Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fandom Mashup #42

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! Happy Sunday fandom peeps. Luckily, we're all bookish peeps too, which is fitting since we have a bookish topic lined up for today :D Check it out:


You're doing a buddy read with all of your favorite bookish characters! What are you reading  and who are you reading with?

Hermione Granger

Hello obvious choice^^ A readalong with Hermione? Lifelong dream right here. Granted she'd probably finish the book in a blink but I'd have the time of my life discussing what we read with her afterwards ♥

Lirael (Abhorsen Trilogy)

When we meet Lirael, she makes a request to work in a magical and bloody dangerous library...so she can keep to her introverted ways. Hello soulmate!  Naturally, she does quite a bit of reading while at the library so I think she'd be an excellent book-buddy!

Elend Venture (Mistborn Trilogy)

Elend is as bookish as they come. In fact, on more than one occasion, he's been found bringing books (not just one book, but a stack of books) to parties and reading instead of socializing. Even with his crush in attendance!  A boy after my own heart...

Shallan Davar (Stormlight Archive)

Shallan is well-read, clever and feisty as they come - as she goes about her studies, I always found myself wanting to be part of her scholarly discussions.  So it stands to reason to do a buddy read with my girl. 

Sam Roth (Wolves of Mercy Falls)

Bookish boys. *swoon* My fondest memories of Sam are of him snuggled up in random places with his favorite book. Naturally, I longed to snuggle up with him and read as a team.  Cue long bookish chats over tea *sigh*

Oh and we'll all be reading Lord of the Rings because it's an epic fantasy, it's a classic and I'd love to get each character's take on this questing adventure^^

Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: Shadows of Self

Published October 6th 2015 by Tor

A bloody massacre, a hunt for an assassin.

An Invitation to the criminal elite of Elendel from the brother of the city’s governor to an auction for his vote in the senate becomes a death sentences for all involved when an unknown assailant slaughters everyone in attendance.

Waxillium Ladrian investigates and is shocked to discover that the perpetrator may be a kandra calling herself Bleeder. As the servants of Harmony, the god of the religion Wax himself adheres to, the kandra usually operate in secret, and many people think them merely a myth. Now one of the kandra has gone rogue, which shouldn’t be possible.

Wax, Wayne and the brilliant Marasi must track down Bleeder and keep her from assassinating the governor of Elendel and plunging the city into chaos.
*An ARC was provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.*

Shadows of Self is the continuation of the Mistborn Series, the fifth book overall and the second book in the new series that takes place centuries after the original Mistborn Trilogy.  While I definitely enjoyed the first book in the 'new Mistborn series', The Alloy of Law, I never felt like it quite lived up to the first three books in the series.  I loved the new western setting and gunslinging characters, but something was missing.  Honestly though, I should have expected that Sanderson had something up his sleeve - that he'd wait to deliver all his surprises.  And if I had to describe Shadows of Self in one word, it would be: surprising.  This book had one foot solidly in the present setting, but with it's other foot, it revisited the past in an exciting and terrifying fashion.

In Shadows of Self, every single one of the underlying themes go deeper than the first book. Wax's conflict, both inner and external intensifies. The violence and crime in Elendel reach dizzying heights. New foes slip into the folds, connecting the present with the past with chilling, albeit fascinating ways.  Various religious groups come into play, leaving friction and conflict in their midst.  There's political intrigue, there's terrorism, and all of these seemingly unrelated elements come to a head in a seriously mind-blowing way.  Seriously guys: this is far from my first Sanderson read and as much as I'm confident in his ability to surprise me, even I was shocked here.  There are twist strewn into the book from the start but by the time you reach the climax, it's one blow after another and just when you think you've reached the end, a few other EPIC turns are thrown at you for good measure. I'm still not sure what to make of all of it...

All of our favorite characters return in Shadows of Self - there's Wax, the dedicated and tortured lawman and believe me when I tell you Wax gets his fair share of strife in this installment.  Poor Wax... And then of course Wayne, his sarcastic and sassy partner in crime.  Wayne was already brilliantly established in The Alloy of Law but his character was given more depth and layers so if you weren't already a Wayne fangirl (and seriously, who isn't?!) be prepared to love him even more here.  Out of all the main characters though, Marasi grew the most and I was just so proud of the little butterfly.  She's stepped up and made her own way in the world but she remains true to her character, something I really admired here.  Even secondary characters like Steris were given their props and while I didn't really connect with her in The Alloy of Law, I've grown to respect and admire her a lot. Sanderson tends to do that though, introduce characters which he keeps in the background, until the right time...then he whips them to the forefront and blows your mind-hole with their development.

