Happy Birthday to Me! TBR/Wrap Up!

Yes May 1st is my birthday and it is also TBR and Wrap-Up day! (And another post I will probs post today, maybe tomorrow)… Now let us talk about the books:

April Wrap-Up:
The Hobbit (re-read!)
The Prince
Robot Uprisings

Click to see their reviews!

Even though it was only three books, it’s a bit improvement over the previous two months where I started a load of books (most I’m still reading) and not finished any in those months.

May TBR: (pretty much the same as last month)

A Game of Thrones
Battle Royale
The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes #2)
The Guard

Books That Need Reviewing in May(basically ARCS I got off netgalley that come out this month)

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 30 – May 6th
Thief’s Magic – 15th May

So that is a totally of 6 books! Wish me luck! I am seriously hoping to get through all of these this month so I get rid of that ‘you’ve been reading these books for months hurry up! Hurry up! Or you’ll never read them or forget and have to restart them!’ and also so I can move on to books that I’ve been dying to read for ages, and hopefully get back to a ‘one book at a time’ pattern.

PSST. Wrap Up/TBR Video

Robot Uprisings by Daniel H.Wilson (et. al)

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Quickie Review: 3/5 on Goodreads.
This is a collection of stories (hence the ‘et. all’ in the title as Daniel H. Wilson did not write the stories in this book – except the last one. And I got this off netgalley and was suppose to be read before April 6th (which I clearly failed at =S) but oh well! I wouldn’t call myself knowledgeable in the sci-fi realm as I think I’ve only actually read like two sci-fi books in my life but started getting into sci-fi on both book and tv/movie platforms over the past 2 years.

So, my review? This book has lots of robot uprising (hence the title duh!) short stories and each and everyone was interesting in different ways; be it the robots having emotions or being suspenseful and a fearful story or just simply you wanted to know ‘how the heck were these characters gunna survive?!’ Also, they almost all leave you with dis-satisfaction of ‘I want more! I want a full novel!’ which isn’t a bad thing. Thoroughly enjoyable, although I assume, more enjoyable if you take your time reading it rather than all together without a normal book break in between.

As this is a collection of short stories, I won’t go into any spoilers nor my usual ‘plot’ and ‘character’ sections. Instead I will list the different stories below and give a brief teasery synopsis and/or my thoughts on it (pssh. unlined ones will be my favs!).

Complete God: Little bot are helping clean up the radiation in America but it’s creator has other plans. God, suspense, mysterious, great cliffhanger ending, loved it!
Cycles: Hinted robot love?
Lullaby: Nanobots in the house.
Eighty Miles an Hour, All the Way to Paradise: Two girls trying to find a safe heaven; but could politeness be the answer? Weird cliff-hangar ending.
Executable: It tried to get out and set off a virus?!
The Omnibot Incident: A boy gets a bot on Christmas day. Least terrifying story, in my opinion. Very cute.
Epoch: I unfortunately skipped this one after a few pages; a lot of technical talk and just didn’t interest me.
Human Intelligence: A mans sole survival as a spy; twist ending! Love, love, loved!
The Golden Hour: A family of robots and their human child. Such a great story, a little confusing and that ending was just satisfying ❤
Sleepover: This was probably the longest story of them all and is about a man who wakes up in the future and all is not what it was suppose to be. Some of the robotic communication elements in this story I just could suspend disbelief for but never the less a fascinating read!
Seasoning: Robots have found the key to getting on with humans; with food! Great ending.
Nanonauts! In Battle with tiny Death-Subs!: A battle in the brain! This was another weird one, I couldn’t quite grab the concept and almost thought ‘is this story about cancer rather than robots?’.
Of dying Heroes and the Deathless Deeds: Meet Pony, a robot, who is receiving therapy because he is broken; is he more human than he thought? Rather vivid in it’s violent recollections and a not very nice ending.
The Robot and the Baby: A story about a robot and a baby! This story is very bittersweet; cute with a sad ending.
We are all Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War: Children are the main theme in this story. It is sad and interesting but one thing did annoy me; the amount of times ‘The War is Over. The War will never end.’ was repeated.
Spider the Artist: Couldn’t read this one. Me and spiders = no no.
Small Things: About robots named Cretes and atomic bombs!

Negatives: For me, it was a bit long and maybe that’s because it was my first short story collection read. And as mentioned; probably best to take your time reading through this book rather than just focusing on the book all in one go; I kind of suffered from robot overload because I didn’t read a normal book in between it.

The Prince by Kiera Cass

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Quickie Review: 3/5 on GoodReads.
This is #0.5 in ‘The Selection’ Trilogy and is the first novella. The reason it gets 3/5 stars is because it was good but I don’t think it was a necessary novella. Although it was nice to see more of Maxon’s life and hear his thoughts.

Plot: Maxon’s point of view of when the Selection begins and his first few meetings with America.

Characters:
There is really only one character in this story; Maxon: While (as already said) it was nice to get a little more of the palace from his view point and to hear his thoughts, he did annoy me. I don’t remember him say ‘my dear’ as much as what he did in this novella.

Negatives: Already stated: I don’t think it was a necessary novella.

(SPOILERS) 

Continue reading

April 2014 Releases!

I know we’re already half way through April (holy carp! We’re half way through April?! o_O) so I’m rather late in doing this post but hey! Any book news is great news, right! … right? … Okay! So below I’m going to post the books that are coming out in April that have caught my interest. Now as I am on my year abroad, I won’t be able to buy them unless they’re cheap on Amazon Kindle! But still, knowing about new books is great!! =] Let’s go!

