Tag Archives: 2-3 stars

ARC : Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess

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I received a copy of Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess from GoodReads First Reads giveaway for review. This in no way influenced my review and/or rating.

Let me start off by saying I’m not Wiccan, I am a firm Christian believer.  So be forewarned that I skipped over the spells/meditations/rituals, so no part of my review will deal with these.

Brigid has fascinated me for most my life.  I’m completely serious here.  My Junior year of high school was when I ‘discovered’ her, and it was at that same time a friend had asked a couple of us to design characters for a book she was writing.  Mine were triplets.  Any guess why?  In designing these characters around the three aspects of St. Brigid, I ran into her history as a Celtic Goddess.  So much of what is here (myth-wise) I have already come across in one form or another.  But there had never been anything I found on Maman Brigitte.  So I was very interested to learn about her Voudon lore.

Sadly, Maman Brigitte gets such a brief mention in this book that I had to go back to the index to verify she had been mentioned (I do have to confess I didn’t remember her name, so when I looked the sections back up, i took down the name).  Now, right off the bat Ms. Weber does mention that there are arguments over whether or not Brigid & Maman Brigitte are the same, so I understand why there wouldn’t be as much as the saint vs. goddess information.  But I had hoped for more than a couple paragraphs and a brief one sentence mention later.

Ms. Weber was in her element in regards to the saint/goddess conversions/comparisons and her telling of the druid/Celtic history was more interesting to me.  She didn’t sugar coat the rituals and practices that are horrifying to think of in this day and age, yet back then was something that they felt HAD to be done their people to survive.  And I feel she wasn’t vilifying the early Christians when she discusses how they change the Goddess Brigid in St Brigid to spread our religion.  And I respect her for how she handled this.

Unfortunately, after my praise, I do feel the need to now say what I didn’t like.  The writing didn’t keep me hooked.  It has taken me almost a year to read this book, and I finally had to leave it at work and force myself NOT to bring other books in order to do so.  Once I started reading, it was way to easy for me to set the book down without coming back to it for long periods of time.

And once again I have to mention Maman Brigitte.  Having alluding to her on the back of the book and in the book description, she should have had a larger part in the book.  I feel like this was close to false advertising, except she was mentioned briefly.

Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess is a good book if you are just getting into who/what this intriguing woman is, and you want to learn more about her as a Celtic deity.  I do not think this book is for someone who has researched Brigid previously, and is looking for new information.  Actually, let me say I think this book should really only be for those people who really don’t know Brigid’s lore, and who are looking for information into the her Goddess aspect.  Otherwise it is nothing all that new or noteworthy.

Initial reaction was 2 stars, changed to 3 once I sat down and actually thought my review out.

Average 2.5 stars

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ARC: Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly

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I received a copy of Hopcross Jilly from Netgalley for review. This in no way influenced my review.

I love Patricia Brigg’s Mercedes Thompson books. They are almost always an insta-buy/read for me. I’m actually rereading them at the moment. So when I saw a copy was available for review, I jumped on it. When I finished it, I was a tad disappointed. I guess I had higher expectations for anything with Patricia Briggs on it.

Hopcross Jilly starts out with Mercy and the pack finding a burial site full of children, around an old house suspected of belonging to a fae. Wanna guess which one? Told between flash backs and current events, the at times confusing tale of how the Fae works, her prey, and her reappearance comes together.

But, for me, the main star was Jesse. I have always liked her as a side/sub/background character, and while I didn’t care all that much for this story, I like how it showed her different aspects. Her ‘public’ face where she has to be tough and act like the bullying from school doesn’t bother her. And her ‘private’ face, the one she shows to Mercy and around the wolves.

Even with Jesse taking a HUGE part of this story, it didn’t suck me in until the final confrontation. And I think that’s sad. Being a graphic novel, there’s not alot of time to hook and draw me in. The visuals should draw me in with the story & dialog. They failed. Some scenes where drawn beautifully, and others seemed haphazardly thrown together. And I’m not sure how ‘Jilly’ was defeated. I have a pretty good idea, but not confirmation.

I have recommended this to a friend (turns out she was reading it serialized), but I won’t recommend this to anyone who isn’t familiar with the worlds of Mercedes Thompson and Alpha and Omega. 3 Stars.

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ARC: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

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I received a copy of of this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affected my review.

The blurb for this book hooked me, even if I was a tad leery about a fan ‘guide’. I have been a fan girl for so long, I’m not willing to date myself by giving examples of my first fandoms. So what could this guide give me that I didn’t already know?