Every other aspect of Shadows of Self  intensified as well: the world-building expanded, by reconnecting with it's roots, but it nonetheless evolved into something wholly fresh. Likewise the pacing was on point throughout. Granted, it took me longer than it should have to get through this one but only because real-life commitments kept getting in the way *shakes fist at real life* Bottom line? This book is EPIC (Fun game: how many times can Micheline use the word 'epic' in a Sanderson review) and it seriously blew everything I thought I knew about this world straight out of the water!  I can't say more more because: spoilers!  but suffice it to say I'm feeling a STRONG need for The Bands of Mourning right now!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Harry Potter Moment #131

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 everyone and happy Thursday!  We've got another one of my favorite types of topics lined up, featuring a very special character so let's hop to it:

Which Books Would You Recommend to Luna



Fairyland - The covers for this series alone just scream 'Luna' to me :) I think Luna would feel an instant kinship with September and the whimsical tone and writing should fit her personality perfectly - plus there's lots of adorable creatures and that's always fun.

His Dark Materials - Lyra isn't really like Luna, but for some reason I feel like Luna would like her a lot! Plus the series itself is an magical adventure Luna could get totally lost in.

The Lunar Chronicles - Besides the happy feeling that came from thinking about LUNA reading the LUNAr Chronicles, I think Luna would get a kick out of our beloved rag-tag team's adventuring!

The Abhorsen Series - A recent favorite of mine, this series gave me feelings reminiscent to the ones I had reading the series that inspire this meme^^ Beyond that though, the themes of bravery, death, love and unique heroines are ones I know would resonate with Luna.



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday *124*

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:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter #7.5
Expected Publication: July 31st 2016 by Little Brown

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
*FLAILS*
*FANGIRLS*
*DIES*

*ahem*

Yeah, so we're getting an 8th Harry Potter book. No big deal.  Please excuse me while I continue to flail, fangirl and die, on and off until the release on THE MOST MAGICAL DAY OF THE YEAR LIFE. Even if the cover's not final, I HAD to feature this one straight away. And you know what? I might just feature it again if the cover changes drastically, I'm not gonna lie. I don't care that it's a play, I don't care that it's only 'based' on JKR's story and that there are other authors involved: JKR wouldn't have let it exist if it didn't fit her standards. Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate - and I'm just gonna wait wait wait wait wait... :D

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fandom Mashup #41

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! Since I never did a free week topic for Fandom Mashups, I thought it was high time to do so, if only to see what sort of teams you all come up with :D I'm not feeling especially creative this week (considering this week is like a break week from coming up with new topics) so some of you might think this post is repetitive of my usual fangirlings. You've been warned ;) This week, it's all about my All-Time Favorite Heroes AND Heroines:

All-Time Favorite Heroes

Bruce Wayne/Batman

Bruce Wayne/Batman was my very first fictional hero obsession.  I got into the comics/animated series when I was a teenager and it quickly became a staple of my life. He's tragic, dark and noble - just the way I like 'em!

Harry Potter

Who's shocked?! *crickets*  I'm not even going to explain this one: you all know he's my #1 hero, I've said it all before, I've gushed, I've praised, I've defended, I've drowned in feels. *drops mic*

Kaladin Stormblessed

Kaladin is a more recent addition to my favorite hero list but the moment I met him, I was already smitten.  When we meet him as readers, he's a the lowest of low points but watching him remember who he is and where his power lies is beyond epic!

The Doctor

 I was actually surprised by how quickly The Doctor stole my heart.  It was the first episode of New-Who, Rose and Nine was telling Rose who he was:  I can feel it...the turn of the earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour. The entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour. And I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world. And, if we let go... That's who I am. And that was it for me ♥ I was completely taken by Nine and then of course Ten came around and blew me away.

Sherlock Holmes

I've always liked that Sherlock is an arrogant know-it-all but it took BBC's Sherlock to really take me over the edge. I adore this brilliant, awkward, ignorant, heroic and clever man to no end.

Bonus: Sam Winchester

Going into Supernatural, I knew Dean was the more popular character (other than Castiel, which we only meet in Season 4) but I took to Sam instantly. Hell, there are jokes online that Sam is kind of similar to Harry Potter so I guess that explains that XD


Favorite Heroines

Galadriel

Galadriel is my favorite amongst the Tolkien women and that is saying something. I adore her calm demeanor, her wisdom and her amazing power and grace.  

