even more mad love for the girl now, she she needed to be on this list.

Kaladin Stormblessed

Kaladin knows a thing or two about leaders who shouldn't be in power. All that thirst for justice paired with a desire to usurp those who don't deserve their throne should make Kaladin the perfect candidate in this scenario. Even if his history with corrupt leaders didn't go that well in The Way of Kings, he's still an ideal choice ;)


Do I even need to explain this one?! Ok for those of you who still haven't read Mistborn *glares*, let's just say that Vin has some experience with these matters. And her skill set makes her a must for our team!

 Lihn Cinder

Two weeks in a row for Miss Cinder! Well, it couldn't be helped. Cinder definitely knows how things go down when a crazy person decides to put themselves in power. Her expertise on the matter would come in handy for sure.

Katniss Everdeen

Aaaand one final expert on the matter. Katniss totally has experience in overthrowing corrupt forces. Her tactical know-how and familiarity with planning such a coup would be the perfect addition to our team.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Review: Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1
Published August 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
*Buddy read with Lee over at Rally the Readers*

Shiver is a book that I didn't really pay much attention to when it first came out. At the time, I was still very much on the Twilight bandwagon, and the comparisons between Twilight and Shiver made me weary. And then, when I was over my Twilight phase, I couldn't really see myself getting into a similar story. Granted back then, I wasn't familiar with my beloved Maggie Stiefvater. If I had been, I would have picked this series up in a heartbeat. Naturally, now that I have ALL THE LOVE AND FEELS for The Raven Cycle and Stiefvater's SWOONY prose I felt compelled to try out the series, which might just ease the pain as we wait for The Raven King's release. I'm delighted to report that Shiver managed to sink it's teeth into me and delivered even more than I had expected.

Right from the first pages, I was reminded of all of the reasons why I love Stiefvater's writing. Shiver was gorgeously atmospheric and lyrical right from the start.  The writing had this delicious way of making you feel as though you were right there, experiencing everything with it's two main characters, Sam and Grace.  The ambience, the cold and the vivid setting drew me in easily and the gorgeous prose kept my attention glued to the pages as I plunged into a world of wolves, wilderness and romance. The story flowed easily and naturally so that before I realized what was happening, I felt surrounded by it, even when I wasn't reading.

Admittedly, it took me a while to warm up to the romance in Shiver. At first glance, it had a hint of insta-love to it that I couldn't quite shake.  It seemed like very suddenly, Grace and Sam were in a romantic relationship and I wasn't sure how I felt about their devotion to each other.  But then, as I continued on with the story and as I thought about it when I wasn't reading, I realized that given their history, it made sense for their relationship to evolve the way it had. In reality, they'd know each other for years!  Naturally, it wasn't long until my minor misgivings were forgotten and I was completely invested in all aspects of the story, including the romance. I ship it guys. I ship it hard. Sam and Grace might be teens, but to me they read more like young adults which I really appreciated. They didn't have to change or sacrifice what makes them Sam and Grace in order to be with one another.  And unlike most YA paranormal romances, Sam didn't come off possessive or stalkerish with Grace whatsoever. Their relationship was one of the healthiest I've come across in YA paranormals to date!

The actual paranormal aspects of the story were delivered in a fresh and innovative fashion. Here, the wolves transformation isn't dependant on lunar cycles, but instead it's dependant on temperature. Warmth makes them human, while cold turns them into wolves. Additionally, each 'werewolf' only has a finite number of transformations back and forth between wolf and human. Eventually, the person is lost forever and only the wolf remains. I thought it was a great way to spice up a familiar trope and I applaud Maggie Stiefvater for taking werewolves and making them her own.  Now that I have read Shiver, I feel like the comparisons to Twilight have been a little unfair. Other than the atmospheric setting and star-crossed romance, there were little other similarities between the two.  I mean, if you enjoyed Twilight back in the day, odds are that you'll probably enjoy Shiver, but if I'm being honest, Shiver constantly felt like the superior, better-written story out of the two.

