Sunday, January 31, 2016

Fandom Mashup #38

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 :)

Hi everyone! After spending a week of torture with the most annoying characters you can imagine, I'm eager for us to get rid of them, so let's get right to it:

Your team of annoying characters came through for you last week - but now you're stuck with them O.O  Which characters (heroes OR villains) do you want to come and get rid of them? (Part 2 of 2)

The Master

I'm ready to wager ANY amount of money that The Master could take care of our annoying team single-handedly...if he had his Laser Screwdriver or access to technology, or a TARDIS.  He's a crazy bastard but he's nothing if not effective.


Batman

Batman's got this. Just the thought of The Dark Knight hunting our annoying friends should be enough to get them to scatter. And if The Master gets out of control at least we know Batman can take care of him too. Because he's Batman.


McGonagall

McGonagall is a BAMF, she'd give our troublesome crew detention or expel them from our lives altogether. You don't want to mess with McGonagall and that's why I love her ♥


Smaug

It doesn't matter if a character is good, bad, grey or any combination of these traits, Smaug will BURN THEM.  I can't wait to see our team of annoying characters start running for the hills when they feast their eyes on SMAUG.


The Woman

The Woman. She took down Sherlock and almost took down the whole of London.  Girl's got skills.  I'm pretty sure she could make that cursed crew wish they'd never been born, and I'd enjoy every step of  her do her thing :D

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves *52*

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews showcasing new books we've gotten a hold of (bought/given/gifted/trade/for review).

Hello all and welcome to my very belated Holiday StS post! My lateness is not due to lack of excitement because I was lucky enough to get an absolutely fabulous assortment of books this year, thanks to wonderful bookish friends, as well as giftcards for books from my family!  So without further ado, feast your eyes on these pretties:




The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #1), Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (The Great Library #1), Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow 1 by Gene Luen Yang  (Smoke and Shadow #1), Firefight by Brandon Sanderson (Reckoners #2) Half Bad by Sally Green (The Half Bad Trilogy #1)

Many thanks to Lee, Aylee, Ula for these awesome books! ♥♥♥


Harry Potter Coloring Book by Warner Brothers, Doctor Who Colouring Book by BBC

Thanks to my mom for the giftcard that bought these^^



SabrielLiraelAbhorsen & Across the Wall by Garth Nix (Abhorsen #1, 2, 3, 3.5)

Thanks to my boss for the giftcard that bought physical copies of my beloved series^^



The Raven Prophecy Tarot by Maggie Stiefvater

Finally thanks to my boyfriend for the must-have artwork that graces this Tarot Deck

I don't think I've ever had such a wonderfully bookish Christmas, I feel so very lucky to have such wonderfully bookish friends who know me so well, as well as family and loved ones that are willing to enable my obsession  LOL!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Winter

Winter by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles #4
Published: November 10th 2015 by Feiwel and Friends

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
Winter is the official conclusion of The Lunar Chronicles Series, though thankfully we still have Stars Above to look forward to.  As a big fan of sci-fi as well as an admirer of Marissa Meyer's ability to weave futuristic dystopian themes and classic fairytales, I had this book pre-ordered as soon as it had a cover. Despite that, it took me almost two months to actually pick up this beast and plunge into its depths. The reason being? I simply wasn't ready to say goodbye to this cast of phenomenal characters. Even though I knew that they would likely all get their happily ever after, I didn't want their adventures to end - I didn't want to say goodbye. Eventually though, I couldn't hold out any longer: I needed to know how the story would end for everyone and to be honest, I lived in fear of being spoiled... so it felt right to make this book my first read of 2016.