Vin

Vin will always hold a special place in my heart. My first Sanderson heroine and proof that a man can write strong, kick-ass and all-around brilliant woman!

Aelin

Obviously^^ Aelin is my heroine. I want to be her, I want to know her - I am and will always root for her 110% - she is SUCH a badass fire-breathing bitch queen ♥

Blue Sargent

Blue might not seem like an obvious choice, but she's so brave, so strong and she works with the gifts she's given. Even if they don't seem impressive, she makes them so. Plus I admire her ability to make the right kind of friends ;)

Sabriel

A newer addition to the ranks, Sabriel quickly became an all-time favorite of mine. She sets off on a deadly mission ALONE. She accomplishes so much with her wits, amazing powers and determination. She is fearless and a total inspiration!

Bonus: Lirael

And while I constantly praise Sabriel, Lirael deserved recognition too!  Lirael destiny is a mystery at first, even to her but soon it becomes clear that she is brilliant, brave and powerful in her own right. I have nothing but love for the ladies Garth Nix created! 


Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
The Heroes of Olympus #2
Published October 4th 2011 by Disney-Hyperion

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophecy of Seven.
I'm just going to come right out and say it: I had a lot of fun with The Son of Neptune. I listened to the audiobook and mostly got through it during my commute to and from work. I'll admit that quite often, I found myself laughing out loud, alone in the car.  With Percy making his long-awaited return to the folds, the sass was strong with this one and I thoroughly enjoyed myself for the most part.

At the start of The Son of Neptune, I honestly wasn't sure how things were going to work for me. As excited as I was for Percy's return, the thing with his memory somewhat bugged me. We'd been through that very same thing with new character Jason in The Lost Hero, so I was worried it would get repetitive - a complaint I've previously voiced with Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  Beyond that, I just wanted Percy to remember ALL OF THE THINGS from his past because well, we kind of went through them with him...and it just seemed unfair.  Then there was also the matter of two new characters: Hazel and Frank.  Personally, it always takes me a while to warm up to new characters when they're introduced into a well-established world or series.  I had the same issue with Jason, Piper and Leo but I found it more pronounced here with Hazel and Frank for some reason.  Possibly because my love for Percy as a character outshone my curiosity about Frank and Hazel's past - which we were treated to in the form of flashbacks thanks to the character's alternating POVs. Eventually though, I warmed up to both of the newbies, but I still couldn't help myself from looking forward to Percy's chapters :)

Moving past the characters, it was a treat to get familiar with the other Half-Blood Camp, Camp Jupiter.  I've always adored both Greek and Roman Mythology, but I've never really compared the two or thought about which I'd prefer. Now thinking back on when I studied Mythology in Uni, and the way they are presented by Riordan, I'd give a slight edge to Greek Mythology.  Romans here are much more the warrior type and their views on some of my favorite gods and goddesses just seemed a bit off. Nonetheless is was fascinating to see the gods and goddesses with different aspects and I though Camp Jupiter had a unique and more elaborate setup compared to Camp Half Blood.

Naturally, the book follows the Riordan-established format, with the heroes getting a prophecy, setting off to complete a quest and getting into all kinds of trouble along the way. I don't know if it was my mood, or Riordan's approach, but I found The Son of Neptune to be slightly less repetitive that previous offerings.  The pacing seemed tighter and well: Percy and his sass were EVERYTHING. As much as I am enjoying all of the new characters, Percy is, and always will be the best thing about this series. Ever.  Having him back in action, older, more mature but still as sarcastic and charming as ever pretty much made this book for me.  Needless to say, I am completely ready to jump straight into The Mark of Athena!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Harry Potter Moment #130

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.

Happy Thursday my friends!  With all the exciting news of Wizarding Schools around the world, and an 8th Harry Potter book, I'm even more excited than usual to talk Potter with you all...

Favorite Charm Spell

Charms are among my favorite spells in the Wizarding World.  They're so versatile and infinitely practical! Favorites of mine include: Aresto Momentum, Ascendio, Bombarda, Expelliarmus, Confundus, Engorgio, Homonculous, Wingardium Leviosa, Oculus Reparo, Riddikulus, Summoning Charm, Lumos/Nox...and the list goes on. Charms to beautify, change colours, conceal, reveal, etc.   Charms class is one of the classes I've always been the most interested in and the one I think I might be the best at!  Obviously, narrowing down a single favorite was trying, so I ended up with two:


Undetectable Extension Charm

Hermione's beaded handbag. Need I say more? That bag had EVERYTHING in it: a giant portrait, books, clothes, potions, Harry's Cloak, money...everything they needed to hunt for Horcruxes.  A handbag like that would make my life.