As much as a part of me regrets having waited this long to finally read Shiver, I'm still thrilled that I now have read it. It managed to make a fan out of me, even well passed my YA paranormal romance phase.  If you're a fan of gorgeous prose, absorbing settings and paranormal romances - and you still haven't read Shiver - I highly recommend that you check it out. I'd also say the same for fans of anything by Maggie Stiefvater! As it stands, I already can't wait to dive into Linger ;)

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Harry Potter Moment #109

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.

Which Books Would You Recommend to Harry?

The Hunger Games - so he could see how things could actually be even worse. I mean, I want to live in the Wizarding World, even if it meant fighting against ol' Voldy. I do not want to live in Panem, like, at all O.O

Throne of Glass - so he could realize that there are things even scarier than Voldemort - seriously, there's some dark and scary shit going on now with Heir of Fire and especially Queen of Shadows. *shudders*

The Way of Kings - to inspire him and to show how a hero can be worse off than he is. Kaladin is one of my favorite heroes of all time but he makes Harry's childhood seem like a walk in the park. Yikes!

Lord of the Rings - because The One Ring is basically a Horcrux and it might give him some ideas/inspiration as to how to retrieve a Horcrux, how to handle it AND how to destroy it. And well, wearing a Horcrux doesn't seem to have a lasting effect - not like wearing The Ring >.<

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #34

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!

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

The Alloy of Law - which I actually am currently reading after far too long a wait! (I needed time to heal..) I am thrilled to be back in the Mistborn World ♥

Truthwitch - I wanted to wait closer to the release date when I got this one over the Summer but Fall is likely the limit of how long I'll wait ;)

Every Word - As soon as the mood to read a swoony contemporary romance/mystery hits, I'll be all over this one.

Winter - YES. As soon as my pre-order for this baby arrives in my mailbox, I'll be diving straight in without a second though!

The Lies of Locke Lamora - I actually sort of started this one as part of a read-along a few months ago, but my schedule was too crazy to make it very far. I will be fixing that soon.

The Eye of the World - As intimidating as this series is, I *have* to start sometime, and now seems as good a time as any to see what all the fuss is about ;)

Linger - After finally reading and loving Shiver, I can't wait to see what's in store for Sam and Grace in Linger.

Lirael - Sabriel was one of my absolute favorite reads this year, so much so that I can't believe that I haven't already picked up Lirael!

Dark Triumph - I've heard that the sequel to Grave Mercy is even better than the first book, which means I really need to check it out before I forget any details.

The Casual Vacancy - This one has been on my TBR and making appearances in lists like these for far too long. I NEED to read it.

Have you read any of these? Thoughts?
What's on your Fall TBR?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fandom Mashup #20

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 all! I hope your weekend is going wonderfully! It's been unseasonably warm all week here - seriously, like Summer 2.0 - but today is looking cooler and greyer. Might be the perfect day to snuggle up with a good book. Or, you know, rewatch last night's premiere episode of Doctor Who Series 9 :D  Moving on, is everyone all set for another Fandom Mashup topic? I have to apologize though because this week's topic seems a tad uninspired...

Your car breaks down on the side of the road. Who do you call to help fix it?

Dean Winchester

Right?! Dean is totally the grease monkey of the Winchesters. While a lot of times, the two brother's skills are interchangeable, this is one instance where Dean is the obvious choice^^ Plus, the love story of Dean and his 1967 Chevy Impala, who he named 'Baby' is one that I ship, so there's that LOL


Sure, he wrecks his fair share of vehicles, but Batman knows cars. His Batmobile is a testament to that and Bruce Wayne knows how to take care of his wheels. He'd have to, since he spends even more time destroying  XD

Linh Cinder

Could this topic even exist without Cinder? I don't think it could! A mechanic + a cyborg is a tough combination to beat. Hopefully she'll still have time for tinkering despite her growing Princess duties...

Luke Skywalker

If Luke Skywalker can fix up a lightsaber, droids, a spaceship and an Empire, I'm pretty sure he could handle a car. And if not, well we'll pass the time by doing cool lightsaber tricks and learning the ways of the Force.

