Blog Posts

Let’s Talk About… Reign of Serpents by Eleanor Herman

I have finally read the third installment of The Blood of Gods and Royals series! Once again, I’d like to thank the lovely people over at Glasstown Entertainment for reaching out and sending me a copy and asking me to do a Q&A with Eleanor Herman herself. You can take a look at my blog tour post here to get more insight on where the story is headed in the fourth and final book: Dawn of Heroes (date TBD)

Synopsis from Goodreads


The ancient power of Snake Blood threatens the known world. While Prince Alexander struggles with a very deadly inner demon, his betrothed, Zofia, is on her way to him, to unite their kingdoms…even as she begins to realize where her true allegiance lies. The fierce Cynane meets her match-not in her future husband, the deranged king of Illyria, but in her great-great-grandfather, Talus, possessor of Smoke Blood, who will teach her the true meaning of betrayal. And marooned together on an island in the Mediterranean, romantic tension blooms between Katerina and Hephaestion as they learn of lost civilizations and discover a device that could help them do the impossible: kill the last living god.


This review is going to be packed with spoilers so don’t read on if you want to read this book! I think it’s worth sticking around for, the story is only getting more interesting and mysterious, and I have high hopes for the final book! So definitely give it a read if you’ve already started this series.

My rating: 4 stars Continue reading “Let’s Talk About… Reign of Serpents by Eleanor Herman”

Shadowhunters Season 2B: Episode 19 Review!

I apologize if this post stops making sense sometimes because I am trying to keep my reactions as accurate to what I first thought as possible.

Episode 19: Hail and Farewell

Angry Jonathan Christopher is angry. Oh I actually liked that moment between angry JC and Valentine. I thought little bit of dialogue was cleverly written and actually kind of held some impact in the scene.

JC: Being discovered wasn’t part of my plan, but killing you was.
Val: Then it would seem you ave some issues with follow-through doesn’t it?

The gang figures out that the decoy body was the real Sebastian quickly, but they kill the demon possessing his dead body real quick too. Everything is so easy and we’re only 4 minutes in here.

The Seelie Queen has offered all Downworlders safety in the event of Val raising Raziel and killing all with Demon blood. And since Magnus agreed to her proposition, she speaks on behalf of all Downworlders now. She is refusing to help the Shadowhunters track down Valentine and JC. I still don’t know if I understand why she’s a child. It’s very hard to take a child authority-figure seriously… I’m always so confused when I watch this show though, she says we’re not helping the Shadowhunters but they’re doing what the shadowhunters wanted them to anyways. I had to watch this downworlder council meeting scene 3 times before I understood what happened. So basically, I was very confused by this scene and that’s not a good thing.

Are Izzy and Rafael going to rekindle their relationship now? Barf. These emotional goodbyes are so lame, and this music behind them. I can’t, it’s so cheesy.

I like Simon’s reality check that college is super expensive, and that he’s totally wasting his mom’s money. That hurts me to my core so I’m just glad it’s been acknowledged. College IS expensive, especially those ones on the East Coast (*cough cough* BU).

Simon’s little quips are decent sometimes too, I particularly liked this one:

Simon: There’s no job too big!
Clary: I need you to talk to the Seelie Queen…
Simon: That job’s too big.

Oh geez the little child warlock is back. Ah we finally meet Catarina Loss, not blue I guess that was too high budget so they just put her in blue scrubs instead. Those who know about magic see through glamour so everyone would be able to see her blue skin and magnus’ cat eyes. They can’t just hide and reveal their marks at will, but for the purposes of not causing Henry Shum Jr. extreme eye pain and not having to paint all visible skin on Catarina blue, they just wrote in a fix for that. Oh dear the wolf CGI is pretty much just as bad as the Twilight movies. Not great.

Finally, Sarah Hyland’s version of the Seelie Queen. As I could see when they originally released this scene at ComicCon, she has a really bad old English accent that makes her sound like she’s impersonating Alice in Wonderland. Anyways, uh oh Simon made Queenie mad.