Patronus Charm

Dementors are THE worst, so naturally the Charm to repel them earned a special place in my heart.  I love how everyone's Patronus is unique and I've always thought that Harry's journey to learning such a difficult spell before his time was incredibly special.




More on Charms:

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


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday *123*

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:

Riders by Veronica Rossi
Riders #1
Publication Date: February 16th 2016 by Tor Teen

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?
I may have miscalculated my post with the release date here...since it released yesterday. Oops. Anyway: Talk about a unique premise^^ The moment I read the blurb for Riders, I knew I HAD to read it.  It almost sounds like a storyline straight out of Supernatural, and you all know how much I adore that show! Seriously though: the main character dies and is reborn as one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. Whaaa??  And there's romance and a quest to save the world...that fails. Holy hell, I need this book in my life - luckily, we don't have to wait any longer^^

Are you as impressed with the premise for Riders as I am?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fandom Mashup #40

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

Hello Friends and happy Valentine's Day! it seemed appropriate to have a Fictional Crushes/Shippy Fandom topic this week. I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day in real life, but I have lots and lots of fictional crushes and ships ;)


It's Valentine's Day! What's your Fandom Crush Team? -OR- Who are your favorite Fandom Couples 

Since this week's TTT post featured my Top Ten Fictional Crushes, our Fandom Mashup post this week will focus on:

Favorite Fandom Couples

Ten and Rose


Ten is my favorite Doctor and Rose is my favorite companion so was there ever any doubt?! If ever there was one couple who deserved their Happy Ever After....it was these two ♥ I loved them together instantly and intensely because they are PERFECT together. *excuse me while I go cry in a corner*

Harry and Ginny
Source

I adore Harry and Ginny - I remember when I was first reading the series and they FINALLY hooked up, I kept wishing JKR would put out a novella based on just them getting together, with lots of kisses, stolen moments...just like the gorgeous fan art above^^

Ronan and Adam

I WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP^^ I don't care if it never sails for real, IT SAILS IN MY SOUL. Oh please Miss Stiefvater give us something to set our hearts on fire to! 


Sabriel and Touchstone

There were so many pictures and quotes I wanted to share here, but I didn't want to spoil anyone.  Granted there's text in the image, but out of context it seems safe. These two aren't your typical cookie-cutter pairing, and I love them for it. You all know how much I adore Sabriel on her own but her and Touchstone are perfection.

Cress and Thorne

I thought I loved Cress+Thorne in their first outing, but Winter stepped it up even more. These two are my favorite ship from The Lunar Chronicles and one of my all time favorite pairings.  That kiss though?! SWOON. You all KNOW which kiss I mean ;)


Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Published October 18th 2011 by Scholastic

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Some riders live.
Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
The Scorpio Races is one of Maggie Stiefvater's better received books - which is saying something when you're a fan of everything the author puts out.  This was the last of her books that I needed to read and since I had so much success with her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, it seemed like the perfect time to experience The Scorpio Races for myself - and get my Stiefvater fix until The Raven King releases!

I've read complaints from other readers that there wasn't enough going on in The Scorpio Races, that the plot was slow...etc.  I think it helps going into one of Stiefvater's books, to be aware that this is largely her style.  The plot always takes a backseat to character development, world-building, and setting the tone - which Stiefvater does beautifully here, as I've come to expect.  Here, the reader is invited to fall in love with Thisby, a fictional island which seems to transcend any time period or location.  Thisby houses a small community of island folk...as well as a population of killer water-horses.  Every Fall, these horses or Capaill Uisce emerge from the ocean, while residents of Thisby attempt to catch one, in the hopes of surviving long enough to race and win The Scorpio Races.

As an avid animal lover, even though I've never actually ridden a horse, I was completely taken by the horses here, both of the regular or deadly variety.  It was so clear that the two main characters Sean and Kate - or Puck, as she prefers to be called - adored their respectives mounts, it warmed my heart to no end. Of course, the descriptions of horses were vivid, stunning and often chilling, especially when dealing with the deadly capaill uisce.  The fact that these mystical creatures came to life so seamlessly, in an otherwise ordinary setting was astonishing. I swear I could easily believe that Thisby is a real place and that these water-horses actually exist!  Naturally, the parts which involved horses, magical or otherwise were my favorite ♥

Back to our two main characters^^ I took to both of them instantly, and as both their stories progressed, my affection for them grew. They're both so different from one another, but at the same time, even before they actually meet, it's clear that the complement each other.  When they finally do meet, all I wanted was for them to just be.together.  Even if they weren't speaking, there was a kinship there that went deep and rang true.  The romance that gradually peaks through is of the deliciously slow-burn variety...which made it achingly beautiful and so real it seemed to leap off the pages.

