Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

Reading progress update: I've read 44%.

Maybe Someday - Colleen Hoover

Ehhh I'm not feeling this one. I feel like the author is going to justify these two leads into cheating. I also don't really buy their instant connection either. I like Ridge and his girlfriend Maggie. And Sydney's jealousy is getting old.

 

I loved her other book and I don't like this one at all.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 12%.

Dream Wedding: Dream BrideDream Groom (Hqn) - Susan Mallery

This is okay but I am still confused about the two sisters upbringing. Mallery is dancing around it too much. The plot being a hundred year old nightgown allows you to see the man you'll marry is a but weird. How has it not disingerated? 

 

The man Arizona sounds interesting and Chloe is a reporter looking into a story about his gem exhibit. Yes the hero's job is a new one on me. He is an archaeologist I think. Most romance books are flush with architects or cops. 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Fairy Lights - Edward Lorn

I have some thoughts on this one. I think there was just a smidge too much going on. The latter half kind of fell apart a bit. I wish that the ending had not been predictable. I was hoping for a more Get Out type ending I guess. This flowed very well though even if I'm still confused by the big bad.  Review to follow. 

Reading progress update: I've read 2%.

Fairy Lights - Edward Lorn

I should not be laughing about a character who apparently has a shaved member. But yet here I am.

Update to Agatha Christie Reads for 2017

 

Publication Order of Hercule Poirot Books
 
The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) 
 
The Murder on the Links (1923) 

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) 
 
The Big Four (1927) 
 
The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928) 
 
Peril at End House (1932) 
 
Lord Edgware Dies (1933) 
 
Murder on the Orient Express (1934) 
 
Three Act Tragedy (1935) 
 
Death in the Clouds (1935) 
 
The A.B.C. Murders (1936) 
 
Murder in Mesopotamia (1936) 
 
Cards on the Table (1936)
 
Dumb Witness (1937) 
 
Death on the Nile (1937) 
 
Appointment with Death (1938) 
 
Hercule Poirot's Christmas (1938)
 
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940) 
 
Evil Under the Sun (1941) 
 
Five Little Pigs (1942) 
 
The Hollow (1946) 
 
Taken at the Flood (1948) 
 
Mrs. McGinty's Dead (1952) 
 
After the Funeral (1953)
 
Hickory Dickory Dock (1955) 
 
Dead Man's Folly (1956) 
 
Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)
 
The Clocks (1963) 
 
Third Girl (1966) 
 
Hallowe'en Party (1969) 
 
Elephants Can Remember (1972) 
 
Curtain (1975) 
 
The Monogram Murders (2014) (Not reading this since it's not a Christie book)
 
Publication Order of Hercule Poirot Collections

Poirot Investigates (1924) 

Murder in the Mews (1937) 

The Labours of Hercules (1947) 

Poirot's Early Cases (1974) 
 
Publication Order of Miss Marple Books

The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) 
 
The Body in the Library (1942) 
 
The Moving Finger (1942)
 
A Murder is Announced (1950) 
 
They Do It with Mirrors (1952)
 
A Pocket Full of Rye (1953) 
 
4:50 From Paddington (1957) 
 
The Mirror Crack'd (1962) 
 
A Caribbean Mystery (1964) 
 
At Bertram's Hotel (1965) 
 
Nemesis (1971) 
 
Sleeping Murder (1976) 

Publication Order of Miss Marple Collections

The Thirteen Problems (1932) 

Miss Marple's Final Cases (1979) 

Publication Order of Tommy and Tuppence Books

The Secret Adversary (1922)

N or M? (1941) 

By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968) 

Postern of Fate (1973) 
 
Partners in Crime (1929) 
 
Publication Order of Superintendent Battle Books

The Secret of Chimneys (1925)
 
The Seven Dials Mystery (1929) 
 
Cards on the Table (1936) 
 
Murder is Easy (1939) 
 
Towards Zero (1944) 
 
Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Man in the Brown Suit (1924)

Giant's Bread (1930) 

The Sittaford Mystery (1931) 