April 1st 2014

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I’m sure we’ve all heard of this book I’m sure and it’s been getting a lot of hype on booktube. Basically Dorothy has turned bad and another girl from Kansas goes to the world of Oz to Right all her Wrongs. I didn’t know until after the release that this was going to be a trilogy/series. So it means I have to definitely wait until I can purchase this (I only start trilogy/series – if they aren’t like 10+ books long – after the full set has come out).

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The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

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In order to cope with her sisters death, she extends her English teachers assignment ; to write a letter to a dead person.

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Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

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Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean, in this thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel.

April 8th 2014

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This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

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Another book getting a lot of buzz around YouTube and book blogs. And again, another beautiful cover! Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

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Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

April 10th 2014

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A story about friends breaking out of their hometown and going out and finding out who they are and learning about what life has in store for them! I think someone said it’s rare that there’s a book just about real friendship and this book sounds really interesting, as well as having a gorgeous cover!

April 15th 2014

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Out today! This book sounds so good! The synopsis is: Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters. You can tell it’s going to be an interesting ride for us to read! I don’t think I’ve ever read contemporary before (I’m a Fantasy/Sci-Fi girl all the way) so maybe I should make this my first? xD

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A girl tries to find out her mothers killer and there’s magic involved! Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.

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Caeli-Amur: an ancient city perched on white cliffs overlooking the sea; a city ruled by three Houses, fighting internecine wars; a city which harbours ancient technology and hidden mysteries. But things are changing in Caeli-Amur. Ancient minotaurs arrive for the traditional Festival of the Sun. The slightly built New-Men bring their technology from their homeland. Wastelanders stream into the city hideously changed by the chemical streams to the north. Strikes break out in the factory district.

April 22nd 2014

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A book I haven’t heard anyone mention really and I think it sounds so freaking good!! Although am I correct in thinking the girl looks a little like the girl from The Book Thief? xD Synopsis:

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

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All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer…

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For centuries, the Furies have lived among us. Long ago they were called witches and massacred by the thousands. But they’re human just like us, except for a rare genetic mutation that they’ve hidden from the rest of the world for hundreds of years.

I hope all these books have given you food for thought and hopefully not extended your TBR piles too much. All synopsis’ are in Italics and are from Goodreads.

 

 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Quickie Review: 5/5 on GoodReads.
I am a big J.R.R.Tolkien fan and I love anything he writes/wrote and it was great to go back and reread A. a classic and B. a book I read quiet a few times as a child. And this book did not fail and I loved the story, the characters (bar one moment), the writing style and it is just an overall epic, timeless and enjoyable high fantasy read!

Plot:
Bilbo Baggins (a hobbit) is very content with his quiet, pleasant, unadventurous life until one day Gandalf, a wizard, along with 13 Dwarves turn up at his doorstep and literally push him into an epic adventure filled with trolls, orcs, giant eagles, elves and not forgetting a giant dragon!

Characters:
I won’t mention them all but I feel some should be mentioned.
Bilbo Baggins – his transformation throughout the book is amazing! He starts off grumpy and being really against the adventure to someone with confidence in himself and being able to trust more, to think for himself more and ultimately, even though he does want to get home, enjoying the adventure he is on.
Thorin – Dwarf, the King Under the Mountain! Or so he tries to be. Thorin is very mighty and very wise but also very stubborn at the same time. He can be corrupted by gold easily and there is a moment towards the end of the book where a reader can seriously turn into disliking him (like I did) because of his stubbornness but besides that a great, strong character!
Gandalf – Gandalf is very mysterious and very odd (compared to how I remember him in the LOTR books) and he spends a lot of time away, dealing with other things that are not mentioned in the book (which the films fill in beautifully by the way!) but nevertheless he is a great character and a strong one also. I also loved towards the end (when there was like a clash between Men and Elves vs Dwarves) what side he choose to be on and didn’t directly say ‘you’re on the wrong side’ but also at the same time, his presence is so great and important that even the readers know, without him saying, that Gandalf is (pretty much) always right. I love him!
Beorn – Beorn I feel gets more time and more care in the books than in the film and I loved the role he played in this book, especially when the Company are first with him and they don’t see him for about 2 days and the tale of where he’d been and what he’d been doing I really enjoyed. And I can’t imagine him as a scary bear at all but a great, big, fluffy, cuddly one!

Extended Review:
As mentioned earlier this book did not fail in my expectations and in fact I have founder and better thoughts on the book now, especially now that I am older and can love it for not just it’s story now. I loved the story naturally; it’s just adventure after adventure and event after event and never a dull moment! I love the writing style – I love Tolkien’s long descriptions (which are very famous is The Lord of the Rings and tends to be a big reason why people can’t read the books or any of his books) and while they’re weren’t in this book, I did find something else of his writing style that I loved; the only way I can describe it is the richness in the words that he selected to describe things and the words he uses in similes are just perfection. Some loved sections of mine are:

shower of arrows, and each flickered as it fled as if with stinging fire – (kindle) page 284
gleamed like gold in a dying fire – (kindle) page 285

Just a lot of magical words to read as well as magical things happening in the story.

Negatives:
Only two negatives and one is just because of a character and one is an actual story gripe I have. The character gripe I have has already been mentioned and that was the one moment where Thorin is very stubborn and very annoying, and the actual story gripe is; I wish the dragon battle scene had been longer; I feel it ended a bit too soon for my liking. But besides that, I really do not have any negatives about it! So highly recommended!