We all know Luke is still working with Clary and the gang, so he is giving them a heads up on info about Valentine and JC’s whereabouts. So he’s also going against Queenie in his own way.

This silly trance Clary goes into when she is imagining a new rune is comical. The tilting frame on her face and flashing incomprehensible images. Pretty funny if you ask me. Also, UGH the chemistry between Clary and Jace is sooooo forced. These shirtless Jace scenes are cringe to the max. There’s the slo-mo blinking and fan blowing their hair around as they share a meaningful embrace and glow with a golden aura together. Excuse me while I go burn my television to a pile of ash. Just kidding that would be slightly more painful to watch than this scene.

All right, Valentine creating an army of the endarkened to protect JC is pretty bookish right? right? Right. Why on earth would they go to a cemetery at night. Stupid stupid shadowhunters. Of course it’s a trap. It’s a cemetery at night! There is no way something good is going to happen with that kind of setting. They’re really forcing the “what happened between you two” thing because Izzy asked Clary, of course we have to acknowledge it between Alec and Jace too. More cringing. These zombie noises for the endarkened are high quality (that’s called sarcasm)

HE MADE YOU SPAGHETTI TOO DIDN’T HE whyyyy is this referenced so often on the show it’s like a running joke now. Haven’t mentioned the spaghetti yet this episode, gotta squeeze it in somewhere. If you watch the YouTube channel PolandBananasBOOKS you know this is a running joke in her vlog reviews for this show too, I recommend watching if you like to see people ranting about this series.

They may think Sebastian is dead now, but he’s not, right? That would be way too easy if he really was dead, but then again I don’t put taking the easy way out past these writers. Because as we know they have to solve each problem set out at the beginning of the episode by the time the credit roll each week.

Issues to deal with next time:

Maia was drugged and taken to Seelie, but why?

Seelie Queen is meeting with Valentine. What did Valentine whisper in her ear to make her intrigued enough not to kill him right there on the spot.

They also keep teasing on social media that not everyone is going to make it out alive so who are they going to kill off next! Find out on Monday at 8/7pm central, only on Freeform and the app and hulu and you know, all the places.

I really hope my you were able to follow my sarcasm,

Katie x

Let’s Talk About… Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

I’ve made it no secret that Richelle Mead is one of my favorite authors, and this book did not disappoint. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the Richelle Mead formula: Strong female leads, dangerous plots, mysterious but intriguing and hopelessly attractive male counter-parts. Like what more do you actually need to make a fantasy novel? She does, I’ll admit, write series in which the first book is a bit slow to start because she’s building a complex new world. So, naturally, the first half of the book was spent hanging in some confused space before the real action started. I think Richelle does a good job of pacing when certain information is revealed to keep the info-dumping at bay and I appreciate that. The fact that there were mysteries within and between each of the characters really added to the tension in solving the plot’s mystery.

Synopsis from Goodreads


In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.


There’s so much going on in this story that I cannot make it spoiler free! So stop here if you don’t want to be spoiled on how Mae and Justin fare in the first book of the Age of X series. Also, this is an adult targeted Science-Fiction Fantasy series, so there are sex scenes and such that would be inappropriate for Richelle’s younger readers. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About… Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead”

Shadowhunters Season 2B Episodes 17 & 18 Review!

So… I fell behind. Can you guess why? Obviously, for those who haven’t caught on, I am very much unimpressed with this show as a whole. I literally have no excuse for missing a week of watching/reviewing other than I just really wasn’t looking forward to another episode. It’s unfortunate, too, because I have always tried to keep my hopes high that the show would improve. It has improved to an extent, but it’s also not the most exciting show I have to watch right now.

Brief recap

Jace and Clary went on a mission (unsupervised) to Idris and almost died trying to find Valentine because Clary started hallucinating after drinking some of the water from Lake Lyn. Izzy saved the day, but either way they got to the cottage too late and Valentine and Sebastian were already gone. On top of this, Clary finds out that her brother, Jonathan Christopher, is still alive. However, she has no idea that he has been disguised as Sebastian this whole time… yet.