Unfinished Portrait (1934) 

Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (1934) 

And Then There Were None (1939) 

Sad Cypress (1940) H

Absent in the Spring (1944) 

Death Comes as the End (1944) 

Sparkling Cyanide (1945) 

The Rose and the Yew Tree (1948) 

Crooked House (1949)

They Came to Baghdad (1951) 

A Daughter's a Daughter (1952) 

Destination Unknown (1954)

The Burden (1956) 

Ordeal by Innocence (1958) 

The Pale Horse (1961) 

Endless Night (1967) 

Passenger to Frankfurt (1970) 
 
Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Mysterious Mr. Quin (1930) 

The Hound of Death (1933) 

The Listerdale Mystery (1934) 

Parker Pyne Investigates (1934) 

The Regetta Mystery and Other Stories (1939)

The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories (1948) 

Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950)

The Under Dog and Other Stories (1951)

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960) 

Double Sin and Other Stories (1961) 

Star Over Bethlehem and Other Stories (1965) 

The Golden Ball and Other Stories (1974)

Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories (1991) 
 
The Harlequin Tea Set (1997) 

While the Light Lasts and Other Stories (1997) 
 
 
Image result
 
 

Why I Love Booklikes

— feeling booklikes

Seriously though our community here rocks. I love that we talk about a whole host of things and one random update/book review will bring in like 100 comments.

 

I realize today though why I can't stand Goodreads as much these days and that's because if you don't make your reviews/profile private to just your friends you get a lot of fly by comments where people are nasty towards you because you don't agree with them about a book.

Case in point, a few weeks ago I had to go and just start deleting comments from someone who was angry that I reviewed a book that he thought was great and I was being repetitive for all the reasons why I listed it didn't work. Apparently just one reason would have been good enough.

 

Another person didn't see why I cared that in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer that using the "N" word was such a big deal, cause that's the way people talk.

 

And of course today someone swanned into my review of "The Bone Witch" saying well they are not having any of these problems and love all of the authors books. Um, good for you? I tend to just always respond politely unless it's an outright nasty comment and I just delete the comment and then for good measure block the person.

 

My review, my opinion. You don't have to agree, you just have to be respectful. 

 

I notice here that even when we don't agree with each other on a book, we are able to communicate that without drawing guns at dawn and or trying to one-up each other with nasty comments.

 

Loved it, But Still Had Problems With This One

Jessica Jones (2016-) #6 - Michael Gaydos, David Mack, Brian Michael Bendis

So in issue #6 we have Jessica Jones finally some would say turning against the mess that Carol Danvers has gotten her into. We do know that Jessica plans on exploring what she was told in the prior issue, which is that the super-heroes have purposely destroyed other realities in order to make sure the reality they all currently exist in stayed the main one.

 

We do have a swift end to some nonsense with someone who is out to get Carol and who never watched a movie before about what happens when the bad guy spills all of their plans.

 

There is some rhetoric thrown out about Carol helping Jessica with soothing Luke's anger at  her (seriously, does no one own a phone?) and then Jessica realizing that maybe she has given up way too much for such a little payoff (you think girl?).


The artwork and language made me smile since it made me think more of the Jessica Jones I saw on the Netflix show (that is a good thing). The first few issues felt off to me, and now I know why.

 

We get an appearance by Maria Hill and also seems to be in the dark about what Jessica has been up to and why and once again I just don't get the secrecy behind it.

Continuing Saga of the Mess of Jessica Jones's Life

Jessica Jones (2016-) #5 - Michael Gaydos, David Mack, Brian Michael Bendis

I honestly loved this and the next comic in the series. The colors in this one seem more vibrant, ie. I can see people's expressions. I know that the watercolor effect is kinda cool, but man oh man the first two issues I was squinting away.

 

In issue #5 we have Jessica being brought down to the jail to help out the police and talk to the husband of her former client. What the man starts to reveal to Jessica Jones about other realities and what exactly the Avengers and other so-called heroes have been up to will shock Jessica's world.