Sam Maggs did a wonderful job including as many general fandoms as possible!  There are book-, TV-, comic-, game-, and even Disney-fans.  The only real disappointment I had in this regard is she tends to focus on the current, widely known books and TV shows. She didn’t talk about lesser known titles that could have become new favorites.  Understandable, but still slightly disappointing.

With sections on vocabulary, ways to find like-minded new friends, conventions, to name a few, a lot of ground gets covered. Thankfully the information provided doesn’t feel thrown together or missing key things the beginner should be aware of.

Saying that, there is one big problem I have with this.  And, not being sure how to word what I mean right, I’m sure I’ll make some people mad.  While the issue of safety is stressed (numerous times, which I an NOT complaining about), I get the vibe that it is more of an internet issue to worry about. I would’ve liked to see convention trolling/harassment covered better.  I don’t cosplay, but I have friends who do.  One was stuck in an elevator with a drunk man who made inappropriate comments, and made her feel unsafe getting off in her floor in case he followed her.  Another one got harassed and groped when she had a low-cut outfit on.   These things happen, and, sadly, most times Con security have other things to worry about verses some harassment.  It’s not ok, but anyone planning on cosplay should be aware this happens and there might not be any repercussions.

The only other issue I had is a small one.  In the beginning when she discusses the different types of fan girls, she has a ‘key accessories’ listing.  I am many of these fans, and don’t have any of the listed items.  And while it is not said,  but I feel implied, that to be a fan you should have these items or something like them.  Not a big deal, but something that has bugged me.

3.5 stars.

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ARC: Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

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I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher. This in no way affected/influenced my rating and review.

Rebel Queen is a fictional account of Queen Lakshmi and her fight for India told by one of her inner circle guards, Sita. At least, that’s what the condensed version of the book’s description leads you to believe.  Instead, most of the book is about Sita’s life as one of the rani’s and her problems with the politics that come with it.  Lakshmi is a minor character, and very little of her is seen.

Sita (after loosing her mother in childbirth) starts training to become a Durgavasi; one of the female warriors that protects the rani, the Indian queen.  Hoping to be chosen so she can provide a dowry for her sister, she suffers at a time when it is almost unheard of for a woman to use weapons.  I liked Sita.  She’s not perfect; even while being petty, you can tell she has a good heart.

Through Sita’s eyes, we get a tantalizing view of Indian culture during the East India Company’s boom and influence on her country.  This was the part of the story that fascinated me.  The practice of purdah and the seclusion of men from women; the dowry practices and implications that has on your caste.  These are cultural side-notes that might not be well known, and are interesting .  Also, the British’s blatant disregard of the local customs and the fall out from them that help spur the war is another interesting fact I didn’t know.

When it comes the the actual fighting, Ms. Moran pulls no punches.  Atrocities are committed by both sides, and while the British are viscous, the Indians were as bad if not worse.  I felt sick after reading some of the POW treatment and the way the civilians on both sides were treated.

The Rebel Queen is a story more about Sita than her Queen.  If you are coming into this book expecting an account of Queen Lakshmi’s life and battles, you will be somewhat disappointed (like me).  You do get glimpses of her life early on; towards the end of the book where Sita interacts with her more you get a better idea of her as a queen and her love of peace.

I give this book 3 stars.  It was a good book, but I had no problem putting it down for long stretches at a time.  Also, I was expecting Queen Lakshmi to have more of a presence.  I would recommend with warnings.

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ARC: The Hunt for Snow by S.E. Babin


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I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. This in no way influenced my opinion or rating.

I was drawn in by the book description, and I was let down. The beginning had a TON of quotes I highlighted (with many giggles), and the banter between Snow, Cyndi, and Belle worked. Almost perfect.

Then the conference happened. And the story went downhill. I’m still not sure why a conference was used for a plot device, or why the characters did some of things they did (I’m trying to avoid spoilers, because there isn’t much that makes sense enough to spoil). Much of the dialog felt stilted and awkward while they were at the hotel where the conference took place, and I cringed in many places.  IMHO, most of these scenes could have been cut.

But the end shocked me by pulling itself back together and working. Without knowing for sure, I almost feel the author had the start & finish figured out, and wrote the middle in a rush. I will be looking at reading book 2, mainly to see how they pull off the win/HEA.

I would not recommend this book to anyone.  2.5 Stars

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