The ATMOSPHERE though. That's where it's at in The Scorpio Races, and I think the same holds true for any Stiefvater book.  It's not just a story, it's like you've travelled to Thisby and watching everything unfold firsthand. You feel the rain on your face, you smell the sea, you hear the horses, you see the farms, the people...everything.  I might not know where Thisby is, but I've been there, it's as simple as that.

So yes, while the plot of The Scorpio Races is quiet, creeping and even slow at times, the setting, the characters and their world more than make up for it.  Exceptionally atmospheric, The Scorpio Races delivers like only Maggie Stiefvater can.  This woman can do no wrong.  If you need lots of action, this is probably not the book for you, but if you're an animal lover that gets high on gorgeous writing, memorable characters, realistic, slow-burn romances and creepy/captivating mythical creatures, well then you should absolutely give this one a try!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Harry Potter Moment #129

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.

Hi all! It's Thursday and you know what that means: it's time for some Harry Potter reminiscing! This week, we're talking about a very special character:

Favorite Hagrid Moment

Hagrid has had lots of memorable moments within the Harry Potter series: Delivering Harry to Number 4 Privet on Sirius' Flying Motorcycle, his pink Umbrella/Wand, giving Dudley that tail, gifting Harry with his very first birthday gift: Hedwig ♥, welcoming and escorting all the First Years to Hogwarts, all the gifts and rock biscuits he gave to Harry throughout the years. His endearing and often baffling love for all magical creatures...the list goes on and on up to carrying Harry in his arms at the end of DH *sniff*  but I think I have to go with THE BIG defining moment in the series:


Hagrid delivered THE LINE that forever changed Harry Potter's life - and set the entire series in motion.  It makes me sad that Hagrid is underappreciated a lot of the time...I mean, he's a HUGE (pun intended) influence on Harry's life and an often overlooked father-figure to our hero.  Hagrid loved Harry from the moment he carried him to Number 4 Privet that faithful night so it only makes sense that he was the one saying the words that altered Harry existence so completely up to that point.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #37

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 Valentine-themed week, and even though I'm not big on Valentine's Day, when I saw one of the options was about Fictional Crushes...well, of course, I wanted in :) So here they are, in no particular order:

Top 10 Fictional Crushes


Ronan Lynch - Ok so I know Ronan likes Adam, but it can't be helped: I like Ronan. A lot.  I still ship him like crazy with Adam but nonetheless, he's one of my fictional crushes! I live for his snark.

-Source

Kaladin Stormblessed - I have a thing for the self-sacrificing hero (if that isn't obvious, this post should make it crystal clear) and Kaladin fits the bill perfectly. Plus look at him^^


Sam Roth - My newest fictional crush. A bookish musician?! Who could resist? I mean, that's pretty much THE dream, isn't it - or is that just me?


The Doctor - Ten will always be one of my all-time favorite fictional crushes.  Every damn thing about him appeals to me: eyes, hair, suit, coat, brainy specs. And he's oh-so-clever! *stares into his eyes for days*


Sherlock Holmes - I know, I know, Sherlock is a jerk.  I find myself not caring though because he's brilliant and that makes him dead sexy.  Those eyes are just something else!


Sam Winchester - Most girls prefer Dean, but I've been a Sam-girl since season 1. Sam's tragic, tortured and hot. Exactly my type. Plus with everyone going for Dean, I can have Sam all to myself XD

-Source

Harry Potter - The Boy Who Lived. THE epitome of a true hero. I love him with all my heart, it's as simply as that.

-Source

Rowan Whitethorn - Granted, in CoM, I was a Captain of the Guard girl through and through - and I still am!! I just really grew to love Rowan in HoF...and then QoS sealed the deal. Fae Princes FTW.


Peeta Mellark - Another (apparently) unpopular choice but he made the list all the same.  When I first read THG, I was conflicted about who I loved more between him and Gale but CF turned me into a Peeta girl through and through.