We also then having Luke Cage (still an ass) getting talked to like the child he is acting like from Ben Ulrich (see Daredevil). 

 

I still don't get why Carol Danvers had Jessica lie about what was going on to her husband (Luke Cage) and whys he felt the need to kidnap her daughter and hide her with her mother. Frankly it feels like things that romance novels would include that would tick all of us readers off. You would think that none of these people heard of having a freaking conversation before.


This one of course ends with Jessica about to make a deal with the devil.

 

I have to say though that one reason why I am starting to fall out of love with reading comics (Marvel) right now is that I don't want to have to read across different series to figure out what is going on. There are references to the Inhumans, another Civil War between the superheroes, etc. I already read Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) so I know enough ins and outs to figure out what people are talking about. But I really wish that most of these authors would consider these being standalones for us comic readers who don't want to dip in and out of a bunch of different series to follow one story-line. 

Update: Booklikes-opoly: Turn Three!

Thanks BT for the heads up!

 

Ready for a turn three. I hope I can find a long one though. It just happens this time I managed to finish two books in time to roll a turn.

 

I rolled a 7. So that means I am at this space now.

 

 

 

 

This is easy thank goodness. Just going to find a romance book and I pick this one:

 

 

Updated:

I switched the book I was going to read since I didn't care for the sample. So now I am going to read this instead: 

 

 

 17900225

 

 

Crouching Asha, Fighting Bone Witch (Not Really)

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco

Image result for stares into space gif

This freaking book.

 

Just to get this out of the way, this was not a good book. As many reviewers at Booklikes noted, this YA fantasy novel hit every trope that many of us readers are tired of reading.

 

Main character is the best (insert name of thing) ever.

 

There is purple prose galore.

 

World-building is all over the place and more often than not, author contradicts themselves regarding the rules they have put in place.

 

There is a love triangle (STOP IT!)

 

People (usually women) are jealous of main character for reasons unknown. That don't make sense to you as a reader, but at that point you just go with it since you want it to end.

 

Development of characters seems to be an afterthought.

 

Book ends on freaking cliffhanger so you know as a reader that the author/publisher is going to stretch this thing out to at least 3 books. Looking at you "Dorothy Must Die" series which managed to push out 4 books. 

 

I really loved the cover for "The Bone Witch" and when I read the synopsis a few months ago I thought this book would be right up my alley. I was wrong.

 

Told in alternating points of view, "The Bone Witch" has a character who is a bard (no, not looking up his name) who comes across Tea, who is a dark asha (think witch, it's easier) also called bone witches.

 

This bard has come from (don't recall kingdom) in order to find Tea.

 

Tea agrees to tell her life story after the bard witnesses her slaying a daeva in order to get its bezoar. Just think of a daeva as an undead thing that looks like a dragon. I don't know. The bezoar is a jeweled remnant left behind that a dark asha like Tea can use in her spells. Seriously, after that the book just jumps into a free for all regarding this world that we find ourselves reading about.

 

When the POV switches to Tea, we find out what incident occurred in order for Tea to be declared a dark asha. We get to read about how she raised her dead brother (Fox) from the grave. And this is what kills me. The book has promise when you read about that. You are instantly fascinated. Then you are drowned in minutiae and you just don't care anymore.

 

The book goes back and forth between the bard's POV and Tea's. I really wish that Chupeco had not decided to tell the bard's POV in italic. I know that they want to visually show the different points of view. But it was hard to read. I don't think people realize that when you have an e-reader or heck even a hardcover or paperback having someone's eyes having to constantly adjust to different fonts can cause a headache. I know I had one yesterday. 

 

Tea was not exciting at all. If you want to read about her crush on Prince Kance enjoy that. Also read about how angry she is at having to deal with chores and the food she eats. For pages and pages. I am not kidding about this. A good 3/4 of this book was just descriptions of what she was wearing, what was in her hair (jeweled things that somehow give ashas power), how she felt when Prince Kance was near her, what she was eating, how she sang, danced, and fought. This book borrowed heavily from "Memoirs of a Geisha" to the point that a few times I felt like I was experiencing deja-vu because a scene would sounds so similar to one from that book. 