While the beginning of the book was a bit slower than I was expecting, I knew that given the number of pages - and the fact that I was nursing a double book hangover - I just needed to be patient and things would pick up.  And boy was I right! When things do start moving here, it is NON-STOP intensity and at over 800-pages, I was worried I wouldn't survive my nerves, the setbacks, the emotions, the serious violence and the SUSPENSE.  Oh stars the suspense was masterful and nearly incapacitating! See, Winter takes place almost exclusively on Luna, which could only mean one thing: one hell of a ride. It was pretty brilliant that the last book in a series had a new world to explore and fresh world-building. Luna is majestic, opulent and alarming. More than once I was struck by how Luna was like shades of The Capitol in The Hunger Games whenever Meyers described the oppression, the surveillance, the tyranny and how the sectors lived in poverty and fear while Queen Levana and her court basked in privilege.  As our heroes plotted their revolution, we'd get glimpses of how utterly complex their plan needed to be to succeed, given how elaborate and complete, Queen Levana's control over Luna truly is.

Where Meyers really shines is in her ability to keep adding new and compelling characters into the folds and getting them to team up and interact with the rest of the crew.  Winter is no exception, introducing us to Princess Winter as well as really allowing the reader time to better know Jacin, which we'd previously met in Cress.  Beyond those two (mostly) new characters, which I grew to love, we were treated to chapters from all our returning favorites: Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Iko, Cress and Thorne. I was amazed at how every character was given room to develop, though not as much as they might have done with a solo-offering. Nonetheless, each and every one of our beloved characters is given his/her turn to shine...and to pull at our heartstrings.  I have to say that although I love each and every one of these characters, Cinder and Kai have always been standouts for me, with new favorites Cress and THORNE(!!!) rounding things out. Honestly though? I loved every.single.character. more than ever before and I grew to love Winter and Jacin as well and all of them became one pretty spectacular family. Seriously. So.Much.Love. ♥

Sometimes when all the action wraps up at the end of a beloved series, it seems like the words 'The End' show up too soon, without leaving us readers enough time to see how the characters remaining settle into the aftermath of their battle.  I'm happy to say that there were enough pages left over to make sure every character got their proper send off, every ship given it's time to sail.  Truly, Winter was an impressive, emotional and fitting ending to The Lunar Chronicles.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Harry Potter Moment #127

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.

Hello and happy Thursday Potter-Heads :D I hope this week has been good to you all, and if it hasn't well... at least it's almost over LOL! We've got Hogwarts classes on the brain today:

What do you think your best subject would be? Not necessarily your favorite but the one you think you'd be best at.

I have a feeling that my best subjects at Hogwarts would be either Charms or Potions (if I had a Professor I wasn't terrified of that is) Here's a brief summary on both subjects:

A charm is a spell that adds certain properties to an object or creature. Charms are distinguished from transfigurations in that a charm adds or changes properties of an object; it focuses on altering what the object does as opposed to what the object is. For example, the Colour Change Charm causes something to flash different colours; the Levitation Charm causes an object to levitate; the Cheering Charm improves upon a creature's mood. -Source 

Potions is a core class and subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In this class, students learn the correct way to brew potions. They follow specific recipes and use various magical ingredients to create the potions, starting with simple ones and moving to more advanced ones as they progress in knowledge.   -Source

Charms for some reason don't seem as tricky as Transfiguration does to me, and I love the wide variety of charms to learn and chose from, with one to fit your every need and whim! On the other hand, Potion-making sounds a bit like cooking so if I had a friendly Professor I could see being quite good at that too.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday *122*

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:

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Expected Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.
I know none of you will be surprised by my pick this week, considering that the cover was just released recently. If Queen Sarah J. Maas has a book in the works, you can be sure I'm waiting on it. Granted this series will never surpass the Throne of Glass Series in my heart, but I loved it all the same. The Fey, the magical world, the romance and that ending in the first book has me practically begging for this one. Luckily, we won't have to beg/wait too much longer...♥

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Fandom Mashup #37

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 :) How is everyone on this fine Sunday morning?  It's been VERY cold around these parts and they keep calling for snow storms but they keep passing us by...and I don't know about you guys but I'd rather get tons of snow than frigid cold O.O  Speaking of cold, I've apparently caught a cold myself, so today shall involve copious amounts of tea and quality reading time...but before I get to that:


You've met a SERIOUSLY annoying person and try as you might, you can't seem to get rid of him/her. As a last ditch effort, you've decided to make yourself a team of annoying characters to fight fire with fire, because what could go wrong? Which characters from within your fandoms are you going to pick? (Part 1 of 2)

Gilderoy Lockhart

My first thought was Umbridge, but since the topic doesn't mention characters you want to murder -  I decided Lockhart is better suited here^^ He certainly fits the bill *glares*

Jar Jar Binks

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas created a character so annoying that even Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi couldn't make him more bearable. O.O

Janice 

That voice. That laugh. *shudders* It could make anyone run for the hills after a few seconds, let alone a prolonged period of time (poor Chandler) Janice we need you, don't fail us now!

Mary Jane Watson

Granted this is largely due to the actress in question here, but I can NOT stand Mary-Jane. Just looking at her face makes me want to punch her: she ruined the Spider Man Trilogy for me. Hopefully she has a similar effect on others...Peter WHAT were you thinking?!

Denethor, Steward of Gondor

What a giant douche^^ Seriously though: I hate Denethor but he's also annoying as hell which makes for a truly vile character.  All he needs to do is stuff his face for a while and he should take care of our annoying friend.

Well, this group is the stuff of nightmares. I never want to end up stuck with even one of them, let alone the lot of them. I already can't wait to get rid of them all next week... Stay tuned!



Saturday, January 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves *51*

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews showcasing new books we've gotten a hold of (bought/given/gifted/trade/for review).

Hello everyone and welcome to my ridiculously delayed pre-holiday Stacking the Shelves post! Because I'm (obviously) lazy, this post will only include the books I got before Christmas, and next week my Christmas haul will go up. So without further ado, here's what I got my hands on at the end of 2015

Physical ARCs:


Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #1) and Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #5)

I've already read and reviewed Truthwitch but I have yet to start Shadows of Self - it'll be one of my very next reads though...you all know me and Sanderson ;)


Purchased:


Winter by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

This is one that I pre-ordered as soon as I had a cover^^ I was over the moon (ahem) as soon as I arrived in my mailbox but I wasn't ready for the series to be over at the time, so I only started it as my first read of 2016 - I've finished now so look for my review next week!


Audiobook haul:






Lirael by Garth Nix (Abhorsen #2), The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness #3), Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Abhorsen by Garth Nix (Abhorsen #3), Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness #4)


These have all been read and reviewed (I'll link them up below in case anyone missed one).  I did pretty good at finishing series in 2015 and I hope to continue that trend in 2016! Most of you know that The Abhorsen Trilogy turned out to be my favorite series read in 2015 and one of my new all time favorites.  Similarly, Ready Player One was absolutely brilliant - I can't believe I waited this long to finally read it. I'd started it earlier in 2015, but then had to return it to the library...and wait for it to become available again; which was TORTURE. Needless to say I was psyched when I was able to pick it up again :) The Song of the Lioness quartet was worth the read, but it didn't deliver as much as I'd hoped it would.

Reviews: Lirael, The Women Who Rides Like A Man, Ready Player One, Abhorsen (caution: widespread gushing) and Lioness Rampant

Friday, January 22, 2016

Review: Lioness Rampant

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
Song of the Lioness #4
Published January 1st 1988 by Atheneum Books

"I'm not sure I want to be a hero anymore."

Having achieved her dream of becoming the first female knight errant, Alanna of Trebond is not sure what to do next. She has triumphed in countless bloody battles, and her adventures are already legendary. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs....But Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when she is challenged with the impossible. She must recover the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem with enormous power for good -- but only in the right hands. And she must work fast. Tortall is in great danger, and Alanna's arch-enemy, Duke Roger, is back -- and more powerful than ever. In this final book of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Alanna discovers through fierce combat and ceaseless searching that she indeed has a future worthy of her mythic past -- both as a warrior and as a woman.
Lioness Rampant is the fourth book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet and the conclusion to Alanna's story. According to Goodreads, it's the best rated out of the four books so going in, I was hopeful.  I really liked Alanna: The First Adventure, but I felt like the subsequent books, In the Hand of the Goddess and The Women Who Rides Like a Man never fully lived up to the magic of the first book. Nonetheless this is one of those classic fantasy series that I knew I needed to have under my belt, both for of it's feminist penchant and also because it clearly paved to way for a lot of modern fantasy stories we've all read and loved - especially the ones featuring a girl-posing-as-a-boy. I'm happy to have seen the series to it's conclusion, but I did have some issues here...which we'll get to in a moment.