Jax Teller

Jax Teller might be trouble with a capital 'T' but son could fix up a vehicle like nobody's business. If it's got wheels on it, Jax can fix it. Plus he'd be pretty easy on the eyes doing just that!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Review: Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass #4
Published September 1st 2015 by Bloomsbury

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
Queen of Shadows. Queen of motherfucking Shadows. There is literally nothing in the world that I could say that could even remotely do the thing justice. I have no words. To say that this book is a turning point in the series would be an understatement.  This is where everything in the Throne of Glass Series changes. All bets are off. Characters are transformed. New terrors are revealed. Ships are sunk and new ships are built in their wake. This book is just more of everything. More intense. More violent. More addictive. More terrifying. More swoony. More gut-wrenching. More epic. More.More.More. Strap yourselves in people, you're in for one hell of a ride!

Queen of Shadows picks up right on the heels of Heir of Fire, which ended with all of our beloved characters being transformed, in one way or another. I suppose that it was only natural that, after all of the ordeals they'd been through, all of the trials they suffered and all of the trauma they endured to expect it all to have had a profound effect on everyone involved. But I think it's fair to say that none of us were ready for how much everything had actually changed.  I'll admit that it was jarring at first, even for me, to witness how roles had been flipped on their heads, friendships thrown out of whack, ships crumbling and new ships taking shape slowly amidst the wreckage.  I was scared, yes, but I also have a ridiculous amount of faith in Miss Sarah J. Maas, so I tried to let go of my worries and enjoy the ride...and before I knew it, I didn't need to try anymore. Sure, I mourned some things that were lost in the fire, but at the same time, I grew excited for what rose from the ashes.

My beloved Celaena/Aelin - henceforth known as Aelin - has fully accepted her destiny and made peace with her past, but that doesn't mean she's not still struggling to  make peace with who she is, who she was and who she will be.  She is transformed but she is nevertheless the same person on the inside, where it counts.  People have been harsh on my beloved heroine in the past because of her cocky swagger and ruthlessness but how many male heroes have we rallied behind that were exactly like her, if not worse?! Aelin is a BAMF and she is and forever will be my queen! *fangirls* Ok so, moving on. There is very little that I can say about the other main characters here without delving into spoiler territory, but suffice it to say that there are surprises a plenty!  It's true that our beloved characters have been altered, many of them in fiercely drastic ways, but to me, their evolutions made sense. I mean, the things they've all been through as a group since the beginning are staggering.  No one would have made it out of the wreckage without some collateral damage.  I will say this about the characters though: just like in Heir of Fire, new ones are introduced and some lesser known faces are brought to the forefront, and they've all quickly earned a place in my heart.  Beyond that though, my love for Celaena, Chaol, Dorian, Rowan, Manon and her Thirteen has grown tenfold! My heart is full to the brim for all of these characters ♥

In terms of plot, Queen of Shadows hits the ground running and doesn't let up for a second.  Things have always been dark in the Throne of Glass Series, but this installment definitely steps it up a notch. Or ten notches. New terrors emerged that chilled me to the bone. Seriously guys.  Maas has taken her world to a whole.other.level. Her writing style has matured and she's grown bolder and fearless with her story, her characters.  She's not afraid of taking risks and it was exhilarating to behold.  I was enthralled from start to finish, and considering how many surprises blew me away here, I can safely say that I have no idea what to expect for the rest of the series, other than more EPICness, more horrors and more feels. SO MANY MORE FEELS.

The bottom line? While I know this was a polarizing chapter in the Throne of Glass Series for many of you, for me, Queen of Shadows was just as addictive, compelling and satisfying as anything I've come to expect from Sarah J. Maas.  This book consumed me, heart and soul and spit me out on the other side, a ragged, harrowed lump of feels who now has no idea what to do with herself. Just another version of how I've felt at the end of EVERY DAMN BOOK IN THE SERIES.  Is it too soon to start begging/pining/counting down for Throne of Glass #5?!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars !!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Harry Potter Moment #108

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.