Episode 17: A Dark Reflection

Clary is havign Lake Lyn nightmares so naturally a shirtless jace has to run in and comfort her. She soon realizes that they can use her mother’s box of JC’s keepsakes to track him. But when she opens the box, it’s empty.

Valentine is still holding onto hope that Clary will accept him as a father and live happily ever after with himself and JC.

Luke’s Iron Sister sister comes back for a brief and confusing appearance in this episode. I know she’s helping Valentine and all that, but her existence is a pretty unimportant to the overall plot. She’s not the only one like that. Remember glasses girl at the institute? She had one line and is now no where in sight? Why introduce a character at all if they aren’t essential to at least one plot line? It’s just another sloppy element of this show. We, as viewers or many a great television program and readers of Cassie’s complex books, are looking at every detail and expecting it to be important at some point. The show writers, on the other hand, are just haphazardly throwing things in and then forgetting about them,

I’m starting to agree with people who say Malec is the only reason they still care enough to watch the show. I like them, I’ve just never favored them over the main plot… Until now. They are the only things that make sense most of the time when everything else seems all jumbled up. However, Magnus’ individual story line is a bit jumbled up for me sometimes.

Oof Maia is the one friend zoning Simon now. Harsh. Does this mean Jordan is going to come back into the picture eventually? it seemed like she was the one initiating the whole date vibe before so it’s pretty mean of her to shoot simon down now.

The whole mark-on-the-arm thing is so lame to me. I complain about this a lot but this show cannot draw out a problem. “Oh, we need to find the Mortal Mirror now? Let’s make that happen in one hour or less so that the problem is solved right away. We’ll put a mark on the arm of the one person who knows the Mirror’s location, but then we’ll kill him off because he doesn’t matter and then make Dot the confidant because we have to make her useful since she still isn’t dead.” I imagine that’s a little like what happened while the script was being written for this episode. It’s sad really that the show has no complexities that last more than one episode.

Will Tudor’s Sebastian is definitely one of the best sociopaths out there. I mean I know it’s all acting anyways because this is a TV show but at least Will Tudor is doing a good job with the role. If anything, he might be the reason I watch because while everyone else comes across as a lame excuse for their characters most of the time, Will is really selling Sebastian for me.

Wait a sec WHAT. The big bad mortal mirror is a little compact mirror that can fit in a purse or a pocket? Please tell me this is a decoy. My exact thoughts when Dot pulled a compact mirror out from the statue in the park. I was about to be real mad if they made the mirror that simple. But either way Clary figures out that the real Mortal Mirror is Lake Lyn in about one second flat after the compact is destroyed, but I’m getting ahead of myself because that’s in the next episode.

This episode ends with an obvious set up for Sebastian to kill Max. So, on to the next one I guess.

Episode Grade: it just dragged on and on and on for no reason… so C-

Episode 18: Awake, Arise, or Be Forever Fallen

Alright so cliffhanger ended quickly for me because I watched these two episodes back-to-back. I assumed Max was dead right away, because that would be on par with the books. But I know by now not to trust these writers to follow the book plot and keep certain people alive and kill off others. Maybe I should make a running tally of who should/shouldn’t have died.

Shouldn’t have died: Jocelyn Fray, Brother Zachariah
Should have died but is still alive: Dot, Max

Comment below if I’m missing anyone because I probably am.

As an example of a complicated character introduction, Bartholomew “Bat” Velasquez arrives. He’s scratched by Russel (a new character), which is interesting because in the books, Bat was already a wolf who had a complicated relationship with Maia. I’m hoping the Bat story line goes somewhere useful and isn’t pointless like most of the show’s other side plots. As of right now, it really only gave an opportunity to explain Maia’s  back story with her ex boyfriend, Jordan, and how she was turned. I’m glad they explained this in the show, but does this mean that they are planning to introduce Jordan before this season ends?