Lioness Rampant once again finds our grown-up heroine-turned-knight out searching for adventure and being her usual heroic self.  This time, there's a quest for a long lost, powerful magical artifact - which naturally means some powerful, other-worldly opponent to face.  There's also new characters thrown into the mix, another a potential new romance to ship (or not) and finally, Alanna begins to make the journey home, after years of exploring, because all is not well in Tortall.  Old threats have come to the forefront again, bringing the series full circle from where it started. As much as I understood Alanna's need for adventure, and as a reader it's always exciting to explore new magical realms, I was eager for her to go back home, given the hints at the end of the previous book that something dangerously wrong in Tortall.

The final chapter of Alanna's adventure as a knight was the longest of the four books, and either because of that, or despite that, the pacing seemed off in quite a few places. Some parts were unnecessarily long, like the focus on the new romance for example, but when we hit the climax, it seemed underdeveloped and rushed.  In general the story just didn't flow as smoothly as it should have. The longer parts wouldn't have bothered me if the ending would have been given the same attention but it just came across as too sudden for my liking. The tension between Alanna and the main baddie, had a much weaker impact than it should have, and their final confrontation was over almost before it began.  It definitely fell flat compared to what we've been shown that Alanna is capable of. Despite that though, there were some wonderful sword-fights and battle scenes, which were as thrilling as they've always been - those are certainly a selling point of the series.

As far is the romance goes, well I mentioned another ship added to the mix. I'm all for how the book is progressive with regards to women, and their romances obviously, but this new romance was all over the place. It seemed unnecessary, to me at least and the outcome seemed obvious so I'm not sure what the point was. In the end, things ended up going the way I'd hoped for everyone so I can't complain too much, but I'm still not sure what the the purpose was. Despite the hit-and-miss romances, Alanna is most certainly a feminist icon.  She does what she wants, pure and simple.  Her role as a pioneer is made clear in Lioness Rampant: she truly changes her world for the better by being an example to women all across the lands.  Her impact is made more clear here in the conclusion, but it's not just the women that benefit from Alanna's example - the men are changed as well, as they learn to see women as not only capable warriors in their own right, but as equals. That to me is the most important aspect of this series, and what makes these books so important. Once again I find myself wishing that I'd read these as a young girl, when they were coming out because I know their impact on a teenaged me would have been all the more pronounced.

Before I wrap things up though, I have to mention: FAITHFUL!! I won't say more here but to those who've read this: CAN WE TALK ABOUT FAITHFUL PLEASE?

Lioness Rampant is a satisfying end to Alanna's adventure, despite some minor issues.  I listened to the entire series on audio and they made for a quick and engaging story. I'll most certainly be going on with the rest of the stories set in the Tortall Universe. Classic fantasy readers looking for shorter stories filled with knights, magic and feminist themes should absolutely give this series a chance!

My Rating: 3 out of  5 Stars

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Harry Potter Moment #126

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.

*Disclaimer: This topic though poorly timed was thought up and posted months before the tragic news of Alan Rickman's passing last week. Despite the fact that I'm not a Snape fangirl, I adored Alan Rickman and his portrayal of Severus Snape was absolute perfection - he will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace*

Would you rather have Potions with Snape or tea with Umbridge?

Ha! Is this a trick question? I've always said I'd have been terrified of having Potions with Snape, despite the fact that I think I'd love Potion-making in general.  Snape's bullying and intimidation tactics would have totally robbed me of any confidence and turned me into a babbling, bumbling baboon >.<

But then again, I'd rather face a lifetime of Potions with Snape than sit for one measly cup of tea with Umbridge.  So potions with Snape it is!