Which one of the 6 trials the trio faced in Philosopher's Stone would have been your downfall? (Quirrel's Troll, Flitwick's Flying Keys, Sprout's Plants, Snape's Potion Riddle, McGonagall's Chess Game or Dumbledore's Mirror/Stone trick)

I love this question^^ Ok, so I think I might have been able to manage Flitwick's Charmed Flying Keys. I've got a keen eye and great reflexes - plus I've always thought I'd play Seeker in Quidditch if I ever played, so there's that ;) Sprout's Plants might be tricky, but I also imagine myself like Hermione, gobbling up all of the Hogwarts textbooks like air, so the odds are in my favor that I'd have had a spell to save myself there too. Hopefully Quirrel's Troll would have been somewhat easy at this point, if we're thinking I'd have read all the books Hermione did, I like to think there'd have been a spell in there for Trolls.  And well Dumbledore usage of the Mirror of Erised to only give the stone to someone who wanted to find the stone but not use it would be no problem if my motives were pure...and well they would have been so that's settled.  

No, I'd definitely be screwed with Snape's Potion Riddle AND McGonagall's Chess Game. As much as I enjoy both riddles and chess, I'm not especially gifted at either. Read: I suck at both.  Without Hermione or Ron to help me out, I'd be done for...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday *116*

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!

Hi everyone! I haven't done a WoW post in awhile, but when something too good to pass up pops up, I have to give it a shout out :) Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

Smoke & Shadow Part 1 
by Gene Luen Yang
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Part 1
Expected Publication: September 23rd 2015 by Dark Horse

The Fire Nation is threatened when the Kemurikage, mysterious figures thought only to exist in legend, tell of a prophecy that Zuko must be removed from the throne or the country will perish. Aang and his friends escort the Fire Lord and his family back to the Fire Nation Capital, but unbeknownst to them, unrest brews as the New Ozai Society prepares to make their move against the throne and children go missing from their homes under mysterious circumstances.

The moment that I heard that the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender were coming out with another graphic novel trilogy, one based on Fire Lord Zuko, I pretty much lost it.  Zuko is one of my favorite characters, and not just within the Avatar world, but of all time!  His story arc within the animated series was one of the better ones I've ever come across and basically, I want to know every.single.detail. about him and his life. Considering how much I enjoyed all of the other Avatar graphic novel trilogies, there's no doubt in my mind that this one will be a satisfying and fangirl-worthy addition to Zuko's mythos.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fandom Mashup #19

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 :)

Hello everyone and happy Sunday! I've been officially off again on Sundays for 3-weeks and obviously loving it. Honestly, Sunday should be the one day a week where everyone is off work, regardless.  Anyway, I hope you all have been having an awesome weekend :D Mine just started yesterday at 2pm but now I'm off until Wednesday! Alright, so are we ready for another Fandom Mashup?

A very priceless artifact has gone missing and it's owner has asked you to help uncover it. Who do you take with you?

Captain Jack Sparrow

Hunting for treasure is basically Captain Jack's bread and butter so I think he'd be a natural here. Of course, there's always the risk that he'll try stealing the artifact for himself, but we'll deal with that if/when it happens I suppose ;)

Bilbo Baggins

My favorite little thief. He was able to find a ring in the middle of nowhere and one specific precious stone (the Arkenstone) amidst mountains of treasure.  I'm pretty sure Bilbo's got this quest handled.

Harry Potter

Harry might not be an obvious choice here, but you have to admit that the boy has a knack for ending up with lost. rare things. Sure he had help, but he ended up finding all of the Horcruxes AND all three Hallows. I'm just going to hope that his luck holds out here as well


Castiel can literally search the entire world in no time flat. If we're looking for something - anything - I 100% want Castiel on my team, helping me in my search.

Richard Gansey III

Once Gansey has a quest in mind, he will stop at NOTHING to find what he's looking for. Look at the devotion and effort he put into the Ley Lines and the search for the Raven King. Gansey would find us our artifact no matter what!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Harry Potter Moment #107

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.

What magical creature would you like living in your house?

All of them? Nah, I'm just kidding. I doubt that a Dragon would be a good house-mate. (Unfortunately *sniff*) Honestly though, I'd love to have an Owl, a Phoenix, a Thestral, a (Purple) Pygmy Puff  and a Hippogriff! And of course my two cats, who would be magical in the HP world too. Naturally ;)

Welcome to Mimz's Magical Menagerie^^ XD 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #33

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!