 

Image result for memoirs of a geisha gifs

 

There were a few things in here that I think that Chupeco wanted to include for a very special after school moment, but it fell flat to me. She includes a character (named Likh) that wants to be an asha (he has a silver heart) but in this world, since he is a male, he has to be a deathseeker. Likh doesn't want to be one, and Tea and her dead brother Fox try their best to be behind his efforts to become an asha. At one point he makes a speech that he doesn't seem himself as a boy, that since he was a boy he liked girl things (dolls and dresses) and I just cringed inside.

 

Image result for stop it gif

 

I think Chupeco is trying to portray him as gay. But that does not equal only liking girl things and not liking swords or rough play. Heck I was a tomboy and fought my mother tooth and nail to not be in a dress outside of church (boy did she despair) and yet I was not gay. I just think she should be careful with generalizations like this when writing. 

 

We have other characters like Lady Mykaela, Lady Zoya, Mother Parmina and others who I wish we had been able to visit with more. They had more going on then Tea that was for sure. But honestly after a while, it was hard to keep track of so many people. Every few pages it felt like someone new was being included in this book. 

 

The writing was purple prose run amok. 

 

And honestly what really kills me about this book is that I still don't get the world building that Chupeco has in this book. We have ashas who can control fire, water, wind, and earth (I think). And then we have dark ashas who can control the dead. How the heck does that even link up to the other four elements? Even Captain Planet decided to go with "heart" for crying out loud as a fifth element.

 

Don't get me started why ashas who can control the elements are even being taught about dancing, flower arrangement, how to sing, how to perform, etc. Chupeco even has the ashas going to tea houses to have conversations with men. Once again there is a whole what in the world thought running through my mind. When Chupeco goes into Tea having to work off her debt to the "Mother" of her house I just started to laugh. This fantasy world is definitely not for me. 

Chupeco tries to describe the runes that Tea is learning about, but man oh man my eyes just glazed over. We really only get two fight scenes in this book, and those were the only interesting parts of this book. Everything else was a big meh to me.

 

Chupeco has "The World of the Bone Witch" section that she included at the end of the book. It would have been better to put that up front after she showcased the maps of this world. I also really wish that Chupeco had thought to include a dictionary for the terms in this book. You have to guess a lot at what certain words mean or what she means when talking about somethings. For example, the clothes that the ashas wear are referred to as huas. Guess what I could not find that word anywhere in the dictionary. I ended up having to Google and found out that hua means China. I don't know if that is true or not since it popped up via Wikipedia. I imagine that Chupeco means that this outfits (based on the endless pages of descriptions) are similar somewhat to kimonos though. Same thing when I tried to look up daesha which turned up some interesting results. 

 

The setting of this world that Chupeco creates at first glance sounds interesting. Everyone has an actual physical representation of their heart that they wear for all to see in a heartglass. People (ashas mostly) can see the colors in the heartglass and can tell if you are happy, anxious, sad, sick, etc. But if you give your heart away (cue danger) you can slowly start to die. But sometimes not. And sometimes you can get a new heart. I am sure this is all going to reveal about love or something in book #2 or #3.

 

Chupeco also shows the kingdom includes people with blonde hair and blue eyes, dark haired people with dark eyes, and golden skinned people with I can't even remember what eyes they had, I think she refers to their shape. But then people pop up who are dark skinned and I just didn't have the energy to figure out what kingdom they even come from. 

 

The ending was a freaking cliffhanger. There are enough clues here and there that you can imagine what happened to put Tea on this path, which is why having a cliffhanger really doesn't work. There was one reveal that I think will surprise some readers if they manage to finish this book. I know that I don't really care what caused Tea to take the measures that she is about to do. 

 

 

Electronic edition: 432 pages (via Goodreads)

401 to 800 pages: $5.00

Bank: $28.00

 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco

The book ends on a cliffhanger. Enough said.

Reading progress update: I've read 73%.

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco

There's a lot of dancing happening. My eyes are glazing over. 