*hurriedly and surreptitiously turns to page 394*
Always.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #35

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 I've Recently Added To My TBR


Thief of Lies - A book about a book that magically transports the reader to the most beautiful libraries in the world. Plus? Wizards and Demonic Hounds. Yes please!

The Dark Days Club - Regency London! Demons! Plus quite a few of my closest blogger friends have already read and loved this so clearly, I need it.

The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet - When this started making its rounds, for some reason I thought it was a contemporary. What even? When I recently found out it was sci-fi, I quickly scolded myself...and added it to my tbr shelf.

His Majesty's Dragon - Dragons. Am I right? Who needs to know anything else? Oh and it's also written by the women who brought us Uprooted, so I am sold.

Doctor Who Time Lord Fairytales - Because Doctor Who. And fairytales. More specifically, myths and legends that young Time Lords grew up on. GIMME.



Persuasion - In recently setting up a goal to read more classics - and through the prompting of my friend Lee - it's come to my attention that Persuasion wasn't even on my reading list, so I quickly fixed that.

Riders - So the main character here dies and then becomes one of the four horseman of the Apocalypse. Whaaa?  I must know all the things! Holy unique premise Batman.

Sherlock: The Mind Palace: A Colouring Book Adventure - With my recent adult colouring book kick, I'll admit I screeched a bit when I saw one for Sherlock :D Oh and don't mind how mushed up the cover looks, I cropped it to fit in with the rest...

Titans - Mechanical Horses. No. Scratch that. Mechanical Horse RACES.  Cool! Plus it's a YA standalone without the romance romance. A rarity - I must have it!

Strange The Dreamer - Moving beyond the fact that this is by Laini Taylor and it'd be on my tbr for that fact alone, just reading the synopsis made me fall in love. This sounds fantastic!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fandom Mashup #36

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 :)

Hi hi! How's everyone doing?  For me well it's Sunday, my favorite day of the week so things are fabulous! After finishing off some blogging and setting up my posts for the next week, I'll be heading out for a snowshoe adventure with the boyfriend...and then it'll be chillin' like a villain with books, tea and Netflix :D But before reverting to my anti-social self, I have to be cool for a bit:


You've decided to start a band - you know, because you rock and it's time the whole world knew it! Which characters do you want in your band?

Sam Roth - Wolves of Mercy Falls (vocals/songwriting)

Sam is a ridiculously talented musician and songwriter so he's a must. Plus he's seriously dreamy so he'd make an ideal frontman for our little band here.

Celaena Sardothien (piano)

Time and time again Celaena/Aelin has professed her love for music - and shown us that she can really do it all by playing the pianoforte like a pro. She's basically a rock star in her day-to-day life so she'd fit in nicely.

Sherlock (violin) 

Sherlock playing the violin is like, one of my all time favorite things to watch listen to.  He could totally work as the off-putting but dreamy musician people either hate or love (or love to hate) Either way, I love him and he's in!

Lisa Simpson (sax)

I adore Lisa Simpson and I don't nearly use her enough with this feature, so considering she's been playing the sax for almost 30 seasons, I couldn't resist adding her to the mix. Sherlock won't be the only brainiac in the band when she's around.

Phoebe Buffay (guitar)

Phoebe!! My favorite 'Friend' - other than Chandler ♥  Phoebe is without a doubt entertaining and she'll balance off the boys' emo-vibe nicely. Oh and I'm dying to know how Sherlock would react to Phoebe. THAT would be GOLD.

Bonus: Squidward (clarinet)

Once I started thinking of my favorite fictional musicians, I couldn't stop. So I cheated this week and added a 6th member. Squidward might not be as good as he thinks he is, but hopefully his inclusion will bring Spongebob and Patrick into the audience. And good times shall be had by all XD

I don't know what the hell kind of a sound we're going to get with these people/instruments but it was a hoot just imagining these characters mixing together^^ Oh and if anyone's wondering, since we have no drummer, I'll fill that spot LOL!