Perdido Street Station

There have been a few comparisons in other reviews of this novel of New Crobuzon to Ankh-Morpork of the Discworld, and I agree. However, as much as I believe how dirty, corrupt and dangerous Ankh-Morpork is when Sir Pratchett tells me it is so, this may be the first time that I have been physically disgusted or, actually slightly horrified while reading a book. Miéville is so descriptive in this way that many times while reading this I felt actual revulsion for whatever or whoever he wanted me to feel that way about, and though I know how this is going to sound... it wasn't a bad thing. It felt that way because it was supposed to, and it needed to, and so it did. I'd liken it to watching something you know is gross... and being mesmerized and unable to look away.

There were words scattered all over this book that I haven't legitimately seen used in a sentence more than twice ever, never mind five or six times throughout one book (someone really loves the word palimpsest), but I found that the language used really lent itself well to the overall feel of the book.  This had been on my to-read list for years. Close to a decade now, really. Everyone always told me that if I loved Gaiman, I would love Miéville, and they're not wrong so far. I could instantly feel a similarity to the Sandman series and Neverwhere at least, so I'll definitely be reading more Miéville in the future.


OMG it's 2015

I've totally forgotten to sign up for any challenges this year. Luckily it is never too late (until it is)!

So as per usual, I'm going to challenge myself to the color coded challenge. I have a lot of colorful books left over from frantic decisions on what to read from last year's challenge.

I always have fun with this one!

Thanks to Bev for hosting again!


Color Coded Wrap-up!

The 2014 Color Coded Reading Challenge - Hosted by Bev @ MyReadersBlock

You know, I almost thought I wouldn't get a chance to complete this one this year. I got a real late start, and with getting a new job and moving thrown on top of that, I wasn't so sure.

I'm glad I finished it up though, with a bit of time to spare! :)

Here are the books I read for this challenge (with links to their respective reviews):

Blue: Christie Anderson - Deep Blue Secret
Red: Scott Lynch - Red Seas Under Red Skies
Yellow: B.V. Larson - Amber Magic
Green: L.M. Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables
Brown: Laura Florand - The Chocolate Thief
Black: Jennifer Armentrout - Obsidian/Onyx
White: Diana Rowland - My Life as a White Trash Zombie
Other Color: Piper Kerman - Orange is the New Black
Implied Color: Brandon Sanderson - Steelheart

My favorite book that I read for this challenge was undoubtedly Red Seas Under Red Skies, because I love Locke Lamora, but I also really, really enjoyed Steelheart, the Lux series (Obsidian & Onyx included!) and The Chocolate Thief. My least favorite in the challenge was probably Orange is the New Black, which I thought I would really enjoy and did not (oh well) and Amber Magic, which was just not my cup of tea.

Awesome challenge. Thanks again so much to Bev @ MyReadersBlock for hosting it!

Color-coded: Brown

Laura Florand - The Chocolate Thief
303 Pages - Kensington
For the Color-coded Challenge

For the last book in my challenge, I decided on something a little sweeter than I read last year, and this book certainly was that!

Cade Corey is the heiress of the Corey chocolate family (very obviously Hershey.) She's gone to Paris to find the greatest Parisian chocolatier to make a gourmet chocolate line with.

Sylvain Marquis is the greatest Parisian chocolatier, but the thought of being connected in any way with Corey chocolate is horrifying and insulting, and he tells Cade Corey what's what before sending her away from his chocolate shop.

Cade does anything and everything she can think of to learn the secrets of Sylvain's delicious chocolate, including breaking into his laboratoire. How does Sylvain deal with a chocolate thief? I wonder (ha ha no I don't- it's a romance novel.)

Nonetheless, this book was very sensual and sweet and steamy and delicious. I couldn't put it down once I had picked it up. Yummy!


Nostalgia'd in the FACE!

L.M. Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables
309 Pages - Bantam Classics
For the Color-Coded Challenge

I have a confession to make. I'm Canadian and I've never read Anne of Green Gables.

Actually, it's worse than that... I'm Canadian and Lucy Maud Montgomery lived in my hometown for a fairly large chunk of her life (it's one of the only notable things about my hometown, in fact), and I've never read Anne of Green Gables.

I know, right? Terrible.

Making up for lost time, I decided that it wasn't too late.

It really wasn't, either. This book almost instantaneously brought me back to my childhood. It reminded me of climbing trees and daydreaming in the garden and exploring my grandparent's old house, building forts and writing stories and being otherwise mischievous. I wasn't expecting any of that to happen, but it sure did. This book up and nostalgia'd me in the face, and I'm rather glad that it did.

Anne reminds me of me when I was young. We're total kindred spirits, her and I, and “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

This overly-talkative redheaded Canadian girl can relate with Anne with an E, a little bit.

Overly talkative redheaded Canadian, circa 1986, for reference.
Note: braid of epic gingerity cleverly hidden by polka-dot sundress and hat of doom.


