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Review of Returner's Wealth

I received an e-copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for this review. No money changed hands.

Wyrmeweald sucked me in immediately. Within the first paragraph, I knew I was going to like this book and I was right. This wasn’t a complete love fest though – there were several things about the book that I found mildly annoying.

Be advised – some spoilers ahead.

First, EVERY animal seemed to have some variation of wyrm in its name. I kept thinking, argh! If this was a snake, it would be called an adder, or water moccasin … we don’t append the word snake to every variation of a snake in our world and it seemed odd that such would be the case in any other world. To be fair, we do use the names black snake and a rattle snake but you know what I mean. I just got the feeling that the authors were trying to remind me that – hey, you aren’t in Kansas anymore but I didn’t need that prodding reminder. I got it.

A few of the characters were cliché and one dimensional – they seemed to be either a “good guy” or a “bad guy” with no subtle shadings as there are in real life.

The main character, Micah, was sympathetic. I wanted him to be successful and felt for him through his struggles. Thrace didn’t have enough development, I thought, though. I wanted to understand more behind the relationship she had with her whitewyrm. I *really* didn’t feel there was enough of an explanation behind why her wyrm left her behind. I mean, yeah, on the surface, the wyrm mated, then she did, so I got that (obviously) but then the wyrm just left her behind. I actually looked up from my book and frowned. What? You have this extraordinary bond and you up and leave? At first I thought the separation was temporary but by the book’s end, it didn’t feel like that.

Despite the bumps the book had for me, I really, really enjoyed the writing style. It drew me in and I got lost, for the most part. I look forward to book 2 in this series.

Lexicon

Lexicon was an odd book. Not that I didn’t love it, ultimately, because I did – it was just quirky.

There were two points in the book that I thought eh …. Do I want to finish this? Partially because I’ve gotten spoiled by having such easy, open access to books with the Kindle (and scads of birthday Amazon money to burn – O Amazon, those funds will be all too soon gone …) and partially because I was genuinely at a point in the book where I thought, wait – what?

But I soldiered on, for two reasons (and man, I was glad I did). One, I think it’s really an unattractive trait to toss something aside because of a momentary confusion and two, I really found myself wanting to see what happened. I confess to laying my Kindle down and taking a break from reading to do something around the house, but I found my mind idly returning to the book, wondering what was going on. That for me is a real measure of how engaging I find a book, the fact that I think about the characters as if they are people I know and care about.

Emily was someone I rooted for. I didn’t mind one bit that she was scuffed up, needy and sometimes a hot mess. She had a vulnerability I found endearing and I seriously cared what happened to her.

Will affected me in the same way. He reminded me of every goofball friend I’ve ever had over the years, good hearted but a bit of a bumbler.

Without giving anything away, I will say that I enjoyed Will’s evolution and it made sense to me.

Read Lexicon. You’ll enjoy the ride, even with the bump or two it might give you.

FYI - this review was in exchange for a copy of the ebook from Netgalley.

My Review of The Pirate's Wish

Omg. This is going to go on my “ALL TIME FAVS” list.

Seriously.

In the interest of full disclosure, I need to state up front that I got an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Just sayin’.

I admit to being slightly OCD in that I just can’t read books in a series out of order and this book, The Pirate’s Wish, is book two of two. That was a problem for me, but one with a relatively easy solution. I read the sample for book one, The Assassin’s Curse and fell hard. I had to buy the book so that I could finish it - stayed up late – the whole nine. But this isn’t a review for The Assassin’s Curse, is it?

I started The Pirate’s Wish around dawn and could not stop reading. I neglected EVERYTHING in order to finish it later that day (sorry, familia).

*Le.Sigh*

This is one terrific book.

I have to say, I am an incredibly picky reader. When something isn’t good, I mentally make corrections as I read, switch dialogue around …. You get the picture. Writers can be annoying readers. So when I find a book that I fall into and wish would never end, it’s a big deal. The worst books are the ones that have more than one in a series and the series starts off really great and then, book by book, begins to decline. There was NO drop-off at all in quality. The writing was superb, the characters were true to their behaviors in book one and the payoff was great in the end. I was just sad that it ended.

It was nice to see such a strong female voice. I loved that Ananna wasn’t annoyingly drawn as a character – ugh, I detest female leads that are “pretty” in a vacuous way or dependent on a male character. I’ve tried to raise my daughters to be self-reliant and it’s nice to see that sentiment echoed in a book. Hey – I’m all for love – I’ve been married 33 years after all to a great guy, but I don’t think LURVE should make a woman (or a guy) stupid all of a sudden.

I don’t want to give away too much plot. Suffice it to say that the threads that were dangling in The Assassin’s Curse are all nicely tied up. I envy all of you who have not yet had a chance to read this and get to experience it all over again for the first time.

Enjoy!!

Aug. 25th, 2010

The not-so-littles-anymore start school today. Dare had his last gasp-blast of summer last night and stayed out until dusk, screaming and running through the neighborhood with his friends. Jaime-Baby, true to form, preferred to give her room a preparatory cleaning and organize her school supplies.

Is she my kid, or what?

Omni cut Dare's hair for me on Saturday past and I gave Jaime-Baby her first perm - and I really screwed up by not buying two perms. Her hair is straight for the first few inches and curly, curly, curly from there on down. *sigh* Now I have to wait at least six weeks before I try again. Thank heavens for the pressing iron, is all I can say. She's at the age where her appearance is really important to her.

Kari-Neena is supposed to come over after school today and I'm looking forward to seeing her, since it's been about two and a half months since she's been here. She's such a good kid.