Ten Finished Series I Have YET to Finish

Abhorsen - I actually just jumped on the bandwagon with the series this year but I am kicking myself for not getting into it sooner! The first book is a new favorite of mine so you can bet that I'll be reading the rest of the series a.s.a.p. So.Freaking.Good.

Song of the Lioness - This is another series that I got into much later than I should have - I only read the first two books this year. It's already very close to my heart though so I can't wait to know how it will evolve from here

Heroes of Olympus - I'm currently listening the first book in the series on audio after finishing the first series a few years ago. It feels good to be back into the mythology and the humor that Riordan does so well. I can definitely see listening to the rest of the books in quick succession from this point on.

Ashfall - I loved the first book in the series but had a few issues with the sequel that made me a bit reluctant to dive into the third book straight away... Recently though, I've gotten an itch to finish the trilogy once and for all.

Wolves of Mercy Falls - I have nothing but love for Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Boys but I waited a ridiculously long time to dive into Mercy Falls - I've only started book one last week as a buddy read so we'll see how it goes! :)

The Mortal Instruments - Sure, I've had tons of issues with the series, but I only have the last book to go, which is making my OCD act up. I must finish it the series and see how it ends

Les Filles de Caleb - This is a French Historical series that I fell madly in love with in high school but I only found out recently that the author published a third book. The reviews aren't great for that last one so far, but I'm still curious about it, so I'll have to read it.

Darkest Powers (sequel Darkness Rising) - I loved the first trilogy but for some reason, I never got going on the sequel trilogy. I need to fix that soon; they're such fun reads!

The Giver - I only ever read the first book in the series a few years ago. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either so I was hesitant to go on with the series. I feel like I should give it another chance though.

Enchanted Forest Chronicles - Another classic fantasy series that I only got started on this year. This was a light read and a lot of fun so I'm eager to know the rest of the story. Plus: DRAGONS :D

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fandom Mashup #18

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 happy Sunday! It's a long weekend over here which is always exciting plus it's supposed to be really warm and sunny :D Hopefully you all have some good stuff coming your way too! So, are you ready for this week's topic?

There's been a murder *gasp* and the police are calling it an accident but you know they're wrong. Who do you call up to investigate with you?

Sherlock Holmes

Pretty self-explanatory, right?! If we're investigating ANYTHING, I want Sherlock on my team. And since it's my team, that Sherlock will clearly be the one you see above^^ So.Much.Love.

Sam Winchester

Granted, either Winchester would have worked this week, but sometimes Dean's temper will get the best of him. Whereas Sam just needs to give them the puppy dog eyes, and we'll find out everything we need to know. Plus. SAM :D

Charley Davidson

Charley's not just the Grim Reaper, she's also a detective! She's got tons of connections with the Police Department, not to mention informants, and other unsavory but friendly characters. She's got the network we need to get all the insider intel.


Batman simply.would.not.quit. until we figure out what happened.  He's a brilliant detective, has access to resources and technology that the rest of us could scarcely imagine, not to mention that he's got undisputable methods and means to achieving his ends. Plus, he's BATMAN.

Albus Dumbledore

The man spent all of his later years collecting memories, read: EVIDENCE on Tom Riddle in order to take him down. That has investigation and detective written all over it.  Dumbledore will make sure that justice is served!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: Uprooted

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Published May 19th 2015 by Del Rey

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose
*An ARC was provided by Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.*

What can I say about Uprooted that hasn't already been said? When this little gem finally caught my attention, I was already late to the party. All of the positive reviews were already flooding in and I remember thinking: Whaaa?!?? Where did that come from? How did I miss this?! You've probably all heard about how it's a story worthy of even the most classic fairytales. How there's this swoon-worthy slow-burn romance. How the villain here is The Wood, an oppressive, faceless presence that corrupts everything it touches and chills you to the bone. You've also probably heard that there's a dragon, but he's actually a man. A wizard, in fact, who keeps the villagers safe from (dun, dun, duuunnn) The Wood. Ok. So if you've all heard about all that stuff, what are we going to talk about here? Well, I'm going to try to gush over discuss aspects of Uprooted that you might not have heard about. Spoiler-free of course ;)