Color-coded: Yellow

B.V. Larson - Amber Magic
153 Pages - Self-published
For the Color-coded Challenge - Yellow

Got this book for free on the kindle store a while back, and thought I would give it a read for this reading challenge (okay, okay, so it was more flipping through the bagillion free kindle books in my cloud looking for a book with yellow in the title. Yellow is always the hardest!). It's actually a shorter introduction to a longer set of novels as I understand it. It kind of gave a glimpse of what was to come in the series.

I probably won't pick up the series in the end, because it's not really up my alley. It felt very Terry Brooks-ish, and that's not a bad thing at all, but I sort of fell out of love with this sort of elves, dragons and fae fantasy when I started to read giant crazy epics like the Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire. ( I probably also did this book a bit of a disservice by reading it directly after Words of Radiance- my now-favorite book ever. However, I did try very hard not to mentally compare a 150 page long self published fantasy romp to a 4.8 star 1000 page epic.)
If dragons, fairies and elves are your jam, this is a fun story which promises some pretty cool sounding dragon-faerie magic happenings to come.


Catching Up on Colors - Orange

Piper Kerman - Orange is the New Black
298 Pages - Spiegel & Grau
For the Color Coded Challenge - Other Color

I'm not sure what exactly made me read this one, since I haven't really been interested in the TV show at all. I had heard of it though, obviously, and got the book on sale, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I was pretty disappointed, overall.

I know it's a memoir and all, but it seemed phony. She seemed very smug about the whole thing, and I had a really hard time staying interested. There was no flow to the story, and she just seemed to go on and on about how everyone liked her in jail, despite her being white and blonde and blue eyed and so on and so forth, and how incredibly awesome her husband is. Incessantly.

I did end up watching an episode or two of the TV show and actually liked it better than I liked the book.

I gave the book three stars, but it's really more a two-and-a-half stars.


Catching Up on Colors - Implied Color

Brandon Sanderson - Steelheart
386 Pages - Delacorte
For the Color Coded Challenge - Implied Color

I love Brandon Sanderson, but I do totally think he's a robot. Who writes 4 Mistborn books, The Stormlight Archive, a couple of really awesome short stories and not only this, but one other YA novel while simultaneously finishing the Wheel of Time series? Brandon Sanderson does, and every single one of those things is awesome. None of those things feel rushed or incomplete. I'd honestly like to see inside his imagination, because it must be incredible to behold.

Steelheart is about a dystopian Chicago (sounds familiar, lol) where ten years previously, something called The Calamity came and gave certain people superpowers. They call those people Epics, and they've taken over pretty much everything.

Steelheart is the emperor of Chicago now, and he's invincible, ruthless, and brutal. David has seen Steelheart bleed, and he vows to see him bleed again.

I read this in one sitting, and the short story that came after it. The man just doesn't write bad things. The story was very engrossing and I couldn't put it down. Definite five stars. I'm super excited for book 2 in January, too.

Catching Up on Colors - Black

Been a busy few months, so I have to catch up on a few blog posts!

Jennifer Armentrout - Onyx/Obsidian
366 Pages - Entangled
For the Color Coded Reading Challenge - Black

So, I read a stand-alone book of Jennifer Armentrout's last year called Obsession, which is set in the same world as this series, and was definitely more of an adult para-romance and I fell in fricking love with it. Like, I consider it my favorite para-romance ever. That's how much I liked it.

I therefore decided to read the Lux series, not much caring that it's a YA series, since it would expand on the plot of Obsession slightly. Well, I fell in fricking love with it, too. So, this is more of a review on the entire series (because I've read the whole thing at this point). I figured either Obsidian or Onyx would be a good book to use as the entry for Black in the color coded challenge. I really just like the cover for Onyx better.

I like the banter between Katy and Daemon. I like that this series doesn't assume that teenagers don't drink or have sex. I liked the world building and the building of relationships between characters. I thought it had a good plot. It was engrossing- things happened that I -had- to know the outcome to and couldn't put it down.

Oh, and she totally included characters from Obsession in the last book. So that was awesome to read as well. All told, I really loved this one, as a whole.


Blood Song

Anthony Ryan - Blood Song
592 Pages - Ace
For the Big Book Challenge

I've been meaning to read this book for a while. /r/Fantasy had been touting it's awesomeness for some time and so I picked it up on my kindle way back around Christmas but it just never made it into the rounds until now. I'm really glad I read it, and I'm excited to read the second book in the series, since it just came out.

Vaelin Al Sorna is the son of the Battle Lord of King Janus. One day shortly after his mother's death, his father ships 10-year-old Vaelin off to a brotherhood of soldiers where he casts off all ties to his family and learns to to fight. He becomes pretty badass. Quite infamous too. Throughout the world.

This book held elements of other books that I love. The brotherhood sometimes felt like the Night's Watch to me, and Vaelin like Jon Snow, and at other times it felt like the Kingkiller Chronicles, in the way that the story was laid out like him telling his story to, well, a chronicler. It's a coming of age story and I am excited to see where the series goes from here.