 

I liked seeing Sebastian squirm and panic in this episode. They have him figured out in the sense that they know he has infiltrated the institute. It just takes a while for Clary to realize that Sebastian is actually her evil brother and then try to stop him, unsuccessfully of course.

As I stated above, Magnus’ plot in this episode confused me a bit. I get that he’s torn after he and Luke visited the Seelie Queen early in the episode. Magnus doesn’t want to join forces with the fae if it means being placed directly against Alec, but the placement of the flashbacks confused me at first. Once I caught on, I could kind of figure out which scenes were flashbacks and which were in the present, but it was just not as easy to understand as I would have hoped. This probably could have been avoided if the editing was more clever.

Side note: it seems a bit weird to me that they’re actually using the Jade Wolf as a real restaurant. So now Maia works there too? As well as at the Hunter’s Moon? That girl works hard for her education I guess, but why would  bunch of wolves bother running a restaurant in their den? That’s a bit tricky considering a mundane cop brought her girlfriend there to eat. Like if mundanes sit down and eat there that’s definitely a safety hazard. In the books, no one actually eats there, they just answer take away calls occasionally to keep up the cover. The more I look things up and remember them, the more I think that the show runners just didn’t do thorough research when creating the show’s key components for the screen and their plots.

Lot’s of soul bearing in this episode. pretty intense stuff.

They’re doing some kind of scary operation on max that he has little chance of surviving. Are they going to throw more plot to the wind and take the easy way out YET AGAIN by making Max live and figuring to who JC is super-duper easy? Maybe. There’s still 20 minutes left of the episode so all the problems can soon be solved shortly if we keep following the usual pattern here.

I know they thought using slow motion on the scene where Sebastian gets the mirror was going to look all intense and cool, but it was just lame. I feel like I use that adjective way too much in these reviews but I don’t know how else to express it. It was pretty stupid of Jace to leave his post, and for a fake text. Though I’ll admit the fake text was a great idea on Sebastian’s part. I know Jace was an emotional wreck and all because Max is like a brother to him, but come on Jace of course something bad is going to happen if you leave the mirror! That’s why it was being guarded in the first place!

Oh dear Clary thinks she’s destroyed the Mortal mirror… *facepalm* obviously that puny thing wasn’t the actual mirror!

And the Mirror mystery is solved. Wow see? This is what I’m saying. We wrap up this episode with every single problem solved. We have Max safe and sound, and he had figured out that Sebastian was Jonathan Christopher’s disguise (although Clary figured it out on her own too so his revelation was pointless aside from causing a brief death scare). Clary has figured out the mirror mystery. Malec is still in love and happy. The only cliffhanger we have is that Sebastian got away, but without the little mirror thingy that wasn’t the real mirror anyways. Phew.

All in all, this was a standard Shadowhunters episode in which a problem is introduced and solved right away with as much convenience as possible. It’s honestly like these characters don’t even have to do anything. Things just turn out fine no matter what. Why can’t we get some real drama and have more organized plot lines that last longer than one episode? Is that really too much to ask? If anything, it should make writing easier! You can draw out one plot line and really get into the details instead of being sloppy, which is how the show has been (and still is).

How do you think this season will be wrapped up over the next too weeks? Sunshine and rainbows? Me too, anything is possible at this point. I hope this post wasn’t too ranty for you, but maybe you feel the same way I do. I am getting more and more cynical as the show progresses.

Episode Grade: C; not terrible, but still pretty bad

A very bitter Katie x

For the record: I do pretty much all of my fact-checking on the shadowhunters wiki.