A simple glance at Uprooted (GORGEOUS) book  jacket will tell you that The Dragon protects the villagers from The Wood, but at a price. He takes one girl from the village every ten years. Naturally, the Dragon chooses our wonderful protagonist Agnieszka, as a surprise to everyone, including Agnieszka herself.  Soon, she's thrown into a world of magic, danger and death and she is changed beyond imagination.  I took to Agnieszka straight away. She can come off a bit unassuming at first, but she's loyal to a fault, strong when she needs to be and wickedly adaptable.  She isn't the perfect, pretty MC we see too often in YA fiction, but something else altogether.  Ironically, the perfect, pretty one is Agnieszka's best friend: Kasia and I have to be honest, their friendship was one of my favorite parts of this book. Agnieszka and Kasia are true friends, like the ones we all had growing up. They have so much love and devotion for one another. I thought was beautiful  to see two girls with a friendship like that in YA, without it being tainted by a love-triangle or anything. These ladies might just have the best friendship I've ever read about in a loooong time.

Then of course, there's The Dragon.  The Dragon is kind of a jerk sometimes. Ok, a lot of the time. But damn if he isn't fascinating as hell! I couldn't get enough of him. He's wise, powerful and stubborn as they come but it all worked for me.  There's one part of the story where Agnieszka sets off on her own adventure, so we don't get to see as much of him and I missed his presence sorely. The romance that develops is, as you've heard a very slow burn.  I would add that it's imperfect, messy and even inconvenient at times, but boy oh boy, the chemistry is through the roof!  It even avoids being the clichéd kind of all-consuming romance that changes the characters involved and makes them forget their motives. Colour me impressed!

Most of all though, I want to gush about THE MAGIC at play here. The magical system is incantation based, but it has a certain fluidity to it; it's flexible and adaptable.  While certain characters have a more rigid approach, others make use of it by instinct and feeling.  It seems as though, if the intent is clear, the magic finds a way. It's not an overly-complicated system, but I was blown away by how it all came together, so nuanced and imaginative. There are spells and potions, magical books and swords. Incantations that can be spoken, imagined, even sung! I couldn't get enough and my only complaint is that Uprooted is a standalone so I won't get to bask in it's magic throughout multiple books.  I guess I'll just have to reread it again and again. And again and again...

Bottom line: Uprooted is a magical, enchanting and fresh take on the classic fairytale genre. The characters are multi-faceted and never quite what they first seem, which made them all a joy to unravel.   Fans of magic, fantasy, and fairytales alike should definitely check this one out - if you haven't done so already. And if you have, well please feel free to gush with me :)

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Harry Potter Moment #106

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.

Place you wish we'd explored in the series but didn't?

Oooh, this is a toughie! We explored SO.MUCH.terrain in the series but at the same time, there's an entire Wizarding World out there and we hardly scratched the surface. Let's hope the Fantastic Beasts film quells our thirst for more (somewhat).  In any case, I would have loved if we'd gotten to explore DurmstrangBeauxbatons and other Magical Schools because I think it would have been cool to compare how other schools do things differently.  Closer to home, I could have done with exploring the Great Lake at Hogwarts more, because it seems infinite and we barely made a dent in GoF

But I think my final answer has to be Godric's Hollow. It seems like such a legendary place filled with ancient magic.  I mean, the Peverells and Godric Gryffindor himself have history there. So do Dumbledore, Bathilda Bagshot AND Harry Potter. All legendary wizards with roots in that very same place! I think that's fascinating. Plus, it's a charming little village with a Wizarding settlement - what's not to love?!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #32

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!