Reading progress update: I've read 52%.

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco

Image result for shrug gif

 

Bored senseless. Reading about Tea learning to dance, how to play music, how to dress, how to meditate, how to tell stories, how to entertain at a tea house I am just drawing comparisons to Memoirs of a Geisha and just not caring a whit. I want to get done with this today. 

Let's Make a Marriage

Mad Love - Nick Spalding

I seriously love Nick Spadling. There have been only one book that was a miss for me so far. The other ones have been hilarious though. In "Mad Love" Spalding takes a look at a man (Adam) and woman (Jessica) who agree to get married via a dating website (Sociality). With the promise of a new flat that they can call their own and a split of thousands of pounds Adam and Jessica are trying their best to give their marriage a go. But they both realize that when one tends to fib (lie people) on their dating profile, that Sociality's algorithm may be wrong about what a perfect match they should be.

 

Adam works as a video game journalist. I was going to say something about ethics in gaming, but that is bringing bad memories up for me, so let me say that Adam is not an ass. He is currently living in a place with a lot of flatmates and a cross eyed rat, so I can see why he would leap on being married to Jessica when he finds out about her. The beginning depicting Adam waking up and going to a video game con was hilarious. I just cracked up. Spalding always does a great job with the guy POV in these books.


Jessica is an American living in London trying to get her masters in Nutrition (I am to lazy to look that up to make sure that is accurate). She is also working at a strip club as a bartender. Once again, Jessica's POV had me laughing at so many times in this book.


When Adam and Jessica agree to their marriage and realize it means that Sociality's owner is going to be up in their faces for the next several months, you realize that both of them are trying to put their best face forward until it turns into a War of the Roses thing that the book did a great job with.

 

The only misstep I will say that happens, that really is what besides the ending made me knock a star from this book, is that Spalding gives us insight into why Adam was so focused on staying married to Jessica. I maybe rolled my eyes a bit. It felt like it came out of nowhere since there are no hints to this during Adam's POV that Spalding could have at least hinted at so we could see what secret Adam was keeping. 

 

The writing was great. Spalding does a great job of depicting relationships (see Love From Both Sides) and he has a great voice for both male and female characters. He chooses to tell the story from both Adam and Jessica's POV with each chapter beginning with a question and answer they responded to on the Sociality website. I laughed so hard many times I started howling. There are just some scenes I don't want to spoil for you. But let me just say, the scene with them getting married. It was inspired.

 

The book setting switches between London and Jessica's birthplace of California. Spalding does a great job of depicting where Jessica grew up to the point I want to visit there sometime. 

 

The ending was a bit eh to me though. I thought it was just too over the top and not realistic. 

Um. Yes Please

September 26, 2017.

 

In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place... The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is a wildly provocative, gloriously absorbing father/son collaboration between Stephen King and Owen King.

 

Sleeping Beauties: A Novel by [King, Stephen, King, Owen]

Reading progress update: I've read 44%.

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco

So now I know why this book has been bugging me. This is Memoirs of the Geisha with magic. But there is barely any magic to be found in this book, so it's just Memoirs of a Geisha. This is not working very well at all from a story-telling and world building perspective. Every couple of pages we go back to Tea telling her life story to a bard. And then back to her first person POV about her learning about dancing, doing flower arranging, playing musical instruments, etc. There is so much time spent on Chupeco describing what everyone (the ashas) are wearing it's not even funny. Then the description of make-up. The main enemy of Tea right now is a woman who runs one of the "houses" and Tea is going to be debuted in two months and will have to work off her debt to the Mother of the house. Yeah...this sounds familiar. 

Currently reading

Maybe Someday
Colleen Hoover
Progress: 44 %
Dream Wedding: Dream BrideDream Groom (Hqn)
Susan Mallery
Progress: 12 %
Fairy Lights
Edward Lorn
Progress: 100 %
House of Reckoning
John Saul
Swan Song
Robert R. McCammon
My Life, My Love, My Legacy
Coretta Scott King
Progress: 2 %