Tag Archives: ARC

ARC: I Love My Love by Reyna Mays

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I received a copy of I Love My Love from Netgalley for review. This had no impact on my review/rating of this book.

Poetry isn’t really my thing. As a matter of fact, I believe the last time I read a poetry book was a collection of Emily Dickenson’s poems in high school. Which was very long ago. Keep that in mind when you go to judge my rating (aka, I don’t know anything about poetry.)

With that being said, this collection of poems/letters/thoughts/etc hit me hard. It felt like I could feel her pain, her despair, her confusion, and then her acceptance and happiness. More than once when reading this at work I had to put it down because of these emotions that were evoked. This could be a by product of some personal issues/struggles I have been going through (not like hers) and these honest words just ripped the feelings out. I may re-read at a later/happier(?) time and see if I still have the strong reactions.

Regardless, these pages of brutally honest questions and reflections were hard to stop reading, and my thoughts are even harder to put into words. The only real negative point I can come up with some of the content may be triggering (I’m not 100% sure on this,) some of the darker prose may need warning. Read with discretion if you do have triggers.

4.5 stars

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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: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

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

Gates of Thread and Stone follows Kai, a young woman/girl that is living in the slums with her brother, Reev.  He is a bouncer and she delivers mail.  Her best/only friend is Avan, a shop-owner’s son.  When Reev doesn’t come after his shift one night, Kai is determined to find and save him; like he saved her years earlier.  Joined by Avan, she embarks on a quest that will lead her discovering just who she is and her role in their world.

Lame, I know.  But I’m having problems trying to come up with something without spoilers.  Grr.  So much of what happens is spoilers!  There is a great many people and events talked about, with most of them being reveled at the end.  Again, which makes it hard NOT to give any spoilers.

The book’s blurb hooked me, making me think of a YA fantasy novel.  Yet, this isn’t quite right.  At times I thought of a Sci-Fi/steampunk (which is close), yet also not quite right.  About midway through, an item briefly mentioned made me rethink how I would categorize this, and gave me new insight into the world Kai lives in.

It also made me wonder about the relationship between Kai, Reev, and Avan.  Thankfully, Kai and Reev’s relationship is truly that of an older brother/younger sister.  The way the point was made that they weren’t really related had me wondering… Kai/Avan, on the other hand, is all muddled and confused because Kai is all muddled and confused.

Even as I struggle to write this review, I’m antsy to return to this world in the next book.  Sometimes, the books I like/enjoy the most are the hardest for me to review.  4.5 Stars.

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ARC: The October Faction Vol 1 by Steve Niles & Damien Worm

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I received a copy of this graphic novel from the publisher through Netgalley.  This did not effect my review in any way.  1.5 stars.

I had a hard time following this story line. I felt like I had been dropped into the middle of a story I should already know the beginning. The art work is rough and dark; dark enough that on my iPad I had an extremely hard time making out what was supposed to be happening.

I won’t recommend this to anyone, and I won’t continue reading the follow up volumes.

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ARC: Wayward vol. 1: String Theory by Jim Zub

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I received a copy of Wayward from the publisher through Net Galley.  This had no bearing or influence on my review.

I LOVED Wayward vol. 1.  I am anxiously waiting for volume to be announced, so then I can get antsy waiting for it to be released.  I might just break my own rule and buy the individual issues.  It was that good!

The story starts with Rori, a half Japanese/Irish, arriving in Tokyo to start living with her mom.  This is also the first time we see her ‘strings’; glowing ribbons that lead her to here she needs to go/be.  Soon she runs into the crazy girl, the bad boy (who eats spirits), and another young boy with odd abilities.  There are some monsters and a mysterious figure that seems to have a connection to them.

As much as I find the story and the drop dead gorgeous artwork enthralling, I can’t describe the story.  I just can’t.  There is so much going on all at once; I’m not 100% what is taking place.  Except for the end, but that’s a spoiler.  *shh*  Hopefully the next collection will shed some light on some of the actions happening.

4.5 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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