Ten Characters You Just Didn't Click With

Disclaimer: I have some very popular characters below that have huge and devoted followings - hopefully you'll all still be my friends after reading my picks this week *crosses fingers*

- Eleanor - Eleanor & Park - As a self-described outsider and misfit who loved being different, I was sure that Eleanor and I would be thick as thieves. Unfortunately try as I might, I simply could not connect with her - or her love-interest/romance for that matter. Eleanor never felt like a girl I could relate to or even one that I'd want to hang out with, which is a shame :(

- Clary - The Mortal Instruments - probably my biggest issue with the TMI series (you know, other than the blatant plagiarism) is Clary herself. I might have been able to get over the whole Harry Potter-fanfic thing, IF I could have connected with Clary. But we all know that that never happened. Despite liking some things about the series, Clary was forever my biggest complaint. She's flat and uninteresting and as a main character, that's a big problem. One that I could never get over.

- Tris - Divergent - I connected with Tris well enough in Divergent. In fact, she was well on her way to being a new favorite heroine of mine. She took a serious hit in Insurgent though but I was still willing to give her a pass. Until Allegiant. To be clear: the BIG THING that had everyone enraged wasn't my issue. At least, not really.  If it would have happened for a legit reason, I'd have been ok, but it all went down so...pointlessly. And I never got over how stubborn and idiotic she was throughout books 2 and 3.

- Nyx - Cruel Beauty - I had high hopes for Cruel Beauty but in the end, I had too many issues with too many aspects to fall in  love with it, like so many others did before me. Black Sheep Alert!  Nyx certainly had some admirable qualities but she never seemed to be able to get a handle on who she really was -OR- what she really wanted, which drove me batty!

- Araby - Masque of the Red Death - Another book I was so sure I'd fall head over heels for. Considering my love of Edgar Allen Poe and all things gothic and atmospheric, Masque seemed like my perfect book. So, what went wrong? In one word: Araby. She was completely apathetic to everything so, in turn, I didn't care at all about her or her problems. Fans of the series will tell me that given the world that Araby inhabits, her attitude was to be expected, but true or not, I couldn't bring myself to care.

- Nym - Storm Siren - There's been a recent surge of positive (read GLOWING) reviews for this one, and it makes me wonder if we all read the same book?! Sure, Nym started out as a fascinating creature, but she quickly turned into a love-struck ninny who'd rather focus on a jerk love-interest rather than mastering her lethal powers. No thank you.

- Tana - The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - My very first Holly Black read turned out to be a letdown and it was due in no small part to Tana. Tana...well, Tana was an idiot. She'd get herself into horrific situations and seemingly never felt an ounce of fear. Which is lucky for her I guess, considering the idiotic decisions she kept making throughout her story.

- Katie - Ink - The gorgeous setting wasn't enough to make up for Katie's lack of personality. Basically her story exists just so she can fall in love with her boy. He's got all the powers and all of the adventures they have are thanks to him. I barely remember anything about her other than her love-sick tendencies. And I have a fantastic memory.

- Paige - The Bone Season - *cries over my shattered hopes and dreams* I SO wanted to love this book guys. But I couldn't. Paige just didn't do it for me and it's not so much that I didn't like her, but more like she was never able to make me care for her, her situation (which was dire), her abilities (which were wicked), or her plight (which was noble). Oh well, can't win 'em all I suppose.

- Sophie and Josh - The Alchemyst -  This book was my very first DNF and I feel absolutely no guilt in placing the blame squarely on those two kids! The premise was exciting, the side characters were interesting but those two idiots could not make me care for any of it - and I've never forgiven them for sullying Nicholas Flamel's good name in the process. *glares*

- Bonus: Jordan - Weather Witch - When you pick up a book about witches, who can control the weather, all set in a steampunk environment, packaged in a gorgeous cover, you expect to be entertained at the very least. And that might have happened if not for the main protagonist Jordan. Jordan was easily one of the worst 'heroines' I have ever encountered in my years of reading. She was shallow, ignorant, stupid, oblivious, petty and selfish. Truly horrible things happened to her and a part of me felt like she deserved it all! And that's just all kinds of wrong. O.O

*hides from the Eleanor & Park, Divergent, Cruel Beauty and The Mortal Instrument fangirls* Try not to throw your rocks too hard guys, my intentions were pure going in, I SWEAR!