Noah started school yesterday and was so excited. Jade said he wandered into her room and perched on the edge of the bed, murmuring that he needed to watch the news. He focused intently on the tv, laying down during commericials, then sitting back up and paying attention again when the ads were over. Later told Jade he wanted to see what the weather was going to be. *shakes.head*

Tomorrow I go to Texas. Gawd I hate flying. I need a drink already.

Why are people so frigging scandalous? Some jackass sold Bood a broken washer and dryer!! She hauls it all the way to Memphis, up two flights of stairs, goes and buys the exhaust tube/hose and finally gets it hooked up only to find out that the dryer's motor is gone and the washer leaks from inside. I feel so bad for her - everything that can go wrong is and she tried so hard to prepare for every contingency. her air conditioners are not working as they should, Shadow's petrified of the stairs, her "free-wireless" (as advertised as a selling point for the apartment) is inoperable, the cable company didn't leave everything she needed to watch tv when they came and installed the cable and yesterday the toilet went kaput. She's gone from tearful to a sort of frigid silence that sounds very brittle, like if One.More.Thing happens, she's going to shatter. She called me, horrified, the other day, telling me that her neighbor was outside yelling and Bood peeked out the window to see what was going on. The woman was outside wearing a thong and a shirt. *blink* Turns out the woman was calling her dog. As Bood said - Yeah, I go outside all the time half-dressed to get my dog. /sarcasm. Oh, and did I mention the homeless guy that lives in her doorway? Believe it or not, this is one of the town's good areas.

I started reading Mockingjay (of course, like five minutes after it was out) and had to stop. I just don't remember enough of the storyline! So I'm going to re-read the first two books first. *grumble.grumble*

There are so many good books coming out - Harry Connolly's next, the second in the Strain series, the someday-Rothfuss-will-finish next book ... I know there are more, but it's flipping early here.

Oh well - time to get Jaime-Baby up

Ugh

Have you ever really screwed up? Like every time you think of it, you get a sick, oh no, feeling in the pit of your stomach?

Yeah.

The worst part is, it's affected other people, putting them in awkward positions.

*sigh*

My life is definitely in one of the troughs right now.

I keep repeating to myself, "If you want to help, don't help." I've also decided that probably more than half the words that come out of my mouth are better off left swirling around in my head.

Of Sadness

Baby Boody left yesterday for Memphis, where she will live for the next five years, getting her PhD while acting as a TA.

It's bittersweet. I have gotten so used to having her here, back at the house - seeing her everyday, sitting around talking and laughing (nobody makes me laugh like my kids) - just enjoying her company.

Of course I cried when she left. And cried and cried. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that I'm not a pretty crier - my face swells and turns blotchy, ny nose and eyes get red - yeah ... not pretty.

I'd put my make-up on before Terri left - I think my logic was that having make-up on would keep my from crying. Didn't work. It makes Gary anxious when I cry; he hates to see me unhappy.

"You look like Alice Cooper - stop crying. You're going to have to re-do your makeup." He fidgets uncomfortably and keeps trying to joke me out of my tears.

I've been with Gary so long and know him so well that I know what lies under those words but I also know how someone else would perceive them - as insensitive. Trust me on this, they aren't.

Gary knows me as well as I know him and he's well aware that the worst possible thing to give me at that point is sympathy - it will just make me cry harder. Instead, he gives me what he knows will work best, a soft target.

"Oh shut it, will you?" I sniff, then glance at him and smile. He looks relieved. We turn back to the window and wave as Terri drives off.

I know my baby needs to get about her future, like I did, so many years ago and leave home, probably for good. But it still hurts and I wish I could turn the clock back, when all my babies were little and at home every night.

But - that can't happen, so you just have to suck it up and get on with things. She'll be home at Thanksgiving to visit. I've already got the whole meal planned out.

:)

*laugh*

The other day, Jaime, Tina and I were driving around trying (unsuccessfully) to find a yard sale or two. Passing a local restaurant reminded me of an earlier conversation I'd had with a co-worker about fried pickles (don't ask, it involves the Jersey Shore).

I mused aloud that I'd like to try a fried pickle to see if the taste was like I'd imagined it. From the back seat came a horrified gasp, followed by: "OH MY GAWD! I can't believe you'd eat something like that! They have a right o life just like you do!"

Tina and I exchanged puzzled glances, then I turned in my seat. "What?"

Poor Jaime was almost in tears. "How could you eat a Pit Bull?"

I gaped at her, then burst into laughter. "No, baby! PICKLES!"

There was a pause, during which her mind went from disgust-mode to digest-the-words-mode, then: "Ohhhhhhhh."

Yep. She's got my hearing issues!

:)

Aug. 8th, 2010

I finally got my machine back online. What a PITA.

History -

This machine was a gift for my BD last year from a really good friend who in turn, had gotten it as a hand me down from a friend, who being an UberGreek, built it himself.

I had to search and search for the motherboard drivers but finally found them and viola! She is complete.

Now if I could only find my Office disks ... I tend to loan things out and then forget I've done it, so I rarely have a complete set of software (or books, for that matter) when I need to lay my hands on something. I'll probably have to install Open Office since I have a big paper due tomorrow.

*sigh* Why didn't I do this school thing when I was young? Oh yeah - was having babies. Upon reflection - glad I had the kids.

:)

Flashlight Worthy Books

Flashlight Worthy asked me to link to their new Beach Reads category in an effort to get the word out.

Since I'm a huge book-a-vore, I thought it would be a good idea. Anything to get good books out, right?

http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com/category/Best-Beach-Reads/126?fromhome=1

:)

Kathi

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