Aragorn II Elessar - Yet again, I know most girls have a thing for Legolas - and I do too - but I've always prefered Aragorn...because, well...he's dreamy ♥.♥ I guess I'm just the black sheep when it comes to fictional crushes LOL, which is good cause that means I don't need to share!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Fandom Mashup #39

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 is everyone? We got hit with a snow-storm on Friday in these parts, the snowfall amounts were pretty average but it was snow mixed in with freezing rain and it basically made roads a mess to drive in - luckily it's Sunday and I have zero plans to drive anywhere - though I might go out for a snowshoe adventure with the boyfriend later :)  After that, it's looking something like Netflix and chill:

Movie night! You're headed out to the theatre to take in a film. Who are your fictional dates (friends or romantic) and what movie are you seeing?

I went with Friends this week because if I went with dates, I'd end up picking the same fictional crushes I always do LOL!

Weasley Twins

I can just imagine the laughs and hijinks we'd get up to with this pair - they're just so.much.fun. I'm excited already!

John Watson

John's sass is worth it's weight in gold, which means I want to hang out with him all.the.time. I'd probably pay more attention to him than the movie!

Castiel

Picture Cas seeing a movie, not getting the references, saying weird things and generally just cracking everybody up without even meaning to.

Manon Blackbeak

Manon might not seem like a chill kind of girl, but I think some downtime would be good for her. Also, I'd love to see her unwind and have fun :)

Rose Tyler

I've said it before: I so want to be friends with this girl^^ Her go-with-the-flow attitude really appeals to me plus she definitely knows how to have fun!


We'll seeing Avatar: The Last Airbender the animated series. Though technically not a movie, it's long, so we'll get to spend a lot of time together and it has everything my dates would enjoy: humor, mystery, spirits, ass-kicking and amazing friendships ♥


Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: Illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
The Illuminae Files #1
Published October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
*An ARC was provided by Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest review.*

Illuminae is a book that everyone and their mother has heard about by now right? I mean, even if you're living under a rock, the buzz for this one has most certainly made it's way to your rock. I still remember hitting up BEA15 last year and this bad boy was EVERYWHERE.  It had posters, tables filled with copies...even the freaking staircase was done up Illuminae-style.  For real:


Upon getting my hands on the gorgeous hardback ARCs they were handing out, I remember thinking: there is NO WAY that this book could possibly live up to the mad hype. So I tucked it away for the moment and set my expectations as low as possible. That is...until the reviews started rolling in. Naturally, the ridiculous praise it was garnering made me weary, but I also knew that, yeah, I was going to have to read this one as soon as possible. 

And so here we are -  I've finally joined the hordes and read Illuminae.  As thick as it is, I read it in three sittings and in less than a week's time.  Granted, due to it's unique format, many of the pages have very little in the way of text, but the rate I read it should speak to one important aspect of this book: it is ridiculously addictive and compulsively readable.  While it's true that the found-footage-style of this book won't be for everyone - personally, I was slightly confused by it all at first...there were so many ship names + crew names + nicknames + computer names to remember at first - but I just went with it and eventually it all sort of fell into place...only to be blown apart, by one twist after another.  Reading this book, my eyes were constantly bulging out of my head.  I yelled HOLY SHIT and WHAT THE FUCK out loud to myself on multiple occasions.  Whenever I was forced to stop reading for things like sleep, food or to spend time with the boyfriend, my mind kept consistently going over what I just read - or wondering what the hell would happen next. This book is a mind-fuck, pure and simple and a brilliantly executed one at that!

I won't go into any of the finer plot details, because Illuminae is a book best left a mystery until you're ready to read it for yourself.  I didn't even read the blurb until after I finished the book, but if you're curious, I recommend reading the blurb, as it reveals nothing but the bare minimum of what to expect. The plot itself wasn't terribly confusing, you just need to allow yourself some time to get your bearings and to acclimatise yourself to the format at hand.  Taken separately, certain aspects of the story were familiar - the AI specifically was reminiscent of the one in I, Robot, some of its dialogue had shades of the movie Gladiator (''Am I Not Merciful?'')...similarly, the romance took a while to grow and develop, but the way every aspect comes together is what makes this book so explosive!

Illuminae features more twists that I can even count. When the first big one rolled around, I was completely floored.  And then the hits just keep coming.  The AI, the Virus, the countdowns to explosions, meltdown, destruction, death ...<error>, <error>...GAH!  This is a book that should be read for the experience alone: it is unlike any other book out there.  It will consume you, destroy you, scare the crap out of you, break you, and leave you begging for more!  Fans of sci-fi and wholly-original stories should absolutely check this one out.  Just be ready to have your entire life ruined in the process.