Stories of the Month: July 2017

Movies

Photo from imdb.com

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

This one is a film I felt like I HAD to watch. I think it’s been on Netflix for quite a while, but I finally got around to it this month. I had never seen this late 90’s classic even though pretty much everyone my age has and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Waling away from this movie, I’m no bigger a fan of Julia Stiles (I think she’s so-so as an actress, maybe that’s just because of the roles I’ve seen her in) and I feel a lot sadder about the loss of talent the Heath Leger’s passing left in the world. I like stuff from the 90’s, yeah it’s not as great as the Golden Age of Hollywood or the amazing effects films can use today, but 90’s movies feel so cozy and relaxing to watch. You walk away with that warm fuzzy feeling that only nostalgia can give, and I love it. So overall, I thought this was a cute film, I get why everyone loves it and talks about it even to this day!
My Grade: A

Photo from imdb.com

Leap Year (2010)

This film has a 21% on Rotten Tomatoes, and I’m not surprised. I must admit, I was baking a cake while watching, so I wasn’t really paying attention to the whole thing and I feel absolutely no remorse. I thought this film looked promising and entertaining, but the plot was super lame. Amy Adams’ character is seemingly committed to her longtime boyfriend and wants to use some Irish tradition of proposing on Leap day, but her plans go awry when her plane goes down early on the wrong side of Ireland and she has to find another way to get to Dubin in time. She then meets a handsome Irishman, I’ll save you the strange and confusing details of all the places and things they see together, and pretty much insta-falls in love with him. Sure Adam Scott’s character was pretty lame and unexciting so who wouldn’t fall in love with Matthew Goode instead, but I thought this fate-laced tale of a cheating almost-fiancee was pretty unexciting and predictable. Save yourself the time and take it out of your Netflix list.

My Grade: D

Television

Image result for doctor who season 10
Photo from screenrant.com

Doctor Who Series 10 (pretty much the second half)

I’m not one to hide my disappointment with the way this show has been heading for the last couple of seasons. I have grown a bit fonder of Capaldi as his time on the show has progress, but I still think the writing has gotten sloppy almost to the point of no return. When I finally hit this season’s penultimate episode (written by Moffat) I was actually captivated for the fist time in ages. I think Moffat has a real talent for writing creepy and scary storylines to go with Doctor Who’s famed monsters and I loved this new Cybermen story. That said, the finale didn’t really keep my attention and I was completely lost by the time they were setting up for the Christmas special.

Image result for doctor who jodie
Photo from nerdist.com

In other, maybe more important news, there’s a new Doctor! I’m sure you all knew that Capaldi is stepping down after the Christmas special this year (especially obvious by him started to regenerate at the end of the finale) and I had been waiting and waiting for them to tell us who the new Doctor is. Finally they revealed that it will be *drumroll* Jodie Whittaker from Broadchurch! After I recovered from my intial shock of hearing that the Doctor is finally going to regenerate into a woman, I realized that it was a little less shocking considering the show she is coming from. If you follow DW news at least moderately closely, you’ll know that Moffat is also stepping down after this season and handing off the show to Chris Chibnall, the writer of Broadchurch. I am a big fan of the other show, so you can bet I’ll be watching Series 11 in hopes that I will be drawn back in, although a change in writing could really go either way.

 

Books

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Photo from goodreads.com

On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher.

I loved reading Carrie’s first novel, and I put up a whole review to prove it! Carrie’s writing isn’t perfect, but her story telling skills shine through in this book and I really enjoyed this sweet, quick read. Check out my review [add link] and pick up On the Other Side for yourself!:)


Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won’t open.

Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow , some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love . . .


You can check out my full review of On the Other Side here!

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

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Photo from Goodreads.com

I always get lost in Richelle’s characters and world-building, which makes for an overall enjoyable reading experience for me. Yay! While her books tend to have similar elements (fantasy setting, strong-willed and independent females, steamy adult scenes, and mysteriously attractive male counter-parts), it works for me! I very much enjoyed this book and couldn’t wait to finish it so I would know how it would end. Of course, the ending isn’t completely satisfying because it’s a series! I have yet to buy the second book, and the third isn’t out yet, but I’ll definitely be picking up the rest of this series in the future.

Synopsis from Goodreads


In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.


My full review will be up soon!

So I suppose I was a bit slow on the book reading front this month, but I also started (currently half-way through) The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken. I plan to finish it soon, but it’s been slow going since I’m reading the e-arc strictly on my work breaks and not at home in my downtime, It’s not super long though and I’m really enjoying Prosper’s world!